Nature and Nurture

Plant Food Journey and Heart Disease

Six years ago I was diagnosed with heart disease. My symptoms started occurring at high elevation when hiking up past 5000 feet above sea level....

Hunting for Connection

"When you tug at a single thing in Nature, you will find that it is attached to the rest of the world." - John Muir...

Late Fall Cooking Goodness

I love to cook in the late fall of November and December. It is the transition time of going into the cave of well-being, and...

On Taste (Part 1)

Most mornings when we get up, Robbie and I pay attention to the sounds around us. We name 5 things, taking into account the sounds...

6th Day of Yoga Meditation, Balance, Whidbey Island

Today was the last day of meditation here before we continue on on our journey in the U.S. National park system and the surrounding landscape....

Balance in the San Juan’s of Puget Sound

Last year at this time my son and I were driving in the early morning hours through the caldera of Yellowstone, bubbling hot pots of...

Morning Yoga at Swan Lake Sanctuary

This morning's prayer and yoga practice was at swan lake nature sanctuary in Victoria, BC. One of the many wonderful things about revisiting a spiritual...

Rhythm on the Road

"Thoreau read Wordsworth, Muir read Thoreau, Teddy Roosevelt read Muir, and you got national parks.” - Robert Haas, UC Berkeley, Environmental Studies professor When raising...

Heart Ease Wherever We Go

The full moon above always reminds me of the transient nature of life: she is full, she wans, she waxes. Watching the moon as my...

Whatever You Do Long Enough…

"Whatever you do long enough is a meditation." We were driving down the road and I heard Robbie say this to his friend Matteus in...

Learning to Identify Bureau of Land Management Horses and Number Placements

Nature and Culture Awareness Journal May 14, 2017 While at the Big Water Visitor Center at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the BLM ranger gave us...

Bryce Canyon May 2017 (Part 2)

Nature and Culture awareness journal May 2017 "Mom, can we go down there?", Robbie said pointing down into Bryce Canyon as we stood at the...

Bryce Canyon May 2017 (Part 1)

Nature and Cultural Awareness Journal May 17, 2017 We have been here for 3 days now, our first night spent in an RV park just...

Grand Staircase-Escalante May 14, 2017

Nature and Cultural Awareness Journal May 14, 2017 Part 1 After a very brief drive, we landed at the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Visitor...

Compensations Are Good??!

Pop! In the Tetons last summer, I was teaching a yoga class and felt my bicipital tendon snap. At first I thought it was just...

Lake Powell, Grand Staircase-Escalante May 13, 2017

Nature and Cultural Awareness Journal May 13, 2017 One of the wonderful things about being on the road is the people you meet. With all...

On Generosity and Grief

I've been considering the deeper meaning of generosity of late, past the slippery slopes of codependency of "over-giving and that of "giving away" money, time,...

Making Our Way to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Powell

Nature Awareness and Culture Journal May 12, 2017 We hitched up and drove north this morning. First stopping at Phoenix Skyharbor Airport to drop off...

Breakfast at Montrose Pool: Nature Journal May 11, 2017

We hiked up a mile to Montrose pool this morning to eat our breakfast, a place that ran with clear and cold snow run off...

Adult and Child Intuition

"That feeling you have in your gut". Everyone has intuition. Some have it more developed than others. For some, their radar is in their emotions,...

Remembering to Listen to My Child: Nature Journal May 8, 2017

Nature and cultural awareness journal: A few drops of rain dotted the rocks and the skin of my arms. "Mom, I think we better go...

At Some Point in Metta Practice…

From the Metta (loving kindness) journal of Rita Naomi (april 2015): At some point in this practice, a type of subtle realization occurs: we start...

Rattlesnakes and Friends in Catalina State Park (Part 2)

(from nature awareness and culture journal March 13, 2017, part 2) The sun was low in the sky now, and a lone coyote walked by...

Rattlesnakes and Friends in Catalina State Park (Part 1)

(from nature journal March 13, 2017, part 1) The heat rose in waves off the dry ground, rippling up against the mountain backdrop. It was...

https://youtu.be/FY0R8nXAXNM
Moving Through Painful Moments

Pain is inevitable and a fact of life. Some of the compensatory responses to pain include "freezing", holding our muscles tightly, and shutting down emotionally....

Nature Awareness School in Catalina State Park, April 19, 2017

(from Nature journal April 19, 2017) Robbie and I have attended several bird walks at Catalina State Park (Arizona) this year. We meet with the...

https://youtu.be/RI9q3c8HiwU
Morning hawk meditation at Catalina State Park

This morning the air was crisp and cold. My ears ached from the bite of frosty air and I had on 2 down jackets. My...

