Moving Day

You'll never believe it. I'm moving again! Don't have a cow, I'm not moving my home. I am moving this blog. Blogger and I have found we must part. It seemed at one point that this very page had been eaten by the internet as I couldn't even locate it! Dirty tricks, I tell you. The new address is http://pixiecampbell.typepad.com/pink_coyote/, so please visit and try to bear with me just a tad longer as I get my banner up and content organized! Lubbins, as Nina would say. P



Time to reformat the hard drive. Could take a couple of days...I hope to bear the withdrawals. Me love you long time.

Figuring It Out

Today I'm devouring Gaia's Garden, a book I began last year about permaculture, polyculture, and plant guilds. It is shedding new light on environmental sustainability at the homesite. Even those with teeny yards can get in on the fun of habitat building and food growing! Toby Hemenway's writing is inspiring, thoughtful and very easy to follow. He goes as far to explain why our culture is obsessed with neat, orderly, water-gobbling, useless, grass lawns. A bit of psychology for the gardener-I love it. He makes many compelling arguments against all-native landscapes and for companion plants who take the burden out of small-scale vegetable and food growing. What a fun and enlightening read. A visit from this amazing seeker-woman made the holiday weekend so much sweeter. Thanks for dropping by the hacienda, M and J! And thanks for sharing Jack's hot nuts with us. The planting season is upon us in the fertile mesopotamic valley-I'm drawing diagrams, figuring out how to get the birds, bees, snakes, lizards, good bugs, nutrients and fertility moving in this soil with no added chemicals or pesticides. I'm excited about the long growing season here and about harvesting food and flowers in a matter of a couple of months!


Oh, M'Darlins

Valentino Numero Uno. Dessert. Thanks to the Incredible Jen. This is the man of all my dreams come true. A Halloween teethed self-portrait keeps me smiling and the mice away. I love a man who can multi-task.


Dancing Authentic

I think about and use the word "authentic" a lot. Lately, words that I have used unconsciously are coming to life within my cells in a new and strange way. "Authentic" used to feel like it meant to create my own self from my dreams, wishes and desires. I am feeling now that those dreams, wishes and desires are usually connected to an aspect that is not especially me, perhaps inspired by what someone else is doing with her life, or what may be striking my ultimate fancy in the moment. Today, "authentic" feels like it comes from my bones. When we are infants, we learn to adjust. We read our parents' moods, fears and emotions. We develop a strategy for survival that often betrays our authenticity. We may protect mommy's feelings, stuff our own emotions if our parents' don't like them (especially the angries, saddies), and hide our curiosities, thereby controlling ourselves in order to please mommy and daddy and be "good". These coping strategies are essential to our survival, even moreso in homes where skins are thin and pathology is thick. For me, a first born child, I took pleasing my parent's very seriously. I see that not every child cares to please their parents as much. And I do believe that I learned to betray my authentic self then and do still. Here are my Do's and Don'ts for Authenticity today: Do: Remember the truth of where my struggles originate, this is my roadmap to healing Take off all masks Get angry, emotional, frustrated, sad without caring who sees Make mistakes Fill myself up with what my soul wants Listen to the kind voices inside Write for hours Say Ouch when it hurts Find safe people who want to see the real me Recognize the shadow's impulses See that what I received is easy to give See that what I didn't receive is impossible to give without conscious awareness Have an ugly cry when I need to Remember that strange or out of proportion reactions are childhood talking Don't: Avoid feelings Stuff feelings in "Let go" until I'm absolutely ready Stop feeling until I'm complete Hide from others Defend behavior Overprotect the opening heart Shame Steal for my shadow Take myself out of my feelings when the fear comes Perform for love, approval or affection



There is a strong motivating force working on my heels to keep me moving forward into the unknown. I know that potential lies there, awaiting my arrival. I am no longer in the beginning of this growth cycle, but somewhere in the middle. I will soon find a bountiful treasure, as I've been picking up threads leading to it for some time now. It can only lead me to more pitfalls, then more treasure. I don't mind that some truths are being withheld from me, I think they may scare me off of my path anyway. I'm exhausted from thinking, working, feeling all of the messages my body has for me. But I can't stop working. Thought for the day: Chickenshit makes mighty good fertilizer. Reading: The Drama of the Gifted Child, Alice Miller Mary Jane's Ideabook Cookbook Lifebook: For the Farmgirl in All of Us, Mary Jane Butters The House at Pooh Corner "Pooh tried to think of something he would say, but the more he thought, the more he felt that there is no real answer to "Ho-ho!" said by a Heffalump in the sort of voice this Heffalump was going to say it in. "I shan't say anything," said Pooh at last. "I shall just hum to myself, as if I was waiting for something."


Strawberries in Winter

Miles and I drove out to a family farm ten miles up the road (a piece) this afternoon to buy some sweet navel oranges and see if, by chance, they might be harvesting any other surprise goodies this time of year. We were overjoyed to find ninety-nine cent avocados grown on the property that made better guacamole than those I remember from last summer! I bought a giant bagful. There were tomatoes, strawberries, grapefruit, kumquats and honey to be had.
I heard a woman complaining in line that she was visiting from Michigan and that they hardly get fresh grown produce, and most certainly not in the winter. Cha-ching! I counted that blessing immediately. Living in the fertile San Joaquin Valley of California where I was raised means access to even more fresh food than I've been used to since I moved away 17 years ago. I'll need to keep a catalog of blessings so that when the 110 degree global warming July arrives, I'll be able to stave off the inner moanings that will scream, "WHY did I move back here!?"
We came home to unusually sunny and warm weather and ate our booty on the new back porch of the House that Dad Built. You can see that Miles loves strawberries. He missed them last summer because strawberries are apparently a scary, possible allergen that we were told to avoid until he reached a year old. He's home free now.
Missing all of my regular stops and looking forward to getting back in the swing when the dust settles here.


New Neighbors



Fairy Tale

This entry is for Diane who is the person who fowarded this poem to me. I wanted a record of it here so I can laugh regularly at it and be reminded of her dry wit and voice, which is what rang out when I read it.
Once upon a time in a land far away, a beautiful, independent, self-assured princess happened upon a frog as she sat contemplating ecological issues on the shores of an unpolluted pond in a verdant meadow near her castle.
The frog hopped into the princess' lap and said: " Elegant Lady, I was once a handsome prince, until an evil witch cast a spell upon me. One kiss from you, however, and I will turn back into the dapper, young prince that I am and then, my sweet, we can marry and set up housekeeping in your castle with my mother, where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children, and forever feel grateful and happy doing so."
That night, as the princess dined sumptuously on lightly sauteed frog legs seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce, she chuckled and thought to herself I don't fuckin think so.



