I sit in Ridgen shrine room

I sit, I breathe

I scrawl words on paper

I feel happy and peaceful

I sit, I breathe

It begins to snow outside

I sit, I breathe

I write word after word

I feel sad, so sad

an old wound exposed

Snow falls

I sit, I breathe

Machinery hums outside

out of sight but still with me

I sit, I breathe

My hip aches, my nose is numb

I sit, I breathe

and wonder, why numb?

the pitch of a roof outside

catches my gaze

I sit, I breathe

My hip aches

I breathe with the ache

the hum, the roof

Snow falls

I sit, I breathe

I feel hungry

the hum, the ache

and the roof go on.

Puppy Morning

I am awake before the sun. I want – no I NEED to go to the bathroom! But puppy is asleep and I can hear it raining outside; do I really want to wake up puppy and risk a trek outside in the dark rainy pre-dawn hour? My bladder say YES, so I get up and go to the bathroom. Puppy is instantly awake and ready to rumble, but amazingly she settles back down when I return to bed. Thank God for a crate trained puppy!

The alarm wakes both puppy and me a few hours later. I dress quickly and take her out for her morning pee. It’s still raining and the sprinklers are running as well. Oh joy. Third morning in a row for the sprinklers. Apparently we still haven’t figure out the sprinkler program. Mommy dog (that’s me) must go out with puppy or puppy won’t do her business – that rule seems to be written in the puppy code! I am a good dog, so out I go with puppy into the rain. The yard is a swamp and soon both puppy and I are wet and bedraggled. I stand in the swampy grass, wondering what the neighbors think of my “wet dog” in pajamas look!

Finally back inside, mission accomplished. We head upstairs – I walk, puppy romps right behind me. I feel like breaking into a chorus of “Me and my Shadow”. We wake up the big blonde “puppy”, my daughter. And she is so thrilled to be awakened at 7am – NOT! Why does school starts at the earliest hour for teenagers? Are we adults cruel hearted, or what?!

I race back downstairs with puppy at my heels. It is time to feed puppy and 2 very impatient cats. The cats see puppy and hiss their disdain for this furry interloper. The cats have probably been plotting puppy’s demise all night. Luckily puppy is bigger than both of them or puppy would be a chewed up cat toy by now.

Upstairs, downstairs, upstairs again – it’s the puppy diet and exercise plan!

Cats fed, check. Puppy fed. check. Daughter fed, check. Back out into the swamp for puppy’s post-meal pee, check. I sit down – FINALLY – and then my daughter comes in the house to say she’s missed the bus somehow.A bus that stops right next to our house. I race upstairs, grab the dog crate for the car, load puppy and daughter up – wait! mommy dog needs shoes. Finally dressed, load puppies into the car and hurry to school to drop off big puppy.

Here is a pic of Big Blonde puppy with Little Labradoodle puppy:

When we arrive at big puppy’s Middle School, it is a ghost town; no cars in the circle, no kids. It is quiet – too quiet. Just me, my daughter and puppy. Something is wrong here. Is it Saturday or something?! No, it’s definitely Wednesday. So, where is everybody?

“Oh yeah, it’s a late start day!”, my daughter exclaims. “School starts two hours late today!”… I stare at her in disbelief. What, pray tell, happened to the memo that was supposed to tell mom and dad about THAT? My daughter laughs hysterically. “Please don’t beat me, mom!” … Did I mention that she’s quite dramatic as well as forgetful?

I laugh with her and turn the car around for home. My daughter has the right idea; what else is there to do except laugh hysterically?

It’s been a crazy morning and I am just getting started. It’s been a puppy morning.

The Coming Storm

Last week I went for a walk in the woods. There is a path near my house that I love. It winds through the woods next to an untamed year-round creek. I’m wandering down the creek path and I know a big thunderstorm is coming. I saw the storm brewing before I left home, but I love my time on this trail, so I risk a walk in the woods anyway.

I am walking and keeping an eye on the storm clouds that are rapidly building in the north sky. But I’m enjoying my walk so much that I extend it a bit, and then a bit more. I get cocky and misjudge how fast the storm is rolling in. And for my cockiness I ended up getting rained on. Not drenched, just a little damp. Just a gentle schooling from Mother Nature, thank God!

That’s how I hope to weather all the storms in my life; maybe just a little damp but not drenched and no permanent structural damage. I don’t want to end up in chaos at the epicenter of any storm – I have no desire to end up like those Japanese fishermen downwind from a broken nuclear power plant, or those folks in Joplin with no basements where the tornados decided to touch down a few weeks ago. Most of us really cannot handle being at the epicenter, can we? Most of us have no urge to fly right through the eye of the hurricane in a small metal plane. Oh yes, the epicenter is exciting and enticing. Some people love hanging out there. It whispers a siren song that I definitely hear. I’m the one walking in the woods with a thunderstorm brewing on the horizon.

