Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Help!

I love Christmas so much that I have two trees in my two room cabin and am still high over the string of vintage metal stockings that I scored from The Painted Lily in Cambria.

But this was not always the case. For many people loss of loved ones, distance – physical or emotional – from immediate family pushes on emotions still stored in the body.

Below are 3 links – click on the blue - to help you get through the holidays.

1. Christmas

2. New Years

I hate beginnings. This is why I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Let’s face it, there are no beginnings without endings and I loath endings even more. This year, I’m starting the New Year in the middle.

3. And Ikea

Yes, Ikea is my latest addiction. Not only is Ikea my new favorite store, but the You Tube drama, Ikea Heights is rebelliously filmed on location without management permission. Hooray for creative and hilarious Rebels.

Hugs for a peaceful, quiet, joyful, inspirational holiday and everyday,

Love Dot

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Collage in Every Garage

I have a theory that if everyone has just one collage in their garage, then everyone will have the answers in tangible form to the questions that we have been living.

I’m settled in my cozy little cabin, with the “I Am an Organized and Disciplined Business Woman” collage on my office wall. I created the collage Christmas Day 2007. Reading through the folder of non-dominant handwriting which represents the perspective of the images, I begin to cry with happiness.

“Trust reaching for what makes you happy.”

Reaching is expansive. Reaching is a verb.

What are you reaching for today?

In joy,


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wouldn't it be Nice?

Okay, so this is the title of a Beach Boys song. But these guys must have been onto something because....according to Esther and Jerry Hicks, Wouldn't it be Nice? is one way to release resistance to receiving all the blessings that are just waiting to poured down on our precious little heads.

Here's how it works.

The point of the game is to move from discouragement to joy - one vibrational step at a time.
The one step at a time is important. Basically, we claim relief from what ever we are feeling in each moment. This is why ferociously repeating affirmations doesn't work. Trying to ramp up our energy to joy when we are worried is like driving from San Luis Obispo to Santa Cruz and being angry when we haven't arrived at the Big Ferris Wheel on the boardwalk a mere 10 minutes after we started our trip.

Often times, when we think we are being positive we are actually holding ourselves in the vibration of what hasn't happened yet; thereby attracting more of what hasn't happened yet.

"I really want more money because I'm sick of being broke all the time."

"I want to lose weight because I want to feel good about myself."

"I want to meet someone so I'm not lonely anymore."

All of the above phrases focus on what we don't have. But rephrasing the statement into 'wouldn't it be nice?' sentences creates a more positive feeling.

"Wouldn't it be nice to feel good about money?"

"Wouldn't it be nice if my metabolism cooperated with me and I felt great?"

"Wouldn't it be nice to meet a partner to share my life with?"

If you say all of the above statements out loud you will feel the vibrational difference. Once you start playing the game, the cells in your body will start moving toward attracting and manifesting your new vibration. But it does take some time - so be patient!

And most of all, enjoy the process....

Wouldn't it be nice for all of us to know that we are guided, blessed and loved?


PS: To learn more about vibrational alignment, check out Esther and Jerry Hicks book
Ask and It Is Given.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sculpting Joy

So I just moved into my new permanent digs here in San Luis Obispo county. This is a big surprise considering that I have been all about Santa Cruz county for the past year. But here’s the thing. When you’ve reached the end of your vision and you don’t have a plan – how do you know where to go?

Allow your joy.

When the lease was up on my Capitola place, I knew that it was time to move on. I made plans to help my mother after her recent knee surgery and had a couple weeks of pet-sitting after that. Knowing that I was covered for about a month – I let go of a life that no longer worked to allow a life that does.

This is where it gets a little tricky. Being human and all, we love knowing the NEXT step before we move on from the LAST step. But the chaotic void is where all the fun begins.

And yes, I’ve been scared.

The first thing I did on my journey was to keep the feeling of what I wanted in my heart, body and mind as much as possible. Whenever I got scared or overwhelmed, I would say an affirmation such as: “Heaven knows what I need and it’s on the way.” Or “I am blessed, I say yes to life.” I kept up on my positive reading: and most of all, took lots of breathing breaks.

The result was that I followed the good feelings through 7 pet-sitting gigs with overnights at a friend’s fabulous guest house. I learned that while I can never eradicate FEAR – I can dance with her pretty well.

Allowing joy is like taking a big lump of clay and seeing the joy already present. Slowly we mold the clay and remove the pieces that don’t fit. Sometimes, the pieces fall away without our help. Taking the steps to listen to, and allow our feelings moves us into the present moment. We mold our joy with each breath.

I’m typing in my freezing but cute little cabin-ita in Los Osos and I’ve been here officially for 6 days. I’ve had glimpses of joy in between unpacking – but it was fleeting among all of the boxes.

But, finally today, the 7th day, I am amazed and grateful and startled and slightly confused that I landed HERE – and I’m smiling.

May you follow the joy that lives in your heart,


PS: I am teaching workshops at the Be Well Center in Atascadero! Join me for my first class Monday, October 12, 7pm-8:30pm: How to Bring Joy to Your Life. (And please, tell a friend.) More workshops are listed on my calendar as well. Click the title above to go directly to my website.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Visioning(R) without Collaging...

When I don't want to make a collage about a goal because I'm too busy or am already focusing on a collage - the next best thing is to take time to journal my vision.

I have a special book that I reserve for dream journaling. Many times when I review my dreams - I find that they have manifested in fun and surprising ways.

Follow these steps to get your emotions to vibrate at the speed of your dream and be sure to celebrate the steps along the way!

Materials: Favorite journal book and pen, timer, blank 81/2 by 11 paper. Be sure you have at least 30 uninterrupted minutes in a soothing space - outside is perfect if it is available. Make a cup of tea, or light a candle to create the atmosphere of a mini-retreat.

1. Use the blank paper to do a fast 10 minutes of journal junk. This is where you put your pen to the paper and write as fast as you can. This allows the rational mind to release any worries or complaints. Be sure to set the timer. If you run out of things to write, simply start the sentence with I'm worried about...

2. Close your eyes and let your mind focus on the vision. You are playing pretend - your vision is as big as your imagination.

3. Next, take your journal and put the date that you want your vision to manifest by - at the top of the page. Set the timer for 20 minutes and write about your vision in 1st person.

"I now have a fun, rewarding job working with people I love and respect. The office is spacious and ...."

4. If you stop writing, close your eyes and imagine yourself as if the situation is happening...then start writing until the timer stops.

Use the questions below to help fill in the details. Remember, to vision is to create an emotional feeling of joy that you associate with your dream. That way, when you run into obstacles, you feel past the problem by assuming there is a solution.

When your vision manifests, who is the 1st person you'd call?

How would you celebrate?

What needs to happen for the demonstration of the vision? (That is, what outfit would you wear to your new job...?)

If this exercise creates uncomfortable feelings - then good! That means the mind closet is being opened and cleared. Now you can see what no longer works in your life so you can make room for what does work.

5. After your vision is written, read the vision outloud several times until you mean it. (I sometimes record the vision on my digital recorder and listen to it in my car when I'm stuck in traffic.)

