Heart Focused

Thoughts of spring, for me, always include bleeding hearts. As the days warm, I begin to watch the spot in the flower bed where I know they’ll be, checking their progress each day with delight and anticipation! This year has been their very best so far.

In this lovely moment, the leaves of my bleeding hearts glowed with the light of the setting sun. These tiny flowers, such perfect hearts, are a wonder of nature. More than romance, they’re a love message reminding us to stay heart focused. And, as Rumi wrote, “If light is in your heart, you will find your way home.”

The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart. ~Rumi

Heart Focused

Heart Focused © Karen Casey-Smith

Shut your eyes so the heart may become your eye,
and with that vision look upon another world.
If you can step away from your need for self-approval,
all that you do, top to bottom, will be approved.


bleeding hearts in early spring

*Imminent Hearts © Karen Casey-Smith

*This second photograph was made five days before the first photo on this page. Both photos are of exactly the same stem of flowers. Each little heart was about an eighth of an inch wide. They were so tiny! I just thought you might like to see them, and how quickly they grew. This is why I honestly watch them each day. I’ve been told I’m easily entertained – a good thing! 🙂


Softness of Moonlight

The message of the Softness of Moonlight flower mandala reveals the beautiful strength of gentleness. This mandala was created from one of my photographs of white roses, this year’s newest addition to the garden.

Softness of Moonlight - White Rose Flower Mandala

Softness of Moonlight © Karen Casey-Smith

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” – Saint Francis de Sales

There’s great strength in gentleness.

Others aren’t necessarily going to recognize the strength in softness, in the gentle way. If you’re gentle, there may even be times people try to provoke you to show themselves they’re okay. It isn’t about them; it’s about you and what kind of world you want to experience. Remember it’s none of your business what other people think of you. You can’t control other people’s thoughts, and even if you could, it would be a never-ending job correcting the misperceptions others may have of you.

  • It takes strength to stand your ground without anger, without pushing against a person or situation. You can always be for something, instead of against things. If you know what you don’t want, this will always show you what you do want.
  • Walking away from a fight takes strength, love and understanding, whereas running away is from fear. You’ll know which you’re doing even if others don’t.
  • Some may believe gentle ones don’t stand up for themselves. Realizing you’d rather be happy than seen as “right” takes strength. Attempting to force someone to agree with your point of view comes from fear. When you really know what you believe, you don’t have the need to convince anyone else.
  • Showing compassion, love, and understanding to those who have hurt you takes strength. Now this doesn’t mean that you allow others to hurt you. You give power to others when you hold on to the hurt. You can love and forgive. You can also show yourself love and compassion and walk away. You can choose who’s in your life.
  • Giving back light and understanding, even when that’s not what you’re given, takes strength. Doing this alone can completely shift a situation or relationship. Adding darkness to darkness never creates light.
  • Advice and council given gently is given greater consideration, and more easily received.

Keep your heart open, even in those times your first reaction is to put up a wall or shield thinking you’re protecting yourself. We pay a great price for putting up walls, because while we might keep out pain and discomfort, we also keep out love and connection. When we close our hearts, we close ourselves off from receiving the full flow of love available for us. And if something does come into our experience that we don’t like, it can be trapped in our energy field by the very walls we put into place for protection. The good news is that ultimately we alone make the choice to keep our hearts open, or closed off. Also, you also have the freedom, at any time, to make a new choice.

Bring more gentleness into your life. Treat yourself with love and a gentle spirit, and you’ll have this gift to give to others.

Water is fluid, soft and yielding.
But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield.
As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard.
This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.

– Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching