May 23, 2020

Hiking in the Desert

This past Wednesday, we had a cold front come through with high winds, rain and hail.  I had a fake boulder in front of my house that wasn’t anchored down, and it blew half way down the street!  The next day, I got some tent stakes and made sure that it was firmly anchored.

I hadn’t been down to the St George area to hike for several months, and because I knew that it would be cooler down there because of the cold front, that is where I went after the weather calmed down.  Normally for this time of year, temps would be hitting the 100° mark already, but on Thursday, the highs would only be in the mid 60’s.  Perfect!   

My usual goal for a hike is to find out which wildflowers are blooming and to photograph them.  The spring flowers here were long gone, and even the cactus had finished blooming for the season.  I did encounter a shrub called the paper bag bush.  I had never seen anything like this before!  The flowers, which were mainly past bloom time, were purple and white.
The main attraction was the seed pods, which looked like tiny white and pale pink balloons.  Very unusual. 

There were some cute tiny flowers in clusters in one spot, and the sacred datura was in full bloom.

The highlight of my hike was an encounter with a desert tortoise.  Wow!  What a surprise.  This is an endangered species, and there is a multi acre tortoise reserve near where I was hiking, but I never expected to actually see one out and about.  The shell on this one was about 9 inches from front to back, which would make it approximately 16 years old.  They can live to be from 50 to 80 years old.  These tortoises make burrows in the sand, and they survive the summer’s heat by staying in their burrows during the day.  This one was out at about 11 AM. 

Because of my shamanic training, I know that a living thing that is unusual for me to encounter, or presents itself in an unusual way, is carrying a message.  That is why it is important to pay attention to the natural world around us, as it is a reflection for our inner state and can bring guidance and information.  In this case, the first thing that came to mind was “slow and steady wins the race.”   Good advice for me, as I tend to be inpatient at times, and I like to go fast!  When I got home, I consulted my Animal Speak book.  The write up on tortoise also indicated the need to slow down, heighten my sensibilities, and let the natural flow of life direct me.  Tortoise is also the symbol for Mother Earth, and the reminder that she provides everything that we need for our life here. It was just delightful to encounter this little being that had already lived to a good age in this harsh environment. 

Before heading back north to Cedar City, I stopped in at the Red Hills Desert Garden.  I had just found out about it from one of the people in my meditation group.  The majority of the cactus had finished blooming, but there were plenty of other flowers in bloom in addition to a water feature that ran the length of the garden.  The whole thing reminded me of a mini version of the Phoenix Botanical Garden.   I took a lot of photos of the water feature, which looked like something Monet would love to paint.  Enjoy.


May 9, 2020

Road Trip Part 2

The morning after spending the night in a really nice hotel in Kanab, I set out early to hike at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park on the way home.  This park had been closed to out of county residents for a few weeks, and had just reopened for anyone.  It was going to be a hot day, and of course, there is no shade on the dunes, and it turned out to be fairly windy as well. 

What is it about sand dunes that fascinate me?  Sand is composed of silicon dioxide, which is quartz.  Quartz is naturally very energized.  In this location, the sand is coral pink because of the iron in the surrounding sandstone. 

This was my third trip to the dunes over the years.  I normally hike up the tallest dune at the beginning, but because of the razor sharp edge and the wind, I only made it part of the way up.  I was being sand blasted and thought I was going to fall right over!  Above and below are photos of the big dune, where you can see the sand blowing over the top of it. 

Here is a ponderosa pine that started growing in 1812, according to the sign in front of it.
Beautiful flowers blooming on the dunes.
My final shot before heading home after a nice trip out of town.

May 8, 2020

Road Trip Part 1

Utah has recently moved to corona virus orange status, and I expect that the local national parks will be reopening soon.  The Lake Powell boating marinas are already starting to reopen.  Because of the extremely low number of cases and deaths for the 5 southwest counties here, officials have asked for our area to be given yellow status, allowing more businesses to open, but so far, the governor’s office has refused.  Another example of big city politics ruling the state without regard for their lower populated and rural areas. 

Anyway, this past Monday I drove over to Kanab, Utah for a little overnight road trip.  The route east and south over the mountains to Kanab took me past the area where I had been snowshoeing in the winter.  There was still plenty of snow on the ground.  Kanab is in a semi-desert environment, so it is more like the areas south of Cedar City where I did my winter and spring hiking.  All in all, it was a very pleasant and varied 1.5 hour drive over there, and nice to get out of town. 

I booked my hotel ahead of time, and found out that that night, I would have one of only 5 rooms that would be occupied.  That was a bit weird!  A few restaurants were doing carry out only, but the grocery stores were all open, in addition to a really nice clothing store in town that was running a sale of 30% off of everything in the store.  Of course, I took advantage of that.  Normally, Kanab would be very busy this time of year, since it is centrally located for several national parks, Lake Powell, and all kinds of hiking opportunities. 

I chose a trail ahead of time, Tom's Canyon Trail, and drove right there.  I encountered several people coming back to the trail head, and they obviously got an earlier start than I did to beat the heat of the day.  As I started hiking, I was greeted by the heady and aromatic scent of cliff rose in bloom. 
Here are several photos of the trail.

 The wild flowers were fabulous.

