24 December 2009

Last night I had dinner with dear friends and (finally!) met their 2 1/2 yr old son. What a joy. Earlier yesterday I was with dear friends celebrating life and the sacredness of all.

So many gifts.

Life is always changing so it’s obvious to say that this time in my life is unique, but I’m saying it anyway. I’m approaching my 50th birthday in a few months. That’s a trip. I’m living a very slow paced non-frenetic life, working on projects I believe in.

I notice that my sphere of awareness has changed. I am much more in touch with what’s happening in friends’ lives than I am in the world. In the past I’ve maintained a larger awareness. I’ve focused on the world, the suffering, the politics, the environmental changes. I answered the call to Gaia and consciously spent time focused on the whole. Now I am shrinking my sphere of awareness, and it’s good.

Earlier this month I attended a meeting of a homicide survivor’s support group. Thanks to a friend I realized I wanted and needed to do that, and found this group just in time to attend one of their quarterly gatherings. I was a little apprehensive at first, but the people were open and honest about what they were dealing with, and that made a space for me to acknowledge how I have been changed by the experience of my mother’s murder.

When it happened I grieved hard, but I also experienced an elation, a sense of release. I knew at the time that there was a manic quality to what I was experiencing, but I went with it; selling my house, getting rid of most of my stuff, closing my therapy practice, and then traveling for 4 years. Upon reflection, from this angle, I see how wise that was. I knew at the time that I had to do it, but in retrospect I see that, had I not propelled myself forward with that manic energy I would most likely have disintegrated into who knows what.

Now, with 5 years between me and Rita’s death, I have enough of a buffer to proceed with acknowledging the trauma of it all for me. I’m examining the ways in which my relationship with “the world” was changed, and how to deal with that.

Those years were spent both in solitude and in the company of many many people. I met people who I recognized as family, who I still feel close to. I participated in actions out of principle and conviction, going way beyond my comfort zone at times. I’m grateful for those experiences, for having had the energy to extend myself so far, for so much love and learning.

At the end of 2009 I find myself reeling in, shrinking that sphere of awareness, happily more concerned with those around me.

This week is especially great simply because I had some great bodywork and got a new cervical collar. That combination, along with judicious use of ibuprofen has resulted in a huge reduction in neck pain, halleluja! The last year has been pretty painful, since I split that cord of wood in Montana last December (never again!) and this week is the best relief I’ve had since then.

I am definitely no longer manic. My feelings are all pretty accessible; sadness, anger, joy and fear. Healing is happening within me.

08 December 2009


I capitalize the word nowadays, as I do the word Earth.

Both words represent something worthy of reverence.

On December 20 my radio show Paradigms will be focused on visions of Peace. Each of us has our own visions of a peaceful world.

Except that recently I have come to the understanding that not everyone knows how to envision Peace. Some people, for a variety of reasons, either cannot or do not believe they can (which amounts to the same thing) imagine Peace.

The mission of the December 20 Paradigms is to offer the visions of a variety of people from different places on Earth to prime the pump for listeners. It seems to me that the more people envision Peace, the more peaceful the world will become.

When was the last time you, dear reader, told someone of your visions of Peace, or listened while someone else shared theirs?

There are still spaces in the December 20 show for people who would like to contribute one of their visions of Peace. If you'd like one of those spaces, email me!

20 November 2009

Recently I wrote an Op-ed which I sent to the Burlington Free Press. I was very surprised when they printed it. Here's a link.

One of the comments posted by readiers in the online edition referred to me as being anti-war, but they used the term as if it were a bad thing to be. That's so crazy to me.

This morning I feel inspired to put together an episode of Paradigms approaching the topic of Peace by interviewing people from different spiritual backgrounds and traditions. I am looking for people who would be willing to be interviewed. If you are interested please email me. If you know someone who you think may be interested, please share my contact information with them. If you have a suggestion for me of someone to contact, please email me.

The episode will air on December 20 so it would be good to get these interviews in motion. Thank you!

08 November 2009

Today is sunny and warm. The trees are almost bare. There is the smell of wood smoke in the air (alas from the homes of others, here we heat with oil).

In conversations with friends I hear something similar to what I am experiencing. Life is very much one day at a time. While people have plans for the future, there is less emphasis on plans and more on what is happening right now. It's like, the dysfunctions in the world are pushing people towards a more zen approach to life. I find that interesting.

This week my back did a tweak, but what's really cool is it didn't freak me out (it hurt!) and I did some postures which can help and they did! After 5 or 6 days I can stand straight and walk with no problems. I am sore, but that's no big deal. Yay!

My thoughts this week have been somewhat focused on an idea I have, which I have shared with friends and which I am assured is not possible right now, but I will share it here anyway.

The idea is, what if everyone took a day off from being hostile? Or even an hour? What if we all agreed to refrain from any hostile behavior for 5 minutes, at the same time, around the world? It seems so obvious to me that we could do this, but my astrologer friend tells me that the Pisces in my chart gives me this facility with imagination, and a therapist friend tells me that there are still lots of people, out of the nearly 7 billion of us, who still need to act out their aggression, who are damaged in ways that make that still a part of their character.

They are both right. I do have a very vivid and expansive imagination, I always have. And it's clearly true, there are people who don't seem to have the ability to not act out.

But but but...just 5 minutes? Could we have 5 minutes on Earth where by agreement no one hits or bombs or shoots or cuts or screams at anyone?

I make myself laugh sometimes.