Equinox and empathy


Happy equinox, all! For those of us here in the northern hemisphere, I think I can speak for most of us when I say we are ready for spring! For those south of the equator, perhaps you’re ready for a reprieve from the summer’s heat.

I enjoy acknowledging the change of the seasons. As regular readers will know, weather is important to me, and I also value marking the passage of time via the seasonal changes on the earth’s surface. Here in northwest Oregon, this has been a long winter. Blossoms that I would normally expect to see by early February have just recently appeared, in mid-March. And we even had that unusual heavy snowstorm a few weeks ago. But now, I’m seeing signs of spring all over!

On Saturday, I arrived at my newest cat sit, with cutie-pie littermates Marty and Emma. Their house is in Silverton, Oregon (population 10,558) about 40 miles south of Portland.

I traveled here via the train from Portland to Salem—once again, the cool “vintage” Amtrak Cascades train—and then bicycling about 15 miles east to Silverton. Fortunately, Saturday was one of our first spring-like weather days, so I enjoyed the warmth and sunshine for the ride, before the rain and chill returned the next day.

This town is the home of the botanical Oregon Garden, as well as Oregon’s only Frank Lloyd Wright house. My host was kind enough to gift me a couple of tickets to the gardens, so I will probably visit there soon; it has been several years since I last experienced that place. I had also planned to tour the Wright house this time, but I recently learned that the separate admission for the small house is $20, so I think I will forego it.

Silverton also sits 14 miles northwest of the beautiful Silver Falls State Park, which I visited for the first time at the beginning of my bike travels in September of 2021. I may or may not make it back there this time. But I’m enjoying this change of pace from Portland, and considering a future Eugene cat sit. Oregon explorations can be fun, while I await the best timing for my “bigger” travel adventures. This state is so beautiful.

This past week has been rather challenging for me, for reasons I’d rather not detail, but it is strengthening my resolve to offer my gifts to the world as much as I can. I would like to reiterate my offer of free/no-strings “empathy hours,” especially at this equinox time. If you, or anyone you know, would appreciate an hour-long video chat (or phone, if you prefer) for supportive listening on any topic, please feel free to message me to set it up. I’m happy to listen if you are struggling in any area of your life, and also happy to celebrate and/or help with brainstorming or strategizing any ideas or projects you may have, for your own life or for the larger community.

May we begin this new season with renewed commitment to our own and collective thriving!

Do you have your own dream or project, and would like some support or collaborative brainstorming about it? Use the green “contact” button above to schedule a free, no-strings one-hour phone or video call with me!

Want to be notified of future blog posts? Use the green “sign up” button to subscribe!

Want to support my vision financially? You can make a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a Fairy Godfunder! (Heartfelt thanks to all my patrons, contributors, and godfunders!)

A year and a half since I embarked


Wow. September 10th, 2021 is when I embarked on my new bike-focused nomadic lifestyle! I traveled my planned loop around the US and Canada for exactly a year plus one week… which means it has been almost exactly six months since I completed the loop. That feels wild to me. The journey seemed to stretch on forever! Now that I have been in one place, the past six months have flown by.

I’m looking forward to traveling again, and this past week my mind has shifted from my train-to-Montreal, then-possibly-England, then-possibly-continental-Europe dream. At this point I’m feeling strongly drawn to England, so I’m thinking maybe I could head straight there in mid-May. I could see the “Marillion weekend” in Leicester in late May, rather than in Montreal in mid-May. (There’s another prog event in Poland in July—featuring Steve Hackett and IQ, among others—that would be really cool to attend as well… possibly I can?)

I found an outrageously low airfare to London on May 18th. Not sure if I’m ready to take that leap yet, but I’m considering it!

Meanwhile, this past week has been full of activity, from sadly saying goodbye to that little cutie Simba, to attending various medical and plasma appointments around the metro area, to doing a bit of English tutoring on Cambly, to having some wonderful magical meetings with folks around the globe.

Last week I forgot to mention one I had had with my friend Elizabeth in Ajijic, Mexico (Elizabeth, hello if you’re reading this!) who told me what a wonderful place that is, and how much she appreciates the community of local residents as well as US and Canadian visitors and immigrants.

This week, I spoke with my new friend Jo in South Africa, who is living a rather parallel life to mine: 49 years old, vegan, living as a car-free nomadic pet sitter, and and even a life coach! We had a great conversation about our nomadic pet sitting lifestyle and our respective dreams and goals.

I also talked with a new friend, Angela, in Boise, Idaho, who is about to sell her house and take off with her husband in their new RV to live nomadically in their retirement. She is an artist, and she had some cool perspectives on life and human connections that I enjoyed learning about.

Finally, I had a great conversation with a van-lifing friend in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Kathrine has lived—and continues to live—a courageous and fascinating life, and I always feel inspired after talking with her.

Soon I will also write about my amazingly inspiring friend Mimi, in Berkeley, and her startup nonprofit in Botswana.

I’m so blessed to be constantly connecting with such interesting people. I’ve got more magical meetings lined up for the coming week, as well.

I love this life!!

