Tag: nature

Trusting the Wind

Trusting the Wind

Last night a song I heard 35 years ago played in the Apple Chill Mix round. It was one of those new age songs that became popular in the 80’s. I haven’t heard it in…well, probably 35 years. It was a foundational song in the leap on to a conscious and intentional spiritual path of healing. As I was listening it felt like a rip occurred within me.

It was like the fabric of who I am was once again ripped open, just like it was those many years ago, and I had all of this unhealed pain surface. Negative opinions about myself formed the basis of the flood of darkness that poured out of me. I reflected on those 35 years and where I thought I’d ‘be’ now. It really wasn’t such a lovely experience.

Where is my work making a difference? How is it supporting me financially? I want to bring beauty and joy and healing to this life experience and help others do that…how can I know if this is even happening?

Rather than go down that rabbit hole too deeply I went into meditation and it took a lot of focus to be able to calm my mind and let go of the negative messages bubbling up within me. An experience happened in the meditation where every animal and person that I have touched in a positive way showed up and ‘told me’ they were there to speak for me. It was quite overwhelming to see the many wild animals, dogs, cats, and people who showed up. I wept. Deeply.

I’ve tried to work a regular job and either I’ve not found the right one or my artistic, spiritual, creative side rebels and refuses to stay in a box. Everything within me goes into stress mode in a job where I’m not using my talents. When I was a state park naturalist it was amazing because I got to use my creativity and had a supervisor that trusted my environmental education expertise. But that was a long time ago.

Then there was the master’s in counseling and various jobs that followed and I have to be honest, I didn’t like that work…people rarely wanted to do the hard work of self-change and expected a magic wand along with their session time. Then I loved being a massage therapist and energy work practitioner…a lot! And I enjoyed teaching massage therapy and Reiki and Polarity Therapy. I felt like I was helping people feel better. And I still might do some energy work for folks once we can safely gather in close quarters.

But the most amazing work I’ve ever done happened from a promise I made to Great Spirit many, many years ago. I said if I ever had the financial means, I would dedicate myself and my life to helping the Earth heal. And 15 years ago I sold property I inherited and kept that promise. I documented the Gulf Oil Spill for a year, produced books and shared passionately about the relationship I have with Nature. I have shared with school children and church and civic groups about my journeys with humpback whales, dolphins, manatees and places like stone circles of England and the amazing western coast of Ireland. Nothing has brought me greater joy. But it hasn’t brought a sustainable income. And the world says I must be a failure if I cannot support myself through my work.

So last night I really felt the questions arise…What have the last 35 years meant? Have I made a difference?

It feels as if I’ve been on a 35 year long journey of clearing out the ineffective parts of my personality, honing the good parts, letting go of so much…shedding who I thought I was over and over again…allowing my life to unravel and unravel and unravel to a point of emptiness. And maybe that’s exactly what needed to happen. If we are empty then we can be filled.

Many, many years ago I stood on a beach and asked why I was doing the hard work of personal healing and the answer came through the purples and oranges of the sunset: The clearer and more open you are, the more able you are to take in beauty. So I continued on the way. And it’s true.

More than anything I want people to know that it’s worth the pain and struggle and effort when we can become clearer within our hearts and minds and thus more able to connect to the amazing Oneness found all around us. With beauty, with Nature.

Those moments where I have gone deeper with Nature…with humpback whales or dolphins, with the stars and moon, the ocean, the mountains…the experience of bliss and nearly unbelievable joy has made all of the hard work worth it. So I’ve written books and taken photographs and created videos and music in an effort to somehow translate this bliss and joy and remind other humans that it is possible.

I don’t know if my work reaches many people but I hope it reaches the ones that need it, long for hope and something to work toward in their healing journeys. A dear friend reminded me today that we never know how many folks we impact so I cast these pearls of experiences to the wind and allow that sacred breath to carry them wherever they are needed.

On Being a Bridge

On Being a Bridge

Recently I wrote about the Doorway to Oneness and how I found myself connecting deeper with Nature through playing native flutes outdoors. I concluded the ingredients for me are natural beauty, intentional breathing, willingness to open and surrender to the place, laying down of my defenses and opening of my heart and mind. One of the necessities, I thought, was being isolated from people I don’t know…but that was challenged at a beautiful waterfall.

