April 24, 2020 Evening Pages

I’m wondering what makes today different. I am publishing my thoughts in my blog, Source Reflections. If you know me, you know it’s been awhile. I started this blog eight years ago, on Jan.1, 2013. After about a year of daily morning pages, I stopped.

I began building Mountain Valley Retreat which included painting murals on 3 large canvas tipis and constructing two yurts and a garden. I haven’t had much to write about. I’ve been busy.

Now I’m not. I have been in isolated quarantine since my last PCT Hikers left on March 21. Four weeks in and I’ve left my little compound four times for basic supplies. I have quite a lot of liquor and pot.

I am pretty stocked with inventory & supplies for the Class of 2020 Hiker Season which began on March 1. Mountain Valley Retreat is on the 101 mm of the Pacific Crest Trail which begins at the Mexican Border in Campo and ends in the Cascades at the Canadian border. Every year about 3000 adventurers attempt to thru-hike it.

This was my eighth year hosting thru-hikers at my residential glamping yoga retreat. Hikers at MVR is one of those awe inspiring win-win situations: the hikers, my friends who fly in to be “trail angels” and me. We are pretty much always smiling.

I had up to 12 hikers around my dining room table for breakfast and dinner for two weeks and during the week of the 21st we bonded through the stories that were coming through the media about the Coronavirus. On Friday morning, March 21, we gave rides to the San Diego and Palm Springs Airports and dropped nine hikers at the Barrell Springs trailhead. This new “trail family” headed north with the intention of hiking to Idyllwild (about another 100 miles) and then re-evaluating the Covid-19 story and what it meant to their 6 month plan to hike the PCT. Werner hiked one more day and then came back and flew home to the Netherlands rather than risk being quarantined in the US while his wife and children were across the ocean. The rest hiked on.

I was suddenly alone. It was a startling contrast and although I appeared to take it in stride and adapt I am realizing now that big changes are happening within myself. I guess that IS adaptation. I’m feeling that now is a good time to talk to a therapist. In fact I just messaged a girlfriend to get a referral.

I am feeling the need to connect to someone with whom I can share the stories of this past month and explore the experiences that are currently happening. I’m needing conscious touch and a friend who listens with the ears of their heart and is willing to be open and honest and true. And I want to be that friend for another.

It seems important to be very vulnerable, transparent and raw at this time and rest back in pure trust. It seems important to remain in an expanded state, focus on self-care and connect with all other forms of life. It seems important to dive head first into the river and float in the love of the Tao. I think I need support to manage this transformation. Thanks for listening.

Celebration of Life 65

Sun Salute in Sedona
Mountain Valley Retreat has been welcoming guests for one year.                                             Only a few hours ago we all were here…
Sharing our words, our hugs, our laughter, our tears…
Friends coming together to Connect
For our Celebration of Life 65.

My local tribe from Borrego Springs, Manzanita Village, Ramona, Sunshine Summit, Warner Springs, Lake Henshaw, Ranchita and Haiku, our Resident thru-hiker from the PCT
Came together like a giant constellation of stars
Inter-connecting with my Kindred Spirits from far away as if
We have always known each other.

HoJo and Richard created a Sound-scape of Magical Music
While we ate… oh, the Food!
And drank…oh, the Champagne!
While we laughed and talked and hugged and danced.

Chris & Cristina serenaded us with poignant songs of life.
The Grandmother Drum called to us to let our
Wild Souls Out
And we drummed and danced until at last
We fell gently into a puppy pile
Resting our bodies against each other
Feeling the strength of our connection
The power of our love.

And I am only 65 today.
I have 35 more years to live and play
In this beautiful body,
On this beautiful earth,
With these beautiful people.

Aho.

Soul Speaks

I am in Sedona assisting Suzanne Scurlock-Durana with Healing From the Core: Release and Renewal for my eighth year in succession.  I return because I am fed by the energy of the Red Rocks of Sedona and it’s spectacular vistas. The brilliant sunshine and sparkling air and water enter my body at a cellular level.  Here I easily connect with the power of the elements of nature and I am nurtured and nourished deep09-IMG_5477ly.  The circle of people who gather for this retreat have a commonality of purpose and understanding that allows for deep connection and bonding quickly.  In this sacred space created by nature and manifested by a network of souls, I step into a field of safety and support. Here I am able to drop into the deepest layers of myself and communicate with my Soul Self.

