Betty of Big Sur
Betty of Big Sur

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26.03.2018
Betty Withrow
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  Spring is never quite the way you think it's going to be.  It starts off looking all mellow and warm, with gentle breezes, and then, turns cold and damp, with blustery wind that says, "I am not yet done telling you something."  Buds begin to form, the first sprouts of the first flowers come up and look around at the world, still wet and chilly.   Here in the mountains, there may be hard frost in the morning, and in the afternoon, the chorus of frogs rejoicing in the moisture and the chance to jump around. It is gentle in the middle and rough around the edges, or else the other way round...seeming to promise great things, then taking them back again or telling us that we must wait to see if they are really going to happen. For me, the spring also holds a bit of melancholy, a kind of wistfulness that doesn't really show itself except in bits and pieces.  The beginning...does this mean there will be an end, too?  Of course it does, but is there really a beginning or an end?  What are the buds saying now about the harvest that will come when they have flowered, fruited, ripened, fallen or been gathered?   I walk around looking at the displays of nature.  The flowers have a language of their own.  They rise and throw color into the world, are blown over, or rained into rags, and they don't seem to care a bit about any of it. The questions arrive like the birds....all the cyclic ways of nature, the emotions, the realizations,  come rushing in with the new vitality and all the clumsiness of a new puppy. I am gathering my thoughts for the next writing retreat, thinking of my ideas and how to make them visible.  I take extra care to think about my clients and what their needs are.  And in this year, after going through so many difficulties during last year, I am above all grateful for the chance to begin again.  Life feels new, and full, and I am stronger for having bent in the wind, like the grass. Light the Fire is on April 28th at Asilomar.   We will talk about the creative process, how to make it a natural part of life, and how to light up communication by making direct contact with intuitive forces supported by solid knowledge of the laws of style.  I will share information about creating strong sentences and paragraphs, and provide solid information about nurturing your creative process. Attendance is limited to six.  If you would like to join us, please click on the link below for more information about registering for this unique opportunity to meet with other creative people in the magical setting of Asilomar.  www.thewriterslaunchpad.com/light-the-fire-writing-retreat/ Light the Fire is a special time for me, too.  Being in the company of people who are creative and sharing our essence is the best part of life.  What a blessing to see and to know one another.  What does spring mean for you?  Are you ready to rush out into the rain, and gather the daffodils quickly before the moisture makes them transparent and fragile, to rejoice in their yellowness?  Does something stir in your soul that wants to come out and be known? Here, as the birds come in groups and the grasses begin to rise, the feeling of newness is so potent that it makes me feel raw and vulnerable in a way that lets me know I am truly alive.   
18.03.2018
Betty Withrow
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The picture above is of a place that no longer exists.  I had a large lamp with stained glass panels that had been give to me.  It didn't really suit my decor as it was, and yet I enjoyed the colors.  So for a while I turned it upside down and used it to create a kind of doll house, carpeted by a piece of needlepoint which was like it; resembling the lamp in that I had no place for it in  my day to day life, but it spoke to my imagination.  The tiny room sat in my office window as a place for passing ideas and inspirations to alight and refresh.  I enjoyed having the colors change as the sun moved past. And then, it was time to let go of it.  I felt that the little structure had served its purpose, and I wanted someone to have the pleasure of seeing the lamp lit up, doing what it was created to do.  So I passed it on.   The little interval when ideas stopped by in the tiny room was refreshing, and I was able to act on some of them.  They have taken visible form, or else they have found other places to land, where   they had someone to receive them who could help them take form.   Either way, hosting ideas was, and is, fun.  Ideas are all around us, waiting for someone to notice them, to listen and feel, and take action.  They are just outside the visible world, with messages to make our lives more intense, more relaxing, or perhaps, more meaningful. I have other objects and visuals that I enjoy that serve the same purpose...bringing  happy thoughts and feelings into my mind and heart.  Inspiration can come from anywhere.  Providing a place in your life that serves to help you notice it can be a source of enjoyment, and a powerful stimulus for the imagination. It doesn't have to be elaborate. 
