Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life Isn't Complicated

Life isn’t complicated… unless we make it that way.
It comes down to this….
Love – Integrity – Forgiveness – Gratitude
Keep these always in the forefront of your thoughts.
And your choices will be apparent.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


My Steve (Right)
I have been spending a lot of time on my belly, face down on the floor, the last two days.  When I got the call that my oldest and best friend was dead, it seemed like the only safe thing to do because one of my tethers had been cut, our connection deep in our bellies had been severed and I was bleeding grief....hemorrhaging from the very deepest place in me.

I have experienced the difficult loss of a loved one before,  two dads, , grandparents, my friend Kim-but this.....this is the most difficult thing I have had to walk through, I am not even sure that I can.  It's hard to breathe, I can't even say out load that he is dead.  I have tried and I just hemorrhage some more.

Stephen loved me like nobody else in my life ever has.  He loved all of me, even the ugly parts, even when I couldn't love myself. He judged everyone but me.  He saved me from bad relationships, bad decisions, rubbed salve on my wounds and walked me through the good stuff too.  I did the same for him.  To lose my "no matter what" friend is paralyzing...there really are no words to describe this ache, ...his absence, the disconnection of our energy....the raw sucking wound it has left behind. 

It was just a few weeks ago that I posted this about Steve on FB:
"Was talking to my bestest friend ever tonight...who I havent actually seen in many years. He is the kind of friend who would help me hide the body if necessary and never pass judgement. The kind who would bail me out of jail, no questions asked (he did that once...long story) or tell me the truth about myself when nobody else will. I was thinking how blessed I am to have that kind of friendship, that has endured many years (25+), lots of distance, several significant others, heartache, joy....just life. To be loved like that is such a gift. Love you back SS."

I don't really know to do next, how to keep going without my "ultimate safety net", my Steve, my friend, my kindred spirit.  The floor seems like the only safe and sensible place to be.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Being A wild Sister

Living in a state of nature; not tamed.

Being or considered a sister; related by or as if by sisterhood.

Being wild means embracing your light & your dark, to be your complete, beautiful, perfectly imperfect self.

Being a sister means connecting with your kindred spirits, lifting each other up, sharing your truth & standing together.

Being a wild sister means listening to your heart & following your dreams.

It means living your passion, loving yourself unconditionally & being a force of good in this world.

It means believing in yourself; no matter what others say or how many challenges the world throws at you.

It means letting go of the past, embracing the present & trusting that everything happens for a reason.
It means facing your fears, making mistakes & creating your own path in life.
It means speaking your truth & liberating others to do the same.

It means being real, authentic & free. It’s standing barefoot on the grass, dancing amongst the trees, singing from your soul, chasing rainbows & howling at the moon.

It’s jumping off the cliff & building your wings on the way down.

To subscribe to Wild Sister Magazine click here .  Come on!  What are you waiting for?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Get on the Bus

It's a hard thing-to be brave enough to admit that you no longer fit in your skin and go after the things that bring you joy.  Uncertainty is scary, but for me living in mediocrity is even more scary.  For lots of people, where they are is safe, even if it isn't where they want to be.  Chasing joy is just too scary.  There always seems to be someone ready to tell you how crazy it is to follow your dreams and all the reasons why you shouldn't do it.  They are invested in you NOT finding your joy because if you do, then they have to admit that they don't fit in their skin anymore either and that is just too scary.  I am learning to surround myself with the people that love me, feed my dreams, and support my need for change.  To have a ticket on my gyspy hippie bus you have to be open to possibilities-for me and for you.  There is no room for anyone who can't be brave with me or for me, on this journey.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

If You Tell the Whole Truth

You may face the consequences
You may literally quiver in your body, shiver in your bones, and just barely whisper your words
You may suffer regret
You may be surprised by the way another's whole truth affects yours
You may enter the freedom and committment and chill of actually marrying yourself
You may be mistaken for selfish or rude
You may apologize with nothing but sincerety in your heart, no matter the humiliation or blow it takes to your dear ego
You may feel the emerging pain of bringing something new into the world for the very first time
You may begin to believe in love
You may actually get what you really want (and you may come to realize that it's not what you thought you wanted... not even one bit)
You may cause storms
You may change your entire life with one sentence you can never retrieve
You may lose things or people or places or jobs you never planed on losing
You may wonder if it was worth it, or if you (and everyone else) would've been better off living just below the surface of your perfectly normal lies
You may gain the life you're really meant for
You may find true companionship
You may be seen and loved, fully, for every single bit of who you really are
You may sacrifice ease for holiness
You may be completely exhausted and need two naps a day for the rest of your life
You may become far more curious than you were ever prepared for
You may ask provacative, pivitol questions, and fear not their answers
You may feel alone
You may swell over with remorse
You may swell over with gratitude
You may Surrender
You may become closer to God than you ever knew possible
You may learn the true gifts of imperfection
You may give more than you were ready to give
You may learn more than you were ready to learn
You may have nothing left to sit with than what you're actually meant for in this very moment in time
You may come to life like never before
You may embody a difficult, honest work
You may embody Love
You may know that it was worth it, every tiny morsel, every drop of sweat, every tear and laugh and unruly sigh of relief

original post Rachel Maddox

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Life is Good

Life doesn't have to be easy to be good. The delicious thing about life is the contrast-joy and pain, drama and peace, love and heartbreak, birth and death.  LIFE IS GOOD!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Before and After

There are moments that mark your life, moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same, and time is divided into two parts-before this and after this.

