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September 26, 2023

Trusting Life

I have been thinking about trust of late.


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September 12, 2023

When the Ceiling Falls

“We will only understand the miracle of life fully when  we allow the unexpected to happen.” PAULO COELHO Last week, the ceiling fell in my lower family room, where I house all my books, papers, and quite a bit of work. Really. This really happened. Like a rip in the fabric of the force. A steady drip, drip, drip, from the kitchen above had been falling on the sheetrock for who knows how long, and finally, it all came crashing down. We had been out to eat the night before and did not hear the sound. All my Crossing Thresholds…

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August 29, 2023


“We need to move at the speed of guidance.” Michael Lerner, Commonweal Founder Recently, I found myself in a condition of being confused, unclear, and stressed.  Being committed to expanding my reach and making a larger contribution, many possibilities, and opportunities had started to come my way. I wanted to choose them all!   In addition, I was moving through a passage of high stress, with many significant changes and passages my own clients were moving through, and I needed to find my own way, and my own relationship to the changes. I had a navigation issue on my hands.…

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August 15, 2023

What to do with our fears?

– Photo by Mariel Gale I’ve noticed many people have a lot of fear these days. Only, we actually don’t “HAVE” our fears, we ARE our fears. And the two are very distinct. Being our fears, we live in a world of threat. The world we live in is one of survival, disconnection, protection, and separation. Having our fears, we are “right‑sizing” them, as author Mark Nepo says. When you put salt in a glass and drink from the glass, he says, the water tastes very bitter. When you put that exact same amount of salt in a lake, and…

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August 1, 2023

Listening for the Miraculous

The Buddha taught: “If you know as I know the benefit of generosity, you would not let an opportunity go by without sharing.” And, so, I share with you a very personal story. Last night, as Don and I were exiting the lobby of the hotel from a beautiful, energy filled, heart filled, body filled, evening with Danny Vernon, a great and humble channeler of the energy and “beingness” and voice of Elvis Presley, a most unusual event occurred. I was “gob smacked” by a man sitting in a chair outside the lobby, next to the walkway where everyone was…

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July 18, 2023

Paper Birch Peels

In July, in Isle Royale National Park this year, my husband and I took a hike along one of Isle Royale’s uneven trails, and found ourselves walking a path through a forest of Birch. The Birch’s trunk was peeling, like paper. In fact, this kind of tree is called, “Paper Birch.” I asked my husband about this natural process. He said, “As the Birch grows, the diameter of the trunk expands slowly.  The old bark peels off to make room for the new bark to grow underneath.” I was astounded, as his speaking became a metaphor, reminding me of me,…

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July 3, 2023

Invitations for Traveling with Me

Here, at Isle Royale National Park, in Lake Superior, the largest island in the largest lake of the US, I let my eyes rest upon, and, join my energy with, the tall pine tree across the harbor, strong, stalwart, true. I am happy to greet you now, having just returned from an astonishing six‑week adventure to three entirely distinct places, histories, cultures – Morocco, with its golden Saharan desert, wandering labyrinthian alleyways, souks in medinas (old part of town) kasbahs, delicate crafts, mosques, mellahs (Jewish sections of towns), interesting, spicy food and welcoming, inclusive people. Yes, we rode on a…

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June 20, 2023

Love at First Sight

“Gratitude makes optimism sustainable.”                                              –Michael J. Fox “Love at first sight” has been an old cliché I have lived with through my many years on the planet, yet, when I think about it, if I can transport myself there, to first sight, I bring myself to love, the love that is fully available, waiting for me, just on the other side of letting go of everything that I already know. I’ve noticed, though that we human beings generally…

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June 6, 2023

What is Beginner’s Mind?

