Turning Into Truth: One Opportunity At A Time

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What if there were everyday people who really could connect with, translate and communicate the language from another side of the unseen, the unknown, the unexplainable? Would you doubt these abilities or that such gifts are real? In this context, I’m not speaking of communication in terms of religion or even spirituality per se. I’m referencing ‘connection’ purely from an “energetic” level.

Healthy skepticism is good. For some, they may never believe, even if “God” showed up at their doorstep as a burning bush. For others, they hold such a strong belief that perhaps they close a door on ever questioning their own beliefs. How do they know the difference between a truth and self-imposed dogma? I’d call that blind faith. While I don’t necessarily judge either, I fall somewhere in the middle.

I’ve had encounters with people, moments and experiences that didn’t have logical answers when I’ve leaned on the side of at least believing something occurred that was beyond my sense of reason. I’ve also had psychic readings from people who I sought insight from and could tell they probably got an online certificate from Miss Cleo’s cyberschool of mind-readers.

As with any field of expertise, my thought is that there are those who are naturally gifted, some who work to uncover their gifts, and some who have no skill or talent in that respective field and probably shouldn’t be practicing. In my experience, this is especially the case with healers, energy workers and psychics. I surmise that the number of truly gifted in these fields is incredibly small. Thanks to a friend, I was introduced to someone I would deem as “gifted,” Mas Sajady, a self-described, “DNA Reader.”

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Mas has been formally working with individuals in this helping/reading/energy-shifting capacity since 2009. He’s a father of six children (which to me implies there must be some element of his being grounded in reality LOL) and in his prior vocation, was a computer programmer. He shares that his intuitive gifts to see/work with/understand the essence of “pure energy” derived from two separate near-death experiences (one in his early 20’s and the other in 2006).

Mas says that each near-death encounter unlocked a higher level, deeper connection and more easily accessible portal to energy fields and blueprints that are all around and that we each have. From the travel between life and death, and back again, several times, a knowing/understanding capacity of existence outside of the ones we “know” was unlocked. He was able to see future events and could witness the make-up of internal issues of those around him. To make sense of his shifts, Mas studied near death experiences. Concepts in Quantum Physics—transcendence and intertwinement of space/time/energy—most closely resonated.

Mas shares that insights and wisdom arrive through his meditations. He enters a dream-like state but remains awake and aware. He says he transcends his physical body and from these meditations gains knowledge on a multitude of subjects, including spiritual and earthly concerns. It’s from this transcendent space Mas “works” on a core frequency level to redesign and reprogram energetic “blueprints.” These are called “Medihealings.” He says they are a unique meditation and healing in one which combines scientifically-proven benefits of meditation with his healing frequencies to accelerate transformation.

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Mas has a global reach with his work (over a million Facebook followers and 800,000 listeners to his podcasts) and a number of ways he helps people transform, access information, and fulfill their lives. Sometimes people want to address health, financial situations, improve their business or break free from negative behaviors or patterns that limit prosperity. Sometimes they want to make sense of events or stresses in their lives that interfere with finding a more clearly defined path. The reasons for connecting with the work of Mas are as individual as the people who seek him.

In case you’re interested, one fascinating offering is access to the free library of “Exponential Intelligence” podcasts. Mas believes, “Just as we program computers with Artificial Intelligence, spirits program humans with Exponential Intelligence (EI). Acquiring ‘EI’ activates your ability to achieve exponential success and fully experience heaven on earth.” During each podcast, (there are 100 to date!) Mas instills Exponential Intelligence into frequency blueprints. Additionally, each one has a customized Medihealing meant to change current frequencies.

Whether or not one believes there are realities outside of those we cognitively know, having hope and/or understanding, about anything and everything, is to be innately human. We naturally seek answers, insight and wisdom about our pasts, about death, about pain, and about why we do or don’t change self-defeating behaviors. We wait for change, avoid our pain and create clever excuses that we often convince ourselves as being totally valid.

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It’s interesting that we say we want to do things, or feel things or become things and often the discomfort of merely being uncomfortable or breaking out of habit—to doing those things, feeling those things, or becoming those things—overrides any tangible actions. We’re creatures of comfort.