Meeting Jane Goodall…and Listening to Your Heart Call

Robbie and I were invited with our homeschooling group, Ancestral Knowledge, to meet Jane Goodall yesterday. She is a tiny woman, yet larger than life....

https://youtu.be/pbpM9aMoMUU
Keeping Focus with Kindness

Yesterday, my son ran up to me, put his face close up to mine and said, "Mom, sometimes my head is so full of thoughts,...

Nature, the Witness Mind and Change

All things change... One of the most powerful side effects of living close to nature is the developed power of the witness mind, and of...

May Your Every Breath Be a Prayer of Wellbeing for You and All Beings

Happy Valentines day 2017! Sometimes the simplest things can remind us of just how important we are to the world around us. Keep it simple...

“Upgrading” from Tent to Tiny Home Trailer (Part 1)

Morning prayers and yoga at an RV dealer in southern Tucson: Robbie and I bought a used 16 foot trailer and have been staying here...

What Do You Hear When You Look…?

How do you perceive you with each sense? Pause and try each of these for a brief moment: Look at yourself in the mirror. Smell...

Behavior is Movement…

The expression of emotion and thought into form. If our thoughts make us do and act in one way, our movement can make us think...

Loving Kindness Practice and the New Moon

The subtle force of nature is always around us. Today in particular, the fingernail crescent is hanging in the sky, the new moon. So much...

Is That True?

About 14 years ago, a close friend told me of a “letting go” technique called the Sedona method…it was a tool that was used to...

The Metta Practice of Loving-Kindness

Loving kindness meditation or "Metta" is a traditional Buddhist prayer that wishes benevolence and good wishes toward oneself and another. It is not a religious...

Sensation: a Simple Method to Finding Your Center and Recovering Vitality

For most people, the oldest and most constant connection outside of our mothers is sensation. As babies, when we feel the sensation of hunger, we...

Reestablishing a Rhythm

When everything around you appears in disarray...your thoughts befuddled and nothing makes sense...there is usually 1 of these 2 things going on: "creational chaos" or...

Downloadable Practice for Centering in the Midst of Change

A step by step Home practice for Centering Oneself in the Midst of Change The one constant in life is change. To balance and maintain...

Making New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 (Part 2)

"Sometimes you hear a voice through a door calling you…This turning toward what you deeply love saves you." -Rumi My focus as a healer is...

Making New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 (Part 1)

Happy New Year Everyone... What a roller coaster this last year has been! With our travels through the U.S National Parks and Monuments in 2016,...

Who Do I Pray For?

On the Mondays I teach yoga, I have a long drive to Arlington, Virginia. With about 60-75 minutes in traffic, sometimes more, I have made...

A Pattern of Strength

Nature operates in patterns and rhythms. The moon rises, the sun sets. Winter comes, replaced by the sun of summer. For every life, there is...

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

"Don't ask children what they want to be when they grow up, but what problems they want to solve. This shifts the conversation to who...

“Mom, was Jesus “a” Einherjar?”

In the heart of the city of Santa Fe lies the church of St. Francis. Beautiful and lifelike statues, a large crucifix with what looked...

Walking on Stilts and Awareness

One of the things about learning to stilt walk is noticing how much we depend on rolling from the heel to the big toe when...

12 Steps for a Smooth Transition During Challenging Times

This summer my son Robbie and I spent a week tent camping in Mt. Rainier National Park. We camped in an old growth forest, a...

Petroglyph National Monument

Several million years ago, massive upheaval in the earth's crust shifted upward to form the Sangria mountains and the plateau in which Albuquerque now resides....

In Every Dark Problem…

Even as a baby, my son has always been fascinated by the mythical animal, the Phoenix. At first it was the idea of something disappearing...

Blessings to the Waters that Nourish Every Soul

Saturday we went to "the place of the Red willow", the Taos Pueblo.   The Taos Pueblo is the oldest continuously inhabited dwelling in the...

Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon (Part 2)

(part 2 continued) Sitting on the patio, with the vast canyon behind and below us, Ranger Gaylen told us stories of oceans, of hardened sand...

Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon (Part 1)

We watched the sunset over the Vermillion Cliffs of Northern Arizona. From Zion earlier that morning, we ascended 4000 feet into the Boreal forest and...

What to Pack for a 1-2 week Camping Trip with Kids: Clothes and Personal Items

“You must have been planning this trip for a long time”, a woman said to me the other day. “Well actually, no I haven’t, we...

What to Pack in Your Backpack for Kids

We have been camping our way across the United States, staying at National Parks, spending most of our time in the Western parts of the...

