Saturday, July 31, 2010


While visiting my mom's farm two weeks ago, I went to my favorite clearing in the woods.  It's the place where I always go when I want to clear my head and get in touch with the spiritual side of  myself.  On one side of the clearing is my dad's tree stand that he used for deer hunting.  Although he is no longer here in physical form, I feel closer to him in that clearing than I ever did while he was here on earth.

On the other side of the clearing is our pet cemetery.  The four pets we've had over the last twenty years are buried there.  I don't know if it's the connection to those that have already passed, or just a quiet beautiful place in the middle of the woods, but previous visits to this clearing have given me profound insights into my life.  It's the place I picture when things are getting crazy at home and I just can't find a few minutes to be by myself.

As I walked into the clearing that day, I noticed a caterpillar about 20 feet in the air.  It's amazing I saw it at all, it was so tiny and so far above my head.  At first I couldn't see it attached to anything, it appeared to just be floating in the middle of the sky.  Then I thought, surely it must be stuck in a spiders web, but there were no trees or bushes around for the web to be attached to.  As I got closer, I realized there was a tiny thread connecting the caterpillar to a tree branch about 30 feet above him.  He was slowly inching his way up the almost invisible thread connecting him to the tree.

Such a long way to climb, I thought.  How will he ever make it up there?  Then I realized his immense desire to become a butterfly was helping him overcome the enormity of his task.  I found myself a little bit jealous.  That's what I need I thought to myself, a passion so strong that I would overcome anything.  No matter how insurmountable the odds seem, or how much the fear weighed me down, I wouldn't care.  I would keep climbing because of the beautiful life awaiting me on the other side.

For a long time I wondered if I would ever come out of my cocoon phase.  It was a dark and dreary time for me, and sometimes very frightening.  It felt suffocating, but I knew it was a necessary stage in my evolution.  I was gaining strength, waiting for the next stage of my life.

This week I started cracking open the cocoon, with the help of some amazing new friends.  I took a workshop designed to help me become better aligned with my life's true purpose.  I want to tell you all about this workshop, because it was a life changing event for me, but that will have to be another blog.  I'm still trying to get my mind around exactly what happened, and how I seem to have changed so much in such a short time.

I am motivated, inspired, passionate, and excited in a way I haven't been for months.  I only hope I can maintain this level of intensity and euphoria as I slide back into the real world of every day life.  I'm finding it hard not to let the fear and self doubt start nudging it's way back in.  The memories of past failures nag at me.  What if this is like the other times I was excited and didn't follow through?

What if?  That tiny little two word sentence, along with "if only", are the two phrases that have been the biggest road blocks in my life.  I have decided the reason it will be different this time is because I'm going to stop saying "what if?"  Every time that phrase comes into my head I'm going to finish it with a positive thought.  Eventually, I won't even need to think about it anymore.

Part of the course was to come up with a mission statement for our lives.  I create a world of --------.  I do this through -----------.  I'm still tweaking the second half, but the first half feels so right I smile every time I say it.  This is the first time in my life that something has felt so true and so right that it gives me a warm glow inside.  I think I now know what is meant by "lighting the fire within."

My mission statement:

I create a world where it is safe to be a healer.  I do this through strength, integrity, passion and grace.

My wings are still wet and wrinkled, my legs are wobbly, but I don't need the airplane to fly anymore.  I'm emerging from my cocoon to fulfill my life's purpose, and I'm slowly transforming into the beautiful butterfly I am meant to be.  So be it.  So it is.

Friday, July 30, 2010


This quote is for fear related to change and growth.

The fear won't make you save what you have, it will make you lose what you can become.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Window

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.

His bed was next to the room's only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end.

They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..
Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.

Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days, weeks and months passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.
It faced a blank wall..

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.
She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.'
There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.
'Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present '

Monday, July 19, 2010

Just A Quote

"All know the way; few actually walk it." ~Bodhidharma

Friday, July 16, 2010

Whether You Call Them Fairies or Faeries, We're Ready for Tinkerbell

I live in a nice neighborhood.  Even so, we had a small problem with vandalism last summer.  It seems that a small band of children was roaming the neighborhood, leaving things in neighbors gardens that shouldn't be there.  I'm not talking about dog poop or firecrackers though, these kids were much more intelligent than that.  They were leaving faerie gardens.

I have to admit, I consider myself lucky to live in a neighborhood where the only defacing of property is actually quite delightful.   Each morning we would walk out to the garden to see what kind of painted rock or flower people had been left in our yard.  The alleged culprits backyard was even more magical.  Over there they had actual rooms set up for the faeries, with toy furniture and everything.

Some people, and I'm talking about grown ups here, actually believe in things like faeries and elementals.  I find it strange that most kids believe in them, but we spend our time discouraging that kind of thinking.  I must admit I'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around that stuff.  Just when I think I believe, the rational side of me rolls it's eyes and says, "Oh, come on."  Maybe I'm just worried people would think I've gone round the bend for even talking about faeries.  I'm actually muttering something along those lines to myself as I write this.  Even so, my son and I spent a wonderful morning making a faerie house.  We used bits of shiny things, made flowers out of pipe cleaners and tongue depressors, and even made a sign that said Welcome Faeries.

