June 30, 2009

Day 9 One on One- Day in the Lives

8:30 ish a.m.- We woke up on the side of the highway. We stayed just north of Esalen last night, in the spot where I have slept many times before. Chris is agitated, loopy, forgetful and preoccupied. I am cranky, my back hurts from sleeping on the crack of the mattress. The kids seem fine, though they are pushing buttons, sensing we are not at our best. We sat on the tail gate of the truck looking out at the ocean before leaving, my morning ritual whenever I sleep in this spot. I was hoping to show the kids passing whales or dolphins, but the ocean is calm, there is little to see.

10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.- We are stopped at Fernwood campground to get coffee and for me to use the net to submit Sundays entry. I will submit yesterdays later, and this one hopefully tonight . Being back on track will feel good. Chris reconnected with Kelly after days of being out of communication. I was hopeful for a call from Michael but this hasn’t happened so far. Chris is still really antsy. He broke down and told me that he is having a hard time. Last time he was in Big Sur it was right before he went off the deep end. He was battling serious suicidal fantasies when here last, and being here is bringing all those feelings back up. What a terrible thing to have to experience. We bonded, cried, and decided to skip the beach and go to Carmel instead, as it is a cloudy, windy day.

12:20 p.m.- Yelled at kids. Wonderful one on one time. I get so frustrated! Lily and Rosy don’t fight much when they are not with us, but put them in a room with their parents and they go at it. They claimed to be fighting over a sticker, it had nothing to do with a sticker in reality. I hate this family pattern, but I am at a loss as to what to do about it. Sigh.

SIDE NOTE: I just realized that I have only ever done one of these time line style posts before, it happened to be on this exact stretch of highway, the only other time I have been on it during this project....I was not conscious of this when I chose to do today’s journal in this style...how very interesting.

4:00 p.m. - After driving around Carmel by the Sea and deciding our huge diesel truck and camper was far to stressful to have round 100, 000$ cars on narrow old town roads, we ended up at a suburban style mega mall. This tuned out well for me as my trusty Mac needed care and there was an Apple store in the mall. I got a “genius bar” appointment and the family hung in the Mall of America for a while. During my appointment they played with all the Ipod Touch’s, and on the GIANT kids Mac that is filled with games. They loved it! After determining that I needed a new battery which cost 130 bucks (bummer) and that Mac would replace my keyboard and top case for free (Hooray!), we were off to Whole Foods to buy dinner then to the beach for a picnic.

5:30 p.m.- Sitting out front of Whole Foods, waiting for Lily and Ayla. They stayed back at the main part of the mall while we came over here to shop for a picnic. They are on a dedicated quest to find skinny jeans while here in the States. They have Chris’ cell and are not to far from us, but it has been a while since they called and said they were coming over. I get kind of freaked out in big cities when it comes to my kids.

6:45 p.m.- Holy Cow! I just finished having a complete emotional break down. The last hour I have been tied in knots, worried about Ayla and Lily. When I called them back over an hour ago, the phone went straight to voicemail. This is not unusual for Chris’ phones. His phone has always had an uncanny ability to not work for a myriad of reasons. Both Lily and Ayla are very responsible and street smart, so I was trying to remember that there was likely a very good reason for them not showing up. But as time ticked on, I had a harder and harder time not imagining unthinkable stories, things I can’t even write here. Chris had gone off to look for them, Rose and I waited in front of Whole Foods, I tried to maintain composure. Finally I got a call from Chris. They are fine. They mixed up the plan and were back at the computer store waiting for us, unaware that the phone had died. As soon as I found out they were safe I lost it, cried in heaving sobs. I can not even imagine what a parent goes through when their child goes missing, an hour was agony, to think some go years or lifetimes and never get that call that brought such relief. We are now going to the beach, perhaps I will stop intermittently dissolving into tears by the time we get there.

8:00 p.m.- We just left the beach. What a lovely, simple, and deeply satisfying activity. The kids ran in and out of the backwash, Chris watched the fisherman, hoping for a catch, while I scoured the beach for treasures, joined occasionally by the kids. Beachcombing is one of my all time favourite activities. I can and have spent hours collecting rocks, sea glass, seaweed, and any other treasure I happen to find. In less than an hour I collected a whole bag of sea glass, the beach at Seaside was a sea glass bonanza!


The last 12 hours have been a crazy ride! From grumpy, to processing family patterns. On to the business of taking care of this machine which contains every entry I have ever written and many other pertinent bits of my life. Then suddenly consumed with terror for my children's safety, NOTHING else mattered. Finally ending with a serene meditative treasure hunt on a beautiful California beach. Just a day in the lives of the Raabis’!

“What pastimes do you enjoy which have a positive influence on your life?” is today’s question for 12 day journal # 78

June 29, 2009

Day 8 One on One- Hear(s)t Castle

If you are a believer in sustainability, simplicity , and subtlety, then the Hearst Castle might be a challenge to enjoy. I am a believer, but today as I walked around the “Enchanted Hill”, I suspended these beliefs in lieu of a deep appreciation for a man who choose to follow his heart. Yes, the castle was an exercise in opulence, indulgence and excess, yet I admit I was in a state of awe when I learned of the years of commitment it took to turn this rugged piece of coastal land into a sight which can not be fully appreciated in pictures. I will let you give it a shot though, here are a few of the pictures we took today (again I have only added a few for ease of loading, the rest can be seen here in an album on facebook )




Ok I fully admit, I am fresh out of the Hearst Castle: Building the Dream IMAX film. I know its spectacular panoramic shots and expertly choreographed score are designed to make me feel the way I am, but I am going with it, because it feels good! It feels good not to get caught up in the poo-pooing of what things cost and how the money could have been spent, which incidentally I agree with, and to focus instead on the generosity of this mans dream. Creating an adult fantasy-land, where billiards, swimming, horseback-riding, eating abundant meals grown and raised on the property, theatrics and play was his heart desire. Not just for himself, but for the many folk, from all walks of life, that he brought to Casa Del Grande. William Hearst came from money, then went on to make his own fortune. His way of following his heart, and making play a priority was certainly lavish, there is no doubt. And this is likely unattainable for most. But the idea of following a dream, and choosing fun, is something that all can do, in their own way, within their own means. When I saw old film reels of what went on at the Hearst Castle, I was reminded of Dance Camp, of all the fun and play that we created, and was created for us by the organizers. I met so many there who were following their hearts desire to find creative expression in play. So I choose to appreciate William Hearts' principles of following his heart, of choosing fun. And I will simply apply my own principles where his don’t work for me.

I realized something today about this commitment. In the beginning the idea was to choose one of my sweet ones, then go spend a chunk of one on one time with her. I have let go of this somewhat contrived way of carving out time. As I walked around helping Rosy with her “treasure hunt” form that was given to her by an exhibit employee, I began to fret a little that I seemed to spend more time with her than the other two, and more time again with Lily than Ayla. I was thinking, ‘ok, tomorrow I better take Lily or Ayla on a special outing’. I realized pretty quickly that this was silly. Rosy is the youngest, the one who still needs her parents most. Ayla, a teen who uses us as home base but satellites out often, making her own way in the world. Lily is naturally somewhere in between the two. So I am going to relax a little with the “one on one” thing. Trust that in following the intention behind the original commitment, which is to focus on my baby girls, free from distractions, that it will be fulfilled. I was following my heart when I chose this commitment and am going to run with that.

“How have you followed your heart?”, is the question in the front cover of 12 days journal #77, or at least it will be once I make it. I can’t believe I have to make journals again!

June 28, 2009

Day 7 One on One- Gifts

In my experience saying good-bye is always easier when there is ritual involved. When Rosy drops me at the Spokane airport to go to school we have a ritual. There is a walk way going up to security, over it is a big sign that says “Passengers Only Beyond this Point”. Rose has always liked to push boundaries, a trait she may have inherited from her mother. We have this game where she walks with me until we are just below this sign, then she quickly kisses me and runs back to her dad. This ritual makes the good-bye something she can predict, something she has a modicum of control over, it makes saying good-bye to her mama easier. For this reason I saved up most of the journals since the last time I gave them out in a cluster at Esalen. I learned that they can be used as parting gifs, to give exits meaning and closure. Some of the give aways here at camp were purposeful, I planned to give a journal to Karina for instance, but most were random, and this made them delicious!

Chris has helped me so much with this project, has been so supportive. I wanted him to share in the good-bye ritual, so I asked him to give one away. He gave it to his new friend Julie. Julie fell in love with Chris, and Chris with Julie. We met her on Friday night when she asked around if anyone wanted to join her in ushering in Shabas, the Jewish day of rest. She said there was no need to be Jewish. We are of course suckers for ritual, so we accepted, broke bread, drank sacramental lemonade and sang in Hebrew together.

As I was making up journals I overheard two men speaking about a workshop at Esalen. Something about a womyn who encourages creative journal writing as a method of documenting ones life and does this by giving people pertinent open ended questions. How could I NOT give them journals?! It was funny one, of the men was a little reluctant, and didn’t want his name put inside the front cover. The other was overwhelmed, and excited. They were the first to pick their journals, at this point I had an abundance, so I splay them out like tarot cards and had them choose randomly. They both seemed to like their question.

Next came Shankar, a lovely man I had danced with many times during my stay at camp. He always noticed where I was at energetically, and would comment and offer encouragement. He asked how we could keep in contact. I gave him a journal and asked him to email me. He was delighted and promised to be in touch.

