The Sacred Self

While life is a physical journey, it is foremost a spiritual one. We are each in search of our own true nature. We long to feel the divinity within and around us, yet we tend to get caught up in the pressures of the world. We allow the weight of everyday living to steal our joy. I’ve often gotten so caught up in the search for purpose I’ve forgotten my true nature. I’ve learned purpose is in the living. It is peace of soul. It is the joy one feels. It is the light given and received. Our purpose is within every breath we take. Perhaps, if we walk a little lighter, laugh a little more, and live moments in essence we will recognize not only the blessings surrounding us but the gifts within us. You are a sacred vessel. You are life, love, and laughter. You are silence, and you are song. You, my friend, are a gift. Step into your beauty.

The Gift

Embrace your knowing. Do not doubt its validity. This wisdom is a blessing. Messages of the deep ride the rhythms of your soul and settle in your heart. Feel the movement. Listen to how it resonates. It is the compass of your spirit guiding you on your journey. Yes, you are supported, guided, loved. But you already know all these things. Wrap it around you like a shawl and walk deep into the night.

Flight of a Gentle Soul

We are the ones who walk softly. We are on a journey to peace. We are searching for an inner calmness and harmonious relationships with others. We don’t ruffle feathers. We’ve learned when to walk away and when to allow others into our space.

We quietly lead by example. We make no demands. We just are. And when we are noticed we experience a bit of discomfort. We downplay compliments. We might find it difficult to stand up for ourselves.

Many of us have been accused of being too sensitive or overemotional, often resulting in shame of our own authenticity. While we take what others say to heart, we also see things from all perspectives. This very thing we struggle to come to terms with is our power. This journey of self-acceptance is the flight of the gentle soul.

Speaking your soul truth is difficult for someone who wishes to hide in the shadows. Claiming your voice is necessary for growth. When you stand your ground you validate your spirit. Everything changes when you learn to fly.

There is a saying that a comfort zone is a beautiful place where nothing grows. My soul dwelled in that comfortable nest for way too long. I had no idea the freedom and bliss which comes with being authentic without apology.  As I continue to come into me, it is my hope these words will lift your wings as you come into yours. May we all soar.

Speak your soul. Live your spirit. Love your life.

And Then There are Words…

Words or action? Action isn’t necessarily words, but words are always action, written or spoken.  There are times we hold them back, choke on them. The timing might be wrong, or things are better left unsaid. Words hold consequences. Words hurt and heal hearts. Words impact the world. Words are powerful. Listen to what is being said, feel them. Speak what needs to be said. Let go of what isn’t beneficial. Write what is desired and fruitful. Be grateful for the ability to communicate. When we write or speak we are giving of ourselves. When we read or listen we are accepting of others. You can be a positive influence or a negative force. Only you can decide.  Remember your words are your power, use them wisely.

Honoring the Path

The journey is always before you…waiting for you to choose the road, to take that first step, to follow a path of love.

No one promises it is an easy path. It is often fraught with resistance. We tend to steer away from difficulties. Pushing through the obstacles is exaclty where you need to be…experiencing life, learning lessons, giving and receiving love. It is the honor of living.

Appreciate the opportunities. Allow the growth they provide. You are guided every step. You only need to be open. All you need is within you. It’s been there the whole time.

Keep walking, friend. Keep loving. Live on. You’ve got this.

Let Go and Move On

Let go of old belief systems. You know, the things ingrained in your brain that hold you back or pin you down. You know what I’m talking about. It might be a family superstition, a religious dogma, an expectation or opinion of you, or a statement made against you. This could be a past humiliation, something that binds you in shame or guilt or causes you a lack of confidence. Many of these boulders of principle date back to our childhoods. Yes, I call them boulders because they weigh so much on our emotional bodies that we are unable to move our physical and intellectual bodies to start the work we need to do. When you can move this block in your mind you enter the wonderful world of emotional and spiritual freedom.

Honor what is true. How do you know what is right? First of all, the ego lies. When we choose to do the right thing it usually resonates in either our heart or gut, sometimes both. The guidance of prayer or meditation helps pave the way, not what someone else tells you is best for you. The answers will come, but you must be willing to listen to spirit.

Clip those wings and fly!

Return of the Water Witch’s Daughter

The Water Witch’s Daughter is returning after an extended hiatus. I’ve experienced a time of learning and personal growth. As with growth there is change. My interests have always varied, but now even more so. My values remain though my content may slightly differ.  Be assured the voice is mine…it is the same heart and soul.

My world has been one of living and loving in the midst of water. Not unlike life, water is both a smooth and turbulent traveler. A mountain spring trickles underground, nourishing from top to basin.  Rivers and creeks scream, sing, and hum along their journey to the sea. Oh, what lessons the tides and currents of life teach us. “One must balance the waters of life. With little one is parched.  None, one dies of thirst. Too much, one drowns. We must learn how to tread, float, and drink. Water has the power to give or take life. We have the power to fight against it or flow with it.”  (from one of my current WIPs)

The riverbed of my body has become a medium of ancestral messages rising from marrow, trickling through blood, and bubbling like a spring to surface through voice. I have learned emotions and thoughts articulated into words, spoken or written, are my water. When I deny my own truth I become not only powerless but a woman I no longer recognize. I claim my voice. I wear my heart on my sleeve, for which I no longer apologize.  I walk in the spirit of love. I welcome you to walk with me.

Holding Space


Breath. Yours. Mine. Collectively, ours. It may be the first for one and the last for another. In between we hold space. We breathe for someone who cannot. We support the life as it becomes all it was meant to be, and when it ceases we remember. Always breathe; if not for yourself, for someone else…because in some moments breath is all there is.

We need not understand or agree to hold space, only to love, accept, and forgive in some instances. Life is not comprised of precision. While mistakes are the lessons of living, breathing is the essence of life. What we take in with each inhale and let go with each exhale is the art. I call this creative living at the heart of existence.

It has been my honor to hold space for others. Thank you for holding space for me.

****I have not blogged for over eight months. In fact, I have written very little. The end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 were months of various physical ailments. Fortunately, most issues are resolved and not as serious as originally imagined. I closed my business and took charge of my health. I apologize to those who sent messages and I didn’t respond as I didn’t blog during this time. This has energized and focused me. I have resurfaced into the public (big gasp for those of you who know how much I like solitude!) and realize I enjoy being with people as much as I enjoy being alone or in nature. I make no promises to an online presence though I plan to make appearances. For now I am loving, living, and listening to where I am being called…blessings to each of you.

Define and Design 2016, Week Fifty-two

December 23

Creativity: Coordinating schedules and activities

Gratitude: Lunch and shopping with family…an absolutely fabulous day and night with the men in my life! I am so much enjoying having this time with my husband and both of our sons.

Joy: Youngest is home for Christmas! Oysters and firepit. A visit with good friend to exchange Christmas gifts.

Awareness: Humor is contagious!

December 24

Creativity: Mind mapping

Gratitude: A leisurely morning with hubby and both sons. Safe trip to the mountains with family and a stop for lunch along the way.

Joy: Watching my sons bottle beer. I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it has been to have both of our sons under our roof this holiday season.

Awareness: It’s a lovely thought knowing the majority of these travelers are on their way to spend time with loved ones. Love is in the air!

December 25

Creativity: Android photography, cooking

Gratitude: A visit with MIL at the nursing home and got to visit with my SIL as well.

Joy: Family dinner with my mom and sisters, birds at my mom’s feeder, love and laughter

Awareness: I haven’t enjoyed a Christmas this much in a while.

December 26

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Made it back safely to the beach, time with my mom, hubby, and both sons

Joy: Sushi with hubby and Youngest at our favorite neighborhood sushi restaurant. We are sorry they will be closing their doors at the end of this week but so happy we got to eat with them one last time to say goodbye.

Awareness: The sky exploded in a brilliant array of orange and pinks and fizzed out as quickly as it happened…so glad I didn’t miss that short sunset.

December 27

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Got started on my taxes, took down the Christmas trees and decorations

Joy: Steak dinner with hubby and Youngest, phone call from Oldest, movie time with hubby and Youngest

Awareness: Sand slipping through the funnel of an hour glass is an accurate description of the fleeting of time.

December 28

Creativity: Reading about writing and stained glass

Gratitude: Safe arrivals for Youngest and Oldest to their destinations, finally tackled long overdue yardwork

Joy: Spending the day with hubby, watching movies, eating chocolate and drinking a glass of wine, Oldest’s fabulous sleuth work in digging through land records at the court house and uncovering genealogy information we’ve been searching for many years…I now know the names of my 3X and 4X great grandparents on one line in which I’d been stumped.

Awareness: Patience pays…answers to questions that need to be answered come in their own time.

December 29

Creativity: Made a 15 pound pan of lasagna!

Gratitude: a rainy day off so I stayed in my pjs all day!

