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. read more

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: read more

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. read more

Surrounding ourselves with Roses!

Create an Energy Rose

Rose

I’ve been indulging in fields of roses this week in the third week of Journey to YOUR HeartLand: STORIES. Mine are always Pink, a deep “rose” pink. The best part is that they are absolutely free! And I can have as many as I want, fragrance and all!

These are Energy Roses that I create in my imagination to catch any low vibrations or “negative” energy coming from others, from dangerous situations, or even from myself!  When I surround myself with Roses, there’s more Light and Love shining. read more

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. read more

Piano Dance Act Two

“Dance” would be a great way to characterize what happened with the piano!

Following on the heels of my heart’s willingness to let the piano go, there appeared not just one, but TWO interested parties! The dance encompassed a group!

Things got a little complicated as my son and I were both taking offers from people, without communicating with each other. I was moving ahead with accepting an offer from a music teacher while he was waiting for his musician friend to make an offer. It came in – higher than mine! OOPS! read more

Healing Dance with a Piano

Healing Dance with a Piano

I’m sitting at a piano feeling anxious, immobilized, indecisive and deeply sad. Why? What could a piano  be doing that has me stopped in my tracks? Haven’t I been writing about how wonderful it is to be out hiking, even in deep snow at low temperatures.  Haven’t I been making presentations about what I’m willing to do to be in the presence of overwhelming beauty?  Didn’t I declare 10 months ago today that I was now a nomad?

It’s just a piano! I don’t have a house, I can’t have a piano, right? Well, that’s just it! This isn’t just any old piano, it’s the piano that I bought 30 years ago to lighten my heart. It’s where sang songs with my children.  It’s the instrument that freed my inner musician while I mastered the first two books in the Suzuki School. It bonded me with my son as he blossomed as a cellist, giving voice to the duets we played together. It was an instrument of healing in the community Shepherd’s Play that softened my heart to forgiving the Waldorf Community for dashing my dream of taking a class through their 8-year schooling journey. read more

The Real Work

The Real Work — Wendell Berry

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

~ Wendell Berry ~
(Collected Poems)

The impeded stream is the one that sings

My friend, Barbara Hotz, another master of words and rhythms in my life, sent me this poem on the day my hiking partner of 5 years announced that he was going solo for a time. It wasn’t so much that I was surprised with the news, just the timing. Are we ever ready for those changes we intuit or have even secretly wished for? Even though our relationship had been strained with lack of common, heartfelt purpose for the past month, we had kept willing ourselves to be together. He was the brave one to take the bold step of leaving. read more

Shirley Valentine

Burdened by the weight of Unused LifeI had the delight to see my future daughter-in-law, Teralyn Tanner, perform beautifully as “Shirley Valentine”, in this one-woman play by Willy Russell. The play was surprisingly similar to my own Life!

Trapped in her middle class housewife life, Shirley breaks free, realizing that “There’s so much Unused Life!” She laments that people get bogged down, and live as dead after middle age, “All weighted down by the burden of their Unused Life!” What a poignant metaphor.  It’s not that we’re just empty and lifeless if we don’t manifest our dreams, saddened and unmotivated by the fear of going after what we really want, relinquishing our dreams for the safety and comfort of resignation. No, Shirley observes, we are actually weighted down by the Unused Life.  I just love that metaphor – Unused Life! read more

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? read more