The Call

In the words of Marianne Williamson: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Good morning,
I hope you will allow me a few minutes of pondering. I am feeling better these days both physically and mentally. I actually think I triggered all of my old symptoms with pushing my body working long hours at the mall over the holiday season (and mind, since it's an inside job keeping your body going under duress) I've had lots of continuous aches and pains, poor sleep, colitis, arrhythmia - not fun but I am feeling better this morning. I didn't even discuss this with Larry until Saturday because I didn't want to give any energy to the possibility - attract more of what I don't want into my life. He just knew that I was in a lot of pain and taking pain pills and not sleeping. I have finally had a couple of good nights of sleep and that has really helped. Time for more Reiki from my live-in Reiki practitioner.

We have been pondering since the New Year. It is the same old song "What are you doing the rest of your life?" We completed an exercise created by Martha Beck.... Make a list of every time you remember being utterly, happily absorbed in an activity no matter how odd.
(From O Magazine: The Four Step Plan to Get Your Life Back On Track

Thank goodness for my partner and "student" Larry, who participates willingly in every little exercise that I dream up. This might be a good one for clients, if I ever decide to have "clients" and a coaching practice.

This article is all about finding a "career". She says that you need to stop thinking rationally and go a little wild. Martha says, "These days, listening to my clients talk about their careers reminds me how bewildered I was by my demon GPS. People wander aimlessly because the well-worn paths of yesteryear are disappearing, while strange new options pop up before our frazzled brains can map them. The more new technologies and options have entered everyday life, the more my clients tend to become confused and overwhelmed, finding themselves facing a dead end. Like most of us who have no clue about how to get to where we want, they long for a voice of authority that will spell out the exact route to a thrilling and fulfilling position. Although they keep beavering away at a solution, researching their options and seeking the advice of people with hot new ideas for them, people end up in my office more muddled than ever. They tell me things like:
•"There's so much going on, and it sounds exciting to me, but I feel paralyzed about which new thing to follow up on."
•"I keep reading about all of these new opportunities but I don't really understand them, and I'm afraid I'm being left behind."
•"I'd be happy to follow my passion....if only I knew what it was."
•"I worry that if I commit to one career, I'll lose out on something else."

Wow! This sounds like me - Martha has me pegged.
More from Martha..... "If any of these sound like you, don't bother with classic career guides, they'll have you meandering in circles, stumped at dead ends, or just profoundly lost. The fact is, as we've become accustomed to our over-managed, overstimulated 21st-century lives, we haven't realized that there might be another - decidedly low tech - way to get into the right path.

I suspect you've been advised to think rationally about your career decisions. That would be a big mistake. You might expect people with damage to the emotional parts of the brain, presumably free from the distractions of emotions, to be brilliant decision makers. Quite the opposite. Though they retain full use of their rational faculties, such patients are tragically indecisive, endlessly debating logical pros and cons, unable to choose any path. Their brains send out random, contradictory, and confusing directions. It turns out that, as Jonathan Haidt writes in the Happiness Hypothesis, "it is only because our emotional brains work so well that our reasoning can work at all." Interesting? Maybe I am suffering some kind of brain disorder from to much time on the computer - there is more to say about this at a later time.

Although humans are the only beings on Earth with advanced linguistic skills, any animal with a brain has the automatic capacity to form preferences. It's an irrational sense of "Yes, this!" that takes a migrating goose a thousand miles to it's perfect nesting ground, or a whale to it's calving waters an ocean away. To find your perfect career or path, you have to let your animal self lead you through a wilderness of choices. The way to do that is to make your rational mind not the master but the tracker of your own irrational instincts."
To read the complete article go to 

I am not necessarily looking for a career.... or am I? I am definitely looking for something. We do need to make some extra income? Somehow I think I need to take income out of the equation. My list went like this; gardening, fishing, prospecting/dredging for gold, writing, painting (artwork, not houses), people watching, cooking (some things), reading, learning, hiking in the wilderness, mushroom hunting, playing the piano, teaching, coaching (maybe) ...... an interesting list but do I want to do these activities every day or even often? or as a vocation?

We completed another list where you write down what you feel you are good at but some of those "talents" definitely don't make my heart sing; like handing out samples of food or merchandising a store. I know one of my ways to feel alive is to get outside but it is 32 degrees and foggy here this morning. I am longing to go somewhere warm..... Arizona, a warm beach somewhere, maybe the bathtub. It is this time of winter when we get tired of being cold and we long to be somewhere else.

This Sutherlin housesit has provided a sense of security. We get to live in this 3000 square foot, 4 year old custom home 8 months out of the year and that is a blessing but it's not a geographical location of our choosing and the climate leaves a lot to be desired since dark, cold and wet lasts so long here. We keep coming back because, what will we do if we don't have this housesit? We feel stuck. It is time to step out and trust that the net will appear. The northwest director for Hickory Farms has promised us a store in Brookings, Oregon next year. She has wanted to open a store there for some time but needed someone experienced to run it since we will be way off of the beaten path.