I had to move before I was finished creating all the journals, the organizers were trying to break camp and I was in the way. I moved down to where Daniel was playing his guitar. Daniel taught Contact Improv, and had the ability to keep us on task in gentle and creative ways. Not an easy job with us free spirited dancer types. When I was writing my entry 3 days ago my mind kept wandering to him, I can not tell you why, only that it did. Today when I sat down next to him, I had two journals left to give away, I didn’t look to see which. He asked what I was doing, I told him and asked if he would participate. I told him how he had been on my mind while I created one of my entries, that because of this I had been wanting to give him one. He happily accepted. I offered him the tarot style of choosing, or said he could read the questions. He was clear he wanted to read the questions to decide. He did, and said something like, “Oh ya, this is the one that I am struggling with right now, this is the one I need”. I loved that the question spoke to him and on a hunch asked which he had chosen. I am sure you can guess which one it was. Amazing.

Along came Brad who asked outright with much curiosity what I was doing. Wanted to know all about it. Asked me to explain it as I would to a colleague. I was a little stumped by this, wondered, who are my colleagues? Brad got the last journal I had to give away, well kind of.

I came up with the idea for this entry before I wrote it. I so enjoy giving away the journals, these precious gifts which people love to receive. I hastily typed an outline for what you have just read, and wrote the following at the end:

“What is the best gift you have ever given?”

12 days journal #76

I quickly made up one last journal and hurried over to the final boogie and closing circle for Summer Dance Camp 2009. Earlier in the day, just as I began to make journals, a womyn asked about them. I had met her earlier in the week, at the time we were separated by quarantine tape. She caught the infamous stomach flu that rocked dance camp this year and had spent the last 48 hours holed away from the rest of us dancers. As we sat at breakfast it was obvious she was still not feeling 100%, she told of how she had been shaken by the experience of bonding with her fellow campers only to be cast out. I was imagining it as she shared, the story pulled at my heart so much, I knew I wanted to give her a journal. I found her on the beach, watching the crowd gyrate to high tempo tunes. She sat in the shade, under an orange brimmed hat. I saw her get up and I went over worried she might be leaving, and I would miss my chance. I asked her if she would accept the journal. “Really?”, was all she said at first. We talked about what was involved, then a little about journalling. She seemed to perk right up, she walked over to join in on the dancing. When I saw her a while later, just before our final departure, I asked if she had read the question yet, she said no, that she was waiting for the right moment then added, “This was a perfect ending to my week, what a wonderful gift!”. Could anything be more perfect?


June 27, 2009

Day 6 One one One- Dance Camp

I have had a few emails asking about Dance Camp, and what/where it is. Dance Camp is a 9 day summer camp put on by the Northern California Dance Collective in Sequoia National Park, California.

“Northern California Dance Collective is a diverse group of people who love to dance. We are especially interested in the place where dance and community meet, and one of our goals is to create more of these places in our lives. We put on a variety of events, from one-day commuter workshops to our nine-day summer dance camp, all focused on bringing together dance and community, often in beautiful and natural settings.”

Here are a few shots of dance camp. Just a few, because I know how hard it is for those of you on archaic dial up to upload long strings of photos. To see more pictures visit my Dance Camp Album on facebook. LINK




The question in 12 days journal #75 is, “What do you do when things don’t go as planned? ”. I had planned to give yesterdays journal to my friend Karina, a fellow explorer of ecstatic relationship, but I accidentally gave it to someone else. Things did not go as planned. The ironic part of this is that my wonderful fiends Rolf and Karina don’t plan much of anything! They are free as birds. They were lamenting the need to plan a certain type of plane ticket 2 weeks in advance, because for them this is too far in the future to really know if it is what they are going to desire. I look forward to reading her answer.

As for quality time with the kids, here at dance camp there has been quality one on one time constantly! I spent one on one with each of the kids today, without having to even make a point of it. Amazing what happens when my internet and phone services disappear. I get disconnected from satellite and end up connecting to my family with ease, I am sure there is a metaphor here!

June 26, 2009

Day 5 One on One- Many More Loves

I got to do two of the things that I love most today, dance and spend time with my children. What made it even more more delicious was that I got to do both at the same time. I have danced with all 3 of them numerous times over the last two days. Tonight though I had a very special dance with Rosy, it was sweet and connected. I have been doing a lot of contact here at dance camp, Rose is a great contact partner. She is light and willing to fly! I pick her up balance her, sling her around my shoulders, waist and back. She lays back, arms stretched, smile wide and enjoys the ride. When it is time to come down and groove, she feels into her body, often with eyes closed, moving her body just as it asks to be moved. She is my little dance partner and I enjoy her so much. As I type this I am in the evening boogie, I am watching her hold hand with her daddy, jumping up and down, filled with rhythm and joy.

Dance Camp is pretty darn cool. Such a variety of people, all with a common love of dance. Not just one lineage like many of the other dance functions I have been to. This took some getting used to at first. In Soul Motion there is a common language, here there are certainly some commonalities but there are many dialects. It helped me to stretch, to consider other ways. I am deeply embroiled in my love affair of the dance, and here I learned some sides of its majesty that I did not know before. What did I discover about my lover that i did not know? That contact improv does not have to have rigid rules, and that many of the people in the room are as freaked out about messing up in close contact as I am. That aerial dance is harder than it looks, and that doing just an hour can leave me with rope burns, sore hands and confirmation that in my next life I need to come back as a bird! That ecstatic dance is still my first and truest love. Dance camp has also taught me that the combination of my love affairs of dance and family can work together. It is not without it’s bumps. While dealing with wild children during a meditative acroyoga class poses challenges, they CAN exist together. I CAN have many loves.

We will be coming to dance camp again next year. Who knows how many loves there will be by then.

“Is there room for more than one love in your life?“ is the question in 12 days journal #74

I am going to dance now, with my family. I will let you know what else I find out there.

Rosy asleep in the camper the next morning. She was up till Midnight and we had to coax her to get up for breakfast.

June 25, 2009

Day 4 One on One- Dried up

I am exhausted, and to be honest I don’t want to be here at Dance Camp. It is the weirdest thing. I am having fun. There is a lake, canoes, games, trapezes, acro dance rigging, good food, amazing classes, some old friends, some new friends. There is no reason for me to be feeling like I am, but I am wanting to leave.

The one on one time today was abundant. Danced a ton with Lily, did lots of acro-dance stuff with Rose. There has still not been a lot of time with Ayla, she is attached at the hip to Levi, and I am not about to get between them for my project. Our time will come. All the kids are having a blast! I on the other hand feel BLAH. Perhaps I am just tired, of the heat, of dancing, or moving round. I have journals to make, I might do them instead of dancing tonight. Shoot I have to come up with a question....Blah.

“How do you deal with being uninspired?” is the very pertinant question in 12 days journal #73

And that is all there is folks, I am all dried up.

June 24, 2009

Day 3 One on One- Not just Ayla

If I had been allowed to follow MY flow, today would have been Ayla’s day for one on one time. But Ayla is a teenager, she has her own flow. The one on one time today was spread amongst all the girls. I will have to catch Ayla alone when she is ready for mama time.

Our whole family plus one (Levi, another teenager type) spent the day doing the “gritty city” thing. When Gabriella (Levi’s mom) left for work she suggested all sorts of educational, nature based things to do with the kids. We were looking for a different kind of education though. My children have nature out the yin yang at home. We live surrounded by trees, get our water from an artisan well which bubbles up feet from our property, we have a barn, lots of bugs and a 4X4 driveway that is VERY natural. We got the rural thing down!. It is the urban experience that my children need to get to know.

Block after block of concrete, serving up a smorgasbord of delicious (and sometimes not) foods. A milieu of people in a variety of socio-economic situations, and states of mental health. Hoards of shops hawking everything we could imagine and so much we never could. We sang with a homeless man, bought pizza for a hungry charity canvasser. Ate our lunch sitting on a grassy boulevard with cars whizzing by, music blaring out windows. Rosy's favourite part of our trip so far has been the lively confrontation between a couple at the Bart subway station. The womyn involved threw her bike at the man who was screaming “That is what happens when you put crank in the marijuana!” Now that’s entertainment!

We rummaged through vintage shops, and spent half an hour trying on hats at the Berkeley Hat Co. We looked at body jewellery and perused books filled with tattoo work by local artists. I tried to convince my Ayla to get a nose piercing, but no dice. We eventually ended up drinking bubble tea in a Tapioca Express. The teenagers wandered off, Rosy and Lily played Mancala. Chris and I sat, I cried and tried to hide it, he consoled and listened.

We took a similar trip to the one we are on now, about a year and a half ago. Chris’ head injury mixed with his Post Traumatic Stress had yet to go full blown, the trip helped to tease it all out. Within 3 weeks we were in Mexico, Chris was refusing to come home. I was 2 countries away with my 3 children and my certifiable husband, when I realized just how sick he was. Life was so hard back then, I am thankful I could not see the forest for the trees, had I have been able to I may have taken a match to it all and roasted marshmallows on the raging forest fire.

As we sat sipping tea we spoke of how far we have come, how proud we are to have stuck it out. The kids are so funny, they knew I was crying but ignored it. They are used to having an emotionally expressive mother, and often decide denial is the best course of action. When we were done sipping large black cossova pearls mixed with milky goodness through crazy large straws, we headed home to get ready for dance camp. As we walked back to our truck and camper, I saw a homeless man, he looked up at me and smiled. As I was preparing to say something to him, not sure what, a hello or a comment about the day. He says “Fuck you, you ugly bitch”, smile still spread cross his face. My heart was still wide open from the sharing with Chris, tears began to well up. I know the man is ill, what he said was not really meant, at least not for me, but I am just a little too sensitive for all this grittiness.

This country mouse will be happy to leave the city tonight and head for the mountains and lakes of Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada’s. This is where we will shake our booties at the Northern California Dance Collective’s Summer Dance Camp. We are travelling in our truck and camper, our home upon our back, tonight will be my first night sleeping in the camper this year. While I have enjoyed my city homes for the last 10 days, Jeremy’s, Kincade’s, and Gabriella's, it is time to move on with my family.