Do you have your own dream or project, and would like some support or collaborative brainstorming about it? Use the green “contact” button above to schedule a free, no-strings one-hour phone or video call with me!

Want to be notified of future blog posts? Use the green “sign up” button to subscribe!

Want to support my vision financially? You can make a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a Fairy Godfunder! (Heartfelt thanks to all my patrons, contributors, and godfunders!)

Magical meetings, and that bike-and-train life


Well, I’m pleased to say that the life I had outlined a few posts ago seems to be unfolding pretty well so far!

I’m still in Portland, and still sitting for “Mr. Simba,” as I like to call him, but between visiting my friend in Salem (on what turned out to be a bit of a “vintage” Amtrak Cascades train set with old-timey windows that tinted and framed my photographic appreciations just so) and donating plasma for some extra cash up in Vancouver (Washington) I’ve been really enjoying the various train and bicycle infrastructure of this region. I hope you enjoy the “photo essay.” I’m still working on manifesting the funds I will need to truly get back out on the road again—like to Montreal, and England!—but in the meantime, I’m doing my best to savor the beauty that is right here, right now.

And I’ve also had some wonderful Magical Meetings this past week, in accordance with my vision! I met with a woman in a sort of enchanted living situation in SW Portland, for whom I might do some cat sitting in the future, but who also, regardless, was right on the same page with me about a lot of my dreams and visions, so I’m happy to help her to hold her own visions, and I’m looking forward to staying in touch as both of our lives continue to unfold.

I also spoke with a retired English gentleman who is four years into a ten-year journey around the world! Like me, he travels car free, mostly by train with occasional buses. He told me about a cool English-language-tutoring app (Cambly, which I had vaguely heard of before) which might offer me an opportunity for a bit of income as well as cultural exchange, talking to adult students around the world who are seeking native English speakers to practice with in conversation.

This world is so full of so many wonderful things!

Including this sleepy cat. Goodnight, from Simba and me both.

Do you have your own dream or project, and would like some support or collaborative brainstorming about it? Use the green “contact” button above to schedule a free, no-strings one-hour phone or video call with me!

Want to be notified of future blog posts? Use the green “sign up” button to subscribe!

Want to support my vision financially? You can make a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a Fairy Godfunder! (Heartfelt thanks to all my patrons, contributors, and godfunders!)

Portland wonderland!


Hello, all! It’s time for me to check in, from sub-freezing Portland!

I had hoped to have more magical meetings and such to report on this week, but mostly I’m still in the process of scheduling them, with a handful of people around the globe. (If you’d like a free one-hour phone or video chat on any topic, let me know!) And things have been hectic for many local people the past few days, because of the unexpected snow.

I’ve been enjoying my time back here, after LA last month, especially my interactions with all the adorable cats I’ve been caring for. (In order of appearance: Marcel and Bert; Finn; and my current cutie, Simba, in the last two pics.)

I’ve been traveling all around town by bike, light rail, and even an Amtrak trip to Salem.

And, I’ve been leaning into connecting with people for my life’s work, while also receiving some generous donations from supporters. (Thank you to those donors who may be reading this!) I’ve also stretched my physical comfort zone by beginning to donate plasma for a bit of extra money, which has come in handy. This has also allowed for more “transit adventures,” up to the Vancouver, Washington donation site. In this way, I learned that Vancouver has added a quasi-bus-rapid-transit line called The Vine. Cool!

I’m looking ahead to my possible travels to Montreal, England, and possibly elsewhere in Europe this coming spring and summer, though these destinations feel far away right now, geographically, financially, and—especially in this cold moment—meteorologically. I’m trusting that the magic will come together to allow these travel dreams, though: “This, or something better!”

I hope you all are weathering your respective Februarys well. Northern or southern hemisphere, the turn of season will be upon us all soon.

Do you have your own dream or project, and would like some support or collaborative brainstorming about it? Use the green “contact” button above to schedule a free, no-strings one-hour phone or video call with me!

Want to be notified of future blog posts? Use the green “sign up” button to subscribe!

Want to support my vision financially? You can make a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a Fairy Godfunder! (Heartfelt thanks to all my patrons, contributors, and godfunders!)

A design for my life’s work


The following has been swirling around in my mind—increasingly insistently—for the past six months or so. I need to put it down “on paper” and get it out!

As most of you reading this will know, my dream is to live the most joyful life of service that I can, while being financially buoyed enough to be frugally comfortable, and have a few occasional fun splurges, while also putting away some money for the future.

I worked for 18 years at an administrative job I didn’t enjoy, because I was afraid of a life of poverty without it. (I had been unemployed for the two previous years, and had run through almost all of my savings at that time.)

When I cut those ties in September of 2021 to embark upon my dream bike-and-train journey around the US and Canada for a year, the thrill was nearly unimaginable! I was so excited to finally set out on a fun adventure that I hoped would also allow me to spread joy, healing, and inspiration to those I met and those who read about my travels.

I think I succeeded pretty well at that. I’m very proud of it.

However… once again, the adventure of that year—and the few months since—have drained most of my savings again. I am getting down to the dregs, and it’s time that my income started to come back.

