Ahem…I Speak My Truth

Today’s blog post is a direct result of Divine inspiration. I ask everyday, What story shall I tell? And then I listen for the answer. Today I immediately received a peculiar response. I heard Ahem. Ahem, as in the throat clearing sound that one makes. The very word is imitative of the sound. As I gathered thoughts about this puzzling word, realization came. Ahem…I speak my truth.

Ahem I Speak My Truth

The body has energy centers, called chakras, throughout the body. There are seven major chakras that begin with the base chakra and move up the body to the crown chakra. One of these energy centers is located in the throat.

Characteristics associated with the throat chakra include: communication, creativity, choice, self expression, authenticity and truth. When the throat chakra is closed or blocked it can be difficult to speak one’s truth, speak up, express one’s self, create, stand up for beliefs, communicate well or make choices easily.

Ahem I Speak My Truth

I realized ten years ago that my throat chakra was closed, and had been most of my life. That vow that I made as a wee girl, to not cry and to be silent rather than ask for help, effectively closed off my communication center. Of course, I could still speak. But when it came to sharing deep thoughts or fears or my truth, I remained silent. Ironically, I developed the ability to communicate through the written word during this time, but staying silent when I should speak would have a profound impact on the rest of my life.

As I learned to free myself from fears and stagnant energy, I recognized signs that I had a closed throat chakra. They included covering my throat with my hand, choking easily, even on water and air, feeling emotion in my throat, as a lump or a tightening in the front of my neck, the inability to cry or express strong words and emotions, feeling like words got caught or hung up in my throat and my neck turning red and blotchy when I needed to speak up.

Thankfully, I discovered ways to open up the throat chakra. Here are five easy methods to open and cleanse this energy center.

Meditate – While relaxing the body, pay special attention to the neck, throat and jaw muscles. Breathe slowly and deeply. Imagine a blue light bathing the throat area and visualize the throat chakra responding by opening up and allowing old pent up energy to move on through.

Practice Letting Go – The words “Let it go” are more than lyrics to a song. Holding onto emotions and hurts can close down the throat and clog it with words that need to be said or tears that need to be cried. Let go of guilt, shame, fear, anger, grief, any strong emotion that has been choked back. Meditation helps to mentally and spiritually let go of old thoughts and emotions. To physically let go, try screaming into a pillow. Or better yet, find a remote place free from people, tilt the head back to open the throat and yell.

Sing – Singing is an amazing way to open the throat chakra. Turn up the radio in the car and belt out those tunes. Sing in the shower, while doing house or yard work, and with friends. Humming is vibrational sound flowing from the throat and very healing. Or try repeating the word Ham over and over, which is the mantra associated with the throat chakra.

Drink water – This helps to keep the throat and body hydrated, cleansed and fluid.

Speak up, with love- Finding your voice and using it to speak your truth is powerful. Instead of remaining silent, speak. Read favorite passages from a book aloud. Communicate thoughts, feelings, fears, dreams and frustrations. Find an understanding person who listens well to practice speaking truth with. If the throat wants to close, pause, tip the head back, relax the muscles, drink water…and clear the throat. Ahem.

Ahem I Speak My Truth

Ahem. Aha.

The deep inner work I am doing has recently brought to light new insights for me, around my early refusal to speak my truths. I have a great deal more clarity about my vow of silence and my reluctance to break it. The amazing thing isn’t that I realized my throat chakra was closed. The amazing thing is that I’ve been able to open it again, find my voice, and use it to speak my truth.

Ahem. I hear the similarity between that clearing the throat sound and ham, the vibrational sound for that chakra. Ahem. I receive and accept the Divine invitation to share my story and offer help to others who want to find their own authentic voices.

Ahem. What an incredible, humbling, magical, clearing, freeing journey I am on, where life flows and the Divine communicates and the journey simply unfolds, step by step.

Ahem…I speak my truth…with love. And I was reminded of that today. In case I had any doubts at all that my throat chakra is now open, I felt directed to look closely at a recent photo of myself. As I studied it, I saw it. It’s faint, but it’s there, on my throat. I see a heart shape.

