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The Passing Of A Beautiful Spirit With An Untamed Heart

The Passing Of A Beautiful Spirit With An Untamed Heart


Events of late have me pondering the paradoxical elements running deeply within my family. Everyone has some wildness, weirdness and hyper intuition but may not elevate these qualities to the degree my family has. This hyper intuition present in all instances and I wonder how women managed to foster unconditional love within this uniqueness without losing themselves entirely in the process.


After much thought, I find I have come full circle: puzzled, awestruck, bemused and a bit afraid. There is much to live up to when placing myself aside those that have lived flawed lives while shining their soul so brightly. On most days, I just want to hide in a self made cave, sipping tea and reading a good book. The world can be far to intimidating and my home feels safe.


How does a women balance a gentle spirit with the constant calling of an untamed heart, a persistent wanderlust for people, place and thing? On a good day, I feel torn by my somewhat ferocious desire to make a difference in the world and the gentle spirited voice that wants to love with abandon, residing in a safe zone of warmth and kindness.


It takes great courage to break with one’s past history and stand alone.”

-Marion Woodman


Hearing the stories of my Grandmother Charlotte’s colorful life only fuel my desire to find a way forward. No matter how one interprets her life in review, there is no doubt that she did it her way. I always admired that she never tried to be anything but herself. In doing so, she had a unique ability to accept others as they were showing up, foibles and all. Even though one could absolutely say she was feisty with an inner fire that burned with a palpable heat, I never experienced a moment with her in which I did not feel seen. She captured my attention, locking in like a missile by speaking to whatever was in my heart. She never shied away from difficult things, at least not with me. Her blunt honesty delivered with a larger than life smile was appreciated more than I believe I ever let her know.


I often wonder if my life trajectory would have been different if I had known her earlier. She and her sister Frieda spoke to me, my gypsy spirit, in a way that others did not. Meeting her was jarring in that I saw someone living in a way that inspired yet frightened me. She had a loving partner who honored her uniqueness and the two of them seemed to exist in a self made bubble of recognition.  Wherever Charlotte was, so too was Wilton.  Two of the same, yet different sides of a coin. She was outgoing and vivacious, he quiet and introspection. I just can’t fathom one without the other.


One thing that remains is the endless wells of generosity I witnessed in Charlotte. She healed wounds in our family that only a child of adoption could know. My mother found a mirror in Charlotte and together they walked through the remainder of Charlotte’s life loving, learning and leaning on one other. No other example of unconditional love stands as profound as this. We gained another grandmother and she gained a daughter with a very loving extended family. In losing her, it brought into focus just how special relationships are and how fortunate it is to connect with another on any level.


“Death is our friend, precisely because it brings us into absolute and passionate presence with all that is here, that is natural, that is love.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke


I feel the space that she left and hope that in some small way, by living my life on my own terms, I honor that space. I hope to be able to add something positive to my environment, connecting with others in my own careful yet spiritual way. People talk to me and I believe this is a gift that grandma Charlotte passed along. I may not always welcome it, but maybe that is not the point. Maybe the point is how others honor me by sharing their stories. Each time someone opens up in a personal way, I try to honor this sharing while providing some comfort for whatever may be troubling them. I try to exchange energy in the most gentle and loving of ways and in doing so I am the recipient of their bravery, resilience and love. In this way my untamed heart is set free from the fear of living such a non-traditional way. In this way I am the lucky one.


Charlotte is pure light now and privy to all of the beauty and majestic wonder of this spectacular universe. She is everywhere yet nowhere, ever expansive and limitless, she is pure unadulterated love. Peace, blessings and light to her on this next chapter of her journey. I hope to carry with me a small spark of her fire that she so lovingly tended and shared with others.


Be Soft. Do Not Let The World Harden You

Be Soft. Do Not Let The World Harden You

Moving about this world with a gentle heart is being caught in a constant tornado of emotion. Feeling everything and everyone and unsure of what to do with this energy can leave one unsettled and anxious. It is a disequilibrium of the emotional sort, a momentary jolt of imbalance and unease. Many who experience this feeling chose to hide this part of themselves. While it surely feels safer to move about in a protective shell that repels unsolicited energy, this only lessens the rawness of living by dulling the senses and avoiding the collision of souls necessary for growth.


Being gentle by its very nature requires a softening in life, a loving and gentle approach to all situations no matter how difficult.  It is a state of feeling separate or apart but at the same time completely one with all else. It is in the seeing and feeling of others that we are able to use this softness by listening, loving and being with those that are in need. It is also in the seeing of the hardness of the world, that we may find our calling and passion.


“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place”

Iain Thomas


As one who has lived this way for some time, I humbly offer this insight in the hopes that it will be of some comfort for others who may be struggling with finding their voice.


You will be called sensitive, weak and quiet a million times over all the while knowing that you are none of these things. You are in fact strong, smart and capable.  It is in your manner that others feel compelled to place false labels. They are labels that represent the others feelings of inadequacy, do not claim them. Do not take what is not yours, it never was.


Never mind what others are telling you and disregard the static, it is only noise. The world is in desperate need of more gentle hearted people. Whether it is at work, home or in a social circle, those that move softly even when challenged are needed more than ever. Do not let others tell you that in order to be heard you must be loud or assertive. This is an untruth and cruelty to your nature. Do not let this world make you hard and callous. Others will try, ignore them. They may be wounded, hurting and are deserving of love. Love them, even if they do not love themselves.


When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.

Saint Francis de Sales


Let people in. Do not be afraid to love and share your heart with another. Allow the beloved to protect you, to embrace you and to “see” you. Yes, you are strong and will be fine on your own, but you can also grow tenfold when loving deeply. Expand your energy, let it live. No one can extinguish your flame without permission, do not give it.


Finally, accept what has been given to you without condition. You may not understand it now, but your gentle heart will uplift and heal many. Let it breathe, openly without judgement. Feel and be seen. At times it will hurt, be painful and heavy, but it will most often be joyous, beautiful and expansive. Live for those moments and let your heart lead in all matters. It is your guide, your true north. Trust that all will be well.