I hiked all the way to the end of the trail where I ended up on a creek bed in an area that was full of grazing cows.  It took a bit of shooshing to get them out of the way, but clearly they were used to people coming by. 

It was a hot and sweaty hike, but so nice to get away from home for a few days.  I'll describe the next day's hike in the next post. 

May 6, 2020


In general, most of us have had to deal with some kind of fear during our lifetime.  Certainly, with the world wide pan hysteria over the corona virus, the emotion of fear has come up more often and stronger for a lot of us.  Today I would like to give my take on what fear is and where it comes from.

Our goal as autonomous spiritually evolving beings is to take control of our lives and environments while realizing that we are truly the creators of our reality in every way.  By this, I do not mean that we should orchestrate completely every minute of every day, but certainly, through critical thinking and knowing ourselves inside and out, we can act appropriately and not react to everyday events. 

By adopting this viewpoint, we begin to realize that fear is an internally generated emotional state.  At its very basic and primitive level, it represents the fight or flight response.  I would like to add freeze to that mix, too.  It is very useful in certain circumstances, but may not come up that often for a modern human. 

Fear may also combine with physical or emotional responses such as panic, hyperventilating, rapid heartbeat, crying, running, insomnia, worrying, and on and on!  I repeat again, fear and all of its symptoms are internally generated. As a side note, stress is also an internally generated state which involves an inner conflict between what you should do with what your true guidance is leading you to do.  That is a topic for another day!

What generates the fear response from an internal perspective?  In my healing practice, I have noticed that the clients who hold more than the normal amount of fear about everything have had some sort of damage done to them in the start of life years.  This is mainly from conception, through gestation and birth, and on through the formative years of age 1 through 7.  Damage done in this age bracket causes what I call a shaky foundation in life.  These clients do not weather the ups and downs of life very well, and develop a whole host of distorted reactions including chronic fear. 

Examples of this damage include unintended pregnancy, mother in an unsafe situation during pregnancy, birth complications or cesarean birth which prevents bonding with mother, violence, drug abuse or alcoholism in the family, or any number of situations where you as the child were not protected.  You then adopt the attitude that the earth is a dangerous place, and you react to life’s events from that standpoint.  In extreme cases, the person is reluctant to take a walk outside, go to a crowded place, or try something new, and paranoia can be the result. 

So getting back to today’s worldwide situation, how much fear is coming up for you?  Do you fit into the early life damage situation?  Remember that the damage can be very subtle, and does not need to be a big obvious event.  The very best solution is to go within and connect with your Inner Child.  She is the part of you that is wise and connected to your higher guidance, but also carries the imprints of all of your unhealed wounds.  If you are experiencing a strong emotion that is really throwing you off of your center, it is most likely being generated by your Inner Child, who is saying “Look at me.  I need help.  I am suffering, and you are ignoring me!”  I won’t go into what you need to do at this point, but will give support references at the end of this post. 

Getting back to the corona virus situation, first of all, if you are meant to succumb to this ailment, which by the way has killed far fewer people than the seasonal flu, it is already in your life plan to do so.  Fear can also damage your immune system, so all the more reason to get a handle on it.  Take the observer stance, take a step back and use your critical thinking skills, which sad to say, have hit a new low in the human population.  Do not listen to the ominous and regular broadcasts on the mainstream (lamestream) news.  The quoted statistics are all skewed, anyway.  Be aware of the news media’s agenda to promote the pan hysteria for the benefit of who knows who.  Why is the planet’s economy being trashed for an unusually difficult flu season?  Why is the catch phrase “Stay home. Stay safe.”  Why not “Stay healthy.” instead?  That phrase does not generate the levels of fear like the current motto does. 

Be self referencing as to how you handle things.  This may not be how your neighbor acts or reacts.  Be your own person.  If you acknowledge that fear is generated internally, then you must also acknowledge that safety and protection are generated from inside you, too!  In addition to joy, contentment, and a whole host of positive reactions to life’s circumstances. 

There is some sort of off planet agenda to take over the hearts, minds and souls of humanity so don’t fall for it.   For my part, I take care of my immune system by being outside every day for exercise in the sunshine, and take loads of vitamins. I do not wear a face mask, but will comply if a place I have to go to requires it.  (I have seen people driving in their cars alone with masks on.  Now how silly is that?)  I will not take any vaccine, as that is an invasion of my privacy, and for a whole host of other reasons.  It has also been proven that the incidence of COVID 19 is higher for those who have been taking an annual flu shot.  If an emotional state like fear is triggered in me, I immediately go internal, embrace and settle myself down and probe for the origin of that emotion.  That should be standard practice for all of you, too.  Most importantly, be the observer of your external world.  Your reactions to what is going on are entirely up to you. 

So here are some helpful tools for those who want to delve deeper into their start in life issues, or fear triggers.  For Inner Child Work, I have a chapter on that in my book “Traversing the Infinite Now” and a workshop through Rise Multiversity on Inner Child work.  Go to my website and the Products page for the book and the Workshop page for the Rise workshop.  You can also e-mail me at for a healing session appointment.  In these chaotic times, we all need to have a firm foundation in life so that we can address each and every upset in the best way possible.  I suspect that if you reach the end of this lifetime with start in life unresolved issues, you may have to come back for a repeat!!!!