Excruciating Pain and Horror to Unending, Exquisite Love

The emergency room intake attendant side-eyed me in disbelief from under frowning grizzled brows. Holding my pulse with one hand, with the other he was hurriedly filling in my chart with cryptic slashes and numbers.

Star Fire

He looked back down at it on his lap, and glanced at me again. Not really seeing me.

“How is it possible that you’re still alive?” he whispered to himself, oh so quietly, as if in a trance. “You should be dead.”

Not surprised, I just sat silent.

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My Dad Thought It Was Sooo Funny When He Ripped the Covers Off Me

“I’m sorry, honey,” he said, looking back up at me, actual tears in his eyes. “I’m so sorry.”

Shylee – enraged and helpless

My dad used to burst into my bedroom, at dawn:30, throwing the door back with a thunderous bang.

He’d roughly yank all the covers completely off me and my bed, tossing it all aside, and cheerily spout, “Time to get uuuuuuuppp!!”

He thought he was being SO funny. N O T .

But could I ever convince him of that? Or that I felt terrified of him? Nope.

He was a very big man. I felt totally violated, my privacy absolutely irrelevant to him. Nope. Nothing I said to him got through.

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Get Your Audience Settled, whether Live or On Zoom

You’re about to lead a workshop or presentation. You want to begin, but your audience comes into the space full of energy, busy-busy chatting, walking around, chaotic. This is for you.

Speaking to your audience who loves you

What I’m about to show you works for in-person, online, and zoom events.

The first thing I do is bang on my podium. Or desktop.
LOUD.

Most presenters are polite, and don’t like to make waves.
I’m not polite. I intentionally make waves.

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Happy, Happy Birthday to Meeeeeee!

Yesterday was my birthday! I never thought of myself as a writer . . .

Waldo Dreams of Tango

I woke up to grey skies and freezing cold air — I’d forgotten to close my window to only an inch like I usually do. It was wide open, and all the cold night air was hurricaning around in my bedroom. Man it was cold!

But that’s OK — I jumped up and got warm, and decided to have a great day. I kept it mellow — napped and cruised a bit online, and then had a wee tiny party last night with two friends. Just the way I like it.

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Erecting Energetic Safety Zones

‘They’ say “we are all energy, frequencies…” So … I’m wondering … what if we could actually make use of that idea?

Star Fruit

We are all eating great quantities of chemicals, unbalanced or poisoned nutrients, plastic particles, and industrial byproducts that our bodies cannot use, metabolize or eliminate. We just can’t actually see it all, or I bet we wouldn’t do it.

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That Damn Cat!

How my mother was attacked by an enormous rasty-looking tabby cat….
(You can watch/listen to this story in a video at the bottom of this page!)

Scary Kitty!

My family used to live in a wonderful old 1880s farmhouse. Upstairs, my folks’ bedroom had a dutch door that opened onto a wide, sunny deck.

My mother liked to have her lunch on the deck when it was nice weather, and spent hours reading there on weekends.

One Sunday afternoon when I was 9, she put down her book and went inside to take a nap. She laid down in her bed … forgetting to close the top half of the dutch door, and dozed off.

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Signals that There’s Something Going on Under the Surface

Speaking with my business coach about a plan we were creating for my own coaching, I started to get really sleepy. If I didn’t lie down right now, I’d simply collapse on the floor in a puddle…

Stepping into my Dreams

(Watch/listen to me reading this story to you here!)

I had been blazing wide awake the moment before, and now I felt as if I was going to flat pass out on the spot!

Did I really need a nap?

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God Rays Under the Water

27 Days Sailing from KAUA’I to CALIFORNIA, Part IV

Each day, just as evening began to shade the sky, an enormous, rippling line across the horizon in front of us appeared, darkly ominous, growing bigger and bigger. The first time I saw it I about wet my pants!

God Rays Under the Water

In no time at all, it was upon us. The sea was spitting and boiling, surrounding and encircling us. The boiling morphed into jumpy wavelets, curling splashes and tiny bubbles. What the hell??

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Sailing with Giants

27 Days Sailing from KAUA’I to CALIFORNIA, Part III

As we began to plod our way through the Doldrums, I started having a recurring dream when I settled down in my bunk to sleep after my night watch was over.

Land Ho!

My habit was to lie in my bunk fully dressed, because I didn’t trust James. He never did anything after that first attempt to molest me (Part I), but once was enough to freak me out. It soon became a non-issue, seeing what happened as I fell into sleepy-land.

