Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A vacation metaphor brings us together!

I just returned from a trip to Aspen, Colorado, drinking in the rich beauty of this alpine paradise for 5, sun-drenched days. Although I was tempted to spend each moment on celebrity watch or shopping for shoes and bags, my time was spent hiking, biking and exploring the vast canyons and trails of this outdoor playground.
One of the more profound experiences worth sharing occurred during a bus ride up to the Maroon Bells. As we strained to see the venturis, rushing streams and granite peaks our driver told us an interesting story about the Aspen tree; the namesake of this mining town. Known for their white, papery bark and delicate oval shaped leaves, these tall, slender beauties grow in thick groves, so tightly packed they appear to have been planted and groomed by an unseen hand.

But here is the catch. They are not individual trees at all. In fact, although some trees come up from stray seeds, most are the product of the root system of one tree as it spreads across the soil, traveling with purpose and popping up over and over again to create related thickets along vast hillsides. This fact makes the Aspen tree one of the largest living organisms on the planet. Indeed many acres of Aspen trees are actually one, single, spectacular being.

As you may guess I was struck by the metaphor this glittering-leaved specimen illustrates. If applied to us as humans, and certainly women who gather to create change in the world and in each other, we discover that our root systems is truly shared and we are not here alone. We find that to flourish we can and must rely on each other for life, for nourishment and for protection.

Join us each month and connect to this tree of life, the leaves of friendship and the roots of meaningful solutions.

Seeing Life With Grand Clarity

It’s amazing, flying over the Grand Canyon. The landscape is pure and solemn. The river, cutting through the orange soil and red granite appears to have easily carved its place in history, cutting a blue swath of life giving waters that meander easily over sand and rock; proverbial beads of sweat trickling down Arizona’s dry, thirsty skin.

I sat there, with my nose pressed against the cold glass, a civil meal before me, a paper napkin on my lap and marveled that I could so casually view this hand print of God while moving effortlessly through the thin atmosphere of my home planet. I enjoyed an "aha" moment about the lack of clarity with which we see the minutia in our own lives as I focused on the scene below.

I thought, if it’s so easy to see the large things in life with such clarity, why do we ignore the teaching element of these perspectives? We can look at almost anything in our world from a great distance, adding layers of understanding and reflection to our brain-trust of nature’s beauty. And yet, when it comes to looking at our own life, we peer at our situation through slits of apathy.

It’s like wondering in a dark field, using only a small flashlight to guide us. As we focus the tiny circle of light on a small sampling of our daily lives, we judge the entire field on this miniature, poorly illuminated sphere. A tiny viewpoint surely limits us from seeing our life from a healthy, holistic perspective.

This narrow view is in stark contrast to my reverent vista from the skies. And yet, dreaming is in essence a way to view our lives from above. A 30-thousand foot snapshot of everything around us is the correct perspective to have if we’re going to grow in understanding and become stronger women, stronger friends; even stronger caretakers.

In terms of today, our dreams can be more positive and possible with the right perspective. Not unlike the plant that flourishes when its whole purpose is taken into account, our dreams come into focus with childlike clarity when we nudge ourselves toward this authentic, perspective-driven lifestyle. We see our future as something that we can enjoy now. We become more invested in and more present in the moment before us. Each moment becomes calming and valuable. Our time is then spent seeing, with awe, the life before us that is guiding us towards our dreams, not spent agonizing over one small, dimly lit setback.

As participants in Networking, Women and Wine, you sip the wines before you, let the liquid fill you with a light that will illuminate your WHOLE self. Then you can sit back, fasten your seat belt, and enjoy the view to a new you!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ode to A Grape

O grape. O great grape!
Purple, gurgling, shining, pining, elation!
Reflections, inflections, selections, vini-vacations!
Oh sphere, O red sphere.
Twist, swirl, taste, wait, hear
Engulf, engage, endure, inspire, endear
Oh grape. O great grape!
Purple ideas, lingering, longing, contentment
Liquid enlightenment, excitement, think-itement!
O grape, O great grape.
Flirting with dirt, hurt, sin, yin, yang
Singing, crushing, hushing, singing, bang!