In the midst of this COVID crisis, I woke up in a funk. I felt edgy, frustrated, impatient, closed down. I think all would have been well if I could have just held those feelings and stayed with them, but I immediately started judging myself for having them. After a few days my body started screaming at me, ”Do something. We can’t hold all this negativity much longer.”

I used to have a much greater tolerance for negativity. Now it makes me literally feel sick if I don’t deal with it. Given the current state of the world, the isolation and confinement, how do I come to a deeper sense of my own wholeness?

As I have worked to answer this question, several pieces of a puzzle have fit together to make a clearer picture of me.

My first puzzle piece arrived as I immediately started doing several things that I knew might help me release and realign. I deepened my spiritual practice by spending more time: meditating; sitting outside, bare feet on the earth, feeling the power of the Mother fill my body; dancing by myself to my favorite old rock and roll music, (that truly is a spiritual practice, BTW); and taking long walks in the woods.

Another piece came when I realized that my struggle with insomnia wasn’t personal.  It didn’t need to define me in any way. I was not a defective person just because I couldn’t sleep through the night. My previous mindset had somehow morphed into, “I’m not ok if I have this sleep issue.” Letting go of that unhelpful thought did help my sleep and my mood improve.

Also, I sat with a pile of cards that I have collected over the years. In the past when I would read or hear something inspirational, I would write it down on an index card. The pile has become quite a collection. Just reading through this stack of cards helped me remember truths that I had forgotten.

I found this jewel of a quote. It was labeled, A Morning Intention, and here’s what it said:
“May I this day keep my heart open.
May I remain curious, no matter how difficult things may get.
May I generate a warm heart toward myself.
May I see what I do, without turning it against myself.”

I began repeating that third line, over and over to myself, during the day. I was shocked to realize how seldom I had sent myself any kind of loving energy. It felt like wrapping a warm blanket over myself.

I recollected a line from an old hymn I learned in childhood. “Thank you, Lord, for making me whole.” This hymn had been rattling around in my brain for months, but several weeks ago I felt it enter my body. I was born in wholeness, not defective, not in “sin”, not in need of salvation. Of course, I had known this intellectually for many years, since abandoning my fundamentalist upbringing, but this felt like embodying a fundamental truth.

One provocative piece of the puzzle came from a brief conversation I had with an old friend. She was sharing that in her women’s group, all of them in their 80’s, they had been discussing the question,

When will it be enough?”

I pondered this over many days. When will I have done enough? When will I have learned enough, grown enough, become spiritual enough? I began realizing that for several weeks I had automatically deleted all workshops, podcasts, seminars, online courses that came to my email.

I began thinking, “…Maybe I am enough. Maybe I’m done striving to be better, somehow. Striving to always improve, always ‘pushing the river’ as one friend describes me.” I really started taking that in. I didn’t need to DO anything more to be ok. I am wholeness, after all.

Along with that came an acknowledgment that I trust my Soul to bring to me any issues that might need healing. I don’t need to go looking for my lessons. They will come to me, and when they do I will deal with them, but basically, the searching is over. Maybe it’s my age, 78 for a few more months.  Maybe it’s the whole COVID thing. Whatever the reason I am feeling a deep sense of ok-ness.

The final piece, at least for the time being, came in the form of a poem, shared with me by my friend Heidi Robbins. It’s by one of my favorite poets, Jan Richardson and it’s called, “Blessing the Body.”
Blessing the Body

“This blessing takes
one look at you
and all it can say is
Holy hands.
Holy face.
Holy feet.
Holy everything
in between.

Holy even in pain.
Holy even when weary.
In brokenness, holy.
In shame, holy still.
Holy in delight.
Holy in distress.
Holy when being born.
Holy when we lay it down
at the hour of our death.

So, friend,
open your eyes
(holy eyes).
For one moment
see what this blessing sees,
this blessing that knows
how you have been formed
and knit together
in wonder and
in love.

Welcome this blessing
that folds its hands
in prayer
when it meets you;
receive this blessing
that wants to kneel
in reverence
before you:
you who are
home for God
in this world.”
I know that this deep feeling of holy-ness may come and go, as the truth cycles in and out of my consciousness, but my hope is that when the next funk appears, I will remember.

Even in the funk……holy still.

(First published at Lorian.org)


One of our first assignments in the class, “Awakening Joy,” was to think of all the things that bring us joy and then to notice what gets in the way of our experiencing it more often.

Here’s my journal entry for that assignment.


“What brings me joy these days?

Teaching. I always feel a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment when I’ve taught a class or done a full moon ceremony.

