Category Archives: jonas watch

Heal My Voice: Inspired by Photography and Doodling

Heal My Voice launched the first official project at a women gathering in Baltimore/DC in May 2011.

In June, twenty-one women said, yes, to a nine month project of writing, speaking and leadership growth. We spent the first month listening for the story that wants to emerge.

Doodle from your heart.

 In July, we added Doodling, inspired by the colorful, creative, Melissa McClain. (We were focused on Discovering the story.) You can find Melissa on Facebook to learn more about the Doodling Challenge every month. .

In August, I am going to combine the Doodling with Photography. This month in Heal My Voice we are Exploring the story. The other night, I was weaving around Facebook and found something called the August Break 2011 on Amy Miyamoto’s page. (

Amy wrote a blog about how she was joining a “No rules. No pressure. August Break from regular blogging.”  The idea was created by Susannah Conway. (Link to her blog:

Words from Susannah’s blog:

“Okay, here’s the plan for the August Break: you simply share one photo (or more!) per day on your blog – Monday to Friday, or every day. Or whenever you feel moved to share. Using any camera – DSLR, compact, Polaroid, Holga, iPhone (my choice), Instax, film or digital – with or without words – anything goes! – for the whole of August. No pressure – just looking at August through your camera lens as a way to be more present this summer. And to have a little break from the pressures and expectations of regular blogging.

There are NO RULES, people! Just sunshine (hopefully) and a bit of fun. And lots of lovely photos to look at.”

So, I am totally inspired by the combination of the two. As I walk around Toluca Lake, CA every day, I am always inspired by words, nature, people and more. I am thinking about Doodling the Photograph of the Day.

Join me for some creative expansion during the month of August. Or anytime… Post your doodles on Facebook: Heal My Voice Page or Jonas Watch Page.

Interactive E-book Club…Series 1

Interactive E-book Club…Series 1
(Sept 2010-Sept 2011)

September 6, 2010

Here is a lasered blog with the membership details and two video links (at bottom of blog) describing the essence and purpose of the club.

Membership is $22 for the Series (For a short period of time the price is $17)

*You will receive 8-10 chapters per month, e-mailed in pdf form.

*At the end of Dec 2010, April 2011 and Sept 2011, you will receive a complete E-book in pdf document. (3 full length e-books)

Book 1- 24,000 mile journey Part 1 (Approx 40 chapters)
Book 2- 24,000 mile journey Part 2 (Approx 40 chapters)
Book 3- The journey of leaving Maryland to move to California  Part 1 (Approx 40 chapters)

* Reflective questions at the end of each chapter to help you activate your own dreams and explore your own inner journey.

*Monthly survey: Your ideas, your input, voting for the book cover and book title, and more…

*Monthly drawing with prizes like books, posters and goodies.

*Teleseminar type event on ustream, blog talk radio or telephone conference 3 times during the year. Scheduled after each completed book. Topics will emerge out of discussions and surveys. For example, “How to create and follow a dream”

*The Club is for all Ages. Wisdom from teens, adults and elders is ALL welcome! (posting a video with examples of wisdom from all ages on this journey. Coming soon!)

*Facebook Page: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey Series.

Watch the videos to understand more about the IDEA! Thanks for watching… (See below)

Go to my formspring account, if you have more questions:

Introduction to An Interactive E-Book Club: Click Here for Introduction

Membership details: Click Here for Membership Details

Longer blog with excerpts from the book:

Click here to sign up now!

Discover your own inner journey in an interactive e-book series

Discover your own inner journey in an interactive e-book series
September 3, 2010

I love the fall! New ideas! Bursts of energy! And a preview of the coming year. During Sept, the month before my birthday, this always happens. Ideas come to me and I work on them over the next year. Maybe it is the conditioning of the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. Maybe it is seasonal. Maybe it is related to my birthday and the promise of a new year!

Whatever it is, 2 project ideas have arrived! I am going to tell you about one of them today.

Many of you know I traveled to 45 Jonas Brothers concerts during the summer of 2009. Hannah, my youngest daughter and I drove 24,000 miles in 11 weeks.

A few days ago, I surrendered to the impulse to share this book. The book involves 45 Jonas Brothers concerts, but there is a deeper story underneath. I felt called to do something that summer that made no logical sense and I lived on the edge financially to do it for three months.  Every time I was ready to give up, be responsible, come back to Baltimore, there was a paradigm shift.

*An invitation to dinner in Portland from a mother who was following the journey
*A 3-minute conversation with a woman in Minneapolis telling me the blogs were a lifeline to her 13 year old daughter
*A job to film Jonas fans playing Bop-it
*A mother who became a lifeline to my daughter in Los Angeles
*Tickets and hotel rooms that appeared from musicians and a bus driver who was driving the back up band.

It became a quest. With limited money,  I had to think differently to make it to the end.

Isn’t that what we are all being called to do right now? Think in a different way about all of the details in our lives. Everything in the world is changing. Jobs, housing, banking, education, government and healthcare.  This is not the time to give up. This is the time to dig deeper, get a new perspective, awaken our creativity, and collaborate with one another.