Ahem I Speak My Truth

Self Portrait

As my day wound down, I turned my attention to tonight’s blog post and considered options. I felt like being creative and expressing myself through sketching. Drawing in my Manga Workbook would be a creative outlet. However, as I gathered pencils, another idea bloomed in my mind…a self portrait…with a twist. The image I intended to capture was so “out there” that I wondered if I had the artistic ability to bring it forth. My muse whispered “Go for it…”

Self Portrait

It’s not unusual to draw or paint a self portrait. Iconic artists from Van Gogh to Georgia O’Keefe created such works of art. And I have the benefit of selfies on my iPhone to look at, rather than having to study my reflection in a mirror.

I felt inspired to draw another piece in what I’ve titled the Becoming Series. These sketches feature my symbol for next year, which has captivated me already.

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Using a photo to guide me I quickly sketched an oval for a three quarter view of my face and head and added placement lines for the eyes, nose and mouth. That Manga practice is proving helpful!

My self portrait is more about being symbolic, a representation of an idea, so I kept the drawing simple. Rather than challenging, I found the artistic expression to be fun and relaxing, like coloring.

Self Portrait

Using short pencil strokes I defined the contours of face and neck by creating shadows. Since my “shiny” silver hair is light colored, I did not add much detail there, allowing long simple lines to suggest the flow of hair.

That sketch by itself is a decent self portrait. I could have stopped there and been satisfied with my drawing. However that’s not the image that I was inspired to create. The fun began.

I recently drew a pawn chess piece before a mirror that reflected back the Queen chess piece, which is my symbol for 2019. Take a look at the first piece in the Becoming Series.

Tonight I took that idea a step further. My self portrait captures ME becoming. I am the Queen chess piece. She is me. I am transforming, shifting into this role as I grow.

I enjoyed creating this piece. And the symbolism goes beyond representing an image for the new year. A self portrait portrays how I perceive myself. It highlights a mindset and an expression of heart as equally as it does the features of my face. How I present myself to the world is a reflection of how I see myself.

This work of art is important, because who I am becoming is important, to me more so than to anyone else. Inner work equals outer expression. And that might be the perfect title for this unique self portrait.

Self Portrait

Goodbye Christopher Robin

Having recently watched a film at the theater, about this famous young companion to Winnie the Pooh, I was intrigued when a movie from last year, Goodbye Christopher Robin, appeared on Direct TV. Undecided about whether it was really necessary to view another movie that seemed similar to the theater version I had just seen, I tuned in for a few minutes in the middle of the story.

It was immediately obvious that this film about a boy and his imaginary friends had a very different tone. And rather than focusing on the relationship between Christopher Robin and Pooh Bear, this movie provided a peek into the complex relationship between AA Milne and his son. My intrigue shifted into curiosity. I recorded the movie and watched it a few days later.

Goodbye Christopher Robin

Goodbye Christopher Robin stars Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald, and Will Tilston. This biographical drama directed by Simon Curtis carries a PG rating for a few war scenes and adult situations, and has a run time of 1 hour and 47 minutes.

Alan Alexander Milne (Domhnall), who goes by the nickname Blue, returns home from WWI suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome. Crowds and loud noises set his nerves on edge and the pursuits that once interested him, such as writing plays, no longer have the same appeal.

His pretty socialite wife Daphne (Robbie) tries without success to call forth the man she knew before the war. She at last resorts to having a baby, with the hopes that a child will cheer Blue up and restore his spirits.

Goodbye Christopher Robin

After a painful labor and delivery, both parents find it difficult to connect with their infant son. Daphne vehemently hoped for a daughter. Blue is uncomfortable around children and doesn’t know how to relate to a child or play.

Their solution is to hire a nanny to care for the child and for the next eight years Christopher Robin (Tilston), called Billy Moon by his family, is cared for by Olive (Macdonald), whom he calls Nou. Daphne and Blue travel and attend gatherings. He writes a couple of plays but feels increasingly unsatisfied with being a playwright. Daphne immerses herself more and more in London society.

When Blue decides he cannot abide city life any longer, he purchases a country estate near a huge wooded acreage, and leaves the noise and bustle of London for the peace and quiet of Cotchford Farm in East Sussex. For a time the little family and Nou live together on the farm. Daphne prefers city life however and disappears for weeks at a time during visits to London.

Goodbye Christopher Robin

She brings Billy Moon gifts when she returns home…a stuffed bear, a donkey, a tiger and a tiny piglet first, and later a mother kangaroo and her joey. These plush animals become a connection to Billy’s often absent mother, and being an only child, they become his playmates.

