From discarded to regarded!

"Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here! Make. Good. Art" ~Neil Gaiman

It's never ever too late. What is that wild abandon that calls to the you, that is deep within?  Go inside her and explore. Is it a paint brush, camera, paper, pen, crochet? Do you want to explore nature, or culture?  My father picked up his paint brushes and oils at the age of 65. He built an art studio, and makes amazing recycled oil paintings. He visits his local thrift store, buying up every single old discarded oil painting with its out dated frame. He takes it into his studio for the ultimate transformation. A quick coat or two of jesso, gives him a clean slate. He then goes to town on his "Bob Ross" style landscapes, loosing himself in each and every brush stroke. He emerges from his studio, slightly high from the paint thinner, and blissed out creativity that allowed him to soar outside of time. It makes him giddy, to reclaim, recycle and re invent the old unloved uglies into his own precious masterpieces. 

Im a big believer in mistakes. Ive lived the heroes journey and had more than one dark night of the soul.  I know in my bones, that our biggest mistakes are our best teachers. Ok so if your sitting in the middle of the schmack down, you aren't looking at it in such a loving way, but I know for sure, that if you search for it's lesson, you will soon find your greatest strengths are found in the old crappy outdated thrift store oil painting that was discarded. Throw on a little Jesso, break some rules, dig deep and watch yourself transform from discarded to regarded. Re frame your new masterpiece and look with new eyes at your potential. High on the experience, proudly sign your name on your new artful creation.  

Rumi always has a way with words...

"Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do! There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the earth" 

Go people, make art out of your precious beings. Create, evolve and soar. Break some rules, and be interesting!! 

Carpe Diem 
Seize the day!

Creepy Crawlies make great totems

Are you afraid of that creepy crawly spider that makes its way into your space? Give the little guy a chance, perhaps it is a magical animal totem with a message. 

"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect." 
~Chief Seattle

Spider is the weaver of stories, dreams, illusions, fate. Spider is often seen as linking past to future.

You have a talent for writing, and can weave words in creative ways that can often affect others in deep ways. Spider is guardian of all ancient languages and alphabets. Many attribute the very first letters to the patterns and angles formed by a spider's web.  Spider is considered to be the teacher of languages and the magic of writing - it may be time to write creatively - without the constraints of form, tradition or habit.

They are associated often with the number 8 and are said to be the keepers of the internal plan of creation. The spider is considered to be associated with the Earth element. Several American Indian tribes tell the story of Grandmother Spider. She is said to have spun the web of life and that all living creatures, beasts, and humans are interconnected through her web. Every life touches another via the intricate, complicated, interwoven threads.

Transformation of the Shaman #12

This bronze statue is called "Transformation of the shaman" The original, life size sits in the healing gardens at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix Arizona. There were 22 smaller castings made to raise money for the installation. Pat Mathieson, the artist, was commissioned to create a memorial for a Dr. at the hospital who passed away from cancer. Pat's love for the native american traditions, and her great respect for women, led her to the vision of this healing statue. The Dr. loved birds, and Pat wanted to capture the transformation and healing vision in the cape, as it turns into Eagle feathers. The eagle is a powerful totem suggesting that we can see the bigger picture as we coast on the thermals, transforming one way of being into something else, perhaps better.  Pat told me that she received a call from a nurse at the hospital shortly after the installation was complete. There was a tribe of Hopi sitting in a circle around the statue in prayer, as their patriarch Elder was in surgery at that moment. She felt honored that her art was transformed into a place of gathering and healing, hope and love.  Pat also told me that at the time of the installation, the first lady of Iraq was at the mayo clinic receiving treatment. She was so moved by the energy of this statue, she took one home with her.  The cast of this shaman, made available 40 castings, only 22 have been cast so far. She thinks that the number has tapered, keeping this collection small and elite. 

Christmas morning,  2012 I opened a small box with a pair of labradorite celtic earrings. In the silken bag, was a note that said, "put these magical stones on and join a special someone in your bead room. 

I didn't have my reading glasses on and what I read was "put these magical stones on and join a special someone in your "BEDROOM." I was confused and wondering why my husband was asking me to join someone in our bedroom.  All of our children and my husband stood up waiting for me to lead the way. I headed for the bedroom, and was met with a shout "where are you going?" Perplexed I replied, to the bedroom, the note said there is someone special in our bedroom. My husband laughed and said, "NO, it said your BEAD room."  My bead room, is my art studio where I make jewelry, meditate, and create. 

So now with new bearings, I headed to my studio. When I opened the door,  I was met by my someone special, in all of her glory, standing on top of my jembe drum, casting number 12 "Transformation of the shaman." 

What a perfect Talisman to add to our home. So symbolic of my own journey, this fine art will be much loved and adored in my sanctuary.  I was able to find the artist on line, and contacted her. We had such a lovely conversation, and she shared with me her process, and love for inspiration of the native americans who are so deeply rooted in their spiritual path. She is a brilliant artist, I feel honored to own #12 of currently only 22 castings. Her web site showcases her lovely work, I invite you to have a look.  She is a treasure and a gift. 

