Betty of Big Sur
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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.      
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

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