Being aligned. Feeling connected to my deepest self, my Soul. This is a feeling that is different than the zippity do dah,  kind of joy. This is an inner, quiet sense of, I’m on the right path, doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

Acknowledging, calling in, invoking the angels brings me joy. I consciously work with them and ask them to help me sleep at night, to help heal my shoulder, to work with the people who come here to make them feel welcome and safe. That brings me joy.

Volunteering at the day care center to play with the babies. Sending them love, holding them, imagining their little Souls looking out at me. Such a warmth in my heart when I see their sweet faces.

This winter the sun has brought me joy.

Just choosing joy, moment by moment I feel grateful for everything.

Having the house to myself, and my life to myself brings me joy.

What gets in the way?



Taking on too much responsibility that isn’t really mine.

Not being authentic, gets in the way. I don’t feel true to myself when I pretend or put on a disingenuous face. I feel so much joy when I can just be wholly and truly who I am in any situation.


My personal intention for this course is to create a new groove in my brain, the joy groove, that will replace and make obsolete the inertia groove. I want to lift my Spirit, my mind, my body, UP, UP, UP. I want joy to become my natural state of being in the world. I want to become more mindful of my thoughts. I want to become harmless. Can you do harm when you are in a state of joy?”

“Those who wish to sing, always find a song.” (Swedish proverb)

Sending joy,



It may seem irreverent and cold-hearted to be talking about joy in the midst of this pandemic, but really, who does it serve if we get so burdened down with despair and fear that we cannot make wise choices or feel any hope? I’ve learned that it is a practice, this choosing joy idea. Regardless of outer circumstances we can incline our minds toward joy. This is not to deny, repress, or ignore those other feelings. It is just to acknowledge that joy is always there, if we choose to look for it.  Mister Rogers tells the story of what his mother told him once when he was devastated by some cruelty. She said that when bad things happen, always look around for those people doing good. Choosing joy is like that. We see the despair, the fear, we accept that it is there, but we also know that it is not all that is there. The flowers are still beautiful, the sun is still shining, the smells of spring are in the air. These things are also present. We must just decide that we want to turn our minds toward them and fill ourselves with their beauty and presence.

I was reminded of this practice, today, as I was looking through some old papers. I came across a journal that I kept while I was taking a 9-month online course called, Awakening Joy.  https://www.awakeningjoy.info/

I’d like to share with you my first entry.


“So, this is my ‘joy journal’. I’m starting the class Awakening Joy, this week and I’ve decided to keep a special journal just for this class.  What I noticed right away? As soon as I made the commitment to the class, the mantram, “I Choose Joy” kept coming into my awareness. The feeling was one of being uplifted inwardly. I realized my learned inner state of being was sort of stamped down, held somehow, clamped and restricted, but this upliftment felt joyous and light and free. An old footprint in the sand was being washed away by the tide and leaving just a sparkling smooth surface behind. I already have become more aware of my inner state in any given moment and it’s quite amazing to watch the shift as I say, silently, “In this moment, I choose joy.” It’s kind of like a fluttering around my heart, like the beginning of excitement. Like an “oh!” and then a quick intake of breath, when you are slightly surprised by something. It feels like a little shot of energy. I like it!!”

Joy can lighten our burdens. Mindfulness can help us be aware of when we are taking on too much and at that point, we have a choice. We can choose to become entirely immersed in the burden or we can open our hearts in compassion for ourselves and for struggling humanity and look around. What else is there to see?

There is a saying, purported to be from Thailand, that says, “Smile in defiance of the tigers.”  I think we can cultivate the ability to smile to ourselves, no matter what is happening to us or around us.  So, right now, in this moment, I choose to  smile.


