A Place where my Dreaming can have some Space. Mondo Beyondo is a course in Dreaming big and I am giving it a second go round. Follow along with the Exploration here.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I should have listened to the signs and realized the weekend was a signal of things to come.

Monday I opened my list and I did not feel excited or happy or challenged or ready. Not ready at all. I find this ironic as I have approached this dreaming class with a good deal of confidence and assurance in my own Mind and Heart that this is where I am meant to be.

And I still have the love of this class and this process, but Monday? Not so much.

So this is the doubt part, right? But it does not feel like doubt so much as fatigue, great exhaustion, not enough uumph to even really tackle the reading of the list, the contemplation of these so-called dreams.

They struck me as fanciful or silly or really really impossible. Some I can do...but those run along the lines of 'sew something'. Some I am a little embarrassed by, some I am totally frightened by. And yes, to be truthful, some seemed just right.

The thing about dreaming is it can be hard, right? Especially when it is tried from the space of a Mama with sick kids, an aching tooth requiring too much money to fix, work that spirals out of control and out of reach, a spouse that I love dearly but that is struggling in his own ways this week, a knitting project that tangled into a really horrible mess and self imposed dead lines that loom, hanging over everything.

This week I realized I have granted mySelf a little bit of breathing room to deal with the above. Conversely it can be said that I pushed my dreams down further and out of sight, but I like to think I will be getting back to them. I began this course by embracing each lesson immediately, but this week I read the lessons then gave mySelf permission to let them sit and linger without too much action on my part. I don't want to hammer my dreams into the folds of my current life, I want them to dance gracefully into our days when they are ready.

I wanted this week to look like this, all brilliant and green and glowing.

Instead I felt limp and worn out, and about as pretty as a dishrag. With a toothache, to boot.

But I still want to post up the list, start this next week open and vulnerable and exposed. So here it is ::

Buy our vanagon and sew it a perfect pair of curtains. Be in New York for Blogher '10 just so I can meet my blog idols. Go to Canada for 2 months with the boys in the vanagon. Go back to school to be a doctor. Go back to Perth and drink beer at Little Creatures with awesome Australians. Meet Bon and Kate, Andrea and Jen and Neil. someday Meet Ben. Move to Canada, buy a farm and raise sheep and grow a garden. Buy the Paradise resort, restore the restaurant and cabins and make it a center for gathering yogis, artists, writers, mountain bikers, boarders and dreamers. Raise buffalo on acres of land just North of Yosemite and South of Tahoe. Home school my children. African dance, modern dance. Dance. Choreograph a whole dance concert to the soundtrack of Mr. Bungle. Meet Jessica Whitt and hug her. Avoid cancer. Sew my own pair of jeans over and over. Hand embroider a dress. Own a Mercedes. Travel easily and lightly whenever we choose. Have a 'home' every place we go. Teach my children to tap dance. Go to Bhutan as a volunteer PT for three months. Take the family too. Live in France for a year and speak French everyday. Participate in a downhill mountain bike race. Be free of the monetary world in the way of sustainable living :: solar power compost toilets food production. Make a wedding ring quilt. Go to Africa to dance with my sisters. Take photos of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and the Dakotas (again.) Go to NYC to see old friends and make new ones. Be a professor of Physical Therapy. Have so much disposable income I can give it away. Have one more child, easily (not twins). Go to Iceland. Go to Alaska and hike for 7 days. Watch my boys grow old. Make friends that last, that care, that like Me, that are complex and smart and whole. Not grow old and sick and demented.

I did find two things that helped me a lot this week ...

:: I uploaded this piece of Jen Lemen art to my desktop so that I could be reassured daily when turning on the laptop to tackle overwhelming and underwhelming work tasks.

:: Placing my own Hope Note in the car to remind myself that I am not going at this in a vacuum.

Next post :: An Accounting of things I did this week that took some Action on my part, even though I did not mean to.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

8 :: Making an Altar

I read this Eighth Lesson in a bit of a funk. One child taken ill, parents that act as right hand(s) preparing to leave town for some time, small obligations starting to overwhelm in the ways that they do. Fatigue setting in after my initial rambuctious embrace of all the lessons previous.

I felt a small panic as to where to put this so called altar. Sure I cleared some space, but admittedly, most of it has succumbed to the chaos that comes with small children and less than vigilant parents. I wanted something special, a place where it might not be totally taken over in the week to come.

