October 2017
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Never in California’s history has there been a firestorm of this magnitude.  It began Sunday October 8 and continues to ravage several North Bay counties.

I am one of the lucky ones…my family is safe, my home has been spared: a miracle in itself since I live within a mile or so from hard hit Larkfield, Mark West, and northern Santa Rosa.

Surreal is the word being used by many.  Indeed, it is a surreal landscape, a surreal experience.

It is the kind of tragedy that brings forth the best and the worst in people.  Our communities are strong; noble acts and deeds common.  I had no idea  when I wrote a recent blog about ‘heroism’  that I would be witness to so many acts of heroism. And knowing there are hundreds more going unseen.

Please join us as we are praying for rain, and believing it will come.  And praying for those who have lost family members as well as the thousands who have lost virtually everything but the shirts on their backs.

There is a long, immense recovery ahead.  We are ‘Sonoma Strong’, California Proud, and the job will get done.

Thank you all for your love and support.  If you wish to make donations, please choose those sites and organization that give 100% to the community.  Redwood Credit Union Community Fund is one reliable and community conscious company.   Napa County has also set up a direct fund donate account.  Check with the Napa Valley Foundation.  There are also many other places including the American Red Cross, The Sonoma County Humane Society or Napa County Humane Society, among them, where you can help with the immediate need and the long term recovery.

Bless you all, and STAY SAFE!


Heroes come in many shapes, sizes, ages and genders.  Heroic action is spontaneous.  We honor and admire heroes and heroines in many ways; and, sadly sometimes not at all.  And there are many people who do heroic deeds and prefer to remain anonymous.

Las Vegas is a recent incident that reveals the self-sacrifice of heroism.  Increasingly, we are witness to acts of heroism throughout the world as tragic events become daily events..

“Heroism often results as a response to extreme events.”  James Geary

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.  It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”  Arthur Ashe

“Rosa Parks was the queen mother of a movement whose single act of heroism sparked the movement for freedom, justice, and equality.  Her greatest contribution is that she told us a regular person can make a difference.”  Mare Morial

“Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice.  It demands greater heroism than war.  It demands greater fidelity to the truth and much more perfect purity of conscience.”  Thomas Merton

I invite you this week to take a moment to give thanks for the many forms and acts of heroism.


The collective ‘we’ is in a powerful, unsettling period of transformation such as human history has never before seen.

It is the archetypal feminine that leads the way to emotional and spiritual transformation.  But to achieve optimal effect demands that the feminine nurture not only collective consciousness, but their personal consciousness as well.

Women are hearth keepers.  However, to be authentically engaged and maximally effective with this task, it is essential for the feminine to self-nurture.  This is a tremendous challenge.  For the feminine to self-nurture and not sacrifice is not only difficult, but is often viewed as selfish behavior.

“I think we need the feminine qualities of leadership, which include attention to aesthetics and environment, nurturing affection, intuition and the qualities that wake people to feel safe and cared for.”  ~Deepak Chopra

“Feelings of self worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible-the kind of atmosphere found in a nurturing family.” ~ Virginia Satir

I invite you to honor the archetypal feminine,  the feminine in your self, and to embrace self-nurturing.  No one can give from a depleted heart.


Fall Equinox 2017

Last Friday was the autumnal equinox, marking the end of summer and the beginning of fall.   A time of harvest, of relaxing, rejoicing and enjoying the fruits of our labor.

It is a special time of year.  The air is crisp, it’s smell unmistakably autumn.  It is an opportunity for deep reflection and appreciation for the beauty of the Goddesses of the harvest season.

“Autumn is the second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Albert Camus

“Listen!  The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”  Humbert Wolfe

I invite you to celebrate this sacred season.


There are plethora of inequalities; social, cultural, religious, racial, economic and gender, to name a few of the obvious.  The inequality that caught my attention this week is the gender pay gap.

Google is under federal investigation for it’s alleged pay discrimination against women.  And a class action lawsuit has been filed against Google Mountain View on behalf of women employees.

Although the gender pay gap has narrowed since the 60’s and 70’s, it still remains steady at 20%.  Women comprise almost half of the work force.  Women attain more college and graduate degrees than men, according to the Institute For Women’s Policy Research. https://iwpr.org/issue/employment-education-economic-change/.

