Monday, January 31, 2011

End of Winter Girl

I just completed taking an ecourse called Winter Girl with my friend Tracy Olan,  It was wonderful and I will miss her beautiful images and inspirations. However, she has left me with an awakened sense of my surroundings even in this frozen land where nothing grows except the cold at this time of year.

I am currently signed up to take another ecourse, this time a painting course with Lisa Congdon and Mati Rose. I am excited. These gals are based in San Fransisco. I'll keep you posted on my progress with this one.

Still running Sublime and The Man Code. They are moving along nicely. The Man Code will be done at the end of this week and then I will run it again on February 14, 2011. This time I will run an Introduction to The Man Code and it will be more of a photo journalism course then the one I am currently running. It should be lots of fun.

What have I learned? I really enjoy using this medium to get out there. There seems to be no end of possibilities. I can be creative, offer guidance and build community all at the same time. What more could a girl want?

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Birthday

Well it was my birthday yesterday and guess what arrived from my snow bird parents! Yes some sunshine. Aren't these beautiful. Right now it is snowing here and there isn't much in the way of color except if you count white and gray as colors!

I had a very special day. I started with a massage. Next I had bruch with a very lovely and talented friend, who managed to blow my mind open yet again with more wonderfully creative ideas!

Then home to a lovely dinner that my husband and kids put on for me. After that we watch The Curious Life and Benjamin Buttons. It seemed an appropriate movie since it was all about aging!

Cheers All!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Mornings

Each Monday morning I walk my son to school then hurry home to release the assignments for The Man Code and Sublime eCourses. I usually have them all ready to go by Friday but give them one final once over then I press publish. It is very exciting to know that my material is getting out there.

The challenge is to sit patiently awaiting the student's response. My material requires a commitment. It isn't easy going. I am often introducing new ideas and challenging the students to think and see in unfamiliar ways.

The hard part is not knowing. I don't always know if the students just don't like the material or whether it is provoking so much thought that they need time to digest, or whether or not the commitment is more then they had anticipated.

I assume that this is common for those who run eCourses. For the difference between them and in-person courses is the immediacy of the response. In the latter case the students are in front of you so you can gauge their reaction. They either avoid eye contact or engage with enthusiasm or somewhere in between.

Sometimes I feel unable to be patient and wonder whether eCourses are my thing. Then I give myself a shake and try to remind myself that this is new for most of us. Giving and taking eCourses in and of itself is a learning experience, never mind the content.

I love to learn. Creating and running eCourses has already taught me so much. I love the challenge most days and on those other days I just try to shake that monkey off my back!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Running Two eCourses and More!

Well here it is the middle of January 2011! How time flies. I have been running two eCourses this month and have been enjoying every minute of it. I love searching for images and putting my ideas together in a forum of interaction.

I was at a talk by a local artist and she said she loves to put her ideas-to-paint-to-canvas. I guess I would say that I love putting my ideas-to-my-computer-to-my-keyboard-to-my-eCourses! Is that even the same? It feels like it is, like a creative process akin to painting.

I have also been taking an eCourse by the lovely and talented Tracy Olan called Winter Girl. Each day she assigns a photo challenge. The picture you see here was for Warmth, how do you get warm in the winter here in the Great White North! You can see me next to my fireplace in my cosy basement. A fireplace is a must in this climate because it is really cold her in January! Oh ya and I am wearing a hat her indoors but that is only because I am having a bad hair day!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Successfully Launched!

Hi All. We had a Launch Party for Sublime in the Fall or 2010. This was the post I published then. I have included it here so you could read the talk that I gave at that time. It gives a good description of SUBLIME the ecourse. And the course does start next week-January 17, 2011. You can check it out at

We had a successful Launch Party for Sublime. She is in flight now. The course starts next week so if you haven't signed up you still have time.

I wanted to thank all of you who were with us physically and in thought as well. We appreciate all the good energy and support.

