Friday, December 14, 2007

The Best Gifts

The best gifts are the ones that melt in your purse, give you chills, create a visceral memory. My favorite gifts of past Christmases were the ones that gave me a happy moment to cherish. Every year, my kids, husband and I return to the Santa Barbara Mission on Christmas Eve. We don't go for the Christmas Eve Catholic Mass. although the kids do like to stick their heads in the door to smell the incense and listen to the music. We return every year to be together, under the stars, to gaze thoughtfully at the life sized Nativity scene. We giggle about the clothes the three kings are dressed in, commenting on the lack of an arm on one of them. Tom reminds the kids what the tree kings' names were. We like to hear our small children say "Balthazar". We talk about the story of the birth of Jesus and why he was a great person. It is not a christian discussion, but more of a human discussion- one that leaves me wanting to be a better person. The kids always play tag in the dark and we are almost always blessed with the sound of the Mission bells, which is one of our favorite gifts on Christmas Eve. It is these moments that I cherish. I hope for you these types of moments that sear your memory with the JOYS of family and the true meaning of Christmas.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Memoirs of a (I try not be wicked) Stepmother

I really do try not to be wicked, but sometimes, it seems to be inevitable. I have been a stepmother for almost ten years, surviving the teen years of one daughter, now in college, and existing as the wicked one to another in high school. The oldest, now nineteen, was my sparring partner from very early on. I have never been much of a fighter but this curly haired fire ball seemed to always bring a fight out of me. We have had some really good ones, screaming, crying, the inevitable ripple effect to the real parents catching on to the brawl and the predictable apology. Always the apology. I am really good at that part- I am always willing to say, "I'm sorry" and acknowledge my hurtful actions. Maybe this is the way I have lasted this long in this role. I realized this Thanksgiving what the gift of this relationship is. I am by nature, passive most of the time. I am reasonable and neutral and can take criticism without lashing out. I am good at not fighting. The only person with whom I have fought with on a somewhat regular basis is, my beloved stepdaughter. You might now be thinking what a wicked witch - fighting with a child! I would tend to agree with you. The gift has been so revealed. Fighting is human and since childhood, I haven't done enough of it. Now that I am aware of this, I am secretly hoping that the urge to argue will subside and instead, I will be supplanted with a knowing smile and a silent giggle. Now that I know why, there is no reason to continue with this low level of human behavior. Besides, my partner is intelligent and gaining confidence and it just makes me look bad. I may be wicked, yes, but at least I am honest and as I've mentioned before, I am imperfect but fully human.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Do I Really Look Like a Snail?

I suspect that fierce self criticism is universal. We see ourselves one way and are shocked when we glimpse a photograph of ourselves and see someone different, literally, not quite what we had in mind. I was taking pictures of my mother this afternoon. My mother is nearly 61 years of age but very beautifully seasoned. She has taken very good care of herself, exercising regularly, wearing sunscreen, imbibing on nothing stronger than coffee and maintaining an impeccable sense of style. I am always surprised when I take her picture and experience the reaction that I did today of, "I look like a snail with a bowl on my head". This opinion is never what I am thinking when looking through the lens. It just surprises me that a woman as confident, accomplished and beautiful as my mother can think this of herself. Of course, her sense of humor is strong and part of her beauty is her ability to laugh at herself, but I still don't see it. She didn't look like a snail with a bowl on her head (a remark commenting on her new feng shuei hair cut), she looked like Mom, the beautiful. I realize that I, too, have had moments when observing a photograph of myself that I felt viscerally that the picture in question did not reflect the real me. But let's face it, who hasn't felt that way? Pictures are beautiful because they capture a moment. They freeze time. I don't usually throw pictures away for this very reason. They are all good, even when they are bad. Here's my beautiful mom, the snail with a bowl on her head.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I Am My Own Guinea Pig

As a self-proclaimed therapeutic gemstone practitioner I take a lot of risks in trusting myself. I am becoming more and more aware that it really is the natural medicine that meets the body's needs best. The funny thing is, I have been extensively trained in the mechanisms of pharmaceutical use. I sold "drugs" for nine years. I can explain to you the physical disease state of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, osteoporosis, benign prostatic hyperplasia and much much more and how these states differ from a healthy body. I can diagram many different pathways that pharmaceuticals are used to alter the state of disease. Of the drugs I used to represent, I can explain their mechanism of action and how they are metabolized and excreted from the body. This is my background. The irony is that after being laid off from my job selling drugs, I have been made aware, at a gradual and increasingly intense pace, that I am a gemstone practitioner and I can use stones to affect people on many levels. So, as my own guinea pig, I have to treat myself first. You know, put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. I have been wearing a daily prescription of stones for years now. The Rx changes from day to day, but not that much. I always wear Carnelian. I love Amazonite- it makes me happy, and Aquamarine makes me strong when I need to speak publicly or defend. Lately, in the last three weeks or so, I have been experiencing all kinds of bizarre symptoms. I am shaky, (where my jewelry-making hands have always been strong and steady, now they quiver and quake), my skin itches, my body aches as if I have a fever, but I don't, I am stiff and exhausted. My sense is that I am going through a vibrational shift and my body id adjusting. It is awkward but I want the shift to occur- I want to grow in my abilities. I keep telling myself, it's worth it, but wondering, when will it stop? I was working today at my desk, under my altar and two stones made themselves known to me. They were Charoite and Rutilated Quartz. Here are their general properties:


A stone of transformation. The soul stone that overcomes fear. Charoite stimulates inner vision and spiritual insight and aids in coping with enormous change at a spiritual level. Encourages vibrational change and links to the higher realities. At the same time, it provides deep physical and emotional healing. It helps you accept the present moment as perfect. Charoite grounds the spiritual self into everyday reality.

Rutilated Quartz
An effective integrator of energy at any level. It heightens the energetic impulse of Quartz and is a very efficient vibrational healer. Spiritually, Rutilated Quartz is said to have a perfect balance of cosmic light and to be an illuminator for the soul, promoting spiritual growth. It facilitates contact with the highest spiritual guidance. It draws off negative energy and and breaks down the barriers to spiritual progress, letting go of the past. Helpful for therapists and counselors as it filters negative energy from a client and provides protection against psychic attack.

I placed one of each stone in both sides of my bra until I can create a new bellychain for myself. I am less shaky already. Isn't my work cool?

