Category Archives: On the Road

The Hundredth Monkey

I heard recently that the phenomenon of a flock of birds all turning in the same direction seemingly at once is actually a tipping point scenario.  While almost instantaneous, it is in fact a majority decision being made.  When enough of them agree on a particular direction (by turning slightly and pointing) the rest simply follow suit.  This got me thinking of the collective energy in my life.  Once again finding myself on a transatlantic cruise with my mother and nearly twenty other writers there is an almost palpable shift in our creative energy that happens when we gather.  Perhaps it’s only that we have nothing better to do all day so we may as well be productive but I believe its something more.  Its an activated vibration, a strengthening of our inner listening, a building of energy that after the first few days seems to pull us effortlessly along with it, a turning of enough heads in the direction of progress that the scales tip and we fall into our creative zones.


This kind of collective energy exists in a number of places in our lives.  It’s up to us to decide which flock we want to be in, what energy we want to subscribe to.  Would you like to be in the collective that watches network news?  A daily dose of focussing on drama and trauma, fear propaganda and the who’s who of celebrity socialites.   Or would you like to find your world shifting in the direction of gratitude and beauty?  Energizing yourself through active positive thinking and conscious attention.  Truth and wholeness.  Progress and productivity.  What are you focusing on?  What are you training your mind to see and do?  What are you allowing to be magnified by your conscious thought?  What flock are you in and which way are you turning the tides?

The Buddha by Odilon Redon


The hundredth monkey theory says that once enough of a population knows a certain trick (or use of a tool) then a tipping point can be passed where the entire population suddenly knows.  If enough monkey’s on one island figure out how to open a nut with a rock, then spontaneously without cross pollination, the monkey’s on a nearby island begin practicing the same skill.  What percentage of the world would it take to focus on light and creation, compassion and community before war and poverty and fear would fade away?

Something to consider.  By taking responsibility for our attention, our thoughts and actions, perhaps we get to vote on what direction the world goes.  Might you be the hundredth monkey?

Monkey with Skull by Hugo Rheinhold


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About two years ago I read a book called Miracles Happen by Brian Weiss.  I had an epiphany that healing through hypnosis and past life regression is something I am meant to do.  I got my name on the waiting list for a five day intensive workshop with Dr. Weiss and imagined all the magical things that would occur if my name were to be called and I were to fly to upstate New York to experience one of Weiss’ workshops at the Omega Institute.  I drew a giant Omega symbol on my bathroom mirror.  I crossed my fingers and wrote about how much I wanted to go.  Last June I got a phone call asking me if I was ready to register.  I didn’t have the money but I said yes, and told them I’d pay  whatever I could whenever it came to me.  The passage that follows was written shortly after my return from Omega a month ago.  Yesterday I registered for a hypnotherapy certification course and am delighted to announce that I see this beautiful and inspiring road stretching out before me and I will hopefully be touring the country to practice on all my loved ones soon…

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I’m finding myself squinting into the light of life post-Omega.  I expected transformation.  I expected profound awakenings.  I expected soul mates and clarity and a new skill-set to take back into the world with me.  I received almost all of these things, along with jet-lag and emotional exhaustion.  I believe I got exactly what I was meant to.
I saw a man connect with a total stranger whom he shared past lives with, coming to the realization that she was his grandfather reincarnated.  I made sure to nag him to have her meet his father, still living, if at all possible.  I am hoping that they can all three make amends for the things in the past that they regret and forgive each other from a new place of understanding. They are having a reunion as I type this.
I saw myself as a child, making very clear and correct decisions based on my intuition. This was followed by years of emotional abuse, where I forged water-tight walls around my heart in order to protect myself.  The abuse having ended half a lifetime ago, I realized the very sturdy barrier that I had up against the rest of the world was no longer necessary.  If my intuition was strong and accurate at six years old, why would it be less so now?  I will know when someone sounds my inner alarm, and can then protect myself.  Having this realization allowed me to begin tearing that wall down.  During an exercise we did, I was able to identify my upper back and shoulder pain as my physical manifestation of that shield of armor and release it.  The pain is still gone and I’d like to think my ‘hunted’ persona is fading as well.
I saw moments in my past that I had forgotten and found love for myself that I had yet to allow myself to accept.  I held my grandfathers hand between worlds and saw another life that I shared with my father.  I regressed a classmate and wrote furiously as his spirit guides answered all the questions I could come up with.  I softened my shell and I now feel very deeply in love despite my current fragility.