This weekend was unexpectedly difficult. Owen has some terrible upset in his system causing him to barf all solids and is battling low grade fevers. I spent some time with a Mama of a friend, a woman I have known since my teen years who is actively dying of Stage IV cancer. These all seemed to be drawing me further from any ability to commit to this time and space lesson.

Then this afternoon I found a moment. Just to gather. Off to my parents' room vacated for the week.
Mondo Beyondo :: My Altar

Lovely sunshine shining, small table open, precious bits gathered. It became itself in a minute's time...well, a few minutes and a few trips back and forth. And I was so excited because it is out of the reach of the boys.
Mondo Beyondo :: My Altar

But then something happened. Mace went on a solo trip with Daddy and I had sick Owen. I wanted to snap a few pictures, and he was feeling up to being upright...off we went to the back room on a little trip.
Mondo Beyondo :: My Altar

He was delighted by it immediately, drawn to it. He wanted to touch it, play with the small green 'gems', softly singing a song as he rearranged.

Mondo Beyondo :: My Altar
Mondo Beyondo :: My Altar
This little boy who was pissing out both ends all weekend, finally happy, finally singing again.
Mondo Beyondo :: My Altar

And me, realizing that my altar was receiving the blessing it needed.
Mondo Beyondo :: My Altar

Because my children are woven into the fabric of my being, intrinsic to my days and life, and such a part of my dream. And he took part of it, of course, but left the rest gently rearranged and ready to accept.
Mondo Beyondo :: My Altar

Not a bad way to end a challenging weekend, start a new challenging week.

I find it important to note that Mason may not be pictured but I chose my favorite vessel with his name imprinted on it as my "bowl". Gotta' keep it even, you know.

Mondo Beyondo :: My Altar

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Food for Thought :: Mushrooms

Mushroom :: Backyard

Many species of mushrooms seemingly appear overnight, growing or expanding rapidly. This phenomenon is the source of several common expressions in the English language including "to mushroom" or "mushrooming" (expanding rapidly in size or scope) and "to pop up like a mushroom" (to appear unexpectedly and quickly). In actuality all species of mushrooms take several days to form primordial mushroom fruit bodies, though they do expand rapidly by the absorption of fluids.

Weird way to open this post. But I walked outside for a moment in the dark to breathe the cold wet air, to find a little relief from the small projectile vomiting child, the undone work, the uncooked dinner, the other small and raging child, and I spotted these. Tiny brown glistening mushrooms, and away I went.
Mushroom :: Backyard

I spend so much of my time conversing with myself in my own head, lots of conversation going on in there, and some become blog posts. So, I saw these tiny beautiful mushrooms and I thought about my Bio class in college. Where I learned that mushrooms are an expression. They are an offshoot, of a greater whole. Of a underground network, spreading and pushing and moving. A network that lays under, unseen and unknown, the depth and breadth unknown. And then it is fed, given some lovely fluid and it becomes seen. It comes up in faerie rings, or sometimes threads itself through a whole forest.
Mushroom :: Backyard

A colony of Armillaria ostoyae in Malheur National Forest in the United States is estimated to be 2,400 years old, possibly older, and spans an estimated 2,200 acres. Most of the fungus is underground and in decaying wood or dying tree roots in the form of white mycelia combined with black shoelace-like rhizomorphs that bridge colonized separated woody substrates.

It is called mycelium and it can span acres. Can you see that? That area, that amount of space taken up for one being of one genetic makeup, one living and breathing being? Can you believe it? If the small and lovely and tasty mushroom can take up that amount of underground loveliness, why can't our dreams?

And so it is. Our dreams need fluid, need food, need sustenance. And as we feed them, they take root and express. They may not be a lovely little faerie ring, they may be tangled and unruly, they may seem to pop up miles apart, acres apart, small little caps that you walk by..but they have the same Mother, the same root. And yet, they are the expression of our Self, clean and clear, able to push through macadam and sing.

Do you see this, this expression as part of your dream? It does not have to be linear, it does not have to make sense, but it has to become, be nurtured and fed and then expressed.

Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room. (Thank you, Harold and Maud).
Storm Broken

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lesson 7 :: Clearing the Air

I discovered today that I am a hoarder. A really intense and deluded hoarder. I like to think I walk lighter on this Earth than I did in my younger years when I did not think so as hard before acquiring stuff. Today disabused me of this notion.

I decided to practice the 'clearing' lesson in physical form first. For some reason, on Friday last, Tim and I 'cleaned' our room which is the hub of activity in our shared household. It is always in some form of disarray but has been particularly bad since the holidays. Think nightstand buried under layers of paper and spools of thread and books and coffee cups and just way too much stuff. So, that was rectified as of the weekend.