Blue avoids his study and writing projects and spends time creating a chicken coop and finding odd jobs to do around the farm. When Nou is called away to attend to her seriously ill mother, Blue and Billy are left alone for the first time. Ill at ease at first, the father seeks to move beyond awkwardness and get to know his son.

The two finally connect over stories about Billy’s animal friends and they name each one. They decide upon Winnie the Pooh, after a real bear at the zoo, for Billy’s favorite toy. The donkey becomes Eeyore, Tigger is the tiger and the baby pig Piglet. During the weeks the two spend alone together Blue and Billy walk daily in the woods and create imaginative stories and games around the stuffed animals and pretend friends Owl and Rabbit.

Goodbye Christopher Robin

Inspired by his son and the boy’s friends, Milne begins to write again…poems about Christopher Robin and Pooh Bear and later short stories. To his surprise, the adventures he pens are a huge success. However it’s not the author that everyone wants to meet, it’s the real life Christopher Robin that the world is curious about.

While his parents handle the attention well, Billy Moon resents the publicity and the intrusion into his privacy. Schoolmates tease and bully him, his life is upended and he wonders if it will ever be the same again.

Goodbye Christopher Robin

This is the kind of movie that stays with me for a while. I enjoy films based on real people and events and being a fan of the Winnie the Pooh stories, this one caught and held my interest. How sad to realize that the idyllic childhood Milne wrote about was more fiction than reality, and that he found it challenging to be a father.

However, most families are dysfunctional on some level. I could find compassion within me for the behavior of the parents. Daphne had her heart touching reasons for desiring a daughter. Milne never fully recovered from the War and while he wanted most to write a book that expounded on the horrors of war, he was remembered for slim stories about a boy and his bear.

And that boy, who so resented being made a celebrity, had to find his own way to make peace with who he was and the exploitation he felt from his father. Their lives weren’t all bad, nor were they always good. They were real though and the Milnes struggled and learned and made decisions, poor ones and better ones, that affected them for many years.

Goodbye Christopher Robin explores the darker side of a familiar story that we think we know. At its core, this is a movie about family and relationships and growing up. It’s thoughtful and insightful and tugs at the heart, all important features of an excellent film that sends the viewer to Google to search deeper.

Goodbye Christopher Robin…hello Billy Moon.

Goodbye Christopher Robin

Loving My Whole Story

After another long day in real estate, I chose to share a few thoughts late this evening, around a quote about story that caught my attention earlier in the week. Blogger Melanie Moushigian Koulouris, who describes herself as possessing a gypsy soul, wrote:

“Love your whole story, even if it hasn’t been the perfect fairy tale.”

Loving My Whole Story

Because of the work I have been doing, to reclaim aspects of my childhood and rescue my inner child, I can definitely relate to Melanie’s words. One of the most important truths I’ve learned in the last eight years of my journey is that my whole story matters.

For most of my life I distanced myself from portions of my story and myself. I hid away the weird bits and the scary parts and locked away my wee self to keep her quiet and make myself and my life appear more normal.

But who wants to be normal? Where’s the magic and the fun in that?

Just like the fairy tales I adored as a child, I was not the person I appeared to be. The spell I was under wasn’t placed upon me by a witch dressed as an old woman. I cast it. And only I could break it. How truly magical it has been to embrace my whole story, even though it has been far from perfect. The imperfections in my life lend me character and give me compassion towards others.

I purposefully chose the symbol of the glass slipper for my title meme. Cinderella was gifted with those special shoes by her fairy godmother and whisked away to the ball to meet the prince.

To me, those slippers made from glass represented Cinderella’s transparency. She lived a far from perfect life. Her parents were dead. She was being raised by an evil stepmother and bullied by self-centered stepsisters. However, she held onto who she was…a kind young woman whose beauty radiated outward from a loving heart.

Wearing those shoes, and a lovely gown instead of rags, allowed Cinderella’s real self to shine even brighter. Ironically her fears that the prince would not accept who she became when the clock struck midnight muddied the girl’s transparency a bit.

That fear, and the resulting flight from the ball, caused her to step out of the shoes…and back into her former story. She had discovered a new chapter though, a new way to exist. And ultimately Cinderella embraced her whole story and lived as her true self happily ever after.

As a child who loved to run barefoot, I always thought those glass slippers must have been mighty uncomfortable to wear. I wonder now if subconsciously what I really thought was that transparency would be mighty uncomfortable. And I was not ready to be transparent.

