Thursday, April 30, 2009

happy anniversary to us!

22 years of marriage. let the celebration begin (continue)!!
see ya later.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

sometimes they do surprise us!

Yesterday I came home to find this lovely photo printed out and laying on the kitchen counter. It is a photo I have not seen before now. For those of you who might need a little context, the dog is my beloved, Curry, who left this earthly plain last Labor Day. The sweet face next to his is my teenage daughter who most often communicates in one syllable responses these days.

I wonder what she is trying to say now? Sometimes they do surprise us!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pop on over to lucy creates to see today's Poetry Party entry. Peace.

sacraments and flowing water

“We are asked to pour ourselves out, trusting that in this act we will be refilled.” Christine Valters Paintner

“The universal call to holiness is an invitation to be ourselves. It’s also an invitation to remember the sacramentality of every day life.” James Martin, SJ

Pouring out. Seeing all things as sacraments. These themes swirl and spin around my mind challenging me to continue to reach for the unknown. I do not know what will fill me, but I know that in order to be refilled, I must make space by pouring out. I stop and consider the times I have emptied myself out of obligation rather than love. When it has been duty rather than sacrament. The “filling” looks quite different – resentment and loneliness instead of peace and sanctity.

Where are the places I dam my flow of love? Where do I allow old hurts to get in the way and feel myself building dams rather than letting the springs flow? Where is God in all of this? Am I so self-sufficient that I tell God to get lost? How ludicrous is that – the impossibility of even trying to lose God since God surrounds me in the very air I breathe?

Sacraments and flowing water. God is calling me to be more fluid. Fluid with acts of self – allowing love to fill in the cracks and crevasses rather than building a dam or trying to patch them with illusions. Seeing life as daily sacrament.

Yesterday was a Sacred Sunday – filled with small acts of kindness. And, in those acts – providing a ride, preparing a meal, folding laundry, listening to others, reading a manuscript – I was indeed refilled. I listened to the call to be fluid. In this unplanned response, the crevasses were washed clear and I was reminded of the truth that resides within.

photo © h3images

Friday, April 24, 2009

enCouragingBliss: Building your Happy Place

Today I invite you to check out Blisschick's post on "building your happy place." This week's challenge is to create a collage of your happy place. I absolutely adore collage work and find it so enlightening to see what pops up.

For me, it's really important to not overthink the process, so this morning I set a few boundaries for myself. I opted to use just one magazine. (Today's choice was the May/June 2008 issue of Departures.) Flipping through the pages with the theme in mind, I intuitively selected images. The real challenge came when I decided to keep the size to fit in my visual journal (7" x 5 1/2 "). (I find paring down, helps me see what is essential.) So, I sorted through the pictures - cropping - tossing- rearranging - until I was satisfied with the layout. Glued them all down and voila - my happy place.

The visuals say much to me and I will probably add some journaling to complete this process. Perhaps it's time for you to consider your own happy place. This took me just about an hour from start to finish - not much time really in the big scheme of things. Isn't it worth playing with some glue and scissors to remind yourself what makes you happy?

Wishing you joy today!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

pressing delete

so, i have been gone for more than a week and have not checked any blog sites in the meantime. today, looking at the nearly 200 posts in my blog feeder, i practically started to hyperventilate. at the risk of missing something very important while also attempting to maintain the rest and sanity gained over the past few days, i have opted to press delete and start afresh.

i may or may not get caught up on my reading and i pray i will not offend anyone with this act of self-preservation. i do, however, invite you to let me know if there is a "must read" out there that i may have missed in my absence.

looking forward to starting afresh...tomorrow!


“i wonder if people i've just met sometimes "know" me better than those i've been around a really long time.”

I posted the above status on Facebook this afternoon. It is a thought I have been pondering since returning last night from a week in the heart of Texas. My main intent for the trip was to attend the Spiritual Director’s International conference and I ended up adding time to spend with a wide range of family and friends. The range included those who have known me my whole life, a college roommate dating back to the 70’s, and friends who I met 20 years ago upon arrival in Seattle.

My hope is to have some time to debrief on the SDI conference which was wonderful on multiple levels, but for today I continue to consider the beginning statement. “i wonder if people i've just met sometimes "know" me better than those i've been around a really long time.” These words arose as I looked back over the past week which was filled with many wonderful conversations and lots of reminiscences. The most memorable moment, however, occurred with a woman I met at the conference, spent no more than two hours with and very likely will not encounter again in this life.

