Betty of Big Sur
Betty of Big Sur

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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.      
26.03.2017
Betty Withrow
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This is what healthy forest moss looks like!  Finally, this year, the colors in the forest look vibrant and healthy.  That bright green color that I treasure, on the early growth of moss, can be found in many places where it has been absent for too long.   Think of the tenacity it shows, hanging on through everything so that it can do THIS. As spring is bounding to life, the animals in the forest are coming out of hiding and making themselves seen or heard.  In the very early mornings, the songs of birds are deafening in their variety and enthusiasm.  There is so much to eat around here that the quail actually waddle like ducks. It's a time of hope, of new beginnings.  For me, it's a time of much travel, as the closure of Highway 1 means that I now travel many more miles each week on my way to and from Monterey.  Once the highway opens, there will be even more driving!  I'll be going up as far as the place where the bridge used to be, making deliveries, and turning around.  And then, also driving out to go to Monterey.  How is this going to be possible? I miss the drive along the coast, and my friends, during this time.  It's a challenge to see new ways of doing things, find new projects, new relationships.  All in all, I do find that my creativity is being stimulated to a terrific degree as I make my way through the uneven terrain of this moment.  I feel very much reduced in size by the actions of Nature, and humbled by the grace that has sustained me, the kind thoughts and words and deeds of friends.  I feel that the vastness of what we are experiencing at this time is too much to put into words. Nevertheless, I am doing my best to do that.  I know that I am meant to write about the unexpected, and its gifts to us.  This blog is one place to do that.  As spring opens up the channels and releases the floodgates of abundance that we see in each blossom, strategies to fit writing a new book into my life are also appearing. I know some of the things I will do.  And I know that I will think of others as I go along.   This one thing is for sure:  I am not going to "find the time".   That doesn't happen.    I am going to Make the Time. Running several businesses, raising a ranch, taking care of my family when they were kids...I learned how to do it. Want to know HOW???? Let's talk about it!   Click on the link above to schedule a complimentary talk about how to create time. Enjoy your day! Betty  
11.03.2017
Betty Withrow
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You know the saying, "leave no stone unturned", don't you?  It's all about looking for the less obvious things in life, like hidden doors to unknown dimensions, or buried treasure. You know they are there, but the exact way to find them is not always so apparent. The hidden gifts of life are right under our noses!  That huge rock that is right in the middle of the path, the one you have to walk around to get where you are going, is guarding something.  It has a message for you.   What if everything you ever wanted was right under that rock? You'd find a way to turn it over, right?   You'd try ANYthing to move it.   How would it be if you asked the rock to move, so that you could look under it?  It might work, and then again, it might not.  What else could you do?  Would you go find somebody to help you move the rock?  Would you shrug your shoulders and say "Oh, well, it just wasn't meant to be"?  What about getting a shovel and digging around it, using the leverage you could gain, and gravity? Or would you find your hidden superpowers (there they are, right in the bottom of my purse, must have ignored them a million times)? I vote for the superpowers!   Right now, you have the power to COMMAND that rock to move.  Just for the sake of the vision, let's say you just did that.  What's underneath the rock?  Are you happy that you found all those hidden desires made into realities?  Or, are you saying, "gee, I should have asked for more than that"? How about going for the biggest dream you can imagine as being something that you not only can accomplish, but that has been waiting for the whole life of the Universe (4.4 billion years) for you to show up and claim it? Do me a quick favor, since you already have gotten this far.  Write down that dream.  Look at it.  Believe in it.  Breathe life into it. That's what I ask of you right now.  Believe you are the one that you really are.  Write down your dream.   Write out your story.   Make your move.   It's not too early, and it's not too late.    It's time, Now.  Let's make that more and more real, every day.
