December 2017
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Archive for the ‘Finding Your Center’ Category


In the cool, still, early morning I put on latex gloves, protective clothing and glasses, and a mask.  After filling  my pump sprayer with Image Brush & Weed Killer, I head out to do battle with one of the most invasive species in the world, acacia mearnsii.  I can personally attest to its reputation for spreading fast and being difficult to eradicate.

Native to Australia, there are several hundred species.   Acacia has many positive uses and symbolic associations; perfume and wood for furniture and fuel.  It figures in  Egyptian Osiris and Isis mythology.  For Freemasons it represents purity and endurance of the soul.   Believing the smoke will keep demons and ghosts away it is used in incense rituals in India, Nepal and China.   But to me acacia mearnsii is a weed.

Weeds are unwanted plants.  Plants that compete with food plants.   A weed is also any plant that grows outside its native habitat.  The non-native, very invasive Ludwigia is choking many riparian habitats in Sonoma County.  And acacia mearnsii wants to choke the acre we share.

There are good weeds, like Dandelion (unless it has invaded the lawn that is your pride and joy),  St. John’s Wort, Burdock and others like them that have food and medicinal value.  And then there’s acacia mearnsii and its 99 most invasive relatives.

Although I am having some success,  I am certain this weed will out live me.  For the moment the battle continues.  I feel I am winning if I can just hold the ground I have gained.


Not  sheets of paper in a book, table extenders, thin strips of gold foil, or  metal  pieces that are part of a leaf spring, but natures food factories.

Deciduous and Evergreen, all shapes and sizes, leaves  provide life-sustaining food and oxygen.  The color of leaves give us information.  When my dwarf citrus tree leaves have yellow in their edges, they are telling me they need more nutrients.   When leaves change color from green to glorious shades of red, yellow and orange, they signal the coming of Autuum.

I raked the first  fallen leaves on August 2.  I can’t remember an earlier start to my raking season.  The next few weeks will challenge me to keep up with the bounty. Indicating the early arrival of fall, the turning leaves remind me to hasten my summer projects and begin  preparation for the coming winter.




Gorgeous weather, beautiful surroundings, quiet conversations, boisterous laughter,  fabulous food , five generations;  family reunion.

My maternal Grandparents gathered their family together every summer. No matter how scattered,  everyone came.  I grew up knowing all my cousins.  Over the years there have been stellar reunions, not as often but achieving the same results.

Saturday we came together.  Hugging, kissing, crying, laughing;  lingering in the soft glow of re-connecting.

We have become a frenetic culture.    My sincere hope  is that you will be able to set aside some precious time for reunion with those you love.



It was not my intention to follow ‘Burnout’ with ‘Work’ until the flowers came.

I am very blessed.  I love what I do!  When I stop and think about ‘Insights’, how it has grown, the many people that have been guided and supported;  finding their center, their truth, their authentic selves, I am in awe.

I am in awe of the power of the Holy Spirit.  I am in awe of the heart and courage of my clients.  I am in awe of the resilience of the human spirit.  I am in awe of the process of transformation.

Like all work it has difficult and sometimes very challenging moments.  Yet the rewards, tangible and intangible, are profound.

Saturday I received the biggest bouquet of flowers ever.  Five gorgeous sunflowers, lots of fresh greenery, the most beautiful dark purple straw flowers and little purple lavender orbs ( a flower I am unfamiliar with);  fresh and crisp and colorfully stunning.  Created by an artist, wrapped in purple and lavender floral paper and tied with bright yellow ribbon.

The flowers were from a client.   Her message humbled me greatly.  It put me squarely in the presence of  everything noted above.

I love my work.  But it would be a vacuous effort without the sentient beings that are my clients.  From the depths of my soul, I thank you  all.


I know better than to work seven days a week.  I know better than to ignore the behaviors and boundaries that prevent me from experiencing burnout.  I also know that it is an easy thing for me to slip into a rut.  And slip I did.

I know better.  I did a research project in college on burnout in the helping professions.  Presented before a large group that included educators,  counselors, care-givers, nurses and students,  the impact was far more than I expected.  People crowded around me post-presentation;  some asking questions, most just wanting more…more understanding of what they were experiencing.

Fortunately,  I knew what was happening to me.  I also recognized how big a part my computer, email, phone and cell phone were playing in fostering my burnout.   So, I planned a three day respite.  Three days off from work, from email, from the computer, from my phone and cell phone.  However, I also made a list of all the around-the-house work and cleaning projects I was going to do during my mini-vacation.

I know better!  The morning of my first free day,  I did not want to move.  I was unwilling to even look at the ‘to do’ list I had created.   I was just as unwilling to entertain my inner critic taunting my inactivity.  I breathed.  I prayed.  I meditated.  I rested.

