Transitions, Transition, Transitions

Transitions occur throughout our lifetimes. From birth, careers, marriage, babies, moving, all the way to death we will experience many transitions. Ceremonies and Rituals are one way to help us mark, honor and celebrate life's many changes. Rituals can offer a way to set our intentions, hopes and dreams for the next stage.

I am in the middle of many life transitions currently. When I moved last week from Bemidji, Minnesota

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to Minnetonka, Minnesota

I not only relocated to be closer to my family but I also will be starting a new job, making new friends, building new communities and experiencing apartment living. All of these transitions need to be acknowledged, experienced and lived into. I soon realized all these big changes required a ritual of my own. Tonight I will be having a house blessing ritual for my new apartment. Next week I start a new job.

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The one part of my life that I want to keep the same is my Chickadee Ceremonies business.  I love being able  to assist others in creating a ceremony that will truly reflect their desires. As a wedding and funeral officiant relocating to the Twin Cities I plan to serve

Central and Southern Minnesota as well. From as far north as Little Falls and as far south as the Rochester and Mankato areas I will travel to perform weddings and funerals as an officiant who truly values your vision of what you need and want to help you make a transition to married life or any other life transitions you may be experiencing.

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Tricia will continue to serve northern Minnesota from her Bemidji office. It is an exciting time for Chickadee Ceremonies to branch out to more of Minnesota.

We hope you will call us if you have any questions about our services.

May your day be filled with gentle transitions and may love surround you through all of life.  Terry Anderson (Chickadee Ceremonies Officiant)


Chickadee Ceremonies is expanding to serve Twin Cities

It is an exciting time for Chickadee Ceremonies who have been officiating weddings and funerals in northern Minnesota from their Bemidji location. We are expanding our service to Southern Minnesota from our new twin cities location!

Terry Anderson will be relocating to the metro area in a month or two and will begin our expansion of serving the metro area including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, as well as all other metro suburbs. Terry is also willing to travel within a 150 miles radius of the metro area including St. Cloud, Mankato and more.

Terry is now accepting wedding dates for the twin cities area. Please spread the word that this chickadee is taking flight and heading south!

Is heartbreak one of our greatest teachers?

This Valentine's day season I am becoming aware of how heartbreak is really all about love. If we didn't love so deeply we could never experience heartbreak. I believe love and loss are connected through our ability to make meaning out of each experience as gifts that help us grow and develop. Each time we risk love we are opening ourselves to the possibility of loss.

Love changes us, but so does heartbreak. It is up to us if it changes us for the better or the worse.   When heartbreak enters our life, yes, it sucks. Big time. Feel the pain, the hurt and mourn what may never be as we imagined. Then we move gently forward with our tender, bruised heart into the land of blessings, gratitude and future joys. We begin walking a new path, we live into the changes that heartbreak teaches us.

What lessons have you learned when your heart hurt the most?  How do you let the ache guide you to a new path, that winds around deeper and deeper into your center?

My heart is still beating today after heartbreak and loss. And at times it fears breaking again.

I think back on the big times I had my heart ache: my sister's death, my best friend's death, an awful break-up, infertility and miscarriage, divorce, and now just this month, the sudden death of by brother in a car accident. At times, I deal with them well, and at times I deal with them miserably. Loss takes us to new places by new roads each time. What roads has my broken heart taken me?

To answer that question, I wrote this poem.

Final Departure

two year old poet graduates haiku training

leaving behind the 5-7-5 template

escaping prison of rules and rigidity

belonging to another

eager to doddle outside the lines

where no rules exist except to express her universe within.

Scribbling maps with roads labeled "County Road Love and Interstate Heartbreak"

in invisible ink upon her seeking heart 

while freedom pokes and jobs at tip of her pen

until she is willing to risk

composing vulnerable verses

revealing an itch to become enchanted with life's messy ways.

Empowered now by her own fuel of truth

trusting an interior GPS residing within a bruised yet grateful heart

offering optional directions to journeys not yet taken

her face freckled by the sun's promise of hope

she rises to depart.


Terry Anderson February 10, 2018

Inventory of Fear

1. Tiny dogs

2. Making mistakes

3.Being vulnerable

4. Pain

5. Teenage cats

6. Singing bowls

7. Getting Stuck

8. Hurting someone

9. Rejection

10. Fear

That's just the beginning of my list of fears. When I was told to do an inventory of my fears one day at church, I thought it might help me face some of the fears. However, I didn't know how to begin or where. Life has a way of showing us some of our lessons. The question is, will I listen?