16.02.2018
Betty Withrow
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Sometimes life feels a bit like a journey through a maze.  You have a general idea that somewhere ahead is the thing that you are seeking, the "reason" behind it all.  What exactly is it that you are seeking, and where is the correct path to get you to that place where you find it? You model of reality is the guidance system that you work with, day in and day out, to find your way.  What you believe to be true becomes your truth, either quickly, or perhaps slowly, bit by bit.  How accurate is your map?  That's one question.   Another one is, are you living in the map, believing it completely,  or in the day that you have....today? In the picture above, a  map has been overlaid with another complete one.  Neither of them is complete.  Neither one really takes you the whole way to the destination without a "leap of faith", going into the unknown to find the missing bits of information. It's by making the choice that you define how things will go.  When you decide to go this way or that, what is it that you choose to feel is important?   Here's something I wrote about the way we make decisions based on what we value. http://sixtyandme.com/how-the-decisions-you-make-communicate-your-priorities-and-values-after-60/ When you really know what you are cherishing in your heart, there is no right or wrong decision.  The reason that you made the choice you did is what takes you to the next place.  How will you know that you are on the "right" path?  by knowing that you are living truly in the things that touch your heart, and those of others.
19.01.2018
Betty Withrow
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January!  What a great time of the year, when a sense of renewal begins to arrive.  The days are getting longer, and the very first buds of summer plants begin to form.  Some of them aren't even waiting for spring, they are already blooming!  As if too provide visual warmth in the crisp weather, warm colors appear.  It's the moment of red, yellow, and of white. The whole situation cries out for letting go and for starting fresh.   I'm so excited about this year!  New projects and opportunities are coming up like the peony shoots you see at upper left, jumping out of the ground with verve and vitality, expanding into the light.   Narcissus reminds me to reflect carefully on what I have to offer, and how to receive with grace.   Pineapple sage with its many hummingbird visitors is pure joy.   And the "red rider flower" (whose name I don't know)  is coming forward to announce that it's not all about summer...winter holds great treasures, too. So, this year I will be speaking, offering workshops, hosting visitors, going out into the world to do business.  With a full heart I offer my thanks to you for reading this.  My hope is that the enthusiasm is contagious! What would it be like to step right into that kind of enthusiasm, and make planning into a fun thing to do? How much more enjoyment could you get out of life by  tapping into your creative powers,  and making the things that you want to see happen  actually come to pass?   ⇯⇴ Want to find out?  ↬⇻  So do I!  Let's DO this!   Click the link above,  and schedule a time for us to talk about becoming all that your imagination says you can be.. how to get there with ease, and grace, and having fun doing it.
11.12.2017
Betty Withrow
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This is one of my favorite pictures.  It's a portrait of the Magic City, one which I don't know the name of, or even what country it is in.  It lives in my dreams, and my dreams live in it.  It'a a reminder of how we are all reflections of reflections.  Each bit of light, when reflected, continues on into the Universe, with the same message as the original one, altered only by perception.  This picture came to me on the Internet one day, when I wasn't looking for it, and has stayed with me.  I'm so grateful that it showed up. The creative process is deep and mysterious, like that of reflection.  An idea can appear seemingly out of nowhere, and take on such a strong energy that it takes over your whole life.  If it is strong enough, it can influence the course of many other lives, as well.  The way you express the idea and the feeling you put into it make it come to life. The picture below was taken of my reflection, showing me as who I imagine myself to be when I look in the mirror.  It's accurate in its way, but only to a point.   In other words, I never see myself, the way the rest of the world sees me, except in a photo, a frozen image of another moment.  what do I look like in this moment, to others?  I can never really know.  It's a bit of a jolt when you realize that you have been seeing your mirror self, and not the self that the rest of the Universe sees.  What is alike, and what is different?  And on it goes... Thinking again about the Magic City, the one where dreams live...What would it be like to get deeper into the reflection, and to step through it, into a new way of seeing yourself and the world, one that holds more freedom?  How would you change?   Stop by at my web site for some fresh ideas... All my best as we approach the Solstice! Hope to see you soon! Betty
15.08.2017
Betty Withrow
