Ingrid Goff Maidoff - Tending Joy

Celebrating Poetry, Beauty,
& the Sacred Essence of Joy

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Hope & The love of Laundry…


My husband Jonah and I visited with his family in Italy this summer, and I was, once again, captivated by the laundry.  Why do I love it so?  For me, laundry hanging out in the sun and the wind has come to represent hope and renewal.  Laundry, at least in my household, is a constant, endless, yes, infinite reality.  Choosing hope, love, patience and gratitude while doing the laundry flavors the day with well being.

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There are more photographs of laundry in the slideshow of my poem, Hope.  And a few prayer flags as well… because to me there is a link between laundry on the line and prayer flags- that practice of hanging small flags imbued with love, blessings and well wishes to be carried by the wind all across the world.

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Do I always hang out my laundry?  No.  I am often feeling rushed or hurried.  But on the days that I do, I feel a savoring, lingering appreciation for the moments.  Here are some other images of my relationship with our laundry….the entrance to our pantry, and the words above the washing machine.

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May your days be filled with love,  ingrid

Namaste Love & Oneness Blessing Bundles


Each of these blessing bundles contains folded blessings, poems & inspiration to encourage a deep sense of love and oneness.


They also have a sweet Quan Yin Charm, and a paper flower.


This summer, when a yoga business owner bought over 20 bundles as gifts for her employees,
I remembered this: People who get it really get it.






The above poem is in the Namaste Love & Oneness Bundle, and also found in the book, Befriending The Soul.


Bundles may be purchsed by clicking this link.



Befriending The Soul listed in Top Ten

I’m honored that Befriending the Soul was chosen
as one of Aspire Magazine’s Top Ten Inspiring Books this month.
Click here to learn more.

In love with color

In the Wintertime on Martha’s Vineyard,
We have this:

Why, so ungrateful, do I want this:

full of winter fantasy, I find this:

At my desk and seeking color, I fall in love with this:

Looking around my living room, I find this:

I thank local photographers for images like this:

(Vineyard Colors)

and in the studio I play with papers, to make things like this:

I can be here now much better, when it looks like this:

And if you came for tea, we’d drink with cups from this:

Coaching Happiness with Dr Robert Holden

San Diego and Jasmine…jasmine… oh how I love jasmine!!!

(cue song from “dirty dancing: I had the time of my life…”)

Last week, as a 50th birthday gift to myself, I took a trip to San Diego to participate in Dr Robert Holden’s Coaching Happiness training program.  I had been feeling unraveled by my three years with nerve pain, the surgery this winter, and with the challenges I’d been facing in fulfilling the demands of my business.  I went in hopes to learn a few things I might share, and, if I was lucky,  to be restored to an inner sense of well-being. I received all of this, and so much  more. Friend, if you ever have the chance:go!

I have always admired Robert Holden’s work and enjoyed his books.  Dr Holden has a deeply spiritual, intelligent, generous and poetic clarity that shines through his being, his teaching, and his writing.  As an island-dweller, I never expected to have the delight of meeting him someday, or any of the 150 beautiful souls I met last week.

Over the course of five intensive days, Robert shared training and tools which led us on a journey first to the walls of judgment we often build against ourselves, and then through to the other side of judgment- where the joy of oneness, love and deep happiness is the most natural, delightful and relaxed way of being and of living.

 The look on my face is asking, “can you believe how much this poem echoes all we’ve just been saying?!” 

    Oh my goodness, my soul felt so at home!  I felt the way Emily Dickinson might have felt, if she’d left her room and discovered herself in front of over a hundred loving soul friends.   There were moments when my poems contributed in an uncanny way to the lessons at hand- it was like a dream, a divinely orchestrated dream.  In the past, I’d written poems as if they were messages in bottles I tossed shyly from the shore into the ocean of oneness, in hopes someone might wander by, discover them, and feel nourished.  Last week, through sharing poems with 150 loving souls all at once, I felt as if I’d arrived in heaven.  I felt as if I’d entered the ocean of oneness, and even moved beyond the awareness that we are all waves in this ocean into the full experience of it.  This is a bliss that is difficult to describe.  I still feel it inside me, and pouring through me.  I am in a place of gratitude beyond words.  Oh I long for this for everyone!

I will end by sharing this poem, which fit so well with Robert’s discussion of the “Real More”- that what we all really deeply long for (rather than more home shopping network cooking sets and stuff) is to show up fully and joyfully as our authentic, honest, essential selves; to relax into being, and to know that everything we truly seek is within us.

