Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Time of Change

A Time of Change

I’m feeling like someone just pulled the rug out from underneath me in a very dramatic, quick way. Strong storms with heavy rains and wicked winds swept summer right out of here Sunday night. I’ve been in a funk since.

The clashing of air masses coincided with the clashing of personalities at our house Monday night. It started with him hoping for the mailbox to reveal Pokemon cards I had ordered for him last week. Upon closer inspection, what appeared to be a package for myself was actually the package of cards he had been hoping for. Another lesson from the Universe; what you’re looking for is already here, you just have to open the envelope.

Later that night, I found myself in the midst of a physical battle between my two boys, and a test of wills between myself and my 9 year-old, Wyatt. As I stepped away from the scene, injured hand and bruised self-worth, I realized what my son was screaming into my awareness; I was once again caught up in resisting what is. I looked in the mirror and asked myself, “What is it that you’re doing that he is not shining?”

I was caught up in the fear and dread of an imagined future for myself; my son being the conduit for that message. Children express our repressions! I have proved this to myself on countless occasions. Wyatt was feeling worthless and victimized and wanted to run away and “move some place where there are more trees.”

I thought about how this paralleled to my own thinking. I had been feeling victimized by things I can’t control… the weather…worthless in regard to the endeavors I have been putting energy into with no apparent avail, and feeling like I was needing to be in a forest full of trees to take in nature’s Medicine, creating the space for the voice of my soul to be heard.

I needed to run through the forest in my head to get to the clearing…that still, quiet place beyond all the noise…to clear the space for the miracle amongst the rubble to emerge.

As I sat in a corner of my deck the following day, protected from the wind, letting my body absorb the sun’s gifts, I heard my soul speak; “The wind and the rain come into the life of a tree to make it grow stronger.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Over the years, I’ve taken my boys fishing on a lot of area lakes and rivers. The best (meaning biggest) fish ever caught was Schuyler’s 10 inch catfish. Fishing has been pretty much a bum rap for us…we even went to Colorado two years ago to fish; zip, zilch, nada…it was unseasonably hot and the fish weren’t biting for any one.
A little over a week ago, I learned that the hooks, sinkers and bobbers I had on the poles were all the wrong size! No wonder we hadn’t been catching fish!
Monday after school I drove my boys to a trout farm where I knew they’d catch fish for sure. What a gas! They each caught three sizeable trout within 15 minutes! They were reeling them in so fast it was hard to take a picture. Sensing the thrill and excitement of my boys, I thought, every day should be met with the thrill and excitement of catching trout; with child-like wonder and amazement. I began to hear a faint little whisper from my heart; have some fun…go play…let go of your fears, worries, doubts and do what makes you feel like you’re catching your first trout.

On the forest trail during my morning run, I found myself spinning with incessant thoughts, driving myself deeper into the black hole of fear. I kept trying to go back to the feeling of catching trout but to no avail. As the tears flowed, the painful thoughts I was subjecting myself to, began to dissipate clearing the way for a little self-coaching.
As I ran down the trail, a huge Aspen leaf hit me in the chest; nature was sending me a message.
Aspen’s yellow leaves in fall are a reminder that there is still color and sunshine even though the light is diminishing daily…there is always light to shine in the dark areas of your life where fears and doubts hide. Aspen is relatively short- lived (as most of our fears and doubts are when faced) it is one of those trees that quickly takes root in soil and habitats that are harsh and even burned out…it produces itself quickly…its essence helps us face out fears and doubts…calming to anxieties about changes within our life.
The trout, the Aspen leaf…it’s time to let go of my fears and allow the light to shine on the dark areas I have brought into my experience.


Last Thursday, Lucy needed to go see a specialist. Her engine was requiring some re-mapping to stop her back firing; coincidentally, so was I. She spent the morning with one of my favorite mechanics, (whose expertise is Speed) while I spent the time on his (very fast) V-Rod. Being familiar with what he “does” to motors, I was feeling a bit intimidated about riding his bike; my confidence bolstered a bit when he said, “You look hot on that bike!”
My mind started telling me all kinds of stories! “I’ll just take the bike home, do some work, then jump on the interstate when it’s time to pick mine up. I don’t think I’ll be comfortable on this. I’ll just take the side roads home; go nice and slow.” Then the heart voice started coaching…”Feel the fear and do it any way. F.E.A.R. …Future Events Appearing Real. Fear is your imagination getting you to think about what it is you don’t want and what you think about, you bring about. Ride through your fears, one slow small step at a time. You’ve been conjuring up and believing all kinds of fears for the past week about all kinds of things in your life that aren’t even true; change the thoughts to better feeling thoughts! You’ve been writing a book in your head about all the what-ifs and driving yourself into the black hole of despair! Now, drive this black motorcycle right out of that black hole…What would you do if you weren’t afraid? You have an opportunity here, take it! Remember the message of the Aspen leaf and the lesson from trout fishing.”
So, I did. One block at a time, I fed my fears to the wind regarding the bike, my worries and doubts about Life, and I had a blast! I rode for three hours and enjoyed the shit out of it! I was re-mapped, Lucy was re-mapped and we both stopped back firing! That set the tone for the weekend ahead.


The weather this September has made for some awesome riding; three straight weeks of 70’s and 80’s without rain, this past weekend was no exception. I woke up Friday morning with the intention of having fun, determined to feel like I just caught my first trout.
With no plan in mind, I set out on the back roads and just let the bike take me in the direction it wanted to go. In and out, over and about, up and down, again and again and again. Feeling like I was on a roller coaster was no coincidence, the message was now louder and clearer; “Have fun! Do what feels good!”
Hey, what’s going on here??? My kids, the trout, the V-rod, Lucy, the roads…there’s a theme running here…they’re all sending the same message! Have fun! Delight in what ever makes your heart sing! So, I did.


Saturday morning I jumped on the Interstate to make a fast track to the mid-west section of the state to investigate some new roads and continue my own re-mapping. When I choose to feel good and have fun the energy is intoxicating and contagious; I can feel myself vibrating and it resonates off of everything and everyone around me.

Every road I hit was fabulous! Every person I met was friendly. The twists, turns, hills, valleys, autumn colors all had me feeling like I was living on a Candyland game board. Roller coaster road, after roller coaster road…a thrill a minute adventure…over Cooper’s Hill, down Pickle Road, then through the town of Dilly…around Santa’s Loop into (Sugar) Plum Valley, through gooey cow shit, and a little dirt and gravel…down Boot Jack through Pine Valley, Maple Valley, Sleepy Hollow, Happy Hollow, Trippville, Hustler, Ridgeville, Ridge Point, Sky View, and Skyline Drive…I had a freakin’ blast! 400 miles of absolute total bliss! I love catching trout!


The last day of my weekend, I took a little run in the woods before throwing a leg over the saddle. On the trail, I saw a feather; a message that my thoughts, words, and/or actions are on track; the road to freedom. I stopped and picked up the black feather. When I turned it over, the left segment was bright blue and I knew there was an extended message with this feather. The qualities of blue are happy, calm and truth. The flip side or negative aspects are depression and loneliness. The message of the feather affirmed what I had re-learned and lived during the course of the past week; life presents a much brighter picture when you turn over the darkness and look on the other side.

I fired up Lucy and flew off into the wild blue yonder, just to have fun! I love taking roads with unusual names, there’s just something very inviting to me about it. So, when I saw Argue Road, I had to take it. Not a place to be arguing much of anything, particularly your limitations. The road is about an eight mile, narrow stretch of constant curves, coupled with high peaks and low valleys ending at Tunnel Road. How apropos; Argue ends in Tunnel. I love what the road teaches me. I’m choosing to live my life outside of the tunnel; no argument there.

Exeter Crossing caught my eye next, so I took it. OMG! It was the best roller coaster all weekend. I was laughing the entire way up and down. My kids would tell you that road makes their “privates” tickle. The hills were outrageous! Sure would have been a blast on that V-rod…may have made a little more of me tickle!

