May 20, 2016
We have one day in Big Bend National Park. Color adorns the mountains and the badlands. What if I paint the Nonsenses colors suggested by the landscape?

The emotional landscape also provides space for dancing as well. I’m uneasy with John’s style of exploring in constant motion. I prefer making fewer stops for a longer, reflective experience. I realize  that I’m playing out an old story of being alone, being separate, needing to ignore my own needs to accommodate his.

This time, I’m aware of the dance, yet still attached to that old story.  Although I’m able to calmly maintain my request to stay in one place for a 20-minute Nonsenses Immersion, a silent voice is saying, “Your needs don’t matter, just do what he wants.”

He stops. “You can do your paintng here.”

My Old Story ego is satisfied with his dispassionate accommodation.  Whew! I can get what I want, but with resistance.

I get out my supplies, choose a spot. Colors! In the landscape before me, they are all there. True, the shades are dark or muted, but all seven colors of my Nonsenses spectrum are there.

I turn on the tones app and dip into my tiny pot of red. “Lammm,” the monks sing. Ahh. I am immersed, relaxed, balanced, exhilarated. As you can see, the painting is a rather bold depiction of a natural desert scene, but that connection with my environment imbues my body with ease.

I feel open, accepted, accepting. We drive on. John says, “I’m glad you did your painting.”

I have stepped into a New Story that my needs matter in a fulfilling relationship.



May 17, 2016

Nonsenses Immersion is fun and enlivening for me as the liquid paint colors flow and blend on paper. Traveling in a car, however, motivates me to adapt the exercise with a more portable medium – colored pencils!


May 9, 2016

Today’s Nonsenses Immersion started with words. I was inspired to write words that expressed each of the Nonsenses on the blank paper, anticipating their respective colors. The words informed, energized, and balanced each of the colors as the dance unfolded. What surprised me was the appearance of that form! It was first a vague form, then seemed to need refinement – and feet! Feet are important for standing on the ground, on the Earth! This immersion speaks especially to me today about an invitation to express in words. That’s perfect for my focus on getting out an email to my list on May 10th! That’s the date that I’ve chosen to begin my 62 Days of preparation and community-building for HeartSinging Walk! It’s time for words!

I invite YOUR words! What resonates with you from my experience? Something for your life? Something you want to teach me? Please share with me in any of these ways:

Thanks for being here!



Here’s what I’m taking into my NonSenses Immersion today: I embrace all my life’s experiences with confidence and joy. Where did that come from? Louise Hay’s list of affirmations. My arm has been hurting for a while and her view suggests that’d a sign of resistance to receiving. Interesting!

Another suggestion that receptivity may be a challenge for me was my reaction to watching Milana Leshinski’s invitation to join her Joint Venture Insider’s Circle. “It wouldn’t work for ME! I’m too different. My idea doesn’t fit.”

I’m open, however, to attracting a JV community that DOES support my idea, my niche. That’s what I’ll take into my NonSenses Immersion today. Let’s what what happens! image

Opening to Spirit, opens me to YOU!
Let’s chat! How does heart energy arise and flow for you?
Here’s the link:
Lets Talk Heart!

Maine Ideas: Fine Without My Brain

My PACK brain, that is! In my constant effort to lighten my pack and still have what I need I took out a few items in Monson, Maine. It’s been a week without them and all is well! I sent away my pack brain, knitted scarf, extra pack liner bag and didn’t miss them.
At Caratunk, I took one more step and ordered a lighter sleeping bag. What’s more, I wore my short sleeved shirt instead of my long, hot shirt. I could even wear the short one at night, so maybe don’t need a second shirt! I sent the extra shirt away from Stratton, Maine.
Lightening my pack gets done one piece of gear at a time! Trying a few days without things. Taking chances. Trusting.


Gear I sent away is on the left. John’s jettisoned gear on the right.

Winter Walk In Pennsylvania

Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail
January 2 – 22, 2014

What a lovely walk John and I had for 6 days in the snowy mountains of Pennsylvania! Enjoy this 5-minute slide show featuring Barbara Hotz singing “Wild Wind” and a few words of explanation from me! Highlights of this walk included:

  • Super Trail Angel help from my sister, Betsy!
  • Fireplaces with split wood in every shelter!
  • Beautiful snow starting the second day!
  • Crisp, cold, fresh water from mountain streams
  • Moderate walking on a well-marked trail

Please comment after you watch! Post your questions too!


Let’s Meet at the Next Trailhead

The journey that I’m on now has a name – Journey to the HeartLand – for its significance in my life. I thought that this one would be different than other trail walks I have done. Wouldn’t an off-trail journey be different than a month on the Benton MacKaye Trail or on the Appalachian Trail?