I’ve been thinking a lot about that famous Snoopy/Charlie Brown quote because for awhile now I haven’t been able to push that particular “on button” in myself. It’s mostly due to a reoccurrence of the old insomnia issue. The frustration and anxiety have been particularly intense. This intensity may be due to the fact that we are entering my birth month, November, and traditionally this has meant that some emotional issue usually arises for me to look at. Scorpio is the sign of the underworld of our psyches so part of me is not surprised.
After a week or so of this continual, mind f….king, I finally realized what I was doing. I watched myself be in a perpetual bad mood, feeling a bit depressed and catastrophizing the worst case scenario…..I would never, ever again have a good night’s sleep. You’ve heard me bemoan this before so I won’t belabor it but what was different this time was that I realized what my thoughts were doing to my body and my mental health.
And then a couple of things happened that helped shift things for me. I was reading a blog by David Spangler in which is tells the story of his very first car. How he loved that car and every time he drove it he felt such love and gratitude that it was his. And the car never broke down. It drove like a charm for him. His father, who gave him the car, really didn’t like it, but bought it because it was a good deal. Well, every time his father happened to drive the car something went wrong. David’s 16-year-old mind concurred that the car must respond to whatever energy was directed toward it.
This wasn’t a new thought for me, but it got me to thinking about it in connection to my insomnia. How must my bed feel when every night I come to lie down with a sense of dread or anxiety? Would things be different if I slipped under my covers each night grateful that I had a bed and that it held me so comfortably? Could I give thanks to whatever subtle energies inhabited that bed? For me it seemed more than just a gratitude practice it made me more aware of my connection to the subtle realms. There really is an energetic connection between my bed and me, my computer and me, my chair and me and when I express my gratitude to my bed or my computer or my chair I begin to feel that connection as an energy flow between us. This is not rocket science. David has been preaching this for years through his books and talks on subtle activism, but suddenly it hit me in a real way.
The second things that happened was an email from Tom Kenyon, the sound healer. He posted an article and a meditation from a group he calls the Trillium. He suggests in this article that they are beyond our dimension but are willing to help us during these chaotic times with whatever we need to stay centered and grounded. He suggests we listen to the 5-minute sound meditation while holding in our intention in our awareness. The effects, he says, will be more powerful if we can do this while in a state of deep gratitude or appreciation.
So, here’s how these two events changed things for me. I began listening to the cd while doing my gentle stretching right before bedtime. My intention was simple, deep sleep and I pictured myself lying peacefully in my bed, totally at rest with no agitation or mental anxiety. After those 5 minutes I made my way to my bedroom and crawled into bed. Lying there I took a few minutes and felt my gratitude for my bed, sending it my good feelings and feeling the comfort of its energy holding me. Then I gave thanks to my pillow, my comforter, the wind gently blowing in through my window. I thanked the nature spirits that help keep the plants in my bedroom healthy. I invoked the spirit of my bedroom and asked her to work with me to create a space that would feel like a peaceful sanctuary. I was deep in gratitude and felt the blessing of connection.
It’s only been a few days, so I can’t claim that this will last forever, but I’ve had great sleep for two nights now. And this feeling/awareness has spread into almost every area of my daily life. It’s like walking into the world with new eyes. Everything is alive. Everything has consciousness and the more I acknowledge that and radiate my gratitude out to meet it, the more blessed I feel.
Sending my gratitude now to my computer, for taking this all down and not crashing on me.
A few weeks later I am still not sleeping as peacefully as I’d like, but it seems like what was really important about this experience was the expanding of my awareness around my living environment. I walk around my house now with an increased desire to transmit the gratitude that I feel to those unseen beings that share my space. In return, I feel the connection we are making with each other and I am grateful for the feeling of support that gives me. I feel held and uplifted. It’s an energy exchange that benefits us all and I am beyond grateful … regardless of how I sleep.


I have to admit I’d never heard of the Celtic Festival called Lughnasad until a few days ago, although I was familiar with the English name given it, Lammas. Still I was intrigued and looked it up.
Wikipedia describes it in this way:
“a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Traditionally it is held on 1 August, or about halfway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox. However, in recent centuries some of the celebrations shifted to the Sundays nearest this date. Lughnasadh is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Samhain, Imbolc and Beltane. It corresponds to other European harvest festivals such as the Welsh Gŵyl Awst and the English Lammas.”
But first the backstory.
In trying to finish up my new book, My Gentle Musings, based on 6 years of my blogs, I had to research a lot of the poets and writers that I had quoted. Copyright issues come into play when you are selling something that contains other people’s words. So one of the people I googled was Miriam Dyak who is the author of Spring Cleaning, one of the first poems quoted in my book. Much to my surprise I found she lived right here in Seattle, my home town. I called her, and we had a lovely conversation. I realized we had much in common as she is only a few years younger than I and she is also a therapist. I asked for her permission to include her poem and she graciously gave it to me with no strings attached, except that she be acknowledged. Then she told me that she had written poems for each of the Celtic holy days and she would love to send them to me.
On the day they arrived in my email box I was having a mini crisis around the book. Doubting myself, wondering if I would ever finish it, if anyone would be interested in publishing it, if it was really something people could be helped by. That was my mindset, having a “doubting Thomas” moment. Then I read her first poem dedicated to the festival of Lughnasad.
Since corn needs all the light it can get.