I think about how the struggle with one’s self to evolve or become more of who we are is the very nature of existence. There are plenty of philosophers who have written books and books on this topic. From psychology, to religion, to spirituality, at the heart of life’s matter, most of us are curious and have a driving need to unravel and feel more unified with our own truths.

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Fortunately for Portland, Mas will be here for a weekend of events July 14th-17th. If you’re on a path of discovery or growth, I encourage you to go to one of them. Tickets are reasonably priced, and his dynamic approach is worth exploration, not to mention the thousands of people who attest to the tangible impact his work’s had on their life.

The first event, “Exponential Intelligence: Know/Heal Yourself” happens on Friday, July 14th, 7 p.m. at Marylhurst University. Tickets are only $20 and include a presentation, demonstration and guided Medihealing. Attendees will hear more about near-death experiences and the capacity of the ‘source code’ of our blueprints to bring forth the healing and transformation.

Another important event to highlight takes place on the afternoon of Saturday, July 15th at Lake Theater & Cafe and is FREE. It’s a gathering to share insightful discussion and a Medihealing support session for “Teens Experiencing Depression.” Mas recognizes a tremendous need and has a passion for supporting teens and offers these sessions free as a public service.

I’m bringing my two kids because given the complex nature of teen emotions, hormones, development, peer pressure, and depression, I think any insight could be helpful, particularly from such a unique perspective of energy, blueprints, transcendence, and potential. If this session proves to share any positive help for my kids, (nearly 13 and 17 years-old), I’m all in.

I’ve heard incredible things about Mas and his work. I have a full library of free podcasts to begin listening to, and I’m excited to be part of this incredible weekend of events July 14th-17th while he’s here in Portland.

When it comes to knowing and learning about ourselves and life as we experience it, I believe curiosity should always prevail over skepticism if there’s ever potential to bring us closer to our own truths.

For tickets, access to the podcasts, and more information about Mas and his work, visit http://mas-sajady.com.

Finding Connection In A Complicated Story

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In my recent and near final term at Marylhurst, I was in a class that examined the opiate epidemic; from Oxycontin down the slippery slope of heroin. We looked at many aspects including the culpability of the pharmaceutical industry and Purdue, the billionaire single family-owned company in particular that greedily manufactures oxy, the role of doctors, the insane unethical marketing practices of the industry, the risks for patients. Addiction and how people arrive there is one of the most heartbreaking and rampant epidemics that’s plaguing us socially, culturally, morally and emotionally.

On the outside, it’s easy to pass judgement. It’s easy to make blanket statements like “they should have known better than to get addicted,” or “I’ve been given pain medication after surgery and I didn’t get addicted….” But this issue is not so tidy nor are the people’s stories or reasons who become addicted. As is the case here about the man who stole one of the MAX stabbing victim’s wedding ring. Sure it’s terrible and cruel and unthinkable. But can we, for a moment, take heed of what the man’s life was and is that lead him to that awful decision? Should this consideration matter when such an atrocity had been committed?

I’d suggest it does and we might given how intense the anger and hatred for what he did came forward so fiercely without any consideration whatsoever. Perhaps without the more complicated story, the uglier one without a solution makes the anger or hatred easier and more justified. I just don’t think in the times we are living in though, we can afford to recklessly funnel that anger without a little bit of a moment to pause and wonder they “why’s” and “how’s” of where it’s coming from or even where it’s going to. I suspect we have to ask more of ourselves than this. “This” is becoming too easy. While the reality of the rest of the story and life and judgements are becoming seemingly more complicated.

Read the story behind the story here

Education, Italy & A Beautiful Life

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I recently went to Italy–Rome, Florence and Venice–for a whirlwind 10-day excursion. Aside from such incredible history and breathtaking sites, I noticed, and was in awe by, how people in Italy appear to live with ease. Whether my perspectives about the Italian way of life are right or wrong, no matter. I see Italians live well. The common social threads are that most obtain a 5-year college education since the government makes education accessible, and that people are constantly surrounded by art, music, poetry, history, culture, and beauty.
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Italians make everything–fashion, cooking, art, and moving through the day, appear with ease and grace. No one is obese, no one is walking around on the streets with scrunched stressed out faces, and ingredients to the assets that add to their lives (food, fun, clothes) are made with quality and simplicity. They know when to work and when to rest. They walk everywhere.