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I am so uncomfortable right now. The mess is huge in my house. Every corner, every surface reflects a big project back to me. The garage is so full it is practically oozing stuff. The back yard, my space, is littered with hen poop, dog poop and way too many cats. I have ideas I am aching to act on, but the laundry list of things to do before the creativity can begin is soooo long. It makes me tired, exhausted actually, to think of all that I need to do. Sometimes I wish I could be a cat, my only requirement for the day, to log my twenty hours of sleep, the only hard choice - to sleep under the covers of Kieran's bed or curled up on Cadence's chair amongst the pillows? My husband walks in, looks at me and thinks, "she's at her computer again." Little does he know. The work seems to be my destiny, the cost of what is to be here, now. Oh, I forgot to mention the piles of bills, papers, essential and urgently important PTA stuff that needs to be addressed last week. It is all piled like layers of mica rock, slippery and unstable, ready to slide off my desk. I am now taking this moment to write to you and to myself this reminder of the bigger picture. This is all temporary. The discomfort, the mess, the hen poop and the cats are but a flash in time, insignificant details to pepper my life this morning with the seasoning required to establish a culinary contrast . These are the acrid spices of my dish alone. They are but the palate cleanser for the fun, deliciously satisfying main course that will be served when I have cleared my plate (and my garage).

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Do You Believe in Magic?

I do. I want to, at least. I believe that time can stop when I am driven in a thought and I have to abandon the dishes, the chores, the stink under my armpits to shop online for rough stones. I am driven. Time stops for me. Nothing exists. Have I mentioned that I am driven? I can't tell you what I will be doing with these stones or what they will be doing with me, all I can say is that I am driven to seek them out. It boarders on obsession. I have a suspicion that you can relate. The trees practically paint themselves, don't they? The words pour from your soul through your fingertips. You don't even need to edit, do you. I want to be on the short list for the book signing party, by the way. I'm just letting the universe know that. I want to be the matron of honor for Lara's wedding to Mr. X. I've never had that privilege, and I know that no one could do the nurturing matron of honorly magic better than I. The magic is tingling through me. Even the recent string of deaths does not phase me. The energy is alight and we need to know that. Our fleshy bodies are simply tools, like a paintbrush or a string instrument. We need to use them- or waste them, dusty and neglected. They will not last forever- nor should they. Get a taste of the limits and the limitlessness and run with it, sparked and alight with a new fire. GO- lose all sense of time, if only for a little while, and feel the fire flash through you, the undeniable passion happen and exist in full force. Then, take some of that with you into the shower, while you wash the dishes and shampoo the cat barf off of the carpet.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

You Only Live Once

....Or a thousand times, depending on what you believe.

Would you be surprised if I told you that part of my soul resides in a rock? Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but I'm beginning to get it. The real stuff sounds crazy. Ask yourself. I know you know what I'm saying. So, here's what I have for you today. In this body, we sacrifice time on the planet for mobility. We can go anywhere- connect with anyone or any thing. Our lives are short- very short, but we can flit around and make our predestined connections. We have friends who have sacrificed mobility or will for time. Trees are connected to the grid through their roots. They may live for thousands of years, pulsing with life. They have to wait for you to come to them. Listen when they call you. Respect the call, connect and exchange, as you will. Rocks can live for millions, hundreds of millions (which can approach billions when we cross into thousands of millions) of years. They sacrifice their connection when they become a fragment, but they then have mobility. They carry stored information, or possibly more. Again, listen, connect as you will. Yeah, it sounds crazy but trust me. You only live once, so go for it. Do the crazy thing without abandon. Paint the trees, show the cord, cry with the rock, see what happens. You can share it all with me. I know you are not crazy.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Maturity Means Letting Go

I think I'm starting to get it. Letting go is really powerful. I used to worry excessively as a child, about everything. I even remember reading a saying that was posted on the ceiling above the orthodontists chair that said, " Worry is like a rocking chair, it takes you back and forth but gets you nowhere". Profound. So, in my maturity, I have applied this idea of letting go to many things. I do not worry too much about things. I kind of don't even think about things I have to do until they are staring me right in the face- This is my secret to effortless public speaking- . I try to let go of my expectations. I see people hurting all the time because their expectations have not been met. I take Byron Katie's advice to "love what is", which really simplifies a lot. I try not to be attached to things- even things with sentimental value. Even memories, don't really need to be held on to- they will survive or they won't survive, and either way, it's really O.K.. I still have to remind myself to not feel guilt for things I have done, or haven't done. There could be nothing more stagnating than guilt to keep you from action. Imagine how many people have not shown their face again at an event, function, gathering or fill in the blank, even when they have wanted to, due to guilt. How stupid is that? I have come to believe that as humans, it is our job to screw up, so if we are doing that, then good for us. No need for guilt. Pat yourself on the back if you have let someone down today and see if tomorrow you can do it differently. Old people seem to get this. They know that family is bliss and that only relationships matter. They tell you to "keep your house clean" and they aren't talking about the house you live in. They tell you that the small stuff doesn't matter and the things that get lost, broken or leave you are just things. They tell you that kids grow up, no matter what, and sometimes you just have to step back, let go and let them fail, just like you did- remember? Boy it feels good to let go. Try it! It lightens your heart and makes you feel a little bit giddy with the relief. Imagine the effect it could have on your worry lines!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

39 Wishes

This is hard. I am so used to just appreciating what I've already got. I am racking my congested brain (I have a cold) for my thirty nine wishes. I am trying to write something concrete, not the usual nebulous, "I wish for a fullness of heart..." crap. I really do want world peace. I wish for people to stop feeling the need to kill each other, fighting and defending religious beliefs, heritage, history and territory. I don't like seeing pictures of monkey parts for sale as food. This month's National Geographic had some pictures in an article illuminating the problem of infected monkeys spreading their primate viruses to humans by this type of close contact. It is disturbing to me to see a decapitated monkey head with perfect teeth partially cooked and ready for a stew. I guess I wish to not have to see that. Or maybe I wish to not be disturbed by it when I see it. I wish my house were clean right now. I wish the cats were fed and the dog were not so close as he is to the time of inevitable euthanasia. I wish someone would come and clean out my closets and drawers, purging from them everything I haven't worn in the last year, with the exception of my wedding dress. I wish the polar ice caps would stop receding so that the polar bears will have a place to rest when hunting for seals. I like big carnivores. I wish for all the big carnivores catch some nice meat tonight . I wish I could see the Aurora borealis in both hemispheres and compare and contrast the colors and shapes coming from each pole. I wish I could eat as much cake as I'd like without getting sick, feeling guilty, or hating the rolls of fat the erupt as the consequence. I wish I could love my dark roots, grey hair and small lines that are forming on the edge of my upper lip. I wish I could make a hundred belly chains for a hundred people who pay as they order and feel that they are getting way more than their money's worth out of the transaction. I wish my sister Stacy, my mother and step dad would move to Santa Barbara. I wish that my sister Stephanie would move closer than Philadelphia. I wish to be creative and feel fulfilled in my life. I wish for world peace, inner peace and another piece of really good cake made without hydrogenated oils. I wish to keep on going in this amazing life that I am enjoying so much. I wish for more more more. Was that thirty nine?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Perfectly Imperfect

Last night I attended a great party. It may have been because there was music that left me no choice but to dance. I can still hear "m m m my Sharonna" playing in my head. It may have been great because there were lots of kids who knew each other and they went arm and arm running off to play tether ball and dodge ball together, far away from where I sat sipping wine and spearing salami wedges with a toothpick. It may have been because my husband, who generally dislikes socializing with anyone but his children, actually wanted to stay for the entire party. I loved it because of the people who threw the party, the guests who attended and the generally perfect mix of late afternoon sun, a cool glass of chardonnay and just the opportunity for me to be there amongst it all.