We are exploring what is possible. We started a sign language class last night. It was great fun and really worked our brains. We had more fun than we expected. I have been working on a website for sometime, that no one has seen at this point. I think I will get back to that. It's about health and wellness and energy healing. It is part of following the thread. It is definitely a creative endeavor for me because there is so much I can do with it with regard to my interests. Larry feels he is ready to start writing in earnest and he has a outlet for his creative expressions, if he chooses to go that way. He has long talked about writing a book and these last couple of weeks he keeps saying "honey, I'm about ready to do it."

"Just do it!" seems to be the direction..... take the first step and then the next, and then the next. As we so often say "Go to the edge of the light" but do we remember that? Well, thank you for letting me "hear myself think".

We each completed a quiz to see what was holding us back. This is what it said about Larry:

Ready for Change - "Congratulations! You understand an important truth: Everyone feels fear. And you know that the secret to success is not letting fear stop you. With practice, you've developed the courage you need to move forward despite your anxieties. Your confidence will allow you to explore other paths and stay the course when you encounter bumps in the road."

Well, hurray for Larry! Sounds pretty good! Maybe a good affirmation to read each day.

This was mine:

Fear of Success - "You're fairly confident in your abilities, but you balk at the pressure of maintaining success once you have it. You know that your achievements will breed higher expectations and you worry that you won't be able to meet them. You may even be experiencing what psychologists call impostor syndrome, the fear that those around you will discover you're not really as talented or competent as they think. People who fear success often credit their achievements to circumstances rather than to their talent and other assets. The key for these people is to accept responsibility for their accomplishments."

Footnote to the above (Fear of Success) ***"Many of my clients find this simple exercise helpful: Think of a recent success. Now make a list of the skills and qualities you drew on to win it - determination, intelligence, creativity, charm.... (If you're struggling, ask a friend for help; others can often see your assets more clearly than you can.) Make this exercise a habit each time something goes well. Once you begin to see your strengths in action every day, you will recognize that you are , in fact, well-equipped to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead. (Take the Quiz and find out
"What's Holding You Back?"

This housesit will conclude about the middle of June. We intend to head to California at that point. We'll spend a couple of weeks helping Arlene get her garden up and running once again..... maybe. We are not intending to spend the summer there. We have friends in Sonoma who has asked up to paint their house so we could do that for extra money. We are thinking about making a trip down this spring to look at the project. The folks at Tuckaway Farm have asked up to ranch sit the month of September. We love it there and the pay is good. We love spending time at Tuckaway Farm! It is delicious and delightful. (To read more about Tuckaway Farm and see some photos go to 2003 entries - we'll be putting up more photos in the next few days)

We are planning to spend the interim time camping out in southwest Oregon, prospecting, exploring and camping. We get 10 days of free camping each month in Oregon State Parks and 1/2 price a National Parks, BLM and Forest Service campgrounds. Like I said we are looking for signs and following the thread so who really knows but these are the tentative plans. We may look for a place to share-crop!

Well, that is all I know this morning. I am going to get up and tackle these boxes that have been sitting here in the dining room since we moved back into the house last September. Maybe I'll find some clues in there. Thanks for listening.



From Wikipedia: "Burnout is a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest. It is emotional exhaustion and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment. People who experience all three symptoms - (exhaustion, diminished interest, reduced sense of personal accomplishment) have the greatest degrees of burnout, although emotional exhaustion is said to be the hallmak of burnout."

So as we slide into emotional exhaustion like the deep end of a pool..... we must remember that this will ultimately result in being in the "doldrums" for awhile. Actually, it is a good thing - as long as we don't fight against it. It is a time for rest and renewal. The secret is to relax and go with the flow even if it doesn't seem to be going anywhere and be open to the possibilities. The stillness.... the peace and quiet of our minds will bring us back to our place.

The Doldrums ~ A Metaphor for Life
by Rebecca Fine

In the days of the mighty sailing ships, when brave souls voyaged into the unknown, dependent on the winds and their as-yet incomplete knowledge of geography and navigation, one of the greatest and most dangerous challenges was to traverse the area known as "the doldrums."

Extending about 30 degrees on either side of the equator, the doldrums are subject to days, weeks, even months of no wind at all. After a long and difficult crossing from Europe to South America, lying becalmed in the doldrums -- with no land in sight and with the ship's supply of fresh water dwindling -- could become a frightening, life-threatening situation.

But history and legend offer us some fascinating insights into the power of our own thinking and belief. Back then no one had yet figured out how to determine longitude, although latitude was easily calculated. So if you could not see recognizable land, you could only know in what band of latitude you currently were.

Exactly where you were on that ring around the earth was, at that time, unknowable.

