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Traveling In Australia With Selfseeds

Daily Selfseed #92 Walking Port Douglas, Australia

(video link below–just click)

Daily Selfseed #92 Walking Port Douglas, Australia

*All video links are in color below–have fun!)

Daily Selfseed #93 Port Douglas, Reflections

Daily Selfseed #93 Port Douglas Reflections

Daily Selfseed #94 Great Barrier Reef Swim

Daily Selfseed #94 Great Barrier Reef Swim

Daily Selfseed #95 Daintree Rainforest (Oldest rainforest in the world)

Daily Selfseed #95 Daintree Rainforest, Australia

Really enjoying the travels in Australia.  Fun to see how easy it is to take 5 minutes a day for Selfseeds!

Category: Balance, Emotions, Fitness, Partnering, Personalize 5, Rhythm, Selfseeds, Stillness, Weight Distribution
Tag: Australia, Daintree Rainforest, fitness, Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park, personalize 5, personalize 5 minutes, Port Douglas, Selfseeds, stillness, travel, Wangi Falls

Collaboration On The Horizon


Heading to Bozeman Montana to collaborate with Karen Osaski in creating a mini-2 day retreat for riders interested in “Equine Mindfulness and Awareness.”  October 5th and 6th.  Our plan is to spend 4 hours in the morning working with riders and interested people using Selfseeds as the base.  4 hours in the afternoon working with a few riders and interacting with the auditors, so they are included in the observations and discussions Karen and I will share in a collaborative approach to ground work and riding.  During the course of the 2 days, the riders will develop a Self-map of their inner/outer awareness based on the 11 Selfseeds, ground work with the horses, and riding.  The auditors will also have an opportunity to develop part of their Self-map and learn how it influences their partnership with the horse, self, and others.  The focus is on timing, feel, intuition, and refinement in sensing; all are important aspects of subtle communication and intention before taking action. Check out Karen and Sue’s websites to find out the backbone to the retreat.  What a treat to share from the view point of mind, body, and spirit!

Excited to see Yellowstone too!!

Tentative schedule:

8-12 Indoor work as two-leggeds

2-6 Outdoor work with the four-leggeds (horses)

Evening get together to share and discuss observations.

Selfseeds Integrative “I” Band will be in presence at the retreat.  As I continue to heal and work with the Physical Therapist, he is always noting my body awareness and speed for change–I give the work with the “I” band the credit. The feedback and integrative capabilities for inner to outer extremities is stellar!!  I could give workshops and be a crusader for just the “I” band and not even get into the other 10 Selfseeds and feel like people are learning key aspects to their inner/outer Self-map.

(short video clip below)



Category: Integrative Band, Partnering, Selfseeds, Selfseeds Community
Tag: body, mind, Montanta, partnering, refined performance horsemanship, Selfseeds, Selfseeds Integrative "I" band, spirit

Studying, Studying, and Studying


Took full advantage of a 24 hour tour in San Francisco that fell apart, but a friend and I resurrected it with a 20 mile walk through the city.  The weather was perfection and what an amazing city.  So easy to forget what one has in his/her own backyard for beauty.  The bonus was the exercise.  I love to walk and explore from this perspective.  One gets to see the details, sense the different textures of the neighborhoods, and hear the sounds of life.  Fired up to do it again!!  My friends said how about 30 miles next time.

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Category: Emotions, Fitness, Partnering, Personalize 5, Selfseeds
Tag: hearing, seeing, Selfseeds, sensing, walking in San Francisco

CPR/AED Training

RC symbol


What an invaluable course for empowering one to have the tools to help someone effectively that is choking, heart problem, in an accident scene and more.  I haven’t taken a CPR class in 15 years, so A LOT has changed.  The teacher was very practical and hands on, so we had many opportunities to work with the mannequins and run through practice scenarios.  In the past, I left the class feeling like I new enough to be consciously aware that something could be done, but practically inept at attempting to step in.  With this course, I feel equipped to help and be effective.  Adding in the training with the AED machine is new, but with the advent of technology and increased awareness/higher health standards, it isn’t as unusual to have access to a defibrillator machine.