I took these on Friday while the morning sun was shining bright in the guest room. Miles plays with this toy endlessly, sometimes color coordinating the shapes to the pegs and other times not. Off and on, on and off the wooden pieces come. It was great for him at about one year old when he was still finding the dexterity in his fingers. I've had to gorilla glue two of the pegs in as you can see because the toy gets so much use. Many toys that he has are very noisy or do not really stimulate his brain's wiring function.
I like this one, among others, because he is building, counting, creating, sorting, organizing, and deconstructing all to his own liking. Maukilo has some great building sets that we can't wait to get him when he's older.
I am currently exploring Zero To Three, an organization that educates the public and professionals about what babies and toddlers really need (and deserve) in the first years of life. They do address the childcare controversy, and I am not exactly certain where they stand, but I'll find out and report back. I am certain that they have found a nicer way to explain that it is detrimental to place a child with rotating caregivers or daycare that has not been found to fully meet each individual child's ever-changing needs than I have here.
As one reader here put it, we live in a regressive feminist climate. I have been turning this over in my mind since her comment was left and I am putting together in my mind that there may be a collective wound to the western female unconscious in which we feel a drive to have children, but then leave them to the care of others. My head is heating up, which tells me I may be crossing boundaries again. While I never intend to judge a mother's sacrafices nor creative choices, I want to ask my readers to softly, vulnerably, please take another look at this issue.
I know that individual moms have vastly varying needs and economic situations. I do very much respect our differences. I am a liberal. Not some Laura Bush robot who pours bourbon at ten and denies her dreams and authentic self. I don't know what it is like to be a single mom, or to live at or below the poverty level. I can't imagine raising a child on my own. I'm not equipped with the coping mechanisms to do it gracefully at all, I promise.
It is not my job to teach anyone or declare that individuals are wrong in their parenting. I've not said that here before, and this seems like a good time to put it out there. My impetus for bringing attention to this matter again and again is because I am continuing to see babies and children whose attachment and development are being sacraficed to the perceived needs of the parent. This confuses me deeply.
Previously I have reacted to this common phenomenon by sounding judgemental and angry. Today, I want to be curious. I want to know more. I want to look at my own earlier in life drives to fill a more masculine role and work, work, work fifty hours a week for someone who never respected all of me-but only the part that functions like a slave for the company. I want to look at how, thirteen years into that, I couldn't do it anymore. I want to look at the shift I made into self-employed businessperson, then to stay at home mom, and what that transition felt like. At times throughout this journey something has caused me to feel wholly inadequate because I'm not "Bringing Home a Paycheck" anymore and can't as long as I want to be my son's guide.
I want to look at how that value of BHAP has trumped almost every other drive in me, how I fight myself in order to make staying home during his early years my highest priority. I want to look at how I define my
self-worth. Before Miles, the sky was the limit, I could play on a male-oriented corporate field or not, my choice. I previously only defined myself by the K's, and that felt really validating.
Now that I am a parent, I do not get to be my partner's equal in the same way I was accustomed to being. I feel so vulnerable. I feel...unentitled to spend without asking or explaining and that gives me a pain. But I also had a child with the intention of making sure that he is safe and secure enough in his identity before he faces the world on a regular basis without me. I know I am blessed to have this choice. If I hadn't been interested in doing that, I wouldn't have brought him here. Truth be told, it took me eight years from "Hmm, I wonder if I might want to have kids?" until I gave birth. I TOILED.
I want to give him what I didn't get as a child: Full working knowledge that he is adored, cherished, more important than anything else in the world-even my bullshit identity hang ups, that I will do anything to procure his safety, his spirit, his divine right to existence. I do not want him to have to guard or defend his heart from lack of trust, and then unlearn that as an adult to be authentic. As I see it, he didn't ask to be born. It is my job to make his life as safe as possible, and to go there: into my shadow and face whatever it is that might prevent me from doing my job as his protector and guide. My love for him is not enough on its own. I owe him dedication. I need to ask myself again and often, what does that look like for me?
I also want to look at my rigid thinking, not always known for serving me well. Am I holding myself to such a standard that it will harm me, Miles or our family system? To answer that off the cuff, I would say that I am willing to make big mistakes (note that I could not previously allow this as I am a staunch perfectionist) with my son. I feel empowered with the knowledge that I can correct any pain I cause him, especially if I catch it early. I know that I will cause him pain. This brings me anxiety, but I know that I can make up for my mistakes and keep his heart safe.
If I don't allow myself to make mistakes, (a perception) then when I do make them, I suspect I will go into denial about it (too painful too acknowledge when you are a perfectionist) and then I won't correct them with him and the damage will remain unhealed. This I cannot have. I did not become a parent to leave these things to chance.
I am stumbling in the dark at times, and it can be lonely here. I am healing my caged heart, breaking down the defensive walls and finding my truth and hopefully my humble, messy, acceptable, humanity. Parenthood pushes me to open: open when it hurts, open when I think I can't open any more, and then open still wider. This persistent healing and opening cycle is my very favorite of all of the gifts of motherhood, second only to the cheeks often featured in this little corner of the universe.

Owls Galore

This is a pastel I created when I was in the second grade. I love that one is a bit cross-eyed, it gives the piece a kind of Lucy and Ethel feel. I found it when I was packing last night and wanted to post it up in honor of Keri and her Momo. To your sacred pursuit of consciousness and the bright rays that illuminate it! May the truth deep inside you come up shining tomorrow and every day.


Clowning Glory + Creating

I have got a major ham on my hands. The lenscase did not leave his mouth for twenty minutes as he jumped about on the bed like a bucking pony wearing a bit and reins. This is the most fun part about parenting. I'm amazed that I get to watch a little baby turn into a BOY in front of my eyes as he discovers his sense of humor, fits puzzles together, has serious temperamental moments about things he decides he does and doesn't like, and exhibits the ability to climb on and off of a trikeybike thingy like someone out of The Wild Bunch. Fun. Unfathomable fun. He is becoming every minute of the day. I am nightowling it here again. I just can't seem to go to sleep at a decent hour lately. I've been journalling as if I'm going for a world record and my eyes are hot in my head under my glasses. I've done little this year save for packing and talking about packing. My creative cycle is coming back around. It's pecking at the pet door while I sleep, flashing colors across my eyelids fear-and-loathing-like and threatening to do something if I don't start expressing on a surface. Creativity is so fickle, like the best and worst lovers I've ever had. So pushy! It is only slightly satisfied with a colorful sketch, a bit more full when I fill page after page, running the ink out of pens, elated when I spread out all of the art supplies and magazine cuttings, and over the moon for elaborate plans detailing my next big idea. During this dengue of a full moon holiday, a day without some form of creation is worse than not eating all day. It has a mind of its own. I had cold cereal for dinner if that tells you anything.