The way I look at it, this is a win-win situation for me.  If there are faeries, we just gave them a nice home, and hopefully gained some help keeping the bugs and disease at bay in my garden.  At this point I'll take all the help I can get.  And if they don't exist, I just wasted the day spending some quality time in make believe with my son.  Doesn't sound like a bad deal to me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just A Quote

"Crisis is really just another name for redirection."

From "When the Heart Waits", Sue Monk Kidd

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sugar, Oh How I Love Thee, Sugar

I'm sitting in Salt Lake City, trying to curb my rampant desire for sugar with a plain yogurt and blueberries.  Not working.  Although, this is the first non - soy/goat milk/sheep milk yogurt I have had for 6 months, so that should be a treat in itself.

I'm still doing the no wheat, no dairy (except for today), no sugar, no alcohol part of the diet.  I had a little slip up a few weeks ago on vacation.  OK, I had a big slip up.  I had ice cream at least 3 nights, I have to admit I lost track.  I bought some fudge for my mom and decided to have a taste, and ate half of the bar.  Of two different kinds.  A fruity drink, 3 pieces of bread, and a bite of lobster mac and cheese.  Yes, as if the mac and cheese wasn't enough, I had meat for the first time in over 10 years.  Talk about feeling guilty.

Unfortunately for me, I not only felt guilty, but my allergies came raging back.  Now, the smart thing to do would have been to add one thing back at a time, so I could see if I could tolerate some things more than others.  I, however, decided that since I had already fallen off the wagon I might as well eat whatever I wanted for the week.  And since I only had a week to do it, I had better eat lots of the forbidden foods.

 I was so sick of watching what I ate that I thought to myself, "Allergies be damned, it's not worth it anymore."  At least that's what I thought until the allergies started again.  My problem is that I can't just cheat once and get back on the wagon.  When I have one oreo, I have to eat two or three.  Oh I forgot, I had those too.  And I didn't stop at three.

So I could probably eat certain things in moderation, if I had any inkling of what the word meant.  I now find myself in the uncomfortable situation of having to kick the sugar craving again.  I find I've been substituting tortilla chips.  Not a wise idea for the waist line.

As for the lobster, I'll admit I've been considering eating fish again.  Perfect timing, considering half the fish in the ocean are getting an oil bath.  My acupuncturist, nutritionist, and husband have all suggested I start eating fish again, since I'm having a hard time getting enough protein.  Since it had come up three times, I thought maybe I should stop ignoring the message.

I took a bite of lobster, one of my favorite things in my pre-vegetarian days, to see if I could even get it past my lips without gagging.  I did, and I'm embarrassed to say it tasted pretty good.  I thought maybe this was something I could handle.  Until the next day when my brother and a friend went fishing.

They brought some fish home in water in a cooler.  When I walked up to the cabin the fish were swimming around.  When I walked back they were beheaded and being filleted on the dock.  This might be harder than I thought.  And forget chicken or cows, I know I can't go back to that.  But I have had a strange craving for salmon for about a month now.  I guess only time will tell, we'll see how long it takes me to forget about the images on the dock.

But for now I have to be satisfied with my sour cream like yogurt and sour blueberries.  Oh what I wouldn't give for an ice cream.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Waiting for the Butterfly

So I mentioned in the last post that I have been feeling unmotivated.  I finished the Artist's Way, which I was completely enthusiastic about the first 8 weeks.  The last 4 weeks I lost interest, and it felt like something I "should" do instead of something I wanted to do.  I'll explain later why I keep putting "should" in quotes.  I am still writing 3 pages of conscience streaming most mornings, which is part of the reason I haven't had time to blog.  It will be interesting to see which one has to give if I can't do both.

Since finishing the Artist's Way, I've been looking for some new direction, a new purpose.  I feel like I'm treading water, and I don't know where to go next.  I need to do something big with my life, something meaningful, but I can't for the life of me figure out what that is.  Feeling like a boat without a rudder (or even a destination), I scheduled a private session with my reiki instructor to try to gain some insight.

While I was trying to describe my predicament, I mentioned that I felt like a caterpillar in a cocoon.  Deep down I knew that I was supposed to be waiting, gaining strength, resting for whatever big thing was coming next.  I knew I shouldn't let the waiting/lack of motivation frustrate me, but the fact that I knew that and couldn't help it just made me more frustrated.

My teacher pointed out to me that even though the caterpillar emerges from the cocoon as a beautiful butterfly, there is a lot of work going on in the cocoon.  If you open the cocoon too early, it's just a bunch of mush.  I have to give myself time to transform, to shed the old me and invent the new.  The subject of rebirth rears it's head again.

She recommended a book to me, "When the Heart Waits", by Sue Monk Kidd.  Spiritual Direction for Life's Sacred Questions.  I have only read the first 50 pages so far, but by page 12 I was in tears.  (Good tears).  An excerpt from the section of the book titled "The Spiritual Art of Cocooning" -
"The Greek word for soul is psyche, and is often symbolized as a butterfly".  Both the soul and the butterfly are metamorphosed."  Could explain why I have a strange fascination with butterflies the last few weeks.