On Prosperity and Saucepans

To live quietly, in Love,
is this enough?
If I cannot save this world,
at least to love it ~
honestly, with ardor,
and at the risk of
playing the fool.

Sometimes my ego will say,
“You need a prettier saucepan.”
But then my heart,
which is also God’s heart,
will say,
“Sweet idiot, don’t listen.”

It’s the things money can’t buy
I have plenty and want more of.

If prosperity means
to live in hope,
then certainly I prosper.

~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff, from What Holds Us


We could never learn to be brave and patient, 
if there were only joy in the world.
~Helen Keller

 Post- Surgery Haiku

In this bed 
my body rests,
my mind remembers dancing.



Summer of Gratitude

“To let no bird fly past unnoticed… to have the mind a storehouse of sunsets, requires a discipline in pleasure and an education in gratitude.” ~C.K Chesterton

This was a summer of pleasure, of gratitude, of plums…… of cousins and of resting my injured shoulder.  For the first time in 17 years, I did not haul my wares to the local Artisan’s show twice a week.  I relied, instead, on the success of the Night Heron Gallery, and on the many lovely shops and galleries who stock my work off-island.  I missed seeing my regular friends at the artisan’s… but I made plum jam, plum pies…plum everything.  And then we had peaches…

Jonah climbed on the roof and installed solar panels with the help of his brother and our good friend, Kyle… the girls helped me paint our kitchen cupboard green…  I bought a green kettle to match….it was a summer of simple pleasures- humble and sweet.  I kept the window above the kitchen sink as an altar of sorts… some books arrived in boxes, and I made the rest the old fashioned way… I feel remiss in correspondence- as if there was nothing to report, except the sweetness of the season- the sunsets, friends, and fruits…

Guest Post by Amy Oscar


by Amy Oscar 

We have all kinds of ideas about how it is and how it should be.

We look at the environment, the ecology, the economy and we grow concerned: this is not how it should be. We look at the people in our lives and grow annoyed: this is not how they should be.

We polarize and point fingers, inventing outrageous stories of offenses and hold these invented things against one another: it’s their fault that the world is falling apart; it’s their fault I can’t find a job; it’s their fault that people like me are struggling.

We hold other people accountable for our own unhappiness: if only she would listen to me; if only he were more open-minded, open-hearted.

Here’s how it really is: the world we see is a reflection of the world we carry inside of ourselves. Though it may appear to you that the world is falling apart, there is someone else right next door, who experiences the world as a divine playground.

Who is right? Who is wrong? How should things be?

Our beliefs about ‘how it is’ are mostly invented illusions picked up from our culture, from our parents, from other people’s ideas about how it is.

Which is really good news – because if we picked up these illusions (beliefs), we can pick up these other, shinier ones, too. In other words, we can change our beliefs; which will change our ideas about the world and how it is; and that will change the world for us.

To do this, we test our ideas and beliefs with the same questions we’d use on anything we’re not sure of: Is this true? How do I know that it’s true? Is this the way that I want things to be? Is it resonant for me?

And if we find that we are holding a belief or story that’s not true or is not the way that we want things to be, we can simply, easily, make a different choice – a choice toward what is true, toward alignment with the world in which we REALLY live: a world shimmering with love.

There is a secret spiritual principle hidden here: the world that you see is the world that you believe you will see. In other words, we project the world with our consciousness. This is why two people, witnessing the same event – a job loss, for example- will experience it differently. One sees it as a catastrophe while the other sees it as an opportunity.

In other words: we have a choice.

Each of us is responsible  – and in charge 0f – what happens in the ‘world’ of our own lives; and each of our ‘worlds’ is connected to the wholeness; and, to a source of divine love so pure and so forgiving that there is, at the most essential level, only love. This foundational principle puts us in touch with the core of divinity – and tender humanity – in ourselves and every person we encounter.

And it helps us to choose toward – and to believe in – a world of love.

By testing our beliefs and making the choice toward love we reveal the world of love that we have hidden, with our false ideas about how it is and how it should be. We shift our own lives – and the world – from shadow to light, from ‘how it is’ to ‘how I choose it to be.’ In this way, we take author-ship of our own story; creating a world of love.

To read more of Amy Oscar’s writing, and learn about the soul work that she does, visit