“Where is your home? What is it like?” is the question in 12 days journal #72. This is an answer that has been shifting for me lately, as my idea of what home is shifts, thanks to my Michael, who is teaching me many new things. He has taken 2 journals from me so far, this one will be his third. I am going to save it for him. I will see him in 6 sleeps. When I do his home will be with me, for 11 days, while we and the L.O.V.E collective travel the Canadian coast dancing, playing, and exploring. What a life!

June 23, 2009

Day 2 One on One- Rosy




We went to Mt. Diablo today, and while we had a great time, Miss Rosy is still sick and the heat was hard on her. We cuddled almost all day. Spent many special one on one times while the others were off adventuring. She is so sweet when she isn’t feeling well. I know it is a terrible thing to say but I quite like it when she is sick. She is so very cuddly, and delicate like a little flower, quite unlike how she is when she is well. Which is wild, self assured and just a tich snooty. Today was my Rosy day, so here is a little something about her.

I say “a little something” because Rosy has always been the hardest of my daughters to explain. I thought in the beginning that this was because she was young, that as she grew she would reveal herself to me. But as she approaches 7 I have realized she is just an enigma. She is a very grown up little nearly 7 year old, partly I am sure because of having two older sisters, but she is also a wise soul. She is very sharp, asks really astute questions, so astute that I often find it mildly creepy. She has a very hard time with embarrassment. She once had an anxiety reaction to watching Mr. Bean. She has an amazing sense of her own funkiness, I have taken fashion cues from this girl!

I can tell you also that she adores her parents, especially her dad. He became her primary caregiver just before she turned 5. I was still around as much as ever, but as part of Chris’ recovery from his head injury he was to have a regular schedule. Waking, feeding, and tucking in kids is VERY regular, so Chris became the first she saw in the morning and the last before she drifted off at night. Because she was still at home full time for the first year of this, the two of them became thick as thieves, went everywhere together. It was hard for me at first (ok I admit it still is) when he would be the one she would go to when she needed something, but Chris got to have a bond with her that he never got with the other two, the bond I had with them. So this time I am having with her is extra special for me because I get to be her morning, noon and night for 8 more days until I leave again, to do a show and then for the coast to co-facilitate a couple of workshops. Away from them for 8 more days. I took full advantage today, kissing and snuggling her every chance I got. I do worry sometimes, that I will regret giving up being her primary caregiver, it makes me cry. But I look at the bond she has with her dad and I know it is not about me, it is about them. They are so in love, how could it be a bad thing? I know this relationship is one of the many gifts that have come out of an injury that seemed terrible at first, yet changed our lives for the better in countless ways.

So in honour of miss Rosy’s special bond with her dad, and in honour of Fathers day which got missed somehow in my exhaustion and Rosy’s illness, 12 days journal#71 will have the question “Tell me about your Dad?” written in the front cover. I will give it to Miss Rose. I can’t wait to see what she has me write, that is if she lets me. She will probably want her Dad to do it with her instead.

June 22, 2009

Day 1 One on One- Lily

I am sitting in the back of a car going towards Mt. Diablo to scramble up rocks. I was exhausted last night , fell asleep putting Rosy to bed, so this journal entry is being written the day after. The day after a very practical, uneventful day. What a relief! We went to a movie at a fancy theatre, a big deal for us country folk. Then Lily, Rosy Chris and I went to drop off my rental car. That’s it. A blissfully uneventful day that meant I could really just dip and and be with my family. I spent my one on one time with Lily. We went to Target so I could buy minutes for my cell, then to Fudruckers to get fries, a decidedly suburban out-trip. We walked side by side down the aisles wowed by the oddity of the big box store experience. We bought vitamin water, one of our American addictions, it is like guiltless kool aid! She watched TV in the Fudruckers, a baseball game. I realized that she had likely never seen televised sports before. Being in an American suburb together was a quaint cultural adventure.

We enjoyed each other company. Lily is cuddly in a prickly pear sort of way, likes to be close on her own terms. Which usually means bumping into me and grabbing at things in my hands or at my arms to guide me places. She steps on my feet constantly from walking so close. She is such a treasure, a funny combination of eccentric and reserved. Let me tell you a little about my Lily.

I used to cry when she was in my belly, she kicked SO hard, far harder than my other kids. When she was little she earned the name Lily Billy Elbow Knee for her ability to poke people with her joints. I would get irrationally hungry when I was pregnant with her, just could not make sense of the world. This is her temperament when it comes to being hungry, feed her or you will be sorry! She is the one in our family who will do the dirty jobs. She often cuts up big chunks of raw meat to feed the dogs, with no reservation. She is hard working and will always be the one who is in for the long haul when it comes to big projects. If we are moving a friend or building something, Lily will be there through the whole event. She is strong and focused. She loves horses and all animals, but she takes a no nonsense approach. She would just as easily be willing to hunt an animal with reverence to feed her family, as she would save a baby bird and take it to a bird reserve. Her art is phenomenal, though there is no convincing her of this. There is a Martha Graham quote, which has been my by-line for years, which speaks to Lily’s artistic view of her own work.

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.

If you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium
and be lost.
The world will not have it.

It is not yours to determine how good it is;
nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly
to the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open.
No artist is ever pleased.
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.
There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction;
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes us more alive than the others."

--Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille

How do you express yourself artistically?,
is the question in 12 days journal #70. I will give this journal to Lily. I imagine she will draw a horse, and then say how much it “sucks”. I will tell her what I see in it that doesn’t “suck”. She will take a morsel of what I say deep into her psyche and my wish is that one day it will help her to be able to express a an appreciation of her own art. Because while I love this quote by Martha, I disagree with part of it. I think artists can open themselves to being pleased with their work, that there is a huge catharsis in finding some semblance of satisfaction in ones artistic work, at least some of the time.

Latest Commitment! One on One with my Babies!

Last night I was suppose to stay at my friend Kincade’s place. But I got word that my family had made their way down to the Bay area earlier than expected, because my little Rosy is sick. Feverish and achy. So instead I made my way over to Walnut Creek, where my dear friend Gabriella is putting up our crew until we all head off to Dance Camp on Wednesday.

On the way over I was thinking about how much I will be away from my kids this summer. I am travelling a lot for schooling and play-shopping (both in the roll of facilitator and student). They also have their own trips to go away for. I want to make a commitment to spend some really focused, one on one time, each day with one of them. To really be present, no computer, no cell phone, no distractions. As it turns out I will leave them in EXACTLY 12 days from now, so this is perfect timing. I spent snippets of time with each of them nearly everyday anyway, but this will be different. Different because there will be a specific intention behind the time spent. It will be interesting to see how/if this changes things.

I commit to enjoying quality time, with one of my children, every day for the next 12 days. With no computer, cell phone, no distractions.

How great is that?! How Lucky am I?!

June 21, 2009

Day 12 Karma Yoga- Dance of Gratitude

Wow...I am physically and emotionally spent! I have danced for 8 days straight, karma yoga-ed for 12 now, Tamalpa-ed for 5 and have been away from my kids for 9. At the end of our school day I helped my lovely, talented, friend Eu clean the studio. She works for the Tamalpa Institute and cleaning up after our class is part of her job. It was very cathartic to sweep the dance floor that I had lay my feet, sweat and stories upon for the last 5 days. So many metaphors in sweeping up what has now past. This was my karma yoga for today. I would say my last ever, since this commitment is done, but this commitment has taught me something pretty wonderful about myself. I help out a lot. I could have pulled from any number of things I did in a day to fulfill my karma yoga commitment, many never even got mentioned on the blog. This at a very busy time where I felt like I wasn’t doing as much as I usually do. I am proud of this, really proud. A big part of why I do it is that it connects me to people, and human connection is the thing that most feeds my soul.

“How important is human connection to you?”, is the question in 12 days journal #69. I will be sending it to my friend and teacher Maria-Luisa. She was the first ever to comment on my blog, and helped me with the “What is the score?” section. We sat in circle many times in the last few days, she is a shining light.

At the end of class today, we were to somehow sum up our experiences from the last week. We could do so with a drawing, a poetic writing or a movement piece. As I sit here, completely overwhelmed by the enormity, the shear blissful abundance of my life. I don’t know how to adequately write what I feel, am too tired to draw a picture, and dancing for you is not an option...or is it?

Imagine me standing before you all, eyes cast down, palms facing out. My arms slowly begin to rise, palms turning inward, forming right angles at the elbow, where the movement is initiated from. My chest begins to press out, proud, and I stand like a flamenco dancer poised for the song to begin, my head is now tilted slightly to the left. As the beat begins, with Latin flavour which I can not name, my hands rise, palms again turn up and come together in a pose of offering, in front of my heart. From here I move in a sultry twisting of hips and legs, shoulder-blades pinched together, arms snaking, eyes open but not focused. I dance my soul out of my heart and show you all just how blessed I feel to have this life, to have you who is reading, even if we have never met, to have this moment right now, and then another, and another, and another....

This dance is my entry for today, a gift to you, a gift for me.

See you tomorrow. With a new commitment.

June 20, 2009

Day 11 Karma Yoga- Dancing for Peace

Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It was also the day of the annual Planetary Dance, an event which has been inspired and enacted by Anna Halprin, for the last 29 years. The ritual started as a way of reclaiming a mountain. A community sat helplessly enraged by the theft of this mountain. The mountain was stolen by fear. Over a 2 year period 7 womyn were murdered on the trails. Eventually the risk was deemed too great and the park surrounding the mountain was closed. Mt Tamalpais, a mountain said to be a princess who vowed to lie down and turn herself to rock, earth and vegetation until peace reigned, stood silent. Anna and Lawrence Halprin decided it was time to reclaim the land for the people, for peace. They asked permission to enter the park and perform ritual. This ritual was enacted over several days, and included walks along the very trails where the womyn's lives were taken. Family members were present to plant trees, read poems, perform ritual, all to help heal the wounds of violence, disempowerment, and deep loss. Within a week the man who had chosen to murder these 7 womyn was captured.