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Here it comes!  The first fruits of the year are shown in this photo.  Since it was taken, more boxes and baskets are being filled and in turn they are filling up the kitchen.  This is the fulfilled promise of the trees as they perservered through the rain and the wind.  The blossoms have completed themselves.  Within the fruits are the seeds that could create many more trees. It reminds me of one of the great sayings of the poet Rumi, who said, "gratitude is the true fruit.  Abundance is only the husk.  I must pause and reflect as I gather fruit early in the morning every day.  Some of the trees are heavily laden, while others don't have any fruit at all.  Late frost changed the picture this year.  There's a lot of fruit as it is, and the fact that not everything bore this year is a blessing!  Too much of a good thing is NOT a good thing. IN turn, I think about how the season is already shifting.  The fruit is proof of that.  After the trials of last winter, I wonder how it is going to go this time around the sun.  I am already preparing for possible outcomes.  It's a time of deep emotional searching. Putting in extra supplies is part of the mountain way of life.  So I go over my checklist, and see what to add to the stores.  I figure out, too, what needs to be removed so that there is more room for what is best, and not just for what is good enough.  What is just hanging around for no particular reason, having outlived its usefulness in my life?  Out it goes.  Let someone else enjoy it. I'm getting ready for the autumn writing retreat,  the Light the Fire event,  and feel excited about the possibilities.   Who will join me for this great day of  reflection and of sharing?   What will we learn together?  Will YOU join me there? On September 16th, just before the equinox,  it's time to renew and reflect,  to think about what is next.   What harvest will come to us?   Stories are our heritage, our harvest, that we share with the world in an unbroken stream from our earliest ancestors.  Stories are the way that all knowledge passed from one generation to anotherfor millenia.  Story is more important than ever now, as we struggle to find meaning and ways to live in a fast-changing world.  we are inindated with information, and how are we to create a story out of it?  Like beads on a necklace, the events of each day are the seeds of story.  One story leads to another.  A story that lands in the right place can multiply many times over, and create a beautiful harvest of meaning. I'll be focusing on the power of story, and how you can create deeper interest through opening up the power of language. This will also cover the elements of story creation and how they fit together to create a complete whole. We'll have time for questions and answers, and I will also show you how to build creative time into your day in a completely natural process that makes every part of your life better. Here's the link to register:   http://www.thewriterslaunchpad.com/light-the-fire-writing-retreat
26.06.2017
Betty Withrow
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Salad days are here!  Above you see my tiny vegetable garden.  It's been so nourishing to put it together.  When my kids were small, I grew vast amounts of food....row crops, big runs of tomatoes, dairy animals, and small fruit trees.   Lots of work, you say?  Add three sons to the mix, and you begin to glimpse the immense nature of what I am still working to get into order.  Building, managing, coping...I really don't know how I did it!  To much, too far, too many...Nature has her say, here, and I do what I can to respond.  This is a different time. And that's a good thing! Now, the fruit trees are huge and the garden is tiny.  I am growing peas, chard, beets, cabbage, tomatoes, basil, potatoes, and spinach, all in this little space above.  The white pompoms in the photo are onions going to seed.  There will be as much as I can eat, with extra.  Right now it's also transplanting season, when I thin out the plants and put some of them into the small planter boxes I am using.  No gophers! This is the first year for a long time that I am growing vegetables.  The change in scale is very refreshing.  I'm gaining fresh insights about life from working at a different level.  It doesn't take a whole lot of effort to keep it going, so I can really enjoy it. On the right is the compost maker.  It has two chambers, creating usable soil in short periods of time. I'm really enjoying the cycle of taking food and garden scraps and using them to create more food! I'm taking the time to be with the things I love, every day. Do you "wish you had time"  to do the things you love? Are you putting them off, thinking something else is more important? Time is NOT something you FIND! it's something you CREATE!  Stop putting off your own life!   Make it happen the way YOU want it to! Join me for the Procrastination Busting Breakout on August 1, 2017, at 12 Noon! Get the tools you need to create the kind of time that you want,  to do the things that are important to YOU! Templates to create  strategies that WORK. Make creative life a HABIT>>>>  Insights into how to create and maintain a habit that serves you,  in getting the show on the road, and keeping it there!  Make it Happen! Register here: http://www.thewriterslaunchpad.com/procrastination-busting-breakout/   Get out of the Black hole of Procrastination, and make your life light up! Get Escape Velocity to take you Further! ONLY from the Writer's Launchpad! Be more effective, happier,  more at ease in your day.  Don't stay HERE.... ~~~~GO HERE!~~~~ ^^^The Procrastination Busting Breakout^^^ SEE YOU THERE!