Great Love

"Great love-the kind that illumines and transforms us-always includes a keen awareness of limitation as well. Though love may inspire us to expand and develop in new ways, we can never be all things to the one we love, or someone other than who we are. Yet once accepted, limitation also helps us develop essential qualities, such as patience, determination, compassion and humor. When love comes down to earth-bringing to light those dark corners we would prefer to ignore, encompassing all the different parts of who we are-it gains depth and power." --John Welwood
I would add: get lovin and make mistakes while you're at it.


More Birds

Owl is a lonely critter. Where does he belong but in solitary? Symbolically, he opens the door to the unconscious, stimulates lucid dreaming, and points to the shadows where secrets and wisdom are hiding.
What I like best about owl is that he reminds us that the light of the sun is ever alive in the dark of the night. I like to think we are all connected by our little inner sparks.
What quiet truths are owl's eyes illuminating for you?



Did you know that a male Emperor penguin holds the newly laid egg on its foot to prevent it from freezing to the ice? He holds it there for two months until it hatches, protecting it with his feathers! He won't even eat until the hatchling is safe and mother takes over. I could bet that our papa penguin would do it for Miles. I may have to toss him a few bowls of mac n cheese from time to time, but the man is committed. We are so like the penguins, B has got the endurance and I've got the supercharged nurturing, boo boo kissing, cure all power for what ails the babe. Today that would be crowding dogs drooling up in his grill, too much walking practice and wooden food that tastes of splinters. Remedied by hysterical bouts of laughter at flatulance sounds, wearing my camera lenscover on his face half the day and quinoa and coconut macaroons. It is still freezing here, so outdoors is off limits for my blood. I ran out to the store tonite in eleven degree weather. There is a pile of bowl-shaped ice on the grass, a result of having to dump out pet water turned solid every morning and refill it. Our lucky animals get to sleep inside, one under the covers even. Moving day is upon us, yet we sat on the couch watching the first season of Angel, a Christmas present from my brother, and ignoring mountains of random items that are beginning to form just about everywhere. One more night of penguin love won't hurt.

Waking Up

The hour is striking so close above me, so clear and sharp, that all my senses ring with it. I feel it now: there's a power in me to grasp and give shape to my world. I know that nothing has ever been real without my beholding it. All becoming has needed me. My looking ripens things and they come toward me, to meet and be met. Rilke


Warm Inside

Most of the snow has melted from two weeks ago, but word is that we will be seeing some flurries this weekend. It's hard not to be able to spend lots of time outside with Miles, we both suffer cabin fever. But it's especially nice to curl up warm and cozy and read books and snuggle with the little imp. I love this book by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman because it includes animals not often in kids books, a bouncy yet satisfying rhythm for a toddler, features yummy food mentions, (this always has the ability to stir something wonderful in my core, as in the teacakes eaten in Narnia and golden lembas of Middle Earth) great illustrations, and friendship. I'm reading for me, too: The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls Celebrating Silence, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Money, A Memoir: Women, Emotions and Cash, Liz Perle I made vegetable pie again, except this time I added in a can of corn chowder from Trader Joes and I stir fried the veggies instead of boiling. Mmmm. Even better. Can't live without tea. Can't live without this face lighting up my life every day, from the lion roars in the morning to the monkey calls in his highchair.


True Love and What to Do

“What you feel only matters to you. It’s what you do to the people you say you love. That’s what matters. That’s the only thing that counts.” --Stephen (Tom Wilkinson), The Last Kiss More now than ever.


Bring Bring

For a few years I have been devouring up books about archetype and personality disorders. I am beginning to believe from my experience of life thus far, that we "bring" our stuff to everything we do and each conversation we have. I don't like to think of it as if I am not an individual of my own making, but I think it kind of is. If we try to undo or change something about ourselves in our lifetimes, I think it may be because we learned it (probably at a very, very young age) and it has become a part of us. This, in it's negative state, feels a bit parasitical. I find that I want to pick off certain qualities about myself that are deeply ingrained, like an elusive late summer chigger in my sock that is so difficult to locate and so irritating. Personality disorders (as defined by the DSM) are pretty serious, but in their descriptions are lots of little features, which someone may possess as a trait, without having an actual disorder. I find it enlightening to know what causes these features to come forward in a person. Childhood experiences seem to form such a huge basis for how we interpret what happens to us and how we cope. I have an alcoholic parent and grandparents, (so common, of course), so much of my healing deals with looking at the borderline personality. This is strictly my opinion, but I would have to wager that a very large portion of alcoholics are borderlines or have those traits. (They can go from loving to scary pretty quickly, causing a child to be anxious while waiting for the parent's mood to shift. Those who are impulsive spenders, reckless with money or sex, overeat, abuse substances, ruminate about other's words and actions, self mutilate, rage on friends, family or strangers, engage in feeling really guilty, shameful or self-loathing may also fall into this classification. There is much much more to it that this, but this is what stands out for me.) This is a lot of unraveling to do in one lifetime. Back to what we bring to our experiences(stay focused!): I have avoided saying certain things to my son because I have a negative association about them. "Ssshhhh" is one such thing we don't say around here. I perceive it as rude and as shutting down anothers feelings and words. If he has something to say, I want to hear it-no matter how it might hurt my ears. Iwant to comfort him without shutting down his process. If you are a fan of Harvey Karp, then you know that Ssshhh is one of his famous 5 S's to create The Happiest Baby on the Block. I know Harvey's onto something. All of our friends think he is brilliant-and if you see the babies respond to his S's, melting like magical little malted milk balls in his hand-a stranger's hand!-you would believe him, too. But I still don't dig that Ssssshhhhing word. A friend recently pointed out how I'm bringing that negative association to the experience, so of course it's going to feel wrong and weird to me. How I love this friend! I'm still not going to Ssshh, but talking about how I came to believe what ssshhhing would result in was enlightening and I needed that! Here are some of my favorite reads on the subject of psyche, personality, archetype: She - Robert Johnson (and also He and We) Four Archetypes - C.G. Jung The Moon and The Virgin - Nor Hall The Heroine's Journey - Maureen Murdock (a major goodie) Women Who Run With the Wolves - Clarissa Pinkola Estes Understanding the Borderline Mother - Christine Ann Lawson In the last decade I have turned to these more times than I can count. There is a pattern here, in these selections, that myth and fairy tale are used to describe experiences and personality tendencies. I read because I want to stop bringing that earlier mentioned "stuff" to how I interpret the world. I want to feel that inner spark within me helping me be more courageous, more in love with the truth. I admit, I want to feel whole.



