Carole Rose Dowhan


Get lost. Get to know yourself…at your deepest core. Learn to love yourself, with all your imperfections and all your perfect parts. Have faith in the process of your journey.
Believe you are here to do great and glorious things.
Gravitate toward those that lift you higher and help you see beauty…in all things.
Travel roads paved with healthy, holy things that allow you to love harder and love truer.
Surrender your heart to the miracles that live inside you.
And no matter how many hardships you encounter
a1carolecloud2dnor how many heartaches you endure…NEVER STOP LOVING YOUR LIFE.

“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no one sees you, but sometimes I do and that sight becomes this art.” ~ Rumi

The ones who make life worth living.
The ones who light you up.
The ones who remind you of your purpose.
The ones who stir your soul.
The ones who inspire you.
The ones who make the bad go away.
The ones who bring the fun.
The ones who calm your nerves.
The ones who stop your sadness.
The ones who hold you when you’re lonely.
The ones who give meaning to everything.
The ones who churn your passion.
The ones who heal your wounds.
The ones you love with all that you are.
The ones who “dance inside your chest” and dwell inside your heart.
Never let them go…

Peace and Loveaa26

aagraveyardfinal“Do not lose hope – what you seek will be found. Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped, to help you in your turn. Trust dreams. Trust your heart and trust your story.” ~Neil Gaiman

Remember a time when graveyards and ghosts frightened you, to your core?

I do.

I remember being a little girl, filled with dread over having to make a graveyard visit, with my family. Walking over ground, strewn with patches of rectangular-shaped, disturbed earth, made me shudder. Walking past cold, cement stones that burst through the soil, bearing names and dates and sometimes messages – made me uneasy. I remember looking away, as I passed those stones. Scared of seeing a familiar name. Petrified at seeing my own. I remember walking ever so carefully around the patches of disturbed earth. If I walked directly on them, would I anger the ghosts that lived there? Would they follow me home? Haunt me beneath my bed? Tug at arms or legs that dangled outside of my protective, magical bedcovers – as I slept and possibly drag me back to the graveyard?

Holy horror.

Yes. I remember feeling confused, conflicted and frightened about graveyards and ghosts and death and goodbyes.

But, time marches on and I have made many visits to many graveyards, with each passing year. Walked many miles over ground, strewn with patches of rectangular-shaped, disturbed earth. Walked past many cold, cement stones with names and dates and messages, inscribed upon them. During those visits, my heart has shattered into a million pieces. My eyes have shed a million tears. My hands have held countless red or white or yellow or pink roses, that would soon be laid upon a wooden box, that held a precious part of my world inside.

And still, I remain confused, conflicted and frightened about death and about the goodbyes that I am unequipped to handle and unprepared to say.

However, I am no longer frightened of graveyards and ghosts. I am comforted by them.

I no longer walk carefully and fearfully around the edges of rectangular-shaped, disturbed earth. I walk lovingly around them. I no longer look away, while passing the cement stones. I now squint hard until I am able to read the words that grace them. Names and dates and messages, that speak to a life well-lived, a job well-done and a legacy of love, that hovers over the world, injecting sweetness and light into the bitterness and dark.

No. I am no longer frightened of graveyards and ghosts. I am grateful for the memories and reminders that they provide – like a treasured gift that I hold close.

I am reminded of cherished times spent, warm embraces, beautiful faces, magical voices and encouraging words that seemingly break through the clouds and wrap me in layers of love and warmth, when I need them most.

I am reminded that time on earth is swift and precious. Digging deep is required to say things that need saying, to do things that need doing and to leave an imprint of something special behind, that makes the world a brighter and better place.

I am reminded that the beautiful souls that once walked the earth, do not live imprisoned in the ground that I walk over, in the graveyard. And they do not haunt me beneath my bed, as I sleep. They live on gloriously and rapturously in a dimension, so divine, that sparks of their heaven reach the deepest parts of my heart and keep me remembering, keep me believing, keep me hoping and keep me walking this earth, until the time comes, when I will never have to walk another graveyard, never have to shed another tear, never have to lay another rose and never have to say…another goodbye.

Peace and Love,

Carole Rose


“Out there you’ll see it all. The floating ends will meet and mend and you will be yourself; your fully-formed self of selves.” ~Deborah Mears


 The solo selfie. Artistic. Provocative. Beautiful. I can appreciate selfies. For others. For me, they scream, aacaroleselfiedn“Look at my outside” which – like most females, I have learned to love but am still wrestling with accepting some things. Like – how to pour my curvy, Italian body into my skinny, French jeans. And then there is the dreaded swim-suit and dressing rooms and tears. Lots and lots of tears. Followed by more running, hiking, 19,000 steps on the fit-bit, green shakes in the Vita-Mix, no carbs, frustration and chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.

I am, however, beyond comfortable screaming, “Look at my inside.” I am in love with what is inside. No apologies. Rapid-fire thoughts, round the clock. Rainbow-color decision making. (No black and white for me.) Intense burning passion for all things. Love the world mentality.

Plus – my knees go weak at the sight of a field of flowers.

Angels singing. Heavy sigh.

But – this is the age of images and selfies are here to stay. This dressing room, solo selfie caught my attention with the “conscious” sign hanging at the top and the price tag dangling from my back. It got me thinking about what we should be conscious of, with regard to valuing ourselves, loving ourselves and what  we choose to share of ourselves – inside and outside. Composing this list, helped me put it into perspective.

10 Tips toward Self-Value, Self-Love and Better Selfies

1. Celebrate your flawlessness. Appreciating your allure, does not make you vain or shallow. It makes you grateful. Don’t dim your beauty – let it shine.