Beginner’s Mind…. An entrance into the Extraordinary. What is it? “How do I access that?” you might ask. This was the case in our last public Heart of Leadership, where Amanda, a vibrant and committed participant, was leaning into that question. An important question. An extraordinary question. A question which, if you were not on board for a breakthrough in your life, you would never be asking. Beginner’s Mind. The Mind that is Present, in Presence, with Nothing Going On. No analyzing, no judging, no trying to understand, no figuring it out, no comparing what is being said to what…

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May 23, 2023

Being a Clearing for the Unexpected

This Spring, one epoch of my life seems to be ending, another beginning. That passage seems resonant with these times. But how do I listen for the new beginnings that are coming my way? I like to think of people as “clearings.” I know, I know, a strange word. What does that mean? A clearing is a space for the existence of something. For example, while air is not a clearing for the purpose of a pen, paper is. “What am I a clearing for?” is a question I often ask myself. Some people are a clearing for disempowered people…

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May 9, 2023

Time and the Art of Living

While “Time and the Art of Living” is the title of a book by Robert Grudin, it is a beautiful distinction, this idea of exploring our relationship to time, and no time, otherwise known as Being Present. In these days of moving so quickly through life, in this rapid – fire paced world of ours, we often, simply, forget to take the time to STOP, LOOK, (observe, from Presence), and Listen (to what all of nature, others, and life are saying to us). This listening also includes what we are saying to ourselves, for when we take a deep dive…

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April 25, 2023


It was before the course began, on Day Five, of our last, public, Heart of Leadership . Day Five, the last day of the course, is a deep dive within which the participants explore the art of resolving breakdowns well, and even creating breakthroughs from breakdowns; an art and science ever present as a needed arrow in your quiver if you are a leader, or if you are interested in leading a life well lived.  Breakdowns, or sudden obstacles that seem to bar the way, are ever present in our lives, in recurring shapes and forms. Better get down to…

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April 11, 2023

What is Transformation?

– Photo taken by Mariel Gale What is transformation? While the dictionary defines it as a “dramatic change in form or appearance” or “an extreme, radical change,” I think of it as a shift… from one way of being to another It is the shift the moth makes when it cocoons itself and emerges as a butterfly. It is the shift the tadpole makes when it evolves itself into a frog The above is a photo of my daughter’s vivarium, where she spends some delightful time each day, appreciating her plants and being with her frogs within their nature‑based environment…

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March 28, 2023


The Life of Worry is very distinct from the Life of Living. When we worry, we find ourselves caught up, in our head.  The rat’s treadwheel of worry is never ending, and a loop unto itself.  Worry begets worry.  Soon we are so scrunched up inside we are hardly able to move. Living on the other hand, is wondrous.  When we enter the living stream of life, we find ourselves connected, belonging, at one with other creatures, both animal and human alike, able to gaze at the heavens, and say “Hallelujah, I am alive!” So: how to move from one…

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March 14, 2023

Who Shall I Be?

In a world in which so many paths are possible, the question, “What shall I do?” often takes a forefront in our lives.  Before that, is the question, “What determines what I do?” Here is what I have found: I participate in that which brings meaning to my life, which brings joy, which makes me come alive. I eliminate that which, over time, darkens my heart. I engage in what uplifts, allowing my spirit to soar. I may not always be happy. Happy or unhappy are passing waves. What gives my life depth are relationships that are uplifting. I have…

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February 28, 2023

Words Shape Worlds

What’s in a word? Everything!  The whole world! As I listen attentively, wholeheartedly exploring this new world of ours, letting go of my expectations and attachments along the way, my thoughts of how things “should be,” I cultivate resilience, as I discover, discern, and deepen my walking the path of “what brings me alive.” Many of the distinctions and themes I have been “leaning into” over these years return to me and resonate with me, calling to me to be explored even more deeply: unconditional commitment, enthusiasm, wholeheartedness, generous listening, compassion, patience, simplicity, faith, integrity, courage. A few days ago,…

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February 14, 2023

May New Melodies Break Forth from your Heart

“When old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart, and where old tracks are lost, a new world is revealed with its wonders.” ––Rabindranath Tagore Bengali poet/philosopher Tagore opens us up to some brilliant questions: What old words is it time to let die out on the tongue? What new melodies are ready to break forth from the heart? What old tracks is it time to lose? What wonders are the new world revealing to me?  As I, sometimes cautiously, sometimes boldly, move out of my self ‑imposed 3 year exile from traveling, and…

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January 31, 2023

Where are you located?

