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The Gift of Trees

The Gift of Trees

Trees Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

All week, the pristine quiet of my new foothill home has been disrupted by the roar of chainsaws, the hacking of axes, the deep bass drone of earth movers and trucks and the all too distinct crack and thud of a tree going down.

IMG_5989 copyright (c) March 2013 Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved IMG_5987 IMG_6029copyright (c) March 2013 Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved

I would estimate more than 50 trees have come down so far. That first day, I could feel the shock of the trees, the earth, the birds. I reassured the trees on my property that the chainsaws would not be coming for them. I spent the day feeling completely rattled. A hawk flew overhead screeching as one tree was being cut. Was its nest high up there in the branches? I saw the same hawk fly down to the ground from a low limb the next day. Were there young ones to feed that now found their home on the ground? I don’t know. I only wonder.

My heart hurt and I cried. I also heard an internal voice chastise me saying “Where do you think the lumber for this house and this deck came from?” I also found myself curious about the process of cutting trees and furious about the destruction of the landscape to pull the logs out.

As I felt into all of my reactions,  I came to understand (among many other insights) that what bothers me most is (and this is an assumption) that they have not been honored. They were not taken down in a sacred manner. No one offered their prayer or blessing or gratitude.

As I said, that is an assumption. So, it all comes back to me. Have I offered my prayer, blessing or gratitude?  I spent that first evening in my sacred space doing just that. It created peace in my spirit and gave my heart a bit of rest. I am reminded to continue the practice of walking in the Beauty Way, honoring all of life. It’s so easy to forget.

The felling continues. As I write, I hear the drone of the tree mover with the big pincers creating roadways through the forest and dragging felled trees to waiting trucks.

This leads me to my invitation to join me in a healing ceremony, of sorts.

IMG_5975 apple blossom copyright (c) March 2013 Kathy J Loh

I invite you to join me in expressing gratitude to trees.

Leave a comment with your words or write a blog post on the subject and post the link in the comments section below.  In this way, we can practice some earth medicine and send energetic healing to trees being felled everywhere. In addition, if you feel so moved, speak your gratitude directly to a tree today.

I will start:

Thank you to the trees.

Thank you for your beauty, shade, blossoms, shelter.

Thank you for offering yourselves to become my home, furnishings, books, bags, paper.

Thank you for giving me your limbs for warm fires on chilly evenings.

Thank you for your medicine and the wisdom you always convey to me when I seek your counsel.

Thank you for harboring birds and squirrels.

Thank you for my guitar, violin, piano and the sweet songs that come from them.

Thank you for your sweet aromas, your waving branches in the breeze, your reminder to remain grounded.

Thank you for your teachings, sometimes painful, through the taking out of power for a day or two, or falling through a roof of a house or car.

Thank you to the giants for living so long as to remind us of timelessness.

Thank you for reaching high and pointing the way to the stars and that beautiful silhouette you create encircling me as I stand in a clearing stargazing.

Thank you for peace laurels, Christmas trees, wreathes and garlands.

Thank you for opening my heart and reminding me of the sacredness of all life.

 

Will you join me? Thank you for posting your gratitude for trees in the comments below (click on “comments” the last word of this post, below the likes and tags)

Many blessings!

Copyright © March 2013 Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Spring Equinox – when the day and night are of equal length – is tomorrow for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.

With a new storm coming in and the lights flickering threatening to take me off line and detain me from posting this, it doesn’t much feel like Spring. Then again, Spring can be expected to be every bit as active as Winter, in its own way. Whereas stormy Winter is a time of hibernation and going inward, Spring is a time of emergence and new life. So, maybe I can think of this latest storm, after a week of truly magnificent weather, as a new foal kicking up its heels for the first time; everything and everyone feeling their oats. (Oh gosh, now I’m hearing Marvin Gaye singing “Let’s get it on.”) And I digress…I know, just when you thought it was going to get interesting!

