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The Art of Pilgrimage

“Pilgrimage is a metaphor for any journey with the purpose of finding something that matters deeply to the traveler.” ~ Phil Cousineau I picked up a book during my travels in Nepal. This is nothing new. I am always buying books, especially when I travel. If something catches my eye, or my heart – it becomes a sort of verbal souvenir. I’ve also found that many times, local shops in foreign countries carry small press or

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Going Toward The Mountain (Or, an ounce of reinvention is worth a pound of cure…)

The idea of reinventing myself is an interesting concept. Invention refers to creative ability, but to “reinvent” means to change something so much that it appears entirely new. Entirely new? Is that even possible? Most of us try on new things. New clothes, new voices, new “favorites”, new friend groups. We try things on for size. To see if they fit. To see if we fit. And if we don’t, we move on. It’s not such

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The Time Has Come. The adventure begins.

Tomorrow I will load out my bike with all the camping gear I have slowly amassed over the past year. I will undoubtedly overpack, then set out on an overnight “dry run” with my friend Shannon. The two of us are planning a 10 day bike trip later this summer that will take us through Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alberta (Canada) then back through Montana and Idaho before returning home, a total of just

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Day 1 Madrid – My Own Year Of Magical Thinking

And so it begins. My own year of magical thinking. Not exactly like Joan Didion’s memoir, but yes, grief is a part of it. I don’t think you ever get to the middle of any story worth reading without encountering some degree of conflict, some measure of pain, some leggy seedlings of wistful regret. But this isn’t a time for nurturing regrets. It’s a time for putting the past in perspective, and then leaving it

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“You want to go home and rethink your life”

Many people spend the first part of the New Year sort of rethinking their life, and it doesn’t take The Force to convince us to do it. It comes fairly naturally. I’m pretty familiar with this ritual. Each year I take a walk on New Year’s Day and write down my impressions about what I see in my journal, then I use those themes and images to help me think about the coming year. But

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New Release! Finn Again Official Launch!

Hey all! I’m so very excited to announce the official launch of Finn Again!!!  This book has been a long time in the waiting, but it’s finally here!! It’s currently available in paperback and on Kindle. If you haven’t read it I hope you’ll give it a try. If you have, please feel free to add your comments, questions or reviews to the mix!   Here’s what the book is about! Finn McCarthy is half

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What’s New?

I have to admit. I laughed at this one. Out loud. And then I cried a little. On the inside. And then I smiled when I realized life is kinda like that. Anne Lamott talks about writing shitty first drafts in her book “Bird By Bird”. It’s one of the things that gives me the courage to keep writing. Not worrying that anyone will necessarily read that first bit of dribble, but rather just getting

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Procrastination = Fear. (Or, Tattoo You…)

I attended an amazing Ted-X event in Salem, Oregon recently with a theme of Fearless. Or maybe, Fear-Less, depending on how you look at it. Either way, the timing of this topic was spot-on. I’ve also been listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcasts for her newest book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. In the very first podcast she made a profound statement that pretty much stopped me in my tracks: Procrastination is another name for fear. I flashed

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Feng-what?

It usually takes me about six months of living in a new place before I really figure out where the furniture should go. The day you move in, you think you know how to arrange the room, but you’re so tired from all the moving that even if you don’t love it, you decide that it’s probably good enough. It takes a while, figuring out the exact configuration of your life. Settling into the routine of putting

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“Do or do not. There is no try.”

At the end of this journey the prompts are asking me to think about my core story. The truth of who I am and where it is leading me. I feel so unequipped to answer this question, because I haven’t finished all the prompts, but I will try to answer it now and we’ll see if in the end it is the story changes, or just my perception.  “It is not the spoon that bends.

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Mountain High

This is where I spent last weekend. Well, not standing in that specific spot with a beer in my hand the entire time, although one of those things might still be true…😁 Ah camping. The great equalizer. Upside: Peace, quiet, communing with nature, hiking, clear rushing creeks and towering trees. Oh, and absolutely no cell service. You couldn’t even hum a few bars.

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Day 12 – Starting Now.

I’m supposed to talk about myself. Again. This is getting really old. And really freaking personal. But ok, here goes… Today’s prompt wants me to talk about recent encounters with my shadow self, my darker side, the “monsters in my closet”–which I find amusing because I hang out with them on the daily, and honestly, they’re not so scary once you get to know them. It also wants me to imagine an alter ego. What

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Blackout Day (a.k.a. Day 10)

By Poetry, Writing

Today’s assignment: Take a random page from a book and create a blackout poem from it. I chose The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, and randomly selected page 131. Here’s what I came up with: The boy slept deeply. His heart said that happiness is a moment of creation. “Create it” his heart said. “Treasures go in search of children. Simply let life proceed.” Few follow the path to happiness. Hearts don’t like to suffer. I

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Day 2 – A Letter To Me

I’m not sure who I should have been, or if that’s even a thing, providence and destiny being what they are–or aren’t. I know who I was, have a vague idea of who I am, and no idea who I will become. And, I suppose, that’s about how it should be. But every so often I do get to wondering, in a pensively muddled Robert Frost meets Thoreau kind of way, what might have been

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Day 1 – Declaration of Independence

Today I have on my metaphorical explorer hat – you know, kind of Indiana Jones style. Like an archeological dig. Only this time the dig is inside my dusty heart. So I’m suddenly finding inspiration everywhere, you know like “when the student is ready the teacher will come” kind of shit. It’s what finally got me to put on the hat. It’s dark down here, but my eyes are adjusting, and let’s face it, there are

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Bird By Bird

By Writing

I recently decided to re-read an old classic that inspired me to write many many years ago. It’s called Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. If you’ve somehow been living under a rock for the last 20 or 30 years or so and have never read Anne Lamott I suggest you make up for lost time. I could read Anne Lamott and John O’Donohue in the same sitting and feel as if I’ve been equally

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Writing Myself Alive

By Writing

  http://writeyourselfalive.org   For the next 30 days I’ll be participating in a writing workshop designed to help bring your creativity back to life. I need this. I need it more than air. Every time I sit down to write I think of something else I should do first. The tyranny of the urgent has been a convenient excuse for a life gone by. I could say that procrastination made me want to join this

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