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I will be forever changed by this workshop and am thrilled to follow the white rabbit as it leads me to more experiences in this work.  I plan on taking a hypnotherapy certification course in late November.  Until then I’ll be practicing on whoever I can find, and trying to piece together the wealth of insights I received in the past week. Today I struggled through traffic and bills and red tape.  I yelled at ‘bad’ drivers in my way.  And then the universe fed me a couple game-changers.  Two people crossed my path and shifted my awareness back to benevolence.  The universe will test us, it will pull us through the muck but it will pull us out again too.  There is light through the darkness.  And the roller-coaster rides on, like a slow-motion strobe light.  Take a nice deep breath, and feel yourself relaxing.

photo 3

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Whale Medicine


Okay, I’ve been back for a whole week.  It’s time to pull words from head and tell about Hawaii so I can sleep again.  It was predictable in the paradise sense of things but also so much more than I had imagined.  My hilarious and industrious travel partner, Jackie and I spent the first two weeks at a commune called Cinderland, before seeing the light and moving up the hill, literally and metaphorically to another ecovillage/commune setting I’m going to leave unnamed.  Not to be selfish but I’d like to be able to return to the latter locale and find a bed open and waiting for me.  IMG_4765
Day One at Cinderland we thought we struck gold.  I’ll pull an excerpt from my journal to give a taste of life there:
“I am so in love with this place.  Healing.  Eating conscious food.  Yoga in the morning.  Picking avocados out of the foliage around our house.  A medicine wheel on the front wall.  A mandala as our doormat.  Showering between the banana trees.  IMG_4761Sewing up the holes in the mozzy net that covers our California king-sized bed.  I haven’t been indoors in days.  Playing dice by candlelight and learning old folk songs on the guitar.  Looking forward to the Sunday drum circle at the nudie beach.  A farmer’s market in Pahoa.  An open mic night at the kava bar.  Slowing the pace and the days feel more full than ever.  Hunting for a blank wall to paint as part of my work trade.  Hitchhiking between beautiful places. Multiple jaw-dropping whale sightings. Saying yes to what comes and letting go of everything else.  Fear, stories, suffering.  Releasing what I know about myself and seeing what’s left.  Who I want to be.  How open I can be.  What happens when you say yes to life instead of forcing it down a certain path?  The sound of drumming wafts to me from the nearest living space.  The Zen Den.  Or maybe Middle Earth.  Four beds and a small kitchen.   A bookshelf overflowing and endless murals adorning each open surface.  Including the floors and the benches.  Knee to shoulder-high walls enclose a small outdoor shower also covered in intricate paintings. We renamed our zone The Goddess Nest.   A rainbow maze of art that is each wall-less building connects through the jungle by winding red gravel paths, lined in fruit trees and a lacy network of spiderwebs that dangles close overhead.”
IMG_4774    The two words that sum this trip up for me are rhythm and flow.  The hitchhiking adventures, sunbathing and grounding are punctuated by gatherings involving the pounding heartbeat of drums.  The flow is what I keep falling into, pushing myself into, desperately trying to give into.  It’s a beautiful experience to venture outside of your comfort zone.  It is something that people should do much more often.  I could feel that fiery Pele energy.  The one that will call to you and pull you to the islands or will rage at you and kick you out until you’re ready to come back.  There is an obvious escape aspect to this bippety boppity, off the grid, into the jungle lifestyle and there’s also a realm of deep healing.  That looks different for each of us.  Some can’t handle the trauma and stress of Babylon.  Others need a quiet place to heal before returning.  Some are literally hiding out from the law, or their family, or debt.  Some are here to build and grow with the earth and each other.

