Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright

The focus of today, and indeed, of much of the last couple of months, has been real estate. Summer is a busy time for realtors. Families move while kids are out of school. Out of town buyers come in to look at properties while they are on vacation. Continued low interest rates make it a great time to buy. And low inventory, creating competition for housing, makes it a great seller’s market as well.

Into every realtor’s life comes challenges that pop up during a transaction. It’s my job to handle each issue as it arises, in a manner that is satisfactory to all parties concerned, which typically includes my clients, another realtor, their clients, and various affiliates.

Such was the case with a transaction that was scheduled to close today. There were a few bumps as my clients and I journeyed toward closing. Those were dealt with and we kept moving forward. However, late yesterday, on the eve of closing, one of those bumps quickly grew to become a wall that appeared to be immovable. It was the kind of grave situation that left the other realtor and I standing together saying, initially, “I’m not sure…I’m not sure how to handle this.”

This is not the story of what went wrong. This is the story of what went right.

What I am incredibly proud to say is, that after a time of shock and understandable reactions, everyone came together and talked…and talked…and brainstormed about how to proceed. My clients were open and gracious. The other clients were open and gracious. Both compromised to reach an agreement.

The agent on the other side of the transaction stepped up and waded in, putting in long hours and going above and beyond without a word of complaint. I did the same.

And this is where my attitudes and thoughts about being a realtor have shifted dramatically these last few years…I do all I can to take care of my clients in a conscientious way, and stay open and in communication with the other realtor and all parties involved. And then I open to the Divine and ask for guidance. I ask for grace and compassion and love and kindness to surround each person involved and all situations. I ask for angels to surround us all. I listen for and look for inspirational nudges and Divine messages. I express gratitude each step of the way as I act on what I am given. What I have stopped doing is worrying, fretting, struggling, resisting and coercing.

This morning I met my clients at the title company at 6:15 am, thanks to an extremely accommodating closer. We closed our sides of two separate transactions. The sun was just coming up as the final documents were signed. They went on to work and I went to my office. As I drove to Keller Williams, during the dawning of a new day, I expressed deep thanks to the Divine, whom I call El-le. El-Hebrew word for God, elle-French word for she…both pronounced “ell” and together reminding me that the Divine is neither male nor female and yet encompasses both male and female.

I was grateful that we had made it this far, grateful that people came together to find a solution. Was it perfect? No…everyone involved sacrificed something. And yes…because nothing happens by accident. For myself, there were lessons to learn and opportunities for growth. Trust has been a big lesson for me the last few years. This experience was the next exercise in trusting that all is unfolding exactly as it should, even if I can’t see what’s around the corner or explain all the whys about what is happening.

I was very aware that even though my clients had closed their sides, things could still go wrong. However, I chose not to focus on that. I chose to trust. I chose to let everyone else do their jobs. I chose to express gratitude, aloud in an empty car.

As I walked into the office a little after 7:00, I felt settled and centered and at peace. We have background music that plays in the office during the day. Perhaps it plays all night too. As I walked down the hall, the song playing literally overhead suddenly caught my attention. Bob Marley was singing out, at that precise moment…

Don’t worry about a thing, ‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright. Rise up this mornin’, Smiled with the risin’ sun, Three little birds, Pitch by my doorstep, Singin’ sweet songs, Of melodies pure and true, Sayin’, (this is my message to you),

Singin’ Don’t worry ’bout a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be alright.

I stopped to listen, amazed. I laughed. I teared up. Oh sure, it was Bob Marley’s voice but it was El-le speaking…Don’t worry. Every little thing gonna be alright.

The Divine didn’t say it was going to be easy or simple or without challenges. It is big stuff, to all of us working through it, yet in the end, three sets of clients will have ended up with what they ultimately wanted…new homes, fresh starts, stories to tell. I can only speak for myself, but for me this time also includes lessons about trust, growth, gratitude, higher awareness, intuition and deeper faith.

I’ve been singing the words all day. Every little thing gonna be alright. And so it has been and so it is and so it shall be.

How Can I Make Life a Little More Tender?

