Does Love really have this Power?

I have You

I have You

The other morning things were not going well for my stepson which translated into a less than positive dynamic in our household. Things have been building for some time and it has taken all of my skills and awareness to match the level of his struggles.

After the crisis settled, my stepdaughter’s friend called and she was at an outdoor venue near our home. I grabbed our dog for a walk and told my stepdaughter I would walk over with her so she would not have to go alone. Plus I wanted to decompress after the “adventures” with my stepson.

As we were walking, I jokingly sighed and said to my stepdaughter, “Do you ever wonder with all that goes on if one day I am just going to quit?”

She stopped and turned to me and said, “Never. You love us too much.”
Sometimes, I am not so confident with the stepparent/stepchild dynamic and it is an exhausting process on a mental/emotional/ and dare I say, financial level.

But do you have any idea how powerful it must be for a child to see love in his or her life so clearly displayed that they have no fear that it will be taken away or leave them?

In the fatigue of the day, in the wearing down of moments both large and small, you can wonder if your power of love is transcending you as you hoped it would.

Somehow my stepdaughter showed me on that day that my message of love (which I wished was stronger on some days) was getting through.

She has a love she trusts will never leave her. How beautiful is this?

This is How a Woman does TRUE BEAUTY

True Beauty

True Beauty

Oh, you may label Her
with your biting tongue and snake-like ways

You may label her “ugly” with teeth “too big”
You may speak of her ears, as if she could not hear

And oh, that skin, with a hue that never wins
You will belittle her in your mean-spirited ways

But what, what will this woman hear?
Not a word that you hold so dear

For She is a woman of True Beauty
where words have no meaning

blinded as we are by the
Light of Her Being.

I LOVE this little character. She is a sign to me, after having my character and Spirit “attacked” (as if that could happen) by my stepchildren’s mother, that we should never fear our Light and our Light shines through no matter what.

A woman of True Beauty can take on it all and transform it. You can sling mud-filled words at her and she will stand firm trusting in her own light.

A month or so ago I wrote on this blog that I am beginning to see myself (in a healthy way) as a mother to my two stepchildren. I am finally honoring the energy I give to them as “mothering” energy. Once I made that awareness and in a sense formed a contract with myself to honor this energy, I realized that in situations such as this, I want to show my stepchildren how a woman of True Beauty handles something like this.

I want them to understand that no matter what someone tries to do to you, that you have the power to choose, to stand up for yourself and embrace your own Beauty. No one, and I mean, no one can take this beauty away from a woman true to her power.

Many would not find a llama particularly beautiful- but look at her in this picture- she does not know this. Her light is so bright- you see it first. She does not hide. This act of Being one’s Light is the the act of True Beauty of which we all seek.

When I looked up llama symbolism, I came across this “You are reminded to view yourself with compassion and love.”

A woman of True Beauty lives this for she knows she is the Goddess incarnate and nothing could be more beautiful.
This image came to me in a strange way. I was in my yard and looked across the field at a tree/bush. I looked and I thought “Wow, it can’t tell if it wants to be a llama or a peacock.” So I drew both.

I also told my husband this story and he said, “Wow! It’s a llama-cock.” (Proving to me one’s again there is a part of male humor that never moves past the age of 12 🙂 ).

A Portrait In Spirit

Lion Amongst Us

Lion Amongst Us

Spirit will use any means necessary to help us understand how wonderful the energy of life is.

The above picture is my current version of our family portrait.

Family and home have always been very important to me. The older I become, the more of a drive I realize this is. I became a college professor vs. working in industry for the simple reason I wanted more time at home. I had also at that point envisioned having 4 children and I wanted to be there for them.

Families and home, as we know, carry so much energy and power within them. They can be at once uplifting, joyous and one of the more tangible ways of coming to know love. They can also be frightening, tension-filled, and chaotic.

We do a very poor job in this society painting realistic views of families and family dynamics.

In this current portrait, I believe I am the ant with her Heart upon her back. Ants as totems, of course, represent hard work and diligence. As most of you know, I have put my heart and soul into creating a good home environment for my husband and stepchildren.