I spent the rest of my time out, doing things that I wanted to do.  Doing things that refreshed and invigorated me; that engaged my verve.  It was wonderful!

Of course, the task ahead of me is staying true to time outs that energize and connect me to vigorous, abundant  living and ward off burnout.




A friend who loves  jewelry and works in the industry recently remarked, “Everyone should adorn themselves with beauty.”   Her statement got me to thinking about adornment.

Defined, adornment is something that beautifies, enhances status, symbolizes affiliation and displays wealth.  I easily imagine early humans adorning themselves with colored mud, plant juices, bones and feathers.

With the ability to smelt metals, cut and polish gemstones,  came a new era of adorning.  Many cultures kept their great wealth in the form of jewelry,  and  resplendent collections survive today.  However, until mass production,  wearing jewelry was reserved for those who could afford such indulgences.

Clever marketing  created a demand for wedding and engagement rings.    Jackie O.  legitimized wearing costume jewelry and it’s popularity quickly became a major feature in making bejeweled  adornment available to the masses.

Modern human’s wear adornments reflecting a range of social, religious, cultural and economic situations.  From medals of victory and honor to the accoutrement of punk and bling, most of us put our adornments on for personal enjoyment and public display.

I am inspired to get out of my rut, dig into my Jewelry Box and adorn myself with some lovely pieces that have not seen the light of day for  some time.  Won’t you join me?




Flarmies, bat wings, arm charms, chicken flaps, and bingo wings are all descriptive terms for saggy upper arms.  I was born with them.  You may have been too.

In an age of svelte, trim, toned,  lasered and tucked everything,  flarmies aren’t a desirable body part.  Neither are saddle-bags, muffin tops, thunder thighs, love handles, middle-aged spread, spare tires and turkey necks.

American’s earnestly pursue staying young, being thin and getting rich.  But alas, aging,  diets loaded with sugar and fat, and a rapidly disappearing middle-class, all put challenging blockades in the path of such dreams.  But back to flarmies.

I kinda knew all along that they were in my future because my wonderful Grandmother had them.  She was a very active woman and never allowed her weight to exceed 120 lbs.  And she had awesome flarmies!  Mom had them too,  in spite of regular workouts with hand-held weights.

I actually prefer  bat wings to flarmies.  I can envision myself base jumping or hang-gliding with no need for special equipment ’cause I have built in bat wings.  I confess I have never tried them out.  (Perhaps mine are  really  chicken flaps.).

There are a plethora of remedies for this condition including  surgical procedures; I assume as a last resort.  However, I find acceptance as good a solution as any.  It does not cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars and it is painless.

Now I am not one to flaunt my flarmies,  and like Batman, I prefer to be discrete about my bat wings.  But I have them and they are part of  my arm charm.






With Parades, Picnics, BBQ’s, Flag-waving, Naturalization ceremonies at Monticello,  Concerts, Baseball, Eating contests, and Fireworks from coast to coast America celebrates Independence Day.

I know I take many of my personal freedoms for granted.  I have always been able to move where I want, do what I want, be what I want, say what I want, practice my beliefs when and where I want, and raise my family how I want.

Beyond customs and celebrations I invite you to take a few moments to give thanks for these precious  freedoms.

Re: last week Blog post:  I am happy to announce that, thanks to my amazing Webmaster, everyone should now receive The Word of the Week on a regular basis.  Thank you all for your support!  And a special ‘thank you for your patience’  to all of you who were receiving  my Blog sporadically.



I have been blogging a ‘Word of the Week’ for some time.  There are days when the effort is very satisfying, if not bordering on being down right enjoyable.   My writing has tightened up and the discipline of getting something out every Monday morning is good for me.

Recently I have been made aware that not everyone receives my blog on a regular basis.  I write it and trust the delivery system to get it to you.  I confess to being unhappy about that and bewildered by the mechanisms that enable me to share the ‘Word of the Week’ with you.

Changes are coming in the not too distant future which will, to as great a degree as is possible in an imperfect world, get this blog to everyone on a consistent basis.

My profound thanks for your patience, feedback and great support!


Thursday marks the beginning of summer.  The Solstice occurs at 10:04 PDT.  In a world gone techno it  receives  little attention.

The Ancients of many Cultures went to great lengths to record the changing seasons.    Sacred and celebratory rituals surrounding these events were common.  We  do celebrate these events; summer BBQ’s and winter New Year celebrations are two modern examples.

Yet, humans are increasingly unaware of their relevance to our physical and spiritual existence.  The Sun, the Moon, and the witness of the Stars continue their influence.

I invite you to take a moment (or two) Thursday to acknowledge the wonder of the Universe.