December 30, 2010

Senor Frogs, One Hopping Joint!

Well if yesterday was the shadow, tonight was the light!

I went with my whole family to Senor Frogs. Yes... touristy to the max!! And you know what? It was SUCH a good time. This is their business, if these guys can’t take a grumpy family and put smiles on their grouchy faces then no on can! It definitely worked for us. The only part that sucked about the evening was that we didn’t bring a camera so there is no photo to aid your trip with us to one of the most touristy joints in all of Mexico.


We walked in to this loud, obnoxious establishment and were greeted by a peppy hostess who delivered us to our waiter. His name was Aldos and he was dancing to “You Can Leave your Hat on” by Tom Jones while performing a Full Monty style mock strip tease. He then brought us name tags.

Ayla was “Brittany Spears”
Lily- “Lady Gaga”
Rosy- “Dennis the Menace” due to the fact that as soon as her drink came she accidentally(?) spit juice on Aldos.
My mother in law AKA Omi was “The One who Pays the Bill”
Chris- “The Man”
and I was “The Boss”

Given how tough last night was, with today not being much better,THIS was just the stress reliever we needed.

I use to “not drink”. This changed the minute I entered Mexico. I have taken to drinking tequila because well you know what they say about Rome! With fermented agave running through my system I made the rather unorthodox choice of ordering two platters of deep fried Mexican party food.While we waited a talented man made us balloon all hats. Yes that is right, each and everyone of us scarfed down battered shrimp, quesidillas, tacos and deep fried cheese while wearing elaborate and suggestive balloon hat.

There were employees whose only job was to pull practical jokes on customers. Rosy was constantly entertained and high as a kite on sugar and grease.

While we were waiting for dessert (wait... when does my family of conscious eaters EVER order dessert? Oh ya right, when mom is drinking tequila and ordering in partial sign language over blaring cheesy 80’s videos) a handsome young man arrived at our table to perform magic tricks. This kid was GOOD! I could detect the slightest slide of hand, and I was watching like a hawk! Daniel, our magician, was a gem. He had fallen in love with Ayla and addressed Chris as his “future father in law”. Ayla turned many shades of pink but was having a good deal of fun with the attention. Daniel’s father arrived half way through his performance, he motioned that he would be just a few minutes longer.

I have found it somewhat difficult to deal with the ways of Mexican culture since I arrived. Most Mexicans have a well practised poker face. In the beginning I misunderstood this as grumpiness. I have come to understand that all I need do is initiate, say “Hola”, smile and I am usually rewarded. To let Daniel's father know how much I appreciated him I put my hand to my heart and pointed at his son. He smiled wide and nodded with what I imagined to be pride. And he has reason to be be proud. Daniel is very good at what he does. Not just at being a magician, but at connecting with customers in an authentic way. He was brilliant with every last one of us.

This video is for you Daniel. I hope you find me here on the blog. When you gave the napkin with your email address to Ayla saying she should keep it because her parents might forget it due to tequila consumption, you were right! But we remembered the name of the the only electronica song that you like and will end this entry with it... email me here on the blog and I will send you Ayla’s contact... in 4 years time.

If you come to Mazatlan, put aside all culinary restrictions, all ideas of what constitutes bad music, prepare for over-stimulation, and treat yourself to the best touristy dinner in all of Mexico! They took very good care of us and by the end we left as a bonded happy family... thank you Senor Frogs!

“What do you enjoy that might surprise those who know you?”

December 29, 2010

I Bet Frida Would Understand

I am sitting outside the internet cafe of my hotel. I am hiding from passers-by that I am crying... again. I say again because I cry a lot. I have ideas about my prolific crying which are conflicting.

On one hand I love the fact that I cry. I allow my emotions to flow and take advantage of natures method of dumping chemicals produced during intense experience, this keeps me healthy. I feel much better after a good cry.

On the other hand when I am at my most vulnerable, tears dripping, snot bubbling, I judge that I let my emotions rule me.

Why am I crying this time? I am frustrated, angry and sad. I am noticing a pattern re-emerging in my family that I haven’t had to deal with for quite some time. This pattern had pretty much disappeared because I disappeared. I took a year off last year, or maybe it would be more accurate to say I worked part time. I had become so frustrated with how the dynamic saw me either dissolve into a puddle of tears and/or pounce with fangs dripping that I just opted out. I was still there in my home, raising my children and being a wife, but I found ways to always ‘have an out’ so that this dynamic couldn’t rule me.

Well now there is no way out, we are together all the time. We are usually doing things which require planning, organizing and follow through. My frustration comes not because as mother planning and organizing generally fall to me, but that once the organization and planning are in place it is often not respected. Not to mention that the follow through sucks! Worse yet there is rarely any acknowledgement of the effort put in. When I end up in either in tears or with bared claws I am met with looks of stunned silence which seem to say,“What is mom’s problem?!” What is most maddening is that the activities are organized around what everyone says they want! It is not as though I am draggin them along to do only the things I want to do... ARGH!

I can imagine at this point mothers everywhere are nodding their heads in sympathy and aggravation, my story is not a rare one.

I won’t bore you with the gritty details except to say that after trying to rationally and calmly explain a number of times that I was frustrated, I decided to catch a cab back to the hotel by myself.

I wanted to cry in the cab, but the drunk driver who kept asking me if I had a husband likely would have been thrown. Given his state I thought it prudent to not distract him. I would have got out to seek a sober driver but I was miles from my hotel and only had enough for his fare. I considered refusing to pay but that seemed more dangerous than staying the course. I prayed a lot instead.

When I arrived at the hotel I had a bath hoping to bring on tears of release, but I was still too angry. Just as they began to bubble up I heard my family laughing and running down the hallway. They tumbled over each other rushing into the room to get their swimsuits, they seemed to have forgotten about what happened and were now focused on soaking in the hot tub. They wouldn’t make eye contact and got away from me as quickly as they could which many a mother will tell you is par for the course when we get upset. Tell me, am I the only one who feel so hurt when this happens?

In order to restrain myself from tearing their heads off, I decided to go down to an internet cafe in town. I walked out of hotel and was met by an armed soldier so I reconsidered. It is not as scary as it sounds. I learned later there was a government official staying at our hotel, it is customary for the military to accompany him. It is meant to instil a sense of safety. Funny, a man in camo with a big gun doesn’t bring me a warm fuzzy feeling of safety, a cultural difference to be sure.

I then went into the internet cafe at the hotel, only to be told I can not use my own computer there. I swear the universe was working really hard to push me into a Kali moment!


I finally found a place to sit and use my computer. I was too shaken to write so I watched the following video by Chameli Ardagh called The Fierce Face of the Feminine. The tear finally began to flow.

She speaks of Kali becoming intoxicated with anger, how not even Shiva could stop her rage with force. It was only when he showed his belly, lay before her vulnerable and in complete love, accepted her anger as Divinity, that she stopped. It was the understanding of how she come to a place of rage from not feeling heard, when enough was enough and nothing else would stop the injustice, when he gave THIS his presence she was able to regain her own.

I would really like my anger, frustration, and sadness to be met with presence. Better yet I don’t want to get to the Kali place to conjure presence. I don’t want things to get ugly before I am listened to. When it happens this way as a dynamic, as an ongoing pattern we all have to suffer first. There is an easier way.

For now I will just go find somewhere with no family, no drunk taxi drivers, no armed guards, no internet lounge attendants and continue to let my tears flow... I will find presence within myself for right now and trust that it will come from my loved ones soon. I trust that we will find a way to face this dynamic so it can dissolve. That my Kali will rest more often, laying side by side with Shiva cuddling rather than going at his neck with a machete.

I came up with so many question for this entry, but settled on. “What helps you regain presence when you are angry?”

This post is dedicated to my friend Deirdre who cheered me up while I was writing this entry trying.

“I write about myself because when I am alone I hear the voice of God and because I am the subject I know best”
~ Bernice Raabis

(a rip off on the Frida Kahlo quote and my friend Deirdre’s facebook status)

"I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best."
~ Frida Kahlo

December 26, 2010

After and After

I am still having a blog identity crisis, I am not sure what it’s purpose is.

I don’t feel called to continue the 12 day theme, but then I wonder if the title of the blog will be completely confusing? I don’t want to start a new one, you all know how to find me right here, and to be honest I have no interest in going through building a new blog or buying a new domain... BLAH!! I like to write, to share myself, I do not enjoy techie site building stuff. So until further notice I will just be posting here when I feel called to. The blog feels more like a travel blog than anything else, since this is my fodder most often. Still I can’t ignore that it is most often about me and my thoughts, it is still very personal.... We will talk about this more later, for now I have two things I want to share.