That's the way it is now for our little town. There was before the fire and now there is after the fire. We are trying to get used to the "new normal" as the Forest Service put it last night at our community meeting. It hasn't really sunk in for anyone yet. No one has come to terms with the loss of the forest, our identity, our economy. We are going to have to reinvent who we are as a community in order to survive. Nobody is saying it but we are all thinking's in the back of our minds. For now we are preparing for the monsoon flooding that is on it's way next. Many of us dodged the bullet with the fire, but won't be so lucky when the water and mud come rolling off of the blackened mountain into town when the rains come. Our community crisis is far from over, we are in the midst of seeing what we are really made of as people, families and a community. I suspect we will do now-after the fire-what we did before the fire...hold each other up, hold each other close , and do what needs to be done to get through this.

The irony in this tragedy for me, is that I have the fire to thank for my "awakening".  My before and after the fire is backwards.  The tragedy for me was before the fire, when I was not living an authentic life, I was stuck in a place where I had no self-compassion, no self-love, and was allowing myself to be surrounded by people, things and thoughts that didn't serve me well.  All of that went up in flames with the fire and what was left in the ash is self acceptance, joy, heartache, and vulnerability that is so scary right now.......being "real" always is.  Am I grateful for the fire? No, I would have come to this "real"ization eventually without it-it was already on it's way.  I think my hope is that our community is able to have it's own awakening, it's own redefining, it's own healing after the fire, like I did.  To open itself up to greater possibilities, like I have experienced.  To find some light in all of this devastation.

Monday, June 20, 2011

original post Kelly Rae Roberts

Today I am Mourning

Through the days of the evacuation of Alpine I have worked really hard to be in a place of gratitude-there is much to be grateful for, for sure-including being able to come back home.  But today, I looked out my window to one of my favorite spots, as I do every morning, and see blackened burned trees. They are everywhere, there is no escaping their presence.  Our little town is surrounded by the blackness.  So much of the beauty that has brought me peace and solice here is gone.  I can feel the aching of the mountains and the aching of the people who live here, so today I am going to lean into it and let myself mourn the tremendous loss that is all around me.  Just today.  Tomorrow I will pull myself up out of the ash and be grateful again.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

True Freedom in Life

Humility, forgiveness, clarity of purpose & choosing love as a first response- these are the dynamics of true freedom in life.-Michael Rawls

His Gifts

It's Father's Day.  Hit me like a ton of bricks this morning.  It is so difficult to even talk about my Dad because my grief is still so thick but I want to honor him and tell you about his final gift to me. 

Our relationship wasn't a typical father-daughter relationship-it was always hard.  Sometimes it was hard because we were so alike and other times because we were so different, but we always kept trying.  Being together was easy for us, it was the coming together that we had a hard time figuring out. I love this photo of him, even though it was his obituary photo.  I don't have any photos of us in a warm embrace or with my children perched on his knee, I am not even in most of the "family" photos, that's just how it was with us.  He didn't teach me to drive the boat or to water ski like my siblings-my memories are different than theirs because our relationship was different, but  the things he taught me were far more important for life that skiing.   What he taught me was to keep working at relationships that matter-no matter what...that's worth more than a photo op or driving the boat, to me.

If I had to describe him to you, I would tell you that he was larger than life-he was handsome, smart, funny, a man of grace and integrity, he loved adventure and golf, he liked to cook, and he loved his family.  He was also an amazing story teller.  I could sit as his feet for hours and listen to his stories (all of my siblings would say the same).  We both had our stories we would tell everyone about the other.  He told the one about me almost killing him in the back of the truck when I was learning to drive, and I told the one about how much trouble we got into when my cousin and I had to be rescued from a raft on the lake.  The story neither of us told is the one about the time he saved my life.  Broken hearted, I had decided to end it and there he was out of nowhere.  Somehow he knew I was in trouble-we didn't talk about it to fix it, we just had a beer and a sandwich and that was enough. It stayed just between us. So did the daily phone calls that followed for a while.  His presence and his silence were my gift that day.