Anna was quick to dispel the idea that the ritual had created this magical net. She instead spoke to the power of prayer, that when we join voices and hearts, and stand atop a mountain asking for peace, God provides. It may not always be in the way we ask for it, but she provides all the same. This ritual was continued on the advice of a Shaman. At first it was to be for 5 years. Eventually it grew from a ritual of peace for the mountain, to a ritual of peace for the world and has run for 29 years. People have come from Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa to participate, helping the dance to become truly a Planetary Dance.

The dance is done in three parts. In the first we were to speak aloud before entering the circle, calling out the name of someone in need of support in their healing journey, what they suffer from and wish for all those who suffer from the same to find healing. I called out My Beloved husbands name, and asked that all that are recovering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, brain injuries and depression be healed. I entered the circle and ran as hard as I could, round and round and round the circle. Feeling the pain, his mine, the worlds. And ended up behind a man whose shirt read;

“Beauty can never be denied. For it will always always recognizes itself“

This allowed me to slow down, became my mantra for the rest of this part of the ritual. How profound, how simple...how very very beautiful.

For the second round, we entered the circle after making a promise to create change. It is 3 days from the new moon, summer solstice, and I was standing on a powerful mountain, involved in a ritual which has been enacted for 29 years by thousands of people. I stood and committed;

”I promise to fully accept my sexuality as the divine gift it is and to help others do the same“

As I stood to run, I nearly lost consciousness. I saw a light flash behind my eyes and a burning release in my throat. I felt as though I was suspended in the air and that it was carrying me round the circle. Something happened, I don’t know what was, but it was not in any way ordinary. This time I slowed down quickly and walked very very slowly. There were singers in the middle of the circle,they began to croon;

”This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine“

My mantra for the second part of the ritual.

The third part of the ritual was for the children. We ran round the circle playing, acting like animals. We sang we danced, we were all children.

Today my Karma yoga was dancing for peace. Peace for myself, for this neighbour nation, for the world.

When I left Planetary Dance I gave the journal to performance poet Jahan Khalighi, the grandson of Anna Halprin, the son of one of my teachers at the Tamalpa Institute Daria Halprin. He has been raised round ritual his whole life. He read a poem during the invocation. A poem I heard, yet strangely I could not tell you more than a spattering of the words, because more than heard it, I felt it. His voice and words dripped down my spine and brought my body alive, similar to the feeling of stepping into the ritual circle that second time. I saw him the moment I arrived at the dance, he was getting out of his car. I didn’t know who he was but I knew I would ask him to take today's journal. After I heard him speak I still didn’t know exactly why, but I had more of an idea. I secretly hope he writes his poem inside the journal. For his poetry to grace the pages of 12 days journal #68 would be such a great honour. The question he will be answering is ”What is the importance of ritual?“. I imagine him to be an expert on the topic.

I need to add, before I go, something for David Carpenter. I hope wherever you are now, that you too have found peace. A few of the steps I took today were for you David. Everyone one deserves peace, indeed the only way it can be truly found is by wishing it for ALL others.

June 19, 2009

Day 10 Karma Yoga- Reality

As I sat this morning drinking coffee, eating strawberries and yoghurt, my mind again turned to what the heck I was going to do for Karma yoga? School ran for 10 1/2 hours today with a short break for lunch and dinner. I was wondering when I would find the time. This is when a passer-by commented on how yummy my strawberries looked. I offered her one. She politely refused. I persisted. After only a second attempt to convince, she acquiesced. I told her to take the one that looked the most delicious. She thanked me and walked away happy, biting into the crisp juicy berry. Before my mind could return to my karma yoga I noticed a womyn at the inside of the door of the cafe. I could see through the glass that she had her hands full, I got up to open the door. She too thanked me and walked away smiling. I decided that drastic times called for drastic measures. I took a 5 dollar bill inside and asked the womyn behind the counter to use it to cover the next customers coffee, asked her to put the change in the tip jar. She looked a little confused, but then smiled and agreed. I stayed to watch through the window but just as the transaction was happening a womyn with a stroller, occupied by a beautiful curly haired little girl, arrived, I held open the door for her. She said, “Thank you, you know with the state of the world today nobody does stuff like that anymore!” This puzzled me. I mean, I understand what she meant, but I just don’t see things that way. I am part of the state of this world and all I was concerned with this morning was how to get in my good deed for the day! I refuse to believe I am the only one, in fact I KNOW I am not. Don’t all the wonderful, magical, evolutionary things that go on every day count toward the “state of the world”? Yes, the economy is struggling, but we are more than an economy. We have been through this before. This “state of the world” is something I have been hearing about since before I could remember. I do see the tough stuff, but what of the immense beauty?

I thought of this as I moved through an exercise later in class. The score was to pick three body parts. One with which I experience ”confrontation“, I chose my ribcage. Next came my shoulder blades which I used to “release”, and finally my legs which I used to “change”. This is part of a 5 part process and is all a little hard to explain. Instead here is the piece of instinctive poetic writing which I scribbled down as soon as I had finished dancing. It is whimsical, and light, unlike most of the writing that comes from this therapeutic exercise. I wanted to share it with you.

”The state of the world today“

I have been hearing about this state since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I have grappled for as long as I can remember, to figure out what this state is? But like sand, which is so hard to see grain by grain, it jumbles together and appears fluid, ever shifting. And there must be something wrong with me, because to me, well...I couldn’t ever see what the trouble was? Water without the liquid, solid without the rigidity. So as a child I would sit on my hands, lips pursed and not tell, for fear of being told that I must change my mind. My secret, the one I knew I MUST keep was that I thought this state was so very very BEAUTIFUL!

As I grew my limitations were lifted. I began to swim...SWIM. In the fluidity of the ridgeless solid. I discovered so many footholds, stepping stones and leg-ups! Of course there were alligators too, but eventually we made friends and when they were not grumpy or vengeful they allowed me to pass. You know why? Well I do! It was because I understood the solid water in which they too did SWIM.

They knew my job was to scout, to go ahead and take a look at the state of the world which is coming. Can I tell you a secret? It is exactly the same, always has been, always will be..... and it is so very very BEAUTIFUL!

I was weary after class. I came into the room of the new place where I am staying and found a card on my friends altar. It said

”I commit myself to acting from the awareness that I am 100% the source of my reality“

I thought back to my story, the comment of the womyn with the stroller, and all the smiling faces that walked away from me at the cafe this morning. I decided I really like the reality I have created for myself.

”Do you believe you create you own reality? is the question in 12 days journal #67. A journal I will take with me tomorrow to the top on Mt, Tamalpais, for Planetary Dance, an event to celebrate the summer solstice. LONG LIVE THE SUN!!

June 18, 2009

Day 9 Karma Yoga- Lost

I had some sad news today. I can’t tell you what it is, it is too personal. I am pretty candid on this blog but this one is just too close to my heart.

I had a great day, what I am learning at school is amazing. It is the work I have been waiting for, wading through the stuff before this knowing this was the prize. It feels grown up, confident. The day was good, the weeks been great. Then tonight I found out that I lost something I never actually had. That is not true, I did have it, I had the idea of it. And when this idea was lost all the good parts, all the joyous possibility, all the romance, showed up in unexpected tears.

I found out just before class. There was no time to process. When we finally finished I got into my car and called a friend, a very good friend to share my news. His response was very much “right”, like my schooling, grown up and confident. I sank into my seat like a 7 year old girl and felt neither grown up nor confident, just sad. I don’t think I wanted to hear the “right” thing, I think I was hoping for something to mirror my sadness. A turning of the tides. This was not what I expected of myself at all. Of course like I said to my dear friend, “It is easy to be sad for something that is not, because I don’t have to deal with the responsibilities and realities that I would have if it was. I am mourning the loss of a fairy tale”.

On my drive home I stopped at the grocery store, bought 2 chocolate bars, a pint of ice cream, strawberries and a small tub of full fat Greek style yogurt. I ate half of one of the chocolate bars on the ride home. Feeling sick I walked in the door, tumbled onto the bed tears finally flowing and cried like a baby. I am feeling better now, though I sure would like someone to come over and cuddle me, maybe this is what the ice cream is for?

“Have you ever lost something and not realized how much it meant to you until it was gone?”, is the question I will write in 12 days journal #66.

My Karma yoga for today was dropping 10 dollars into the tip jar at the place where I often get coffee, here in Fairfax. The man who works behind the counter is named Sergio, he is so kind. He remembers me when I come to town, what I do when I am here, and what our last conversation was, even if it was over a month ago. I wanted to help him by clearing all the tables in the restaurant, but I would have been late for school, so I gave the money instead. I would like my karma yoga offerings to not have to do with money, I am not sure why but it just feels cleaner. That said it was all I could fit in today. I spent the morning doing work, and was at school until after 9:00 p.m. I am trying to remember that the idea is to do what I CAN, not what I think I should. Karma yoga is about selfless service, but selfless does not give me permission to beat myself up because then it becomes self violent. And today of all days I need to be kind to myself. When I go to bed I will give myself cuddles. I will fall asleep all snuggled up and filled with ice cream.

