In honor of Valentines weekend, I thought I would share a poem I wrote a few years back. It is a compilation, inspired by many people that I love. I read it again this weekend and felt really grateful. 
How I love you.
I love you in sudden bursts that come upon me mysteriously.
Your ghost passing through.

Today I loved you as I made a salad
in your big yellow mixing bowl.

How I love you.
I love you in starts and stops.

But fully always.

You are my hero and sometimes a stranger.
So familiar yet so foreign.

Today I love you with practicality,

the only language that you speak.

How I love you.

I love you because you’ve taught me what home is.

I love you as my chosen family.

My greatest teacher.

My closest confidant.

I love you as my own heart.

You’ve ruined me for others

with your wisdom and grace,

wildness and vulnerability.

Today I love you in a lax dinner

tomorrow in an enlightening brunch.

In between bites of wonder, joy, pain and regret.

I love you in the sweet dessert

of being seen and heard.

How I love you.

I love you in the echoes of yesteryear bouncing off the walls of today.

Today I love you as I listen to you postulate.
The same words in a different decade.

How I love you.

I love you in your mystery and courage.

A Picasso of shattered pieces, forming a whole.

Today I love your softness that you feel you need to protect.

How I love you.

I love you like a baby bird and an eagle.

With gentleness and awe.

The dichotomies.

We are opposites, you and I.


Today I love you in my frustration and adoration.

How I love you.

I love you in a way that can’t be quantified.

A shared history.  A part of me.

Your sardonic wit, masking pain.

Bringing light unbeknownst to yourself.

Today I love you in your son’s laughter.

How I love you.

I love you in strained ways.

Compassion and anger are a humbling combination.

And then I release.  I release.

And am flooded.

Doing the best you can.

Doing the best I can.

Today I love you in your cologne and squeezes.

How I love you.

I love you for your sacrifices.

For diving in.

Today I love you as an unlikely role model.

How I love you.

I love you in our shared school of surrender.

A sugarcube in hot water.

Bit by bit dropping off

tragically and beautifully

until all that is left
is sweetness.
I go among trees and sit still
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
Where I left them, asleep like cattle...

Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
And the fear of it leaves me.
​It sings, and I hear its song.

​- Wendell Berry
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.”
​- Joseph Campbell
"If we can’t give in to courage and let ourselves feel the sweet ache of being alive, our wings will never open."
— Mark Nepo 
So Much Happiness

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness. 
With sadness there is something to rub against, 
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth. 
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up, 
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change. 
But happiness floats. 
It doesn't need you to hold it down. 
It doesn't need anything. 
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing, 
and disappears when it wants to. 
You are happy either way. 
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house 
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust 
cannot make you unhappy. 
Everything has a life of its own, 
it too could wake up filled with possibilities 
of coffee cake and ripe peaches, 
and love even the floor which needs to be swept, 
the soiled linens and scratched records….. 
Since there is no place large enough 
to contain so much happiness, 
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you 
into everything you touch. You are not responsible. 
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit 
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it, 
and in that way, be known.

- Naomi Shihab Nye

This morning I would like to introduce you to the poetry of Andrew Heffernan (if you are not already familiar). He is a dear friend and the husband of Heidi Rose Robbins, whose poetry I have also featured on the blog. I was in a writing class with Andrew and was continually blown away by the way he weaves together images. His poetry moves like the lens of a camera - a glorious wide angle, then suddenly zooming into the tiniest detail that takes your breath away, then back out - with a new understanding. In addition to being a creative writer, he is also a fitness writer, a speaker, a Feldenkrais practicioner, an actor (and a clown!), and a personal trainer. He is the one who kicks my a** (while making me laugh) in a boot camp class he teaches in Glendale each Saturday morning. Do join us! Find out more about Andrew (including more poetry) here: But in the meantime, take a deep breath, nestle in, and read this: 


