A Personal Update
Last month I had lunch with friend that I had not seen or connected with in almost 20 years. It was so pleasant, and I was happy we found each other again. Although she never lost me. Apparently, she followed me and my blog/online stuff for years. She told me that it kept her going and believing that she could do things, that she could let go of her stories, that she could survive after hell breaks loose or life collapses. If I had known all she had been through during that time, I would have liked to have been there to support her, but she told me that I had supported her in this way. This made me cry. And I realized that I need to blog again, because even if it only helps a few people it is worth it.
I have always preferred to be very private, and the last few years there have been many things I have gone through that weren’t solely mine to tell, and so I have just been quiet. But I think it’s time for a personal update. So here it is. I am still married to Fred. More happily every year. We used to live separately and have a long-distance marriage, but we finally moved in together during Covid. In 2021 we bought a house in Utah so our daughter could go to school (California was still shut down). I still go back to California regularly because I miss the ocean every day.
I opened a yoga center and art gallery (@TreeofLifeStudiosUtah) in one of the towns near our house (our town has no town, just houses) and it has consumed a lot of time and energy. I had no idea how much work it would be and what an uphill battle it would be to try to introduce the concept of fine art (not just crafts) or the concept of a yoga studio into an old, backwards, cowboy town. But this part of Utah County needed it and I guess I was the one with enough grit and grace to do it.
When I first imagined Tree of Life Studios, I had hoped it would be like the teacher trainings I have hosted—all my people all the time having a transcendent experience and supporting each other and light and love and all that. But alas, it has not been. At teacher trainings, all those people came from all over the country to attend, so it was a dedicated percentage of the population who were invested and on the deeper spiritual journey.
I am disappointed with the spirituality level of most of the people I meet in Utah. In every religion here, there are so few at a mature level- most are still stuck in what Father Richard Rhor calls “first half of life spirituality” and “religious starter kit” mentality, and so many are simply at dead ends on the spiritual journey. I also see a great lack of reverence or value for Nature or Beauty here. Of course, I meet a few genuine connoisseurs of beauty and of the present moment—most are rock climbers or poets—which is why I host a monthly poetry night with a featured poet. This one thing is the bright spot in my every month. It’s almost as good as a dip in the ocean.
So the work has been lonely, and full of daily humiliations that I am grateful for because they remind me to be humble. And then there are the radiant moments that make it worth it. I still look forward to finding more people willing to crawl across gravel to attend a group class or a workshop (we sometimes fly in amazing and REAL teachers from out of state). Seriously! People have no idea what is in their own back yard.
So if you want to spread the Good News to people in south Utah County, please do. Or if you are in town, please stop by. We are also just this month getting our online studio operational. This means we can livestream special events and we will be posting new classes in our on-demand library every week. You can rent classes or get a monthly unlimited subscription, which is my recommendation.
At the time of this writing, Tree of Life Studios has been open more than a year and I hope it will continue to grow and be be self-sufficient soon so I can step away from it and write more often.
Back to my personal update, my daughter goes to college this fall and that means an empty nest for me, which is going to be interesting, and very freeing. I think I’ll really enjoy it. I plan to travel with my husband, and I hope to move back to California if that’s where the signs point us.
I am still working on my newest book, The Christ-Centered Shamanic Woman. It is essentially a guide to the discovery and practical application of spiritual gifts in the householder’s life. My hope is that it liberates many Christian women and heals the world. Writing it has been going slow because the studio needed crazy amounts of my time and energy, but I sense a shift coming and I am glad, because I long to return to writing it.
I have one other thing that is up my sleeve called Jesu Yog. I won’t go into it right now but it’s beautiful and feels foreordained and bright. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Watch for it!
In other fun news I am doing two retreats this year. In June, I will host a Christ-Centered Shamanic Woman Summer Solstice Retreat. It’s going to be fun, transformational, feminine, and so much more. You can read about it here, till it’s gone. And I am also planning one in Hawaii in October (same link as above). I am praying that the people who want it or need it, or will love it, will be able to come!
Thanks for sharing the journey with me.