Thursday, April 28, 2016

Here & Now

Here & Now

Today is the day to focus on today!
Today is the day I will take another step forward!
Today is the day I will believe in myself!
Today is the day I will have hope!
Today is the day I will love and accept my higher self!
Today is the day I will love and accept others!
Today is the day I will look for and find peace!
Today is a day of recovery!
Today I will live in the here & now because
I am here and the time is now!

Peace, hope & love be with you today
and always ~Kristyn

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Part two: fixing what you have broken

Part two: fixing what you have broken

In my lifetime I have made tons of mistakes and broken many things. Some were small and there was very little consequence, some were pretty big and changed the course of my life. What I have learned is that the things I have said or done that hurt me or others had to first and foremost be acknowledged. Living in denial of my mistakes allowed them to build up in my heart and was a heavy load to bear. Once I recognize what I have done, I try to figure out why and what I can do to fix it. I am pretty hard on myself and like to fix things so I do everything in my power to make it better for myself and those I may have hurt. I have a really hard time letting go of most things; my family will tell you I will hold onto something until I see it has been solved which is a blessing and a curse all at the same time.

MY 10 steps to repairing things I break

1. Accept I am not perfect and recognize my mistake
2. Try to figure why I screwed up
3. Ask myself who I may have hurt in the process
4. IMPORTANT: forgive myself
5. Tell those I have hurt that I am sorry
6. Ask for their forgiveness
7. This is the hard part; wait until they are ready to forgive
8.  Thank them for their forgiveness
9. Try really hard to not make the same mistake again
10. Another hard one: let it go

This photo was taken by my husband Pete
He asked me to share the beauty and serenity
of the Cliff Walk in Newport RI

What is hard for me and probably most to understand is that even when every step is taken to repair something broken and forgiveness is received the memory of the event is still there. In a previous post I shared breaking dishes as a therapy I created for myself; lets say I decided to glue one of those dishes back together. It may be a useful dish again, it may be able to do exactly what it did before. No matter how useful and how well I repaired it, I must be more careful with it. I must hold it more gently because the glue that holds it together is not quite as strong as what the dish was before it was broken. If I drop the dish and break it again, it will be that much harder to fix. Each time it breaks from then on, it will take more and more effort on my part to fix it and it will become more and more fragile. Things that have broken need extra TLC.

Forgiveness prayer

Divine Power of the Universe
Thank you for the people, places and things
you have placed in my life.
I am sincerely sorry for taking them for granted
and for not being careful with your gifts.
Please forgive me
and send me the courage and foresight
not to make the same mistakes again.
Please send your healing power
to those I have hurt
to find it in their hearts
to forgive me
and give me another chance
to remind them of the love and kindness
I have to offer.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Restoring the beauty

Things in life generally do not break on their own. Most times there is an action that causes a reaction. Sometimes it is simply because things wear out over time, but more often than not; it happens because the care things need to continue working properly is just not there.

This is a home that I fell in love with as I drove by. You can see the love of detail and creativity that whomever designed it must have had. I can visualize a family once sitting on the porch and kids running through the yard, loving that this was there home.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it fell into disrepair. Certainly, this did not occur overnight. Chances are it was many years of the 'little things' not being taken care of until someone decided that it was too broken to fix and left it there, alone. You see a shell of what it's grandeur once was, it makes me sad. We must find a way to see that everything and everyone is born or created beautiful with endless possibilities. Over time, neglect of things, ourselves or those we love creates sorrow and disrepair. Please go back and begin again, find that place of beauty and endless possibilities. Begin stripping away the things that no longer serve your higher purpose and your beauty. Take stock, and make a list of the things it is going to take to restore what once was. Some things take more work than others but all things that once had value can and should have value again. See the value through new eyes and a new vision of what it can be. The beauty is still there, just beneath the surface waiting for someone to care enough to make it beautiful again.  Let that someone be you, for yourself, or someone that you love.

