New Year, New Goals

  Some places are sacred. Forests are one of them. There are certain places we go where the ground feels somehow sacred. The space feels deep and the air is tinged with heaviness. That’s how I feel when I enter the forest, when I walk amongst the moss-covered giants that line the forest floor.

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It takes a village. And some hobbits. – Thoughts on being a grandma

This little slice of heaven was born last week. I’m not sure what I thought it would be like before it happened, but I sure have a few thoughts to share after the fact. Let me explain. I mean, on the one hand, being a grandma doesn’t actually feel a whole lot different than not being a grandma. Kind of like when you have a birthday. From one day to the next the number might change,

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Lions and Tigers and… Again? Really?

I’m about to tell you a story that you may have heard before. In fact, you may have heard me tell a similar story just bear-ly a year ago.  No, that’s not a typo. Yes, I saw another bear. But I didn’t just see it –  it saw me too! Up close. Personal. Way more personal than I wanted to be, anyway. I know lots of people have seen bears. I just happen to have

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Be Fearless

I haven’t been doing this lately. I tend to get lost on my journey.  The road twists and turns and I follow it without really looking sometimes. It’s hard to stay on the path, but the farther you stray more you realize how cold your heart has become,  and how much  you long for the warmth of the passion and the fire you once had. It’s not enough to say you want to do it.

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Walking The Labyrinth

“Life is the journey of coming home to ourselves.” ― Lisa Cypers Kamen A journey is that thing that takes you from one place to another. It doesn’t have to be an exotic destination either. A journey is a journey, whether it’s around the world or across the room. But even if your legs don’t work – even if your hands are too frail to turn the pages of a book, the imagination is an

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What Does Your “Stuff” Say About You?

Everyone collects something, but not everything we keep is worth keeping. The ability to take an honest inventory of that which no longer serves us is healthy, and there’s something about purging (the “out with the old” part of  “in with the new”) that does good things for the soul. People come in all shapes and sizes, from hoarders to minimalists and everything in between. Although I lean more and more toward minimalism every day, I

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What Doesn’t Kill You…

Every year on January 1st I go for a walk. I write down the first twelve things I see that seem significant – things that leave an impression, then I flesh out my impressions in my journal and use each one as an inspiration for the coming months. Laugh if you will – this exercise is extremely powerful – and surprisingly accurate. Last year’s impression for December involved a huge tree in my neighborhood. It

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The Timeline of Life’s Story

I’ve been journaling for as long as I can remember. Literally. As soon as I could spell I started keeping a diary. In the midst of a difficult childhood, it became the only way that I could safely process my thoughts and feelings. As time went on and life got more complicated I still turned to this almost daily habit whenever life got overwhelming, but as a busy young mother, my entries became more of

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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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Taking it apart is easy. Getting it back together is the real challenge.

Today was a relatively great day. I overhauled my little Honda Rebel and did a bunch of cool stuff like draining the oil and the gas, removing the gas tank, taking the carburetor apart and cleaning it, and figuring out the air filter was ridiculously dirty. It was a complex process. I set everything out on a table, tried to put all the screws next to the pieces I’d taken off, took pictures on my

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I’m afraid…not. (Confronting the fear of being a woman and traveling alone on a motorcycle)

Some people call me fearless because I ride my motorcycle and camp solo, but the truth is, this shit scares the hell out of me.  Don’t get me wrong, Belle and I make a pretty good team (“Belle” is my Harley – I named her that because she’s Beauty And The Beast) but I’m still solo a lot of the time. It isn’t that I’m against riding with other people, but a lot of the

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We were together, and this was just a part of our life…

We were sitting in a cafe last night about 11 pm having a little pastry before bed (because in Madrid you can do that, and because when you’re on vacation, calorie counting is sacrilege) and my daughter asked me what the most memorable part of the day had been for me. I had to think about it. I’d had very little sleep in the last 48 hours so my brain felt fuzzy and even the

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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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Is there a Match to Spark this Tinder?

I’m not a fan of dating websites. I prefer my relationships like I prefer my produce: organically grown. However, in this day and age of internet dating and so much conversation that takes place online and over text, I can understand how tempting it is to just throw your manifesto out there, like a boomerang, and see if it comes back with anything interesting. I am one of those people who probably ought to come

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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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That Time I Bear-ly Escaped With My Life…Or, How to Attract Bears to Your Campsite in One Easy Lesson

Buddha said: “There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth… not going all the way, and not starting.” So, I have this dream. An idea really. I want to take my motorcycle and ride all over the US. But all marathons start with a step, right? The other night at work I decided, somewhat on a whim, that two days off was enough to do a single overnight camping trip with

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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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