First the fun stuff. We went zip lining today! It was my first time. It was a present bought for our family by my mother in law. We are in a tourist area so when in Rome do as the touristy Romans do! I am not exactly sure what I expected of the tour but there always seems to be a heavy emphasis on getting us to into a gift shop to purchased overpriced souvenirs. I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case at Huan Coa Canopy Adventures. In fact other than tee-shirts there was nothing to buy! The staff were super friendly and really good at their job which is really important when guiding something as potentially dangerous as zip lining. Our main guide Jonathan was great with the kids and had a quirky dry sense of humour which meant people were serious about following the rules. We had a blast and it was great to get away from the diesel fumes and hustling of the Golden Zone. If you come to do the resort thing here in Mazatlan and want to take a tour, this is the one. You can walk Old Mazatlan on your own and while we haven’t been to Isla de las Piedras (Stone Island) yet I am told it is better done by yourself. Flying above the canopy like a Crested Caracara on the other hand is most definitely not something you should attempt without guidance!

Ok Second, and this is the part of the blog which is personal, it’s time to talk weight again. I am working on streamlining the facebook side of things. I want to be able to upload lots of pictures but not have to post them here on the blog out of respect for my poor friend Katherine (HI KATH!) who may still be on archaic internet. I plan to upload pics month by month to document our travels as an amendment to what is written here.


Last night I uploaded my first photo album of the trip and held my breath as I included a picture of me in my bathing suit. I know most womyn can relate to this. I have been body conscious my whole life, though now it has taken on a new flavour. I have never been a big person, even when I was at my biggest right after giving birth to my last two babies I was still fairly little with a lot of curves and softness. I didn’t see it this way then, I saw cellulite and folds of skin under my arms that I didn’t like. I use to say to Chris that I just didn’t feel like me.

Starting about 4 years ago I began to return to my pre-baby size. It was slow at first. Then last year when I had stopped trying to lose I shrank considerably. Eventually when my metabolism really sped up I had to work to keep weight on. I spent many a entry last year fretting, explaining, defending and pondering my weight loss.

I would like to tell you that the blog entry which brought the most traffic to my site was one where I waxed words, spread enlightening knowledge which challengd people, eventually changing their lives forever. The truth is it was the one with a shot of me in a bikini. I suspect this was because I used the words “before and after” in my tags (word which search engines search for), I will use them again and see if this one also gets hundreds of hits as well.

We live in a weight obsessed culture. I know I personally have spent more hours than I can even stomach thinking about my weight. What I never expected was the way I would be treated when I became as thin as I am today.

I still have issues with my body. Specifically it can be hard for me to feel womanly with breast as tiny as mine, especially immersed in Mexican culture where most womyn have these gorgeous curvy bodies, sexy hips and bodacious tattas! My mother in law asked me the other day if I have ever considered getting implants and suggested a surgeon. I had to leave the room to stop up my tears and avoid further painful conversation with her. Yes I KNOW I am “perfect just the way” I am, so please keep your medical referrals to yourself! Ugh

As I suspected the picture started off a flurry or comments which began with “Bernice, you look hungry” Again I cried. I replied, going into my spiel about how I eat butter and full fat yogurt, honey, and... and..... Chris gently reminded me, that I needn’t fall into the trap of explaining myself, that their comments were about themselves, their own weight issues, their projections. He encouraged me to save my energy, know what I know about me and send love to those whose path I have walked and understand well. And so with compassion for myself and others I offer this.

I am sorry. Sorry to any of you who I have judged because of your weight or body shape, no matter your size. I am sorry for the times I allowed my misunderstanding of the sacred nature of my own body to become a projection, one I made about you.

Tobias, that beautiful man who helped me create Ayla a little over 16 years ago, use to call himself a Fatist. He openly discriminated against overweight people and it use to really piss me off, partly because I judged myself as overweight. I now have been the target of discrimination based on my weight at the other end of the scale... and it hurts. I take this lesson to heart and thank all who have helped me to see that we all suffer from one form of self judgement or another. It presents itself in many forms. Under it all we want to be loved and excepted for our glorious beautiful selves and that love begins right here inside our own beautiful corazón.

I think I still want to do the question thing here on the blog... that part of the old project was really fun... so here is today's question. “What do you love about your own body?”

December 25, 2010

Feliz Navidad!

This is my second Christmas below the tropic of Cancer. Both times I had a white Christmas but it was white sand rather than snow. The first was 16 years ago. Ayla was tucked warm and snug inside my belly, I was completely oblivious to her existence at the time. I celebrated the holidays with her biological father Tobias. I remember being home sick. This time around I did not miss home in the least.

Chris’ father died on Christmas Eve 4 years ago. Since then the holidays have been a struggle. The sadness mixes with Yule time stress and leaves little room for celebration and good cheer. This year I believe we broke the spell. It was an amazing Christmas. Here are a few of the highlights.

This year we awoke to find presents under the Christmas Piniata!

“Rudolpo the Deer” as he was called in the Hotel Activity Program, was there with a lot of energy considering his late night.

Yes you are seeing this correctly... that is Santa Clause parasailing in... I wonder if his sleigh was in for repairs?

And when he arrived there were presents for all the kids... even the naughty ones!

And no Christmas dinner is complete without entertainment... yes that is Elvis you see in the background, can you see the dreamy look in my eyes? He even came into the crowd and gave me a scarf... I quiver just thinking about it :oP


It was a rather unorthodox Christmas and it was so perfect <3

This is just a smattering of the photos from our White Sand Christmas... If you want to see more pictures click here and it will take you to the 12 days 2 inspire facebook group, from there just click on "Photos".

"How do you move on after experiencing a loss in your life?"

December 20, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole

Tonight the moon will be cleansed by darkness as the earth passes between her and the sun. She will slip away from the light so that she may be new while she is also full; she will walk on both sides, or float I suppose, lucky celestial body that she is. As we watch she will turn blood red. We will feel the magic as Monday (moon day) becomes Tuesday, as the 20th day becomes the 21st day. We will be exactly 2 years from the fabled day of December 21st 2012, the day predicted by the Mayan calendar to have significance beyond that which I can explain. It is Yule, or Solstice, a holy day for me and many others. Part of the reason for this half year trip to Mexico is to better understand the significance of December 21st 2012.


Last night I couldn’t sleep, my monthly ritual as the moon becomes full. I lay awake contemplating my animal totems. Rabbit, the one I have such a hard time accepting was right there next to snake, who scares me silly, this brings me back to rabbit. Rabbit medicine is fear, this medicine is strong in my life . While I can often appear fearless, those who know me well know how I live intimately with fear. Bravery is not the absence of fear but the willingness to act in the face of it.

This morning was my first time I attempted to walk out into the Mexican streets on my own. I admit to being affected by the collective fear that has been brewed via news reports of Mexican “civil war”. I was warned by many well meaning friends not to go out on my own, they feared who I might meet. As it turns out I met God in the face of a handsome elevator repairman. As I waited to board the elevator the doors parted and there he was. He politely directed me in broken English to use the stairs. I went the wrong way. I returned to the elevator confused and slightly frustrated by my inability to speak Spanish. This is when he invited me to ride on TOP of the elevator. I peered inside to see the old bricks of the elevator shaft, the mechanical workings on top of the box, and a handsome man inviting me for a ride. Seeing the dark cave and imagining entering into its darkness with a man I do not know and could barely communicate with made my rabbit fear jump, my heart began to thump wildly.

I wasn’t sure what to do. I was scared and didn’t know how to express this, which made it scarier! On the other hand I had been invited to experience something new by a beautiful man, this was was exciting, it made me blush a little. I have not been flirtatious for months, I liked felling this part of me stir again.

I have struggled since arriving with how to be a beautiful married womyn (who is in an open relationship) in this traditional Catholic culture. I can feel how my femininity attracts attention and Mexican men often do not hide their interest. This is a dance I can navigate when I am able to communicate verbally but without the language I am left with body language, eye contact and rudimentary hand signals. Not knowing how my eye contact and body language will be interpreted I feel a little like a peces out of agua.

There were so many reasons to say NO! , but I knew there was a lesson from rabbit in this. We are in a resort for the holidays, this was not some roving predator, he was there to fix the elevator. I made a decision, steadied my nerves and stepped inside the dark shaft. I looked him right in the eyes and said “I am scared”. I owned my feelings, took my rabbit medicine and saw my fear for what it was, a tool to protect me and a reminder to consider all factors. I also listened to my other instincts. All things considered I knew I was safe.

The doors closed as the man put one hand gently on my waist to steady me. My body came alive and I felt everything. I was acutely aware of where his fingers made contact with the tight bands of muscles which run down my abdomen, how his pinky brushed against the softness of my belly. I was begin supported by this large strong man and it felt divine. In the total darkness he whispered gently, “It’s chill” in a heavy Mexican accent. The elevator descended very slowly towards the ground. I was taking my trip down the rabbit hole.

When the doors opened on the first floor we were half a story up. The man let my waist go and jumped to the ground outside. I had such a strong urge to forget my feminine grace and jump like a child to the floor where I could scamper away. I remained composed, waiting for him to get into a position where he could lift me from under my arms safely to the ground.

I turned to the man who came to teach me trust and said “Gracias” with a smile which said so much more.