Ants symbolize to us that we are architects of our domains. Things may not happen overnight, but each brick we lay down serves as contribution to the life we are living.

According to Spirit Animals website the following sayings can be attributed to the ant:

“You are stronger than you think! Sure things are tough right now but KNOW you will soon be reaping the rewards of all your hard work.”

If you see yourself also as the ant with your Heart upon your back, this totem should give you hope. Things may not change over night, but every step you spend building your dream will pay off in the end.

The ant is crawling towards a bee hive. Bees and their hives are highly symbolic. They represent family and community and with their hexogonal honeycombs, they represent love and union. The bee and its hive represent domestic stability, wholesome child-rearing and harmony.

The hive is the home I hope to have.

The hive is protected by a lion-like creature. I purposely drew the face a little different. It’s a bit more heart-shaped, and the face is more questioning than the normal self-assured posing of most lions.

And as I sat and titled this image, only then, did I understand the lion represented my husband. My husband is a Leo, through and through, by the way. Always well-dressed, with a mane of hair that I have always referred to as “anchorman’s hair.” He can be King of the Jungle in all the best ways.

However, my husband recently began a new job and although it is going well, the King of the Jungle is feeling a little bit less than confident with all the changes afoot.

His job change has also substantially affected his time at home and his time with his children. Thus, we see him with his energy protecting the hive (home), as it is important to him, but he does not know what to do in regards to new job, changing children, and the changing home dynamic.

I place a winged-snake as the lion’s tail, to symbolize all of this awakening energy within him.

Lions are very strong solar symbols, speaking of hope and light. Thus, I drew the mane more solar-like in appearance.

And the clock on the right is a play on a grandfather’s clock (symbol of home) with an egg as the clock face. I think we would be well-served to have all clock faces egg-shaped. Eggs speak of transformation and newness and that is what time should represent to us.

Certainly, this represents my family at the moment. A new place of being waiting to emerge.

Spirit signs and symbols cross all boundaries. Above is my interpretation of a dynamic currently affecting my life, but I wonder as I look to this image, where are you today?

Are you the ant carrying the glory and hope of your dreams upon your back?
Do you believe every step you take is bringing one step closer to your dream?

Is something in your life represented by the egg in the clock? Currently, it is kept safe and sound, but is there something awaiting to hatch as time ticks by?

Maybe you are the bee hive today- a place of love and union. You feel secure and in that security you can be a home to others seeking a place to manifest their dreams.

Or are you the lion? King of the Jungle, smart and proud, but also a little concerned. What are you, with your beastly ways, protecting? Are you letting your solar mane shine your light or are you hiding?

So You Made a “Mistake” and Showed You are Human

Monkey Mind

Monkey Mind

So, if you are like me, you showed yourself to be human once or twice in the past week.
Maybe you said something you regretted, maybe your actions were not in accordance with your highest ideals.
No matter.

You are human and within this human-ness you are giving the ultimate gift- the ability to live and experience.

We would all love to aspire and achieve the Divine standard which we see displayed in the tapestries of our lives. Yet, here and there, a rogue string springs into the weaving and we think to ourselves, “This is not who I long to be.”

In Buddhism, the “monkey mind” is discussed and I played with it in this picture. Here, the Monkey is stirring the deep waters of the mind. Sometimes the waters need some stirring up in our lives.

What we may believe to be mistakes and errors, may simply be movements of the mind into a new way of Being.

In picture, the central energetic column, the sushumna, is shown in yellow. This is the route for awakening our awareness. And there the monkey sits, the parts of ourselves, in my mind, that make us human, stirring the waters, calling for our growth.

Through it all, as the waves we stir up come crashing along the shore, red horns (symbolic connections with the Divine) protect us and help us reach for the stars.

I created this image for my stepson. We all have days when we feel “less than human” and wonder how our actions came to be so “off”.

God works in mysterious ways. When you have shown yourself to be human, just think, the monkey was stirring the pot calling up some movement.

Interestingly, a Hindu deity exists in the form a monkey, known as Hanuman. For some he symbolizes the “animal man” in each of us, who through devotion and surrender, purifies himself.

