11 Guys and Me….. Part One

Hmmmmm – I can hear a few mental wheels turning…..

most of the group - at the start and still clean...

most of the guys – at the start and still clean…


….. and Me

But before you go down that particular road let me tell you – a different set of wheels were turning.  Actually – there were 28 wheels.  On 7 rigs. With 11 guys – 10 tall and over 21 plus one – very short, adorable and under 10.   And me. The self professed princess agreed to spend a week  on an overland adventure in Washington state with a group from the NW Overland Society of which my Beloved is a member and passionate overland enthusiast.  As in all my previous travel posts – what follows are my random experiences and observations – in no particular order or level of importance. It was all absolutely amazing.  Really….!

We traveled from Carson to Packwood then onto  Ellensburg ending the overland portion of the trip in Wenatchee.  (For those interested in route specifics – Here’s the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route link: www.backcountrydiscoveryroutes.com/WABDR)

The 7 Rigs - courtesy of Chris Miller

The 7 Rigs – courtesy of Chris Miller

Overland Journal defines “What is Overlanding?” as “Overlanding describes self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the primary goal. Typically, but not exclusively, accommodated by mechanized off-highway capable transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping; often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and often spanning international boundaries. While expedition is defined as a journey with a purpose, overlanding sees the journey as the purpose.”  http://www.overlandjournal.com/

I love road cruises – highway miles zipping by as I sip my latte, blast the tunes with off key accompaniment, munch on junk  – all in the comfort of my very cushy car with leather heated seats.  This was Not a road cruise. 

courtesy of Chris Miller

courtesy of Chris Miller

First – sipping anything is an art form when the rig is bouncing, jouncing, swinging from side to side, stopping and starting abruptly while negotiating rocks, ruts, trenches and all manner of obstructions.

 Gives new meaning to the term “uneven surface”.  Will and mud 3

courtesy of Chris Miller

courtesy of Chris Miller

As a passenger – I got the added entertainment on occasion of seeming to be suspended over a cliff  – white knuckled and trying to keep my comments to myself while keeping my brain busy calculating length of fall proportional to injuries sustained.  Eating just seemed like a contact sport…. 

Music was replaced with “the Comms”.  For the uninitiated – all vehicles in the convoy need to be connected via radio for safety, trail direction, hazard warnings, troubleshooting, “is every one still here?”, “tail has made the turn”. etc. 

courtesy of Chris Miller
courtesy of Chris Miller

The fun part was listening to a bunch of guys being – well – guys.  Locker room humor, potty mouths, really bad jokes and yes – picking on the blonde. Dan the Fireman just had to go there… But, this blonde held her own on the mike and gave as good as she got!  It was all in good fun…

Side note – Dan was the only one who got a flat on this trip.  Hmmmm – Who has the last laugh?? BTW- he changed that huge muddy flat in about 17 mins!changing the flat

The views and vistas were incredible.  It was really amazing to me where we were able to go in these vehicles. Never tell an off-roader “you can’t make that…”  I got “the look”…

courtesy of Chris Miller
courtesy of Chris Miller


courtesy of Chris Miller

courtesy of Chris Miller


courtesy of Chris Miller

courtesy of Chris Miller

Courtesy of Chris Miller

Courtesy of Chris Miller

vista Will

What boy – young, old or “of a certain age” can’t resist a mud puddle? Alas, since we were the “tail” rig – by the time we got to gun it through –  it went from water to thick mud. Momentary blindness as the windshield and passenger window was covered. Why do I need to see?  I’m not driving….  Oh, but he can’t see either!  I wish I’d have taken a shot of that but I was too busy just hanging on!!!

courtesy of Chris Miller

courtesy of Chris Miller

courtesy of Chris Miller

DSCN2641As any conscientious overlander will do – if there are obstructions on the trail – They’ll be a good person and remove it or minimize the impact to the next traveler.  Besides – it’s a great opportunity to use tools and test ingenuity.        I took the opportunity of finally not moving to read while I could.  And eat….


Part Two – Camping rough, weather, ice caves,  potty stops, the Metro Boys and more …..  Stay Tuned!

For those interested in Pacific NW Overlanding – here is the link: http://nwoverland.org/


Sky Speak…..

I was witness to a very rare and amazing two hour Northern Lights show in Plain, WA – it was totally awe inspiring!