DSC_0431Here is one place where the men are more beautiful than the women, too. They care about their appearance and though most people are beautiful, again, it comes back to grace and ease, even in their appearance. I can’t say that appearance is exactly ‘vanity’ because I’m not sure that’s it. They just care about how they look and make effort, not fuss.

DSC_0283I wonder if the overall social grace stems from the fact that generally, most are educated. They study art, music. language and history, college is mostly paid for and they go to university for 5 years. Being surrounded by beautiful art, music, poetry, history, sculptures, painting and such reverence all the time, as a way of social and institutionalized being, must contribute.

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It’s not like I’m seeking to over-romanticize, and I’ve already had a few people try and tell me about Italy’s economic problems in hopes of chipping away at my image. But I see what I see and what I see is what I’ve stated. Italians live well, and through their education and surrounding beauty and culture, it shows.

Film’s Fierce Heart Is Like A Lion

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We all want to find our way home. No matter where we’ve come from, or where we land, the identity journey home is always the one that holds our hearts forever hostage. Can we ever breathe freedom?

“Lion,” the newly released film based on the non-fiction book, A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, delicately unfolds the journey of this hunger ensconced by ho600pe. I brought Evan, my 12-year old son with me to see it. “Lion,” as a story/film, was incredibly thoughtful, beautifully beautifully filmed, artfully directed and edited, and through very specific moments and imagery, truly captured the spirit of feeling lost. For a host of many complicated, unjust and unfathomable reasons, over 80,000 children go missing in India each year. “Lion” illuminates this story.

I appreciate the patience in which the film crystallizes with Saroo as an intuitive lost, inquisitive loving little boy (played by an adorable Sunny Pawer), and as he becomes a lost inquisitive and loving young man (played by handsomely grown Dev Patel). The real-life circumstances that caused his separation from his older brother, his birth mother, and how he survives, are incredibly sad yet undeniably hopeful.

lion_markrogers-4267There is much tenderness in his love for his adoptive mother (played by Nicole Kidman), which as a mother of a young boy myself, is heart-tugging to watch. The name of the movie is from when Saroo later learned that he mispronounced his own name for all his life; it is actually Sheru, which is a diminutive for the Hindi word for “Lion,” which is “Sher.

I’ve never had a desire to go to India. The crowded, dirty, chaotic, poverty-stricken realities are not for me. No calling. I get there is much compassion to be held for humanity, and there are those who feel the pull to experience the vulnerability, authenticity and messiness of the threshold. Visually and thematically, this film offers glimpses into how much is constantly lost in India for a culture that has so little to lose.images

I shed a tear or two during a couple of scenes. I was glad Evan was with me to share them. The relationships were powerful: Between Saroo and his brother Guddu, Saroo and his birth mom, Saroo and his childhood memories, Saroo and his adoptive parents, Saroo and his struggle to find home…All artfully crafted in moments, words and images that were heartbreaking.unknown

As a movie that has at its heart the fierce unrelenting love between a mother and a son, when the movie was over, Evan and I had a lot to talk about. I highly recommend “Lion” for its story, cinematography, acting and its many messages of love, hope and longing. This is a caliber of film I’ve not seen in a very long time…

My 3 Words – New Year’s Revolutions

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New Year’s Eve signals a helluva lot of reflection, hope, inner criticism and a magnified look at those things that pain us…especially bad habits. We swear we want different. We make intense proclamations of how all our ingrained lack-of-discipline will somehow disappear. But dammned if the tick-tock Cinderella stroke of midnight yields nada. 12:01 a.m. SURPRISE! I’m still the me that ate too much sugar. You’re still the you that lit up a cigarette.