The past weekend, I was leading a retreat in the beautiful north woods of Pinewood, MN. We sat around the fire one night looking up at the stars as they appeared almost one by one. We shared some of our fear inventory. Then going inside the log home to my bedroom in the loft I attempted to go to sleep when a teenage cat, named Bobby, came jumping onto my bed. Scared, I pushed him out of the room. Without a door to my loft room, there was no way to keep him from scaring me all night. He kept coming back to me. Finally, in the darkness, I search for something to put in front of the open doorway to block Bobby. I lay down certain I can sleep now for I had put a large framed picture in the doorway. In two minutes, I see a cat flying over the picture and knocking it over with the sound of the glass breaking into a million pieces followed by my scream of terror.

At this point, Bobby's owner comes running to the loft. I apologize profusely for breaking her framed work of art. She says "never mind the art, what about my heart? I thought something tragic happened when I heard that scream!" She thens cleans up the mess and I notice the art is a beautiful nude woman in all her vulnerability.

This little incident was representative of how I deal with my fears in everyday life. I have a fear, as I try to push it away, the more it comes to me. Then I set up a blockade made of my vulnerabilities and feel safe until I realize my blockade was made of fragile glass and my most vulnerable self. Until the moment comes when my fear presents itself with a crash and I finally let out my primordial scream of release, no longer able to control, hide or deny my fear.

Bobby, the cat, was one of my greatest teachers during the retreat. He asked of me, to look at my fears, share them, and ask for help instead of building walls out of fragile parts of myself.

What are your fears? How do you try to protect yourself from your fears? Would it be better to face the fear and live without the fragile walls we build around them?

Fears are one of our greatest teachers....embrace and face their lessons and gifts.

Neen's Life Lessons

As I prepare to say to good bye to my amazing friend, Neen, this upcoming weekend I reflect on her life lessons that she has taught me. She has woven these lessons into my very being and those around her by her example of loving life and all that it contains. I pray that I can remember these life lessons and appreciate them as a parting gift from such a beautiful woman.

Life Lessons:

1. Learn, Learn . Learn. Then learn some more. Learn about everything you can. Then go deeper into your learning. Repeat this process everyday!

2. Love the Earth. Appreciate every little particle of it. Neen loved and express great gratitude for the gifts of the earth. The soil, rocks and even the weeds in her garden.She encourages us to have a relationship with the Earth. Let the earth bless us and let us remember to bless the earth. She loved the cycles of the earth and saw how the same cycles resides inside our lives.

3.Gardening is a form of praise and worship. Eating the bounty is a true celebration, a communion of our earthly bodies with gifts to eat. Enjoying the harvest is our expression of  gratitude. 

4.Be in a community and relationship with others. Love those around you, maintain and nurture relationships.

5.Travel and explore every chance you can, Neen traveled the world over but she loved traveling and exploring in her own backyard.

6.Feel the expansiveness and beauty of Space. feel the expansiveness of our consciousness along with space.

7. Celebrate life's transitional moments with sacred ceremony. Always invite dear friends and eat yummy treats after as a sign of celebrating your life.

8. Read books, read them a second or third time. Then give away books so that others may share in new knowledge.

9. When life gives you rhubarb, make wine. 

10. Be aware of all life around you, especially appreciate your time on this planet as a miracle you have been given. Love each moment of life.

Choosing between Forgiveness and Embracing

 I have often tried to forgive myself for some character flaw like being overly sensitive and too loud. When that didn't work I looked up the definition of forgive.

Forgive:  stop blaming and grant forgiveness. Cancel (as in debt).

I realized that I was blaming myself and judging a part of who I am, of what makes me Terry. I wanted to cancel out that part of me forever. Well, fat chance that I could achieve that. I have tried for decades to stop being so sensitive and for talking so loud. All this did was encourage my inadequacies with blame  for not being perfect. 

I slowly grew into the idea that maybe if I tried embracing those parts of me instead of judging as wrong. Here is what I found when I looked up the word "embrace":

Embrace: hold someone closely as a sign of affection. Accept or support willingly and enthusiastically.

Now my questions became how can I embrace my sensitivity and my loudness? Can I pull it in even closer with affection? Can I accept and support myself willingly and enthusiastically? When I embrace I am acknowledging that those parts of me will show up again. Of course they will show up, for they are a part of what makes me "me". This was radical thinking for me when I was used to pulling my flaws fiercely close in judgment.. Embracing allows for the natural transformation of a conceived negative aspect of myself becoming something beautiful, real, and authentic. 

There lies the challenge, the miracle and the beauty of "embracing".