This is one lesson that I have learned the hard way when doing energetic healing work. How close do I want to be to the center of the action, the center of the storm? Through years of trial and error, I have learned that I cannot stay healthy and alive if I hang out in the epicenter of a client’s healing storm. My job is to be an anchor point of calm, on the edge of the action rather than trying to ride the wild energies at the epicenter. I stay healthy and my clients do amazing healing work when I anchor and hold the edges of their dance floor. A client who is emotionally or mentally thrashing through a traumatic release or change needs a calm, deep anchor NOT a dance partner. I picture a giant old sycamore tree anchored in the earth next to this path I love. She’s a calm anchor!

I go visit Grandma Sycamore every time I walk the Mill Creek path. She’s a very cool tree. But on this particular walk, on this particular day, I notice a big chunk of bark lying behind her trunk. When I stop to examine the trunk, I see that the core of Grandma Sycamore is now decaying, rotting away. She has a huge hole at her center. Her time is almost finished here at the edge of the path. Soon she will fall and make way for new trees. I am sad to see this – I have grown to love this tree – I will miss her. She had many years here; wide and tall, majestically anchoring this piece of earth. Now her time is ending.

The same organic cycle of birth, growth and decay happens with everything in Nature. EVERY living thing – including the civilizations that man builds – springs up from the decaying earth left behind from those who came before. We are born, we grow and flourish, then decay and die out. Life on Earth is all about cycles.

Change is inevitable. And change can be very scary, like a huge thunderstorm brewing on the horizon. But If I get still and watch and listen – if I use my senses to really observe, I begin to notice that change is coming before it gets here and I can protect myself. When I slow down and look, I notice that the core of the tree is rotting long before it gets so unstable that it falls on me. In stillness I can see the change coming just like a big storm building  on the horizon.

I see a storm coming for my country. I am troubled by the chaos that the US seems to be spiraling into. A US dollar with no gold behind it, massive debt, medical treatments that make people poorer and sicker, grocery stores full of food that isn’t really food, politicians that pontificate and never really change anything – it is so easy to turn into a completely paranoid pessimist. Yet even my more rational optimistic self cannot deny the growing rot at the core of our economy, of our food supply, of our healthcare and our political structures. Beautiful proud strong Grandma Sycamore weakens with age and eventually rots at the core and falls to make way for new life. And our proud beautiful strong US culture seems ready to do the same just like the Mayans and the Romans and the European empires of earlier times. I try to remember that it’s not a good thing or a bad thing, it just is; cultures grow and flourish and then die out just like trees.

I stop and look around and see a world that has swung so far into the yang, active, doing energies. We are too active, too busy, too focused on owning and controlling everything we see. America has spent so much energy trying to conquer and master everything.  Straightening rivers, digging holes in the earth to pull out energy to burn, building more and more of the biggest vehicles and buildings in the world even though they consume energy like some giant ravenous beasts, processing the fruits of nature until they don’t even resemble fruit anymore… I could rant on and on. This country is so deep in Yang energy, it cannot seem to stop to even catch a breath!

US cities like Chicago and LA and New York feel like Yang energy on steroids to me; busy little ant humans running here and there on foot – or even more Yang yet, zooming from place to place in little metal cars and big metal planes. We get instant news and entertainment 24/7 on our TV’s and computers and iPod’s and Blackberries. Could we be less still, less receptive??

It is the nature of all organic systems to pendulum back and forth between yin and yang states, constantly seeking a balance point somewhere in the middle. And Western civilization is an organic system; civilizations seek balance and homeostasis just like our own body systems do. So a pendulum shift in this country away from yang seems obvious and inevitable to me. The obvious correction for this organic system is to pendulum back toward yin receptive quiet energies, qualities or ways of being. And the pendulum swing is inevitable; ALL organic systems do it. So I look around and know a shift is coming our way. And I also sense that this cultural shift could get quite chaotic and messy. I want to spiritually embrace and encourage this worldwide natural shift back into receptive mother yin energy. And I also want to protect my family in what could be a wild chaotic storm.

So I close with the questions that my husband and I find ourselves wrestling with this year; What can I do to help my family prepare for this storm? What can I do NOW, before the storm gets here, so that my family can emerge from storm just a little damp? How do I best help my friends and neighbors do the same?

And just as important to me; what do I want to shift towards? Even in the worst storm I have choices about what’s best for me, my family, my country. What is the new vision I want to anchor in and hold for my family, for everyone I love, for America? What seeds can I plant now so that they will sprout into life and flourish after this storm passes?

Here and Now

Here and now it is sunny outside

I chop carrots. Mince garlic.

Heat oil. Salivate.

Inhale the aroma.


Here and now I am sad inside

I grieve. Shed tears

Ponder death. 

See pain all around.


Here and now I sit with it all

Breathe pain. Breathe sorrow.

Breathe garlic and sun

Open to life.