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Category: Balance, Emotions, Fitness, Flexibility, Integrative Band, Nutrition, Partnering, Personalize 5, Rhythm, Selfseeds, Stillness, Weight Distribution
Tag: AED, CPR, life training in an emergency, motivation inspiration cheerleading from Selfseeds, Red Cross

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)


National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is one of the certification programs for personal trainers.  I have been so inspired by the development/evolution of the Selfseeds Program that I have taken the plunge to become a personal trainer.  The modern material for training the mind and the body is wonderful and in alignment with what I have observed/learned from the past ten years of watching Selfseeds evolve.  The NASM program will tie together my college education with human health, wellness, and fitness thus providing a more scientific, concrete basis for supporting people’s wholeness pathways.  I was going to leave the nutrition and fitness aspects of Selfseeds to the professionals, but instead, I decided to dip into the material myself and have a better understanding firsthand.

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Category: Balance, Emotions, Fitness, Flexibility, Integrative Band, Nutrition, Partnering, Personalize 5, Rhythm, Selfseeds, Stillness, Weight Distribution
Tag: endurance, NASM, personal trainers certification, power, Selfseeds Program, stability, Strength, updated physiological and psychological training approach

Living and Listening

Can we ever get enough advice on how to communicate effectively?  We all have so many different facets to our personalities that it is remarkable that we do as well as we do.  Living abroad constantly challenges the basics of communication, so I enjoyed reading the following article as a nice reminder of some of these basics.

Satisfying the Hunger for Communication
Five ways to enhance attentive listening and enrich conversation.

Life Saving Philosophy

How mental vigor and newfound clarity can change how we view the world and our place in it.
by Marietta McCarty

Satisfying the Hunger for Communication

Five ways to enhance attentive listening and enrich conversation.
Published on October 10, 2012 by Marietta McCarty in Life Saving Philosophy

Two rules which I’ve used over the years with child philosophers have stood me well in achieving meaningful discussions: 1) Never interrupt when anyone is speaking and 2) Never make fun of what someone says. Those simple guides could go a long way in helping adults engage in conversation, most especially with those with whom they may disagree. Twentieth century German philosopher Karl Jaspers insisted at the end of the second world war that “We must learn to talk with each other, and we mutually must understand and accept one another despite our extraordinary differences” (The Question of German Guilt). Has this ever been more true than it is today in our homes, our nation, the world?

The topic of “The Art of Conversation” lured a circle of philosophers together at a local gym. Over coffee and muffins we examined the value of authentic conversation as well as the difficulty in achieving it. Everyone agreed that two weaknesses make good communication very hard: our inability coupled with our unwillingness to listen.

I defined communication for the group and encouraged responses: “Communication is the synchronized, sincere exchange of ideas and feelings.” Participants described how reassuring it is to be heard, really heard. It matters so much to be “accepted, trusted, respected, and counted in.” The pitfalls to meaningful communication were all-to-easy to name: anger, defensiveness, needing to be right, determined to prove my point.” Rather than listening with full attention, many acknowledged their penchant to prepare quick responses while the other person was still speaking, admitting that their shoulders tighten and backs go up, ready to argue if necessary, not really listening at all. Content, tone of voice, emotion, and eye contact, all are lost, the would-be partner in conversation devalued.

What to do? Here are a few suggestions that I posed and we mulled over for making us better listeners:

1) Admit the truth. It’s a big, old world and each of us comes to a conversation bringing only our own, just one life experience. There’s much to be learned. Humility helps.

2) Practice listening. It’s a skill that requires training and commitment. Listen to rain, a snoring cat, a piece of music, the rustle of leaves, or the wind. Only listen. This practice will make communication in the human realm increasingly easier. And, as you listen better, so will the other person.

3) Find points of agreement first. When there is a problem or sense of opposition, look for common ground and start there. Armed with differences and ready to rumble, no communication can take place.

4) Listen to yourself. Get to know the sound of your own voice. Do you like it? Does it need improvement?