The long term affects of this policy of systematic prejudice is stunning; amounting to thousands of dollars of lost income over time, as is well documented in the article, ‘The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap’, http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/.  And CNN Money, http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/04/pf/equal-pay-day-gender-pay-gap/index.html, has an excellent report on the ‘5 Things to Know About the Gender Pay Gap’.

It will be interesting to track the process of the suit against Google as they have the deep pocket resources to wage a prolonged battle. A battle that will no doubt bring to the forefront the specious argument that one of the primary reasons for the gender pay gap is that women take time out to have children, therefore interrupting their opportunities for advancement (equal pay).

To achieve equity, I propose that women consumers be granted the exclusive right to receive a 20% across the board discount on all purchases of goods and services.  After all, it only seems fair.


I have a recent blog post using ‘Precious’ as the word of the week (January 15, 2017).  Current, unprecedented and catastrophic events have brought ‘Precious’ resoundingly into my consciousness… what is of great value, to be deeply cherished; treated with great care and respect.

As we hear repeated over and over by survivors of devastating fires, floods, earthquakes and other cataclysmic events… ‘I/we have lost everything, but we are alive.’

This week we have squarely before us the opportunity to reflect and embrace gratitude for what is most precious in our lives.

“Bad things do happen;  how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life.  I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.”   ~Walter Anderson

“Your problem is how you are going to spend this odd and precious life you have been issued.  Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.” ~Anne Lamott



The power of extreme weather is profoundly affecting millions of Americans.  The south is drowning in a sea of polluted water dumped by Hurricane Harvey.  The west is ablaze with raging wildfires, stretching from Washington to southern California.

Loss of homes, of precious resources, of lives and of normalcy is unprecedented.  These are indeed trying times, and trying times elicit the best and the worst of human nature.

“We should expect the best and the worst of mankind, as from the weather.”  Luc de Clapiers

“The signs of climate change are visible across the nation, from the drought-stricken fields of Central California to the flooded streets of Michigan.  Extreme weather is turning people’s lives upside down and costing communities millions of dollars in damaged infrastructure and added health care costs.”  Frances Beinecke

“I have seen many storms in my life.  Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.”    Paulo Coelho

Resilience, spiritual strength, love, compassion and faith are demanded of us all during these difficult times.





A pinnacle is a lofty peak.  We strive to achieve pinnacles of success in the important areas of our lives, to reach lofty peaks.  We admire the achievement of others as they reach pinnacles in their professions and in their personal lives.

“There are lots of people shaping decisions, and so if we want to predict correctly, we have to pay attention to everybody who is trying to shape the outcome, not just the people at the pinnacle of the decision-making pyramid.” ~Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

“You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.” ~Thomas Wolfe

Savor the pinnacles of your life experience.

Poetry Therapy

Poetry Will Save Your Life by Jill Bialosky created immediate curiosity for me.  In her beautiful and powerful memoir, Bialosky chronicles how poetry gave her strength, hope and comfort through the challenges and heartbreaks of her life’s journey.  Poems “…might be about what hurts,”  but they “…remain a sustaining source of comfort.”

Using the power of the poetic form to help me through some of life’s most agonizing and arduous moments, as well as memorializing celebration and triumph, initiated in me a strong resonance with Bialosky.

Looking more deeply into this healing process, I discovered that there are Poetry Therapists and a group of organizations devoted to Poetry Therapy.  I am including the following links should you wish to pursue this thread.

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it: blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches: for the Creator, there is no poverty.”  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

“Every age has its own poetry, in every age the circumstances of history choose a nation, a race, a class to take up the torch by creating situations that can be expressed or transcended only through poetry.”   ~Jean-Paul Sartre

I am a devout convert to the comfort, joy and healing power of the poetic process.  I invite you this week to connect with your poetic muse.



Western Culture, especially American Culture is lacking in patience.  We want everything day before yesterday, and we want it delivered.

The advertising industry plays a large role in our inability to consistently practice patience.  However, inherent in capitalistic economic function is a built in structure for learning patience.  Patience is having control, discipline and restraint, a challenging practice for Westerners.  The ability to defer immediate gratification goes a long way toward achieving our long term material dreams and goals.

One of the fruits of a strong, vital spiritual belief system is patience.  Indeed, patience is a major factor in the function of enduring faith.

A spiritual discipline of practicing patience has the same benefit for our personal growth and maturation as it does in the material world; helping us to secure and sustain authentic relationships and substantive inner peace.

Inviting you this week into the practice of patience.

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”  Tolstoy

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”  Joyce Meyer

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience” R. W. Emerson