Just Breathe


I often have thoughts of positivity and forward thinking and I am so grateful for those feelings propelling me forward. Sometimes things in our lives hit us hard and knock the steam out of our engines. We slow down, not because we want to, but because grief gives us no choice.

My mother used to read me a story when I was a child called The Little Engine That Could. The little engine chugged up the hill saying to himself “I think I can, I think I can,” and one day he finally made it. That is going to be me. But right now I feel like I am at the bottom of the hill looking up. And today- even though I had an honest day’s work and I took care of the necessities of the day- I’m having a hard time breathing. So tonight I am going to focus on just that.

For me, and I am curious as to whether or not others feel the same, grief is a physical sickness. Grief sets in and feels awful. You suffer a setback and often times you don’t see it coming and the weight of it all tips you over the edge and the gains you’ve made slip through your fingers for a moment, a day, or longer. Grief feels like a heaviness in the chest and shoulders. It is slowed functioning. Slowed coordination. Weighted eyes. Slowed response. Tightness in the throat. And most of all- a real sense that my body is asking for my mind’s help in breathing. Sometimes the process of healing goes all the way back to just breathing and being still.

When grief is surrounding your heart~ sometimes the answer is just to be still, clear the mind, and breathe. Learning to just breathe is not easy.   The day gets in the way and the mind cannot settle. But if you think about going back to simplicity- it is the first thing you do when you enter this world and the last thing you do when you leave it. In my life I have seen my son take his first breath and my husband take his last. So tonight – I will breathe out and let go of the day and the pain and loss and absence, and sit still and let love and gratitude come back to once again fill my heart.


There are special times of the year that we all look forward to~ birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries. When I was a child I used to look forward to these days as they seemed magical to me. I would simmer in excitement for weeks over my birthday and Christmas. I would lose sleep and daydream of the whole event- the presents, the parties, the food, the awe and sense of wonderment in how Santa Clause made his way to my house, onto the roof, and into the den without detection. I always was wanting to be a year older~ so my birthdays were accomplishments. I enjoyed the feeling that another year added on to my life brought to me. It meant more knowledge, more freedoms, more responsibility that I was willing to take on. I enjoyed the celebration of it all, the happiness and the connection with family and friends.

Tonight I celebrated a birthday that was not mine. I was caught up in the moment this evening with a real appreciation for celebration. I found myself soaking up the energy and the enjoyment of a milestone and an accomplishment for another. It made me reflect back and flash forward. How do I want these upcoming holidays to be for me? And for Jackson? Do we suffer in void and lack or do we fill the space of the day with appreciation, gratitude, and joy? The day is ours to seize. It is a clear canvass ready to be painted on. We choose the colors. We choose what we want to project and portray and paint.

When you are going through a tough time in your life~ it’s not just about keeping a good face on an important day~ its about really embracing an important holiday for what it is and celebrating without barriers in your heart. It is innately human to celebrate. To honor important dates in our lives. To celebrate those memories and milestones. We do it without thinking as a natural part of the human condition. The part we have to try on is recognizing we have to find that long-lost childlike excitement we all had back when we didn’t know loss, or problems, or worldly troubles. We are all capable of this if we allow ourselves to feel it. Experience it. Appreciate the day and those in our lives that make all the difference!

Happy Birthday!



Trying to expand on this now beyond the immediacy of what was to look ahead at a broader definition and a more lasting peace in my heart.

Holly C Barker


It is the basis of healing. The ground floor of the elevator. The floor of the elevator comes to stop, you hear the bell “bing”, and the door opens. Your new reality awaits you. You step out and the sun is shining so brightly and you have trouble focusing. You feel a little confused and disoriented in terms of where you are now. You look around and start to orient yourself to this new view.

You know you’re in a building and you know you are okay. You are breathing and you can feel. You can see your hands and hear your voice. Life is not over for you. Your life is now different. 180 degrees. A paradigm shift in thinking has just arrived at the door of your mind. You realize your choices are now yours to some extent. You own them as they are not shared with…

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The Lighthouse

For a dear friend who’s wonderful mother has end-stage cancer. Even though she is older, this applies to us all. Sending you warm, healing hugs today and everyday, Kim…..

Holly C Barker

photoI want to state my beliefs first. I believe in the universe, energy, God, spirit, focus, intent, and love. Pain and grief is a cleanser allowing you to enter and achieve a greater understanding of the process in life and why we are here. This process is the reason why the good die young. Have you ever met someone who right away you felt a connection and that you knew them? They felt familiar and comforting to some place deep inside your mind? There is a reason for that- we do know them. I believe we are all on a continuum and a journey and sometimes we go through our lives here on earth weaving in and out with the same people, yet choosing different lives to live to enrich our souls and to gain different perspectives that help us learn and to move farther on that continuum. I believe…

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