Thank you Chris Miller for this incredible photo!!

Aurora Borealis in Plain Wa June 2013

Written in Stone…..

I was gifted a beautiful intentional exercise by my wild and lovely pal Nadya.  Me – being me – took it a step further.

We were talking about making order out of seeming chaos, embracing the chaos and accepting that perhaps – just perhaps – layered under the mystery is a larger natural order.  We also spoke of directed energy.  Taking desires from a vision to an intent but – rather than focusing on the ‘thing’ – focusing on the qualities.  The energy of the qualities imbued, given name – thus give form to formless energy.  The outcome remains a mystery and therein lies all the fun.  Seriously – isn’t it the anticipation of a gift that keeps us juiced rather than the gift itelf?  Well – maybe not if we’re talking about shoes…

You’ll need time, a sharpie, and a place where rocks gather –

stone fieldFind a field of stones that strikes your fancy and just enjoy the whole of it.  Each rock an individual but gives itself over to the collective that we see as this field…

stones 1Select your stones – perhaps they will speak to you, call you to pick them up.  You’ll know if you need only one or many…. Arrange this selection and just appreciate their blank beauty – their individuation outside of the collective you just plucked them from.  Do they look different to you now that they are not the faceless many in the stone field?

written in stoneTake a few breaths, empty your mind of the chatter and focus on your heart.  Without taking too much time – write the qualities that your heart is speaking to you on your rock.  Take a few minutes to appreciate the message given.

Here is the message – all of these qualities you’ve named – you already possess – you just got distracted and forgot.  The ‘things’ you desire that you think will give you these qualities – once acquired – don’t.  Start with affirming these already exist within you regardless of any outward or worldly appearances.

It’s written in stone….

PS:  Nadya likes to throw her stones in the water.  Me?  I like to leave them for another to stumble upon and perhaps be inspired.  Better yet – wander away with one or more that spoke to them.

BTW – This is how rocks travel….

The Golden Rule Revisited & Revised…..

I find Rob Brezsny’s essay revisiting “the Golden Rule”  fresh and thought-provoking.  “Here’s a new, improved formulation, which we call the Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would like to have you do unto them.”  Read that three times.  Service just may be my own ‘new black’ for meditation….

(excerpted from the revised and expanded edition of
Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia)

You’re a star — and so am I. I’m a genius — and so are you. Your success encourages my brilliance, and my charisma enhances your power. Your victory doesn’t require my defeat, and vice versa.

Those are the rules in the New Earth — quite unlike the rules in the Old Earth, where zero-sum games are the norm, and only one of us can win each time we play.

In the New Earth, you don’t have to tone down or apologize for your prowess, because you love it when other people shine. You exult in your own excellence without regarding it as a sign of inherent superiority. As you ripen more and more of your latent aptitude, you inspire the rest of us to claim our own idiosyncratic magnificence.


Tibetan Buddhist teacher Geshe Chekawa (1220-1295) specialized in bodhicitta, seeking enlightenment not for personal gain but as a way to serve others. On his deathbed, he prayed to be sent to hell so that he might alleviate the suffering of the lost souls there.

As you explore pronoia, you will discover that like Chekawa, you have a huge capacity to help people. Unlike him, you’ll find that expressing your benevolence doesn’t require you to go to hell. It may even be unnecessary for you to sacrifice your own joy or to practice self-denial. Just the opposite: Being in service to humanity and celebrating your unique power will be synergistic. They will need each other to thrive.


The Golden Rule is a decent ethical principle, but it could be even better. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” presumes that others enjoy what you enjoy. But that’s wrong. There are many things you’d like to have done unto you that others would either despise or be bored by. Here’s a new, improved formulation, which we call the Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would like to have you do unto them.

Using this improved formula is not just a virtuous way to live, but is also the best way to ensure the success of your selfish goals. The rituals and spells of various occult orders purport to be supercharged techniques for imposing your personal will on the chaotic flow of events, but I say that practicing the Platinum Rule outstrips all of them as an exercise to enhance your potency and happiness.


At the heart of the pronoiac way of life is an apparent conundrum: You can have anything you want if you’ll just ask for it in an unselfish way. The trick to making this work is to locate where your deepest ambition coincides with the greatest gift you have to give. Figure out exactly how the universe, by providing you with abundance, can improve the lot of everyone whose life you touch. Seek the fulfillment of your fondest desires in such a way that you become a fount of blessings.


