But first, the groundwork.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you have heard about how I was so anxiety-ridden I panicked all the way through a spectacular vacation. You’ve read that I couldn’t drum up the courage to call a good friend who had reached out to connect with me. And you’ve heard about how signing up for a retreat had me paralyzed with fear. There are a million more stories like that.

I couldn’t raise my hand in my MBA classes because my mind would be racing trying to analyze my answer, making sure it would come across perfectly. When in a circle, going around with each person asked to speak, I would be concentrating so hard on what my story would be, that I took in very little of what others were sharing. I made so deep this pattern of rearranging my thoughts and feelings before they left my mouth that if called upon out of the blue, I found I didn’t even have access to my deepest inner knowing. I would echo what someone else said, or say something that sounded good, or just make some damn thing up.

This was me. It still is me, some days. Protected by a complex strata of camouflage, facade, perfected pieces of me, and just sheer will to remain hidden. And wow mama, I have been so very good at it. I have been the one often forgotten, the one who is frequently called by someone else’s name, or started at blankly as it is attempting to be recalled. I have been completely underground.

For a while it was comfortable in there. At least more comfortable than not-in-there. And then it started to get really lonely. How could anyone see me, if I wasn’t willing to show up?

I can’t pinpoint a conscious decision to emerge. And let me state again that I am still working on it, every day. But as I open up a bit more, and trust the universe to deliver, I am rewarded again and again. It feels like unwinding. It looks like unwinding from a thatch of dark, thick, thorny vines. And then I want to find the other women who are like me, and help them emerge, too.

This is the woman I want to be. ')}

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“Baby steps to the elevator…”

I want to articulate how this journey is going for me. That is why I created this blog.

I have been finding things pretty difficult to articulate and being gentle with myself is part of this journey, so I haven’t pressured myself to write here.

What is happening, as I ease off myself, as I mindfully hold my intention for this year to shine my light and not hide it anymore, as I actively use my yoga practice and training to notice, spin, heal, my chakras (especially that 2nd one, is it ever a doozy. Sometimes it literally makes me nauseous.)? What is happening as I work with my financial coach to stand firm in my relationship with currency? What is happening as I work with various self-healing helpers to continue to open myself up?

I feel myself un-budding like so many spring flowers.

Osteopath. Star reader. Therapist. Shamanic Circle. So many more. These are my tools. And I want to tell you more about them.

So. I am going to. At my own pace, which by now you’ve realized is pretty slow.

And here is the full disclosure. These tools, and this part of my journey is a big part of what I have been hiding. Not everyone is going to understand. Not everyone is going to support me. I might lose some friends, or acquaintances who thought that I was someone else (not their fault…I’m the one who has been hiding). It is ok. It is time to shed the need to make everyone happy, or not make even a single wave. Everyone will be better for it, including me.

P.S. The title of this post is from the movie “What about Bob.” I really like that movie.


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Thirty Seven

Every year around my birthday I write myself a poem to capture the moment and what is in my heart. Since this is a year to let my light shine outward, I am going to write it right here. The idea is that it just pours out of me and doesn’t get edited which is terrifying. But, ain’t that just the point.

Hard work
has new meaning.
Less of the painstaking, backbreaking building of walls
and more learning to use the tide to tear them down.

As the moon-lit, moon-led broth slips under the cracks and pulls
     more of the slab away,
years of carefully collected silt and debris

And in the end I will be so like the unencumbered sea
you won’t be able to look away. ')}

I first came across my explanation jonathan bergmann’s work when I wrote 7 stories from educators about teaching in the flipped classroom last fall



Kyphosis of the cervical spine.

In layman’s terms that means the natural curve of my spine in my neck is not only gone, it is going in the wrong direction. The “C” is opening toward the front instead of the back like its supposed to.