Transparency can be scary. To be truly and deeply seen can be both uncomfortable and unsettling.

It’s all okay. I’m learning to love my whole story, the good parts, the not so good parts, the sad and scary and little-girl-lost chapters, along with the fun sections and the exuberant and magical parts. My fairy tale isn’t perfect, nor would I want it to be. It’s all my story. I’m loving myself though it.

And…I’m wearing those dang glass slippers.

Loving My Whole Story

Old Handkerchiefs

Tonight’s vintage story, about a collection of old handkerchiefs that has come into my possession, celebrates the people they once belonged to. It also reveals the evolution of this almost obsolete item.

Old Handkerchiefs

I am fond of old linens, from pillowcases and embroidered dish towels, to tablecloths and crocheted doilies. I appreciate the practical functions they provided in the past and how they can still serve me beautifully today. Vintage linens are often featured in my vignettes as a backdrop for a grouping of items.

Handkerchiefs are a bit different, in that they have fallen out of use with the invention of paper tissues. Today I rarely see a handkerchief in use except as a neatly folded accessory in a suit pocket.

Old Handkerchiefs

The old hankies that I cherish belonged to dear women in my family. Some were once carried by Leta Moore, or slipped into her purse. She was fond of the Estée Lauder perfume Youth Dew. That scent clings faintly to her delicate hankies.

Others in my collection belonged to my grandmother Mildred and my great-grandmother Cynthia. I am named after both of these amazing women so it gives me joy to have these little scraps of silk or cotton, knowing they tucked them into a blouse pocket or up a sleeve.

Grandma Mildred favored rose water and I can imagine that subtle fragrance when I press a handkerchief to my nose and inhale deeply.

Old Handkerchiefs

Curious about how these squares of fabric came into use, I researched handkerchiefs.

I discovered that handkerchiefs date back to the 10th century. They show up in many different cultures, serving as head coverings for the Chinese and French, appearing in Turkish literature, and in Anatolia they were used to wrap packages. The British changed the name from kerchief to handkerchief after they began to carry the cloths in their hands. Later men tucked handkerchiefs into their hats and women slipped them into their cleavage.

The handkerchief has long been associated with lovers. A woman sent her handkerchief to her lover to suggest a meeting or as a token of her affection, or waved it to say “I am available.” If a woman dropped her handkerchief purposefully in front of a man it meant “I love you.” If her gentlemen picked it up and put it in his pocket it signified “I love you too.”

Old Handkerchiefs

Handkerchiefs were used for other purposes as well. Knotted in one corner they secured coins or a trinket that the owner did not want to lose. Dampened with water they scrubbed a child’s face or soothed a fevered brow. Handkerchiefs blotted perspiration from a face or wiped away a tear trailing down a cheek. They could be opened to serve as a makeshift tablecloth for a picnic lunch and a white handkerchief waved symbolized surrender.

Eventually handkerchiefs primarily became a cloth to wipe the nose on…and the delicate cloths shifted to sturdier practical squares suitable for sneezing into! As tissues gained in use, handkerchiefs ended up folded away in drawers, forgotten.

I prefer to hold onto the beauty and romance of my handkerchiefs, rather than use them in practical ways. I created cloth roses out of them. It’s easy to do. Simply fold the handkerchiefs lengthwise three or four times and then twist the strip of cloth. Starting at one end, wrap the twisted cloth in a circular manner, forming a rose, and tuck the loose end beneath the completed spiral. I display mine in a simple ceramic dish.

These old handkerchiefs, fashioned into pretty little roses, remind me of three strong, beautiful women who impacted my life, and of another era in time. I smile every time I look at them.

Old Handkerchiefs

Fame JR The Musical

What a treat this afternoon, to be in the audience at Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium for the matinee showing of Fame JR The Musical. This high energy production featured a group of talented kids, from grades 6th through 10th, that had recently completed the Just Off Broadway Theater Camp. My grandson Jonathan, a fearless showman with a beautiful singing voice and all the right dance moves, was part of the ensemble cast.

Fame JR The Musical

Fame JR The Musical is based on the internationally acclaimed stage show and movie Fame. Set during the last years of New York City’s High School for the Performing Arts in the early 1980s, Fame JR is the inspiring story of a diverse group of students who commit to four years of grueling artistic and academic work. With candor, humor and insight, the show explores the issues that confront many young people today.

