Important Details

A dreaming Pacific Crest Trail hiker posed this question in a women’s hiking forum: “When & where will you start? how long have you been planning? Would you share some of your plans/knowlege… I’m so nervous I feel I will leave some important detail out.”
She’s touching on one of the Five Essentials in the Guiding Star for Radiant Hiking, and that’s TIMING. Timing is essential in many aspects of our fulfilling walks. When we consider our hike in our life, the timing in the seasons, the timing of each section, in our daily pace, and even in the timing of each step, we can fashion a walk that builds from the inside out, one that takes outer shape from our inner intention. Our hike becomes an expression of our purpose and our physical and spiritual rhythm.

My suggestion to her would be to sit quietly and imagine herself in rhythmic timing in all of these areas and listen to that inner conversation. Then, bring those answers into her plan with the trail. My belief is that this will lay a foundation for a radiantly fulfilling walk.

Heartsinging Pace

I’ve weighed in on a thread started by a mom concerned that her daughter is discouraged on her Appalachian Trail hike. I found out that she’s walked over 200 miles in her first two weeks on the trail, starting in early March on Springer Mountain, Georgia. Here’s my response:
If that’s her heartsinging pace, then bravo. As a ridgerunner, listening to hundreds of hikers, I discovered that the happy, fulfilled hikers were those who found a personal pace that came from within, matching their own body’s comfort with their walk’s purpose. The unhappy, worn out ones were pushing themselves to “make miles” according to some formula they had heard from outside. The hike became something they felt forced  to do, and many had something else they’d rather be doing. I believe there’s an inner purpose and pace that evokes a fulfilling, energizing, heartsinging walk! May hers be so! #singingheartwalk

Blame Game Blessings

I’m reminded this morning, having experienced a massive flow of people at the Visitor Center yesterday, of the value of letting those stuffed Emotional Beachballs from the past go BEFORE I am in tough situations. No one taught me that as a child, or even as a young adult, but I’m glad I know it now! Looking back, I see that the best I could do when upset was walk away without saying anything, without notice. Well, that seemed inappropriate, BUT, it sure was better than exploding, which is what could have happened (oh yes, I did that a few times too as the shattered dishes can attest).
Playing the Blame Game often, in
safe company to witness and validate my S.T.O.R.Y. with love, is what I know to do now, diffusing the stuffed energy from the past so the present is less intense. That way, the steam’s not all built up, ready to blow unexpectedly.

Still, I love myself – and others- just as we are, learning and growing in our human experience.

Buzz of Visioning

I’m in another world. It’s all in my imagination! I’m writing a letter for my partner, imagining him in a position that I think would be perfect for him!
It’s hard to concentrate on the details of the actual details of the reality I’m actually in right now. The energy buzz of imagining is strong – and distracting! Better than a movie because it’s composed  in true feelings.
I realize that once I imagined and felt THIS situation when I applied for the job I got. The details that I could not imagine are now my physical reality.
This reminds me to rely on and trust the Creative Cycle, using it consciously to work with Spirit to build a fulfilling life.
Even Facebook reminds me that this cycle plays in my life with its “Four years ago today” memory.

What Affirmations Do

I’ve been using a set of affirmations that at first are all about what I want to receive from an imaginary partner. Surprisingly, what’s happening is that I’m the one BECOMING what I want to see in him and realizing that there are things to change in myself to RECEIVE a partner like that!

Life Layers


Reflecting on my walk in the Borrego Badlands, I was thinking that there’s a metaphor here. My life’s years pile up as the layers of the eons, varied and diversely composed. Shifts, upheavals, and movement create the beautiful picture that I see before me. Lacking the tumult, all would be static and flat. A Dynamic life is beautiful! Bring it on!


What do I wish for? People in my life who thrive with transforming Stories. That’s my projection, my vision for myself. Oh sure, my community has its STORYs. We also get right to work on the steps of transforming them – feeling, flipping the switch, reframing, integrating. We laugh together at how good we are at creating situations for noticing our victim stories, then flow right into the 13 steps.

Nice vision, Regina!

Reconnect Journey: Why I’m Doing This

I talked with a woman in my hiking community who was sad that day that her daughter had stopped talking with her.  She had poured out her story that since she had started going on long backpack trips, her daughter just didn’t seem to want to talk with her. And then, her daughter’s infant died. Her precious daughter, whom she wanted to comfort, refused her compassion, cutting her off from her other grandchildren.

My heart went out to her! I could hear the sadness, the guilt, the frustration, and the yearning to reconnect with her daughter.

I listened. I validated her pain and encouraged her to allow her feelings to flow.

That week, I was enrolled in an intensive training to learn the steps of creating a webinar-based product in a week! Marnie Pehrson was guiding me to create my webinar for “one person and one problem!” I realized that the tools of Radical Forgiveness that I’ve used to reconnect with my own family, to release my own guilt and shame in troubled or broken relationships, could probably help in this situation too. Then, I wondered, “How many other women suffer from being disconnected from their adult children?”

I searched Facebook for groups focused on estrangement and alienation from adult children. Boy! Did I find them! I had no idea how huge this group is! I also had no idea how deeply and grievously parents are wounded and suffering the estrangement, alienation, and abuse of their adult children. I joined a couple of groups and started listening.

What I read broke my heart! I wanted to reach out and hold each one of them, and say, “There is hope! There is a way to look at this breakdown in your life that gives you strength and freedom!”  I really got their pain!


“So I got out of bed this morning. Actually it was after noon…Im up now. I can’t eat…for a former anorexic that is a problem. I laid in bed for hours this morning getting angry.”