Gratitude this holiday season!

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance,chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."

Melody Beattie

It is with deepest gratitude that I sit in awe of the bounty of blessings that I witness every day! We jump for joy, in our expressions of love, laughter, and pure giddy delight. May you all have a year full of abundance and gratitude!

L'amour en cage, {Love in cage}

L'amour en cage, Love in cage

What are these walls that are suck to my soul, like mortar? Invisible most of my life, yet palpable now. They have marked the territory of my sweetness, protecting it high on the hill with a moat, and crocodiles, and dragons. Not even I, had known how to get into the inner palace. I had lived decades oblivious that there was a sweet spot inside of my own soul, that has been waiting patiently, so that I may gain access to the She, that is inside.

Cracking open a space for entrance, is gaining access to the ancestral and maternal sacred feminine. The women that have gone before me have spent centuries in fragile bondage. My time has come, to step into the inner chamber of the heart, to heal the wounds of the "She" that weave back in time. Women have been trying to break down the walls for far to long. I found the secret entrance. A feminine way to the nectar of the soul. I found the hinge.  {hinge [ hinj ] vital: something on which a subsequent action or an outcome depends} Once its location is determined, It needs to be cleaned up. Threads of genetic information have rusted and halted its operation. The walls seem fixed and solid, but I know better. I must do my own work, chiseling away old beliefs, and patterns that no longer serve, or apply. Sometimes I have to work in the dark, and rely on my inner guidance to navigate each detail of the old rusty hinge. Why would I want to break down such a beautiful wall when I can open it, giving it a new purpose, allowing it to breathe. These walls inhale with an ebb and flow like the waves of the ocean. They open and close offering protection, and vulnerability. 

I planted this Physalis, this year anticipating its transformation. It starts its life with a solid form surrounding it. As the seasons progress, and it grows, ages, ripens and falls to the ground, magic happens. Just like the walls of my soul, parts of it fall away exposing the skeleton of its creation. Deep inside is a beautiful berry, its seed, its soul. Still protected by the delicate skeleton, this berry is able to re-seed and spawn a new generation. The French call it "L'amour en cage" Translation "Love in cage." Physalis is a symbol of lost love, that still lives in the heart.. Lost love that will stay with you forever. 
The sweet spot of my soul like this berry has a delicate cage, with well oiled hinges that can swing to and fro as I need the attached walls to open and close. This action of clearing out the old, has allowed for a new outcome going forward. I will teach my children how to oil the hinges on their walls, so that when they open the door, they will behold the beauty and magic that is their soul.  When we do our work in the present moment, we heal the past and change the future. How? Don't think you must break down your walls. Not only are they protection, but they house your gifts. Instead, find their hinges, heal the ancestral patterns that have kept generations stuck, and clean them up. By doing this you can close them when you need to protect your heart, and open them when it feels safe to share it. Find your hinge.

"The seed cannot know what is going to happen, the seed has never known the flower. And the seed cannot even believe that he has the potentiality to become a beautiful flower. Long is the journey, and it is always safer not to go on that journey because unknown is the path, nothing is guaranteed. Nothing can be guaranteed. Thousand and one are the hazards of the journey, many are the pitfalls - and the seed is secure, hidden inside a hard core. But the seed tries, it makes an effort; it drops the hard shell which is its security, it starts moving. Immediately the fight starts: the struggle with the soil, with the stones, with the rocks. And the seed was very hard and the sprout will be very, very soft and dangers will be many. There was no danger for the seed, the seed could have survived for millennia, but for the sprout many are the dangers. But the sprout starts towards the unknown, towards the sun, towards the source of light, not knowing where, not knowing why. Great is the cross to be carried, but a dream possesses the seed and the seed moves. The same is the path for man. It is arduous. Much courage will be needed."

I waited all year to take this photo. I was so excited to find the first Physalis, that had revealed the berry under the skeleton of its leaf.  "Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better" ~Einstein

