Where we remember we are One

Let Love In!


Life is Short

In my meditation this morning, the resounding message I got was to let love in. During the pandemic with social distancing and also living alone, I’ve been feeling a lack of energy, motivation, love and joy.

Getting older and being laid off from work, I don’t necessarily have a routine, yet I feel the need for consistency. I’ve been pushing myself every day to be productive and make a goals list for the week every Monday. Not only to help motivate myself but also to remind myself of things I need to take care of. The little things that often get forgotten.

But there are days, where I am just wore out and tired of my life just being a list of to-do’s. And that list is never ending from week to week. I think we have all experienced that!

I decided to do a guided meditation around being my ideal self. Imagining what that would look like and then having that “future” self to speak to my current self, sitting in this room in front of the computer, which tends to be my modus operandi these days, preparing for my next IT job.

One of the clear messages I wrote to myself was: The more you block the flow of love, the worse you feel.

This is why I feel heavy, disheartened and am hearing those critical and self-deprecating messages in my mind.

Along with that message, when writing down the word loneliness, I got this: Is there a part of you that recognizes how you block love in your life? You have been hurt and yet you are now hurting yourself by not letting your love out or other’s love in.

Wow! What a powerful and timely message. Where do I begin when I am supposed to be staying away from people?

I make a list. LOL

1. Gratitude lists also seem to bring love into my heart and lighten my spirit

2. Meditation – a great way to bring the mind into the present moment and sometimes get nuggets of wisdom

3. Find ways to be of service even if it is online

4. Lend words of encouragement to others during this time

5. Listen to music and dance

6. Snuggle with a pet – my current dog is not a snuggler, so this won’t work for me

Now for the harder part, letting love in from other people…

7. Take a risk and share something on your heart and allow others to support you.

Here it is:

I recognize that I am also carrying grief in my heart. My Aunt Louise is in the hospital and her prognosis is not good. Not being able to go see her (because of the pandemic), hold her hand and tell her how much I love her has been difficult. I need an outlet without burdening her daughter and son, who already have enough on their plate with making decisions about her care. I have been talking to my Aunt through my heart and my prayers, telling her how much she means to me and how grateful I am for all she has done to support and care for me throughout my life. And if she becomes conscious again, I have been sending messages to her in Facebook messenger. So I ask you, for prayers for my Aunt Louise and my family.

Grief tends to get locked up in the body, so I am trying to breathe through the pain and also do regular exercise to help with the raw emotions. As humans, our fear of emotions also block the flow which as my “ideal self” in meditation this morning told me, blocks the flow of love, in and out.

I am grateful for this wisdom from my meditation and journaling and will do my best to remember this Truth. I have shared with you some of the things that work for me and I hope that you will remember those things that help you feel loved, joyful and loving.

Peace and blessing to all of you, especially at this time.


June 22, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

To-Do List

Just be

It’s Friday. My workweek is finally over and I’m drained both physically and mentally, not that I do any physical work. I sit at a desk staring at a computer all day. It is all I can do these days to get through the week without biting someone’s head off. It might be “Friday night” for some, a time to celebrate the workweek’s end, but for me, it is just another go to bed early night in hopes that I will have the energy to get all of the other things in my life done that I don’t have time to do during the week.

Saturday morning, I sit with a cup of coffee and write my To-Do List. It begins with the simple things – wash clothes, go grocery shopping, de-clutter the house, vacuum, walk the dog, and pay a few bills. My brain then conjures up all of the things I want or need to do, but never seem to have time to do – create a budget, apply for a new job, meet up with a friend I haven’t seen lately, talk to my mom over the phone, write more on my novel, listen to inspiring music or a spiritual talk. The list keeps growing. It has become evident by the tension in my body that even with coffee, it’s not likely I will get it all done over this weekend. This of course leads to next weekend’s list beginning to grow, along with the sickening feeling in my stomach.

As the pressure builds, I feel an aching in my head. My breath has become shallow and it’s like the level of oxygen needed to propel my body to complete the tasks at hand is lacking. I grow weary already, but take more gulps of coffee. I think about how this list could be even worse if I had small children. Is this what my life has evolved into? A series of to-do’s at work and at home?