But I’m not going back to a traditional job.

My intuition tells me strongly that I am here on this earth for a much more meaningful (and joyful!) purpose, and despite my visceral fears, I am choosing to heed this call.

I do have a plan. I am going to outline it here, and I intend that by putting this structure out clearly, it will come to pass. If you are reading this, I humbly request that you help me to hold this vision; I do believe that makes a difference. (And it’s one of my favorite things to do for others! If you’ve got a vision you’d like me to help hold, please let me know!)

First, the work I am called to do:

At least a decade ago, a phrase crystallized in my mind. I believed that my intention for my lifetime was to “heal and inspire the world.”

I do still believe this. It’s a lofty ambition (the whole world??) but I can give it my best, on a day-to-day, person-by-person basis, and see how far I can get.

To this end, I founded two private practices in the past 15 years. The first was called Happy to Listen. My work was literally just listening empathetically—and explicitly without judgment or advice—to people who might be struggling with any number of aspects of their human existence. (Doing so is a very powerful practice, as any of my clients could attest.)

Next came Dream Into Change. If Happy to Listen was Yin, Dream Into Change was Yang. This practice was focused on providing project-based emotional and strategic support to people who had ideas or projects for making the world a better place.

Of course, clients for either of these practices have often ended up getting a bit of both; both are important life processes.

The traditional pay-for-service model has never seemed to pan out for me financially, though, for a few reasons. One is “marketing,” that most dreaded word among healers. I was never good at it, and never succeeded very well. Over time, I have come to realize that I really didn’t want to succeed at it. I never wanted to offer healing and inspiration for pay. Among other reasons, many of the people I most wanted to work with—and who most appreciated working with me—did not have the financial means to pay me what I would have needed for a living wage.

When I took my journey around the US and Canada, I also realized how much I enjoy traveling—lightly on the earth—and that I would like to live nomadically for the foreseeable future. I would be practicing excellent self-care (and modeling it for others, I hope) by following the optimal weather for my emotional wellbeing, and spending time in beautiful natural settings, walking or bicycling. I also realized how much I love meeting people in different locations, at times offering emotional support to them, and also learning about the various cool things that many of them are working on. And, as always, I love connecting people with each other.

So, here is the work I would now like to do in the world, very explicitly:

I would like to spend roughly four hours per day, roughly five days per week, interacting with people—mostly one-on-one, either in person or by phone or video calls—in healing and inspirational ways. (This is all part of my vision for building the rainbow network.)

I picture that I would do roughly one hour-long session each day, in each of the following four formats:

1) Happy-to-Listen-style empathy: someone is struggling in life, and I hold space for them to talk about it for an hour, while l listen supportively, without judgment or advice.

2) Dream-Into-Change-style support: someone has an idea or project they are dreaming up, or actively working on, and I offer emotional and/or strategic support. This could include co-brainstorming, as well as providing resources such as suggesting books, websites, organizations, or individuals they might want to check into or reach out to.

3) Facilitated “magical meetings,” where I introduce people to each other if I sense that they might be able to support each other in their ideas or projects. Sometimes this might just be an email introduction, but ideally I would like to get us all on a video chat, and I would mostly allow the other parties to do the talking, while I could just facilitate the conversation based on my understanding of each of their passions and projects. I envision this mostly in groups of just two people plus myself, but I could also potentially see facilitating larger groups—similar to the Dream Into Change Salons I used to host—where everyone learns about each other’s ideas and projects and may find ways to support each other or collaborate.

4) Magical Meetings of my own. This is a concept I dreamed up about two years ago, and I am absolutely in love with it. Rather than a practitioner/client type of interaction like the first two, this is a peer-to-peer interaction with someone whose work or energy inspires me, and one of us reaches out to the other to simply spend an hour talking about whatever is lighting us both up in the moment. We share our enthusiasm, and offer each other emotional support, and possibly also strategic or networking support if applicable.

Then, approximately once a week, I would also make a blog post to my followers and the public, summarizing my learnings and connections of the week. Of course I would preserve confidentiality for any personal things people might have shared, but I would hope and intend to highlight the projects of some of the people I had talked with, to help to spread the word about their work and possibly identify further support for them.

This would be my job! I would travel around the world, mostly by train and bike, meeting cool people and supporting them and networking them together, building a “rainbow network” around the globe, for everyone’s benefit. I would like for this to be my legacy, for my time on Earth, however long that might be.

I will need funding to live this life. And as I mentioned above, I do not wish to follow a pay-for-service model. Instead, I picture a mamnoon-energy-based model. That is, I wish to receive voluntary, joyful contributions from individual people who value my work. (Occasionally, some of these people might be the same ones I meet with, but there would be no expectation of such—I would offer all of the above “services” for free, and only if the people also wanted to contribute would they do so.)

I believe that the bare minimum financial support I would need to meet my lodging, utility, transportation, food, and health- and dental-care needs would be $24,000 (net) per year, or $2000 per month. $3000 per month, or $36,000 per year, would be much better; it would allow for a bit more “fun,” and also the opportunity for me to save for my future.