I am a self assured womyn filled with all manners of medicine, snake, owl, lynx, antelope, bear, fox and of course rabbit. Together this strong medicine has created a graceful womyn who can feel fear, honour its truth, and not let it rule. I walked out into the streets of Mazatlan alone and thanked God for this day which would bring me a blood red moon by its end. Tonight I will step over and walk on two sides, rabbit and snake, side by side.

“What animal totems do you relate to?”

December 18, 2010


We are finally in Mexico! And it was no small feet! While waiting for our papers we did $300 damage to the camper, endured a torrential rain storm in the dessert, and Chris and I had our first real fight in months.

It was great actually. We both had so much pent up on this pressure cooker of the trip that it needed releasing. By the end we were cuddling while I cried tears which desperately needed to flow.

I have been through a lot in the last 5 months. The admission to myself that my relationship with Michael while incredible and loving was also debilitating and abusive; the pregnancy that came just weeks after the break up while I was in the midst of a painful hip injury that STILL has me grounded from performing or even dancing. Top that off with the miscarriage that lasted 49 days and then leaving my home for a 7 month journey.... and ya... I needed to let some emotions flow!

I know that conflict has to exist in a healthy growing relationship but I had become VERY shy of it. The way Michael and I dealt with it was not effective, in fact I would go so far to say it was destructive. I realized I was shying away from sharing myself with Chris because I had come to fear conflict. Well it showed up 2 nights ago when I could no longer deal with the sadness which is still seeping along with the anxiety of Ayla being in Mexico without us. She flew into Mazatlan yesterday with my mother in law, we were suppose to pick them up at the airport, but were still stuck in Tucson when they landed. My mama bear came out and so did my claws! Luckily Chris and I have almost 2 decades of experience dealing with conflict and in the end it was just what we needed.

With all the drama out of the way the Universe opened up the gates for us and Chris’s papers arrived yesterday afternoon. We set out this morning at 6 am to take full advantage of daylight hours, we are only travelling in the day for safety reasons. At the moment we are in San Carlos, Sonara.


WE are leaving tomorrow at 5am, so I am going to finish up my Chamomile tea and head to bed in the newly fixed camper, and dream of tomorrow night when I get to sleep in a BED!!

“What do you suppress?”

December 15, 2010

Next Chapter

It has been a while... Hi everyone.

I am in Patagonia, Arizona just miles from the Mexican border. My family and I are travelling down to Mexico to spend the winter following our bliss. I know that to say such a thing is VERY new agey. Lately I have had the desire to stick my tongue out at all things new agey. I am beginning to realize that positive-at-all-costs new age thinking takes its toll, the hard stuff doesn’t go away it just festers. None the less it is true, we ARE following our bliss, going to Mexico to just do what we want to do, to do some major healing and find whatever it is one finds in a place like Mexico.

Our plan was to cross the border yesterday, and we did, but we got turned around 20 kilometres in because of an issue with our truck registration. It is registered in my mother in laws name, which is fine, but Chris needs a birth certificate confirming that she is his mother. His wallet sized birth certificate does not have his mothers name on it, so we are now waiting for the Alberta government to courier us one which does.

The border town of Nogales Arizona where we crossed was a strip mall hell, we camped there last night in a Wal*Mart Super Centre parking lot. The place was crawling with eager Christmas shoppers in a frenzy to fulfill their Christmas hopes and dreams. I could not stand the thought of spending another minute in Nogales so we asked around and found out about Patagonia, Arizona. “A little hippy town near the border”... just like Nelson, perfect.


When this trip was in its incubation stage Chris wanted to drive all the way to Patagonia... Chile. Eventually he reconsidered because of how much driving was involved, settled on travelling just Central America. Soon the itinerary became 6 months of leisurely travel in Mexico to visit communities and understand Mayan culture. Who knew that Chris’ dream of driving to Patagonia would come to fruition within the first leg of the trip?! He is one hell of a manifester!

Patagonia is a funky little town which is populated with mostly retires and artists. It is also home to The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Centre, founded by Dr. Gabriel Cousens, expert in raw and living foods nutrition, and researcher on the natural healing of diabetes. We went to the Tree of Life Cafe for dinner last night. We had a delicious fully raw meal which cost Chris and I 10 dollars each while the kids ate for free... how great is that?! Afterwards we were invited to use the hot tub and infrared sauna. Later today we will go back to sing Kirtan, walk their labyrinth and possibly even swim in their pool. So our first obstacle has worked out pretty well for us.

Before we left home our neighbours gave us one of our two dashboard Genesha’s, a tiny statue of an elephant Hindu deity who removes obstacles. It came along with a note which read “Happy travels! Remember the obstacles ARE the journey”. It would seem that our journey is well under way!

“What is your greatest obstacle?”

December 12, 2010

Squeeze it in!

This post is kind of a cheat, but it is my blog and I make the rules!

This video was shot on December 12th, I am actually writing this entry on December 27th. I wanted to include the video because it has been one of the highlights of our trip so far.

My trip officially started on December 3rd when I flew down to LA. I stayed for a week with my soul sister Rachel and my God daughter Skylah while Chris, Lily and Rosy drove down from Nelson to pick me up. They stayed a night and then we made our way to San Diego where I met up with my friends Matthew and Mary... whose Mary you ask?

Mary Pinizzotto did project similar to mine, but instead of writing every day she danced every day. She recorded, edited and posted a dance on her blog Freebox every day for a year. Now that is commitment!

By divine organization I happened to be in San Diego (thousands of miles from my home) on the very day her project ended. Here is the dance that ended it all! Look for Matthew, Lily, Rosy, Chris and I dancing with the lovely Mary and her wonderfully supportive dance community. You are an inspiration Mary <3

“What do you do every day?”

November 6, 2010

109th Bead

Om Namah Shivaya Gurave: I offer myself to Lord Shiva,the Auspiscious One, who is the true teacher Within and Without.
Saccidananda Murtaye: Who Assumes the forms of Reality, Consciousness and Bliss.
Nishprapanchaya Shantaya: Who is never absent and is full of peace.
Niralambaya Tejase: Independent existence, the vital essence of illumination.

I prayed today, 108 times as I sang the full Om Namah Shivaya mantra. My fingers prayed on each bead of my mala for this miscarriage to end. Today is 49th day of this miscarriage, 7 weeks, 7 sevens, seven completions of the life cycle, a good day for this lesson to be embodied.... fort this lesson to end... I am ready.


Eventually in the evening on this peaceful new moon my body let go, my baby let go and came out of me. It was non-eventful, no great pain or bleeding. He just quietly said good-bye. He is as big as a peanut and from the shape of his head, spine and limbs I know he made it to about 6 weeks. He left me before I took the herbs to end the pregnancy at 7 1/2 weeks. It was over before I even knew I was pregnant. He didn’t come to become my child in the flesh, but to teach me, he came as my 109th bead... my completion bead.. Thank you little one... Om Namah Shivaya.

My tiny teacher, my son is now wrapped in a ceremonial pouch, a new one which I found today because this morning something inside me knew it would end. Eventually there will be another ceremony to say good bye ... I am not sure when. This whole ordeal has brought so much pain... and so much healing. I will never be the same.

“What have you endured that has changed you forever?”

November 4, 2010

Day 12- Please let go little one


I have not posted in over a month. I have been consumed by what is going on inside my body, which apparently wanted a baby more than I realized. The miscarriage I induced did not complete. I have been bleeding for 47 days now, waiting to pass something that is still inside me. I suspect it is my baby. I really do want another child, a son this time, but not like this. Not with this much pain. Please let go little one. Please let go body... He will come again when the time is right.

September 27, 2010

Day 11- Weeds


It doesn't have to be the blue iris,
it could be weeds in a vacant lot,
or a few small stones;

just pay attention,

then patch a few words together
and don't try to make them elaborate,
this isn't a contest ....
but the doorway into thanks,
and a silence in which another voice may speak.

-Mary Oliver


I have a friend, a gorgeous human being both inside and out, who recently said to me “I don’t really know how to go into ceremony”. I had a hard time not laughing, which would have been very inappropriate given her delicate state. This womyn knows how to go into ceremony with such beauty, focus and devotion that I kneel down in awe of her abilities as a Priestess. Not the kind of Priestess that holds gathering or facilitates groups, but an everyday Priestess who ceaselessly prays with her every action, thought and word. She KNOWS how to go into ceremony, she just don’t know that she knows.

She told me about a night when she found herself half way up a mountain DEMANDING God give her what she asked for. This is something I struggle with. I pray more in the style of “You tell me what is needed of me and I will do my very best” . I meekly ask God for things here and there but am more likely to wait to be told God’s will and see what happens. She explained to me how important it was to help God out, let him (her) know what I really want. That when the time comes when I ferociously KNOW what I need that I must actually DEMAND it! I admit to fearing wrathful spite at being so firm with God, but then remembered that I don’t believe in a wrathful God and take heed of her wise words.