Feeling empty and high on caffeine, I begin. Laundry in washer, check. Grocery list made, check. Bills paid, check. De-clutter miscellaneous stuff accumulated through the week, check. Vacuum, check. The coffee has really kicked in now. Time for the dog walk and errands.

The air is crisp and my dog drags me down the road, excited to go for his first walk in weeks. It occurs to me that this is how I am feeling in my life right now, dragged through all of the things “to-do” and always running out of time.

In all of the running and doing, I have forgotten how to “just be” in the moment. Like a child in a sandbox letting sand run slowly through her fingers, giggling as granules build a small, cone-shaped hill. Maybe I should add that to my list. Just be. I feel the corners of my mouth curl into a smile. That is what I have been missing.

When I get back home, I look at my list and begin to wonder which of these things actually have to get done today and if I can give myself permission to take a “time-out” from the running. Who decided that all of these things had to be done anyway? Me? The voice in my head? It’s no wonder I’ve become grumpy, just going through the motions and feeling tired all of the time. I haven’t taken the time, or made the time, to do something my heart wants to do. I mark through the things on the list that are not imperative and decide to add meditation. Now I have to do it! It’s on my list! I laugh aloud and for the first time in a long while, I feel a slight glimpse of freedom from all of the “have-to’s” and “should’s”.

I grab a pillow off the couch and place it behind my back, sit on the floor and lean against the couch. So that I am not tempted to check the clock during this time, I set a timer for 30 minutes, and start the nature-sounds music. I close my eyes and take deep breaths. At first, this feels wonderful, just to sit and breathe. I feel my shoulders begin to lower from my earlobes and other tension begin to release. Sixty seconds of pure bliss and then my mind begins. It reminds me of the things I forgot to add to the list. It tells me I don’t have time for this. It tells me I have another bill to pay or extra things from the grocery store I need to pick up. I take a deep breath and practice allowing the random thoughts to fade to black without taking action. Another 20 seconds of quiet, a stillness in my body. More random thoughts of a friend I would like to call, a lake I’d like to visit and float around on an inner tube, feet dangling in the water. Quiet. Time flies. I open my eyes, feeling more at peace knowing I am the one who gets to choose how my day goes.

I’ve practiced meditation for many years, although it has been weeks since I’ve committed myself to doing it daily. I’ve led others through weekly meditation practice in a prayer/meditation circle at my house in North Carolina years ago and also taught mindfulness classes. It’s amazing that regardless of how much we know or practice, we are still capable of getting caught up in the life of “doing” and not taking the time to just be who we are and let our heart lead us where it wants to go or where our soul needs to go. This simple act of sitting, of being still, can bring a greater joy and renewal even in the “doing”. I am grateful for the reminder of how simple life can truly be if we allow ourselves to take a time-out. May you also give yourself permission to live fully in this moment.

*This is a brief article I wrote and submitted to a women’s magazine for women 50 and over and I just wanted to share on my blog as well.

April 26, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stuck? Take a Time-Out.


Are you feeling stuck but not exactly sure what to do about it? Do you feel like you are going through the motions but not feeling like you are fulfilling your purpose? Is there something stirring inside your heart but you just can’t take the time to listen, or maybe you have, but you aren’t sure what it is trying to tell you? Are you telling yourself that you will make time to listen later because right now you have too many other things that need to get done?

Often times our culture and the people in our lives teach us to keep moving, get things done, take care of our responsibilities first and move ourselves to the bottom of the list….which we never actually get to because we add new things to the top of the list tomorrow. And then, you wake up one day and realize you are 30? Or 50? Or 65 and you are feeling stuck or stagnant in life. Or tired and wore out. Or maybe just like it is time for a different direction.

Time doesn’t stop for us. It is up to us to stop and gain our balance again. I have done many self-reflection exercises over the years and one that sticks out for me is where I look at all of the different areas of my life; physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, relational (family, friends, significant others) and write down the different things I AM doing and the things I WANT to do for each of those areas. I’ve assessed which areas are really the most important to my heart, the things I value the most versus the areas that I slip into and put all of my time and energy into because of what I think I “should” do. What I find most often when I do this exercise is that I am out of balance. I have slipped back into routine. When I am mostly in the “doing” mode, I lose track of the things that mean the most to me: being with family and friends or supporting others through some situation in their lives, playing outdoors and enjoying nature, laughing, being considerate of another, and just finding ways to lighten up my world and those around me.

