Saturday, February 16, 2008


I have to laugh at myself sometimes. Yesterday, my Big Idea that comes in a daily email was about "drifting." It essentially was talking about the patterns we fall into that take us off course, that distance us from our Source, from our goals. Some of the examples he uses of ways we all drift are: "blame, criticize (my personal favorite), judge, lecture, ignore, explain, or withdraw. If, for some odd reason those don’t work, just try these: control, be sarcastic (!), procrastinate, watch TV, complain, get overwhelmed, justify, go shopping, (whatever you do, definitely!) don’t breathe, interrupt, get righteous, space out or worry."

The reason this makes me laugh is that yesterday, I drifted. Not all day, but for a substantial portion of it. Mostly I was in to withdrawing, procrastinating, and spacing out, but I'm sure there were other things in there as well. While there were several reasons for that drift, at the end of the day, aren't they all just excuses? Isn't it all just your ego throwing up resistance to keep you off balance? The funniest part about it all is that I was completely aware of what was happening. I observed myself getting off track and instead of taking steps to rectify the situation, I threw myself into it whole hog. Perhaps that is why I was able to, from time to time, pull myself out of it long enough to clean the kitchen, make the lasagna I'm entertaining with this evening, take a friend to the airport. And perhaps it is also why I was able to get up this morning and get back on track without a massive effort. My home is spotless, I did my 4 mile training walk, went to the farmer's market, and I still have time to sit down and do a blog post before I get ready for my guests to arrive this evening.

Today's Big Idea was about "shifting," what we do when we want to "get back into Ease and Flow." The gist is that we have to breathe, and breathe again, and breathe some more, which I take to mean we have to take time for conscious connection to Source, and to ourselves. It certainly feels significantly better than drifting does, you can actually feel the shift taking place in your body. And I suppose that is what life is about, really. While we all strive to be on track 100% of the time, we're human, and we make mistakes, we drift off course. The trick is not to stay there, to make sure we take the time to shift, to reorient ourselves so that we're moving in the direction we consciously are choosing to, the direction that feels like it is taking us towards our goals. And be gentle with ourselves in the process. I don't know about you, but I can always use a reminder of that. Namaste.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love Google's doodles, the way they play with their logo on for holidays and whatnot. Today's is especially sweet. It reminds me of our friends Rhoda and Sydney, not because they're like that image really, but because they are the one example I can think of a couple who has been together for more than 50 years and who are still utterly devoted to each other. They're truly inspirational.

Today, I am running behind schedule. I had high aspirations for what I was going to accomplish today, but that all went out the window when I decided that it was time to reorganize the "pantry" area in my kitchen or else. Honestly, it was a highly cost effective use of my time, and I feel so much lighter for having done it, but now I'm trying to squeeze in a 3 mile walk, grocery shopping, bathing, and making dinner in the remainder of my afternoon, all while remembering that today is a day to open up your heart and to experience all of the love that is in the world. I'm not really Valentine's Day's biggest fan, but it seems like a good excuse for me this year to practice opening up, romance, and loving unconditionally, and to notice all the sweetness and beauty around me. Enjoy.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow / What A Wonderful World

Okay, so it's Valentine's Day and what's more appropriate than a song that warms your heart every time you listen to it? Not to mention, it was our wedding recessional, picked out on one of Sean's more romantic days. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World" has become iconic, representing all that is good and sweet and loving in the world. You hear it everywhere--in TV shows, commercials, movies, at the mall. I found a plethora of videos on YouTube that use this song; my favorite is embedded below.

During a time of great stress (a.k.a. wedding planning while starting a new job and trying to go to grad school), it brought such a sense of calm over me, and still does every time I hear it. Take a few moments today to listen to this song, and relax into the peace and beauty it embodies. Mahalo.

Artist: Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Song: Somewhere Over The Rainbow / What A Wonderful World
Album: Facing Future
More Information:'ole

(Okay, this one's for Gabby)
(Ooh ooh...)

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dream of
Once in a lullaby
Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dream of
Dreams really do come true
Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops that's where you'll find me

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
And the dream that you dare to, oh why, oh why can't I?
Well I see trees of green and
Red roses too
I'll watch them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Well I see skies of blue and I see clouds of white
And the brightness of day
I like the dark and I think to myself
What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people passing by
I see friends shaking hands
Saying, "How do you do?"
They're really saying I, I love you
I hear babies cry and I watch them grow
They'll learn much more
Than we'll know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top that's where you'll find me
Oh, somewhere over the rainbow way up high
And the dream that you dare to, why, oh why can't I?

(Ooh ooh...)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How Would It Be

Today feels like a good day for "How Would It Be." A good friend gave my mom Ellis's EP as a birthday present for her trip cross-country last fall. This song quickly became part of her daily ritual due to its powerful message and infectious music. As soon as I heard it I understood why, and ended up playing it over and over and over and over again. It is still a "go to" song for both of us, the kind of music that lifts you up and carries you over the trials of your day.

