Category: Uncategorized (page 2 of 17)

Dropping Pride

Alas, dear friend
Our spirits change
Through growth or through avoidance

We shift and bend
When choosing joy
Or wrinkle with avoidance

When arms are open
To embrace,
The Universe replies

When otherwise
Held crossed and tight,
It reinforces lies

For though they try,
The joyful ones,
To raise your spirits high

‘Tis opposite
That does occur,
Your anger makes them cry

And far beyond
Intention’s lair
Results do leave them cold

The only option
Left to bear,
Releasing of the old

So, know in head,
If not in heart,
The reasons I must leave

My love for you
Will never wane
But cannot serve your needs

All that’s left
And does remain
Is reaching down inside

And finding strength
To hold your arms
Wide open, dropping pride

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, July 14, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number twenty-seven of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Ian Espinosa

Dawn McGauley – The Girlfriend Takeaway

Wellness practitioner. That’s what this outstanding woman is, and who doesn’t love wellness?

I met Dawn several years ago through a friend, but we never really got to know each other. Only recently, by following her practice on Facebook and Instagram (something you can do if you scroll down), I became intrigued. Reiki Master?! Having done some serious spiritual exploration at one point in my life, I wanted to learn more.

Dawn was the perfect guest (funny, upbeat, knowledgeable), and following the interview, I had to travel to Canada for a week, so I booked a Reiki session with her of my own.

First off, Dawn works in a relaxing space in her home that has a completely chilled vibe. She explained the entire process to me and got started. In the interview she quotes a client as saying, “I don’t know what you did, but I feel great.” Yep! My experience exactly, although I did understand the process.

Throughout, with my eyes closed, I could feel literal heat coming from Dawn’s hands, which she describes as channeled energy. It was intense at times, but never painful, and when I opened my eyes, fully relaxed, she helped me identify areas that may be holding me back. Honestly, it’s like spiritual and mental therapy all wrapped up into one calm inducing hour. I loved it!

Skeptical? There’s nothing about a Reiki session that can harm you, so what do you have to lose? Dawn said it best: “I’m a fan of ‘throw everything at it!’ If you try something and it doesn’t work for you, then great, don’t try it again. But what if it does?”

Oh, how that applies to everything! The definition of being alive, if you ask me. It’s through trying new things that we identify ourselves and where we fit in on this crazy, floating planet.

“You create your reality. That’s something that people need to understand, and sometimes that’s hard for them to get. But you can shift it any time that you need to.”

Yes, they do find it hard to get, especially in the face of suffering, but the ability to facilitate change lies within us all. Attitude and focus shape confidence and perception, and anything that aligns us and better directs our energy can’t be a bad thing.

And no worries if you don’t live in Dawn’s immediate area. She offers some great online classes, too!

You can listen to Dawn’s interview on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking here.

Thanks, Girlfriend!

Learn More/Follow Dawn:
Online School

And visit my podcast website at for more inspiring content.

As Though My Kin

I sit beneath this giant tree
That graces our backyard,
And stare up into branches
That reach forever far

Her rings and I, we match in age
Both planted at a time,
When simple was a way of life
And kindness filled the mind

I love this tree as though my kin
Her maple leaves my shade,
Protecting from the sun and heat
While in the breeze they wave

I dream of climbing up again
The way a young girl did,
Supported by her mighty strength
From enemies I hid

I envy now the squirrels and birds
Who reach the highest branch,
Up through the many byways
That big girls simply can’t

Instead I sit and listen close
While in the wind she sings,
And echo back “I’m grateful for
The peace my soul you bring.”

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, July 7, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number twenty-six of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Hayley Seibel

Rita Wilkins – The Girlfriend Takeaway

Interior designer, Rita Wilkins, understands remodeling. Not only as it relates to personal space but also personal lives, and her biggest renovations have recently been her own.

What facilitated her to make changes? Exposure to an alternate reality.

A few years back, Rita traveled to Senegal where she witnessed what living with practically nothing looks like. What she found in the absence of material possessions was a culture rich with happiness and generosity. Returning to America, she downsized from a 5,000 square foot home to an 867 square foot apartment, donating, or giving away, 95% of what she owned. According to her, she’s never been happier.

“Once you open your mind to, ‘Is this possible?’ That’s where there’s an opening.”

Most of us focus on the possibility of gaining more, only to be left with an unexplainable and persistent void. In Rita’s instance, she’s completely turned the tables (the one or two she has left) on perspective.

“Downsizing has to do so much with what it is that you really want to do? What matters most to you? And then you look at what can be trimmed from your life, trimmed from your budget, trimmed from whatever. You can design the life you love.”

I loved talking to Rita, and we’ve both decided that our connection will go far beyond the 30 minute interview that has been posted for you to hear. It’s connections like this one that make doing this podcast one of my greatest joys, and I sure don’t need a lot of stuff to make that happen.

You can’t not gain from Rita’s words of wisdom. You can’t not gain from letting go.

You can listen to Rita’s episode on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Castbox, or by clicking here.

