March 2008


I’ve been blessed with the time to delve into reading again and have found myself re-inspired by numerous writings. What are you currently reading? Is it scholastic? Work-related? Or purely for pleasure?

Here are a few authors and books I have recently enjoyed:

1. Joan Anderson

A Weekend to Change Your Life

A Walk on The Beach: Tales of Wisdom from an Unconventional Woman

2. Jane Fonda

My Life So Far

3. Elizabeth Berg

A Year of Pleasures

Dream When You are Feeling Blue

4. Micheal Tucker

Living in a Foreign Language

5. Lucia Capacchione

The Power of Your Other Hand: A Course in Channeling the Inner Wisdom

of Your Right Hand

Visioning: Ten Steps to Designing the Life of Your Dreams

6. Kate Braestrup

Here if You Need Me

7. John Steinbeck

East of Eden

8. Micheal Pollan

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

9. Byron Katie

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

10. Eckhart Tolle

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

A large portion of my reading these days is actually listening – to CD’s – as PenelopeAnne and I zip gracefully down the coast. However an even greater portion has included me devouring hard-copy books from the cozy warmth of my bed, sometimes purely reading, sometimes equipped with my 8.5×11 hard-back sketch book/private journal/place of quotes, thoughts, collage, etc… and my box of colored pens to log notes of inspiration.

If you are curious about my reading list and bookshelf or are interested to know more about any of the above mentioned books send me a note OR check out shelfari.com.

Did you know that many critters are revered for their essential spiritual qualities?
Ted Andrew’s book Animal Speak is a terrific reference when you find yourself wondering about the significance of certain creatures in your daily life. This weekend ants reared their lovely little heads. They crawled up out of the floor, up the wall and then just rambled aimlessly about. Unfortunately, several (plus a few) found their way into my bed. I even brushed one off my forehead while reading. Enough is enough – I’ve invited them to go somewhere else – Even my kitchen is more acceptable than my bed! Like spiders – I am comfortable coexisting until I find them in my bed or on me…

I decided, since I am looking for signs and messages and meaning everywhere these days, that I would see what my favorite animal totem expert had to say.

Andrews says that ants represent: industriousness, order and discipline.

Ants are social and they are community-oriented. There is discipline and order… everyone knows his or her place.

The ant – a skilled architect – represents one’s ability to construct his or her own life. Ants show us how with persistence great success is possible.

Andrews says: “Ants can teach you how to harness your own power to design and recreate your life and it’s circumstances from the ground up. The ant can show you how to best work with others for the good of everyone. Ants teach us that regardless of circumstances, if the effort is true, the rewards will follow… “

Examine your own industriousness, Andrews says.

Are you disciplining yourself enough to accomplish the tasks at hand?

Are you laying a good foundation?

Are you being patient with your efforts? yourself? others?

Are you making things greater and more difficult than they need to be?

(Andrews, 2001)

After reading the wisdom of ant energy, I look at my little friends with slightly more fondness. I would still rather not have them in my bed. AND I definitely do not want them crawling on me. However, I appreciate their industriousness. I can learn from that. I’ve been deeply interested in community-building, conscious-community, creative-community, etc… Discipline, without a doubt, keeps me on track when I wander astray. And I know that I am currently making things far more difficult than they need to be! Ahhh… that surrender thing again! 😉 Effort, discipline, industriousness, focus, commitment, design, harnessing of power, order, persistence, patience, collaboration, creation – all required – minus the attachment, the need to control and the exhaustive self-doubting.

My friend Kerry drove down from Oakland on Wednesday to share good girl time. She was my nearest and dearest during our final quarters at JFK. Then our paths diverged. She began Life West Chiropractic and I returned to the Monterey Peninsula. Her friendship is angelic and I miss seeing and sharing with her regularly!

Wednesday was a GLORIOUS spring day. As soon as she got into town we packed up water and snacks and headed over to the coast. Soberanes Loop Trail.

Meandering through the canyon,

redwood sorrel blooms dance with cabbage moths


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A blush of wildflowers as we ascend upwards toward the infinite blue sky

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After a long, lazy chatter-filled hike, we glided off to Trader Joe’s for wine and cheese and snacks…

Asilomar Sunset

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… And then back to my cozy little cottage for hot showers, refreshments and more long talks.