Where will this money come from? A few sources:

I still love my idea of fairy godfunding, and I still visualize that this will play a key role in my funding. I envision that I could find one or more people who could joyfully and easefully gift me a year’s worth of funding, because they can easily afford it and they like what I am doing. (In the future, I would love to also serve as a conduit for fairy godfunding, by connecting people who need funding with those who may be inspired to provide it.) On a smaller scale, what if I sort of “crowdfunded” the fairy godfunding? What if, for example, I could find twelve people who would be joyfully willing to donate between $2000-$3000? If one of these people did this each month, I would reach my yearly income.

I’m sure this is possible. I’m curious and excited to meet all the cool, magical people who may become my fairy godfunders!

Speaking of crowdfunding, I’m not feeling drawn to set up a traditional crowdfunder at this time (although I did so ten years ago, with modest success, for my East Coast Empathy Tour). However, for the past couple of years, I have been accepting monthly donations via my Patreon account, and one-time donations of any amount via my PayPal.me account. Several thousand dollars have thus flowed my way from the generosity of many of you who may be reading right now. (Thank you!!) I envision that there will be more going forward.

I intend that I live my life in this sweet spot, living from mamnoon energy: giving as much to the world as I am joyfully able, while also practicing excellent self-care and enjoying my own life, and ideally serving as an example for others as I do so… and taking the risk to live life as a win-win, on my own terms, writing my own “map” as I do so.

It’s scary sometimes! I look at my bank account these days and get nervous! I also wish for ever more opportunities to do the work. Every time I do the work, I love it, and so do the people I work with. So, I just need more of these people and opportunities!

One thing I do not intend to do is approach any given individual for money. Sometimes, when I have explained my fairy godfunding idea to people, they seem to assume I will be writing up a “pitch” and then finding “wealthy people” to make the pitch to.

I can understand why people would assume this, given our current economic system and business structures. But it nauseates me. I don’t want to assume anyone’s income or wealth; I don’t want to assume how much of it they might be joyfully willing to share with me; and I don’t want to “sell myself,” although I can appreciate the general utility of something akin to an elevator pitch, simply to explain to people I meet what it is that I do with my life.

Rather, I wish to simply do my work earnestly, and to make my intentions and work as visible as I can, and trust that the right people will show up at the right times to make this happen.

There are a few things that I would like to request, though, from anyone reading:

If you like my vision, please feel free to talk about it or share it with people who might appreciate the concepts. You can share this blog post—or any of the links within it—or tag friends in it. I also have various other writings and interviews on my Dream Into Change website; feel free to take a look, and share if you’d like.

I want to do more of this work! If you would like to receive any of the above kinds of free sessions that I outlined, please contact me to do one! Also, if you know of anyone else who might enjoy one, feel free to send them my way.

Although I am not asking any individual for financial support, I will invite anyone reading who might feel drawn to donate any amount—one time or monthly—to do so with the links above. (Only from mamnoon energy, though—if the idea excites you and brings you joy, please do it! If you have any hesitation or “should” about it, please don’t!)

Thank you—deeply—to anyone who has read this far. This writing has been bubbling ever more fervently in my subconscious for the past few weeks. I’m really proud of myself for finally finding the courage, concentration, and words to lay it all out here.

I intend to begin the weekly (at least) blogging portion of the above plan immediately, so I’ll be making a post within the next seven days. I will be doing the rest of the work as much as possible, limited only by the people and opportunities I find. My intention is to get up to four session-hours per day as soon as possible.

I’ll have more thoughts on all of this, I’m sure, as it all unfolds. (One document I’m working on is a “resume” of sorts, to let folks know more about who I am and some of the relevant paid and volunteer work I have done throughout my life. I’ll post that when it’s ready.)

Thanks again to you all for witnessing me and supporting me in so many ways. I appreciate you all so much!

Want to be notified of future blog posts? Use the green “sign up” button to subscribe!

Want to support my vision financially? You can make a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a Fairy Godfunder! (Heartfelt thanks to all my patrons, contributors, and godfunders!)

My interview in Authority Magazine: “Travel and personal growth”

I’m pleased to share my recent interview in the Medium publication Authority Magazine. We talked about my life history, my life coaching, and my recent travels, including various lessons and takeaways. I invite you to take a look!


(Photo credit: Marcella Dean Photography)

Want to be notified of future blog posts? Use the green “sign up” button to subscribe!

Want to support my vision financially? You can make a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a Fairy Godfunder! (Heartfelt thanks to all my patrons, contributors, and godfunders!)

Back to Portland, after a lovely California refresher


I looked down from my airplane window this afternoon—I was lucky to have a window seat, with an empty middle seat next to me, on an otherwise almost full flight—to see what I’m nearly certain was Crater Lake below. I had never seen Crater Lake before, except in photos, and it was so beautiful to witness from above, especially ringed as it was by snow.

This was an apt visual metaphor for my transition back to the cold here in Portland after temps in the high 60s this past week in the Los Angeles area.

I’m so glad I took this little trip. I got to connect with my cousin Nathalie (the last time I saw her was more than a year ago, as I was just embarking on my travels) and a dear friend and his wife in Pomona, and I also met many new friends in the Santa Monica area.

