Friday, December 31, 2010

Stepping Forward

New Year's Eve is for dreaming.  I sensed the anticipation and excitement of the approaching new year as I ambled with a friend in Hampstead in the shadow of the Heath. Faces were bright, pleasantries plentiful. I took the long way home, through Notting Hill, down Portobello Road and along Westbourne Grove.  Shops, whose windows were decorated with twinkling pine trees, evening gowns and champagne glasses, were closing early.  Enthusiasm seemed to turn contemplative as twilight fell.  What will transpire in the coming year?  What possibilities will unfold?  What disappointments lurk in the gloom?  What challenges will I encounter?  What fears will I overcome?  Time, a man made marker.  A way to project and reflect.  From one day to the next we walk into the unknown.  What do I wish for?  To step forward into 2011 with gratitude, openness and grace.

Core Story

Today's reverb 10 prompt: Core Story

What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world?

The story at my core has been about my work.  Post college I had an entry level job at MTV which  transformed into much, much more.   I seemed destined to have a career, to travel, to manage others, to create, to lead, to learn and to grow in ways I never imagined.  Doors opened and I kept stepping through them until one day I wondered what it would be like to experience another path.  One that didn't consume as much time.  One that wasn't riddled with back stabbing colleagues and politics.  What if I said no and found another way?  Fifteen months ago a portal opened putting me on that exact road.  Ironically, In 2010 the absence of work has been at the core of my story.  The pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other and although gratitude and joy have defined 2010, I know my true destiny is in finding balance.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Today's reverb 10 prompt:  Gift

This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

The universe conspired in the unlikeliest of ways to give me the gift of time.  I have the luxury to not work, to restore and rejuvenate, to refresh my mind, my soul, and my creative reservoirs.  My path is atypical and nontraditional, and I know I'm truly blessed.  I don't take a second for granted.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Defining Moment

Today's reverb 10 prompt: Defining Moment

Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.

It was a conversation I had with a friend while hiking, of course.  Everything became clear, the literal and figurative path in front of me was illuminated.   The timing was crucial, faultless.  The epiphany couldn't have happened a moment sooner or later.  This defining moment made me believe in the process, in being patient, in letting life unravel as planned by the universe, not by me.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Cow

A lazy morning followed by an adventurous afternoon walking in the misty fog through Kensington Gardens and Chelsea making our way to the Saatchi Gallery.   Twilight glowed through the windows as we strolled through the galleries.  Bleached floors and white walls, a soothing environment for modern art, some unappealing, but other works inspiring like Mustafa Hulusi's Exstacy Almond Blossom.  Meandered home stopping at  Waitrose to stock the refrigerator.  After a warm meal we ventured out to meet Marcus at The Cow.  Mulled wine, lager, easy conversation and laughter.  The day ends tucked into the cozy flat on Sunderland Gardens awaiting another experience.


Today's reverb 10 prompt:  Achieve

What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

I love my life, and I cherish the freedom I have to live without working.  However, I am ready to commit to a job.  I'm eager to achieve creative satisfaction, and connection.  I want a job that enhances my life, but doesn't consume it.  I want to work while still having room for photography, entertaining, rest, travel, relationships, yoga, and hiking.  I want a job that feeds off of my personal life and vice versa.  This would indeed make me feel complete, blissful, excited and charged.    When it comes to achieving this goal, all of my thoughts and actions are positive.  I know it will happen.  I trust it will happen.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Mexican Morning/Parisian Morning


Today's Reverb 10 prompt:  Ordinary Joy

Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

Hiking.  I often have intense and profound feelings of joy when I'm ambling along on a hiking trail.  My chest will literally swell.  My eyes have also been known to fill. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Soul Food

Today's reverb10 prompt: Soul Food

What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

My trip to Northern California this summer was an embarrassment of mouth watering, memorable meals.  But the first one, after a five hour road trip, was particularly perfect.  The sun had set and a chill was in the air as we wandered into flour + water in The Mission.  I ordered the most delicious, local salad.  Light, tangy, and sublime.  Between forkfuls of the greens, the freshest bread melted in my mouth.  The meal was complemented by a fruity Californian red.  Simple, high quality food untainted by too much tampering.  YUM.


