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What does namaste mean anyway?

Namaste photo

Namaste. This post is going to be a little experiment ~ writing first with my current understanding of this word and what it means to me, and finishing with the actual definition ~ to see how it varies.

I have been told namasate means “the light in me sees the light that shines in you” (or similar variations). Light would be referring to the unique goodness and positive energy that each person is at their core. I believe we were born as beings of pure light, and that is who we truly are.

When I participate in yoga, “namaste” is nearly always the final word we all utter to our teacher and other attendees at the completion of class. It is a way of honoring what we just shared during the time we spent together. What a blessing to say, “I see the light in you”, to our teacher ~ for her {usually a woman, but not always} time spent guiding us. It is also a kind thought that we acknowledge those around us who shared that space with us during class. Above all, it feels so good to be present in that moment with others.

I created a small piece of art that sits on the entry table of our home that says “namaste”. My intention for it was to let people know that upon entering our home we will be doing our best to see their light. This year I am setting an intention to see others in a fresh light ~ where they are now ~ not how I’ve known them to be previously. It’s not always an easy task. We can be so programmed by the stories we tell about ourselves and others. However, I truly believe that if we look at each other with the intention of seeing the good, it will be reflected back to us. It doesn’t mean we have to connect with everyone, but at least look for their inner nature instead of their human habits that irritate us.

Now ~ for the online definition of “namaste”… well apparently there are many:

Literal translation: “I bow to the divine in you.”

Other interpretations:

“The Divine in me recognizes and honors the Divine in you.”

“The spirit within me bows to the spirit within you.”

“I greet that place where you and I are one.”

“I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace.”

Wow ~ those are all so powerful. The last one resonates with me the most for some reason. What do you feel most drawn to? And more importantly, what if every person we greeted we held this intention of seeing their light? It would be magic I think.


Jen Farrant - I always say namaste to my yoga teacher, even though I am the only person who does so.

I go with the divine in me sees the divine in your definition. And interestingly the Quakers talk about seeing the light in peoeple and ‘that of God’ in all. For them light is God and the two are often interchanged in their writings

That resonates with me a great deal

twopoppies2012 - Thank you Jen for your comments. That is interesting about the Quakers – I don’t know much about that faith tradition. Peace.

Love notes

eva notes

In our home, “I love you” is spoken so many times a day ~ I sometimes get concerned that it becomes watered down. What I know from growing up, and hearing those words more times a day than I could count, it gives you a sense of security that can’t be shaken. “I am loved” is a fact that you get to take to school with you, PE class, a your friend’s house, a party, as you fall asleep… “I am loved” is a tangible message that can repeat in your mind and be a comfort in many situations.

My daughters know they are loved. We are not a perfect family ~ not even ~ but love is the constant thread that weaves us together.

For one of our two girls, this message has become her mantra. She has an adorable habit of leaving love notes for all of us around the house. I guess that message of love needs to keep spilling out of her too! I never tire of finding them. {The photo above is the bottom of my computer monitor – and what I am staring at as I type this.} And in this way, I also know that even if we say “I love you” too much {is there such a thing?}, I am comforted in knowing they will never doubt it.


So, I pass this note {she created from a lettered dice game and left for us to find} on to you ~

eva notes 2

Journal gem no. 2

So, needing a little oomph to my spirit, I opened up one of my journals, the one in which I write my poems and meditation insights, and came across this lovely and inspiring advice received from the universe during a meditation:

(from 01.02.2012)
When growth needs to occur in one person, it is an opportunity for the others involved to show their grace. Guilt and shame do not encourage growth but hinder it. We need to meet people where they are and love them ~ unconditionally.


(photo by Lynne Raspet)

Hello. A mantra.

About 10 years ago, I was lucky enough to have been given a copy of Ekhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now. Ever since reading that gem followed by A New Earth and Stillness Speaks, I’ve known that living in the present moment is an amazing tool on the path to inner peace. Knowing something, and actually practicing it or living it can be two completely different things. I definitely know I move through the world with a much more mindful approach, and Eckhart Tolle’s teachings are being resonated in many different books, shows, movies, podcasts, blog posts, etc. these days. He wasn’t the first one to share it, and he won’t be the last. In fact my community’s newsletter just had a whole section titled “Learn to Live in the Present Moment” ~ which floored me.