A friend of ours recieved this book for Christmas, rather ironically!, and he and B stood discussing it in the kitchen on Monday evening. The girls bustled around the table serving black eyed peas, greens and cheese grits (our New Year's Day tradition) and I eavesdropped from the dining room, sipping my chardonnay and being a total chick who eavesdrops. I generally stay out of discussions about God and religion, but with an atheistic husband, I tune in and see if I can learn something new. The topic seemed to be about organized religion as child abuse, something I've never thought about. I'm from California! Eternal damnation is not discussed in the grocery lines as I imagine it might be elsewhere. And though I come from a line of quasi-baptisty-types, I've never actually been threatened with going to hell, even for the worst of my misdemeanors. So the idea is that when little children learn about Hell and how you can get in there and not get out, and how very, very hot it surely is, it can be very frightening for them. I reckon they might envision the judgy "Hangman God" as Elizabeth Gilbert describes Him, sitting up on an ornate throne beyond the gates personally deciding the fate of naughty little children and slashing the heads off of thieves and such. I'd never thought about it, but this sounds really fucking nightmarish! I've never thought about what a child must think when they are threatened with eternal damnation. Hmm. Another weird thing that I didn't know was that atheists or those who question religion (i don't think he meant spirituality, mind you) cannot be elected to public office. Is this true?? Maggie, I know you will be able to enlighten me here. (Please note that I would have linked Maggie, but I keep getting redirected to some weird page with a dog and a scanty Santa on it.) I'm on fire with the topics these days, but I'm just itching to see what you readers think. Could organized religion be considered child abuse? Go!


New Year Tortoise Journey

I went to an amazing gathering on Saturday because a friend called out for help. So often there is struggle, yet we don't ask for help. I want to honor everyone who bravely reaches out for reassurance and offer encouragement to those who still experience their challenges alone. May we all find our sacred circles this year! While I sat in this circle of deep-feeling women, so in touch with their sorrow, anger, shame + immense joy, triumph, and gratitude, I felt very blessed to have this in my life. I sit with women on a really regular basis and it saves my life almost every time. I am surrounded by women well versed in sacred ceremony, feminine ritual and healing. How in the world did I get here? I suppose it isn't a mystery at all, but it does seem a lifetime away from my life in the city six years ago. In our circles, we do a round of sharing first (after ritual smudging & prayers), which used to be really difficult for me. Being vulnerable has been a problem for me until the last few years. The mistress of ceremonies had built a fire outside and in the new year tradition, we all brought along something to burn up and let go of. I actually brought four things! One woman wore a snakeskin printed shirt and pants over her black leggings and top and when she spoke of what she would be letting go (her grown children as well as the shame of many past events) she peeled off the garments and tossed them on the altar. So cool. One of the aspects of gathering in sacred ceremony that I like best is journey work. Shamanic healers use journeys to travel to other realms of consciousness to bring back tools and wisdom for the tribe. We typically use it to locate help and then, in sharing about them, give that information to those sitting with us to ponder as well. Helping oneself evolve is also, to me, of great help to the near and dear ones to us. As I see it, everyone benefits on this path of growth and healing. Journey work is not always easy for me. My mind gets in my way, so I'm often nudging it off the path to try to be more open to the vision. Sometimes the process whizzes along like a dream, others limp along until a spark ignites and I can get to work. In this particular journey, I met a guide whom I have never travelled with before, the giant tortoise. I think of turtle medicine to be about slowing down, so I was dazzled when I rode this giant reptile as he plodded along steadily, without being slow at all. His giant, elephant like feet clomped and I splayed over his shell, admiring the colors and striations as the events of my life passed along beside us on the blue and sandy evening landscape. I was in no hurry to get anything done, a huge lesson in patience that I need in this realm bigtime. I experienced some other unfamiliar sensations that don't happen often for me, also, with shapeshifting. My neck began to scale over as I lay my cheek on the shell, and I felt his medicine come into my body. We conversed about meditation and how reconnecting each day, each hour-to be exact, with my intention is what I must do in order to see that intention manifest. He also offered me some pink jasper for earthly assistance. I have this thing about clutching rocks, which the turtley friend in my unconscious was obviously privy to. Tortoise medicine is a reminder that we will succeed in time over the burdens and changes occuring in life. They also tell us that we never face anything that we can't handle. They point to primal senses, rhythms and using skills appropriately. They ask us to focus on life's essential needs when we feel overwhelmed or hectic. When the drumming callback arrived, I was still dialoguing squawkily with Mr. Tortoise. As I scurried up the rabbit hole and back to consciousness, I heard a horse whinny. The house mistress had put her beloved Sundance down on Wednesday, and I do believe he was galloping across the valley of my journey as I returned to her living room. Wishing each of you all of the tools required for you to see the magic waiting for you in 2007.


"Every time that I think of you I smile for a while That's the one thing you always do You always smile, smile, smile." --Dan Zanes


More Moments

photo d. marshall, 2006.
"Dwelling in the present moment.
I know it is a wonderful moment.
-Thich Nhat Hanh


House of Rody

One of Miles gifts this year is Rody, a low and bouncy horse-like guy who is something like the beginner's version of the old fave, Hippity Hop (Here is something comparable because I couldn't find a freaking hippity hop anywhere!!). It is a great size for him, all of 15 months old and a bit short in the leg department, but the package shows kids who are quite lanky and looking to be about 2-3 years. M's dismount is a bit rough but getting better already. He loves to grab the ears and bounce around like a madman, squealing and shrieking to my ears' delight. Rody is going to be great indoor play since outside is now cloudy and freezing ass cold!

Crumby Cmas

These were snapped cmas morning before we got started on prezzies. Miles has just fed himself a muffin in front of the cozy fire. This look is hysterical, we burst out laughing when it loaded in-all crumby and quizzical.
Cmas was fun and low key, just what we wanted around here. A few, thoughtful presents, dinner with twentyish great friends, a tired boy ready for sleep at evening's end.
Lovely as lovely can be.


Let the Holiday Madness Begin

MLC swings "crazy crayons" over candy colored paper from this magnificent duo. MLC and his buddy, Uncle Rob.
In no time at all, the holiday has fallen upon us like a great, abominable himalayan yeti who tosses us from one friend's home to another-as we drive, laugh and imbibe our share of cheer. Presents have been raining down in our house, replacing tired toys and activities. Excited squeals and questioning oohs fill our ears.
Before we know it, the New Year will be here and all will seem fresh and ready for creating.
Happy Holidays to you all!