This Spring Equinox, I invite you to explore, describe or express the landscape you will cultivate as the days grow longer and the Winter fights to be remembered but will, as it must, give way to Spring.  Write it, paint it, dance it, sing it, drum it. Allow Spring to introduce itself anew to you in dreams and meditations. However it feels right for you, let it flow out of you from your deepest connection to what matters most for you.

Then take another look and see what, in metaphor and symbolic, soulful dreamscape, you are creating for the landscape or the field known as you.

(A note for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere:  Fall is a time of harvesting the fruits of our labor and letting go. The first storms will rip the leaves right off of the trees and the first frosts promote deadlines for harvest.  What is the landscape you will create for Autumn?)

mushroom

Back to Spring. I’ll go first….

The landscape of my Spring

I want to work with the natural wild landscape that is already here.

Put some benches in the best sitting spots for all kinds of moods.

Some memorable moments will come for me on those benches and often, they will be shared with others.

I will cultivate invitations to birds, butterflies, wildlife and fairies.

I want to prune the fruit trees to give them the best chance to produce new fruit on last year’s wood.

I want to clear open space for Medicine Wheel work, meditation and ceremony.

I will nourish the energies of play and love.

I will grow flowers with color and express delight at every mushroom that pops up under the pine needles.

I know that each corner of the landscape has its own gift to offer.  Beauty is not always pretty.

If it doesn’t rain enough I will water the land.

If there is too much sun, I will provide shade.

In all instances, I will honor this landscape and if something wants to go, I will not argue; will not hold on.

I will gather the fallen twigs and branches and burn them.

I will till a specifically designated bed for growing organic vegetables and herbs and will compost the remains of what I have consumed to nourish what is just now growing.

I will wander and I will be still.

I will listen

and

I

will

make

noise.

And you, dear reader, what is the landscape of your Spring?

Copyright © March 2013, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Christmas Eve Coyote

With the help of a small pre-lit tree, borrowed from a generous friend, and a Christmas music channel on Pandora, I am beginning to feel like it might be Christmas. Which is helpful, since today is Christmas Eve.

I moved in early December and I am still getting things into place. Last night, I finally got my home theater components hooked up and in the entertainment armoire (which took a lot of reaching, bending, flexing and patience). I’m still missing the speaker wire for the sub-woofer, no boom-boom sounds for now. My printer is still offline since it was not installed to communicate with the AT&T wireless modem that AT&T insisted I buy to use instead of my perfectly good Netgear model.  (Yes, I’m complaining. AT&T has always brought out the best in me – challenging me to find my most patient and compassionate self.)

I think I have bought  two gifts. Thank goodness our family event is not until the New Year, almost.

I have had the magic of snow, the frustration of things gone missing, the unnerving of trees swaying wildly with the wind and rain and power outages that, in this neck of the woods means I can’t pump water either.  It also means I wear long-underwear and polar fleece jackets indoors.  I have had ice that dares me to go anywhere in a car and forces me to walk with tiny baby steps across my deck to the garage and laundry. I know, it’s all sissy stuff compared to what most people live with.

Today, though,  the sun is shining and I am absolutely in love with my new home. Trees make for wonderful companions. The other day, I saw two jack rabbits that came right up to my deck and peered at me through the window. Today, I saw the coyote who is their likely enemy, chasing after something down the hill in the direction from which I’d seen the rabbits come the other day. Though my first view of the coyote was right out my kitchen window, by the time I got my camera, it was weaving in and out of the trees. Coyote was so intent on the hunt, it did not even notice me as I stepped into the yard for another peek. They are fluffier and healthier looking up here than the ones I’ve seen up in the Marin Watershed.

Here are some photos of the coyote in the morning woodland fog. I did not touch them up. I like them looking as mysterious as it felt.

copyright (c) Dec 2012 Kathy J Loh All Rights reserved coyoteEnlrg

Animal sightings are pure magic for me.  My delight rises from my wild nature through my heart and out my mouth as a simple gasp and single word of surprise “coyote!”

Coyote is the trickster; reminds us of how we lie to ourselves in a way that makes rational sense. My lie was that I did not need to decorate for Christmas. It’s Christmas Eve already and I am having holiday meals at other people’s homes. Why would I go to all the trouble to get ornaments out of boxes and deck my house and then have to go to all the trouble to put it all away in a few days? Why?