It was one of those moments where I absolutely knew without a shadow of a doubt that I had looked into another’s soul and she into mine. Words cannot adequately describe, but my life has been indelibly marked by that encounter.

It leaves me knowing there is a Presence greater than I - One who delivers surprises when we least expect. I also wonder about the loneliness that can be felt when those who are supposed to "know" me seem to not really see me. I ponder how I might, too, be blind. Lots of curious questions mixed with contentment and gratitude for the moments that just are…for the God that is…for the person I am and the new ways I see myself each day.

I’ve missed our conversations here and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Peace and blessings!

Monday, April 20, 2009

better late than never

Of those who draw them to
the extreme verge,
the edge
that crackles:
that is
your beauty:
that is what
you do.

-Hilda Morley, “The Wild Cherry Tree”

a little late to the poetry party, i still wanted to share how these two images from abbey of the arts came together for me.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

true confessions

Oh man, “high lucy” kicked into gear yesterday. The one who thinks she knows it all. The one who’s not quite sure where she stands in the world, so starts making stuff up in her head (or pulling footballs out from under people). Do you know that one? My more reasonable, mature (and I pray “normal” - ha ha) self has kicked back in this morning (I think) and so I hesitate to describe what was going on inside me as I took my seat on the second airplane of the day headed toward my homeland. Nevertheless (confession is good for the soul, right? ☺)…

Have you ever had one of those moments where you were near someone you have never met before and you don’t like them immediately? This happened as I sat down next to a woman on my flight from Dallas to Houston. I really didn't want to be anywhere near this person. (Now this doesn’t happen to me a lot, but airplanes seem to exacerbate the situation particularly when I am tired.) This time the reaction was strong. I felt like I was back in college for the first time meeting those glamorous girls from Dallas and I was the little hick from Oklahoma City. Perhaps it was her severely manicured nails or maybe the heavily teased hair. The super-tan or the over-sized designer handbag? I hate this about me – about humans, really – our desire to sum people up within an instant. I chastised my critical self for doing it (and then chastised again for chastising. I really am trying to be more compassionate with myself). Still I felt the discomfort sitting next to this woman. I observed her peripherally while she incessantly texted on her phone long after the flight attendants had said to "please turn off all cellular devices." I wanted to tattle on this woman. Yes, tattle! She was getting away with something and I wanted her caught! What was this?!??! Why did my normally compassionate, curious self so vividly disappear?

Lots of reasons come to mind with exhaustion hitting the top of the list. Anxiety probably running a close second. I could really beat myself up over this. Rather now, I wonder what hurt or need might have had her frantically texting well past the stop time. My compassion and curiosity start to kick in. I consider she is probably a nice person outside of her airplane seat. I recognize that my reaction probably had nothing to do with her specifically, but rather it really is all about me. Still…for a few minutes it was kind of fun to have someone else to scrutinize…Geez louise…what's a lucy to do? ☺.

How about you? Ever have one of those moments? What sets it off for you? When does your “high lucy” kick in?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

coming out

I awoke this morning feeling risen and ready to bloom. I believe it is no coincidence that today is Easter. Those old critical and conservative voices in my head spoke of sacrilege…How can you proclaim yourself “risen” on the same day as Christ? But, isn’t that what Easter is about? The new risen self. The death of old ways and rising to who God has created us to be. Believe me, I do not take the Easter story lightly. I am indeed honored to “come out” on this holiest of days. It is through Christ’s example that I am offered the courage and strength to follow my passion. So here goes…

Hello. My name is Kayce and I’m a writer. Whew! There, I’ve said it. For those of you who are confused, I am also lucy. My work is loving the world. My passion is helping others and myself move toward more authentic and fulfilling lives. For several months now I have been aware that living this dualistic existence of lucy in the blogosphere and Kayce in the “real” world is some how discordant with the wholeness I seek.

It gets a little tricky, however, because I am also a psychotherapist who has various ethical considerations and boundary guidelines to uphold and respect. The issue of self-disclosure is where things can get a little messy. Should my clients know that I struggle and have bad days? Dare I let them discover that I don’t have it all figured out? What if they find out that I am – gasp – human?

After considerable pondering, I keep coming back to the notion of authenticity. I just cannot hide here anymore. It feels important to “come out.” I’m not sure how or if it will change what this space looks like or what I share. Be assured that lucy is not going anywhere for now! (She is after all the muse. If you haven't yet scrolled down the sidebar and read "Who is lucy?", I invite you to do that soon.) I hope bringing the two of us together will only enrich these offerings. There is lots of transition going on for me as I have recently posted. More details will follow in the coming weeks.

