Today I choose awe

Today I choose awe.

This morning hundreds of thousands of people from across the world stood together in US cities and the countryside to celebrate the spectacular awe of the universe. They did so united by a force far greater than humankind and perhaps at a moment in time when we needed be reminded of what we all share.

Today I choose awe and embrace this celebration. What do you choose?


 Diana Creel Elarde on behalf of Emerging Insights Group



Today I choose grace

In grace I can stay centered in the most difficult of situations, so today I choose grace.

Grace can be defined as a smooth and effortless movement. For me it is like yoga pose to be mastered with the self in alignment and the breath supporting the body and soul. Today I will work on this alignment, knowing the more centered I become I share it with the world around me. It is an active, thought filled choice.

Today I chose grace. What do you choose?

Today I choose…

Today I choose courage. It takes both thought and action to move courageously in the world. I choose courage.

What do you choose?

Fear is a default emotion. Many psychologies agree all mammals (including us!) are born with fear and panic to help the species to survive. As we as humans mature the cognitive portion of our brain develops and we are given thought to help us evaluate.

Every day we get to decide to proceed in courage or be tossed and turned by our fears.  Fear keeps our body tense, our heart accelerated and our mind less creative. Long term fear weakens us and makes us less effective at work and with our families. When we accept we have a choice, we can exercise our emotional muscle to experience courage over fear.

Today I have a choice and I choose courage.

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Am I the same spirit, the same being, who came to this place on earth so many years ago? Water’s Edge


By Diana Creel Elarde

It irritated me that she could so quickly go off, leaving me to deal with the swirling emotions tied with her departure.

So innocent her move; so potent the action.

What depths of despair I felt when her car door slammed and her engine started. I stood in disbelief until the sound of her car was just a memory, a something that could have happened. Yes, it was like that; dream-like in the sense when your body and your mind don’t feel connected. Each seemed to be experiencing something different, separate from each other as if they were in altered realities at the same time.

My walk away from the parking lot was mechanical in nature. I had to dictate each action, each tiny movement. My brain sending commands in its loud clear voice, left foot, right foot. It was my ego which rebelled trying to order me to stay until she returned. Quite clear it was in the idea she would be back. The ego in its tirade, I decided, had tied itself to inflated ideas of what I had meant to her. Today, it will have to find another way to save face.

I rapidly moved into the woods to be among the tall full trees of mid-summer. I listened for the water, trying to concentrate my efforts outside of my fragile sense of worth.

After a few moments I stopped, taking my shoes off I walked bare footed among the trees, not caring what my feet would find. Pine needles pricked my delicate skin, but I continued to walk. In my younger years, shoes during the summer months were nothing more than a nuisance. I played along the tall grass, the shore and the woods without fear, without trepidation, my feet leathering as the summer continued.

I have infant skin now on my aging feet; feet I rarely allow to touch the earth with their bareness. Within this experience today, I don’t know if I should feel delight from the needles and dirt sticking to me, or brush it all away regain my needed comfort with my shoes.

There are days I am weary of convention and so many rules. I feel exhausted by the narrow, stringent lines I have drawn around my life, like never feeling the earth with bare toes. I can’t remember when I choose to narrow my world or why it happened this way. Is there still time for my soul to feel free, soaring itself far above the earth like a balloon escaping the small hands of a child?

As much as my mind screams for my shoes, I continue on, sensing I know where I want to find myself. Each step becomes freeing; making me feel lighter. In the hurt of my feet I feel the days of my youth stirring deep within my being.

When I finally hear the brook, I stop and wait with ears that no longer hear as clearly as I would want. Was it the brook I had actually heard? Or was it the wish for the sound?

No, I was sure I had heard it and a small smile comes to my lips. I forget the discomfort of my feet and moved to where I knew I could find the brook. Grateful, so grateful some memories are alive inside me ready to be recalled just when I need them. Within minutes I sit in my spot, the spot I had declared mine so very long ago.

There you go I thought, just like you in the past, running for your spot, your security.

Laughing to myself I conclude it was a longer walk and more difficult than I remembered. Perhaps it was my age catching up with me or maybe my narrow lines truly are choking the life out of me.