I know I am on the right track in my life when a guy at the party tells me he's heard that there were people drinking wine at the Back to School BBQ that took place the evening before. He alerts me with an air of seriousness and doom-filled authority that this combination of alcohol meeting with lips, tongue and throat on the hallowed ground of a public school is not only illegal but a felony. He tells me this in a manner meant to alarm me into action, now that I have taken on the role of PTA president of said school, but it doesn't alarm me. First of all , I don't know who this guy is, if he is an undercover cop, a DA for the city or just a concerned citizen watching out for the welfare of children. My response to him is "well I too was drinking wine, discretely of course, from a paper bag, directly out of the bottle". How could it ever be a action punishable by incarceration to take in the sight of a hundred screaming children at the end of a very long week , a tasteful receptacle of embibment in your hand, with parental supervision galore, within walking distance from home? The guy said to me, "yeah, wouldn't it be a scandal for the PTA president to be taken away from school in handcuffs from the back to school BBQ." My reply to him (and I really mean this) was "that wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to me ". In fact, now that I think about it, it could actually be beneficial. It would release me from any future PTA positions as well as the current role of President. I am really quite comfortable looking "bad" in public. I have figured out that being imperfect is not only not fatal but it is what we are supposed to do. Look at the people like Martha Stewart. Being perceived as perfect made her an easy target and pretty much earned her a vacation in a white-collar prison. Fortunately Martha, like many of us, knows that this type of humiliation will not kill you and can actually increase your levels of compassion for others.

There is a quote by Teilhard de Chardin, " You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience, you are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience". And nothing spells human more than any form of public f**k up. So today, I encourage you to make a fool out of yourself. Please try to emphasize your perceived imperfections. Do something that would normally mortify you and see what happens. Laugh it off when you are obviously wrong, say "I'm sorry" even if it wasn't your fault, please, for the sake of humanity, strive to be perfectly imperfect. You will not (ever) be alone.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Check Your Expectations at the Door

It has been a long time since I took the time to write. The summer was fleshy and full. There were kids, days that became a blur and I can't remember what else. It rushed by fast. I do remember our vacation though. It was one of those remarkable experiences that leaves you happy but with a feeling of longing. It left me with the residual of connections made and ideas experienced first hand, food savored and created with love and passion. It was far from ordinary, but I am beginning to realize that few things ever are.

Our vacation took us to Fiji, to an Eco resort on one of the smaller islands, one of the few that welcomed children. Before we arrived, my husband informed me that Fijians love children and that our youngest would have his own nanny assigned to him. Leaning toward the overprotective, controlling side of the child rearing spectrum, I wasn't sure how I felt about this offering and could not readily commit to relinquishing my child to a stranger upon arrival.

When my children were swept away by welcoming arms to the Bula Club for kids while we registered, I felt a little frantic, not quite knowing what to do with my empty hands. I had, after all, spent the entire summer up until that day wrangling children (and lots of 'em) like a seasoned and weathered cowgirl.

I 'll admit, it took some awkward days of getting to know each other before I let Dakai, my son Aidan's Manny (that's a male nanny, for those new to the trend) really help out. I hung around the Bula Club, taking my turn on the water slide while my daughter Kieran perfected her sliding techniques. I documented with video and critiqued the "dog", "cat", "cheetah", and "hamster" water entry positions, observing with interest my son's interaction with Dakai and the other nannies with their wards. It became clear that Dakai was a sweet and gentle person who anticipated my son's needs and enjoyed his interactions with Aidan, Kieran and the other kids.

The majority of the resorts staff were from a nearby village, truly an anthropologists dream because the culture remained firmly entrenched in its ancient traditions. We, were invited to visit the village later in the week and had to learn the proper techniques for entry into the village (with a song-like call), how to approach the Chief, and how to partake in the kava drinking ceremony. I learned from an elderly and much respected medicine man, who shared his knowledge of the medicinal properties and uses of native plants with myself and my fellow eco tourists, that with the coming of English colonization in the early part of the century came education and opportunity. This is what he told me. He said that he feared white people and the forced education of village children but eventually took the advice of his village Chief to see the change as a door that becomes open to you. He went on to tell me that several of his children are now physicians and have seen the blessing in the opportunity to learn while maintaining the structure of their ancestors' culture. It began to dawn on me what a gift it was, on so many levels, to allow my children such close access to their Fijian caretakers.

The individuals who affected us were amazingly kind, genuine, honest and interested. They learned our names. Pete was a man with a firm handshake who wore a flower behind his ear to accompany his baseball cap. He took us on a jungle hike and to a remote waterfall, where we all swam in the sweet Fijian water. Latia was 23 years old, single, (my 15 year old daughter wanted to know) and told us about his village. He said that the village is like one big family. From the age of 12 or so, boys and girls (with the exception of siblings) were not allowed to speak to each other because they were essentially cousins and were not allowed to fall in love and marry each other. Young men find wives from other villages and after marriage live there, while young women are expected to leave the village upon marrying and raise their children in their husband's village.

