“I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining. I believe in love even when there’s no one there. I believe in God even when He is silent.”  ~ Inscription of Hope

Words originally found scratched into a cellar wall where Jewish people hid during World War II.

Words appearing on a handmade sign my nearly 13-year-old-daughter and I found at a garden shop in the North Carolina mountains this past weekend. (above photo.)

Words handwritten on a torn index card–a bookmark–my daughter had penned: lyrics to a song she loved and sang in chorus last year.

The bookmark marked my daughter’s page, about one third of the way through The Diary of Anne Frank. She rushed to me with the book clutched tightly to her chest and announced, “I am not going to read any more of this book, Mommy.”

I paused. I wondered why.

She said “It doesn’t feel right to read her words, to read her diary. Anne wrote that she didn’t even share her entries with her father. She said she didn’t want anyone to read it, so I’m not going to read it. I can’t.”

I listened to the unflinching conviction in her voice–my daughter, my teacher.

She and I have learned–and felt–a lot together about the Holocaust. We have talked about the suffering, the horrors, the senseless, the mercilessness. And we also have talked of the unrelenting strength and courage of the human spirit, and the power of the helpers who chose, to risk and do what they could to help.

In November of 2014 we visited the Virginia Holocaust Museum–a very unsettling school field trip that neither of us looked forward to. I thought about denying her this trip, but my gut told me that we had to go together.

It was very painful. There were parts I could not participate, like the small room simulating a concentration camp gas chamber where a tour guide led the parents, teachers and children together into an enclosed box-like-room, to talk about what happened to the people when the door closed.

Unfathomable. I couldn’t go in. I couldn’t do it. Instead I sat on a bench outside. I told my daughter she didn’t have to go in, but she said she was ok, and I let her go with her class, all the while doubting her “learning experience,” every second we were apart.

Parts of the Museum were so inspirational–a testament to humanity shining it’s greatest love, compassion and potential. The Museum overall is a space offering loving redemption triumphing over the hatred that was. It was powerful and unforgettable, and I don’t regret going for a second.

After the field trip we both talked about whether it was necessary to re-enact a gas chamber, wondering what good could come from such pantomime–using space and presence now to recreate and imagine the way so many humans died. Perhaps it was necessary for people today, perhaps it was important or somehow profound to re-enact. She and I didn’t know, but it felt extremely jarring and perverse–as most things about the Holocaust do.

Months later, we remembered that pretend room, that was the real ending to millions of people’s lives. It stayed with us.

And now, today, nearly a year after our museum visit, about Anne’s diary my daughter continued, “It doesn’t seem right that a book company took her words–her diary–and turned them into a book. I mean, I understand her story is important, but Anne wouldn’t have shared it that way. If she had lived maybe she would have told her story in a different way, re-written it, but she wouldn’t have shared it the way it is printed now, and it feels wrong to me for me to be reading it.”

I sat down. My heart was pounding in my ears, my eyes were filled with tears. I told her that it was her choice to read the book or not and that perhaps there was no right or wrong about the reading of the book, even though that was what Anne explicitly written.

We continued a thoughtful conversation about how Anne’s words have helped to activate greater empathy and compassion in people who may have otherwise not had such depth of heart. Perhaps her diary has shaped a generation that may never allow such horrors to repeat again in our lifetime, at least in our part of the planet.

We contemplated: Perhaps Anne would be pleased …. grateful for the extension of her life through the legacy of her words, words continuing to inspire and expand compassion, and empathy. Perhaps. Perhaps not.

I wondered if Anne’s diary offers a necessary lesson for people who do not have a depth of empathy, compassion and awareness that she–my daughter–has.

We hugged each other. And then I told my beauty-full–heart-full girl, that I never finished Anne’s diary, either.

[My daughter gave permission to share our conversation here. She and I welcome your thoughts about Anne, her diary, our collective reading of it, and the importance of this book–Anne’s story–to you and the world. If you’d like to share, please do comment below.]

with love from my heart (still in my throat),
<3 becky <3

p.s. Joyfuel rises October 9th, 2015.

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joy for all and all for joy

<3 Dear Soul Shiners <3 ,

Last year I dedicated a ton of my life, time, energy, love and passion (not bragging but sharing my reality–twas like 1000 hours) to create a homeplay adventure infused with art, photography, videos, audios & workbooks. It is called JOYFUeL.