But we avoided the real trouble, the closet that was harboring a three foot pile on the built in dresser, the dark recess of jumbled shoes tangled with fishing poles and other oddments. That was my mission today...to sort the closet, the under bed area, the piles that had to go.

Fueled with coffee and with the boys secured off to school for a few hours, I came home and tackled it. Not one look at the computer (well, maybe 5 minutes), iPhone out of reach and ringer off, bags lined up for sorting trash, recycling and give.

It worked. The piles are gone and I discovered some long lost items in the mix...hand made ceramic tiles, a lost SeeKaiRun shoe, some mini Maurice Sendak books, a sign from Oz.
Mondo Lesson :: Clearing

And I ran into a set of prints I bought long ago for the boys room...and never actually found the time to mat and frame. This one jumped out and so I temporarily set it up over the fireplace for all to see.
Mondo Lesson :: Clearing

I lit a candle, something I used to do daily but seem to have forgotten about until now (maybe it was the whole fire + two small children thing).
Mondo Lesson :: Clearing

And then I sat for a few minutes and reviewed my list of energizing activities and started to thumb through a datebook I received in the mail.
Mondo Lesson :: Clearing
Mondo Lesson :: Clearing

I love Kelly Rae Roberts and was so glad this came yesterday.
Mondo Lesson :: Clearing
I am a sucker for paper, for a place to jot notes and ideas and mini-timelines. It is such a pretty place to keep thoughts. Sure, it may become yet another one of those endless notebooks I found stashed away in every recess today, full of the jots and notes and doings of the Amiee of that moment (I tossed some, really, I did).
Mondo Lesson :: Clearing

The clean paper and clean room feel good; as the torrential rain washes away so much, so too is this course. I feel cleaner, more open, more able to see my Self and my desires and less judgmental of that Self.

But I am not lying to myself, there is still tons of work to do, including a few more closets, a fabric stash overflowing and a garage (shudder). But I am finally doing it. And that is awesome.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Journal This :: Intuition

Leaning into your intuition is a critical part of knowing how to move towards a Mondo Beyondo dream.

Where have your best impulses taken you?

Have you ever had a time where listening to your gut totally paid off?
What was the situation?
How did you know that you knew what to do next?


I feel like every best bit of my life exists from listening to my best impulses...

I saved my brother from a burning car at 16 and we ended up alive and with a generous settlement tucked away in a place we could not touch...

At 17 I went to NYC to look at colleges...instead I partied and whiled the days away with a friend...the day before we left I went to NYU to tour and left the tour in the library and decided to go to the school because the library was 4 floors high and the ground tile floor looked like an Escher drawing (who picks a college for that, right?)

I moved to NYC and wanted to be a MD but changed to their in-house PT program and finished school with a license to practice something at 21...

I left my PT job behind at 25 when the money from the accident came out and was given to me in check form (something like 78,000...who gets a check for that ever? Not me). Put half away and quit our jobs and took the other half and went to Africa...and Ireland...and Hawaii (I know, weird trip). And then Australia.

Bought the house i grew up in with my parents in it for a very reasonable price...the true blessing of this arrangement was revealed when Tim and I found out we were having twins...so many many hands to help.

I went back to work when my husband lost his job in March and trusted that he was ready and willing to be the provider at home...and watched our boys flourish under his daily beautifully patient attention.

It seems like my gut guides my life. Our lives actually, thank god my husband trusts me (usually). And the next part...what to do next...It feels like I want to say...listen to my gut.

I think I need this class, this Mondo class, to remind me that just because things changed, I became a Mama, a wife, a homeowner, some type of grown up, does not mean my gut does not work anymore.
This week has been such a good reminder of that.

But I have to add that the odd fairie tale like feel of the above does not tell the whole story...the accident left me with a ruined ankle that hurts, my brother with a broken but healed back, NYC shattered parts of me and left me battling some kind of panic disorder for some time, I left the PT job in part due to the everyday stress of working with seriously injured people, a lot of the money I responsibly invested evaporated in the market, my parents can drive me batty though I love them dearly, and having the twins initially left me with a deep dark depression that hurt so badly, the absence of joy during a time so very joyful. The Tim at home thing :: not one bad thing as a result of that.

In truth, these do not seem like bad things to me now...they just are part of the picture. And I wanted to include them so the picture feels more complete, you know?

