© 2016 Created byJane Nicolet

Encountering Grace

December 6, 2019

. . . and there I was, doing it again and muttering to myself, “Well, that was a stupid thing to do.  I can’t believe I did it again.  I am an idiot!” 

It took a while before I began to finally realize I was once more inadvertently creating the beginnings of an unintentional mantra – a repetition of what I like least about myself.

I’ve come to believe that “I am” might just be the most important phrase we ever use, because the thoughts we place after those words have the power to shape our personal reality. 

Unintended, negative, mantra-like statemen...

November 23, 2019

It was almost 2,000 years ago that this famous phrase was coined: “Home is where the heart is.” I believe this often-recalled thought expresses a concept as important to our lives today as it might have been then – the idea that a physical place and part of the body exist together. In fact, let me walk a few more steps into the core of that idea and state it as a metaphor: our truest home is our own heart.


The holidays mark special seasons in our lives; we can find ourselves making our way to homes, again and again. That kind of traveling can be both lovely and stres...

November 8, 2019

My son, Matt, and I found ourselves on the bustling streets of Manhattan last week. My boy sticks around no matter where I am. Sometimes he just quietly goes along for the ride, but this particular day was one of those times I felt his whisper in my heart. When I sense him there I know it’s time for me to become intentional, more aware of even the smallest sights, sounds and bits of information around me. And that’s when Mother Teresa entered my day. 

My cousin and I were browsing the Julliard Bookstore – she, looking for a theory book to help one of her piano students, an...

October 10, 2019

I gave my blog a title this past year because it seemed like that was what all serious bloggers did. Honestly, I suppose I thought I would take the work of sharing my ideas more seriously if I named the place they were going to live. Perhaps a specific title would assure everyone that I was serious about the ideas that had caught my mind in their soulful webs . . . and maybe even catch the eye of a new reader or two. And along the way, I discovered the perfect reason for giving title to my words; it has served to relentlessly remind me of the purpose for my writing. In th...

September 26, 2019

Yep, that’s how the latest email began . . . all in shouty, bold letters. 


I tried digesting the phrase, rolled it around in my head a bit and then just sat with it. It became probable truth as my old nemesis, perfectionism, joined forces with the insecurities that survive, alive and kicking, within my introverted self. And through their critical lenses the actions of my last several months started to play across the landscape of my writer’s life. My mind generated a well full of questions, each bubbling up to ask what more I could have accomplished. I supposed it must be...

September 12, 2019

My story, with Judy at its center, is just a slice of my amazing cousin’s life. Her full story will always remain big and bold, colorful, generous and loving . . . and valiant.

Judy, both cousin and friend, was falling more deeply into the morass of Alzheimer’s. So, I decided to travel the miles necessary to spend time with her, to remember with her, to say hello again to some longtime, well-loved memories we had shared. At the same time, I knew I might need to face the truth that this visit could also hold our goodbye. That delicate time together flooded back to me this s...

August 30, 2019

I looked out over my audience – the circle of people who were so obviously carrying, physically and emotionally, the varied weights of their different losses. And I knew right away that how I had originally planned to begin our time together needed to shift quickly. We needed to become storytellers.

A few weeks ago I presented a workshop for BPUSA – a national organization, coordinated by, supportive of, and designed for bereaved parents. This opportunity played out in ways that were uniquely challenging, surprisingly educational and sweetly inspiring. As I welcomed people...

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