Please join me today in celebrating the wonder of Easter; the beauty of coming out; and my 500th post at Diamonds in the Sky with Lucy!!!

Peace to you, friends.

With love, lucy aka Kayce

Friday, April 10, 2009

It is Good Friday

It is Good Friday. So much to consider. Everything from the cross and all its meaning – old, new & yet discovered – to the students and peers I will say good-bye to next week. Where am I going? Today, I will venture to Tacoma to see my son – for whom I have suffered much and whose suffering brought me to new life. Where on the cross does that fit? I think of papers to grade – a trip to take – my daughter rumbling around in the kitchen – my husband who I enjoyed so much yesterday.

Why? Why all of these things? I feel the pressure to write of Good Friday. (“All the “holy” people are doing it”, says the b.s. in my head. “Move into silence like the other “good” ones.”) Oh my, the inner voices ring loud and I wonder how will I be generous with myself.

How do I get to be me? How do I follow my own voice – be who I am created to be? Who is God? What is God? How can we even define? Yet so many attempt. Attempting truth. Is truth not what we experience? Could truth be being present to our own experiences of each other – of the world – of ourselves?

“Easter and Passover make us experience in ourselves a call out of bondage. So experiencing them doesn’t destroy our religious traditions.” Joseph Campbell

How will I experience Good Friday – like me – like myself? I am aware it is the day of the cross. Do I need to run away from life today – hole up in my sanctuary and pray for hours? Perhaps – if that is what I am called to do from the deep core of my being. I think not. Instead I will go to see my son. How appropriate this mother and son should be together on this day. I will go for a walk with a new friend – breathing fresh air – building new relationship. “We are nailed together by the cross.” a paraphrase from Jan Richardson’s must read post.

Life afresh and new. Letting the old die. “Whatever comes from a moment’s grace that joins us to our lives and to each other – this is spiritual.” Mark Nepo I would go on to say it is Holy - these things that join us to our lives. The candle that burns on my desk. Music drifting through the room. Clouds that cover the sun. Friends who await my call. God who speaks my name.

It is Good Friday. There is much to be considered.

photo of my son circa 1993

Thursday, April 09, 2009

enCouragingBliss: Do Not Get Rid of Your Vice

“Do not get rid of your vice but make it work for your illumination rather than your degradation. Turn it around on yourself and transform it into your best virtue.” from BlissChick

Wouldn’t you think that finding your bliss would be all warm and fuzzy. Happy. Light and carefree? Wouldn’t that be delightful – and way too easy?!?! BlissChick, however, is a woman after my own heart and she is willing to dig deep and look at the hard stuff which in return helps us move closer to living our bliss – truth – image of God – or whatever you like to call it. In her current post, she asks us to consider how we might transform vice to virtue.

So, that’s where the tough work comes in. We must first name our greatest vice. Yuk!! I pondered her post for a minute or two, considered doing something else (i.e. avoiding the topic) and then my inner censors kicked in and shouted, “I am selfish.” So, I opted to pick up pen and paper and see what happens.

In writing about my selfishness, I began to find the virtue of generosity. So I posed myself the question of when am I most generous? Throughout the conversation, I realized another vice showed up – my self-critical voice. (Not so surprising!) Self-criticism is an easy trap in which to get caught, because I am great at being critical about being self-critical. (While writing this, I realized the virtue here is that I am very generous with helping others see and fight their own battles to be free of self condemnation ☺.)

Having come through this not-so-little exercise, I discovered the virtue to these two vices of selfishness & self-criticism both come down to one thing – generosity.

Be generous. Unconditional. What if I could be generous with myself - giving myself the love and care I need…while still being generous with others and knowing they may fail me, because they’re human just like me? A circle of generosity perhaps?

Thanks to BlissChick (and Joseph Campbell who inspired her post which I highly recommend reading) I shall be looking more closely at those places where I am both selfish and generous with myself and others. Not getting rid of the vice, but seeing how it might be transformed into virtue.

How about you? Are you up for turning some vice into virtue? What would it be? How might you go about it? I hope you’ll join in the journey and let me know what you find along the way.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

stand firm

My ponderings lately have been many – my writings few. The theme of “stand” arises again and again. Today - “and having done all…stand.” Ephesians 6 :13. Yesterday - “I did not hide my face from insult.” Isaiah 50:6. Approaching the end of Lent, I consider how Jesus stood in the face of assault during his life and particularly at the crucifixion.