There have been many times I have ended up in survival mode, just doing the day to day stuff to meet my basic needs of money to keep a roof over my head and food in my belly (and my dog’s belly) and end up exhausted with no energy to do anything else. It is not that I am “working” too hard physically or even mentally. It is because I am only doing those things I feel I “have” to do and not those things that bring my heart the greatest joy. I become tired and energy less. When I actually become aware of this, I stop and take a timeout. I look inside my heart and sense what it is I am truly wanting and needing….and I make time for that.

Are you wanting to spend time with someone who you care about, that makes you laugh, or listens and supports you? Are you wanting to walk out in nature or take a trip to the beach and let nature rejuvenate your heart? Are you wanting to spend a day cuddling with someone special on a rainy day? Do you want to sleep in, get a massage, play with your dog, learn a new language, read a good book, take a bath or eat an ice cream sundae but haven’t made the time or just don’t feel like you can?

It is not life that keeps us stuck. It is our choices.

Sometimes it is unconscious choices. We are not paying attention and just going along.

Sometimes it may feel that someone else has made the choice for us.

Sometimes we actually are aware of the choices we are making, but feel that either we do not see another option or have accepted that this is our life and there is nothing we can do about it.

These thoughts and feelings are real…they feel real….but they aren’t true. We are always at choice.

We are the director of our lives. We do not have to settle for just getting by or never having time to do the things we love. It’s not too late to make some of your dreams and desires come true. But we have to make new choices instead of just going along with the momentum built up at this point.

Conscious choices.

There is power in taking a time out. To realign your goals, your inspiration, your heart’s desires and begin again. Life is always changing. Our purpose may shift and change over time too, so it is important to stop, listen, reevaluate and begin again. Take a look at what you value in each of the areas I mentioned above and see if it matches up with what you are actually putting your time into.

If you are finding it difficult to do, then maybe it is just not that important to you to make a different choice or take the time to shift in the direction you want. Or maybe you have fears or concerns you need to address to make it happen. Take the time. Make conscious choices. Be the person you’ve always wanted to be. Live now. Time does not wait. Life, and this moment, are precious. Make it all that you want it to be.

Remember: You are not stuck. It is just time to reevaluate the direction and choices you are making and choose again. Open your heart and let it guide you. That is where the answers reside.

Rev D.

February 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Ripple Effect

the love you take

When I was in between jobs last fall, I was asked by a friend what I was going to do with my days. I told her that I had been wanting to go sit on a street corner with a sign that says “You’re Awesome!” for the day. I had even bought a couple of pieces of poster board and dug out my colored markers. She said, “Why? Are you wanting people to give you money?” This thought had never entered my mind. I told her that I just wanted to do something kind or inspiring and that helped my own heart and mind stay in a hopeful and positive place.

This idea was inspired by a guy I had met years ago, Benjamin Smythe, who has done this very thing for years. His sign reads “You’re Perfect!” He explains that the day he started doing it, he was depressed, feeling hopeless and that he wanted to try something that would make him feel better. This adventure, which he continues to do to this day, has had and continues to have more lessons in it than he ever imagined. He explains how many are inspired by this sign; some are moved to tears and others who question it’s validity. Some even sit with him and argue the truth of this statement and become angry that he is sitting on a wall at a college campus holding this sign. Ben shares that in this daily practice, he has learned to just sit with whatever he is feeling and just observe and be okay with it as well as do this with others. He no longer has a need to run away or judge himself or others. The power of just being “with” someone, in the present moment, with whatever their heart is experiencing is a gift of love that we all have within us. For me, I just wanted to share a moment in time, even with strangers, of offering a simple truth that may or may not have a rippling effect on them or myself. We get so wrapped up in the busyness of our lives and what others expect of us or think we “should” be doing, that we forget the simplest truth. We ARE awesome, incredible, fascinating and loving beings. Within us lies an overwhelming well of love that when we have the courage to share our heart, touches another. Like the concept of random acts of kindness or paying it forward, we too, have the profound opportunity to have a rippling effect on the world. Do we choose to create more kindness and understanding or do we choose more stress and frustration? My favorite song lyric by the Beatles and the one that moved my heart to write this blog today: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Herein lies a powerful truth that what we give out, comes back to us. So which are you going to make today?