How do you address feelings of discomfort in your life? What role does the practice of inquiry play in your daily existence? If you’ve popped out of your “groove” or feel separated from the “flow” of life, how do you reconnect with feelings of grace?

Thursday began overcast, and as Kerry is on springbreak, sleeping in was a no-brainer. We are both deep in places of discomfort, indecision, imminent change and conscious transformation. Therefore the day was a continued exploration of our “stuff”…

A quiet introspective morning.

An awesome hike up to Snively’s Ridge in Carmel Valley.

Lupines. Buttercups. Yellow violets. Gooseberries. Red Velvet Ants (a wasp actually, not an ant). 360 degree views. Heaven on Earth.

My souls feels fed. My life looks brighter. My blues washed away at least temporarily. Clarity not necessarily restored, however I feel relieved of my struggle. Why struggle? How would my experience be different if I stepped away from my ego? Maybe it’s not all about me! How would my experience be different if I truly let things unfold rather than trying so assertively to make things – something – anything – everything happen? Can I let go of my need to control – even for a moment – and surrender to the magic that I know is waiting just around the corner…?

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As many of you know I have a love affair with the library and audiobooks. I check out bagfuls at a time and listen to them on my long drives. For the last several days I’ve been listening to Jane Fonda’s autobiography My Life So Far. Having grown up knowing her as aerobicizer – Queen of Leg Lifts. I was clueless to her activist history. She has lived a remarkable life, and as I continue to listen to the details, I admire many facets of her path, In particular, I am struck by her passion and involvement with the issues she believes in. I feel inspired to connect deeply with my values and I feel motivated to get involved, to volunteer and to speak up. Most of all listening to her autobiography makes me consider who I look up to, who and what I am inspired by and then who and how I might be inspiring to others…

Who are the role models and/or mentors in your life?

How are you a mentor/role model for others?

How are your choices affecting others? Is your lifestyle a life affirming model?

What five words best describe you? Feedback please… What five words do YOU think best describe me?
What’s your proudest achievement? Finishing the Big Sur Marathon and completing my undergraduate degree.
Who inspires you? Conscious committed parents, cultural creatives, people who follow their heart, those who turn their dreams into reality, creative thinkers…
What are you passionate about? Nature, sunshine, beauty, color, movement, creativity, expression…
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned? My life is up to me. I create what I experience – I experience what I create.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?
The man who will be father to my children…

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Nothing like baking chocolate chip cookies to chase away a girl’s blues…

I was reading my friend Heidi’s blog last night and learned that she is practicing an extended plastic fast. Interesting concept, hey? She has committed to not eating anything that comes in either plastic or cans. Have you ever considered going through even a day sans plastic? Practically impossible. Now how about not buying anything that is composed of or contains plastic? A little easier, particularly if you were to practice my method in which I would just not buy anything that day. 😉 Would you consider a day in which you avoid anything that is packaged in plastic… Still challenging but a little more doable. Our current American lifestyles are RULED by plastic. What would your life be like if you were to commit to making choices to avoid plastic? Could you do it? For a day? A week? A year? A lifetime? Extreme to say the least. Undoubtedly time consuming. Would you be willing to eliminate certain plastics? Plastic drink bottles for example? Or plastic storage containers? Plastic bags per chance?

I can think of numerous plastic replacements – paper or reusable bags, glass storage containers, metal or glass drink bottles. But how do you buy food? Or drive a car? Options are limited when you rule out plastic. Driving is out of the question unless your car is more than 40 years old. And brushing your teeth? When was the last time you came across a non-plastic toothbrush?!

I am a proponent of balance and am not willing to leaving society to live a plastic free life. I am however interested to considermy choices and am willing to consciously make more of them non-plastic. I admire Heidi’s efforts to practice plastic and can-free food choices. Without significant preplanning it feels near impossible to me… But I’m up for making new choices! In how many ways can I eliminate plastic this week? In how many ways can you?

Where can you eliminate plastic from your life today? Can you choose non-plastic over plastic?

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