Sunday, January 27, 2013


There are days when it's easy to see the life, light, and beauty in the things and people who are a part of your journey. Today was one of those days and it was right on time.

It started with rest. I went to bed last night and didn't set an alarm. I decided to sleep until I woke up. (I love that phrase.) I have not been getting a lot of good sleep recently. The 8.5 hours of blissful, heavy, dream-laden sleep felt glorious. So glorious that I stayed in bed another hour to just bask it in.

I was so enjoying a restful start to my Sabbath that the thought of going to church made me cranky. I did not feel up for sitting alone, exchanging pleasantries, or singing songs. I was not interested in a sermon or announcements or The Lord's Prayer. Full Disclosure: I wanted a day to just be.

But I'm a good Nazarene which means I have guilt/shame about missing church if I'm not throwing up or in the hospital. So I went. And I sat by myself. And I sang some songs. And I listened to the sermon. And I struggled. I disagreed. I held tension for a space in me that's vibing with several different beliefs and practices. A space that is happily co-existing. A space I really like. But this space was not really honored today inside the walls of the church. And that's okay. Because my community extends beyond those walls anyway. And because we took the Eucharist which always redeems even my most cynical of days. And it turns out I really do love that Lord's Prayer.

I enjoyed a nice lunch with my mom. She's been MIA for most of January and it was nice to catch up with her and reconnect. I'm so proud of the work my mom is doing in her own life. She's working on herself and challenging herself in ways I never thought she would. It makes my heart sing to see it. I saw beauty in the words she shared with me over a meal.

Later this afternoon I got to go to a super special 4 year old boy's birthday party. It was a simple party made up of friends and family and a Spiderman bouncy-house. (Awesome. Duh.) I got to catch up with several friends I haven't seen in a while. I got to play. I got to do somersaults in a Spiderman bouncy house. I even got some baby snuggles complete with baby snores. I heard beauty in the laughter of little kids and the conversations of my friends. I saw beauty in their smiles and the light in their eyes that told me they remembered what it was like to be a kid.

To finish it off, I got to take my beloved friend Mandy out for dinner and drinks. Mandy is responsible for introducing me to yoga. She's responsible for teaching me how to "live the practice." She's given me the language of intention and mindfulness. She's also traveled through my darkest days and carried the light on my behalf. We connect on a soul-level. I love her guts. Tonight we got to catch up and look back at our friendship and just be together. It was beautiful. It reached a tipping point when she was sharing about an act of kindness that a friend is doing for her as she prepares to move to Holland in March. I became completely overwhelmed. Mandy exudes goodness and kindness and mindfulness. She has given me so much and she is worthy of every good thing that is coming her way. We sat and cried together about the faithfulness and love of the community that has supported her on her journey the last 3.5 years. It was a ridiculously beautiful moment for both of us. One that's made me cry several more times tonight as I reflect on her presence in my life and am excited about her future. I witnessed beauty through the vulnerability and brokenness in another human being.

So that's it. My heart is overflowing with gratitude as I sit with all the beauty I got to be a part of today. From rest to mothers to bouncy houses to soulmates: beauty is everywhere. Namaste.

Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 Intentions

A bit late, but these still count. Duh, I make the rules around here.

No phone whilst driving.  Like I did with soda, I needed this intention to be tied to someone so I would actually do it. This is a shout-out to you, Jason Smith! You have my permission to hold me accountable. I've gotten too good at justifying using my phone while driving.

No honking. Chill out. Unless you're trying to avoid an accident, be patient with your fellow drivers.

No gift cards. It doesn't take that much more effort to choose a gift that shows someone you really know them. No cop-outs.

Get back to paper and pen. I haven't used a journal since around D-word time. That doesn't mean I haven't written anything, I just haven't been steady about journaling. A couple of weeks ago, after finding a stack of 20 sticky notes with quotes and reminders of books to read or songs to download or articles to check out, I went and bought a small journal. I want to get back to using my hands to write and not type.

Finish Strong. I graduate in 330 days. (10 months and 26 days. BOOM.) I want to be proud of my graduate school career. It's a little easier to remain focused this time around since I'm pretty close with Sallie Mae and we're going to get even closer after I'm done. I want to look back at this investment in my future and know that I took it seriously and my efforts reflect that.

Surrender. I'm at an interesting place in my journey. It's a good place. A place I've worked really hard to reach. And now I'm being faced with some pretty huge things.  I think the most challenging thing for me is to lean into the future and its possibilities. To give myself over to some of the risks I've taken and trust that things will either work out or they won't. And either way, I will still be Cara.

Take care of yourself. I can already tell this year is going to go fast and it's going to be a challenge to make sure I still take time for myself to work-out, to breathe, and to celebrate life with my friends.

No Taco Bueno. If you didn't know, dear blogosphere, I love Taco Bueno. And I have ordered the Mexi Dips and Chips on every visit except 5. Ever. Since I can remember. I'm making an effort to do no fast food, but wanted to start with something specific. Fast food would be defined as anything with a drive-through and/or serves anything fried. Working towards that!

Spend more time being present in your life than a presence on social media. Yea. Get over yourself. 

That's all I've got. Cheers to 2013 and mindfulness!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


“Be at war with your vices, 
at peace with your neighbors, 
and let every new year find you a better man.” 
— Benjamin Franklin