Try a little embracing today, pull someone close as a sign of affection and accept enthusiastically all of who you are. 

Seeking Meaning in our Lives

John O Donahue in his book "Anam Cara" tells us that "Every human heart seeks meaning; for it is in meaning that our deepest shelter lies."

Searching for meaning is like going on a treasure hunt to discover something far more rich, of more value than any buried chest we could ever find. Like going on a treasure hunt, certain tools are very helpful in locating the treasure. I wonder what tools help us discover our meaning in life.

Here are a few of my personal favorites:

1. A belief that I am capable of succeeding of discovering the meaning I am seeking.

2. Time in nature, especially in the woods or near water, helps me to quiet my mind so that I can hear the message of the meaning.

3. Meditation and prayer are two wonderful ways to set your intention and allow your meaning to naturally rise to the surface.

4. Journaling and reflection are effective ways to tease out the treasure from it's hiding place.

5. Talking to trusted friends. Often our good friends can see our blind spots so they help direct us when feeling lost and unsure of where we are.

6. Sacred Ceremonies set with an intention to locate a path to the meaning of an aspect of your life is one of my favorites ways to go on a treasure hunt for meaning. I have done ceremonies searching for boundaries, clarity and decision making as way to seek meaning of my current life experiences.

7. Self love and intimacy that I offer myself no matter where I am in life helps me to understand that I am exactly where I am supposed to be is one of my favorite ways to shine light on the buried treasure.

I would love to hear how you discover meaning in your life. Please feel free to share!

T.S. Eliot wrote, "we had the experience but missed the meaning." Don't be afraid to search for the meaning of your life's experience. Remember it will be worth more than gold, no matter the path you take to get there.  

Love is a Risky Business

Several of my friends and I have been saying lately that it takes a great deal of guts to open ourselves to love. Yes, love can be a risky business. Whether it is a love that has endured through many years or a new romance just getting started, or even  puppy love, LOVE asks us to expose our vulnerabilities, our strengths and our weaknesses. Love is the uncovering of our masks and saying boldly "Here I am, warts and all."  That takes guts!

In an long term love we may discover that we have found new masks to wear. Taking off these masks may be expressing how your differences you once thought sweet now drive you crazy. Or it may be being brave enough to say that you are feeling bored in the relationship and want to reconnect in new ways. Whenever we speak without our masks on we are daring to love more openly not only our beloved but also all the new parts of ourselves. Risky business, yes indeed, even for a long, enduring love.

The beginning stages of love can feel extremely risky. Do we dare to stay with this new love to discover what lies beneath their surface, and to discover all my feelings that arise at such a tender time. Maybe I will feel insecure, unsure and wary of being hurt - AGAIN. Where does one find the courage for that?

We never know where love will take us. Sometimes we get on that love train and have no clue where our destination will be. Sometimes we find ourselves waiting and waiting at the platform for the love train to stop for us. Sometimes we find ourselves on that train reaching for the controls or we may even find ourselves trying to jump out the window of a moving train. It matters not where we are on that train. What matters is how much honesty, authenticity and kindness I bring to myself and others wherever I am. I better pack a whole lot of courage in my suitcase for it takes an inner strength to be true to myself as I love another.

Where are you at this moment with love?

How do you show up with radical acceptance in this very moment?

Do you trust that you are headed in the right direction?

Will you be brave enough to peek out from behind your masks and befriend not only the mask but the person hiding beneath it.

Helen Keller said, "Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing at all? The same is true for love.  It is a daring adventure. How daring will you be today?

Mourning a Loss

I am beginning to mourn the death of one of my dearest friends who died a couple days ago.  This is no easy journey to embark on. I wonder if I am ready for all of what it will encompass. Will it be like a treasure hunt through a dark cave where I will discover the buried loot deep within myself from having loved such an amazing person? Will I discover pockets of her love for me, pockets of the gifts she shared with me and the light she added to this world in that cave of the unknown journey? 

Each of us have our unique beliefs about death. Yet death remains one of life's greatest mystery. When we gather around someone who is dying we may see clues to the mystery, we may feel intuitive insights, we may sense a pure love, yet death remains a mystery.

I ask myself what clues about this great mystery have I gained from my friend's death? I saw a clue that although the final moments of death may be a relief and a release I learned that the path towards death can be very challenging and that it is important to be honest about all the many parts of the last days. This requires a raw honesty to be real, to be heard and respected.