June 17, 2009

Day 8 Karma Yoga- Retreat

Today was my first day back in school at the Tamalpa Institute, where I am now in second year taking the course on Embodied Leadership. The work here is intense, transformative, life changing. In the morning we moved to about 4 songs, tribal beats in the traditional sense, lots of drones, drum and animal sounds. My body was exhausted, ached from the high intensity dancing at Esalen. Yet when I tried to move slowly, small movements, with low tone, my body would not obey. Instead I shook and raged, up off the floor, down again. Up, down, up down. A whirlwind sampling a smorgasbord of movements, so eager to get to the next one. Our score or instructions for the movement exploration was to do a “three level check in”. This is a way of bringing awareness to how we are feeling physically, emotionally and mentally. I lay at the end of the exploration looking up at the ceiling, this unmistakable corrugated wood ceiling of the mountain home studio where this work is taught. Staring at this ceiling gives me comfort. We moved to our drawing pads after our movement exploration to see what we could find. We were to create a piece of visual art that represented in some way the experience we just had. This is what came, I call it Seeds of Judgement,

I had planned to buy a coffee for the person behind me at the coffee shop I were I go for breakfast. As it turned out I didn’t get coffee OR breakfast. Then school went for so long that all I did was come home, submit a blog entry and fell asleep. I am staying at a friends place, feeding his cat, so today this is my karma yoga. Feeding dear sweet, very pudgy “Girl Cat”.

Having this space that I am staying all to myself with a loving cat for a companion has been just the balm I have needed to rest during this intense time. “What have you received lately that you are grateful for?” is the question in 12 days journal # 65.

Thank you Jeremy. I am so grateful for this cozy little retreat spot, it feels like home.

June 16, 2009

Day 7 Karma Yoga- So Many Loves

“Tell me about someone you love” is the question in 12 days journal #64 , a journal which is now at esalen along with 70 or 80 people that I love. Leaving them halfway through the workshop was so hard.

I left my dear friend Rachel who is pregnant. While I have been asked to come to her birth, the reality is I may not see her pregnant again, this was hard. Leaving Benjamin, who I have known almost exactly a year was hard. Our friendship was deepened this time, this happened because I shared this project with him. He is so supportive. He believes in me,in what I am doing. Given the calibre of this amazing man, what he has done, what he does, what he believes in, this feels better than I can ever explain. Leaving Jeremy, whose house I am sitting in typing this entry, having just mended our friendship, was hard. Leaving Vinn, sweet Vinn, the one who brought Soul Motion into my life and the lives of so many, THAT was really hard. Leaving Tarack, my beautiful 21 year old friend, who is so filled with the passion of a young man, and who makes me sad that I never had a son, this was hard. Leaving my friend Cordell, who guested me and is the reason I got to experience being with my tribe, was hard. I didn’t speak with him as much as I had hoped. Leaving behind all the others who chose to show up, not so much for the workshop, but for themselves, those in the room and to do the work, this was hard. I love you all. What a wonderful blessing to have been given these 2 1/2 days of moving in a meditative ministry facilitated by many.

My Karma yoga today was to clean up the pillows and back-jacks after afternoon session. This is usually done by the assistance, but they were hugging and sharing so I quickly took the opportunity to get in my karma yoga of the day. I also gave out a whole stack of journals that I had been saving for this trip. People are so happy to receive the journals, it fells like Karma yoga giving them away.

So I am now off to a 5 day intensive at the Tamalpa Institute. The work i do here is based in movement, the arts and therapy. Expect the next few entries to be intense! Either that or skint... right now I am a busy busy B.

June 15, 2009

Day 6 Karma Yoga- Choices

Today I have had to make some tough choices. I suppose in the grand scheme of things they are not such a big deal but they feel big to me today. I had to choose to leave dance this morning to go do my karma yoga. It was all in the flow actually, I danced until the music got wild, and the room pumping. Then stepped outside when I wouldn’t be missed, right behind the dance dome is the farm, I danced over and weeded with my friend Tarick for 45 minutes. Then went back into the dome. While the conversation and weeding was fun, and the yoga fulfilling, I was sad about missing the middle part of the dance, it served to separate me from the group. Now I sit in the atrium, the afternoon session started 36 minutes ago, I just finished making journals, and am now writing this entry. I am choosing this project over dance, again fulfilling and I would say telling of my commitment to the project, but I am sad. I feel disconnected from my tribe.

“Has there ever been a time when you had to make a tough decision?” is written inside freshly prepared 12 days journal #63.

So I did make a tough decision today, but partly this was to make it so I wouldn’t have to again. I am leaving tomorrow evening. I will not write an entry until after I get home to Marin. Having chosen to do this project today, I am now choosing to dance my but off as much as I can, with no interruptions till late tomorrow night.

I have a stack of journals to give away before I leave, that part should be fun!

June 14, 2009

Day 5 Karma Yoga- Having too much fun

I just met a man named DM, you know what he told me? I have another tribe! He tells me there are other full time bloggers. That I am not all alone in this crazy all encompassing commitment of mine. Some of them apparently are even doing well financially from it...WOW! Sign me up! He told me about a man who travels round the world, blogging for a living. Well here I sit in the atrium at Esalen and look at me, I am travelling round the world blogging too! Following my bliss, well so long as there is wireless access.

I have a feeling my entries for the next three days will be some what short. There is much socializing and hot springing to be done. Delicious food to eat, and of course karma yoga to participate in. Today I did kitchen work here at Esalen. I ripped up freshly picked lettuce from the Esalen garden. I did this with DM, the blog miester. As I sat tearing lettuce I told him and his friend about this project. DM was really excited, and said he would love to sit down and give me ideas about effectively networking in the blog world. So I sat down to help and received some myself, imagine that.

For those of you who haven’t ever been to Esalen. Here are a few pictures of this glorious oasis.


And that’s it folks! I need to go play, I promise this experience will bring juicy entries soon...but not now.

I will be giving DM 12 days journal #62, inside the front cover with read “Is there a special place you go that feeds your soul?”

I am sure you can guess my answer.

June 13, 2009

Day 4 Karma Yoga- Karmic Journey

11:46 A.M Hmm...Karma yoga while on the road. I admit I am a little nervous, what if I don’t find any way to help? I woke up this morning at 6:10 A.M., after 3-4 hours sleep. This was the first night sleeping in our temporary housing. I slept next to a sweating, fidgety baby all night long. I kissed her good-bye this morning as she slept, what an angel. I will miss her so. Into the truck to drive over the border into the United States. We arrived at the border just past 8:00A.M., shortly after the crossing opened. I had to get a new student visa processed today, as I start my second year of schooling. This took a little extra time, but it went smoothly. I know most of the crossing guards from travelling over so frequently. They are helpful and happy, really wonderful people. After 2 more hours of driving we arrived in Spokane, went to Huckleberries, Spokane's local natural food store to get travel snacks. When I get my rental car in Oakland I don’t want to have to stop anywhere,I am heading straight to Monterey. Here I will go to Whole Foods to buy wine, chocolate and coconut water, staples of a truly satisfying Esalen experience. Right now I sit in the transit lounge on the floor, typing away surrounded by travellers. Usually Saturdays are quiet in the Spokane airport, but not today.

2:38P.M. I just finished my 2 hour flight from Spokane to Oakland. I planned to write more of this entry on the plane but instead I got caught up in writing a steamy email. I was seated between 2 elderly womyn. Both were working really hard to read what was on my screen while trying to hide their intrusion. I made the font bigger. I think I may be able to claim letting them read this email as Karma Yoga! They both kept looking across me towards each other, stifling giggles, and playing nervously with their hand bags. It was SO much fun! I am now waiting for my bags. Then will begin my journey south. I am meeting my sister Rachel tonight. She is not a birth sister, but if you saw us together you would never know it! She is pregnant with her first baby. I am so looking forward to spending sister time with her. Then tomorrow we go to Esalen! I must have been good in my last life!

5:36 P.M. Wow! 2 tough hours of driving, I am exhausted and driving a mustang. That may sound kind of cool, but the reality is it is uncomfortable and has terrible visibility. I am sitting in my car outside Whole Foods where I am going to get some coffee to help me stay awake. Which if you know Highway #1 along the California coast, is VERY important. Winding roads, beautiful views and many cliffs, where one wrong move could mean plummeting to your death. Ok perhaps that is a tad dramatic. I am off to get supplies! Then down the highway.

6:49 P.M. Still in Monterey. Sitting in my car drinking nasty kombucha. It may taste terrible but is raw and filled with probiotics. Good for my tummy. One MUST be hydrated before going to Esalen, hours of hot-springing does terrible things to the digestive system if you are not careful (Those of you who have been KNOW what I mean!) I convinced a womyn in the store of it’s benefits, she told me all about her colitis. I listened, which she may have needed more than the Kombucha. She was thankful as I left her in the refrigerated drinks aisle. As I went through the check out I wondered how much Karma yoga was it I was requiring of myself each day? Talking with this womyn, who is deep in the throws of chronic pain, sure felt like it qualifies. Right now I am poaching internet from a local motel, I am the recipient of some Karma yoga. Thank you Comfort inn!. The air smells of briny ocean...I better go find it!

8:08 P.M. I watched the sunset as I drove down the twisting ribbon highway. I stopped to take a picture, dead battery, go figure. I now sit at The spirit Garden in Big Sur. This is the spot I randomly chose(yes Ok I don’t believe in random, but it makes the story fun) to meet Rachel. “Let’s meet by the Shell gas station” I said to Rach. I arrive here to cars lining the road. There is live music and the place is filled with children and musicians! I had a conversation with a man who used to be a herbal healer near Santa Barbara. We spoke as he drank Bausch beer and ate corn dogs. He was telling me that he studied Native Animal medicine. I asked him what his totem was , as I pointed over his shoulder. A hummingbird, had landed, yes landed on a wire above his head. He put down his corn dog, with a look of awe. “You almost never get to see them still! Maybe if there is a feeder near bye, but never like that!” He thanked me profusely for showing it to him, his back was turned, he never would have seen it other wise. Told me the hummingbird is the bird of Joy, that we are both sure to have wonderful times ahead of us. I think he is right.

I have a date with a stack of journals tomorrow. They need to be made up, written in and distributed. When I make 12 days journal #61, the question inside will read “Have you ever had a journey that changed your life?”. I think I will give it to Rachel, as she journeys into motherhood.