Yesterday I made that deep connection and allowed Soul to speak to me.  This is what she said.

Soul Speaks:

Release your fear of lack for there is abundance all around you.  Open your eyes wide, be in love with your life and all that you have.  Expect nothing and discover that you have everything.  Begin where you are now.  It is enough.  You are enough.  The time is ripe for openings, new beginnings and growth of all kinds. 

Use what you have on hand.  Look around.  Finish the unfinished without need for anything more to be added.  Allies abound.  You are supported at every turn.  The Universe is conspiring for your success.  Your success, your growth and expansion into the experience of absolute abundance requires the successful growth and expansion of others.  As they succeed, you succeed.  Give of yourself and share all that you have with wild abandon asking for nothing in return.  Withhold nothing in your giving.

Your life of absolute fearlessness, of absolute compassion and giving will create a reality of absolute joy.  Laughter, song and dance will fill each moment of your life and you will dwell in the experience of love eternally.Cathedral Rock

Like an Old Friend…

Coming to my blog site is like visiting an old friend that has been a long time gone.

It’s late. I need to go to bed and rest, for tomorrow is another day of dawn to dusk laboring. I am in a birthing process. It is not a human baby I am birthing, well perhaps in a way, but I will get to that. What I am birthing is a dream.

For years I have dreamed of a gathering of all my beloved friends and family…a coming together of many souls whose only connection to one-another is me. From around the globe they will come and as their eyes meet for the first time they will see a kindred spirit. They will know one another in an instant of soul recognition. Eyes will light up with smiles and arms will hold one another in the warmth of loving embraces.
I am birthing this dream by creating a space for such gatherings. Each day is a labor of love but as in all birthings there are moments of fear and pain.
There is spilled blood, dripping sweat, and nights of aching muscles and deep fatigue.
Through it all is a push to complete. The urge to reach the climatic moment of revelation is intense. It is what wakes me at 5:30 with instant alertness and clarity of purpose. It is what keeps me moving from project to project, checking off one after the next as they reach completion. It is what makes my heart sing with joy when I vision the gathering of friends who will soon be crossing the threshold of Mountain Valley Retreat.
The birthing of Mountain Valley Retreat is also the birthing of me. Through this creation I am coming out as myself. Everything about this place represents my authentic self.

IMG_4967[1] I am, through this place, revealed at last.

A Letter to my Soul Mates

etheric meditationI wrote a letter this morning and I share some of it here because it speaks to all of my new and old heart connections…
I have often felt awe at the connections I have with you and others in my life that are beyond my ordinary understanding. I can only imagine that we are interrelated throughout many lives as I recall a book I once read called Return of the Revolutionaries. Dr. Epstein explains about “Soul Groups.”
Soul Groups are individuals who make a pact on a soul level to move through lifetimes together; changing roles, changing gender, race, ethnicity and interrelationships. A friend in one lifetime may have been a wife, child, parent, or someone else in a previous lifetime. The group has a common thread running through all their lives and relationships. I think he called it the Soul Group Mission. It is a large-scale mission, shifting the global thought field. The group Dr. Epstein tracked in his book was revolutionaries in the American Revolution and continue to walk the cutting edge of revolutionary thought regardless of their occupations in this life. (Oprah Winfrey is an incarnation of one of the souls he tracked.)
When I read the book, it rang true for me. I have noticed that in the past 20 years, and especially in the past 6 years, the friends that I have deep heart-felt connections with, practice healing methods that are outside the mainstream view of medicine. They include art therapists, organic farmers, teachers, writers, actors, sound healers, energy workers, yogis, bodyworkers, psychologists, movement therapists, physicists, shamans, and non-traditional nurses and doctors.
I think that our “soul group” chose the mission of changing the worldview regarding healing.
I have no doubt that you and I are partners in this soul group and that we are affecting the global field with our beliefs and actions regarding the way healing happens.
Interestingly, it is a return to indigenous ways supported by modern science. Quantum physics has now proven what the ancient mystics intuitively knew: every thought-form put into the field affects the field.
All fields entrain themselves toward the strongest, most organized field. Our thoughts draw to our awareness from the unlimited Universal field of all-potential the experience we are having.
The most intriguing and thrilling aspect of my life is the repeated experiences I have that support this belief. When I meet someone from my Soul Group, we both experience a feeling of remembering and reconnecting on a soul level. The level of comfort and communication is deep and immediate. I am smiling as I think about what the future is holding for us, just waiting for us to think the thought!