Yet, I suppose now is as good as time as any for New Year’s ‘Revolutions.’ Can I even be honest with myself? Am I such a master of self-disguise can I wade through the bullshit and recognize what’s raw, or real or worthy of attention? Can the snapshot of my behavior, my goals, my pain, the truth of what perpetuates the avoidance in the first place somehow unveil itself, or is there some secret handshake I’ve not yet discovered? At nearly 50, why haven’t I learned?

Author, speaker and motivational educational business fella Chris Brogan offers one ‘non-resolution’ approach to New Year’s…and to life. He suggests picking My 3 Words that guide/inspire/describe/pronounce/proclaim all interconnected areas of one’s life. (For Chris Brogan’s explanation of why 3 words, what they should do/symbolize/mean click here). In short, the 3 Words are nouns and they are verbs. They are intention, they are outcome. They are reason and they are canon.

While we like to believe we are one way with business, or one way with our relationships, or another way with family, we are who we are, we show up how we show up. We all have hopes and dreams and goals. Yet, we all also have challenges and excuses and self-defeating behavior. We all get cozy with coming up short. Why not simplify all that?

So in this spirt, I have My 3 Words for 2017. I took a few weeks to identify them. They will be hand-written each day. They will be thought about. Interacted with. All my business actions and relationships will be intended to funnel towards and through them. Very briefly, here are they are explained:

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1.REALIZE
This means so many things to me. This is about “realizing”—as in awareness/recognition AND as in manifestation/doing the work—of my own talent, worth, purpose. This is about not thinking or talking about what I want do do someday, but just doing it. REALIZING today is the moment. Today is the opportunity. Today is the gift. It’s about coming out from behind the curtain to greet myself, say hello, get to know myself and not be so matter-of-fact to myself. REALIZE as in self-realization; making the most of my gifts and being thankful for them as they are uniquely mine. It’s about not taking things for granted and seeing my life as it is. Not what it isn’t. REALIZE here is now. I love that the word “REAL” is in here too. Authentic. Honest. No bullshit.

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2. MILITANT
This word conveys perseverance. It means daily and deliberate discipline. It means being part of something—a team, a mission, a cause, a belief—greater than myself and doing what’s necessary to achieve victory. It means strategy. It denotes every action has a consequence. It suggests fighting for values that matter: liberty and freedom (from oppression and for expression). It implies there is no room for self-pity and discomfort is required most of the time.

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3. PROCESS
This word also have several definitions. “Process” as in the course of time and/or steps one takes in endeavors to achieve an outcome or end result; and “Process” as in reflection on the information and experiences of what’s transpiring. To me, this word signifies patience and recognition that things (success, relationships, goals) take time AND there are necessary steps that have to happen in sequential order to get stuff done. This suggests more thoughtful planning to ensure the right steps are identified and are followed for greater efficiency. If I want to achieve “E” what A, B, C and D needs to happen? The recognition of a PROCESS and attention to it gives room for self-compassion and patience. I may not get it right the first time, or even the second. Or maybe not even the third.

This word also reminds me about being brave enough to reflect on what is happening in life. Take in the moments of love and laughter. Allow the feelings to come—all of them—sadness, fear, joy, love—and greet them with an open heart. PROCESS the inner world which is sometimes so neglected and shoved aside. Be afraid but be courageous. Just be present to filter and let what life commands to flow through me.

Thank you Chris Brogan for this practice, your wisdom and desire to inspire others, including me. I will live with, contemplate, spar against, laugh at, cry beside and embrace My 3 Words as my New Year’s Revolutions.

(all photos: janna lopez)

Activate Happy!

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Saturday, November 5th, was the 2nd annual Activating Happy conference. Though, conference doesn’t seem like an appropriate title; usually conference implies dry, dull or even necessary as dictated by a sales manager or trade show mandate.

Activating Happy is a day-long adventure into brains, science, inspiration, discovery and delight. Created by a lovely inspirational lady, Sandi Serling Zimmerman, Activating Happy is about knowledge, action and fun. I went last year, the first year, and it was so great I wondered, “How will they be able to top that?” The variety of the speakers, their specific expertise related to science, brains or some body-mind correlation to happiness, was all so helpful. Yes…For lack of a better term, helpful describes the format and intent of Activating Happy.