The musical was directed by Pittsburg High School Theatre Director Greg Shaw, with vocal direction by PSU Department of Music graduate Karrie Fenech and choreography by junior McKenna Shaw.

Fame JR The Musical

The story within the musical follows the freshman class at the High School for Performing Arts, in NYC, through their senior year. Divided into dancers, actors and musicians, the students must complete academic studies and devote themselves to their crafts.

The students come from a variety of backgrounds, however they all have one thing in common…the desire to achieve fame in their chosen fields. All of the students are talented artistically, however some face academic challenges while some struggle with other issues such as acceptance, arrogance, body image and anger.

As they complete their senior year at the school, one is discovered immediately by a talent agent. The rest realize they have learned valuable life lessons, and that it takes perseverance and hard work to achieve their dreams.

Fame JR The Musical

Fame JR The Musical

The kids of Just Off Broadway experienced the same determination and hard work as the characters they portrayed, putting in more than 50 hours of rehearsals in the last two weeks. They gave up their evenings and weekends, all while attending school during the day, to follow their own artistic passions.

I am beyond impressed with these young performers. Not only can they act, sing and dance, they appear comfortable under the stage lights and before a large audience. Actually, this group is more than comfortable. The kids had a blast.

Fame JR The Musical

Fame JR The Musical

The performer I watched the most was Jonathan. This young man, who will be 13 years old next month and just started junior high, amazes me. He’s been performing in plays and musicals, talent shows and concerts for several years. I love how at ease he is on stage and how enthusiastically he enters into each role.

Most of all, I love his heart. He embraces life with a passion and transforms whatever he touches, creating art. The lyrics to the song Fame are very fitting for Jonathan.

“Baby you look at me and tell me what you see

You ain’t seen the best of me yet

Give me time, I’ll make you forget the rest

I’ve got more in me and you can set it free

I can catch the moon in my hand

Don’t you know who I am?

Remember my name


I’m gonna live forever

I’m gonna learn how to fly


I feel it coming together

People will see me and cry 


This boy is just getting started. We haven’t seen yet all that he is capable of, all that he will develop and grow into. He has so much more in him to offer to the world as he figures out what he most wants to explore.

Whatever he does, people will remember his name. Someday, in technology, in entertainment, in some fresh combination of the two, Jonathan will make an impact on the world. I watch him and I already cry and not just the word “fame”. They are happy tears full of joy and hope. This kid already flies.

Fame JR The Musical

Saturday Football

Saturday Football

Today launched the beginning of the football season for three of my grandchildren. Greg and I joined a happy throng in the stadium bleachers to cheer on Joey, Oliver and Aubrey. The overcast day and slightly cooler temps hinted at fall, and by the time Saturday football ends, we will be dressing for a different season.

Saturday Football

Joey is a 7th grader this year and playing on the Tigers junior high A team. This morning’s scrimmage was for fun and practice. His official game night is Tuesday.

Oliver is in 5th grade and plays in the Tiger Saturday Football League. His first game went into overtime this afternoon. They lost, however he did well and this team has played together for several seasons. It’s onward and upward from here.

And Aubrey is a 4th grader. This is her second year as a Tiger cheerleader. She cheers for the 5th grade team that includes Oliver and my, how she throws her heart into those high kicks and sharp moves.

Saturday Football Last year’s group football photo

To commemorate the day, I had fun creating a video. I’m always trying new things, and while technology can pose a challenge, I’m willing to experiment and learn. This video was a snap to create, using iVideo on my iPhone. It has an easy to use format that allows a mix of photos and videos. I can add music from the app’s selections or chose a song from my library.

Saturday Football…it’s a weekly event for the next two months. As often as I can, I will be there, yelling Go Big Blue!

Movie Review: Alpha

My mom, sister Linda and I slipped away for a couple of hours for an impromptu movie night. We are animal lovers in my family, therefore we found ourselves drawn to the film that portrays the discovery of man’s best friend. Grab some popcorn, the healthier kind please, and enjoy this movie review of Alpha.

Movie Review Alpha

Alpha stars Kodi Smit-McPhee, Johannes Haukur Johannesson, Natassia Malthe, and Spencer Bogaert. This adventure film, directed by Albert Hughes, carries a PG-13 rating for scenes of peril, and has a run time of 1 hour and 36 minutes.