And so it happened that at times a ship would fetch up off the coast of South America, out of sight of shore, fresh water supplies exhausted and death knocking at the door. Then, with what must have been the sweetest sound those sailors could ever have hoped for, the lookout would suddenly call out that a ship was approaching in the distance.

Once the ship was within hailing distance, the cry would go up: "Water! Give us water!" And the reply would come back: "Lower your buckets over the side."

You see, although the sailors didn't know it, they were afloat in a virtual river of drinkable and life-sustaining water flowing from the mouth of the powerful Amazon River, which carries nearly 20 percent of all the earth's runoff water into the sea with such force that the fresh (or brackish but safe) water flows as far as 100 miles out into the Atlantic.

The sailors, dying of thirst, only THOUGHT they were experiencing lack. The REALITY was that they were engulfed in a literal sea of abundance. Exactly what they needed was within their reach the whole time, but the APPEARANCE of scarcity and their BELIEF in that appearance threatened to overpower them.

They could have died -- and many certainly did -- believing in lack while surrounded by abundance.

Question for the day: Are you living in lack while surrounded by abundance?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Crones Don't Whine

Speaking of Crones....... Something I've been thinking about with regard to my accumulating years. I heard Jean Shinoda Bolen speak about crones a few years ago and I have not forgotten it. It is something that has stayed with me. When I first think of "crones" I always see a hunched-over, gnarly woman in a ratty medieval cape with a hood, pathetic and menacing. Bolen pits herself firmly against that image.

In Bolens own words..... "I am proposing that it is time to reclaim and redefine “crone” from the word pile of disparaging names to call older women, and to make becoming a "crone" a crowning inner achievement of the third phase of life. She says that "crone years are growing years, when women can devote their time, energy and creativity to what really matters to them."

To be a crone is about inner development, not outer appearance: A crone is a woman who has wisdom, compassion, humor, courage, and vitality. She has a sense of truly being herself, can express what she knows and feels, and take action when need be. She does not avert her eyes or numb her mind from reality. She can see the flaws and imperfections in herself and others, but the light in which she sees is not harsh and judgmental. She has learned to trust herself to know what she knows... and most importantly "Crones don't whine". It's a basic "rule" that describes conduct unbecoming of a crone. "Whining is an attitude that blocks spiritual and psychological development. Whining makes genuine communication impossible and extorts what then cannot be freely given."

"We become fiercely compassionate crones when we are outraged at the suffering caused as much by indifference by those in authority as by the perpetrators. Compassion and anger come together for terrorized, abused, helpless, and neglected people, whose plight is considered of little importance because they have no power or values in a world where greed and power over others rather than concern for others is the ruling principle. Crones are not naïve or in denial about reality. When something in particular is an outrage, and doing something about it is the choice, a moment of truth occurs in which activists are born. The suffering of others or the feeling of enough is enough! radicalizes older women. .. the Crone is a woman who has found her voice. She knows that silence is consent. This is a quality that makes older women feared. It is not the innocent voice of a child who says, "the Emperor has no clothes," but the fierce truthfulness of the crone that is the voice of reality. Both the innocent child and the crone are seeing through the illusions, denials, or "spin" to the truth. But the crone knows about the deception and its consequences, and it angers her. Her fierceness springs from the heart, gives her courage, makes her a force to be reckoned with."

Bolen offers us a blueprint; "Crones don't whine. They're juicy, and they trust their own instincts. They don't grovel. They do meditate. They trust the path with heart. Crones are fierce about what matters most to them. They speak the truth with compassion. They listen to their bodies, reinvent themselves as needed, and savor the good in their lives."  She also believes that men can be crones too if they are nurturing human beings who care for others.

So where am I on this path? Where are you?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Teens Reaching Across The World

What if you invited teens in the Sonoma Valley in California, to come together and have a conversation about what kind of world they want? What do they want to do to help create that better world? What if you invited students from Banjika Secondary School in rural Tanzania to engage the same questions? What if they created a documentary and held these two conversations together? To find out what happened click below


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Time for Recovery

Thank goodness another season of working at the mall has ended. It sure seems to be taking a long time to recover. We just put in another long season working for Hickory Farms at the mall in Roseburg, Oregon. We have been spending long hours at the mall with very few days off since the first of November but that all ended almost a week ago. I have certainly had lots of aches and pains going on for the last few weeks. There are folks younger than us that couldn't handle the long hours of standing on our feet. I don't know how my grandmother did it into her 80's, working in grocery stores, checking groceries, standing on her feet all day long. Working at a mall is a real experience..... it is a different culture.... a community of sorts. It is a whole different way of life ...... hard to understand or describe unless you do it. We connected with lots of the folks we met last year. It is like a reunion of sorts. It is been all consuming.... all we've been thinking and talking about is selling cheese and sausage. When we are at home our minds were too tired to even attemp to conjure up thoughts about anything else.