5) Take turns telling a story, about a favorite childhood memory,  place innature, or hobby. As the storyteller weaves the tale, just listen. Be ready to ask a question. Just listen.

As the child philosophers learn quickly, consensus that there will be no interruptions nor mocking paves the way for heartfelt conversation. Ears wide open, communication builds relationships. Why not cultivate the readiness to listen? What’s to lose? What’s to be gained?


Category: Emotions, Partnering, Selfseeds
Tag: listening, old school communication with human directly

What Is Behind Willpower?

Trees–our stealth-like teachers

Many of us recognize that willpower can be a key component for achieving a desired result or pursuing a plan of action,  but what is the underlying support or motivation for willpower?

As a child, I was always one of those kids who kept my room clean, finished assignments early, and had competitive goals to lock onto.  My parents set rules and expectations, but they didn’t have to discipline me much.  Although, they did provide rewards for good behavior, so could I say the willpower was encouraged by material goods?  While moving through life, the benefits of high grades, good results, over achieving proved to be worth the effort with freedom and support greasing the wheels.  As I hit middle-age, I could understand the logic behind those principles and see the material payoffs, but somehow my soul was lost in the material rewards.  What next?  The path took a sharp turn with the past two years of soul searching, meditating, and contemplating–Who Am I?, What is the Earth Theater?, and Is there something beyond what we know?

Fortunately, the “innate” willpower from childhood has proven useful in this newer, more mystical path.  One of the big differences is I am looking for internal aspects of being rather than primarily external signposts.  The path is me and the abstraction known as Divinity. I have never been religious or belonged to a particular faith, but I have felt there is something way bigger and beyond this small singular unit called self.  I am learning and experiencing a new perspective while living a spiritual life in India.

Have I uncovered what is behind or underneath willpower or will? It appears to come with our birth package, but we also have this component called free will.  What we do with free will appears to be what helps us along the path in decision making, problem solving, “right action”, and a peaceful acceptance of the multitude of variables thrown our way while living.  Willpower doesn’t guarantee anything, but it gives us internal momentum to act, take a step, and problem solve.

A daily spiritual teaching from the Bowl of Saki shows up in my inbox.  Todays got me thinking and reflecting on all of the layers that willpower works.  Take a look and see what you think.

Will power is the keynote of mastery, and asceticism is the development of will power.                        Bowl of Saki, September 21, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:The first exercise to help the will power to develop would be to check every act, word, and thought which we do not wish to occur; to avoid unintentional actions, speech, and thoughts. The other exercise that is necessary for the development of the will power is that of seeing that neither our mind nor our body rules us, but that we rule our body and our mind. Desires such as appetite, thirst, sleep, even the desire of moving or standing or walking, all these desires should be under control. There should be a time in every day when every desire of the body is checked. See if you can do it; and then as long as you can let the body go without listening to it, do so.


A person might ask, ‘Is, then, the secret of happiness in the way of the ascetics, in tormenting and torturing oneself as they have done for ages?’ Even that does not give happiness. It is only a distraction from the worldly pleasures which produce illusion. The ascetic shuts himself up in order to have an opportunity of taking another direction. … For even asceticism is not a happiness. It is only a means of self-discipline.


The nature of the mind is such that it creates a thought and throws it over for another thought to take its place. This being the nature of the mind, it makes it difficult for one to concentrate upon one object steadily. The mind of an average person may be pictured as an unruly horse that jumps and kicks and throws anyone that tries to ride it. Masters of the world are those who have mastered themselves, and mastery lies in the control of the mind. If the mind became your obedient servant, the whole world is at your service. The king of mind is greater than the king of a nation.