I am breaking through barriers that I’ve built between myself and community.  Working on patience and knowing when silence says more than words. Saying yes to this moment and having faith that it will lead me to the exact perfect next moment.  Letting go of needing things.  The baggage.  Even this much stuff is way more than I need.  Opening up to see how closed off I’ve been and wanting desperately to push beyond that. There are no accidents.  Every step I take is in the exact right direction.  I found myself unable to break away from the activated and inspiring people I was continually surrounded by in Hawaii to find the solitude to write.   I could absolutely see a life there, but in this moment I am feeling pulled inward.  To find space and quiet to officially finish a polished and complete draft of my novel and to get that out in the world is my only goal at present.  I thank Pele and the Big Eye for giving me that clarity and I know I will be back just as I am always going back to everywhere.   What a fun and rainbow ride. IMG_4772


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From Telluride through Sherwood Forest


What a fantastic weekend. (Or ten days) Telluride! Beautiful people, incredible music and absolutely stunning landscapes.  Sitting once again beside an ice cold waterfall in Town Park, cleansed by it’s earthly delight.  Elephant Revival blew it out of the park.  Trampled by Turtles night-grass was a life changing experience.IMG_3897 I am happy, refreshed and inspired.  I am in love with people.  It hit me again the other night just how completely bat-shit crazy my life is.  I am a peripatetic vagabond and I fucking love that. What a world to explore.  What a time to be alive.  What an amazing journey to continue diving headlong into.  I find bliss in living each day to perfection.  I am so grateful to my muse, my wanderlust and my infinite supply of friends and family that support me on my path.  I ride the wave that is the open road and thank the universe for divine serendipity in all I do.  Thank you thank you thank you! Right place, right time, even when an hour late.


I am but a player on a stage and that knowledge has the power to set me free in this life.  Life is a game, play hard.  As the sun and the moon dance in turn across the sky, so I rise.  As the dust eventually finds a place to lay, so I too may settle someday.


I am endlessly amazed by the people I find myself surrounded by.  Going down in elevation from family oriented Telluride to wompy rager in the woods Electric Forest was a true eye-opener.  Through the dark of the night and the less than human side of this festival party scene there is still a radiant light of consciousness shining through.  Rainbow creatures dancing up a storm of dust.  The bright and inspiring few who know how to pick up their own garbage.  Exploration.  The excitement and wonder of what you’ll find around the next bend.  Music that can transform the way you view yourself and the world.  I am forever grateful for the life I have created.  I take full responsibility for its ups and downs. We are all-powerful.  Let’s keep it good and make it gooder.


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Austin is a strange little monster.  The inexhaustible abundance of live music.  The incredible tropical weather.  The backyard barbeque mentality.  Everywhere you go feels like a friendly midsummer house-party.  Drinking beers on wooden picnic benches under white lights strung between big live oak trees.

The energy of the city flares up each weekend as the extraordinary Texan party scene unfurls across town.  Literally bursting at the seems during festivities like South by Southwest and Saint Patrick’s Day.  A place where “good” weather means under a hundred degrees, as opposed to the Pacific Northwest where anything over sixty-five warrants a sundress and sandals.

There’s a special lust for life here.  Everyone has an outlet of some kind.  Whether it’s hiking the greenbelt (a wide expanse of rural-ish trails that run quite literally through the city and back out again.), playing live music at every opportunity or smashing on bikes all day, just to go ride bikes.  The amount of sunny days and outdoor livability brings an ease and sweetness to the people down here.

For those of you who know me, worry not, I’ve still yet to find a town that can contain me year round.  But I invite everyone to get a little taste of this Tex-mexy, Southwest-ish, Cheeseburger-in-paradiseness that’s sizzlin’ on the grill down here in Austin.
Three week countdown till blazing saddles gets back on the open road.  Thank you people of Austin it has been a wonderful, colorful, at times sweaty but enjoyable few months.  I will greatly miss your swimming holes and Carpe Omnia ideology.



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Thirty Days of Gratitude

I started this little ritual with my Mom last April.  For 30 days we wrote down a list of 10 things that we were grateful for.  Simple things like abundance, family, health, happiness, love, inspiration, adventure, laughter, evolution.  Then we’d sit and think about each one for a minute, or even just feel the gratitude for each one for the duration of one deep breath.  Looking back that was a time that my entire existence shifted.  I went from regular ramblin’ roamin’ Molly to a state of light and bliss.  Where each day was joyful.  Each moment.  Each mile.

Taking a moment to feel gratitude over just a few things each day opened a door in my life for more great things to show up.  And not only that, I was experiencing gratitude for every little thing in my life as I was living it.  Grateful for the water in my glass.  Grateful for my life.  Grateful for the company I was keeping.