We all walk in.
Without the slightest idea
Of what this will take.
An aisle.
Two families come in, one goes out.
Stillettos crush rose petals
The bride
Anointed, perfumed, adorned
A goddess, a gift.
We talk about God or we don’t.
We make vows.
We break a glass or we don’t
We toast.
She was wild.
He was lazy.
She was driven.
He was conservative.
She dated a convict.
He woke up drunk on someone’s yard.
We cut the cake.
We dance as generations watch,
Crocodile Rock and Brown Eyed Girl.
We lift the bride and groom on chairs.
We cross ourselves.
Throw flowers
Festoon the bedroom.
Whisper what was wrong.
Who was jealous.
Who was there
That she had slept with
Who was there
That he had a crush on.
​It should have been me.
It should have been her. 
Dad came.
Dad didn’t come.
Dad came drunk.
Dad brought his new girlfriend.
It’s her wedding day,
Couldn’t he just
For one single day.
And she handled it all so well.
She looked so beautiful.
Her sister looked miserable.
His mother looked tense.
The promise of that day.
The crown prince and princess.
Disappointing wedding sex..

Apartments, houses, jobs.
Money problems.
A leaky roof.
You work and make partner
You work but don’t make partner.
You never work, and never make partner. 
Your painting sells.
Your painting doesn’t sell.
You give it to your mother.
You get the job you wanted.
The woman you hate gets the job you wanted.
You get the part.
You don’t get the part.
The part goes to a name.
And hasty sex
And messy living room
And toys and kids
One boy one girl.
So fragile.
Like the glass.
Like your foot on the glass. 

And longing looks from coworkers
Wondering if you should, or might you,
If the time was just right or just wrong,
Could you live with yourself?
And what are the rules we’re dealing with here anyway?
I’m not supposed to have female friends?
I can’t text my friend who happens to be a guy?
We never dated, I never slept with him,
Maybe once a lifetime ago.
And you’re still thinking about him,
I married you, didn’t I?
And counseling.
I think we’re making progress here.
That’s all the time we have this session,
Why don’t we look at the calendar
And see when you can come in by yourself
And she can come in by herself
So we can work through these issues apart and together.

The bonds of marriage are blood.
Or tissue paper.
Or rusted iron.
Or silk cuffs,
And your home is a pleasure dome
Or a prison
Or a carnival ride.
Or a madhouse.
And maybe the kids need braces
And you talk to your son’s teacher
About behavioral problems
Or your daughter’s teacher about self-esteem issues
And are there problems at home?
At night you might cry together
Over how this isn’t what you planned
And maybe you won’t touch each other for weeks
And the space between you in bed becomes an abyss
And maybe you both start turning your attention to the kids
Because you think that looking in that face again might blind you. 

And you walk that aisle eyes wide shut,
Say no I won’t do this,
And yes I will do that, and
And maybe you have to get drunk beforehand
And make your vows into jokes
Then sign your name,
As if your name could save you 
As if the maelstrom of you
Could be contained in letters
Through all that
Even you knew what you were promising.
That no matter who we become and who we create,
I open all my doors to you
And I will say yes to you
And all your combustible wildness
And the endless
Shedding of skin after skin
Turning ourselves inside out over and over
Like the planet Venus
A new surface every million years
No cell of us surviving
And through all that I say
All that is what I say yes to
All that is what I vow to protect
All that is what I give this body to
This body that will fall to dust before us.

And when you finally dare to look in that face again,
It’s like cool summer rain
It’s a dam bursting
Over insatiable earth
And you’re crying beneath that rain,
Wet skin beneath each others’ hands.
And maybe your mother said
That married people are like oxen yoked together
But I say you and I are like
Fireflies dancing together on a summer’s night. 





"'How can I bring heaven to earth every single day? If you ask that question, the universe will answer it."

- Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith


"When your love is not just a desire for the other, when your love is not only a need, when your love is a sharing, when your love is not that of a beggar but an emperor, when your love is not asking for something in return but is ready to only give - to give for the sheer joy of giving - then add meditation to it and the pure fragrance is released. That is compassion; Compassion is the highest phenomenon."

- Osho


"Take hold of your own life. See that the whole existence is celebrating. These trees are not serious, these birds are not serious. The rivers and the oceans are wild, and everywhere there is fun, everywhere there is joy and delight. Watch existence, listen to the existence and become part of it."

- Osho


"There is a voice that doesn't use words. Listen." - Rumi