Remote Perspective

I've talked with friends quite a bit in the past year about keeping up in the bloggie world. Some complaints are that posting takes too much time, others wonder if there is anything unique to express in this medium anymore, others still have discovered major issues related to values rising up within them. The question seems to be, Is Blogging Really Worth My Energy and Time?
What we get out of blogging is likely to be what keeps us tapping away nights, spilling the beans on ourselves, sharing our favorites lists and posting encouraging comments on our buddies' sites.
One aspect of blogging that stands the curious hairs up on my neck is how we perceive other bloggers.
When I'm really enjoying someone's writings, I think it is because I'm appreciating them, but also, it is because they are mirroring something in me that I like-and perhaps want to experience or emphasize more in myself. Maybe this is where the notion of a support community comes from. We all like to be acknowledged that we are not alone. We comment to lift one another, and this feels so good. I think which blogs we tune into say volumes about who we are, perhaps more than about the blogger herself. Hmm.
Pink Coyote is not always fun, uplifting or inspiring. I do not often have artsy events to send you to or crafty people to introduce you to. I'm not very cool. I don't know very much about new, good books and movies. I'll bet it can even be a bit of a downer to come here sometimes. I use my blog to work through my junk, get your feedback, problem solve my life, and share the joy of my son with the world. I seldom prepare my writings ahead of time, editing myself and trying to get it perfect. This blog is usually about process, not content or results.
This is so because I am who I am. I do try to be fearless here, which could be perceived as reckless or unsympathetic, I suppose. I am certain about many things, which could come off as arrogant or pushy. I am self-reflective, which could be read as narcissistic and obsessive. I've got a furry bee in my bonnet about having clean fights and relationships with loved ones. This is because I am somewhat new to the idea. The material here will resonate with you or it will not.
I'm going to list a few things below that I think you need to know about me in order to decide if you will keep coming here. I don't want to mislead anyone (else)!
*I think you will like to come here if you like to look at your own shit. If you don't, you probably won't have much fun here, because I'm always pointing my shit and your shit out. If you want to change your ingrained ways of thinking and acting, especially to avoid damaging your kids (and mates)-we're going to get along great. If one wants flowery smoke blown up one's ass about how old dogs can't learn new tricks, one might want to find another blog to visit. ( I say that with a great and floral love).
*I think you will enjoy this blog if you make an effort to put your children's needs ahead of your own. We are on the same page if you sold your expensive house to have a baby and take some time off (not three months, but like, several years) and enjoy this time you'll never get back.
*If you are a single parent and you like what I have to say, but have to work, there is lots to talk about, but that isn't always clear on this blog. Let's talk about alternatives to daycare , a bonfire topic in my heart.
*I'm no expert. But I have a lot of big opinions. I am also curious about other ways of thinking and doing stuff. I love dialogue and loathe lurking. Speak up! You are not going to hurt my feelings. Tell me if you think I'm full of it.
*I am not even close to a perfect mom, artist or person. Blogs sometimes can be illusive that way-I know I'm not bloody perfect, but you may not know or think that based on what I show and tell you. If you could see the hairy cheerios under my diswasher (oh yeah, my kid eats 'em), or know that I sometimes feel bored and antsy hanging out with a fourteen month old all the days of the week, you might think differently about me. Because I'm obsessive compulsive and it shows in my writing, you might never guess who keeps company with dustbunnies around here.
*We, as readers, do not know what state a blogger is in when she posts or comments. I think some of us write our blogs just after a meditation and a massage, when our chakras are happily spinning and all the world is in bloom. Or at least that is how some of us come off. I come here and write in order to find grace and clarity. Readers have no idea what it took for me to get to that pretty place.
*If one likes things stated in a politically correct way, this will not be one's favorite stop. I know it isn't cool to say moms should stay home and be a baby's first, best and most interested teacher. But this is what I think parenthood should look like, with very few exceptions. This may alienate many readers, as one woman pointed out in my last post. I can live with this. I truly mean no harm to anyone's ego. I don't think a reader will like to hear what I have to say anyway if she has no intention of looking at the possible repercussions of handing her job over to someone else.
*Sometimes I post while I am in a big, nasty shadow. I know others who do this, too. I think that if we can assume anything about a blogger, it is that she has good days and bad. She has graceful days and slippy banana-peel days. Assuming a blogger shares your values is a dangerous enterprise, investing yourself emotionally in that assumption is unwise, methinks. Yikes. I personally, am in a radical healing process righty right now. That is bound to come through here looking good, bad and ugly.
Some of you remind me of and validate what I stand for. Some of you give me a buzzy, inspired feeling because you are spectacular poets and crafters. Some of you blow flowery smoke my way. Some of you are working that deep pain, turning it over and over, bravely showing up each day for it, and I greatly admire the underbelly shares. Until you are emptied and complete, I will be your witness. Here is a good place to thank you for being my mirror and witness, and sharing the nougaty centers of you.
I use this blog to help me look at the unsettling ephemera I see within me and around me. I believe deep within that only goldmining produces gold. A genuinely blessed life seldom falls from the sky. Sifting through rubble takes a hell of a lot more courage than avoiding it; I think cultivating this particular brand of courage can set a person up for feeling whole. I don't really give a rats about looking pretty while I do it.



"In our rush to feminism and fair play for women (which I, myself, still advocate) and financial solvency, the critical role of mothering has been relegated, and children are now raised by rotating caregivers rather than mothers and fathers. It’s against our design, and it doesn’t work. Our children are becoming insecurely attached and unattached en masse, which has dire consequences on their forming personality. I wonder if all the politically chauvinistic and patriotic Americans would pay attention if they understood that daycare is undermining our advantage. Our citizens are becoming less than mediocre on average. That will be our legacy." Dr. Faye Snyder, PsyD, Founder of the Causal Theory. (Post Script: I am getting some passionate feedback about this quote. I think it is being received as rather politically incorrect, and understandably so. Dr. Faye's voice can be a bit harsh sounding, but I don't mind. I would rather be on red-alert about dangers to children than just hope they'll turn out okay. She doesn't pussyfoot around like some parent-protecting therapists and I love her for that. She's all about the kids, as it should be. Join in with your two cents! This is the most fun I've had in months.)


Catching the Moon

This is Miles with his hand in the dog food bowl. He heads over that way each morning before I have a chance to pick it up and move it into the canine garage-lounge. This morning he was so into it that I just let him play in the bowl until he tired of it. His sleeper was covered in kibble dust in the end. I tried uploading the picture with his hand moving toward his mouth, but it won't load up. You can bet he did [that] a few times, at least....

He's been cranky all day, leaving me feeling like I want to throw myself off the Lake of the Woods bridge a few times. Won't eat, won't nap. Just cries and reaches for me all day long.

He is out for a walk with Daddy now and I miss him like crazy.

