Category: Eco-Spirituality

Balance…or the Lack Thereof

Balance…or the Lack Thereof

A subtle urge to change the living area furniture arrangement occurred…again. I haven’t been happy with the configuration since moving in November and have changed it several times. I really like this little mountain home but the design and layout of rooms is quirky and challenging to make it feel balanced.

So furniture was moving all over and Buddy was anxious as the sofa is his bed. Frustration was growing so I stopped and sat down and took a few deep breaths.

I looked around the room. The issue was the main window isn’t centered with the room space. The furniture could be centered with itself or part of it could be centered with the window which made it off-center with the other furniture. Either way, something was going to be out of balance.

From inner silence came this: Forget the window. How do you see a gathering of people in the space? Work with that.

I took the window out of the equation and once I allowed that imbalance to be okay, the room really came together beautifully. Finally.

Everything in life doesn’t have to balance at the same time. Who knew?

I have spent far too much energy in my life trying to make it all work perfectly at the same time. Sometimes is does. But mostly it doesn’t. There will always be something that isn’t in total and perfect balance. Maybe I’m not doing my daily yoga practice but I am eating better. Or perhaps I’m not walking as much but I’m doing yoga. Maybe I feel inspired to write but can’t figure out how to get my creative work out in the world. How much stress do I cause myself by expecting or demanding it all to be in perfect balance?

The quirky house is teaching me it really is okay to be a bit out of whack in some areas of my life. It’s time to celebrate what is in balance and stop stressing over the stuff that isn’t quite there yet.


Soft Edges

Soft Edges

Curves, circles, spirals. Ambling here and there, led by a turkey track, an elk rub, an otter track. No longer a slave to goals and distances.

How many turkeys? That’s not important.

How far did we walk? Who cares?

Did you see the vine hug the tree or the beaver gnaw?

The elk rub was fresh, the little hemlock victim to raging hormones of the bull.

As I drop into inner stillness I find more curves, less straight lines. Soft edges rather than razors where one slip and I am mortally wounded.

Time is non-existent in the place of soft edges Why do tears flow when I feel this truth?

And Finally, Peace Came

And Finally, Peace Came

I was working downstairs, finishing up painting started before Christmas. I took a break and went upstairs to get water and a snack and saw beautiful, fluffy snowflakes drifting gently to the ground. Finally, it’s snowing.

I grabbed my snow pants, jacket and snow boots and after quickly dressing asked Buddy if he wanted to go outside. What a silly question, right?

It was 27 degrees and snowing heavily. I couldn’t see the ridge of the Smoky Mountain National Park or any of the ridges in front of my home. We were in a complete whiteout. The only thing visible was the area around my home.

It was so quiet, especially given the strong winds that blew through after the floods two days ago. Everything stopped and was silent.

So I stopped and became silent. Not just for those few moments but from the past two years. Everything stood still inside me and I finally took a deep breath.

Two years ago I was in Ireland enjoying my most favorite place on the planet, besides the Smoky Mountains where I now live. But a lot of stuff…no, a lot of shit…has gone down between those precious days in Ireland and today on the mountain where I live, move and have my being.

Finding balance has been challenging as I feel somewhat stuck in a trauma loop. But the snow, the silence, the softness drew me inward like only the magic of winter can. Suddenly, and without warning, peace unfolded from deep within my core.



Damn! The Monkeys.

Damn! The Monkeys.

There is this favorite photograph I took many years ago on the island of Nevis. It is a green vervet monkey sitting in a tree screaming at all the other monkeys on the beach, stealing alcoholic drinks. I saw him as the treatment director, the wise elder. The caption I applied to it says: Damn! The monkeys. I reflected on that image yesterday and almost two decades later it is still revealing wisdom.

The obvious irony is the screaming monkey is also a monkey. But the hidden irony…for almost twenty years…is that the screaming monkey was giving up his life to attempt to change others…to help them, to keep them from addictions…yet he had an addiction–demanding they change.

How many of us do that? We sit in our place of ‘right’ and demand others change…dress better, eat better, clean your house, wash your car, spend your money wiser, raise your children better, find a job more suited to you, paint your house, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t eat meat, don’t own guns, don’t curse…the list is endless, isn’t it? We seem to find a way to know what’s best for everyone else by our judgments. And thus, because we have some privileged connection to Wisdom that few others have, we stand on our platforms openly pitying those that don’t live up to our wishes for them. Ugh.

As I worked with the screaming monkey image I felt such sadness that he wasted his life, his precious days, hooked into something he couldn’t change. Then I saw me in him. And I wondered what it would feel like to just climb down the tree and walk away, move back to the jungle and stop resisting the flow of life.

So…Damn! The Monkeys….I am climbing down the tree and letting them figure it out. I want to live.

Creating a Life Cairn

Creating a Life Cairn

The full moon shines above the mountain. Shiny needles of pine trees reflect white light that appears as faint diamonds in branches. Pre-dawn air is crisp as my feet find their way through the path of stones as they kiss the ground. 

“A cairn is a mound of rough stones built as a memorial or landmark, typically on a hilltop or skyline.” Google¬†Dictionary

Recently I read a post on social media of a guy creating a Life Cairn as a way to honor the species that are going extinct and to be a beacon to light the way to better stewardship. I thought it was a wonderful idea and decided to invite people to help build one on the mountain where I live.

I put out the call for stones and within a day a new friend offered to help me load, haul and unload stones.

The area it is to be built was revealed and I began building a series of circles around it but after almost finishing realized it was a spiral that wanted to be built around the site. And so a spiral labyrinth evolved.

I began walking it twice a day with the intention of holding a space of love for all life. Until the cairn is built, love is being infused within the stones by me and anyone wishing to come walk it.

March 21st 2020 those wishing to be part of creating a new vision will gather to honor all life that has gone before us and to create a new form from which we can began to build a brighter future. For more information visit the Events page.

This Life Cairn will be an anchor and part of a foundation for the collective new vision that we are creating. Compassion… Kindness… Respect… Love…Peace… Stewardship… Community… Oneness