The Big Reframe

How we look at life is learned and can be unlearned. Developing practices that expand awareness and observation skills such as yoga or meditation can help strengthen this ability. Simply recognizing that there’s a forest beyond the trees is helpful as well. Perception changes everything. And the cool thing is we get to choose which lens we look through or angle we take on a subject. When the moon is full on one side of the planet, its dark on the other side. In some situations immediate action is needed, however, sometimes all that is required is waiting. Coming from a  place of curiosity is a useful way to practice waiting to see what unfolds. There is a requirement though, one need’s to come from a place of trust vs. fear in order for waiting to be tolerated.

One of the best examples of this concept is an episode from my all time favorite show, Northern Exposure. This show was ahead of its time, combining indigenous & nature wisdom, Jungian psychology, dream work & endearing characters that even after 20 years have been imprinted in my heart & psyche. Enjoy the following memorable moment when Ed is trying to make sense out of being struck by lightening that illustrates the power of perception offered by Iris Watts Hirideyo (This post is the creative work of Iris Watts Hirideyo and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Would love to hear your comments!

Ed: Boy, Marilyn, I’ve been thinking about this lightning thing so much, I’ve gone and given myself a headache.

Marilyn: Maybe you shouldn’t think about it.

Ed: I tried that, too. When I try not thinking about it, the only thing that goes through my head is still It. (pause) Who do you think is right? Is it a nihilistic universe with no meaning, oh, other than survival, or does the enlightenment view prevail? Does the Creator have a master plan, and if so, what is it?

Marilyn: My uncle once told me about a warrior who had a fine stallion. Everybody said how lucky he was to have such a horse. “Maybe,” he said. One day the stallion ran off. The people said the warrior was unlucky. “Maybe,” he said. Next day, the stallion returned, leading a string of fine ponies. The people said it was very lucky. “Maybe,” the warrior said. Later, the warrior’s son was thrown from one of the ponies and broke his leg. The people said it was unlucky. “Maybe,” the warrior said. The next week, the chief led a war party against another tribe. Many young men were killed. But, because of his broken leg, the warrior’s son was left behind, and so was spared.

“As Above, So Below….


…as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” says ancient Greek sage Hermes Trismegistus. I have heard this saying many times over the years and again recently in the movie Origins, a documentary on our environmental health. It simply refers to the delicate symbiotic relationship between the macrocosm and the microcosm or in other words, the planet and humans. The 35 contributing speakers all share their expertise on the state of our health and how it is directly linked to the health of the planet. (Movie can be seen for free until 11/22). Another recent event, the Heal The Earth, Heal The Self Telesummit shared the perspective of 22 speakers on how the wellbeing of humans is interwoven with the earth. Both programs are asking us to examine our relationship to the earth, our habits, how and what we consume and what we are modeling for our children. Claire Dakin, Founder of Tree Sisterssays “humanity is running out of time but it’s not over yet”. She says we must make our health and the health of the environment a priority.

Ecopsychologists say a large percentage of anxiety and depression is related to our disconnect from the earth and because our ways of living are out of sync with the natural world. Chara Armon, creator of the telesummit, says “caring for the Earth is inseparable from caring for ourselves.” These messages resonant deeply within me and are a primary foundation of my work, especially with women. Claire Dakin says “women are the missing link in the climate puzzle”. If you are sick and tired of being sick, tired, depressed, anxious, stressed or feeling disconnected maybe its time to reexamine one’s relationship to the natural world and the earth’s wisdom. ‘When oriented from a place of deep care our natural desire is to fiercely protect and restore’ says Dakin. Women have a natural connection to earth wisdom. Balance won’t happen though until we ‘normalize giving back’. If this blog stirs you and are feeling called to restore yourself and your relationship with the earth maybe its time to take some steps in that direction. One:one mentoring or group activities with other women are available now to find your way and be a part of the healing process ‘above and below’. Contact for more information.

“Millions of us around the world are feeling a calling to reclaim the feminine, and in so doing, to awaken our authentic power to co-create the future of our lives.” –

With A Grateful Heart


 “When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, FAITH is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.”   – Barbara Winter

On October 13th I will be celebrating my 30th wedding anniversary. Funny how different a twenty-something’s view of marriage is versus the view at fifty-something. But that day is one of my fondest and because of what happened five years ago I am most grateful for this celebration. Teacher, writer, mystic, Joseph Campbell says “The hero/ine’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, ‘Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.’ And so it starts.”1 I did not know this at the time but I had received the call.

An early October morning in 2009 will be forever branded into my memory. Seared is more accurate, just the way it must feel for cattle when a rancher puts his mark on them. Burns at first, smoke rises, the image permanently imprinted. My husband had been on a business trip, nothing out of the ordinary as travel has been part of his livelihood for over 20 years. Unbeknownst to me, however, he had arranged to meet an old college love the night before. For some reason we did not make our usual connection on his estimated time of arrival back home before I fell asleep. Consequently, was completely caught off guard by what was about to unfold. His late arrival @ 4am came with the words “I’m not sure I want to be married to you anymore” and the unraveling of our 25 year marriage began. Time stood still while I tried to make sense of what was happening and telling myself this was a dream I would soon wake up from. I began to free fall. Could not breathe. Nothing familiar to hold onto. Nothing to do but fall into the dark abyss of the unknown.