In peace and love for the beauty of you

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Part one: Breaking a few dishes


Over the years, I have broken a lot of 'things'. My kids will tell you, 'when mom is angry, look out'.
I do most things in my life with abundance, love, and passion. This is great when it comes to loving and caring, not so much when it comes to anger. I do nothing halfway. Today's post is not about the love, it is about the anger. When I get angry my face turns red, my body tenses, and at times I have been known to FLIP OUT; I can see the smoke coming out of my ears and feel them burning. Sometimes it is easy to do the reasonable thing, walk away, take a deep breath and count to ten to diffuse my fury. Other times I could count to a billion and breathe like it was my last and it does nothing. On those days I have been known to break things. Mostly dishes, but other things have crossed my path at the wrong moment and ended up in the line of fire. I try hard to focus on what the true cause of my anger is and as I smash a glass or dish I think about 'the anger' breaking as the dish breaks. Then I very calmly get the broom and dust pan, clean up and move on. Please understand, I am NOT ENDORSING going through your home and breaking things to make you feel better. I am only sharing because sometimes when anger becomes so overwhelming that for me at times this approach works. For you, there has to be a way to release the frustration and anger that builds up when we have to face things, that for lack of a better way to put it, SUCK! When I break things I do understand what the consequence will be. Some other ways to release the feelings that more traditional ways don't work are; Find a place that you can scream at the top of your lungs as long as it takes to tire the anger. Go to a lake, river pond, and throw small to large rocks in and wait for the splash. Kick a ball against a wall as hard as you can. If you are able, go to a gym and punch a punching bag, no gym, punch a pillow. When I was a runner, I would sprint as fast as I could until I could no longer walk, then I would sit down and cry until I was able to stand again. The point is, advice and ideas are great, but they don't work for everyone and they don't work everyday; sometimes a few dishes have to be sacrificed for the greater good.

Dealing with the disease of addiction SUCKS for 
EVERYONE affected by it!

Today's prayer

God of love and compassion,
I am sorry for letting my anger 
get the best of me.
I thank you for continuing to watch
over me & those I love.
Today, I ask you to please
help me to find ways to
heal the anger and frustration
that I feel when I lose control of
my emotions and feel 

Monday, April 18, 2016


The labyrinth 
Women's Leadership Institute
Hartford Seminary
Hartford, CT
This weekend at school I was sharing SOS 
and became very emotional.
When I launched SOS on the first Anniversary
of Ben's death from this life; my
intention was, and still is to do 
everything in my power to spread awareness,
love and support to all those affected by this disease.
It is both sad and a blessing that so many have 
received stones and or visited this site and 
the Facebook site. For me, the purpose of a labyrinth
 is to enter with an intention and as you walk the maze 
you contemplate how to work toward making 
that intention a reality. Others have different
prayerful ideas of the labyrinth and its 
mystery. As I walked the stones under 
feet crunched and gave me a sound to focus 
on. I thought about all of the people 
whom I pray for many times throughout the day
and how the list in my heart continues to grow.
I arrived at the center and thought I'd better
get back to class because my break was probably 
just about over. I very easily could have skipped
the maze and taken a short cut to exit but I 
chose not too. I needed to walk out remembering 
the way I walked in. for me to truly appreciate
moving on I had to remember how I got there.
As I left it was quiet and I felt very alone.
I heard a little shuffle and then another 
and turned to see a Momma turkey watching
me and realized she had been with me the 
whole time.  I was never alone, just out of
my sight was a divine creature watching over
my journey. Please remember there are so
many affected by this disease who hope and
pray every day for peace and comfort in your life.
Open your heart to receive those prayers.
I love you as does the Divine Power that
watches over us all.
Bless you and your journeys
~hugs~ Kristyn

Sunday, April 17, 2016

This is Pam

This is Pam
Yes, Pam is a tree
Pam was given to me by my hospice patient, 
the other Pam, before she passed away.

Pam knew that someone needed to care
for her plant when she died and
she asked me to do it. I told her that I
was probably not the best one to care for it
because I was terrible at keeping house plants 
alive and that the plant would probably die
in my care. Her response was, 'if it stays
here, it will definitely die'. She 
assured me that I would do just fine and 
explained how she cared for it.
I took the tree home and named it Pam.
Everyone knows that I talk to her 
and do my best to keep her alive.
She has lost some leaves and has been 
over watered at times. If you look closely
you can see there are little skewers sticking
out of the soil. That is because my wonderful cat
decided to pee on Pam, funny, but not funny.
Those stakes are deterrents so that
Pam is not degraded again by my cat. So 
far so good. Pam is still alive and has 
recovered pretty well from all of the changes 
that occurred over the past year or so
since she moved with me. Pam has been through 
a lot and so have I, as her caregiver.
It has been a series of triumphs and failures.
The point is; She is still alive and 
I am still trying really hard to keep it that way.
I do believe that everything has a life force 
energy within them and Pam is no different.
She wants to live and has done a great job of 
weathering the storms of change.
Working together Pam and I will survive.

Working together we will all survive.
Please, never give up

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Shine your light

Everyone has a light that burns brightly 
within them from the moment they are born
and that light, just like this flame is very fragile.