Joy: Talking genealogy with Oldest, glass of wine with hubby, snuggly furry babies

Awareness: I am an early riser, and most times I go to bed at a decent hour. Even if I stay up I still don’t sleep soundly. I’ve tried to stay up late and sleep in, but it just doesn’t seem to work for me. I’ve always been this way, wonder if I’m just wired this way.

December 30

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: My niece and her longtime girlfriend got married!

Joy: view of a gorgeous sunset while on the road, sushi dinner at our friend’s restaurant (these are the first time owners of the sushi place in my neighborhood that is closing. We don’t get to our friend’s current restaurant as often as we’d like since it’s located in another city), a glimpse of fine snow flurries.

Awareness: Decided to start a bullet journal this year as my own way of personal accountability with a dash of creativity. I know I am more likely to stick to schedules and push toward goals if I write them down. I also know being appreciative of life helps me with awareness and creativity and instills calmness within.

December 31

Creativity: Cut DirtMan and Oldest’s hair, researched bullet journaling

Gratitude: scent of wood fire burning (fireplaces and stoves) in the neighborhood

Joy: Spent the day with the hubby test driving cars. Watching the twinkling lights in the neighborhood while sipping a glass of wine with the hubby.

Awareness: Of the many things I intended to do this year my most successful was my pledge to defeat the daily Spider Solitaire Challenge, ha! That said, I did live a creatively appreciative and joyfully aware year. I did find by allowing inspiration and pleasure of artistic expression to lead my pursuits my focus was on stained glass, writing, and photography. I did manage to get in a bit of embroidery and quilting, but I’m honestly not sure if I picked up a crochet needle this year.

As for 2017 I plan to continue to pursue my creative endeavors as inspiration leads me. I intend to keep a bullet journal for my own personal use, not to be posted. Perhaps I will post on “Relishing the Moments”. For now I make no blog commitments. I plan to allow 2017 unfold in its own time. Happy New Year to each of you! As in the beginning of each year I leave you with this:

May Your Blessings Be Abundant

I wish for you a life of simple abundance; an abundance of necessary tools to learn to bend with the wind, stand strong against the tide, and forge trails across life’s arduous mountains.

I wish for you the gift of time, moments of explicit joy with those you love. I want you to open your hands wide and let time escape and settle in your heart. I wish for you time to touch the morning; to feel the cool wetness of dew as it clings to the grass beneath your feet. I wish for you the time to see birds in flight; to notice the perfection of each single feather giving lift and how they join a myriad of others to create a formation which soars the vast blue skies. I wish for you the stillness of time to hear that voice; the one that calls deep within and guides you among the living. I wish for you the opportunity of time to taste the salt of the ocean so that you may enjoy the sweet pungency of earth. I wish for you time to smell the fragrance of daily living; the bittersweet scent of disappointment so you may savor the aroma of fulfillment. I wish for you time to know the value of living.

I wish for you the gift of vision so you might see the colorful rainbow of your life; the possibility of who you can become and the immeasurable value of who you are.

I wish for you the ability to take sorrow and weave it into a basket of hope; that you might know strength is developed through adversity, and character is built by conquering fear and overcoming obstacles.

I hope you will learn to accept defeat as a rung on the ladder of success. I wish you the wisdom to recognize success as you walk along its terrain and know the valleys and peaks are not measured upon the opinions of others.

I desire patience for you to wait your turn, to know your timing is not always yours to choose. I wish you to be able to let go of control and allow your life to flower of its own accord.

I wish for you prosperity; to know it does not always come in material form and the intuition to feel the richness laden within the layers of your soul.

I wish for you faith not only in times of distress; but to know you are always loved in every moment and in every situation.

I wish for you mercy upon your own mistakes and forgiveness toward others. I wish for you a grateful spirit; an appreciation of those around you and all you are offered in this life. I wish you grace to pave a life of love.

I wish for you a generous heart, compassionate soul, good intentions, and a life of positive influence.

I pray for many moments of happiness in your life, but more importantly joy because joy is not merely a feeling but a condition of existence. More than this I wish you peace, a comfort which resides deep within and transcends all understanding.

I wish you conservation of your own well-being: I pray for your good health that you will make wise choices and reap the benefits of walking in comfort to enjoy every step of your journey.

I ask that you know the difference between being alone and being lonely; that you will find comfort in yourself and strength in knowing you are never truly alone.

I wish for you trust in trying times and compassionate hands to reach out and pick you up when you are down.

I wish for you to know the importance of limitations but also the freedom and power to step outside of self imposed boundaries.

