Lily Lesson


Canada lilies are blooming on the Appalachian Trail in central Virginia. Now is their time!

And so for me, my divine vocation, my service.

Hmm. I’m considering that one difference between me and the lily is that I must answer my divine call through focused action. The lily is divine will in action. I, as human, get to co-create.

May my actions be as perfect and purposeful as a lily’s.

Play into awakening to Purpose

Walking is My Bliss

I love to walk in the mountains of Virginia on the Appalachian Trail. It matters not up or down. When walking in these mountains, I feel whole. I feel blessed. I feel abundant. I feel purposeful

When walking in these mountains, I feel physically, mentally, and emotionally true to myself. I’m not thinking of other things I would rather be doing.

This is my definition of authentic self expression. This would be my life purpose, my calling.

I have come to believe, acknowledge, and now act upon walking as my God-given vocation, acting as if this is not just my preference but my natural occupation whose fulfillment is designed by God. My job is to surrender to my vocations’s expression, trusting that how I am to manifest this expression in a prosperous way will be communicated by God as I continue my walking.

A Radical Moment

I’m in the self-checkout area in Wal-mart. A little girl is screaming. Her mom is livid while feverishly punching buttons, pulling out cash.
Twenty bystanders are holding their breath.
At that moment I shift that world of breathless bystanding, thinking, “I matter. I believe in fulfillment of love in each moment.”

You see, the night before I had let go of the belief, “I don’t matter”, in a Satori game. In addition, all week I  had been distilling my “why” to a fundamental belief in “fulfillment”. Could I act on that right now, in this moment, with these people? In this place?

Yes. I could try.

I cross over to the scene and say to the little ball of a girl on the floor, “what a precious person you are.” I stand and say to the mom, “You’re a really great mom.” She responds, continuing her paying motions, “Seriously?!”
I crouch next to the girl, now huddled beneath the grocery cart. I silently shower her with acceptance.
I don’t know if that intervention mattered to them, but I felt a wave of acceptance and possibility for all of us, a knowing of how a world of radical forgiveness might look, a sense that I do matter and everyone else matters and we can love and accept each other just as we are and that spreading a wave of radical forgiveness along the Appalachian Trail corridor might be composed of many moments like this.

What if playing Satori is practice for Life?

Are you game?

Play Satori

Why I Want to Stay Alive

My brother chose to leave this physical life a few months ago or so it appears. I honor him and accept his choice. Although I don’t know his reasons or what he was trying to leave, it inspires me to discern my own journey through frustration in a miserable marriage.

There I was, feeling trapped in a relationship fraught with criticism, dispassion, emotional abuse, betrayal, loneliness, and boredom. I blamed myself for choosing it. Had I not created it all myself out of my own self-hatred, as I was learning in my Radical Forgiveness training?

What a fraud I was! If I was so smart to have these amazing tools for shifting energy, how come they weren’t working to save my marriage?

I lamented from under the bed covers, a throbbing headache blinding me to solutions that could free me from my emotional prison.

“There has to be a way out of this besides dying!” , a small, inner voice said.

But why?
Why choose life?

Well, here are some of my reasons.

Death is messy. Someone has to clean up the body.
There are people who would be sad and miss me.
I love what I can do in a body! I can walk in Nature. Paint with beautiful colors. Hike in mountains and sleep outside. Eat fresh strawberries. Have good sex. And that’s just the start of a list.

You can add yours if you like.

Today, several years after that pivotal cry, I sit at a mountain waterfall, working as a professional hiker. My marriage did end- with the help of the tools of Radical Forgiveness – and I rejoice in my choice of Life!

I guess that’s my Independence Day thought.

I celebrate the Freedom to choose life, supported by this free nation where I can express the choice of life. And that, I see, I must first choose for myself.

Come choose with me

Satori and New Friends

Satori, the Radical Forgiveness board game, keeps fulfilling me – and surprising me too! Yesterday I played with a friend I’ve met while doing my Ridgerunning job on the Appalachian Trail for the past four summers. We finally got a chance to play! What impressed me this time was how compatible the game is to people of all faiths and expressions of the Divine. Even though her words to describe the Divine Power, forgiveness, and the balance of right and wrong are different than those in the game, she could see that Radical Forgiveness is a universal tool and language for something we can all use, no matter what we believe!
Thanks, Rachael!
Play Satori soon!

Nomadic Partner

Among the many questions in my new nomadic life is this one: Do I remain solo?
Ironically, what motivated my wusband to go through with divorce was my partnering with another man in my hikes. Now that I am legally single, however, partnering seems daunting.

In choosing a life partner, there’s potential sharing of big items like a car, a house, phone service,  even bank accounts.
When I married at twenty-five, with a small bank account, no home, no job, and a low-valued car, it was easy to join up with my lover and move into the house he bought and start working on it. We stepped right into those traditional roles of breadwinner and homemaker without thought of financial parity. In the divorce, he would have gladly sent away with the same dependent amount, except that even he had to agree that there was monetary value in my 30 years of childrearing, home remodeling, food prep, and landscaping.

Now, I want to continue hiking with my hiking partner, but I’m not so sure about marrying. It’s easy to share camping gear and food. But, as his car breaks down and is headed for the recycling yard, does he just hop into my vehicle?
Neither of us owns a home now, but he has an invitation to live in his sister’s house for the winter. Do I go there too?
Perhaps at the root of these questions is that of marriage, and even deeper, the question of financial parity in any partnership. Perhaps the two of us would benefit from a conscious and contractual arrangement even if it’s not a marriage.

It’s new territory for me that I want to explore with awareness and empowered choice!

Business or Ministry or???

How I structure this “project” of creating a wave of radical forgiveness along the Appalachian Trail corridor is a question I’ve been turning over and over.

Do I give away my services as a coach, freely sharing the energy-shifting tools,  seats at Satori games, places in Circle Ceremonies, trip planning articles and calls, speaking engagements, food preparation lessons, tarp-making instructions? I could ask for donations, or simply rely on the good graces of my benefactors or on The Universe to provide my needs.

Reveling in an Experience

I would rather experience something than read or write about it. Describing something that I just did seems to diminish the energy buzz I feel as an activity I enjoyed ends. Maybe that’s why I’m not much of an adventure journal writer. After a  full day’s hike, I want to lie in my sleeping bag and keep feeling the energy coursing in my body. The events and timeline of the day flow together in a tapestry of sensory delights. Reducing them to words seems trite and almost irreverent.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you about it- about walking with 10 other Nature explorers using all of our senses as darkness crept over us and the colors turned to grey.
For now, though, I choose to rest and integrate the tingling thrills of awakening my senses in a physical conversation without words.