So what do I want right now? I don’t know... I don’t know that to ask for. I know I want peace, but nothing more specific is percolating. Peace is in short supply these days, though turmoil is teaching me to find peace within the intensity. To find it even when there are just a tiny little pockets of it. To relish it, crawl deep inside and let it take care of me.

On the day this friend told me she didn’t know how to go into ceremony, she was dealing with the life and death cycle which plays out in the female body. She had begun to bleed at 9 weeks pregnant, she miscarried a week later. She took her baby to the river and went into ceremony to say good bye, just as I did days ago. When she told me how she and her partner honoured their child we wept together. We are sisters now in a way we could never have been without a similar grief that was shared at the same time in our lives. Our journeys were different. She is 12 years younger than I and has no children. Her pregnancy was a surprise but a welcome one, this couple was ready to share their love with a baby. I already have 3 beautiful children. My pregnancy was also a surprise and while there is deep love for this baby and between his father and I, our relationship is fraught with conflict to the point that there is no longer contact between us. I chose my miscarriage, my friend did not, regardless we are both grieving. So we took our grief and went into ceremony, we honoured our babies.

So next time you feel grief, or immense joy, or anything at all that pulls at you to be celebrated or honoured. Find some weeds and small stones, say some words, express to source what is in your heart. Know that this is prayer, this IS ceremony. No one has to show you how, there is no manual or right way to bring yourself to God... all you need is right there within you.

“How do you go into ceremony?”, because I know you do, even if you haven’t called it that before.

September 25, 2010

Day 10- Equanimity: It Happens in the Body!

I found the following on good old facebook, my friend Tori shared it. It spoke so deeply to me with its complete simplicity. A truth I have known and couldn’t find the words to express. I think Shinzen did a bang up job... how about you?


Equanimity: the Radical Permission to Feel
--by Shinzen Young (Jul 05, 2010)
Listen To Reading!

Equanimity is a fundamental skill for self-exploration and emotional intelligence. It is a deep and subtle concept frequently misunderstood and easily confused with suppression of feeling, apathy or inexpressiveness.

Equanimity comes from the Latin word aequus meaning balanced, and animus meaning spirit or internal state. As an initial step in understanding this concept, let's consider for a moment its opposite: what happens when a person loses internal balance.

In the physical world we say a person has lost balance if they fall to one side or another. In the same way a person loses internal balance if they fall into one or the other of the following contrasting reactions:

* Suppression –A state of though/feeling arises and we attempt to cope with it by stuffing it down, denying it, tightening around it, etc.
* Identification –A state of thought/feeling arises and we fixate it, hold onto it inappropriately, not letting it arise, spread and pass with its natural rhythm.

Between suppression on one side and identification on the other lies a third possibility, the balanced state of non-self-interference…equanimity.

Equanimity belies the adage that you cannot “have your cake and eat it too. ”When you apply equanimity to unpleasant sensations, they flow more readily and as a result cause less suffering. When you apply equanimity to pleasant sensations, they also flow more readily and as a result deliver deeper fulfillment. The same skill positively affects both sides of the sensation picture. Hence the following equation:

Psycho-spiritual Purification = (Pain x Equanimity) + (Pleasure x Equanimity)

Furthermore, when feelings are experienced with equanimity, they assure their proper function as motivators and directors of behaviour as opposed to driving and distorting behaviour. Thus equanimity plays a critical role in changing negative behaviours such as substance and alcohol abuse, compulsive eating, anger, violence, and so forth.

Equanimity involves non-interference with the natural flow of subjective sensation. Apathy implies indifference to the controllable outcome of objective events. Thus, although seemingly similar, equanimity and apathy are actually opposites. Equanimity frees up internal energy for responding to external situations. By definition, equanimity involves radical permission to feel and as such is the opposite of suppression. As far as external expression of feeling is concerned, internal equanimity gives one the freedom to externally express or not, depending on what is appropriate to the situation.

--Shinzen Young, from "What is Equanimity"

I believe the key to this wisdom is that the feelings are to be EXPERIENCED... truly EMBODIED.

It is a process, feelings being truly experienced IN THE BODY is the first step. Equanimity comes as the process of experiencing feelings becomes comfortable even when the feelings themselves are not comfortable.

Actually FEELING our feeling is not something many of us were taught. Luckily we can teach ourselves and each other. We have everything we need right here ♥

“How do you experience your feelings in your body?“

September 23, 2010

Day 9- Thank You for this Day Spirit

The Birth of Will.

There are two ways to give birth. To give birth to body and spirit together or to give birth to spirit alone.

When I discovered in early September that I was pregnant I had to make a choice between giving birth to spirit in body form, a living breathing magical human being, or giving birth to a glorious spirit in spirit form, letting my child fly back to source. I chose spirit in spirit form.

I made this choice by listening to my highest authority and asking “How do I best serve?”. This decision we as womyn make is one of the few black and white choices which actually exist for a human being, we choose to let the baby live in our womb or to surrender the spirit back to our heart. There is no grey, no middle ground, this can make the decision heart wrenching. Often there is no clean clear yes or no instead there are a million reasons all weighed against one another on an often impossible choice which can not be undone. We must somehow boil things down to a choice of staying pregnant or ending the pregnancy, there is no middle ground.

I asked my son to wait for another time, one when I was not in so much pain, where we could be supported in the way we deserved. I whispered to him as I held my hands cross my full womb,

“Come again little one if it is really important we meet in the flesh, I trust you to know when. For right now your mama needs to serve in the way she knows best, and this time I choose giving birth to your spirit alone. I love you little one, thank you for choosing me. You are holy.... holy... holy”

In the quite of the night as the moon was coming full, on the last day of summer with the aid of herbs and a powerful vow to the Divine I went through labour as I have before. The contractions felt different without a full grown baby inside my belly but similar enough to know this process and to trust my bodies wisdom. This birth was different, there was no breathing baby at the end this time. There was human flesh though, clots and membranes, evidence that my sons spirit had released, tangible proof of my pregnancy. I wrapped the flesh in a leather pouch and went to the river. I went in ceremony and gave the flesh back to the mother, where we all go eventually when our bodies no longer serve us. I said good-bye and told my son, Will, how much I loved him and whispered... holy... holy... holy ... because we are.


Too many womyn feel ashamed to tell their stories of choosing abortion. Even the word abortion sounds harsh and accusing. Too many womyn hide their truth because we still live in a culture where abortions are generally tolerate but only to be spoken of in wispers. There is still silence, and with this silence an implied shame. I chose an induced miscarriage. I feel it is not only my right but my duty as an empowered womyn who has known fertility and sexuality in so many of its forms to tell my truth. I choose to speak out and do my part to create a culture where womyn are no longer judged or merely tolerated but supported and cared for no matter what we choose to do with our wombs.

A simple “What are you thankful for?” seems appropriate. I am sure I have asked it before, and will again...

September 21, 2010

Day 8- Ask 3 times...

Hot on the heels of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, I find this poem. It was given to by one of my Teachers, a man who gives of his spirit endlessly.

The Healing Time

Finally on my way to yes
I bump into
all the places
where I said no
to my life
all the untended wounds
the red and purple scars
those hieroglyphs of pain
carved into my skin,
my bones,

those coded messages
that send me down
the wrong street
again and again
where I find them
the old wounds
the old misdirections
and I lift them
one by one
close to my heart
and I say

Pesha Gertler


Tomorrow is Mabon or Fall Equinox, a time of balance between light and dark. As the time of high festivities comes to an end, as the summer takes her youthful place behind Autumn, we honour equanimity. After 3 months of packing in all that summer brings we stand in awe of the majesty of our abundance. Whether it comes as this festival is often know in the form of food from the ground or from some other area of the hearts planting and tending, now is the time to honour what we have created in our own lives. There are always times for “should have” and “could have”, now is not one of those. If you find yourself judging what “mistakes” may have lessened your bounty, remember lessons are learned in tricky ways sometimes, don’t be so quick to dismiss those mistakes as wrong doings. Forget all of that and instead look at your life.... and whisper

This is the wisdom of Yom Kippur, ask atonement of your bones and forgiveness is given so long as you yourself grant it. It can happen in an instant. It is just that simple... no t’s to cross, no i’s to dot.

I forgave myself today. I love you Will.

“For what do you ask or give forgiveness?“

August 21, 2010

Day 7- An Angry Bird

A Caged bird
Longs to fly, to be free of her cage atop the fence where the bass pounds,
attacking from vicious angles.
My life is a shambles,
pure love becomes a cage, and now I am a bird.
What was I before?
Look it up ! Look it up!
... but where?
in journals?
Where to look but into my own heart,
this little heart that pounds so fast,
so hard,
so true,
i am here... SEE me!


... please see me... please.
My devotion, my care and my Teachings...
Will you learn to listen so we can go home together and cuddle,
find peace?


Listen...look it up
you CAN understand me, we can find a way back to love...look it up!
...but where?
In your mind?
In your stories?
in your heart? Your heart so divinely connected to my own.
Connection created by a sacred practice.
Do you remember my heart?
The heart of the one who loves you,
the one you called in,
asked in written word to show up and “Call you on your shit”
.... listen to me...
.... listen to me...
...listen to me...