Oh The Sky. What Beauty Is This?

I never understood how the Greeks could see Gods in the stars. The constellations have always appeared blurred and without detail, a leap of faith...

Grove of the Patriarchs Meditation

We hiked in the Grove of the Patriarchs today. The fir and hemlock reached 300 feet into the sky forming a canopy overhead, teeming with...

What We See Before Us…Fire Meditation at Mt. Rainier

What we see before us can be the deepest meditation. A brief lull in the pouring rain at 7000 feet above sea level, approaching Sunrise...

Presence and Love During The Process Of Dying, Day 4

During the process of my mother's death 3 years ago, she was in day 4 of a coma from an aneurysm, I was in the...

Friend, What Can I Do?

A homeless man reached out to me the other day, he was young but his shoulders were hunched over and his chest collapsed. He was...

You Can’t Step In The Same River Twice…

After 29 days of living and sleeping outdoors with 21 days of them in Grand Teton National Park, people have asked me, "aren't you tired...

Finding Your Guidepost

Sometimes we reach a crossroads in life. Old ways, old paths pull at us telling us to keep the status quo. Yet there is something...

Wait 5 Minutes…

My son and I were standing on the prairie, looking out at the clouds rolling in. A black sheet of ominous rain appeared on the...

Big Horn Mountains and Shoshone National Forest (Part 2)

We continued on down through the Big Horn mountains, the scenery gradually changing. The geology  was similar to Needles highway (see Needles highway post) in...

Big Horn Mountains and Shoshone National Forest (Part 1)

June 28, 2016   My son asked me to be his teacher this summer instead of summer camp. The Rocky Mountains called us, so taking...

Light in the Darkness…

  Photo credit: The Milky Way as seen from Shenandoah National Park, by John Messner. Sometimes in times of transition, all we can see is...

The Strawberry Moon 2016

On Monday June 20, 2016 at 7:02 a.m. eastern standard time United States, the full moon will reach its peak. Less than 12 hours later,...

Vitality Juice 

This is wonderfully refreshing pick-me-up that's easy to make! The ingredients:   * 1/2 cup pineapple chunks * Handful of kale stalks with leaves *...

How to Meditate, by a 3 Year Old

When my son was 3, he would teach guests at our house how to meditate: "Sit down. Cross your legs like this. Put your hands...

A 7 year old, the Universe and Love

My 7 year old son was quiet the other day, so I knew a question was forming that would be a doozy. I wasn't disappointed....

Large Love, Small Love, All Love

Several years ago I led a 40 day meditation on Love. Up until that point, I had some ideas of what love was and wasn't,...

Of What Moment To Be Seen?

Sleeping in the tent tonight. I am awakened by the barred owl who speaks the language of the night and bridges the worlds of the...

Haiku poetry, 1st graders, and Yoga

I love poetry. So you can imagine my excitement when my son's 1st grade teacher told me they were introducing poetry to the class. His...

How to Manage Your Inner Environment… Energy Fields and Sensations, (Part 1)

Whether you are an empath, a healer, someone engaged in spiritual practice and prayer, or are all of these, there comes a point where our...

Quinoa and Kale with Garlic Mustard Pesto

The other day I took visiting family members to a Washington DC institution: Politics and Prose.   This bookshop is one of the few remaining...

Wild Garlic Mustard Pesto
(vegan, GAPs, gf)

Aaaah spring! How delightful the plants are as they burst forth with the warmer longer days. It is easy to see why Greek mythology describes...

Pleasant, Unpleasant, and Neutral*

In buddhist philosophy, the primary emotions can be broken down into 3 categories: emotions that are pleasant, unpleasant and neutral. Just as in the mind,...

10 Second Mindfulness Technique…for the Child in You or the Child Beside You

No matter the age, we all have a need for a good start to the day. Slowing down before we speed up, allows for the...

https://youtu.be/bHSkhRhS5KM
Being of Service…

The 4 phases of authentic service...and how having awareness of our intention and being aware of a larger purpose can bring us to what we...

Pause

We can get so caught up in everyday life that we forget why we are doing whatever we are doing in the first place...until an...

Wild Rice Mushroom Spinach soup

Snowzilla is coming to the east coast! Here in Washington, DC where we are historically underprepared (case in point: 1/2" snow and 5 miles became...

Ocean rise, ocean fall

 I could watch the Pacific ocean for hours…and when the sun sets, no matter the temperature, the wind and the elements, I deeply feel its...

Happy New Year 2016

  From the 49th parallel, where the earth meets the sky and the sky meets the ocean,       May the blessings of nature and all...