Please, do yourself a favor, visit Ellis's website, listen to her music, find a venue where she's playing near you. Funny, honest, open, entertaining, deep, powerful--she is a true treasure. I saw her in Santa Cruz in December and I fell even more in love with her. And I can even forgive her for re-recording "How Would It Be," even though I thought the version on the EP was infinitely better than the version that ended up on the full album, because she's that awesome. So, how would you change your life if you learned that the ground was really sky? Would you stop walking and learn how to fly?

Artist: Ellis
Song: How Would It Be
Album: Break The Spell

V1: How would it be if everything that you thought you knew
Was turned upside down opposite from your point of view
How would you feel if the ground was really the sky and all of this
time you've been walkin' when you coulda been ...flying

V2: If you run a thousand miles a minute you can expect
to wear out a few pairs of shoes
If you forget how to love and take it for granted
You can expect to wear out people close to you

Ch: What if all the birds were flying just to show us
All the trees were really holdin' the sky up
And everything that you do matters somehow
What if heaven and hell was right now

V3. How would it be if you really created your life?
Stories you told, the good and bad, that they come alive
And how would it change if your words were like nails and wood?
You build your house, but you forget that it's just a house
You can rebuild it

Ch: What if all the birds were flying just to show us
All the trees were really holdin' the sky up
Everything that you do matters in the end
What if all of our mistakes are forgiven?

Br: What if love is a lot of listening
A little bit of time not pretending
We are caught up in a world of daydreams
What if loving what you have is everything?

Ch out: What if all the birds were flying just to show us
And all the trees were really holdin' the sky up
And everything that you do matters so much
How would you change your life?
How would you change your life?


I already feel like I've been on a roller coaster and it's only 9:30! I woke up this morning really tense, my whole body aching from head to toe. I'd had a long night of not sleeping well, presumably because my back hurt but substantially because I've had underlying money worries all week. I dragged myself out of bed a little before 6, set myself up on the couch with an ice pack, and started to do my morning pages. I grumbled for a little while but finally just started asking myself questions. What is it going to take for me not to let stress show up in my body? What do I need to learn in order to kick my money issues once and for all? What is the source of this fear that I can feel rumbling around in my tummy?

The bottom line? As Marianne Williamson says, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." The more I recognize that I need to take risks, the push myself out of my shell, to claim my power, the louder the voice of fear becomes in my head. But as Anais Nin said, "And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." I know that this change is necessary and I know that now is the time and I know that I am ready to live my life like Ellis suggests: "How would it be if everything that you thought you knew / Was turned upside down opposite from your point of view / How would you feel if the ground was really the sky and all of this / time you've been walkin' when you coulda been flying." Yeah baby, yeah!

So I got out a pad of paper and wrote down each of my fears on its own page. Then I went back and added the old patterns that surface, enabling those fears to gain footing in my consciousness. I took my 11 slips of paper, a pile of pillows, and a whiffle bat and I bashed each fear or pattern. Hallelujah! The paper was really too light for this process and so it would float up in the air, which immediately made me laugh. So I kept bashing and laughing and bashing and laughing until I felt completely filled with love and light and laughter. The weight of those fears and patterns had lifted. I danced around my living room for a little while, high on the feeling of lightness, then scooped up the slips of paper and held a burning bowl ritual. I took the slips one by one, stated my intention for what I am now accepting in my life, and watched the words burn away, going back into the nothingness from whence they came. When I was done, I took out my sage and smudged myself and my apartment, acknowledging that today is a new day, and that I am starting fresh.

I find ritual soothing, a way of getting a message out of my head and into my body. While it might not be necessary in order to affect change, for me it feels like one of the better tools in my toolbox, a tried and true method of getting things to move in a direction that feels good. Like anything else, it's a process, and I may need to do another ritual next week, next month, or even tomorrow, but for right now, I feel free to fly. Namaste.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Today is one of those days where you truly appreciate Joni Mitchell's song California. No matter how beautiful the rest of the world is, California is home. "So I bought me a ticket / I caught a plane to Spain / Went to a party down a red dirt road / There were lots of pretty people there / Reading Rolling Stone, reading Vogue / They said, how long can you hang around? / I said a week, maybe two / Just until my skin turns brown / Then I'm going home to California / California I'm coming home / Oh will you take me as I am / Strung out on another man / California I'm coming home."

It was 75 and sunny today, the prototypical beautiful California day. Plus, my cleaning lady came today--I know, such a splurge but SO worth it--so I vacated the premises for the afternoon. I went for a walk around downtown. I meditated by a fountain. I infected people with my smiling, so that as I passed they broke out into big grins as well. I browsed an arts and crafts store, imagining all the creative projects I could undertake. I hung out at Starbucks and watched the people come and go, read a book. It was pure bliss. And then when I came home, my apartment smelled like that wonderful smell that tells me Vilma has been here, everything is clean and in its place and the world is orderly and wonderful, and I felt as close to perfection as I probably ever will. Ah yes, today was absolutely fantastic.