6. Bless and release your vision into the atmosphere. Give yourself a hug for spending time on your dreams.

7. Let me know when your dream manifests....


Saturday, August 8, 2009

What to do with Your Vision Board

In the poll posted in the sidebar of this blog – one person said that their vision collage manifested wonderfully, but others said they weren’t sure what to do with their collage after it was created. Once the vision board is complete, use the following guidelines based on the book by Lucia Capacchione, Visioning: Ten Steps to Designing the Life of Your Dreams.

Have a journal with you to record any insights you may have.

*Be sure you share your collage or insights ONLY with those who you feel safe with and who support your dream.

1. Give your collage a place of honor in your home to display your vision.

2. Spend time viewing your collage – at least 15 minutes – several times a week.
This allows the energy of the images permeate your heart so you will ‘recognize’ circumstances as they flow toward you.

3. As you look at your creation, notice the colors and shapes of the collage pieces as well. Do you notice any recurring themes or colors?

If your vision isn’t manifesting ask yourself:

Do I spend time with my collage daily?
Do I follow my vision with inspired action?
That is - if you know you need to clear out the garage for the new office you are manifesting – have you done it?
If not, then why not?
Does it FEEL GOOD to look at your collage?

One reason why Visioning® doesn’t work is because often times we collage what think we SHOULD have. In other words, your collage may be what your mind says you want – but your heart needs to lead the way. The rational mind will come later, when it is time to put the plan into action.

Another reason why a collage doesn’t manifest is because of the voice inside your head that rationalizes away your desire. You’re too busy, too broke or too tired to go for another dream. Beware! This voice has IT’S OWN AGENDA and your dream is not on the list. (Read Visioning® Step Five: The Inner Critic.)

Your vision is given to you by the grace of the One that created you. It’s your gift, your blessing. Let your vision lead you. Let go of what no longer serves you to make room for your desire. Be brave enough to ask: am I following my vision today?

May the journey to your dreams be filled with yes,


Monday, July 13, 2009

The Dollar Bone

My mother used to dance in the kitchen singing a song called Dry Bones. “The leg bone connects to the thigh bone, the thigh bone connects to the hip bone, the hip bone connects to the….and that’s the way it goes!”

Connection means relationship whether we are connected at the hip or connected to where we buy our daily bread.

This shopping season, let's connect with our community by supporting smaller, family/individual owned shops. One of the biggest reasons people don’t visit local stores is the myth of big prices, small choice. For me, the main reason why I duck into a Big Box shop is that I claim I don’t have the time to visit a bunch of smaller retails rather than one big variety store.

On a recent foray for a watch battery, I put my time where my mouth is and stopped at Cayucos Pharmacy. In addition to my watch battery, I found a ½ price calendar, a bargain on the shampoo I use and a purple calculator for my purse. I carry it as a reminder that the benefits of buying local can’t always be tallied up in numbers. The afterglow of knowing that I gave my buying bucks to a neighborhood business was worth my effort.

The issue of how to maintain small town heart with big time progress is an important to all of us. As individuals we do have the power of choice. And choosing to be connected to what we purchase with our hard earned dollars is an empowering choice that we can’t afford to lose.

The Metaphor of Social Networks

The reason why Visioning® works (or not) has to do with our ability to trust intuition and metaphor. These are right brain processes. Once the collage is created, the next step is to consistently be with our vision each day. We need to journal our insights. We need to celebrate the steps to our dream.

Metaphor empowers us to participate in our lives. Being an aware and active participant is the difference between creative joy and being overwhelmed with tasks and to do lists.

Metaphor is the way to manage and put a container on our ‘doing’ energy. This brings balance and focus to everday tasks.

One area that is easy to feel overloaded is social networking and email correspondence. My friend and writing mentor, the novelist Anne Allen (her Blog is listed in the sidebar) and I were talking about our process for keeping up with our own writing projects, much less regular email, Tweets and Facebook. The metaphor that I bring to these virtual conversations is to act as if each social network is a real-time social setting.

Tweeting is like voice mail from my friends. I don’t call or hear from my friends on a daily basis, but I do listen to messages at least once a day. So with Twitter, I’m either picking up my voice mail messages or leaving a voicemail message. This way, I can keep up with my friends and they can keep up with me in 140 characters or less.

If someone on my Twitter message board is leaving too many posts and clogging up my Inbox – I simply screen the calls. I do this by adding their website to my computer Bookmarks (in a Twitter folder) and stop following their posts. I don’t cut off the friendship. I’m just screening their calls until I have time to ‘call them back’ by going to their website.

This is like having dinner with friends and family all at the same time. I tune into a conversation by clicking commenting or clicking on the posts. I can also delete specific news feeds from my Inbox without cutting off the friendship. Again, I can catch up by simply clicking on my friend’s photo and reading their posts. I love Facebook because it’s easy to stay in touch with, find old friends and have them find me. Plus – I have TONS of relatives. As my sister-in-law Kim pointed out, the Segovia clan et al will soon take over the world – if not Facebook.

Blogs & Email
Reading blogs and blogging is like visiting one on one. I can visit at my convenience. Usually I read several blog posts from each person in one sitting. This way, I can get into the topic and truly listen to my friend.

Email is for business, setting appointments and staying in touch with long distance friends. I am extremely organized with my email and generally do not have more than 10-15 items in my main email Inbox. I sort and respond to each email as quickly as possible. (Like many people, I have more than one email for specific purposes.)

If I didn’t have use metaphor of real time social settings for virtual conversations, then the technology would be using me rather than the other way around.

Remembering these metaphors creates an embodied computer experience. After all, these networks are for socializing and staying in touch – not for becoming overwhelmed. We are missing the point if we are in our heads and going numb at the computer. Going numb at the computer is like staying at the party toooo long. At some point, you’ve got to go home.

May all of your conversations be blessed,


Your comments on how you keep up with your virtual correspondence would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Chihuha: (Chee-hoo-ha). Internal monkey minded critic energy that creates drama 24/7.

Chi: Vital energy that is held to animate the body internally; of central importance in some Eastern systems of medical treatment and of exercise or self-defense.

Huha: Reactionary fight or flight response to unreleased past trauma stored in the body; incessant future planning; controlling the ‘now’ with relentless yapping.

Use: I was hoping to enjoy the drive, but my Chihuha jumped into the passenger seat and yapped in my ear the entire way.


I thought I’d be home Wednesday, but gratefully, there was more editing work waiting in Cambria than I planned. Turns out, I drove home through Big Sur on Saturday. I jumped into the Honda with the idea stopping off at Ragged Point, but passed that in favor of my memory of Big Sur twenty years ago. Too bad for me, that the memory included a clear stretch of Highway 1 on a weekday morning. (It also includes being high in the passenger seat while someone else drove.)

I learned that the Coast Gallery no longer serves food. The Coast Gallery also doesn’t let the public use their facilities, never mind that I was the only public and wouldn’t have minded the climb up the stairs. But, strangely, I was too hungry to insist and the shitty sales guy behind the counter didn’t offer. He suggested Deetjan’s Big Sur Restaurant which unfortunately was closed: though the facilities were open.