Maybe ‘recurring’ isn’t quite the right word – episodic would be more like it. I’d go to sleep almost immediately, and merge right into the dream I’d had the day before. Only instead of the dream being a repeat, it was a continuation – as if I hadn’t been gone at all.

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I Was Tossed Around Like A Rag Doll; My Angels Took Good Care of Me

27 Days Sailing from KAUA’I to CALIFORNIA, Part II

One moment, sunny sweet skies — the next, the Mother Hulk of a demon storm with hideous, grotesque grey-green and black clouds pelting us square on with sheets of ice-cold rain.

The Story of Life

We were hard-put to keep our footing, being tossed around by gigantic heaving swells. I could hear the planet saying, ‘it’s ain’t over yet, you puny humans.’

You know about the Doldrums, right? Officially, the area called the ‘Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone’ is known to sailors around the world as ‘the doldrums’.

This is the windless belt of ocean around the earth near the equator where sailors sometimes get completely, utterly, desperately stuck. Boats with no other way of propulsion than wind can be becalmed there for weeks. Some never make it out.

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Almost Raped 400 Miles from Land; How One Tomato Saved My Life

27 Days Sailing from KAUA’I to CALIFORNIA, Part I

I struggled to sit up, holding my head on with both hands. I couldn’t seem to stand, so I slid off the bunk, and inch by inch slowly creeped on my hands and knees over to the box….

Cruisin’

It was a hot mid-August, 1984, just a few months before my 39th birthday. At the start of the month, as a representative for the Hawaii yachting association that held a trans-pacific race from California to Kaua’i every two years, I had welcomed ‘James’ and his son, a father/son team, who had come in second in their 31′ yawl in the double-handed (only two people on the boat) race from California to Kaua’i.

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I Was A Disaster As A Mother

My now-grown kids have told me they loved it that I was an artist and showed them by example about being creative.

Together – detail

However, my personal opinion is that I might have felt more successful as a nurturing, loving mama if I had not been so completely focused on my artwork all the time.

But I wonder — could I really have been the lovey-dovey mama so often praised and put forth to us as the ultimate ideal mother?

I ponder this because my own experience as a child wasn’t exactly the fertile field of affection and acceptance I would think such a lovey-mama would have had in order to grow up to embody such a way of being.

As a young child, there was no tolerance for my being an overly sensitive, empathic child. I heard, ‘suck it up, keep your head up and stop complaining, straighten up and die right’ — words left over from my dad’s military years, drilled into all 4 of us kids’ minds.

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Dreams of Devastation Morph into … Pickled Red Onions?

I keep having dreams where I’m standing in a dried up, deserted field.

In the distance, I see the crumbling husks of hundreds and hundreds of houses, and the blackened, burnt skeletons of the once-magnificent trees that used to shade them. The cracked mud on the bottom of the creek is rock-hard, bereft of even a single drop of water.

CUTTING ONIONS: Me in kitchen cutting up onions with my pals Felix the Kitty watching the birdies outside, and Fido the Puppy watching me, with onion tears flying out of our eyes

In the fields, filthy, haggard humans scrabble in the dirt, raising great clouds of dust. Compared to these skin and bone remnants of long forgotten, better times, Scarlet O’Hara looks like a fat pampered doll.

There’s more, but it doesn’t matter — I awaken with such a heavy feeling of foreboding that I have to double my meditation and yogic exercise routine to come back to my inner peace before I start my day.

Yesterday was the fifth morning of waking up with the mangled shreds of these terrible dreams still hanging on in my inner vision.

I got mad. I yelled at them.

“What the hell?!? What do you want me to know? Is there something I should be doing? Tell me straight — stop torturing me!”

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Got A Recipe for Eating Crow?

Is it better to just let things go? Or risk being criticized or countered or even cancelled, because of making a mistake?

Eruption of Life

In a post I read on medium the other day, the writer said something I thought was incorrect. I was surprised, because he seemed pretty knowledgeable.

Normally, I don’t try to correct people — it’s almost never received well.

But this one sentence in his post really bugged me, because I’d lived through the era he was discussing, and I wanted to bring a little clarity to the topic.

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How the Voice of Dreaming Saved My Life

Isn’t it funny how, even though a period of time was one of the most painful ones of your life, later on you can look at it as one of the most fortunate?

It’s January, 1999. After returning from visiting a friend back east, I’ve been homeless for months because I can’t afford to rent a place to live. I have but one suitcase and my dog. My thin, worn sleeping bag is woefully inadequate. Trying to sleep in your little uninsulated Kia? Not fun — nights in Santa Fe, New Mexico at 7000′ elevation are colder than you want to imagine.