I seek out quiet places in Nature, away from boisterous crowds and especially tourists. Anyone that follows my social media posts knows I have been lamenting disrespectful tourists that descend on these ancient mountains. The theory that I need to be away from people I don’t know in order to surrender and drop into Oneness was disproven by an unusual experience.

I stopped by my favorite store in Cherokee, Medicine Man Crafts, to pick up some elderberry tincture and talk with the owner about native flutes. One of my intentions is to co-create music with Nature through native style flutes and I wanted a flute created by a tribal member, to offer a stronger link between the land, flute and ultimately the music offered as a gift to the Spirit of Place. The flute I was drawn to was made by Daniel Bigay. He’s a member of the Echota Cherokee tribe of Alabama. (I recently wrote a piece called Echoes, about playing flutes in the Smoky Mountains…Echota tribe–Echoes….this is getting officially weird).

After leaving the shop I drove to a local waterfall on Cherokee tribal lands and took the flute with me up the snowy trail. I wanted to dedicate it at the waterfall to help heal the planet’s waters, a sort of life mission for it.

As soon as I arrived on the bridge at the base of the falls and began playing, I felt someone coming up the path and stopped playing. I walked to the far side of the bridge to provide social distancing. He said, “Please keep playing.”

Even though I was a bit shy, I did. Playing a wooden flute in temperatures hovering just above freezing is good to begin with but warm breath moving through it soon causes sound issues as it condenses on the chilly wood. And my fingers were so cold I could barely continue. 

His ten or eleven year old daughter arrived and walked over to listen. It didn’t sound tremendously awesome because of the condensation, but I kept on for a while. 

Finally, I stopped playing and said hi to the girl then put my mittens over my fingers to warm them. Meanwhile the wife and a troop of very loud, rowdy teenage boys arrived and I gave up playing on the bridge. I walked to the far side of the area and played again, once my fingers had thawed, standing on large rocks, gazing into the creek, sending along wishes for clean water and peace.

Then I decided to walk down the trail, through the large group–my mask in place and some of them wore masks. But instead of walking down the trail as planned, I felt drawn to stop under a rock outcropping near the bridge. I began to play again. This is very unlike me. I want to be away from people. As the family walked back down the trail past me, the dad told them to be quiet and listen. The energy shift was dramatic. They quieted down, quit roughhousing and dropped into a completely different energetic space. I could feel their respect.

The sweet notes floated over the trail, echoed off the walls of the cliff and found a way into the hearts and minds of this rowdy group. I was shocked.

Rather than try to isolate myself when I play, I can open to Oneness amid rowdy humans and hold the intention of calm and love and that can actually change those around me in a positive way.

I’ve been playing as a way to build a bridge between Nature and myself, to open to Oneness. Now I feel called to play to connect Nature and me and other humans. This new flute is bringing powerful Medicine to my life already and it obviously wants to bring this same Medicine to other humans. 

This little A minor flute is a bridge and fits perfectly with my life intention. I went through a spiritual dedication ceremony many years ago and my spiritual intention for life was, and still is, to be a bridge between Nature and humans. It seems an important new ‘friend’ has come to support this mission.

I assigned this little flute a life mission of helping to heal Earth’s waters. It clearly shared its mission with me–to build a soul connection between humans and the natural world… with anyone who listens. May it be so.



Creating something from nothing is an act of magic. It is an act of courage. We move into the realm of possibility when we surrender to the force of creativity.

And it is a force. But what is it that calls us to tap into that force? What moves us from ideas into action?

I imagine a gigantic cauldron of star dust, a cosmic soup, that contains every possible particle of the creative process. I lean over the cauldron and dare to look into its depths and touch the surface with my finger. It ripples and boils with potential and invites me to dip my hands into its richness. I stir that soup of infinity and watch as ideas bubble to the surface. Yes….that! And that! Oh, wow, look at that!With gratitude I enfold the ideas into a medicine bag for safe keeping and journey back to waking consciousness, ready to create.

It’s easy to ignore the creative ideas that enter our minds. It takes courage to follow through and even more courage to share what we create with others. But here’s the thing: the act of creating changes the world for the better, even if we never share it with another soul.

So here’s an invitation to dip into the cosmic soup, lovingly take the ideas that surface and use them to create something simply for the fun of it. When we do this we change the world.

To see more of my creations, please visit my website and explore the BOOKS page, SPIRIT MEDICINE DESIGN page and PHOTOGRAPHY page.