When seeing a strange photograph like the one above, you might, perhaps, think I am asking you about the geographical location.  I am, however, not. I am, instead, asking you a question around where you are located when you are with anther human being. .…At first glance, this may occur to you as a peculiar question, for sure, but one, when responded to with “over there, with them,” makes all the difference in the essential quality of the conversation. When you are truly “over there, with them,” what can open up is a profound quality of connection, and the person…

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January 17, 2023

Making a New Beginning

“The time is always right to do what is right.”          – Martin Luther King This is a time of new beginnings, for my life, for our lives, for the world. In the last few years, we have been navigating our way through the challenging space of constraints, cocooning ourselves in our home, finding new ways for living a life worth living. In the midst of the trauma of such a sudden change, the separation of ourselves from a world that had a certain momentum, we find ourselves at the brink of questions that want to be…

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January 3, 2023

Listening for Wonderment

With deep love for all – that – is, and a profound respect for the earth and the land, and with honor for you, and a profound sense of the privilege of my life, the opportunity to serve That which is greater than myself, I welcome you, and welcome us all, into our next year. Somehow, I am sensing my own approach to this year would be well served by creating a commitment to “Living in Wonderment.” The action dimension of that is “Listening for Wonderment.”  That is active; that is creative. Listening for Wonderment magnetizes a certain horizon, borne…

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December 20, 2022

In Simple Gratitude

With gratitude, I begin this posting with a deep “Thank you.” Thank you for your listening, your receptivity to whatever these postings, over the last three years, have brought to you. I have delighted in hearing from those of you who have written, to express your inspiration, or your appreciation, or your companionship with me, as we pilgrim together in our journeys. Just before the Winter Solstice, the dark beckons.  It is that time of year. I find it is both time to stop, to retreat within, and do some inner work…the work of releasing the residual tensions, and incompletions…

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December 6, 2022

Hidden Disturbances

Ganesh, the Master, incense rising from his crown chakra, brings me the Teachings from hardships.‑Amba Gale, November 28. 2023 One of the most powerful deities in the pantheon of Hindu deities is Ganesh. Ganesh is the bringer, and remover, of obstacles. The Hindus tell us that our job, as humans, is to move through the teachings that obstacles bring, on behalf of strengthening our muscles for living life wakefully. When confronted with an obstacle in our path, what do we do? What do you do? I’ve noticed, myself, that I often attempt to positive think it away, avoid it, deny…

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November 21, 2022

What is it not time for?

In a recent posting, I invited us to entertain what it’s time for. In this one, I am asking a new question: what is it not time for? Which begs the question, as well, what is time for? What it’s not time for is avoiding, hardening our hearts to, the sadness, the woundedness, the broken heartedness, the grief. What it’s not time for, is to retreat into resignation, to not be willing to experience the joy, as well,  to insist in living in my old story…. being on automatic, following, with no awareness,  my old habitual patterns, living out of…

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November 7, 2022

Inhabiting the Life of Your Gift

I am deeply feeling that we are, that I am, at the end of a particular cycle, a particular iteration, a particular passage, in my own life. And that it is time to move on. Covid, along with the many passages I have taken within Covid, has re‑shaped me. I am feeling the necessity of a retreat – a time to go into a kind of silence where we can meet the original part of ourselves, in this new beginning, new cycle of existence. This is an invitation to go into the quiet, and below that, into the Silence, to…

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October 25, 2022

What’s it time for now?

As I listen into the question, “What’s it time for now?” I can hear the universe calling: This is a time for New Beginnings. It is a time for re‑examining our lives, for leaving behind those previous identities and conversations that were right in one life’s iteration and not right in the next. In the summer 2019, I did just that. I journeyed to Isle Royale, National Park, in Lake Superior. That was the outer journey. The inner journey was one of crossing a threshold that was a challenging and dangerous crossing for me. Why dangerous? Dangerous, because if I…

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October 11, 2022

Forgiveness Sets us Free

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.–Heraclites I’ve been realizing… We think we live as a continuity, but we do not. Who we were yesterday may not BE the same person at all as who we are today. Conversations can cause a transformation. You can enter a conversation as one person and come out as a different person. Having just completed the first three days of leading The Heart of Leadership, for the leadership of Mary Bridge Children’s, an extraordinary healthcare system in this Great Northwest,…