We talked with these people, exchanging questions about each other, appreciating their singing and beautiful guitar-playing in the evenings or when ever a new guest arrived at the resort. They joined us on snorkeling adventures. They observed our games of scrabble and checkers and commented on my water color paintings -giving me way to much attention for my novice abilities. Simi, the bartender who was from the main island, learned my name on the first night and said "Hi Shelley" whenever I walked by him. The most amazing experience came the day we were invited to visit the village where the majority of the staff lived. It was a privilege to be invited, for entry into the village was not permitted without invitation. We were asked to wear clothing that showed respect by covering our shoulders and our knees. Four men were chosen from our visiting group to represent us all. They were told how to announce themselves, with a loud harmonious call, followed by a different call from the women in our group. The villagers waited under a covered porch kneeling on grass mats. We were welcomed and each of us received a shawl or necklace made from large green leaves, flowers and natural twine. Labors of love wrapped generously around or shoulders and necks. We brought Kava as an offering, which was a root to be ground up, mixed with water and consumed via a wooden dipping cup from a ceremonial wooden bowl by any one who wished to engage in the ritual. The Kava ritual involved sitting near the bowl on your knees, clapping once, taking the cup and drinking the contents of the earthy drink (it tasted like dirty water and had an anesthetic effect on the lips, leaving them tingling with numbness) passing the cup back to the server and clapping three more times.

The Kava ceremony was followed by guitar, percussive and vocal music and traditional dances, first by six women in grass skirts and grass wrist cuffs and then by four men in warrior costumes, also in grass skirts with spears, painted faces and ratan shields. This part was incredibly special because Aidan's manny, Dakai was one of the four dancers. The skill, artistry and richness of this village culture was so fulfilling, it left my heart warm and my mind racing.

We were privileged because instead of taking the bus back, we were allowed to walk with Dakai, on the beach for the three miles that the villagers walked every day to and from their jobs at the resort. The walk was magical. Kieran stopped every ten feet or so to look at crabs or point at tide pool life and eventually had to be carried by Dakai the rest of the way back. I had that rare and precious sense of a full heart from this unexpected gift of human connection.

When we left at the end of our trip,I hugged a few people and I thought about how they must open themselves up to strangers, culturally very different people, every day. They give us as visitors the gift of their trust and the love that comes trough from the way they live their lives. By taking our children and interacting closely with them, they open these young people up to other types of human experiences and very different ways of living on our relatively small planet. I loved that my family got the treat of being completely surprised by meeting this heretofore unknown way of life and wanting to know more of it.

So life can be a present when you try not to anticipate what is going to happen. When you check your expectations at the door, you alleviate the tension associated with worry, the stress of anticipation and the disappointment of unmet experiences. The pattern is becoming more clear to me. That blissful feeling of amnesia when you compare a situation to nothing nor try and recreate situations again. In this way, life truly is all good.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Effects of Doubt

I don't doubt. I never have. I have always seen the fun in making things happen. Even seemingly impossible things do not thwart me. I fully enjoy the challenge of asking, scheming, seeing the problem through, working towards it as if it were going to happen etc. Sure, not everything comes to pass, but the important stuff always does and the rest is still unfolding as I continue to breathe in and out, in and out. Hey, it ain't over 'till it's over, and its far from over from where I sit now. I am thoroughly annoyed by the pessimist. I have teenagers (with dreams) who use pessimism as a means to avoid disappointment. It drives me crazy to witness their self limiting pessimism. They fear not achieving the goal more that they want to reach out and grab it. I am trying to teach them to use my technique, but its hard to turn fearful people into optimists. Still, I have an excellent track record and it's hard to say that it all came from chance. My daughter Kiran is much like me. She manifests. In another blog I chronicled her manifestation of a female orange tabby named Clarissa, whom she requested from the universe for her sixth birthday. Clarissa, born under a house in Pacific Palisades in March, was delivered to Kieran one week before her sixth birthday, exactly as she had requested. Kieran is patient. She makes her request, draws pictures, makes lists with her object of desire depicted in a requesting format, like an order. She did this many months ago in the form of a request for a baby chick. She asked me, "Mom, can I have a chick?". "Absolutely not!", I said. "We do not live on a farm, we don't have room for chickens". This request and dialogue was made more than once. I even went so far as to add, "You may have as many chickens as you want on your very own farm, when you are a grown up. But not here and not now."

Guess what I have in my back yard in a bunny hutch right now. One guess. Go on. Say it. You know what I am going to say, so just spit it out. Yes, you are correct. I have a chick. No Kieran has a chick, rapidly developing into a chicken. Her name is Henny. The way she came to be was so sly, so underhanded that the universe literally got my husband Tom and I to go out of our way to secure her. I am sure someone is giggling somewhere right now at our predicament.

It started with a windy evening and a walk around the block. Tom and the kids came across a baby bird, who appeared to be dead, in the middle of the sidewalk. Tom picked the bird up, and noticed that it was warm and still breathing. He thought that a safe warm box would be a better place for this creature to die than out in the open as food for a predator. He brought the bird home to me. It had small wings and was covered in feathers but was only the size of a walnut. Kieran named the bird Patch while I force fed it gruel through an eye dropper. We tucked it into a box with a warmer and I got up with it twice during the night to feed it drips of wet cat food in warm water. It survived the night and the next day I suggested that we return it to its nest. Tom didn't think that was a good idea, since the nest wasn't locatable. We kept dripping food into the crack of it's beak, though it never opened up like a baby bird should to allow a full dropper of food in. I was literally force-feeding it. It had long legs for a chick and started hopping out of its box. It even ran away and was lost from me, but found by my oldest child, Cadence. During the second night, it occurred to me that Patch was a quail. Like chickens, quails are born ready to peck for themselves and are ground nesters. There would be no way of returning Patch to his nest. On the third day, I knew I needed to get Patch to peck for himself, but didn't know how to do this. You know the saying, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink", it was a lot like that. Patch just stood there, cheeping, not pecking. I was getting desperate. I couldn't let this quail chick die. I called around, looked on line, receiving this advice: I needed to get a chick to teach Patch how to peck and drink. There was no time to waste, the kids and I were off to the feed store. We were set up with a warming lamp, chick feed, food and water containers, a bale of wood shavings and a tiny chick for Patch. Kieran named the chick Hatch. Hatch successfully taught Patch to eat. We all saw this, the two of them pecking at the food trough, Patch happily nuzzling Hatch, trying to nest under her fluffy body. We were so happy. We thought we had saved the quail. We never saw Patch drink though. I tried to show him how, like they taught me at the feed store, by dipping his beak in the water. He wouldn't let me dip his tiny beak, he never learned the lesson. By evening, when we were celebrating our success, Patch was growing lethargic, almost drunk in the warmth of the heating lamp. In the morning, we found his still body, nuzzled under a warm blanket, peaceful and gone. We all cried. I buried him in a special place in the garden.

We were left with a single tiny chick, Hatch. We tried to return Hatch to the feed store, but they had a policy that prevented such action. They said they had another customer attempt to return a chick that morning, one she had purchased for her brooding hen, but whom the hen had rejected and tried to kill. This chick needed a home, and we could rescue her and provide company for our lonely Hatch. It all happened so quickly. I only had time to marvel at the irony of it a few times an hour, as we introduced Henny, the new chick to Hatch, who was substantially smaller. The term "pecking order" became clear to me as these two chicks came together. I wouldn't say that Henny "killed" Hatch, only that by the end of the next day, Hatch was dead too and I dug anther small grave next to Patch's.

