Trail Stories

I created this page as a means of displaying photographs of my hikes and snowshoe adventures, which I still may post from time to time. However, it struck me that I also would like to post my thoughts in writing, the things that seem important to share: trail stories are also life stories.

August 7, 2008 ~ Today while giving massage at a local spa, the CD player decided to spontaneously stop even though it was set on “repeat.” After pressing “eject,” reinserting the CD, and pressing “play” once again, the CD finally began to play again, thankfully. The thought hit me that instead of trying to determine “why” the player quit to solve the problem, sometimes it’s best to just start pushing buttons to see what will get the music playing again. In life, it seems I often try to determine the underlying reasons for things that happen, in an attempt to gain full understanding  of “why” or to try to prevent something from occurring again. Sometimes, it seems to be a good idea to determine why an event has happened in order to learn what not to do, but does it really help us in the end when time is so short? Perhaps finding out “why” something didn’t work isn’t as important as trying something new that might yet work. It seems to be a more present approach to living, doesn’t it?

January 27, 2009~ It seems that our lives are being affected energetically more than ever before. People are responding to crises in desperate ways. I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that we focus on the issues that really matter and remain unified, concentrating on assisting ourselves and others in creating common good, the best for all concerned. For some time, I feel that we will continue to be challenged physically, practically, emotionally and mentally. And so our energies, especially as bodyworkers or others who are in the business of assisting people, need to center on the things that are really important and take priority over smaller day-to-day interactions of the negative kind. I asked for guidance with regard to a small matter today, and the sense I received was to comply and let it go rather than let it become an issue. My feeling is that there are larger things at work needing my attention. The same might be for you. Just a thought.

October 1, 2009 ~ Letting the ego step aside is an interesting experience. The peace that comes from acting from the heart takes less effort ultimately, yet why did it take so long to determine this and put it into practice? Love is so much more expansive, so less competitive, so much more satisfying, so much more free for the internal spirit. Ego will always try to get in the way, so it’s a constant check in, a constant challenge in balance to also not be complacent or passive or participating in the extreme of irresponsibility or lack of action.

Here are some fall photos from my current residence in Jackson. They were taken last year, actually. I’ve been painting much from last year’s photos, for this summer and fall have brought challenges apart from being active physically; hiking has been limited. This year has been filled with work, painting, office organization, networking, service and more inward experiences. I hope all of us, all of you, can hang on with as much strength and patience as possible as our world speeds toward its goals at an ever quickening pace – much change is in store.

February 1, 2010 ~ Ah, the new year with its promise for change… When this year began, I had dreams of a lighter approach to my daily walk since last year brought much challenge. Alas, as our world is becoming faster paced, we must keep up with our learning. “New beginnings” still seems to be a good theme on which to focus, however, and changing  my responses and perceptions of reality to permit “present” happenings to stand on their own, as opposed to repeating repetitive patterns based on past events, is my goal now for 2010 – a little more serious than my original intention for the new year. Also, it seems more responsibility has come my way in a spiritual sense, as I begin to assist some members of my church as their Deacon. So my prayers also include others’ requests and needs as well as my own. I find myself painting more and more. It offers a release from responsibility and gives my fun side a shot at lessening my mental load. At least I can attend to my creativity if not frivolity.

Secondly, the above endeavor keeps me honest in the efforts of reducing ego and handing direction to God. I still must make the moves; but willfulness must die to birth a new me, if I am ever to move on toward peace and less perfectionism. One layer at a time…

Over Thanksgiving, my roommate and I traveled to Moab. This is an arch in Canyonlands National Park.

February 20, 2010 ~ After almost a year and a half of challenge with my back, legs and feet, I am returning to the activities I have so loved. Last night I went dancing for over two hours with no consequences. The freedom I felt through this act cannot be compared to any other night of dance – the lessons I have been learning through having to take it easy, lightening my physical endeavors, and receiving much assistance from other practitioners, have been worth this path. And now that it’s being lifted from me, I cannot express the joy of being granted this blessing, even if just for the one night of complete freedom in movement. As humans we tend to take most things for granted; until last year, I sustained minor injuries but my body always plowed through, or I forced it to… Not until my body brought me to a new challenge did I truly value being able to move fluidly without pain and limitation. I didn’t have as much empathy for those suffering in their physical selves. I didn’t rely enough on my internal self to get through life with more peace – using my physical self was a means of escape, finding joy in endorphins and accomplishments counted in miles. As I continue to heal, let me never take for granted one moment the meaning of moving freely in the body; and let me keep my internal lessons learned. Thank you, God!