Coyote reminded me of magic. There is a magic I want to feel around the holiday and there is a child in me who insists on decorating the tree. So, I listened to her. We put on the music, we chose just-right ornaments that speak to me now – most of them woodland creatures. Enchantment rose in me and illuminated my new home.

Later today, I will go for a hike with my friend who is now my neighbor. We might even go snow-shoeing which would be a new activity for me, one I look forward to experiencing.

I said I moved here because I wanted adventure. I have not been disappointed yet. It’s just the sometimes it is hard to remember that adventure is not always comfortable. There is no predicting the Mystery and yet, there is no need to wait for enchantment.

We are all magicians traveling this Full Moon Path.

What illuminates your path?

How is the Mystery speaking to you today to get you to follow it into the woods of timelessness and create a little magic of your own?

Sending you all love and enchantment!

copyright (c) Dec 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Winter Solstice 2012

 “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

On this auspicious Winter Solstice 12/21/12 I am writing to you from my new home on 2.5 acres in the sierra foothills. The snow is falling, the wind is blowing, trees are swaying while the most tenacious leaves and pine needles are hurling themselves to the ground.

I’ve only been here a dozen days and this is the third time it has snowed. Already, I am learning to dance with the rhythm of nature, even if sometimes that dancing has me feeling like being a whirling dervish. If the skies are clear, I work like a squirrel preparing for winter. I run errands, get things tarped, make sure I have enough gas for the generator, enough food in the pantry.

I try to be prepared and not scared and I have to admit, despite the inconvenience of it all, I am thoroughly enchanted by falling snow and the majesty of giant trees.

copyright (c) 2012 Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Winter Solstice is when we begin to see longer days and shorter nights, day by day, night by night.

This particular solstice has grabbed the attention of many as the marker for the big shift, the end of the world as we know it, new beginnings. Some say it is the end of an old paradigm and the beginning of a new paradigm in which we are the creators of our reality in a whole new way. Whatever it is and whatever you feel, it is an opportunity to set powerful intentions for living a life worthy of our beautiful souls and spirits.

Today is a good day to plant the seeds of those intentions and let them take hold and root underground before cultivating them on the surface. Winter is a time to go inward, to rest and revive and maybe even re-set our body, mind, spirit and heart. When the Spring Equinox arrives, we will see our seeds sprout and we can then get into action around them. Winter is more for being.

So we set our intentions as if they are tulip bulbs in the earth of our energetic being. This is a good time to check in with ourselves. Who are we being and who is it that we need to be to create, nurture and follow through on those intentions? What within us needs to be understood, nurtured, changed, or released to become the best gardener of those “bulbs?”

It might be the way we think about things, a mindset that no longer serves us. This might be revealed to us in our judgment of self and others. Listen to what you say to yourself as well as to others. Listen with wonder and curiosity.

It might be the way we are denying our feelings or using inauthentic tactics like guilt and blame to avoid feeling what our hearts want us to experience.

It might be the way we are holding ourselves separate from our bodies, in struggle and resistance, fighting, controlling, pushing our bodies rather than listening, loving and responding.

As we build fires to keep us warm on winter nights, we can ask ourselves how we are tending the fire of our spirit. Wither our passion, zest for life, appreciation and gratitude for the beauty that surrounds us and the beauty within us?

So yes, let this be the end of the world as you know it. The end of what no longer works, of trying to constrict and constrain yourself into short little days of being awakened while enduring long, long nights of default drifting.

Today is a good day to “release your history and dance into the Mystery” as my tag line says.

You are not your history. You are a unique and deeply important expression of a Great Mystery.

You matter.

You shine.

We want to see you in majestic full bloom!

Magical Solstice to you, my lovely readers!