Tom and I decided to draw the line and not try and add any more chicks to our crazy predicament. The days turned into weeks and our little Henny bonded with us, but especially Kieran, and is now a young, very people-friendly hen. Again, I suspect that somewhere in the universe, someone is chuckling. I have instructed Kieran to not ask for any more animals for awhile, or to add the caveat, "when I am much older" when making her requests to the universe. She is a powerful manifester and this I respect greatly. I would rather combat issues of abundance any day. The effects of doubt are much less fun to deal with (or NOT deal with).

Monday, July 09, 2007

It's Only Called Drowning If You Stop Wanting to Live.

You know the saying, "Just trying to keep my head above water"? I have given up on that. My life has been so harried lately. I can't keep my head above water any more. I can't keep swimming with the same view ahead of me. I have taken a deep breath and succumbed to the depths and the blue of below the surface. It's only drowning when you give up and stop wanting to experience it all. I have given up trying to keep it all afloat and keep juggling the same tasks, keep going at the same frantic pace, keep doing the same heroic things. I am taking a lung full of air and diving in deep to see what I have been trying to avoid for so long. Maybe under the surface, it is paradise, and all this time I have been fighting against it. To be completely open to life, is to be willing to endure the inevitable pain associated with living fully. To take that lung full of air, feel the pain of doing something completely new and scary- not just fighting to keep up the same old stuff, struggling to keep your head above water. I am doing it. Rolling with the waves, holding my breath like a free diver, taking in the new world before me. It's adventurous. It is risky. It is possibly going to get me into trouble that I cannot foresee. It is, at this very moment in time, FUN.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Achieving The Marvelous

To Achieve the MARVELOUS, it is precisely the UNTHINKABLE that must be thought. -Tom Robbins

Being FULL of crazy ideas myself, I think, "I am destined to achieve the marvelous- because there's seemingly NO END to the "unthinkable" in me." I have become creative in a kind of crazy way. Ever since the structure of my career was taken from me (as a pharmaceutical sales representative, due to a realignment lay off) and I was thrust into the world of stay at home motherhood in a town where all things are possible, I have been coming up with and implementing crazy ideas for my success. I have developed two on-line stores that showcase my love for helping others -via my creations of therapeutic gemstone belly chains and jewelry. When those sites didn't explode with business, my idle mind began concocting yet another the suggestion of one of my best friends, Lara, I created a collection of thirty cards in the size of a business card, incorporating my photographs and thought provoking and inspiring words from wise people. I call them "Presents of the Present". I invested real money to have them printed. So far, I can only give them away. Do you think I am thwarted in my achievement of the marvelous? NEVER! I often think about J.K. Rowling and her die-hard attempts to get the first Harry Potter book published. I believe she received over 100 rejections of that manuscript, which she unthinkably, NEVER GAVE UP ON. She never gave up. Even with all the doubt that comes from rejection, she never gave up. She is my inspiration. I will never give up on my achievement of the marvelous, because the only thing I will truly allow myself to doubt are my limits. This goes for you too.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Song For My Mother

This poem was written by MY mother, Kathryne Neches for her mother, Beatrice Edell Richardson Campbell.

I publish it here in honor of them, and my two older sisters, my BELOVED heroes.


Song For My Mother


when I judged you, I didn’t know you Not your struggles, not your pain. Not your triumphs. When I judged you I was ignorant.

A selfish, spoiled child, though I was seemingly mature. Though I knew better. Though I pretended not to judge.I was arrogant, entitled and short sighted. And I did judge you. You knew I did, though you may not have known my own day of being judged would come, or how soon. I judged you living. Each one of your everyday struggles. How long it took you to put on your make-up, to eat your breakfast, and how you embellished a story. I judged you.

The way you always had to be dressed - up, with earrings and a proper bag and shoes. The way you set the table with a cloth and pretty napkins. The way you took care of my father. Insisting he have three hot meals each day. I judged you. The way you fought with your hair, trying to erase the curl. The way you fought to be tanned a golden bronze instead of fair and freckled . The ways you thought a lady, a young lady should speak and act. I judged you. I thought you foolish. I thought you frivolous and old-fashioned. I thought you different from myself. And I sat idly, to smugly judge you. I judged you dying. From the early years when the drink took you. When you smoked and coughed and smoked some more. When you snacked on sausages and canned tamales. When candy bars and coffee were your fare. I judged you. When the hospital became your rest-stop. When rehab became your maintenance. When you never found a power greater than yourself, I judged you. When you said, over and over and over again, “I never wanted to be a burden to my kids.” I judged you and called you “liar!” When you had to live in your own town and not near mine. When oxygen became your elixir, and still you smoked, I judged you. When in the last hours of your life, you drew my sister, drunk herself to your bedside and waved me away, the daughter who had dealt with the daily difficulties of keeping you alive, I judged you heartless. I resigned. I retired. I recoiled form your coldness and thought I could simply reclaim my own life. But not yet, not yet, not until I judged you one last time.I judged you dead. You who had pulled yourself up from a fatherless childhood. A childhood of abuse and poverty in every way but that of love. You were loved. Loved by a fierce Mother with a love that gave you power. Power to defy the lack of education, the lack of a father’s love, the lack of resources and all the worldly, precious gifts you gave to me. Loved by a husband of fifty years in spite of your frailty, in spite of the humanity I turned from. I judged you in death to the depths of my soul. Then one day,when my own arthritic hands slowed my make-up brush. When I began to fight with my hair and wrinkles. When I saw myself change my clothes six times just to go to the store. When my stories barely resembled the truth. When my own daughters sighed in exasperation, rolling their eyes. When I remembered who it was that led me out of the alleys of alcoholism into the the sunlight of sobriety, I judged you again. When I set the table and pour milk from a picture and not the carton. When every meal must be served at a table fit for kings. When Christmas and birthdays all seem magical, because of you, because of your example, because you carved the way with the blade of your own believing. Believing in me. Believing in us. Believing a beautiful, rich abundant life should be my heritage. I judged you. I wept. I cracked open the cold heart of an ignorant child and called you my hero. My angel. My eskimo. My teacher. For three years following your death I cried and cried and cried rivers of rushing tears. Tears to wash away every harsh, harrowing hint of the hell you lived and died for. Your tears. The tears you never cried. My tears. Tears of regret. Tears of understanding. Tears of compassion and forgiveness. You came to me in a dream on the anniversary of your death.You wore the dress you were meant to be wearing to the great beyond and not the dress we put you in. You held up a greeting card that set me free. Free of a lifetime of judgment. Free of my own imperfection. Free to release my own daughters. The card said simply, “I love you and you love me!” and I put the judgment down.


