5 Lessons for Surfing the Waves of Change

  When my breasts were just buds, my Dad taught me how to be a surfer girl. I grew up in Southern California, and we spent our family vacations at San Clemente, camping every day by the Trestle, still a well-known surfing spot. We’d set up an umbrella, get out the Coppertone oil (yep, I had the darkest tan in …

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Bringing Billy Home: A Tribute to a Fallen Marine

Some families appear to be elected, even ordained, to teach the rest of us about loss and suffering, and about the love and resilience that helps us bear the unbearable. I met one of these families this week during an emotional reunion of the 3 Marine squadrons where Lt. William Ryan served in Viet Nam. My husband, Jon Trachta, served …

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The Secrets in a Rose

What do you see when you look at the center of this rose? What emotions do you feel? When it appeared as one of spring’s first offerings in my garden, I marveled at the perfection of the folds and their graceful sweep. And, I am drawn to the center, wondering in awe at the source of this creation. The center …

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How We Can Fuel Ourselves for Political Action

Virtually all my close relatives and women friends joined the Women’s March and were encouraged and fired up to keep on acting. With all the nightmare actions coming out of Washington, clearly meditating is not enough. And yet, as a spiritual seeker, my question remains, what energy do I want to fuel my actions, and how do I maintain that? …

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Seeing Our Way Through the Pachakutiq

The latest earthquake in Japan is said to be an aftershock from the one in 2011, and that means among other things that Mother Earth set a big change in motion back then, and the effects are still going on. Perhaps our electoral, political and psychic earthquake in the U.S. is an aftershock too, a manifestation of unseen forces of …

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My Favorite Photograph

Light.co, a camera technology company , recently posed the question: what is my favorite photo among all I’ve taken? This is like asking me what my favorite experience is. I absolutely cannot choose. But, I’m selecting a recent favorite from a wonderful adventure in Alaska. This photo was taken on that cruise that so many have taken through the inland …

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The Power of Ritual and Ceremony

The smoke from the copal grew thicker in the room, as Apab’yan fed the small container fire with the granules of incense, and his prayers. People seated around him and behind him prayed too, mesmerized now by the hypnotic chanting in the Mayan language, punctuated by English phrases so we could all track where the prayers were being directed. The …

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Responding to Chaos with Compassion

I love teacher, Lynne Twist’s observation that in these times, it is the role of those on a spiritual path to “do hospice for the old order, while serving as midwives for the new.”  (Lynne Twist) If you are one who believes that the earth and our species are in the midst of a great shift, then this observation can …

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Trump as the Shakespearean Fool

Shakespeare loved inserting the character of a fool into his theatre, as a way of being entertaining and pointing out bluntly certain truths that other characters of higher standing wouldn’t reveal. His fool was usually a clever peasant who used his wits and spoke outside the codes of morality. Not believers in the supernatural, Shakespearean fools had no idealogy or …

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Women Holding the Long Lens

I’m visiting family and marveling at how long my grandchildren’s arms and legs have grown, how my daughter has become an inventive and creative cook, and how my ex husband has turned into a gentle friend. As this year just begins to unfold, I’m aware of the longer arc, and of the graceful way life changes the way the path …

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