Memorial Day Musings from The Beach

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Salty and tropical sunscreen scents permeated the air. The sand scorched the bottom of my feet as we walked toward the water. But it didn’t matter because my family surrounded me. I smiled as my father-in-law gently asked the man about where we should sit. We unfolded towels and secured the aqua and metal lounge chairs. Zoe, Alec, and their cousins shed watches and wallets. The frothy ocean awaited. Palm fronds swayed as the wind blew through them. I watched and listened while I searched for shells. Orangish-brown seaweed shrouded the beach. And speaking of shrouds, today is Memorial Day. … Read More

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The Present of Presence

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For Mother’s Day, I rarely want anything material. Although I express this annually, my family does not always listen to me. Yesterday they did. My kids and husband know how deeply I cherish connection. And I am grateful they honored my request to visit a place that is a sanctuary of memories. I silently thanked the sky for its baby blue canopy and scattered marshmallow clouds. My heart had yearned for this moment for years. After grabbing our water and sunscreen, the four of us walked toward the entrance of Fairchild Tropical Gardens. The camera bag, which usually weighs heavily … Read More

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Living With Grace: Don’t Take Things Personally

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How often have you heard “don’t take things personally?” In theory that seems simple and seamless. However, truly living and loving through such a neutral lens is challenging. Don Miguel Ruiz wrote, “Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”  When Ruiz published his guidance in “The Four Agreements,” I honestly retreated to my skeptical, analytic space. I processed and pondered this notion … Read More

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The Missing Pendant

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Snap. Crackle. Pop. As the altitude shifted, my ears felt like Rice Krispies sloshing in a bowl of milk. The pilot didn’t announce the descent. But my body signaled it was time to fasten the seatbelt.      I yawned. I slid my jaw from side to side. I swallowed gargantuan gulps of water. Ah! Muffled sounds became clearer, and I sank back into the seat. Suddenly I felt a strange sensation on my chest. Then I heard a muted thud.  Glancing down at my neck, I gasped in shock. My pendant was missing! The black, double cord still hugged … Read More

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A Swing, A Slide, and a Playground Ride

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I watched Alec, Zoe, and my niece and three nephews chase each other. A cloud of beige dirt swirled around them as they frolicked. Some of the kids chose the swings while others explored the metal, abstract play structure.    The freedom and joy of their youth inspired me. Giggles, chatter, and squeals of delight formed wind chimes of childhood. After fifteen minutes, I stopped taking photos and decided to join my family.      A brisk breeze kissed my face. I leaned back, pumped my legs, and the sky seemed to wink at me. I felt like a young … Read More

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From Sorry To Gratitude

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Words matter more than we often realize. A word’s meaning has a horizon as vast as a smoldering sunset. Of course there are the literal, dictionary definitions. But today I am referencing how tone, intention, and context color an canvas of letters.       When I read a message that resonates for me, I post it on social media with the hope it may touch another soul. Yesterday I experienced a sun shower of comments. I had another topic for today’s blog percolating in my mind.    However, after realizing the impact of yesterday’s  post, you all inspired this piece! … Read More

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The Space Between

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The waiting IS the hardest part. Tom Petty, the late musician, nailed it when he wrote those lyrics. Today, as I waited, I pondered this annoying but inevitable part of life. It causes anxiety. It festers frustration. And it just generally gets people agitated. I thought about this topic while waiting to board a plane recently. We spent the additional money on “extra space,” which included allegedly “even more speed.” My husband does NOT like to wait. So while we waited, I chose to watch the fascinating, diverse behavior of those who surrounded us. Although we thankfully breezed through a … Read More

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My Ear Wept When I Could Not

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Does your body ever build a dam that blocks your emotions from flowing freely? Or perhaps it is our mind’s reservoir that floods with fear? Emotions lodge themselves in my physical body like boulders that refuse to budge. I have friends who cry with such ease, and I marvel at their fluidity. In recent years, I’ve shared some personal, sensitive stories. These dear ones cried the tears I wish I could access. In my blog post, “The Healing Power of ‘BEing’ Quiet,” I wrote about this and more. ==>Here is the link:https://daralevan.com/the-healing-power-of-being-quiet/ So why am I revisiting this tender topic? … Read More

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