you will want to avoid planting other tall plants nearby

you are growing yourself remember
you deserve your day in the sun
you deserve your own ripeness
and you will want to make sure each plant
has every opportunity to make good use of the rich soil you have provided
so that at last these dreams you’ve been holding will fill out
in precious clusters of milky pearls and silky yellow moons
Sweet corn is at its sweet juicy tender best for only a few days
and you have labored a whole season for this perfection.
Trouble shooting: we hope none of the following problems will be yours
Insect infestations like a swarm of worries
take measures in your own soul before there is a full-scale invasion
The corn earworm lays about 1,000 eggs in her twelve days of life
We know how these hatch into hesitation, fear, doubt, self-deprecation, inertia how they eat tunnels into the mind
Cut them out and give them back to the earth for compost
You have grown too far to give up now
Diseases – wilt and smut and blight out there in the world
Don’t let these attack your own small patch
Develop a resistant strain go against the grain of expectations
be an original a treasure
Give yourself a new name:
Golden woman
Moon Maiden
She Who Stands Tall And Proud
Thieves – raccoons, woodchucks and deer are probably the worst four-footed
sweet corn thieves
they are the distractions that come just when you’re getting somewhere
when you almost have success in the pot
and steal you away from your own life
They have an uncanny way of knowing just when the ears
have reached their prime
They are other people’s needs you always put before your own
They are love affairs that want you to be somebody you aren’t
They are larger bigger better purposes/harvests than yours
You can try to spook them with rock music
You can plant pumpkins in their path
You can even cover your ears with paper bags…
But I am here to tell you
this night on the festival of Lughnasad the time of ensuring the harvest
your personal harvest the village harvest
and the safety of the good we are all growing in the world
I am here to tell you what the ancients know
that if you give up your crop along the way out of carelessness or nobility
it doesn’t matter
your spirit will be a hollow husk and no one, not you, not others
will be fed
But if you tend your own patch to completion
(no matter how insignificant it seems)
if you let yourself swell with joy with the rich nourishing milk of fulfillment
you will have raised a miracle
Your small garden of life, of art, of love, of work, of mothering and building and
being a wise woman
whatever you have planted and tended and grown
will feed yourself, your village
there will be corn for feasting, flour for popping over winter fires
and enough to plant next year
There will be seeds that open spontaneously in the hearts of other women
and wild possibilities will appear in dreams on the other side of the world
Miriam Dyak
August 2, 1995
WOWSA!!! I am inspired, and I will continue. I am she who stands Tall and Proud.


We’re in a Gemini month right now and I’ve been pondering what this might mean for me. Gemini is the sign that transmits the energy of unconditional love and wisdom. It is the love that translates into a desire for right human relationships, for a resolution to whatever separative tendencies we may hold.
Here’s how it has played out for me so far. I got an email from a person that I used to be fairly close to, but partly because of the way I was treated in that relationship, the friendship sort of died. We didn’t see one another anymore. Then I got this email from him asking if I’d like to get together for coffee and “catch up.” My first impulse was, “NO,” but I didn’t know how to gracefully decline. I sat with it for a few days and then decided to accept, although I felt half-hearted about it. I recognized that I didn’t have good feelings toward him. Maybe I still held onto the hurt, but I had confronted him about it and he had taken responsibility. I just made the decision at that time that I didn’t trust him as a friend and sort of closed off my heart to him.
Then the universe began working on me. First it was a chapter in the book my women’s group is reading called, “Awakening Joy.” I read the wrong chapter, which I took as sort of a sign. Instead of reading the chapter on Self Love I read the chapter on Loving Others. In this chapter the author’s James Baraz and Shoshana Alexander, talk about how when we focus on the negative feelings we have about someone, we may be closed down to all the good things that person might have displayed. We forget.
So, I started thinking about all the good times this friend and I had shared and how, at one time, I had respected and admired him because of all the positive qualities I saw in him. That shifted things a bit, but not altogether.
Later in the chapter I read about the Lovingkindness practice where you wish someone well,
May you be at peace.
May you be free of suffering.
May you remember the beauty of your own true nature.
May you live your life with ease.
The suggestion is that you start wishing yourself well and then after a time extend the blessing to those you may have difficulties with.
I began doing that with this person.
I tell you, it’s hard to hold onto many bad feelings when you are wishing someone well, every day.
The discomfort eased some more as my heart began to crack open a bit more.
The final piece for me was realizing that at this full moon we are being graced with a downpouring of love and wisdom. We are being asked to love more.
How do I want to use this energy? Gemini is all about establishing right human relationships, with myself, with others, with my environment. How can I bring that energy into my relationship with this person? How can I shine the light of Love into our connection?
Here’s what I finally came to.
This person has been somewhat abusive to me in the past, so I won’t give him complete access to my heart. I still choose not to be in a close relationship with him. That feels like a healthy boundary to me. But I will meet him for coffee with my wishes for his well being foremost in my energy field. I will hold him in my heart with compassion and understanding, remembering all the good qualities that he embodies. And if the issue of our friendship comes up I will bravely share with him my struggle with this. That feels like an important way for me to stay in integrity with him.
Somewhere, during this time another note from the universe appeared that helped me a lot. It was an old quote that I happened to remember, and it fit this situation perfectly.
“Unconditional love, conditional access.”
And like the Buddha is purported to have said, “Never throw anyone out of your heart. You may have to throw them out of your house, but you don’t need to throw them out of your heart.”
May the blessings of this full moon pour down upon you and may you find the love that helps resolve the relationships in your life that are troubling and difficult.