   ~~~ “Githa II, ‘Amaliyyat 1”, by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)

The fasting and abstinence and all these things were taught in order to develop the will power, which results in self-discipline and which is the secret of all mastery; and it is by this power that the kingdom within is attained.


Category: Emotions, Partnering, Personalize 5, Selfseeds, Stillness
Tag: free will, inspiration, internal drive, momentum, motivation, Selfseeds, will, willpower

A Simple Communication Truth

“The single biggest problem in communication is the
illusion that it has taken place.”
 ~ George Bernard Shaw

Thank you Mr. Shaw for those simple but concise words.  Whether on a verbal or physical level, the accuracy and clarity of communication is always the challenge. What does one say and how is it said? What does one hear and how is it received?  While living in a foreign country, I am regularly reminded of the not only individualistic influences, but the cultural as well.

Interacting daily with people using English as a second language (which is remarkable in itself) often refreshes my ability, desire, and willingness to listen more closely–less is assumed and each word is received more consciously.  The presentation is often in their language’s style and rhythm which creates a different flow,  yet another variation and reason to tune in.  The facial expressions, hand gestures, physical distance all add to the differences.  It is often a case of gratitude that the words are recognizable, but the receiver must become a willing, flexible recipient.  This willingness encourages the deliverer to relax, trust, and continue with the effort. A relationship/partnership is formed even if for a moment to ask directions or buy something in a shop.

Selfseeds Partnering

Just ran across this article which is relevant to my blog observations on cultural differences in communication.

Why free speech is baffling to many

Category: Emotions, Partnering, Selfseeds
Tag: communication, cultural, partnering, personality, physical, relationship, verbal

An Inquiry Into Disturbances

The soul searching process in India has led me to looking more deeply into disturbances.  What are they?  Are they personal? Do they need to exist?  Are they part of the architecture of the Earth’s lesson plan?  Are they what motivates us to eventually look inward?  What happens if one ignores them? Do they go away on their own?  Can we change our relationship to them?  Do we need help to shift our relationship to them?  Are they useful? Are they hurtful? Will there be more?  Can one evolve to a point of inner peace that they appear, but don’t create an inward stirring?

Aren’t these a few of the basic questions we ask while doing a self inquiry?  An invaluable step to examining the apparent outward disturbance from an inner perspective; starting with myself as the point of disturbance, since that is who I am most familiar.  Changing the reflex from blame to inward examination.  Do I need to react?   What is my part in the disturbance?  Is the disturbance purposeful in what is transpiring?  Do I understand the whole story unfolding?  Is there an assumption or judgement?  Is it physical, emotional, or mental in nature? Is there something to be learned? Is there something to be shared?

Over and over and over this is the play that unfolds on the Earth Playground.  Enjoy the gentleness and thoughtfulness of the following article.  Suggestions to live by, so the inner perspective can move towards peacefulness

Five Keys to Mindful Communication (blog)
When you use gentle speech, you are communicating acceptance to the other person and saying what is true, not an interpretation or an exaggeration or a minimization. The key to mindful relationships is unconditional friendliness. Unconditional 



The first key of mindful communication, according to Chapman (2012), is having amindful presence. This means having an open mind, awake body and a tender heart. When you have a mindful presence, you give up expectations, stories about yourself and others, and acting on emotions.

You are fully in the present moment; your communication isn’t focused on the “me” and what the “me” needs, but the we.

Mindful listening is the second key to mindful communication. Mindful listening is about encouraging the other person. This means looking through the masks and pretense and seeing the value in the person and the strengths he or she possesses. It’s looking past the human frailties and flaws that we all have to see the authentic person and the truth in what that person is attempting to say.

Mindful speech, the third key, is about gentleness. Speaking gently means being effective in what you say. It’s about speaking in a way that you can be heard. To be gentle with our speech means being aware of when our own insecurities and fears are aroused to the point we are acting out of fear rather than acceptance.

Practicing self-compassion for our fear, envy, jealousy and self-doubts is more effective than focusing on others as being a threat or attempting to change them. When you use gentle speech, you are communicating acceptance to the other person and saying what is true, not an interpretation or an exaggeration or a minimization.