Since I am not aware of any trauma to that area (like whiplash for example), the cause is pretty much unknowable. Could be all that hunching over a computer for that last 14 years. Could be the way I sleep. Could be that I never developed the proper curve. But it strikes me that is related to the fact that I have spent much of my life trying to hide. Curled up in a little C shape, protecting all my vulnerabilities like a caught caterpillar. Trying to make myself as small as possible. It has structurally become my default position.

For years I have been having intermittent muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders, and even tingling in my left hand. I never had it checked out. It always coincides with stressful times and so I figured it was just my body telling me to chill out. But this time, just last week, I decided to see a chiropractor. And he pretty much figured it out immediately. I had x-rays to confirm.

I have slowly, progressively stooped.

And it stops here.


What I did not know at that time was that he had won the https://justdomyhomework.com/ presidential award for excellence for math and science teaching in 2002 and was named semifinalist for the colorado teacher of the year in 2010


My word for 2013.


I thought for a week or so that it might be “truth”. But then I had a moment of clarity.

Sitting in my in-law’s living room in Tacoma, by the fireplace. I was struggling. To be quite honest I was invited to open up to someone I care about and was paralyzed with fear. It was just an invitation to share in a phone call and I couldn’t do it. And I asked my husband why he thought that might be. And he let me ramble on about needing to perfect and not being able to edit, and middle school drama impairing my trust, and injury to my sense of self.

And then he hummed to me…”This little light of mine I’m gonna let it shine.”

And it was so unexpectedly expected. And so spot on. (He’s good like that). So.


it is.

Light ')}

Aaron sams also received the https://college-homework-help.org/ presidential award for excellence in math and science teaching, in 2009


Squam by the Sea – Part Two

My time by the sea doesn’t seem so long ago, though it has been over a month and a half now. I am just rolling with how long it takes for pieces to fall into place.

My first class was with Alena Hennessy. I had heard her read from her book at Squam in the Spring, and my mother-in-love had taken her class last Autumn, so I was familiar with her gentle, beautiful spirit. I so looked forward to the opportunity to get to know her better and I was not disappointed. She almost didn’t make it. Alena was in a terrible car accident on her way to Squam. Somehow, miraculously, she walked away with minor physical injuries. And, she managed to continue her journey to Corolla, NC and teach two classes! It speaks volumes to her giving spirit, her resiliency, her strength that she arrived and was there, fully present for us, her students. I am so grateful for her, and for her gentle guidance.


In her class we spent some time with ourselves, meditating, and listening to our inner voices, journaling, sketching, delving in. With some brief instruction on how to use my new favorite medium, India Inks, we were given full freedom to explore and paint and glue and glaze on our wooden boards. I was pulled right into the process. Letting my intention guide my progress, I simply put down color, put down an image, glued down some fibrous paper. I was so into it I didn’t want to break for lunch, just grabbed a quick bite, and headed right back down to the classroom. I have never been so happy with a painting in my life. Not because it is something beautiful for others to see, but because I see my intention in it. It communicates to me just what I wanted it to. Articulation. I value it so highly.


My second class was split over Friday and Saturday and was with Susannah Conway. This has been a year of getting to know my Nikon digital SLR. I started with Amy Gretchen’s class in the Spring and got my footing with the technical stuff. With Amy’s guidance and some practice I have started to feel like I remember how to use my camera as a tool to capture beauty. I participated in Stacy de la Rosa’s Soulecologie course in the Summer which gave me prompts and practice for seeing beauty in everything.


