Category Archives: universe

The Road to OZ

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The Road to OZ

It’s been 2.5 years since I last sat down and gave attention to this blog.  Since I gave attention to the writing I love so dearly and the tool in which I most effectively process life’s shifting landscape.   The tool that allows me to bring connection to my circles.

In these 2.5 years, I have been wrestling with purpose, passion, values, self-worth, belief, and a loud inner critic that has invited me to play small.  I bought in to the lies of that critic.  The lies that it doesn’t matter if I write my stories.  It doesn’t matter if I share those stories.  It doesn’t matter if I stop bringing you in to my world.  It doesn’t matter if I live in alignment with my integrity and values system.  It doesn’t matter if I shave off a little edge of my authenticity to help people digest my life’s journey.  I bought in to the lie that in order to stay safe, to survive, I had to shed a part of me that others may not appreciate.  I chose silence.  I chose complacency.  I chose to don the masks.

At the beginning of 2017 (my 40th birthday), I began to tame that nasty inner critic.  I got clear on my values. I stepped back in to alignment.  I started creating visions of all that I wanted to manifest and I threw caution to the wind taking a trust fall straight in to the arms of the loving Universe.  I had Absolute clarity that it was time to quit playing small and it was time to step in to my power.

So it turns out that it DOES matter if I share my stories.  It matters to me.  And when I flow from that place of alignment, that place of listening, my stories stir something in others because we are all connected.  We are all taking this life journey together.  My story is your story or the story of someone you know.   I hope my sharings will inspire, push boundaries, cause you to listen to your universal nudges, step in to alignment with yourself and your 2017-07-13 07.56.57values, take risks, spark imagination, and if nothing else, help you to connect to the world around you.  Sitting here, at my desk in the Costa Rican Rainforest (more on that to come!), letting the words spill out of me, I have this elation.   I’m semi-giddy with excitement.  I’m hopeful the story munchkins will forgive my 2.5 year denial of their existence and visit me often going forward.   I’m fully committed to honoring the words whispered to me in the night, and on my runs, and any time they smack me upside the head singing in their munchkin voices, “This world you are experiencing is just SO magnificent.  Share the wonderment! Follow the yellow brick road.”

This blog will continue to cover a vast array of topics that will include family adventures, travel, living in Costa Rica, nature-inspired learnings, and general sharings of something that lights me up or makes me go hmmmm.  I will continue to spill the thoughts of living a freethinking, open-spirited family life.  I will have a secondary wordpress blog at SoGoodSoPure (coming very soon!) that will cover topics related to my Coaching Business.  There you will find topics geared toward women who are wanting to shed shame, learn vulnerability, find their authentic voice, step in to their unique power, and begin sharing their gifts with the world.  Both blogs will continue to be intimate and sometimes raw in their content.  Not all stories are happy stories but that does not lessen their need to be shared.  Life is messy and in the messy is where we feel most alone. Sharing our stories can be the catalyst of connection and ease our loneliness.  This is what I seek to do.  I fully believe that a life unmasked, a life untidy, is a life worth living. And the more we show up authentically in this big big world the more the world will heal.

That said, it weighed heavily on me as to whether or not I should go through and deleteyellowbrickroad the old posts in this blog as some are controversial, some are angry, and some are misplaced, and some I no longer identify with.  I concluded that those blogs are the bricks that paved my yellow brick road.  The stories, releases, perspectives, and feelings were necessary and are NOT meant to be erased in order to appease an audience of readers.  If you aren’t a fan of the journey I traveled to be where I am today, no problem.  Maybe instead, appreciate that the journey brought you the content you are reading today.  These new sharings of my life experiences/observances are the next yellow bricks in what is certain to be a lifetime of brick laying because I’m not certain one ever reaches OZ.

Journey On, Readers.   Journey On.

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Emergence

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Emergence: the process of coming into being, or of becoming important; the process of coming into view or becoming exposed after being concealed.

IMG_2065The last few days a little bit of the peace I had gained at Progoff slowly began to erode.  It makes sense.  I have been traveling.  I am surrounded by people.  There is no rhythm to my days.  And I have been sitting heavily in a deep self-reflection and growth.  Exhausted.

Knowing that I must learn to navigate through the variations of life without losing my peace, I remembered the mantra I wrote for myself while at Progoff:  Find Your Wisdom in the Trees.  A reminder to myself that I find peace outdoors.  So today, on a day that I thought I would need to be surrounded by people in order to feel safe and supported, I found myself alone in the belly of mother nature.  Alone was an illusion.  Instead I came to discover that I was held safely in the loving hands of the universe.