Rain at Home

It feels like the door is opening. And the intuition I have always listened to is ready to speak. Something.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Secret Mission :: Share Hope

I have read about Hope Notes on the net before and thought it would be a lovely thing to do, but I never actualized those thoughts. This Monday started out with a secret mission :: to take some time to print up the Hope Notes provided by our lovely guides and then disperse. And they suggested we take some photos along the way and that is just what I did this morning.

I love that the Mondo class is helping me to initiate motion, to move towards things I thought in my mind would be nice things, but then never took to the last step, to the fruition. I feel so great this morning as I sit here writing this, loading up the pictures, wondering just who will find then and when those little notes will be discovered. Exciting and energizing.

I dropped the boys off at school and went on my regular round of 'to-do' which included the bank, the fabric store and the good ol' Target (sometimes you just have to be in the big boxes, much as I try to stay out). I took a note with me to each place, well, a couple notes and found the 'mission' part to be totally appropo...especially when sneaking pictures in the bank...
Secret Mission :: Hope Notes

Here is the bank, I figure someone walking into one of those institutions is going to need a reminder to dream...
Secret Mission :: Hope Notes

And my local JoAnn store.
Secret Mission :: Hope Notes
They are having a huge sale and I can see in my mind's eye one of the harried workers pulling out the bolt and unfolding it to find the little note and hopefully it will bring a smile to her face.
Secret Mission :: Hope Notes
When I turned to leave the aisle, I spotted something in the bin....this is a bundle of precious Heather Ross fabric, a discontinued line. Sitting there as if in wait for me.
Secret Mission :: Hope Notes
It was like a little tiny blessing from the spirits, a smile on my mission. So, I left another little note in a baby bundle of FQ.
Secret Mission :: Hope Notes

Once in Target, I left one in the bathroom, because what better place to be surprised by love...
Secret Mission :: Hope Notes

Then to the baby aisles. I figured the best place to leave one here was in the diaper rash ointment, because if a Mama or Daddy is picking this up, you know they need a little reminder that things are going to be okay.
Secret Mission :: Hope Notes

That is it for now...although we have a library visit planned for the afternoon and I have plenty of cards left. I am telling you, this exercise has really reminded me that sharing joy and hope is so much easier than you think. And though I am not able to see the folks that discover the note or know how it touches them, the act of performance on my part has left Hope scrubbed all over me.

I think I might just keep printing the notes up and keep a stash in my purse so on those days when it feels like the universe is calling for more, more dreams and hope and love, well, I will have just the ticket.

(And if you are one of my 'other' blog readers, I encourage you to play along. Make up your own sayings and start spreading your own brand of Hope. Lord knows we need it sometimes). :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Mondo Beyondo Listmaking

I did as asked and put the list away after I wrote it. And after Tim read it because that is how we roll. It felt good to show him the list and let him in...but we laughed because he already knew half of it. Apparently I talk about my dreams more than I realize. Well, our dreams as they are something we share.

I asked him to write his list but he was initially really reluctant...he said ten minutes was not going to happen so instead he went for ten things. And it was awesome to read his wishes and dreams. So, it is a little like we are both doing a Mondo Beyondo course in dreaming, he vicariously and somewhat actively.

The is the first time I have written a Mondo list though I have known about it for years...I was always reluctant to put pen to paper. I think I felt like writing it was too concrete, too real, too much of a challenge, a direct request to the universe to let the dreams be. The last three years have been consumed by parenting and I am realizing that it is wonderful that I let the dreams be until they were ready to come out a play.

I have always been a person that longs to be somewhere else. Not away from the present situation, just able to easily move to another place, setting, situation, event. If we could time travel, I would jump at the chance. I think that is why I have lived in different places in the past, why I went to NYC for five years, moved to Oregon with Tim...it feels good to be in motion. The irony, of course, being that I am back here, in La Verne, raising my children in the very same home I was raised, they sleep in the room I shared with my three sisters, we walk to the same parks and have cards at the same library. And this feels good too.

SEwing Pants :: Tutorial for Marnie

As the true shape of my desires comes to light, I am feeling excited and free. Ready to clean out closets, sweep out debris, let go of extras, use what we have. Our home is shaping up, maybe in preparation of leaving it. And I am loving it all, the fear from the beginning of the week has dissipated in the face joy and internal free dreaming. And it feels really good.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


There seems to be so much to process at times, steeped in so much information about dreaming. I feel grateful and glad for this chance to let it come forward...and a little selfish too as I spend much of my time, the 'free' time looking through lessons and posts. I am finding a new well of energy to draw from, in the lessons and the ideas and the affirmations.

