In the midst of personal transition and change, I am all the more reminded of how fundamental my connection to the natural world is to my ability to get out of my busy mind and into my calm body… It’s not that I had sorted things out in my head, or that any questions were answered, it’s that my mind had bowed to the wisdom of the heart, and my body took the lead.Read More
News from the Grove
“If you want to take the island, burn the boats.” -Julius Caesar
While Caesar meant it with regard to eliminating his navy’s escape route when attempting to conquer another country, the idea applies more broadly to the concept of full commitment, of clarity of purpose, of letting go of what might feel more safe or familiar in order to have the capacity to reach towards and take hold of the new direction with both hands.Read More
Some friends have recently started a podcast about the idea of unsubscribing from the “normal” approach to life. It features interviews with individuals who have chosen alternative paths in one way or another... I have a different ear while listening to this new creation, perhaps because it’s new, perhaps because I have a bit of the behind-the-scenes process, but it occurred to me recently that I’ve never considered the art of interviewing before… which is funny because my job as a therapist is very similar: a series of questions.Read More
Shifting perspectives... sometimes it is something we pursue: a different take on our lives, a new angle on our relationships, a renewal of excitement for our work, the capacity to have more patience, more energy, less frustration, a change that will help us experience greater ease in life … but sometimes we are forced to shift perspectives.Read More
After much of a month spent in Colorado and Utah at the end of this summer, I returned home to Asheville only to find myself yearning for the big mountains and the aridity of the West. This longing is not new to me. Every so often my love of the geography of the western states comes crashing in, and I wonder why I am digging my roots into the wet soil of the Southeast.Read More
If time were given a shape, it seems it would be circles:
years, months, days…. all moving in circles.
The patterns of the natural world also show up in circles:
the hawk catching the warm uplift, rising in circles;
the circles of the vortex pulling the leaf under water, only to reemerge downstream, still spinning… circles.
Sometimes I feel as if I too am moving in circles with the lessons I am learning in this life. And yet...Read More
Summer time…. And the livin’s easy….
Or at least, that’s our normal association with this season of playtime, sunshine, beaches and barbeques. So what happens when our lives don’t slow down...For some, the summer’s promise of ease can turn into greater stress, which in turn can move us into a place of resentment, irritability, and far from showing up as our best self.
What do we do when we are ashamed of our actions? When we hurt someone? When we react rather than respond? When we do something or say something that makes us want to crawl into a hole and not come out until the world has somehow forgotten?Read More
Comfort piece: My green sarong. It’s my multi-tool piece of clothing. A skirt, a changing room, a scarf, a sheet to sleep under on warmer nights, a beach towel, a pillow cover… it’s cotton and feels like a security blanket in harsher wilderness conditions, or a piece of stylish accent to the same black fleece I’ve worn the last 5 days. It’s colorful. It’s fun but also functional. It’s not necessary, but each time I use it I feel a bit of joy and delightful acceptance of this gift I am giving myself.Read More
Leave the "options" at home.
On any trip where I have thought “I can’t decide which, so I’ll just bring both, and then I’ll have options!”… the same thing happens…I use far less than I brought and regret the weight of the excess baggage (scarves, shirts, pants, shoes, socks, earrings, books, bags). I believe this has to do with wanting to feel prepared when faced with the unknown, covering up a nervousness or lack of control with more stuff in the pack... as if having two scarves instead of one will help me better navigate the challenges of international travel.Read More
I have come to believe that the way we engage with the various stages of an adventure directly relates to the way we live our overall lives. Do we immerse ourselves in the planning phase? Relishing each minute spent detailing our moment to moment itinerary? Do we daydream about the lives we want to be leading without ever getting past the google-image searches to actually purchase a ticket? Do we throw ourselves into the travel, show up to our station without speaking the language and no clue where we will sleep that night?Read More
I’m not sure if it was his words, or the nature of the event to which I was making my pilgrimage, or if the universe was conspiring to roll out a multi-colored patchwork carpet of love… but I can say that the events of the weekend rippled through my core and seemed to continue outward, and John’s words of “Love in Action” were manifested before my eyesRead More
She has a constellation of nightlights that illuminate her nocturnal pathways and I imagine her creeping through the rooms trying not to disturb the slumbering of her loved ones, the dim glow of her house a warmth in the cold night… her soft movements a dance of motherhood… Although not lonely, she finds herself sole witness to the dark, and in this solitude she feels more fully all that she is to her child, to her partner, and to the world.Read More
A grove of aspen trees is one organism; each individual tree, with it’s unique shape and growth patterns, is connected to the others through a shared root system providing nourishment, stability, and resilience.
Perhaps we can be the same.Read More
I follow several nature photographers on instagram, and this fall the images of golden aspens have been the highlight of my “social media” world. It’s as if the aspen canopy is glowing and bathing the surrounding evergreens with it’s intrinsic light. Although no aspens grow in North Carolina, the change of colors in autumn is still my highlight of the year, and I am struck by how this washing of the world in oranges, reds, yellows, deep purples, is then followed by a complete surrender and falling of brilliance. The trees cannot hold onto the autumn jewels; in fact their roots need the nutritious compost of their own sacrifice.Read More
When being trained as a counselor I was offered the following advice many times by many different people, often with slightly different wording: The relationship is built in the repair. A somewhat novel concept to someone who, like many of us, wanted to be liked by everyone and struggled with the idea of conflict with a client, this concept is larger than just the work that I do in the office or outdoors with clients. It’s about every relationship. My friends, my co-workers, my family, most definitely my marriage. The relationship is not defined by whether or not we have conflict, arguments, hurt feelings, loss, anger, tears…. It’s defined by how we respond to these challenges.Read More
The end of summer is anything but a "slow-down." As schools ramp back up, vacations come to a close, the first break in the heat sparks a resurgence of energy and, for some of us, an excitement for all that the fall holds. And yet...Read More
Comfort or Growth: are you going for one or the other? I am not so naïve as to believe that we all fall entirely into one of the two camps, but I do wonder if we all can’t align ourselves more with one or the other as a life goal, as a way we organize ourselves, lean with our values, and tend to base our decisions. Are we striving to be ever more comfortable? To have easier and easier lives, as the rate of our technological development may suggest? Or do we gain pride in life by having to stretch ourselves, by waking up everyday with a hurdle to overcome, a challenge to navigate, defining our sense of self worth with martyr-like work at all hours of our lives? Is it all about the next gadget or job that will make life more luxurious? or Is it all about how hard we’ve worked and what tasks we have completed?Read More
Sometimes an opportunity arises that scares you... that seems the stuff of dreams and therefore cannot really be meant for you... that, if you were the truest version of yourself, you would gladly accept and know you deserved. But somehow your shame and inner critic and voices from the past come careening in to respond with a resounding "No"...Read More