Rabindra the rock star shares his Hunues

It was a beautiful day in San Diego. My husband, friends and I were wandering around Seaport village. It's a great tourist spot that I had never visited in the 15 years that San Diego has been my second home.  
It's a small village with several eclectic stores and restaurants. In the court yard was a man playing his charming and magical electric flute. Along the board walk, there were several portable tables and tents featuring local artisans, palm readers, fortune tellers, a man with an entourage of parrots.  Continuing along the boardwalk, I had to stop when I saw this man. His name is Rabindra Sarkar. He is from Calcutta India.  He stacks these rocks and accepts donations for a photo. I had to ask him what he calls these stunning rock towers. With very broken english he said "Hunues" {hoo-news} I was expecting him to call them Cairnes. Rock Cairnes have been built for centuries marking trails, graves and used in vision quests.  Rabindra, went on to explain that Hunues is an energetic state of being or connection to the stone that is required to create this sort of tower. Without Hunues, the rocks will not balance. It's a meditative state or another way of holding prayer in your soul. He went on to tell me that in Nepal, the villagers live at a very high altitude, and this is their meditation. They stack rock towers, balancing heavy rocks, at impossible angles creating stunning formations.  Rabindra handed me a small rock and asked me to balance it on the  lid of a water bottle. He showed me once and made it look so easy. I figured it would be a slam dunk. Haa, not the case.  I knew right away that this was a challenge that would not be easy. I tried and tried and could not balance a single rock. I overheard him talking about his Guru. He said that people come to her for healing and have felt better after a simple hug.  "Rabindra, have you hugged your Guru?" I asked. "Yes I have." He said. "Well if you hug me then maybe I will get the hunues and can stack this rock." He smiled and gave me a very heart felt hug. (I really did feel calmer) I returned to my rock took a deep breath, and stood in awe as my rock held its own on top of that water bottle. Rabnidra said, "You have good Hunues." You have to be very calm, and centered, I realized how easy it is to loose that state of mind, body and soul, bustling about every day. I found a new meditation that I can relate to.  One day I hope to build a tower. 

Here is the rock and water bottle where I found my "Hunues" {hoo-news} 
I am always surprised, when subtle things stand out and have the opportunity to be game changers. Meeting this sweet man stacking rocks was one of those moments. He gave me a new meditation that is practical and right up my ally. 

"I will not die an unlived life"

I will not die an unlived life I will not live in fear of falling Or of catching fire I choose to inhabit my days To allow my living to open me Making me less afraid More accessible To loosen my heart So that it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise I choose to risk my significance. To live so that that which comes to me as seed Goes to the next as blossom And that which comes to me as blossom Goes on as fruit. -Dawna Markova

My husband calls me a "quick start." It was actually a label assigned to me as a characterization, after one of those on-line personality quizzes. I have always feared heights. The ferris wheel at the cache county fair, made my central nervous system scream out loud, a test of my emergency broadcast system.

 I watched my daughter jump out of an airplane at 13,000 feet and fall to the earth, to find on the ground a marriage proposal romantically, rehearsed. It was on that day, that my emergency broadcast system flat lined. I was standing in the center of time, in one moment holding my daughters hand before she boarded the plane that would carry her into the sky, and in the very next moment, watching her walk away holding the hand of her future husband. As my eyes looked to the heavens, I could see the tiny blue and white parachute that was carrying my first born child to the earth. I had to put all of my faith in that fabric, and the man attached to her back. This delivery, was like a stork flying through the sky, but she was being handed off to her man. The exhilaration and joy that created this moment, changed me.  The "quick start" in me was awake and on fire, I knew in that instant that I too, would need to throw my body from a plane, and conquer my ultimate fear. Exactly one week later, I strapped the very same man to my back, and trusted that same fabric parachute to deliver me to the earth, alive! 
Without the man, I would have not been able to exit the plane. He leaned forward and with a push, I was falling from the sky at 13,000 feet. The free fall was aggressive, and exhilarating, the wind velocity, pushed my cheeks to the back of my head. I was falling to the earth, and I was so happy! I knew I would land on the ground, but I breathed a little deeper when the parachute opened, and softened the fall. 

This is how I have always taken on life. In a quick start sort of way. I don't plan out scenarios, I almost never have a back up plan. When I get an idea that seems good, I stand on the edge of the unknown, and jump. Most of the time, that inner voice that throws me from the edge, is full of wisdom, and I land with grace. But there are times, when my plan fails, when my jump is a mess, I crash. I learn in those moments how "NOT" to do it again, and always come away with insight. This is how I roll. I need wide open spaces to explore, and enter at my own risk.  

I will not die an unlived life I will not live in fear of falling Or of catching fire I choose to inhabit my days To allow my living to open me Making me less afraid More accessible To loosen my heart So that it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise I choose to risk my significance. To live so that that which comes to me as seed Goes to the next as blossom And that which comes to me as blossom Goes on as fruit. -Dawna Markova

Wanderlust, Taking me away...calling me back!

These prodigious trees bubble and ooze with mythic learnings and life lessons. I learned that many of these giants are as old as 2000 years, and some even older. That is a large number, but when I put it into perspective, it's really quite phenomenal. If you consider that the average life span of a man is 74, then 27 generations of ancestors, have beheld and touched the very same trees that I did. I wonder if there were even humans inhabiting this land that long ago. I find it difficult to not have total reverence    for the grandness of what this forest is. 