How a UPS delivery man showed me: God’s Love or The Darkness, I can Choose

Janus Tree

Janus Tree

I get to choose and so do you each and every day. Will I follow the light of God’s Love (however you define that to be) or suffer in the darkness of anger and pain?

Yesterday, I was presented this beautiful choice so clearly.

As I posted yesterday, I had a revelation about being a stepmom and my sense of mothering.

This awareness was one of the largest changes I had sensed in some time. I was just getting used to the feeling of it and appreciating everyone’s support after I had posted the blog.

Still in my haze of love, I heard the UPS man on our porch and ran out to the get the package. He looked up at me and said, “You surprised me. No one is usually home. ” And I said, “It’s just a strange day. I am lucky to be home so early.”

As I turned to walk inside, what he said next stopped me in my tracks. He called out to me as he got into this truck, “Well, have a great Mother’s Day this weekend.”

Someone said this to me, Kim Harding. Biologically, mother to no one. In her heart though, learning to be mother to two stepchildren.

Over the years, hardly anyone has acknowledged Mother’s day for me. ANd here was a UPS man (a deliverer from God in my mind that day) wishing me the sentiments to further ground my new found awareness in myself as a mother.

God will use any means to give us signs and symbols along our journeys. The symbolism of a UPS delivery man is not lost on me. (He is going to be getting a nice thank you note, Sbucks card from me, that is for sure!)

So that was my morning. Later I had to hurry to go pick up my stepdaughter from school. She is with her Mom these weeks, but I wanted to celebrate her last day of school before a big school trip the next week. She was really excited.

When I picked her up, I asked her where she wanted to go. She hemmed and hawed. Finally, I said, let’s go the mall (we have a very small one in town). We never do that. She didn’t say much. I pulled into the mall, first one parking spot wouldn’t work and then another wouldn’t ( I have no ability park in tight quarters.) Finally, we were set.

Before I could put the car in park, she looked at me and said, “Oh my Mom and brother may be here getting their hair cut.”

I paused and I said, “Well, maybe we should not go here. I think your Mom hates me and would prefer not to see me. This is about us, so let’s go somewhere else.”

She looked at me and said, “Yeah. Let’s go somewhere else.”

I do not know why I used the word “hate” in my statement, except that is was probably energetically true. It saddened me (not for me, but for her) that my stepdaughter did not counter my word choice. Not that I expected her to, but it was a shocking awareness that her Mom has made it quite clear that she hates me.

Her Mom may feel this gives her some power over me or something, but it does not. My life continues on as it does, whether my stepchildren’s mother likes me, loves me or hates me.

What I am most struck with is what a horrible thing to teach a child- to hate someone. We only have one opportunity to raise “our” children. Hate should never be part of the lesson.

As for me, I saw within a 4 hour span, how I can choose the messages I receive. I chose to see God’s love for me and God’s support of what I try to do as a stepmother- delivered to me by a UPS delivery man.

And I will choose to see that hate has no place in my life or relationships.

The Blessing is in the Next Moment

Time Bubbles

Time Bubbles

You may wonder if any blessings are present in your life. You may look at your life, in its current condition, and sense fear, failure, frustration and more. And you will wonder if there is hope, somewhere, standing out side your door.

And then you will remember, because you can’t forget this completely, that the blessing is simply this-
One moment leads to the next.

Right here, right now, this moment is already budding forth the new.

One moment to the next, and All is once again anew with hope and potential.


I did this piece of art work last night. When I lecture in microbiology, there is one slide that shows yeast cells budding. And I think to myself, this is what each new moment in our life is like. It buds off of the earlier moment, but each moment is its own “cell” filled with potential.

Sometimes your art will outpace your life. It was prophetic that I did this art piece early last evening as I had an interaction with my stepdaughter.

We had accommodated her all weekend. She had friends over all evening Friday to work on a school project, again some on Saturday. I have to babysit my stepkids today and my stepdaughter began “directing” me that she would need her friends over again today.

I was firm but gentle, saying that was fine but only for 2-3 hours. We do not have a large house, and she and her friends had taken over for 2 days, A portion of the 3rd day would have to be enough. Of course she began screaming about this.