I asked my usual morning question, How shall we play today?, as I was brushing my teeth. Immediately, another question arose within me. How can I make life a little more tender? That seemed to be the question that was foremost in my heart today. Making life a little more tender is foundational to my journey this year. During this time, when I barely look at social media sites because of all of the fear expressed there, and the anger, and the name calling, what can I do to share love and peace, compassion and tenderness?  

How can I make life a little more tender?
I found the answer in my journey today.

It is easy for me to offer compassion, making life a little more tender, to people who are similar to me. And I don’t mean that they look like me. I mean they have similar beliefs and comparable views about the world. We are naturally drawn to one another and journey together companionably.

I showed property to a new client today, someone I met for the first time over the weekend. We liked each other the moment we said hello. She is warm, friendly, and authentic. We chat like old friends, as we walk through houses together. She has an adorable little girl who makes me laugh and holds my hand and invites me to go to lunch at McDonalds. 

I observe that as I work diligently to make sure this family finds the right house, and has the smoothest transaction possible, I am feeling very compassionate toward them and sympathetic about their life situations and the challenges they are facing. By offering from my deep heart, I am making their lives a little more tender. And it is effortless to do so. 

How can I make life a little more tender?
Then, there is another client. We have worked together previously. Is it a coincidence that she showed up in my life again, on a day when I asked How can I make life a little more tender?

In great contrast to my earlier client, this woman has a belief system that is very different from mine. She annoys me. She loves to express her own opinions, totally unaware that I may perceive life differently. While she is happy to be working together again, I am not. I observe myself closing down, becoming guarded, predicting her future actions based on past behaviors. I consider not accepting her invitation to work together. 

Wait…wait. Sigh. 

How can I make life a little more tender? 

I observe that I shift, a fraction. My heart does not close. I keep communication open between us. I listen, really listen, to her. There is pain in her, just beneath the bravado. And loss. And the tiniest bit of new hope. 

Can I journey with her, and make life a little more tender? 

How can I make life a little more tender?
I shared my thoughts with Greg this afternoon, as I delved into the tender places within my heart. He offered profound wisdom. He suggested that perhaps, just perhaps, I could let go of the story I was creating about my client. 

Ah. The truth of that statement resonated deeply. Who would I be, with my client, if I let go of my stories about her? If I saw her with fresh eyes? If I, who am in a different place in my journey, offered tenderness and compassion to the person she is now? Not the woman I have known before. Not the woman my mind wants to create stories about. The woman she is now, further along in her own journey, becoming who she is. 

Who would I be, to her, if I let go of my stories about who she is, and how she is supposed to be? I would be compassion. I would be kindness. I would be making her life, and mine, a little more tender. 

How can I make life a little more tender?
I am grateful for the answer I was given, to my sincere question. I am grateful that the Divine responds and moves to meet me where I am, inviting me to go further and deeper. 

How can I make life a little more tender? 

I make life a little more tender by offering compassion and empathy and love and joy and peace from a heart that is open and overflowing. I make life a little more tender by accepting what is unfolding, for therein lies an invitation to grow, and by living from compassion, empathy, love, joy and peace. 

I asked a question. I know the answer now. I was asked a question in return. And I have an answer. Yes. Yes, I will walk with my client and make her life a little more tender. 

How can I make life a little more tender?

Surrender 124: Garden Meditation

Today I was intentional about spending time in my garden this evening. As I moved through the day, working this morning and visiting with my mom at the hospital, I considered how to best savor those moments. I was excited about planting and hanging the vintage cone colanders and creating a permanent space for the minnow bucket candle holder. 

I set that intention this morning and surrendered to it. During the day, as I was in the flow of possibilities, two other elements clicked into place, creating an amazing opportunity. I learned about gathas. And I looked at the online holiday site, curious about what unique celebration might be available today. 

Gathas (pronounced gattas) are short poems or verses that are recited during routine activities throughout the day. They are designed to return us to the present moment, helping us to be mindful and aware. In his book Peace is Every Breath, Thich Nhat Hanh writes, “When we settle into the present moment, we can see beauties and wonders right before our eyes. Reciting gathas is one way to help us dwell in the present moment.” In his book, Hanh includes gathas for many ordinary tasks, including gardening. 

