June 2013 Reflections

June 2013 reflections

I am one who is reflective and joyful, who believes the gifts and lessons of the past help inform the future.

Last year, I embraced the awareness that my life story was alive with turning points and events that might help others sift through the richness of their own lives.  Based on that, I began a memoir in poetry and other genres that tells my story of being raised in the 1950s and 1960s, journeying through abuse and infertility and emerging as a woman of character.  In going through my SoulCollage® cards, I found the above imagery perfect for this new adventure which is passionate and exciting for me.

Prompts/Card Ideas:  Look closely at the images in the card.  Choose one and write a vignette about that person or scene as if this was your story.  Are there elements that truly resonate for you?  Can you create a card of your own that might represent these experiences?

Now, draw from your own life directly.  Do you have memories that are particularly moving?  Times in your life where you were rewarded for patience and perseverance?  Are there individuals who have appreciated these stories?  Perhaps others who don’t know the stories and might be touched by one or more events in your life?

Take ten minutes and write just for the fun of writing.  If you find it tickles you, continue.  There may be a memoir waiting for you! 

Posted in Collage/Vision Boards, Journaling, Memoir, Sentence Stems & Questions, SoulCollage(R), Writing | 2 Comments


I am one who can see through the fog, around the fog, beyond the fog.  I am one who can hear the whisper of spring.

(This card was created last December during a week-long power and phone outage.  Our generator provided lights and heat for some rooms, but the phones, my computer and the heat in my studio where I see clients weren’t on that list.  In the midst of this, I took two days and did almost nothing but clip and sort images, create SoulCollage® cards and write to my heart’s content!  This card, now, is a reminder to listen for the vibrant colors of spring in the midst of what feels like the longest month of our chilly Pacific Northwest monochrome-gray winter.)

Prompts/Card Ideas:   Is there now, or has there been, a time when you’ve been wrapped in fog?  When you had to wait, patiently, to see spring again, yet struggled to do so?  What are the slivers of color that dart through the monochrome grays that appear in your life?  How can you invite them in?  What might you like to do to your heart’s content?

Posted in Collage/Vision Boards, Journaling, Nature, Sentence Stems & Questions, SoulCollage(R) | 1 Comment


  I am one who begins this shift in awareness with a single, purposeful step.

This card was created at a SoulCollage® workshop a number of months ago. 
As is often the case, our intuitive “knowings” often appear before our conscious awareness.  I was already stepping into a transition that only now do I recognize.

Special Note:   After completing the SoulCollage® facilitator training with Seena Frost (the creator of SoulCollage®), Kylea Taylor and Suzie Wolfer last summer, life has felt different.  Richer.  Fuller.  My creativity is more passionate, my journaling more powerful.  Life feels more centered.  Within this new curiosity and awareness, I’ve decided to shift the format of my blog to include one of the defining features of the SoulCollage® process … Seena’s unique journaling prompt of “I Am One Who.”    My blog will also include a short entry about the card’s inspiration and end with a journaling prompt.

Prompts/Card Ideas:   What transitions have you experienced recently?  Are there transitions you anticipate in the near future?  What insights do you need to navigate these changes with comfort and solid presence?


Posted in Collage/Vision Boards, Journaling, Sentence Stems & Questions, SoulCollage(R) | 2 Comments




What in your life is calling you?
When all the noise is silenced,
  the meetings adjourned,
  the lists laid aside,
  and the wild iris blooms by itself in the dark forest,
  what still pulls on your soul?
In the silence between your heartbeats
  hides a summons.
Do you hear it?
Name it, if you must,
  or leave it forever nameless,
  but why pretend it is not there?

–Terma Collective, “The Box” from Remembering the Gift.

From the first moment I read this poem, I was forever changed.  Something resonated deep within me.  It is nameless, yet very present.  Yesterday, as I was creating the above SoulCollage(R) card (The Muse), words from the poem whispered to me.  The house was still and I could, indeed, hear what was pulling on my soul.  In journaling from the card, I received a gift of insight from this beautiful, wise woman:  creativity and spirituality are like feathers tucked within the powerful wings of even the smallest bird.  In that breath, that heartbeat, the gentle breeze of truth brought life to my Muse and carried her message into every cell of my being.

Journaling prompts:  As you read this poem, welcome the pulling of your own heart, your own soul.  What gifts of awareness are resting within the silence between heartbeats?  How can you honor them in the midst of your own daily life?  How might you meet your own muse?

Posted in Collage/Vision Boards, Journaling, Quotes, Sentence Stems & Questions, Spirituality | 4 Comments


Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet.  We all  breathe the same air.  We all cherish our children’s future.  And we are all mortal.  John F. Kennedy

Individually, we are one drop.  Together, we are an ocean.  Ryunosuke Satoro

It’s been two months since my husband and I returned from our trip.  As with all vacations, my mind drifts back now and again to places we’d been, the amazing experiences of sun and ocean, red rock cliffs and desert lands stretching for miles.  Photographs remind me of all that we’d seen:  the national parks, landscapes and seascapes we visited, as well as the deserted barns and houses that provided such wonderful photos and imaginings of their past.  Some of my favorite images are of the wild animals we both love so much.  I’ve also thought about the people we met, had conversations with, or just exchanged smiles and “Isn’t this amazing” words of delight with.