Stomach growling, I drove past Nepenthe because of the crowds and headed for the memory of the Big Sur River Inn, which was also teeming with tourists. After the next few curves, I pulled over to the side of the mountain. Rather than taking a moment to gaze at the shimmering sea, I tore open the raisins that I had struggled with for most of the drive and plopped the box on my lap. Appetizers. I pulled back onto the highway and sped until the right turn onto Carmel’s Rio Road. There, I gunned it past the Chevron and parked badly into the first space I found.

The eventual beet salad was heavenly.

The hilarity of missing a fabulously leisurely drive was that instead of stopping to eat, I kept looking for a better restaurant. Originally, I wanted to receive the blessing of Highway 1 on a gorgeous day. Turns out, I drove quite a way listening to my Chihuha yap about a better restaurant; instead of listening to my body.

I had forgotten that to Chihuhas, it’s always better over there.

This road trip was several weeks after I created my Inner Family collage (Click to read the 1st in the Inner Family 3-part series from the archives.) When I came home, I was not surprised to see that the Critic and my symbolic reactions dominated a large area of collage. So, I did what any other Visionary would do: I reached up and yanked down the pictures I didn’t want. (Yes you can take images away from and add to your collage!)

Now, my Chihuha calmly sits on the lap of dog whisperer Cesar Milan. Cesar is the symbol of my Inner Protective Parent. If anyone can calm a Chihuha down, it’s Cesar.

May you enjoy long leisurely drives while your Chihuha snores in a far away kennel,


Please click COMMENT at the bottom of this blog and tell me what best describes your Inner Chihuha.

ALSO – Please take time to answer the Poll I reposted on Vision collages – (I had neglected to add a “no” response earlier) – so please vote!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Out your Inner Coach Potato

The reason I love cable TV is because for half of my adult life I didn’t own a television. When I did, I barely had a VCR and trolled for movies at the local library. While this left me geekily behind the popular TV show times, it allowed me to murmur that popular disclaimer: “Yes, I own television, but only use it to watch movies.”

What’s that biblical saying? Be WITH television, but not OF television?

Now that my rent includes cable, I’m outing myself from the television closet. This column is devoted to my Top Ten Reasons why I love cable, television without cable – and other forms of TV technology.

10. Basketball season and the pre-requisite snacks. During the 80’s I got hooked on hating the Lakers. My neighbor Bill was a Lakers fan and since the other team needed a Montrose Avenue representative on their side, I naturally voted for the Portland Trailblazers. I even gave Bill a purple and yellow “Nerf” gecko that we named “Laker Lizard.” Our pre-game ritual was to flip the lizard to see how it landed, thereby predicting the winning team. I don’t live in Montrose, California, anymore, but I still love to hate the Lakers. My one salvation during a recent Laker win was the chow I picked up for myself and my pal Brian at El Rancho Marketplace in the Santa Ynez Valley. Whenever I get the chance, I head over Highway 154 and turn onto Highway 246 to stop in for a bite. The market was started in 1966 by Helmut Holzheu and is still a family owned business. The deli features all kinds of great grub and being in friendly store just feels decadent. Half a giant burrito with Brian’s homemade chips and “guac” made the Laker win a lot easier to swallow.

9. Damages. Catching up to the latest season of this FX series made me a expert. Hulu features trailers and many episodes of popular television and cable shows. The episodes that weren’t on Hulu, I was able to download from Amazon. (I needed to keep up with the fabulously evil Glenn Close.)

8. The Chinese Backstreet Boys. When I heard about this gem, I had to get on You Tube. The short lip-synch to “That Way” is worth it - especially for the blooper scenes at the end. I have no idea why I love this video so much. Maybe ‘cause they’re wearing jerseys that say Houston.

7. What Not to Wear. I rang in 2009 with two cats, a parrot named Jeffrey and a What Not to Wear marathon. Though I don’t always agree with the outfits that Stacey and Clinton put together, I do dress better. AND I no longer live in terror that one of my friends has called the duo for a “Dorothy’s outfit” intervention.

6. Project Runaway. Though Heidi Klum’s repetitive, “you’re out,” does get tedious, I adore the creative designs. And watching the winner reach their dream is such a Hallmark moment. (I always sniffle along when design guru Tim Gunn bids the contestants adieu.) I got so excited about one season that I actually started writing a piece that teaches Inner Family dynamics based the contestant’s interactions. Stay tuned.

5. Instant viewing. Unlimited movies streamed to my laptop included in the price? Bring on the 2nd season of “Duchess of Duke Street.” The site remembers where you stopped the movie and reloads in the exact place – just in case your laptop spontaneously Shuts Down in the middle of your flick.

4. The Closer and Cold Case. For some reason, I only watch these shows while doing the late night thang during visits to Mom’s. I’m an expert at closing my eyes when the music signals that the grisly crime scene is happening. Kyra Sedgwick and her cop crew’s antics are hilarious, while Kathryn Morris as the lead the Cold Case detective is to die for.

3. Californiacation. The only thing I knew about David Duchovny was that he proposed to his former wife Tea Leoni while she was arranging her shoe closet. This Showtime hoot is about a one-hit writer who is punching his way through his 2nd novel. You gotta watch it to believe it.

2. Even if there is something on TV, this website is a fabulous option. Packed with 20-minute lectures and performances, this site was started in 1984: the letters stand for technology, entertainment and design. The lectures on the creative genius by “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert as well as brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor’s talk almost put Ted at the top of my list.

1. Brothers and Sisters. As if listening to David’s snarky remarks isn’t delicious enough, watching the Walker family makes my drama feel as if I’m beating Kobe in a little game of one-on-one. Be sure to catch up on past seasons through Netflix or ABC’s website.

Come on now, be brave. Out your couch potato self and spill your favorite embarrassing show. Just click on the Comment Icon at the bottom this column. (I won’t tell a soul….)

May all your down time be as luscious as watching Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker,


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Internal Improv - Inner Family Part 3

In the last two blog posts you learned about the Inner Family. Now what? This is where the real fun begins. These Inner Family dynamics are internal so that means we are the ones creating the story. Let’s take a look at the negative and positive side of this dynamic in daily relationship.

A very common role that is easy to identify with is the mother role. Years ago, I had a housemate who identified strongly with her mother role. We learned last blog that we are not our roles - these are only parts we play. In the same way we may be mothers, we are also daughters, sisters, employees, bosses, teachers, students.

When my housemate and I had communication problems, it was often over her unasked for motherly advice regarding my job, my outfit, or my hair. Oy!

After being told what to do, if I had a strong negative reaction, I’d go away and use the non-dominant hand journal technique. This was – for my eyes only. After the initial emotional charge I recognized four dynamics that seemed to be happening in the conflict between me and my housemate.

First, I realized that not standing up for my self after her comments meant that I was still living a past relationship dynamic.

Discovery number two was that her criticisms could be reflecting my internal expectations of being criticized.

The third discovery was the epiphany. “Well, if she is coming at me in her identified mother role, how can I stop reacting in a child role?”