I have been feeling a stronger and stronger connection to the people in my life lately.  People who get what it’s all about.  People who travel the world with a backpack and a smile.  People who pool money for gas just to make it to the next show.  People who teach each other fundamental life lessons.  Especially the hard ones.  People who take action and transform their lives into something beautiful.

People who make art.

People who make music.

People who grow food.

People who write.

People who teach yoga.

Yes, you!  I am grateful for you.  For your life.  For the work that you do.  Whatever the hell it is that you do.  Thank you.

Whatever change, if any, is coming this December.  Big or Small.  I hope that we can approach it consciously with gratitude, light and unconditional love.

Every moment.

Every decision.

Every interaction.

We get to decide how and when to be the enlightened people we are on the road to becoming.

I say NOW

Let’s fucking do it.

Let’s choose happiness

Let’s choose forward.

Together.  Let us ascend.

On this long and winding road, I am grateful for each and every one of you.  Thank you for being a part of my life.  Thank you for being conscious and tuned in individuals.

Thank you for making my life not only worth living, but fucking fabulous.


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Dramatically Changing Teton Range

There is an interesting array of people working in Moose Junction, Wyoming.  Nestled under the dramatically changing Teton Range.  There are fire fighters, the wolf team, the reforestation crew, the infrastructure maintenance people and then there’s the visitor center staff and interns, all soaking up as much knowledge and experience as they can in this park and informing the constant influx of public about everything from bear safety to wildflower varieties.  They mostly live in the park.  Tucked away in tiny log cabins, between approachable trailheads with views of the Grand outside their bedroom windows.  It’s like summer camp for adventurous outdoorsy adults.  A way to work hard with nature and get paid to live inside national parks.  It’s incredible.  10 mile runs with bear spray in hand.  A morning trek up one of the last remaining patches of snow just to say you’ve skied in June.  Hiking everyday, trails that hundreds of thousands of people cross the country in minivans and RV’s to hike once in their lives.

I’m sitting at Taggart Lake, just at the base of the Grand Tetons.  It’s a mile and a half hike up here by a raging stream.  At the bottom of which a baby moose is in a bush nursing.  The water in the lake is ice cold and crystal clear.  Tiny blue butterflies flit across the path.


Little chipmunky squirrels come up to say hello. In the distance you can hear dead trees being felled by the fire crew.  A buzzing chainsaw, a shout and then a crash as the tree hits the water.  The pointy face of the Grand looms over it all like a squat old man who’s seen it all before. Not that there’s a whole lot going on in Wyoming.  6900 foot elevation and the nearest town of Jackson is only 8600 people.

I’m staying with Zoe Nelson, park ranger, up in what’s called the Highlands.  A tiny circle of log cabins, with a fire pit in the center. The way down from Taggart is another two and a half miles, winding up above the lake to the southeast and then twisting down through lush hills covered in blue sage and blossoming damp forests where the wind makes leaning trees rub together and squeak.  Just as the road comes back into view it starts raining.  Yes there are obvious endorphins from the hike, and heightened senses from thinking every sound out there could be a bear, but there’s also this Disneyland, just-too-perfect look to everything, especially in spring, especially at the foot of such dramatic mountains as the Tetons.  Heaven on Earth is the best I can describe it and I envy the smart group of rugged, mountainous people who found a way to call this place home.



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The Rat Race

“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everyone in New York is in such a hurry to get where they’re going but paying little to no attention to where they are.  I’ll cross the street when it’s clear and people waiting across from me will start walking too, not realizing that a Mack truck is now speeding towards them.  Or in a throng of people someone will stop dead in their tracks and force everyone around them to change course.  Like salmon traversing obstacles in a river. I’m sure part of it is due to the billion tourists but it seems to me that a very small percentage of people are aware of their surroundings at any moment on the street.  Maybe it’s different for me because I don’t have a job to think about, worry about, bitch about.  Maybe this is just what humans have become.  So wrapped up in their epic ego-centric dramas that they can’t even look left for the mack truck.

And eye contact is another story entirely.

On the rare occasion that you actually make eye contact with another person on the street, it is so uncommon that it feels like an invasion of privacy.  “I’m walking here, busy with my whole brain full of my whole world full of personal drama.  Who are you to try and connect?  To look me in the eye like you know me?”  Quick get the phone out or quick look away.  Look left, there might be a truck coming.