Although I’ve always been a “people-person,” I do believe the appreciation I felt for those we met along the way had been enhanced by experiences I had at the beginning of our trip, during my training to become a SoulCollage(R) facilitator.  Within that 3-day gathering, we made SoulCollage(R) cards that included many images of people from other lands, all ages and cultures, along with imagery that represented our own inner personality traits. 

Throughout the vacation–our 3-week, 5,000 mile journey–my husband and I shared time and space with hundreds (thousands?) of people.  Many were at the “tourist” spots, vacationing and exploring just as we were.  Others lived in the towns we passed through … people who were working or taking time out from their busy schedules to have a cup of coffee or look through a book store.  On the week-ends, especially, we saw gatherings of families and friends enjoying relaxing time together.

After we returned home, we reconnected with people in our own lives, each sharing his or her story of those three weeks.  This led me back to thoughts of all the people we’d seen and met on our trip.  All ages, races and cultures.  We were all separate within our own circle of relationships and lives, yet we were connected through the threads of shared dreams and desires.  And from envisioning those brief encounters, my mind welcomed a larger embrace of people, at home and around the world.  The ones who are in the news, at the grocery store, down the street.  All part of the immense world of humanity.  One person at a time, one life at a time. 

Journaling prompts
:  How does your life fit into the larger human story?  Where do you see shared experiences?  Are there experiences you cannot even begin to imagine?  What might you say to a stranger who seems to be walking in your own shoes?

(Note:  For those who are curious about Sage … she is growing, growing.  Delighting us at every turn and reminding us, “Oh, yes, that’s kitten activity!”)



Posted in Collage/Vision Boards, Journaling, Nature, Quotes, Sentence Stems & Questions, SoulCollage(R), Values; cats; difficult decisions | Leave a comment


Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.  Albert Schweitzer

Last month, my husband and I realized a long-held dream to take an extended road trip.  Our goal?  To visit some of the major southwestern national parks and monuments (Zion, Bryce, the Arches, Canyons of the Ancients, Mesa Verde, the north rim of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite).

The trip started June 6 and was to continue until July 7. We returned June 30.  What happened?  Were we not enjoying ourselves?  On the contrary.  We were stunned by the beauty and mystery of the southwest.  Freedom of time limitations and commitments stretched out before us like a golden ribbon.

What brought us home early was a two-pound, 7-week old kitten we rescued from under a sagebrush in the middle of the desert.  Hence her name, Sage.  The story unfolds …

Although the majority of what we’d been seeing involved amazing terrain with brilliant red rock formations, this particular region was absolute desolation.  Flat.  Hot.  Parched.  We could drive for hours, hundreds of miles past thousands of acres and see nothing.  Nothing.  Not even a rolling hill! Not a building or a house or even an animal beyond some free-range cattle who spent their days in that blazing heat without shelter.   

Periodically we’d see patches of “survivor” flowers and at one random point, decided to pull over and take photos.  Suddenly, I heard meowing!  Following the sound, we walked into the desert.  After crossing a cattle guard and climbing through a barbed-wire fence, I lifted up one of the few sagebrush in the area.  Yellow/green kitten eyes posed a gaze that locked with mine.  Only then did her meowing stop. 

As I pulled her out from under the brush, I just couldn’t imagine how she got there.  Who would dump a kitten in the middle of the desert with 100+ heat and predators all around?  As I carried her back to the van, I was filled with the vibration of her purrs and the joy of finding her.  Saving her.  The odds that we would stop at that particular spot at that moment in time are beyond my ability to calculate. 

Using a bowl from the back, we gave her water.  I didn’t think she’d ever stop drinking.  We gave her some turkey bologna.  She almost tore it from my hand.  She then snuggled into my lap and slept.

Finding a store that provided pet supplies was challenging.  Some number of miles on down the road, we discovered a small store that carried the basics.  Little did we know that would be the only “pet” related resource for days.

Our plan had been to rescue her, find a veterinarian or humane society who could take her and then be on our way.  Unfortunately as with the pet supplies, there were no such facilities.  We certainly didn’t want to have a kitten with us on this trip.  There were still so many places to see.  So many things to do.   And we still had two weeks! 

We quickly learned that most establishments in and around the national parks are not “pet-friendly” businesses.  And when they do allow “pets,” they mean dogs, not cats.  Fortunately, we always found one person who was willing to allow us this small breach in policy.  By the time we arrived in an area large enough to have a vet or animal shelter, it was too late …  we could not abandon her.

Finally, we decided to come home early.  Though conflicted and disappointed, we knew we’d done, for us, the right thing.  She is now a member of our family.  Our middle cat (Percy) loves her.  They play and wrestle , then snuggle and rest upon each other like old chums.  Our older cat is relieved because Sage gives Percy someone else to harass!  Truth be told, she is one of the best kittens we’ve ever had.

People ask us, “How could you do that?  Spoil your vacation?  Couldn’t you just drop her somewhere?”  Choosing to keep her with us during the trip fit in with our values as much as wanting to finish the vacation fit in with our dreams.  So, we’re going to take a short vacation in September to round out this lifetime trip.  Our only hope is that we don’t find another animal that needs to be rescued!

Journaling prompts:  Are there long-held dreams you have had to release for a value  only you truly understood?  How did it work for you?  What were your regrets?  Your gratitudes?

Posted in Collage/Vision Boards, Journaling, Sentence Stems & Questions, Values; cats; difficult decisions | Leave a comment