The fourth dynamic is the worst-side of the above epiphany: ‘What if my identified-child role sends her into the mother role?”


Does it matter which story I choose? (Let me hear you shout No!)

What matters is that I’m examining my reactionary responses. It only takes one person to realize that they are reacting in order to change a relationship drama. Or as author Marianne Williamson often points out, it only takes one person in the relationship to pray.

Reacting is the operative word.

Reacting means the past. That is, yes her words were pushing buttons in my body’s cellular memory. That’s what pushing buttons means. The blame game tries to change the behavior of the other person. But the point of the game is to notice our reactionary buttons. Awareness is the way reaction transforms into empowerment.

Think of it like improvisational theatre. Imagine two actors on a stage. One actor silently begins acting like a bully. The opposite role of a bully is victim. All actor number one has to do is take on the body language of a bully and POW – actor number two automatically goes into the archetypical victim character. Nothing needs to be said because the first actors’ role is expressed through the body. That’s what makes improv so hilarious. That is, the audience instantly relates to the archetypical roles.

With time, attention and awareness, we can also learn to recognize the archetypal dramas that are being played out on our relationship stage.

Once we make a decision to stop habitual reactions, we can groove through the daily negotiations that can make life an emotional roller coaster. That is, once I realized I was resisting my housemate’s comments, I was able to take her instructions at face value. This enabled me to stand up for my self with clearly expressed boundaries. Negotiations in the present feel empowering and complete. Reacting from the past feels dramatic.

Now, a positive example of the internal improv game is this: I have several accomplished friends who are making a good living via their passion. Old reactionary feelings of jealousy often led to comparisons – which is Monkey Mind thinking. But empowerment means re-wording our internal story. Now I tell my self that my friend’s success is mirroring my own ability to be accomplished. These powerful friends wouldn’t be in my circle unless that aspect was in me as well.

Then I dance around the room singing “I’m a best-selling author, I’m a best-selling author.” Next, I take action by asking for advice or referrals to the information I need for my next step.

Another example of how to turn things around is when I recently played in the semi-finals for the songwriting contest. I half-joked to my friends that I was going to draw little mad faces of the judges because I didn’t win a spot in the finals. Not only did I nix the drawings, but I realized that I know Amanda West, an acquaintance who placed 2nd in last year’s finals. That means, with a little songwriting help from my new friend, I could try again in next years contest if I choose. Or not choose. Now that I’m making decisions based on the present instead of my emotional past, my dreams really are up to me.

May you and every role you play bring you joy,


PS:For specifics on the Inner Family dynamic,read Recovery of your Inner Child by Dr. Lucia Capacchione.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Meet the Parents - Inner Family Part 2

Last week I talked about the Inner Child and introduced the concept of an Inner Family. This blog – it’s time to meet the parents. If our emotions, intuition and body sensations are the Inner Child (IC), then the way to create safety with the IC is through the Inner Parents*. Inner Family work has four parents. A9ll of these parents are needed for every stage of raising an IC. These Inner Parents are the Protective Parent, Nurturing Parent, Critical Parent, and the Spiritual Parent. In addition, two crucial family members are the Observer and the Aware Ego. These two aspects set the parent roles into motion - instantly. If your life is out of balance in the areas of health, wealth, love, creativity and general happiness, then understanding how your internal Selves operate can remove the barriers to your dreams.

The Protective Parent

The Protective Parent is the part of us that sets boundaries both internally and externally. Internally, I use my Protective Parent when I drag my IC off the beach in order to get back to my desk. Externally, I am using this mode when I put my ‘boundary bag’ on my door when I don’t want to be disturbed. I also use Protective Parent mode when I am in a new social situation. When I’m with my friends, the childlike silly aspect of my Self is free to express because I know I am with trusted loved ones.

A Protective Parent that is out of balance results in sentences like these: “Those people are taking advantage of me!” “I dread going into work – my boss is going to throw a fit when he sees my sales numbers are down!” A balanced Protective Parent keeps our IC safe. These safety measures can take the form of making agreements with others, but we need to understand where the internal agreements break down first.

The Nurturing Parent

The Nurturing Parent is the part of us that cares for our health. When its time to eat, we stop and eat. We don’t try to finish just “one more thing” to the detriment of our body. We stop writing our blog in order to watch the final episode of Brothers and Sisters. If we need to relax after work – we take a bath or have tea and read. If we have an emotionally charged day, we give our selves quiet time rather than burying our feelings with too much alcohol, television, Internet or other repetitive patterns.

After auditioning for a musical in San Luis Obispo a few years back, I allowed myself cry and be sad when I didn’t make the cut. This is allowing was my nurturing aspect let the IC express. The feeling lasted just a few minutes. Years later, for my graduation Capstone class at Antioch, I performed an original musical medley as my final exam. (The DVD footage will not be uploaded.) If I had stuffed down the audition experience with phrases such as “Oh, it was meant to be” before feeling the disappointment – I wouldn’t have performed my ‘shuffle off to Buffalo’ routine. The reason? My unprocessed disappointment would have been stored in my body. Feeling disappointed at the time yielded the joy of being onstage in an original musical later.

The Spiritual Parent

The Spiritual Parent is the aspect of us that is our all knowing, grounded Self. It is connected to the Spiritual plane and knows that we are loved. The qualities are acceptance, patience, compassion and loving kindness. In the New Age movement, many people identify with this aspect. Or they judge this aspect as the better than the other parental modes. This is dangerous because hanging out in the ethereal realm creates an imbalance. That is, when its time to come to earth and do the work – there is a tendency to maintain the spiritual high through drugs or drama. The limitless quality of this parent does not allow for the reality of limits that the material world imposes.

The Spiritual Parent forgives a betrayal, while the IC feels the hurt, the nurturing aspect heals, and the protective aspect leaves these relationships behind - or insists on couples counseling! Rushing to forgiveness before processing the pain only buries the hurt in our cellular memory.

Journaling with the Spiritual Parent using the non-dominant hand technique (see January Blog) dispels the societal beliefs of “Daddy God coming in for the rescue.” Journaling with this parent gave me the clarity to take the action in plenty of situations. For instance, in a car accident I had in May of 2007, I called on the Spiritual Parent. After I realized I was not hurt, I closed my eyes and gave thanks. I remembered blessing the journey of insurance paperwork that greeted me. But when it came time to meet the other driver – my Protective Parent took care of business.

The Critical Parent

The Critical Parent is the one I have discussed the most in my blog postings because I have spent a lot of time either listening to its voice or resisting its voice - which energetically, is the same thing. Dr. Capacchione teaches that this parent is necessary in the same way that Inspector Clouseau wrestled with Kato in the Pink Panther movies. That is, he needed the surprise attack to keep his sleuthing skills sharp! If only my Critical Parent’s grousing were as hilarious as Peter Sellars movies. Actually, they can be – once you recognize the disguises this crafty parent uses.

In her book, The Energy of Money, Maria Nemeth calls the Critical Parent, Monkey Mind. Warning signals that we are making decisions from Monkey Mind are being vague, being defensive, taking things personally, making excuses, using either/or thinking – you get the point.

