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Archive for September, 2009

The light is always there.

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, (people) cannot live without a spiritual life.


“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ever notice that babies love to stare at lights? From day one of their lives, they are magnetized to the light. It’s as if they remember it—it feels familiar and comfortable. It’s as if they know that that is where they came from and what they are made of.

When our baby Phoenix was born in January 2007, he was shining bright from his first breath, as all babies do. His light emanated so brightly that everyone in the room was grinning ear to ear. There is nothing quite as miraculous as giving birth and there is no high like the moment after giving birth. After giving birth I am so filled with light, love, hope, and joy that the intense and indescribable pain of delivery is a distant memory.

And that’s where it starts, the baby’s connection with light, as he stares at lights with a comfort and all-knowingness. “That’s the light,” I would say to our new baby boy. “That’s where you came from and that’s what you are—you’re the light.”

My two-and-a-half-year-old, Sage, listened intently to my words and was soon repeating them to her new baby brother. “That’s the light,” she’d say in her adorable 2-and-a-half-year-old voice, “that’s where you came from, baby, and that’s what you are—you’re the light.”

Hearing Sagey say this would bring tears to my eyes, thinking about how quickly she understood this concept, enough to repeat it with confidence. “Of course she understood it,” I thought, “deep down she knows this truth, as every child does.”

But with enough time out in the “real world,” children begin to forget. They begin to forget about the light and their heritage. They begin to forget that that is what they are and what their journey on this planet is about.

Just like adults do. And we’ve had even more time “out there,” to forget about what’s “in here.”

The answer? How to keep the light, love, and joy of this journey alive? There are many “answers,” of course, depending on you and your particular history, likes, dislikes, and experiences.

One thing that I’ve found that works for me and my kids is yoga. It sounds so simple but often the most profound things are. My kids and I practice every single day, and it helps us to remember the light. To remember who we are and why we are here.

Yes, there’s dinner to be made and eaten, showers to be taken, homework to be done, danas* to be finished, teeth to be brushed…but my spirit overpowers my rational mind during this busy time of night—the post school/activity/play date and pre-bed time at the pink house. After countless hours of asana practice on my mat over the years, my spirit overrides my mind body and insists that we all get on our mats—even for just a few minutes—to breathe in and breathe out and remember who we are and our connection with the light.

If you forget, as we all do from time to time, get on your mat and breathe. And go visit a newborn and observe her/him for awhile. They find the light in any room they are in and they gaze at it, remembering their home, their makeup, and their purpose on this planet.

*dana means generosity in Sanskrit. We call the things we do around the pink house “danas,” instead of “chores.”

“You are limited only by your fears.”

-Fran Watson

“”Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more & all good things are yours.”


“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.”


“Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable.”

-Harry Emerson Fosdick

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”


“You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
- Andre Gide

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Super-Mom Betsy Parsons:

I expected motherhood to change me.  How could it not?  Everything was new.  But what I didn’t expect was that motherhood would strip me bare – drop me to rock bottom – force me to face that I had lost myself – demand that I pick up the shattered bits of me and piece myself back together.  It was all at once brutal and gratifying.  I am grateful for all of it.  I have learned who I am and how great my support system is.  I learned how absolutely wonderful my husband is, what a fantastic dad he is, and what a loving and supportive family surround us.  It’s not just me who is a super mom.  It’s my husband, my mom and dad, and my mother and father-in-law who make up this super family.  Each one of us plays an important role. Life is a tremendous gift, and we were all starkly reminded of that during the first six weeks of my daughter’s life. We almost lost her.  The first six weeks of her life were spent in the NICU.  She was a full term baby but a very sick one.  After she came home, every milestone was carefully watched.   She thrived.  And I almost missed it because I was worried about what could be wrong.  It was 9 months later when I started to splinter apart.  She was walking and I was cracking – emotions needed to be expressed.  I needed to feel again.  Not surprising, but I hadn’t been taking care of myself.  I was just trying to make it through a minute, then an hour, and a full day.  I wasn’t taking care of myself.  I wasn’t sleeping well.  I was sleepwalking.  I rationalized that all of this was well within a first-time mom response (ha!).   Eventually, I was diagnosed with PTSD and got help.  I began to piece myself back together.  It took another full year for me to hear the stirrings of my voice.  It’s been over two years, and just recently I realized that I am whole again.  I experienced such joy in finding myself.    I had really missed me!  But losing myself and finding an improved version had taken hold – makes me so grateful for the journey.  It has allowed me freedom to be myself, to slow down and enjoy the moments of motherhood, to rely on my family to play significant roles raising my daughter, to trust, and to embrace the unexpected.  It’s often what I need most!  I’m so thankful for my super family – including my husband who is embracing his role as stay-at-home dad!  Collectively, we’re a super team with a super daughter.