Invitation: I am offering a year-long one-on-one guided journey for those who wish to have a transformative and healing experience. Curious? You can read more about it here: http://www.coachkathy.com/coachingprograms.html

copyright (c) December 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

 

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” Ray Bradbury

This post is in celebration of:

100 blog posts

60 years on the planet

60 people who got me through some rough times

I began this blog in 2009. It was after I’d futzed around for a year trying to get up the energy to write a book. Finally, I decided to surrender the book and create a blog. The title Full Moon Path came about as a result of seeing a road in Montana named New Moon Path. I was on a road trip at the time, trying to decide what to do about my marriage, my life, my everything. I fancied owning a house in the country down a private road named Full Moon Path and I’d have a red barn, like the one in my night time dream, that housed a stage and a piano. It was a flying dream too and I floated above the barn rafters taking it all in. That was in 2004 and in 2009, I finally put the name to use. It didn’t take long for me to discover that the Full Moon Path is so much more than what it seems; 100 posts about shadow, light, cycles, navigating the unknown; the spaces between.

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age.” – Sofia Loren

In June I turned 60. 60 years on this planet. 60 wonderful years well supported by a loving family, good friends, amazing educators, coaches and advisers. I was well feted with numerous phone calls, cards, gifts and dinners. I had the exquisite pleasure of spending a week in Tahoe as the guest of my coach and dear friend, Jeanine.  We hiked, explored, collaged our visions,  partied with other friends at the Ritz on Northstar and on the beach at Sand Harbor. Here are some photos from that week.

Lake Tahoe copyright(c) June 2012 Kathy J Loh

Rincon Trail Lake Tahoe

Eagle Lake - copyright (c) June 2012 Kathy J Loh

Eagle Lake

copyright c) Kathy J Loh June 2012

party crashers

copyright (c) June 2012 Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved

Sand Harbor

I’ve lived a privileged life, a colorful life, an introspective and reflective life, a creative life, a coupled and singled life.

I’ve lived in the most beautiful places on the California Coast: San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Clemente, Marin County and Santa Cruz.

I’ve lived through my personal dark night of the soul and the karmic lessons of betrayal several times over, the kind of lessons that brought me to my knees and found me shaking my fists at the sky pleading “Please don’t ever make me come back here again!”

It’s the people in my life that form the fibers, the weaving of the supportive hammock that held me aloft, saved me from drowning,  these 60 years.

So, I sat down to come up with 60 names I want to celebrate.

The people who were the soft place to land, the homes away from home, the ones who were the first to get the call when everything fell apart, the ones who endured countless “emergency” calls after that.

The ones who helped me see who I am and what I’m made of when the people I thought loved me betrayed me, the ones who re-birthed me, nurtured me and championed me.

All of them told me the truth.

I am not naming the rogues, frenemies and lovers. They hold another position in my life and I honor them too, but they are not the focus of this particular celebration.

I am not naming my family members either, though each and every one of them holds a special place in my hammock.

I smile with tears in my eyes as I write the word celebration because I think of celebration as something with tiaras and loud noise makers, lots of people, music and dancing.

This is somehow quieter. It is this deep river of gratitude that runs through me.

It is so heart-opening to receive the beauty of being loved and cared for by so many others. Try and judge yourself as unworthy, unlovable, not enough (common core limiting beliefs) in the face of so much evidence to the contrary!

So here they are, my friends, my rescuers, my heroes and heroines; the people who were there to pick up the pieces and put them back together again. (There is no order to this whatsoever):

Joette, Lindsey, Leigh, Wendy, Ingrid,

Leslie, Brooks, Jeanine, Cyndie, Jordonna,

Jan, Val, Verna, Lil, Paul,

Kate, Arvid, Dawn, Betty, Elaine,

Mary, Trudy, Judy, Julie, Grace,

Nicki, Karen, Diana, Kathrin, David,

Jann, Jim, David, Sue, Mark,

Jamie, Kathy, Pemma, Karen, Michele,

Tina, Gerry, Cynthia, Judy, Diane,

Mikol, Elisabeth, Gini, Joan, Jean,

Henry, Patrick, David, Leza, John,

Evelyn, Robin, Keri, Margo, Camilla

Here’s to YOU!

I celebrate you beautiful spirits,

beautiful minds and hearts,

beautiful beings, who had a hand in creating me.