Due to technical difficulty we haven't been able to document our travels as often as we would like.  Here's an evening installation.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I believe, I believe, I believe

Yes, I believe in Santa Claus and the magical powers of the holiday season.  Grateful to be in the city of lights this Christmas.  Traveling ALWAYS nurtures my soul.  Everything seems possible.  Dreams seem close enough to touch like bubbles landing in the palm of one's hand.  Enjoying the company of a wonderful friend and sharing in her holiday traditions with her aunts.  Sipping champagne, feasting on caviar and smoked salmon, basking in the glow of the city's lights as we walk streets dusted with snow.  Finding ourselves at the Place de Vendome again, warmed by a glass of smooth burgundy at Hotel Costes.   Wrapped in woolens and scarves we make our way to the metro to catch the last train.   MERRY CHRISTMAS to all, and to all a good night.


Today's reverb 10 prompt: Photo - a present to yourself

Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words.

In May I took this self portrait for a photography class assignment.  I put on a vintage gown and set up my newly purchased tripod in my back yard.  The sun was radiant and warm on my shoulders.  I was looking at my image reflected in the glass door behind me as the timer counted down.  The smile is real.  I was happily embracing my new life, no work and lots of play.  This photo propelled me to join 365 Days on Flickr.   The beginning of many new adventures . . .

Thursday, December 23, 2010


A photo essay.  Two friends globetrotting this holiday season, one in Mexico, the other in Europe, documenting their adventures with morning and evening images.


Today's reverb 10 prompt:  New Name

Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

In my mind my alter ego is called Jane.  I like the simplicity, the sound of the singular syllable.  She's not plain, but rather fresh, unblemished, and optimistic.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Today's reverb 10 prompt:  Travel

How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

Appropriately, I'm writing this prompt from Heathrow Airport waiting for a connection to Paris.   In 2010 I traveled well!  Started the year visiting friends on the east coast, had an adventure in Baja Sur California in the spirng,  a cool summer unwinding in Northern California, monthly visits to the healing desert, and a year end, holiday excursion to Europe.  Trips with friends, meeting new people, eating incredibly meals, relaxing, twisting, laughing, being.

In 2011 I want to go back to Asia, take a road trip to the extraordinary national parks in the west, and perhaps a visit to Kauai.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Future Self

Today's reverb 10 prompt:  Future Self

Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead?

Savor EVERY moment. 

Monday, December 20, 2010


'Tis the season for family spats, hence I'm still processing a difficult phone conversation I had this afternoon.  My sister described me as ungenerous -monetarily and emotionally, disrespectful, inconsiderate, cruel, nasty, judgmental and controlling.  The words were spewed hours ago, but I still feel them like a bee stinger embed under my skin.  The rainy night is a perfect companion for my raw vulnerability.  Our relationship has admittedly weathered a bumpy road.  Although healing has occurred along the way, miscommunication, and conflicting points of view remain.  I'm truly sorry I've caused her pain, but it is difficult for me to identify with these words. This is how she sees me, so this is who I am to her, but it's not who I am.  When these charges were first uttered a year ago, I was told they were a long held belief.  So I must ask, why pursue my friendship?  If I am selfish, cold and inconsiderate why do you want me in your life?  If being with me makes you "disappear" and shut down, why the quest?  If spending time with me doesn't live up to your expectations and visions of how I should behave, why the desire?  I don't believe in obligatory relationships, blood, history, geography, not solid enough reasons for me.  Connection, honesty, authenticity, loyalty, vulnerability, ease, and joy now that's a recipe for friendship.  On this night of the winter solstice/lunar eclipse I'm releasing this distress and asking for harmony in return.


Today's reverb 10 prompt:  Beyond Avoidance

What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing?