Two of the most precious gifts he has ever given me were leaves from Boston, and rocks from Mexico.  Rocks and leaves?   I know, it's sounds a little silly but their were more precious than gold to me.  It wasn't the rocks and leaves themselves, it was that he took the time to go out and pick up the very best ones and cart them across the country just for me.  When he brought back the leaves for me, they were tucks in the pages of a magazine for safety.  He sat down and told me about each one, where he found it, and what it looked like where he had been.  The same with the rocks-he could have spent two minutes filling a bucket with rocks but he knew what shape I liked and took the time to find just the right ones for me.  When he gave them to me, he showed me each one rather than hand me a bucket of rocks.  He understood that they were treasures to me.  His gift then was his love, time and understanding....and of course the rocks and leaves.

When his final days came I was able to go and help care for him along with my sisters.  When I arrived late in the evening on the first night I volunteered to take the night shift with him and did this everynight until his last night.  In those quiet hours and the days in between we were able to talk, laugh,  tell our secrets and connect in a way we never could before that.  I don't think I slept for three days because we both knew the importance of this time together and I didn't want to miss a minute of it, I wanted to soak him into my bones.  He allowed himself to need my help and I gave it.  We looked deeply and saw and heard each other.  We just loved each other.  He spoke five little words to me (that I can't share...maybe next year) that gave me the sense of belonging that I had been trying to find my whole life.  He was able to leave and I was able to let him go with no regret.  His final precious gift to me (and me to him) was Peace....we had finally figured us out and it was priceless.  

I love you Dad, I miss your voice, your laugh and your stories.  Happy Father's Day. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Journey

“Every journey starts with a separation, a leave-taking, a realization that the place you are right now is a place where you can no longer stay.” ~Justine Musk

Thursday, June 16, 2011


It was the "shes" who saved her
pulled her up
and pulled her through

they wove a lifetime blanket
of old and wise
green and blessed truths

that cradled her soul

and saved her from freezing

the "shes" were like that...

they had their own language
Nods, glances
and mischievous winks

they wielded their powers
with great restraint

.....but unleashed love 

  like the Mighty

2005 Soul Soup
Author: Kristen Jongen


I look at my hands and see that they are worn and scarred from many years of working, nurturing, healing and loving and they are beautiful.

I notice my back isn't as straight as it once was from carrying children and the burdens of those I love and it is beautiful.

I see the wrinkles and laugh lines on my face, they are a badge of a life lived with passion and they are beautiful.

I see my breasts tired from nourishing babies and gravity taking it's toll and they are beautiful.

I look at my waist now thickened to signal my time of creating new life has past and it is beautiful.

I look at my belly which is soft and round from too much nourishment of my body and not enough of my spirit and it is beautiful

I notice my hips which have widened so that I could better balance being a wife, mother, sister, friend, and woman, and they are beautiful.

I see the spindly veins in my legs that look like road maps of all of the places they have carried me and they are beautiful.

I look at my feet which are callused from walking me through a rich, delicious life and they are beautiful.

My body tells my story.  It is a work of art that is not yet complete and it is beautiful.

--Paisley Jayne

painting by Miranda Famport

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want & need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, & not what others believe.  -Barbara De Angelis

Integrity is a word I have been mulling over a lot lately and I have decided that I like this definition best.  Having said that, I have come to realize that I have thrown myself  and my integrity under the bus a lot.  Other times, people or circumstances have shamed the integrity out of me when I have dared to speak my truth.  I have even accepted someone elses opinion that I am not worthy of love or God.....and saw the world through those glasses for a long time.

Today, I am wearing a new set of glasses (my awesome gypsy, hippie, goddess glasses) and living with integrity.....and driving the bus.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The She's

I love this art piece.  It reminds me of "The She's" the goddesses of my tribe (still accepting new applicants)   I wish I knew who the artist was so I could give her credit.  I am so drawn to any art that depicts gentle, beautiful, strong, sensual women.  I think all of those qualities are the very essence of women and yet we so easily forget  that this is who we are.  Being a gentle but strong, beautiful, sensual woman gets lost in all of our other labels-mother, daughter, wife, teacher, referee, cheerleader, healer, acrobat, magician..........above all we are a "She", a perfectly imperfect GODDESS.   

I got to spend the day today with bunch of amazing baby Goddesses (the Sunflower Goddesses).  They were my JOY today because they KNOW that they are amazing and will tell you so if you ask them....especially the tiniest ones.  They aren't afraid yet that they aren't enough, they don't question their BEAUTY or their "she-ness" , they aren't perfect and they don't care....they get it.  They are an important part of "The She's" in my tribe because when I am with them I KNOW that I am amazing too.....they tell me so, and love me without any rules about it because we belong to each other, and because that's what GODDESSES do.


