Whittling: Reduce something in size, amount, or extent by a gradual series of steps.

I feel a strong pull to shake myself free of most belongings, most books, all furniture, fish tank, cantankerous upright piano. Keeping a mattress, a work desk and computer, knitting supplies, a few pans to cook in, a few bowls, utensils, coffee mugs. I have a year to whittle away before my daughter moves on and I move who knows where.

Three years ago I wrote a vision plan for an ideal future, and at that time it included partnership. Revised version does not. Instead, I feel truly accompanied spiritually and no longer feel a pull toward partnership. In addition, my revised vision includes continuing what one beautiful person called “my ministry” of knitting items of comfort for people in crisis and starting to teach beginning knitting classes to whoever wants to learn.

From 2015 future vision:  In summer, I was able to afford to take a week off work and head for the Oregon Coast. I can also afford to complete further training to become a nature guide with basic survival skills. I went on my first week-long meditation retreat. I am working on my third self-published book on the topic of emotional regulation and balance via feedback from the natural world. This includes resources people can rely on to encourage reconnection to the stabilizing, purifying, joyful love and peace one can experience in connection to Nature. People want to pay me to guide groups in the woods and are contributing their strengths in biology and botany to these walks. Each gathering is rewarding and educational. 

Books are nuggets of wisdom meant to be shared. I am donating all my books to my local food bank, with exception of the following. This batch equips me with enough wisdom to face anything.



Knitting Update

My 50th birthday present  to self was to be an over-sized cardigan in my favorite deep blue color. I set the project aside to knit for other people’s requests, a year and a half flew by, I lost weight and no longer wanted such a big sweater. So I frogged the half sweater I’d completed and am repurposing it into a pattern called Tree Seeker by Joji Locatelli. Transformation is inevitable. : ) Here is my progress thus far. I am determined it will be done by my 52nd birthday.

Magical moments among the Great Firs after 28 consecutive days of screen time. Each cell in body feels a shift, breath deepens, posture and eyesight improve. Imagine what would happen to me if I could live more hours in the woods!

IMAG2576IMAG2580 (1)


Waterfall of moss


Ancient one

Heart in sky on Easter.

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 Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
― St. Francis of Assisi

Doing a lot of what’s necessary these past three 75-hour weeks of typing while praying for a financial miracle. I was just breaking even when a minor fender bender happened to which I will assign no blame, only thankful no injuries. Cha-ching, need to earn $500 more.

Such is life in the mundane zone.

Meanwhile, spirit soars with the eagles.

With so many voices running through my ears for so many hours, I have been aware my normal time for “emptying” to air out the old and open to the new has been rare. Here is a beautifully articulated analogy to the state of being human as empty cups and why “emptying” practices are essential for our renewal.

Sharing a few images from precious moments airing out.



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Grasping Wisdom


Machu Treechu

Membrane Theory

This week I stumbled upon a documentary on M theory, Membrane theory or “superstring theory.” A flash of recognition:  “Hey, this is precisely the truth I grasped in 2005.”

The thing that gets me is, how many times do those of us who receive information we don’t know what to do with are labeled “mentally unstable” or our knowings dismissed by ourselves or others because we aren’t able to articulate our wisdom in ways that those with higher education can?

In a moment of what I’ve come to call spiritual download, while sitting at my daughter’s bedside when she was rapidly decompensating during an episode of septic shock during her cancer treatment, I received a clear directive, “A membrane separates this and the next reality; she will be okay no matter what.”

I was able to find this paragraph from a real-time journal entry from 2006 where I describe in the most general way the truth I was shown. I was shown a more complex vision but could not articulate it past the moment of download:

I have come to believe strongly in the energy of prayer and staying connected to Source. I don’t believe the channel of that source connection matters, I only know the connection is important. As I have started praying more and keeping my connection open to Source, I have seen manifested results in my life I cannot explain any other way than the fruit of this connection. When I reflect on the times my daughter came close to leaving, and being around other children who passed, I have an image of life and death being separated by a membrane. Somehow that membrane seems most porous when we are connected with Source.