I cannonballed into the deep end of 2010.  I truly cannot think of something I wanted to do, but didn't pursue.  In fact, it was a year of realizing many things I put off in the past out of fear and or lack of time.  Tackling my digital camera, shooting every day, taking classes was something I've always wanted to do, and I'm doing it.  Committing to my yoga practice, check.  Starting a blog, check.  Dating, check.  Spending quality time with friends, check.  Being in the moment, check.  Traveling to unexplored places, check.  Saying no, when no was the right answer, check.  Letting go of things I don't need to grasp tightly, check.  Saying yes, when yes was the right answer, check.  Being spontaneous, check.  Being quiet, check.  Taking care of myself, check.  Asking for help, check.  Trusting the process, check.  I don't believe in shoulds, and 2010 was exactly how it was supposed to be.  I look forward to the unfolding adventure in 2011.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Today's reverb 10 prompt:  Healing

What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

Food.  After a detox at the end of 2009 I started 2010 invigorated, and committed to changing my eating habits.  Always on the healthier side of the eating spectrum, I didn't have far to go to make the adjustment.  I bought a juicer and started to experiment with smoothie and juice recipes.  I preferred farmers' markets to grocery stores, cooking to eating out, whole foods to processed ones, legumes to meat.  I gave up Diet Coke, a guilty pleasure I've been carrying around since I was a teen.  When I eat a balanced, healthy diet I feel incredibly good.

How would I like to be healed in 2011?  By love.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Today's reverb 10 prompt:  Try

What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?

I want to try on a new relationship.  I'm ready to experience a heart, body and soul commitment.  I dated  in 2010, but the fit wasn't quite right.  I found myself compartmentalizing, but in 2011 I want it all from one person.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Today's reverb 10 prompt:  Lesson Learned

What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?
Over and over again in 2010, I heard the same lesson:  I have a choice through which prism I view life.  I can choose to get caught up in fear or negativity or I can choose to let my concerns roll through me like puffy clouds passing overhead on a sunny day.  I choose optimism, to see the good in people, and to trust and believe that the universe knows best.  Additionally, life is brilliant when I choose to love myself rather than focusing on my foibles.  When I encounter frustration I seek compassion.  I will continue to  embrace the potholes in my path, the wrinkles on my face, the impatience in my soul.  I will continue to be drawn to the light for I know it will be reflected back upon me.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Today's reverb 10 prompt:  Friendship

How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?
My friend, the talented and beautiful Miss JOB, introduced me to the world of blogging, online classes and workshops and inspired me to participate.  One little portal, one major ripple effect.  As a result, I began creating my own blog, dreaming through art projects and challenging my photography skills.  I was starved for an artistic outlet and thanks to Miss JOB I keep finding new ones.  Perhaps it sounds silly, but whenever I hit send on my computer, I feel as if I'm communing with the universe.  My thoughts, dreams, and visions are released into space, no longer just stored in my mind, like the seed head of a dandelion drifting in the wind.  My dreams are floating in the universe waiting to come true.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Today's reverb 10 prompt: 5 Minutes

Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes.  Set an alarm and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.
1.  Visiting friends in Charleston
2.  Walking around NYC in January, finding a fantastic yoga studio, reconnecting with old friends
3.  Snowy cinematic weekend in Park City
4.  Too many hikes to count in the blooming desert while listening to Soldier of Love
5.  Setting up camp in a very windy Joshua Tree with JB
6.  Greeting spring with visitors in PS
7.  Falling in love with my Canon Rebel
8.  Creative exploration through photography classes and online workshops
9.  Exploring Todos Santos with JOB while figuring out life, full moon breathwork under the stars
10. Dreamy road trip to The Sea of Cortez
11. Celebrating my birthday with friends and pizza
12.  The courage to join the blogosphere and commit to 365 Days
13.  Road tripping to Vegas and laughing all the way
14.  Charting the seasonal changes at the local farmer's markets
15.  Dinner parties at home
16.  July in Northern California
17.  Cooking in Sausalito
18.  Weekend in wine country
19.  Road trip to Sea Ranch and Mendocino
20.  The amazing restaurants of SF
21.  Dating, dating and more dating
22.  A fateful hike with DS
23.  Falling and being caught
24.  Hall and Oates weekend in PS
25.  Star Wars, cake and a heavy mist
26.  Pappy and Harriet's
27.  Pulling off a BIG surprise party
28.  Finding ease with Mom and Dad
29.  Taking an inspirational photography class
30.  Yoga, yoga, yoga
31.  Hanging out in Malibu with MP
32.  Weekly hikes with friends in the hills of Hollywood
33.  The comfort of familiar loved ones, and the joys of  newer friendships

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Today's reverb 10  prompt: Appreciate