Really been rough the last couple of days being away from home, my routine, my life.  It was so much easier and more fun when we were at the beach..  I am trying really hard to stay in a pladce of gratitude.  I have so much to be grateful for-the house is safe, my husband is safe, our animals are fine, I have a hotel to stay in rather than a cot in the gym, a job that is flexible enough that I can work from anywhere so we have cash flow. I have the most amazing bunch of little pixie nieces that make me laugh and feel joyful and I get to spend all of this time one on one with Jace....what's not to be grateful for.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


You can let your true self out

You can let go of the rules you think you’re breaking
You can honor your values first
You can rest
You can laugh
You can let yourself cry in someone else’s arms
You can leave if you don’t feel like being there
You can put your foot down
You can sing the same song 10 times in one day
You can do whatever it takes to feel nourished
You can give up
You can take a break
You can let someone down
You can let yourself down
You can hold space for courage
You can cast a sacred spell around your biggest dream
You can reveal your cleavage
You can wear crazy boots
You can let your leg hair grow
You can stop to pick the flowers
You can be opinionated
You can be shameless
You can curse
You can apologize
You can learn to trust again
You can heal your aching heart
You can make art
You can talk kindly with strangers
You can make out with strangers
You can write love letters
You can pray
You can insist on entire days alone
You can jump in the river naked
You can accomplish impossible tasks
You can look honestly at your sex life
You can ask for more
You can give more
You can give it all away
You can leave it all behind
You can leap without knowing where you’ll land
You can forgive
You can say “no more”
You can invite magic in
You can star gaze
You can free yourself
You can dance with children
You can skip the meeting
You can raise your prices
You can admit that you were wrong
You can ask for an apology
You can play
You can take a really long bath every single day
You can let yourself fall in love
You can be vulnerable
You can ask for help
You can insist on brilliance
You can be risky or sage or tired or ecstatic or uncool or irresistible or wholesome
You can do or be anything you want really
I say, start where it feels like you’re holding yourself in
I say, let your true self out

original post

The Evacuation.......Beach Vacation

So before the evacuation of Alpine where I live, we had already planned a vacation at a beach house in San when the evacuation call came we had a choice, go without Jean (who stayed to fight fire) or stay at an evacuation shelter.  Easy choice, we headed for the beach house.

Stuff I learned (or remembered) during the evacuation beach vacation:
1. Family is everything...the rest is just stuff
2. The ocean and a beach cruiser do wonders for my spirit
3. Inactivity is just as important as productivity
4. Joy is easily found when you look for it.

Where I found joy on the evacuation beach vacation:
1. finding sand dollars and the perfect shell
2. sparkly blue eyes
3. angel/sun kissed noses
4. breakfast with the boys
5. the beach cruiser
6. soy chorizo (thanks Olive)
7. my beach house
8. laughing with my sister
9. my mini surfer VW
10. a little long haired beach bum
11. saying good morning to a stranger and getting a response
12. a henna tattoo
13. a roller coasetr ride
14. a beracuda
15. a pop tart


When You Are Seen

…you can breathe easier
…you feel less crazy
…you can be comforted
…you can start to see your curses as blessings
…your story feels important
…you can tell the truth and not be ashamed
…you can say more than you meant to (with or without the whiskey)
…you feel more hopeful
…you can heal a little
…you sleep better
…you can laugh, really laugh
…you can open up more
…you can be the most ridiculous, amazing version of yourself
…you can consider new possibilities
…you can see your edges and consider them in a new light
…you can forgive yourself for being a novice
…your heart can overflow with gratitude and delight
…you can consider yourself blessed

May you been seen today, in the most delicious way, when you least expect it.

original post

Where it Started

I would like to say it started with the fire, but that wouldn't be entirely accurate.  It started before that, the constant belly full of anxiety, the feeling like I wasn't in the right skin, feeling like I had taken a wrong turn off the path.  The fire just made me realize that I was surrounded by stuff that doesn't matter to me, stuff (and people) who were not feeding my spirit.  This realization started my trek to (re) discover who I want to be when I grow up, what I need to flourish and be joyful, and I thought it might be fun keep a journal of my journey.

First order of business....engage in art again.  I am an artist.  An artist who does not create becomes a sad artist.  I also have decided my new art is not for sale.  An artist who creates only what people want to buy, not the art in her heart is also a sad artist.  So, let the creativity flow....I want to do messy, silly, colorful art.

Second order of business....stop giving a shit what other people think of me.  What they think of me has very little to do with who I am and more to do with their baggage.

Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you" M. Williamson.....words I live by.

Third order of business.....assemble my tribe.  "The She's" as I like to call them-the women who give me a sense of belonging and unconditional love......taking applications.  Could be the most challenging order of business.

Fourth order of business......daily practice of my spirituality.  Whether it is through reading, art, exercising, mediation, etc.  Do something daily that feeds my spirit.

I am planning for this journey......the excavation of Miss Pailsey (me) to take some time.  You are welcome to come along for the ride......