A Project of Writing Love

One of the amazing benefits of this blogging life is the friendships that form among people who have never spoken via phone or met face-to-face. And yet, the language of the heart connects them via strings of words typed into any one of a number of electronic devices that transmits messages across the globe.

My blogging friend Jen is an Australian writer currently living in China.  Her energy and passion for happiness–not to mention her fabulous artwork–endeared me to her.  Read this from her most recent post on My Smiling Heart:

“Every single little girl and woman on this planet deserves to see how beautiful they are. Including me. That’s why I’m doing this. So that one day, without hesitation, or 20 minutes staring at a blank screen, I will be able to list at least 30 things about myself that are amazingly beautiful and wonderful, and then go on to list 30 more.”

(for the complete post, and to see Jen’s site, click here:

I love her project for April called 30 Days of Beauty.  She and her friend, also named Jen, have created a 30-day challenge to everyone interested in beautifying our planet, one spectacular soul at a time.  Again from her home page:

30DaysOfBeauty is a lifestyle experiment designed to boost self-esteem and encourage women (and men!) to see how truly beautiful they are – and raise money for a good cause in the process! Everybody wins!

Created by the two Jens, one the writer of The Smashed Planet and the other the writer of My Smiling Heart, 30DaysOfBeauty will use tweeting and blogging to spread a message of self-love and self-worth.

For 30 days, starting on the 1st of April 2011, the two Jens will take to their twitter accounts (@jenfromal and @smiling_heart) dedicating one tweet per day to a reason why they are beautiful.

Each 30DaysOfBeauty tweet will finish with the hashtag #imbeautifulbecause, encouraging others to join in on the fun and tweet about why they are beautiful, too!

Every week, the two Jens will each write a post about their progress on the 30DaysOfBeauty challenge, list their #imbeautifulbecause tweets from the previous week, and also include some of their favourite #imbeautifulbecause tweets from others.

Now, here’s the most important part.

Through crowdrise, the two Jens will be using this 30 day challenge to raise money for To Write Love On Her Arms, a cause that is dedicated to helping those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.

We are dedicating these 30 days to raise at least $300 for To Write Love on Her Arms

Isn’t that the coolest?  Aren’t these two Jens the epitome of what it means to love unconditionally?  I support them and ask you to do the same.  Get those tweets flying, Facebook updates launching and pass the worrd along.  If you’re so inclined, head over to  crowdrise and make a donation.  We have three more weeks to help the Jens reach their goal, which is really our collective objective.

In doing so, you just may make a new international friend!

Blessed Be, My Dear Diana

If there is such a thing as a perfect Sunday morning, this is it.  Oh, I suppose it could be better if I were at the beach listening to the pounding surf, but then it would be a different perfect Sunday morning.

My beloved cousin Diana died two mornings ago.  Her death does not tarnish my perfect morning because Diana’s faith ran deep and strong and although unexpected, if she were with me now she would ask me to accept God’s will.  I am comforted knowing she’s running with heaven’s angels now, unencumbered by the limitations of a physical body.

Seven months ago when Mom passed, Diana was one of my rocks.  At that time, she would have been startled to learn that her time here was so limited.  Not shocked, or upset or disbelieving because she inherently trusted God’s plan. 

She would ask me to do the same now.

Diana’s flowers, her pride and joy and part of her legacy

Our spiritual and family connections deepened in the months following my mom’s death.  Her mom and mine were not only first cousins but best friends.  Diana had become a big sister to me, someone I went to for counsel and wisdom.  We shared many common bonds, chief of which was the belief in truth, especially self-truth.

Diana was one of my biggest supporters when I made my holistic life change in August 2009.  She said, “If you’re true to yourself, Cuz, if you’re doing what feels right, then it is right in God’s eyes.”

We didn’t see each other much, seldom spoke on the phone.  Diana lived–and died–fully present to her life and trusted me to do the same.  She loved me unconditionally and therefore hadn’t a need for my life’s minutae.  It wasn’t that she wasn’t interested, far from it.  All she really cared was whether I was happy.  Actually, she was one of the first to bless my happiness and I’ll never forget the mile-wide smile that met my news that I was moving to Texas.

When you hold another’s heart, what more of a connection is needed?

I can count on one hand the number of people in my life who hold the same status of heart keeper.  Diana was among those people and I shall miss her for as long as I breathe.

Thinking of the twinkle in her eye will always cause me to smile, especially on these perfect Sunday mornings. 

Kiss Mama for me, will you, Cuz?