The night was lovely. We all gathered in a local chocolate cafe, my teenage daughter introduced me and I gave a short talk entitled The Girl Within.

For those of you who wanted to be there but were unable to come I have made a copy of it here so you could at least read it. We did have it video taped and we will post that to the main blog site when it is ready.


Let me introduce you to my girl within. You can always find her at the top of a large tree.
Because she loves to climb.
And of course she will be wearing a pretty dress.
Because she loves pretty things,
especially if they are shinny.
And I must warn you she is an emotional creature.

Sometimes her heart feels like it is going to burst with joy,
or sorrow depending on the day.
No matter what she is intense and she suspects that this is hard on the people around her.
So she tries to modify her enthusiasm but it doesn't always work.
Sometimes she can't help but spill out all over the place.
She watches as people shrink back in discomfort and
she thinks that she should tone it down a bit but it is hard to contain once it gets going.
She loves her intensity and she loves spilling out and
she is sad that she has so few people to play with.

GOOD girls behave themselves and she know that but how can all this enthusiasm be bad?
She keeps thinking that if she finds a way to channel it no will suspect that she is always on the verge of an eruption.
She decided that if she holds the reins tight and
only lets out about 60% of her intensity that everyone will think that she is normal.
But the other 40% always threatens to burst forth.
So she has to find ways to distract it.
So she paints, draws, crochets, kayaks, bikes, reads and journals until finally it is quietened.

But for how long?

She looks around to others of her kind to see how they are managing.
Secretly she suspects that they too are trying to make themselves smaller to accommodate the world around them.
But when she looks in their eyes she is worried that they have forgotten themselves.
She wishes that they shared a mental telepathy where they could tell each other,
"remember me? I'm big and intense just like you."
Then she imagines that they form a club where they all become unapologetically themselves.
Of course there will be conflict but they all love and respect each other enough to work it out.
These challenges only strengthen each of the on their path to self-discovery.
And in their club they remember to dream bigger dreams.
They remember to become fearless.
And a secret that they only share with each other
is that they become like warriors compassionately guarding the freedom of us all.
Their relationships grow to make room for all who want to join.
They become like an old wood forest with strong deep roots and branches that endlessly reach for the sky.

That is my vision for all of us.
I want all girls and women to be fully, unapologetically themselves.
I want us to nurture and respect each others quirks and idiosyncrasies.
I want us to gently call each other on self-harm behavior.
I want us to invest in each other's growth.
I want us to fill the space we were born to fill.
I want us to laugh until we cry.
I want us to cry because of all the beauty.
I want us to heal our broken hearts.

I want us to live tenderly, openly, creatively, authentically.

That is why I have put the e course SUBLIME together.
I want to help women remember their girls within.
This girl is a combination of our pre-adolescent, our mid-adolescent and present self.
She already lives inside us.
And she is very potent.
But sadly, most of us lost her along the way.
We learned to quieten her.
We learned to compartmentalize her.
We even learned to dislike her.
We judge her.
We ignore her.
We dismiss her.
We tell ourselves that we don't have time for that nonsense.
And because of this too many of us have FORGOTTEN HER.
And as a result we have forgotten how to play.
We have forgotten how to have fun.
We have even forgotten how to laugh at ourselves.
As a result we are unduly stressed.
We are too serious.
And our health is in jeopardy.

Our health is my biggest concern.
For those of you who don't know me I have a million theories about how to improve our health.
I designed the e course SUBLIME based on one such theory.
The theory is that the pre-adolescent self is free, to laugh, cry,argue, explore, create and heal.
I read once that a girl could walk down the street behind her mom doing the King Tut and no one would pay attention.
However, once she hit puberty all that changes.
The cultural messages start to dictate to her how she is to behave.
She starts to become self-conscious and self-critical.
She starts to judge herself based on the messages from the culture.
I call this the vortex.
It is like getting pulled into a swiftly moving current.
There is no way to remain standing no matter how strong we are.
We all went through it and this is why we don't remember the girl within.
The vortex or culture redirected our attention away from her.