Ya’ll just about blew my MIND with your joining, sharing and supporting this adventure, an experience intending to greater activate our JOY. I was so moved by our experience that afterwards it felt good and maybe somehow important, that I offer it again: This time round much better organized and with mucho more JOY!

I’m honored, blessed and superDEEEEEEEduper excited to announce the JOYFUEL web site. Tahhhh DAHHHHHH!  You are invited to check out the site and join with me again in this adventure into our JOY. We will begin on October 9th and go for 44 days … all for JOY and JOY for ALL! I promise it will offer new goodies like interviews, videos and other surprises, all intended to support you on your journey to be a better guardian of your own JOY. And the good news is that it’s NOT big holiday season, so hopefully those of you who weren’t able to spend as much time as you may have wanted to, will be able to go CRAZY JOYFUL this time and play, going deeper into exploration of your JOY health.

joy afoot joyfuel 2015

Please join me in raising our vibrations, and in activation of our JOY together. (Oooooooh and if you have kiddos, it’s great to do with your children, as they need support as they navigate this way noisy world, that often muddles and depresses our joy.)

with my <3 for your JOY,
<3 becky jaine <3

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you must be the change i wish to see

beckyjaine the change

Dear Me,

You are worthy of JOY. Joy is your birthright. You have to fight hard for JOY even when you want to give up. There are so many notions and ideas trying to take it away… not only from you, but from everyone. You have to try harder, do not give in. Fighting for joy is hard… sometimes it will feel easier to let the darkness and despair dominate your heart, but don’t. You don’t believe in that. How could you when you know with your entire heart that you are here to be JOY? How could you when you know one of your giveaways (your gifts) is to help remind people around you that they are JOY too?

Shining your candle for JOY may be judged idealism, unrealistic, and naive. But remember, you know in your core that us remarkable humans have something greater possible for us. You know that. You feel it when you look in the eyes of your children and the eyes of your eldest friend, now 95. You know that the very idea of idealism is that human beings have the opportunity to be something greater than we are right now. It is good to be idealistic.. good that YOU are a champion idealist. We have so many opportunities to be more giving, more compassionate and live from a place of greater kindness, humility and service. But you have to do this yourself, first.

Sweet and hurting Me… Don’t give up because this is hard, because you want to cry… or because you have the fear of being seen. Yes, this is hard. And yes, you will have to be seen. Cry! Let it out. It won’t last… like the weather, it has its own flow.

Bravely take the steps you know in your heart that YOU MUST. I promise the fear will transform and your path will become flooded with courage and filled with divine serendipities… auspicious angels to help your vision come to be. (You know it will, because that’s the way life works… for all of us. Remember?!)

Oh, and about being seen, YES… you will be seen: Your being seen will serve as a mirror to those who see you, and as YOU shine the light for JOY trust that your humility will deepen, and that you will humbly learn and grow from everything and everyone, as those with beginner’s hearts do.

You have much to give. You HAVE to give. You are carrying seeds of beauty and truth that you must not and cannot keep to yourself. You must shine your light for JOY and stop criticizing and judging your every decision and word choice. You must lead from your intention and trust that the energy of intention will find and take you to LOVE.

Your heart–your intention– is pure. You have no hidden agendas. You wrangle with taming your wild egoic self, and you won’t let her lead the charge.

You must change the world by changing yourself. You must be the change I wish to see in the world.

Let it be so. Calling my angels to walk beside me … for JOY.

<3 love always <3

becky (me)

witness (a poem of reconcile)

witness beckyjaine 2015


a little boy–feeling alone–
surrounded by 24 kindermates coupled with their mothers, touching.
he buries his head beneath his own arms upon his school desk…

a mother overcome
–cancer and chemotherapy–
gasps, realizes
I was supposed to be….

a witness walks out of school,
releases pressure contained pain through eruption of tears,
–walks to her car–
carrying thoughts and heart for
a boy, a mother, the perhaps
future memories unmade…

p  a  i  n   i  n  t  e  r  r  u  p  t

a man–in center of his universe–in parking lot
proselytizing out loud–AND LOUD–bellowing,
championing to the trees and sky:
Science can explain it.
Science explains the cosmos, but God
God made it!
God is behind it all.
You see a shooting star streak across the sky
–Science tells us how–
but that is Jesus!
It is a miracle.
We are a miracle!

witness listens as she stumbles into car,
moving in slow motion, in awe of parking lot preacher.

shuts the door, she thinks,
we are darkness. we are light.
we are glory. we have power.
we are pain and we are bliss.
we are stars. we are god.
we can feel.

there is nothing to fix.
everything is as it is.

