ON the Road to Calm

January 26, 2020

“Photography is the art of observation.

It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” 

- Elliott Erwitt -

Driving down the twisting road on Mt. Lemmon, we stopped at an overlook. The huge mountain-ringed valley where Tucson nestles was in full spring bloom, a chartreuse yellow blanket flowing over the washes, hills, and flatlands.

I pointed to the northeastern-most corner of the valley and declared, “That is where I want to live.” Barry looked at me. “Really?”

The next day I drove around by myself, writing down street names. I wrote our realtor and gave her the boundaries...

December 27, 2019

"The winds of grace are always blowing, but it is you who must raise your sails."

- Rabindranath Tagore - 

I feel the turbulence and confusion out in the world, and have been feeling an underlying exhaustion from the end-of-year hectic pace. Yet I am also feeling strangely exhilarated in these last days of 2019. Curiosity gets me moving—a curiosity that wants to experience the undefinable power Tagore and so many others identify as Grace. Grace is thankfully much larger than my imagination, and its undeniable presence reminds me to nurture any clarity (however tiny), accept the tired feelings, take small steps...

December 1, 2018

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.

When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

- Ansel Adams -

Six months ago, I found myself driving a Ford truck with a camper trailer named Imagine2 hitched to the back. It was the beginning of an intentional adventure-sabbatical dreamed up by my husband and myself, a journey we named On the Road to Calm.

After thousands of miles, beauty beyond belief, melt-downs also beyond belief, and friendships rekindled, I've come to a rest stop—the clarity that I've been irrevocably changed by these months on the road.

Other than this blog, tak...

March 31, 2018

“We think of time as passing, but to inhabit time implies to know it as breath and awareness.”

Katherine Thanas* -

For days it’s been insanely crowded in San Miguel de Allende, a town that draws thousands of people during Semana Santa (Easter week). This year Passover falls on the same day as Good Friday. So yesterday was not the best time, though necessary, to go shopping for some forgotten ingredients for my family’s special dinner.

The parking lot was full, aisles crowded, and checkout lines long. I’d read the Zen quote the night before. Suddenly remembering it, I stepped away from the entrance, and with deliberatio...

September 19, 2017

After a substantial expenditure of energy—during times of crisis, a creative push, a pivotal choice needing to be made, a day gone suddenly topsy-turvy or just too busy, or the draining constancy of “things out of our control”—it’s easy to fall into any number of physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual states of depletion. Just as easily we can exhaust ourselves further by thinking this ‘feeling depleted’ is somehow wrong.

Which is what I’ve been doing to myself since The Book of Calm went to the printers almost two weeks ago. My concentration has gone subterranean, and inspiration is a barely glimpsed ghost of i...

September 26, 2016

I have been deep into the writing of my non-fiction book, a mid-November deadline lurking at the edge of things. Time has been speaking to me. Some days hours are spent at the computer, words flowing, my mind able to dance among the moving narrative that more often than not sways away from the outline and toward its own internal rhythm. 

Other days, like yesterday, I came to my desk late afternoon after a slow start to the day, the flow surprising me with its energy. Today, errands and a pile of “must-do-by-this-date” sort of details have eaten up the hours, leaving me frustrated and bereft of inspiration. Th...

June 29, 2016

"To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest." - Pema Chödrön

Traveling for the last four weeks has been a kaleidoscope of people, events and places— laced with family and friend reunions; spending precious time with my indomitable mother immersed in her increasing frailty, her laughter, and make-the-most-of-it attitude; a remarkably beautiful wedding filled with love and authenticity; and experiencing the diversity of nature from desert to ocean. It’s also meant we’ve been in a car for over 2,500 miles (one-way so far), and a spontaneous 2,000 mile round-trip detour...

October 26, 2015

Today I am celebrating nine years of Calm. Over the last six months, these nine years of coaching, writing, workshops, and embodying calm into my own life have been gathered, sifted, tempered and loved, resulting today in the unveiling of my new website.

 

Much has been tossed aside over the years, and what always steps to the forefront is Calm. To glimpse the significance of this, know that I once had a turbulent brain, a turbulence that kept me in a reactive, habitual state of either silence or crisis — states of being in the world that were puzzling at the least and sometimes hilarious— yet painfully limiting in real...

July 12, 2015

 

“Everything’s there for me, but me.” This was the intriguing opening statement* by a client during a recent coaching session. Being able to express the fact of personal absence was an eye-opening leap of clarity for this person.

 

The words made me realize how often we go about our lives missing in action—not being present—oblivious to the very people and circumstances around us that are beacons, guides, wake-up calls, unheralded bringers of gifts, insight and wisdom.
The following poem speaks to this curious predicament of presence. Written by the esteemed poet David Wagoner, it is aptly named “Los...

June 6, 2015

The artistry of waiting lies in discerning actions and non-actions. Imagine sitting on a lavender-blue bench in the late afternoon sun under magenta bougainvillea.

 

You are waiting. Doing your best to back away, to stop pushing toward a wanted result—though the result looms immense and necessary in its urgency, a giant billboard with Now! Now! Now! flashing in neon lights. How dare things not fall into place!

 

Your anxious belly and hamster-wheel brain don’t like this not knowing, not knowing why a situation is stalled or taking its time. It’s so easy to fall into the pit of believing the world revolves around our indiv...

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". . . as necessary for

today as breath . . ."

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