In our soul do we age I wondered as I gently sit myself down. Or do we age in the time scale mankind has dictated to us? Am I the same spirit, the same being, who came to this place on earth so many years ago?

Shaking my head, I think about how ridiculous these questions sound. Clearly they are ego fancy designed to make my mind feel it has a purpose more than just taunting me about this morning’s fight.

Serious tears start to blink along my eyes as I remember her words. I try to concentrate on the water, but it has barely enough depth and movement to clear small rocks. I need it to be roaring with white water, I think to myself. Yes, my soul needs such a cleansing to erase the years of junk I have collected. Raging water to take away all that keeps my soul grounded, without flight.

It won’t happen today, not with this gentle brook. As I sit, resignation comes and my tears begin to fall into the movement of the water. Swirling in slow circular patterns, they trickle over the small rocks. Finally, they merge into the stream’s waters collecting just enough strength to join into the lazy flow. Gradually, so very gradual they begin to run their course continuing on with a new purpose. I watch as they merge into the current and in their silence, they move beyond me.



Upside Down Ice Cream Eating

She wandered down the hall when she left me. If there was anger, I didn’t see it. Her hand gently ran along the wall on her way to her bedroom. She never looked back my way.

Was it her indifference I wanted to fight with? Was it her dismissal of me that caused my anger? I watched her final steps, until the closed door signaled her solitude in the bedroom. And just like that, I remain with my unsettled emotions left to solve themselves.

The kitchen became my refuge, my outlet. I looked through cupboards, peering at boxes wondering which would fill my gap, my pain. The nothingness of the shelves led me to the cool comfort of the refrigerator. I roamed through the items, sorting through them and reorganizing as I went along. Nothing, until I opened the deep door of the freezer. Of course, the ice cream. Why is it always ice cream?

My impulsive decision didn’t end there; it had to be the right place, the right room to bask in its creamy delight. After all it takes concentrated techniques and efforts to chisel out the chunks of chocolate, making them the main goal of deep dive ice cream eating.

It wasn’t until I reached the overstuffed living room chair with its ability to shelter me from all the words of this morning that I finally pressed the spoon into the caramel base, knowing the sweet salty flavor would soon pass my lips into my readied mouth.

And it did not disappoint. In all relationships, mine with ice cream has never disappointed or proven to be the wrong path to take. I relished the feel, the satisfaction which passes over my body. Nothing in the world could come close to the comfort I found, the security I have felt and the gratefulness for a relief from all the stresses of the world.

Eyes closed I relished the first bite, my tense body relaxing as deep breaths helped to take in the whole experience. I don’t need her I tell myself, or her smug words or attitude. I am perfectly content to find what I need in the next delightful taste. I smile when I think this. Smile and laugh like I couldn’t do this morning in the long hallway. Maybe she can cope tucked away in the hallowed walls of her bedroom. But I could indulge. I could labor little and get such a delight that it would end all the hostility I ever felt.

One bite leads to another, and then another. I marvel how well it all goes down and then an idea strikes me. Turning myself around I throw my feet up on the upper shoulder of the chair. I lower my head off the chair’s ottoman looking at the world from an upside down position. I force a bite into my mouth and make myself feel the coolness of the ice cream has it passes onto the walls of my throat. Such a challenge to experience the ice cream with my world upside down, with laughter stuck in my throat at the exact same time the ice cream passes by. The laughter starts a gurgling sound, like a baby delighted with the first taste of something pleasurable.

“What are you doing?” comes both a curious and demanding voice.

I catch her face from my upside down, ice cream induced position. I find it hard now to have the rage and hurt I had just a while ago.

She comes closer to me, with a less demanding stance than before.

“Let me try,” she offers with a bit of excitement in her voice.

“Why not?” I counter, scooting my body over for her to lie next to me. Feet up, head down she gets ready to take her first initial bite.

“The trick is not to freeze your brain,” I offer from my moments of experience.

“Ah, Mom,” she adds. “I think I can figure that out!”

And so it seems, even with upside down ice cream eating, my  wise advice just isn’t appreciated!


DElarde, 2017


This morning I heard my first ad from a Midwest potential Congressperson stating how she would “stand up to Hillary Clinton.” My husband had to stop me from throwing my shoes at the television. Quite frankly I can’t begin to stomach that in four years we may have a repeat of all of this.