Went shopping at the local nursery today and found some yummy gifts to round out my holiday givins. Had to stuff my pockets full of cheerios to keep you-know-who decent inside the nursery building. On the drive home, we listened to one of his favorite cds and he bounced along happily. Short lived, but I was glad to have a few happy minutes in the car. It has a great version of Dylan's New Morning on it.


Hoarding Moments

Two Monkeys: Miles and Hank. Notice that Hank has a yogurt lid in his mouth. Fetching matters most, above all. Tonite I was uploading some new pictures, mostly of Miles. When I photograph him, I take 40-80 shots at a time, knowing that most will not be keepers. When I look at them full size, even if they are no good, I can hardly bear to delete them. I have this thing about moments-I hoard them. Deleting even a poor picture is something like a sin, because it showcases a moment and if I delete it, I am deleting the evidence that it happened forever... Totally O.C., I know. I try to keep only the best or most useful things in my life, but I struggle with letting go. I feel a sense of loss, then grief, when I lose details about something or someone I loved or cherished. For me, being an artist has meant creating within a moment. A specific energy is circulating, and I am capturing and documenting it when I write, paint or sculpt. Evidence that I am able to harness and color moments makes me feel grateful. I have a strong ethic of gratitude, not always a bad thing, unless you're me. Not writing, not taking pictures, or not documenting my life is decidedly ungrateful, unappreciative, not drinking in the moment, not recording the magic, living WRONG. I have kept dozens of journals in my adult life. When I read them, I can see who I am clearly. I can see that I am a good person, the same person, on my path. Apparently, I forget a lot. Creating and documenting reminds and shows me that I deserve to be living. That I have earned it. My lovely creations prove that, right? I am worthy? (Wounded underbelly exposed). This entry is dedicated to Monica Mardou who believes that everyone but she has it all figured out.


Winter Sparks

The winter can be so very dry here, which means static electricity zaps the daylights out of us regularly. Miles hair has just been rubbed all over the microfiber couch, which cracked me up as it stood waving in the air above his head. Our hands are so dry and raw, but this has helped. Doing dishes and felting are not helping matters, plus I grated my thumb something awful making zest for an orange yogurt cake. A right mess over here. We decorated our little tree last night and contemplated what the holiday means to us. Neither B nor I are religious, so the intended message of Christmas doesn't apply in our household. However, it's as a good time as any to create a ceremony of giving and receiving to say thank you and I love you to those people we adore. I love the ritual of making gifts and wrapping packages, writing dear friends names and addresses on the envelopes. I love making the lists. I love the ambient lights, spicy eggnog, cinnamony and evergreen smells and dressing up. I love thinking about Miles under the tree on Christmas morning. What breakfast will we have? I would like to do the same thing every year. Crepes? Pancakes? Facon? Muffins? How will we tell him about Santa or the Spirit of Santa? I'm looking forward to knitting my boys up closely around me, getting cozy under a blanket together, and holding the moments for as long as I can. Soon, the excitement of the new year and its fresh possibilities will take over. Until then, I plan to soak up this scrumptious holiday energy!


Crafting & Catching Up

I've not posted in too long! This week found me crafting up a storm to participate in a little local holiday street fair with some of my mountaingirl tribe, peddling our fused glass and felted wares. I had little time for anything else! Creating during the holidays is especially satisfying to me-making gifts for loved ones isn't something I make a point to do every year, so I'm really HAPPY to be doing it this year! Squishing the hot, soapy water into the smelly sheeps wool and listening to Christmas music-bliss, I tell you.

I want to point you to one of my favorite mamas on the web who interviewed me for her monthly "Mom to Mom" piece this month. Wendy has another post which demands attention from any readers who believe that the choice of co-sleeping should be left up to parents. There is a NY hospital detailed that makes its patients sign an agreement committing them not to co-sleep with their infants and toddlers. It is so disgustingly out of line for any establishment to refuse care to parents who choose to co-sleep. As if it is some kind of crime or secret guilty pleasure to sleep with one's baby! Egad. Please follow Wendy's link to voice your opinion on this matter. As much as I'd like to pretend my choices aren't often in danger, they are. Honestly, what is next?

If you love to laugh your ass off, listen to this. Oh my good heavens, I almost peed a million times. I had to listen twice. If you are a fan of The Office, go NOW.


Witnessing You

I want to remember vividly how you cried out when I picked you up to carry you inside on this particular morning. You seemed to say that the winter sun is never so warm in the morning as it is today! I had to pee and needed to warm my cold coffee and I was finished picking the deck's splintered wood from your crawling knickers that I pull on over your sleeper each morning so your knees won't soil. Every tinkle of the windchime caught your attention, each flap of the pirate flag standing in the corner of the yard on its side from your party nearly two months gone grabbed your eyes. Cats figure-eighted in and out between us yeowing and leaving us draped in long, tabbied hairs.

I want to remember that we left the yard that morning to come inside to get warm and huddle together over oatmeal that smells strangely of bacon. I want to remember the nights that have passed since then, the ones where you cried all night-or most of it-alternately pushing and pulling me toward and from with frustrated grrrrs of teething and sleeplessness.

The business of having babies is not a simple one. I am here purely because of my needling desire to witness your life as only I can. I crank at how lack of sleep interferes with that process, of how my own proneness to grieving the passing present moment tortures me. Built up, these two factions find me tippytoeing on a tightrope of feeling lost in a jungle of wire hangers and madly in love all at the same time. I owe you an apology for thinking I would never feel lost once you got here.

Babies don't cure our empty, gaping holes and short fuses. But you, my son, make this life sweeter than my feeble imagination could have dreamed it to be.


Giving Thanks

The Stormy Goddess, 2006. Riding back from my parent's home tonite with B and Miles, I looked at the teeny fingernail Scorpio moon with admiration. B said something about loving the sight of the full circle in darkness around it. "Like most of it is in a shadow", I said quietly. I felt a great wonder and appreciation for the solar system, the universe, the vastness of all life which hangs in perfect balance at all times-even when it seems like things are grossly off -kilter. I do believe this in my core, that all life exists in perfect balance at all times. It can look so contrasted at times-my small life seems graceful and beautiful, full and expectant. The greater world can seem scary and dark, full of suffering and lack. I cling to my belief that is reflected in the moon's cycle, it always comes to fullness and then circles back around. Perfection. I'm grateful for all that is, in my small life here on this big, round, gritty, watery, rock.