Up top of those peaks, I could see rain clouds slowly moving in. I meandered through back roads all the way home, with enough time to make dinner on the grill before the rain started. It was the first time I smelled rain in three weeks. The gentleness of the consistent, steady rain lulled me into relaxation and gratitude for the beautiful transformations I witnessed over the course of the past week. Mother Nature is a wonderful teacher when I choose to pay attention in school.

Friday, September 11, 2009



49 on 9-9-09…there’s something magical about that! Perhaps 29 0n 9-9-09 would sound even more magical, but I wouldn’t be as smart as I am right now. Perhaps I’d be a lot quicker on the keyboard using ten digits as opposed to two and I’d probably be far more savvy on this computer…but hell, here I am at 49 with the same life mission I’ve had since I can remember; wanting my voice to be heard. I shut that voice up for a LONG time because I believed what other people thought and choked the voice of my own heart.

At 49, I see every day as a birth-day; I experience the birth of something daily…lately it’s been something else I need to learn on the computer. (I think we’ll start to see a significant decline in the coming years, of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s nearly impossible to have an idle mind in the world today.) There’s so much to learn and take in. Some I want to, some I have to in order to thrive. I find myself needing to schedule time to have an idle mind. That’s when I get out on my motorcycle, or the forest running trail to connect with my natural environment and weed out the “should’s”, giving my heart the space to speak. And without fail, giving my self that experience always gives birth to something new, along with the desire to let the voice of my heart be heard.

Monday, September 7, 2009


We’ve been blessed here in SE Wisconsin with the most beautiful Labor Day Weekend weather I can remember. Being that I’ll be 49 on Wednesday…you can formulate your own opinion. Perfect motorcycling weather!
Riding down the back roads, meeting up with the fire of a maple tree, already turning brilliant red, takes my breath away. I love the Medicine it gives me; the site of it automatically eases the throttle and effortlessly forces my mind to take a break from its incessant chatter. The timing is always perfect!
There was a rally in Milwaukee this weekend, thus a shit load of motorcycles buzzing constantly; parties every where. I wonder how many of the thousands of motorcyclists on the road never even took delight in the magic of the maple trees or the beauty that surrounded them as they traveled from party to party. Motorcycling is such a perfect way to connect with nature and your soul and I guess, a lot of riders are missing that.
When I first started riding 19 years ago, I thought the party scene was where “it” was at. The more I got out in the big wide open, the untouched wilderness, the more my soul resonated with the experience…and the further I drifted away from the crowds. I discovered “it” was somewhere a lot of people never go…clueless…afraid to go where the crowd doesn’t…I’m not sure.
What I am sure of is when you let go of what you think you’re supposed to be doing, and let your heart lead you to what your soul truly desires, you find maple tress around every corner and you begin to see life with child-like wonder and amazement…even at 49.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Woke up at 4:30 AM Thursday, determined to overcome my technological barriers. Two hours later...completely frustrated, I surrendered to the voice of my heart telling me, "It doesn't have to be perfect." I decided I prefer to wake up in my Hapry Place rather than a technological battle ground. My 11 year-old was there to remind me of that..."Just go to your Happy Place, Mom!" He had to tell me three times before I actually let go of what I couldn't control and settled into gratitude for having my very own in-house coach!
A good day for some Motorcycle Medicine! A perfect September day! I just let my intuition be my GPS and soaked up the energy the trees and sunlight were sending me.
I rode through a small little town, Hubbleton, and much to my amazement, I passed a handmade sign, WEED 4 SALE...I kid you not! (I forgot my camera!) What kind of WEED?Now, either generations way before mine have a completely different definition for "weed" than my own, or some stoner actually put the sign out there. The print and paint job had me convinced of the later. I may need to go back there to satisfy my curiosity. Perhaps I should bring along reinforcements! Care to join me??

Fell asleep last night with my bedroom illuminated by the full moon. I figured the moon would be bright enough at 5AM to run down the road onto the golf course before the grounds crew started at 6:00. Success! The pictures posted are from my run! So surreal. What country was I in anyway?? Sir Lanka came to idea why. I felt like I was living a dream. Oh, wait...I am!