I also connected with several cute kitties and doggies, and got my fill of sunshine and ocean views.

This was the reset I was needing.

For the month of February, I’ve got four cat sits lined up here in the Portland area, all seamlessly linked, so I’m excited to experience some adorable and snuggly kitties (two of whom are toilet trained!) and some new-to-me living spaces.

I’ll also be continuing to flesh out my new travel dream, from this coming May to the following May, hopefully around most of the US and a bit of Canada, plus a big chunk of Europe!

I’ll also be dreaming into how to manifest the financial and logistical means to do this. I’ve been thinking a lot of about living my life from mamnoon energy, and will probably write more about that soon.

For now, I’m basking in the afterglow of my California days, and looking forward to these next few months here in Oregon. I’m also energized, as always, to support anyone who may feel drawn to connecting for an hour by phone or video chat, to explore your dreams and/or challenges. I do this for free these days, as my primary contribution to life, and always enjoy supporting people in their thriving. If you or someone you know might like an hour of this supportive energy, feel free to drop me a line!

Want to be notified of future blog posts? Use the green “sign up” button to subscribe!

Want to support my vision financially? You can make a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a Fairy Godfunder! (Heartfelt thanks to all my patrons, contributors, and godfunders!)

Arriving in California


I made it!

I’m in Santa Monica, sitting on the couch next to a beautiful big kitty girl named Fiona.

It has been quite a roller coaster to get here.

I initially dreamed up the idea to come to LA a little more than a month ago, when I received an email from Amtrak telling me that I was just a few hundred points shy of the 10,000 points needed to reach Select Plus status for 2023. I had been at Select status for the past five years (5,000 points) but never made it to this next tier. (All three tiers—Executive being the highest of the three—are based on miles traveled, and cannot be reached by simply using the Amtrak Mastercard for other purchases, although doing so still accrues points to be used for future travel.)

I knew I’d probably never be able to get as close to Select Plus as this, since I had spent so much of 2022 taking long train segments between cities.

So, I began to dream up a trip to LA to give myself just the right number of points. Select Plus would mean a variety of perks, including a 50% point bonus on travel taken in 2023.

I’ll spare you all the back-and-forth, but I planned many different versions of this journey, and worked hard to manifest $600 to pay for the one-way trip with a sleeper car. (Some of you reading this contributed some of that money; thank you again!) I would use almost all my 15,000 saved-up points to pay for the return trip.

But the relentless rain north of Sacramento made the tracks impassable for some weeks, so my trip on the 10th was canceled. I rescheduled for the 16th. That was canceled too.

Meanwhile, I had committed to this cat sit. (The cat’s person—who, in another small-world twist, happens to hail from Virginia near my hometown—told me she was very glad to secure my commitment, because her previously scheduled sitter had just canceled, leaving her in the lurch and stressing her out. I didn’t want to put her in that position again, especially since her ski trip in the Rockies was fast approaching.)

So, despite my strong distaste for both the environmental impact and physical discomfort and boredom of flying, I went ahead and booked a flight.

All went smoothly with the flight, and two days ago I arrived here with Fiona.

The first night, I had dinner with some Portland friends who coincidentally were in Venice for a few days. (They had been among the contributors to my “California fund,” so it was extra poignant and fun to have dinner with them, at a vegan Thai restaurant a few blocks away from this condo.)

The condo, by the way, is about two blocks away from the beach. The actual, Pacific Ocean beach! It’s so cool to be here.

The next day, yesterday, I met Karen, the new friend of my awesome Berkeley friend Mimi who always introduces me to wonderful people. Those two had just enjoyed a vegan safari in Botswana, which has inspired Mimi to help a local man in Botswana—one of their tour guides—to start up a nonprofit to help local people there to have access to solar electricity. (Many homes in that area have no electricity at all, nor even access to clean drinking water.)

Karen and I enjoyed some coffee drinks and pastries at a local Venice vegan shop and café.

Afterward, we walked the nearby canals of Venice. (Yesterday I learned that Venice, California was named after the Italian city, because of these canals!)

What should we encounter along the canal walkway but a string of Christmas lights almost identical to those I wrote about in my vulnerable post a few days ago. What a synchronicity.

Yesterday evening, I took the bus to the Co-opportunity Market, about two miles away here in Santa Monica, where I stocked up on fresh produce and beans to make my own meals while I’m here with Fiona.

This afternoon, I headed out to the walking path along the beach, where I strolled north to the Santa Monica Pier, then a few blocks south, before turning back to get inside before dark.

I savored the setting sun through the trees.

Tomorrow, I’m doing a session with a friend in the southern hemisphere, then meeting a new local friend to attend a musical theater production about the life of Doris Day. I will probably cap off the day by meeting another local friend to attend a screening of the new documentary about Moby, the vegan electronic musician who owns a restaurant here in LA.

I’m so glad I’m here. I needed this.

Want to be notified of future blog posts? Use the green “sign up” button to subscribe!

Want to support my vision financially? You can make a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a Fairy Godfunder! (Heartfelt thanks to all my patrons, contributors, and godfunders!)

The rainbow network

Photo credit Alexander Grey


I think it may finally be time to write publicly about a profound experience I had a few years ago. This experience added clarity to my life. I have had a few related experiences since then, and I feel they are all building the narrative of my life going forward. I may share others later.

I have told certain close friends and like-minded folks about this experience, but I have never had the courage—nor felt the calling—to share it more widely, until now. It feels edgy to me, in a variety of ways, to do so. Various people I know might not feel comfortable or supportive about various parts of the story. And I do value community support, and I sometimes struggle with conflict, or having people disagree with me, so writing and sharing this is edgy for me.

But… I’ve been having a very quiet and plain time in my life for the past couple of months, since I re-settled into Portland for the winter, and especially since I fractured my foot, while the weather has also been mostly inhospitable for outdoor activity. (The good news: the fracture seems to have healed well, and I’m on my way to sunny California for a week tomorrow!) My year of travels was fairly bursting every day with joy and/or good-story-making challenges. I haven’t had much to share lately. I would like to share more.

At this new quiet, slow point of my life, I am choosing to trust that I am continually deepening my connection to my life’s calling. And I now believe that part of that includes stepping more fully and visibly into my truth.

So… here is the story.

About four or five years ago, I was taking my annual winter mini-vacation in San Diego, to exchange the Portland rain and cold for some warmth and sunshine. For about ten years, I did some version of this three- or four-day trip, sometimes taking the train one way and flying back, other times maximizing my “away time” by flying both ways, despite my dislike of flying on multiple levels.

Often, when I would travel there, I would instantly arrive in “vacation mode,” loving the weather and surroundings, meeting up with friends, enjoying Balboa Park and vegan restaurants, and maybe spending some time enjoying the Pacific out at Ocean Beach or Encinitas.

Part of this vacation mode often included jumping onto Tinder, because the idea of a winter SoCal fling always felt exciting, like it would just kick the whole vacation up another notch.

However, for the previous few years when I had tried that in San Diego, I had never found any Tinder matches. I always felt a bit disappointed about that.

In this particular case, I was staying in a room at an Airbnb in a woman’s house. The woman had a housemate, and we had all three had some nice chats.

I wanted to get on Tinder again. Could this be the year when I would finally find someone to have some fun with?

I fired up the app and started swiping.

Nope, nope, nope, nope… I started to feel the familiar “Tinder malaise.” The feeling of, Ugh, who are these people?

No one stood out to me.

Then I kind of caught myself, and had a sudden epiphany.

Something felt wrong about my own energy. My own approach to this “mission.”

I wasn’t being present enough. I wasn’t holding a vision of what I actually was seeking, but rather just mindlessly swiping. I suddenly felt myself giving myself some direction:

“Maren, what you need to do is put down the phone for a few minutes. Really think about what you’re seeking here. Visualize a face—and an energy—that is what you would really, optimally like to find to connect with. Swipe through the faces more consciously. And only swipe right if you see one that feels right like that.”

I was struck by my own wisdom. (Was it even my own, or was I tapping into something larger?) This seemed like good advice. I followed it. I spent about five or ten minutes with the phone down, and my eyes closed, feeling into the sort of face and energy I was looking for, to have a satisfying connection with, if only briefly.

After this, I felt at peace, but also energized. I was ready to pick up the phone again.

When I reopened Tinder, I swiped more intentionally through the first few faces I saw. And lo and behold! It was only the third or fourth of the men I saw who struck me as a match with what I had envisioned.

I swiped right.

And he matched with me!

This was rather unusual. Normally on dating apps, I had found very few I was willing to swipe right on. And when I did, probably only half of them swiped right on me.

But here was this match.

I messaged him immediately, and he messaged me right back. We seemed a very good energetic fit.


Was he available right now? Sadly, no, he had plans that evening. But the next night was open for both of us.

The next day I looked forward to the date all day. We met for a drink after dinner, at a cool tiki dive bar in the neighborhood that he suggested. We sank into a huge booth in a dark corner, and each ordered a drink, which we proceeded to nurse for the next two to three hours.

Our conversation was wonderful! The chemistry seemed to be flowing, as we flirted and talked about sexuality, but also about spirituality, some paranormal experiences he had had, music, art, and a variety of other topics.

We were clearly vibing. This was exactly what I had set out to manifest.


We decided to leave the bar and head out into the warm night. We were near Balboa Park, and we walked toward it for a few blocks, arriving under some trees in the lamplight.

This turned into an awkward moment, as we kissed, and then discovered that neither of us had a private residence to invite the other back to. Each of us had assumed the other did.


We couldn’t waste this vibe, though, could we?

After a moment, he smirked and said, “Well… I’ve got my car…”

I laughed, and then decided, Why not? I never really had a misspent youth with “car experiences,” so why not try it now, in my late 40s?

I’ll spare you the details, but we had a kind-of-fun, also-rather-awkward caper in his car on a quiet street.

Afterward, we felt like talking, so after he drove me back to my Airbnb, we stayed in the car and chatted for another half hour or so.

