Tag Archives: Changes


3 Oct

It’s Monday morning… or oops, should I say afternoon.  Typically Mondays after a seminar are notably quiet and the stillness of this afternoon, masquerading as morning, is unmistakable.  Dan, my fellow American here and steady porch companion is out-of-town visiting a friend.  My hostess arrived back from a seminar last night and I haven’t heard from either of my hosts today from their home down the street.  There is a friend visiting at Seminar Haus… who has been here before since my time in Germany.  A German man about my age. He arrived a few days ago as the first stop of his bike ride to Italy where he intends to live for about six months.  He came here on Saturday just 30 kilometers away from his original spot. He joked with “the guys” about staying here in Wettenbostel, but writing his blog as if he is traveling and en route to Italy… searching and downloading pictures from the internet as if he has been there.   We will see how the journey progresses.

And for me, right now its nice to have a quiet morning…. I mean afternoon… that’s twice now.  The guests left happy and well fed yesterday afternoon and since we have been mostly relaxing and enjoying the leftovers from the meal.

A small but modest update in the evolution of me, Germany and speaking German… my inner voice now speaks one word of German.  Perhaps you know the voice… the one within that offers clues of what to do, which way to go, what is best… that inner wisdom.  My inner voice now says, “genau” (ga-NOW).  Kind of funny, but there it is.  Genau is the one german word that has eeked into my psyche.  I hear it all the time.  Essentially it means correct, exactly or right on… and there it is hanging out in my inner wisdom… assuring me of proper judgement or good direction.  Genau.

And other than that all is well…  my standard dosage of yoga, Reiki and a little run today and presently a light rain trickling in the garden.  There is a rich quietness but not a loneliness and our bicycling guest is not far away on the Seminar Haus “campus”.  So what’s next you ask?  Some leftovers?  Perhaps a little Reiki with our visiting traveler? Perhaps. We’ll just take it as it goes.  Genau.

Photo by Michael Hartley


28 Sep

It’s a chilly fall day here in Wettenbostel and I am on my own today for a little bit.  I have felt unusually conspicuous today… secretly wishing there was some place I could hide away… while simultaneously feeling so awkwardly noticeable.   The men around Wettenbostel were busy today doing work on the roof of the Big Dojo, one of the buildings here.  And I hopped across the street to the home of our hosts to do a little work there.  The sky was big and blue today… but mostly I’ve been diverted.  I think it’s growth.

When it comes to growth sometimes you’ve got to shake your finger at it just a little bit… and give it at least a little tease.  Big bad ol’ growth haunting the halls of my being.  I feel like I have been living my life within the confines of a cylinder about 2 feet wide… a space in which I have contorted myself to fit it…. move a little… breathe sometimes… although not much… and something is trying to burst wide open.  That cylinder is perhaps shaped and molded with my ideas of what is right and wrong, good and bad and how I and other should and should not be. It is uncomfortable stay this way at any rate. But here I am… still holding on.  Growth.

Elizabeth, my Reiki teacher, turned me on to a website called flylady.  It’s a beautiful little site put together buy a woman to help people clean and take care of their homes in a way that is loving and supportive of themselves.  Fly stands for “finally loving yourself” and she joking talks about CHAOS… can’t have people over syndrome.  Cute.  At any rate, what I love about her site is she has created baby steps for people who want to take better care of themselves and their home but perhaps are lost in a world of clutter, dirt, disorganization and are overwhelmed.  Baby steps are what she recommends and she outlines I think 30 of them… one to take each day.  No more.  No less.  Simple loving things that can gently be worked into the routine. I think that is what I need today.  A dose of baby steps.  Learning to be gentle with myself and others.

The highlight of the day… a long walk in the woods.  We are surrounded by squares of fields which are lined with wooded roads for loggers and farming equipment.  I ventured into the woods today on a now familiar path.  A much needed and loved venture into the wilderness…if only for a little bit.