“Happy” is a word that is sometimes overused. It denotes a platitude or unrealistic expectation. But what does it really mean? What does it really mean to you? I know I think about the idea of ‘Happy’ a lot. I wonder for me if it means inner peace? Fulfillment? Contentment? Joy? Maybe all of the above? Is is momentary? Is it a sustained state?

As the speakers of the day shared, Activating Happy is part science, part humor, part creativity, part skill, part habit, part motivation. I took pages of notes but here are a few morsels from the speakers:

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Rob Sample (co-proprietor of Mother’s Bistro along with his wife Lisa Schroeder, and purveyor of many talents) was the day’s Master of Ceremonies. Always with humor and intelligence, Rob did a fantastic job of seamlessly moving the show along and keeping it lively!

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Brad PendergraftFinding Your Way: What You Need To Know About Your Brain For Happiness And A Meaningful Life: Neurons are open for the business of being redirected. Through a few steps of “wiring and firing” pathways of happy habits are just waiting to be shown the way. Thank goodness! Phew! I am what I think I am and I am not what I think I am.

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Danielle BakerThe Power Of Nonverbal: Use Your Body Language To Feel More Confident, Capable & Happy: How do I think I come across in the world? How do I want to come across to the world? Happiness is shown in the eyes. And teeth, when smiling. Must get dental whitener and show the world I mean business. With confidence.

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Steve LinderHappiness: A Neuro-Strategies Approach: Events happen. Seemed corny but Steve used a trash bag analogy of how we place, then fill the bag that we use to carry our problems around with us everywhere, based on events. Slung over his back, others can see the problems, even if he/we [when the problems are ours] can’t. We allow ourselves, and even invite ourselves, to get more into the problem, pretty soon, can’t see anything else. (This is when he peered deep into the bag, put the bag over his head). Through the example of finding a small hole in the bag, eventu14954506_10211692529975867_501408855_oally discovering ways of making the opening of possibility bigger, he was able to bust through the problem and able to use action of the solutions to view beyond the confines of the bag. He talked about the question of HOW (solutions), not WHY (victim), as a key to finding solutions out of our problems. I’m totally oversimplifying what was an impactful presentation but it was effective! (In fairness to Steve, post-bag shot!)

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Dr. Nina MeledandriTasting Happiness: How Mindful Eating Supports A Happier Life: Food, and mindful eating, can create the opportunity for self-compassion, kindness and self-respect. Food is about savoring and enjoying the moment. This was experienced by Dr. Meledandri leading the audience in an exercise of mindful eating and savoring of a Kind bar. When our feelings are not masked by food, “What we feel, we can heal, what we name, we can tame.” The focused tasting, touching and smelling of the Kind bar was an interesting experience.

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Susan ShadburneHow To Be Happy, No Matter What: Susan’s talk was heartfelt and compelling. She shared her own personal journey of repeated heartbreak, illness, loneliness and eventual hope. I appreciated how she talked about the journey of getting to know yourself–warts and all–takes time; including how you don’t love yourself, and how you might. This was a powerful thought I took home with me.

{RETURN FROM LUNCH BREAK FUN}

 

Part Two:

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Dr. Larry Sherman – Sex, Chocolate and Prairie Voles: This speaker was my favorite last year, and I have to say, he was again this year. A totally accomplished, heady neuroscientist, who has a gift to take all the nerdy stuff and make it compelling. Yes, he was able to tie all these ideas together of sex, chocolate and voles, as his talk was about the neuro-psychological/physiological origins of pleasure. Why we seek it, how we crave it, how it’s created. Good news is that while we crave pleasure, and sometimes bad habits ensue as a result, we can also redirect our brains to create better habits and yield similar results which ultimately create happiness.

Henrik BotheWant Happiness? Start Dropping the Ball: Talk about possibility, focus AND fun! This expert entertainer shared the message that humor, fun, and not taking oneself so seriously all the time adds to a happy life. He put on quite a show for us of spinning plates, and sharing that we succeed and learn in life from not only the plates that manage to make it and spin, but also all those plates that don’t. The audience held our collective breath as Henrik was adding the last few plates! We were all impressed and blown away by his skills and showmanship!