Out of the blue, a friend asked me to house-sit as she and her husband went visiting relatives in another state.

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My Mind Starts Eating Before I Do

I’ll be sitting here writing, or doing some other task, and in the back of my head I’m busy preparing the juicy makings of a delicious tomato salad, or a nice spicy wrap around some cheese and micro-greens, or some yummy curried lentil soup… Or making art of some kind….

Slurping ice cream in the kitchen with my kitty and doggie pals...

Ice Cream!

If I don’t get up and just go make the darn food and eat it, more food ideas come, and come, and come … and they get louder and louder, and more and more enticing … until they finally crowd out anything else - even if I’m doing some Important Thing. So bossy!

I used to think that the feeling I get in my belly when I’m thirsty was hunger.

I’d feel empty, my belly would growl, and feel pushy, demanding. My mind used to interpret that as my body being insistent that I eat something.

So I’d go eat. Or, I’d try to  -  how many times have I stood in the kitchen and looked around, or opened the fridge and hunted inside, all the while feeling like ‘there’s nothing I want to eat in there.’

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You’re Always Late! You’re So Annoying!

It was Sara’s 40th birthday party. I had barely walked through the door when she pounced on me, screaming. Right in my face.

2 friends sit on a bench talking about ideas, surrounded by critter friends

Ideas! I love ideas!

Behind her, the casual low-level murmur of party-din dissolved into a ragged silence. Every head swiveled toward us, mouths agape with surprise.

I was so taken aback I almost turned around and left.

But I did want to be there.

I did want to wish her a happy birthday, meet people, have a good time. Now I was stopped in my tracks, unsure.

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Last Does Not Mean Loser

(Published in Small Craft Advisor Magazine)
We were in the last part of the first pack. The finish line seemed impossibly far away. It was right then that I made the most colossal mistake.
Two sailors racing in a Beetle Cat boat

Almost Home

I had been so proud! I’d been invited to be one of two kids to represent our local sailing club as skippers in a multi-club regatta held by another sailing club down on Long Island’s Great South Bay. In a Beetle Cat, a class of boats I had sailed in, but never skippered before.

And now, out of 14 boats, we were last. Not just last, but dead-seemingly-miles-and-miles-behind, last.

All I wanted was to be at home, buried under blankets in the deepest, darkest, corner of my closet, so I could cry my brains out.

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Why I Didn’t Follow You On Medium.com

Blind to All But Love

500! Never in my wildest dreams a year ago would I have imagined I’d be writing over 100 stories in ten short months, and be honored by 500 followers! 515, today — just blows me away.

When I first started posting on medium.com in January ’23, I had no clue what I was doing.

From formatting to links to tags, to how to get followers — no clue. Although I’m probably only a wee bit more clued-in, I think I’ve learned a bit about writing here since then.

One thing stands out —the conventions for following!

At first, I ascribed to the follow-for-follow advice I’d read about by supposedly successful writers on medium.

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My Queendom for A Bag of Cookies

Yesterday, I was graced by the help of a young man who had no clue how much his assistance meant to me.

A huge black raven sits upon my shoulder, telling me tall tales...

Raven Speaks

Due to a funky situation with my back, I don’t walk — I hobble. And it hurts. All day, every day.

So when I had to actually get a ride and go to the store for groceries yesterday, instead of my usual ordering online/store-delivery, it was a very big deal.

What used to take me twenty minutes whizzing around the store on my two strong, agile legs, now took me two and a half hours.

A little more than two hours in, I was this far away from breaking into rivers of tears. I was in so much pain! Continue reading

GIVE IT UP!

(Published in Small Craft Advisor Magazine)
Sailing is more than ‘just a skill.’ It’s a life-and-death adventure every time you go out, and if you have even one smidgen of smarts in your head, you know you have to be prepared every time you go out onto the water.
full sails flowing downwind at top speed!

Spinnaker

Since my parents took me sailing almost before I could walk, being able to sail is like being able to breathe. It’s more than second nature — maybe more like a second set of senses.

I can tell right away if someone is a sailor — there’s just something about them — the way they walk, the look in their eyes, the trace of wind on their skin, the strength in their backs. And how they watch the water, if we’re near a harbor or ocean.

You can shrug and say, “Eh! No big deal — it’s just a skill!”

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TULE MAMA

A week camping near a lake, lava tubes, a mountain of chunks of beautiful black obsidian and volcanic tufa resulted in this carving…

Ancient looking iconic stylized figure of a woman

Tule Mama

I never liked walking, so any time friends asked me to go hiking, I’d say no. But when my friend Bee, who lived all the way across the world from me, said she was coming to visit and would I go hiking up in Tule Lake, it sounded so fascinating I had to go.

