Lilacs and Ladybugs

Lilacs and Ladybugs

Like an old friend on autodial, she drops into the exquisite scent of her childhood. The sweet smell of lilac fills her senses as she’s mesmerized by the dozens of ladybugs who have made her mother’s lilac bushes their home.  She lifts her hand to the flowers and invites the tiny creatures to crawl through her fingers and up her arms. Imprinting her young body with the map to the joyful, innocence of her childhood.

She recalls a casual Saturday afternoon walking up Divisidero street in San Francisco a few years ago.  A well-traveled street lined with dive bars reminiscent of the 60s along with hipster toast and coffee cafes, yoga studios and trendy restaurants.  She notices a bright red sign across the street, “Everlasting Tattoo.”  Time stops.  She stops. Intuition leads her to the entrance. THIS tattoo has been brewing for 25 years – ever since that first time she and her best friend Kate walked into a place on 6th street in Austin completely full of themselves only to chicken out when needle hit the skin.

More visits to tattoo parlors over the years felt like an exercise of the forbidden fruit. A well-tuned voice of protestant programming and self-judgement left her inkless.  This visit didn’t hear any of those voices.  Only truth.  She knew, without judgement or permission, this tattoo was waiting for her.  It had only recently come to her.  A lilac flower with a ladybug sitting on its leaf.

This divine appointment guided her to the faithful reminder of a five-year-old’s bliss. Olivia listened as she described her request and effortlessly designed the delicate template.  Unbelievable. Her eyes burned with tears admiring its beauty – even more so than she expected.  Gracefully, this flower of a woman covered in Goddesses went to work on her lower right calf.  Time stopped again.  No pain what-so-ever.  Nothing but delight filled her trembling heart as she laid there in silent appreciation.

And any day that she feels the loneliness or desperation or pain creep in, she looks down at her leg and the soft purple pedals with the noble ladybug sitting on a bright green leaf.  She softens as she follows the map to her child-like innocence with only compassion and love.

You’re Valuable

You’re Valuable

A lifetime of carefully curated possessions
stacked neatly along the bare white walls of the
multi-functional second bedroom screams
out to its owner – YOU ARE VALUABLE.

You see, they say, you are in each and every one of us.
Paintings and prints from various travels scattered about,
poured over photo albums you spent hours organizing,
enough stationary and cards to write letters to eternity
something she often thinks of doing, but rarely ever does.

As she stares more deeply into her hodgepodge
of possessions, an eclectic theme emerges.
Among the plastic bins, cardboard boxes and
shabby chic furniture ala Target, she sees for the first time,
her attachment to her beloved trinkets, tchotchkes and totems.

You’re pretty. Says her vintage 1950s lamp, with its hour glass figure
and pale pink shade.
You’re elegant. Says her art nouveau Tiffany style
lamp with a mermaid base.
You’re free. Says her 1960s trunk covered in peace signs.
You’re smart. Says the boxes of work papers and business cards.
You’re seen. Says the black and white sketch of herself by a guy named Thor.
You’re loved. Says all the photos, journals and jewels.

YOU ARE VALUABLE. Says all the things staring back at her.
You don’t need us to remind you of that.
You don’t need us.  Let us go.  Clear space.

Now, go make art, says the 36-count box of sharpies.
Her latest purchase sitting on top of it all.



11:11 she goes to meet the taxi. 2:20 she boards her first flight. 8:10 she boards her second flight. 11:22 she lands. 12:12 she drives. 12:34 a four-legged angel jumps in her lap. 444 she’s the only car on the road. 1:08 she’s home.

Numbers are everywhere. Watches, clocks, phones, cars, road signs, addresses, airports, currency…the list goes on and on, so many numbers everywhere. They’re staring back at us even when we’re asleep…especially when we’re asleep…just waiting for the alarm to go off. Wake up, wake up. It’s time to wake up. They yell, they sing, they whisper…wake up my angel. The bus is coming, and you don’t want to be late for school. Oh, just this once…let me sleep. Let me sleep a little longer. I need just a few more minutes. I’m not sure if I’m ready to wake up yet. Why do I have to wake up? I look at the clock…oh no…I’ve overslept. Get up. Get up. It’s time to get up. OK I say. I’m up. I’m up. I’m up already. The race against time begins…

This was my life for so many years. Only seeing the one-dimensional view of numbers. Numbers as time with deadlines. Number as money that was running out. Numbers as goals that felt like obstacles. Numbers as constraining and never enough.

A few years ago, I woke up startled from a dream in the middle of the night. In my half-asleep state I looked at the glow of the clock. 2:22. What are the odds of waking up at this exact time I thought to myself. What does it mean? Does it mean anything? I think it does. I pray to the Divine – show me, show me what it means. So, I Googled it. What is Google if not the manifestation of the divine librarian. And there it was…the answer…there is indeed a divine language of numbers. The Greek philosopher Pythagoras taught that the entire universe is mathematically precise. Others call them angel numbers. In this universal language, 222 means “Keep the Faith. It’s a sign that you have planted your seeds, and now must keep tending to them even though you can’t yet see the seedlings.”

Today’s numbers are a constant reminder to be aware, stay in the flow, keep the faith in the divine order of infinite possibilities, trust, let go, ask for guidance, follow your intuition, your angels are with you, your prayers are being heard and answered. You are whole. You are one with the universe.