I invite each of you, and myself, to take a moment to consciously “make” the love that you want to receive from the world; whether it be a simple act of kindness, a smile, a gentle touch for someone in distress or a listening ear. Who YOU are makes a DIFFERENCE!!

Rev. D

July 3, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

And the Fear Creeps In…


Have you ever had a moment when you suddenly realized that your body is tight all over? Or maybe your chest or stomach feel heavy or twisted up but didn’t really know why? Or maybe you awake with a tight jaw or headache?

Sometimes we have things coming up for us but don’t take the time to be present with it and instead are so busy with work or social events or house chores…..or maybe finding ways to distract ourselves to be strong or stay on track. We don’t realize that unconsciously we are resisting or holding in natural emotions or stress that come up from just some of our ordinary life challenges. Sometimes we may even be conscious of our bodies stress or maybe even our minds thoughts but decide to push them out (which is actually burying them within) because we don’t feel like we have the time to deal with them or maybe are even afraid of the emotions that may surface.

This morning I felt my whole body was tight and no matter how many deep breaths I tried to take to consciously relax, my body returned to its stressed state within minutes. I realized that it was time for me to become truly present with what was going on behind the scenes. Often times when our body is tight, it is us trying to block out emotions that are trying to surface to be released but we feel that they may either take over and not keep us in a productive forward movement or may bring us down to a point where we get depressed and are afraid we won’t recover.

I decided to take a bubble bath (which I rarely do) and just be present and allow whatever was going on to surface. Sometimes, when we try to figure things out with our minds, we don’t get a clear thought about it or we are just in a rationalization or fix it mode….so we can get it to go away quickly! When I found my mind wandering or trying to pull something out, I just redirected my mind to just be in the moment and let the feelings arise. Suddenly I began to cry and as I did, I felt afraid and scared. As I allowed this emotion to come up, the tears flowed. And then after only about 1 minute, my thoughts became clear and my body started to relax.

I am in transition in my life again. Living in a new area, seeking employment, healing from a broken relationship and also trying to become clear again about my purpose and the next steps to take. I heard myself think that I was scared that none of it would ever get better. It was always going to feel like a struggle. That I may never find a loving partner to share my life with and explore the world. That life was hard and was always going to be hard. That I might not find a job. What happens then if I don’t? More fear began to creep in from these thoughts.

But one thing I noticed was that by allowing the emotion to surface and being present with it, allowed my body to find some harmony again and my mind to clear a path and recognize the story I was telling myself behind the scenes. It all happened in under 10 minutes and I had a shift. I realized that things were not as bad as I was telling myself they were. I have a place to live and food to eat and some loving friends who support me. I am healthy, resilient, intelligent, caring and have a huge heart. In this moment, all is truly well with the world, with my world. I am safe, loved and cared for.

There are times that we can go days, weeks, months and even years constantly keeping ourselves busy and distracted and stressed. (Never becoming conscious and being real about the natural human stress and emotions that surface and the guidance you receive from them.) By remaining unconscious, and never allowing the emotions to be felt and let go from the body, can have long term negative affects. Your health, your well-being, your relationships, your work and your clarity of mind and heart are compromised and sometimes can even have damaging consequences.

It is important to take a few moments. Be present. Be conscious. Allow your feelings to surface and be released from the body. Allow your mind, once centered again, to guide you and bring you clarity on your next steps. Take the time! It’s important and can make a huge difference in how you live out the rest of the days of your life.

Rev D

January 9, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Enduring Grief versus Being Present with Grief

pema quote

All of us have experienced times of grieving and loss.  Some of our experiences have been more difficult than others. We have lost jobs, family members or friends either through death or ending of relationships, pets, loss of homes or property, loss of health or financial stability…..and with each of these losses our hearts are filled with confusion, anger, sadness, grief and a great deal of pain in our hearts and minds. Often times, it seems unbearable and like there will never be an end to the suffering we are experiencing.  We hear things like, “let go”, “stay busy”, “keep moving forward” or that “time heals all wounds”. If it were that simple, the world and the people in it would be much happier than they are.  If, at the moment we heard those words, the grief that lies within us would dissipate, in that instant, I believe that there would be less crime, less cruelty, less people who deal with addiction or suicide and depression and less overall unhappiness that comes from that indwelling pain and loss.

