Blog

Of Smoke, Hurricanes, Death, and Life!

What a bizarre feeling it was, lying in our tent with my eyes stinging and my lungs aching from smoke, checking my laptop yet again for an update of the air quality forecast. Periodically, I’d then switch to the screen I’d kept open in order to track the progress of Irma, knowing our dear friends in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) were preparing for the Class 5 hurricane that was predicted to sweep directly across their idyllic island home. Meanwhile, I get a text from my daughter in Portland, saying it was literally raining ash, as winds carried in the sooty reminder that most of their favorite natural forest area along the Gorge was up in flames, and moving closer. I felt like I was in a scene from an Armageddon movie. We’d been looking forward to our family’s annual camping trip – a week at our favorite high mountain lake. My husband, Ken, and I were going to go set up camp, then a couple days later be joined by my daughter, son-in-law and new grandpuppy. But numerous forest fires in the area had forced cancellation of that plan, and driven us west instead of east, in search of clean ocean air – us and everyone else who’d been planning to go to the mountains! Not to mention those who were apparently making an impromptu Labor Day day-trip to the coast, in hopes of giving their lungs a break from the unsafe levels of smoke that had been hanging around in the Valley for several days. In the forty years I’ve lived in the Willamette Valley, I have...

Appreciating the Little Things

My friend, Kim, shared this story with me recently: When I was younger, I attended Catholic masses. I always especially enjoyed the part of the service in which members of the congregation were invited to offer their prayers for joint supplication – those who felt so moved, would speak their prayers aloud, in order to then be supported in their prayers by the congregation. This particular Sunday, as was the case most weeks, a group of mentally disabled adults had been brought in to attend the service. I always especially enjoyed hearing their prayers, as they were always so honest and heartfelt and exuberant.  They’d say things like, “I’m grateful I got to go to Valley River [a local shopping mall] yesterday and the sun was shining and I took the bus and I bought a red T-shirt! Let us pray to the Lord.” The congregation then replied with its rote response, “Lord hear our prayer.” This particular Sunday, though, was different. When it came time for the joint supplications, only one of their group spoke up, in a much more formal and rehearsed manner, saying simply, “For a private intention, let us pray to the Lord.” The congregation replied, “Lord hear our prayer.” From that day forward, there were no more spontaneous expressions of gratitude for the sunshine or red T-shirts. If verbalized at all, the prayer was simply for “a private intention.” Obviously, someone had spoken to this group of parishioners, and told them a more “correct” way to offer their prayers. Perhaps it was done in the name of expediency. Perhaps this instruction was offered by...

“Staying High” During Times Like These

Just prior to the election, I felt deeply inspired to write a blog piece. As I’ve meditated on what to write in this new blog post, I repeatedly come back to that message. The gist of that message is, to me, the most important thing we can be in conversation about right now. Although part of me is SO tired of having all this “political stuff” be such a focal point of seemingly everything we hear or read these days,  this truly goes way beyond politics. I once again feel compelled to share this crucial viewpoint. If you, too, continue to deeply wrestle with all this, I hope this will help:   In the weeks leading up to and since Election Day, I’ve felt an uncustomary heaviness in my heart.  At times, I’ve felt numbed and overwhelmed, like a sponge soaking up the generalized anxiety so pervasive in many of those around me. And I know I am not alone. The recent US election outcome is affecting our entire global family in unprecedented ways. I normally do not engage in much political discussion, especially in a professional capacity. But this is different. Like many others around the world, I am very concerned about what is already unfolding as a result of our recent elections. And like at least half of our country, I have grave misgivings about our new president and  his administration. At the same time, I believe political representatives are just that – representatives. An elected official cannot be other than a reflection of collective consciousness. To focus solely on bedeviling one individual is to miss a much larger picture, and...

