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This sandbar was home to me for the first 18 years of my life, almost.  Patti Page sang about it, people spend many summers there, and it gets romanticized a lot.  Like everything, there is shadow and light here and I only remembered the darkest parts for a very long time. I stayed away for decades, lost in the fear of reliving it all.

Last month, I flew in over the navy blue waters, seagulls coasting along with my plane, whitecaps flashing like diamonds, and all the good came back to me.  Every day, for a week in September, the sun cast a beautiful glow and brought me treasure after treasure.  As I write, I turn every reunion, every kind and encouraging word, every magical moment over and over, like seashells on the shore.  Taking their beauty into my heart, and remembering.




This morning, the air was so cool that it took me a minute (or several) to venture outside the covers.  How curious that the drop in temperature which tempted me to sleep and sleep this morning is the very same thing that kept me invigorated all day.  Funny, the way that works.



As I begin to post to this brand new blog, I have given a lot of thought (and a whole lot of time procrastinating) to what I want to share here.

Over and over, I’ve heard a little voice say, “Begin at the beginning”. And so I will.


This leg of my journey began in October of 1998.


Fifteen years ago, last week, my life became all about trust. Oddly enough, I began to learn about trust in the Intensive Care Psych Unit of a highly regarded hospital.

That’s where I decided to stay in this world, and that’s where I realized that if I was going to stick around, things had to change.


I had to begin to trust.


Trust that (though a highly qualified physician had prescribed a drug that was contraindicated for PTSD and I had become flooded with too many traumatic memories for one being to handle and had become suicidal, other similarly trained) doctors could help me.


Trust that I had a guidance system that would protect me, even from strange men showing up in my hospital room.


Trust that I would know what to do in any situation, if only I allowed myself to listen from my heart, and ignore the “rules” my brain had learned so well.


Trust that being a punching bag for violence for much of my life did not mean I had to be one forever.


Trust that those who loved me would not always hurt me, that love did not always mean one form of pain or another.


Trust that my decision to stay on this planet was a good one, despite much evidence to the contrary.


Trust that I would do far better than just surviving.



In time, I learned to trust all this and more.


I learned that my inner voices were the best resources I had. And that given some love, they would become stronger.


That no one knows what is best for me better than I do. And that no guru or leader can possibly know what’s best for anyone. Ever.


That all the stories that I’d been taught to hide far away, never to speak of, were actually the very lessons I had to share with others.


That we human beings learn best from story and that sharing our stories allows us to weave the very best in us with the very best in the world.


That no certification or degree program teaches what trust has taught me, that trust alone delivers the gifts I continue to open, day after day.


That self compassion is the gateway to trusting, that we serve best from a place of overflow, that the word “selfish” deserves to be redefined, in a big way.



Nearly three years ago, I launched Carry It Forward, my first website. I felt strong enough to be able to put myself out there a bit, to see if maybe my words and photos might touch others, if they, too would be welcomed in the world. And they were, in ways beyond my wildest imaginings. I learned a few more things about trust, in hundreds of posts and beautiful feedback, in friendships made virtually and in person, in daring to press “publish” with my heart exposed and tears streaming down my face.


I learned to trust that I can write. That my pictures elicit a heart felt response in people, that there is magic there. That the healing that I’ve felt my way through is what many are looking for and that, despite lack of formal training, I am incredibly well prepared to offer that help.


So. This blog will be a journal of sorts. A record of the next leg. Likely more images than words as I begin – I’m writing a book of my stories and will have to see if I’m brave enough to share them here!

More than anything, it will be a transmission of what makes my heart sing, directly to your own precious heart.


Thanks for joining me. I’m truly blessed by your presence.