I woke up feeling rather empty.  Distracted.  Emotionless.  And I knew what I needed to do.IMG_2069

I began a hike up Sabino Canyon and was determined to clear my mind.  Live in this moment.  I found that I would be present for very small moments and then exit for larger moments.  In and out of presence and distraction.  After the second mile, I became frustrated with myself.  Why can’t I just stop thinking about the past?  Why am I worrying about the future?  Why am I missing those who are not here?  Why can’t I just see and breathe all the beauty that surrounds me right now?  Right here?  What is wrong with me?  Between miles two and three I came to an agreement with myself that I was going to stop controlling and criticizing what was happening within me today.  I knew today may be challenging and I finally conceded to allow whatever came up for me to have space.  The moment I gave my feelings permission to exist, I became very aware of all other moments.  Suddenly, I could feel a fullness re-enter.  The conflict ended and I had returned to self-love.

IMG_2074I later felt an urgent pull to climb down to the creek and spend some time in meditation.  I had a need to go deeper in order to restore my spiritual health.  So I climbed down and around the creek looking for the perfect spot to settle in.  Once there, I removed my socks and shoes, unloaded my pockets and planted myself firmly on a giant grey boulder existing as an island in the water.  I made attempts to meditate but found that I still could not calm my distracted mind enough to let go.  I wanted to keep my eyes open and take in all of nature’s beauty and so I did.  I knew these were distractions yet I was not interested in challenging myself to go deeper with closed eyes.  I watched the road runner skitter about.  I watched the hummingbird nuzzle around its nest.  I watched the clouds with envy wondering what they would see today.  How many miles would they travel and how many people would notice their passage?  Then surprisingly I saw something beside me that made my chest tighten.  Something that I connected to and with.  Just a few feet across the creek was a tiny tree budding up through the rocks.  It was a newborn coming to life beneath the shelter of an older tree.  A wisdom tree.  Find Your Wisdom in the Trees.IMG_2075

I am a sapling seeking the wisdom and shelter of the trees.  I related to this sapling’s growth and need.  I am at last able to let go because I amIMG_2071 protected.  Safe.  I close my eyes with the image of this perfect duo of sapling and wisdom tree  filling the space of my mind and immediately I find myself in the deepest meditation I have experienced in my lifetime.  With my eyes closed, suddenly I am so sharply aware of the forward movement of life all around me.  I can distinctly hear where the water flows over rocks behind me, where the water begins to veer left and where the water hits my island and travels to the right.  I hear the water in surround sound and I hear it as individual droplets working in teams to propel their life-giving properties forward.  I hear the leaves of the trees around me.  Each tree with a unique song.  I hear a bird, so tiny, but powerful in voice.  I feel the solidity of this piece of earth upon which I sit.  It’s cold surface a connection for every one of my ten toes.  I touch it with my hands and can feel its pulse.  It is alive and it tells me that it is here to support me.  I feel the wind as it brushes across my face.  I feel it move my hair across the center of my back.  I feel every shift in direction as it blows.  It’s a whisper.  A transporter of life.  In those winds my mind visualizes the seeds of new birth.  The wind carries the seeds of pollination to new homes, setting them down safely and kissing them with well wishes of abundant life.  I feel the sun peek out from behind one of those traveling clouds and it sends radiant streams of light to warm my face.  Glowing.  And then a cloud passes by it again and my face begins to cool.  I let my toes slide in to the water and beneath them I can feel the slippery surface of algae.  With my toes I hug the underwater growth.  A feeding station for all the life that is flowing beneath me.  I am fully aware of the symbiotic relationships that surround me.  Different species.  One planet.  One universe.  All life.  All supporting one another.  I am feeling all of this.  I am completely connected.  The universe and I are dancing and it’s beautiful.

I don’t know what jolted me out of this peaceful trance but I took a deep breath in and opened my eyes.  It was so bright that it took some time for my eyes to regain their role as visual sense but when they do I am so humbled to discover that on my knee there sits a stunning black and blue butterfly.  I don’t know how long it’s been sitting there but immediately tears begin to flow freely and abundantly.  As they do every time I begin to speak of this experience.  I have been thinking of butterflies a lot lately.  They signify an emergence.  In spring we begin to see them frequently as they flutter about, pollinating, and living up to their best selves.  Fulfilling their destiny.  Beautiful and knowing.  It’s my spring.  I see in the butterfly what I see in me.  That was the significance of having this being, this butterfly, so calmly in connection with me.  It was a reflection of self.  A confirmation that I have emerged.IMG_2081

I kindly asked the butterfly to stay as I grabbed my camera and it did the most remarkable thing, it flew to the wisdom tree and sat on the leaves nearest to me for the next 20 minutes.  Out of all the places it could go.  Instead of tending to the work and feeding it probably needed to do, it sat there with me in the tree that first spoke to me.  My soul awakened.