Do you hear that sound?

Thwack thwack thwack
my own head against a wall over and over.
How many more times can I say it until you will listen?
How many times can I say this until I will listen?
When will I stop my own painful self punishment.
How much longer will I ignore the fingers at the end of each of these delicate wings
how much longer till I slip the latch, open the lock, and set myself free?

When will the longing to fly be stronger than the longing to remain caged?

July 28, 2010

Day 6- For What Good?

A friend and faithful supporter of this blog asked me this on facebook:

"And where have you been? Missed u :-)"

Where I have been is trying to sort out what the hell to do with my life. I haven’t read the blog for months, I haven't thought much about it, hadn’t thought to go read it till yesterday. I didn’t find anything new which is, I suppose, because I hadn’t written and submitted anything to read ....Hmmm I wonder if there is a connection?

I am floating free. With little to hold me down I have been travelling, spending time with my precious children who definitely lost some of my focus during the project. I am enjoying the ease of not living in blog land with my partners, man did it test our relationships, things were just so out there in the open. I know I am not telling you anything you didn’t know or at least suspect. I was so deep in it though, so blind to the water in which I swam. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t take it back; I grew from doing this work, in ways I never would have imagined at the outset. In the end all my relationships are far better off. It is more that I didn’t see how the pace of my awakening to myself was effecting those around me, constantly getting used to my next lesson, my next entry, my next commitment, none of which they had much say in. My family is amazing, truly amazing.

Thank you Chris, Lily, Ayla, Rosy, Michael.... I want you to know I thought very hard about how to order your names and decided random was my best bet.

So where have I been? Nowhere and Everywhere. I have travelled but always close to home. I went to rehearsal yesterday. I am performing with the Arise Dance Troupe in the Finale for the Labyrinth at Shambala. Here in the Kootenays we throw Canada’s Largest Electronic Music Festival in the middle of a forest with a river running through it. I live in Heaven so I have been sticking close to home and enjoying myself.... and trying to figure out what the hell to do with my life...any ideas?

(Arrise Dance Troupe Performance at Shambala 2010)

I feel like asking a question, for old times sake.

“For what good?” is the question. It is a little vague, but that is why I like it. Ask yourself for “For what good?” and then just see where your mind goes, notice it because it means something, but don’t analyse it, just notice it. Then ask again “For what Good?”, and again and again..... after the 12th to 50th time things will get juicy. That is where you might want to start writing it down. I look forward to reading the answers :oD

June 18, 2010

Day I am not Sure

Wow...what a trip. I completely dropped out of computer land, I am not even doing emails. The project ended, I came out for my ,as per usual, long drawn out encore and even the "show after the show" ....then BAM!... I really got to feel what it was like to be at the end of the project.

"What I Have Learned; a check list."

-Damn did I need a break from the computer!!

-Damn was that hard! I had no idea until I was out of it for real how different I now was, that even my fingers are different from tying for so long. They are now distressed that I have stopped typing actually. I keep getting nerve pain in the hand I broke punching a wall shortly before I began this project. (long story)

-I learned that I am terrible when not engaged!! I fret so much over not being on track, or growing, or contributing (right now mostly financially which is killing me, damn do I want to make my own money!!!)

-That I want to do another blogging project and am struggling to come up with something that is lucrative, relatively stress free and growing from the success I gained of my own accord. I DID it! I built on my own and I did really well, I want to build on this! I also know that I want the new project to mean me writing and doing art and dancing...yes dancing!!

-I learned that despite all the growth that the project and blog brought into my personal life, that I still have some old patterns which are stuck. I still struggle with how to see through the veils. I still have baggage and I still strive for perfection which I espouse to only "exist with flaws".... I learned that I am my own worst critic. obstacle, and disbeliever.

-I learned that I really do believe in myself...eventually. That believing in myself is not a finite destination but a journey where I still fuck up (the word fuck only used for literary emphasis). I learned that believing in myself means picking myself up, recommitting to myself and believing again. I believe in myself even when I don't, this is my practice, one of many.

-I learned that I have a very strong, varied and unorthodox practice that doesn't fit in a box or on a Soul Motion application form very well. I often have a difficult time explaining it, this makes it difficult to communicate. I also learned that even when I can't explain something it doesn't change that I know it, that it is my truth.

-I learned that I love my sisters, and that I love my brothers, and that ultimately what is left to learn for us here on this sweet beautiful planet is to GET ALONG!. Divine female, Divine male, regardless of sexual orientation or choices, womyn and men need to learn to get along. Sisters need to learn to get along, to not believe in scarcity of love, because we all know that what we have in common as sisters is how much we want love. And the brothers need to learn to get along so they can talk, understand each other, trust each other to trust the sisters to love each other, so we can honour our brothers. It's time.

May 19, 2010

Day 5- Why I Choose It...

This video is why I do the work I do. Why I have dedicated my life to dance even though it didn’t turn out the way I imagined it would when I was 16.

Then I wanted to be a professional dancer. Wanted the theatre life, and to dance dance dance all the time, move my body and find God there. The thing was the dance world where I existed, in front of mirrors, performing predetermined steps judging my every move, began to robe me of my confident and along with that my love for the art form. At 21 I quit when I became the mother of one beautiful light being. Years past and slowly slowly I began to dance again. My life is now back to being filled with endless rehearsals and costuming conundrums. The difference now is how I feel in my dance, how I feel about my dance. I may not be as flexible as I was, my artistic line on stage may not present quite as well as it did when my choreographers were top notch and on staff at a performance arts school, but now my spirit and confidence get to come with me up on stage. Like the little girls in this video I dance to be free, to ride a cloud, to listen to my heart, to BE the wooden floor, no separation between me and anything. No separation between me and the people I am dancing with, or the ones down the hall, out to the street, I am connected through this dance to every living being. From the floor I can step ANYWHERE!

Tomorrow night I will perform with the Arise Sacred Dance Troupe, our debut performance. It will have glitches and likely will not run 100% smooth, we have never done this before. Luckily we are not doing this to be flawless. It is our first, first of many and instead of flawless we strive to be authentic, to inspire and to awaken. Thank you to Eau Vive and Heather for pulling this whole thing together, for being amazing, for being courageous, for creating a safe container for our glorious lights shine. THANK YOU! Thank you!Thank you.


Come see us tomorrow if you are in Nelson. Support us as we open the door, step on the floor and change the world with our expression of love and hope using our bodies as our tool.

May 13, 2010

Day 4- New Moon

Tonight I set the intention to manifest and commit to:

Positive cash flow
Acceptance and celebration of my body in all my shapes and forms.
Fully embracing my monthly New Moon Ceremony.
To trusting this journey, no matter how the journey feels or looks.

We (Jill and I) went to Taghum beach, we danced on the beach, and almost lost our journals. Then we burnt our intentions in a big bonfire. It was brilliant and nourishing.

Happy New Moon all!

May 12, 2010

Day 3- Harder Than I Thought.


Reintegrating this blog into my life has proved more difficult than I expected, in a really bizarre way that I never imagined. It is not that I don’t want to write, I really miss writing, I haven’t felt nearly as inspired since I quit. What I am working on figuring out is how to adapt my posting and editing skills to this new not-a-commitment. They were so regimented before, in a laissez faire sort of way. Now they are laissez faire in a no direction kinda way. I have scads of half written posts and TONS of ideas but writing and editing later became my habit. With my new desire to be authetic, present, now, by the time I edit the entry is no longer current and then I decide not relevant (or something) so I haven’t proceed to publishing any of them. Ugh.... self direction has never been my strong point. It is why I create things like There is so much I want to do, write, paint, dance, build community, perform, travel. I am struggling with finding a direction, well that is not true, I am struggling to STICK with A direction.

I wrote a grant last week, with a deadline. Perfect. Wouldn’t you know it, I manage to be involved with writing two grants, finding profit numbers, and networking the projects along the way. I did this while working with two different partners. It was fabulous. You know what the grant writing and this blog have in common? Deadlines. I work well with deadlines...I just don’t like them. Or maybe it is just that I don’t like too many of them. I am definitely liking not having the heavy commitment of the 12 days project on my shoulders, I do see though how I created my own deadline and managed to be more efficient.... Double Ugh. Finding the balance between inspiration, motivation, discrimination, perspiration, concentration, and dedication is a six sided dance, a tetrahedron of body, mind, and spirit.

Speaking of math. Here is an amazing short. A mathematical explanation for the beauty of the world. It is set to music that can be felt in the heart and has kick ass visuals. I wonder if the soundtrack is somehow based on the Fibonacci sequence? That would be the full meal deal!

I watched it over and over.... math makes sense when I watch it this way..

April 28, 2010

Day 2- I Want Some Money!!

I have been away from this blog for a while. I can tell you it feels REALLY good to not have entries looming over my head...and.... I miss it too. It is a mixed bag for sure.

Anyway I am writing a couple of grants at the moment. Well mostly I am writing one and Michael is writing another. We are looking to get some money to finance a couple of dance projects. So my writing hasn’t stopped, it just got boring.

I will write something more interesting here on the blog soon, when I am finished grant writing...I like saying that...“grant writing”. It makes me feel so grown up and sophisticated.


April 22, 2010

Day 1- The Forest is coming Alive.

Why does writing an entry today feel more scary than ever before?

An ant flew down my back as I wrote that last sentence, how creepy is that? Kinda like tonight's entry is an admission of entering into the jungle. A place where the body rules the way, in a year I now know as the year I will travel between Nelson, BC, Northern Washington, California and Central America, following the worlds of my passion, my family and dance community. This year where I will begin my training as a Soul Motion teacher, a term I know is silly, this year when the ant walked back onto my screen and reminds me that the forest is coming alive again. It is time to go close the door.


As for why the idea of writing now is scary, it is simply more naked. Now I write when I want to, and in admitting this I admit to you that I want to. From now on how honest I am is on my own terms, no score to fulfill, no rules to follow, from here it is just gimmicks. Unless I come up with one by tomorrow that is.

Ahhh, an Alexi Murdoch song just came on, and I am tired. I am going now to fall asleep to his marshmallowy voice.

To all who read this...thanks for hangin out... for checking in when it was just me you were looking for.

April 17, 2010

Day 12 Easy- Easy

So this is it...the kinda end. I mean not really. I will keep blogging, at least until I decided to do something else. It won’t be every day though. I am going to try something radical and post when I am inspired to...I know crazy.


So thanks everyone... I know it is kinda anti climactic, what with all these “endings” and “goodbyes“, especially given not a lot will change. I do feel like I needed to mark the end somehow though...I just can’t come up with anything really good. Hmmmm....

(insert idea from Chris, and he and Michael singing to me.)

Hey how about that for a nice ending !? Here I sit on my bed, Michael is sending emails, Chris is looking at turkey hunting websites and I am writing my last entry. Life is good, life is easy, love prevails.

Love you all, enjoy the video.

April 16, 2010

Day 11 Easy- Nothing to See Here

Leadership is less about my role and more about my engagment with self and community in service of making change for the better. ~Ken Otter

April 15, 2010

Day 10 Easy- See Saw Relief

The leaves have arrived! There are flowers everywhere. Life is good!

My facebook status reads, “Bernice Raabis loves is my favourite out of lots and lots of days”.

I believe my spring fever has finally can all come out of your homes now. For those of you who live where there is little or no snow and cold, I am not joking here... I go a little crazy in the spring and this was a tough one! Just ask my family and friends who put up with me for the last few weeks. Anyway all is might have something to do with being past the new moon too. Whatever the cause, I am grateful.

And so in honour of spring finally giving way to the side of summer, here is a little tweaked Rumi

“You were born of pure potential.
You were born with goodness and trust,
You were born with intuition and feeling.
You were born with greatness.
You were born with wings!

You were never meant to crawl for long, by now you have mastered your legs.... It is time to awaken to your wings.

The time is now,
learn to use them,

and fly!

-Rumi and Bernice”


April 14, 2010

Day 9 Easy- The Work is the Same

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” - Carlos Castaneda

I just finished a 6 week Compassionate Communication course tonight. Michael taught the class. I learned something each and every time I went. It was not always easy. We were going through some really tough times these last 2 months. I am both proud and grateful that I stuck it out and went to all but one class, which I was in Alberta for. It couldn’t have been easy for Michael either to teach Compassionate Communication with me there in a the room, we were having such a hard time communicating then. I am proud of us both. I love us both. I am blessed to have him in my life, no matter what the future holds for us.

We had another speed bump after class. He might not be able to make an event I am putting on, I was hurt, and there was potential for it to all go sideways again...but that is not what happened. Mostly due to Michael's efforts to stay centred and grounded in love we made it through. The circumstances which presented the speed bump still exist, I don’t know what will happen there, but I do know he loves me. For now this is enough.

Thanks for everything Baby.

Oh oh and one more thing...tonight is the new moon and I was told the beginning of the lunar new year, though I am not sure in what tradition. We did a new moon ceremony to finish up Michael’s class, which was wonderful and perfect. I chose to set intentions for not only the month, like I always do on the new moon, but also for the whole year.

This new moon I set intentions for ease, abundance and adventure....and so it is!


What a year it is going to be... (BIG SMILE)

Look journal question!! YEEHAW!

April 13, 2010

Day 8 Easy- Home sweet Home

Summer is really know how I know? We had our first wiener and marshmallow roast tonight. I came home to find Chris and our new neighbour, Seth, in the back yard with the girls, they were already into the marshmallows. We all shot the Rosy’s bow for a while (yes you read that right Ruthie, my 7 year old has her own bow, I am sure you will get a smile out of Roger with that one), and then I went for a little walk with Dixie.

I wandered over to our garage property. I call it “ours“ even though it now belongs to Seth and Katie. I never really said good bye to this land, a half acre overlooking Nelson with a view so beautiful it is still hard to believe we will never see it out the front window of our family home. See when we bought this place, 3 half acre lots, we had a whole plan of how we were going to work things.

(This is not a great pic, and yes we NEED to fall that big mostly dead conifer, but I am sure you get the idea)

The plan was to live on the lot with the house (the house we live in now). Build on the garage property and use the other lot, which has a barn, for livestock and gardens. In the end we would sell the lot with the house and end up with our dream home and garden on one acre, 5 minutes from downtown Nelson. By selling the house and lot we lived in while building we could pay off our mortgage entirely. We would have realized a dream we set in place 10 years earlier.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned.

Our lives changed considerably. I usually say things changed “after Chris’ accident” but to be honest, our lives changed long before that, back when we lived in Pemberton. These changes did not add up to a couple who could build our dream home, at least not yet. When finances became an issue we made the tough decision to sell the garage lot, the one with the best view and building potential, we knew it was the one that would sell. As I walked around the property, drinking from Seth’s mason jar filled with pure clean mountain water untouched by an human processing, I thought about the whole new life that we had created. It doesn’t include the property I went to say good bye to tonight, what it does in include is Seth and Katie and their new baby boy. Seth helped Chris fix our roof today. He and Katie brought us dried apples for Christmas. They will bring so much more into our life than a half acre and a big building for cars. Next door is Al and Massa, who will bring even more life to our community on the mountain in 6 weeks when they have their own baby. Then there is Oma and Opa, a couple in their 80’s who know more about this mountain than anyone. And another couple who were just word on kids yet. Then there are the friends, all the people who wander up here to visit and help us to create our community, and come up for a wiener roast and a warm place to crash for the night.

Chris left for a parent teacher meeting shortly after I got home, Seth left too. I am now writing, while the kids are cleaning up after dinner with Richard. They only came into the house because they finally gave up shooting the bow as the sun 7:38pm!!!! It is official summer is FINALLY coming...and it is about time!

We lived a blessed life!

So this is the last journal question ever...I am feeling the pressure a little here...but it is pretty easy to just follow the flow of the entry and go with “How are you blessed? ” the final question in the final journal. 12 days journal #366

All I got to do now is finish out this commitment...4 more days... wow.

April 12, 2010

Day 7 Easy- Truth, Ease and Joy!

To sum up today I give you this very well thought out love poem.

“Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Today I found Ease
and some Joy too.”

So why is “truth” included in today's entry title? Honesty is a funny thing, I find there are times I believe I am being honest and within a short period of time realize I was not. In tomorrows post you will read that it is the last journal question I ever had to come up with. TRUTH is I wrote it before I wrote this one.

Throughout this project I had to make rules for myself to keep this project both truthful and REALISTIC, to keep myself honest and sane. I made a rule that any time I sat down to write, I had to start with that days entry. Even if I had editing or filling in to do for days gone past, that days post being authentically motivated by the now was most important for the intergity of the project. So yesterday evening I wrote, with the intention of getting to this entry later, which never happened. So I am writing the last 3 paragraphs and the question for 12 days journal #365 today (April 14th) is actually the last day I will come up with a question, which is perfect since 3 years out ever 4 only have 365 days anyway. The (real last) question for today’s journal is “How truthful are you?”

I have to say I am pretty truthful, and even THEN, you will read tomorrows post and see I told an untruth and didn’t even realize it at the time. I am doing the best I can. I trust in this.


April 11, 2010

Day 6 Easy- Anger

I am so angry this morning. I am angry because I am tired of feeling sad and frustrated at not being able to meet my needs, anger seems to be a natural progression. I have heard it said that anger is actually just a really clear indication that change is necessary.

I want change. I want to run away, find some magic that eludes me here. I think I might. If you will take me in for a few days send me an email

I love Nelson, and being here is too hard right now.


12 days journal #364 has the question “When you need to get away where do you go?” inside it, or it will, when I make it. Which I will do on my mystery trip and then I will give them away when I am in..... God knows where...oh how I hope there is a warm beach there.

April 10, 2010

Day 5 Easy- Blah!!

I was sick all weekend which triple sucks because what I need more than anything is to go have fun. My mystery illness felt like someone had poured lighter fluid into my small intestine and would intermittently light it up. I missed a party in the valley where there are fresh faces, new connections, a new start. I am ready for the next step God. This perceived stagnation of mine is driving me round the bend. BLAH!!!


“What has recently changed in your life?” is the question in 12 days journal #363

April 9, 2010

Day 4 Easy- The Gift

Needing a Mirror

Your eyes are so wise.
They keep turning and turning, Needing to Touch Beauty.

They keep turning to find a mirror who will caress you as... I.

-Me and Hafiz and Daniel

Beltane approaches and my body years. Like a flower pressing up through the cold hard earth...towards...sunshine, bare skin, summer love.


This time of year is always so certain ways.... and then I remember it is majestic in others.

Today I stood dancing in an alley, warm sun on my back as snow flakes fell, sticking to my shawl. I danced like a crow, arms spread, welcoming spring, again, in all her trickster ways. I was with good friends, all new within the last 2 years. Oh my how quickly my life changes.

Drink in every moment brothers and sisters, there is so much beauty out there.

“What does you body yearn for?” is the question in 12 days journal #362

April 8, 2010

Day 3 Easy- Perfect Day

As of today I have submitted an entry on this blog every single day for a full year. Wow.

I had an amazing day, won a court case, found peace and love with Michael, a new studio opportunity popped up, and I had dinner with a dear friend and my family in a warm, cozy home. It was all so beautiful and easy....And.... I still I feel sadness... loss. It doesn’t consume like it did in the past, its grip is now more of a gentle hand hold, it is still there though... I suppose this is the human side of this human experience.

“I Thank God for being human every morning.
-Michael Franti”

And just to give you one more little morsel of love here is what tonight's tea bag said:

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
-Carl Jung”


“What does it mean to ‘awaken’?” is the question in 12 days journal #361

P.S. Someone posted a comment yesterday under the name “anonymous“ asking if/saying I was ”losing it, eh ?“. I laughed and thought,” losing“? Ha! I lost it a long time ago! A sense of humour is essential when committing to anything for a year!

April 7, 2010

Day 2 Easy- Om Tara

“Sometimes Love wants to reach out and manhandle me, break all my coffee shop talk of God.

If I had the courage to give God his way, some nights he would drag me round the room by my hair. Ripping from my grip all those gadgets of the world that bring me no real Joy.

Love sometimes gets tired of reflective listening and instead wants to rip to shreds all my misguided ideas of truth. These ideas that make me fight within myself, and with those I love. Causing the World to weep on too many wondrous days.

God wants to Manhandle me, lock us in a tiny room together and practice his drop-kick! Wants to do me the great favour of holding me by the pant legs to shake all the nonsense out.

And when I hear that he is in such a “playful drunken mood”, I quickly pack my bags, ready to hightail it out of town.

Hafiz...with a little help from Bernice.
(say it out loud it kinda rhymes)

Thank you to Neil who delivered this poem to me today. Today was a magical glorious day...perfect

“How do you show yourself empathy?“ is the question in 12 days journal #360

(I added a picture of a puffin, they are my new favourite bird)

April 6, 2010

Day 1 Easy- Jan Van Eyck


Every Prophet’s Name

I found completeness when every breath began to silently say the name of my Lord.

That name, my conception of him, extended to me a hand that led to a place where even HIS divine name could not exist... Why?

Most sounds express discontent, longing or negotiation. The tea pot may whistle out an ecstatic cry, but even that I have learned to control until everything I knew burst into a glorious symmetry.

I have no seam, no walls, no law.
My frontiers and God’s are the same.

One Divine Being IS existence.
All the forest on this earth are but one tiny wood fibre, a particle in one spoke on the Universal wheel.

What is the relationship of form to the unseen aspects of God?
What percentage of God is unseen?
What percentage of the Truth of him do we Know?

He led me to a place where only Light existed.
Yet only in Us is God so lost that he asks questions.

The Soul outside all walls never troubled him, never wondered things like, “Where are you my Beloved?”

For now your arms and God’s arms are intertwined!

I said to my Lord, “This Holy Place I have Your Name the only key to it?”

My Lord replied, “How old do you think existence is? For Eons of time souls have been entering Me. Every prophet’s Name is a key... as is every Heart full of forgiveness and Love.

-Saint Theresa of Ávila...with a little Bernice flavour.

“What is your purpose?”
is the question in 12 days journal #359

Encore Commitment! "Kinda"

I commit for the next 12 days to do...nothing in particular. Easy hey?!


I have to tie up some loose blog ends. I finished the commitment to this project as it was designed by yours truly. I am satisfied and proud as hell. Now though I want to smooth some things out.

When this whole crazy thing began I wasn’t blogging. The first blog entry was submitted on April 9th, on Day 11 of my commitment to cleanse my system. I also did not start making 12 days journals until I commited to climbing Pulpit Rock for 12 days. What this all means is I actually have to submit 3 more entries to have made an entry-a-day for a full year and I need 8 more journal questions to make 366, the number of days in a leap year. These things are important to me. I came this far...what is one more 12 day commitment?

It needs to be easy though, so I am committing to nothing. I will write an entry because I want these loose ends neat and tidy, but other than that I am going to do NO THING!

April 5, 2010

Day 12 Final Commitment- Begin again

I must have come up with at least 12 excellent ways to begin this last entry, some funny, some poignant, all deep. This feels like a lot of pressure, how can I come up with the ultimate ending? Too much pressure. ACK.

So what have I learned from all this? Well that I am tough as nails, but I always knew that. That I am a little bit crazy, again I knew that. How about that sacred sexuality, self determination, felt presence and real human connection are all essential ingredients of what make me Me. I learned that they are not negotiable anymore. I learned that transparency and truth are essential, but that they are to be respected because they have power. I learned also that I am powerful, and must remember humility. Being powerful with integrity means being responsible. If I am to remain awake I must be responsible for myself, take it seriously...and then remember not to take myself so seriously.

I have no idea how to explain how I feel today as this project ends. I know that my heart pushes at my rib cage. This blessed rib cage of mine, made of bone, cartilage, and connective tissue, all things less plastic than the heart they protect. My rib cage is having a hard time keeping up. My heart feels a melange of sadness, appreciation, fear, worry, joy , loneliness, hope, faith and love love love. As I sit in Oso Negro, my office for much of this project, the noise and energy is so vibratory that I need to step outside. It is a sunny spring holiday, and so many people are here, endless possibilities for human connection. Stepping outside was a good way to go. I spent over an hour talking out back, doing the work, knowing summer would bring even more of this time. This is what it is all about anyway, getting the most out of every moment, the luxury of ignoring this offering is no longer an option.

So the question is simply...what do I do next? Though I will surely try to complicate the answer, I am sure it too is simple. Easy. Part of “Easy” is doing some writing for other projects, ones with a more forgiving timeline, ones which pay well so that I can continue to create. I am looking to use what I have learned from this years project to contribute to what comes next. I will be watching for job opportunities which allows me the freedom to be just as I have been here on the blog, I am prepared for something beyond my imagination. How exciting! I have put it out there, and it is coming...easy.

As for reading the rest of the blog. I am in the process. I committed to it and I keep my commitments. I will however modify a commitment if it is causing me more discomfort than is healthy. When this happens I find a way to fulfill my commitments while staying true to me. This is why I changed how I was fulfilling this commitment, and why I have changed how I am fulfilling other commitments in my life. So I will address the last two months by saying merely this:

“Magical things happen in all of our lives, there is no scarcity. We call in exactly what it is we ask for. So ask...ask for what you want? Believe you deserve it. Believing is the key to exponential growth potential realized. Find the beauty, fully experience the magic, create, create, create and when it is time to let it go. Do... let go. Know that what is coming in next is beyond imagination. Life is easy if you play it forward this way. This is what I am learning from reading my story. I am also learning that I know a thing or two about commitment.”

I was sent this poem by sweet Mari, the circumstances were synchronistic, magical...I won’t go into details, but I will tell you that synchronistic magical moments happen all the time, everywhere, all anyone need to do is.... pay attention.

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.
~ Mary Oliver ~

I know, and have for a while now, that first I must go walking on my own. It is time to believe in what I know.

(This picture of me was drawn today by Ed. Before it was finished coffee, Oso Negro coffee, was spilt on the drawing...perfect.)

“Where have you gone all by yourself?” is the question in 12 days journal #358. I would end by saying that this is the last journal ever...but it wouldn’t be true. There will be an encore, to tie up loose ends. And of course this project ends and another begins, so you have not lost me, I promise. I have had lots of encouragement to continue this work, and I will...I am just not sure how yet.

Oh and one more thing. 12 days journal #96 came home today. It was created on July 18th , the day after I posted this same poem on the blog. If you want a little insight into how I work here it is. I believe this journal coming back today has something to teach me. I haven’t gone to read which entry is associated with it yet. I have full faith in synchronicity, full faith that when I do go read this entry again I will find something new, or perhaps old, that is needed right now, and that this is the way I called it in. If I follow these synchronistic moments, moment to moment and remain present, I will learn what I need, I will be taken care of, and I will thrive... it’s all happening.

Thank you all...I love all of you so much. Thank you Thank you Thank you. I am off to read now....

April 4, 2010

Day 11 Final Commitment- me

I just had a big melt down. Cried streams of tears. All this blogging and reading and ruminating on my last year coupled with all this heart break, it is wearing me down.

February 5th I was so greatful for the experience of having Michael write the blog. I got to see what it was like to read about myself and my life on the net under the control of somebody elses fingers. I have imagined what it has been like for my family, my Michael to read this blog right now. It was a crazy thing to have happen to our realtionship right as the project was ending. What did happen to it anyway? I love this picture of Michael. I love Michael.

I love Chris
I love Ayla
I love Lily
I love Rosy
I love Richard
I love Jill
I love my mom
I love Mari
I love Kimberly
I love Bree
I love Vinn
I love Rachel
I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love I love and then i love some more....and it is taking its toll.

I love myself. I can’t do this to myself anymore... I will read it all, I promise, but it is all getting to be too much. I have to stop writing about it all...I really just need to doodle.


“How do you know when it is time to quit? is the question in 12 days journal #357

April 3, 2010

Day 10 Final Commitment- "Chrysalis is growing thinner.."

January 5th Another entry read and here I am right into the muck! Though if I read it objectively, do not get fixated on how sad and alone I was feeling, I see a womyn who decided it was time to take care of herself. I see also a womyn with a secret, a womyn who has something extraordinary going on in her life, a womyn who doesn’t want to share it fully for fear of being seen of as crazy. I know that by this time I had begun to tell friends about the myriad of symptoms that I was experiencing and that I had found some info from various friends that could explain what was going on. I am beginning to peak out about this on the blog, I am interested to see just how exposed I allowed myself to be about this transformation later on. I also see a womyn who was becoming more and more adept at staying in the moment, creating “a moment” which brings ease and comfort. My secret resolution, this 12 days commitment was to remain present as often as possible, leave the past alone and not try and come up with imagining for the future. This simple practice really has transformed my life.

January 10th Ah...finally some fucking relief! LOL The reading is less murky now. Life was beginning to FINALLY get easier. This entry is filled with hope. I was really finding myself. I can’t explain the relief I am feeling in my body after reading this entry. Tears are actually welling my eyes, tears of relief that I crawled my way out of the fear and isolation that had engulfed me. I came home to myself. I also noticed how I have become more comfortable with owning my truth. I speak openly and eloquently about sex and its importance for EVERYONE, even those who aren’t having it were made by it, it is time it stop being treated as a taboo. I know this is a big part of my work.

January 11th I smile when I read this one. I really do have an amazing life full of so many experiences. A pay off for saying “YES!” to the world so often.

January 12th I chose to meditate with Michael every morning and evening for this new commitment. This was the beginning of us climbing out of the messy hole we had found ourselves in. This was when I began to really feel like we had come out the other side. This meditation we used to do was beautiful, so healing. We used it as a tool many MANY times to get ourselves back to a place of love. It was hard for me to see when reading October, November and December why I stuck in there. Now I remember. The love was so deep, so bloody deep. Michael is a King and at the time I felt closer to him, more connected on a soul level, than I had ever felt to another. He was really helping me understand my awakening, helping me with the fear that drove much of the pain in the last 3 months. We were emerging from our BAM chrysalis at this point. I thought at the time that we had made it through...sigh


January 15th Back in California for what would be my last time at school, until I return sometime in the future. Here I am expressing how I was struggling with the content I was learning at school. I was having such a hard time not bringing spirit into that room. Well that is not accurate, I bring spirit with me EVERYWHERE I go, my connection to God is inseparable from who I am. What I was struggling with was how my life/art process was one where dealing with the spiritual realm is necessary, essential, inextricable. This is not something that is the Tamalpa way, even if it is allowed in the classroom, it is not addressed on equal footing with the emotional, physical and mental realm. The truth is I don’t want to openly address my traumatic past without God, it is too painful. Living life as a way to ceaselessly pray gives me such opportunity for personal freedom, this doesn’t work without spirit. This was the major dilemma I was having with Tamalpa at this point. I still love the school, its teachers. I am still dedicated to this school and the life/art process. I trust I can find a way to make it all work out in August when I go back.

January 16th I love desire to doodle definitely began to out strip my desire to write! I was sick of writing, and having just read the last three months I can see why!

January 20th MY BIRTHDAY! My entire family except Michael were sick, and yet it was one of the best birthdays ever. I can not explain the relief I feel at my reading today. There was a huge shift that happened near the beginning of this month. One I was grateful for then, and am grateful for now since reading the last 3 months has been hellish! (I know I keep saying this LOL, it just feels so much better, my stomach and heart can finally relax)

January 21st Oh Michael...what happened to us? This entry confirms for me what I felt over a month ago when he told me he was leaving. I didn’t get it. I thought we had made it through. Sure we were still disagreeing but we were also doing so well at commiting to the very thing that was not going well, and it was working. In this entry I talk about how our love had matured, how we had become somewhat domesticated and how I liked how this balanced out our road tripping, dreaming, partying side. I still just scratch my head. I don’t get it baby. A quote from the entry acknowledging the hard times and looking forward with faith and more ease:

“Some of you who know and love us have seen our struggles, I am sure some of you even wondered if it was worth it, sometimes the pain was so deep and overwhelming. Thank you for loving us, carrying us when we were too confused to see clearly our path. More than anything thank you for believing in us. Your love and support has made such a difference.“

January 23rd Another stellar entry! I am in awe of my clarity, of my ability to express it, of how friggen far I have come. I am trying to be good to myself right now, finish this entry and give myself a break before I start on the next, so I am not going to say anymore. If you want to know just click the link above and go have a read. Read about what makes this womyn straighten her back, drop her shoulders, head held high, and own her glory. On this same day we enter Michael Land Where Michael took care of writing the blog for 12 whole days.

January 25th Oh Michael Sheely, how I love you so. So many dreams, so many beautiful dreams you have. Yet when I read this I wonder, how can you have all you have decided you want in your life without there being room for the individuality of me? I did not come as a blank slate. How can we follow our own path and make it possible to love who we love and not demand of them adherance to what we have predetermined we want? I read the words of a man I love, a man I am commited to, a man who I am presently not even speaking with, and wonder, how did this all happen?

January 28th Michael and I were often having very differnt experiences at exactly the same time, even when together. This day was really hard one for me, I was getting really really skinny. My awakening experince was really peaking. When I would be in meditation and begin to go really deep, a process I call journeying, I would begin to drop into such a deep place within that I feared not coming back. I imagine this to sound very esoteric when being read, the experience itself is a whole other thing, it was really bloody scary. I was actually afraid of dying at this point. Even went looking for my friend Richard for guidance. I read Michaels words of this same day and I see we were in very differnt places. He speaks of us being at the Ashram. Had I have written this entry I would have told you how I sat in the book store reading ”Kundalini Rising“ and cryed, while he wandered round the aisles ignoring my sobs. I would have told how we went to sing mantra in two different temples, of how I sang out to Shiva and Tara, looking for answers, pleading ”please help me understand what is happening!“. I left the ashram in peace and was able to then start the work of reconnecting with Michael. I gave him a gift, held his hand, massaged his back and eventually he let go of his ”funk“ long enough to speak to me, though the affection was not returned as much as I had hoped. How? How could we have such different experiences? How could we be so disconnected when the evening before, the night he recounts as us ”making out“, was actually deeply connected through love making on a deep spiritual level where we found God in one another? I shake my head, I don’t understand.

January 29th This entry makes my heart sing and my eyes tear. I don’t know what else to say except... January 30th Did you forget?

The reading for this entry ends perfectly on Michael’s very last entry. Febuary 4th I remember an argument we had during this 12 day period, it had to do with a knit-a -thon and Pulpit Rock. We sorted that argument out by honoring where each other were coming from, understanding one another. I remember thinking when it was over, and we were in each others arms, that we now had the skills to create a realtionship that was easy and limitless. I was so proud of us. This last day of his contribution to my written art installation was a beautiful day. I saw Michael shining, having had the experience of putting his words out into the world, reclaiming his vision and purpose out in the open. It was such an exciting thing to witness him in his glory.

I read your blog baby. I want you to know that I love you. Thank you for all you brought into my life. Follow you dreams brother and we will come together in some regard again when it is meant to be. Who knows what will happen. There are two answers in life, ”Yes“...and ”Not Yet“. Right now things seem to be hanging out around ”Not Yet“ for us. I trust our connection is Divinely inspired, that we were brought together in such deep love for an awesome purpose. I am excited about that purpose.

Right now though....right now I am going to go and enjoy the outdoors, Nelson and myself until this evening when I tackle my second last entry ever (kinda).

”What is your lifes purpose?“ is the question in 12 days journal #356