What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

EVERYDAY I'm grateful I don't have to battle traffic on my way to an office where ten hours of back to back meetings would pass before I could make my way home again.  No matter how nice the view, an office is a sterile environment.  I appreciate waking up to a leisurely, flexible schedule.  I express my gratitude by spending time in nature, shopping at local farmer's markets, embracing my yoga practice, and saying thank you to the universe.  I know I've been given an amazing gift!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Today's reverb 10 prompt:  Action

When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

In my current situation, my next step is to trust, allow things to unfold, and be PATIENT -- not an easy place for me to hang out.  It's one thing for me to be active and patient, but to be somewhat idle, in terms of my aspirations, and patient is way outside of my comfort zone.  I have found this is the perfect condition for fear to fester, like mold on a moist surface.  I know there's a conflict raging deep inside of me, it has recently taken up residence in my sciatic nerve.  My desire to be active, to do something about obtaining my goals is in direct conflict with what I know to be true.  I need to trust, allow things to unfold, and be patient.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Body Integration

Today's reverb 10 prompt: Body Integration

This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

At the end of last year I did a ten day detox, and as a result started 2010 on a physical and emotional high.  My body felt free of tension and my head was clear. The impact of the detox stayed with me most of the year, although I felt the best during the first few months.  My yoga practice kicked into high gear, I had oodles of energy and my cravings were non existent.  I'm longing for that integrated feeling.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Eleven Things

Today's Reverb 10  prompt:  11 Things.

What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

I've been clearing, cleaning and cleansing for the past 15 months.  Are there 11 things still left to get rid of? Perhaps.

1.  Self destructive behavior which can vary in form -- not getting enough sleep, sugar, pushing myself beyond my limit, not eating right.  Sometimes I think I'm super human and incredibly resilient, but I'm not.  I'd like to honor my limitations in 2011. My overall health and physical well-being will thank me.

2.  The occasional social cigarette, my way of being "bad".  Seemingly the perfect complement to a glass of wine and conversation.  It never is.  I ALWAYS regret it and feel the consequences the next day.  I need to have greater will power and just say NO.

3.  The clutter in my garage.  I made a huge dent at a recent garage sale, but I have a few more things to sell and a little more organizing to accomplish.

4.  People who drain my energy.  It's not always easy for me to put myself first, but I need to remind myself that some relationships don't serve me well and it's okay to have wonderful memories and move on.

5.  The desire to hibernate instead of getting out of the house and being a little more social.  This one conflicts with item number one.  Not always easy to differentiate the two.

6.  Negative thoughts.  Stay positive, optimistic and always surrender.  Just trust the universe knows best!

7.  Wasting time online.  When ennui sets in it's time to turn off the computer and do anything else!

8. Not voicing my concerns.  Silencing my intuition has never lead to anything positive.  In fact, it's most often the thorn in my Achilles heal that has the power to bring me down.

9.  Avoiding conflict.  Sometimes it's unavoidable.  Telling someone the truth even if it is going to result in pain or conflict is often the only road to take.   Getting clear on what needs to be communicated is essential, as is the timing.

10.  Being hard on myself.  I'm often more loving and forgiving of others than I am towards myself.  Holding myself to higher standard is a lose/lose situation.  My imperfections are what make me human, authentic, and what the hell . . . beautiful!

11.  Fears about the future.  I'm going to TRUST and BELIEVE all my dreams and deepest desires will be fulfilled.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Today's Reverb 10  prompt:  Wisdom

What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

I've turned down several job opportunities because in my gut they weren't right.  Paychecks don't motivate me, but passion, inspiration and right partnerships do.  I'm seeking a more integrated personal and professional life.  Whenever I fear that my life will have to change substantially for a job, that a part of me will tucked away in a drawer, I know I need to keep on looking.  It's the knowing that I trust.  Do I have proof these decisions were the wisest?  I'm still unemployed, happily I might add, so the end of the story remains unwritten.  But I believe I made the most enlightened choices.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Today's Reverb 10  prompt: Party