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Polly CampbellStop, See & Savor: The 30-second Strategy To Boost Happiness: Polly’s message was a breath of fresh air reminder about how happiness and beauty are ever-present and available; all we need to do is make them happen simply by taking the moments to recognize them. Polly is authentic, funny and heartfelt. We genuinely enjoyed and appreciated Polly’s warmth and stories.

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The day closed with a lovely surprise and unlike any other from all the conferences I’ve attended. The lights dimmed and on the giant screen appeared a scene of a starlit night, a campfire and the sounds of crickets. With what felt like an Eastern Oregon destination of solitude, beside a “campfire,” Brad Pendergraft lead us on a journey about the importance and wonder of nature; How nature heals and offers happiness. His motivational words in combination with the setting were really powerful. Then, a cool thing happened! A small spotlight came on and shined the light on a real tree stump that had Galileo in it, a beautiful live owl.

Alina Blankenship is a rockstar publishing maven (Bree Noa) who also happens to rehab wild birds of prey such as owls and hawks and then release them (Wings Over Wine). She uses the rehab period and subsequent release to educate people about the science and nature of these amazing birds. Alina brought Galileo to add a special surprise element to the day, and share a true touchstone with nature. It was awesome!  14958007_10211692530855889_293488092_o

I can’t say enough about Sandi’s dedication and awe-laden vision of Activating Happy to help people find more meaning in their lives through knowledge and tangible action, and to brighten up our world. Her ongoing commitment and inspirational example is such a gift. Excellent job Sandi, be proud of how fantastic the event was! You touched many people this day! I know you had a great team of people around you too, that volunteered many, many hours to deliver this seamless, heartfelt, thoughtful, impactful event to us lucky participants.

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Photo: Danielle Towne

The world could use more Activating Happy and I’m sure with Sandi’s talents and passion, this day is just one of many many splendid gifts to follow. For more information visit www.activatinghappy.com.

A View From Anew…

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It’s always a wonderful surprise to discover something you’ve always known. Or rather, RE-discover something you always thought you knew, but maybe only from a certain perspective. My case in point, Cannon Beach.

I’ve been visiting Cannon Beach for decades. I love Oregon’s diverse coastline. From evergreen forests, to sprawling bays, rock formations to crashing waves, the unbridled beauty of our state’s beach lines always inspire.

Cannon Beach is known for many things such as cute shops and nice restaurants. The star attraction, however, Haystack Rock, towers above all attractions. People flock by its side to take pictures, check out tide pools, watch the surf splash behind it and gaze at the seagulls, eagles and hawks hovering above. The pull of Haystack Rock is magnetic. It’s easy to come to Cannon Beach and hang somewhere around it the entire course of a weekend trip. I admit it: I’ve taken hundreds of photos of Haystack at various times of the day.

Recently, my husband Mark and I booked a last minute weekend getaway. The only place available was all the way on the north side of the beach. Far away from Haystack. On Saturday morning we got up early to take a walk. With clear blue skies and layers of clouds hugging the mountains behind us, we could see the tide was incredibly low. The conditions were perfect to explore the north side of the beach. 13179399_10209975801218721_1113158947630795154_n

The rock formations were incredible. With bare feet we traversed numerous streams of cold freshwater pouring towards the ocean. There were whole sand dollars everywhere! It was like uncovering a stunning aspect of Cannon Beach I’d never seen before.13133323_10209975799138669_5565371746088641017_n

We spent hours out on the sand, barefoot, oohing and ahhing at all the facets of our beloved beach we’d never experienced. We thoroughly enjoyed the feeling like we were somewhere totally new, in a place we’d always loved.

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That morning served as such a good reminder to take the road less traveled, even if it’s in a place you’re totally familiar with. There’s bound to be a different path, a refreshed way of seeing, waiting for your discovery. All you have to do is kick off the shoes, be willing to go barefoot, and open up your eyes to witness the renewed perspective just waiting to be seen.

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On The Tippy Toes For Tulips!

