About

IMG_0713print
Kirkpatrick family, circa 2012

Welcome! I am so glad you stopped by to read a post or two. I’m also glad you wanted to get to know me a little better.

I always check out the “About” page when I engage with a new writer, or teacher. I want to know who they are, where they come from and why I should trust them. If “our lives are our message,” then I want to know what their lives look like, especially if they are writing about spirituality, consciousness, faith, or family. Those questions aren’t theoretical; they are deeply personal. I don’t need teachers to divulge secrets, or air their dirty laundry, but I don’t trust teachers who seem more intent on selling themselves, than being themselves. In our social media-driven world, it’s hard to find that balance, but here’s my attempt.

Professionally, I am a writer, speaker, retreat leader, part-time university instructor and business owner. I love my “work.” (Some of my clients and projects are listed below.) However, I primarily think of myself as “someone in relationship:” a wife, mother, daughter, friend, mentor, co-worker, neighbor.  You get the picture.

Near the end of his life, Leo Tolstoy wrote, “Everything I understand, I understand because I love.” As I’ve gotten older, that’s become true for me as well. For the first thirty-five years of my life, I thought that more knowledge was the answer to every question: read, study, learn, apply. I was convinced that if I stuck to the “facts,” and “thought it through,” my marriage would flourish; my kids would be perfect; my heart would be whole.

You can imagine how that turned out.

Surprisingly, (at least to me), not so well. In my desire to do it all right, I was doing much of it wrong. That realization broke my heart and opened my mind, which is exactly the right place to start over. So I did and I finally began to understand what it meant to truly love.

These four are my greatest teachers.

IMG_8804Tim:

I call him “Babe,” or “T” most frequently. He is the funny, passionate man on the journey with me, intentionally and wholeheartedly. When I’m not keeping him busy with reading, podcasts and conversation, he runs Wavelines, our surf shop here in San Diego.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 12.31.53 PMKeara:

“Kiko,” our oldest, away at college. She is an artist, musician, and night owl, who loves to work with her hands: clothing, makeup, hair, food, or construction tools. Keara never ceases to surprise me with a new idea, activity, recipe, (or tattoo).

 

 

 

IMG_5052Finn:

“The Lad,” the middle child and only son, also away at college, studying photography. He is a freckle-faced, mini-version of Tim, with his humor and love of the ocean, but he’s got my curious mind, and adventurous spirit. Finn brings fun wherever he goes.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2003Molly:

The youngest, but definitely not the “baby” anymore. Teenager, high school student-athlete, budding activist and feminist, full-fledged committed friend and communicator. Molly’s liveliness and compassion keeps us on our toes.

 

I include their images and descriptions here, because so many of my stories, especially the early ones, are about them. I might be the author, but they are the stars of the show. They incite the drama, provide comic relief, drop pearls of wisdom at my feet, drive me crazy and manage to make me fall in love each and every day.

They have taught me that the only “perfect family” is the one where everyone is allowed to be “perfectly” themselves and yet also inspired to become their best selves by being loved “imperfectly,” which is the only way we can ever do anything.

I hope following this blog, or my Instagram feed, will help you find the #Signs of Love waiting for you in your own life in abundance.

 

Companies and Companions on the journey

Oneing, Center for Action and Contemplation

Sojo.net

Contemplify Podcast

La Casa de Maria, Family Retreat

De Mariallac Academy

 Mariner’s Christian MOPS

Serra High School Parent Academy

Sts. Simon and Jude, St. Joachim’s, St. Cecelia’s and Ascension Catholic parishes