The light needs to be nurtured to continue to burn brightly. 
The people you encounter throughout your life will either 
fan your flame to help you burn brighter or they will try to
extinguish your flame any way they can.  You must protect
your flame. It is YOUR light. You have the choice to step
away or shield your light from the source that tries to 
lessen your brightness. At times we put our light in dangerous
situations; it is then that we must remember that our light 
is important and if it goes out, the world will not be as bright
as it was before. PLEASE, I beg of you, let your light shine.
The world is a brighter place because of your light. No matter
how dim you may think it is, where there is a flicker, there
can still be a flame.  When you think your light no longer
matters, watch this video and ask your self how much darker
it would be if the light did not exist.

In peace and love, Kristyn

Friday, April 15, 2016

I can and I will

I can and I will face another day.
I can and I will have hope.
I can and I will believe in myself.
I can and I will know that I am not alone.
I can and I will reach out for help.
I can and I will get up if I stumble.
I can and I will beat this,
Today and every day;


Bear Mountain, Salisbury, CT

today is the day you can and you will 
because we believe in you and your
In peace and love, Kristyn

Thursday, April 14, 2016

not "just" a prayer

The word, just is very powerful. When you hear 'just listen', you know what the speaker has to say is important. Just a minute, means you are going to have to wait. Just a test, whether it is for school, work or at a doctor's office; could change your life.

I learned to be very careful when using that word when talking about myself or things that are important to me. I used to use it all the time and stopped thanks to my professor M.T. at Hartford Seminary. I have taught my children not to use it either.  Hillary would say she is "just a stay at home mom".  Annie said, "I am just a freshman in college".  Both of them have learned to correct themselves and remove the word unless it is absolutely necessary.  Using  'just' before something that you are doing takes the power out of it.  There is no such thing as just a stay at home mom because that mom is a caretaker, counselor, cook, cleaning person, teacher, mediator, builder, creative artist, all around super woman, and more than I can list here.  Just a freshman in college means that you have succeeded in your previous 13 years of school, including kindergarten. Anyone who has ever been accepted into a higher education program, no matter whether it be a trade school or traditional university type of school knows that there is no 'just' about it.

There is also nothing just about prayer or people with a common bond offering support to each other.  Prayer, is like a single mom, it multi tasks.  It offers hope, love, peace, support, kindness, care, thoughtfulness and more than I can list here. 

I KNOW that prayer and support can and does help and make a difference in everyone's lives. I believe everyone wants to be thought of in a positive and uplifting way. Please remember that my family and I, Ben's family, continue to pray for you and yours EVERY day.  Most days it is throughout the day. If and when you get that little tingle or the thought of these stones or this site crosses your mind; you are receiving prayer from those that love and support you, allow it to be a reminder that you are never truly alone. 

I have shared it before and I will share it again, our family motto;


Feeling the warmth of the sun through the trees
Kent. CT
Today and always, never 'just' in peace and love, Kristyn 

Monday, April 11, 2016

A word of advice from Cameron

Yesterday we went for a hike at Crescent Lake and There was a mighty hill.

It may not look like much from the photo but, let me tell you; it is very long and very steep.  I was walking with Cam, the girls and Lincoln were up ahead.  I told Cameron look at your feet and every step you take.  Don't look at the hill because it looks way too hard.  We both looked at our feet and took one step at a time.  When we had climbed almost halfway, Cam says, "Nena (that's what he call's me) I need to take a chill".  I said you mean a break,, he says, "ya', a chill". and he sat down to take a break. After a minute or so he got up and was ready to take another step.

Most Gracious and merciful God of the universe
thank you for the wisdom of the little ones.
Please grant me the strength to take each step as 
it comes and the patience to take a chill when I 
need to restore my strength.         Amen

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Rainbow after the storm

I took this photo in our backyard

immediately following a terrible storm.

I was grateful for the gentle reminder from
the universe that there is 
always hope that the storms can and will end.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Many ways to make a difference

Good morning
On Tuesday morning I had the privilege
of being invited to discuss the heroin epidemic
in our community, it was hosted by the chaplain for 
Bristol Hospital.  There was a panel of professionals
within the behavioral health community and 
representatives from area churches with many different 
perspectives on how to help those in need.  I was able
 to share SOS with those in attendance and 
met some really wonderful people who care so 
much and want to make a difference.
My goal in attending was not only offer our support
to the efforts, but to encourage others to join us 
in our efforts to bring this out of the shadows 
and help remove the stigma associated with addictions.
I learned of resources and made connections with
people and ideas that I had no idea existed.
There is so much out there to help and 
much of what is out there is offered by those who
are in recovery themselves and 
want to help others in the same ways that
others helped them.  I have said before there is no
magic wand, but there are so many ways that can help.
If you or your loved one hasn't found it yet, 
keep looking.  The common statement that stood
out to me was we can't give up, we must continue
to hold these folks up in thought, word, and deed.

