Letting Go

Last week I felt an unexpected surge of courage and decided to email Arianna Huffington directly and pitch her a story idea. Not only was I surprised that she replied two hours later, but was also surprised to learn that she’d left her position at the Huffington Post to start a new company called Thrive Global. I love the new company’s mission which you can read about here. My surprise went one step further when she wrote that she loved the story and my voice and not only wanted to publish my story but asked me to be a regular Thrive contributor! How’s that for Magic? Lesson for the week – put yourself out there and see what happens!

photo credit: RE Magazine

The Gift of Impermanence

Everyday on the way to the kid’s school we used to pass a big, red barn. Boy, did I love the sight of that barn. Every morning as we drove up the hill, with the blue sky and fluffy clouds in the background, I’d think, “Man I have got to get a photo of that barn.” But we were always running late, or my phone was too full, and I just never did. And then one day, on the way to school, a swarm of workers surrounded the barn, and by the next morning, the barn was gone. Gone.

Next year my son will be gone — gone off to college. And two years after that, my daughter will follow suit. The other day my son and our dog, Ed were curled up on the couch — it was a magical moment — “Please let me take picture,” I asked, and surprisingly he said OK. But once again the screen on my phone was black with the message Cannot Take Photo…

So for the past week I’ve made a concerted effort to “de-clutter” all the photos on my phone and computer. My phone is so full, it can’t take new photos or even receive voicemail. And my computer, well let’s just say that if my computer wore pants, it would be up several sizes. Both my phone and my computer are backed up; so all I really need to do is delete the 5,147 photos on my phone and the 31,498 photos on my computer. But I worry…

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My “What’s Next” has Arrived!


A few years back I wrote a post about the time of transition our family was experiencing. The kids had moved to a new school and were gone for longer parts of the day, and I really wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing with my days. A dear friend advised me to take some time for myself and not worry about the What’s Next. “It will come when you’re ready,” she had said. And she was right. For the past several years I have “refilled” my well, taking really good care of myself and spending my days doing things I love to do. And then, last year, around February, an idea popped into my head. And that idea soon became a seed, and that seed began to germinate and eventually spout.

And today, I’m so happy to announce that that little seed is now a full blossom, ready to greet the world.

My idea was about Magic. That there is so much Magic in our lives if we’re only able to see it.

So I hope you’ll join me on this journey and discover the wondrous possibility of Magic in your life.

Here’s an excerpt of that original blog post that led to this moment. What I love so much is how my friend’s advice was so perfect. That sometimes we want to rush the process of what we’re supposed to be doing, but in trusting that everything happens in perfect timing, we

Walking through the woods thinking about transition and where I am in my life right now, the same question kept running through my mind… What’s next?…  What’s next?… What’s next?  I walked in rhythm to that chant until I hardly recognized it was there. I walked on until I emerged from the woods and saw a friend out in her garden.  I sat down on her stonewall and found my chant spilling out into formed words.  “I don’t know what’s next,” I told her, explaining how straight out of college I’d started teaching in Boston.  How just months after Tucker’s birth I’d started after-school creative writing workshops, and how upon moving to New Hampshire, I’d thrown myself into the process of writing, publishing and promoting a book.  And now, I had no idea what was next.

Picking up a few of the hydrangea she’d just cut, my friend paused.  “I guess I’m using this time in my life to refill my well,” she said.  Her words seemed to float in the air, enveloping me in their simplicity.

“You’re allowed to do that?” I asked, both of us laughing and sighing simultaneously.

The rest of my walk home brought a new theme song; the What’s Next song, replaced by the Refilling My Well song.  And that new music washed over me like a joyous symphony.

I’m just discovering what refilling my well looks like, but I’m pretty sure that in between making breakfasts, packing lunches, washing soccer uniforms, gluing letters on poster board projects and driving back and forth to school and soccer games, it involves lots more long walks, yoga classes, hand-written letters to old friends, wandering through garden and vintage shops, meditating on my yoga mat, diving into the stack of books piled on my bedside table and filling the pages of my black and white composition notebooks with new thoughts, stories and observations.  What I also see in that “Refilling My Well Picture” is a more present, centered me, ready to meet and welcome my children back into our home, the place that waits for them as they move further and further out into the world.

This blog has been a place I’ve so loved meeting you every week for the past couple of years, but I feel it’s now time to close my computer for a while and allow those fresh story and writing ideas to emerge as I begin this well-filling process.  I will so miss our connection, but as heavy as my heart feels, I know for now, that this is the right decision.



Magical Trash?

photo credit @scientificmom.com

Here in New Hampshire we take our trash to the dump. Most of the dumps have a “give and take” table, or as my friend calls it “the still good pile.”

I special order things from the dump.

Not trash, but other goodies that people no longer want or need. I don’t place my order with the folks who manage the dump. Instead, I place my order with the Universe. Sometimes I consciously put it out there and hope what I need will appear, or at other times, without really thinking about it, I wish for something, and then I’m surprised and delighted when it appears.

When a friend told me that she hadn’t read Many Lives Many Masters by Brian Weiss, I told her that I’d buy her a copy. Unfortunately, for my friends at my local bookstore, there it was on the give and take table two days later.

“This popcorn is too oily,” I said to my husband, Lee. “I wish we had an air popper.”  There it was at the dump on Saturday, still in the original box.  Same with the French coffee press, still in its box.  We’d had one, but I’d given it away and then wished I hadn’t (I know what you’re thinking, but it wasn’t mine!). My son’s class was going on a camping trip and the only thing missing from the list was a teapot.  I wasn’t giving up the new white kettle on my stove, and nobody else offered up theirs either. Then on Thursday I went to the dump and there in the center of the give and take table was a shiny metal teapot. I took it home, cleaned it up and sent it on the trip.  Never saw it again, which is why I didn’t loan mine in the first place!

The rug I found was one of my best. I had just finished telling my mother-in-law that I wished I could find a new rug for our sitting room – something blue. “Blues are hard to find,” she’d said. She knew because she’d been looking for a rug for over a year. But that same day, my husband and I went to the dump and there was a rug folded up under the give and take table. I grabbed Lee’s shirt, but he tried to pull away. “No way,” he said, curling his lip. “Not a used rug.” Even Lois, the dump’s recycling vigilantly, took his side. “You never know with a rug,” she said.  I could see that it was a hooked rug, blues, and well, I’d had luck before.  So I begged Lee to help me carry it to the car, promising to return it immediately if it was no good.

My mother in law helped me carry it in, and she unfolded it before I had a chance. “I know this rug and it sells for 700 bucks. It’s practically brand new!”  As she vacuumed the “new” rug, she grumbled about how she’d been looking for a rug for over a year. I offered to give her that one, but she said the colors weren’t right.  She did ask, however, if I’d order one for her. “Something with reds and tans.”  I told her I’d try.

But I also told her to give it a try herself. And you should, too! This sort of Magic is available to us all! You just have to believe it, and have a really good give and take pile! Or if you don’t have a dump where you can practice your magic, how about a garage sale or your local discount or antique store? Is there anything you’ve been looking for? A small table for your front hallway? A working lamp for your bedside table? Look around for what you need and then go ahead and ask for it. You may be surprised by what shows up!

Have you already experienced this sort of magic and had something you wished for unexpectedly appear in your life? Let us know here in the comments or over in The Usual Magic Facebook Group!