04.03.2017
Betty Withrow
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The view above is from Nacimiento Road looking toward Cone Peak.  It's down the hill from the place where the road bed is currently being repaired.  If driving uphill, it marks the place where a sharp haripin turn indicates that the ascent will be steep and dramatic in places.  I love this little spot, where there is a small pullout and a feeling of being sheltered.  A small path, which I have never taken, leads off into the woods.  There is an air of mystery about it.  Where does it go?  What is there to see?  what hidden mountain vista is visible only from that one spot?   Make time for your message to come out and meet the world.  I can help you create that kind of time.  Curious what I mean?  Schedule a time to go over how you can create a different kind of time. Enjoy the season!   You can do more than you think you can. Best, Betty
18.02.2017
Betty Withrow
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If you stop on the road above my place on the way out to the ridge road, looking south, you will see this view of Plaskett Ridge.  Between your vantage point and the ridge are miles of rugged terrain with only the smallest trails along the way.  The deer and other wild animals know their way around here quite well.  Coming around the corner, there may be a deer or a young lion in the road, dashing into what appears to be an impenetrable mass of brush, knowing exactly which way to go.  Some of the trails that do exist are passable by humans, but most are not.  The standing dead trees in the middle of the picture bear witness to what the forest looked like in years past, before the fires of 1996 and of 2008.  Now, the immature growth is so thick that the whole character of the area has changed.  As spring is now just around the corner, signs of new growth are appearing everywhere.  This year has been wetter than any for at least a decade.  It's been a challenge to handle the many closures of Highway One, the staying indoors with the hammering of the rain and the howling of the wind.  It's been good for creativity, for ingenuity, and for developing a stronger sense of mission.  I am grateful for all of it.   The beginnings of a new book are making themselves felt.  New ideas are popping up everywhere!  It's time to clear the garden, open up the path, let go of the old so the new can grow.  I am excited about what the new season will be like.  The wildflowers are going to be out of this world! Now, I am planning to open up my hospitality offerings for the season, and I am reaching out to those who would make the most of it.    My studio fills up quickly, and before it does, I want to offer you a great opportunity. Do you have a writing project that you are committed to, and find that making the time to make it a reality is hard to do?  Would you like another set of eyes, another mind, to help you round it up? I am happy to offer the support that can give you the energy to make your project come to life.   Join me for an exclusive retreat here on the mountain, where we will focus on what you want to accomplish, nourishing your spirit and putting together the bones of your  book, short story, blog or newsletter. Craft a plan, work on your drafts, get feedback that can make your writing have greater depth and be more engaging.  Relax in the country and take time to enjoy yourself.  I am offering:  One on one support, focusing on YOU and your project, so that you can reach your writing goals.   Here's what you can accomplish:  Learn the best ways to Capture your audience's attention. Put together your information so that it makes sense to  you and your reader. Tap into your deep creative energy and open the flow Get resources to get your work out in the best way Follow through on your promise to yourself!   Reserve your spot NOW. Only two of these exclusive retreats will be offered in 2017. Get in touch with me now, to reserve your spot.  You will be glad you did!
04.02.2017
Betty Withrow
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This conjunction of the planets took place some time ago, during the summer months when life seems easy and times feel relaxing. Not like how it feels this winter in the mountains!   It's good to remember, right about now, that winter doesn't last forever.  There has been more rain here in Big Sur than we have seen for a number of years, and the challenges of mountain life are many.  High winds and massive rainfall have downed trees and closed roads.  There is a need to conserve resources, as conditions feel uncertain.  There is no telling what lies around the corner on that mountain road!  It could be a pile of rocks, or a fallen tree, or a wild animal, or possibly just a stretch of open road, with no drama at all. When going out, I carry with me what I may need in case the unexpected comes up.  It's a time of recognizing the dominance of Nature and the power of allowing for the unknown.   The voice of the wind, the chill in the air, all contribute to a mental atmosphere that squeezes the mind and emotions like ripened fruit to reveal the creative force that brought it all into being.  The season calls for writing!  As I contemplate the life of the elements which is so expressive at this season, I wonder how this feeling that winter brings, the feeling of being small, is helping me grow.   I wonder how I used to do this back in the day when there were not the options to communicate that I have now.   Surely I am a different person from the one I was during those years.    Even so, as I look back at things I wrote, things I made, earlier in life, there is a common thread of brightness that runs through all the ways I have expressed my truths.  That is the feeling that I want to grow more of in my life, reaching out into the world, and also taking this time, this sacred season of nourishment and rest, into my soul, letting things become what they are meant to be.   I am only a small human in a vast wilderness, and yet I have a whole Universe that allows me to see and feel as much of it as I can grasp.  How important it is to grow and to become as much as possible in life.  This gift of life that we have is meant to be shared, cherished, communicated.  So as I am feeling the smallness of being, that is so apparent here in the wild, I feel a hugeness around me that whispers, "Be ready when the moment comes, to arise, to become, and go out to meet the bright place, show it, become it.  Tell others what you feel.  Reach out and find the connections, and grow them." That's what I call the Voice of the Mountains. You can never be alone.  There is no such thing.  There is a story in each life. Each moment holds a treasure.  Each person is a unique expression of the great love that we call life.  Your life is a gift.  How will you share it with others?  What is your story? Are you ready to step out and share your wisdom?   Hit the link above and schedule a time to talk with me about how I can support you in bringing out your story and making it shine.  Many blessings! Betty

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