I listened to my soul today and the universe cradled me in my journey.  I have been soothed back to wholeness.  Emerged as fully me.

The Green Dragon-Happy Earth Day

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I love earth day!  All things Earth have become a focus in our family as of late and the boys are loving all the ways we are becoming good stewards of this planet.  It feels really good to be part of the change.


As a christian in my twenties I was very wary of the environmental movement and those greenies or granolas who cared more about the planet than their salvation.  I’m not sure if I was taught that caring for the environment was a ploy of dark forces or if it was just the place where I chose to set my beliefs.  But somewhere along the line I feared the environmental movement and I specifically remember shunning new age practices such as yoga.  The yoga diss is something I know I was taught.  I was told that allowing your mind to be quiet during a session of yoga was an invitation to the dark forces.  It was the eastern practice of voodoo.  And so I stayed wary and stayed far far away from environmental practices and yoga studios.  
People, christians in particular, continually tell me that I’m crazy for thinking anyone was ever against these ideas or practices.  And so I have wondered if I made it all up in my wacky, little head but then this week one lady (christian) emailed me telling me about how her christian friend emailed her about the spiritual dangers of yoga.  Ah, I’m not alone!  Someone out there has heard it too.  And then I went a little further and decided to google the green movement and found a christian movement called Resisting the Green Dragon.  This is a 12 week DVD course produced by Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation teaching christians “a biblical response to one of the greatest deceptions of our day.”  
The two minute preview suggests that environmentalists are “seducing your children” and have a “twisted view of the world…elevates nature above people.  Of even the poorest and most helpless.” “Environmentalism offers it’s own doctrine of god, of creation, of humanity, of sin, and of redemption.”
http://www.resistingthegreendragon.com
In the past I have said that often times religious followers neglect the needs of this planet and the life on it because they are waiting for second coming and God would not have created a planet that man alone could destroy.  This is one of those movements I think is damaging to the future needs of all mankind.  For those of us who don’t believe the second coming is going to happen, the care of the planet and all it’s inhabitants is of utmost importance.  I’m hoping that resisting the green dragon will not become a priority for many religious followers but rather that they could look at the earth as god’s gift to man and a gift that all should treat with respect.  

Back to how much I love earth day!  I guess it’s just another one of those horrible pagan ideas I’ve learned to love and embrace.  We have made some small and some big changes in our house in order to better care for this planet that we rely so heavily upon.  We can all make a few little changes (without becoming enslaved to the green dragon) and make a positive impact for our children.  
Another great Helen Keller quote to kick off our change list:

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. Helen Keller 


We’re Going Green.
We no longer:

  • use disposable straws.  We use reusable straws.
  • use plastic bottles
  • use plastic plates, bowls, cups…even the boys use glass.
  • use paper towels/napkins.  We use towels to clean up and cloth napkins at meals.
  • pour water down the drain.  We find a plant or dog bowl to pour it in to.
  • buy cut flowers.  We only give potted plants as gifts
  • plastic bags (we use reusable cloth bags and produce bags)  
  • ziplocs or foil (we use glass containers)
  • disposable overnight pants (we use happy heiny washable overnight pants for boy who still wets bed)  
  • kill bugs in our house (unless they are poisonous…scorpions/centipedes).  We have a great time catching them and releasing them to the chickens or to the desert.

 

  • Mark tries to ride his bike to work as often as possible.
  • We use recycled paper and recycled cans/jugs for art projects.  The boys now paint on rocks instead of buying paper.
  • We wrap with recycled paper
  • I buy organic face products that are made with sustainable energy.  
  • We started worm composting
  • Organic foods
  • Open windows until the heat is unbearable
  • We planted carrots, bell peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes
  • We only use rechargeable batteries
  • We bought six chickens to produce eggs and fertilize our yard
  • We just signed a lease for solar panels



Changes we hope to make soon:

  • Downsize house
  • Move closer to school
  • Go down to one car 
  • Try not to buy any new clothes, books or toys.  Only recycled items.  If we do buy something new we need to donate one item for every item received.
  • Always carry a plastic to go container so we don’t need to use  disposable to go containers at restaurants
  • eat by candlelight every night
  • eat local food when eating out
  • Join CSA (http://www.localharvest.org/)
  • Go vegetarian (this might take us a lifetime since we are meat lovers!)