I just completed 15-day hot yoga challenge (blog post on that coming soon!) ~ and although for the most part I really escape into the four corners of my mat and leave behind the world, there are times when my mind still wanders. During a recent class, my mind starting going off the mat and out of the room ~ way out of the present moment. I was a bit frustrated with myself and thought, “Hello, Suzee? You are here. Now”. The simple word, “hello” really stuck with me. Each time my mind starting going in other directions, I said “hello” to myself ~ to pull me back to the present. I greeted myself. It sounds sort of kooky, but it really worked. I’ve even started using it off the mat as well ~ during other brain chatter sessions ~ “hello” ~ and I’m right back where I truly am, not off on the run-away train that my brain was taking me on.

Give it a try. “Hello”…

{Fun side note to the above image: I created this at the top of a hill in the nearby mountains ~ which overlooks a beautiful valley and out to the surrounding national forest. When I came back with my husband a week later, the word had been turned into “Chill”. I added “Wow”, because the view from up there always takes my breath away.}




adri - Love this Suzee. Great post!

twopoppies2012 - Thank you my sweet friend!

What in the world is a “blog hop”?


“The greatest defense is being who you are… Just look at the flowers and trees. They do not suppress each other. Even when crowded, they show themselves and grow in all directions and so make it to the light.” ~ Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Our charming new friend Justine Taormino (more on her below) asked us if we’d like to join her on a blog hop ~ and we love the idea! The requirements were to answer four questions and to introduce you to Justine (she’s so terrific!) and invite three other blogging friends to continue the dialogue. So here goes…

We are taking our dive into the world of blogging very s…l…o…w…l…y. It’s not that we don’t have a lot to say, it’s that we both just have very full plates (especially Lynne these days with an extremely imminent move – like NOW – from Georgia back to Texas ~ her hubby is in the Air Force). We are also still finding our voice and our groove with blogging and building our Two Poppies site.

Answers (S: Suzee | L: Lynne)

1) What are we working on/writing?

S: For the past few months my main focus has been getting our first book Beautiful Rainbow World off to the printer, the eBook created, and a teaser video produced. The book is a collection of photos of global children set to the lyrics of a song by the same title. We ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for the book project, and are extremely excited to see the book in its complete form. It is scheduled for delivery in early June! As far as our blog, I’ve been a bit hesitant about following through on my inspirations to share. I often feel insecure about the possibility others will either think I’m nutso or that it will be something interests no one other than me. The process of writing this post has already opened me up to know that my truths are worth sharing ~ regardless of any of my insecurities. It will reach who it needs to reach, and when.

So far, we have been sharing Lynne’s photography, creative projects, and snippits from lives that have inspired us. As we grow this site, we plan to share more about each of our life’s journeys, including our lives with our children and our creative processes (sometimes combined). We will aim for that blurred line of sharing our authentic thoughts and experiences while also maintaining a boundary of privacy for our families.

L: These days my voice is heard through my photography. This is my third year taking an image a day (365 project), as of May 22 that’s 872 days in a row! This year I’ve also embarked on a picture journey with my son, Isaiah. He has the most incredible mind, but it is never quiet. Compared to the rest of my children, I struggle with the best way to parent him. This project is a collaboration between the two of us, a way for us to understand each other better. Who knows? I may just do the same thing with one of my other children next year. As far as writing, I have had trouble finding enough quiet in my mind and in my life to practice daily writing. If I have a thought that absolutely I have to write down I keep a journal handy and jot it down.

2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?

S: I think the fact that we are sisters, both sharing on Two Poppies, sets us apart a bit. For anyone who has met us, they know that although we are very compatible with each other, we are also quite different. Lynne is easier at sharing herself with others, while I can tend to be very protective of my personal stuff. Lynne struggles with the feeling that she shares too much, and I struggle with the feeling that people feel shut out by me because I have difficulty opening up and trusting sending my truths into the world. {Wow, even writing this is making me tear up! I think I hit a nerve.}

We haven’t gotten there yet, but we also plan to write about how we are striving to raise our children (6 between us) with a very open view of the world. This includes not stifling their creativity and imagination, and letting them grow into who they were born to be. We both are extremely culturally curious (which is why we also own Multicultural Kids), LOVE being in nature with our kids – seriously our very, VERY favorite place to spend time with them — and enjoy sharing creative processes with them, often inspired by them instead of the other way around. We plan to open up about what we have learned from our kids about the world ~ believing that their freshness to this human experience is actually more wise than meets the eye.