The Bible quotes the radical first-century spiritual activist Jesus Christ as follows: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

This approach is as important to my well-being as getting good food and exercise and sleep. It’s self-destructive for me to hate anything, including things that are easy to hate and that I might be naturally inclined to hate. As much harm as fundamentalist Christians have wreaked on our culture, for instance, feeling disgust for them only makes me sick. It feeds the very “us versus them” thinking that I’m pledged to root out, thereby making me a hypocrite and tainting my integrity. My mental and physical health suffer, and that diminishes my ability to get what I want.


I got an e-mail from a beauty and truth fan who calls himself Drek, Agent of the Future. “How come, in the long list of human fears, ‘showing one’s true self’ is never included?” Drek mused. “Compared to the electrifying and terrifying prospect of shedding our protective masks and expressing our raw souls, snakes and death and public speaking really don’t seem that scary.”

I wrote Drek back to congratulate him for facing his greatest fear. I said I thought his struggle to reveal his naked beauty was as great a service to humanity as the work of Buddhist teacher Geshe Chekawa.


“To be an altruist, you must first be an egoist.” – George Gurdjieff.

“Before you can give yourself away, you have to have a self to give.”  – Isabel Hickey, Astrology: A Cosmic Science


“In a gift-giving society, an individual gains prestige and satisfaction by receiving, then adding to what has been received and passing it on.” So says Lewis Hyde in his book The Gift, Imagination, and the Erotic Life of Property. “In a consumer society,” he continues, “prestige and satisfaction are gained through accumulation and acquisition. Nothing is given, nothing is passed on.”

Though you have been born and raised in a consumer society, your attraction to pronoia suggests you have the ability to live in a gift-giving society. One of the best ways to change yourself to help create such a society is to expand your capacity for both accepting and bestowing largesse.

Pronoia isn’t just a matter of raking in the blessings offered to you by the universal conspiracy, nor is it merely about aiding the conspiracy to disseminate blessings to everyone else. It’s a balance of the two.


The Beauty and Truth Lab’s youngest practitioner is a teenage poet, Deirdre Vonn. She’s modest about her art. She worries she hasn’t earned the states of awareness she writes about. “I don’t know if I’m really as sensitive and deep as my poetry implies,” she confessed once as she handed me a pristine, wrenching poem.

I understand her concern. Am I as consistently generous as my writings might make me appear? Nope. But in the effort to provide delicious and nutritious oracles for my readers, I am constantly pushing to live up to the moral artistry I espouse, becoming in the process a more interesting and useful person.

How about you? Is there a gift you can give or service you can provide that will awaken your sleeping endowments? Is there beauty you can bring to life in your environment that will compel you to become more of a charismatic, ingenious star?


“You never enjoy the world aright, till the Sea itself flowers in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars: and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more than so, because men and women are in it who are every one sole heirs as well as you. Till you can sing and rejoice and delight, as misers do in gold, and kings in scepters, you never enjoy the world.” – Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditation


Stones have many uses –

Stones as weights to keep something important from escaping….

Stones as projectiles for punishing the adulteress, weapons against the Brits in N. Ireland…

Stones as markers – caches, graves – one holding the promise of life – the other the remains of life…

Stones balanced in meditative practice for a restless practitioner….

Touch stones, Worry stones, stones for good luck, stones as symbols – Stonehenge, the Stone of Scone, viking runes in Nova Scotia….

Stones convey a sense of permanence -“The state or quality of lasting or remaining unchanged indefinitely”

Perhaps that’s why I collect them.  To give me a sense of permanence in an existance that – to date – has known only of the definition rather than the experience…

Stones 2Perhaps that’s why I have a basket of them – collected over the last decades from many countries visited, the myriad places I’ve lived…..

Perhaps that’s why I carry my stones in a basket – –

Used as my roving sense of permanence as I pack to move  – yet again –

A New Moon Second Chance……

couertesy of Laura Fredrickson

couertesy of Laura Fredrickson

Mysticmamma.com is my favorite site for all things moon related.  Read on for the full import of today’s New Moon.  This one marks the end of the astrological calendar and an opportunity to swim – humm, no – to frolick in the waters of your own piscean dreams of fresh starts and new beginnings…..