Another fascinating fact, the pine cone produced by these skyscraper sized trees, is no larger than a quarter. These tiny little cones grow into a dizzying height 327 feet, taller than a 37 story building. They are also more viable as they age.  The seeds of a 1200 year old tree, have a greater chance of producing new growth. Only 10% of these seeds will ever germinate because they are ancestral by nature. 
This is the best part of the story for me. Due to a lack of resin, and high water content in the bark, these trees can withstand the fires that sweep the forest floor clean. There are several trees that are hollowed out by fire. You can literally stand in the center, some with room for a bed and miraculously it is a living breathing tree. It speaks to the heros journey, the trials and sufferings that we endure. How many fires and scars mar our lives yet we still continue to grow and learn? They are also able to survive flooding by growing a new higher root system. Due to the shallow nature of these roots, the trees are vulnerable to high winds and can be toppled causing death. But do they really die? Once a tree has been knocked down or "died" the burls that grow on the exterior are stimulated, and a ring of daughter trees sprout up in a circle around the "mother" tree. Her root system continues to stimulate their growth, as they ascend towards the sky looking for the sun. This fact, makes these trees ancestral.  Most of the forest, has grown from its mother for generations. There is speculation, that if you trace the origin of certain trees, they will trace back to the age of dinosaurs. 

I lost my mother when I just a young girl. As I researched and learned about these trees, It was like nature telling me my own story. My mother "died" but is she ever really "gone?" Does her root system continue to offer support and growth to her daughter? And what about the grandmothers? It's the only way I can explain the miracles and protections that have shown up for me time and time again. I can literally be hollowed out feeling gutted by the shadows of life, but do I continue to grow, prosper and learn? Do I become better with age? Is my wisdom more viable as life adds a new ring to my trunk? Does that space created on the interior allow for new perceptions and learning to take up residency in my hollow bones? At dawn and dusk, if your in the right place, the soft filtered light of the sun, shoots like an arrow through the thick plumage from above and illuminates these hollow spaces. 
Inside a fallen hollowed tree.

Still living, this tree has been partially hollowed.

Grandfather Tree, Wanderlust!

If given the chance, I recommend a visit to this wonder of nature. There are so many life lessons on display in the sacred stillness of this forest floor. It's a meditation that takes you to the place where fairy tales are written. It's from this place, that my soul is in communion with nature, and I can "see" me! It was here that I offered the deepest level of gratitude for every fire, flood, and logging that entered my doors, where I invited them in as guests as guides from beyond! 

Heaven, is in every place that takes your breath away!

It's all about the rainbows

It's all about the rainbows. In life, we all find ourselves knee deep in storms at some point. Some are bigger and more destructive than others, but if you hang on long enough, the sun will cast a prism that will capture your heart and make you smile. Dark clouds roll in and instinctively we want to hunker down, some say where is the sun? If you have ever been in an airplane as its climbing through the air, there is a magical moment where you shoot above the clouds below, and realize that the sun has been there all along. 
"Speaking Your Truth volume 3" has been my rainbow. Sharing my stormy turbulent story, finding the courage to have it published and then watching it climb to the top of the best selling list, feels like a rainbow lit up my soul, and today I smile.  None of this could have happened without the mentoring of many, and the support of YOU! All of you who participated in our launch, made the publishing of this book a huge success.  Every chapter shows how each woman found the magical prism that cast a rainbow in her heart. It is my hope that all of you who read this book will find inspiration and courage, to do the same. 
Blessings to you all
Carpe Diem Live Consciously Seize the Day!

Press Release For Speaking Your Truth

Today is our official launch!! Get your copy today!! Read the press release to learn more about "Speaking Your Truth"

A Trifecta of delight. Speaking Your Truth!

We are now only 2 short days away from the launch of our book "Speaking Your Truth, Courageous stories from inspiring women." Watch this video to get a glimpse of what you will enjoy in this anthology. I am so thrilled to be an author, and share with you my story. I would love your support on tuesday as we launch volume 3.  This book will inspire you, make you laugh, and draw a tear. You will  find your own courage to move forward, to find light in the dark.

Blog post from Speaking Your Truth

As I lie in bed recovering from surgery, I traveled back in time and wiped the dust off of an old story buried deep inside. As I put words to my journey, “Holding hands in the cement,” came to life. When I heard that I would be published, I was overwhelmed at such an opportunity. Once I settled into the idea of being an author, reality sat next to me with a long cold stare. I knew that I would have to tell my father about my writing. It was with trepidation, that I traveled to my home town to spend time with my Dad. It was during my sharing, that his soul broke open, and what came from that changed everything. I shared with him my side of the story, and for the first time in 50 years, he told me his story. I felt like an eagle soaring high on the thermals looking down seeing the entire landscape, as a complete circle. Through his tearful sharing of regret, loss, hurt, and abuses, we were healing together in ways that I could have only dreamed of. “Holding hands in the cement,” has become much more than a story. It has come to life as a catalyst that has brought me to my knees, in the deepest of gratitude. It has been like a crowbar prying open the crevices of the past, allowing for the deepest healing to take place. My story is an avalanche rolling into our lives breaking down the walls one by one that have been protecting our hearts. Uncloaking the heart is vulnerable, and scary, but some of our greatest accomplishments in life come from trusting courage, and the unknown. “Though this universe I own I possess not a thing for I cannot know the unknown if to the known I cling.”

I would also like to honor my sweet husband, who reviewed my writing with new eyes, and assisted in the first editing process. His support and encouragement, helped bring this story to life, Thank you John.