“Cosmic Bliss” – Swimming with Wild Dolphins

It’s been a powerful past few weeks. The outcome of the U.S. presidential election stunned the world, with shock waves still rippling. The brightest, closest “super moon” since 1948 illuminated the night sky, wielding its lunar magic. And for me, a lifetime dream came true: I experienced swimming with wild dolphins. Legend has it that Apollo, god of music, medicine and knowledge, appeared at Delphi – the ancient Greek religious sanctuary – in the form of a dolphin. I now understand why. On the night of the recent super moon’s apex, my husband, Ken, and I arrived after dark at an unassuming little rental cottage I’d just “happened” to find on the Internet. By the intense light of the unusually huge nocturnal orb, we headed down to the nearby beach and stumbled upon what we later learned is one of the most significant heiau (“hey-ow” – ancient temples or sacred sites) on the Big Island.. We wandered, entranced, through the adjacent lava rock fields, then sat at water’s edge for quite a while. Infused by the power of the moon and lulled by the gentle rhythm of the waves, we intoned prayers of peace and gratitude, I felt… like I’d come Home. A mostly sleepless night followed as I watched and felt the moon traverse its path across the sky before it finally sank into the ocean a good several hours after night had morphed into day. As the morning light revealed our surroundings, we saw that we were overlooking a lovely little bay, and within that bay we began to see…Wait! Were those dolphin fins?!! We set speed...

Elevate the Election — How to Affect Real Change, Right Now!

In the weeks leading up to this Election Day, I’ve felt an uncustomary heaviness in my heart. Tears have come more easily than usual. At times, I’ve felt powerless and overwhelmed, like a sponge soaking up the generalized anxiety so pervasive in those around me. And I know I am not alone. This election is affecting our entire global family in unprecedented ways. I normally do not engage in much political discussion, especially in a professional capacity. But this time is different. I get one vote. And I have cast it. Yet, sometimes it seems so insignificant, so ineffective at swaying the outcome of this all-important election. I’m told the presidential election and other pivotal races may come down to whether or not many disheartened and/or disenfranchised voters decided it was even worth a trip to the polls. So, for the first time in my life, at the desperate urging of a political action group, I did some telephone canvasing, encouraging people in swing states to get out and vote. It still felt like a drop in the bucket. Like many Americans, I’m not thrilled with either major party choice. Yet, I believe one candidate has very real potential for causing catastrophic, perhaps irreparable harm on various domestic and global levels. Thus, to not do what I can to help prevent that candidate from being elected feels unconscionable. At the same time, I believe political representatives are just that – representatives. A candidate cannot be other than a reflection of collective consciousness. To bedevil one individual is to miss a much larger picture, and a much larger opportunity for...

Embracing the Yuck, Creating Some Yum!

While typing a birthday wish to a friend, I watched the above phrase appear on the page, and thought, “Ooh! I like that!” What a fun way to sum up… life! This morning I had a half dozen conversations, with friends, clients, colleagues, about how each of them is doing just that – embracing the “yuck” and creating some “yum” in their lives. I listened with great respect to their stories about various challenges – physical, emotional, spiritual – and about the courage each was exhibiting in choosing to look at the glass as not just half full, but overflowing. And each was also consciously “changing the flavor” of its contents to up the “yum factor.“ An example: An eighty-year-old friend was choosing to reframe “I’m old and in pain” to “I’m still alive and kicking!” The “flavor” was further enhanced by his conscious appreciation of the fact that, as we age, we eventually retire from our previous occupation so we can devote full time and energy to what keeps us alive and thriving…including a fair amount of time just caring for the body itself. “Like it’s all part of the Plan or something,” he suggested. Do his joints still ache? Does he still have to move with greater caution so he doesn’t fall and injure his more frail bones? Sure. But by embracing these facts of life, rather than resisting, railing against or being depressed by them, he’s choosing to laugh at the lengths he now has to go to “just to warm up the old bones for the day.” He’s choosing to keep doing the things that inspire...

BEING of Service

Most of my life, I’ve felt an innate desire to be of service. I think that’s a good thing. In recent months, however, I’ve been deeply reflecting on what that even means. How do I balance that driving desire to share, to contribute, to accomplish, to do, with an equally or perhaps even deeper need to simply be? To just stop! And be. To live my life with a constant, underlying sense of ease, contentment and joy? In examining all this, I had to admit that joy, contentment and ease were definitely not the three best descriptors of my current inner landscape. How about you? Are these qualities — joy, contentment, ease — ones you experience on a daily basis? Or would “time-pressured, stressed, overwhelmed” be more accurate? And is there really a solution, or is the world just so out of balance that the most we can hope for is to just try to keep our heads above water? Despite the breadth and depth of the challenges we all face — personally and collectively — I wholeheartedly maintain there are solutions! Within easy reach. I was talking with a dear friend the other day, and made some comment about her being of service in the world. She replied with great emotion, “I’m tired of being of service!” Ironically, when we speak of “being of service,” we’re usually referring to an act of doing. And no matter how loving or noble the intention, when the “doing” of our service is out of balance with our even deeper physiological and psycho-spiritual need to just simply be — to rest, renew,...