Now, I don’t have a degree in physics, only went as high as basic statistics in math, and truly don’t understand quantum physics beyond a rudimentary intellectual level. But I know with every fiber (or membrane) of my being that membranes are what separate dimensions and realms of existence. A few googles later, and it turns out M-theory was first proposed in 1995 at an international conference on string theory, and in 2005 this man gave a TED talk best explaining it to us who are not physicists.

A few bits from that 2005-2007 old journal that demonstrate how we all exist in different realities even in the same dimension:

To illustrate the vast chasm between a mother’s anxiety about all the “what ifs” and the 6-year-old’s reality, here’s a little snippet of conversation from yesterday.

Doctor: “(Daughter), do YOU have any concerns?”

(Daughter): “Yeah. . . the TV in this room is not working!”

Lessons in Resilience

She got a finger poke for blood and her platelets did not clump this time, so they didn’t have to draw from her arm and keep trying. She says it was because “I told those platelets to get movin’!” ~ 2007

For the finger poke, (daughter) told the lab tech, “I’ve had one million 500 of these before, so I don’t even need to cry.” ~ 2007


Glad that phase of my life is behind me and my daughter, but I will continue to look back on that time period as my most profound spiritual awakening. Just as a spiral moves around and around at higher levels, I hope to continue progressing in some way understanding more and more of what being here in this laboratory of life shows me. Right now, it’s a bit of a muddle. I can see the matrix grid of which I am a part as far as my current circumstances for what they are: That I co-create the matrix, that I can see what I’d like to change, that I know I want to work toward greater freedom of movement, greater growth, greater service, but I’m at a loss of what steps to take or how to get to the next level of that spiral. It feels like every move I see requires something I do not have and what I do have does not allow me to progress.

Video taken during a 24-hour period I saw 10 bald eagles recently in response to me asking to be shown a sign of what steps to take. They certainly know how to ride the thermals of the spiral.

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Flow and Numbers

Not to go all Shirley MacLaine on you, but here goes. A few things I’ve been exploring of late in case they are of interest to anyone else. There are different levels of trance states, and I’ve learned I seem most comfortable living inside two of the lightest forms.

Some Trance Types

One source educating about hypnosis online defines a few levels (by practitioner Beat Wettstein)

Light Trance:  “In light trance, the breathing is steady and even, the muscles are somewhat relaxed, and the attention is fixed. This level of relaxation is ideal for concentrating, meditating, and visualizing.”

Medium Trance or Flow:  “The ‘Flow’ state as described by the Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book ‘Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience’ is as much trance as is the feeling of being in the zone where nothing else matters other than the task at hand.”

I’d like to practice automatic writing, which is described as accessible in a deeper trance. I experimented with this once in the past and it was interesting. My handwriting looked like that of a different personality, I wrote with my eyes closed, and I was relaxed enough to get a 10-minute response to an open-ended question like, “What information do I most need to hear right now?” I was told I should eat sweet potatoes for my health and wrote down details of agricultural experiments on plants. I started thinking I was accessing George Washington Carver, a man I was fascinated with in middle school. The subconscious mind is a treasure trove.

With a half century on the planet under my belt, I seem to be in a perpetual state of life review with feelings from regret to appreciation to gratitude to anger at self arising. But it’s okay, I’m my own therapist because the price is right, and feelings are just the weather. Part of this life review offered me an “aha moment” that nearly everything I gravitate toward seems to fall in the category of a trance state. Or flow. Everyone probably does this without recognizing it as such. I experience it as providing comfort, security, and a way to manage overactive thought patterns. In other words, I am unable to focus on flighty or anxious thoughts when I am in FLOW.