Kathryne Neches 2007

Song For My Mother

post script

if you are not crying,

there is something wrong with you.


Shelley Meaney 2007

post script

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Letting Death be a Reminder to LIVE

A good friend of mine wrote me last week to tell me that her husband's best friend had died suddenly- doing something he loved- (probably of an aneurysm, during a spin class, if you must know). His name was Tim.

Here are my thoughts on Tim and on lifetimes,

We are blessed/cursed with never knowing how long it will be, this precious opportunity to be "in body". It's funny, the way we pretend that it's never going to happen, mourn a death, die a little ourselves when someone we love leaves us. BUT, as living organisms, it is the only inevitable we have. It is the one thing that we can safely predict, that all living things will reach an end to their lifetime and then they will nurture with their physical remains, or the impact they had on others, new or continued life.
Having kids means facing your fears about death. I talk to my kids about it- enough that it is a constant open dialogue- so they won't be afraid of it. I say- everything that is living will eventually die- everything and everybody has a life span. We do not know how long our life will be, because some things are just meant to remain a mystery. Embedded in the message is the feeling that every day that we are alive should be a cherished gift and an opportunity to celebrate. When we do go, we will feel like we devoured life, appreciating every breath, every caress, every kiss, every sweet-smelling flower, every violet sunset, every golden sunrise- we will have lost sleep to witness meteor showers, soothing sick children, dancing and drinking too much, taking trans oceanic flights to reach distant shores and new experiences. We will have experienced the rush of adrenaline from our first time driving fast, climbing high, sailing in a gale force and, of course, pushing ourselves in at least one amazing spin class.

We will have loved every second of this life, wasting little time. When our friends leave us, they are giving us the GREATEST GIFT- that is, to remind us of the opportunities we have been blessed with by being born human.

IN CELEBRATION OF TIM- I say- Good job in having a GREAT LIFE and in sharing your gifts with so many that you will nurture their soil in order for them to bloom another day.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My Terra Celeste Mission Statement

I love jewelry. I am a girly girl. I love the symbolism that a piece of jewelry carries with it. Like a wedding ring or a gold bracelet for graduation. I began making jewelry five or six years ago. My favorite materials have come to be gemstones, which are any naturally occurring crystalline or metamorphic rock that carry a unique vibrational signature. Gemstone properties are very interesting, and as it turns out, seem to have been made for us, to affect us. This is how I use them. The jewelry I create is beautiful, striking to wear, and will attract attention and admiration, but, has been created to serve a far more important purpose. Each piece is infused with the energy of the earth. The earth, as it turns out, is like a huge, natural pharmacy, open 24 hours. By finding yourself attracted to a piece, you are in a sense, prescribing your own stone therapy. I can also do this for you if you give me information. Gemstones are effective for the treatment of physical, emotional, spiritual, psychic, auric, chakral, and past-life ailments. They also provide the guidance, nurturing, filtering and love that you cannot get from an average pharmacy. With your jewelry purchase, I will include the properties of the gemstones and I will possibly give your piece a name that sums up the action it will provide. You will be drawn to certain pieces on any given day and will be, in effect, treating yourself, as needed. I love what I do. It gives me great pleasure to be able to connect with you and provide hope, healing, nurturing and solace from any given distance.Welcome to Terra Celeste. I look forward to working for you.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


I remember sometime in my late teens, after buying my first car, a 1974 blue Volkswagon Bug, feeling a true sense of freedom. To me, it was the freedom of opportunity, the knowing of the emminant possibility that there were adventures to be had. I had friends then, who shared my sense of freedom and adventure and we made the most of out time together and our freedom in the form of cars and driver's licences. It was the sense of freedom and the fire of our imaginations that we were high on. I remember thinking "why would anyone use drugs when life itself can make you feel so high?" I think that thought came on a night that we parked one of our cars at the end of the LAX runway off Vista Del Mar, in El Segundo, and felt the roar of the jumbo jets as they ascended into the sky from right above our heads.

Now that I am a mother, and a "stay-at-home" one at that, I like to have adventures with my kids. This town, (Santa Barbara- if you don't live here) is so full of the possibility for adventure that I sometimes am forced to piggy back one adventure on top of another just to take advatage of the cornicopia of possibility. The sperm whale is one example. I got word that there was a beached sperm whale on a beach in Santa Barbara, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I am so lucky because I have a friend who is willing and able to have just about any adventure with me- and our kids adore each other, so as soon as I had the idea in my head, I called Jill and we were off! The thing is,....that was not the end of the adventure. The day after our kids communed with the corpse of the great whale by playing "chicken" with it in the surf, we again were alight with the firy spirit of adventure. We took a picnic lunch down to a beach just south of where the whale had been the evening before. Again, I trusted Jill's natural ability to connect with wildlife and encouraged her to choose the beach. I was not dissappointed. We finished eating our lunch and started walking down the beach. We were rewarded almost immediately with the sight of a giant excavator digging a whale-sized hole for the black mound next to it. There was a crowd of people around and as we got closer, we could see why. It was what whalers must have looked like, covered from chest to toe on yellow rubber pants, standing on top or inside the whale weilding huge, four-foot-long scalpels. There was a scientific team performing a gross dissection. We had to cross a stream of whale blood to get to the up-wind side of the decomposing whale. The intestines were being extracted with the help of a large hook and I think I identified the huge black liver. The team working on the whale was either affiliated with the UCSB department of marine biology or they were from the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Either way, I was glad that the scientific community was taking the opportunity to learn from the magnificent creature who gifted her body to Santa Barbara.

As if the whale adventure weren't enough to keep us happy, just a few days later, we launched rokets off the blacktop at a local jr. high school, our imaginations stirring as they climbed though the low-lying clouds. A few days after that, I joined my daughter's first grade class on a field trip to the Santa Barbara Airport and we were treated to the most exciting surprize...a World War II B-17 Bomber, built in 1944. It was gleaming with it's polished chrome-riveted body, with thirteen gunnary positions to be located thoughout the plane. From the inside, we could safely imagine our young, brave soldiers, knowingly putting their lives on the line to man the war bird. We could even cross the catwalk in the belly of the plave to see where the bombs would be dropped as the huge doors opened exposing the runway below. It was a priceless experience. I returned the next day with Jill and our two young sons, to log another unforseen adventure in our book.