What I’m discovering is that this journey has the same essentials for success as a walk on a physical trail.

  • Know the trail – I’ve got the road map for our class topics
  • Consider the timing – Well, 7 a.m. might be a little early for some participants!
  • Love my gear – I’ve had technology challenges that I’m stepping through one at a time.
  • Have support – Thanks to my friends who are sharing their home, my partner, my sister, and the participants themselves for their understanding and flexibility while we get our journey underway.
  • Have tools for shifting emotional energy – Well, that’s what this journey is all about! What I’m teaching in this course are the exact tools I’m using to navigate the journey myself! Perfect!

During our first week, we’ve been looking at our “Stories”. Stories are those emotion-laden, repeating patterns that seem to happen over and over again in our lives. They usually have a consistent disempowering “story line”. In addition, our biggest Stories are ones we have been playing out unconsciously – until now! Now, we’re awake to their insidious repetition and we’re tired of their presence. We want to get rid of them, but don’t know how!!!
That’s what Journey to YOUR HeartLand is all about! We’re taking a loving and safe look at these stories and walking step-by-step into a New Story of vibrance, creativity, and fulfillment.

Here’s what journeyers are saying:

“Please find attached a brief summary of my story. Thank you for what you do!”

“Hello and thank you for responding to “my story”. I have rewritten it and feel a lot better. Thank you for the suggestions you made and I believe this journey is for me!”

“You make me smile! I just love you and don’t even know you!”

We’re only missing YOU!  You can jump in now and get the same results. It’s just like a walk on the Appalachian Trail. You can start anywhere on the path and be filled up with the wonders of that iconic trail!  “Hike your own hike” is a perfect saying for a journey to your heart as well as a trail walk.

Get the details here:

Journey to YOUR HeartLand: STORIES

What’s calling me to this journey is the chance for sharing my heart so much with you that all the self love, the claiming of my passion, the letting go of unnecessary things, relationships, and ways of being that it has taken to invent my life of adventure rubs off on you. It’s easy to go on walks myself or with my beloved hiking partner!
But, what I really want to do is entice you to look at your own limiting stories and love yourself in those stories enough to choose whether you want them or not. I want to be with you when you bravely touch into the buried feelings and let the tears flow to wash away that stuck energy. I want to walk with you as you step through the gateway of willingness to see that this might be happening for a higher purpose.


So you can feel the lightness, the joy, the inner glow, the rush of magic and miracles all around you that come from telling your story, feeling the feelings, switching off the energy flow to those old stories, noticing a new story, and integrating that into your body.

Why is that important?

Because then you can claim your own vibrant dream, your own fulfilling relationship, your own passionate purpose. And that’s what I really want for you!  And I believe I can guide you on that journey!
Here are the details of the journey:

Journey to YOUR HeartLand: STORIES

Not sure this is for you?

Do you recognize any of these stories in your life?

I don’t want to rehash the past or go deep into my feelings, just enjoy myself.
I’m overweight and not attractive.
Intimacy is hard for me.
I don’t like myself when I’m mean and angry. I shouldn’t be that way!
I feel lost in my life and nothing seems to be working.
My family doesn’t love me.
I yearn for more, yet force the taste out of my mouth in resignation and fear.
I feel uncomfortable in my own skin and don’t know how to cultivate true love for me.
I am surviving, but I want to thrive, yet I’m at a standstill, living half-heartedly.
I’ve birthed a baby and that was a most magical thing. Now, if I could only birth my own life!
I’m convincing myself to stay in a desolate relationship because I don’t know any other way and I surely don’t want to be alone!
At this stage of my life I just don’t want to change things!

In Journey to YOUR HeartLand: STORIES

We’ll take a look,
with ease and grace and lots of compassion
at how those stories play out in your life. Not to say they’re wrong or you’re wrong, or you’ve screwed up to have them.
No! We’ll look at them to acknowledge that we all have a story that gives us the chance to feel separate from our fulfillment, just because that’s what we humans do!
Then using some really simple tools that are actually fun to use, we’ll play around with New Stories that we might actually like better and try them out and see what happens!
Chances are, you’ll feel lighter and happier and more creative with your New Stories, which is why I love

Journey to YOUR HeartLand

In joy,

Here’s to you and YOUR Journey!
Drop me a line and tell me about it today!

Winter Walk Complete

Well, we did it! Walked in the mountains of Pennsylvania for six days in snow, with temps down near zero a couple of nights. It’s strange how significant this rather short walk seems, even though I’ve walked so many other long walks in the past six years.

