The Cat Who Thinks He’s a Dog

Posted on Friday, January 13th, 2012

I’ve been taking Trip outside on a leash (he’s too small and impulsive to let him go alone), and he acts like a Jack Russell terrier — leaping and straining against the leash, and pulling me along to a path in the underbrush where I have seen rabbits run. A far cry from the meditative walk I used to take in the labyrinth with other cats, primarily Willow. (See picture.) But I absolutely love Trip’s enthusiasm and energy, and use it as a reminder to engage that energy in myself whenever possible.

Time for Gratitude, Time for Rest

Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2012

At a full moon meditation a few nights ago, I got the message to stay in the ecstatic state I was in directly after being released from my job for as long as possible. Part of what helps me find my way back to that space is gratitude. Sunday (which used to be a primary workday for me) I was in gratitude all day, as I was able to participate in events, both scheduled and non-scheduled which, if I had still been working, would have been impossible for me to experience, from an artist reception to a Playback Theatre event, from dinner alone at a favorite barbecue joint, to the full moon meditation. Even though I would have been off of work in time for the meditation group, I probably would not have gone, as the work (and workplace) sapped my energy physically, mentally, and spiritually. I am so grateful to have this time to rest, recuperate, and rejuvenate as I walk through my life’s labyrinth on the way to whatever else lies on my path.

2012, The Year of the Labyrinthine Trip

Posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

What promises to be “The Labyrinthine Trip of 2012” actually began somewhere around Thanksgiving of 2011, when Clive, the cat, disappeared, leaving a huge space in my life. Another huge space was created when, on December 26th, I was released from my part-time job at a fabric store. Although I had thought I needed that job (for its salary, and its employee discounts, which fed that part of my life where I’m a fiber artist), in the moments immediately following my release, and ever since, I have felt quite ecstatic and grateful. I immediately took some time to rest and relax, and then think about how I wanted to fill that space which had been created. I’m still working on that, and will be using this blog to write about how this part of my journey develops. The next major development came on New Year’s Eve day, when two friends, separately, emailed me about discounted adoptions at the local humane society. I discovered I had only 2 hours left to take advantage of this and, although I thought that after nearly 2 full days most, if not all, of the cats would already be adopted, I took a shower and drove over. I began by looking for Clive look-alikes, and there were a couple, but both were too stressed out to be able to take them out of their cages. It wasn’t until my 3rd time through that I finally became aware of a 4 month old black male (my favorite type of cat) who was the spitting image of a former cat companion at that age. And his name was Trip! How could I not take him home with me, where he has brought in an energy I haven’t experienced in over 20 years—the kind of playful enthusiasm usually only exhibited by the youthful members of any species. He purrs incessantly, plays constantly, and brings one of his toys over to me when he wants interactive play. To put it succinctly, he is a trip, and I expect I am in for quite a ride this year, with Trip as one of my guides.

A Magical New Year Begins

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Truth be told, this story begins back before Thanksgiving, when my indoor/outcoor cat companion Clive (a very large tabby) went missing. Around that time I had two dreams: I was clearing out a tunnel system which allowed two former black cat companions (Castor and Pollux) to go in and out without me opening a door for them; I was about to leave my house and heard a noise which, when I opened the closet door, turned out to be an emaciated cat who was a different color than Clive.

Eventually I determined that Clive had passed into the spirit realm, and I began my grieving process. I also knew that I would look for another cat, perhaps a reincarnated Clive, very soon. It began to be imperative when my house became overrun by mice. I looked at one shelter and found a cat who was nearly the spitting image of Clive. This cat, named Boogie, came immediately to me the first two times I went to visit, but did not budge on the third visit, and I left him there.
On New Year’s Eve, I got the message from a friend that the Asheville Humane Society was running a special on adoptions—$12. I had about 2 hours to get there before they closed.
Once again there was a cat who looked almost exactly like Clive, but he was unhappy and wouldn’t greet me. Given the lateness of my arrival, most of the cats had already been adopted, and it took several turns through the shelter before I really noticed Trip—the spitting image of my two black cats, Castor and Pollux. And, at age 4 months, he seems very small and emaciated compared to Clive. My two dreams were being played out before my eyes.
Those dreams, his color (my favorite), and his name, all led me to decide to bring him home with me.
It’s quite a change to have kitten energy in the house again after about twenty years with adults. He is lively, playful, energetic, enthusiastic—a true delight; just the kind of Trip I want to be on myself in this new year. And he seems to be quite happy to be a part of it.

Using the Labyrinth to Follow the Light

Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2011

The labyrinth is not only my favorite tool for meditation, but it is a basic metaphor for all of the work I do – as a coach, fiber artist, and writer. The labyrinth brings us in to our center where we find our light, wisdom, joy, and the leads us back out again. Whether you walk it, trace it with your finger or eyes, or simply lay one across you, the energy of this ancient pattern is palpable. Let it help you live your life from the inside out.
Follow_The_Light_clip (Find more of Daniel Barber’s music at:

Cranberry Catsup, Anyone?