We said goodnight and he drove off, and I returned indoors, giddy from the evening’s unfoldings. This is what I had been wanting every year! I felt so grateful to have had the wonderful conversation and connection, and to believe that my own new, energetically guided and focused approach, had led me to this.

Surely I could apply this approach to various other aspects of my life as well…

The next morning, I was set to meet up with a friend who lived north of town, who would drive down to meet me at the Hillcrest Farmers Market. We would shop a bit there—she was vegan too, and I understood there were various vegan stalls at the market—and then we would go to a new vegan brunch spot nearby to check it out.

I was excited to see her, and especially to share the exciting story of my previous night! I knew she would appreciate the story.

I set out on foot for the farmers market, but sadly it was raining, which was really annoying to me since I had explicitly planned this trip to escape Portland’s rain.

At least I had a rain jacket, though, and the temperature was mild.

But before I reached the market, I got a text from her saying that traffic on the freeway would delay her by about half an hour.


I felt my emotions instantly doing a 180, changing my excitement and anticipation into anger and frustration. Why was traffic ruining our plan?? I had timed everything out to work just right!


I noticed what was happening to me, though, and tried to reframe it:

“Maren, take a deep breath. She’s still coming. You’ll still have brunch. You’re on vacation, you’re not at work… just go with the flow! You know what you love? Parks! Why don’t you look at the map on your phone and see if there is a nearby neighborhood park?”

Dutifully, I whipped out Google Maps.

And what should I discover, much to my surprise, but that there was a little “spur” of Balboa Park within a five-minute walk.

I love that park. It’s one of my favorite city parks. The cactus garden, in particular, is a special spiritual place for me. Every time I visit San Diego, I make a point to go and sit there for a spell, to meditate on my life, where I am, where I want to go, etc.

I had done so, just a day or two before.

But this was a whole other section of the park. I had looked at the map of the park many times over the years, noticing its large square shape, but often overlooking this small spur on the northwestern corner.

But here it was, calling to me. I could go over there right now.

When I arrived, I found this section to be unlike most other sections of the (admittedly quite varied) park. It was rather hilly/canyon-like, and looked a bit messy in the mud from the rain. It was forested, with eucalyptus and other trees, and a muddy pathway along the side of a hill. The topography, mud, and cloudy skies lent the whole place a vaguely otherworldly air, as did its desolation: aside from one couple I saw briefly walking through, I had this section of the natural area all to myself.

I began walking the path, enjoying the feel of the place, and reminiscing about the powerful and inspiring conversation from my date the previous night. One of the things we had talked about was my sexuality, and how I feel it is an important part of my power in the world, even though it’s not always clear—to me or others—exactly how. But it felt like an important realization to speak and be witnessed about.

I thought about this again as I walked the path, and it felt profound.

As I continued along the hillside, I suddenly had a vision that stopped me in my tracks. The vision was unrelated to my sexuality, but felt equally profound.

I had been thinking about politics, and social media, and the polarization of cultural dialogue. It was—and remains—a painful topic for me. I have always believed in standing up for one’s beliefs, and for what is “right” and just in various ways. At the same time, I have always recoiled from conflict. This growing cultural zeitgeist of fighting on social media about political and cultural issues had been gnawing and tearing at me for some months and years.

As I stood there on the path, I suddenly got a visual, of myself as a Christmas light bulb. Like the traditional-shaped ones from my ‘70s and ‘80s childhood. Specifically, a dark green one.

I visualized my heart, and also my entire energetic being, as a slowly, softly glowing green Christmas light bulb. Radiating light and love. Not fighting.

I felt some tears beginning to well up. This felt really powerful. I felt that my role in life was to glow softly but powerfully as a Christmas light bulb. To lead with my heart. To lead with love. To care about and speak in favor of justice, yes, but to mainly—for my own part—glow my love and light.

I sensed/reflected that people are all different. Perhaps archetypes are a good way to describe it. Some people live as warriors. Their highest and best calling includes openly, and frequently, fighting for their beliefs. This is necessary in a society, a culture. These folks are an essential part of the ecosystem.

And… in that moment, I grokked and accepted that I am not a warrior, and that I should not allow myself to be shamed—internally nor externally—into believing that living as a warrior was the only righteous path, nor that it was the optimal path for me.

Mine was to shine and glow, as a being of light and love, and a beacon of such for others.

The tears started falling.

I soaked all this in.

I could feel how deeply powerful this message was for me. I made a point to stand still in that spot, taking it in for as long as I thought I needed for it to stick.

After a few moments, I felt ready to walk on. I basked in this glowing-light visual as I continued along the path.

And when I rounded the next bend—and found myself on the other edge of the spur, and recognized this edge as one I actually had walked a few times over the years—another, equally powerful, visual struck me.

Have you seen those Christmas-light nets that you stretch over a bush, so that it kind of makes the bush appear to glow? I have seen them over the years, mostly with the small, more modern white lights that are more common these days.

The first time I had ever seen a net like this, though, was in December of 1995. I was visiting Salt Lake City for my first—and as of this writing, only—time. It was the Christmas season, of course, and one night I found myself walking within visual range of the Mormon tabernacle at the center of town.