Two aspects of the Critical Parent are The Pusher and The Perfectionist. Both of these aspects are rampant in the Western work world.

You know me - I created a Visioning® collage of my Inner Family. In the Critical Parent section a woman is cringing under the photo of a skinny, persnickety cartoon man. This cartoon man represents the Critical Parent. Beneath the cartoon man is a little Buddha face laughing. Phew! Critical Parent techniques are in my April Blog.

The Observer and The Aware Ego

The Observer: Also on my collage is an image of Buddhist Monk sweeping. This is my Observer representative. But the Observer only observes and needs the directorial skills of the Aware Ego. My Aware Ego is represented by Cesar Milan and Chris Rock. These images remind me to ‘be aware of the energy I am emitting” and “the laughter behind my human drama.”

The Observer is the witness to the events in our life. It simply sees what is happening and reports on the facts. There is no emotional attachment. These reports are used by the Aware Ego, who is the internal director. The Aware Ego gets information from the Observer. Here is an example. The Observer tells the Aware Ego “Dorothy’s boss Susie is yelling again.” Nowhere in the Observers reporting does it mention any personalization. It’s just the facts, ma’m. The Aware Ego can now make a decision.

In this real life circumstance, I was aware of the Observer voice and realized that Susie was like a child throwing a tantrum. I simply let the tantrum happen, and then repeated back what I heard Susie wanted. Because I didn’t jump on the “Susie is yelling there must be something wrong with Susie, with me, with ____,” bandwagon, the situation diffused quickly. If I had tried to fix the situation instead, well, I’d still be standing there with a red faced Susie boss.

We know that the Aware Ego is asleep at the wheel when we go on vacations with our files from work or go to meet prospective clients wearing our swim trunks. The Aware Ego is the decider. It chooses which role is appropriate for which setting. Going to negotiate a contract? Better take the Protective Parent. Stymied by a major decision? Then spend some time journaling with your Spiritual Parent.

The important thing to realize is that we are not any of these roles. We are not our Inner Child. We are not the Aware Ego and we are not the Protective Parent. We are human beings, set on this planet to enjoy our incredible lives. Get to know your Inner Family and the roles they play. They are here to help you move through life’s situations with grace.

May you and your Inner Family celebrate your life!


Dot in Pacific Grove

PS:For specifics on the Inner Family dynamic,
read Recovery of your Inner Child by Dr. Lucia Capacchione.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Intro to Your Inner Family

I was raised in Disneyland, California. That means that I recognized fireflies in Maryland because of Pirates of the Caribbean and when I hear the phrase “Here we go!” I brace myself for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Each summer, the Arizona relatives would arrive and clutching our leftover ride coupons, we’d head back to Disneyland.

Although Disneyland meant the daytime rides and the evening fireworks – our mothers acted like, well mothers. They brought us kids home during the day for food and a break before heading back to the park. As I grew older, it was easy to tell which families had taken a break with the kids and which families had parents that were run by the kids.

Inner families are like that too. Everyone has heard of an Inner Child. Listening to our Inner Child simply means that we are in touch with and honor our emotions and body sensations. What a lot of people don’t know is that if we have an Inner Child, then we also have Inner Parents. These are called the Protective, Nurturing, Spiritual and Critical Parent*. All of these parents are here to take care of us. Not understanding this dynamic can lead to emotions run amok. Think about it – when is the last time you saw an adult throw a tantrum or have an emotional melt down?

When we are growing up, we learned to hide certain feelings that were taboo in our families. Any feeling can be taboo. Most common ones are boys don’t cry and girls can’t be mad. As children, when one of these taboo feelings becomes present, we develop coping strategies to stuff down the feeling. When we go to school, develop friendships, attend church, etc, we learn about more taboo feelings and thus, create new and creative coping strategies.

As children, these coping mechanisms kept us safe – that is, if we paid attention and stuffed down the feeling, we didn’t get in trouble. But a feeling is a unit of energy and unless it is seen, felt, accepted and released – the energy gets stored in our body. This energetic memory reactivates as we move in and out of situations that activate the taboo feeling. This is good news because the feeling is simply trying to be seen, felt, accepted and released. But because we have learned to JUDGE the feeling, instead of stopping to feel the pain – we numb the pain and the cycle begins again. This is why we find ourselves in the “same feeling place, different face” situations repeatedly.

The way out of emotional pain is through. It’s a process that I call Name- that is, Name your feelings, Accept your feelings, Move your feelings (through journaling or exercise) for Empowered choices.

We know where our inner child is running the show by looking at our life situations that are out of balance. For example, I’ve discovered that sometimes my inner kid has stolen the checkbook. So, when I took the morning to go shopping in downtown Santa Cruz, I set my limits by carrying the cash I wanted to spend and had fruit, water and tea in the car – thereby saving more mula for fun stuff. As I was shopping, I noticed that I wanted to buy gifts for others and that I had a big ‘SHOULD’ voice following me around telling me what I should buy and what I really needed.

“Uh, huh, thanks for sharing!”

The amount of money I spent was not as important as simply spending time enjoying kicking around downtown. Now I’m writing this blog wearing my new turquoise shell dangle earrings and am relishing reading my book of essays by Richard Rodriquez that I gleaned from Bookshop Santa Cruz’s sale bin. When I don’t take energy (in time or money) to spend time playing daily and going out for fun weekly – then I chance rebellious, unconscious spending later.

Listening to your feelings, body messages and intuition are paramount to our happiness. But all good parents need to use discretion. Boundaries mean that you are honoring your whole self. Boundaries keep you safe so you can enjoy life’s lovely ride.

May you skip safely and happily through this delicious day,


Read my December blog and for the process of using Visioning® to ground stuck feelings and my January blog to help identify feelings using collage.

*The Inner Family theory is based on Recovery of Your Inner Child by Dr. Lucia Capacchione, who founded of the Creative Journal Expressive Arts training with Dr. Marsha Nelson of Mission, Texas. Buy a copy of the book here too.

Read my article about El Rocio Retreat – the center where Lucia’s new students are trained. For more photos and events listing visit:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Visioning® Step Five: The Inner Critic

The reason that there are 10 steps in the Visioning® process is because our feelings are also a process. Not seeing the cycle leads us to the false belief that whatever we are feeling now will last forever. We want the good emotions to last and the bad to stop. The fact that we hang our societal hat on the HAPPY FOREVER peg is obvious when we watch television commercials. The internal advocate of this false advertising is known as The Inner Critic.

Corporate America dumps huge dollars annually on advertising. If advertising didn’t work – big business wouldn’t be paying the big bucks. Business owners count on you to sit through the commercials so that their message will be recalled the next time you make a shopping decision. Our Inner Critic works the same way.

Other names for the Critic are Monkey Mind or ego. In the Visioning® process, the Inner Critic comes at Step Five, the crucial step where all of the collage pieces are laid out but not glued down. Objectively listening to the Critic’s messages and gives us a chance to answer back.

Unfortunately, once out of the workshop environment, where you are supported in your Visioning® process, you forget to be objective to the critical voice – and then POW, your Vision has spontaneously combusted. The critic’s fear based, controlling messages create a slow leak of energy that siphons the juice out of your inspired dream.

This is why Visioning® manifestation seems so far away. When we first begin the Vision, we are in our large, expansive intuitive minds. That is what our collage is based on: the unlimited potential. But when chaos descends on our Vision like Zeus’s thunderbolt from the heavens then what’s a mortal to do?

Stop and feel the thunder.

If you don’t feel the chaotic thunder, then the sun can’t come out. It will stay in hiding for days until the thunderbolts of doubt are seen, felt, accepted and released. Once I told my friend Amy that I felt sad, but I hated having that feeling. She reminded me that when I’m happy, I don’t judge that feeling, so why is sad different? The difference is the powerful advertising from our Inner Critic.

Luckily, I am revisiting a collage created on the theme “Standing in My Own Space in This World” – that I also call Toilet Man because he reminds me to flush when the critic starts yapping. I used to think that this collage meant to stand up for myself only externally. But the most important place to stand up for ourselves is internally, so we can protect the dream that lives in our heart.

When you hear the Inner Critic, you’ll want to notice what it’s saying, but not take its words personally. This means learning not to identify with this internal voice. I use the dominant hand, non-dominant hand technique outlined in Visioning, Ten Steps to Designing the Life of Your Dreams by Dr. Lucia Capacchione. This method allows me to hear the voice of the Inner Critic and feel where its energy lives in my body. In regards to creating a Visioning® collage, the critical voice may use phrases such as: “I’m sure, pictures from a magazine?” “This is a waste of time, you need to _____.”

The Inner Critic is really on our side, trying to take care of us by keeping us on the SAFE path – even if it’s not what our heart desires. In fact, the chaotic rumble of the Inner Critic gets louder as we move closer to our dream. Other ways that the critical voice often manifests is bodily pain such as headaches, fatigue, and depression. These body signals tell us that there are feelings that need to be expressed. In fact, Dr. Capacchione states that addictive behaviors are our way of muffling the voice of the Inner Critic.

Journaling the Inner Critic and talking back via an empowered, yet often disowned energy called The Inner Brat teaches me that these energies are separate from WHO I AM. As I work with these energies it becomes easier to notice and then turn off the critical voice. Ways I use to bring myself into balance after I’ve wrestled with the Inner Critic are The Jimmy Kimmel show, reading Dave Barry, daily affirmations from and spending time each day doing what I LOVE.

You also have your ways of dispelling the Inner Critic. Please share them in the Comments section at the end of this Blog and let’s get a dialogue happening.

The world is in need of big dreams and the Visionaries brave enough to face the internal blocks that keep us from our calling. This means you.

May your journey to your dreams be filled with laughter,


To order Lucia’s book

To start a Visioning Group or have a Vision party in your home, contact me at

Finally, hoorah for the Cafe Violette in Capitola, for standing up to its sloppy customers with snappy signage:

“Newsflash: Cafe Violette has trash cans – yes it’s true. So use them or suffer the wrath of the owner – you won’t like her when she’s mad. Use them or suffer the consequences.”

After my fabulous food, I asked about these consequences to see if I could get away with leaving my plate on the table: turns out that any offenders will be assigned to the midnight clean up shift. Yikes!

For a delicious, decadent meal that won’t dent your wallet – stop in at the Cafe Violette at 104 Stockton Avenue in Capitola Village. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and feature locally made Marianne’s and Polar Bear ice cream.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Goodnight Kiss

Janet Fisher
Goodnight Kiss Music

Dear Janet,

I was blessed to participate in the March 31st Annual Songwriters Showcase at Britannia Arms in Aptos. The hand of the Big Songwriter in the sky was definitely present as songwriter after fabulous songwriter went up to the mic.

I am proud to say that I was one of them.

When I read your eloquent letter to the songwriters, I found what I came for because your letter reads like a benediction.

If I start my story in the middle it reads something like this:

In 1993 I wrote my 2nd song and decided to become the next Joan Baez. It took 10 years but I made it to the 4-hour gig slot – playing 90% originals at a place called The Network in San Luis Obispo. With an hour to go, I was eating a sandwich on the stage steps thinking,

“Gee, down to the schlock songs and only two tables here. I guess I’ll have to…”

But then a more powerful thought took over.

“Like hell you are. This table is just sitting down and you may know you have been here for 3 hours but they do not. So get back up on that stage and play balls out…”

except with swear words.

After the gig, the man from the table asked about the CD I was selling. He bought one and gave me a folded bill. He said that it was for me, not the CD Project. Turns out he gave me a 100 dollar tip.

I meant to tell you a different story. About how I gave up songwriting because I thought I wasn’t successful and I was so tired of lugging equipment and how I always wanted to go back to school anyway and I did graduate from Antioch and I learned to give speeches and co-edit a magazine.

But what meant the most about that time was finding my way back to the songs.

After Tuesday’s showcase, I read my excellent feedback from one judge that was along the lines of “Write about love you lost – you can do that can’t you?” On the drive home I heard the song fire off in my head.

I’m going back to Britannia Arms on April 14 to play my new song.

It’s hard to say what inspired me the most: your letter, the supportive atmosphere, the judge’s comments or Eric, the sound engineer from MARS Studios who told me that I was ‘never going to give up’ – except with swear words.

You know I’m kidding about the swear words.

In any case, THANK YOU.

Please say hello to Patys Restaurant. I miss Toluca Lake sometimes. It’s where I first picked up the guitar.

May you and Goodnight Kiss Music be joyfully prosperous,


The Songwriter Showcase at Britannia Arms is every Tuesday between now and April 30. The show starts at 7pm. Arrive early to enjoy great ale and yummy food.

I’m playing again for a slot in the finals: April 14 at 7:30pm

Visit MARS Studios for the annual Showcase details, to tour the studio, or wave hello to Eric Bates, the sound engineer who is now famous because of this blog.

To read Janet’s Song Critique Checklist or sign up for the newsletter click Goodnight Kiss Music

Download The Odyssey, Antioch University Santa Barbara’s literary magazine that I co-edited with Rita Traner-McDermott.

Finally, if you are in SLO County this weekend – check out singer/songwriter/guitarist Amanda West – she playing at different venues throughout the county Friday, Saturday and Sunday – then she’s in Monterey. If you can’t see her in person – listen to her music! Be sure to tell her Dot says hello!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Prosperity is FUN!

I just joined a prosperity circle at Inner Light Ministries based on Maria Nemeth’s book, The Energy of Money. Any unexpected income over the 9 week class and we tithe 10 percent to Inner Light. Today I got a 50.00 tax stimulus when I went to my mailbox. So exciting! I’m happily tithing my $5 for a cool $45 in my pocket.

At Monday’s meeting, I donated a total $6.00. The day after last week’s class I received a $10 gift card. My first thought about opening the mail that day was “Dang! I wish I picked up my mail before the class stared! I could have saved a bundle.’

Hey, a buck is a buck. I didn’t used to feel this way about money. In fact, I’ve spent most of my days in a serious lack attack. That means instead of being focused on what I have and appreciating it – I’ve been bummed that I didn’t have more.