I feel like the luckiest woman in the world, living in a place where all things are possible and living like there's no tomorrow.
P.S. I realize that the picture of the gutted whale may be a bit much for some, but I'd like to take this opportunity to let you know that the smell was far worse than the sight. Decomposing life has a way of remaining in the olfactory lobe of the brain far longer than the image remains in the visual memory. I can still smell that whale, but I remain regret-free. A life devoured is guaranteed to be messy and smelly at times if not full-on GROSS.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


The adventure began when my sister Stacy called to ask about the beached whale in Isla Vista. It jarred my memory of a radio blurb that morning that I had heard but filed away somewhere in the back of my head for safe keeping. Upon jarring the idea loose, I was determined to commune with this amazing creature of the deep, and called my friend Jill. "Hey, you wanna go on an adventure?" I asked. "Absolutely!" She replied. We didn't know exactly where we were going, for the whereabouts of the whale had not yet shown up in the news. I told her I'd heard it was on Isla Vista beach. She drove. I trust Jill's connection to nature. She connects with animals (or they connect with her), even though she denies this vehemently. It may be purely coincidental, but Jill drove us to I.V. , found us a parking place. We descended the nearest set of stairs to the beach and found that we were within visual range of a beached sperm whale.

There was a small crowd marveling at the amazing creature. Kieran, my daughter, said it looked like a big plucked chicken. It was an accurate description. The whale was wrinkled and pink. "Possibly from a sunburn?", I speculated. The kids were fascinated and tried to get close but the whale was caught in the slowly rising tide and moved in and out, as if still alive, raising its caudal fin occasionally with the bigger waves. The kids were playing chicken with the carcass of the great sperm whale, chasing after it as the waves receded and running screaming back as the whale surged closer with the swell. It was wild and windy and I feared someone from our car was going to have a close encounter with decomposing whale tissue. I figured all was well though. This was in fact an experience of communing with nature, wasn't it? When else could my kids get close enough to actually kiss a sperm whale if they so chose? It was a great moment. A great present of the present where we acted in the spirit of adventure for a moment of discovery.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Presents of the Present

It's funny. Sometimes the gift is something you didn't want. It is something you didn't ask for.

I wrote this great blog this morning about seizing the day, living in the now and really appreciating this day- the only moment you really have- right now. I wrote all this stuff about not projecting your fear or anticipatory judgement on what your day hands you. Every moment of every day is a gift and some of those gifts come completely out of the blue and some are gifts you have asked for and worked towards. I said that you shouldn't shy away from the surprises. Don't think that you know what the box contains or weather or not you are going to love it once you try it on. I said all this stuff and then the whole essay got lost. I realized the essay was for me. The gift was mine. I know this because minutes after my essay was erased I received a call that could lead me to a new career. I was excited but began to feel scared with the anticipation of how this new development would impact my life. I was doing exactly what I advised my readers to avoid. The message was for me. The gift was for me. I am so grateful for the presents of my present even when they scare me or annoy me. I love it all in all my imperfection- able to cheer on others but left sometimes doubting myself. Life is funny. I can do nothing but chuckle.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Meditation for the REBIRTH full moon

This is a meditation from the TARA text called "Setting the Motivation"

Today, April 2nd, 2007, is the full moon- the first full moon of the Spring Equinox, the time for rebirth. On the full moon, all intentions and actions are amplified 10,000 times. I felt it important to share this. If you are reading this, it was meant for you, at this time. It is a gift for you. Receive it completely.

The fundamental nature of my mind is pure.
Within me is an inexhaustible source of love, wisdom and power.
The purpose of all spiritual practice
Is to reveal and make contact with this.

When ignorance is removed,
Unlimited wisdom, compassion and power arise.
It is the mind's conditioning that limits
Understanding of who I am
And what I can become.
I will cleanse my mind of faults
And develop beneficial qualities.
This removes obstacles to my path
And creates beneficial conditions.
Recognizing the interconnectedness of all,
I will strive to be my best
To manifest my enlightened potential.
Ever dedicated to benefiting all beings,
I will think, speak and act as


Friday, March 16, 2007

Doing Your Best

I try to do my best every day. I am careful about how I interact with people, trying to add positive energy to seemingly minute interactions. I try to do the right thing in my work. I give as much if not more than I receive. I am generous and trusting with people, I believe in bringing out the best in people by expecting it. I am as loving and caring with my step-children as I am with my biological ones. They are all mine and none of them are mine. I say "yes" when someone needs help. I step up to the plate, even when the job is tough. I do the best that I can, not always succeeding like a super-mom would, but by trying and being willing to fail, rather than by not trying at all. My sister, Stephanie thinks I should write a book about how to be a good step-mother. She says that she uses me as an example of "how-to" with her friends who need some perspective into the world of raising someone else's kids. What I have is the perspective of someone who has been step-parented. I had (have) one stepmother and four stepfathers. I was a child born of the marriage of children. My sisters and I looked up to our parents, expecting them to be right and good, secure and strong, with full confidence that they were all of these things. We trusted our step parents to behave well too. We trusted them to love us, support us, support our relationship with the parent they were married to and the parent they were filling in for. In trust, we were frequently let down.

I learned how to be a good stepmother by remembering what it feels like to be a stepchild.

I hold my older girls' mother in very high esteem. I am willing to support her in any way that I can because I know how much I loved my mother and wanted her to be held in the highest esteem. There can be no rationalizing about why a parent is not a good one in the eyes of a child. Nature makes parents perfect people in the eyes of their children. All misdeeds are forgivable. And so, as a step mother, my job is to join my girls in the love of their mother (something I wish my stepmother had done for me).

