NOW OPEN! — InnerLandscaping at

Posted on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

You may already have gotten this news via Facebook, but I recently opened a virtual shop at Etsy which will have most, if not all, of my smaller products: fabric postcards, purses/bags, lap-sized labyrinths in totem shapes, books and patterns. I hope you’ll check out the store, and let others know about it. I plan on adding new items on a regular basis, so give a look every once in a while. —  Thanks!

Make Your Own Happiness – surround yourself with. . .

Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2011

A friend has asked me to make him a quilt, adding, “I am surrounding myself only with things I love, that make me laugh, or remind me of friends.” What a wonderful way to live your life. Obviously there are things that are practical or even necessary, but my friend’s list is a helpful addition for anything beyond practicality. But even practicality can mix with other values. . . as when another friend said to me, “If it doesn’t feel like pajamas, I’m not wearing it.” There, comfort was the issue, and my friend loves comfort. I like a house which is neat and clean, but more than that I love doing what I love to do – which, more often than not these days, is sewing and making beautiful things to look at or which carry loving, supportive energy.

Fireflies: Happiness engineers extraordinaire!

Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2011

One of my favorite things about spring/summer are fireflies, and I saw my first ones a few nights ago. I knew them growing up, when my father/mother/daughter family spent a couple of weeks with another such family up in northern MN, fishing, and then they disappeared from my life as it became much more urban-focused. Eventually a friend moved to the country, and I re-encountered them when I went for summer visits, but it wasn’t until I moved to N.C. 10 years ago that they became such a large part of my spring/summer consciousness. I had an especially meaningful experience with them a few years ago when, unable to sleep, I got up around 3am and went into the kitchen, which had a sliding glass door to the deck. And there, on the deck, were about 20 fireflies which, as I watched, settled into a perfect circle on the deck floor and just lay there, blinking, until dawn. I had never seen such behavior, and to this day don’t know what it meant, except that I felt very connected to these creatures, and filled with a silent joy which arises again each spring with the first sighting.


Posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2011

I’m developing a new blog (Transformation Through Play) for my work with The Transformation Game, I ran into a challenge and emailed the support crew at An answer came back very quickly, which completely answered my question in totally understandable terms, but what struck me more was the signature: beneath the support person’s name was the title, “Happiness Engineer.” I just had to smile, for this person was, indeed, a Happiness Engineer for me in two ways: I was happy with the ease of the “fix” and the promptness of the response, and he had gotten me to smile in the process. Rarely, if ever, do I smile when I run into computer problems.

How/where can you be a “Happiness Engineer” in your life? How can you get people to smile in circumstances which normally bring a frown and a curse? — Can we all be happiness engineers for each other?

Thank you to all the Happiness Engineers with whom I come in contact; may your numbers grow.

Morning Smile

Posted on Monday, March 21st, 2011

This morning I began my day, as I often do, listening to an Abraham meditation, after which I move directly into my practice of the Inner Smile by Mantak Chia. Normally this practice takes several minutes to get into the flow, but this morning, as soon as I my thoughts turned to the Inner Smile, it was there, on my face, and all throughout my body, and I moved immediately into the final stage, which is a flow of smiling from me, outward to the entire universe (and beyond) and back again. It was utterly delightful and delicious, and I have yet to find a better way to start my day, a better energy to send forth before me as I venture out into the day and the world.

Delight at 60

Posted on Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Today I went to a friend’s 60th birthday party and discovered it was, primarily, an ecstatic performance, by her, of some dance/story/sign language pieces which she offered to us, her friends. It was delightful to see such an expression of joy in her and in us. May we all express ourselves with such joy and abandon in our own lives.

A Joyful Revolutionary?

Posted on Sunday, March 13th, 2011

“Radically new or innovative; outside or beyond established procedure, principles, etc.: a revolutionary discovery.”
— Does a man become a revolutionary out of the belief he’s entitled to joy rather than submission? —  Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna

I had never thought of myself as a revolutionary before reading The Lacuna; idealist, perhaps, but never a revolutionary. But if entitlement to joy is a benchmark, then I am, indeed, a revolutionary, albeit a fairly quiet one. I don’t pick up arms, or even a megaphone but, at times, the quill. Or, just as likely, I quietly practice tonglen (a Buddhist breathing practice of breathing in pain and suffering, your own or someone else’s, and breathing out/sharing joy, delight, peace, etc.). I gave up my license to practice psychology because the methodology and bureaucracy no longer afforded joy to me or my clients; now I practice coaching people on how to experience more joy in their lives. Never mind previous life experiences find joy in the moment, in the NOW, and the rest of it falls away, at least for as long as you maintain the practice. As with any such practice, you simply keep coming back to it, without judgment about how easily you fall out of it. Even sitting here in McDonald’s, when I look for joy within myself, I find it. And then it appears without, in the delighted voices of some children who just entered. Squeals of delight; ignited by me creating my own reality? Who can say.

Joyful Moment 2/20/11

Posted on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Another musical driving moment: Wild Horses by the Stones, and If I Had a Boat, by Lyle Lovett. An unlikely musical pairing, but it brought back memories, and conjured up some wonderful, delightful images. Let’s all “go out on the ocean” and ride our ponies on the boat.

The Transformational “Slough of Despond”

Posted on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

I first came across sloughs in my mid-thirties as I traveled around northern California; ;these small, muddy areas were often labelled with signs which simply read “SLOUGH.” (According to an online dictionary, a slough is “an area of soft, muddy ground; swamp or swamplike region.”) For some reason, I began calling my moments of despair the “slough of despond” which, whenever I thought of it, tended t pull me immediately out of the despair into a lighter state; in fact, it often got me laughing out loud because of how ridiculous it sounded. It occurs to me now that this was an interesting intuitive understanding on my part, as sloughs are exactly the kind of murky “shadow” realm where one is likely to find gold and pearls. What do you find in your “slough of despond” when you look more deeply?


Posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

On the drive into town this morning I heard a the Bach Cello Suite #1 in G by Yo Yo Ma, and I was reminded of the first time I ever heard him play this piece. It was part of a program which aired on PBS called The Music Garden, about an imagined music garden in the middle of Boston where, instead of Muzak, ou would encounter various pieces of classical music, each evoking or heightening a different mood, as you strolled through the garden. It reminds me of the beauty of the labyrinth.

Yo Yo Ma playing:
A link to the makers of the film: