Teaching from the Heart–in the Freeze

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.”

~Lily Tomlin as “Edith Ann”



Back in Massachusetts for a winter-visit, my teacher-friends wake up early, lesson plans ready. Julie Bucceri meets her first group of 6th graders before 8 o’clock, and Stacey Hill leaves home by 6:45. She’ll pick up some neighbor kids and be standing in front of students by 7:10.

This week at Doherty High in Worcester, Stacey’s 9th graders talk about reasons for early puberty while her AP classes move on to genetics. But today, dressed in jeans and an “Envirothon” t-shirt over the layers, she and her team go on a field-trip (despite the below-freezing nip that reminds me why I no longer live in wonderful New England!) She’s happy for the change of pace since the days can feel repetitive. Continue reading “Teaching from the Heart–in the Freeze”

Allyndreth’s Move Toward Healing


If you can’t do anything about it,

why worry?

And if you can do something about it,

why worry?


“Do something!”

That’s what Allyndreth Stead, owner of the social business White Phoenix Acupuncture, says. An acupuncturist and Nationally Certified Herbalist, she provides treatment on a sliding-scale from her community-style practice in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland.

IMG_20131208_170916White Phoenix is a cozy place, and my first visit was unlike any medical experience I’d had in the United States: No big fancy desk for Susan, the assistant, and no private room for me. Almost immediately, I could see how many people were lying on a bed or sitting in a recliner, resting with eyes closed or talking quietly with Allyndreth–her ipad in hand as she took notes. Relaxing music played, and colorful cloths and lantern-balls softened the sound and warmed the atmosphere.

Though awkward and unsure during my first visit, I felt comfortable once I understood the set-up. I’ve never felt abandoned with needles stuck in my body, and if ever I need anything, Allyndreth or Susan respond quickly.

Unlike a typical doctor’s appointment where you show up at 1pm and leave an hour or so later, here the patient can rest for as long as she likes. No hurry, no worry. Patients are free to linger.

Continue reading “Allyndreth’s Move Toward Healing”

Celebrating Lives & 2014’s “3Ls”

ColumbiaRiver-h-crop1000This blog is dedicated to the celebration of people everywhere who are. . .

  • living with love
  • lighting up the lives of people around them, and
  • letting go of what they thought things should be in order to let them become whatever they need to become.

Years ago I wrote feature articles for a city newspaper. It was easy to find stories worth telling– inspiring people and projects to investigate. . .

  • Doug who discovered the Didgeridoo unexpectedly at a Saturday morning workshop in Seattle while on his way to ski the slopes north of Mt. Rainier;
  • Robert who taught writing workshops at the Mission in Tacoma and witnessed men finding new ways to approach their problems through words on the page;
  • Margot, an AmeriCorps Volunteer and all-around extraordinary woman, who met with Cambodian youth after school to help them learn and understand their native culture so they could get along better with parents–and thrive;
  • Pat, a chaplain in the oncology unit at Tacoma General Hospital, who worked to ease the pain for struggling cancer patients and their families.

Now, in 2014, a blog takes over to celebrate people, poetry, books, music and other ebbs and flows that light our lives.   

Some upcoming features:

  • Allyndreth began her studies at OCOM (Oregon School of Oriental Medicine) at age 48. She now owns the social business, White Phoenix Acupuncture, and is part of efforts  to make preventive healthcare affordable to all;
  • Pippa turned loss into a gift. Along with two other women, she co-created an organization in northwest Portland supporting homeless youth to find hope and better their lives.
  • Donna, like a cat with many lovely lives, most recently created the META Clinic in southeast Portland: While training new therapists through internships, this clinic offers counseling on a sliding-fee scale and an assortment of creative and relationship-building workshops.

2014’s “3Ls”

My dear friend, Stacey, asked the question that helped me to focus, “What about 2014? What are you up to?”

I settled on these “3 Ls” to bring me back when I’m losing my way:

o Love well. . .

    • what happens
      • the people in my life
        • from an open heart
          • with a willingness to let go

 o Light up. . .

  • lives around me
    • possibility
      • darkness
        • and let go of expectation

 o Let go

    • worry
      • wanting
        • a need to please
          • “trying” to get it right.


This blog will support the “3Ls”.

I invite you to check back soon–or subscribe. You can also interact and share your own motto or inspiration for 2014.

Thanks for the visit & may you feel ease & joy in your moments!