I am honored to stand in a circle of amazing women who have all taken up courage and shared their stories. These books offer such inspiration and hope regardless of the struggle. It is my hope that by sharing my story, the reader will find strength to find their own gifts, and hope that every day brings a sense of wonder to the process of healing. Sharing this story has changed my life, added layers of healing to my past, and opened doors that continue to add adventure to my journey in this life.  

Visit the Speaking your Truth website to see this and other testimonials of contributing authors.

Petrichor, fluid that flows in the veins of the Gods


petrichor {PET-ri-kuhr} noun
The pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.
[From petro {rock}, from Greek petros {stone} + ichor {the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology}. 

Petrichor, is woven into the fabric of my DNA. There is not a smell on this earth, that catapults me towards it more than petrichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods. 
When I was pregnant, it was not pickles and peanut butter, or ice cream with catsup that called for consumption, but this smell....I need a rock. A fresh rock from a field or garden would make its way to my mouth. The taste and smell took me into a realm of bliss that helped me forget about my host body, and the uncomfortable stretching and growing taking place in my womb. It was a basket full of rocks that was the centerpiece of my table. I was sure that I had gone mad. I announced this craving to my doctor and was very clear that I enjoyed it so much that I didn't want it fixed, just wanted to make sure it was safe for me and my unborn child. His explanation was something like "Ive heard of aboriginal and tribal women who have this craving, it's most likely a mineral deficiency. I wouldn't make a habit of eating dirt, but the licking of rocks is most likely fine."  I was proud to have a craving considered tribal and full of pure giddiness knowing that my rock licking and smelling was a craving that wouldn't hurt me. During a rain storm, I would throw my pregnant body on the wet ground, and breath. I would take in that smell as if it were the fuel charging my body until the next storm. Petrichor is the  fuel flowing through my veins, sustaining my sanity and comforting a craving so powerful! This craving did not ever go away. I have never met a rock I didn't love, or a rainstorm that has been ignored! I know its strange, but It has a name, and a freaking awesome description. 

Next time your are blessed with rain, go outside and breathe in to your body the beautiful smell that only comes when the moisture of heaven kisses the earth and releases a fragrance shared with the Gods. It's a blending and marriage of ingredients that can only be created in the natural lab of earth and her miracles. 

Carpe Diem, live consciously, seize the day!

"Our real power is not derived from our positions in life, a hefty bank account, or an impressive career. Instead, it is the expression of that authenticity inside of us, our strength, integrity, and grace externalized. We don't realize that each of us has the power of the universe within us. We look around and we see others as powerful, we see nature as powerful, we can witness a seed turning into a flower or the sun crossing the sky every day. We even see life created in us, from us. Yet we see ourselves as disconnected from all of this power. God did not make nature powerful and man weak. Our power comes from the knowledge that we are unique, and from our understanding that we have the same innate power as all other creations. Our power lies deep within us. It is the power with which we were born. If it has been forgotten, it needs only to be recognized again." ~Elisabeth Kubler Ross~

This picture depicts this very concept of knowing your own power, and standing firmly in it. This precious little one, stated firmly that she wanted to be a "Bearpaller" (pallbearer) and with determination despite the status quo, jumped in and created a moment! In this crazy time, stop... slowdown, get quiet and remember the source that is deep within you.

Carpe Diem, seize the day, live consciously!

Projection Selection

I was born with a spirit that called me to venture "off the beaten path." In kindergarten, my teacher, Mrs. Bankhead gave us a coloring assignment. I began "outside" of the lines, creating my own crayola masterpiece in the margins.  There was a rhythm to her monitoring. She would glance down at each child assessing their progress. I could see from the corner of my eye that she was getting close to me. With giddy anticipation, I waited for her to praise my blending of colors, and whimsical patterns all outside of the black line in the middle of the page. Would she find me creative and wonderful? A solid whack to my tiny knuckles with a pair of scissors, ripped me out of my wandering fantasy, and into her classroom. Her huge tangled beehive hairdo, came very close to my face and her bright red stained lips shouted, "NEVER COLOR OUTSIDE OF THE LINES!" Her old lady breath, penetrated my skin, and her words embedded into my soul, a frightening realization. "You must obey the rules." On this day, I thank Mrs. Bankehead.  The day I remembered this moment, was the day I shouted hallelujah!! I have spent a lifetime with the deepest desire to wander outside of the lines, and explore. What I realized, is that I was born with this fascination, as a child, i naturally ventured to the area outside of the line, I loved exploring those margins.  When I turned 40, I was finally able to understand that this was a tremendous gift worth honoring. I realized that my life up until then had been much like the collapse of the wave function theory. I was told that I had to "observe" a specific way of thinking, and behaving, which caused the "collapse."  The act of the observer, causes all other possibilities to fade away. I call this "projection selection." It is allowing others to project their beliefs and  ideas influencing your selection. By doing this, the infinite options available, tend to fade away.  So knowing that answers take seed in the question, I allowed my self to question outside of the box. Exploring those paths that may look or feel different. What would happen if???  What I realized, it that within my own unique soul, there are answers that are very custom made for me. The mystery of the exploration has allowed me to see the infinite possibilities. I have practiced observing or focusing in on the one or two choices, that will take seed that makes sense for me. I trust that my spirit's knowing decides to collapse the wave, when it is time.  As my journey takes me off the beaten path, I observe new truths, and the system can then evolve again.  I love to wander with the knowing that I am not lost, not at all!!!