I am sharing this photo today because
it inspired me.  It is somewhat hard to see but if 
you look closely although most of the fountain is completely 
frozen there is water that refuses to allow
the cold to stop it from flowing. It was simple beauty.  
It is a reminder to me  that I can and I will do everything within my
power to melt through the ice and find a way to face
another day. It isn't over until it's over, and it's not over!

As always with Much love in thought word and deed
to all of you. XOXOX -Kristyn

P.S. Special thanks to Pastor Steve for the invitation
& to a new friend and ally Pastor Gary for generously
donating to our ministry.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Spreading more love and support

Over the weekend the kids and I sat down to 
create more stones.  We thought it was important 
to share how we do this.

It was winter when we had decided that SOS would
be a good way to honor Ben's memory and create a tangible
legacy for his children that will live on.  Some 
of the stones had to be purchased because there was
very few places at the time to collect enough to give out to 
as many people as possible.
When the weather started to improve we started collecting
stones in places where 'peace' is found by many.
Ben's mom Kim has a beach that she frequently walks and
has been gathering stones during her time there.
We have started hiking again and have been collecting 
stones as we go as well, all the while trying to imagine who it
is that will receive them.

Once we have the stones, we gather around the table and 
share stories, and prayerfully consider what the stone should
look like.  The kids asked questions like; "what should they say, 
what should I draw, and what color", and my response was 
let the stone tell you.  It sounds ridiculous to some but for those 
who believe everything has an energy, it is not.
They had no problems at all after that with 'knowing'
what the stone should be.  Then we seal them with a clear coat 
and bag them with cards that share our 
message of hope and love for all.

Cameron, Ben and Hillarys oldest, who is almost 3
thoroughly enjoyed helping.  As you can see from the photos
he painted, punched, and bagged.  If you are lucky enough to 
get cards that are drawn on (most of them blue)
 those are Camerons masterpieces.  He also 
decided that there were some bags 
that needed more than one stone (we are assuming he knows 
something we don't).
We have tried very hard to let all of this happen very 
organically.  We try to have as little stress about
how this happens as possible but with many people around the
table, including Cameron and little Lincoln (almost six months old)
 there is always a little craziness.  For me, that
makes them more real. Life can be and is craziness more often
than not, but it is still worth living.

Hillary, Ben's soul mate (who also is in recovery) age 24, 
Bens siblings through Hillary, Annie who is 18,
 Bert who is 16, and Izabel who is 10.

They all have different feelings that they hope and wish to 
share with the recipients of these stones.  That is one of the many
 blessings of this mission.  Everyone is affected by this disease 
in different ways so it is just as important that all
 the messages be different too.  
The commonality of it continues to be:
 unconditional love and support for ALL!

We continue to pray and send positive messages
out to the universe that anyone and everyone
who has any connection at all to this site or these stones
finds peace, hope and unconditional love 
today, tomorrow, and for all eternity.
Much love, Kristyn

Friday, April 1, 2016

My tool box

My tool box

My goal for Stones of Support has been to keep it real.  To share
messages and images of peace and hope in Ben's honor.
None of us has all the answers and I know that it takes 
a lot more that 'happy thoughts' to stay sober.
I am not an addict but I have and do suffer from quite a few
mental illnesses that at times have been extremely debilitating.
 Through many years of therapy and research I have
learned that there is not one magical way to survive 
and live with any type of mental illness.  
It takes a 'tool box'
My tool box at home has many different tools that are necessary for 
all different things that need to be built up or repaired.
not every tool is going to work every day for every problem 
and when I don't have the right tool to do the job, I get a new one.
most people are willing to share their tools, you just have to ask.
Sometimes things that were fixed brake again and I am not one to
throw things away so I just keep fixing them.

This is one of my tool boxes 

My spiritual tool box has many different tools as well.
Each day brings new challenges and it takes
an entire tool box to face them.
Keep filling your tool box with as many tools as you need
and if those tools don't work find a new one.
I will tell you again and again; 
you are important and should not be discarded
just because at times you have needed 'some repairs'.

Today my prayer is that you always have access to as many
different tools as you need and that those around you 
offer to share their tools with you.

Blessings for hope and peace today and always
with much love