I celebrate your honesty, your stories,

your gifts and skills, your laughter,

your smiles, your tears and compassion.

I celebrate your strength and wisdom,

your generosity and playfulness,

your music and your poetry.

I celebrate your patience and your impatience (when you proclaimed “enough!”).

I celebrate the profound gift of being alive to experience receiving, loving and knowing you.

I celebrate you and I thank you for the immense pleasure of your majestic company on this full moon path.

copyright (c) June 2012, Kathy J Loh

A tiara was involved after all!

PS: I wrote a small note of appreciation to each of the people I named to let them know about this post. I cried for hours as I did so and today I have the swollen eyes to show for it. And, I have a softened and opened heart. I recommend this exercise to all of you. Meanwhile, I have many other friends whom I cherish and who did not have to walk the narrows with me, so may not be on this particular list. It’s just a list. This is a party to which everyone is invited.

copyright(c) July 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved (including images)

Responsibility – how does that word sit with you? Does it cause you to feel expanded or contracted? I’ve decided that responsibility is an O word. What does that mean? What is the O? For some, it is a ring of fire. For others it is a wormhole to higher consciousness. What the heck am I talking about?

Think of O as a looking glass, a lens. Heck, think of it as a hula hoop if that serves.  Depending on how you view it and the way you relate to it, responsibility is (and here come the O-words) obligation, onerous, one-way, one-right-way, or it can be, for you, opportunity, options, optimization.

I’ve written about responsibility before and how we can re-resonate the word for ourselves by seeing it as our ability to respond. That works for a while. Then, something, someone comes along and we are triggered by the word, falling back again into the resonance of obligation. We feel imprisoned, victimized. We get blamed and we blame. We look forward to some illusive day of liberation equating it with “no more responsibility” and get that all mixed up with freedom.

What is the pivotal point? How can we infuse this word, responsibility, with light, love and power and beauty? (I realize that there are other cultures that will not get what the problem is at all and that’s wonderful. If you don’t have a problem with the word, carry on. You have better things to do with your time than read this.)

Emerald Lake Copyright (C) Oct 2011 Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved

Emerald Lake, Cananda

 

In order to take responsibility for my life, my feelings and my actions, I have to recognize that I am my own authority. I am the author of my life. I create my reality. I am the cause of my effect. OK, so stuff happens, but I am at choice regarding my reaction to and action around my circumstances.

As I pondered being my own authority, I flashed back on the many ways I’ve handed my authority over to others: parents, teachers, leaders, lovers, books. Yes, books. For the longest time, if it was in print, it must be so. Go figure…

I was an eager student in search of straight A’s, in search of perfection, in search of safety, belonging, security and knowing I was loved. If I could just get the formula right, just solve the problem of me, not life, me, then I could live “happily ever after.” That’s how it works, right? Happily Ever After!

It was only last year that I truly let myself and all of my multidimensional being off the hook for straight As. I’d inadvertently eaten a gluten meal and ruined my perfect record. Like so many are fond of saying, “I’m harder on myself than anyone else is on me.” I had every opportunity to be that way with myself again, but chose differently and experienced a profound shift. Take note those of you who resonate with being hard on yourself – it’s not something to boast about, this preemptive criticizing of one’s self. It’s downright self-destructive.

Where was I? Oh yes, responsibility and authority. You know when you get a kind of aha! that’s gentle and yet profound; the kind that feels like a ping on the temple that shakes something loose in the brain? That’s what I got this past weekend at a Lucid Living workshop on the Beauty of Belonging. There is no one right answer, no one right way to live. There are a multitude of possibilities from which to choose and I am the chooser. As the one who chooses, I am my own authority. What?!! No one right choice, just the one I choose out of a sea of possibility? How the heck do we get into heaven if we haven’t found that one key for that one gate?

It all fell away in an instance. My search for the key died right then and there. But here’s the important part. It didn’t fall away because I got that there’s not one right way. It fell away because I am meeting my own needs and I am not looking to have them met out there.

I’ve spent my life being my own rebellious authority from the obligation and opposition side of the O lens of responsibility. I’ve defined who I am to myself in resistance to, comparison with and belonging among.

I’m a freedom junkie as are many of you. We hunger for freedom and I hear it in my clients all the time. I’ve written about freedom from and freedom to in other articles and posts and I have given it as an inquiry to clients,  and now, for me,  it is landing at a deeper level.

As long as I was defining myself in resistance to, I was looking to be free from. As long as I was looking to become free from, I was wearing responsibility like a noose. I was looking to be free of obligations while living in a world (that I fabricated) of obligation. Sounds suspect doesn’t it?

We can never be free as long as we are trying to be free from, because the resonance of that is one of blame, defensiveness, denial and resistance.  As we all know, what we resist, persists.  Besides, what is a rebel without a cause?

On the opportunity and options side of the responsibility lens, the resonance of freedom is not to be free from, but free to. I am free to choose, free to create, free to say yes and free to say no, free to love what I love. I am free to, because I am responsible.

What happens when we stand at that cross-roads of the choice to accept or shun responsibility can be daunting. If I am no longer in resistance to or trying to get myself free from, then I am no longer defined by my resistance. If I am no longer who I have known myself to be then who am I and what do I want, REALLY? Sit with that question for yourself a moment. How free are you to even look for the answer to that question? How much of your answer is shaped by the fact that you’ve stuffed it for so long it’s downright painful to even begin the excavation process? If you know the answer and you are not creating that for yourself, what is the responsibility you are unwilling to take?

When we know what it is we really want; when we hear our soul’s calling and take full responsibility for our lives, our reality shifts. That shift will create some manner of chaos big or small, because chaos is a necessary precursor to change. For me, this time, it will be small, because I’ve been through the big ones and I’ve done it the painful way: in resistance, getting myself out from under.

This time, I know it will be gentler and kinder, because I am gentler and kinder to myself and I have done the work internally coming to know that I belong in this world exactly as I am, in fact, more so as I am. I’ve met the enemies of the judge, trickster, debt collector and dark lover within. I’ve been mean and critical to myself. I’ve played all kinds of mind games. I’ve made myself pay for anything I could have possibly done that was wrong and I’ve tarried far too long in suffering and struggling.

I’ve learned the hard way (which is something my mom once told me is the way I seem to do it). Well, mom, Happy Mother’s Day – I’m not doing it the hard way anymore. And guess what? I’ve totally forgiven myself for all of that and include all I’ve been and done in the wholeness of my journey.

It’s a huge leap of faith, this courage of my convictions, this full on authoring of my own life without ghostwriters, this resonance of responsibility as opportunity and free to. It’s not my familiar home.  And yet, as I say that, I suspect, for the soul and the heart, it is the more familiar and truer home.

So, choose your O-words for responsibility. You already do and now, I invite you to do so consciously and lovingly.

Note 1: A huge hug of gratitude to Lucid Living (Leza Danly and Jeanine Mancusi and all my Lucid Living tribe) for guiding and loving me through the maze.

Note 2: Today would have been the 30th anniversary of my marriage which died, officially,  over 6 years ago. It seems more than appropriate that today, on this date, I would be writing about authoring my own life. Healing takes time. Healing is becoming whole. It’s worth the journey, every step of the way.

Note 3: this is my 99th blog post. Next one, #100, will be a celebration in more ways than one!

Copyright© May 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved.

Celebrating Earth Day

Earth

She is a place we call home

She has a life of her own

On any one day

In any one moment

She is active

Always breathing

Sometimes easily

Sometimes fitfully

Ever sacred

As are we

Familiar with each other from the outside in

What is it to experience each other from the inside out?

I am

I am the waterfall

     and trickling stream

I am the wild wind

     And drifting sand

I am the bursting buds

     and new grass green

I am the snow-capped peaks

     and ancient land

I am the light

      and things unseen

The shadows, the singing, the silence between

I am

Copyright © April 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Happy Earth Day my friends!

Video from YouTube – BBC’s trailer for Planet Earth

And for our sweet animal companions


									
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