Rudraksha the sacred forest

Rudraksha forest. Where the roots weave like candy ribbon snaking across the forest floor. Where bright blue berries fall from above like tears, rotting away the outer surface. Deep inside are the sacred seeds of the tree, reminding us of our own inner beauty and strength. Sitting in the hollows of the roots, with my bare feet on the ground, I can see me! All of the colors, rotting away the old, discovering the new. Im twisted and turned rooting my soul deep in my own knowing. I hold my breath when I see the beauty, heaven is in every place that takes your breath away!

A tree house where fairy tales are written

During a recent visit to the Redwood forest in Northern California, we stumbled upon this tree house, it is a legit (as my kids would say,)  fallen redwood trunk converted into a magical play land. What kid doesn't want this in their back yard? Inside of the main level, off to the side, is a miniature stair case that lifts you onto an upper level. From here, you can peer out of the heart shaped windows. I felt like a kid again, and despite my tall body, I managed to find room to explore every square inch. If only I could have had a tea party inside and invited my friends!! What a wonderful discovery, It's from this place, that fairy tales are written!

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales, If you want your children to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales" Albert Einstein~

"We are in a dream, when we die we wake up."

I had such a profound conversation with my 12 year old son Connor. We were talking about death and what it means to him, how does he feel about it? He said "We are in a dream, when we die we wake up." I was pierced by this statement and had to know more. "What does that mean Connor?" He told me that this earth life and body is a dream, we come here to do something great. He said that people who die young are called to wake up sooner, most of the time because they did their "great thing" earlier than the rest of us. He said that young children who wake up, are special and called back by God. He explained that young children who wake up, have a chance to come back to the dream to help others learn how to accomplish their great thing.  Those who live a long life, get to have more assistance doing their great thing, and some accomplish their great thing in their later years. He believes that when we wake up, it is a celebration. He said that it's ok to be sad when someone we love dies. The bigger picture is that they woke up because they achieved a great accomplishment, and they are someone for us to look up to. Knowing that helps when we are feeling sad. Those that woke up from the dream, are the eyes in the sky, the camera's in the sky. They can be with us, and we will know it because we will feel them. 

~Connor Martindale~

I find this thought process incredibly profound and beautifully said. It helps me to re-frame the dance between life and death in a mythic belief that touches the soul. 

"God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us - in the dreariest and most dreaded moments - can see a possibility of hope." ~ Maya Angelou

{MMM} May Is Mothers Month, Happy Birthday!

{MMM} May Is Mothers Month! I get to honor you twice, Mothers day and your Birthday. Today, you would have been 64! Considering that you were born so prematurely and went on to survive, causes me to reflect on the miracle of my own birth. So many synchronistic events  had to take place for
you to live, and then to go forward in life, and despite doctors declaring you infertile, you gave life to  5 babies.  If you break it down, your single life produced 5 children, and from those 5 are 18 grandchildren, you are responsible for 23 lives so far, with the numbers growing as each decade passes. It's truly remarkable and miraculous. In 1948, fed with an eyedropper, and not expected to live, you made it!! You were born for greatness!  Today May 20, 2012, was also a solar eclipse. The Earth, Moon, and Sun are in alignment and the shadow of the moon covered the sun. I can't help but take this strait to the mythic. It's so symbolic to me of my own shadows, that cover my light from time to time, and how your death caused an eclipse that has lasted years not just minutes. The great news, is that I too was born for greatness, and have learned how to navigate my own heros journey, and find my light over and over again despite the shadows that have tried to take me down. The deeper meanings by mystics say that this solar eclipse is all about shedding our old stories, and stepping into the birth of new ones. I have learned to do this time and time again, and honor so deeply your life and death.  Because of the shadow or eclipse, I have learned to script new stories of triumph for myself and your grandchildren! I have learned to find the exquisite beauty in the dark, knowing for sure that my greatest learnings in life have come from that place. 

There is a passage in the book Motherless Daughters that I must share,

"In the redwood ecosystem, buds for future trees are contained in pods called burls, tough brown knobs that cling to the bark of the mother tree. When the mother tree is logged, blown over, or destroyed by fire-when, in other words, she dies-the trauma stimulates the burls' growth hormones. The seeds release, and trees sprout around her, creating the circle of daughters. The daughter trees grow by absorbing the sunlight their mothers cedes them when she dies. They receive the moisture and nutrients they need from their mother's root system, which remains intact underground even after her leaves die. Although the daughters exist independently of their mother above ground, they continue to draw sustenance from her underneath."