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Last year I sent out a recipe that is a Thanksgiving favorite (Butternut Squash Strudel); this year I’ll do the same. It’s called Cranberry Catsup, and I got it from a friend many years ago. I have no idea where she got it, but it changed my experience of cranberries completely; I never did like the maroon blob that comes out of a can. Fresh cranberries, cider vinegar, and a few spices make all the difference:

Cranberry Catsup
1 12oz package cranberries
1 C. water
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 C. honey
1 C cider vinegar
2 t cinnamon
2 t. celery seeds
2 t. salt
1 t. allspice
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. pepper

Cook water, onions, cranberries ‘til boiling; process 1/2 mixture (in blender).
Stir in remaining ingredients; cook until thick, ~ 1/2 hour

This is one of my contributions to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners at friends’ houses; I hope you like it as much as we all do.

And enjoy this music video (Dream) by the Cranberries, while you are at it:

Ode to Clive

Posted on Saturday, November 26th, 2011

In spite of my excitement to join my family/friends in WI, I always approach a major trip with a little trepidation and reluctance to leave my home and routine, this year even more so because of the fact that my current cat companion, Clive, has been missing for nearly three weeks. He’s done this before; shortly after his arrival at my house (at age 4 or 5) he went on an eight day kitty walkabout, so I know he has the chops to survive. But three weeks is a long time, and I am worried that he will come home and find it empty and just keep on going. I have friends looking out for him, ready to take him in, and I keep sending him loving thoughts – I am so grateful to have found him and be sharing my home with him – but I am worried, nonetheless. So here is an “ode” for Clive:

I was looking for a cat, but not for him,
A tabby staring at me from my vet’s wall
With a caption reading, “I need a home.”
I found, instead, a black beauty named Hades
Who reminded me of a previous friend
But he was taken from me after just 45 minutes.
Back at my vet’s office several weeks later,
Clive, from his picture, continued to call
“Pick me, pick me, pick me. –
I made the call, and went to meet this fellow
Who, unlike Hades, seemed aloof and carefree.
I told his human, – If he is here when I return,
I will take him home with me; we’ll see. –
And this outdoor enthusiast was there,
Cried all the way home but,
After sniffing around for 15 minutes,
Came and curled up in my lap.
The agreement was this:
You get to be who you are, and I will be myself,
And within that container the bonds of love grew.
Now I cannot imagine life without his loving nonchalance.
Please, Clive, pick me, pick me, pick me.

Complete trust

Jeff Bridges Singing – Like it, love it, is the best response

Posted on Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

For most of my life I would watch with resentment stars in one genre use their money and prestige to become stars in another genre: Shirley MacLaine with Out on a Limb, Gwenyth Paltrow with her food/cookbooks, and now, Jeff Bridges, beginning a singing career. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these people as actors, perhaps Jeff Bridges most of all; I thought he was fabulous in Crazy Heart, where his singing worked for me, but listening to bits and pieces of his new album leave me uninspired, and I initially went to resentment: Why does he get to do his heart’s desire, just because of his fame and fortune? But, if Abraham and others are to be believed, fame and fortune have nothing to do with it, and anyone else, star or not, doing what they love most in life, greases the skids for the rest of us to do the same, while our resentment only slows us down. So. . .YOU GO, JEFF!! (And everybody else.) Check out Jeff singing “Fallin’ and Flyin'” at:

Bridging gaps

You laugh a lot, dancing along your merry way!

Posted on Thursday, August 4th, 2011

This is an Insight Card message from the Transformation Game, a card which I draw fairly regularly. Sometimes it is a reminder of what I need to do; sometimes it is a pat on the back for how I’m living my life in that moment. When I drew it this past Sunday, as Bonnie Cooper and I were offering Earth Fare goers a taste of the Transformation Game, the card had multiple meanings. When we were finished with the Game and checking out with some food, we witnessed a cashier who was living this message in the moment, and his energy was exhilarating and contagious; both Bonnie and I wanted to dance right there. The next day, something happened (with my car) which I initially allowed to depress my energy, until I remembered the night before, and the message: – You laugh a lot, dancing along your merry way. The rest of the day I attempted to stay true to that message and, the next day, the problem with the car was easily (and cheaply) resolved.

Summer Solstice

Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Last night I participated in a Global Heart Coherence/Summer Solstice Labyrinth walk. If you don’t know about HeartMath’s Global Coherence Initiative, please check it out: It is about bringing our collective hearts together in an uplifted vibration to bring energetic/vibrational coherence to the planet. While it is a global initiative, the experience of centering in your heart is very personal. We began with that – centering in our hearts – and then we walked the labyrinth. I was first. I danced my way through and, when I got to the center, I sat and, centered in my heart, waited. A dream from last winter came to me, a dream in which I was retrieving things from behind 3 doors, but in the dream I had only gone through 2; last night I went through the 3rd, retrieving my onederment.

This morning I feel sad and scared that I can’t/won’t live up to that possibility in each and every moment of my life. Of course,that;s a tall order for anyone; even the Dalai Lama forgets and swats and mosquitoes. So I’m trying to be gentle with myself, trust my intention to guide me, and know that will be good enough.