Saturday, November 30, 2013


vietnamese silk robe

A friend of mine gave me a luxurious silk robe for my 46th birthday.

At first, I thought it would just be a beautiful wardrobe item to wear at home.  But it has become more than a work of art that dangles on the wooden paravan behind my bed.

At night, after a long day of toil, I wear my birthday suit instead of pajamas.  I practice a beauty ritual of bathing, followed by moisturizing my skin with softly-scented lotions and oils. Some nights, it is lavender.  Other nights, citrus scents like lemongrass, bergamot and ylang-ylang perfume my soft skin. If I'm feeling frisky, I'll resort to my trusted nutmeg.

When I first wore the robe to bed and let the silk touch my flesh, I felt a kinship with the fabric. Something magical happened. In the absence of a lover, I felt loved. I felt enveloped, swaddled in some kind of gentle sensuality. I felt embraced by a sense of peace, as if God was holding a tender bird in his hands.

The robe caresses me. The robe gives me sweet dreams about love, lightness, joy and well, perhaps a naughty thought here and there.

The robe has become part of my meditation ritual -- the one I practice in my bed, which is a tantric sacred space, even when no other body lies next to me.

When I awake at sunrise, I remove the robe and hang it back on the wooden paravan. I face the day naked but soothed. Never raw.

Every woman should enjoy a robe such as this, even when she sleeps next to her beloved. Or even if she sleeps alone.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Way to a Woman's Heart Is ... Well, Through Her Heart

A woman's body is a temple. A woman's heart is a place of worship. When a man honors a woman with love, respect and fidelity, amazing things happen. Ladies, protect your heart from unfaithful men who prey on your vulnerability. Let yourselves receive from men who recognize the goddess in you, who will adore you for who you are, taking the best and worst of you all in, embracing all that is feminine in you, including the tempests and calm seas, but always with honor and devotion.

I'll share with you a more prosaic analogy. A woman's heart is like a tootsie pop. You have to lick it hard to get to the soft center.  But it's worth it.

My words above.

Quote from the video:

"At the center of every woman is a mystery that restores you to wholeness, which is in every woman, but you need to find it with one woman. And if you are lucky, you will find one woman who will guide you through the gates."

Video via Cheryl -- an amazing life coach, artist and friend.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Love is Caregiving

Love is the Best Medicine

“May I warm up something in the microwave for you?”

A man who never was and isn’t and will probably never will be my lover gave me love in a moment I needed it most.

 In my frazzled, sleep-deprived state, after rescuing my mother nearly dead in a pool of blood -- she had a bad fall,  almost cracked her skull and miraculously survived -- the hired nursing assistant gave me a gift that wasn’t wrapped in ribbons.

The gift was him – or more appropriately -- his care and attention.

And most importantly, I gave myself the gift of receiving.

A gentle giant. A big guy with backbone. Someone I can count on in my time of greatest need.

While it was his paid duty, there was something incredibly intimate and tender about both of us tucking my aging parents into bed. Their dead-weight bodies and sagging skin would be the only touch we would share. Their complaints – which in Alzheimer’s patients usually only last for a few minutes before short-term memory dissipates -- were punctuated by knowing smiles and glances between us. It’s as if we had children together.

I’ve been enduring years of many hospitalizations in which I act as the first responder, supervising the triage for my parents.

This time around, once mom was discharged and safely back home in bed, the hired caregiver had the presence of heart to focus on my obvious anxiety and ask: “what can I do for you?”

It's the first time we had hired help.

I was confused and elated. I hadn’t heard those words from anyone beloved in a long time. And most certainly, the nursing aid wasn’t getting paid to fix dinner for the primary caregiver.

I never ate that microwaved dinner with him. I’m sure it would have been a great cup of noodles.

But there are miracles.

More importantly, the kindness of his intention soothed me. The gesture alone fed my heart and I walked back home alone with a huge grin on my face. My heart was full – the best non-sex and non-meal I’ve ever had.

I’ll probably never see this caregiver again, but I’m grateful for the lesson he taught me: all forms of love are a form of caregiving.

When you give so much love unconditionally, you deserve it in return, even from a stranger and much more -- incredibly more, by the bucket full -- from any beloved in your life.