Over the trajectory of my life, the following experiences have consumed most of my waking hours and all involve repetitive patterns that require focus:

  • Practicing music over and over until able to play it in a deeper “trance state” than flow, which is what I feel all musicians achieve who put the hours until focus goes beyond the technical part. It’s absorbing oneself into frequency. One of these years when I am not keyboarding seven days a week for a living, I will return to my first love, piano.
  • Knitting. I don’t know where my mind goes when I knit, but it is similar to meditation’s focus on the breath. I am unable to think many thoughts, both when working on a pattern easy for me or a pattern that requires more intellectual problem-solving.
  • Meditation. Repetitive focus on breath for me allows a “sifting” of silt of daily experience until awareness is clearer.
  • Transcribing. I did not seek out this job, but it has sustained me for a quarter century. It feels to me I could not have confidentially transcribed people’s medical traumas and all manner of heart-wrenching interview subjects 8-10 hours a day for 25 years without either a psychotic break or physical injury if I was not in some mild trance state. This work requires hyperfocus, ability to physically relax into repetitive motion, alongside constant letting go of emotional content while capturing it accurately. I imagine this is akin to spiritual channeling, but I have never attempted such.
  • Walking. One foot in front of the other, kissing the ground. Centering, empowered, at one with body, Earth, mind freed.
  • Communing with at least one tree a day. I try to feel what it is to be a tree once a day and feel completely grounded by this practice.

Over the past decade, I’ve become fascinated with NDE (near-death experiences) since I have met several people that had them. I’ve long been convinced of the idea that physical death is not final so reincarnation is a probability. I’ve read books by prominent researchers in the field like Dr. Brian Weiss, Dr. Eben Alexander and the 50 years of research from the team at University of Virginia.

To explore further, I took myself on a few weeks of intermittent regression self-hypnosis via online recordings. This might be more effective or healing to do with aid of a trained professional in person, because it would allow for someone to process information with afterwards. But a person without money does what she can. After trying several recordings, I found one that worked well for me to relax enough to get into deep trance state. I knew I was there because my entire body felt paralyzed like in deep sleep except my mind was lucid and spacious.

Three separate times I was able to experience what felt like distinct past lives (one a Catholic woman who died age 24 in the 1600s, one a male French researcher in the 1800s who never married but focused solely on contributing something academic to society for which he was honored on a stage – but not too prominent, another a Bedouin man many centuries ago). All three gave me something to learn from in my present.

I say “felt like,” because the human imagination and mind capacity is hugely powerful, largely untapped in our daily lives, and I have no objective way to know the difference between what I experienced in a trance state as true regression or imagination.

One thing that gives me pause is, at the very least, the people I experienced inhabiting in self-hypnosis did not give me answers my conscious mind wanted to learn and instead provided information that I did not expect or consciously seek. I was able to think in French when inside the French man, but then again, I took 5 years of French in school. I haven’t used it in my conscious mind for 30 years, but maybe the subconscious mind retains it. The Bedouin man felt incredible responsibility for his family group and moved nomadically, walking hours a day to set up camp. (Nod to my deeply felt, lifelong impulse to walk long distances!) As I went into hypnosis, I asked not to be shown anything I couldn’t handle alone, so when I saw the young Catholic woman in a heap on a floor, I was not shown how she died only heard the phrase “It is very hard to be a woman.”

I have a few childhood memories under age 3 that I’ve wondered about all my life. These are what I was hoping to find answers around.

  • Repetitive nightmares of myself rising above a city on fire in aerial view, accompanied by a rushing in my ears. I would crawl into my parents bed each night and the nightmares stopped only after they reassured me it was just the sound of blood rushing in my ears.

  • Repetitive solving of codes in a “lucid dream.” I would scan a panel of numbers and figures passing in front of my eyes from right to left like a conveyor belt and tried to decode the codes.

  • Texture dreams – black-gray-white experience of textures by sight and touch.

  • Extreme fear of dogs as young child. As adult, extreme allergy to dogs (and most furbearing critters). Did I do something horrible to these animals in a former life? I would do almost anything to stop living in a bubble of isolation, with all the limits this puts on my life.

I am curious about key experiences that fall in the “paranormal” as an adult, which in my humble opinion should be called supranormal, since so many people experience these. One in the Four Corners area of the US (later I’ve come to know  is a highly active zone for unexplained phenomena), several in Japan, two involving relatives, others in rare sleep states where I embodied a completely different being than I am in waking life and/or was given extremely detailed information or aerial views of cities I have never visited in this life or seen in a movie.

