May 30, 2011

Smiling Now

I have never lived more in the now than now.

And amazingly I find myself smiling more.

The challenge to stay positive

And continue to look at the bright side

Of every event and circumstance .

This is something that

In theory

I have understood before

But am finally doing this literally.

What a difference.

The now is beautiful.

May 27, 2011


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Communicable Disease
DATE: 06/21/2011
TIME: 9am- 12pm
Access Counseling Group
2600 Avenue K, Ste. 102
Plano, TX 75074
COST: $30
Paula Heller-Garland, MS, LCDC
DATE: 07/19/2011
TIME: 9am- 12pm
Access Counseling Group
2600 Avenue K, Ste. 102
Plano, TX 75074
COST: $30
Paula Heller-Garland, MS, LCDC
Please RSVP to 972-423-8727
as soon as possible as space is limited.
All participants will receive a certificate of completion
and LCDCs can receive 3 CEUs for each class!


Irene Little, M.S., LCDC, ADCIII, ICADC
Access Counseling Group

May 25, 2011

Powerful Soul

You were born with it

You can’t change it

You know you have it

And own it

Because when you walk in the room

People notice

You have presence




A powerful soul

People are drawn to you

And they can’t always put their finger on the reason

What a gift

What a responsibility

To have been adorned

With a powerful soul

May 22, 2011

Beside Me

Last weekend I went to the Texas coast, a place of many great memories for my family. My weekend plans were simply to include a visit to Mustang Island and experience some of the wonders of nature.

A friend went with me. Because he had been to that area recently, he drove. Interestingly, he drove for a while on the beach and tried a couple of spots before pulling into the one we agreed was perfect. As we were driving toward the beach we were talking about the ocean. We talked about how powerful it was to realize the waves that crash on the shore come from so far away and how much energy they posses.

We sat up some chairs, put on sunscreen, opened a bottle of water….and sat down. We were taking in the ocean and beachgoers while listening to some music. I looked around at the people on either side of us. To our left was a family, I saw Mom, dad and a teenage boy who was texting. To my right was a multi-generational family ranging in age from what I assumed to be grandmother to infant. It was setting up to be a gorgeous and serene day.

No sooner than I sat down and evaluated my surroundings than did the mom from my left come to me and say, “should I call someone? I can’t find my son”! It took a moment to process what exactly she was saying to me. She actually had two sons. The teen I saw texting and her husband were going out into the water to look for the other son. I was sure I saw three heads in the water. I told her I did. I told her we could let the person up the beach selling permits know because there were no lifeguards. Even she seemed to be a worried mom more than a woman in crisis.

Soon she was calling 911, police were arriving, people on the beach began looking, the lifeguards arrived, jet skis and helicopters were deployed. There was a search for a 12-year old boy wearing a yellow shirt with a number 1 on the back. My heart ached. With a 10-year old of my own it was difficult not to think about the situation from the position of that mother, completely helpless and heartsick. I said a prayer, hugged my friend, and asked what I could do to help. Nothing. There was really nothing I, or anyone else on the beach could do but pray and count personal blessings. I took a walk to the jetty. The thoughts going through my mind were innumerable. Because I kept thinking about my own son I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn’t happening to me, just beside me.

After it had been at least an hour with no one finding this little boy, my friend and I decided to leave the beach. The time in the sun and sand we were looking forward to instead was turning into a feeling of despair. We drove away from the beach but conversations and thoughts turned time and again to that poor family. Seeing the mom drop to her knees in the sand and cry out from her gut a pain that only someone in that position could ever know will forever be etched into my memory of that day.

Late that night we were both still thinking about the events as they unfolded. He suggested a drive back to the water to bring some closure. As we stood in the water I felt so thankful to have been with a friend capable of hearing and expressing emotion.

The next day I searched several times on the local news updates to stay tuned into the story. Finally, late Sunday night I found that his body had been discovered two miles south of where he was last seen. While my heart was hurting, I felt some peace for that mom. I couldn’t imagine in my worst nightmare going through that experience. I couldn’t imagine being a mom who walked away from that beach without him.

May 20, 2011

New Shoes

The newness of love wears like a fresh pair of shoes....
The hype and the drama of a new pair of shoes is like a new love too.

The first thought of your new pair of shoes, how they will look with your favorite pair of jeans
kinda like how that new person looks on your arm the first date...badass and lovin' it.

A new pair of shoes can give an old wardrobe new life,
bring back the flair, bring things to life you haven't worn in a while,
put a sizzle to your soul again, with new purpose and feeling once again,
just like new love too.

She's the only one for me or he can do no wrong
You haven't changed
Your new love is just new to you
Like that new pair of shoes....

Like a new pair of shoes there is no place you don't want to wear them
Not a place you don't want to take your new love

The tragedy is the end to the newness...

there comes that scuff
that stain
when the newness is gone..