After I wrote this blog I went for a walk. Listening to a podcast on Healing the Judgmental Mind I heard the presenter give her formula. One step really struck me. She said, see the situation as if for the first time. The Buddhists call this beginner’s mind. Each time you sit on the cushion for meditation you do so for the first time. Just be open to whatever appears to you that day.
I wondered how I could apply this to my situation. What if I came to the coffee date open to just seeing who showed up? As if I was meeting him for the first time? Seeing him as he was that day, leaving all the stories behind?
I’m willing to try that.



We? or Me?

In a weak moment last fall, during an especially frustrating insomniac night, I went to my computer for some break from my busy mind.

A few years before that I had been on match.com and ever since I ended my membership they kept sending me notices of all the men who have messaged me or sent me a “wink”. Usually I just bypass all that, but this particular night they hooked me. I impulsively re-joined for 3 months.

Messages began coming in and I noticed I wasn’t the least bit excited. Then the last week of my membership one guy sort of piqued my interest and I responded. I was honest about my ambivalence from the beginning, but I agreed to meet him. We met twice, and the ambivalence continued even though he was very nice and we had a lot in common. So, we agreed to not carry it forward.
Then synchronistically another man called me, out of the blue, because he had read a blog of mine and was interested in having a conversation. I of course, immediately googled him and found out he was an upstanding, spiritually involved, human, but he did live a few hours outside of Seattle. We talked on the phone several times and I noticed my hesitancy but decided it wasn’t fair to write him off without at least meeting him. We tried to arrange to meet one another but an obstacle came up that didn’t seem resolvable at the present time. So, we decided not to pursue.
The reason I’m sharing this is because I do believe that when we put something out into the universe, however hesitant we may be, that we will probably get some kind of a response. I never want to ignore those messages in case they are pointing me in a certain direction or guiding me to a next step. So, when I joined up again with match I sort of felt obliged to at least check things out.
The responses of these two men sent me into a place of inquiry within myself. What did I really want? Was my hesitancy some kind of resistance within me that I needed to examine? Could I really trust my gut level feeling?
Well, trusting myself and my own inner knowing has been a life long journey for me so in a way the universe was giving me a perfect opportunity to deepen my faith in myself.
I did go within and that took me right into my memories of how it felt when I knew something was right. There was a strong energy pulling me in a certain direction.

I remembered experimenting with this idea several years ago when I needed to make a big decision. I sat in meditation and I posed the question, “How would I feel if I decided this way?”….then I paid really close attention to my body. Then I asked the same question, “How would I feel if I decided that way?” Again, I sank into my body. To my surprise the answer was very clear. My body definitely knew which way was right for me. But was that enough to go on? After all it wasn’t my usual way of making a decision. I tend to analyze, ponder, try to reason it all out. I questioned whether I could really trust this kind of knowing. But from somewhere came this phrase, “the body never lies.” And I remembered all the times at my naturopath’s office where we did muscle testing to determine what supplements I needed. Wasn’t that the same thing? Letting the body tell me what was needed.
So, in the case of these two men I paid very close attention to my body when I asked the question about whether I wanted to go forward with either of them. I recognized that there was no juice in me, no pull toward this new experience.

Part of the reason for this is that I am feeling so content and at peace with my life the way it is. I can feel myself withdrawing from some of the outward energy and going more into myself and my service work. I feel a deeper commitment to my spiritual path and it feels like that’s where the energy wants to go right now. So maybe I can just trust that and let go of the endless debate in my head.
Whew!! Wouldn’t life be so much easier if I could just lean into the wisdom that my body holds?

