i only cry once in a blue moon – and that is totally ok

the energies all around me are intense right now. intense good + intense intense. know what i mean? let me explain a bit.

my emotions are running on high today. they are right on the surface and i could not keep them stuffed inside, even if i wanted to. i’ve been bursting shoulder-shaking into sobs i don’t know how many times throughout the day. tears just start streaming down my face and a lump remains in my throat. there is an heavy aching + emptiness in my soul. and waves of complete sadness just wash over me from head to toe every now and then. i feel exhausted. like i am lugging weights + chains around with me as i shuffle my feet everywhere i may go. which has not been far today. i am also tired.  i awoke at 4 am and noticed that it was a beautiful sunrise, so i spent some peaceful time with myself for about 2 hours before falling back into a deep sleep, only to have then that experience when you realize that you need to wake yourself up because you are having a horrible nightmare. and that’s all just been today.


the 4am sunrise

mid-morning, my love + i walked with my brother to the train station to send him off as he heads back to the states today. this, of course, is a large source of my pain and anguish. my emptiness.

i’ve tried to process some things today, but i just can’t do it yet. however, i know that this melancholy, this  intense sadness, surfaces as such a strong emotion because there is much that is buried deeper, connected to it all. so, yes, my brother leaving is heart-wrenchingly painful. but, my intuition tells me that there is much, much more going on that stems from that. saying goodbye to my brother has just been the catalyst to set my emotions free. what it is, though, that is deep within me, i don’t really know. but, i feel it. and for right now, that is enough.

what i do know is that it has much to do with me living my truth, of me confronting my beliefs, my desires, my loves, my passions, my self, and how all of that is lived out in my life. 

it’s as if it’s all coming to a head now: will i step out and trust the shifts that are taking place, allowing myself to be launched out into a new, deeper, higher way of living? or will i sink back into the life that i have adjusted + adapted to? one that is wonderful, but does not let me live out my highest potential.

in the meantime, as my emotions have been building inside of me,  i haven’t been sleeping well. i’ve been moody, feeling filled with energy + totally lethargic as well. and, certainly, you understand now that my emotions have been seriously wacky today. there has been a release.

you know, it’s only once in a blue moon, though,  that i actually sob and let myself lose control of my emotions. but, i am going with it. because tonight we have a blue moon.

more importantly, it just feels right. i’m listening to my soul and letting my emotions just come leaking out of me. and it feels tough and exhausting, but cleansing at the same time. like i am preparing myself for something.

tonight is the second full moon in july. remember we had one back on july 1? it is this second full moon within one month that makes it a rare, powerful blue moon. and, aside from the obvious things that are making me feel sad (my brother leaving), this blue moon is, for me, happens to be on the day that my emotions have gotten the best of me.

no matter what, though, with the support of my loving wife by my side today, sharing her own tears with me, i know that i am in a safe place to just cry. and to allow myself to feel it today. to feel it all to the max. just to clarify, though, what i am feeling is not all sadness + emptiness, there are intensely high energy emotions as well. feelings of excitement + optimism, of unity + community, of love + complete overwhelmed joy. of anticipation + possibility. so, i’m just letting it all swirl around inside me.

because i know that my plethora of emotions are teaching me something. they are cleaning out my soul and giving me clarity about who i really am and who i want to be, of how to live my life in truth.


so, lovely people, i have no idea how you are feeling today. but, if your emotions seem to be on overdrive, chalk it up to the full moon: the rare, beautiful, powerful blue moon, which just may be giving us, through our emotions, a new sense of awareness, a new calling, and setting us up for a completely new, challenging, intense path in life. let’s let our emotions fill us with the energy to boost us forward.

try to catch a glimpse of that big, mysterious moon tonight and let her light fill you + push you + comfort you. let yourself be guided right into that place where you need to be, which is exactly where you are.

onwards + upwards! xo


meditation mondays: just start

hello, out there! i’m writing to you from a cozy spot on the sofa in my brother’s back apartment this morning. what that means is that we’re all moved out from our sweet little home + into our temporary asheville digs in the middle of downtown. we’ll be here until sunday – when we pile up in the car + drive to new york to fly out to sweden on monday. so, basically. one. week. left.


