Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More Space Between

the space between

 is a very special space. it’s a space that you step into with purpose and courage, but not always with ease.

it’s a space that will change you and change can be frightening.

if you step into this space with an open heart, it will nourish you and feed your soul.

it’s a juicy space and it may shake you up a bit

. one thing is certain. once you step out of this space and back into your world, i can promise you that you will never be the same.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Yes, it Was (Amazing!!)

i know there are some who are waiting to hear….

if you don’t know what i’m talking about please read this and this.

  i’m struggling a bit in coming up with words – how do you encapsulate an entire incredible weekend with a group of amazing creative women in just a few short words? i guess what i would say is that those of you who have been to a similar type of retreat will totally “get it” and i won’t have to say a lot. if you have not, what are you waiting for?? i can post some words and some photos, but unfortunately they do not convey the true essence of the retreat.

we hiked, we wandered, we learned, we explored, we played, we created, we chatted endlessly (as women will do!) and we also delved into some thought-provoking questions and shared new parts of ourselves.

sadly, one of our group became ill at the last minute and could not attend. i had to fight a major dose of the “doubt demons” trying to tell me that things were falling apart and would not be what i had hoped for. on the other side of the coin were those of you out there that were cheering me on and sending your sweet positive energy right to me. can you guess what won out??

i’m saving the best (and completely unexpected!) part for last. by the end of our time together, my little group, with its interesting mix of artistic, culinary and business-minded talents, had moved beyond being mere attendees and had instead become a sort of planning committee for the next retreat! all i can say is, i believe in the power of retreat!!! (and also thank you a million times to those who trusted me to make it happen!)

part of me still feels like this was just a dream.  did it actually happen??

Thursday, March 25, 2010

JustBe Revisited

since it’s my chosen word(s) of the year and we are hurdling toward april, i thought it would be a good time for a little check-in to see if and how this choice is actually having an impact on my day-to-day life.

 i chose this word because, through reading and listening and experiencing, i am convinced of its power, but i’m not very good at it. i truly believe that life is not supposed to be about constant “doing”, fueled by constant thinking – you know, planning, analyzing, re-hashing, rehearsing, on and on and on….

well, sad to say, that pretty much describes the first 50 or so years of my life. those of you who are younger, congratulations for waking up at an early age! my brain gets muddled in thinking, falling into the “what if?” trap much more often than i would like.

i have to say though, that happily, yes, i am doing better! most days i remember quite often to take a deep breath and simply reside in the present moment. find the joy that is hidden there and remember that that is really all i have. (ok – not going to work every day has made this a lot easier!) the challenge for me is staying there. mostly, these are brief encounters, but hey, you have to start somewhere!

i find that these little moments of just being are so important to the creative journey. it’s like they create space – a little empty corner - in my busy brain that can then be filled with new inspiration or new ideas. i am loving this journey that we are all on together and learning so much from all of you!!

now….. inhale…….exhale……

Monday, March 22, 2010

Desert Sculptures

silent creatures

frozen forever in their stately stances

some familiar and magnificent

others menacingly predatory

dredged up from the archives

of ancient beasts we’ve never known

they wile away the hours

in the desert sun

submitting to our curious cameras

and fanatical finger pointing

and stimulating our senses

with raw wonder

about their extinct existence

on our way back from the salton sea we spent some time with relatives in borrego springs. they happen to live within walking distance of a bunch of these creatures. it's quite a phenomenon and the artist is adding more sculptures all the time. you can read more about him here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

One More Week!!

just one week from today, i will be driving on these winding mountain roads, heading to my first ever “space between” retreat. i still cannot believe that this is actually becoming a reality! if you had told me a year ago that i would be planning and organizing this event, i would have seriously argued with you. i mean i had never even been to a retreat, much less put one together! who knew that this would be something that resonated so deeply with me??
as many of you know, i was so inspired by attending the be present retreat in manzanita, oregon that i found myself longing to replicate the experience on a small scale. i started jotting down little notes of ideas that i had long before i took the leap of trying to actually make it happen.

i sent out the first email to those that i thought might be interested with “fear and trembling” and was totally blown away each time i got a positive response.

there are really a million details and i have put a great deal of time into this little endeavor, but i would be reluctant to call it “work” because i’ve actually loved every minute of it! well, ok, not the minutes when several previously interested people dropped out and i thought the whole thing was going to fall apart. those weren’t that much fun. i tried very hard to keep a positive attitude throughout, but it was a stretch.

so what are we going to do up there, you ask? we’ll hike, journal, photograph, do SOUL COLLAGE (one of the girls will teach us), yoga, and share. not to mention eat, drink, star-gaze, hang out in the hot tub and maybe have a bonfire. plus i’ve put together some photographic powerpoints that i’ll share. there will also be some time built in for personal choice/reflection. i’ve given the girls a couple of (optional) homework assignments to get them thinking and we’ll do a “book-share” as well. and all in a fabulous mountain lodge.

i do think it’s going to be awesome, but i would be lying if i told you that i’m not a teeny bit anxious. i feel so responsible, but at the same time i really, really want to be able to stay very present and enjoy everything as it unfolds. i’m hoping that if everything goes well, it will be the first of many!

(all photos taken in the area of the retreat)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Luck O' the Irish to ya!

ok, i'm not irish, but it's a good chance to celebrate, and who wants to pass that up??  when i was teaching, it was so fun to make those little green leprechaun footprints all over the desktops on st. patrick's day morning (and give the kids yet another reason to be off-task, right?  how did we ever get anything done??)

when i was putting together my last nomadic notebook multi-media show about the pacific northwest, i chose celtic music because all of the green reminded me of ireland.  i also collected some irish quotes that i liked and included them in the show.  i thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites with you today along with a few more fun GREEN things!

(LOVE this green cabin!)
As you slide down the bannister of life,
may all the splinters face the right way....

(green hat)
Always remember to forget
The friends that proved untrue.
But never forget to remember
Those who have stuck by you.

(green skeleton)
If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton,
you may as well dance with it

(green tombstones)
'Tis better to buy a small bouquet
And give to your friend this very day,
Than a bushel of roses white and red
To lay on his coffin after he's dead.

(green cactus)
Bless you and yours
As well as the cottage you live in.
May the roof overhead be well thatched
And those inside be well matched.

a happy, happy st. patty's day to you and yours, my lovely blogger friends!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

More Salton Sea

not sure what else to say about it except it's very "other-world-ly", some parts of it remind me a lot of mexico. 
there is a lot of history. at one time it was a thriving vacation playground, lots of fishing and water sports.  but time, floods, heat, financial disaster and neglect have taken their toll as wtnessed here.

at one time there were huge plans for development.  the streets were paved and infrastructure started, but it never happened, so some areas have a "ghost-town" feel.

in any case, there is a lot of beauty if you are willing to look past the ruin.  the birds are amazing!!  not everyone gets it, but it keeps pulling me back....

actually, it's one of my favorite types of places - filled with mystery, intrigue, history, nature and beauty (and not too many people!)