Susannah’s class was beautiful punctuation, bringing all the pieces together. My classmates ranged from some simply using their iphones to those who had brought three or four different cameras, old and new. Talking with them and seeing through their eyes was, in itself, a valuable education. Susannah took me to the next level. She gave us pointers on perspective and using light and framing, and gifted us little cards with prompts like “shadow/light playful/serious” and set us free. That permission, and pulling those prompts out of my pocket as I strolled along the sea…it opened something up in me. I was so thrilled with the images I was capturing. Again finding a way to articulate my intention, almost effortlessly. It just came from my gut.

faces “perspective reality/fantasy”

Both of these teachers helped me open up, broke down some old barrier I had between my vision and my creative action. They each helped me set intention, and gave me the freedom and the gentle nudge to let the medium take me to it. The result was a truly glorious sensation of fully enjoying both the process and the creation itself. With this new-found satisfaction I submitted both my painting and a slideshow of images to the “gallery” we had on our last night. For the first time I can remember, I didn’t need people to love it, or like it even. That hope just wasn’t part of the equation somehow. This time, it was just pure me out there on the table, slideshowing across the screen of my laptop. And, probably not surprisingly to you all, people did like it! I don’t know whether I was just that I began to HEAR people telling me they liked it, where before I would have shrugged off their praise like it was an ostentatious fur coat, or if my work was actually connecting with more people. Probably a bit of both. Either way, it has changed me – this knowing what I am capable of. It is utterly refreshing.

Run “selfies/people moving/still” ')}

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Squam by the Sea


The great sea has set me in motion ,
set me adrift,
moving me like a weed in a river.

The sky and the strong wind
have moved the spirit inside of me
till I am carried away
trembling with joy.

-Uvavnuk (Mid-19th-Early 20th Century)

Too much of a good thing? I suppose this concept applies to many aspects of life. Wine, brownies, and Etsy come to mind as things in which I can easily over-indulge. However, Squam Art Workshops is not one of those things. I did wonder about that, as I packed up for my fourth Squam in two and a half years. But I was quickly, and summarily, put in my place.

This time I attended Squam by the Sea. All the magic transported from the lakeside to the seaside. Sparkling in the luminous Michelle Madden Smith‘s ‘hood, she noted that in the Outer Banks of North Carolina we are “dangling on the edge of the Earth”. Her words are heartbreakingly evidenced by the devastation Hurricane Sandy has left in her wake. It is situated on a strand of land spit out into the Atlantic, the sea tearing endlessly at the eastern shore, constantly altering the boundary between yourself and it. The bay at your back. For me it is breathtakingly powerful to be so precariously balanced.


I traveled down to Squam with two good friends I met at my first Squam. Though we see each other infrequently, we picked right up where we left off. Effortless friendship. We stopped at knitting sisters on our way down and my friend and I decided to stretch our novice knitting skills and take on this project. For the remainder of the weekend we alternated between cursing “make-one-lefts” and our own fumbling fingers and feeling like knitting rockstars. Thankfully we had a few friends around to help us when we got stuck, and plenty of wine to lift our spirits. Still a work in progress for me, and it is addictive.

On our first evening, we received a beautiful gift. The first of many – this one tangible. Tracey Lee Duncan had us each pull a necklace out of a small paper sack. She made each one individually and every one was totally unique. Each had a word or two inscribed on it and somehow, magically, that word seemed to perfectly fit its new owner. The color schemes almost always matched what the person was wearing. They became a way to instantly connect to your neighbor, to the people you met in your classes, to a stranger passed on the path. Just as quickly as that, we all had a secret decoder.

My necklace reads “thoughtful”. It is a gift I cherish.

And there were so many amazing souls, once again. 80 creative, wide-open hearts. My people. Some I’ve known for a while now, some I just met, all have left a mark on my heart. Being among them gives me purpose. We are all vulnerable. We are all valued. In that space blooms so many wonderful things. Affirmation of self, creative works of art, friendship, compassion, healing. And all the while the sea, holding us.

Oh, and I happened to take some classes, too. I’ll get to that in my next post, as this one has languished long enough.

Till then.

feet ')}

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Let this happen, too.


Lift off.