So no big acts of Karma Yoga today, just a bunch of little ones. Today was a really wonderful day.

Me, Kincade and Rachel at Esalen, in September. She looks different now with her beautiful goddess belly, filled with baby yumminess.

June 12, 2009

Day 3 Karma Yoga- (Im)practical?

A friend of mine is having a rough day. She is being judged, projected upon, and made out to be a villain. All for choosing to live in a way which goes against the grain. I look back and see all the amazing breakthroughs in humanity, improvements in the human condition, which were demonized at the time, and wonder when it is society is going to catch on and stop being so gosh darn resistant to change?! Remember when it was said that womyn getting the vote would “destroy their moral fibre”? Where did this come from? Old ideas, many based in religion. And yet even now, people who reject these religions on a conscious level are still letting old ideas, based on something they don’t even buy, run their subconscious. Then they fabricate stories to justify their beliefs. Stories which, if they looked through another lens, entertained another way , might vanish into thing air. How Liberating! Perhaps we should look at what it is in this very instant we believe might “destroy ones moral fibre” and ask, could this be the same as womyn and voting? Could it be that in 20 years we will be astonished that we could possibly have bought into some crazy idea that in this moment we believe is gospel?

I know in many ways I challenge status quo, I live life a little differently, these are the areas where I tend to not have much concern for the way I am living. It is those more “practical” ideas that I have which I question. If I would “no way! no how!” consider something, I can see that this is likely the area where I am not questioning. I am recently faced with a life changing possibility, which if I trust only the voice of my head, is completely nuts. So why does my heart seem to be entertaining the idea? I keep using the word “practical” to describe the use of my heads judgement. Does this make my heart is “impractical”? Am I suppose to makes these two see eye to eye? or grey matter to ventricle? How did I even decide which voice was coming from where? Ya...I am a little confused. To say the least. What I do know is that if I do make the hard decision to go the non status quo route, the judgement from others does not make it easier. I feel for my friend who has undergone such nastiness for living her truth. I know she is strong. I also know she is scared. She spoke to me tonight of fear being resistant to change. I decided the only way to really change it is to not try and change it at all, just to act in spite of it and magically...it disappears.

“How important is it to question one’s belief systems?” is today’s question. I will put it into 12 days journal #60, and take it with me tomorrow across the border into the United States.

Today I walked round downtown Nelson with my friend Dan. With fists full of quarters we plugged expired meters. An easy karma yoga task, there are always expired meters to be plugged. I learned two things from doing so.

First this town is full of flakes! Easily 1/4 of the meters we walked by were expired. We walked less than half the distance I expected to cover for 5 dollars in quarters.

Second, I fit in here wonderfully. As the first expired meter I plugged, was my own. Ironic...no?

June 11, 2009

Day 2 Karma Yoga- When Help Doesn't

I was sad and preoccupied most of my day. The morning was nice, I dropped the kids at school, went for coffee then snuck away to write to a dear sweet friend who I have been wanting to write a long juicy email to. Then things got hectic. Just as I was about to start writing I got a phone call from daughter #2:

“Mr. H wants you to bring me my recorder and recorder books, they are up at the house”

My 25 minutes of leisurely writing time has now been whittled to 4 minutes tops! I send off a quick email. Rush up to the house, can’t find any of what she is looking for, and, in looking for it so long have become late for daughter#3’s year end forest walk and BBQ. When I finally get to the school I run up and tell daughter #2 I couldn’t find her recorder, she feels let down. I run through the woods to find daughter #3’s class, she too feels let down that I was late. After some potlucking and socializing, we all walk back to the school for closing circle. I am waiting outside of the other kindergarten classroom because my Karma yoga for today is picking up a friends daughter, so she could have her lunch hour to herself. I am not aware of the time, I just sit outside the classroom, waiting. Eventually my friends daughter is brought out to me. Daughter #3 is crying in my arms at this point, she is sad to be leaving the only teacher she has ever known. She is a sensitive soul and feels things so deeply. My mom is with us, so I ask the teacher to take my friends daughter over to her, who takes her caterpillar hunting. Finally we all congregate in the parking lot. I take daughter #3 while my mom takes my friend's daughter to her grandmother. What a busy couple of hours! At this point daughter #3 and I go to get a drink and meet my friend. I am completely unaware that during the course of this time, something has gone sideways.

When I meet up with my friend, the one who was suppose to have had a lovely hour to herself, she is upset, mostly with me. As it turns out while I was sitting out front of her daughters classroom, the teachers were inside trying to figure out where I was. They had missed me in the crowd of kindergarten parents outside thinking I had not shown up. My friend was frantically trying to find me, or anyone, to pick up her daughter. She was worried because she knows her daughter gets very upset when she is not picked up right on time. Plus her grandmother is wondering where the heck I am?! The situation had caused fear, hurt feelings and confusion. My friend was shaken, mostly at the fact that I had arrived aloofly checking my phone messages, she had spent a frantic half an hour of which I was blissfully unaware. She left without talking to me, she was angry. This was not how the Karma Yoga was suppose to work!

I didn’t speak to my friend till late that evening. I was preoccupied by our disagreement all day. When we finally spoke there were tears. I love her so much and wanted her to know how much I honour her and her baby, how the whole thing had been a misunderstanding. We worked things out, it is such a relief!

So I don’t know what to say about today’s Karma Yoga. I imagined each day I would feel warm and fuzzy about what I had done. Warm and fuzzy did not show up today. At least not until after the sun went down and I sat sobbing on the edge of my tub telling my friend how much I loved her and how I didn’t mean to let her down. We made it through our first argument. I do think that we will be even closer after this... ah the silver lining!

“How do you deal with conflict?” will be put inside 12 days journal #59. I have decided to hold onto the last two Karma yoga journals. I will give them away when I am on my travels.

I am off to pack, and for more end of school madness. Heres hoping tomorrows Karma Yoga will be a little less painful!

June 10, 2009

Day 1 Karma Yoga- Stress!

Things are crazy, super crazy! I have to pack for my trip, pack up the rest of the house for renovations, take our the things we will need for this summer down to our interim accommodations (2 months in a tiny suite with 5 people!). Chris is leaving tomorrow for Ottawa, I will not see him again until he arrives in California with the kids on June 22nd. All this plus Karma yoga, blog entries, getting money for my trip and taking care of a number of other things which I have procrastinated. Yes, I am a little stressed out!

The question I am putting into 12 days journal #58 is, “How do you handle stress?”.

Today I am handling it by grouping tasks, calling in favours, directing friends and family who have offered help. Also by minimizing the things I have to do. This entry is one of those things. So I am minimizing my stress by leaving this entry at 200 words (not an easy task for me).

I plan to go over to my friend Kim's house tonight. To give her a massage. She is suffering with an injury that has the muscles in her shoulder seizing. She is a massage therapist, like me, only she is the sole income for her family. She is a single mom of a sweet little daughter. Her family is larger than this though, because she is a mother to us all. Just last weekend she put a plan into action so I could go say good-bye to a dear friend who I won’t see for FAR too long. She saw an opportunity for me to experience joy and just took care of everything. She often opens her house up on Sunday mornings to feed all her weekend weary friends. She makes tinctures for any ailment we have and rides them just like a mama to take their medicine. The list could go on, but I am suppose to be keeping this short.

I am going over to her house to mother the mother. I love ya Kim, I am so very blessed to have you as my friend...and sometimes mother.

372 words....not quite 200 but not too shabby!

Latest Commitment! Wandering Karma Yoga

For the next 12 days I am going to be all over the map! The first 3 days I am here in Nelson. Then I drive down to Spokane and fly south to California. Of the 9 days in California I will spend, 1 in Monterey, 3 in Big Sur, 4 split between Marin County and Oakland, and the final 1 in Walnut Creek. My commitment for this 12 days is to do some Karma Yoga everywhere I go.

Karma Yoga- One of the four pillars of yoga, Karma yoga focuses on the adherence to duty (dharma) while remaining detached from the reward. It states that one can experience salvation (Moksha) or love (bhakti) of God by performing their duties in an unselfish manner for the pleasure of the Supreme, which is the welfare of the world. Karma Yoga is an intrinsic part of many derivative types of yoga, such as Natya Yoga.

In simple terms, Karma Yoga is doing something to help for the sake of helping. It might be picking up litter, pulling weeds from a community garden, taking someone for a walk and talk when they are having a hard time. Anything that is based in selfless action. So no, this does not mean that I will do any bendy poses, though I sure could do with picking back up my assana yoga practice. This is a whole other form of yoga. One rooted in bhakti, or devotion. I am devoted to serving the Divine Essence, God, the Universe, the Grand Pooh-Ba, insert whichever you feel comfortable with. To show my devotion to this whole wide wonderful world I look forward to seeing where I can help each of the next 12 days!

I am not sure how I will release the daily 12 days journal, but I am sure that this will just organically happen each day. I have faith.

I can feel already that this commitment is going to be incredibly enriching and filled with gooey gooey love! What fun!

June 9, 2009

Day 12 Asking For Help- Babies

There is a womyn named Angela who I barely know, but who I call my friend. We met through an online parenting community some years ago, when I was first having wee ones. I will sheepishly admit that I am not even sure which one it was. This is when I lived deep in the north, where my parenting practices were not understood, and often times not even accepted. My life line to empathy, understanding and friendship came through these online communities. It was an eye opener to me, to meet womyn from all over the world who were parenting consciously. How we could had so much in common and yet sill have such vast differences. I met womyn with 8 children! Womyn who had lived in urban settings their whole lives! Womyn who were devout to a religion whose rules had me reeling! And yet there were things we all shared. A belief that parenting was a conscious endeavour. That children did well when cared for by their parents, that birth was meant to be an honoured sacred event, that breastmilk was babies #1 superfood, and that breastfeeding was ok anywhere and any time. I know one thing we also often had in common was as sense of isolation, each of us for different reasons.