The key to mindful relationships is unconditional friendliness. Unconditional friendliness means accepting the ebb and flow of relationships. Sometimes you meet new friends, sometimes friends move on, sometimes there is joy and sometimes there is pain. Sometimes you’ll feel lonely, sometimes you’ll feel cherished and connected, and then you’ll feel lonely again.

Unconditional friendliness means that your acceptance of others is not dependent on them staying with you or agreeing with you. You don’t cling to relationships to avoid loss.

Mindful responsiveness is like playfulness.  Playfulness is the openness that you can have when you let go of preconceived ideas and strategies. It’s like creating something new. Imagine two skilled dancers who alternatively lead each other in creating a new dance in every interaction, never doing the same complete dance over and over. They respond in the moment to the message sent by the other. There are no rules or expectations and yet they both bring skillful behavior.

Mindful communication requires practice. If you choose to practice the keys, you might choose to focus on one at a time. Being willing to regulate your emotions is a prerequisite to mindful communication and mindfulness of your emotions is necessary for emotion regulation.

Mindfulness is a core skill for the emotionally sensitive.



Chapman, Susan Gillis. The Five Keys to Mindful Communication:  Using Deep Listening and Mindful Speech to Strengthen Relationships, Heal Conflicts and Acceomplish Your Goals. Boston: Shambhala, 2012.

Category: Emotions, Partnering, Selfseeds, Stillness
Tag: disturbances, mindfulness, peacefulness, self inquiry, spiritual path, thoughtfulness

What Does Aging Have To Do With Anything?

Plant and grow your garden

It is interesting to travel, observe cultures from around the world and what happens with aging.  Yes, we have remarkable luxury, abundance, and quality of life in America, but the factor of natural aging, functional fitness, and health awareness can often be overlooked.  Taking a pill, getting something tightened, or wearing the clothes can often obscure the reality of actual movement, healthy eating, and mental acuity.  There really are no short cuts, easy methods, or substitutes for the ingredients of the wellness path.  Aging can often provide wisdom, experience, and gratitude, but the fundamentals are not negotiable.

How does one stay motivated and inspired by the concept of health/wellness?  That is personal and requires exploration, trial and error, and creativity.  As individuals, we need to discover our true nature.  Selfseeds was created as a program containing the basic ingredients of wellness and in a palatable sample size.  The hope is to find a motivating start point,  grow it, and/or maintain it.

Column: Exercise, active lifestyle even more important as we age The Coloradoan Research has shown that regular exercise helps boost energy, elevate mood, increase memory, and manage symptoms of illness or pain. Column: Exercise, active lifestyle even more important as we age

Column: Exercise, active lifestyle even more important as we age

As we age, it becomes increasingly important to remain active. Research has shown that regular exercise helps boost energy, elevate mood, increase memory, and manage symptoms of illness or pain. The benefits are amazing.

First, exercise helps with weight. Metabolism naturally slows with age, but exercise can increase metabolism and build muscle mass, which burns more calories.

Second, exercise reduces the impact of illness and chronic disease. Seniors who exercise experience improved immune function, better heart health and blood pressure, greater bone density, and better digestive functioning. They also have a lowered risk of chronic conditions including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and colon cancer.

Third, exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, balance and coordination, which reduces the risk of falls. The NIH reports that hospitals in the U.S. register 300,000 admissions for broken hips each year, many of them seniors, and falling is often the cause.

Fourth, exercise improves sleep, helping people fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply. Fifth, exercise boosts mood. Endorphins produced by exercise can reduce feelings of sadness or depression and boost self-confidence.

And, finally, exercise benefits regular brain functions. Keeping the brain active can prevent memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. It may even help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend strength, balance, stretching and endurance exercises for older adults who want to stay healthy and independent. Strength exercises build muscles and increase metabolism, helping to keep weight and blood sugar in check. Balance exercises build leg muscles, and can prevent falls. Stretching exercises increase freedom of movement. Endurance exercises include any activity that increases heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time: walking, jogging, swimming, biking, even raking leaves. Endurance should be built up gradually.

Category: Balance, Emotions, Fitness, Flexibility, Integrative Band, Nutrition, Partnering, Personalize 5, Rhythm, Selfseeds, Stillness, Weight Distribution
Tag: aging, fitness, motivation, personalized, what do we know, what do we need to know