Next, I see the adolescent girl coming out the other side of the vortex, dazed, confused, altered.
She enters a state of growing amnesia where she learns to forget her vitality and originality.
She has been changed.
She is no longer free to be unapologetically herself.

I think we can change all that,
Through creativity and self exploration in the e course SUBLIME we are learning to reclaim, integrate and best of all remember our girl within.
Throughout the 6 assignments we use photography, collage and journaling to remember the power that still lives inside us.
Through creativity, reflection and a private supportive community we learn to increase the volume of the voice of this potent self.
We learn to hear her the way we once did.
We learn to allow her to feed our dreams
We learn to allow her to lead us toward fearlessness.
Through remembering and integrating her we learn to heal our wounds and grow toward our full potential.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Canaveral National Seashore

Just down the road from where we were staying in Florida at Christmas there was a wonderful wildlife refuge. You can see the Mosquito Lagoon on the left and the Atlantic Ocean on the right. I am standing on Turtle mound an area said to have been build by the ancient native population hundreds of years ago from discarded sea shells.

We got there along this wonderful wooded walkway.

This was a view from the other direction. The Atlantic Ocean is on the left and Mosquito Lagoon is on the right.

We headed down from there and entered an area called a Hammock. "A Hammock" translated means shady place. This was a flat wooded area that has all too often been ideal sites for developers. This one is safe though because it is in the refuge area.

This an incrediably big live oak in the Hammock. There are enormous and look ancient with their great long branches and spanish moss.

We were warned by this sign about how to drop our Northern pace and adopt a more Southern one!

So we did! And you can see how this wonderous place enveloped us.

And once again we were treated to some wonderful sights! An all too human looking tree!

That is right, an Ardvark!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gators and Pink Flamingos On New Years Day!

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, Florida. That is where we saw some incredible birds and yes, alligators! I don't know what these birds are called but they were quite a sight to see on our drive through.

It was like being back in time in some prehistoric era.
And yes I said "pink flamingos" because I am not a bird expert but don't they look like what you think flamingo's should look like? And they were definitely pink!

See what I mean? Here I'll show you another shot because I only took about 50!

There are pink, right?

But the best is yet to come. I swear we were back thousands of years and my primitive instincts were saying RUN!!!!!

Yes that is what you think it is...

Now check this one out.
How about this one.

And this one...
What about this next one!

How about a closer look...
Okay, is your skin crawling yet? Don't you want to RUN!!!!!!!! But wait there are just a few more.
Look at these guys all happy in the mud! Just wanted you to see how relaxed they were...
Tail just swishing lazily in the water... Okay now you can RUN!!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Years Eve at The Beach!

New Years eve started with a perfect day at the beach. Dolphins playing just off shore first thing in the morning.

My boy chasing the birds determined to see them all fly!

Then digging his toes in the lovely wet sand...

"but Mom you have got to get one of my whole foot buried!"

Next there are my feet caught in the glistening ocean.

Then as the tide pulls at the water.
.And finally back on dry land!
Last but not least...
The grand show-fireworks over the ocean! The roar of the surf and the explosion of applause as the sky lights up and everyone celebrates the entrance of
Happy New Year All!!!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Winter Solstice at the Beach

It really was like a painting.

We arrived at our destination in New Symrna Beach the eve of the Winter Solstice. The moon was full and high above the ocean. The sight was mesmerizing. I took a hundred pictures but still could not capture the incredible feeling of being in the presence of this natural phenomenon. It filled all of our senses. The roar of the surf filled our ears, the smell of the salt air filled our lungs and the soft moist breeze brushed our skin. This is what I love about Florida in December. I did say thank you to the moon and ocean for sharing their bounty.

And I was grateful and humbled to be but a grain of sand on the beach...