I am most simply a soul navigating a world of other souls in desperate need of love…. I hope this blog is a place for souls to gather hear my story and find inspiration, courage and abundant love.

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Grief, a poem.

Grief is a sly creature, time goes by and as I begin to forget
He creeps inside with claws digging into my stomach,
Razor teeth gnashing at my heart. He curls under my rib cage,
Heavy and dark, pressed against my vital parts.
I cannot breathe; he crushes my lungs,
My heart is lead and my stomach is full of bile.
Grief thrashes inside and I feel dead.

My grandfather is freshly ripped from the earth.
His suffering screams in my head,
Chorusing with the pain of another man I considered a father.
Their demons: old age, cancer, mental illness, alcoholism haunt me now.
I hear they are in a “better place,” they are not here any more.

I cannot feel them in the flesh, be wrapped in their hugs.
I am selfish, I long to be called theirs again;
The granddaughter who broke through the stone heart,
The fighter girl he’d always consider a daughter.
I have lost those pieces of who I am.
Grief snatches them away, stealing parts of me,
While I fight each day to take them back.


***I have been writing and working on this poem since March, on the 3rd anniversary of my Grandfather’s death. Today I finally feel brave enough to share it on the second anniversary of Keith Winstead’s death, who considered me his daughter, was a brilliant musician, inspiring friend and wonderful man who I miss oh so much.

When life is hard work

20140122-231446.jpgSometimes I worry I’ve forgotten how to write.
Winter does this to me, it makes me want to hide.
It makes me forget the thrill of creating.
Then I get stuck in a cycle of forgetting and hiding.
It becomes a chore to capture the thoughts in my head,
form them into sentences and lay them down on the page.
It becomes labor trying to breathe life into my words, into myself.
It’s hard to breathe when you’re laboring to live, let alone write.
Especially when you feel most alive while writing.

It can be a vicious cycle.

It takes work though, to live. I tell myself this over and over.
Maybe its easy for some people?
To just live and be and do the things that make their soul thrive.
It is hard work for me to do these things,
and when the weather turns cold and the days are so short…
The work feels too much.

But, in the middle of too much, I’m making the choice. I will work
I am going to work, right now, as I type words for the first time in so long.
Tomorrow morning I will go to work when I plant my feet on my yoga mat and salute the sun.
I will go to work when I read books that spark words, engage in soulful conversations with other writers.
I will go to work being my best self in upcoming job interviews.
I will go to work creating art, seeking movement, writing daily.
I will work to be the best granddaughter, sister, friend, leader, and though its hard, daughter too.
I am going to work to create the best life for myself. A fulfilling, thriving life full of light and desire, and dreaming.

No matter how hard I have to work.

A promise to Melissa

Dearest Melissa,


I wear the title of your best friend as the highest honor.

I plan to share the rest of my life with you, because you have given me the privilege of letting me in. I know how hard it is for you to open your heart to people. And I consider it a gift to to call you my very best friend.

I vow to always be near to share your joy and your pain. If i cannot physically be at your side I am always a text or call away. As your best friend I will carry your burdens with you. I will hold the aches that hurt too much. I will never cease picking you up when you have fallen. But hopefully I can always catch you before you hit the ground. I will sit with you in the waiting, in the fear. In all of the hard things I am your person.


When it comes to love, chasing dreams, and living life, I will calculate the risks with you and promise to always encourage you to leap. I will support you in your flight. I will screen every man who wants to woo you. And when you find the one you want to spend the rest of your life with I will love him almost as much as I love you. When you have children I will be their crazy aunt Shelby and I will teach them how perfect and beautiful they are, exactly as they are.

You are my best friend, I will rejoice in every good and beautiful moment with you. I will always remind you that you are loved deeply, perfect in your flaws and imperfections and that you will achieve greatness. I will always remind you that your beauty transcends comprehension because you are made in the image of God. I will always laugh loudly with you, dance in the car, and be up for every adventure.


And while I know I am human, I will make mistakes, God forbid I may someday cause you pain. I promise to always make up. No fight will ever get in our way. I promise that our friendship is bigger than anything the world could throw at us. You are my sassy, classy, bad ass partner in crime.

I am here for you.

Always and forever,

Forever and always.


A small piece of advice:


I don’t give out a lot of advice unless asked but i’m going to put on my wise smile and offer you some unsolicited advice.

Fall in love with the world.

Because its a game changer and when you fall in love with the world, the world will love you back.

So fall in love with the shaggy haired guy sitting on a bench reading a Dan Brown book, oblivious to the world around him.

Fall in love with the pair of girls sitting cross-legged underneath a tree studying for a biology test.

Fall in love with the bee that buzzes near your ear and lands beside you. Let it sit there calmly observing you.

Fall in love with the tall man in the perfect wide-brimmed hat riding his bike lazily, smiling at everything around him.

Fall in love with the laughter of strangers, with the couple who lean into each other as they walk.

Fall in love with the boy who smiles widely and reaches out to touch the leaves of the rose bushes. Let the way he brushes his fingers along the petals take your breath away because you’ve done the same thing so many times before.

Fall in love with the ocean, again and again. With the way it always changes and yet is always the same.

Fall in love with the crunch of leaves under your feet in the familiar paths you take.

Fall in love over and over again, because I am quite certain it makes you a better human. ❤