L: Suzee said it all, I’m not sure what I have to add here. Photographically speaking, I’m not sure what sets me apart. I know that I try to be 100% authentic in the images I post. As Suzee said, my biggest fear is that sometimes I am too open, especially when it comes to respecting the privacy of my children. Before I post an image that they may feel sensitive about I always check with them beforehand. I think as humans we always want to paint ourselves in the best light, especially when it comes to social media. I try really hard to present the imperfectness of life in all of its glory without making it seem like I’m complaining. My photography is kind of like my diary, what I’ve figured out (for now anyway), what I don’t understand, etc. I’m okay with being a not-so-private person, I just hope I respect those I love who aren’t so open.

3) Why do I write what I do?

S: On Two Poppies, I haven’t delved too much into some of my spiritual insights, but when I have them, I write them down knowing that at some point I will share. It also goes back to getting into my groove. When I get the amazing messages I have received, I know immediately they are meant to be shared (because it is not actually just my information, but something that came streaming through me for the benefit of others as well). Some of that is gaining courage, and some of it is learning how to put it into words. I have a MS Word document called “My Truths” that I have been keeping for years ~ excerpts from books and podcasts, dreams, quotes, stories, experiences, etc that have inspired me or came to me through many different sources. It has a lot of great stuff that I hope to eventually blog about ~ or share in another way. I express myself a lot through painting and mixed media ~ so maybe I will also do a combination approach.

L: Oh goodness, I don’t write so much these days, although I have two more children’s books that feel really ready to be written, so I’ve set a goal to at least get them down in some version by the end of the year. I still struggle with formulating all the ideas, revelations and questions in my head in a way that can be shared with others easily. I know it’s a practice that gets easier just like everything else, one of these days I will get there. I keep a journal on my night stand and in my purse, so I’m ready! As far as photography, I think it’s as much about documenting the beautiful and not so beautiful parts of my family, it’s also therapy. It’s my way of feeling vulnerable and growing through that vulnerability. I hope that doesn’t sound totally selfish! Of course, I love documenting our little life. It’s my way of slowing things down ~ I don’t feel ready for my kids to grow up!

4) How does my writing process work?

S: I don’t think either Lynne or I really feel like “writers” yet, but we do feel like story-tellers, which is why we started Two Poppies ~ to share our views and experiences. I’ve been journaling fairly consistently since I was a kid ~ with stretches of silence woven in. I was super good about journal writing every morning for the past several years. Then in February we got a puppy! So, the puppy allowed me enough time to meditate, but never enough time for journaling as well. She’s getting easier now, so I’d like to start back up with that practice ASAP. I also experienced some wild writing while at a creative retreat last fall with Andrea Scher and Laurie Wagner ~ and the writing and sharing process I experienced there opened me up in ways I never knew writing could. I still feel like my writing style is stiff and I hear too many English teachers, copywriters, and editors (I am also a graphic designer – mostly for the corporate world) popping in my head as write ~ so I would like to loosen up.

As far as blogging in particular ~ I am a creative spirit, and forcing things never really seems to work for me. So, when I’m feeling super inspired to share something, I write. Being that Lynne and I also run another business together, are publishing our first book, plus lots of kids and family obligations thrown in the mix ~ I haven’t written as many posts as I had hoped. I’m planning to possibly take a blogging e-course to gain confidence and direction. What I’ve shared so far on Two Poppies has been fairly safe – I’d say the Journal Gem post on the poem that came streaming through me was my most vulnerable.

L: What writing practice? Ha! As I said before I keep a journal with me everywhere, so it’s only a matter of time before I will have a writing practice. I also keep my camera with me all of the time. I’ve made a real effort this year to try to be more deliberate when I’m taking photographs. This means less clicks of the shutter and slowing down to actually capture what I visualize. I live in a constant state of self-doubt, so lately my mantra has been “Trust Yourself”. The doubt cloud had gotten so big I couldn’t really hear MY voice. I’m trying really hard to listen really hard to that true inner voice, whether that’s with writing or photography. It’s hard and I fail all the time, but I keep plugging away. I don’t know if I really answered the question above, but it’s what I felt the need to write so I will go with it. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been able to do much more than upload my pictures to my computer and share them once in awhile on Facebook. I have big plans to create picture diary blog posts, but life has been so crazy lately I haven’t gotten very far. Keep checking in, though, one of these days I will get to them.



