Your Heart: A Real Estate Story


What would happen if your gratitude had no limits?

What if you saw everything as a gift—as a roadmap to your happiness?

That really sounds ridiculous when someone you love is sick or depressed. Or when you are sick or depressed.

So perhaps, that’s not exactly what I’m saying.

Perhaps we break everything into tiny weeny nano moments.

What if the way you squeeze her hand and remember how much love is coursing between you becomes a little faerie window into thank you?

And what if you take the time to let the anger at God and the world and cancer and job layoffs and alcoholism and abandonment and abuse and all those things that look and feel rotten run through you?

What if you really let yourself feel them for a few minutes? What if you let them move out of the pain in your neck or back or belly?

Then what if you said “Get out of me!” And then those feelings left. Even for a moment.

How would you feel? Empty? Scared? What would you rage against? What’s your anchor? Don’t worry, they promise to come back. They know how to ring your bell.

For now, let there be an empty space.

And let me fill it.

Let me fill it with the bouquet of flowers from my heart.

And notice what’s around you. Use what you have if you have it: sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.

And there’s a sixth sense when you close your eyes or when they are open. Just take it in. The singular moment of you being kind to your own heart. The dictionary calls singular: extraordinary, remarkable, exceptional, unusual or strange, odd, different, separate, individual. Watch this moment like a TV show because you picked the channel.

Then let me know the inside of your deepest desires to be a figure skater, to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to win your league softball championship.

To find true love.

You’ve got it.

You found it.

There’s an opening in your heart.

It’s where all the sadness lived. It needs some sprucing up. A little DIY creativity.

Start by taking yourself out on a glorious date.

Get dressed in what suits you. Comfy jeans and red socks. Fancy pants, a twirly skirt, a bright red tie, comfy converse.

Bring some music on your headphones or a journal and a pen.

Bring some cash. At least enough for a beautiful cup of coffee, tea or maybe some bubbly.

And sit. Sit alone with your heart.

How might you decorate that gorgeous space you’ve been waiting to move into all these years?

Put the SOLD sign up.

It’s yours.

From now on, you get to decide who is allowed in.

And then when you allow someone in, you can say what my grandmother Mama Chelo used to say to me, “You live in my heart and you don’t even pay rent.”

You do.


A little post script: When those feelings come back and ring your doorbell, knock on your door or try to climb through the window, see them. Mine come in the form of shoulder blade pain on my right side, mostly. Mine say, “Hey, you better make sure you get everything done and plan for every possible viable scenario so you are prepared. And you’ve only done it well if you get exhausted while doing it.” So I say “hi” to my shoulder blade. And here’s what follows, “I see you. And this right here, right now may feel familiar, but actually it’s not then, it’s now. What’s now, based on the evidence all around me is quite simply a task I need to do, or learn. It’s a conversation I need to have. It’s a question I need to ask because I don’t know the answer. But thank you for reminding me to do it. I don’t need to be scared or anxious or feel unworthy or like I need to keep the peace because I have it.” By then my anxiety and my shoulder blade are so bored by my conversation, they’ve left and I can get back to what I was doing.

The Fun Starts Here!


I’m so happy today I could not wait to write to you. I woke at 5:55am which was really 4:55am and today feels like New Year! In fact, for many of us, it is!

Today some very fun creative explosions start! It’s Art Every Day Month and it’s National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo! Both are free!

You can read about Art Every Day month started by Leah Piken Kolidas’ here. She started it a decade ago inspired by NaNoWriMo! There are even rules which are made to be broken! Those are my kind of rules. You can write, draw, take photos on your phone, color, sculpt, just create.

I’m starting Book 2 of Selma’s Truth and Magic Series today for National Novel Writing Month! You can sign up here if you’d like to join me:

There are of course, fun ways to share your progress in social media and in other places, but if you are introvert (like me, yes, yes I have the Myers-Briggs results to prove it), you may want to do this on your own or with one or two friends.

Spread the word because there’s real research demonstrating the importance of creativity to our own vitality and life. It’s central to making us tick. Before some of you tell me, “I’m not creative like that,” listen to this interview between Brené Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert. (If kids are around, put in headphones due to some adult language.) I know I’ve shared this one before, it’s that good.

I also want to share some exciting news about my novel, The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón, A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food & Friendship:

  1. Discounted Signed Copies for Teacher Gifts and the Holidays: Individual copies are $12, but if you want to gift signed copies of the book to 20 or more people, it’s $10 each plus shipping. And 10-19 signed copies are $11 each plus shipping. I have one mom who ordered the 20 copies in the photo below and she is including a printed copy of my recent Huffington Post interview. It’s easy to order! Just send an email to with the number of books and the mailing address and we’ll take it from there!


  1. Teaching For Change to receive 5% of the proceeds from Selma: I’m so excited that we announced my commitment to donate 5% of the net profits from Selma to Teaching for Change through 2016. And I’ll keep giving back to organizations benefitting youth in perpetuity, as in forever! Read the news story here and the official press release here. If you know of any media outlets, blogs, newsletter or websites that might be interested in this story, please share. I would love to inspire more authors to do the same. The novel is available everywhere, and I’m thrilled to share that you can purchase it directly from Teaching for Change’s online catalogue as well. It’s an honor to be included!


  1. Dharma Blazers Interview: Wowie Zowie! The amazing motorcyle-riding yogini Carrie Hensley interviewed me for her Dharma Blazers interview series. She published it last night and sent the interview to her community around the world. “Dharma” means life purpose. Carrie illuminated things for me about my own life purpose that were completely new to me. We laughed a lot. I shared in ways, I’ve never done in a recorded interview. I hope you brew a cup of something delicious, sit down and join us. You can view the interview here. She also included a link to a recorded meditation I shared on this blog to help you start your day with a playful heart (as opposed to a racing heart thanks to your to-do list). I got to know Carrie when I participated in her 30 Day Yoga Un-challenge. After more than twenty years of doing yoga at home, she is the best teacher I’ve ever had—kind, gentle and yet just the right amount of helping me stretch literally and figuratively! She offers a free 20 minute AM and PM yoga classes when you sign up for her newsletter in case you want to check her out.


  1. Huffington Post interview: Sometimes there’s a pebble in the water that creates ripples. For me, this interview was it. Dr. Brandi Megan Granett, a fellow author, asked such insightful questions. And my favorite part: there’s a focus on my grandmother, Mama Chelo, who was born Consuelo Calderón. She lived until age 105 which is why my novel is for ages 10-105. You can read the interview here. (And I also have to thank my sister-in-law who struck up a conversation with Brandi at her delectable restaurant, Thai Tida, and handed over her personal copy!) Kindness and magic abound!


Mama Chelo

  1. Recipes, Magic and Fun: We are gearing up to share recipes, ways to bring magic into your every day life and more inspiring content for readers. I’d love to invite you over to play at: You can sign up for my e-newsletter which I’ll send out every couple of weeks.


Finally, today is the birthday of one of my best friends in the world: Amheric! I wrote this 1 minute and 43 second video poem, New Month, for him a few years ago. I thought you might use it to help you kick off an amazing month!

Thanks for visiting with me this Sunday. And a special thanks for sharing so much Selma love! I’d be grateful if you would add Selma’s magical word #cucalacas to your posts. I want to remember to do the same!

I’m going to make some breakfast now. Remember how much I love you because there is only ONE you and the world needs your smile, your gifts and your big golden heart!