Adoring Moo Neigh

Miles has been roaring like a lion, which I think must be his favorite animal, for a couple of months. This is how we wake up in the mornings: With a deep and joyous "RAAARRRRR". He loves to watch programs about animals and look at pictures of them until his eyes grow tired. We make all of the sounds for each animal-including made up sounds for animals like ostriches, rhinos and giraffes because I have no idea what they say. Many times a day when I catch Miles and his Daddy playing, I will hear B say "You're so cool, man." I think to myself-what a difference it is to say this to your kid over the standard "I love you", which we say a billion times a day, too. While certainly possessing merit, LOVE lacks active appreciation: as if it exists in the river of my heart as opposed to the playground. After the events that happened with the flaky, using family member earlier this season, I started thinking about how LOVE can be wonderful-but it makes no guarantees about healthiness. It can exist and say nothing about adoration, trust, respect, inspiration, or wonder. I find that I have love for some people down in my heart, but that I can't be in relationship with them. Humans sometimes do the strangest things in the name of love. Similar with god. I'll bet this isn't the first time I've ever pondered LOVE, the wordfeeling. Because I'm bringing up a little boy, I want him to know and see that I hold him more special than just with LOVE. I see his brilliance and I want him to know that he inspires me, changes me, motivates me, helps me be better than I was before him. What must it feel like to be a little child and hear your adoring parent say with full emotion, "YOU are so COOL!" ? Miles will know.


Tractor Pull

My dad has long been saying that he has a tractor set aside for Miles. Do you know of any little boy who's Grandpa says things like this? This is the nature of my silly family. This is his first ride, which he enjoyed so much. A few minutes after I snapped this picture, they operated the bucket on the front, a big thrill for my little farmboy. Tomorrow we are off to stay a night with Mile's Gangie while Grandpa is off hunting for elk in Colorado. We are taking a play day, a welcome contrast to our usual trips north. Lately it seems like we've been all work: on the new house. We should be moving shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday. This makes four times in 14 months. I can tell you that it will be the last for a while. Packing up boxes and thinning out "stuff" is a task I'm mostly happy to do. A new home always holds the promise of a new beginning: clean new walls without nail holes, new rooms mean new ways to set up my space and make it work for me. Since before Miles was born, I haven't felt organized or like life outside of him really works. I'm excited to set my desk up in a fresh way with all of my books and tools nearby, store all of my dishes in one cabinet instead of having half of them in storage, create a real room for Miles where ALL of his things can be in one place instead of scattered in several places. And so much more. Then I want to sit back, curl up with a glass of this and watch the third season of this show over and over and laugh my freaking ass off. You have not really laughed until you have seen Tobias' grafted hair transplants...



"When you are on a journey, it is certainly helpful to know where you are going or at least the general direction in which you are moving, but don't forget: The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That's all there ever is." Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.

The inner purpose is always revealing itself in new light for me. Sometimes I feel very far away from myself, like a disjointed tangent inside a storybook. I will pick up an old journal from time to time and I'm always amazed at how me I was then, and still am. The things I cherished yesterday were the same as they are today. The things I struggle with are archetypal grooves etched into my soul just for me to triumph over, repeating rhythmically like a piece of music.

The step I'm taking right at this moment is to notice how my outer journey changes, but my inner journey is the most important one and that it is static within my shiny core.

What step are you taking right at this moment? That's all there ever is...


Good Thong Underwear Does Help

Funny how its almost Christmas and the sun still blazes in California. It is literally bleaching my dear Lilkat. These weeks have been busy and tiring-zooming down the hill to run task force for the house that is being built for us, racing back up with a sleeping babe in the car to get him tucked in before too late. It isn't all bad, being in the car. We sing along to the songs of the day, some provided by friends while others are seasoned classics. Miles loves Chet Baker, The Sundays, Morcheeba and some Chris Isaak. Desperate moments still call for endless repeats of the Itsy Bitsy Spider or the Boa Constrictor song. Eclectic taste in music, the apple not being far from the...you know. Spiders, snakes, apples...where am I going with this? The season, thus far has been flavored with rich, deep, love and friendship, and also some sorrow. Melancholy seems never to stray from my porch for very long; an old comfortable pair of slippers I shuffle around in from time to time. I don't like to be one of those positive thinkers just for positive thinkings sake. Nor do I enjoy being a Negative Nellie (a term coined by an old boyfriend), loitering around in unsolved problems. So I suppose the way I go about those slippers is to wear 'em when I feel I must, then set them back outside my door until I need them again. Feelings are so mysterious, but I don't reckon they have to be. A friend has helped me to see a feeling as something I can feel, then step outside of and get to the work of figuring out how to see and solve what caused it. Today I am feeling detached. I don't have the energy to get strangled up in someone's net, because I know that I will thrash there for days and I simply don't want to spend my time doing it. I guess I could say that the relationship can't benefit from my typical approach. Can detaching be okay? Is there a time for it? I used to think everything must be faced, head-on: no exceptions, no apologies-just get in there and feel eveything and process til done. I'm questioning that right now. I'm wanting to move out of being mired in stuff that isn't mine. Tell me what you would do. I've bought new, comfortable (no, really) thong underwear. That does seem to be helping matters. I also think these slippers would help immensely.


Shroom Fever

I am up drinking chamomile tea late at night and waiting for the antihistimine to kick in...I made the yummiest mushroom potpies tonite, but alas, I am having an allergic reaction to one of the exotic varieties my darling husband brought home. Between Enoki and Italian Brown there lies a culprit. I went to sleep very quickly about an hour after dinner and awoke scratching at hives all over my underarms and trunk. The recipe called for "field mushrooms", so as B was perusing the aisles at the market on Friday after work, he followed instructions to pick up two-and-a-quarter lbs of shrooms. I was excited to try the new flavors, but the Italian Browns seemed a bit stinky and musty, so I only chopped a couple of them and saved the rest for drying. I don't think I have a penicillin allergy, but truth be told I don't even know if I've ever had a shot of P! Eeeeee. Anyone up?



I love getting together with friends, but having a baby hinders that plan a bit: especially when bedtime really begins to become a matter of importance. Last night I snuck out to celebrate my friend Diane's 50th birthday party at her warm and cozy ranch house in the country. Thirteen sassy broads arrived bearing casseroles and bottles of wine to usher in the cronehood of one very wise woman. One of her presents was the above pictured bareroot tree with handwritten birthday wishes attached to the branches. Birthdays are a big deal in my community and family, which translates to a calendar near full at all times. This time of year is like the Lent of pot lucks around here. My sisterfriends and I are queens of the Pot Luck on the mountain. I used to think of pot lucks as kind of weird and yukky, probably residual trauma from my aunt Shelly's soggy, lukewarm broccoli/cheddar/rice disaster present at every family gathering of my childhood. When I moved here six years ago, I kind of snickered at the idea of pot lucking. I'm a major convert now due to the incredible flavors that appear at our local gatherings. For my recent nine year wedding anniversary my mom presented us with a handmade piece of pottery with "The Campbells" calligraphied on the side. I am totally pro now and the pack has accepted me as one of their own. I whipped up this super simple yummy dish for last night's soiree: 8 Frozen Vegetable/Green Chile tamales thawed and diced up 2 cans creamed corn (stay with me) a giant wad of shredded cheese including pepper jack, cheddar and monterey a bit of crumbled cornbread from whole foods a few ounces of vegetable broth (to keep it from drying out) Mix it all up and spread it into a 13x9er and bake for 30 minutes at (you guessed it) 350. It makes a Tamale Pie-like thingy that was quite the tasty, fall comfort food. My Stephanie gave me the recipe and it did not call for the last two ingredients, I just threw those in because I thought it could use some muscle. I think it would have been fine without, but if you dig cornmealyness, do it. Domesticity is truly setting in.