Set in Europe, 20,000 years ago, the movie opens with the men from a small tribe closing in on their prey. Once a year the men, led by Chief Tau (Johannesson), trek for days to a distant hunting ground where huge shaggy bison roam. The tribe’s survival during the harsh winter depends on their success.

Movie Review Alpha

This year, for the first time, Tau’s son Keda (Smit-McPhee) and his friend Kappa (Bogaert) accompany the men as part of their rite of passage into manhood. Keda’s mother (Malthe) is reluctant to let her son join the hunt.

“He leads with his heart, not with his spear,” the mother says of her teenage son, when Tau declares that it’s time for the boy to learn to lead.

It’s a learning journey for Keda. His father instructs him on the art of making fire, goads him into attempting his first kill for food (Keda refuses) and points out the Big Dipper constellation in the sky. “It points toward home,” Tau tells his son.

Things go awry when the tribe encounters the bison. As the hunters drive the herd over a cliff, Keda is caught on the horns of a charging bull and flung from the cliff as well. Unconscious on a narrow rock ledge, beyond the reach of his tribe, Keda is left for dead by his grieving father.

Movie Review Alpha

Keda is not dead, but he is alone in a magnificent and challenging landscape. Injured and frightened, the boy begins the journey home, one painful step at a time. On the way he is surrounded by a pack of hungry wolves. Keda knifes one wolf as he scrambles up a tree.

The next morning, only the injured wolf remains. Keda’s heart does indeed lead him. Rather than kill the wolf, he muzzles him and carries him to a cave where both can heal. A relationship forms, between the boy and the wolf, as they learn to trust and respect each other. Will they be able to help each other reach the safety of the tribe encampment before the winter snows begin?

Movie Review Alpha

This turned out to be a beautiful film, visually rich with outstanding cinematography. The simplicity of the story, which could be classified as a blend of coming of age meets a boy and his dog, lent itself well to the unfolding journey.

The actors spoke in another language, requiring subtitles on the screen. I read that it was a made up language and also that they spoke a Native American dialect. Either way, it didn’t detract from the story. I found the language to be beautiful. Short sentences or singles words were used primarily while facial expressions and hand gestures conveyed more.

At the heart of this charming film is a young man who discovers his own unique strengths while developing patience, perseverance and loyalty to the wolf who journeys with him. The two play together, hunt together, and curl up before the fire together in the cold. Each night Keda looks for the Big Dipper. Each day the pair trudges northward.

An uncertain boy left the camp. A young man returns home, with a surprising companion. Alpha is a feel good movie that allows the viewer to leave with a smile on the face and a warmth in the heart and the strong desire to hug a dog.

Movie Review Alpha

The Queen of Real Estate

It’s almost 10:00 PM and I’m just now able to turn my attention toward writing a blog post. This has been a long day in my real estate business, one in a busy week of helping clients. I have no complaints, as it just is what it is. As I turned over ideas this evening, the one that rose to the surface involves story and my new symbol for next year, the queen chess piece. How’s that for a collision of two worlds? I’m calling this brief story The Queen of Real Estate.

The Queen of Real Estate

The Queen of Real Estate

Sometimes, as a realtor, I need to handle a challenge. Such a situation arose yesterday. For many people, it would have been a breeze. Have the talk. Be firm. Accept no excuses. Walk away.

Sounds simple enough…however, the combination of my former dread of confrontation and possessing a heart that feels compassion toward the struggles of others creates hesitancy on my part where some would bold.

I’m learning to speak up while allowing my compassion to govern my words. However, such conversations are still not easy for me. I fretted in the car as I drove to the appointment, choosing careful words in my head and almost hoping the other person would not be there.

Adjust Your Crown

As I arrived at my destination a sudden thought came to me.

Adjust your crown. You’ve got this.

The image of a queen followed the words…a queen of real estate. I wondered, How would a queen handle this situation…a kind and good queen, but a woman of authority nonetheless?

And that question changed everything. I felt calm. I felt empowered. My back straightened and my shoulders came back, opening up my heart chakra and my throat chakra. I mentally adjusted the invisible crown on my head. And I handled the situation with the grace, authority and compassion that was needed. The outcome was good.

Becoming Queen

In all my years of entering into a new year with a word for the theme and a symbol to guide me, I’ve never quite been impacted in this way by my visual image. This is fresh and deep and I like what’s happening.