A very important aspect of being human is learning how to integrate our feelings and experiences in a healthy way, and glean something from these experiences that propel us forward with a greater sense of purpose and well being, however, most of us have never been taught how to do that or what that entails.  I certainly do not claim to know all of the ways that allow us to move through grief or how long it may take, but I do have a way that I would like to share that has really brought me relief from mental and emotional distress, during times of great loss.

I do believe that we first have to become aware….aware of our present state of mind.  I also believe that as powerful spiritual beings, we also are at choice as to whether to live our days in an unconscious way (just going along) or consciously make different choices and decisions on what thoughts and emotions we will continue to allow to dominate our thoughts and minds.  It is not easy, mind you, but anything is possible once you bring your conscious awareness to the present moment.

When I first began truly practicing mindfulness on a daily basis, it brought a greater sense of freedom and peace to my life.  The biggest impact of this practice though, came when I lost my dog Pandy at the age of 17 1/2 several years ago.  You know the phrase, “Live goes on”?  Well, it does, but not as easily for the one suffering from loss.  I was living with a family that had very busy lives.  Upon Pandy’s death, I was stricken with grief from the loss of a long time companion and yet, I could see all of those around me, continuing to go about their daily routines and busy lives while I felt stuck, paralyzed by grief and pain. I tried to busy myself and not think about it, however, it was still there, just below the surface threatening to surface and possibly explode.  Just the thought of it, made me feel overwhelmed and so I once again got busy.  There came a moment where I realized that I was running from the pain, being fearful of the impact it may have on my ability to keep moving forward in life and it made me stop, take a breath and bring myself back into the moment.  I then remembered reading a mindfulness practice about sitting with pain and observing the different parts of your body that are impacted by the emotion, observing the sensations of each part and just staying present and continuing to observe what it looks like and feels like.  Most of us have a fear of the depth of pain and believe that if we truly dove into those emotions that they will overtake us and make it impossible to withstand.  It is part of our humanness and instinct of survival, which drives us to avoid those feelings and instead distract ourselves, never allowing ourselves to fully embrace our feelings. The challenge though is that by doing so, the emotions get buried in our bodies and have even more devastating long term physical and mental effects as well as impact our future choices, usually made out of fear from past experiences held inside us.

It is with mindfulness practice, that I found a greater sense of peace and allowing of what is.  I committed to myself one day, to sit for 10 minutes to allow myself to fully experience and observe the grief of losing Pandy.  I sat down on the couch, closed my eyes and just focused on breathing in and out at first. I then consciously allowed my heart to open and to express the grief it was feeling.  Tears came to my eyes, a heaviness to my heart and twisting in my gut……I was committed to this practice.  I began to observe in detail what the heaviness felt like and to what level and just kept breathing into it, and staying present with it, not pushing it away.  I also observed the twisting, the anxiety, the fear, in my gut…..and I stayed with it, continuing to observe, without letting my thoughts “tell a story” about the pain.  I was just with the physical sensations and just continued to be present.  Within 8 minutes, it was like a wave of relief and release came over me, a sense of gratitude and joy for all that Pandy had brought to my life.  It was the most profound experience I have ever had! It is not something that is easy to describe. It was also not a one time and done experience, but that experience had such a huge impact on me and helped me realized that I didn’t need to fear my emotions or my grief nor did I need to run or distract myself from it.

The biggest key in mindfulness practice is whenever you find your mind wandering off to other thoughts, or other things to do, or when it is trying to tell a story of why you should hold on to the pain, anger, fear…..bring it back to the present moment, the present experience, your present environment and your present breathing and sensations in your body.  There is no need to beat yourself up for your mind wandering or to think that you can’t do it or aren’t good at it.  The human mind thinks thousands of thoughts a day, so it is natural for it to wander, but a mentor once told me, we can choose the thoughts we entertain or focus on (out of those thousands of thoughts)!  And in this case, remember, practice does not make perfect.  Even the most practiced meditators share their struggles of a wandering mind.  Becoming more and more conscious and continuing to practice and bring the mind back, IS A PRACTICE, that when done on a regular basis, does become easier.

