November 20, 2017
Thanks for reading! I love delving into my life’s journey with the tools of Radical Forgiveness. Using the tools often helps me love myself having my feelings and using them to open my heart to myself and others. When that happens, I have more energy to get things done and to create in many different ways. I can relate with others more easily too! I’m much calmer in crises and can listen to others’ drama without having to get caught up in it myself.
For comparison, Thanksgiving Day reminds me of how I used to be and how I know my life is better now. At a family Thanksgiving gathering, my sister made a comment about my tofu dish. My stuffed anger and shame exploded and I threw the glass casserole dish to the floor. Crash!
Of course, that didn’t address my emotions, just made them worse, right? Making a scene just gave everyone else the chance to stuff their feelings and clean up the mess.
The Radical Forgiveness tools – Satori, the 13 Steps, and RF worksheets have been gateways for me to recognize limiting beliefs, practice venting, learn a new loving vocabulary, and entertain new perspectives for my views. I like the way the tools reliably guide me through my upsets without me having to figure anything out. It seems like miracles happen when I do.
Thanks for reading my blogposts! You know, it actually helps keep me accountable to my path, which I gladly will continue!
Let me know how I’m helping you, and what you need! I want the best for you too!
Here’s a link to The 13 Steps process. Maybe you can use it for a Thanksgiving clearing!
Joy to you!
November 15, 2017
What would I feel when I crossed that road, meeting the spot where I had left the trail two years before? When I got there I could celebrate having walked all 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The spot lacked the drama of Mt. Katahdin or Springer Mountain, the geographic endpoints of the trail. My completion point was the crossing of VA state route 624, near Catawba. There’s no sign or plaque, no natural landmark or feature. Just white blazes on both sides indicating that the trail continues in both directions.
What did I do?
I cried. I burst into tears, saying “I’ve walked all of the Appalachian Trail. I’ve completed something that seemed really big. Now I can say, yes, I’ve walked the AT, in one short sentence.”
They were the kind of tears that well up unawares, like when my Dad showed up to pick me up from camp when I thought my friend’s dad would be there. Underneath was the belief that he would be too busy and I wasn’t important enough since there were so many other kids. This was like that too, only this time it was myself trying to stuff down the importance of this accomplishment, like there were so many other worthy accomplishments, why did this matter so much? Well, because it did, that’s all.
John, my hiking partner, took my picture. It’s a good thing it’s blurry because my face was all squeezed with crying, so my victory pose steals the show. It was dusk on a cold day and we needed to find our tentsite for the night, just like other nights on the trail.
In the morning we would continue south – toward John’s completion spot about 250 miles further at Damascus. I would keep walking with him, adding miles to my second traverse of the AT, ulimately going all 693 miles to Springer Mountain. For the night though, I could rest on my laurels of being an Appalachian Trail 2000 miler.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of that moment. I’m still walking trails with Hiker John, whose presence with me that day signifies one of the most dramatic changes my Thruhike initiated. My husband John had left the trail just two days before, having aborted his three-week time with me after just ten days. Hiker John had jumped back to walk with me again, planning to retrace the 180 miles he had covered while I had been walking with John.
Although I had thought I would finish the trail and then go back home to resume my life with John, in our hearts we had already taken separate paths. Stumbling along to our divorce is another chapter in our Inner Journey.
Today, I can remember and celebrate a completion along my way – becoming an Appalachian Trail 2000 Miler.
November 7, 2017
“It’s really not coming up! It’s just like that story I read my boys about how the sun was brought back to the sky!”
On our 25th consecutive day of sunrise watching, there were no colors and no orb to be seen! Sunrise time was 6:09, and at 6:13 we had still seen no pink or gold and no disk either. Just gray clouds with a few slits of light!
I thought, “This gives me all kinds of permission to take a break from shining in my own life, well, at least every once in a while, like maybe once in twenty-five days!” Don’t get me wrong, it was still beautiful in a subtle way, but different! Here’s my photo:
And guess what that evening’s sunset offered? Stupendous color! Sky-covering brilliance!
Are you hiding your brilliance, taking a break from shining today? Perhaps a limiting belief, blame, or energy block is muting your joyous expression? I can help you clear away the clouds, starting with listening to witness and validate your story.
Reply to this email with “I want to shine!” and we’ll choose a time to chat.
November 2, 2017
Satori magic with my partner. Those beliefs! Every time, what I pick fits the situation. This time, we both started with current stories from our day. Mine was “I need to give support without receiving support.”