“Beautiful Pisces NEW MOON is here on March 11th 2013!  News is we have an abundance of planets congregating in Pisces right now. My moon is in Pisces so I’m certainly feeling all this watery dreamtime energy 😉
Here are the Astral Insights from the most insightful readers of the planetary bodies…
First from the always wonderful Kelley Rosano:
“The Pisces New Moon holds magical healing power on March 11…We have the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Chiron and Neptune in Pisces. We have a whole lot of Pisces going on. We are tripping with the light fantastic…”
“Pisces energy is spiritual, sensitive and dreamy. This is not the time for facts, figures and fast decisions. In Pisces, it is wise to step back and review how far we have come. We are to dream. We are to flow with the energy. Release our need to control.  Here we play, dream and visualize what we want.”
“The Pisces New moon is the last New Moon for the astrological year.  In western astrology, our new year begins when the sun enters Aries on March 20. This will be the cycle to put our dreams (Pisces) into action (Aries.) Pisces is the cycle for endings and completions. Step one is to rest, restore and breathe deeply. Our life will accelerate greatly in Aries. People will be ready to move forward on their long range plans. New opportunities will emerge for everyone…”
“In Pisces, we surrender our egoic needs and wants. We allow our Higher Self to guide us. Our soul knows our destiny. We can’t know what is right for us from exhaustion. We must be rested. In this way, we choose wisely. We choose what is right for us. Life becomes effortless, when we live from our authentic Soul Self. We connect to our soul’s wishes and desires. We are proactive and not reactive.”
“Pisces rules the twelfth House…The twelfth house shows our limitations, frustrations and shadow side. The self-defeating patterns we disown or deny. The twelfth house is a treasure trove for our hidden strength, untapped talents and abilities. The twelfth house rules our personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. Though hidden from view, the twelfth house is rich in significance.”
“The twelfth house can reveal secret wellsprings of growth, opportunity and strength. Or, it can point out ways we covertly undermine ourselves. Denial creates our suffering. When we are willing to consciously examine and take responsibility for our self-defeating thoughts and behaviors, including those negative feelings we don’t like to admit we possess, we invoke our cathartic healing. In this way, we empower ourselves. We free ourselves from the self-limiting past…”
“We are in a profound cleansing and clearing cycle. Allow the deep emotions emerging from the unconscious to be healed. The past does not equal the future. The past cannot be used as a measure for the future we are creating…We have never been here before. Our past experience cannot be used as a reference point for what we are experiencing. Earth is Ascending. We are Ascending. We are on the leading edge of thought creating the New Earth.
“The Pisces New Moon message is to follow our heart. Only the heart can make our dreams come true. We need to stay out of the ego mind. We are to live from our heart. Allow our heart to open wider. Let Creator’s Love/Light healing energy flow through us. This will heal our past. This will heal our body, mind, heart and soul. Pisces is our opportunity to return to Source. We are to dial out of the over-stimulation of modern life.”
“We allow the magic and mystery of Pisces to take us deeper into our soul. We do this through meditation, music, art, dancing, singing, writing, resting and being in nature.  Doing what we love. We merge with the Divine. “
“Make time for yourself at the New Moon. We are to plant seeds of gratitude, appreciation and faith. Take advantage of the New Moon invitation to rest and retreat. Mars the planet of action, energy and drive fires into his home sign Aries on March 12. We will release the past, racing towards our future.  We move from our inner journey to the outer world and new beginnings.”
© Copyright 2013 ~Kelley Rosano. All Rights Reserved
From Dipali Desai and her Celestial Space Astrology:
“The New Moon in Pisces occurs at 21 degrees on March 11th, 2013. The New Moon in Pisces is unique and even other worldly in feeling.  We may want to fluidly move with the waves of energy, allow the heart space to open wide and receive the best of whatever  is being offered at this time. It can be love, bliss, compassion, inspiration whatever is in accordance for the individual and the collective. Open to receive and be thankful for the offering  for it is a gift bestowed upon us from the Cosmos….”
“We may recognize one of the glorious gifts of the New Moon in Pisces is that of experiencing an open heart, to feel the utmost tenderness and compassion for self and for all. We may be able to sense how truly connected we are – Soul to Soul.  Important insights may arrive through dream symbolism or heightening of intuition. If there is lingering pain or wound of sorts – perhaps with this wave of gentle healing energy and forgiveness,  it will flush out of and peace is restored…”