When I looked up the unique holidays for today, I discovered that May 3 is Garden Meditation Day. It all came together…my desire to be in the garden this evening, the use of gathas to practice mindfulness in the present moment, and a celebration focused on meditating in the garden. Isn’t life beautiful?

Meditation doesn’t have to be practiced sitting in a lotus position with eyes closed. Meditation is the awareness of what’s going on, right now, in my body, in my breathing, in my feelings, in my world. Garden meditation is the act of focusing on what I am doing, moment by moment…digging, planting, creating, watering and even pulling weeds. As I garden, I don’t dwell on the garden of the past or project toward a garden of the future. I remain right here, in the garden of right now, enjoying each task. 

As I mindfully dwelled in my garden, I created little flower containers from the two vintage cone colanders. Greg secured the colanders to the wood fence, using heavy duty staples. I cut a 14″ round coco fiber liner in two and formed each half into a cone shape, which I then slipped inside each colander. I filled the containers with potting soil and tucked in white impatiens and trailing dichondra. I LOVE the finished look. These are so adorable and they were so easy to create. 

I filled two battered metal buckets with flowers, setting the containers on and near an old wooden chair. The colander planters are secured on either side of the chair. Above the chair, the minnow bucket hangs from a sturdy hook, completing that garden vignette. 

As I meditatively planted and watered, I mindfully recited gathas: 


I entrust myself to Earth/Earth entrusts herself to me/I entrust myself to the Divine/The Divine entrusts itself to me. 


Water and sun/green these plants/When the rain of compassion falls/even the desert becomes a vast fertile plain. 

Lighting the candle within the minnow bucket

Lighting this candle/offering the light to the Divine/the peace and joy I feel/brightens the face of the Earth

I am refreshed by my meditative time in the garden this evening. The gathas were simple and beautiful reminders that kept my awareness on what I was doing. And my creativity was fully engaged, free to play. It was the perfect end to the day. I look forward to writing my own gathas. However this one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s resonates:

Ending the Day

The day is ending/my life is one day shorter/Let me look carefully at what I have done/Let me practice diligently/putting my whole heart into the path of meditation/Let me live deeply each moment in freedom/so time does not slip away meaninglessly. 

Day 344: Buy Lottery Tickets

Found abundance money

For people who know me well, two things about today’s first would be true. It isn’t a surprise to them that I’ve never bought a lottery ticket before. And it might be a surprise that today, I did. I have nothing against anyone who occasionally, or even regularly, plunks down a few dollars in the hopes of gaining much more in return, especially with the mega lotteries, where the prizes can get into the hundreds of millions. I’ve just never wanted to spend my money in that way. I don’t gamble at casinos either. It’s not a moral issue. It’s a mathematical issue to me. I know the odds are against me, so I just don’t bother.

However, during this year of firsts, I was inspired by, of all things, an episode of the TV show Modern Family. One of the young characters, Manny, collects money that he finds on the ground. When he has enough of this “lucky” money, he intends to purchase a lottery ticket, hoping that the luck will continue and bring him wealth. I was intrigued. What if I did the same, with money I found lying on the ground? The idea appealed to me, and I began to glance down more often, watching for coins.

That was a shift for me, and really the most important part of this little exercise. Up until now, I have not bothered to pick up pennies, or quarters, lying on the ground. Once I found a dollar on the parking lot, and a $20 bill, also on a parking lot. Those I did retrieve. But the small change, I didn’t really even notice. Greg is much more aware of these coins than I’ve ever been and will pick up any money that he spies, even if it’s lying next to someone’s foot! I used to pretend I didn’t know him when he would nonchalantly walk over and pick up a dime. However, his awareness is very high in this area, and he finds a lot of change in a year.

Recently, as a friend approached me, he suddenly bent and picked up a penny and handed it to me, saying as he did so, “Abundance”. He went on to explain that he always picks up any money that he sees on the ground, acknowledging it as a sign that abundance is near. My friend, Mark, has a similar philosophy. Perhaps it was time for my own awareness to open up. I created a money jar, and this year, I’ve paid more attention to those stray nickels, dimes, pennies and quarters lying on the ground, picking them up, giving thanks for abundance, and saving the coins to purchase a lottery ticket.