“I finally cried… I knew that I was out of sorts but couldn’t quite put my finger on the reason. About an hour ago, in the midst of baking, (something I do when I am stressed), I just broke down, sobbing with huge tears. I see this as cleansing; a good thing. We have to grieve this loss, they seem dead but they aren’t.”


“This is a lonely and hurtful path we all must walk. There may seem to be no sense to be made of an adult child who would throw away a loving parent and never want to see them again.” 


“I know others here are like me and simply dread the holidays that are coming up. I grew up loving the holidays! It was always such a special, wonderful time. Our home was that way also until the devil came into it and literally stole my daughter and turned her into his sidekick. Now I wish I could just skip Nov 1 to Jan 1. Isn’t that awful to allow someone to do that to you life?”



What if these suffering parents were open to taking the journey of reconnecting with others by first allowing their feelings and loving and accepting themselves for having them? Would that help clear their path and help them move forward with freedom?

Could they experience what Sara had realized during her Radical Forgiveness journey?

“It’s so freeing to be given the space to ALLOW the anger to be ok, even HELPFUL, and not have to stuff it down anymore! To explore the idea that my son is HELPING me have my “human experience” when he is annoying me? That’s really a helpful way to look at it.”

I want to find out!

Here’s the journey I created for parents – or anyone, really! – who are estranged from their adult children. I even heard from a couple of my friends who are intrigued by this because THEY feel disconnected from their parents. Check it out for yourself or for people you know who are estranged, alienated, or disconnected from their parents or adult children AND they are open to DOING something about it because they’re open to the possibility that there COULD be another way to see the situation.

I know it’s not the right time for everyone!

If it’s the right time for YOU or your community or someone you know, please pass this on to them!


Reconnect Journey

Reconnect Journey

Gratitude Celebration: Day One!

It’s my 60th birthday and I thought of a way to celebrate all sixty years. Every day, I’ll recognize someone who blessed my life along the way!

I’ll start with my parents. I know that’s two people, but I figure since it took both of them to get me here, they come as a package to start off this party. Thanks a million Mom and Dad, Patricia and Jim Bernard, that is.

I was their fourth child. When I was born they didn’t know they would be having six more kids, so I was the special baby for a little while anyway. I have a LIFETIME of gratitude for my parents. I’ll make it easy and just start a list of thank you’s:

  • The basics – helping me get here
  • More basics – food, clothes, beautiful homes, school all the way through college
  • Special things like teaching me how to sew, build things, use tools, and start gardens
  • Dad taught me how to do plumbing (Remember when my Dad and I did 36 joints in one day in the basement of my first house in Covington, KY? That’s soldered copper pipe joints don’t cha know?
  • Mom went with me and my Biology Class to the Great Smoky Mountains Wildflower Festival. That’s where I first saw liverworts, which is very special for someone who loves plants!
  • They took me and my siblings out West a few times, camping, and spending time in the mountains. A seed was planted for future adventuring when I asked my mom if I could walk over to the top of a bald spot on a distant mountain. She said, “Sure!”  What a smart woman, ’cause even though she knew that I would not walk that far, she let me find out for myself. Years later, when I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2008, I remembered that moment and realized that while walking that trail I often walked to the peaks of distant mountains.
  • When I was 17, I backed my dad’s car into another car, denting it. I was mortified and so embarassed!  I thought, “He’s not going to let me drive, ever again – he shouldn’t let me drive, I’m not a good driver!” He didn’t say that. The next morning, he said, “OK, let’s go! You drive!”
  • And the most significant gift, which I have only recently realized was my dad’s contribution to my biggest transformation in life was when he said, “When are you going to get a real job? Teaching at an outdoor education center is not a real job.”  It’s been only in the past few years that I’ve realized how deeply I swallowed that belief that what I loved to do most was the thing I could not proudly do! Transforming that belief and claiming my calling as an outdoor educator has given me the opportunity to realize my personal creative power. So, thanks for that, Dad.
  • Having a book about the Appalachian Trail in the home library. The idea of hiking the trail lay secretly dormant until I was 50!
  • I’ll add more points of gratitude to my parents, but you get the idea!

Thanks, Mom and Dad for being exactly the parents I needed!!

This is the book that helped me turn my resentment of my dad’s discounting of my vocation into a powerful transformative accomplishment.


Radical ForgivenessRadical Forgiveness, Making Room for the Miracle

by Colin C. Tipping

Get the first chapter here for free.

Buy the book here. Click on the logo. This will take you to the Radical Forgiveness store. Search “Books” for Radical Forgiveness, Making Room for the Miracle. And be prepared for some SHIFT!

Click Here to Place an Order

Journey’s End A New Beginning

When I was completing my Appalachian Trail Walk in 2007, my husband and son came and walked the last mile with me. What an honor! Having them with me to round out the journey validated my accomplishment and helped magnify their contribution to the entire walk. My husband had sent maildrops all along the way. His presence at the end signified that my journey had ended and that I would be going back to my former life. My 7-month walk had been an exploration into another world where my joy as a hiker was reflected in my relationship with a new partner. I believed that my hiking world was separate from my homemaking world.

And then, I let the two worlds blend. My hiking partner came home with us. My heart was torn, and try as I might to let him go and return to my former life, I couldn’t do it. I could not abandon my love for my new self nor for my new partner. I could not revive my love for my urban, homebound life nor for my husband who cared nothing for my adventurous self.

As I tell this story, my belly tightens, and shame for the messy way I mixed up those relationships paralyzes my fingers. “I can’t share this! This is a shameful tale! I made a terrible mistake and betrayed my marriage! It’s unforgiveable what I did!”

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