November 29, 2010 ~ Moving through the holidays reminds one that almost an entire year has passed and that a new year is just around the corner. Why is time progressing so quickly these days? Have I grown much over the past months to keep up with this fast pace? We are about to enter yet another year of crescendo toward an evolution of the human race to which some have alluded yet cannot completely define nor predict. As we walk this path of uncertainty, let us hold hands, support one another, and focus on what is important: how we all are connected rather than distanced. We are all children of Spirit. Our differences form perfectly fitted pieces to a puzzle, and further, we form one and don’t complete the beautiful picture without each other. Let us leave behind selfish “me-ism,” stand true as individuals with a joint purpose, and unite as community in universal love.

May 22, 2011~ Here we find ourselves at the tipping point, the place where we may decide to choose love, forgiveness, acceptance over the fight for rights, resources and religion. And if love isn’t prevailing, I bet there will be some challenges ahead, ones that some and not all will be prepared to face as a race. What is to be our path? When we studied history, did we not all learn valuable lessons about those people who became too confident, to complacent, the cultures that were brilliant making many civilized advancements, yet they all fell? Do we want to grow and develop with humility and intelligence or cling to the past desperately trying to protect our powerful reputation of the 1900’s? I have more questions than realizations these days. I feel a strong wind blowing at our back. My last question is, will we flow with it, resist it or be blown over?

Teton Pass Black Canyon Trail

September 23, 2011~

And so here we are at the end of a whirlwind of a spring and summer, preparation and clarification having happened within us as individuals. We are all feeling the “pressure” physically, mentally and emotionally to let go of past “hang ups” and blocks in order to be more open, more light, more prepared for the next few months and its challenges. If you feel like I do, you have been pushed to your limit, challenged to progress, sometimes even kicking and screaming: “I can’t handle anything else!” Well… we may have to, and so the preparation and purification have taken place. Continue to find center and peace within. For now, it’s time for that huge deep breath before, well, we don’t know what yet. But it just might rock our world. Rely on the light that has penetrated into your dark places to help steady your path; pray and meditate as much as possible. And if none of this rings true for your experience, well, then deep breathing is a great tool, no matter where you are! Thanks for being patient with my suggestions! Blessings to you.

October 31, 2011~

As winter approaches, I feel the coolness, the distance, the inevitable happening. Do you? Please enjoy these photos of recent hikes in the Grand Tetons. Most of the park roads will close tomorrow. And it was a treat to hike on it’s sacred earth so late in the season!

January 22, 2012 ~

As this new year began, mostly without a hitch, I am reminded of the more subtle ebbs and flows of our lives. Winter is a good time to take in and cherish the present small wonders of nature and relationship. We rely more on the distinctive, detailed distractions welcoming us when we venture from our warm wombs and try our best to confront the cold: an eagle perched on a nearby tree, laughter over silly things, health miracles seeming to fall in the lap of my office, and the happenstance of turning back to witness a most dramatic sunset over the mountains. We are surely blessed, even through challenge and curious evolutions within our world and society. Take advantage of those precious moments to honor your miracles and your heart, if you can. Happy New Year!

April 22, 2012 ~

It’s an early thaw for Jackson, Wyoming, and with much change in the air is progression with home and life. I am grateful for the blessings of fulfilling work, stunning scenery, a new home, and relationship. And when times are full of blessings, one must take the moment to honor them! Thank you.


October 18, 2012 ~

Fall brings crisp change and challenge. Many are reminded of those for whom they have or yet to have grieved. It’s the time for colds and respiratory clarification, and it’s the time for emotional shifts. My fall this year has brought great joy along with quite a number of minor challeges or “opportunities” for growth. And it’s with an open heart that I find expression and bravery for what has and is coming toward me. It reminds me that within the quickening pace of today’s timelines are wonderful opportunities to share one’s gifts and pass along knowledge to other humans so that they may contribute to the Earth’s healing and evolution. Specifically, I am teaching more and more Reiki to those seeking healing and evidence of the world beyond as well as those willing to assist others with purity of heart. “Rei”  translated as Universal, the One Source, the All-knowing, God; and “ki” translated as Life Force Energy, the energy that sustains, flows through and connects everything in existence. This fall I challenge you to take time to find that energetic center deep within, draw peace from it, and recharge your internal crystal. Our brightest lights and true heart selves are being called forward, leaving behind the pasts that dull our light and true beingness, becoming all that our Creator intended us to be. Full light and energy to you this fall. Feel it, own it, be it. Amen.

February 28, 2013 ~ Another month is already concluding this year, and with it another winter is vanishing. With spring around the corner and the rebirth it brings, I focus on those parts of myself that have been hibernating. Lying beneath the leaves and snow are incubating creative desires that have been left to stew. Are there things that you have been pushing aside for seemingly more important matters? If we are imbalanced, then the world responds accordingly, and not in ways that one may think. The world doesn’t respond to where we put the most effort but to how we are being our best selves.