Why is that, I wondered.

Is it because the wintry conditions were challenging and this was a new trail for me?

Is it because walking is my new lifestyle and that perhaps my walking has value not just for myself but for others too?  Is it because now, as I walk, I’m more keenly aware of the transformational qualities of the journey and I’m flooded with the metaphorical  qualities of my walking for other aspects of my life – my general way of being, my business?

Is it because I’m making choices about a new relationship and noticing all the opportunities that come up each day to either go unconscious into my Old Stories or expand into Love with a New relationship story?
Is it because I’m constantly asking myself “how can my walking be of service to others” and help me walk into my own dream of joyous prosperity?

Well, yes, to all of those questions! I’ll keep pondering them and wondering if you, dear reader and follower of my journeys, have similar questions about your own journey – on trails, in cities, in new businesses or old, new relationships with others or yourself, or similar yearning to create a New Story for your own life.

I’ll keep this short today because I’m on the road for the next few days headed to Georgia to join the Trail Dames at their annual trip to the Hike Inn. I’ll get to share fresh tales and pictures from this walk in the evening program.

I’ll leave you with a few snapshots of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail and be back next week with more details!  Thanks for reading!

We followed the Yellow Blazes of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail for 70 miles. In addition to the frequent yellow paint marks on trees and posts, there were 18″ high concrete pillars etched with a number at each mile point! That was encouraging on the 14-mile days when we were plowing through 5″ of powdery snow!

Occasionally, stands of Hemlock trees rose majestically, creating dramatic contrast with the bright snow.

The last three miles of the Laurel Highlands Trail took us on a steep 1000′ descent from the Laurel Ridge to the Youghiogheny River, Viewpoints like this one jutted out from the trail. We were NOT tempted to veer off our snowy path to look through the curtain of snowflakes to get a look at the icy river below!

Blessings on your own journey!

Tell me about it!
I’m coasting on the thrill of an amazing walk with gratitude for the privelege of walking to my heart’s content! To celebrate this abundance, I’m offering my upcoming course, Journey to YOUR Heartland for another couple of days for an amazing price. Come check it out and join me in February for an exploration of STORIES.

Journey to YOUR HeartLand

Journey to the Heart Land

After a full week of walking along the Miami-Erie Canal Towpath, along country roads, and through small towns in rural Ohio along the Buckeye Trail, I’m convinced that walking is my calling. 

  • Walking as an exercise tones my body and gets my thoughts clear and my creativity flowing.
  • Walking in Nature connects me to Spirit and to the realm of infinite possibility and joy.
  • Walking through towns connects me with people.

Meeting people used to be scary for me, but now that I am living my own favorite expression, meeting people is a delightful stream of magical encounters. This week, my hiking partner, John, and I have met over a dozen generous people just by doing our walk!

Here are the stories of a few of them:

Minnie walks for exercise regularly in St. John the Evangelist Church in Delphos, OH. “I walk for 30 minutes a few times a week. While I walk I say my rosary. If I get finished with one rosary, I just start over and say another one. “

“That makes exercising and praying go together, bringing the spiritual world and human world closer together.” I said.

“Oh, I know about that! Here’s something that happened that still gives me chills to tell it.. Just a couple of weeks after my mother-in-law died, I sat up one night hearing a harp playing. It was very loud and it was a whole orchestra! I nudged my husband, ‘Do you hear that music? He said yes, he heard it too.’ I’m hesitant to tell people, because they might think I’m crazy. But, it was so beautiful.  If heaven is like that, I want to go there!

“I certainly believe you, and I’m really happy for you for having that experience with Heaven. Maybe it’s closer to us than we realize most of the time. Thanks so much for sharing that with us.”


Linda manages the IGA in Ft. Jennings. She was very curious about our walk. We chose several items there: peanut butter, noodle sides, tuna, coconut, animal cookies.

“Do you take debit cards? “

“Oh no, sorry. Only cash.”

“OK. Well, I have $6.00 in cash. Well, really seven counting my coins. But, we’ll choose a few items.”

We chose the animal cookies and the peanut butter for a total of $5.95

And she didn’t mind reshelving the groceries we left behind.

Regina and MillieMillie  had answered a call from Sam from the Buckeye Trail Clubl for a place to camp in Ottoville.  Mille and I played message tag and we found out we could indeed camp in her yard. She would pick us up in Ottoville. We walked into town and past Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at 6:15 p.m. I called Millie, who said she’d be right over to the church.

“Did you see the church?”

“Just the outside. It’s dark inside.”

“I know how to turn on the lights.”

“Then, Yes, we’d love to see it.”

