Thruhiker Celebrity?

“Thruhikers are celebrities!” I read that in a women’s hiking group and chuckled. I don’t feel special! I walked the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia within a year’s time, so I am a thruhiker.

As a thruhiker, how I know about myself is that I fulfilled my dream of being able to say, “I walked the AT”. I feel true to myself, that I listened to my heart and did what it took to walk one day at a time – and keep walking! So, if doing that makes me a celebrity, great. More than fame, however, what I want to do is entice others to create their own walks wherever they are, on the Appalachian Trail or in the neighborhood park! I want to help you discern what your equivalent of the Appalachian Trail is and step into fulfilling that dream! read more

Deepening Practices

June 9,

In everything I do, I strive for deepening my sensory and spiritual experience. I’m pretty sure you do too!

I’ve picked up on some techniques from John Muir Laws (his real name!) through his Laws Guide to Nature Journaling. Two years ago, I launched a program at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center to provide a platform to practice what I’m learning.

Notice and Wonder is now a frequent listing in the Park’s Interpretive Schedule. In it, I offer five simple techniques to read more

What If?

January 31, 2018

My Super Blue Blood Moon experience today filled my senses with awe and my soul with awakening! A few days ago I realized that the view I would get from my employee housing here at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park would limit my experience to just the beginning of the totality phase of the eclipse. “That’s not good enough!” I declared. As a creator of fulfillment (in difference to a settler for whatever comes), I asked, “Where can I go to get the fullest eclipse experience? I need to be able to see the horizon!” Where better to see the western horizon than the west coast! read more

Personal Forgivenesswalk

December 18, 2017

I admit, I didn’t publish yesterday’s post until today after sleeping on it. I was not willing to be that vulnerable, to show up stuck in my S.T.O.R.Y. (Sustained Tale Of Repressed Yearning).

Well, as journeys through a Radical Forgiveness transformation go, I have moved another step along and can now recognize the value of yesterday’s upset. I was experiencing the first of the five phases of Radical Forgiveness: Telling the S.T.O.R.Y. and having it witnessed and validated. read more

Today’s Beliefs

December 17, 2017

My role in my family is unclear. I’m making this up as I go. I am a lone grandmother. I miss John Reiter just because he should be with me because we were married. I miss the security of our former finances. We could be traveling and visiting grandchildren as retirees. But that’s a fantasy because he wants to work and not be with me because of who I am and never should have married me, so we are both lone grandparents. Besides, it’s not my business to know what he’s thinking unless he wants to tell me.  I wish I had stood up for myself and our marriage more staunchly, but then I wouldn’t have done my fulfilling walks and felt loved and done my fulfilling jobs. We would have divorced anyway. My lessons in this lifetime are about shame, sexuality, personal responsibility, among others.
Forgivenesswalks is waiting for me to step up and do the work. I feel alone in that too. No one else is doing forgivenesswalks right now although there are a few women who might be attracted to sharing it.  read more

New Chapter

June 1, 2017

Together again. I perceive that my words are often upsetting, bothersome, misconstrued, prying, or other versions of disconnecting. 

Back together again. My perception is that it’s important to say as little as possible about a lot of things! Plans, politics, feelings, money, perspectives, hyperbole. 

Is it possible to be freely expressive without worrying if he’ll misunderstand, have a charge, not want to talk about it, or any of the other versions of separation?

I notice that I am thinking that it’s not, which is why I’m sitting here writing this rather than talking as we set off on our drive to Virginia! read more

Imperfection Accepted

December 15, 2017

What if I have a project for watching the sunrise every day, or sending a weekly blogpost, or painting every day for thirty days, or walking the Appalachian Trail?

What if I miss a day of sun watching or painting or skip a week of posting or take a day off walking? 

Does that negate my success or mean that I failed? 

Does it matter if I have a valid excuse for skipping a turn? How about if I had set up the project with parameters for skipping? 

So, I went outside and watched the sunrise for 60 consecutive days, and on Day 61,  I slept through it. My reason, my excuse, my choice was that I had traveled east to a different time zone, so sunrise was three hours earlier than my body’s rhythm had developed. I needed the rest.  I did feel a little sad, a little diminished in accomplishment. Then, I decided to let myself off my made up hook. I decided that I could love myself anyway and accept this imperfection in my plan.  read more

Divorce Feelings Journey

November 27th, 2017
Witness an unfolding journey of my heart:

Upset

November 25, 2017

“Love to all today. I  celebrate your family fullness in my heart.” What I did not send to my adult kids today. 

I feel unworthy to share this sentiment and all the turmoil of my heart as my children gather with their dad’s family for a cousin’s wedding. The feeling of separation and exclusion is not new. Heart connection  was always tenuous with the inlaws, and twenty-five years into the marriage, exclusion was clearly stated. At that time, I legally had the right to be there. Ten years later, divorce just makes it official. Exclusion is now proper and justified.
But, I still feel sad, as I did while still legally included.   read more

Thanks, Louise Hay

August 30, 2017

Louise Hay passed away today. Her work gave language and acceptance to self-love as a path to loving others. It was my sister, Claudia, who first shared Louise’s words with me. I remember taking the cassette tape into bed and listening, with amused astonishment, to that deep, soothing voice enticing me to be grateful for every little thing in my life. At the time, it actually seemed a bit silly to be thankful for the morning light, and for my body’s basic functions, and for water, and breathing. Her visualization of walking to the ocean of abundance to scoop up goodness, asking, “What are you using, a teaspoon?!!” really jarred me. Aghast, I noticed that I was!  read more

High Country Week

Notice and Wonder
August 3, 2017

My Ridgerunning walk this week focused on what’s called the High Country of the Mt Rogers Recreation Area in Virginia.  My first night out on Thursday, I camped at a spot I’ve had my eye on while I walked through there other weeks. It’s on Stone Mountain, just south of “The Scales”, an open, grassy field where cattle ranchers would weigh and sell their cattle before driving them down the mountain. The story goes that they realized that the cattle weighed more before they made the descent to town! Now, The Scales is a favorite car camping spot.  I prefer to walk a mile south on the Appalachian Trail, up Stone Mountain, to camp.  There, the grassy, and bushy bald stretches for a mile with expansive views. The low vegetation is broken by groups of short trees, bonsai-like stands of beech trees, just 5″ in diameter and fifteen feet tall. They create inviting rooms of shade, where the wild ponies can cool off.  I walked away from the trail a couple hundred yards and set up my tarp under a sprawling oak tree in a patch of grass.  In the morning, the view across The Scales and the valley below inspired me to take time to do a quick watercolor sketch of  the distant Wilburn Ridge, where the trail would wind its way south. read more