These Trees, continue to live through their mother. Through her root system, she supports them. From the dark, the shadow the underbelly of the earth, the daughters sprout up from their mother, and become  as grand as she was. As a child, I used to look up in the sky thinking that you were somewhere high above in the cosmos. What I know now today, is that you are here, everywhere that I am. You are in the trees, and the flowers, and the grasses, you are in the clouds and the moon, deeply rooted in my soul. Heaven is where we are, in our moments of solitude and reflection. When we are in nature, and find those places of beauty that take our breath away, that is heaven. And I am connected to you there. I think of you every-time I pass this tree near my home. It's incredible that the Lady shines through the surface of the bark for us to see, and that the birds have nested in the place of her womb. So much life springs forth from this place year after year.  Im going to the Redwood forest this year. I know I will meet you there. I have dreamt of sitting in the redwood forest, amongst the daughter trees, and touching the earth that contains the life blood of the Mothers. I will once again honor you there!! 

I love you so much that my heart aches! Thank you Mom for my glorious and miraculous life!! I am so full of gratitude for my amazing life lessons, that at times seemed impossible. I honor that place of the dark shadow. I have learned to tell new stories with every eclipse. My life is glorious and happy and full! 


p.s. I love how you apply your eye makeup. The dramatic cat eye look!! It's so sexy!! So are you!!

1+1=3 and From There Infinity

As I have a minute to myself today, I allow my tears to surface, to honor the pain of missing you! I was only 8 when you died. Since then many have come forward with the title of "Mother." I honor them all, even the mean ones! It was so sudden, so tragic, so sad and unfair and horrible. I became a mother when you left. At 8 years old, I learned how to prepare hamburger helper, sandwiches, soups. I did dishes and laundry, I cleaned bathrooms and changed diapers. The old icky cloth ones that had to be rinsed in the toilet. My small hands dunking and swishing diapers in the gross toilet. I didn't like it, but I did it. I wasn't good at it, but I survived. My heart ached for you, it still does. Over the years Mom, I built up walls to protect my heart, to quiet the sadness. I became a warrior a goddess. I learned how to do things to survive, even Man things. I can use power tools, and big plumbing wrenches. I can paint, and lift. I can rototill the dirt, and move furniture. I can dig holes, and lay tile. Im also good at the girl things, I love fashion, just like you! I love being creative and clever. But as for matters of the heart, I struggle a little more. Today I am 42, you have been gone 34 years. As I get older and wiser, I realize that it's time for the walls to come down. Im putting down the Man skills. I don't want to chip my nail polish with pipe wrenches, and power drills. It has taken me 34 years to learn that my fragile heart can be safe. Its time for the sacred feminine essence in my soul to emerge.  Your death, lead me down a new path into uncharted territory. Today, I am full of gratitude for the beautiful life I have created. Your children's children are remarkable, and I know you are so proud! I have found the most profound and lovely life lessons in all of the tragedies that followed your death! I love you so much! My mourning of you will take a lifetime, but my joy is greater, and my blessings more abundant for these lessons that have come from loss. When you married my father, it was 1+1=2.  When I came along the sum was 3, and after that it became infinite. You live each and every day through your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and on and on for ever and ever. Happy Mothers Day Mom. I think of you every time there is a full moon. Thank you for your timeless creation. Thank you for allowing me to rise higher than I thought I could, for surviving more than I knew was possible, and for this very moment, where time stands still as I feel your soul touch mine. 

Can you feel my walls coming down? will you be there to catch me if I fall? Yes of course you will, because you are always there. I love you Mommy!! 


A man came home from work and found his 5 children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around garden, The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and no sign of the dog, walking in the door, he found even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, the throw rug was against one wall, In the front room the TV was on loudly with the cartoon channel, the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel... She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?' She again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?...
''Yes," was his incredulous reply..
She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it.’

You are the entire ocean in one single drop!

"You are not a drop in the ocean, You are the entire ocean in one drop!" ~Rumi~
So simple, so true so wise.

Just a shift in perspective for today! You have such greatness, can you see it? Your beauty is from the inside out.  Find a way to honor yourself in this moment, what are your gifts and passions? What would you do if you had no fear? What are your dreams? You are great, unique and special, you are important. 

Carpe Diem ~ Seize the day!

Trigger Points of Change

"No one is immune to the cycles of balance and change. Regardless of how large our families are, how many friends we have, how many books we've written, or how successful we've become, we all have a trigger point that invites change into our lives. Interestingly, the trigger appears to be different for eveyone. While we may believe that we have neatly arranged life as something that we can regulate and control, all the while each experience and every relationship is training and preparing us for something that may be beyond our control.

"In doing so, we move ever closer to the moment when we'll be given the opportunity to demonstrate our mastery over our betrayals, violated trust, and hot-button issues. It's only after we've put our last spiritual tool in place to create the balance, however, that we signal our readiness. It is our balance that says, 'Hey! I'm ready. Bring it on!' Now we're ready to demonstrate to the universe what we've learned." Greg Braden.