When I drew my “Event” card from the game deck, it said, “You were made to be the scapegoat.” Oh yes, there it was! He had said I had gotten HIM all riled up. We were a perfect match for the game. Actually, it was a challenge for me to stay in it, I had such a charge about being blamed!
But, I persisted, letting the game be my support, and like a wise, objective guide for both of us, it guided me through our mutually entrapping stories.
Twice, I picked “Releasing Breath” and twice spun the color wheel to “Spirituality, Inspiration, Faith” for the energy block to clear. Ahhh. So that was my opening! Let SPIRIT be my support! Of course!
And there it was, my New Story said, “I trust myself and the Universe to support me at all times.”
What I love about playing Satori when there’s an issue right at hand is that I don’t have to figure anything out. It truly is like having an objective third facilitator setting a path for us to follow. We can be there having our feelings, our blame, our resistance to each other while leaning into another consciousness instead of each other. I like that!
And in the end, we get to say together the Radical Forgiveness Invocation.
May we all stand firm in the knowledge and comfort that all things are now, have always been, and forever will be in Divine order, unfolding according to a Divine plan. May we surrender to this truth whether we understand it or not. May also ask for support in consciousness in feeling the connection with the Divine part of us, with everyone and with everything, so that we can truly say and feel, we are One.
Curious about Satori? Here’s a short video I made about it.
If you want to play, we can set up a phone game! If you’re interested in that, please reply to this email and say, “I want to play Satori!”
It’s my favorite game!
October 31, 2017
John and I have watched the sunrise together for 18 consecutive days! I had requested of him that we do something special and unique together, something that sets our partnership apart and becomes a sort of ritual. He suggested observing the sunrise together first on October 14, my second day back at work in the Visitor Center here in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California. That’s an easy thing to do where we live in employee housing. Just a fifty-yard walk from our house we can get an expansive view of the horizon! We’ve discovered that the sunrise is unique every day! The colors and clouds play with each other differently in combinations and patterns that astound us anew each day. We’ve also noticed that the effects of the sunrise, light playing on the east facing mountains, varies markedly as well! The mountains just west of our house catch the magenta pink glow of the first light. We have to watch carefully, though, because sometimes the pink begins a partial minute before the sun shines above the horizon. Sometimes, it appears at exactly the same time. One morning, the flat brown hue lingered, as if the glow just didn’t get turned on!
We have also learned that setting ourselves up to witness the sunrise each day requires geographic and topographic mastery! On five of our eighteen sunrise mornings we have ventured to other venues. Even though we knew the sunrise time, we were challenged with a clear view of the horizon. Once, we were in the Borrego Palm Canyon oasis, a beautiful spot in which to start our day, but completely hidden from a sunrise view, secluded under palm trees in the back of a canyon! Another morning we awoke a couple of hours before sunrise, having driven 35 miles to a trailhead at the base of Ghost Mountain, bearing the historic mountaintop homesite of a family in the 1930’s. Surely, this would be a sunrise vista. We climbed the mile-long ascent in the twilight only to find the eastern horizon blocked by a higher shoulder of the mountain! We dashed higher, clambering over granite boulders, racing the light. We aimed for divergent lookout boulders where I made it just in time to glimpse the first orange tip of the sun’s orb. John reached his vantage point half a minute past the start of the sunrise.
This morning, we got up at 3:30 a.m., intent on walking 4 miles in the sandy road of Font’s Wash to the popular icon of the desert, Font’s Point. In the dark, however, we took a wrong turn and found ourselves 1.3 miles astray from our path. We made a quick choice to continue the new route in Short Wash to another viewpoint called Vista del Malpais, “View of the Badlands”. The sandy road slowed our walk, sometimes to a slogging pace. I often walked to the side of the road where the ground was harder packed. Sunrise was predicted to be at 7:03! We made it to the viewpoint, indeed magnificently open, at 6:43. Plenty of time. The sunrise celebration was spectacular, marking our first of 18 days with an overcast sky.
This time, I took a series of photos and posted them here in an album. with the link below.
I’d love to have you join me in the sunrise ritual! Hopefully, you can see it where you are! I used a website to create a calendar that shows the daily sunrise time. It also indicates sunset, moonrise and moonset, plus the six phases of twilight, a new bit of learning for me!
Here are the photos from our Vista del Malpais sunrise! Enjoy!
October 25, 2017
I got it today how my S.T.O.R.Y. Sustained Tale Of Repressed Yearning) becomes my reality even when the facts fail to support it.
It’s going on 3 p.m. and I’m writing. Not just am I writing, but I’m sitting next to a luxurious pool where Marilyn Monroe stayed. And, I have the whole thing to myself! I have the rest of the day to do my work that three hours ago I was convinced would be sabotaged by someone else. Actually, that someone is doing my laundry, having said “Take your time. What you’re doing is important.”