What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

Summer often arrives late in Los Angeles, but on this particular evening in late June the day's warmth clung to the air as the sun went down.  I was with friends having a casual, yummy dinner in their garden.  Moods were light, conversation easy.  Darkness had struck this family several months before, but the gray veil appeared to be lifting.  In fact, post dinner, my friend was eager to get out and go to a book party I knew about in the neighborhood.  Her husband, tired after a long week at work, was content to stay home with their three year old.  We put on lip gloss, fluffed our hair, and journeyed out to what I assumed would be an hour, two at the most, of literary chat.  The hosts' friend had indeed recently published a book, but the non fiction tale was seemingly just a ruse to have a big bash.  The backyard glowed with candles and white lights strewn in the lush hedges and oaks.  Alcohol and food flowed freely.  I ran into friends, old colleagues, and writers whose work I admired.  The night had a vibrancy and heavenly scent from the fragrant night blooming jasmine.  The conversation was stimulating, witty, even flirtatious.  It was the type of night I didn't want to end, so it didn't.  My friend and I, with one more in tow, hopped to another party I knew about conveniently located several miles away.  More familiar faces, more laughs, a bite of red velvet birthday cake in the kitchen.  Way past midnight we made our exit.  I returned my friend to her doorstep which led to a nightcap on her patio with her sleepy mate whom we woke up to tell about our nocturnal adventures.   The evening was spontaneous, fueled by the promise of summer, and unexpected. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Beautifully Different

Today's Reverb 10 prompt: Beautifully Different

Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

Since joining this challenge my mornings have started with checking the day's prompt and blogging my response prior to even getting out of bed.  But today I was stumped.  What makes me beautifully different?  This inquiry felt personal, too personal in fact, so I quickly closed my lap tap and decided to deal with it later.  Now it's later.  UGH.  I don't think I'm very different, although my life is anything but typical, so here it goes.   These are things that make me different:

My life is anything but typical -- I'm 46, single, never been married, and don't have kids, and yet I'm a romantic, domestic and love being around children.

My career has brought me deep satisfaction and financial stability, but I was disillusioned and craved a break.  I've been on "hiatus" for 15 months, and although creatively I'm ready to work again, my criteria has dramatically shifted.  I'm very optimistic about my next career move.

I was raised Catholic -- parochial school, church every Sunday, grace before meals.  In college I stopped believing in organized religion and somewhere in my late 20s I found spirituality.  I'd be lost without it.  I feel deeply connected to the universe.  I believe.  I trust.  I feel profound love. 

I have more freedom and less responsibility than any other time in my life.  I'm living the life most of  us pretend we have in our 20s.  I'm lucky.  I'm grateful. 

I'm analytical, philosophical, sentimental and intellectual.

Since I was old enough to engage I've been blessed with rich, evolving friendships.  They make my world go round.

I go with the flow.  I see the good in most, if not all, people.  I don't like to judge one's behavior.

Art, architecture, design, fashion, style, beauty -- the most glorious things about being human.

I have to be in significant pain to take an aspirin, or on my deathbed to take antibiotics.

I've always preferred whole, fresh foods to anything fast, fried and unrecognizable.

I'm a recent vegetarian.  For now it feels good.

I'm a seeker of truth, authenticity, balance and love.

I like a good party -- a tart margarita, a jammy pinot, a drag of a cigarette -- and yet the older, and cleaner I get the harder it is to recover and justify feeling so crappy.

I'm happiest in nature, but nothing is as sweet as laughing uncontrollably with a friend.

I've had an incredible life and yet I believe the best times are ahead of me. Whenever I doubt this to be true, I stumble.

I'm curious about people.  Everyone has a story and I want to hear it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Today's Reverb 10 prompt:  Community

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

One of the positive aspects of my job, when I was working, was being a part of the creative community in Hollywood.  Initially, I didn't feel the absence, but after several months the void became pronounced. Looking back, my desire to fill this space snowballed into the discovery of many wonderful communities, the majority of them online.   Mondo Beyondo was my introduction into the world of online workshops and classes, and the impetus for creating this blog.  Amelia Critchlow's Experimental Art E-Course gave me the excuse to buy watercolors, acrylics and glitter, AND spend my summer afternoons making art.  My quest to shoot photographs everyday led to joining Flickr's 365 Days project.  The most surprising, and satisfying by product of these groups is the interaction.  The comments someone leaves behind after a blog post or the feedback I give on a photograph is proof that there's a living, breathing community online bursting with support and compassion.