I cooked a little dinner for the group tonight and we ate in community… if ever so briefly.  There is something nice about eating some good food and having us all collected together.  If even for moments.  If even mostly what is heard is the sound of chewing and moaning sounds of food being enjoyed.

So growth is the buzzword for the day.  I’ll mix it in with a little compassion, a few baby steps and maybe I’ll have something I can work with.  In the meantime. the quietness of the night has set in.  Tonight I’ll take it light and await the morning  when I’m greeted with the fresh morning light and the Japanese garden outside my window welcoming me to a new day.

Photo by Michael Hartley


25 Sep

It is an incredibly beautiful day here today.  Unbelievable.  The light is spreading its warmth among the trees and it actually feels good outside.  No bite of the cool air. The only sound I hear is the occasional roar of a farming truck driving by on an outside road and a background of the birds chirping.

I think I am going to cook a little bit of macrobiotic food tonight.  I experimented with eating macrobiotic for a little bit back in New Orleans.  In its simples form.  What I learned from that time is that there are foods that can ease and soothe the soul and nurture the inner world.  I cleaned out the refrigerator today and have full stock of what is remaining.  We have some good root veggies that would be good in a simple macrobiotic dish called nishime.  Nishime may not be a dish so much as a way of cooking vegetables.  Cooking them slow.  Usually in a big pot with a thick lid.  Root vegetables… some of which were new to me like Daikon… and other good ones like turnips and carrots.  We have some Daikon in the fridge and a bunch of carrots and I think some cabbage and onions.  Which will be good in a little light vegetable stew.  Generally you cook it on top of a piece of seaweed.. which I don’t have… so I am going to give it a go without it.  When it is almost done cooking you can put a little Shoyu on it for some added flavor.  My experience is these vegetables come out tasting tender and the slow nurturing root quality is softening and healing.

I first explored eating macrobiotic for personal wellbeing.  I had some big emotions locked in my body and macrobiotic had some good clues of things that may help loosen things up a big… so they can move.  Tips like cookies, cakes, breads and chips can tighten up and restrict the abdominal area… making it difficult for emotions to express.  Chewing every bite 30 to 40 times is good and grounding. And simple things like this style of vegetable I’m about to prepare.  Good ways to feel fed.

I am going through some sort of letting go process it seems.  Not always clear what it is that I am letting go of… but I am aware that something is passing through me like the closing of the night.  And there is some pain… some struggle and some saddness in letting its darkness move through me to… ultimately a new day.  In the face of this I am feeling a little edgy today in Wettenbostel.  Little things are bothering me and I am feeling particularly sensitive and well, moody.

Patience seems to be the call as I walk through this terrain.  A few days ago I turned to the Tarot deck for a few simple explanations.  A good resource for me after years of reading cards in New Orleans.  Often the cards can show me if nothing else the texture and the landscape of what is happening… when one is looking to see what’s on the inside in places that are not ordinarily seen.  And what came up in both cases was the death card.  Death in the Tarot is not necessarily about someone or me dying in a physical way, but it is a death nonetheless.  A passage of the old.  An ending that feels sad and somewhat tragic…. if for no other reason than because it’s coming to and end.  And after an sometimes difficult period there is… a new dawn.

So that is it for today.  Death, letting go and nishime vegetables.  Quite a combination. Oh, and not to forget cleaning of some of the upstairs windows in the Seminar Haus.  A little satisfaction from streaking them clean… inside and out.  And hanging out in the gentle light of the afternoon sun.


9 Aug

Cha-changes.  They seem to be everywhere.  Changes on the inside.  Changes on the outside… and not just for me… this gypsy wanderer from New Orleans…  I am sitting in room number three in the “small dojo”  at the seminar haus in Wettenbostel savoring a bowl of muesli with strawberries (erdbeeren…) and bananas.  Still sort of basking in the wake of the Friends and Reiki weekend….an extended journey in Reiki with Reiki Masters and practitioners gathering from Holland, Germany and Austria… lots of Reiki treatments!