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September 26, 2022

Let the Path Come to You

‘Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.’–Howard Thurman I love this quote, by Howard Thurman. I love it so much, I created an entire course out of it, a course called “The Joy of Being, Designing your Life.” The phrase, “The joy of being,” is a phrase that jumped out to me, right into my heart, as I read “The Good Earth” by Eckart Tolle, another wonderful master whose good work has served me so well, in behalf of living in…

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September 12, 2022

Certainty in a Sea of Chaos

While the world wages wars and argumentativeness will, apparently, not cease, there is always this: The enduring truth of the poetic imagination. There, you are not lost.          —Amba Gale In a world that announces chaos, violence, and unpredictable events at every turn, we are not immune from being deeply affected, personally. The teachings of these times, often laden with grief, with loss, with heart brokenness, also lead us into new insights, new revelations, new resiliences. And, they lead us sometimes, to a necessity to face our own reluctance to let go of all we already know, including all of our plans.…

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August 30, 2022

Living in Waiting

Do you have the patience to waitUntil the dust settles and the water is clear?— Lao Tzu, Tao Ching The water is not yet clear.The dust has not yet settled. The changes are happening so rapidly, we must meet them with an open heart, with curiosity, and with a generous mind, a mind that lives beyond the borders of right and wrong, a mind that is willing to postpone all judgment, all expectations. Only here can I find peace, and a waiting that presages new futures founded in what “wants to happen.” As difficult as it might be, this is…

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August 16, 2022

Embracing the Changes

While we are living in a world which is constantly changing, we are also wired for resisting change. Our relationships are changing, our ways of communicating with one another are changing, the kind of opportunities we have for educating, or developing ourselves are changing, ways of doing business are changing, people around us are changing, and our life circumstances are changing. Sometimes, these changes take the form of loss: a loved one is leaving us, a cherished job is disappearing, it’s time to move out of a home we have been living in, or work in a different way, either…

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August 2, 2022

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

“Comparison is the Thief of Joy.” —Teddy Roosevelt “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Teddy Roosevelt said that. A remarkable quote. This is my personal story about that, a story that took place during the first year of Covid, 2020. In March of this year, 2022, I had the privilege of leading my foundational program, a course called The Heart of Leadership, twice – one for a client company, and one for the public. It was the first time I led, live, in a public setting, since 2019, as I stopped making this conversation available during Covid, not able to…

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July 19, 2022

Flowing with the Stream

“How can I be still? By flowing with the stream.” Lao Tzu said that, in his Book of Wisdom, The Tao Te ching, otherwise known as “The Way,” a  philosopher poet/wise man of immense wisdom, in the 6th century. What an absolutely amazing realization. The streams and rivers do keep flowing, just like life. It is only our resistance to that flow, to what life offers us, presents us with, that incurs our agitation. “What is it that I am currently resisting?” is always a good question. What if we could be still, just surrender, just accept, just receive everything that…

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July 6, 2022

You are Not Lost

Think upon this: you are not lost. It may feel that way, at times, with the circumstances of the world swirling about us, as they are, and impinging upon our consciousness, as they do. However, consider this: You are not lost. You have only to touch the rare moment of Eternity, of Rest, of no time in time to know That Who You Are is beyond your small sense of yourself, your small sense of the world, and your small sense of being in this particular place at this particular time, in this particular world. You, however are Awareness waiting…

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June 28, 2022

Debbie’s Story

I am creating a special edition of my blog posting this week, as I have had the privilege of being in a particular conversation that I’d say is vitally important at this time, a time of shifting sands, beneath our feet, a time of importance for intentionally crossing thresholds. This posting points to a potent distinction that allows such a threshold crossing. The painting, above, was created by Debbie Hulbert, a participant in our fall 2020 virtual offering of Crossing Thresholds, a course that was based on my newly published book, designed to facilitate participants in crossing their next threshold.…

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June 20, 2022

Phoenix Ascends

Every five hundred to one thousand years, it is said, the Phoenix, a beautiful, scarlet and gold, giant, mythical bird, rises from the ashes of its own death. There is, the myth says, only one Phoenix on the planet at any one time. It sets itself on fire, inside of a nest of boughs an spices, and is consumed by the flames. Out of its own ashes, it arises, born newly. The regeneration of itself contains the ashes of its predecessor as an aspect of its next being. What a metaphor! This is such a time, for such an Awakening.…