I have no supernormal powers of which I am aware, but inquiry into human capacity and consciousness based on self-evident experience fascinates me. All without the benefit of consciousness-expanding substances, I might add.  Plain old vanilla awareness is a rich enough playground for me.

And now for the numbers

Numerology shows I am a 1 Soul Urge representing independence and wanting to be good at stuff, and 5 Life Path representing freedom/change including a concern for other’s right to freedom. I’m supposed to thrive most in jobs that require travel, feel constrained by relationships and ties. Fits, which is why I probably let a big part of myself go dormant while typing alone in a room for a decade and may not be really “thriving.” It’s all in the numbers…if you want to figure out your Life Path numbers, here’s one of the countless sites out there that provide the formulas. What I’ve discovered is numerology is like astrology. Each numerologist has a different way of interpreting the numbers, but at their core a number represents a frequency, just as a letter, a star cluster or a sound does.

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Nothing to Get Right

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
~ Lao Tzu

Twice I have had spiritual awakenings, one traumatic, one sitting in a room alone meditating several hours a day over a long period. Everything drops away from the illusion of a “self” to the realization that I am individually nothing, primarily consciousness connected to all visible and nonvisible.

Adyashanti refers to awakening as “All that is necessary to awaken to yourself as the radiant emptiness of spirit is to stop seeking something more or better or different, and to turn your attention inward to the awake silence that you are.”

But I don’t think I was ready to know what I was shown. Because one awakening was followed by five years of P.T.S.D., and the other was followed by a period of complete dissociation where I felt less able to function and felt no choice but to drop the spiritual seeking I was doing temporarily in order to function in the realm of single parent supporting a child. Which suggests to me the latter wasn’t true awakening but rather the result of a dissociative meditation practice, because true spiritual awakening must be compatible with nurturing relationship and ability to function. Or not? Is this why part of spiritual training for nuns and monks includes disconnection from distraction of primary relationship?

February was an intense month in which I received what I call “spiritual downloads” relating to following “truths” I was shown:

  • Time does not exist
  • I am primarily a continuum of consciousness, conduit inside a physical vehicle
  • I do not want to be taking up oxygen on Earth unless I’m serving others in some way, which is the continual “not enough” feeling I experience in my current actions so I need to work toward further alignment with that impulse – actions matching value.
  • My reciprocal connection with the natural world is more than just “observing beauty,” it is a supportive energetic exchange as ancient as humanity’s beginnings.
  • I am never alone. Spiritual energies exist to guide and assist, which may in fact be fragments of our higher selves, but may also be separate entities, whether we call them angels, spirit guides, sparks of intuition. Asking for their guidance can help us align our actions with that resonant core of our true being.
Times of transition are strenuous, but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits. We can make our new normal any way we want.
~ Kristin Armstrong

I am headed for a big transition in about 15 months, and because I have advance warning of this transition from housing and child and everything I know in the physical realm, I am calling on spiritual guidance for assistance so that this time around I don’t need to experience years of P.T.S.D.

To that end, I am practicing daily spiritual work around dropping fear, combined with taking actions so that within a year I will have paid off debts related to my last vacation 5 years ago, car maintenance on my 19-year-old car, and healthcare costs, and am following every intuitive spark I can to “write my own movie script” for the next phase of my life, all balanced with the understanding that as much as I write that script, the Universe has a sense of humor and may decide to rip it to shreds and write a new play.

For now, each morning after I meditate on behalf of every sentient being, I take a few moments to exist inside a sensory map of my own living space and work life I want to manifest, just in case the Law of Attraction really exists. I want to cover my bases, because if it doesn’t, I’ll live in fear about the perceived barriers that I fall into the camp of 46% in my county that qualify for “rent overburdened” status but low-income housing is not currently taking new applications and that 99% of house rooms to rent are unavailable to me due to my silly immune system that hospitalizes me in environments where dogs and cats live.

Inside my sensory map, I live somewhere in the PNW, feel relaxed, at ease, energized, at home in my small living space, able to go out from that grounded base to do work where half my time is outdoors involved in nature work with others, and half in a new way with something like a freelance job I learned of a week ago that allows me to use my 25 years of transcription experience to benefit people in a more direct way while continuing life-long learning.