Angela recently told me she wanted to participate in this experiment. She decided to read every blog entry from its conception and commented on most of them. It was a serious example of dedication. I think it took her a whole day! Maybe more. She tells me it fed her soul. I want you to know Angela that it fed mine too. Certainly part of this was the comments, where you spoke of your personal isolation, what you were experiencing, how you were coping...and not coping. What fed me most of all though Angela, is how you showed me that you believe in me, in this project. You showed me that you loved me. This is why I saved Angela’s question till the end. It has become something of a place of honour. I like to end each commitment in a special way.

The question she sent for 12 days journal #57 is, "How do you help yourself to find the spiritual and/or divine in the mundane tasks of life?". This question, coupled with the remembering of how we met, reminded me of those early days of motherhood. Looking at motherhood as a spiritual calling was what got me through it. Being a mom is the toughest job I have EVER had, it is mentally, physically and spiritually exhausting, well I should say it WAS. Now that my kids are grown up a little mothering is easier. I get to sleep, my body is no longer a source of nourishment so I am physically stronger and less depleted. I am not constantly redirecting and explaining “why”, so mentally I am clearer. I don’t regret ANY of it, in fact I am PROUD AS HELL of the way I choose to raise my children, but I do admit that there were times it was “mundane”. I can tell you that I consider a day at the playground to be a special form of torture, complete with parental politics, and the constant “will you push me”. I look at mothers with small children now and wonder how did I make the mundane spiritual. The answer is love.

Love of anything takes it from the mundane to meditation. I have no doubt that, despite the nausea which accompanies the idea of having another child, when the little critter began squirming round my belly and kicking me in the ribs, I would once again rise to the occasion with gratitude. Love is absolutely transformative. I know because I have seen this in my life and the lives of others, time and time again. This project, though on a grand scheme is very exciting, can be mundane. Writing EVERYDAY can be mundane. Making journals is most DEFINITELY mundane! It is the love that I get from people who tell me what a difference I am making, it is the love I feel from Angela who is so excited by what I am doing, it is the love of watching the look in someone’s eye when being given a journal which makes this a year long mystical meditation. The project is my baby, I nourish it, I nurture it and oh how I love it, even when it keeps me up at night screaming to be fed!

June 8, 2009

Day 11 Asking for Help- Doppleganger

“What enables a person to move from experience to experience while still staying true to who they are?” this question, which comes to me from my friend Paul, and which will be included in 12 days journal #56, has me stumped! Truly I think it is the first question which I really have no idea how to answer. Maybe I am tired, or all “inspirationed” out from the last entry, but I sat here and pondered this, and couldn’t come up with anything. From a psychological standpoint, we are born with a personality, then nurture takes over and we are shaped. This personality might be the constant, the ballast which keeps everything congruent. But I suspect it is more than this. I also began to wonder if I DO indeed stay true to who I am? I wonder if I am the same person when I am dancing my way round beautiful California, as I am when I am baking cookies for a school potluck (Ok you got me, I almost never bake, but you get the idea). It is hard for me to gauge how consistent I am, because I am the one playing the role. For a good long while last year I felt as though my two lives were completely dis-integrated. I was a double agent. I know that at the core I was the same person, but there were times I wondered if it weren’t some cosmic trick, if I was actually two different people!

Paul didn’t give me an answer, had he have I may have been able to pull from it, but for right now, I am stumped. All I can say is personality plays a role, the other roles are players which are a mystery to me. Perhaps my doppleganger knows the answer?!

June 7, 2009

Day 10 Asking For Help- Angel

Another entry written one day late! This is it though , I AM going to write 2 today and get caught up. No more howling at the moon, time to be responsible. Which brings me to the question sent to me for today. It was sent by my eldest daughter Ayla. An unimaginable blessing who found me about 15 years ago. She circled me from beyond for a little under a year before choosing to be born. I was a feisty 20 year old who was travelling the world and was “never going to have kids!”. I know now it is not us, the parents, who do the choosing. I felt her coming, started looking at babies on the bus and imagining how I would mother. I started trying on clothes, turning to the side to see how they would look if I were pregnant. This was not conscious, when the conscious thought of becoming a parent crept in I would react out of hand with many a rote and cliché statement,

“I am too selfish to have kids”

“I wouldn’t bring a child into this world the way it is”

“There are too many children in the world without parents, when I am ready I will adopt”

Not that these aren’t valid statements, they just ceased being valid for me the day I came to find I had a baby growing in my belly. I discovered I was pregnant in a McDonald's bathroom in the bad part of Melbourne, Australia. I was scared out of my mind. While I loved her father, I knew we couldn’t be together. I wanted to go home. I wanted to know what I was suppose to do. I wanted the world to stop so I could breathe, figure out how I was going to do this, be a mom at 21. I was caught up in a typhoon, I felt like I didn’t know anything. Well that is not exactly true, I knew one thing for sure. That this baby chose me, that she would change my life forever, and that I would do ANYTHING for her. Ok technically that may be three things, but you know it was a knowing of all three all rolled up into one.

Sweet Ayla Bayla Boo was born, August 19th, 1995. On this same day I went from being a girl to being a mother...the womyn part came later, with much help from her. I often wonder between the two of us who is the parent. She is ultra responsible, insightful, and giving. She has taken care of me countless times. To be honest she may very well have saved my life. She woke me up, and insisted, in her gentle way, that I choose to live consciously. You can imagine when she handed me my computer, for me to read the following, how the tears welled. She is just such a brilliant being, my amazing angel.

“Dear Magdelen ,
Hi momma Its me and I am ready to give you a question. The question is inspired by how much you care for me and how much you give me. I got to thinking about what I give back. And so the question is "How are you a parent to your parents?" I love you momma with all my heart! <3
Love A"

She didn't send an answer, she didn't have to, I KNOW how she parents me, how she looks out for me, how she cares for me, how she forgives me, how she accepts me, because as far as mothers go there are times I can be a handful!

I lesser than 3 you my sweet Ayla! Thank you so much for choosing me. When I get home I will be giving 12 days journal #55 to Ayla Gabriella with the question "How are you a parent to you parents?" written in the front cover. I can't wait for this journal to come back home!!


June 6, 2009

Day 9 Asking For Help- What is Love?

ACK!! I am falling behind. For two days in a row I am writing yesterday’s entry today. I have no problem what so ever in blaming this on the full moon. I felt her pull well over a week ago. KNEW, that this one was going to be life changing.

I have hardly slept since Thursday. Because of this I set myself a very strict guideline last night, that I must go home as soon as the sun began to rise. I had to get at least a few hours before the kids woke up! I danced in the living room of a home that was opened to the community for an all night full moon celebration. I did sleep a bit, 20 feet from where the DJ was mixing, intertwined and snuggled up on a couch, bass bumping through my dreams. I was surrounded by so many loving friends, some I knew, some I didn’t, some old, some very very new. I drove home at 4:00 a.m. listening to the birds waking, taunting me with there full nights sleep, and to country music, it was the only station I could find. Twang works as good as anything else to keep one awake!

I was given the question for today (yesterday?) by the bass, entering my sub conscious mind, by the encouragement of friends who conspire towards my success, by the gentle absentminded touch of a friend on a couch. This question did not come by email, it came, as my friend Philip would say, by T-mail. Telepathic mail indeed. I got the message from you all, you light beings so filled with love. That what you want to know, what you want answered, what you wanted discussed, pondered, laid out in the light for all to caress, is the question, “What is love?”.

I have heard an argument that love is merely a chemically induced reaction to increase chances of survival, to live long enough to propagate our species. While not wildly romantic, it does make logical sense. Love is chemicals...this would explain the popularity of chemical drugs. While I can concede that chemicals play a role, I KNOW that there is more to it than this. I have heard it said that God is Love, pure and simple. That our source, what makes us all one, is Love. THIS I believe. Still though it does not help me to understand that deep feeling when sometimes despite all logic or rational thought I KNOW I love someone. Especially that deep intense feeling of romantic love, or the feeling of deep love when a baby is born. It doesn’t make me understand love at first sigh, how in one glance I can feel love. At first glance today’s question may seem like a simple one, but I wonder if it won’t be one of the hardest to answer. I looked up love in the dictionary. Random House has 14 hits on “Love” in its usage as a noun alone!

Love –noun
1.a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2.a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
3.sexual passion or desire.
4.a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
5.(used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?
6.a love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.
7.sexual intercourse; copulation.
8.(initial capital letter) a personification of sexual affection, as Eros or Cupid.
9.affectionate concern for the well-being of others: the love of one's neighbor.
10.strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything: her love of books.
11.the object or thing so liked: The theater was her great love.
12.the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.
13.Chiefly Tennis. a score of zero; nothing.
14.a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter L.

The object or thing so liked” Sigh.... I love this one, so poetic. I am reminded of the quote “I don’t know art but I know what I like”. I can’t tell you definitively what love is, but I know when I am in it.

Since this question came in from the masses, it needs to be sent out the same way. I will take 12 days journal #54 next time I go to a party or event where many of my lovely friends will be. I will give it to someone that I love. I may not be able to tell them what this love is exactly, but I will KNOW that I love them....this is enough.

June 5, 2009

Day 8 Asking For Help- Waiting Game

I don’t even know where to begin. Writing seems next to impossible as I float ‘round this bliss bubble. I danced with The L.O.V.E Collective last night. They managed to create a safe container in which to explore a variety of emotions, including some not generally accepted on a dance floor. We danced filled with joy, then screamed out in anger. There were moments of confusion and moments of cohesive group movement. All this was created without a leader, no one dictating movements or choreographed steps. The collective created an atmosphere, guided and held space seamlessly. Their love, trust, and honouring of each other was palpable. Having not experienced a full buffet of dance tribe members in nearly a month, it was a gift to be caught up in movement, in a room filled with community, feeling safe in pushing boundaries... it was a pretty gosh darn good time.