 

The Fountain (Edited)

I am participating in a writing class called Writing Your Practice. One of the prompts is to write from the perspective of an inanimate object, giving it a voice. I read The Fountain and did some edits and ended the piece by giving the Fountain a voice.IMG_4250[1]

I am sitting at my desk, cup of tea steaming, ready for my morning writing session. Looking out the window, the sky is pale blue with the early morning light. I can see the oaks and pine trees. Large rocks grace the hillside surrounded by sage where the property climbs the hill to the fence. In the lower right corner of my view is the patio. In its center sits a fountain. I feel pleasure and gratitude every time I look at it.
I moved from rural St Louis to a small holding 15 miles south-east of Warner Springs, California in April of 2009. In 2010 I took a position as a massage therapist at The Spa at Warner Springs Ranch. The Spa was a horseshoe-shaped design of low adobe buildings around a central stone courtyard. A prominent water fountain, the focal point of the courtyard, drew me in. As I walked with clients through the courtyard from the lobby to and from the treatment rooms, the sound of the falling water was like soothing music to my ears. Two years later, the owners sold the ranch and closed it for renovations.
Out of work and with an hour commute to the closest city, I rested as I considered my options. The vision of a residential retreat center came to my mind. As I explored the vision I “saw” a patio with a beautiful fountain that would attract birds and bring balance to our high desert climate with the addition of a water element. I remembered the fountain from the Spa!
I called my friend Sharon, the owner of the Spa at Warner Ranch. She told me she was selling all of the furnishings from the Spa, including the fountain, and she would love me to have it.
Today, I look out at the fountain with the hummingbirds and finches, stellar jays and acorn woodpeckers bathing and drinking from its endlessly moving water and my heart expands.
The history of this fountain is unknown to me although I know that the ranch opened in 1849 and the Spa was a popular destination to Hollywood stars in the 1920’s.
For me, this fountain holds the energy of the Spa at the Ranch which was my oasis at a time when I needed connection and roots. It represents a place of restoration and a loving group of compassionate women.
Its previous owner, Sharon, is a sister of my heart. The fountain brings her powerful healing spirit and profoundly beautiful presence to Mountain Valley Retreat. As I gaze at the fountain, I am grateful. My heart sings with joy.
The fountain is a metaphor for chi, the life-force energy that animates all living things. Flowing up its central channel from the base, energy bursts forth from the crown. Waves of sparkling air-and-light-filled-water fill the air descending in rivulets, cascading over the sides of the upper bowl falling like rain into the waiting vessel at its base to be drawn into the central channel. The cycle repeats again and again, mimicking the human energy field.
What might the fountain say if it could speak? “I am of the earth, made of stone. I am the mover of air, water and fire. Like a jewel, my oxygen-rich water refracts sunlight sending elemental energy out into the field. I feed life. Grounded through my stone pedestal deeply into the earth, I sit in the center of this red clay patio. I offer life-giving energy to the plants, the birds, the animals and the people who enter my field. I inspire humans to appreciate the beauty of nature. I am observed with gratitude and therefore, I am.”