October 27, 2013 ~

Welcome to fall and the entry point of the Northwestern winter! As I feel the change of seasons pushing me forward, I sense much change happening in my life. I feel the dust blowing, uncovering deeper desires to create. Even as I see and administer to clients in my bodywork practice, I realize a fresh wind in my little world. I am rewarded by the beauty that surrounds me, however I find myself pulled to the keyboard and to books and the canvas more than the woods. My little traveling companion, Hannah, has passed away. Perhaps I miss my hiking buddy and the trails just aren’t the same without her happy wagging tail to follow. Or perhaps there’s a little more room in my responsibility to spend on my creative endeavors. I look forward to the next thought, next bit of unveiling. Is it time to participate in a greater way, beyond my corner of wilderness and town? Perhaps.

Our Missed Fury Girls Abstract 1 001 (707x900)

January 26, 2014 ~

Many lives around me are changing, moving, embarking. My change is internal, with the outward signs forming in words and colors and shapes. Winter is in full swing, with its contrast of cold and spectacular sunshine. And in my heart is an easing of confusion that has had me questioning and feeling unsettled. I am moving forward from questions such as: Am I really doing what I should be? Am I expressing what I need to? Am I trusting enough, questioning enough? Am I healing, moving forward enough? As light comes to my consciousness, I am feeling peaceful again. The movement toward balance is sweeter after having questioned everything. Are there definite answers? Not especially, just a knowing that the questioning is done and living and loving and expressing are more important than ever. Life moves on, so feel it. Go forth now, with faithful wind at your back and God in your heart. Feel it–the movement–the wonderful effervescent joy that comes from deep breaths and the relief that comes from full expression. What do you have to give? Go forth.

Winter 2013 -2 001

June 11, 2014 ~

As pets and people continue to pass into the next life or new circumstances, I become more aware of our purpose here: to love, to honor and to provide support. If my clients pursue change in their health and lives, I support that change. If someone is grieving over the death of a loved one, I give that person a hug and express I’ve been there too. If someone close to me decides to move on to another place and purpose, I express my thanks for the time we’ve had, for how they have made a difference in my life. We can experience things in life singly, of and into oneself. However, I find that our most important experiences are encounters and are relationship oriented. Taking precious moments to honor the individuals in one’s life are perhaps the moments we were truly meant for in our walks on Earth. In this moment, I honor time spent with my husband and dog, Murphy. It’s wonderful to pause and say thanks for what is now. Amen.

spring 2014 355

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Backpacking Alaska Basin, September 2014

January 6, 2015 ~

The new year brings a fresh feeling similar to what we felt as kids when we began a new school year. There’s something mystical and optimistic about it. We dust off the cobwebs and look forward to new subjects, new teachers, and possibly new friends. This new year I am proud of last year’s accomplishments of expressing more through art and written word, for myself and also shared through exhibit and online and print publication. My art is also available for purchase online at These actions are a great start to many more creative opportunities ahead, including a book of my poetry, essays and art and the ability to donate a portion of proceeds to charities I support. In our online-oriented world, it’s more possible to make impressions and share one’s thoughts and works. Creativity is as diverse as each individual is on Earth. It’s time to make a mark. I encourage readers to let go of fear that may hold them back from their dreams of fulfillment. Thank you for your support of my work in 2014 and your continued patronage in 2015.

Art Image 2 - Feeling insecure and not good enough deep within (Teton Spirit No 3-Garrard Article Finding the Way Back to Joy)IMG_0970

January 15, 2018 ~

Hiking down into the Grand Canyon via the South Kaibab Trail, November 2016.

Hiking down into the Grand Canyon via the South Kaibab Trail, November 2016.

Wow, it’s been three years since I wrote a “Trail Story.” So much has occurred: poetry, art , education, personal growth…many more trails. Instead of summarizing, I will express from the heart. Learning is a tough row. In order to move forward, we sometimes need to break down–break down what we thought to be ourselves in order to find our real selves. It seems I have been doing this for years. My endeavors chosen certainly have hinted to my true self. However, it’s been through layers of release via Centering Prayer and SomatoEmotional Release, and I don’t mind admitting also through personal counseling, that I have been able to spiral back and downward to core happenings that shaped me. Through this layering down, releasing, and discovering, I am closer than I was to God, to God within me, and to honoring my true traits. I find my heart swells with love, noticing, creating, and realizing. Diminishing are the superficial shells of protection, my fabricated self, societal and parental persuasions onto self, and past hurts that had placed a hold on my soul. I find that no one responds to me differently after this shedding, and I have to gather that they saw me through me and despite of myself. If anything, I’ve received such warm reassurances of my contributions, talents, and caring. This unfolding will continue, no doubt with rough parts of emotional turmoil and deep questioning. However, I feel that opening my heart and releasing what isn’t me are fruits that are worth the growing pains!