Showing posts from 2015

Cultivating Compassion - Today and Every Day ...

As our nation enters into another season of political campaigning, cultivating compassion is as important as ever.   We need to ask ourselves in our deeds and in our language: What are we teaching our children about what it means to be human?    

Compassion is not weakness—rather, it is a decision to connect deeply with our fellow sojourners, both human and non-human, and in the process  engage in the positive transformation of ourselves and our world.  Compassion may be one of the more powerful ways we transform our world for the better: it allows us to see things from another point of view and it is one means by which we can live our positive intentions. 

Cultivating compassion starts with self-compassion: connecting with the deepest part of ourselves.  In doing so we seek to understand what motivates us, we suspend self-judgment and negative self-talk, and allow ourselves to be present to whatever we are experiencing in the moment.   The act of noticing, of paying attention and of…

Not-So-Silent Spring

In the midst of the California drought, I admit, I think about frogs. 

I think about them a lot.

So last summer, I hatched a plan.

I decided to hand dig a miniature garden pond.  My intention was to create a tiny oasis for creatures who might need water—and attract beneficial insects to the garden.  Plus, I thought—what better workout?  

So each morning, I dug for about an hour.  Fueled only by my imagination of the future oasis, I dug.  This was real work!  After a month of chipping away at the hard ground, I had successfully created a six foot long, four foot deep dry pit.

It looked more like a shallow grave than a future pond.

This is where my imagination helped.  If I squinted I could imagine what it might be like filled with water and teeming with life.  A masterpiece.

I carefully placed sand in the bottom of the pit to prevent rocks from puncturing a pod liner, and then installed the liner, surrounding it with stones I scrounged from elsewhere on the farm.  This was just i…

Everything is a Garden:

How to Thrive and Prosper While Changing the World.  Some thoughts on social and spiritual permaculture with the good folks at Benicia Community Gardens.

A Whole Day

Earth Day 2015... we awoke to ten deer in the orchard.  Deer represent gentleness and self care, and that
is how we plan to celebrate this most holy (whole) of days.

Happy Earth Day

The Five People Cammie Meets in Heaven.

I share the following reflection with those gathered at my sister Cammie's memorial service on April 19, 2015.--Denise

Recently, I read the book “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom  The story is about a man named Eddie who dies thinking that his life did not amount to much. At the time of his death, Eddie held onto anger for the injuries that befell him, regret for what he could not do, and he was still grieving his losses.   In this story, Eddie meets five people in heaven who gave him perspective about his life.

At first, it seems that these people were chosen at random—-but it turns out that each shared an aspect of who Eddie was and why he lived.  These were people he had hurt (or even accidentally killed), people he needed to forgive, people who changed his life for the worse or for the better, people who taught him how to love and be loved. 

We do not always know who most impacts our life.

I got to thinking… Who would be the five people Cammie would meet i…


How good to hear reality and truth spoken at the start of the UN Climate Summit.   From Leonardo DiCaprio -- The new "UN Messenger of Peace":

Passing the Gavel ...

One is of my remarks as outgoing Chair of the Board of Supervisors and the Board's presentations:

And second is a video of the "flash mob" Lake County style that somehow was edited out of the above version:

Post by Olga Martin Steele.