Found abundance money coins for the year

Realizing that the year is winding down, today I decided to use the accumulated coins to purchase my first lottery tickets. I counted out almost $5 in change. Other family members, knowing that I was picking up coins, have joined in my adventure and contributed to the fund. Just two weeks ago, my six year old granddaughter, Aubrey, crawled under the counter at Chuck E Cheese and triumphantly handed me a penny, saying, “For your money jar.”

I selected a convenience store and waited in the parking lot for customers to clear out. In a few minutes, the store was completely empty and no one was pumping gas. It was time. I appreciated the young man behind the counter. I told him what I was doing and showed him my coins. It was important to me to pay for the tickets with the actual money that I found. He was game, although he seemed surprised that I had never bought a ticket before. At his suggestion, I purchased three scratch off tickets, one for $2 and two for $1 each. After dinner and a bit of relaxing, I used one of the pennies from my jar to scratch away the coating on the tickets to see if I had won anything. I had the potential to win up to $32,000. I won a free ticket. I had already decided that if I won a small amount of money, I would use it to purchase more tickets, continuing to play until I ran out of options. I’ll redeem my ticket for another chance.

I had fun with this first, knowing that I was using money that found its way to me. I learned new things about myself in the process. I’ve had a lot of limiting, negative beliefs about money. I am currently releasing those and raising my awareness as I open myself up to abundance, which is about so much more than money. Money is energy, like everything else. It flows. It moves through me and beyond. The energy today around buying my first lottery tickets was playful, joyful, adventurous. Those are beliefs about abundance that I can embrace.

found abundance  money lottery tickets

Day 341: Treasures Discovered…at the Perfect Time

treasures found

I absolutely love when unexpected things happen that remind me that the thoughts and desires that I send out are energy. And they will find their way back to me,  manifesting in their own time. I am delighted and amazed also when an image pops into my head, another form of thought, and shortly after that, the image becomes reality. For my first today, I acquired two items. One I have been searching for since early April. The other just came into my awareness last night.

This afternoon, I traveled to Arkansas with Greg to visit his dad. I dearly love this kind, gentle man. At 93 he still cares for himself and has a sense of humor, although by his own confession, his energy levels are low and at a soul level, he is even more weary. It is always a pleasure to visit with him and help him in small ways, which are all he will allow.

After lunch, we stopped at the grocery store to restock essentials for him, and Greg picked up a couple of packages of bite sized candy bars for his dad to snack on. Dad Moore doesn’t eat a lot, but he still has a sweet tooth and enjoys an occasional treat. Back home, while Greg and his dad were looking at old photos and reminiscing, I rummaged through cupboards, looking for a little candy dish to put the chocolates in. I saw the corner of a small plastic bag sticking up and curious, pulled it free of the dainty bowl it was tucked into.

I know I made some kind of sound of surprise! Something akin to “Oh my goodness!” Within the sealed plastic bag were three wooden teaspoons, from Taiwan. Ever since I visited Teavana, the loose tea store in Springfield, back on April 2, I have been searching for wooden teaspoons. I have my loose tea that I purchased in clear mason jars. I measure out the tea by the teaspoon, and I’ve wanted tiny wooden spoons just because they look so much more earthy than having a plastic teaspoon stuck in the jar, as I do now. I’ve looked in several retail stores in Joplin, without success. I eventually decided I’d find them someday, at the perfect time. Which….happened to be today! Those spoons have been in that cupboard for at least 15 years, since Greg’s mom passed 15 years ago next month and Greg’s dad has left every item in its place, unchanged. I’ve never seen these spoons before and have no idea when Mimi received them or what the story is behind them. I only know she had the spoons tucked away, and now I have them. Dad Moore, generous man that he is, told me I could have them. I am thrilled.

treasures wooden teaspoons

After a wonderful afternoon of visiting with Dad Moore, and running some errands, we prepared to leave. Greg paused in the kitchen to get some info from his dad, and asked me to turn on the overhead light. As I flipped the light on, my attention was caught by an item hanging on the wall, directly above the light switch. I know my head tilted to the side, like a dog who is trying to understand the words being spoken to her. Last night, as I was decorating my house for Christmas, I created a small coffee table vignette, for the first time, I might add. I liked the simplicity of it and the way it looked. And yet….it needed something. It needed a wooden tray beneath the grouping. As I headed to Arkansas today, I was thinking about that wooden tray. I have one in my bedroom, on my bed, holding a book, a teacup and my great-grandmother’s hankie. I could use that one, I mused…but in my mind, I saw a lighter colored tray with shorter sides. Perhaps a bamboo one? The image I had was very clear.