today, i feel much better than yesterday. yesterday, we hit our moving and emotional limits i think. lina had it a bit worse, i believe. it wasn’t that there was so much to do, it was that it was the ending of our home there. i suppose though, it all started with waking up + knowing that we had just spent our last night in our home. and then, it just got more + more challenging – emotionally.


but, we powered on through. and even set aside time for a yummy brunch at a favorite place with some good friends.


then, it was back to work. my brother took our bed to my parents’ place. we thought we’d keep the bed in storage… for that mountain cabin that we are going to get just as soon as we can afford it. yep. we dream big. we took a few loads of things to a donation station to give away. cleaned the apartment at my brothers. and then, we took the rest of everything that was left, out piece by piece, and we moved the cat over to this apartment with us.

we settled in last evening, all 3 of us, and just sat. stunned. exhausted. but, somewhat happy. zola explored her new little home, while lina and i sipped on beer, ate chips, and watched some things on our computers. then, we crawled into the bed. all of us. and passed out.


this morning, i woke, feeling freaked out and excited all at the same time. there are still a lot of errands to run, accounts to close, a car to sell, apartment keys to turn in. gaaaah. but, it’ll all work out and be ok. i stumbled across this quote this morning, and thought i’d use it as my meditation for this monday. and, i thought i’d also share it with you. so, whatever you are doing today. whatever you face. whatever you are beginning or ending or dreaming about, this is for you. all of you, out there. my dear readers.


start now. start where you are. start with fear. start with pain. start with doubt. start with hands shaking. start with voice trembling but start. start and don’t stop. start where you are, with what you have. just… start.

onwards + upwards! xoxo


let’s get this party started

well, time is moving quickly + there’s much to be done! my love + i returned home from washington, dc last night after a fantastic little holiday. the first thing we did was unpack our stuff, throw it all in the dirty clothes hamper, and then lit some candles + crawled into bed. we were super tired from a 10 hour trip by way of charlotte to drop off lina’s parents. but a little cozy time together was just what we need to wind down. we knew that this would be pretty much our last “normal” night at home, so we soaked it up.


this morning, we hit things full speed ahead. i got a tip about a job to apply for in sweden, so i got all wrapped up in preparing an application and my cv/portfolio for that, and then it was time to sort + organize + pack. it was a madhouse here. but, we got a ton done, and i’d say that we are in a pretty good place – packing-wise. my parents helped out greatly by getting us some lunch + my mom packed away some kitchen things i am saving at their place.

the packing went well, but my emotions have not gone so well. i had a meltdown at one point. tears have been common, as have been moments of panic inside of me – like i’m about to climbs the walls. i’m more than certain, however, even with my emotions all crazy, that this is the right move for us to make. even though it hurts so much.

i can feel big things bubbling beneath the surface, great moments + opportunities on the horizon, and a chance to grow + learn + become in ways that i cannot even begin to imagine.

when i feel totally overwhelmed, though, and need to remind myself of this security + excitement that i feel, it always helps for me to turn my eyes to the sky. and tonight’s sunset was exactly the reminder that i  needed after a wacky, busy day like today.

i’ll have to look at the sky a a lot over the nest 2 weeks, i believe.

tomorrow is when the shit really hits the fan, though. in the morning, bright and early, the movers come to inventory and package and take away all of the stuff we are shipping to sweden. i have to take zola the cat to the vet, and people come to pick up the furniture that they are buying. in the evening, though, we’re taking a little break to see our dear friends in concert here in asheville. local music. friends. beer. a perfect way to end another upcoming intense day. the rest of the weekend will be more packing of furniture that people come to get, moving over to my brother’s apartment, and turning in our keys here. but…. before we turn in our keys, we’re having one last big party in our practically empty apartment on saturday night. and i cannot wait.

so, with a little mixing of fun + business + sky-gazing, i am certain that i will make it through this weekend. but, it’s gonna be a super crazy one. guess i’ll be tapping into my word of the year a bunch over the next 3 days: feeling empowered!

here’s to wishing you a great weekend, friends!

onwards + upwards! xo

making me all weepy.

think of this post as a little celebration on a completely random day.

one year ago today, i wrote an important post (click here to read it). it may not have been important to anyone but me. but, nevermind that. it was one of those serendipitous days that occurs every so often when you just know that everything is right. when your soul is not whispering to you, but shouting with joy and you feel as if you might burst. a day when everything makes sense and life seems exactly as it should.

it was a very powerful day for me. a day where i realized that i was ready. ready to really chase my dreams. ready to accept and understand and move forward. ready to admit that i would never go back – i could never go back – to simply living my old, “regular” life, but i knew that it was time to embrace the calling and the feeling that i was meant to write. no matter what.

and while it made sense to me, how any of that would be possible, i had no idea. i knew that i was going to do it. i had no idea how, but i believed. lina and i were already committed to moving to asheville so that lina could follow her dreams, but this time last year, i embraced that this move meant that i would also be following my dream as well.

it was as if i gave myself permission to just jump. to take a leap of faith and risk it. and that’s what last year’s post was all about.

this week, Facebook turned 10 and they created little videos for users based on their photos and updates – things they had posted on Facebook since they first began using it. i joined Facebook in 2007, just a few weeks after meeting lina. and i actually joined so that lina and i could keep in touch. so, our entire relationship was based on a friendship started in sweden and developed through Facebook messages and webcam chats.


when i clicked on my little one-minute video to see what Facebook had created for me, i was brought to tears by the photos and words that appeared before my eyes. it was a collection of beautiful moments from the very beginning of our relationship to now, in addition to some great highlights of my family and other amazing memories. i was so touched by my little video, and it brought to mind this incredible journey that i have been on throughout the past year. well, actually the past seven years…

so, i just had to share it with you. i wanted to share it as a way of honoring my life and reminding me of how overwhelmingly grateful i am. i wanted to share it with you to “prove” to you that you can make your dreams come true, that it is possible to live the life that you dream of and to find your passion. and i wanted to encourage you to never give up.

i hope that you, too, can look back over your life, whether it be 10 years or 10 days, and find things to celebrate as well. but, more than anything, i wish for you to feel hope and excitement and peace as you look forward.

click below to watch the video:

 peace & love. xx

the way of the heart.

for the month of may, i decided that it would be fun to reflect a little on myself. who i am. what my personality is like. what i use the most in my life… my mind? my heart? my body? or my soul? do i engage all four of these parts of being human in my life, or do i neglect one of the areas? if so, why do i neglect it? well… i decided to do this little reflection and exploration in the form of a photo journey. and i invited y’all to join me.

and join me, you have! i have met new bloggers, new instagrammers, new artists in just one week and my inspiration cup is overflowing. you people are amazing! whether you are posting on twitter, your blog, or instagram, you are growing the belovelive photo journey into something even bigger this month… bigger than it’s ever been! we’ve all got so many more people to connect with. and i am so excited and humbled. what a gift this journey has already become.

by the way, if you have not yet joined in, there is still plenty of time left in may. so, just download and save the may photo a day challenge and begin snapping away. you can go back & do the heart words from days 1-8, or just pick up with the mind words beginning tomorrow. no biggie. you choose! it’s you’re journey, make it whatever you want.

week one of may’s journey of self discovery has been all about the heart. what touches your heart? what’s heavy on your heart? are you a heart person? do you live from your heart?

heart people are the lovers. obviously. if you live life from your heart, then you crave freedom, spontaneity, and emotions. you live in the moment. you laugh and enjoy life. you care about others and are most likely a people person – that doesn’t mean that you are an extrovert in my opinion. only that people, humans, are important to you. you’re passionate and independent. you’re moved by music and beauty. and you can be quite impulsive. how much of a heart person are you? how much am i?

the words for this week were all what i’d like to call “heart words”. they reflect the values and desires and passions of a person who lives life from their heart. it was my intention to use the heart words as a way to let my heart be active this week. to interpret the word prompts and be creative, and to see what touches my heart on a daily basis. i’ve come to the conclusion that i engage my heart quite often. i am quite an emotional person, and while my photos may not stir emotions for you, i guarantee that when i look back on these photos at a later date, i will remember exactly what emotions i felt when i snapped the shot. for me, being a heart person has now come to embody living a life where i feel what i feel. and there are so many things that happen within a day, within a week, that affect my emotions. but, i think that’s a good thing.

here’s a little snippet of what my heart felt every day during the first week of may.

1. selfie: we had to begin here. while a photo does not define or capture the essence of a person, it is a snapshot of who i am. and this photo reminds me exactly who i was, how i felt on this particular 1st day of may 2013.


2. feeling: when i took this picture i was feeling all kinds of emotions. someone had just come by the apartment to photograph it for the next renter…. i felt sadness, excitement, joy, fear, everything! it’s so crazy the adventures that await us!


3. spontaneity: an unplanned day at home with my love. we were both sick… like all week. ugh. but, it was cozy.


4. independent: i stared at this bird building her nest for at least an hour, watching her every move. delicate. strong. determined. living her purpose. i wrote a blog post on my little birdie friend the other day. you can read it here.


5. bliss: pink. blue. may. warm. need i say more?!


6. music: it was another beautiful, warm day, which means only one thing… it was a michael buble kinda day.


7. creative:  i spent some time browsing around one of my fave fair trade stores that sells unexpected, recycled goods made into new & funky designs. so smart. so caring. it’s important for us to love the earth… are ya with me?


8. friends: just 2 american friends having a mexican lunch in sweden. a little crazy fun in the middle of the day.


by the way, here are some of the fabulous bloggers who are participating this month:

pennies in the jetstream

the musings of a lesbian writer

a year of rejoicing

and here are some of the beautiful selfies from all over the world on instagram:

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if you would like to “meet” fellow bloggers or instagrammers, just leave me a comment and i will be sure to feature you in my next may photo a day post in a week! and make sure when you post to use the hashtag #bllphotoaday!

it was really good to get in touch with my heart this past week. to feel things. to find something to be passionate about and grateful for every single day. but, now, it’s on to part 2/week 2 of my self discovery…

my mind. hmm…

peace on your journey, my friends.

standing by the wall.

listen, folks. you wanna know what’s something amazing to do? something bucket list worthy? well, i’ll tell ya. it’s getting to stand beside and touch the Berlin Wall.

the wall came down 24 years ago, and I remembering watching coverage on tv, not understanding the magnitude of the event, but understanding that a new level of peace had entered our world. but there are parts of it that remain. and today, in the freezing cold air, i stood there. i put my hand on the graffitied wall, and felt years of history & heartache shoot through me. it was indescribable. i was in awe.

that is a moment i will never forget. ever.


It’s always the small people who change things. It’s never the politicians or the big guys. I mean, who pulled down the Berlin wall? It was all the people in the streets. The specialists didn’t have a clue the day before. ~ Luc Besson

peace, courage, & tolerance.

gray days.

the sun is shining today. but it most definitely was not yesterday. it was cloudy, cold, dark. on top of that, it was monday. and it just felt heavy. i felt gray, like the day. so, what did i find myself doing in the afternoon? making a playlist. it all started with one fairly depressing song that i heard as i walked to work. and then, i heard another one later on in the day. both of them were a little sad, dark, mysterious.

Här kommer natten/ Here comes the night
kall och underbart lång/ cold and wonderfully long
här kommer mörkret/ here comes the darkness
dape – dape -dape – da – da -da

~ Miss Li

and then i knew. my strategy for getting over my monday blues was to create a playlist of these kinds of songs. songs about the blues. song about cold, rainy, dark days. songs about loss & pain. perfect for curling up by myself. wallowing in my emotions. letting the music wash over me. letting myself feel some of the pain, sadness, and fear that exists – even in my world.

i have to say, this activity most definitely worked all of the gray monday blahs out of me. my spirits lifted as the day came to a close. i ended up going to dinner with my love & our friend, celebrating life, enjoying each other, laughing, and just being.

just goes to show, perhaps a good playlist can help you through your gray days.

dark & gray


[spotify id=”spotify:user:elre74:playlist:2U0V5YGpJe9Wzr3nDYCRZT” width=”300″ height=”380″ /]

here’s to wishing you the courage to be present in whatever moments you find yourself today. peace & love.

sometimes you just need to breathe.

 i need a little break from my ireland posts so i can slide in this little post about breathing. yoga. time for yourself. i went to my yoga class tonight, just sure that i’d not be able to relax, focus, and meditate because i have so much on my mind. there were some tough moments today, one of them including finding out that i am “welcome” to be present in one place, but not “worthy”, or enough of a person to be a leader. why, you ask? because i am married to a woman. never mind the fact that i am highly educated, experienced, and have gifts/talents i can use. never mind that i am a teacher and a minister (though not ordained, of course. hmpf.). never mind all of those things. all of the things that qualify me to be a leader are null & void simply because of who i love.

that attitude, those thoughts, the people who set those boundaries & rules, make me sick. no. more than making me sick, they break my heart. and, even though i am strong and i will just keep right on doing what i do, not letting anyone stop me (if i’m not wanted in one place, i will keep working/fighting until i find a place where i am appreciated – thankfully the church where i work is unbelievably supportive & caring), even though i am all of those things. it still hurts.

and all that negativity was bottled up inside of me when i went to my yoga class. i knew that yoga would be good for me, but i still didn’t think i’d be able to concentrate.

boy was i wrong. and, boy was yoga exactly what i needed. it was a perfect balance of rest, deep breathing, tough poses, and major stretches to allow me time to find some inner peace & challenges to keep me fighting. i was in such pain in my body during some of the moments tonight, and i knew it was a manifestation of my emotions, so i fought through the pain, working to release it from me, and instead find a place of balance & strength within.

so, i have promised myself something. tomorrow, i am going to do yoga at home – a few of the poses/meditations we did tonight. i’m gonna make time to just breathe.

goodnight, friends. namaste.

you will get there.

pic from pinterest.

 you know, sometimes you don’t know which way to go. and sometimes you know exactly which way to go. sometimes you know exactly where you are, and sometimes you feel lost and overwhelmed. sometimes you feel like you’re drowning. sometimes you feel like you’re floating. sometimes things look up, and sometimes things look bleak. sometimes you feel hope. sometimes you feel despair. and sometimes you feel everything all at once.

but, one thing i know for sure. one way or another, life goes on. life gets better. i also know that feeling however we feel is exactly what we need to do. but the one thing that i am the most sure of, is to take life one day at a time, one moment at a time even. soak in those glorious, soul-touching moments and breathe through those scary, painful ones. one day at a time. one breath at a time.

one way or another, we’ll keep moving forward. we’ll keep living life and becoming more & more of who we were created to be.

peace for your journey today, wherever it may take you.

27: something sweet.

today was a a little bit sweet and sour, i’d say. up & down. so, it is with some days, right?

i know i write a lot about living in the present, listening to your soul, and finding peace & joy in the ordinary moments of every day life. i wonder how many people think that i just spit out all of that oozy, gooey sweet stuff.  i wonder how many people think that there is no way in hell that they can do the things i suggest/write about because they are simply trying to survive and don’t see any way out of where they are right now. sometime i wonder if my inspirational words only serve to irritate some people, like i’m too sweet and sugar-y. i’ve heard in the past that i keep my head in the clouds and seem to stay away from things that are difficult… that my life is so perfect and happy, that i would not understand at all those people who are going through real difficult times.

well, if you think that, then you’re wrong. sorry, you’re way wrong. my life is not always sweet. it is sour & bitter as well.

i must say, though, that i practice what i preach. i really do try to live in the present moment and listen to my soul (that’s why i do yoga, read, and sit). and i really do look for peace every day – even if i only notice one, little moment. and these things are not easy for me to do. they do not necessarily come easy to me, which is perhaps why i write about them so much. so, this blog, my pictures, the things i write, they are ways to help me stay focused in life. they are not to preach at you, dear readers.

and, by the way, my life is not perfect. i have had and do have many struggles. many things that try to pull me into the dark & entice me to give up hope. i’m just stubborn, though, i guess. i refuse to let the darkness win. i truly, deeply believe in love.

anyway, on a day that has been filled with sweet & sour moments, bitterness & joy, i want to share some tidbits of sweetness with you (typical me), seeing as that was the photoadayMay challenge for today (sunday). we all know that the sour stuff is there, but why should i focus on it? why should i let it win? it already causes me enough pain. what i need is to focus on the sweet things in life in order to get through all the sour. so, without further a due…

 on my morning walk to work, the suns rays were reaching down from heaven, filling me with hope & peace.

 afternoon fika at home with my love. i bought blueberries & strawberries. and i made some whipped cream/coolwhip stuff. that’s right, you heard me. i made it.

 bought a new camera!! thanks to my love’s great economy skills.

 held my cutie niece (lina’s sister’s daughter).

 had strawberry ice cream with chocolate mousse. tasted like summer.

 saw a gorgeous swedish field on the drive home this evening.

how has your sunday been? any sweet moments? sour ones? talk to me.

sending you hugs, love, & peace.