Learn More:
Rita’s TEDx

Gratitude and Pride

We look each day for big things
The grandiose, the wins,
The pie-in-sky accomplishments
Where life we’re sure begins

Obsessed with looking forward
And always asking, “When?”
Or paralyzed by fear that if
We fail we’ll never mend

When all the while around us
Life’s joys are wisping by,
The gentle touch of loved ones
The soft breath in their sighs

The trees, the grass, the colors
All shaped by nature’s hand,
The kindnesses and empathy
Our brotherhood of man

Hold tight to dreams, pursue them
And set your fears aside,
But understand the balance
Of gratitude and pride

It is through moments cherished
That we learn to clear our souls,
And make room for abundance
And the things that matter most

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, June 30, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number twenty-five of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Xaviar Morton Photographie

Stuff and Things

Things and stuff, and stuff and things
Filling up our homes,
Boxes full of God knows what
Stored above, below

Children’s toys that once made noise
Clothes from christenings,
Even though our kids are grown
And say, “Uninteresting”

Books and more books shoved away
Stacked up and stacked upon,
Some we’d marked to read one day
But now our interest’s gone

Nick-nacks and backpacks and old picture frames
Sticking out hither and yon,
Corners of closets and corners of rooms
That haven’t been reached in eons

Why do we do it, why must we play
This game of surpassing the Joneses,
While emptying our wallets and filling our lives
With the acquisition of excess

Does it help us avoid, or fill in a void
Where something we fear has gone missing,
‘Cause it can’t really work if we’re back at the mall
The next week in search of more “blessing”

‘Twas a wise sage, who said this of old age:
“You just can’t take everything with you,”
Yet here we remain, while our houses may gain,
With our souls and bills long overdue.

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, June 23, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number twenty-four of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Luca Laurence

Caroline King – The Girlfriend Takeaway

I had trouble picking my girlfriend takeaway this week, and I love it when that happens! It’s purely because there were so many nuggets from my conversation with Caroline King that I struggled narrowing down to just one. In the end, I decided on two.

This young woman is the Caroline of Caroline King Photography in Tucson, Arizona, and she’s a woman on a mission. A valiant one at that. She’s taking on our toxic body image issues and destroying them one photograph at a time. Her weapon? Boudoir. Powerful and expressive, it appears to show no mercy.

Caroline admits in the interview to having had some body image issues of her own, and who among us hasn’t? God knows I did. But now she’s embracing who she is and inspiring others to do the same. And beyond the photography, she’s also a big proponent of filtering our exposure to toxic social media messages that dictate how we should look.

“I think that one thing I’ve learned through all of this is just how much agency we have over the way we feel about our bodies through the things that we expose ourselves to, and the way we have to be vigilant about our thoughts about our bodies. After practicing that over and over and over and working that muscle, and sort of rewriting how you think about yourself, you can actually change how you feel.”

Yes, you most certainly can. I couldn’t agree more. And it’s people like Caroline who are out there fighting the good fight for those who continue to struggle.

“I hope that what I can do in my work is at least create a space for people to explore a different kind of relationship with their body than they have. I mean, it’s up to every individual person to do all the work that it takes to really undo all of the toxic messages, but if I can at least create a space where people can help explore that, then that’s really all I care about.”

Well done.

So, let’s don the lingerie, girlfriends, and work to put this body image bullshit behind us.

You can listen to Caroline’s inspiring interview on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or by clicking here.

Learn More:


The strongest hands that hold us
The deepest tone of voice,
We’re introduced to fathers
As tiny girls and boys

They toss us high as toddlers
And keep us safe from harm,
Defending and protecting
With the mightiest of arm

They’re unmatched superheros
Who can’t do any wrong,
Until we reach our teenage years
And elsewhere we belong

But always, for the better
They keep a watchful eye,
Often down on bended knee
Praying for our lives

And time goes by, and lives live out
With spouses, homes, and tests,
While a father’s arms grow weaker
And he sells his empty nest

But never does his love for us
Fade along with years,
It grows and spreads across the miles
Still braving all our fears

And though the cape has faded
In the years since we did part,
It’s never left his shoulders
And we’ve never left his heart

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, June 16, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number twenty-three of fifty-two

Maxene Raices – The Girlfriend Takeaway

It was a different time in a different world when 17-year-old Maxene Raices got pregnant. A world where young girls became cloaked in lies and isolated for shaming their families. And all of this took place in a complete absence of sex education or discussion.

Fast forward 26 years to her answering the phone and hearing the daughter she’d given up for adoption on the other end.

Maxene is author of the book The Land of Sunshine and Hell: A Memoir of a 60s Unwed Mother, in which she chronicles a tumultuous and heartbreaking journey of giving up a child she’d had no option to keep.

“It left a hole in my heart.”

We often hear this expression associated with the loss of a loved one, and that’s exactly what she experienced when her child was taken from her. Thankfully, this story has a happy ending.

I’ve seen movies set in the 1960s involving teenage pregnancy, but not until reading this book, and interviewing Maxene, did I realize the scope of what young girls experienced.

That’s my biggest takeaway this week. That we’ve truly come a long way in the war on acceptance and the ability to make our own choices. Now, let’s do all we can to ensure that it stays that way.

You can check out Maxene’s riveting interview on iHeart Radio, iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or by clicking here.

Learn More:

Off The Fence!

Beneath waves of upheaval
And morality’s guise,
Old, male caucasians
Avert their blind eyes

They claim God and science
Are supporting their side,
(Except when it comes
to environment’s cries)

“You must have your babies,
We’ll bring it to bear,
But don’t come to us
When there’s no food to share

“And don’t expect men
To wear condoms and such,
We like how it feels
Without one, too much”

And death to those
Who take action despite?
This bullshit hypocrisy’s
Reaching new heights

Most of my life
I have ridden the fence,
On political issues
With little defense

But when you in your tower
Try to silence our voice,
I will stand with my sisters
And holler PRO CHOICE!!

~ Leana Delle
Sunday, June 9, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number twenty-two of fifty-two

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