Millie went in first, bidding us to wait in the back while she walked up the dark aisle through the sanctuary to the sacristy. Click. Click.  Banks of lights gradually lit up the heavenly reaches of the church.

“Oh God, it’s beautiful,” I cried. “It’s easy to feel close to God in here.”

The Mary’s blue highlights of the corners of the archways magnified the reverence to Mary, the Mother of God, to whom this church is dedicated. The rose-colored marble panels and pillars of the sanctuary evoked a heartfelt warmth and Earthly connection through Mary’s intercession.  Even though Millie shared her own disappointment in the sacrifice of the old majestic altarpiece for this simpler one, I enjoyed the symbolic artistry of this wondrous architectural prayer.

With the help of my ever-present headlamp, Millie restored the building to its darkness and we left the church. That was the first spot on our tour of Ottoville. We were impressed with the comprehensive facilities in this little town, from city services, new park, and Subway sandwich shop, to DoItYourself store and new bakery, chiropractor and dentist, all within a few blocks. Millie was again not happy with the demise of several historic buildings along the Miami-Erie Canal channel – liveries, hotels, and school. We didn’t notice them missing though.

Our stay with Millie was pure delight! She never even mentioned camping out, offering us dinner of her unique soup. “Nobody likes this soup, but you’re welcome to it” We loved it.

“Do you want bread with that?  I usually eat popcorn. You’re welcome to that, but you’ll have to shell it yourselves.”

That was fun!. “

And here are hickory nuts”  She cracked them open with a hammer on her vise.

She showeus the potted begonias, strawberries, and other perennials stashed on shelves for winter. 

Around the stairs were four Tupperware bins – “Worms. They help improve my garden soil.”

Our lively conversations filled the night ‘til 10 p.m. Maps, memories of Ottoville, family stories, dog petting, and multiple servings of bean soup and fresh popcorn turned us strangers into friends. The popcorn was the best I’d ever had. It tasted like corn!



Irene and ReginaIrene I was embarrassed that my hiking partner had put his trekking poles on the coffee counter at the convenience store in Ottoville. As I reached to pick them up, I caught the eye of a woman who smiled and said, “You’re taking a long walk?”

“Yes. We’re walking the Buckeye Trail.” She had so many questions which led to her sharing her own story about recently moving back to Ottoville to build a house and resettle. Her heart was still connected to St. Louis as well because that’s where her step-daughter lives. Her eyes lit up when she said,  “She’s really my daughter, because I raised her. Her mother left when she was young.”  Her phone rang. In a minute, she came back laughing, “You won’t believe who that was! My sister, Millie! You stayed at her house last night.”

Now, Ottoville is a small town, but the magic of meeting Millie’s sister was pretty wonderful. We walked out of that little canal town with two friends. Walking spins that thread of friendship, and I feel oneness with humanity.

Farmer’s Wife I didn’t get her name, but I listened with compassion as she shared her story of disappointment with her job at Family Services in Paulding. Soon she’ll retire, though, she explained, and work only on her husband’s farm. And that’s hard work! The day I met her, she was walking on the woods path on the edge of the corn field waiting for her husband, the farmer, to call her.  “I’m the Go-fer.”

What goes through my mind when I hear her story is confirmation that a common belief in our culture is that life and work have to be hard and disappointing.

“Is that true?” I wonder.

What would happen if lots of people shift to heeding the call of what they love to do more than what they ‘should’ do? What if more people did what was joyful and fulfilling more than what is disappointing and unfulfilling?



This story was written by Hiker John:

We were happy to finally make it back to the wooded Tow Path along the Canal after a long country road walk.  The soft ground felt good underneath our feet.  The familiar and friendly blue blazes of the Buckeye trail had led us to this place.  We noticed that adjacent to the path, a Combine was harvesting a field of corn.  Regina met a woman walking down the path who was helping with the harvest.  While Regina and the woman were talking I simply had to pee.  Excusing myself for a while, I then returned to hear another voice.

It was a very loud voice, demanding to be heard.  It was that of the woman’s husband, the farmer, expressing anger that the trail was crossing “his” land.  His angry words were hard to listen to at first and Regina almost retreated back to the country road to escape his barrage of acquisitions and complaints.  I really wanted to continue hiking forward along the Buckeye Trail so I needed to carefully listen to what he was saying behind his upset to come to an understanding.   I let the farmer play the “blame” game.