Do you really want to keep those new shoes?
What will you do with those shoes after they are worn?
Keep them in the back of the closet because they are comfortable?

The cycle continues....called new love

(Written by Johnny Appleseed)

May 16, 2011

Johnny Appleseed

I met this fellow, Johnny Appleseed. I have assigned him to be my private tour guide of Austin while I work here. He has been a gem. He has shown me parts of Austin I would not otherwise know. He has shown me the little nooks and crannies only someone who lives the Austin lifestyle daily frequent. He is a hippie with a positive outlook, motivated and forward thinking, a real open-minded, out of the box thinker. I am enjoying seeing a city through the eyes of someone who is not only local, but one who encourages me to be upbeat and inspired about life.

So often I speak of “out of the box thinking” and living a “conscious life”; however, not regularly do I meet someone who lives such a life. What an inspiration (and challenge) to see someone who really lives in the now, who looks forward and dares to stop when thoughts turn to pain from the past!

Interestingly enough, Johnny isn’t in the helping profession. While I understand one doesn’t have to be in the helping profession to have this outlook, it is a different experience for me. Just this evening while in a conversation with him I asked him for feedback about thought stopping. In the back of my mind I thought of an article I wrote about the subject. As I listened to his response I realized I met someone who lives the things I write about, the things I strive for.

Humph. Mr. Appleseed……I am watching you.

May 10, 2011

My Symphony

I bought a used book Saturday. Inside was a great treasure. A bookmark with this reading:

My Symphony

To live content with small means;
To seek elegance rather than luxury
and refinement rather than fashion;
To be worthy, not respectable;
and wealthy not rich;
To study hard, think quietly,
talk gently,
act frankly
To listen to stars and birds,
To babes and sages with an open heart;
To bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely,
await occasions,
hurry never;
in a word
to let the spiritual, unbidden, and unconscious,
grow through the common;
This is my symphony

Wm. Henry Channing

May 08, 2011


Many times I have said you are woven throughout my life. As Mother’s Day approached it occurred to me that memories of you are all around. Perhaps, in ways only I would understand.

As I was standing in my kitchen cooking yesterday, a quiet task that causes my mind to begin reminiscing (similar to washing dishes, cleaning the bathrooms and mowing), I reached for the kitchen scissors and off I went. Kitchen scissors. Who knew there were special scissors to cut food items? Mom did.

Every trip we have taken is represented in my home. And you were with me on my so many of them. I still remember when my son’s father (it is Mother’s Day, I won’t call him “baby daddy” today) asked “Aren’t we supposed to invite your mom on this vacation”? And I knew he fit well in our little family.

Even a walk into my Sonshine's room or around my living room, you are there. My books, my Polish pottery, my German crystal, you are there because you were there. What a lesson that is to me for my life. I can’t create memories I am not present to make. And you are present now because you were then. You are woven into the fabric of me because you were part of the material that made me. You didn’t mail it in or buy it for me. As a mom, you simply were present. And that has made all the difference.

No one else may ever understand why I get a tear in my eye when I smell bleach, chuckle a little when I see turtleneck sweaters, or long for Europe when it snows. But no one has to as long as I do.

I will forever miss you. I have grasped that. Nothing will replace you in my life. But I have memories of a wonderful life with you and a phenomenal relationship with you as an adult that will be part of who I am for the rest of my life.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Everyday Mom Memories....

Knowing we always have to leave bread in the oven about five extra minutes.....

The sled and walking stick from Germany, the rotary phone from Heidenheimer, the plant Joseph sent

Our trek around a bitter cold Europe

Beginning to look like a replica of your Holland fridge?

We went "green" before it was hip!

And the other kind of green bag!

You also gave me my love for reading......

May 05, 2011

An Email

I know you get as many forwarded email as I. Once in a while I read one that hits me and I think to share it. If you have read long, you know I am a fiend for quotes. This is one of those email I received I felt compelled to share. My apologies that there is no credit given to the originator of each quote.

A birth certificate shows you were born. A death certificate shows you have died. A photo album shows you have lived.

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

A sharp tongue can cut your own throat.

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

the heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still your word.

You lie the loudest when you lie to yourself.

If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Ideas won't work unless you do.

Your mind is like a functions only when open.

The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime!

It is never too late to become what you might have been.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.. So love the people who treat you right.. Forget about the ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

May 04, 2011

You must....

You must have been the best mother in the world.

Have prayed seventeen times a day...just for me.

Been the strongest woman on earth.

Had a direct connection to God.

Have been hand-picked to parent a daughter like me.

Know how much I miss you everyday.

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you.

You are woven into every thought, dream and ambition I possess......

Happy Mother's Day, mom.

I miss you and love you.....