“This New Moon in Pisces is highly inspiring and is wonderful space for healers, artists, writers and those who channel. It is a great energy for healing session as well as receiving Spiritual guidance and reading.”
“The New Moon in Pisces is happening under a “11″ vibration, this leads us to feel the silent loving connection from the Divine. We have the opportunity to embrace both our Spiritual/Soul and our human aspects and see the unity or Oneness of ourselves and with all of life. Enjoy the experience of this gorgeous New Moon in Pisces and notice the subtle synchronicity unfolding now. Feel the beauty of peace now.”
© Copyright 2013 ~Dipali Desai All Rights Reserved
From the always inspired Pat Liles from The Power Path.com:
“This most feminine expression of Moon energies is calling, calling, calling us inward, downward to our depths to drink from our inner wells of divine inspiration.  As we pass deeper into our inner sanctuary, we witness all around us the ills and suffering created on the physical plane when we keep ourselves separate from the nourishment and guidance of inner divine contact.”
“Piscean compassion is born out of just such witnessing of the addictions we use to protect our hearts, the shutting down of our energy flow to defend against further perceived trauma, and the delusions that we can have any control of life’s twists and turns.   As we witness compassionately, we must also be like Innana, (Ishtar) Queen of Heaven, who as she approaches the seven gates of the underworld must offer up her crown, her cloak, her amulets, jewels, her girdle, her gown and even her skin, so too must we surrender protections and self aggrandizements in exchange for union with the divine being residing in all of us.  Surrender to the source greater than the self and Compassion for those who find this the most difficult task of all is Pisces’ wisdom.”
“Before our time of rebirth in Aries at the powerful Spring Equinox, we are blessed to pause here at the New Moon of mutable, water at the completion of the zodiac wheel in Pisces…We are preparing for some exalted times ahead.  In April-May we have a triple eclipse package, lunar-solar-lunar, and in July we will experience a Grand Sextile in earth and water signs and a Grand Trine with the three water signs.  These are tremendous blessings, and this New Moon is the perfect and most powerful opportunity to clear out the past and that which does not support your emotional, psychic and spiritual well-being.”
“We have not just New Moon, but a total of seven orbs in Pisces (Mars, Moon, Sun, Venus, Chiron, Mercury, and Neptune, the ruler of Pisces in her own sign) calling us to this practice of surrender and compassion…And now with the Sun and the Moon bringing the luminaries to Pisces, a truly exalted opportunity to bathe and soothe our psyches in Pisces healing, loving domain is presented.  Here we can learn to trust what we can’t see and float in the sea of the collective unconscious, to tap in to the unspoken and rejuvenate our poetic imagination, intuition, and visions of what we will bring into manifestation when the Sun in Aries rises in the east on March 20th.”
“… New Moon holds the potential of a spacious still point of connection with the Web of Life that we are all manifesting.  Focus on your heart and breathe.  Pisces is the sign most able to access ecstasy and bliss!”
© Copyright 2013 ~Pat Liles All Rights Reserved”

I am So Ready to Frolick…..

Many years ago during a visit to Vermont – I was told that when cows were let out of the barn after a long winter they actually frolicked. That was the word used. Frolicked. Not danced, not pranced, not ambled happily in new grass and wild flowers.      Frolicked.          That conjures up a sight doesn’t it?

courtesy of poorwilliam.net

courtesy of poorwilliam.net

The urban dictionary defines ‘frolicking’ as:
A special dance/movement to be made at any and all occasions and locations. Features kickng the knees up high, tucking the elbows into the sides and waving the hands frantically, some angling of the feet is also advised. Usually done on the spot, but variations can be made, although these aren’t appreciated by many hardcore frolickers. Prancing around like a fool, basically skipping. Ideal for a drunken night out. Also, to go frolicking in a field, skipping around and can link arms with someone and frolick together.”

So – after what feels like a very long and drawn out winter – with Spring a mere 3.5 weeks away – I’m getting ready to frolick – knees high, elbows tucked with waving hands – though I think I’ll pass on the angled feet at my age, ridiculous grin on face, perhaps slightly crazed laughter – ever hopeful in heart …

courtesy of blogagaard.blogspot

courtesy of blogagaard.blogspot