I wonder what new and exciting fun tomorrow will bring?

Nietzsche Quote

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.

~Friedrich Nietzsche

May I Suggest

While technically this is a second Ellis Paul song (funny, because while I do enjoy him, I really don't listen to that much of his music), I tend think of it as a Vance Gilbert song, and while really it's a collaboration from an album they released in 2003, they didn't write the lyrics--it is actually a Susan Werner song. Phew!

I fell in love with Vance at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival back in 1997. Falcon Ridge is a music lover's dream, especially if you also love to dance. Vance Gilbert was such a treat to experience--funny and sweet, with an amazing voice that is both powerful and light. Vance and Ellis have been friends for a long time, so it seems natural they would release an album together. Side of the Road has many great songs on it, but "May I Suggest" has always been my favorite. Right now I find the lyrics especially fitting--this truly is the best time of my life--but I can understand how that still applies when appearances tell you something different. No matter which side of that coin you find yourself on today, may I suggest you live like it's a beautiful day, live like there's no tomorrow, live like you really mean it.

Artist: Ellis Paul & Vance Gilbert
Song: May I Suggest
Album: Side of the Road
More information:

May I suggest
May I suggest to you
May I suggest this is the best part of your life
May I suggest
This time is blessed for you
This time is blessed and shining almost blinding bright
Just turn your head
And you'll begin to see
The thousand reasons that were just beyond your sight
The reasons why
Why I suggest to you
Why I suggest this is the best part of your life

There is a world
That's been addressed to you
Addressed to you, intended only for your eyes
A secret world
Like a treasure chest to you
Of private scenes and brilliant dreams that mesmerise
A lover's trusting smile
A tiny baby's hands
The million stars that fill the turning sky at night
Oh I suggest
Oh I suggest to you
Oh I suggest this is the best part of your life

There is a hope
That's been expressed in you
The hope of seven generations, maybe more
And this is the faith
That they invest in you
It's that you'll do one better than was done before
Inside you know
Inside you understand
Inside you know what's yours to finally set right
And I suggest
And I suggest to you
And I suggest this is the best part of your life

This is a song
Comes from the west to you
Comes from the west, comes from the slowly setting sun
With a request
With a request of you
To see how very short the endless days will run
And when they're gone
And when the dark descends
Oh we'd give anything for one more hour of light

And I suggest this is the best part of your life

Copyright Susan Werner/Virago Music, BMI

Monday, February 11, 2008

Baby steps

Life is such an interesting journey, isn't it? What I'm especially in awe of these days is how even though the light often only shines on the very next step, it is always leading you somewhere that enables your growth. I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I needed this time off to help slow me down, enabling me to change direction without skidding out of control. But that is not what I thought 4 or 5 months ago, which is why I ended up with a knee injury that forced me to literally SIT for weeks until the way I was thinking about things had shifted enough to start the real change. I can still feel healing taking place in my soul, and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to take some time off, to retreat from the world for a spell.

A month ago the pendulum had swung so far the other way that I was feeling panicky about the idea of a full-time job, feeling like this retreat was necessary for me indefinitely. But somewhat out of the blue, I'm feeling pulled in a different direction. My soul recognizes that while this time off has given me what I needed to connect more deeply with Source, it is now time for me to connect with people, and to do that, I need to be out in the world, a tangible being for folks to interact with, so that I can continue along my growth path and share my gifts with the world.

I had an interview last night, and it was kind of funny, because my brain went through the full range of patterns that it usually does in these circumstances. I slept really poorly as the mini-computer in my head did all of its calculations and ran through its infinite scenarios and told me all of the reasons why this job is a bad fit for me, focusing especially on that belief that a full-time job would distract me from my purpose. The interesting thing was that when I woke up this morning, my head was still. All that was left was the idea that I needed to speak to my guides, speak to that Intelligence deep within me to see what it thought--in other words, what the REAL me thought about all of this. And the answer wasn't entirely surprising considering the messages I've received over the past few months. I was reminded that the voice that keeps me from sleeping is the voice of fear, that what really makes me anxious about this job is that it would force me to show up in the work world in a deeply different way than I ever have before. But it also reminded me that this job is an opportunity for me to take the way I've been showing up in my spiritual world, i.e. as a Practitioner, and apply it to a work environment, to use the skills that I have honed on that path out in the world in a new way.

I honestly don't know what will happen with this job, and that is really okay with me. But what I do know now is that whatever happens, I will continue to grow and to be given steps that take me on the path that ultimately lead to my goal. The light may not show me very much, but it always shows me what I need to see, and when I take the steps I'm guided to take, I always get to experience even more of the divine way that things flow together. Namaste.