“You have to trust your inner knowing. If you have a clear mind and an open heart, you won’t have to search for direction. Direction will come to you.” Phil Jackson

A few days later….taking a quiz from an astrologers website about what kind of spring goddess I am, this is what I got

You hold the energy of the ancient and magical Welsh Goddess Blodewedd, created by the great magicians Math and Gwydion.
They formed her from the blossom of nine different trees and plants – oak, meadowsweet, broom, cockle, bean, nettle, chestnut, primrose and hawthorn and breathed her into life
Her story goes that she was unfaithful to her chosen mate (the mortal she was created for) and was punished by being turned into an Owl.
But in fact, She was a deity who went her own way, trusting her own instincts about the path her life was meant to take.
Her rebellion became her self-realization.
Today, Blodewedd symbolizes the blossoming and expansion that occurs when we practice self-trust and stay true to our purpose.
Honour Blodewedd by adorning yourself and your living space with flowers.
Find a picture of an owl and put it up. Reflect on the lessons that this magical bird can offer you.


This blog is similar to one I just published through the Lorian Organization. If you wish to read more go to Lorian.org



Last fall in the midst of the rain and drizzle the family started talking about getting away to someplace where there was sun. February seemed like a perfect time since the grandkids were on spring break, (from pre-school, and kindergarten) and the rest of us had flexible schedules, given enough notice. Of course, Hawaii was everyone’s first choice, but after checking airfares that was a pretty quick no. The grandkids are both over 2 now so full fare for them. Then, the idea sort of died until for some reason it reared its head again late in December. I decided to check out some places closer to home and settled on San Diego. I quickly was overwhelmed with all the Airbnb’s and relinquished that job over to my daughter. One of the nice things about being an elder…..you remember you don’t have to take responsibility for everything….something that took me years to learn. So, she handled all the arrangements except for the flight and we were on our way.
Before we left I did some serious pondering. I’m pretty familiar with my triggers and my vulnerabilities so I tried to anticipate what issues might come up for me and how I wanted to handle them if they did. I know I can lapse into critical thinking, of the judgmental type, not the discerning type. So, I tried to remember the lessons I wrote about in other blogs, “We are all trees”or, “Just like me.”  I was concerned also about my Cancer moon that has a tendency to overprotect, over-help, over hover. Like the wonderful teacher, Byron Katie says, “Minding your own business is a full-time job.” I’m going to carve that onto my forehead.
I wanted to be sure that I took care of myself as well as pitching in and contributing. My habitual response is to jump in and volunteer to do whatever I see needs doing without checking in with myself, so I got clear that I wanted to help out the adults by taking over some of the day care, but I was specific. I would happily read them stories and put them to bed, so they could all go out for an evening. But I asked that they get them ready…. that’s the hard part for me. Jasper never wants to get his jammies on and Mara loves to think of delaying tactics to postpone the inevitable. I also decided I could easily have the children come down to my bedroom……I had my own room!!!….in the morning, (only one morning because they do wake up early, especially when they are sharing a room) I would fix them breakfast so the parents could sleep in or just relax. That was what I felt I could promise to do. It might be that I would end up doing more but I was pretty sure I could make that decision in the moment.
The reason I’m sharing all this is because I’ve heard so many times that the term, “family vacation” is an oxymoron. In other words, if you’re with family it’s not a vacation. I wanted to do my part to change that, and getting clear about my own needs, what I could and could not do, and what I wanted to get out of the vacation, was an important first step. Thinking about this ahead of time was really helpful. Praying helps too. The week before we left I held the intention each day in my meditations that we would all be able to operate from the highest that was within us.
I checked with my son and daughter and asked if they would be willing to sit down with everyone our first night and just plan who would do the cooking, and to have a conversation about what each person wanted for themselves out of the vacation. They both agreed it was a good idea. Together, I thought, we could make it possible for each person to get at least some of what they wanted. My daughter, a yoga class, my son, a walk on the beach, me, a walk on the beach, etc. We worked it out, so no one had all the cooking to do. We each took care of ourselves for breakfast and lunch and split up the dinners, so no one was cooking every night. I was so proud of the men…. they pitched in and shared every responsibility. I know that’s a bit offensive to them, that I would think it worthy of praise when they have just always assumed it was part of a partnership, but that’s not the way it was in my day so I’m very impressed when I see that kind of cooperation in action. In my day it was just taken for granted that the women would carry the “family” load.
The only glitch in the whole trip was when grandma got lost on the beach. How do you get lost on a beach you might ask? Well you don’t pay attention to the landmarks when you leave your spot, you walk for quite a ways, turn around and then, in a blissful daze, you walk right past where everyone is playing, you go a mile or so past until you realize you are somehow not where you are supposed to be. And not having seen any of the family along the way you are confused as to whether you continue on or retrace your steps. And of course, you have left your cell phone at the beach house.
Luckily, I stopped a nice young man and asked him if I could borrow his cell phone. I called my daughter and left a message which she didn’t pick up because she didn’t recognize the number. Then I texted her, but she wasn’t sure it was me because I didn’t sign it and she didn’t recognize the number. Nevertheless, the young man helped me realize where I had to go and within another ½ hour I was back. Having been gone for well over an hour everyone was a bit stressed out, but Jasper, with the beautiful logic only a 4 year old possesses, kept telling his mom, “she has to be here on the beach because her sandals are still here.” He was right of course, and I had the blisters to prove it.
I’ve decided that this is a pretty good idea…a yearly family vacation. Especially if you get clear and have discussions ahead of time about expectations and needs and what each person is willing to do to help out.
I feel so blessed that everyone in my family likes one another, gets along, the grandkids are like brother and sister, and they even want me to tag along. My daughter mentioned that she can finally understand the idea of a “family compound” where everyone lives in close proximity. It really does take a village and it’s so much easier with people around to pitch in and watch over.
I especially like the idea that we are building memories. So that when I’m gone the kids can look back and reminisce about the time in San Diego where they dug massive holes in the sand, saw the tide pools, went to the zoo and grandma got lost on the beach.