Sweet and Savory

Barn as seen from Marshall hideaway on dusty road, 2006. To know me, you need to know this: I love a challenge. I may groan and complain about new ways of being and thinking, but I truly love the process of growth. Evolving as a human, and knowing that I can do it right up until I die, excites me tremendously. Today above-mentioned friend showed me a birthday card that her daughter gave to her. It read, "To change we must survive, to survive we must change." It rolls around in my mind like a caramel dipped apple in chopped peanuts, resounding a sweet and savory truth. My story is not unlike many others. I come from a family of deep wounds spanning back as many impoverished generations as we can count. While healing those wounds and breaking the mold are the most important thing to me, they aren't to other people in my family. I've had to learn to seperate from them and let them go, loving them only from afar. It is so painful, as I'm sure you can relate, to witness patterns repeating in loved ones. It has been difficult to step away knowing that I can't endorse such behavior, because to do so results in that enabling thingy. Love doesn't mean we help those who don't help themselves. I'm learning. I'm pulling out of a slumpy mood. This season has brought heartbreak and then enlightenment, and now I'm ready to have fun, get crafty and take Christmas pictures! I remember my friend Maggie saying years ago that she liked to listen to Christmas music any time of the year because it just makes her happy. I couldn't agree more and have not packed my cds away for the past two holidays. I've been bumpin' Ella's Swingin Christmas in my momcar for weeks! Coping/grieving and living zestily on my own terms provides a contrast I'm sure you can relate to. We are so similar, you and I.


Babe the Blue Boy

M enjoys his peenie after a bath with Dad. I'm apparently too busy for blogging. But I have lots to write about. Perhaps another day. Peace out.


DH and Behavior

I call this my tribute to DH Lawrence. The fall is a very busy but exciting time around here. As the past month's posts have shown, a slew of celebrations take place in September, and now that we've rolled over into another moon, it is time to celebrate some more. Today B and I honored our nine year wedding anniversary. He gave me an amazing gift of nine white packets, each containing the seeds of a different type of tree. I love these natural, thoughtful gestures. One year he glued and painted a series of little wooden shapes and a hinged box to look like a camera and hid one hundred dollars inside to put toward a new camera. Swoony stuff. If I began to count my blessings, I might never make it to bed, where my infant is sure to need me soon. Suffice to say, I am grateful for my husband's creativity and sentimental spirit-I feel totally loved and taken care of by him. You can't ask for more than that in a partner. I'm continuing to take the parenting series I've mentioned here before. We are raising Miles in something called the Causal Theory, which is grounded in the idea that all children are born perfect and good and blank (no bad seeds) and is bound and woven tightly with Attachment Theory. (We believe that personalities are made, not inherited.) I've taken the series (aptly called the Miracle Child series) in the summer and I'm retaking it now. The more I study it, the more convinced I am that we are indeed a very wounded culture. This theory maintains that our personalities are not inborn, but created by the nurturing (or lack of) that our primary caregiver provides (whoever baby spends his daytime with is considered "mommy"). This makes it rather controversial because naturally, we do not really want to be responsible for our childrens' really bad behavior or incompetencies. What I love most about this theory is that by not defaulting to genetics as the explanation for our behaviors, there are endless possibilities for correcting and healing. In my family unit, my brother and I learned the same lessons mostly, but we internalized and responded to them in nearly opposite ways. I rebelled at my mother's controlling and unsafe model by exploding out into the world, being overly independent and guarded and choosing partners that would let me act out my rage out on them again and again, never healing, of course. My brother rebelled by shutting down and internalizing his hurts which resulted in crippling physical illness and an inability to sustain himself well into his adult life. Though far more complicated than I've described here, we are both working hard to heal and not to scapegoat our wounds on others. This, for me, means Mr. Miles Lighthorse! We believe that unhealed rage toward the caregiver that let us down will leak out all over our life until we find a way to give it back to its rightful owner. **If one can't give it back to the source, then giving it to a skilled and nurturing therapist is the next best thing. I feel like a brand new sparkling angelic creature after doing ragework.** Another valuable nugget I've held onto is that of conscious override. By becoming more self aware, I can see myself doing things like overreacting, checking out, vegging on the web, raging at the wrong person, escaping into a glass of wine, engaging in obsessive, pissy fits of cleaning when I'm stressed, being "helpful" (a disguise for being controlling and/or judgemental), and depending on my spouse to fill me up when I feel empty. With practice, (and a dash of much needed humility) the bell goes off a little louder each time I catch myself in one of these acts. It helps me say "Wait a minute!, I think this is my childhood talking here!" and I can get clear about what is really going on and self-correct. It feels like I am at yet another "beginning" which is always a fresh and inspiring place to explore. After well over a decade of sifting through the rubble of my family's life and history, reading a library's worth of self-help books, going on retreats, using positive thinking affirmations, calling on *god* to help, beating myself up, going to various forms of therapy, journalling, bodywork, coaching, ditching unfulfilling partners and work, and more more more, the pieces are really clicking into place for me. I would have to say that none of the above worked for me well enough until I identified the exact source of my wounds, stopped protecting my parents and denying what was really eating at me way down there. I believe our culture loves to repress, honor our parents no matter what and try to positive-think our way out of our pain. Ha! And if that doesn't sound bitchy and controversial enough, I have more: I side with the minority that ADD, ADHD, RAD and the epidemic medication of our children is all about weak parents and an inability to hear them tell us that they are really mad (and rightfully so) about us sticking them in daycare. Eeegadzooks, don't get me started. Soon, the Causal Theory will be available to everyone at the new and improved, almost finished website. Right now, the dedicated woman who developed it has nurtured it only in the Los Angeles area. You can hear her radio show here three days a week. I want to thank Dr. Faye and her team at The Institute for Professional Parenting for shining light in the darkest places and for bravely paving the way for the rest of us... At the end of the day, I am all alone with myself. Until I can sit here in complete comfort in my own skin, this ongoing pursuit of self awareness and reflection must continue. Some days are a bit more intense than others! Thank you for coming here and sharing in my journey....