I’ve already thought of queen chess piece art to create and fun ways I can incorporate this image. However, yesterday’s experience goes beyond that. This symbol is already reshaping me and making me think differently. I’m enchanted by what’s going on, for going beyond is what my life is all about.

I am becoming something new. The Queen of real estate? Oh yes, I can own that title. And beyond that, I am becoming the Queen of my life. The keys to that kingdom are mine.

The Queen of Real Estate

Yellowstone Season One Review

Tonight was the season one finale of Paramount Network’s big bold series, Yellowstone. I got in on the beginning of the series and was immediately drawn to the story that is best described as gritty and intense. Check out my first review from the beginning of the season. Below are my thoughts after watching all of Yellowstone season one.

Yellowstone Season One Review

Yellowstone stars Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Danny Huston, Gil Birmingham, Michaela Conlin, and Wendy Moniz. This western drama, directed by Taylor Sheridan, carries a MA rating for language, violence and adult situations, and has an episode run time of 1 hour.

Tonight’s episode was aptly titled The Unraveling Part 2, and was the conclusion of a two part season finale.

Yellowstone Season One Review

A Whole Heap of Trouble

The events in this season ender of Yellowstone tied up a few loose ends in the story, and peaked in the middle of a broiling stew of trouble, creating a wonderful cliffhanger.

John Dutton (Costner) carries many secrets and one of the most troubling for him involves his health. This man shoulders the burdens of owning the largest ranch in the US, a very real kingdom in the west built by his family over generations, and he feels he has no one among his adult children to hand the keys of the kingdom over to. Time is slipping away and it makes him desperate.

The son who was being groomed to run the ranch is gone. His attorney son Jamie (Bentley) has seemingly turned his back on the family to pursue his own career in politics. Younger son Kayce (Grimes) is most like his father but he’s a wild and unpredictable man, as untamed as the horses he breaks for a living. And daughter Beth (Reilly), a shrewd businesswoman, will do anything to take down her father’s enemies. But when Daddy is gone, she will be the first to sell off the ranch, piece by piece.

Yellowstone Season One Review

Yellowstone Season One Review A relaxed shot of the actors who portray Kayce and Beth.

Who to Trust

The person John trusts the most is his ranch foreman, Rip (Hauser). Loyal to the point of bending the law for his boss, Rip has a better understanding of the workings of the ranch and John’s intentions to hold it together, than any of the children. He will do anything to protect John and Yellowstone.

The level of strife in John’s family is multiplied among the people seeking to destroy him and seize his property. Chief Rainwater (Birmingham) has formed an uneasy partnership with ruthless land developer Dan Jenkins (Huston). The two have plans to build a casino, hotel and housing development on the edge of Yellowstone. Their ultimate goal is to drive the Duttons out and take control of their property. Even John’s love interest Governor Lynelle Perry (Moniz) appears to have her own agenda to topple him.

Other skirmishes are in play among John’s children. Kayce’s wife Monica (Asbille) has left him and taken their son. And Jamie’s political campaign is challenged by a journalist from New York, Sarah Nguyen (Conlin), who intends to expose his father as a corrupt man.

When John Dutton says the whole county has turned against him, it appears to include his own family.

Yellowstone Season One Review

Yellowstone Season One Review

Character & Story Development

This series is much more “drama” than “western”, in spite of the horses and the cowboys who work on the ranch. I was curious after episode one, to see how the characters and the story developed. I have not been disappointed.

These are complex, convoluted characters. There aren’t good guys and bad guys in Yellowstone. Everyone is a mixture of both, from the people plotting to bring the Duttons down to John Dutton himself. The characters are portrayed as flawed, broken, hurting people who sometimes do dark deeds and sometimes display moments of courageous authenticity in the face of challenges.

I love the inclusion of backstories for the major characters. I get to see how they got broken, who hurt them, and why they now attempt to manipulate and hurt others. I can see the good that was once in them and hope for its reappearance as they grapple with life. And I recognize that while these characters are larger than life, they represent snippets found within all of us. My eyes fill with tears often as I watch their struggles. Why? Because it births compassion in me and makes me look at people in my reality differently. People that hurt, have been hurt, and everyone has a backstory of their own.

I was glad to find out this week that Yellowstone has been renewed. There will be a season two airing in 2019. That’s good news for me because the story of the Duttons and the ranch and the community that surrounds it is far from over. In fact, it has just begun. I look forward to the next dynamic chapter of Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Season One Review