Here is the beginning of my vision. It will continue to evolve this year:

I am creating a membership called An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey series (this came to me as I drove through the mountains in 2008. Another story!)

The membership time period is Oct 1, 2010-Sept 30, 2011. The cost is $22. (If you sign up now, the cost is $17 and you will receive the first excerpt of the book on Sept 22, 2010)

Three e-books will be released this year:

Book 1-45 concerts Part 1
Book 2-45 concerts Part 2
Book 3-Living on the Road: A One-year journey

Here is what you do:

1. Go to this link to sign up:

2. Every month 8-10 chapters of the current book will be e-mailed to you on the 22nd. I will mail the first chapters on Sept 22. It will be a pdf file. You can read it on your computer or print it out.

3. A survey will arrive 2 weeks later asking you for your opinion about things in the book.

4. Every month there will be something for you to vote on- Title of the book, Cover design, Book structure. I will supply the content of the book, but you will be building it with me. There is a book series called, “Choose Your Own Adventure.” There may be elements of that added to the book. Sections about making choices in our lives.

5. There is a Facebook page to join called An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey Series. There will be discussions. Anyone can join the FB page, but the books will only be shared with people who have a membership.

6. More ideas will emerge! And many of them will come from you.

7. If anyone has a business or a website, there will be space in the back of the book to advertise. E-mail me at for advertising info.

8. If you have more questions about the program before signing up, write in the comments section of this blog or go to my formspring account.

9. A monthly drawing with prizes like posters, books and goodies. More ideas will emerge…


Here are some of the lines from the book- Part 1:

*Concert 5-:  I started thinking about the impact we can each have on the people and the world around us. I talked with many fans who felt that the Jonas Brothers music had healed their hearts. They felt sad or unloved in their lives. This sadness could be from the loss of a loved one or an illness or a disappointment in life.

As I sang the songs in the concert tonight, I began to imagine that I was a light beam in the world. I was feeling the love and the music and then I was imagining that I could spread that love to the section I was in and then to the rest of the arena and out into the world.

What if that is true? What if whenever we felt love we began to radiate love to the world? Try this. Think of a situation where you have felt love. Feel the love and imagine that it can flow out of you, like breathing in and out. Breathe in the love. Breathe out the love. As you feel the healing of you own heart, breathe that out into the world and then breathe it in again. Maybe that is the greatest gift of following the Jonas Brothers. The love we feel radiated to ourselves and each other.

*I ask myself, “Why can’t I trust life to support me? Why must I worry and fear that things will not work out? Why am I holding onto the details of life so tightly when I have so much proof that I am supported?

*Am I here to watch the movie of my life or am I here for the ride? I choose the ride.

*Concert 6- Tacoma, Washington. I needed silence. My mind was racing with questions and I wanted to find a stillness to hear the answers. For me the silence is best in nature. I take a quiet walk or sit and watch the birds, the flowers, the trees, the wind, the clouds and the sky. As I sit in that still connection between myself and something greater than myself, the questions begin to appear.

*(talking about the impact of songs from the bands traveling with the Jonas Brothers) From the Honor Society is the song, “See U in the Dark.” This is stirring something in me that is ready for the next chapter in my life. I am closing the chapter of homeschooling Mom. Widow of Hurley. Baltimore resident. I am excited to move into the next chapter and it is scary at the same time. The words from the song, “I’ll never see you the same, The veil has been lifted, now I see you’re gifted, My whole perspective has changed.” This summer I want to explore the questions, “What are my gifts? What is the next step for me? How do I support Hannah in the last two years of school and begin to explore my own new life?” What’s next?

*Concert 9: Provo, Utah. My victory is your victory. My YES! to the Universe, is your YES! to the Universe. My adventure leads you to your adventure.

It takes courage to step out of your comfort zone and risk everything. I am learning to relax more on this evolutionary edge and follow the ideas and the guidance. Every step leads me to the next step.

*This is funny. As I write this blog, the ad on my Facebook page in this moment reads, “Be more than a Leader. Be an influential leader. Learn how to create solutions that make a difference!”


 I hope you will join me on the journey this year, as we create something together. Here is the link to sign up:

Day 22: On the Road- Nick Jonas Week Part 2

Jan 30, 2010 Berkeley, California.
Last concert of the NickJ winter tour AND Hannah’s Birthday.

Happy 17h Birthday, Hannah!!!!

By arriving early, we had six or seven hours to hang out and explore. Berkeley was a place I had read about for years. I had always wanted to hang out there.  It was a dream come true to be here!

It was gorgeous, sunny weather and there was lots of time to walk and explore the city. The street vendors brought back memories of being 13 again. Same jewelry: leather hair pieces, shell jewelry, metal chokers with beads. Was time standing still or was it a turn on the wheel? The same fashions from the 60’s and 70″s back in fashion again!

In my exploration of the town, I found a restaurant called Indian Palace with a buffet of Indian food; a coffee shop in one of the buildings on campus; and a study hall in the student union area with a diverse group of students, homeless people and Jonas fans. It felt like this was a community where anyone could be anything they want to be. We were all welcomed onto campus.