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June 7, 2022

Living with an Open Heart

The Buddhists ask the question, “How do you keep your heart open in hell?” It is a worthwhile question, a relevant question, in all times, and perhaps, particularly, in these chaotic and anxiety – producing times, in this time of war, and despair, and senselessness violence and children dying. And underneath it all, is pain, anguish, brokenness. The importance, nay, the criticality, of living with an open heart, confronts us on a daily basis, for if we close our hearts, we die. “The brittle heart is easy to break,” my poem, “Heartbreak,” says, in my book, Crossing Thresholds. That message…

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May 23, 2022


Without trust, there is no peace. I have been thinking a lot about trust of late, trust in the universe; trust in the Tao, trust in the journey, trust that we belong to one another, that we are interconnected, as deeply as the roots of the aspen grove are connected to one another underneath the soil. Brother David Steindl‑Rast, Benedictine monk and one of the great spiritual teachers of our time call Faith, which is very resonant with Trust, “the bliss of certainty.” That phrase stays with me, begging to be examined, as we know that the only certainty there…

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May 6, 2022

Listen to the Song of Nature

February 9 is the “echoing” day of my birth. My husband and I gifted me with a journey to Muir’s Valley, Yosemite, now a Valley belonging to us all, where nature graces us with her beauty, her power, her wonder, her awesome, and the heart can sing with the rivers and the streams. Today, instead of some prose, may I offer you a few Blessings, and the gifts of pleasure, enjoyment, and heart‑song as you listen to my husband Don’s original Bluegrass song, Shadowline. Accompanied by our video, I invite you to delight with us in the shadows cast by…

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April 26, 2022

New Beginnings

This is a time for new beginnings. Each morning, I give myself a new beginning, consciously, intentionally, gratefully. In his book, Consolations, David Whyte says, “Beginning well involves a clearing away of the crass, the irrelevant, and the complicated to find the beautiful, often hidden lineament of the essential and the necessary.” I “begin well” by gifting myself each day with a morning practice, a practice where, in my chair, in my “poetry corner,” I create ways of settling into silence. Here, I find peace within, and the gift of experiencing life as a blessing. Poetic words, as well, start…

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April 11, 2022

Perspective Creates The World We Live In

This last week, in our first three days of our Heart of Leadership, one of the participants was a man whose purpose in life, whose orientation, whose commitment in life, is to hold a space for all different points of view to be heard, gotten, and appreciated. That reminded me of a cartoon I once saw, with two people on each side of the number 6, or 9, depending upon the point of view. The man who is standing on the side of the number that looks like “9” says to the person looking at the 6, “Nine.” The other…

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March 29, 2022

A Time for Healing

Coming out from behind our masks, what do we find? People.  People loving, people hurting, people having turned away from any light, people grieving, people hiding, people willing to come out of hiding, to be seen again. People longing to be held, to be touched, to be loved. The last two years of Covid have affected us, perhaps in more ways than we even know, unless we look, and listen, deeply. During this month, I enjoyed the extraordinary privilege of leading my foundational program, The Heart of Leadership, for one of my dearest clients.  In that five‑day program, we entered…

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March 15, 2022

The Firefall

When I was a child, each year my parents took me to Yosemite Valley. There, breathing in and breathing out the pure air, experiencing the awestruck wonder of a starlit sky, the great granite domes, spires, and cliffs rising sheer, straight up from the valley, I touched Peace. Every time. Our connection with nature gives us that gift, reliably, sustainably, deeply. John Muir called it “The University of the Wilderness.” Each year in Yosemite, a natural event occurs in the month of February. A small waterfall, depending upon the snowfall that year, falls from the east side of El Capitan,…

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March 1, 2022

During These Days…

During these days, I constantly ask myself, “What can I do?” “What can we do?” We can recognize the unity that is occurring throughout most of the world. We can spend some time each day, extending our hearts to the people whose lives have been displaced. We can learn from our fellow global friends to extend our hands. I was recently speaking with a most empowering man on the phone who was supporting my husband and me to procure tickets for an international trip we are taking later this year. We asked him where he was located. He said, “Moldova.”…

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February 16, 2022

What did Abe Lincoln know?