The theme that jumped out from the weekend was…changes.  It was interesting to see that everyone at the gathering was in major life transition in some way.  We took an evening to share about our transitions.  The common theme in our changes and desire for changes was… Balance.  Balance in our lives and relationships, with our food, our family, the world around us.  Balance within.  And balance with our work and play and the way that we create and earn money in the world.  We shared and took note of what really mattered to each of us… and perhaps wondering where we went astray from that… and looking at… what is next.

For me personally, so much of my adult life has been dedicating to healing.  It wasn’t until my past year in New Orleans that I finally began to experience a deeper, quieter place in myself. A place in me where I could just… ahhh… exhale fully.  I felt the need to keep my life really basic.  This included minimal financial responsibilities, simple responsibilities with work and minimal responsibilities in relationships.   I house-sat in two different homes my past year in New Orleans.  My job was selling Shiitake Mushrooms at our local farmers market for a very kind Mississippi farmer.  The simplicity of this space gave me time and energy just to be with me.  I can recall walking by myself along the train tracks near where I was staying feeling something begin to settle in my bones.  Me.

And then of course what started to happen in my life?  You guessed it.  Changes!  My furniture in a leaky storage unit got damaged from mold… nearly everything had to be thrown away.  The house where I was house-sitting sold… yeah for the house… but what next?… and then my lovely 1996 Ford Taurus which I bought in Austin, Texas shortly after Hurricane Katrina let me know life was heading for changes.  It broke down beyond repair.  I gratefully sold it to a mechanic who was willing to take it off my hands… and then I was, well, perhaps free…

As these changes happened so quickly for me, it was a little more than my brain could sort through and organize, so I reached out for support.  I contacted Maureen Pua’ena O’Shaughnessy, a Reiki Master in Hawaii who also works as an intuitive guide, and scheduled a phone session with her.   She assured me that all of these changes at once were an opportunity to see what I really wanted – that it was indeed possible to have a good healthy work life, earn money, have a place to live where I loved and still have and cultivate the peace and soft pace I had started to love, nurture and need in my life.  And she let me know that as I became an “energetic match” for that life, that which I wanted and needed – including a satisfying but balanced and well paid work life…would show up in my world.  And if I wasn’t quite a match for it yet… if I still needed to grow, then something else juicy would come along in the meantime –  like a trip or travel… and here I am in Europe.  Growing.  Restoring.  Exploring the texture and feel of balance for me in my life.

One area of growth for me is… well in truth… people.  All of them.  Most of them… I can tend to feel… uneasy around… people.  This is not some prejudice I have towards people…  I can also be uneasy around dogs, bees and other various creatures.  But while I began to find my comfort in me, I am still exploring extending that same comfort within myself when I am not by myself.  This weekend at Friends and Reiki was an excellent chance to shake up my comfort zone a little bit and extend myself… and it was… well, uncomfortable.   I was surprised at my feeling of inner panic as if noone asked me to dance at the high school prom. I wanted to run and hide when the group arrived, like I was four years old hanging on to my mothers leg.  But the joy of the weekend came from poking myself out a bit more than usual… connected conversations, playing the drums with others, even playing a little guitar and singing together… things that I secretly desired to do with others, but prior to this had almost exclusively done them by myself all alone…  ah…Balance.

And today my gypsy is tugging at my sleeve again as I prepare to travel to a new place.  Like Mary Poppins packing up my bag and heading off… to where the wind blows. Tomorrow  I will join Marijke Lemmen, a friend in Reiki and Reiki Master as she returns home to Holland.  The situations in my life shift so quickly-like the weather here in Wettensbostel, cold in the morning, sunny midday, stormy by afternoon… except when, perhaps the sun might peek out again…  Totally unexpected.

So life moves on.  And how great it is to be connected with others… changing and balancing.  Perhaps you are too… it seems to be a phenomenon these days.  I have started sending Reiki energy to the idea of change and balance in my life and to those who were at the Reiki gathering.  A little extra support as things spin and shift within us reflected in our outside world.

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