20.05.2017
Betty Withrow
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There is no limit to the number of colors that Nature has to offer!  And here, above, is a small sample of what the artists have chosen to display while expressing exuberance, such as that of this season. The above display was put together by Kaffe Fassett, world renowned color expert, for the spring season last year,.  When I found it, it reminded me of the old saying that "Hope springs eternal in the human breast!"   It was a great honor to have my hats chosen as the middle of the display.  I take color to be a reflection of the deep wealth of the soul.  When I make something for others to enjoy, it's a personal thing.  The head is the most sacred part of the body.  I am deeply aware that the hats I make cover the heads of people who are thoughtful, and creative.  When someone purchases something I have made, it is a gift for both of us. Spring is off to a roaring start!  Big Sur is coming into a time of blossom, of green shoots, of bird son, of frog song.  Deer are everywhere.  As a working artist, I know how important it is to nourish the contemplation and reflection that support true creativity.   My work as a hostess is an extension of interpersonal expression that is the underlying force of true art. Do you want to get out into the country and nourish your creative spirit?  Does taking a few days outside your usual life sound like something that would serve you and your  creativity?  I welcome you to visit this beautiful location in the mountains, and I will offer you the kind of support you want, to help you gain the relaxation that will feed your spirit. Get in touch with me about how you can step into the spectacular beauty of the mountains in a comfortable way, with studio space and privacy.  There's a time and a place for everything.  Make this YOUR time.  Make time for yourself.  Step away from the idea that "ordinary" even exists.  Re-connect with your own deepest force, and find the inspiration that is waiting for you.  Listen to the voices of the forest. Hit the link below to talk with me about what I can offer you. Let's design a retreat for your special energy.
06.05.2017
Betty Withrow
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Ahh, spring!  At last, the days are getting longer, the frogs are singing their songs in the evening.  The first sprouts bring hope, inspiration, and show the power of hope and perseverance.  This was the most rain I have seen for many years, here on the mountain.  Located in the bowl of Mill Creek, this land gets the benefit of shelter from Cone Peak, which translates into clouds bouncing back to return with more rain, rather than blowing over the edge of the Santa Lucias.  We got plenty of moisture, the trees and grasses are overjoyed. The growth continues....the grasses get taller.  Before more than three weeks have passed, the paths fill up with vegetation and the simple act of crossing the front yard becomes a feat of picking a path through waist-high grasses!  The photo above shows the wisteria which is just now showering lavender and white, poised above the cerinthe, with its dark purple  Cerinthe came up thickly this year and presents a great contrast to the call lilies in the back.  This is a small sample of the jungle that I call my yard. Fortunately, I am blessed with having my pathways weed-whacked so that I can see the beauty of the fruit trees and of the land itself, sculpted out of the huge mass of growth.  It makes a great metaphor for creativity.  Life is like a garden, with new things coming forth every day to be seen and noticed. So many ideas, and where does the energy to fulfill them come from?  How can you tell when something is really a great idea, and when it needs to be cut down so that you can see what is really all around you?  What would it be like to KNOW what ideas really are in line with your own best self, what you REALLY want?   And to take action on them, with support that helps you stay on track?  Want to find out?  Click on the link above and schedule a complimentary session to find out how I can support you and your creative process.
15.04.2017
Betty Withrow
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As spring begins, and the sun peeks through the clouds often enough that it feels real, I am so grateful for every bit of the growth and change that it represents. The first thing that happens is a sense of wonder, of awe, of vast relief that the season is opening up and going outside doesn't require rain gear!  Buds are appearing.  Ferns, like the ones at left, are unfurling their beautiful shapes and colors.  Flowers are appearing in great abundance this year after the record amount of rainfall.  Roads are opening, difficulties are easing. Then, I begin to notice how MUCH growth there is!  Suddenly, the grasses are tall, and the paths are full of growth that will have to be handled, somehow.  Could it be that there's MORE TO DO??? Who, exactly, is going to do it all?   For not only is there a huge garden to tend, but a huge mission to accomplish.  I am firmly committed to making the most of this precious life, and helping others to do the same.   I begin to have the feeling that I am this tiny person in the scheme of things,  that only by reaching out and finding others of like mind will I ever be able to do even a portion of what my heart and mind know is possible.  There is so much beauty, so much potential, so many people who have vision and are seeking for ways to express it. And so, I write about it.  For it is by putting my thoughts into words, and sending them out into the world, that I find those who understand what is in my heart, connect with them, and find the community that I seek.   It is through writing that I offer my gifts, my commitments, my purpose, to the world. What would it be like to connect with your highest potential and really express your truth in the most powerful way ever devised by the human mind?  Language, the thing that gives us the power to imagine and to transcend, to become more than we think we are, can be the tool that takes you where you want to go.   If you KNOW that it's a big deal to take on expressing yourself, you are on to something.  Your message is big, maybe so big that it seems TOO big.  Break it down into little bites.  Take the first step on the great journey.  Open up and let the world know the things that only YOU know, about the wisdom you have gained in life, the skills you have, what's in your heart. I want to help you use your inner strengths and gifts to help the world.  Contact me to talk about how I can support you in doing that.      

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Betty of Big Sur, Coaching Life, Big Sur, CA

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