In a dangerous world, where violence and strife prevail outside, where the lines of war are being drawn as I write, how do we live? How do we live peacefully? How do we live, emanating love for our planetary companions? How do we carry the energy of peace with us as we walk through our days? How do we live free from fear while the news each day bombards us with messages of coming destruction? How do we not exhaust ourselves with our own busy‑ness and allow ourselves to be overwhelmed with the plethora of advice coming our way? These…

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February 1, 2022

Writing Changes Everything

In a time when the “world is too much with us,” to quote Wordsworth, it can be difficult, sometimes, to move from a conversation inside my own head, which I sometimes wake up into, in the morning, a conversation filled with frustrations, worries, and fears, into a space of serenity, equanimity, centeredness. I have a practice, each and every day, which I love to engage. I write. Before I write, however, I stop, pause, make, stir, and then drink my soothing tea. I watch the tea settle into my stomach. I observe myself inhaling, and exhaling, observing my breath, maybe…

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January 18, 2022

The Gift of Alert Awareness

We are all human. Very human. And we are all imperfect, very imperfect. In fact, perfectly imperfect. Our very humanity, our very imperfections, our very wounds and vulnerabilities, flailings and failings, crashing on the rocks, and recovering our well – being, thriving through the storm – all are the Great Learnings of our Lifetime. Living through this pandemic consciously, and all that is being wrought, brings us to great trials, Great Sleep‑fulness, Great Wake‑fulness. If you have been reading Blog postings for a while, or worked with me, you know how serious I am, how committed I am, what a…

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January 4, 2022

Trust In The Way Things Are

Have trust in the way things are and are not.  Love the world, and others, and yourself. Then, you can live in peace. By Amba Gale Perhaps I would not say “Happy New Year to you” this year so much. For that phrase, always said at the beginning of the next year, becomes a cliché, and without any created intention, and thoughtful blessings behind it, means nothing. Clichés have a way of putting us to sleep. Not only that, if you are like me, thinking it, or speaking it brings up the mind at this time. And, according to the…

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December 21, 2021

Cultivating Self Compassion

Full Moon, emerge! Come out of hiding. Teach me how to love. By Amba and Don Gale In my last posting, December 8, I invited you to reach out to someone in your past, perhaps even someone who has passed, and write to them the words inside your heart that you have never said to them. I also gave you the gift of listening to a song my husband wrote to his Mother, from his new album of original songs, Looking Back, Looking In, a deeply introspective body of songs. Here’s the song again, Momma. in the case you missed the last…

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December 3, 2021

Looking Back, Looking In

As the end of this year comes upon us, for many of us it is time to stop, to pause, to reflect, to look at our lives, and to be with those we love and have loved. Covid, if we have listened in a certain way, has given us many Teaching lessons – gifts of discovering patience, living graciously with uncertainty, dancing with the unfolding of the world, experiencing the beauties of nature as a healing balm, experiencing grief, and loss, finding ways to live with our fears and worries in a way that they can be included, and perhaps,…

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November 24, 2021

The Blessing of Being Grateful

Tomorrow gives us an “official” day for giving thanks… …for giving thanks for all the aspects and dimensions of our lives for which we are grateful. In her book, Wake Up Grateful, based in Brother David Steindl‑Rast’s teachings, Kristi Nelson suggests we bring gratefulness or “great fullness” to our everyday, ordinary, reality. What if we bring gratefulness to being alive, to waking up each morning, to taking our first breath of each day, to our family, to those who have passed, to those of us who are still present? What if we were to BRING our created gratefulness to all the events…

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November 9, 2021

Happy Isles

Being in Yosemite National Park with my parents was one of the first memories that I have. Here, you see a photo of my father, most likely taken the first time my parents took me to Yosemite, at Happy Isles, where the Merced River flows from the High Sierra Mountains on its way to the sea. I was about one year old. All my senses awakened there, in the beauty of nature and that Great Land. I remember that my whole body felt Happy, Awake, Alive. I returned every year. My favorite, favorite place there, amid so much beauty, was…

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