The Fountain

IMG_4250[1]I am sitting at my desk, cup of tea steaming, ready for my morning writing session. Looking out the window, the sky is pale blue with the early morning light. I see the oaks and pines and large rocks that grace the hillside surrounded by sage where the property climbs to the fence. In the lower right corner of my view is the patio. In its center sits the fountain. An emotional response of pleasure and gratitude occurs every time I look at it.
I moved from rural St Louis to a small holding 15 miles south-east of Warner Springs, California in April of 2008. In 2009 I took a position as a massage therapist at The Spa at Warner Springs Ranch. The design of the spa was a horseshoe shape of low adobe buildings around a center courtyard. The fountain, the focal point of the courtyard, drew me in. As I walked with clients through the courtyard from the lobby to and from the treatment rooms, the sound of the falling water was like soothing music to my ears.
The ranch was sold and closed for renovations two years later. Out of work and with an hour commute to the closest city, I rested and considered my options. The vision of a residential retreat center came to my mind. As I explored the vision I “saw” a patio with a beautiful fountain that would attract birds and bring balance to our high desert retreat with the addition of a water element…the fountain from the Spa! I talked to my friend Sharon, the owner of the Spa at Warner Ranch. She told me she was selling all of the furnishings from the Spa, including the fountain, and she would love me to have it.
Today, as I look out at the fountain with the hummingbirds and finches, stellar jays and acorn woodpeckers, bathing and drinking from its endlessly moving water, my heart expands. The history of this fountain is unknown to me although I know that the ranch opened in 1849 and the Spa was a popular destination to Hollywood stars in the 1920’s.
For me, it holds the energy of the Spa at the Ranch, which was my oasis at a time when I needed connection and roots. It represents a place and people of restoration and compassion.
Its last owner, Sharon, is a sister of my heart. The fountain brings her powerful healing spirit and profoundly beautiful presence to Mountain Valley Retreat.  I gaze at the fountain and my heart sings with joy.Sharon

Mother

mother pin

I hesitate to write about this subject that is the first thought on my mind at 6:00 this morning. It is a subject written about, discussed and psychoanalyed perhaps more than any other. What about this primary relationship we each have with the woman from whose body we entered this life? Some never know their birth mothers while others have life-long intimate relationships. Some of us have the insight that giving birth to a child has brought to the subject. Others are left to wonder what that event brings with it to the human experience.
My mother is 89. I just returned from a visit to celebrate her recent birthday. She lives with my father in South Dakota, the state she was born in. She has lived there all her life. I have moved about, leaving South Dakota and my mother when I was 18, returning a couple of times a year for visits.
When I was a young mother she came to stay with me to help with my babies. We took a few vacations together when my children were young. Mostly our relationship was a distant one. The truth of our realities was kept from one another. I felt as if my mother didn’t want to hear any of the challenges and difficulties I came up against…that she didn’t want to know when I was sad or angry about something. The few times I attempted to engage her in conversation about something that had happened to her when I thought she might need support, I was told, “I don’t want to talk about that!” So I stopped asking.
Now she is in the final chapter of her life. She could live several more years or die tomorrow. I know that is true for me as well, but for her, the odds are she will not live more than a few years. Her memory is failing and she is getting frail. Some days she tells me that she is very tired and “doesn’t want to do this anymore.” There are also times when she engages in a way that makes me think she is enjoying herself. Mostly she is “flat”, going through the motions of her limited life without emotion. I wonder what degree of that “flatness” is the result of the medications her doctors give her.
When she is gone, in truth, not a lot will change in the appearance of my life. The deep connection that exists between my mother and me is in the invisible realms. That is the place where the truths that have never been spoken between us live as well. I’m not sure what to do with this. I feel a regret here but I cannot name it. There are no words.baby stroller