More what? Well, my current Wish List includes:

a digital camera, a scanner, a bed from Monterey Mattress Company, a covered laundry basket, music stand for my electric guitar, studio recording time, money for a marketing consultant, a tailor for a skirt and pants that I need to try on first – in case they don’t fit – which means I’ll save another bundle, my own house, furniture for the house, a gardener for the house, a new car for the carport…..

While I say YES to all of the above, on my walk home I decided to say YES to myself. That means that on my walk home I mentally spent my $45 a million different times.

Turns out this is exactly what Esther and Jerry Hicks talk about in the Money and Law of Attraction book/CD combo. Getting into the feeling space of mentally spending the money actually opens up the prosperity flow. The reason is because while we are mentally shopping in our heads we create a positive vibration that attracts more money (and love, health, joy) like a magnet.

Problems with money occur when I forget that the point is to be focused on what makes me feel good rather than spending the money. Actually, I had more fun mentally deciding which bank account to stash the $45 than spending it. Even though I was walking past Trader Joes!!!!

I am learning how to save. And the collage that is speaks to me now was created in 2005. The bottom sentence in particular stands out.

“With compulsive borrowing, treat the self-esteem deficit and the debt will take care of itself.”

One of the homework questions in The Energy of Money was “What is the first time you lost money?” I don’t remember that but I do remember my first debt. It was at a swap meet and my older brothers and sister were there selling stuff. I had some albums to sell and unfortunately went window shopping. I came back to borrow a couple bucks from my brother Joe who gleefully announced that it was still morning and that I was already in the hole.

What did I buy? A purse! A little green plastic purse and I’ve been debting (and buying purses) ever since. Take a moment to find the Dooney and Bourke handbag in the collage below.

So, while I am so looking forward to paying cash for my Vision of A Purse that I’ll find at some groovy recycled shop OR EVEN paying full price at some swank shop in New York – I’ll have FUN thinking about what I’m going to put IN THE BAG (and what I’ll be wearing, and who I’m in New York with and where we are going for dinner and my fabulous career that affords such a lifestyle and the fabulous man who….) which makes the actual bag literally just a fun feeling target.

I’m not saying that spending money is not okay but I have learned that I have often spent money as a way to feel good: when feeling good takes mental energy, not money energy.

So, the moral of this story is when you feel scared about money, then find a way to mentally feel good about money or think about something else.

May all of your mental trips leave you feeling healthy and happy.

Love Dot

PS: Speaking of shopping – there are limited “Mulukuku CD Project” compilation benefit CDs left. This is a benefit CD I produced with proceeds going to the Maria Luisa Women’s Center and Medical Clinic.
Click here to listen to song clips of the 17 FAB musicians who contributed.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

One of my favorite activities is drinking wine while watching exercise DVDs. It’s a very powerful and energizing way to do nothing. Actually, I’m just listening to the DVD because I can’t figure out how to have a small DVD window at the same time that I type.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and celebrations are in order especially since its Dad’s birthday. The only problem is that Dad died in 1994. So, how do I let my body take the ‘I miss Dad’ hit and still feel good?

This is where the wine comes in.

Sundays when I lived in Pasadena, I’d drive down the 10 freeway to Dad’s place. After I played my latest songs on my guitar, Dad and I would pop a tall Bud, read the paper, watch tennis on TV and grunt answers to each others questions. Once a couple of bath-robed old ladies nearly came to blows over a Cadillac parked sideways across three of four parking spaces. Dad had to settle things down. He ignored the argument as long as he possibly could, but kept looking over his bifocals, then through the Venetian blinds all while glancing wistfully at the television.

“Awww, nuts,” he mumbled as he crushed out his smoke and donned his navy blue beaked cap. Gleefully, I kneeled on the chair and peeked as he walked into the melee. Being the assistant manager of the senior complex, he took charge and pulled out the small notebook that he kept in his shirt pocket. He took notes as each of the ladies took her turn. I tried to figure out which one was the Cadillac driver, but apparently it was neither. Both were just arguing about the best way to punish the driver.

(I actually have no idea if the last two sentences are true – but wouldn’t it be hilarious if it was?)

I miss those Dad days. And I’d like to someday learn how to not be sad on Dad’s birthday, but it’s not today. This blog, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite Dad stories that I wrote for a creative writing class. I can hear Tracy York, the SHAPE your abs instructor calling out “pony to the left.” This I’ve got to see.

Happy Birthday, Dad. Yes, I am still writing.


Creative Non-Fiction piece for Antioch Santa Barbara:

No Dad.

I am where we are supposed to meet, but no Dad. I try not to take it personally, but it is hot. In an effort not to cry, I get pissed instead. We are supposed to meet at the Main Gate of Santa Anita Race Track. In two hours, I’ve learned how to use the betting machine, met a cool guy, and drank one warm beer. At home I call to find out what happened. “I was there at the Main Gate,” he said. “Which Main Gate?” I holler over the phone. He doesn’t like to wear his hearing aid. “The Main Gate at the front entrance.” “Okay, let’s try it again next Saturday. How’s jury duty?” “Jewelry? What jewelry?” “Never mind, see you next week at the Main Gate.” “Don’t forget to bring your camera” he yells and hangs up.

Now it’s the next Saturday. No Dad. I am where we are supposed to meet, but no Dad. I race to the infield gates then back to the Main Gates. I’m early but I still can’t find him. Finally, in desperation, I ask an attendant where the Main Gate is. He looks at me like I’m crazy but this time I am determined to find my father. I think about how smart Dad is. I think about how much he loves kindness and music and art but that it is our secret because I am the only one who visits. When I was younger, I’d blame Mom for this because she used to call him a liar. Okay, one for sure lie that I know about was the time he said that he was going to night school and instead went to the bar for an entire semester. But still, that has nothing to do with this Main Gate.

I ask the attendant “is there a gate for people who take the city bus?” He points to a mere break in the fence, so narrow that a child, much less a grown man, could never squeeze through, even if he wanted to. There is a small chain link across the opening and I notice the rickety wire gate. As I rush forward, I become 12 years old and jam my nose through one of the wire links. There, sitting on top of a picnic table smoking, is my father. In spite of the heat, he is wearing his gray polyester blend slacks from the Blair catalog, his straw hat. His coat is folded neatly over his arm. He looks up and butts out his Lucky Strike. Smiling, he walks through the gate to me.

(PS: Dad was bummed that he didn’t get chosen for jury duty. It was a murder trial and Dad said that he told them, “They should hang ‘em, if he’s the one who did it, that’s what they should do.”)

To read my article called Bus People, visit:


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Visioning® Manifestation

The first Monday after moving to Santa Cruz was gorgeous. Sunny, bright, it was shorts weather. I wanted to jump up and go to the beach. I told my new housemate my plans and she replied, “That sounds good. If it were me I wouldn’t be able to relax until my stuff was put away…” I decided to follow her suggestion and went back to my stack of boxes (I unpacked my purse collection the night before) and started in. At lunch I told my other housemate that I was going to drive to Trader Joes. But she gave me walking directions that included an “opening in the brick wall.” Walking through a brick wall? I had to do it.