“What if today we were just grateful for everything?” Charlie Brown


I’ve written before about my Scorpio nature, digging deep, courageously seeking, questioning endlessly. An interesting pattern has emerged these last several years. As my birthday month approaches I am almost always hit with a powerful emotional experience. I’ve come to look upon these moments as indicators that something within me needs further examination….more digging, more questioning, more seeking.
One year, several people close to me died, rather suddenly and unexpectedly. I was rather swept away by the emotions that arose within me. Then I realized my birthday was coming up and I remembered the pattern that I had identified earlier of being confronted with some form of unfinished business around the month of November. So, I mused, “Guess I have some work to do around how I handle grief and the fear that arises when I face my own mortality.”
This past year, I was sort of waiting for what would emerge, but it occurred in such an odd way that it still took me by surprise. I was sitting at my computer reading an article from the New York Times about the likelihood of a major earthquake hitting the West coast. I had heard of this before, of course, but for some reason I was compelled to read the entire article, very carefully. I finished in a terrifying state of panic. This was not some “fake news” report. This was authored by an expert in Seismology. When he stated that everything west of I-5, (our major freeway) would be toast I nearly lost it. I live west of I-5 and so do both of my children and grandchildren. Yikes!! I went to bed and dreamt of earthquakes.
I awoke in the same state of fear. It literally took over my mind for the entire day. The worst case scenarios playing themselves out in my imagination in vivid detail. Would I be swept out to sea in a giant tsunami? Would the houses behind me come sliding down the hill and demolish my home? Should I move to the east side of I-5? But then, I reasoned, my children and grandchildren would be gone and why would I want to be around then? On and on it went. My body was now in a state of painful constriction.
Finally, I paused. I noticed. I stopped and sat. I breathed deeply and became quiet. I acknowledged the fear, opened my heart to it, tried to welcome it, tried to remember that fear is a human emotion and I was not alone in it. My heart went out to all beings living in a state of fear. I sat for several minutes just allowing whatever was there to be there. Slowly the intensity lessened and finally dissipated.
Here’s what emerged for me, after I reached this place of acceptance and calm………clarity. I realized that I have no control over whether an earthquake hits my home, so fretting and stewing about it was pointless and now that the feeling of fear was minimized I could really accept what I couldn’t control. I also noticed that it wasn’t dying that scared me, it was how I would die that made me fearful. Knowing that I will probably not have any control over that either, made it easier to let go.
“So what could I control?” I asked myself? Well I could finally make the decision to have my home retrofitted, which would minimize the damage of any normal earthquake. If the big one really did hit and the epicenter was right where my house sits, well, then, I’m toast, but I can’t control where it hits or the magnitude, so just get on with it.
I discussed with my tenant downstairs the possibility of taking an emergency preparation class together, so we would both know what to do. We talked about creating two emergency boxes of supplies, one downstairs and one in the garage. It felt good to take some action that would prepare me as much as possible.
Even though I have no control over how I might die I have had the conversations with my children about my wishes. I’ve even created, at my daughter’s suggestion, a “death file”, which I continually make additions to as I think of other ideas about how I hope the end of my life will unfold. I’ve written my obituary, created my own memorial service, picked out the music, and poetry that I love.