I have many, many friends from both sides shaking their heads questioning how we got to this election. Where are the qualified people? Why so much anger, hatred and blame?

Obviously we have created a leadership vacuum in our government that very few qualified leaders want to fill. And why would they? Who wants to lead in a no win situation?

Our forefathers in their wisdom set up three branches of government – it’s referred to as checks and balances. Some, after the Revolutionary War wanted George Washington to become king. King George? Sounds like the oppression many of our ancestors fought against. Washington and other wise leaders pushed for a democratic process.

And so our beautiful democracy was born, which included the process of checks and balances so no one person or branch would have supreme power 100% of the time.

It is our diversity which has made us a great country. Yet it means our government only works effectively when there is compromise. If we continue with the attitude and action of blue/red, I win and you lose, and stop the process of compromise before it starts, we the people will always lose. Like many of you I have a personal agenda or vision of what I would like to see happen. I have both friends and relatives who may disagree with that. But I am betting that if we sat down and listened to each other we would find common ground to move forward on.

Can I live with getting 30% or 40% of an issue approved and moving forward? Can you? Because compromise is what it will take to fix education, health care, failing infrastructures and social inequalities. Our answers are in the middle, not in extreme sides.

Over the next four years I will be looking for politicians that can DO. I want to find those leaders who have the record, wisdom and courage to walk in the footsteps of our founding fathers, cross the aisle, work with whoever is president and find common ground to move forward for the sake of America. And for those politicians who brag about how much they prevented action which resulted in stalemates, the hell with the shoe I’m finding a boot.

Returning Light

He always said the wind blew like the devil the night I was born. And as I grew in years, the wind increased. He’d say that and then out of the corner of his eye he would give a stare to me. Then the laugh, the gruff laugh so I never knew if he was kidding or if there was a serious tone to what he said. 

Maybe I did believe him; the wind did whip around the house stronger and with more anger every year. I didn’t think it was my fault. The wind was part of life where we lived. Part of everyone’s life. But In his mind that wind demon grew right along with me. Kindred spirits there to plague his life and the wrath he felt he deserved. Somehow it justified how he never deserved me.

I don’t have memories of being a bad child. He said I cried a lot, especially the first few months, that I added misery upon misery with my shrilled cries. Was it this that made me a bad child in his mind? Wasn’t I also cute? Lovable? Didn’t I grasp his large thumb in my fist, like all playful babies do? There must have been some redeeming qualities I had.

“Such a rotten child” he would tell me on his worst nights. Nights when the moon didn’t shine and dusk came into the house covering it like the coldest midnight. His dark words sucking the light from the rooms, making even the bravest heart want to hide. He could rampage the entire house and never leave his Lazyboy. Bellows echoed through the rooms, screaming with the wind until they would reach my ears, trying to settle within my being, quaking close to my heart.

Did I cry during those nights? I don’t remember. I may have looked for shelter under my thin bed covers but I don’t think they would have ever helped me.

“I can be better, I can be more,” I whispered to my small being

We developed a rhythm, him and me. He taunting my useless person and me aspiring, trying to excel, trying to change the cycle we were in. Why did I bother? Shouldn’t I at some point have believed and accepted what the bellowed voice said of me, what he thought of me. How dense is a body that can’t accept what it is told?

Evidently, for me, my thick denseness sheltered my form. Somehow his message, in all of its loudness, just couldn’t find my soul to settle in. So many nights were spent with his darkness how could the cruel words not be there when daylight came through? Did the sun have so much power that it killed them all?

Yes, I believe. His words sent from the rage of the wind, loomed over me, ready to suck the life out of my body.

But the sun, the power of light would come streaming through the thin curtains of my room. Its rays would extend to all the corners and kill the vampirism words before they could strike. And my life, my life was then left untouched, unmarked by the untrue cruelty of his rage.

That must have been what happened.

He used the wind as his enemy, and the reason for his anger. He brought the dark words to be his friend, a comfort for his rage.

In my world, in the lonely small room under my covers, I had the morning, its light, its energy.

He never figured that out I think, smiling to myself. The light always returns, always. I just had to wait for it.


Delarde copyright,2016