These are really simple things we have done to leave a little less of us behind.  It’s amazing what these small, conscious choices have done.  We used to think we needed a second trash bin as we were filling it up each week.  The last four weeks I have rolled out our bin and it’s not even half full.  Our recycle bin is always full.  
I went to http://www.ecocycle.org to remove my name from much of the junk mail we receive and as I receive catalogs and other junk I simply call or email the company to let them know I would no longer like to receive their advertisements.  This keeps me from seeing all the things I think I must buy too!




What changes have you guys made?  I’d love to hear more ideas on the changes all of us can make.







ET? Maybe?

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Last night we pulled out our sleeping bags and slept under the stars.  Gazing at the cosmos stimulates questioning.  The boys are asking the age old questions that there are no concrete answers for…yet.  “If God made the universe, then who made God?”  “If the Big Bang made the universe, who caused the Big Bang?”  “Are we really the only planet with life in the entire universe?”  “Are aliens real?”
For the first time I didn’t find myself reverting to the answer as old as the questions.  I simply answered with “I don’t know.  Nobody knows for certain.  I have ideas but I really don’t know.  What do you think?”  Each boy, unique and individual,  had a theory that he believes could be 100% true.
They all fell asleep and I stayed awake in awe of our galaxy and the universe.  I used to just accept that God is and always has been.  He made the earth and everything on it a few thousand years ago.  Evolution is a crock of you know what straight from the schemes of Satan.  Hmmm?  The sky looked different to me tonight.  It was unimaginable to ponder being one species, on one tiny planet in one gigantic universe.  Maybe my friends who deeply believe in the presence of aliens are not so crazy.  Humans have been concocting stories of life outside our planet for as long as they’ve been creating gods.  And if the big bang did cause our existence it doesn’t seem so unreasonable to believe that galaxies other than the Milky Way hold life.  And that life could be millions of years older than ours which means humans could have evolved in to what we have depicted as aliens (human like species with extra large heads).  They would likely be more advanced than us and have figured out a way to travel beyond their galaxy.  That doesn’t seem beyond impossible to me anymore.
And I recognize if I’m going to believe in the possibility of aliens I have to leave room for the possibility of God.  And I do.  I don’t think He exists, at least not in the way we have always believed Him to, but it’s certainly possible. In my  mind He can’t be wrapped up in one religion.  Because if He did create all the billions of galaxies it seems really odd to believe that He only made life on this one tiny, miniscule speck of a planet.  But if He did create life on more than one planet we can’t all share the same creation, the same prophets, the one Savior.  Unless He just played the same game with the same characters on all the planets.  That sounds a little contrived and boring and less than God spectacular.
Which then leads me to believe that maybe He just created everything and that was His only role.  And that thought process just left me speechless.  Why make animals only to have them become extinct?  600 species of hermit crabs?   All these billions of galaxies?  Really?  Seems if God does exist He is a bit of a show off.
That’s really unnecessary.
And then I am distracted…
“Oh, how beautiful, a shooting star….I wonder how long ago that star died? “

Here’s an activity to help your children grasp the vastness of our galaxy.  This is taken from the book Raising Freethinkers:A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief by Dale McGowan

The Size of the Solar System
Ages 6+
Materials: a soccer ball, several peppercorns, several pins (w/pinheads), a ping-pong ball, a marble, and an open field
Find a large open space.  Put a soccer ball in the middle to represent the sun.  Walk ten paces from the ball and stick a pin in the ground.  That’s Mercury.  Take nine more full steps and drop a peppercorn for Venus.  Seven more steps, drop another peppercorn for Earth.  An inch away from Earth, stick another pin in the ground for the Moon, remembering that this inch is the furthest humans have been so far.  Another fourteen steps , drop a very small peppercorn for Mars, then continue another 95 steps and drop Jupiter, a ping-pong ball.  112 paces further, place a large marble for Saturn.  Uranus and Neptune are still further apart, and recently demoted Pluto would be a small pinhead about a half mile from the soccer ball.
So how far would you have to walk before you can put down another soccer ball for Proxima Centauri, the very nearest star to our Sun?  Bring your good shoes-it’s over 4000 miles away at this scale, New York to Berlin.  That’s the nearest star!  And there are about a trillion such stars in the Milky Way galaxy alone, and roughly a hundred billion such galaxies, arrayed through billions of those light years in every direction.