I have recently also had a devastating loss in my life and even though I remember the impact of this experience with mindfulness and grief, I did not remember to practice right away.  My bodily instinct was to escape from it, however, once I became conscious of what I was doing, I committed to this practice again to help my grieving heart.  It is a very powerful practice! I encourage you to try it and if you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to send me a message.

In Love,

Rev. D Judd

November 18, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blah or Ahhhhh!


Is today a day where you feel Blah or have you felt that feeling before? Or would you describe it as a feeling of overwhelm and wanting to escape “the list” of things to do?  Today  I woke up feeling energyless, depleted and just seemingly burnt out.  I told my cousin that I was tired of running my own life.  But my next thought was, I certainly don’t like it when someone else tries to run it.  lol!  

When I took a moment to just stop and be in the now, here is what I heard; Stop trying to run your life and just live it.  Hmmmm…..let me sit with that a bit longer.  But, there are too many things that need to get done, I tell it and if not me, than who?  Interestingly enough, we probably all have heard that or tell ourselves that at one time or another.  We like to feel in control and yet truly, there is nothing we truly can control.  Life is always changing.  Everything is temporary: this job, this life, our relationships, our money situation (good or bad).  Whatever we are experiencing is always temporary whether that be for 1 day or for 10 years.  

When I live in the now, really live in the now, here is what I know……Life is AMAZING!  In this moment, everything is okay.  I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and gratitude in my heart.  I sit and listen to the trees blowing outside while the remnents of hurricane Sandy continue to move through and think about the sound they make and how everything knows how to go with the flow of the wind.  The sound is fascinating and also creates a sense of adventure in me.  The changing color leaves are magnificent and beautiful and just know what to do and when to do it.  Again, Life is AMAZING!  In this moment, all is well and all of the other things that are on my list of things to do or in my head saying I need to or should do……are just that, thoughts in my head.  They are not really in THIS moment.  They are a worry or concern for some time in the future.  Those thoughts create anxiety and stress in my body and mind and steal my happiness in the now.  So what now? Take at least a few minutes to look around you, be grateful that your current needs are being met in this moment and relax.  Let the “shoulds” in your mind just fade out right now and just allow yourself to be.  Be, right here, right now and see how that feels.  Then, after you reclaim that peace within you that has always been there, take a deep breath and proceed with your day in the NOW.  Bring your thoughts back when they wonder to worry or concern or anxiety and choose to do each activity with your full attention.  This is true freedom and will lead you into the next moment of now, without you having to run it, control it or plan it.  


October 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One step and then listen

“You need not know the entire journey in order to take one step. Begin with a conscious choice to go forward.” Unknown

Isn’t it nice to know we don’t have to have all the answers? At the same time, it is sometimes hard to let go of the reins. It is interesting how when we think about being successful or productive or rich or happy, we are taught that we must have a plan, a goal or a strategy in how to get there. Having a plan can be useful AND if we are not flexible, the “plan” may actually direct us to what we think we want…..but not really lead us to what is truly desired. It may not really be what is in our highest good. And if we are insistent in following the plan, we may pass by what we really want because we have blinders on.

My goal (lol) is to listen to Spirit and remain open to where I am guided and then take a risk and follow. It can leave you feeling very vulnerable or unsure because you may not feel grounded in concrete “plans” or you may feel scared about “taking care of things financially”, and yet if you allow yourself to be led, amazing things can happen.You may meet someone that has something to share with you – an idea, an understanding or compassion, or even something material that may lead you to your next step in business. As you continue to listen, you will begin to see how these ideas and guidance are unfolding ways for you to get exactly what you have been wanting.

As part of our practice, let us remember to listen to Spirit today and allow ourselves to be guided. It is not our job to figure out the “how”; it is our job to open up to the “what” and just hold the vision. Spirit will reveal the “how”. Enjoy the adventure!

Nov 29, 2010 Blog by Rev. Denise Judd


December 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment