Saturday, January 14, 2012


What essential qualities characterize you or me or those we love? As we each live out the uniqueness of our own individual nature, we eventually become representatives of those qualities, vivid living examples of how they manifest in form.

Recently I met with a group of my treasured women friends that have been gathering monthly for well over a decade. As agents of change for holistic wellness, we have each contributed our own particular skills and perspectives to each other and to those we serve. In the first step of the process of Beginning Anew, we took turns thoughtfully appreciating and articulating what each brought to the group.

In a poetic description, one described the group as a crown of jewels.
Another called it a Council of Mothers. In a moment of inspiration, one began to name each of us sitting on that Council with a defining quality: Mother Ritual, Mother Soul, Mother Clarity, Mother Compassion, Mother Qi, Mother Roots, Mother Ambassador, Mother Gentle, Mother Fertility, Mother Mother.

Although no one had thought to distill our essences in such a way before, it seemed perfectly fitting as soon as it had been done. We each contribute our own particular jewel within the collective crown of our gathered circle. Once we are gone, those that remember us carry the memory of our particular contribution to the whole.

Six months now since his passing, I continue to reflect on the defining qualities of my longtime husband and partner. As I recall his surefooted presence on this earth, one quality that stands out for me was his consistent confidence. Just as the structure of the word indicates, (con - with, fid - faith), he lived with faith, trusting in his perceptions and abilities and in the rightness of life as it unfolded before him.

He trusted that the beauty and intelligence of the universe provide an infinite source of perception and creativity. He perceived the subtleties of space, color and dimension and was attentive to the things that he could see and imagine, both real and yet to be realized. He trusted his mind and his hands that built, dug, painted, plastered, scraped, shaped, fixed & finessed countless things to transform material in creative ways.

As I reflect on how he lived his life - with eyes open, hands-on and an unwavering sense of inner guidance and intuition, I realize how much his quality of confidence has been a touchstone for me. But since confidence sometimes manifests as offensive arrogance, I take special note of the way his confidence was tempered by his humility. Yes, that was yet another remarkable quality he embodied: humility!

As with the word confidence, the origin of the word humility is telling, derived as it is from the Latin word "humus", the dark, decomposed, fertile earth. One who stays in touch with our transitory earthly nature - "from dust we come and to dust we shall return" - remains humble. He certainly was.

Humble confidence. Those essential qualities are part of his precious legacy to me and to our children. We were privileged to have experienced his living demonstration of them over several decades. Now, to honor his memory, I share them here with you. May his memory be a blessing and may we also be worthy to live with humble confidence.