2. Celebrate your imperfections – the ones you deny having, because you believe they make you unlovable. You are wrong. They make you more lovable. They are your glorious trademarks and they distinguish you as a miracle.

3. Compliment yourself. Never condemn yourself. Go easy. Be kind. And make friends with the reflection staring back at you, in the mirror.

4. Know your worth. Keep the imaginary price tag that dangles from you – high. You are valuable. You are not a clearance item. Do not sell yourself short.

5. Be self-assured. Wear confidence – like your favorite sweater. Wrap yourself in imaginary layers of joy, passion, and hope – to heal the places where you may have grown sad, or flat, or faithless.

6. Light yourself up. Create good lighting conditions, by working on your inside gifts and talents. Allow the passion of all the things you have fallen in love with – to burn so brightly, inside you-that it illuminates your outside.

7. Stop comparing yourself to others. Always remember that you are not a vision to be objectified or judged or rated. You are love in motion – with a beating heart, a miraculous mind and a soul that tethers you to Heaven.

8. Accept your body. Embrace your curves, your straight lines, your frame. Your body is the mold meant for you to move through the world in. Honor that.

9. Ignore numbers. Don’t allow the size label inside your jeans or the weight on the scale – to make you feel badly about yourself. They are only numbers. You are so much more – than a number.

10. Be authentic. Tap into your true essence. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not. The camera can pick up fake and your shot will be ruined. Lose your shallow. Honor your deep – for depth is a natural photo enhancer.

Take your selfie. Share your selfie. But know – you are infinitely more than the image you are projecting. You are made up of love and dreams and talent and hope and pieces of every person you have ever loved and every person who has every loved you. You are stardust and moonbeams and miracles and magic.

You. Are. Beautiful. And so… is your “Selfie”.

Wishing you all – more of what really matters – and less of what never will.

Peace and Love and Chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate…
Carole Rose


Photo by Lisa Schaffer

Forgiveness on the Pond

“Therefore, dark past, I’m about to do it. I’m about to forgive you. For everything.” ~ Mary Oliver

The plan for my first post on this site, was that it be positive. Hearts, rainbows, and happiness would ooze from the computer screen. I would take a photo of a lovely nature scene, pair it with inspirational words and christen this space with light, love and positivity.

That was my plan, anyway. Nothing ever goes as planned.

I left my house, one morning, at the crack of dawn, when most of the world was still hugging their pillows, to get photos of a beautiful pond, in a state park, not far from my home. I arrived at the park, flung my precious camera around my neck and headed toward the pond – which is situated atop a steep hill. I ran up that hill, bursting with the anticipation of capturing the morning light, dancing on the water.

The view at the top, did not disappoint. The fog was hanging low in the air, the clouds were puffy and magical and a layer of sparkly, frost covered the earth. The backdrop of the scene was framed in a mass of mountains and the ground around the pond was surrounded with wild cattails. I love cattails and I love the fact that they symbolize peace and forgiveness. It is said, that when you present a cattail to someone, you are letting them know that you have forgiven them for having hurt you.

Looking through the camera, I walked around to get the best perspective, but instead of feeling overcome by the sheer beauty of this scene, I was overcome with a feeling of overwhelming sadness.

Uh-oh! There goes my hearts, rainbows and happiness post.

I stopped looking through the camera. I stopped searching for inspirational words. I stopped fighting the emotion and I fell to the ground. I sat there, with my yoga pants-wearing bottom, planted to the frost covered earth and I got quiet.

Pin. Drop. Quiet.

I began to recall the people in my life who wounded me – people I thought were in my past, people I thought I let go of, people I thought – I forgave. But, forgiveness brings feelings of peace and lightness and I felt such turmoil and heaviness. Perhaps I wasn’t such a forgiving person. Perhaps I wasn’t such an expert at letting go. Perhaps I had more work to do.

I found the place, deep inside, where I was storing hurt, fighting forgiveness, holding grudges and refusing to let go. I closed my eyes and I opened this imaginary, but very real, box of hurt. No hearts, rainbows, or happiness was stored inside. But I saw the faces of those that disappointed me, betrayed a confidence, hurt me to my core.

So. Many. Faces. So much weight I was still carrying around. Not yet released from the prison I constructed. Made of human bones – not iron bars.

One by one, I began to recall the time spent, the moments shared, the lessons learned – with each soul. I thanked them for the good things they gave me – that left me happier. I thanked them for the bad things they gave me – that left me wiser. I smiled at each of them. I wished them well. I imagined placing a wild cattail in their outstretched hands and… I forgave them. Then, I forgave the most difficult person of all to forgive – myself. I forgave myself for trusting the wrong people, taking paths – I had no business taking, working too hard to control things, trying too hard to please everyone and for holding onto all of it, far longer than needed.

On that frosty morning, with the fog hanging low, the mountains gracing the horizon and the wild cattails standing tall and proud – I let it all go. I felt happier. I felt lighter. I felt more whole – and in that holy moment of release, I realized, that I used happiness to push down sadness. I used lightness and hearts and rainbows to keep my head in the clouds. And in the process, I failed to deal with the heaviness, the hurt, the raw things that could only be dealt with, in the place they originated – deep inside and low to the ground.

There is freedom in letting go of whatever hurt your heart and in doing so – you clear a path for renewal and make room for more love, more light and yes…more hearts, more rainbows, more happiness – all the things the world desperately needs more of.

Who knew that in writing my first post, I would find clarity in the fog, warmth in the frost and forgiveness – in the fall to the ground.

Peace and Love
Carole Rose