Now, I let all the rest go.


“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.” Rumi



First the backstory:
I’m working on a new project. When completed I will have recorded 12 full moon ceremonies that could be used as an educational tool, to learn about the planets and constellations or it could be used as a way to hold a full moon ceremony without anyone leading it…..just put on the recording. I’m creating this with the help of the SoulBridging website that I write for each month. I had just returned from a meeting in Portland with my friend, Therese, who is the executive director for Soulbridging. We brainstormed ideas and I came back to Seattle excited to get on with it.
A few days later, I awoke, knowing I had the whole day with no commitments, a rarity, for sure. My plan was to dig right in and begin working on the project, but I woke up lethargic and with a fuzzy brain. (not a rarity, BTW) Then , the disappointment set in with the possibility of a wasted day with no progress. I recognized this state of mind as it happened frequently to me as I was writing my book and creating my card deck. Some days I would wake filled with energy, vitality and inspiration. The words would just flow with no effort. I would even dream about phrases I could use to describe something I was working on. Other days, I felt empty and dry and so I would postpone my writing until I felt more energetic or excited about it. I knew I was dealing with some level of resistance, but the noticing didn’t seem to make it go away. This back and forth between empty and full is one of the reasons it took me so long to finish my book…..5 years to be exact. I didn’t want to get stuck in that see saw again.
I realized that I had not yet meditated that morning when lethargy kicked in. The content of my meditation had been for some time, the Angel of America meditation. It was my way of believing I could assist in the healing of our country. If you are curious about this meditation you can email me and I will send you a copy of it. At any rate, this particular morning, for some reason, I was drawn to a meditation recorded by William Meader, my teacher. I hadn’t heard this meditation for several months, so I was curious why I was drawn to it this day. It was called The Unfoldment. In it we ponder on some Soul quality that we wish we had more of in our lives. Qualities like, compassion, forgiveness, inclusivity, understanding. Well what popped into my mind was, “Divine inspiration.” “What?”, I thought. “Is that even a Soul quality?” Nevertheless, I went with it.
William asked us to imagine what our thoughts would be if this quality was present in us? My thoughts were, “ I can do this. It’s not that hard. I know this material. I want to serve, and this is one way I can do that.” Then he asked us to imagine how we would feel, if this quality were present? I immediately felt excited and energized. Finally, we were asked to imagine how this quality would work itself out in our daily lives, our physical reality? I saw myself sitting at the computer working diligently and consistently every day, on my project. The final suggestion was to imagine the entire personality flooded by the light of the Soulful gift we had invoked.

When I finished the meditation, I noticed that my mind was alert and focused. My body felt energized. I got up, went to my computer and worked for several hours until the first ceremony was completely finished. I was totally inspired. My first thought was, “Wait, what, is it really that easy? 15 minutes ago, I was tired and lethargic, now I’m all charged up.” Divine inspiration completely washed away my resistance. All I had to do was ask for what I needed and allow the energy in me to shift.
I’ve come to believe more and more strongly, in my “later years,” that a co-creative relationship with the unseen realms is a significant part of our evolutionary journey. There is so much help available to us if we just ask. As we strengthen that connection we can work much more effectively and efficiently and with less strain. Let me give you a personal example. When I first started doing full moon meditations I was so nervous and anxious. Partly because of performance anxiety but also, I was worried no one would show up and I was sure that would reflect badly on me. (Sidebar: Whenever it is about me it is ego, not Soul.) Then I remembered, “My job is just to show up, do the best I can and leave the rest to Spirit. It’s a partnership, after all so Spirit’s job is to make sure the people who need to be here are here and that they get what they need to receive.” Whew!!! That was such a relief.
I truly believe that our angels, guides, teachers and Beings of Light on the other side are there to help us when we need it. So, I ask myself again, “Is it really possible that it can all be this easy?” And I think the answer is “yes, but we must ask for what we need and then be willing to receive.” We must be willing to let go of our resistance and rest in our conviction that we are not alone on this journey.
An additional thought about the writing process. What I’ve come to realize, but don’t always follow through on, is that if I commit to just sitting down each day and begin to write then I usually get into it. Even if I start out feeling uninspired. I think most writers would agree that if we always waited to be inspired it would take forever to get anything finished.

This particular day I’m talking about I totally forgot that piece of wisdom and it was sweet to remember that help was there when I asked for it.