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There’s one time of year many in the Northwest look forward to, and that’s the annual sojourn to the Woodburn Tulip Festival. Over 40 acres of gorgeous colors burst across fields of flower fury, with rows of pinks, reds, oranges, purples, whites and yellows. DSC_8919

For me, as a “budding” photographer (pun intended), the only way to go is to arrive before sunrise and photograph the early morning golden light rising in the horizon over the field. For one, weekends are extremely crowded, lines of cars are backed up for miles, parking is a challenge, and there are just too many people to navigate. It’s hard to take a photo of solitary flowers and solitude when there are unbelievable crowds to contend with.

DSC_8897 Secondly, the morning light is pure. The dawn’s rays shimmer off the petal’s dew as the day begins to gently unfold. The flowers feel alive and innocent at this time. Capturing these hopeful expressions of nature and time are truly heart-warming.

I recently got a macro lens for my camera and WOW! I had such an awesome time out there, rolling on my back looking up at the flowers with the sky in the background, extended on my tippy toes over the center of the buds to be able to peer directly down into their tender centers, and on my knees in the mud, to get close to the tulips to capture them. DSC_8907

The combination of these angles and this type of lens were a truly inspiring way to explore my photographic interests, skills and curiosity. I could not get enough of the tulip’s colors, and details and shapes, and dew, and sunlight. They are gorgeous!

DSC_8937 I was amazed at the technology in the lens and the mind-blowing precise detail a piece of equipment can capture in a split second of time. Simply stunning.

If you’ve not ever tried photographing flowers, I encourage you to try it. It’s inspiring. And if you’re interested in details, beauty, new ways of seeing familiar things or objects, a macro lens will completely open up your perspective.

The tulip festival lasts approximately until the end of April and I suggest a sunset or sunrise experience. As with all nature, the time for their beauty to be shared is all-too-brief and absolutely worth every colorful and fleeting moment.

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Daddy

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Oddly, I know several people who have recently lost their fathers. I specifically wrote this for one of them. Because it seemed like a lot of loss in a short time, I thought I’d pass this along to the others who are in grief; it’s what I imagine a father and child relationship could feel like…

“Daddy”

in the surge of a moment,
my lifeline had ceased –
those semblances of a future fella
who thought like me,
fought like me,
crumbled like rain-soaked chalk
against the stark concrete
of my childhood whimsy.

I held onto a corner of his pant leg,
like a naive notion of a tooth fairy-dream
stay with me, daddy,
silently begged him not to go.
tried to hide forthcoming tears,
pleaded that I wouldn’t stay up past nine if he’d read me
just one more story.

Please, pop, just one more story.

But I know, that he knew,
that I knew,
son, things in life don’t work out that way

I rebelled against time’s validity, anyway.
Just as he suspected I would.

Pretty, pretty please, dad.
I’m looking up at you, to you and for you.
take this book of my heart that’s hurting
from my helpless hand,
find a way
to place it in yours,
and let me believe
our story again.

His dissipating shadow
turned towards me,
sadly he nodded and sighed with defeat.
and yet, his eyes still smiled at me
as he walked away.

pages don’t have ears, son,
but words, these words, my words
of pride, and love, and gratitude
that you are mine,
have eternal heart….

The Velocity of Music

The news of David Bowie’s untimely death from cancer prompted such enormous emotional ripples. Growing up I was not a huge Bowie fan but I always appreciated his creativity; his unbridled, unapologetic spectrum of sound, style and multi-sensory experiences with each work he shared. He was his own voice. That, in and of itself, places him into an untamable category.

What tugged at my heart strings was seeing how many people grieved. How people I know from all walks of wisdom and politics, classes and colors, ages and locations, converged into a single cyber platform of reverence. Memories of songs and moments and milestones and forgotten hopes sprang forth into vibrancy. I really appreciated all the authentic nostalgia. I felt like I got glimpses into people I barely knew, or was afforded a priceless new discovery about those I love.

The mourning of David Bowie affirmed the sheer velocity of music on our impressionable souls. Certain songs can crush and shatter walls of doubt or sadness, over and over again, throughout decades, and in their place leave timeless melody talismans for when we are lost, to help guide our way home.