I wish you the desire to let go of anger and shame and replace them with a calm spirit and self-worth. I wish you acceptance of your past as it has created your beautiful soul of today.

I wish you work to challenge your being, play to enjoy life‘s pleasures, and rest to recharge your faculties. I wish you the opportunity to teach your craft and to serve others and the poise to receive the same. I wish you balance among your many interests and harmony in your life.

I pray your struggles are few and far between and never more than you can bear. I also pray you grow from your experiences and your healing be fully restored.

I wish for you clarity in times of chaos and discernment in times of doubt; that you will continue to reach when you feel nothing within your grasp.

I pray you recognize the many gifts in life which are free to those who reach for them. I pray you will continue to dance among the wildflowers while you reach for the stars.

I pray you will not feel you are entitled to life but blessed to live it.

I pray you will view the power of surrender as an act of acceptance; that you will both give and receive daily as needed.

I wish you immeasurable love and continuous light in all you encompass.

Whether your needs are physical or spiritual I pray your thirst might be quenched and your hunger satisfied all the days of your life; that you know your visit here is not absolute but life and love ring eternal.

May you find a piece of heaven in all you touch on earth.

May you may always live your life as poetry in motion.

~Susan Carter Payne

Define and Design 2016, Week Fifty-one

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.  ~Tecumseh


December 16

Creativity: Painting, preparing kid’s craft activities for next week

Gratitude: Chapstick, hand lotion, reading a new book

Joy: Watching the toddler’s excitement when I projected colorful snowflakes across the walls, ceiling, and floor. Phone call with Youngest. Christmas music and Christmas lights!

Awareness: My dog gives various signals when someone approaches my door or walks through the front yard. It’s funny how we can tell exactly who the person is by her yip, wag, or dance…and a complete stranger is totally different from her happy welcomes.

December 17

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Grocery shopping for making Christmas sweets, in home spa time, reading, iron and ironing board, soap and hot water

Joy: Christmas music, two Christmas parties even though we left the second one early because it was just too many people and too much action to handle in one day

Awareness: The huge, golden moon hung low in the sky. It followed us all night, peeping through the skeletal trees and holiday-lit buildings, dipping behind walls of fog and popping up on one side and then the other. Finally Luna swooped in front of the road and led us home.

December 18

Creativity: Made a multitude of sweet treats to get us through the holidays

Gratitude: family, home, hot tea

Joy: At home doing the things I wanted to do, my pretty kitchen baking apron, Christmas trees, and Christmas music

Awareness: The wind was speaking in tongues; we deciphered it to mean stay in bed which we did. Once I was up and about I found it was 70 degrees with a lovely wind whipping at my back, delightful for the few minutes I was outside.

December 19

Creativity: Painting

Gratitude: Family dinner, reading time, “light at the end of the tunnel”, Hubby and Oldest are enjoying all of the Christmas treats I made this weekend

Joy: Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas Song! (So many memories of my Dad and me and also of my children)

Awareness: Aromas, textures, sounds, tastes, beauty…the senses bring the soul to life. What in each of these five senses moves you? For me it’s a (aroma) woodsy scent, (texture) smooth and silky fabric or a cold gemstone, (sound) music (especially the blues),(taste) a combination of salt and sweet, and (beauty) a landscape (which includes mountains and a river )in which  I feel connected.

December 20

Creativity: Drawing and painting

Gratitude: Christmas shopping

Joy: Watched “Love Actually”, talked to Youngest on the phone

Awareness: People would live much more fulfilling lives if they didn’t depend on the media to tell them how to feel and act…think for yourselves and follow your hearts, people. Be good. Do good. Retribution is NOT progress!

December 21

Creativity: Crafting with the kiddos, writing

Gratitude: Christmas shopping, only a few things left on my list and will do those on Friday (or will send hubby out for them, ha!)

Joy: Tried on the most comfortable pair of shoes ever at the shoe store and decided to purchase them. When I got to the counter the cashier asked me where my second pair were…they were buy one and get one half price…yay, I scored two pairs of the most comfortable shoes ever, in black and brown!

Awareness: I get much more accomplished when I shop alone. I don’t shop for fun; it is a mission for me. On rare occasions I do enjoy shopping with a friend, and then it’s for fun.

December 22

Creativity: Playing games and dancing with the kiddos

Gratitude: A multitude of blessings, small and large. Oldest ordered a bushel of oysters for a family feast when Youngest arrives.

Joy: A sensational sunset, Air travel-Youngest is on his way here!

Awareness: Love, joy, and peace truly are conditions of the heart. I am blessed beyond measure.