I've always drifted in and out of my yoga commitment, in part because I never felt connected to a studio.  After a friend kept raving about her favorite place in the valley, a twenty to thirty minute drive depending on traffic, I decided to meet her for a class.   It was exactly what I was looking for, but I told myself I couldn't take on the commute.  I also projected into the future, a future when I was working again, and rationalized I'd never be able to get to classes.  I didn't want to fall in love with a yoga studio I couldn't commit to forever.   Five months ago I ignored the chatter and started to attend classes.  The effect on my practice and spiritual growth has been profound.

In 2011 I'd like my ties to these communities to deepen.  I'm also ready to reengage with Hollywood.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Today's Reverb 10 prompt:  Make

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

For the past 192 days I've snapped my self portrait for the Flickr group 365 days.  Some days the task weighs around my ankle like a ball and chain, but yesterday I had barely finished my cup of tea and I was out of the house, camera and tripod in tow.  The sun was breaking through the gray clouds and I wanted to capture the moody desert landscape. I'm not always pleased with my picture, but yesterday I liked the results.  I've been on a creative odyssey in 2010, and my camera has been one of my favorite companions.  I hope to make many more photographic images in 2011.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let Go

Today's Reverb10 prompt: Let Go

What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

I haven't quite let go of it, yet.  It's a process.  I wish it was in the past tense, and soon it will be.  I'm letting go of the belief, and subsequent disappointment, that if things don't happen during a specific time frame they won't happen at all.  I subconsciously put expiration dates on expectations, sometimes very long ones, and if I cross over the marker without the experience, an intense darkness can set in.  This is a deeply unconscious process, one that takes time, effort and awareness to unravel.  Living in the moment definitely helps, but that too can get me into trouble.  It's as if I'm Philip Pettit on a wire gracefully inching further and further into space.  I'm playing, filled with joy, and then I look down.  In fact, I force myself to look down and contemplate what appears to be an insane situation.  I'm flooded with fear.  I wobble, and lose my footing.  My heart races.  Panic sets in.  What was I thinking?  How did I get so far out on this limb?  I've distracted myself from obtaining my goals by playing on a dangerous tight rope.  Someone is going to get hurt. And that's what a negative perspective shift can do.  One moment I can be a nimble sprite and the next a clumsy, anxious damsel.  Nothing has changed.  The only thing altered is how I view myself, my life, my situation.   Thankfully awareness is the first step, and I'm very aware.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Today's REVERB10 promt:  Wonder
How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

Upon reflection,  it seems that everything I did in 2010 created a sense of wonder.  An amazing realization!!!  But one of the most consistent cultivators of wonder in my life is hiking and the profound way it connects me to the universe.   Being enveloped by nature's seasonal transformation has an uncanny ability to release a spectrum of emotions.  I've encountered unexpected tears, infinite joy, deep contentment and pure gratitude.  My favorite ritual is to find a perch at the top of the mountain, a place to sit cross legged and just breathe.  After a few minutes of meditation, I open my eyes and float like a bird above the expansive city below.   I'm at one with both the grandness of the universe and the fragility of life.  The world becomes still and clear, as do my needs.  My heart knows this is happiness, this is joy, this is love.  This is a gift I can give myself everyday, any day. The gift of wonder.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Today's REVERB10 prompt:  MOMENT
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

Technically this moment happened in 2009, but it was less than a year ago, mid December, and it resonates as a significant memory, one I ascribe to the past year.  At 2 am on a foggy morning in Thailand I found myself on a motorcycle sandwiched between two Thai locals.  We had just left the Bebop, a crowded jazz and blues bar on the outskirts of Pai, and were following the river back to town.  My white cotton skirt and flip flips were inadequate protection against the cold air, but I surrendered to the chill.  I remember giggling as the bike bounced across the potholed streets which several hours ago were bustling with tourists buying trinkets at the night market.  The silence that proceeds a new day was hanging in the mist.  A lone roster crowed.  I had come to Pai eight days earlier based on recommendations from friends and guidebooks describing it as a sleepy hillside town offering trekking, culinary feasts, live music and a laid back vibe.  Nestled in a green valley with hot springs, rice fields and a lovely lazy river it was too good to pass up.  Pai lived up to its accolades, but unfortunately, my concerns about traveling alone manifested there.  A destination heralded for savoring the moment illuminated my loneliness.  I surrendered to the companionship of of my book during meals.  Ennui and old demons wanted to settle in, but I found the resolve to chase them away and cleared space for meeting new people, tourists and locals alike.  The latter whom took me to the infamous bar I had read about miles from town. The moment on the motorcycle reminded me to let go even if my fears manifest, enjoy the journey even if it is unknown and uncomfortable, and let life unfold for it will be grander than I could ever have imagined.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Today's Reverb10 prompt: Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