The Christmas lights in the garden grounds around the temple mesmerized me. At the time, I had never seen anything like them; as of 1995, I think most Christmas displays around the US were more modest. Or if not modest, more gaudy than this. These garden lights were multicolored, and at once staggeringly lavish yet somehow subtle. I don’t know how well I can trust my memory, but my sense is that I saw several bushes fairly shimmering and glowing purple.

The scene was breathtaking.

Flash forward to Balboa Park again.

I stood there, frozen in my path again from this new vantage, with a new visual taking shape in my mind: A glowing network of multicolored Christmas lights forming a net around the orb that is Planet Earth.

Where were these lights? How far up, off the ground?

I struggled to recall my high school science to find the right descriptive terminology.

Was it the troposphere? The place where weather is formed?

That felt right somehow…

I visualized that this rainbow network encircled the earth somewhere around the troposphere.

Of course it wasn’t anything measurable by human instruments.

It was energetic.

Yet somehow deeply real.

I was one of these lights.

And there were many more of them.

Each light represented someone living on the earth who had the capacity to turn into one of these colorful lights.

But none of us were necessarily already doing so.

We were going about our dreary, earthly lives, doing mostly boring and non-meaningful activities. We were failing to use our precious, limited time and energy for its highest purpose.

I further felt a message come to me that I was to activate my own Christmas light. This was an important part of my life’s purpose.

The other part of my purpose was to identify other not-yet-lit Christmas lights from among the human population, and network with them. Help them to ignite their own glowing lights of love and hope, and help to hook us all up together into a network, all around and above the surface of the earth, which would then glow in a way it hasn’t been able to glow yet.

When a certain critical mass of glowing lights joined the network, the whole thing would glow, in a way that was energetically greater than the sum of its parts. This glow would be powerful enough to bring about some sort of non-linear and profound healing of humanity, and the earth and all its inhabitants.


This felt so real, and so powerful to me in the moment, that again I forced myself to stand still for about ten minutes while I visualized and felt the whole thing strongly enough that it would seep into my mind completely enough that I wouldn’t forget it.

I thought of how I might go about meeting these other light-bulb folks, and making connections with them and among them.

I thought of things like my sexuality—meeting aligned people on Tinder or in other ways, similarly to how I had done it the previous night—as well as other, seemingly very mundane ways, such as talking to people at bus stops or on public transit, whether city buses or long-distance trains. I also thought about various events I had organized over the years, such as gatherings I had hosted called MindTrust meetings, or later, Dream Into Change Salons. The purpose of these gatherings had been to pull people together to talk about their dreams and projects for making the world a better place, with the understanding that when people talk about such ideas in a small, supportive group, everyone benefits, and each idea or project gets amplified and more likely to come to fruition.

I was sure there were more ways of meeting and connecting these folks, too; these were just some initial thoughts.

What was clear to me was that this was my life’s purpose.

I didn’t have to understand it. I didn’t have to explain or justify it to anyone else.

It was just my “assignment.” It was what I was to do with my life energy.

So I’ve been doing this, as much as I have been able, ever since.

When I have talked or written about wanting to meet “magical people,” that can have various flavors of meaning, but mostly it means meeting people who feel aligned with this vision in some way. Fellow members of the rainbow network. I can usually feel it when I meet them.

A big part of my vision for my yearlong counterclockwise loop around the US was based on this vision as well.

So have been the “magical meetings” I have held with many people—all around the world—by phone or video chat.

I have spoken and written somewhat openly about these desires in the past few years, but I have kept the underlying structure relatively quiet until now.

It sounds kinda crazy. Very woo-woo. Perhaps, to some people, laughable.

I didn’t want any sort of negative feedback to flow back to me, possibly causing me to doubt myself or my vision. I know that for much of my life I have been very sensitive to others’ perceptions of me, and that can hold me back.

But now, it seems ever more important to me to keep moving powerfully into this mission. And I think an important part of that is to strengthen my own core and sense of self by allowing myself to be more visible about it.

I want to share more openly what it is that I am doing with my life.

This is it.

I expect I will share more later, as more unfolds.

But for now, thank you for reading this, and for witnessing me and my vision.

Want to be notified of future blog posts? Use the green “sign up” button to subscribe!

Want to support my vision financially? You can make a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a Fairy Godfunder! (Heartfelt thanks to all my patrons, contributors, and godfunders!)

Living a fulfilling life: my piece in an UpJourney article


I’m pleased to announce that my writing has been featured in this UpJourney article as one of several experts on the topic of how to live a fulfilling life. You have to scroll down a ways to get to my segment, but the advice from those above (and below) me is very inspiring and helpful as well; if you need a boost today, take a few moments to browse the article!

In any case, I hope you’re all leading fulfilling lives at this moment in time. All the best to you in the new year!

Want to be notified of future blog posts? Use the green “sign up” button to subscribe!

Want to support my vision financially? You can make a one-time or monthly contribution, or even become a Fairy Godfunder! (Heartfelt thanks to all my patrons, contributors, and godfunders!)