Kidd also quotes Swiss psychiatrist CG Jung quite often, which is interesting because I have been feeling called to read his works, I just haven't made the time.  Another quote from the book - "Jung believed that "every midlife crisis is a spiritual crisis, that we are called to die to the old self (ego), the fruit of the first half of life and liberate the new man or woman within us."  Here is a hidden and misunderstood turning point of the soul, I thought.  Sadly, not every person will maneuver its convoluted mazes.  Would I?"

Midlife crisis.  Could that really describe what I'm going through?  I thought that only applied to men who wanted sports cars and 20 year old girlfriends.  As I approach 40 I realize that that is what I'm going through.  It's just not material or sexual, it's a spiritual midlife crisis.  I realize I'm ready to let go of the ego (I think) and develop my full and true self.

This book has been a revelation to me, and has brought me unexplainable peace.  I'm now ok with the waiting, with the seeming directionless turn in my life, because I know the direction will appear when I am ready.  I am now content to wait, not feeling lazy or useless, but waiting to shed the old layers of my self and develop the new.

I have had strange encounters with butterflies this week.  While on the river, three different times a butterfly flew right by the boat.  I've never seen a butterfly in the middle of the river before.  I went for a walk in the state park with my husband and son yesterday.  There were butterflies everywhere.  And I don't mean the little moth-like brown and orange butterflies, although they were there too.  There were lots of yellow and black tiger swallowtails, and two different kinds of blue and black butterflies.

We were by a waterfall and I saw one of the most amazing things I have ever seen and hope I never forget.  There were six butterflies together in one spot on the ground.  Three yellow and black swallowtails on the left, and three black and blue beauties on the right.

I don't believe in coincidences anymore, I like to call it synchronicity.  Or in this case maybe a sign.  Whatever it was, it let me know that I was on the right path.  That I'm exactly where I need to be, even though I can't see the end goal or even the next step.  Someday, I will unfurl my wings and become that butterfly.  And hopefully I can inspire someone with awe and wonder the way those six butterflies inspired me.  Someday.

It's Been A Long Time

It really has been a long time since I've blogged about anything original.  It's been an  interesting few months.  I have been unmotivated, unorganized, and haven't felt like doing anything.  But at the same time, I've had one of the best summers of my life.

I have felt I "should" start blogging again for a long time, but I have had several things happen this week that have made me want to blog.  Even still, I have procrastinated for the last 3 hours.  It's time to stop running away and get my thoughts down on paper - err, computer.

I have so much to catch up on, so I'm just going to start with the last week and fill in the rest later.  My son had his first summer camp this week, so I had my afternoons free.  Since he isn't in preschool, this was quite a luxury for me, and I took full advantage of it.

I started with an acupuncture session on Tuesday.  I have been feeling incredibly irritable and grouchy, with tremendous mood swings.  It's like PMS without the MS.  I went through a period like this several weeks after I started my candida diet, but then I was negative and depressed as well.  I guess having nothing to eat but brown rice and vegetables would depress anyone.  Although I couldn't see it at the time, a friend pointed out to me later that I was going through a healing crisis.  It was like a lightbulb went off when she said that, I don't know why I couldn't figure it out for myself.  I haven't looked at the rest of this website, but it had a good description of a healing crisis so I am including it.

So I went to the acupuncturist hoping for some relief, from my mood swings and my allergies.  It appears that the diet really is helping, because I have been suffering from allergies again since I fell off the food wagon on vacation.  But that's another story.  What I got was more than an acupuncture session.  I learned an amazing technique called EFT.

I highly recommend looking at the above link, because it gives a pretty good description from an unbiased perspective.  If you don't have time to look at the link, here is a quick description.  The theory behind EFT is that all emotional upsets are caused by disturbances in the body's energy system. Correct the disturbance, and the emotional upset dissipates. This doesn't mean that we don't feel any emotion, rather that we have a tool that can neutralise excessive emotion. (Copied from

Previously, I would have lumped EFT in with things like muscle testing.  But again, seeing is believing.  As I started tapping on my meridians, repeating the phrase, "even though I've been a bitch lately, I love and approve of myself", I felt a little self conscious.  No, I felt ridiculous.  But at the end of the tapping an amazing thing happened.  I didn't feel bitchy anymore. 

My acupuncturist gave me a handout that described the sequence so I could practice at home.  I don't know where it came from, but when I find out I will post it.  I think the information may have come from this site, but I haven't had a chance to check it out yet.

I keep thinking about how wonderful it would be to teach this technique to kids.  I plan to learn more about it, because it really fascinates me.  I have a feeling this is going to lead me down a whole new path.  Lets just hope I stick with it, unlike the blog.  I'm working on that though, and it's good to be back.  

My main problem with the blog is it's so time consuming.  This post has just taken me an hour, and the only reason I have time to write it is because I'm sitting in the hotel at work.  Since I've hardly worked this summer (maybe part of the reason it's been so enjoyable), I don't have many days that I can devote an hour to writing.  But I will make a sincere promise to try.  Until something else distracts me.

Where have I been? In a cocoon, waiting for the butterfly.

The Chrysalis