My dreams are not solo dreams, they cannot be right now with two small people and one very present husband. My dreams will directly affect them, shape them too, when they come to fruition. Tim and I have been talking about these dreams honestly and openly and letting them have voices and it feels so so good.

I told him tonight that I realized this week I have always had dreams, and they come to be in their due time, but for the last four years we have living the dream of children and family. It feels as if we had to put other ideas about life on hold in order to focus and become the parent people that we dreamed of. And I feel so much of that is coming to fruition, we are far from perfect in the parenting land, but we are damn good parents for our set of kids.

And so now, a new set of dreams comes into focus, ones simmering in the back burner, always part of the plan, just waiting for their light. And here it is, now, deep breathe, and my new mantra...Onward.

With these guys on board.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Core Values :: Almost Got'em

This seems like it is going to be a work in progress for me. I feel as if I know the core values, but am having a difficult time identifying the right way to write them down.

So, my people ::

Person One :: Sweetsalty Kate

Deep knowledge of the written word
Able to connect
Able to disconnect
So so smart
A starter
A finisher
An unintentional leader
Honest about mothering
Keen photographer
Likes Beer
Avoids giving advice
Respectful of community

Person Two :: Tim, My Husband

Old old old soul
Smells good
Keen photographer
A-religious but Faithful
Unintentionally Funny
Likes Beer
Avoids judgements

My 5 Values ::

This is hard. I am having a hard time seeing the values reflected in what I wrote above. I am almost there but this may take coming back to…

I think these people came to mind for a few reasons. They exist outside of the box, outside of a faith system, a school system, the system. They thrive on reflection about themselves, and are very good at realizing that. Kate does it very publicly while my husband does it very privately. They just might not give a damn about what others think (at least, not all the time). Shirking responsibility is not an option.

So, what I am coming up with is still murky in how it becomes my core values…

I cherish respect, freedom, awareness, self reflection and movement and these people seem to do all those things very very well in life.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Journal Entry :: 1/12/10 :: My Dreamer(s)

Who inspires you to take a chance on your dreams? Whose example challenges you to be more open to your unspoken dreams?

Reading Jen's account of her father made my mind immediately refer to my own. He was not a salesman, rather a man that traveled the world before the age of 18, born in Indo, refugee in Sri Lanka, immigrant to Holland, citizen of the USA now. He came wanting something for himself, his children. He came with his own dream.

He was 28 when he met my Mama. He asked God to give him a wife and make him a millionaire. He found her months later and married her immediately. He told me once he is a millionaire, if he were to add all the money he has made over his lifetime. I always love thinking of money in that way, as an accumulated wealth that I do not need to have right here in my pocket. I had it and used it and it moved on.

He taught me a lot of things, how to always change and try new things. He forced me outside of my comfort zone at all times. He made me wake up at 5 a.m. when I was 10 or so to do family morning yoga with all my siblings, babies rolling in the middle of our circle in the darkish early morning light. We were sullen and pissed about the wake up but within 15 minutes we were stretched and loosened and alive to the day. He insisted we lay hands on each other and bless each other at the end of each session. I still do yoga three times a week because of him. He made me drink spirulina when I was in competitive gymnastics because it would heal my strained muscles. He made me listen to Bob Dylan while trapped in our one hour commute to his work/my high school. He gave me the sex talk. Yes he did.

As the primary man in my early life, he never limited me. Let me be, from the day I walked out of the house at 2 protesting his discipline of me. He went on to have 8 kids, was that a dream of his? I do not know, but damn, the man has done it well. With his own dreamer at his side, my Mama. They just go together in so many ways, so to me, they are my inspiration to dream.

Somehow, on a fairly slim income, they raised eight kids, made sure they all went to college and to this day, still wait up when one kid is out. They are far from perfect, believe me, and I know this intimately due to our cohabitation, but then they are far from flawed. And in some odd way, I know they will be a part of fulfilling the dream I have for our lives, for my present family. They are present family, all of us under one roof, just the way the Indos did it. I think my Dad has his dream, when he looks at us.

Returning to writing now...after having dinner and working our way through the early evening berserk phase that 2.75 year old boy twins inevitably go through right after dinner...now with a few wry additional comments because of said hour...

You know, both of my parents are my best example of dreamers. In part because they are still living a full life and working at redefining themselves and their roles. And in part because they are living proof that you do not have to lose your mind during the raising of your kids. Which is how I feel right now. Funny, I love those boys so, but they can suck the life right out of my musing on dreams with a few shrill shrieks and tag team tantrums. Gotta' work on that.

My parents this December on their 39th Anniversary Day