And I said to her, “Wait. You are not even noticing the blessings. We had your friends over for 2 days. We fed them several times. We bought you all of these supplies. And we will allow them to come over tomorrow but not all day.”

I continued, “You are missing the blessings of what you have been given and you choose to focus on your suffering.”

And I said, “Who is responsible for this sense of suffering you feel?”

And she looked up at me and said clearly, “You are, Kim.”

To say this did not hurt would be a lie. And I try not to lie to myself as much anymore. I give and give and give to these children, yet, still can be labeled by my stepdaughter, in particular, as the cause of her suffering.

If I am to continue with my honesty, this does not surprise me. Her mother is a narcissist, so what am I to expect with my teenage stepdaughter?

I realize all teenagers can be strongly self-centered and such so I also know it is her age. But, sometimes it all gets a little tiring.

So I write and I think and I create. And I tell myself, the next moment is the blessing and contained therein is the beauty I am seeking. 🙂

Can 5 minutes a day make a difference in my Stepkids’ Lives?

Carrying Her Heart in Her Eggs

Carrying Her Heart in Her Eggs

Spirit always feels hope. Where we see fear and concern, Spirit is determined and sees opportunity, not barriers. And because of this sense of Spirit, I have begun to hold a “Sacred 5 minutes” with each of my stepchildren per day.

The last line can be read literally. I find each of my stepchildren in a private time. I say to them “Want to do a sacred 5 minutes? We can just sit with each other. We don’t even have to talk”

I thought I would be met with resistance from them with this idea. So much so, that I bring my phone along and tell them I am setting the timer for 5 minutes. I feared that they would think they would be stuck in some long conversation.

Want to know what has actually happened? When I ask them “Want to do a sacred 5 minutes?”, they always stop what they are doing and say “Sure”. When the timer on my phone goes off, invariably they and I ignore it, continuing on with our conversation or my stepdaughter’s piano playing for me or my stepson’s reenactment of his favorite movie feature and so on.

I am not sure we have covered the most life-changing of topics. Yet, when I look back, I see how much we have shared in some ways.

It may seem funny and I wonder what can 5 minutes really do? But I do it.

Spirit, if anything, is an opportunist. And perhaps all it needs is 5 minutes to change my and my stepchildren’s lives.

5 minutes per day- perhaps that is all that Spirit needs.

School Portraits with Your God

Portrait with God

Portrait with God

What if your God is not as patient as you have been lead to believe?
What if your God is opposed to delayed gratification?
What if your God senses you as perfect- right here, right now?

Could you for one moment believe you are in the Kingdom of Heaven at this present time?

What if your God never meant for you to wait?
What if by sharing life with you, God already meant for you to understand you were in Heaven?
What if your God senses nothing in you that must change for you to “earn” your spot in Heaven?

What if, what if, what if…. we have been told everything wrong. Heaven is here and now and we already have our place in the Kingdom. Amen.

When I look at the picture above, I see a version of a school portrait. They must be on my mind, because we just received ours for the kids this year. We let my stepson choose the background for his every year. My favorite is the time he wore his orange T-shirt and then chose a red swirl background.

He loves this picture and even now, a few years after it was taken, will stop me in our hallway to point it out and ask if I noticed how he did his hair that day, because according to him, he spent at least 5 minutes in the bathroom “fixing” it that day.

When I saw these portraits, my mind ran to envisioning how God sees us. What portrait would appear when God looks upon us?

The image above actually came from a different sketch, but when I looked at it, I thought “this could be how we appear to God”. God sees us as all heart, already wearing the crown of Heaven, surrounded by the flames of life and Spirit.

And then there were Two…Blessings on a Friday Morning before 7 a.m.

Kim Tries to Figure herself out

Kim Tries to Figure herself out

In the spaces of our lives, sometimes the quiet hand of Heaven descends upon us and in that moment we are blessed. And like all blessings, the moment will contain a sense of hope, acceptance, love, peace, and awareness.

I had two such moments before 7 a.m. today.

My husband and I were laying in bed and he began to rub my back (this is not code for anything 🙂 ) and it all just felt so right. Do you know what I mean?

