50 Precious Words


In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Vivian Kirkfield is hosting a contest to write a children’s story using only 50 words. You can read the details and peruse the amazing stories that have been posted here.

With the help of my son Tommy, we came up with these 50 precious words:


Tommy asked Mama if he could go outside.

“Yes, but don’t go into the woods.”

He quickly forgot and ventured through the forest.

He glanced behind.

Frightened by the tracks following him,

he followed the footsteps until he saw something.

It was Mama.

His own footprints brought him safely home!


Our Stories

     I am still reflecting on stories, people’s personal stories. Authentic stories. Dictionary.com defines authentic as not false or copied; genuine; real; representing one’s true nature or beliefs. That right there is what I am passionate about. Discovering our authenticity and living life accordingly. There is beauty and magic in authenticity. In my last post, I shared about connecting with others through stories, we can also connect with our true selves through our stories. Working with our stories through introspection, reflection, and sharing can lead to profound healing and freedom.
     So what is your story? Without judgement of what went wrong or right, what is your story? Not just bits and pieces, not your opinion, just the story. Without telling what you think people want to hear, and not because you want people to feel or react a certain way, what’s your story? How does it make you feel? Are you sharing the whole story? Can you tell your story without crying? Our answers to these questions tells us a lot about who we are, and probably what we need to work on. For example, if we can’t share bits and pieces of ourselves/stories without feeling hurt then there is some healing that needs to take place. If you only tell people what you think they want to hear, then maybe you need to overcome some fears and practice asserting yourself.

“Be who are and say what you mean. Because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Suess

     Are we taking responsibility for our stories? Is there a sense of control to how stories play out, balanced with some faith about where we are and where we are going?

“This is my life, my story, my book. I will no longer let anyone else write it, nor will I apologize for the edits I make.” -Steve Maraboli

What about the words you use to share your story? Are they uplifting or gloomy? Are there repeating patterns, perhaps there is a lesson we have yet to learn from?
     Sharing my spiritual journey has brought many new, remarkable people into my life. My personal authenticity has deepened my connections and relationships to the people in my life. It has also filtered out the people and things that shouldn’t be there. Some people have had new boundaries set for them, while others walked away. But that is where the beauty lies.

“As we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we liberate from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”              -Marianne Williamson 

        My journey has revealed to me that I should be writing and sharing my stories. Not just for my own personal growth, but because my truths may be healing for others as well. I have been writing and filling notebooks, but not knowing what to do with them. A few weeks ago in a prayer, I asked for a sign that I am on the right track. Something to confirm that the writing I am doing is on the right path. The next day I took my four children on our weekly library trip. We had our usual visit of picking out a large stack of books and chatting with the library staff. The cooperation level of the children was quickly diminishing so I knew it was time head out. On our way out my 3 year old wants to get a magazine off the free rack. I said “No, let’s just get to the car.” So he starts crying. At this point the oldest two are now arguing over who gets to hold the doors and I am balancing a 20 something pound baby on one hip and 40 something pounds of books on the other side. The 3 year old is insistent on getting a magazine and runs over to grab one. We finally make it to the car. One of the older two is near tears because they “never get to hold the door!” The baby does not want to go into the car seat, so he starts crying. I buckle in the 3 year old and get in the driver’s seat to take some cleansing breaths before driving home. At home, I am unloading the car of children and books when the three year old shows me the magazine he picked. I got goosebumps when I saw the title because I knew that was sign I asked for. The magazine was How to write your Novel in 30 days.


     One of the lessons in my story is learning how to listen to the whispers; how to be still, content, peaceful so that you can see and feel clearly how things are and not how you think they should be. I have learned that my passions are connected to my purpose. That buzzy feeling of excitement means you are connecting with your truth. By following that excitement the universe supports you and  opens up new possibilities and paths. Guidance is there for you, you just have to ask. Be ready to walk into the gifts that are waiting to unfold for you.

Sharing our Stories

I have been thinking about stories. Not the horizontal sections of a building, but the other kind of stories. A story (as defined by dictionary.com and The American Heritage Dictionary) is a true or fictitious narrative, prose, or verse constructed to interest, amuse, or instruct the reader or hearer. A story can be an account of an event or a series of events. It is also the existence of something or an account such as “The Story of Public Education.”
Stories are a significant part of human existence. Before pens and paper, before written language, there were stories. Written stories or verbal storytelling are important for numerous reasons: personal, historical, philosophical, spiritual, educational, builds empathy and compassion, the list goes on. But what I am drawn to is people sharing their stories, their knowledge, thoughts, and truths. By sharing our stories we can help others find their way. We all possess some knowledge, insight, or experience that is useful to others. Stories create opportunities for building connections with others, either through insights people learn about the storyteller or they discover something about themselves. It is a way to intimately connect. It’s risky to share your story. You are revealing your true self, or at least pieces of truth, but that’s why we can connect so deeply through sharing our stories.
Check out StoryCorps, an oral history project in America. This non-profit organization archives personal stories for future generations, and shares the stories through weekly PBS broadcasts, podcast, and bestselling books. Another successful story project is Humans of New York. HONY began as a photography project. Then the project’s creator Brandon Staton started to interview his subjects and share stories from their lives. HONY now has over 20 million followers on social media. It is obvious sharing stories is valuable and needed.
Over the last few months I have heard the calling that I should be writing and sharing my stories, thoughts, and experiences. I tried here and there to write some thoughts but it was hard. I am a “Stay-at-home” mom (for lack of a better term) and I home-school our four children ages 8, 6, 2, and 9 months. So even when I could find some writing time it was always interrupted because with four little ones, someone always needs something! But there were little things that kept happening, little coincidences or synchronicities that were telling me not to give up on writing.
So, one day the stars aligned and all the children were sleeping or playing contentedly so I thought it would be a great opportunity to sit and write. I went to my homemade “desk” where I keep a little pot with pens. There were no pens. So with a grunt of frustration I went off to search for a pen. I asked all household members if they knew where a pen was, and of course nobody had a clue or admitted to taking one of my pens. My dissatisfaction with the unresolved pen issue was building. Now that I am searching through every room in the house, I am noticing all the mess and clutter that I don’t get to, so the tightness in my chest is increasing. Then I’m thinking about all the wasted time. If people just put things back, I wouldn’t have to waste precious minutes searching for the things I need, like pens. There have to be 20 something pens in this house, and I can’t find a single one.
So now I am talking out-loud to myself in a frustrated and negative manner about all of the above issues. Then I ask the question out loud (to myself and whoever else is listening to me rant) “How? How am I supposed to write when I can’t even find any pens?” At that moment, my two-year-old announces he’s hungry, “Mumma, can you make me some popcorn?” I give up on my pen search and retrieve the popcorn maker from the storage shelf in the basement and get the popping corn from the pantry. Upon taking the airpopper out of the box I reveal something in the bottom of the box and you’ll never guess what it was. A pen.
So I put out my question of “How am I supposed to be able to write?” and the universe responded, “Here’s a pen.”