Honoring the Beauty of the Shadow

It was finally our turn, here in the west to witness an eclipse. They always appear in the pre-dawn hours, when I am finally falling into that deep restful sleep. But this time, I was determined to witness the event that I have slept through in years past. It was 20 degrees outside, I was worried that my camera would retaliate giving a foggy image. When I stepped outside of my garage, and looked up, I gasped. I sped away in my car to a higher elevation where I had full view of this glorious moon.  I love seeing the world through the lens of my camera. The large zoom gives me a closer look, and the excitement of capturing an image makes me giddy. Once the tripod was set and the cameras timer was clicking away, I took a moment for reflection. The shadow cast on this otherwise glowing orb of light, was so beautiful. I reflected on my own shadow's that have been a constant companion throughout my life. My shadows, have been my greatest teachers. The light of the moon does not cease to exist, it merely accepts the dark, and makes it desirable to look at. Thousands of people gather around the world to witness these events. As I have looked at my own shadows, they have become equally beautiful companions that co-exist within me. I have deepest gratitude for the difficult lessons that shadow has taught me. We are all luminous beings. When we allow that light to shine through the darkest times of our life, we are eclipsing the demons, and creating allies that we can then carry into the world in beauty. This process of transformation, is as grand as the events that draw thousands out of their beds, to see with their own eyes, what the heavens are teaching us. I bow in honor to my demons and shadows. I offer gratitude
for the insight and transformation that has replaced the dark. May you all find the beauty within your soul!
“Our shadows hold the essence of who we are.  They hold our most treasured gifts.  By facing these aspects of ourselves, we become free to experience our glorious totality:  the good and the bad, the dark and the light.  It is by embracing all of who we are that we earn the freedom to choose what we do in this world.  As long as we keep hiding, masqerading, and projecting [the negative messages we hide] inside us, we have no freedom to be and no freedom to choose.”
Debbie Ford~

In Like a Lamb. My one year celebration!

Photo taken in the Parish of "Martindale" in the south of Scotland.

Sleeping lion found at the wild animal kingdom in SanDiego.

Today as the sun shines through my window casting a prism from the crystal ornament hanging there, I celebrate the LAMB. It's a gentle day of celebration and joy. WHY? Today is exactly One Year, since my double jaw surgery. It's amazing how the passage of time alone can change perspective.  One year ago today, I woke up in a hospital bed, my face felt like a solid brick of cement. Heavy, hard and no feeling.  One year ago on this day, upon awakening, I was met with a LION. A storm ahead so big and daunting like no other storm I would ever face. Fears were fierce, anxiety high. Eating from a syringe, only liquid for weeks. Everything tasted like a rubber hose. And the meds made me so sick. Although I was greeted with a LION, it was much like this sleeping lion that I photographed. I knew I could do it. I had to dig deep some days, but I was supported, encouraged, loved and hopeful. As I reflect on the past year, It has been one of healing, and recovery. Today I am whole. Today I am healed. Today I celebrate. 

My jaw is strait, my teeth lined up, I can eat, I have no pain. 100% of feeling has returned to my entire face. Considering my age, I honor this as a miracle. My jaw pain is gone, I can chew food in a way that I never knew or appreciated before. One year later, I am stronger than I knew, (and I thought I was strong before.) I am full of gratitude for the outreach from hundreds who prayed, lit candles, and held meditation on my behalf. This is the space where miracles take place. Thank YOU!! I also offer my deepest gratitude for friends and family, who tended to my recovery every minute of every day for weeks. You know who you are, and I celebrate every one of YOU!!  

Last year on this day was "in" like a LION. Today on this day is "in" like a LAMB. The truth is that both are beautiful, and both offer gifts. So regardless of LION or LAMB, I continually invite both to my table, to honor the teaching and learning that can only come through allowing. 


Thank you Rumi for the continued wisdom. On this day one year later, I am Illuminated, hopeful, grateful, and full of love from the center of my heart. 

Carpe Diem~Seize the day!

People see God every day, they just don't recognize him

It was a chilly day at the beach. My body temperature is always registering a few degrees below normal anyway. Part of me wanted to leave, or go sit in the car with the heater on. And then then I noticed the magic. My son was having a mud flinging  contest with his buddies. The sun was preparing to kiss the ocean goodnight, providing a mystical light. There was a mist in the air as the tide was pulling back for the day. I grabbed my camera, and forgot about the chill in my bones. I only saw magic in every shot. The kids were delighted and full of wonder lust as they flung salted, wet sand into the air, and at each other.  This beach was providing the kind of fun that doesn't cost a dime. Their brains are not overloaded with T.V. ad's and video games. The true joy of their spirits are bubbling over and out, with the laughter of voices floating on the wind currents. How full of gratitude I am, that I took a minute to pause, and in doing so saw God all around me. It reminds me of a lyric by India Arie. "It doesn't cost a thing to smile. You don't have to pay to laugh. You'd better thank god for that!" 

And so in that very moment, I said Thank you, thank you, thank you. My soul smiled, my heart opened, my bones warmed, and I noticed!!