We are in the midst of Holy Week and even if you do not believe in the crucifixion and resurrection, it is still a great story. The images and metaphors of dying to self and rising again are powerful. Standing in the face of life’s trials and not backing down. “I did not hide my face from insult.” No matter what happens, stand firm.

Standing firm can take on many forms. It can mean grieving or gritting your teeth and bearing things. I see it as not numbly checking out or fleeing, but staying with some form of presence. I will not leave. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God stands firm. The ultimate image of parent. Again, even if you do not believe in the God story – choosing to parent yourself and stand firm in the face of life’s trials. Choosing not to leave yourself.

Feeling our feelings. Being impacted by others. Standing firm. Firm does not mean rigid to me. It is grounded. Perhaps my face in the dirt - head to the ground, humbly weeping. Terra Firma. The ground as holy. My feet planted deeply and entwined with the roots of the world – like an old tree that can be blown about and lose its leaves in a storm or provide shade in the heat of day.

Lord, may I stand firm with strength and tenderness for myself as well as others.

Where do you long to stand firm today? Where are you tempted to flee? How might you consider changing your view of what standing firm looks like? Is it full of strength? Tenderness? Both?

Friday, April 03, 2009

safe landing

Moving toward my morning meditative routine – candle, music, journal…I chose a play list I did not recognize called, Prayer. My husband discovered this music by a Native American artist named Douglas Spotted Eagle. My journalling began with the words transition, transformation and trapezes. Life lately feels like that space just before you really let go and fling yourself into the air. I am reminded of my skydiving adventure just before stepping out of the plane. I clung to the door and bowed my head in frenzied prayer. It is that place just before you let go. You know it’s coming. You know you have to let go or you will forever regret it. I had no choice really, but to release my fingers and fling myself into the unknown. It seems that in order for life to keep moving forward that is exactly what I must do: let go, trust the unknown, and pray for a safe landing.

My writing traveled through many transitions as it so often does until I landed on that old topic of having compassion for myself. I am excellent at having compassion for others (most of the time), but one particular liminal space – the space 'in between' of loving my teenager and really disliking her a lot – keeps getting in my way. My anger and resentment rise. The classic words of a mother ascend in my throat, but not quite out of my mouth: “I’ve done so much for you. How can you not appreciate me?” And then I get mad at myself for even thinking that way and then she acts maddeningly teenager-ish and I get mad at her, but more myself (‘cuz I have compassion for her) and the cycle continues…

So, I kept writing and did a little reading and landed here: “…the quest both to understand oneself and finally accept oneself was a key journey for me…” I felt like God had a bullhorn to my ear. But, I didn’t really want to stay there and listen so I kept moving and opted to look once again at the Merton prayer I passed over last night:

"Be still
Listen to the stones of the wall.

Be silent, they try

To speak Your


To the living walls.
Who are you?


Are you? Whose

Silence are you?"

And so I chose to be silent and still. The music played softly in the background. The candle quietly burned across the room. I considered compassion for me. My mind drifted. I gently invited it back. I found myself following the rhythm of a drum. The call of the silence. The stones of the earth speaking to me. Somewhere in there, “my name" was spoken. I "understood and accepted." I moved a little closer to myself.

The name of the song I had never before heard? Coming Home.

How might things be different for you if you let go of the trapeze and flung yourself into the unknown? Do you expect a safe landing or do you assume you will crash & burn?

p.s. After writing this post, I wanted to give credit to Douglas Spotted Eagle. Here is one of the links I found. He is a skydiver!!! Coincidence? Synchronicity? God stuff?

p.p.s. Here's another one. Check out enCouragingBliss: Return to your Garden of Eden. It's yet another way of Coming Home.

soul collage by lucy

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

the place in between

During this week leading up to Palm Sunday, I find myself surrounded by “the place in between.” Not dead, but not resurrected. Knowing, but encircled by mystery. Springtime – no longer winter, but the warmth of summer has not arrived. Hints of blossoming yet death still lies in my flowerbeds. Mourning a leaving and excited for new possibilities. Ending time with students – done, but not done. Living with a teenager – no longer a child and the adult has not yet emerged. Mid-life. Need I say more?

“I try to take on one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me all at once.” Jennifer Unlimited – Hazelden

and my daily dose of Merton:

“O tongue of flame
Under the heart

Speak softly:

For love is black

Says the season.


Kissed with flame!

See! See!

My love is darkness!”

Would love to hear your thoughts on the place in between!