And we walked. And walked and walked — and I even liked it! Turned out walking with her turned what I normally thought of as physical pain and duress into a fun and interesting adventure. At the end of our week there, I was sad to go home.

Tule Lake (pronounced TOO-lee) and Glass Mountain are up at the north eastern border of California and Oregon. It’s the ancestral home of the Modoc Indian Nation. Continue reading

My Garden, My Angels

I kind of felt bashful, and laughed as I opened my eyes. I realized right away that I was expecting some kind of white-robed, human-shaped being to come into my view. Pretty silly of me – I know that angels take many shapes.

Colorful abstractish painting of birds nest fern leaves

Rainbow Birdy

It was slightly overcast that morning, the light mellow, muted. As I gazed at my beautiful garden right outside my window, a light mist swirled around the base of the palms and banana trees.

An issue I had been struggling with pulled my attention away. I went over to my desk and got online to see if I could find a solution. I clicked on inspiremetoday.com, because I always feel lifted and expanded by the articles there.

I was intrigued by the interview with Sophy Burnham, who reminded me of my past encounters with angels. Continue reading

Ten of the Strangest Fears You Ever Heard About!

Tonight, when I was reading about fears, I saw this word: Kakorrhaphiophobia, so I decided to play google search.

abstract painting of fearful face

The face of fear

I love googling weird things. I’ll type two unrelated words in the search bar and hit go, just to see what comes up.

Much to my surprise and delight, not only did the definition of Kakorrhaphiophobia come up, but a whole long list of the weirdest fears I’ve ever heard of continued down the page!

So here are a few of the ones I saw on that page.

Wait until you read what Gynophobia is!

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The Spirit Door

Suddenly, the plastic sheet in my hands quivered a little, and there! There it was! The Door!

A woman with wild blue hair holds aloft a budding Tree of Life

Made of Day

In a dream, I was with a man who was kind of Tibetan looking, but not. He was showing me a piece of sheet plastic — about a foot square, clear, shiny. He was shifting it around in his hands a bit, playing with reflecting light off it onto the wall beside us.

Suddenly, he stops, looks closely, and says, “Got it! See?” I look, and all I see is a shiny piece of clear plastic.

He hands me the sheet, and says to shift it around until I “see the Door.” Huh? OK. So I shift it around, trying to see into it, trying to see color, trying to see anything! But no, nothing appeared.

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SOME DAYS JUST SUCK.

You know me – I’m the one who wishes she could heal the world of all pains and wrongs, help people feel good, see the gold in every mud puddle – blahhh blahhh blahhh –

So frustrated today!

Yeah. Well, not so much today. I’m the one in the puddle today, and it seems nine miles deep. And yes, I know it’s an illusion – an ill-used one – sure seems/feels real to me.

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What Happens to You When You Watch Scary Stuff in Movies and Videos?

Sometimes I do things that drain my energy. I forget to stop, and end up an emotional mess. Have you ever done that?

Silly birdies and silly titles

Silly Birdies

A video I watched a couple of days ago that a friend sent me was one of those really well-done, 2-hour videos outlining how ‘they’ do this bad thing and ‘they’ do that bad thing, and how ‘we the people’ are suffering, and are powerless and helpless….

As I watched, I began to feel like I’d been kicked in the guts.

I could quite literally feel my energy field grow darker and darker, and my body feel weaker and weaker. Continue reading

WHAT TO DO with OUR ‘DARK SIDE’?

“…We all have darkness and light in us, but we also have the ability to choose love over hatred….”
.

Yes! In a video I watched a few days ago, Jordan Peterson was saying that unless you face and accept your dark side, you will just be a weak person.

I agree. It’s not that once you find your dark side you have to express it – it’s that you find it, accept it’s there, and choose NOT to express it. That makes you a strong person. And dangerous, because you know you will use that dark side if needed. I really like that.
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My Thoughts of Peace Fly Out Far Beyond Me

Because love is a verb. And it acts a million times more powerfully than our puny little minds can imagine.

My Thoughts of Peace Fly Out Far Beyond Me

At 13, my dentist decided that deflowering me right in the open, right on the dentist chair, would be a cool thing to do.

I was so shocked, so surprised, so absolutely flummoxed that I felt empty, void, deflated, suspended from anything I’d ever known before. I was the embodiment of the thousand-yard stare.

I felt so helpless and so betrayed that I ended up wanting to hurt everyone, even people who were not involved in any way, and even people who would have helped if they’d known how I felt, and if they’d known how. Continue reading