Survivor Story

In 2013 and 2017,  I was blessed to visit the 9/11 Memorial in New York City — both incredibly moving experiences. One of the amazing stories to come out of the 9/11 tragedy is that of the Survivor Tree. A poem written by Faith A. Johnson describes it well:

The Survivor Tree

A miracle of botany, human spirit, and community,
In face of great adversity,
Back to life and breathing free,
It is known as the Survivor Tree.

Buried under twisted steel,
Determined branches hands could feel
Its blackened trunk, leaves no more,
And yet some life inside its core.

Where once its blossoms did embrace,
A Callery Pear showcased this place,
Where towers stood and life was loud,
A city and a country proud.

October day, the tree was found,
Amidst confusion, sadness sounds,
Came hopeful plans to nurse the tree,
Back to vibrant life, healthy.

And so it was that Callery Pear,
Moved to the Bronx, now home was there,
Cleaned of ash, cushioned in soil,
Human hands would gently toil.

To bring the tree back its life,
Overcoming hurts and strife,
Just as our country proving strong,
The tree grew tall, with branches long.

And next to it, a flag did fly,
Reminding all that dreams don’t die,
Our roots of freedom running deep,
Our nation’s strong, and memories keep.

Of loved ones lost, forever gone,
Yet, in our hearts, love carries on.
A Callery Pear, Survivor Tree,
Came back to where it used to be.

It reaches high into the sky,
And to the heavens leads our eyes,
Grow strong, our dear Survivor Tree,
For our America, Land of the Free.


Oftentimes, stories like this hit a heart string. We all have a survivor story. What have you overcome? Are you currently in the midst of a struggle or a change? Choose persistence, choose peace, choose strength, choose faith, hope, and love. You are a survivor and will come out thriving! Cultivate the seed that was placed in you until the last small twig has grown.

Bamboo lives underground for five years before it is seen by anyone. It spends five years cultivating a complicated weave of roots in the dirt, until it knows, without a doubt, it is strong enough to sustain the elements of the world. It knows it’s bamboo from the moment the seed plants in the earthly womb, yet is patient as it develops slowly and steadily. One day, when the preparation is complete, the bamboo sprouts — and swiftly shoots up in the air 82 feet! We are like bamboo — strong and resilient — rising beautifully in time.

Be inspired by a piece of my survivor story, The Door Knocker. ❤️


“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ~ Kahil Gibran

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Shine On ☆

Be all you can be.

“Step out into the night air. Look at the stars. See how they shine. Know that it is okay for you to shine too. Who told you you had to hold back? Who told you your gifts, your talents, your beauty—your natural, beautiful, loving, delightful self—was wrong? Who told you not to be all you could be? Maybe, as some suggest, we’ve gotten too comfortable focusing on our flaws, our errors, our dark side. Perhaps it’s not our dark side we fear. Perhaps we’re really afraid of our gifts, our brilliance, our light. Now is a time of light. It’s time for us to shine. We’ve worked hard on ourselves, dealt with our issues, gone back to the past. We’ve learned our lessons well. The reasons to hold back and hide away are no longer there. Enjoy the fruits of your labors. Be all you can be, and enjoy being that. Don’t hold back. Use your gifts with joy. Use your talents. Let your light shine for all the world to see.
Finally, you are free to be all that you are and can be.” ~ Melody Beattie, Journey to The Heart


Shine 🌟 Lyrics by Jason Mraz

Once upon a time there was a meeting of minds
The sun and the moon made a deal with the sky
One would take the morning and the other the night
Together they would blanket the world with light
But the moon had a shadow, he felt like a liar
The sun was the only one who carried the fire
The sun saw this, she kept on glowing
Bound to the moon, never saying, “you owe me”

She said I’ll shine on you (shine on you)
I will shine on you (shine on you)
I will shine on you (shine on you)
I will shine on you

I keep a lamp over you, glowing in my heart
To keep from tripping over troublesome thoughts in the dark
We ain’t that different, we huddle underneath the same stars
I see who you really are
You’re every creature, every man, every woman and child
You’re the closest thing I’ll ever get to knowing God
Like the sun to the moon, I’ll send my love and light
A love like ours, it’ll fill the whole sky

I will shine on you (shine on you)
I will shine on you (shine on you)
I will shine on you (shine on you)
I will shine on you
I will shine on you (shine on you)
I will shine on you (shine on you)
I will shine on you (shine on you)
I will shine, shine, shine on you

Think of the people that you love the most
Send them your light and hold them close
Say I will shine on you, I will shine on you
No matter the distance, the space, or the time
Love travels in the speed of light
I will shine on you, I will shine on you
I will shine on you, I will shine on you

And if we forget we are the chosen ones
Turn your eyes to the attention of the morning sun
Wherever you go, however you move
The light is gonna shine directly to you
Let it shine on you (shine on you)
Let it shine on you (shine on you)
Let it shine on you (shine on you)
Yes I’m gonna shine on you
I will shine on you (shine on you)
I will shine on you (shine on you)
I will shine on you (shine on you)
I will shine, shine, shine on you


Light Meditation

Visualize a tiny light somewhere in the distance. The light may take any form you can imagine. It could be the glowing aura of a candle, a light bulb, a flashlight, a streetlight, any light that enters your awareness. Begin to move toward that light. It may be clear, or obscured by a misty fog that creates an aura around it. As you get closer and closer, the light becomes more significant and more brilliant. Keep your mind focused on the light and feel it growing brighter as you approach nearer and nearer to it, now surrounding you entirely.

Imagine that the Spirit is at the center of the light, and so, all of the Wisdom and Holiness of God are also in that light, which is presently glowing intense and white. Now move into the center of the light and feel it enter your being, moving all around and through you. Feel the presence of Divine Love within it, and realize it is your love. Feel the embrace of the Spirit all around and through you. Surrender to the Love, and become one with it. Savor the presence and the warm embrace as you connect with Love. Understand it will always be with you. Relax, knowing you are one.

Now, feel all the light that was surrounding you, and flooding through you, begin to gather inside your being, as if you are a magnet, pulling all that light inside, so that you become the light itself. You are a being of pure light. You contain God, the Spirit, and the entire essence of Love. Now, collect all the light together, allowing it to focus in the center of your heart space where it settles and glows with the same intensity. You deeply rest, renew, recharge, and radiate. 🌟


“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.” ❤️ ~ Marianne Williamson

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