(shared here as a prayer for comfort and love, becky jaine)

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power of forgiveness

pow wow 2013 becky jaine 2

In 1992, I met a special teacher, a leader who–even after all these years–I marvel at the way he made me feel and how he inspired me to think.

His name was Chief Billy Diamond of the Waskaganish Cree First Nation of Quebec, Canada. He was far from his homeland when he visited the university I attended in Pennsylvania. I spent two days listening and absorbing his passionate representation and guardianship of his land and his people. On a press tour, Chief Billy was on a mission to build momentum and support opposing the desecration of his People’s land by an electricity company who wished to flood their sacred burial grounds with water that would generate electricity (and thereby a lot of money) for people well beyond the land there.

As I listened to Chief Billy, I deeply connected with his passion, his longing and the pain for those beloved to him and of his people who were yet to be born. He loved human beings. He believed in the possibility for change. He exemplified action in motion to his commitments and beliefs. I will never forget his congruency or his love for life.

In 2013–some 20 years later–I had what many native people would regard as a medicine dream. Medicine dreams happen when we are asleep, but as we awaken, we feel like the dream is our awake reality. If we let them, medicine dreams can serve as great tools to inform our lives and offer protection, or direction and guidance when faced with challenging situations or decisions.

In my medicine dream, Chief Billy Diamond came to me. He told me to take my children to a Pow Wow. I woke up with this idea in my heart and mind and didn’t feel like I had any choice but to honor him.

pow wow 2013 becky jaine 3I had never been to a Pow Wow. I had always had great curiosity and reverence for Native Indian traditions and customs but I honestly felt cautious about Pow Wows, for fear and concern as I didn’t want to do anything unintentionally offensive.

With Chief Billy and Google guiding me, I researched and discovered a local University was hosting a day-long Pow Wow that brought Native American tribes from across the state of North Carolina together to celebrate the cultures.

I took my children and together we experienced the JOY and radiating splendor of our first Pow Wow together with our North Carolina Americans. I resisted my reluctance and hesitancy to show up and support people of different cultures, and to allow myself to feel however I would feel surrounded by many people who may have been silenced, abused and oppressed.  It was a powerful experience for me, and hopefully a memory my children will hold. (The photos included were taken with dancers’ permission.)

pow wow 2013 becky jaineAfter the Pow Wow, I was curious about Chief Billy and sadly discovered he had died in 2010 at the age of 61. I wept for the world’s loss, and cried as I discovered what happened shortly before his death. The ripple effects of his extraordinary and controversial life touched his people, for freedom and the country he loved so much.

Just months before Chief Billy passed, the Canadian Prime Minister issued a formal apology to the First Nation People, on behalf of the Canadian governments role in re-education camps, and their repeated attempts at devaluation of the Native People’s culture, heritage and values. In response to this unprecedented apology, the First Nation People orchestrated an event called the Ottawa Forgiven Summit.

I researched the event and discovered that a Canadian broadcaster was with Chief Billy during the Grand Entry of the Summit. Grand Entry is a magnificent ceremonial processional when all people come into the space where a Pow Wow will be held. Dancing, drumming, calling, cheering, expressing, moving, as all people come in to take their place in the circle. While I do not remember the name of the journalist, I do remember that he said it was his great honor to be with Chief Billy and that as they walked in, he would never forget Chief Billy’s calling out loud… exclaiming “Freedom, Freedom… Freedom!” as tears of joy streamed down Chief Billy’s face.

It is with great reverence, joy and love that I share a video captured the grand entry that day in 2010, a historical record of the transformative healing power of formal apology and forgiveness.

Knowing that Chief Billy was able to experience this moment of forgiveness, this moment of human evolution, for “Freedom” comforts and inspires me.

It is my prayer that one day in my own country–that our United States Government–will formally apologize to our original Native American Brothers and Sisters, for everything and everyone that was killed, harmed and relocated in the name of American progress. May it be so in my lifetime.

Apologies by major governments do happen. Forgiveness can come. Change is possible.

p.s. if, in my sharing I was somehow disrespectful of Native American culture, please know that my intentions are pure of heart. It’s taken a long time to share this story– but I the time has come.