Those are the current facts of the situation. My S.T.O.R.Y. – that my work doesn’t matter, demonstrated by his taking a side trip from our morning walk, that my requests are ignored which proves that this is an unworkable partnership if I want to pursue my writing, painting, coaching – occupied my mind for almost three hours!
We had completed our planned sunrise-seeking adventure, in which I was 100% enrolled and participating, believing that I had clearly made my request to be back around noon. 10:00! Great!
“I’d like to set myself up for doing my writing” as we leave ghost mountain at 10 a.m. “Don’t you want to see the ghost mountain vantage point?” “Yes.” I reply, believing that would be our turning point.
10:45 after finding that point. “I just want to drive a little further. Is that ok?” “Well, the more time we go on, the less time I’m writing. You’re driving.” I say. However, I’m thinking, “”This is how it happens! I make my request. It gets over ruled, then more over ruled, then we’re on His Adventuring. My request interferes, fades in value. I argue inside that it would be better to never have a personal vision, unless I do it by myself.
11:00″Do you have a destination?” I ask.
“That overlook ahead.” I don’t know what that is. I stop investing energy in my writing project. I’ll have quick, undeveloped blogposts. Maybe quick work on the questionaire. I imagine how I will deny and sabotage my project with fatigue when we eventually get home. Still headed south, away from home, an hour past the outing I had co-created.
I feel betrayed, angry, resigned to powerlessness in this relationship. I explore ways I could honor myself – have my own car. Take separate journeys.
11:15 after stopping at the overlook of canyon sin nombre. “Sometime we could watch the sunrise on Egg Mountain, then come here. I’m just going to go a teeny bit further.”
We are now focused on finding east and where sunrise happens, close to the southern end of the Park.
11:27 “Returning to base.”
mileage 653.4 – 670. 17 miles beyond our co-created route. 34 miles round trip. 1.8 hours.
I haven’t said a word, stewing, discussing inwardly that maybe I have a S.T.O.R.Y. Calculating that it will be 2 p.m. before we get home. Maybe he’ll want to do another side trip. I’ll say, “Sure. I can switch to that instead of writing.”
He drives directly home. We arrive at 12:40, just forty minutes past noon.
Poof! My two-hour inner drama of betrayal, sabotage, separation, and powerlessness has just been dissolved by reality!
Maybe my real story is that I’m afraid to get close to someone, that I myself discount my work!
A square in the Satori game comes to mind: Self-acceptance. “I love myself being in my feelings about this, and know that when I’m ready I can choose peace.”
The luxurious pool surrounded by rugged desert mountains reminds me that I am blessed. Why not choose peace?
October 24, 2017
Now I know what to DO when I feel emotions rising and my flight response flaring. I’m still practicing, but each time I try it, something shifts inside and I am more and more able to CHOOSE my response and more quickly feel peaceful in many situations.
I helped a friend today get an experience of that knot of frustration in her chest “just melt”. I remember one of my first times realizing that I could change my perception of others by DOING something besides stuffing my feelings, disregarding my view, or lying to myself that I didn’t feel how I felt or think what I thought.
I was working at a job in Georgia. I was standing in a circle with my colleagues planning an event. “Here’s an idea!” I said. They ignored me. I tried again. They ignored me. Tension rose in my chest, my belly tightened. “They don’t respect me! I never get heard or included”. I screamed inside.
I had recently been introduced to Colin Tipping’s Thirteen Steps to Radical Forgiveness. He had suggested to use them to shift energy. Well, I certainly was having energy! I could try them out. I excused myself and retreated to a private place -my van in the parking lot.
Ten minutes later, I returned to the group. I listened. They were still the same. I shared my idea. Someone said, “I like that. OK. Let’s do it.”
Whaaat! What had happened? Now I know, having used
The Thirteen Steps dozens of times that what had happened was that I recognized my feelings as a signal that a limiting belief was coming up for transformation. Then, instead of ignoring the signal, stuffing my feelings, and pretending to be something I wasn’t, I DID the Thirteen Steps!
My energy shifted and the scene changed. My unworthiness drama had ended and a new play of worthiness had begun!
Try it yourself!
October 18, 2017
My heart goes out to the women who have bravely posted “Me Too” in the Facebook campaign to show our widespread experience of sexual assault. I’m one of the lucky ones whose rape left just a black eye, a sore knee, and a short-lived uneasiness being home alone. Yes, being assaulted by a home invader who punched me in the face, pushed me outside, threw me to the ground and raped me from behind was the scariest and most brutal thing that has ever happened to me. That was the only black eye I’ve ever had.