Bringing It Home – Healing from Senseless Tragedies

Today, I came across this photo that I took a few years ago while traveling. It brought tears to my eyes. As I gazed upon the image of this deity, I felt a wave of profound compassion move through me like a soothing balm. Like millions of others, I have been feeling the aftershocks of the Orlando shootings. My heart is full of sadness, grief, overwhelm, as well as deep empathy and a desire — no, a need — to help, somehow. My human mind and heart barely know what to do with something like this. How can one human being DO that to other human beings? I remember the first time I was old enough to comprehend what war was. I was aghast and perplexed. Even as a child, I wondered, incredulously, “How could anyone think shooting each other could possibly solve anything?” I still wonder. As an adult, I know now that we are, indeed, all One, and that just as we all breathe the same air, we are connected in energetic ways, in Spirit, if you will, that science is finally able to prove on a quantum level. And yet, in instances like this, it doesn’t matter if we don’t understand HOW we’re connected. Many of us simply experience, in our hearts, that we ARE. Perhaps we experience this connection a little more deeply than ever before. Consciously or subconsciously, each of us is affected by what happens to any and all other members of our collective human being-ness. I’ve witnessed the Orlando incident’s emotional aftermath manifest in various ways in those around me, from expressions of rage, anger,...

Does Believing Make It So?

As a cancer survivor myself, I greatly admire people like Jan Adrian who live with cancer on a day-to-day basis, continually making courageous choices in their personal lives while making significant contributions to the lives of many others. I first met Jan at one of her wonderful Cancer as a Turning Point conferences — one of, if not the most, inspiring and informative of the many cancer-related events I’ve come across. In the years immediately following my own bout with cancer, I ended up working with many cancer patients in my private practice; I was always on the lookout for organizations and offerings that I felt aligned with so I could pass them along to my clients. Jan’s company, Healing Journeys, was top on the list. It was only later that I learned Jan had used my cancer-related CDs as part of her personal healing arsenal. We communicated several times about how to combine our efforts in reaching people in need with positive, life-affirming approaches. More recently, Jan revealed to me the very encouraging results from her latest blood tests and her appreciation of a new book by Dr. Joe Dispenza, a researcher on self-healing for chronic conditions and terminal diseases. I was unfamiliar with the book, but was excited to learn Dr. Joe speaks of the same concepts that are the foundation of my CDs and all my work (okay, my life!); for example, imagining and feeling deep gratitude for a desired outcome, as if it’s already so. Jan’s most recent blog post touches upon her encouraging medical findings as well as Dr. Joe’s book, and how these...

Can Sound Really Heal The Planet?

I’ve been studying and practicing the fascinating art and science of sound healing for many years now. Tom Kenyon and Jonathan Goldman are two of the leading pioneers in sound healing, and I’m fortunate to have studied with both of them. Tom’s recent documentary, Song of the New Earth, is an exquisite journey into the realm of sound healing, and gives some insight into the background of this extraordinary individual. It’s quite inspiring — and a bit mind-blowing! Jonathan Goldman is the initiator of one of the largest organized global events, now in its fourteenth year, designed to utilize the power of sound to heal the planet. He dubbed it World Sound Healing Day, which appropriately annually falls on February 14, a day traditionally devoted to love. I’ve been presenting sound healing events in conjunction with this global event for over a decade. Here’s why this sort of thing is so powerful: Quantum physicists are now proving what the ancient mystics knew: That everything — everything — is vibration. Jonathan explains it like this: “Our quantum physicists are echoing the words of the mystic masters of old, declaring that: ‘The universe is Music’ or ‘Everything is vibration.’ Sound, we are re-discovering, is an extraordinarily powerful force that can literally change molecular structure and affect us down to our DNA. Sound can also affect our consciousness, shifting and changing our brainwaves, bringing us into attunement with something greater than ourselves and often times, altering and enhancing our state of being.” Jonathan goes on to explain how the power of our individual consciousness — when focused through group prayers or meditation — is vast....