Running in the dark was an illuminating experience. I found it amazing how my body instinctively slowed its pace in conjunction with the darkness handicapping the full function of my eyes. My depth perception was nearly absent; constantly challenged. What seemed like easy terrain to run in low light two days ago, became very challenging in the dark, diminishing my confidence.

Sometimes life's a lot like running in the dark . I get into terrain that's difficult to navigate, becomes extremely challenging, and results in waining confidence. Hmmm...the computer issue from yesterday..."Just go to your Happy Place, Mom." I was already in a happy place phsically, so I connected with the feelings I was experiencing with my surroundings. Running along slowly, one step at a time, the rising sun in tune with my pace, began to share its light making my trek easier and easier; my pace and momentum increasing with every step. Nature is a marvelous teacher! No matter how dark it gets, I am assured I will always see the return of light. After all, one cannot exist without the other.

Slow down and enjoy the ride! The light appears exactly when it's supposed to appear...right on time...perfectly.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I love going to my Happy Place! The most beautiful circumstances unfold when I'm in it. I started my day yesterday by doing something I've always been afraid to do; run in the dark and onto the gulf course behind my subdivision. I woke up in my Happy Place and ran out there in it as well. When the sun began to rise, I didn't want to stop running the greens. The view took my breath away. It was an incrediblly peaceful moment, and consequentally, another one of my Happy Places.

The first day of school was peaceful as well. I reminded my kids to go to their Happy Place when they felt any wrenching in their gut, or on the verge of a freak out. No major traumas or disappointments reported and they were pleased with their new least for now.

I love my Happy Place! The greatest moments come out of being in it, but why is it so frickin' hard to stay there, or even remember to go there when my kids won't get out of bed to get ready for school, or when there's homework to be completed, or when there's prevailing tantrums??? I think my Happy Place wants to hide from reality, too! Actually, that would be me wanting to hide from reality and I've let my mind take over trying to change what is.

Only day two into the school year, and Wyatt's anger meter exploded around 4:30 PM. I decided to get real curious about his outburst. I first engaged him in a little chase scene. Once I got him to laugh, his tention eased and we were able to poke around at what was eating his insides out. It started with fabrications of the truth told to him by someone he looks up to and ended up with an interrogation regarding...Santa! I led him to eventually answer his own querries. The tears flooded the kitchen and the dismay..."Everyone's been lying to me for 9 years! My teachers, you, everyone! OMG!" Then the Easter Bunny came up! More tears, more his very own mother! (Thankfully, St. Nick and the Tooth Fairy were not part of this conversation.) I didn't really even think about how I should respond, I just let the words flow, and they did so, beautifully. The subject of Santa is a Happy Place, after all! (I trust I'll be as blessed the day they decide to ask about blow jobs!)

A few more tears shed at bedtime, with a little better understanding of the "lie" we all tell, and intentions to wake up in our Happy Place.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

The last few days of summer vacation have been very fall-like; a definitive chill in the air. Lightness in the morning skies appears much later, reminding me that summer is basically over. Prepping my boy’s bags of school supplies (Do they really use all that shit?), while I buff up my armor for the battle ahead…HOMEWORK!
I’ve dreaded this day as long as I can remember; the last day of summer vacation. I dreaded it …as a kid, as a teacher, as a mom. A schedule I must abide to by the forces that be; my freedom, swept away the instant my clock/radio gives me my wake-up call; my gut, feeling like it just took a hit from a cannon ball.
Schools tend to force limitations upon kids (and parents), often keeping them from soaring as fast as they want to for where they want to be. So, when the dismissal gates open and my wards have been released, I do my best to sweep them up into an environment that supports their desires and gifts.
On the first day back to school, rather than dwell on what it is we don’t like, and all the possibilities we may imagine it to be (or not be), we’ll spend as much time in our Happy Place as possible and report back on the outcome.
Going to your Happy Place is simply revisiting, in your mind’s eye, all the places and experiences that have filled every cell of your being with joy. Every time an uncomfortable thought or experience comes up, that’s cue to go directly to your Happy Place.
Give it try! I know you’ll feel a difference!