I was lucky, though, for many reasons I realized in the aftermath. I had neighbors I could run to who called the police. My husband, who worked at the local newspaper, heard the police call on the radio and ran home, saying, “That’s my street! I hope Regina is ok!” He held me, and took me to the hospital. He also called a friend, Sue, who was the director of the local rape crisis center. She arrived within the hour and coached me on what to do next, preparing me for how the detective and the hospital staff might respond. For the next two months my husband supported me with tenderness, first with a three-week vacation together, including a house sitter, then the companionship of a friend’s guard dog whenever I was home alone.
Sue invited me to join her next session of rape crisis training. What an empowering experience that was! During that month of training I learned just how fortunate I was!
I learned that the detective’s scorn and the medical staff’s coldness were typical responses to rape victims. I learned that most rape victims are blamed for being raped, that being raped was our fault! I learned that law enforcement officers blame the victims and rarely investigate assault. I learned that hospital emergency personnel are disgusted by rape victims and don’t really know what to do with them. I learned that Kentucky State laws at that time in 1979 had little protection and few rights for rape victims. I had no idea until being a rape victim that so many women had horrible, demeaning, and emotionally devastating sexual assault experiences!
Like I said, I was blessed to be instantly comforted, supported, loved, and empowered by people close to me. I never felt blamed, unclean, or abandoned by my husband and friends. My rape experience bonded me with you who have also posted “Me too”, empowering me to understand how to validate and support your healing.
A few months after my rape, Sue asked me if I would be willing to testify at a state legislative committee hearing. I eagerly accepted the invitation, emboldened by my experience to speak up for other women who were ashamed and silenced by their ordeal. I could speak out feeling angered, emboldened, and justified to demand compassionate treatment for rape victims. The legislature responded to those hearings with laws that gave rape victims more legal rights.
I know that my rape experience was an awakening, not a defeat. It gave me the power, the compassion, the understanding – and the responsibility – to assist and support other victims whose sexual assault left lasting trauma, shame, isolation, and fear.
This week I posted my “Me too” to stand with you with support, validation, compassion, and an open heart to listen to your story and walk with you on a path of healing.
As you have been reading as you follow my journey, discovering and transforming limiting beliefs and obstacles to joy and fulfillment is my focus and passion. Walking with others through the challenges with self-love, companionship, and the beautiful expansiveness of Nature, I gently help courageous women confidently take their next step on a path of renewed self acceptance and choice.
Have you posted “Me too” and yearn to be heard? Was posting “Me too” something very hard to do? You knew you had to, but wished it weren’t true?
I want to walk with you on your next step. Listen to your story. In gratitude to those who supported me I pay it forward and offer you a shoulder and a compassionate ear.
Hit reply to this email and say “Me too.” We’ll schedule a chat. I’m here for you.
October 17, 2017
Days in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park begin with radiant sunrises in a huge sky. Mountain vistas, rocky routes, and rare oases delight my senses and exercise my body! Here are a few photos from my first week here at my fun job as Park Interpretive Specialist.
Today, my ardent fan, a regular Junior Ranger, came in to see if I’m back. He has come to most of the Saturday Junior Ranger sessions for the past three years! Our most common activity has been to head out the door and climb a kid-sized mountain we call “Junior Ranger Mountain”. I count this as one of my best contributions to the Park and to the local community!
What an honor and a joy to share the desert with a boy who can’t sit still!
October 11, 2017
Nomadic lifestyle, my habit since April 2103 when I sold my house, continues this year with my return to California for my winter seasonal job. This is my fourth year at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park working in a position I love! I create and offer programs for park visitors of all ages. Since my life’s purpose is to entice others to come outside and reconnect with Nature, doing that for my living makes my heart sing!
It’s been a good fit for me at this park because my supervisor likes my sensory approach to programs. My primary theme is to encourage visitors to explore the desert with all their senses and discover what’s there that delights, intrigues, and inspires them. This seems so important to me in the desert because the desert environment is largely unfamiliar and misunderstood! My goal is to let the desert itself arouse wonder, curiousity, awe, and respect. So far, I get affirmative feedback from participants as they search for all the colors of the rainbow in the garden, walk silently across the playa at dusk, watch the full moon rise, or sing Animal Songs.
Yes! I love my job! And, I hope that you have work that makes your heart sing, too! If you do,please tell me about it. If not, I encourage you to reply to this email and start a conversation to begin a journey to YOUR heartland. It’s a journey worth taking!