I feel like I have been up in the air since the moment I left the folds of Matrilumina. Hubby, little monkey, and I vacationed for a week after the retreat, and I assumed that would make for a calm, slow, cushion-y re-entry back to regular life and it certainly has. Interestingly, we got home and though my mind and my body have returned back to earth, I find my heart is still floating around in the stratosphere. I resumed my duties, I plugged my new self back into the wall socket of my life, and it all feels a little wrong. It feels, honestly, like I am waiting. Not for my heart to come back down to the plane on which I am currently living, but for the rest of me to join my heart.

So, yes. I am letting this happen, too. I have been sitting with all of this really quietly. I thought maybe that hiding was a bad thing (my inner critic pressuring me to share, connect, vibrate!) until the amazing women I circled with there in Big Sur reminded me that sometimes we all need to hide. That sometimes it takes time for things to sink in fully. That little seeds need to be nurtured under the earth before they can begin to unfurl what they are made of and push, in their own time, through the tension of the surface.

I don’t know when my spring will be, but I can feel the formation happening. Molecules coming together in the way they are naturally inclined, beginning their journey toward the sky. And I can tell its gonna be good.


In the meantime, I would love to be able to summarize what happened for me at Matrilumina. The full story will take some time to emerge, and I will start here. The following is a paragraph I wrote while we were there, during a word-play exercise led by the Beam of Pure Star Light Christine Mason Miller. It is the briefest of summaries, and each word holds paragraphs. But that’s kinda how I like it.


Seeking love in the light and the shadow, I trust root and breath and sisterhood. I release what I do not own.
I birth magic and abundance for myself and I form my tribe.
Our wisdom, our connectedness…it is the creation of joy energy, openness to Earth, and sacred transformation. It is wild truth
within and for our ancestry.

Sunset ')}

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“Creating community in this way, well, it’s what I love to do.”

I realized it, or remembered it, as I was typing it to the Farm Manager of Moraine Farm where we have our CSA. I am volunteering myself to help with the Autumn Open House and the annual gathering of shareholders. Actually, I am sitting here willing that these events happen. That they will exist and be such stunning gatherings that everyone will want to be a part of this community. I ache to be a part of creating it. I want to be part of the magic. I want to be responsible for it.

This was a flash of deep insight for me around what I want to “do” with my life. Is the answer loud and clear? Nope. This desire for community-holding is powerful and that is certainly telling me something, and actions are happening because of it. But things are still pretty fuzzy. If I really love creating community, in this case through gathering souls together and having them share a fabulous evening (preferably with really yummy food and some fabulous music), what does that mean? Should I be an event planner? Not exactly, that is gathering on someone else’s terms. Should I open a restaurant? That seems to be centered more around the good food part. I should do…something else. Something with a space. Right. That’s where I am at with Antipodes Arthouse. This is what it is going to be. That place you are drawn to because when you are there you feel…elevated.

It is so funny how I keep coming to the same answer and I am surprised every time. ')}

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Squam Summary – Spring 2012

First let it be said that summarizing a Squam Art Workshops experience is about as easy as capturing the grand canyon in a photograph. It has been done, for sure, but as much as I want to share the magic with friends, and family, and here, it is never going to be quite as good as the real thing. It is just so much bigger than I can represent within any kind of reasonable parameters.

That being said, it is worth it to share a glimpse. It was my third time, and it was as electrifying as the first.

I got a ride up with A and Z, two first-time Squammies, who graciously answered my plea for a ride on the Squam Message Board (now the Squam Community site). We met at a coffee shop near North Station in Boston. We had an instant connection and (of course!) were completely randomly assigned to the same cabin. After much hugging we were on our way.

It was a lovely drive up, filled with conversation and complete with a stop at, The Common Man for lunch, Pattern Works and the grocery store in Center Harbor, NH for supplies (knitting needles, yarn, wine, more wine). The weather flipped back and forth between sunny or raining, or sunny and raining (several rainbows spotted).