I procrastinate!!! Most of my adult life has been over scheduled, mainly due to a demanding career.   As a result chores, fun, socializing and relaxation got wedged into the crevices in between.  I was just reminded  how much I was able to accomplish in a 24 hour period when I had guests for two weeks and was planning a surprise party.  Crossing items off my To-Do list I wondered how I use to entertain AND work.  My hours were well orchestrated, not a second wasted.  Sleep was often sacrificed and I was ALWAYS tired.  In the past 15 months I've indulged in a more relaxed, unemployed lifestyle.  Sometimes I miss the pace, but more often than not I embrace the freedom to get lost in the blogosphere, read a book, take a nap, watch a movie in the afternoon, or try a new recipe without a reason.  There's always a little voice in the back on my head telling me I could be doing more, judging my daily choices, projecting regrets.  I try not to notice.  My goal is to stay in the moment, and if in the moment I'm not saving the world, or writing a novel, or changing the fine art photography world, so be it.  I like giving myself permission to, at times, do nothing.  This stage won't last forever, so I'm embracing it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reverb 10 - One Word

I'm excited about REVERB 10 an online community event created by Gwen Bell.  I've joined 1600+  bloggers committed to 31 days of reflecting on 2010 and manifesting positive reverberations in 2011.

Today's prompt: Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

In 2010 I've had the freedom to explore the inner depths and outer passageways of my world.  Every day seemed to provide a new adventure, even if I never left my house.  I have a clearer understanding of who I am and where I want to go.  I've explored my creative vision and reconnected with my desire to develop stories.  I've nourished new friendships and have accepted that others have grown dormant. I've explored the possibility of death and the hope of life.

I want to be fulfilled creatively at work, through the lens of my camera, and with an intimate partner.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Gratitude -- gobble, gobble -- gratitude.  MANIFESTING dreams.  Knowing and trusting when something is right.  Giddy about the future.  The warmth of a fresh brew on a chilly morning.  Turning up the heat while preparing for visits and surprises.   Carrying out both without a hitch.   Hiking up the mountain, meditating at the top.  Flirtatious correspondence, playful interaction, brisk sunset hikes.  Heeding the warning signs.  Clarity trumping fear.  Journaling dreams.  Deep fried turkey, clinking wine glasses, new friends and old.  Grounded by yoga, anchored by connection.  Lucky, lucky, lucky to be surrounded by and feeling so much love.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Muse Monday - Heinz and Veronique Lievre

When a film construction designer from Germany and a set decorator/artist from France merged their dreams a boutique hotel in Yelapa, Mexico resulted and a romantic union emerged.  Heinz and Veronique's passion for unobstructed splendor and nourishing the body and soul can be seen in Verana's elegant architecture and design.  Their creation inspires me to follow my bliss, surround myself with tranquility and beauty and save my pesos so one day I can visit their slice of heaven on the Mexican coast.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Heart

After a few weeks away from the mat, it felt good to sweat and chant in my favorite Sunday morning yoga class.  During my practice I often ask the universe for guidance and clarity.  Today I was reminded that all I have to do is be quiet and listen.  The truth is always within reach.  The serpent may try to misdirect me, but if I trust and honor that I DO indeed know what is best for me I will always be guided to the right path.  I spent the afternoon at home, listening to the wind  rattle my windows.  I love my old house, for it has many wonderful attributes, but proper insulation and an effective heating system aren't on the list.  I journeyed back out into the blustery late afternoon for a heart pumping sunset hike.  I captured the magic of the orange orb as it sank below the horizon and stored it in my soul.