Children are children for such a short time but carry the moldings of childhood into the solidification of their adult lives. Being loving, supportive, kind, nurturing, firm and trustworthy as a step parent is the right thing to do for the children in my care. I don't distinguish between the lines of marriage and bloodlines. In our family, I like to include my step daughters' sister from their mother's subsequent marriage in our important family events. I can so easily make her happy and provide her with great childhood memories, just by treating her as I would want to be treated. My father never included my sisters and me on a vacation with his new family. I do the opposite. I don't take a trip without ALL of my kids. As an adult my I also have been blessed by the example of my amazing step father who parents like I do. He loves my sisters and me and all of our children like we are his own. He treats us with respect, kindness and generosity and he adores our mother.
Step parenting comes with the bonus of having a big family without having to go through all of those pregnancies. I love being a part of a big crazy family. We fill all seven seats of the car, play board games, take big, memorable vacations where somebody inevitable complains too much about the food, or how boring it all was, but I truly truly love it. Whether they love me as much as I love them is not important. I am sure my work will show its value when it comes time for these kids to become parents. They won't have to resort to "just do the opposite". They will know just what to do to make the experience of being a family as precious as it can possibly be.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


The day was warm, like a caress. It left me with my shoulders bared and comfortable in a skirt with bare feet. It was truly spring in Santa Barbara- eighty five with bulbs emerging and a warm breeze even in the shade. Present. I am and it was. I even wrote a thank you note- in advance- to the universe for the presents to come in the remainder of the year. I know I will not be disappointed. I always get what I ask for. I am thankful for my future connections in business- more belly chain orders and people excited about my "Presents of the Present" cards. I am grateful for the impact I will make on the world, the lives I will change. I thanked the universe for my healthy, beautiful, fit body, for the adventures we would have as a family on our travels and for my husband and his prosperous business. I am a wealthy, content woman who dares to devour each day with lust and appreciation for the smallest distraction. If today were a gift, it would have been wrapped in cornflower blue paper and tied with a lime green and fushia striped bow. It would have been one of many many gifts that I have come to appreciate and share. I hope I can share one with you. Write your thank you note. deliver it. Move through your days as if it has already come.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Metamorphosis. I am going through a transformation. Many of us are. We are shedding our outer layers, peeling away the old skin. We are physically changing, painfully at times. We have been sick, depressed, unnerved. We are shifting, shedding, growing and it hurts. I imagine it as a metamorphosis. We re learning new skills, waking up to find hidden talents and feel passion that does not yet fit into our daily lives. We are not alone. I bet you know what I'm talking about. I have been sick for six weeks. My brain is foggy, not sharp. My motivation for certain tasks is lacking. It's hard for me to slow down to allow the shift to occur. I can't say that I have been unhappy though. I feel hopeful and inspired. I have visions of my future self, confident, luminous and beautiful in all ways. My family seems to be growing ever closer as the months turn into years, as if we are very much on the same path. When I see friends struggling or suffering in pain, I visualize the shift happening in them. The breaking of old habits and the re-tuning of body instruments to play a totally different musical score. Happy to be here, as always, even in the struggle, even in the exhaustion, even in the fog. I am happy.

Friday, February 02, 2007

You may not believe this....

I love my body. I love the way it can change at my whim. I love taking the mental tour, riding the course of the blood through my heart, picturing the rhythmic, steady beating, pumping. When I used to donate blood regularly, I used to be amazed at how warm the bag was, as it filled, propped heavily next to me. Warm and comforting, waiting to share it's nurturing energy with someone else. I love my body and how I can both give and receive touches, to my legs, my belly, feeling the softness of the skin, or appreciating the rough that needs smoothing. I love the way the curves can be sculpted and that at any time in one's life, the body can be changed. It can wax and wane in size, like the moon. It can recover from famine and obesity. It can grow more muscle and gain strength at any site where muscle exists. This body allows me to hear music and soar in my imagination with the sounds. I can savor foods and have a thirst that when quenched tastes the best water ever. I can smell and see, touch and hear. I can move and feel the stretch of a tired muscle, take comfort in the feeling of my straight hair pulled between two fingers. I love my body and the opportunity it affords me. To curl up in comfort under a warm and heavy blanket for a guilt free nap in the afternoon. To retreat into my mind for trips into the past or the future, rich with possibility. The body is a gift, in any state. Pain, as I have experienced in childbirth, can serve so much as a pendulum. In labor, the absence of pain is pleasure. In debilitating disease, the pain is feeling, it is experience and I imagine, it allows one insights into realms unreachable without it. In any form, the body is a gift, a wonder and a delight. There is good in it all and in all its possibilities. I ask you, today, to look at your body with different eyes, seeing it for what it is; a miracle. Talk to your organs, your heart, lungs, kidneys, intestines, your muscles, blood vessels, brain and bones. Notice how cuts heal and change is always possible. Notice how food is digested and water is absorbed. See your precious body for what it is, and LOVE it, give it the gift of your appreciation, your care and watch how it responds.

Friday, January 05, 2007


I was given this beautiful Rose Quartz Angel by my friend Eveline Maria, who is an angel incarnate. One of many Angels I am working with these days. They seem to be emerging from the woodwork, eager to assist, generous beyond reason, connected to my heart, even when I have yet to know their faces. I set this Angel on my table, with my therapeutic gemstone jewelry at the Winter Solstice Goddess Party. She had many admirers. I promised a few of them that I would find out where my friend Eveline Maria found her and provide a contact so that other angels could be brought home to Santa Barbara. This Angel came from Austrailia, from a woman named Kimberlee. Kimberlee is working on a film called The Crystalline Peace Project, compiling earthy images of peace. She can be reached via e-mail at . Happy Angel connecting!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I have a dream. My dream involves a harmonious planet populated with beings who respect themselves and each other. A planet that is no longer called infear but referred to by it's true name, GRACE. I have a dream that we can build and achieve all that we can imagine if our hearts and minds are truthful and authentic. Our work is fun and prosperous. We are able to support one another and share our prosperity. It becomes infectious. My dream starts with a store front in SANTA BARBARA where in collaboration with my friend(s) we can create a sanctuary of tea and community, of ritual and celebration of cultures. Our tea house is called HEALING TEA. HEALING TEA will have tea rituals from around the world on the menu. We will offer Ceremonial Japanese Green Tea, Persian Tea, English High Tea, Himaliayan Chai Tea, Amazonian Yerba Mate, and much more. We will also offer healing teas for the mind, body and spirit, infused with gem elixers. We will provide delicious raw finger foods and traditional accompaniments to the regional tea services. We, of course, will also serve Italian Coffee and Peruvian Hot Chocolate. Our tea house will have space for the sale of arts and objects that add to the nurturing spirit of our community. Apparel, jewelry, ornaments and comforts for the home, and gemstones, of course, will be available for purchase. We will create a space for gatherings such as a knitting circle and other opportunities to nurture our creativity. We will offer special services for milestones such as birthdays, life transitions and accomplishments. We will nurture the uniqueness that our community houses and honor the strengths of the individuals that comprise its whole. Our HEALING TEA HOUSE is a dream that will come to fruition. We need a space and the financial investment resources to make it happen. Improvements to a space may cost as much as $250,000 and rent may be as much as $4,000 per month. So, I am asking the universe to connect me to these resources and guide me in the leaps that need to be made. I have a dream. I believe in my dream. Watch me make it happen. Join me in making it happen. Contact me if you have any ideas, leads on spaces, or a desire to provide monetary backing for this worthwhile project. Thank you. THANK YOU.