At registration there were more hugs, this time from the amazing women of Squam: Elizabeth, Jen, Michelle, Christine, and Lauren . Teacher Maya Donenfeld was there too (whose blog first introduced me to Squam), and the ever-dazzling official Squam musician Jonatha Brooke. I hope they know what it means that they are all there to greet us as we come in off the open road. They must all have one million and one things to do, and yet there they are, setting the tone, with open arms and hearts – you belong here too.

My cabin this Spring was named “Nirvana”. I mean, can you be more apt? The Rockywold-Deephaven Camps (RDC) are utterly gorgeous and being at Squam in that setting, well it is about as close to heaven on earth as I can imagine. I met our other cabin-mates, unpacked (I am an unpacker), and settled in before dinner and an evening welcome at the playhouse.

And Ohhh, the women I lived with for those five ethereal days. This may be the most difficult thing to explain about Squam. Most of us strangers upon arrival, we left as friends. I miss them still, two weeks later. Miss our morning fires, swimming in the freezing lake (it really was very cold), chatting at dinner, circling at the end of the day, sharing frustrations and joys, jokes, and tears of laughter. It is more than lingering, it can be everlasting.


My class on Thursday was with a wild woman who already had my heart long before we met face to face, Pixie Campbell. My experience with her offering, Soulodge, and this class will be a post (many posts) in itself so here I will be brief. Pixie led us through the day shamanic journeying, walking and taking in the forest and the lake, pulling cards and runes as we opened our hearts to the universe and listened to what it had to tell us. It even more heightened the spirit of self-discovery that Squam always represents for me. In that stillness, and in the listening, I made life-altering discoveries about myself and remembered dusty pieces of my heart. It was a gift to be in a circle with the other participants and watch and hear their experiences unfold. To be with Pixie was dreamlike.


Jonatha Brooke performed that evening at the playhouse (every evening after dinner there is something wonderful happening there). She performed a bit of her play My Mother Has Four Noses. Up on the stage she tells the beautiful and heart-wrenching story of caring for her mother as she lives and dies with Alzheimer’s disease. She intersperses her beautiful songs on guitar or piano and images of her mother on a projector. I brought some knitting with me (as most do at Spring Squam) and barely knit a stitch. By the end the tears were flowing. I left feeling so thankful that she shared that story with us. It is not often told and it is so often lived.

My class on Friday and Saturday was “Seeing the Everyday” with an amazing photographer and sparkling soul Amy Gretchen. Seriously, this woman’s smile lit up the whole room. And I left the class feeling so much more intimate with my camera. I had a Cannon AE-1 film camera that my folks got me in late High School and got to know it pretty well. My husband bought me a Nikon D5000 (Digital SLR) as a graduation gift when I received my MBA a few years ago and I never really took it off the auto settings…not even through the thousands and thousands of photos we took of my son during this past year. Since taking Amy G.’s class, I am walking around with my camera in one hand (trying to make it feel like an extension of my arm rather than a clunky distraction) shooting in manual, from different angles, and trying to capture those simple moments. I see a significant difference in the pictures I took pre- and post- Amy G. I feel pretty lucky to have been a part of her class.


This gets me doubly excited for the e-course I am signed up for later this month Getting Naked with the Now with soul sister Stacy de la Rosa.

Oh, and did I mention that in between these two life-altering classes I got to indulge in yoga with Michelle? I emerge from her classes feeling so centered, and so ready to take on the world. And we heard Maya Donenfeld and Alena Hennessy speak about writing their respective books.

Learning at Squam is like a tidal wave. I think that is another reason so many of us have so much trouble describing it. It takes days, weeks, until the next year’s Squam for all of it to sink in. The experiences I shared with my classmates, my cabin-mates, the stranger-now-friend sitting next to me at Jonatha’s performance, the chance encounters on the “commute” to and from class, this is where the real magic takes place. Each encounter is almost like a little miracle to me. Knowing that we really saw each other in those moments, and imprinted, and left a little spark behind. It is changing the world.

I could write another thousand words. Don’t worry, I will.

Circle ')}

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