Often times working with a Visioning collage feels like we are aiming our desires through the brick wall of impossibility. But the Visioning® process is often about manifesting a feeling, rather than a particular object or situation. Once the collage is finished, the process of being with the images and trusting the process is the key.

For instance, I knew that once I set up my home in Santa Cruz I was going to end up in the same basic relationship I am always in: me, myself and I. So it was important that I remembered my focus phrase “My Santa Cruz County life is joyfully peaceful.” This is my ultimate heart’s desire. It’s not asking for a specific situation – other than being in Santa Cruz County – but that I live in joyful peace.

I’m learning that my daily walk of joyful peace fluctuates. That’s why I use the dominant hand, non-dominant hand technique, to invoke peace into my day regardless of what the day brings. (See my January blog for an example). I used to believe peace meant passive. But my first three days in Santa Cruz were anything but.

Day 1: After realizing that I passed the intersection where I was to turn left in the direction of the brick wall, I asked for help. I saw two women walking toward me, so I crossed the street and asked directions. Turns out they were also going to Trader Joes. And one of the women is in the midst of creating a new vision for her life with her husband. (I’m doing a Visioning® collage series for them starting this Saturday.) Through them I’ve already met an inspiring group of Visionaries.

Day 2: I walk back through the wall to get more chow from T.J.’s. On the way back home, I see a familiar face out of the corner of my eye. It’s Laura, my friend who I was in a band with years before in San Luis Obispo County. We stop and chat. She works at the Alternative School where I am hoping to teach. We exchange numbers and she tells me that I will love Capitola. I tell her that I already do.

Day 3: On the way back from a walk on the beach, a dog comes up to me, ball in mouth and I chat with the owner and his friend. I tell them I just moved and we hang out for a while talking. Turns out they are musician/songwriters and yes, they will let me know when they get together to play music. One of them even agrees to talk about a workshop for him and his wife in exchange for an original painting. (I had wanted to do a Visioning® workshop for a couple for some time as well as have an original painting created for my new place.)

This may seem like magic but it’s not. It’s enthusiasm.
Visioning® is tossing several irons in the fire. Toss when the feeling is right and something lovely will ignite. But you don’t get the situation unless you are willing to make the first toss: this includes asking for help. Dreams do ignite – especially when walking through brick walls.

May you and yours walk towards your dream,


To find out how you can host your own Visioning® party, visit
To see a Vision collage of a dream home (and the house itself) visit and click on Lucia’s Story.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Visioning: A Journey, not a Goal.

Last month I left you with my vision ducks quacking over the holidays.
This month, I’m celebrating because, well, it happened! I’m moving to Santa Cruz in 2 days. So if I’m so stoked on moving into my groovy house share on the Capitola/Santa Cruz border, then why feel so even? A truer description is: slightly even, splashed with dots of excitement.

At first feel, I decided that the Critic was afoot and I was going to bop that cute little Shadow Self clean into the next county. Then I realized that I was counting on my Santa Cruz move to save me. While I rationally knew that moving to Santa Cruz meant that one GIANT goal has been reached, the saving part means that I told myself “when I move to Santa Cruz I will be happy.” But thoughts like that mean that I’m not happy now. Saving means the proverbial honeymoon.

Basically, I made the same mistake that many collaging visionaries make. I believed that a vision manifestation was the end, the prize, the brass ring. Not so. All skilled visionaries know that a vision collage is a journey.

Here’s what happened.

I planned a few days to drive up to Santa Cruz and check out some housemate situations and had the scoop on a couple of studio apartments. But, by the time I left for my trip, I was certain that I was going to rent a particular room. I could feel it. The decision felt light. And that’s exactly what happened. We agreed it was a great fit, but that we each needed to sleep on it. The next morning, while I knew to sign the lease, something was bugging me. So I grabbed a pen and scribbled out some concerns.

“I’m sharing a place, I don’t have my own bathroom, I’m 47 I should have my own place, at least my own bathroom, why do I want to share a place? Why do I want to share a bathroom? I’m 47, shouldn’t I……”

After 3 pages of the above judgment mind drivel, something was still bugging me. So I did the next step of the Visioning process: let one of the collage images “speak.” I also call this Talking to The Hand.

Talking to the Hand means that I can write to each collage image to find out what that aspect of me wants to say. The process is known as Creative Journaling and it’s a right brain technique. It gives us the chance for our heart to speak. Basically, I interview the collage image with a series of questions. I decided to interview Niversity because that was the first image that caught my attention.

I use my Dominant Hand to ask the questions (DH) and my non-dominant hand to answer (NDH). Here is part of the result. (You are being spared 2 more pages of DH drivel.)

DH: Dear Niversity: Who are you?
NDH: I am your next step.
DH: How do you feel?
NDH: Confident and happy.
DH: Why?
NDH: Because you said yes to the next step.
DH: Which is…
NDH: Moving to Santa Cruz to be in this house.
DH: I feel afraid of sharing and changing and being more open and loving and compassionate. What do you know about this?
NDH: That this, the next step, is a step, you can chose again and again.
DH: Niversity, what are you here to teach me?
NDH: That there is nothing serious going on here. This is simply the next step…….
DH: Tell me a poem
NDH: Break the boundary connections to your past story.
Nothing is the same every moment is different.
Leave everything you know and follow me – the next step.
It is okay to be afraid but don’t let it stand in your way.

(I really love how Niversity uses James Taylor’s “Secret of Life” lyrics in the last line of the poem. The actual J.T. line is “feel afraid.” The “nothing serious going on here” refers to a quote by Esther Hicks in “The Secret behind the Secret” DVD by Esther and Jerry Hicks. )

So, using the conversation as my guidance, I realize that I am one wise woman. I’m wise because I understand that once you get your vision, enter ‘wanting more.’ That’s because we are ever expanding beings. I’ve been dreaming of Capitola since June: but it’s January. That’s 7 vision filled months of having even larger dreams. So I’m STILL on my way to my 2 bedroom house, this is just a fabulous stopover. It’s also evidence that I am living my dream.

Every visionary knows to celebrate the steps along the way because a great vision is never done. Even when I do end up in my house with the wooden floors and 2 private bathrooms, I’ll still want more. Want more means expansion and growth. And that’s good. (Sometimes owning stuff for stuff’s sake leads us to want more space.)

So a vision collage really represents steps that celebrate our life journey. And, guess what? It’s supposed to feel good!

So repeat after me: “A vision is a journey. A vision is a journey.”

Joyously, I remember an earlier desire: to live in a community of vibrant, creative women. New digs in a Santa Cruz/Capitola house share with a graphic designer and a holistic massage practitioner. Yes, I’m living my dream. I’m always living my dream.

I’ve showed you mine, now you show me yours. Use the comments section and please, dream big.

May you and yours always be visionaries,


To find out how you can have a Visioning party in your home visit

To purchase the book “Visioning: Ten Steps to Designing the Life of Your Dreams”
by Lucia Capacchione, visit and