Now, standing in the kitchen, while Greg and his dad discussed eye doctors and appointments, I was stunned to see the very wooden tray that had popped into my mind, hanging on the wall. I had literally walked by it five or six times this afternoon, without seeing it. The light illuminated it for me. It could be that the image of that particular tray surfaced in my mind because subconsciously, I have seen it there in the kitchen many times without registering it. I don’t know. I don’t care. The tray I had been thinking about, since last night, was right there before me. I removed it from the wall and turned around with it in my hands, perhaps with my head still tilted to the side. Again, Greg’s dad graciously gifted me with it, with a smile and a wave of his hand.

These items now have a place of honor in my home. I will enjoy the tray and the spoons, and I’ll smile every time I scoop out tea or arrange a vignette or serve tea on the tray. Even better, I cannot look at those simple reminders of the wonders and mysteries of the universe without giving thanks and expressing joy.

treasures wooden tray

treasures wooden tray 2

Day 136: Deep Relaxation


My planned first for the day was a line dancing lesson. As I wrapped up the day close to 7:00 pm, finishing up a showing with a delightful young couple, I knew that wasn’t going to happen! Deciding to save line dancing for another time, I now had to come up with a first, relatively late in the day. At home, browsing through possibilities, I realized my body was drawn toward deep rest. One thing I’ve learned during my journey these past few years is to listen to what my body is telling me. For my first today, I practiced intentional deep relaxation.

I regularly practice meditation and frequently include relaxation as a part of that practice. It is very easy to allow stress to build up in the body and settle into the muscles, creating tension and pain. When I’ve been overly busy, or have had too many long days and short nights, stress and tension accumulate in my neck and shoulder muscles. A painful stiff neck or shoulder is my signal to relax and meditate. Taking 15 to 20 minutes to consciously relax the muscles and allow stress to drain away restores and refreshes me physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Tonight I tried a deep relaxation technique suggested by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who writes and teaches about mindful living. He says that deep relaxation is an opportunity for our bodies to rest, heal and be restored. As we relax, we send love and care to each part of our bodies, holding that part in our awareness as we breathe in and out.

I wanted to be very intentional about relaxing, so I created an environment to support and encourage it. Candles were lit throughout my darkened bedroom. I combined dried lavender, white sage, sweet grass and a bay leaf to create a soothing and cleansing potpourri to burn on a small piece of charcoal. And I had 40 minutes of soft, meditative music playing on my phone. I was ready to relax!

I don’t normally lie down to meditate, as I will too easily slip beyond relaxation and into sleep. I decided this evening to get comfortable lying down and that if deep relaxation took me into slumber it was because my body needed that rest. Lying on my bed, snuggled beneath a heavy blanket, candlelight flickering and music playing, I closed my eyes and focused on taking long slow deep breaths. Beginning with my toes, I held them in my awareness and said, as breathed in and out:

Breathing in, I am aware of my toes

Breathing out, I smile to my toes

This is mindfulness. This is bringing my attention to myself and willing myself to relax my muscles. I moved my awareness up my body, mentally cradling each part, repeating the above statement about my knees, my liver, my arms, my heart, my shoulders, all the way to the top of my head. Sending love and care and gratitude to each part of me, smiling, spending a little extra time being mindful of any sore spot, I relaxed so deeply. Muscles unknotted, my breathing grew deeper and I felt myself sinking into sleep. I let go.

I didn’t sleep long, and waking slowly, I felt wonderful. I could have rolled over and slept until morning and will return to pick up where I left off shortly. Thich Nhat Hanh says, “When you direct the energy of your mindfulness to the part of your body that you are embracing with love and tenderness, you are doing exactly what your body needs.” This was exactly what I needed tonight and I’m grateful that I listened to my body. This was self care at a high level.