Early Morning Pages

Ganesha

It is early morning and I am here. I am committed to writing daily for ten weeks as part of Susanna Harwood Rubin’s writing circle, “Write Your Practice-2013.” This writing circle has the added element of Yoga. Susanna is a yoga teacher and student of Hindu Mythology, a subject of long-standing interest for me.
I feel empowered by choosing to write this morning. I realize how much I missed the discipline I kept sacred for six months from January through June of this year. I stopped the practice in July as I prepared to be away from home for five weeks. I am grateful to have found the inspiration to return to my writing practice. Thank you, Susanna!
The theme for week one is “Finding Your Voice” represented by the Hindu deity and mythological being, Ganesha. Easily recognized by his elephant head, I regard Ganesha, the patron of intellect and wisdom, during this writing session. It is a common Hindu practice to honor Ganesha, the Hindu god of beginnings, at the start of a ritual or ceremony.
Today is the start of such a ritual for me. I invoke Ganesha and welcome his support in this new writing endeavor.
Susanna offered some intriguing prompts for this week’s writing. As I read through them, two stand out. The first is to explore my story through the objects around me. “In what ways is my personal creation myth represented by the objects I choose to have near me? What do those objects have to tell about themselves and about me?”
The second concept that attracts me is, “Always be poised at a threshold and then move through it – embrace change.” I wonder about the thresholds I have crossed in my lifetime and how well I have embraced the changes that ensued.
My monitor sits on top of a wooden box that was a gift from my Japanese sister, Keiko. Kay is an artist who creates beautiful objects from glass, yarn, fabric, wood and metal. She built the box and painted it inside and out in a Scandinavian style of artistic design. She incorporated my name on the lid. I have had the box for over forty years and it has until recently held keepsakes and letters that touched my heart. When I remodeled my laundry room into an office, my monitor needed a platform to raise it and the box was perfect. I like that I look at it every day when before it was hidden in a cabinet. I feel my connection to Kay through it.

IMG_4679[1]
As I consider it now and give it a “voice” this is what I hear:
“I am a loving expression of the Divine Feminine. Through me, Kay reveals her compassion. She demonstrates her intention to serve. I am showing you the intricate details of nature finely created by Kay’s pure focus and rapt attention. Feel into my field and experience her joyfulness as she participates in this beautiful creation.”
I feel deeply touched by my experience with this box that I have kept close for so many years. Kay was a heart opening influence in my life for the year she lived with my family. I was twelve years old and she was an eighteen-year-old American Field Service student from Yokohama, Japan. I absolutely adored her. She and I spent endless hours sewing doll clothes, making origami cranes, and playing cards.
I understand now why she spent more time with me than my sister, Sandy, who was eighteen. The more sheltered and innocent upbringing of Japanese youth was not equal to the American teen’s level of sophistication, even in 1962. Kay and I were more alike in our interests and emotional maturity even though we were six years apart…and we shared an interest in artistic endeavors. I loved to draw, paint and sew and she was my more-than willing teacher.
I look at this box she made for me and tears come to my eyes. I miss her. I am so grateful for the gift she was to me at that formative time in my life. She is a gem to be treasured. Ah, now I understand why I have kept this box near me all these years.IMG_4673[1]IMG_4678[1]

Back in the Saddle Again

I returned yesterday from a week-long visit to my parents in Spearfish, South Dakota. The occasion was my mother’s 89th birthday. It was great to see my aging parents handling the process with a high level of grace and ease…but not without challenges for us all.
My brother and sister-in-law, Gregg and Jo, childhood pals Duane and John and their crew, lifelong family friends Phyllis, Tim, Lloyd and Margaret, niece Tracy and her family and “like a sister” Tammi were all part of the week-long event.
The Black Hills were turning to gold as the aspen and birch trees took on their fall colors and we ended the week with a day-long ride through the hills to and from Crazy Horse Memorial where we participated in a 6.2 mile Volksmarch.
I am in the adjusting phase of returning home and committing (once again) to posting a daily page. Today’s post is ending here with photos from the last day of our trip.  The photos are “granite eye” on Needles Highway.  Crazy Horse Memorial.  Deadwood main street.  Galena historic cabin.  Tunnel on Needles Highway.  Vista from Mt. Mariah, Deadwood.  Crazy Horse Memorial.  George and Gregg cross the finish line.  Gregg, Tracy, Chery and George begin the Volksmarch.

eye of needlecrazy horse memorialDeadwood Main StreetGalena housetunnelNeedles HwyIMG_4631 IMG_4649IMG_4625