Our blogging buddies ~ oooh! they are so amazing! It’s worth your time to check them out.

Justine Taormino is an INFJ and a Pisces with moon in Scorpio – dualities, emotions and intuition are her jam. Warm, empathetic and resourceful, Justine worships the world through feelings and deep conversation. She is interested in experiences – how people anticipate, dream of, live through, enjoy and reflect on their daily lives. In 2010, after struggling with years of anxiety, pressure and whole lot of “shoulds”, she got herself a therapist. This is also when she began her blog, Allowing Myself, adopted a dog, bought a beach cruiser and began falling in love with her “one precious life”. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and best-dog-ever Carter Cash. The most recent quote to break her heart is by Ram Dass: “We’re all just walking each other home.” You can find her on Instagram @jtaormino and Twitter @jtaormino21.



Melissa Dinwiddie is an artist, writer, performer, inspirationalist and creativity instigator, on a mission to empower people to feed their creative hungers. She coaches and consults with individuals and groups, and leads creativity workshops and retreats in inspiring locations around the world as well as online. Melissa writes for The The Huffington PostTiny BuddhaThe Abundant Artist, and others, and shares the inside scoop on living a big, bold, creative life on her own blog, Living A Creative Lifewhere you can get a free mini-poster with her Keys to Creative Flow and Imperfectionist Manifesto.



Summer is a wife, Mama, therapist turned photographer, and runner. Her blog, Running Chatter, is a place where she muses about life, motherhood, and deeper heart issues by weaving together two passions — words and images. After the unexpected death of her Mom she developed a deep appreciation for the little joys in life. She believes that laughter is food for the soul and enjoys finding the humor in her own chaotic life.

Summer Kellogg
Owner/Photographer SummerK Photography


Sue Ann_img_2943_250
Sue Ann Gleason, creator of Chocolate for Breakfast, the Well-Nourished Woman, and the Luscious Legacy Project, is a lover of words, a strong believer in the power of imagination, and a champion for women who want to lead a more delicious, fully expressed life. Sue Ann has been featured in Oprah and Runner’s World magazines and numerous online publications. When not working with private clients or delivering online programs, she can be found sampling exotic chocolates, building broccoli forests in her mashed potatoes, or crawling into bed with freshly sharpened pencils and pages that turn.

You can connect with Sue Ann (multi-passionate maven) in a number of places. Delicious freebies await you!
joyful eating | nourished living | wise business



Sue Ann Gleason - First, I want to say thank you for including me in this blog hop. I have had so much fun following the links and discovering new writers. What a treat! Next, you may be s…l…o…w…l…y finding your way into the blogging world but I want you to know the images I have feasted on here on your blog are indelibly imprinted in my heart and in my psyche. I am so inspired to read about your writing process. I, too, see myself more as a “story-teller” than a writer (you’ll read more about that next week) but this blog hop illuminated for me the power in simply claiming that word. Writer. I write, therefore I’m a writer. Thank you for being willing to share your vulnerability and your life. I feel enriched just knowing you.

P.S. I want you to know that after meeting you two, I started referring to you as. . . “You know, the two women I met on that retreat. The ones who left me with ‘sister envy’! May your relationship and all that you share here inspire us to seek deeper bonds with our sisters, both biological and beyond.

twopoppies2012 - Thank you so much Sue Ann for your kind words. After meeting you, and hearing about this “new” life you have created after having a rewarding teaching career, it truly inspired us to know that although everything might not be happening quickly due to our other commitments ~ but if we keep telling our stories and growing ~ many new possibilities await us!

Summer - One of my favorite things about this virtual world? The two of you.

I’m thankful to have “met” you. Thankful for follow your journey. Thankful to know that there are beautiful souls out there who have so much to offer.

I can’t wait to read more of what you have to share as this space develops. Thank you for your authenticity. . . both of you.

(So excited to explore the links you shared)

Something Good | A Thousand Shades of Gray - […] What in the world is a “blog hop”? from Two Poppies […]

twopoppies2012 - We couldn’t agree more. Now we just need to work on our tele-transporting super powers so we can meet in “real” life. You are a blessing to this world with your vision and your words. Take good care ~ and thank you for being so supportive.