The poodle with the safety-cone-collar, and a purple bow pooping in the park. A little self conscious.  Lifting it’s feet up higher than necessary.

The mumbling hobo in the corner, a string of drool dripping from his mouth.

The neon BAR sign, the R flickering a secret message in Morse code.

The all black New Yorker ensembles, where one red line on a Burberry clutch stands out.

The bag lady practically swimming through the crowd.

The bald guy in a suit.  Sprinting through the park in his polished shoes.  Talk about a rat race.

The psychedelic rainbow warrior meditating on a bench. (benchitating?)

Wandering through Grand Central, taking pictures, the song “Bittersweet Symphony” comes on. There’s a dark note to New York.  Beautiful, full of art, music and endless inspiration but disconnected, blind, totally run by getting on the up and up.  I love it, but even the trees seem a little worn out and sad.  A heavy layer of schmutz climbing up every one.  It is a bittersweet symphony, but you don’t want to look away.


Hopped on a train, got off when it felt right, found a park to sit in and right next to me a Med Mob (meditation flash mob) sits down.  About 15 people sitting in meditation at five pm in Downtown Manhattan.  Everyone is staring and taking pictures as they walk by in a hurry but these 15 people seem to me to be the only ones getting somewhere.  So I sit and close my eyes with them and the honking and sirens and clicking heels fades and my breath comes into focus.  Right place, right time, as always.



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Great American Road Trip

It has been an incredible journey, the last month since I left Oregon.  I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset.  I watched an old friend play music in Los Angeles and blow the crowd away.  I acquainted myself with Las Vegas, thank you, once was enough. I had a picnic in the snow at the Grand Canyon.  I passed by the Hoover Dam (missed the exit, Damn!).  I moseyed up Canyon Road in Santa Fe in a faux fur coat and chatted up more than one gallery curator that seemed to think I could afford to buy something.  I drove straight through the worst snow storm I’ve ever seen, on closed highways and icy frontage roads to get to Austin by Christmas Eve.  I sat patiently in the hospital waiting room as my beautiful nephew, Henry David, came into the world and greeted him warmly with tears in my eyes and a stuffed monkey named Bongo. I danced down Bourbon Street in New Orleans with a sugary cocktail in my hand.  And at last, I rang in the New Year with some of my very favorite people in St. Louis, to the masterful sounds of Umphrey’s McGee.

5,000 miles in two and a half weeks.  I reconnected with old friends and new family and am only mildly sick of my music collection.  Thank you Kathleen Mannis, Sam Daggett, Sat-Kaur Khalsa, Nick and Sarah Mandelberg, Caroline Strickland and Roger Linehan, Peggy Walton-Walker, Tim Maggio and The Schers for taking me in and making this whole silly shebang not only possible but damn fun too.
Now I find myself back at altitude in the outskirts of Boulder, Colorado.  For the first time in four years I am experiencing an actual winter without running away to the tropics.  (Not yet at least.)  Next week I will be paying rent for the first time since 2008!  I don’t know how the hell I get away with it but outlaw, vagabond, nomadic, gypsy wayfaring has somehow come naturally to me.

“What next?” is the question I always come back to.  I truly have no idea.  One foot in front of the other usually leads to something interesting, so I’ll start there.  Taking time to write.  Maybe picking up some banjo lessons.  Building Bowrain a colorful little sister.  Dreaming of beaches and palm trees.  Snuggling with Grizzly, my favorite four-legged roommate.  Enjoying having a kitchen and my own room while it lasts, and tentatively planning the next great adventure.  I’ll keep you all posted from the edge.

“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over.  Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” -Vonnegut

a little more…


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Winter Solstice in Santa Fe

The Native American spirit is spilling out of every adobe doorway.  Even the gravel on the sidewalk is calling to my ancient wolf mother psyche.  The red clay earth and the woven afghans remind me of Kingsolver’s imagery and the homesick nostalgia therein.  Home as the Earth.  The source that we are so far removed from and so yearning to return to.

Stone walls and houses made with hands.  Hands of your family.  Hands of your neighbors.  Villages, or Pueblos, pieced together, wall by wall.  Room by room.  To accommodate a community.

Once again I am overwhelmed by a hotspot of creative inspiration; an entire city, capital city no-less, totally devoted to making and sharing art.

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