Within 2 weeks, my husband was out of the house. My disorientation period continued, half in the present, half wanting to believe this was not happening. Kept gripping my belly, no appetite, couldn’t sleep, took deep exhales and long walks in the woods or wandered listlessly around my home. The only thing I can compare this experience to was being in labor; focusing on a spot on the wall and breathing as the waves of a contraction washed over me. This adventure endured for 5 months. Even though I prayed every day for my beloved’s return there was a point where I surrendered the marriage having lost all hope of reconciliation. However, I could never completely let go of why I had fallen in love with this person in the first place and all we had experienced together, including two beautiful daughters, and basically growing up with one another.

My surrender was a letting go, not a giving up. Once I accepted my circumstances, however, a shift began to occur. Throughout this whole process my beloved had asked for time to figure this out. Slowly but surely that is what he did. He eventually found his way back home and we have been finding our way back to each other ever since. Our relationship is deeper, more loving, more real than we could have ever imagined. I’m intentionally writing this now as the October Full Moon is ripening. Full Moon’s are the time of the month to release, cast off, shed, bury what is no longer needed. I choose to release this and create space for something new. I haven’t been ready to share any of this out loud until now, but plan to continue “writing down my bones” as a way to heal and bring closure to this life chapter. This is enough for now. But remember, we all lose our way. The real adventure is finding our way back.

1 Osben, Diane K, A Joseph Campbell Companion, Reflections on the Art of Living, 1991, Harper Collins.

Buried Treasure


No I’m not talking about precious gems, coins or fossil fuels. Just plain, clean, refreshing spring water. I had heard about this spring months ago but finding it was put on the back burner due to family obligations (like preparing for my daughter’s wedding!). My interest in the spring rekindled itself so on a recent sunny, late summer morning, the husband & I set out on a treasure hunt to find this liquid gold. Thanks to the website fun springs we were able to locate the general vicinity and do some research on this local resource. Initially we passed right by our destination  and after 45 minutes  we almost gave up. Then I saw the white pipe and the gushing water. Yes, I was like a kid in a candy store. We had just purchased two five gallon collapsible containers and filled them up in no time.

So why was I so excited about this spring? Last fall I had listened to a lecture by Daniel Vitalis, rewilding pioneer, and learned about the benefits of drinking spring water vs. tap or filtered water. He introduced me to findaspring a website that shows the location of fresh springs all over the world. Was quite surprised to discover one right here in my own county. Learn more about the benefits of drinking local living water from his video. According to the fun springs website, this spring has been used by the locals for over 200 years. Reportedly, visitors come from as far away as neighboring states to stock up.  Dr Paul Check says “our bodies are designed to drink water from streams & rivers vs. filtered water” and “nature produces quality water if we don’t disturb it.” What’s in local water informs our bodies about what’s in the environment. So if you are in the mood for a treasure hunt, do some research and consider taking this experiment in reconnecting to our land; honoring the bodies need for fresh, clean water and as Dr. Check says “come to the party of health and well being.”

Happy Feet


No I don’t mean the movie with animated penguins. I mean truly happy tootsies after giving mine lots of attention last week. My first treat was a clinical reflexology treatment with wonder worker Jedidiah Smith at The Center For Holistic Wellness & Anti Aging Center. As he explained to me, reflexology is different from a foot rub. Practitioners train for up to 4 years to hone their skills & learn the subtleties of the feet. I learned that this type of care can calm the nervous system, balance hormones and bring all the systems of the body back into alignment. Wonderful news for my post menopausal ears. I guess one could say ‘the feet don’t lie’. I ended the week with some luxurious self care via a pedicure & fun color.

According to The Art of Reflexology, many practitioners believe it “originated in China some 5000 years ago” and has been around since ancient times. It is a precise technique that uses pressure points in the feet to target specific areas of the body, stimulate the body’s own ability to heal itself and return to homeostasis. This method treats the whole person, not just the symptoms, and can improve circulation, endocrine function and even control pain. Reflexology is suitable for anyone, however, our responses will all be different.

In the book, Earthing, the authors share the benefits of walking barefoot on the earth. The feet have the most nerve endings per square inch than any other part of ‘the body of comparable size’ (p. 18) and need to be in touch with the energies of the earth for optimal health. Many issues can either be prevented or corrected with more attention to the feet. Not ready for a full reflexology treatment? Some simple self care things to do include daily foot baths; roll the foot over a tennis ball; walk barefoot more often on grass, small stones or sand; apply natural creams or oils; try reflexology shoes or just do some gentle foot and ankle stretches. If you are curious about this form of self care and want to learn more before making an appointment some references and a list of local practitioners are listed below.

Jedidiah D. Smith, 8 East Second Street, Suite 102, Frederick, MD 21701  phone 410-480-8339

The Art of Reflexology,   Dougans, Inge and Ellis, SuzanneElement Books Limited, 1992

Earthing, Ober, Clinton, Sinatro, Stephen, MD and Zucker, Martin, Basic Health Publications, 2010