The temperature in the room was perfect, the bed felt soft, the light entering the early morning room was soothing and as he placed his hand on my back, I thought “This is what it is to be loved.”

The sense was not tied to a particular act or person (i.e. My husband must love me because he is rubbing my back.). No, it was more than this. The boundaries between myself (inside) vs. outside melted away in that moment and I felt free and encompassing with everything.

And that was Blessing #1.

And my mind drifted to my stepchildren and something my therapist had said at an appointment earlier in the week. For someone like myself, who has struggled with personal boundaries, an overactive empathetic center, and a “let me save everyone” approach to life, I have focused on keeping my appointments focused on me and not everyone else in my life.

Of course, though, my stepchildren do enter into our conversations. For years, I have wanted to have my stepchildren enter counseling. As several teachers and tutors have mentioned, they both could use it.

I have not wanted them to suffer as I have in life, and thought counseling would be a way for them to get some additional support and awareness. This not happened, primarily, because their biological mother is opposed to counseling for her children, seeing them as “fine”.

As I laid in bed this morning, I thought of what my therapist had said in regards to my stepdaughter. It was so insightful and astute.

And this was blessing #2. I finally (thank the Heavens, I am a bit slow) understood that my prayers had been answered. My stepdaughter was receiving the counseling she needed. Not directly, but indirectly through me. I could be this conduit for her.

They say God works in mysterious ways and our prayers are answered in the most unique of ways. How lucky and blessed am I on this day to finally understand and realize just how creative a loving God can be?

The picture is of my spinal column and the nadis surrounding it. Ida and pingala and an opening awareness- I hope 🙂

Yoga Girl Saves the World…Or How Miracles Work

Yoga Girl

Yoga Girl

I completed this picture to show how I feel the energy during yoga. Heart energy moves upwards from beneath me in order to support and bless me, while I outstretch my arms, forming my own heart, which moves the energy back out into the world.

It is just an additional layer of union which yoga is to represent.

When my stepson saw this, he commented that I look just like that while doing yoga, except for the face. I chose to do the face as the vesica pisces- the ultimate symbol of union.

The picture also speaks to how miracles transpire in this world. We are all miraculous, make no mistake about that. We induce miracles all the time and we are the recipients of miracles with equal frequency.

I want to speak about a three-fold miracle that recently involved my stepson.

One evening, while I was in my home office trying to grade, he came to “visit” me. He always wants to make sure I am not lacking for company. As typical, he jumped around the room, talking to me about his day. Except on this evening, the talk went on for a very long time and centered on school. One topic after another.

I could not make sense of some of it and finally asked several times if he would like me to contact his teacher. He kept assuring me that yes, he would like me to do this.

I wrote the teacher the following day and received a 10-paragraph e-mail in return. Those of you with children in school know what this means. My stepson was struggling on many, many levels.

And here is the three-fold miracle:

My stepson, although not able to articulate his concerns directly, knew he was in trouble. And knew he was in so much trouble that he needed help and he very directly sought this help through me.

I was willing to contact his teacher for him- in an honest manner. Years before, my stepson had a piece of paper that a parent was required to fill out. It went home with him to his Mom’s, but she never did complete it. He then brought it to our house and asked me to fill it out for him. So I did.

Later, his Mom saw my writing on the paper and went ballistic. She called my husband saying I had no right to fill out this form. In her narcissistic/bio Mom world, I may not have had the “right”, but on the spiritual plane, I had every “right” to help this child and I did.

The second fold of the miracle is that I trust myself, the world, and spirit enough to stand by my stepson and do what is best for him, no matter what ultimatums I have received.

And the third fold of the miracle is my stepson has a teacher who cares enough to write a 10-paragraph e-mail about him and follow through about her concerns.

All of this may be small to you, and quite honestly, insignificant to your day. But, I thought of this yoga image and how it represents the true transformative energy of miracles.

We work on ourselves. We give. We get. We give some more. We get some more. On and on and on – the energy of exchange of life.

Go do a miracle for someone today (and include yourself as a “someone”). Don’t belittle your act by labeling it “small”. Such exchanges of energy are never “small”. They are what makes the world go around- one miracle at a time.