He was upset that someone had re-painted the blue blazes along the Tow Path after he had removed them. He was concerned about liability in case someone got hurt (there are a lot of large gopher holes).  He was afraid of losing his farm (which he had worked many years to create) if someone sued him.   He was upset that the state of Ohio had established the Buckeye Trail across the Tow Path public right-of-way that he believe was his private property.  He was upset that a local school group had once parked a bus blocking access to his field sand that a bunch of kids were walking around on the tow path.  He was upset about 4 wheelers using the Tow Path.  Most of all he was upset that people were not asking him if they could cross this section of trail and that trail users in the past had responded angrily and disrespectfully back to him.

After listening and acknowledging his upset, I asked if Regina and I could please continue our hike across “his” property.  I also got his contact information and later gave it the Buckeye Trail association so they could create future dialog and an agreement of trail right of way could be made.  What had started off as a hostile encounter turned into one of more mutual respect and greater understanding of differing points of view.  Even though all the trail issues along the Buckeye may not be resolved yet, with cooperation and patience I believe everybody’s voice can be heard.  The Forgiveness Rose protected us, but all the yelling made Regina and I a little more wary of the corn fields lying just beyond our little Tow Path trail.

Larry, Regina, and CarolLarry and Carol As evening approached, we reached Ft. Brown. Where would we camp? Our list of campsites in the Delphos Secttion of the Trail, provided by Sam Boniface of the Buckeye Trail Club included the name of Larry who let hikers camp on his property on the bank of the Auglaize River. I called the number.

“Yes”, Carol replied. “You can camp here.  Just look across the bridge and you’ll see our house with the driveway leading down to the river.”

I got confused and called back. The call dropped. We could see two people inside the kitchen and bravely knocked on the door.

“Oh! You’re the hikers. Come on in! Do you want dinner?  We’ve got pot roast. We were going to go out to eat, but decided to just stay home this evening. How about something to drink? Root beer? Creme soda? Oh, and here’s a bag of candy from Halloween.”

Carol wouldn’t let us say no. We ate heartily.

Meanwhile, Larry had been outside building us a fire. He had said he would bring down some firewood, but he even built the fire! Carol urged us to take down chairs.

We had set up our tarp and were enjoying the fire when Carol came out and said, “I just couldn’t let you sit out here by a fire without hot dogs! We couldn’t refuse.

In the morning, we walked up the hill to Larry’s tool and dye shop where he had invited us for morning coffee and use of the bathroom. Then, we got a full tour of his shop, learning all about the production of plastic arrow knocks and the multi-colored feathers on arrow shafts. It was getting late in the morning. We wouldn’t be getting an early start!

“What else can we give you? A calendar (from the shop)?”

“No thanks. Too heavy.”

“OK. Well, you can at least use a pen inscribed with our name!”  That worked.

After photos with Carol and Larry, we were ready to walk on, two more friends on our list.

But not until our pockets were filled with Larry’s homegrown English Walnuts!

We couldn’t say No.



Journey through the Heartland

Reframe The Story: A New Chapter

My Dad the Healing Angel

Today is the start of my new way of being with my dad.

Here’s the old story:

I’m 24. I’m the program director at Woodland Altars Outdoor Education Center. I love my job! Every day I walk the trails. I’m connecting children and teachers with nature, helping them experience Nature as a nourishing and vibrant sensory exploration. I’m recruiting a record number of schools, welcoming teachers and chaperones, and training my own staff of teacher-naturalists. I love my job!

My dad, however, wants me to be an engineer. He asks, “When will you get a real job?”

At that moment he had cast a spell of doubt on my life. A veil dropped over my soul and I wandered, unsinging, searching for that other self that would please my dad, trying to discover my “real job” and not finding it. I had believed his view that enticing others to come outside and experience wonder and fulfillment in Nature was not a real job.

Until today.

Until today.

Today, a New Story begins. And my dad literally blazed the trail on which this story unfolds.

My dad helped blaze the Buckeye Trail in Dayton, OH decades ago. Today, the city of Dayton is being officially dedicated as a “Trail Town” on the Buckeye Trail. And it just so happens that I will be welcomed in the ceremony as one of the hikers who are currently walking this trail because it just so happens that I chose this trail for my next long walk.  While I walk the Buckeye Trail’s 1200 mile circuit around the State of Ohio, I will be coaching women to walk into their own dreams. I will be creating Fulfillment through Forgiveness ceremonies in towns along the trail. I’ll be guiding women on short ForgivenessWalks on certain sections of the trail. That’s my “real” job.

The spell is broken. My dad cleared the path and welcomes me back today into his Trail Town, my hometown, which I left decades ago to seek my “real” job.

Let the New Story and this new journey begin. I think I’ll call this walk my Journey through my Heartland as I explore the art of living with a singing heart while walking through my homeland.