I spoke afterwards with the groups big brother member. A co-creator who rejects the label “leader”, acknowledging that this group is far greater than the sum of its talented,visionary,compassionate parts. He gave me the question “What do you want?” for 12 days journal #53. A broad question with a medley of possibilities, an invitation for juicy and rich answers. His answer were spoken to me, not emailed, so I will have to repeat them as best as I can. It went something like:

“I made a list, a literal list, had a friend write it out for me. I asked for a connection, a deep soul connection with a partner, who understands my capacity for limitless love. I want to connect with a womyn who is not afraid to stand in her own power, who is ready to take on motherhood. I want to find a community, a family who accepts my non traditional ideas. I want communication to take a lead role in this community. A community who is passionate about empathy...“

The list went on.

I have heard arguments both for and against ”the list“. Some say it is too narrow minded, others say it is imperative to be specific when asking the universe to fulfill your desires. I was not entering into this debate. I was too rapt, enthralled by a man who speaks passionately about calling in the love he desires, unabashed, no apologies. Committed to commitment, to finding a family that fits him rather than fitting himself into the popular notion of family. A man who was willing to ask ”what do you want?“ and would accept any answer, whether it was on a metta level or an answer regarding what I wanted in my coffee.

So what did I want last night? I wanted the conversation to last forever. I had sent out a sort of list. Not on paper, but I asked God for someone to have a deep soul connection with, someone to talk to who would understand my mother tongue. I asked for a dancer. I felt him circling all day, got the familiar head ache which often accompanies shifts in my life. This new friend, is someone who I bonded with the minute I walked into the dance space. I had no idea he was part of the collective, I just saw him and knew we would be friends. We spoke for hours after the dance, and today sat close at coffee with my children. Rose asked if I had known him a long time. I explained to her that he was part of the extended ecstatic dance tribe, that when we meet each other there is a knowing, a language spoken with the body through movement. Yes she is 6, and maybe didn’t ”get“ this in it’s totality, but understood it well enough. Michael is leaving tomorrow, the L.O.V.E collective is on their way to Alberta, and is touring ‘round for the summer. Thank you all for what you brought to our community.

I will see you soon Michael.
Picture of our crew at coffee this morning. There were three journal recipients at the table. Anthony with #50, Michael with #21 (I hadn’t made #53 for this entry yet so instead I gave him the journal I sent to myself from California), and Dan with #52.

June 4, 2009

Day 7 Asking For Help- It's a Wonderful Life

Sent to me a couple of days ago:

“How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”

361.9 cubic centimeters of wood every day

Or, maybe more applicable.

“What is a challenge you have with friends?”

A challenge I have with friends is telling them what I need.  For example, I wonder if I make a positive difference in the lives of people around me.  It would be nice if I had the courage to ask.  Sometimes I wish I had an "Its a Wonderful Life" moment where I can see the impact I have on those around me.  However, I myself have been known to forget/neglect to tell people what a difference they make in my life.  I am also sometimes afraid of telling people how they have made a positive impact on my life.  

Does the question and answer make sense?   The answer was much easier than the question.  Well, not really.  There were heavy revisions to get it to make sense.


Well “Karl”. Let me tell you what a difference you make in MY life. When you play with my kids because you can see I have something going on and want to give me the space to work through it, it makes a difference! When you chop wood to heat my house it makes a difference. When you tell me I look beautiful, or notice when I am having a hard day, it makes a difference. You are one hell of a friend! I am not exactly sure what a “It’s a Wonderful Life” moment would look like, I have never seen the show, but if it means me dressing up in a 50’s get up and dawning a bee hive I will do it! My kids adore you, which means to me that your heart is pure, they are wonderfully intuitive human beings, THEY know what a difference you make. Every family should be so lucky as to have a “Karl” show up and help out like you do. Thank you for all you do. I hope that when you recieve 12 days journal #52, that you can now modify your answer to the question, “What is a challenge you have with friends?”. Perhaps your new answer can be “She stays in her room the whole time I am visiting, writing in her gosh darn blog! I never get to talk to her any more!”

June 3, 2009

Day 6 Asking For Help- Ask and You Shall Receive!

Today I have received so much help that I won’t even be writing my own entry! The following diatribe comes to me from my friend Kevin. I don’t know that he actually asked a question but he sure as hell gave me an answer! So I will provide the question which will grace the inside cover of 12 days journal #51, the question I believe Kevin was trying to answer is “How do you encourage others to question the status quo?”

A little back ground on my friend Kevin. He is a bit of a mans man. Wears your standard jeans and button up nearly everyday, along with a worn and stained baseball cap with a bottle opener in the brim. Some might even say he looks a little like a redneck. He is married, and has two children from a previous union. He has a suit and tie job which has him travelling round a fair bit. He dabbles in photography, and delivers pizzas for a buddy when his delivery boy can’t make it in. He is a a regular guy who now and then shaves down his entire body, puts on make up, hose and a pair of artificial breast to make an appearance as Traci Taboo, our local celebrity cross-dresser. Bet you didn’t see that coming!

Here is a note he sent to me via facebook after a conversation over coffee where I explained this project to him :


“Traci sent you a message.

Subject: 12 days 2 inspire​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

.. like 12 days of the Migraine... my god !!!!
Ok.. so ponderment has occurred thanks to your well placed seed of inquisition.
A sprout has grown forth from this kernel. A small conception, a bud, an ovum. Far from a plantation of flowing words and whispering thoughts.

Much of my inner energy guides me to the Traci topic as a contribution for fodder. My willingness to batter society with unorthodox views and corkscrew conclusions is really the fuel that pushed the Traci creature to its position today, and small opportunities to do such.
The "Shock Value" as I called it.
Heavy underlining of "tolerance" - not so much acceptance, but not to beat things to death you don't understand. It escalates for some to fear and that's where violence enters the painting of life around us.
My biggest puzzle is how.. or perhaps why? has Traci been regarded with seemingly friendly arms.
I am not speaking of the assumptions one might make about being gay, a drag queens etc. therefore accepted.
I believe there is a society program or knee jerk reaction if you will, that many first draw upon meeting me. Must be gay! This is a natural conclusion to draw without any thought process behind what you see. Asking NO questions. But, the inquiring mind might pose a different conclusion A conclusion without the proper answers or worse, provides more puzzling questions and drawing confusion.
The world is coming to grips that there is homosexuality and the battle against it is futile as no-one can change anyone. So with that said, how can I incorporate a question about this alter-ego without sounding egotistical.
Why am I so popular?
I understand that Traci Taboo is known. I have worked to be known and hopefully is associated with positive things in life and produces laughter and smiles.
My personal reward has been meeting many, many interesting and great people, some of which have become friends *you included*. Could I have met so many without wearing a skirt and heels? Doubtful !
Traci is not so much a political or media statement to get everyone to understand that life is rich in depth and it takes many things to make the world go round. But, if a situation occurred that was drastic enough, I think Traci could be used to draw attention to a large issue. Then, one day, I may feel compelled to step up and say HEY!!!
It really is all about fun and being yourself. Those perhaps are shallow or simple thoughts but profound none the less. Keep life simple, it ain't complicated shit.
Society reactions for me has been the most entertaining and educational. Having fake nails, lovely and rather blatantly womanizing has been a definite surprise to many who catch me wearing them. Why? Cause Im a man? This reaction would not run parallel if I wear a woman. I might even get compliments from strangers on my nails.
Or having painted toes for example is a "lesser feminine" gesture and therefore; a gay man would only do such a thing? Utterly Ridiculous! Most gay men have done neither to my understanding.
So, I recognize a gap between reality and societies belief.

So, my exposure to many (mostly gentlemen) who actively crossdress(CD) has taught me that society maybe more willing to accept, not embrace, but to drop the calumny, mockery and consternation that one could easily see occur 10+ years ago. But, the women in the lives of these CD's are for the most part struggling with the concept of why men have this urge. I can’t say I understand either. No where near could I fathom this inner drive and passion to dress feminine as often as possible. I just simple tolerate and have graduated to acceptance as many of these men are decent people. Their choice of clothing is different than mine. In turn, it has been curious that I am misunderstood and more deeply, "not" understood by those in the CD community. I am the puzzle to them as much as they are to me, yet we are both men dressed as women. There is comedy there I know it...

Many of these men who feel the need to CD, are a puzzle to me. All women's clothes, beyond knee socks and Lululemon I guess, are for the most part torture devices to wear. The perpetual vanity of makeup, the art of looking hot, my god what a pain in the arse it is.
Don't women crossdress all the time? Pants? Suits? Is there a defined criteria for women wearing men's clothes? Is that OMG !crossdressing or it just cute/sexy/sassy?
These men who CD have a monstrous and crippling fear to be out in public, yet ! ...the urge to enter the public arena in full drag is incredibly strong. Much like a bug to a light, or the bug-zapper light, might be a nice metaphor to have. Being "caught" would be like death to these men.
So, would it be an interesting question then :

Is there a measurable acceptance in society for a man to wear a skirt, heels and makeup out for dinner at a restaurant, to a movie, a coffee shop or just a stroll down the street?
Or maybe reword the question as to- Why is it opposed?
Are you(men) scared to dress as a woman for a day? weekend? a week?
Scared ? Really?? Why do so many dress as women for Halloween??
If so, why are you scared? Who is it harming? or is it the backlash from a society that creates harm to the individual?
Is this Taboo?? Anyways...

Now I want to hit a mall or city and try to gauge reactions of the public on a non-comical approach. LOL !! The evil side of me...HA! Trying to get Traci hired would be an interesting exercise. Would I ever get an interview? Seriously? Would I?
Is there something here?
Is this getting interesting?”

Very interesting Kevin, very interesting!