As my tears slide out of me, I begin to heal. I trust my tears are an affirmation of the love we shared. I will accept her death while allowing life to have the final say--that we are all a part of the mysterious cycle of life that keeps opening and making way for more life. I will embrace the night trusting dawn is on its way. I believe that as long as each one of us lives, our loved one will also be a part of this world for they are a part of us and we honor their memory through living our life with love.

I offer this prayer to myself and all of those experiencing a loss:

Spirit of life,

As I pause, I listen for my breath that connects us to all life. 

Breathing in this moment with a gratitude for my friend's life that added peace, beauty and enthusiasm to this world; I ask for courage to embrace the cycles of life which holds also death. I believe that I, too, am a part of that universal cycle of life and death. 

Bless us all as the cycle turns with a faith that the cycle does not end with death. Rather it continues on in love to life once again. 

May our memories of our friend surround us with love and light during this time of grief as we miss her presence among us.

May her spirit soar into the wide, vast space that she was amazed to be a part of.

Dedicated to Neen: traveler, gardner, drummer, teacher, nurse, nature loving friend of the earth.


A Valentine Gift Idea filled with love and gratitude

Are you looking for that perfect valentine gift? A gift that will show how much you appreciate and love each other?  A gift that speaks from deep within your heart?

This new idea is beautiful for couples to share with one another. However it is also a meaningful gift for anyone in your life that you love. Maybe your child, aging parent or dear friend...

This valentine's day I am setting my intention to receive and give gifts of love and light.

Chickadee Ceremonies offer this creative, interactive and touching gift idea:

A Blessing Massage!

It is simple to do, all you need are a few drops of essential oil. Any oil will do. What scent is special to you? Maybe lavender, rose, or ???

Start by blessing your loved one in the following way:

1. Mind-put a little oil on their forehead as you bless their mind and thoughts. Say out loud all the ways that this person has blessed you with their thoughts.(ex. how they use their mind to do taxes every year, how they think of new ways to say they care, how they write meaningful words in cards, how they remember special dates) Take as long as you like to give specific examples of how they bless you or others by using their amazing mind.   Next, ask for a blessing on their mind and thoughts today and everyday.

2.Heart-put oil on their heart center as you bless their heart and emotions. Share all the ways that they bless you with their heart. (ex. how they bless you by helping care for your mother, how they express their emotions so honestly) Then ask for a blessing on their hearts and emotions.

3. Body-put some oil on the tip of their head and the tip of their toes as you bless their whole body saying how their body has blessed you and the world. (ex, helping in the garden, exercising together, cuddling) Then ask for continued blessings on their body.

4. Spirit-put some oil on your fingertip and blow it into the air as you bless their spirit saying that their spirit is within them and all around them. Speak of how their unique spirit is a blessing in your life. Then end by asking for blessings on their spirit, the part of them that is eternal and forever.

When you finish take time to pause so that your loved one has time to reflect and soak in all the blessings. It feels so good and relaxing, almost like getting a massage, hence the name: A Blessing Massage!  Have fun!

And maybe, just maybe, you will be given a blessing massage in return!

Celebrate your love by giving the gift of your time, given through your mind, heart, body and spirit.

Enjoy! Have a valentine's day filled with joy, honesty, fun and a sense of adventure!

Blog — Chickadee Ceremonies

I love this quote by Rev. Kendyl Gibbons:

"There is, finally, only one thing required of us: that is, to take life whole, the sunlight and shadows together; to live the life that is given us with courage and humor and truth.

We have such a little moment out of the vastness of time for all our wondering and loving. Therefore let there be no half-heartedness; rather, let the soul be ardent in its pain, in its yearning, in its praise."


Welcome to Chickadee Notes!

Starting up a blog is so new for me.  It is venturing into the unknown territory of technology. I am a little unsure of myself. Wish me luck and lots of good help.

What new things are venturing into? What is unknown in your life? In the secret place we call "mystery" lies our greatest path to wisdom and our spirituality. 

If that is true, then blogging will be a pathway for me.

Chickadee Notes

Welcome to our blog "Chickadee Notes".  

Chickadees have their own unique song that they sing loud and clear. It's distinct melody adds beauty and love to the world.

What song are we singing? How do we celebrate our uniqueness? How do we embrace all of who we are with love and acceptance?

Those are the driving questions that will be the voice of "Chickadee Notes". Let's celebrate all of life, all of who we are, all of who our neighbors are.  As we explore how to love life and live it fully may we continue to sing our distinctive song.

Today I invite you think of three words that you hear in your song.

  "Connect, Create and Cherish!"  My 3 words for my song!

I am sitting up in a tree listening to the harmony of my fellow birds!