(This post’s title comes from this week’s card I pulled in what I use as an Oracle deck, my BuddhaDoodle cards. I pull a new card whenever I feel work on the current one is complete.)

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View from Ebey’s Landing


Walking in this magical place after torrential rain in motionless air, I overheard a group of women ask, “Why don’t we come out here more often?” Answer, “It’s the getting out the door that’s the hardest thing.”

Why don’t we permit ourselves to go out the door?

I know my time here is precious with proximity to such gifts of nature, and I never take it for granted. Walking outside is so essential to my mental health that even during weeks of overwork when only time to walk is in dark, I walk. Maybe illustrates my tendency to avoid gyms like the plague, but I’ll take an air/rain/wind/sleet bath any day over moving inside a gym. Another blessing of living in a rural space. I’m not so sure I would walk in darkness during my big city days.

So many questions have arisen for my spirit guides lately.  Am I living my purpose? Am I doing enough to serve others? What concrete steps can I take to reach my dreams, my basic needs?

One answer I received around self-expression with an image of an arm placing round items into a basket:  “You are gathering voices now. When it is time, you will speak.”

Transcribing voices for a living can be fascinating and also moving. I have been inspired immensely by clarity about humanity expressed by people who have endured the worst humanity has to offer (refugees of all kinds). Something about that contrast is super powerful and gives me more hope about humanity than anything else. Once I am past supporting my child through her final year of public school and earning her own way in the world which seems to take my entire focus, this population is who I want to serve in some way. Tutoring English to immigrants and refugees was the most rewarding person-to-person thing I’ve ever done in my past, and I’m percolating on contributing my energies there when possible.

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Today’s word prompt is static, which is fitting as the challenge to my guiding word of 2018: Tuning. My intention is to practice being more conscious of what I tune in and out, and what frequency I resonate with in my own being. Tuning also is linked to music and really all universal energy, which we know originates in resonance, in frequencies, in sound waves. I can become more conscious of when static is overwhelming and I need to take myself for a tune-up.

I am aware of increasing hearing loss and static from tinnitus due to all my years of listening through headphones daily, so I will not be surprised if tuning becomes more internal. I already miss hearing birds when others around me hear them but am fearful of getting tested because of cost and rather not finding out how soon my livelihood of 25 years is no longer feasible. I worry for that Millennial generation and younger who start out so early on headphones and continuous noise exposure.

Music was my first gift in life because it taught me the power of a wordless language, and a split from it was my biggest significant life path shift where I thought I was destined for one thing but instead took another direction. I am content to allow that past be past.

Thanks to a Find Your Word workshop I attended this weekend, part of the process was to create a vision board collage. I have done this several times with my sister who is a creativity coach and seems to always have an abundance of art supplies on hand, but it has been a several year gap. Until the vision board this year, I forgot how much I miss going through the process and how impactful it is to allow a word or a few to find you as a “theme” and deeply resonate with you for a period of time. A year is arbitrary. Choose any chunk of time for a good practice. If you work with inspiration from nature or from art, anything that shifts your perspective from the mundane, it is as if your unconscious can reveal what your conscious mind needs to work on.











Nature’s weavers at sunrise this morning

I have an overarching plan for this year which is to focus on unearthing my artist self and practice techniques and technologies for knit design. I have entered a six-month artist mastermind (even though I am the only knitter) to help in this process with a goal of making one solid design per month. How well this can be done while simultaneously working full-time or more and helping navigate a teen through senior year of high school remains to be seen. But anything is possible with grit. And I have grit.

Each design incorporates some element of walking, paths, footsteps to resonate with my longer-term goal of a long-distance walk in 2020 (or whenever financially feasible). Any design sold will go toward being able to afford time off work for a big walk. Considering options, The Camino Way is always appealing, and I can ponder the significance of having Jewish ancestors who were forced by the King to walk out of Spain during the Inquisition, walking centuries later a path of Catholic pilgrims. Most often I have thought about walking somewhere local, like across my own state. But there are countless treks in the UK, Scotland, Ireland, Iceland any one of which is a joyful lifetime journey for me.

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