I saw so many people I had met at Jonas Brothers concerts over the last two years. I ran into Mikey and Michael from the Verizon Wireless recording studio on wheels.  I hadn’t seen them since last August when they joined another music tour. Nick had requested the studio bus for the day in Berkeley. He had been writing music during this tour. Maybe he was recording the song Stay that he first introduced in DC a few weeks ago.

I can’t remember the names of everyone I saw in Berkeley, but there were conversations, hugs and memories and connections. I met some new people and we shared our passion for Nick and the Jonas Brothers and the Administration.

Hannah tweeted a ticket request for me on twitter. I did not have a ticket when we arrived and the box office didn’t have tickets yet. She found someone who sold us a ticket for $20. Thanks to the Jonas fan with the extra ticket!

The venue was really cool. It reminded me of the Meyerhoff in Baltimore where the Symphony orchestra plays. There were tiered seats on either side leading up to the balcony areas. I always felt like royalty when we attended the school programs at the Meyerhoff. Susan Gardener, a friend, would arrange for group seats for the home schoolers and we would sit in the tiered seats.

My seat at this concert was all the way at the top. When I arrived at my seat, there were two girls sitting together. One of them was in my seat. I recognized them because I met them earlier in the day.  They wanted to sit together and asked if I would switch seats with one of them. Of course! I was more than willing to do that. I gave one of the girls my ticket and she gave me hers.

The usher helped me find the seat. Well, surprise, surprise! Her seat was 15 rows closer and in one of the tiers. What a gift! The seat was at the beginning of a tier and there was no one in front of me! I felt like I was dancing with the band all night. THANK YOU JONAS FAN!

Side view across from my seat. I love the tiered seating! :

My view of the stage:

NickJ on guitar:


NickJ on piano

Tommy Barbarella, keyboard (Prince’s New Power Generation band):

Sonny Thompson, lead guitar (Prince’s New Power Generation band):

Michael Bland, drums (Prince’s New Power Generation band):

 John Fields, bass guitar (music producer for the Jonas Brothers and many others and multi-instrumentalist)- this picture was on Jan 29

The Administration gathering with NickJ for an official last photo with Rob Hoffman, the Jonas photographer.

This was the last show of the tour. Here is the difference between this show and the last night in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, the last night was the celebrity extravaganza. The Jonas Brothers on the stage together. During the week there were stars showing up every night. The Honor Society. The stars of Camp Rock 2, the movie, the Jonas Brothers filmed last fall. The stars from the JONAS TV show. Celebrities and stars and the celebration of this winter tour with family and peers from the entertainment industry. 

In Berkeley it was a celebration and closure for NickJ and the Administration band with their fans. They had been on a journey together. It was an evening of warm moments. You could feel the heart connection of the band. They looked at each other and hugged each other as this journey came to an end. They played music from their hearts. They played and joked with each other. They sent love out to the fans.
The concerts were all great on this tour. Tonight you could feel like they were a family at the end of a family vacation or reunion who were saying goodbye to each other, for now. This was a side project for all of them. 
I am grateful they took us on this ride with them

Day 18: On the Road- Nick Jonas Week Part I

January 26-29, 2010

It took one year to the day to get here. One year ago, on January 26, I left the Freedom Formula Experience in Los Angeles with the intention of flying home to Baltimore and clearing the stuff out of my house. With each room and each step, it became clear that we would sell the house and move to LA.

One year later…Here we are!


We spent the first four nights in Los Angeles at the Wiltern Theater on Wilshire Boulevard with NickJ and the Administration. Arriving in LA and seeing Jonas fans and NickJ as the focus for the week was fun and familiar.

Here is an overview with some of my pictures:

Jan 26, 2010

The weather on the first day at the Wiltern Theater on Wilshire Blvd was pouring rain. I was looking for parking when Hannah found the “stalking” spot with a gathering of Jonas fans and asked to be dropped off in the rain.

As I drove around, I saw the Verizon Wireless store where we had danced to the Honor roll dance and had a free meet and greet with the Honor Society in August 2009. Hannah and I won a soundcheck with the Jonas Brothers that day. It was right across the street from the Wiltern . On that fun summer day last August, I had seen the subway area, the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on the corner but I hadn’t noticed the Wiltern. Another opportunity to see new things in an area that is becoming more and more familiar.

I met a family in line at the ticket booth. It is always fun to see the looks on people’s faces when they find out I love the Jonas Brothers, too! I am not suffering. I enjoy the music, the concerts and the people who go to the concerts. It’s fun!

I had seats right next to the girls from the ticket line. It was fun singing with them and I enjoyed my new found love of tweeting a few details and pictures during the concerts. There are people all over the world who enjoy the concerts via tweets and videos. Isn’t technology amazing?


I sat in Level 2, Row F. Here is the view from my seat.

I think these are really good seats. The only challenge is how everyone in LA is so tall! In this section, people were sitting down during Diane Birch’s set, but when they stood up for NickJ, I had to bob and weave to see between people and take pictures. It didn’t stop me from dancing and singing!

Nick had a different look in Los Angeles. The first night I called it casual James Bond. He wore a light brown leather jacket. He has such a sweet smile of happiness in this picture.

This is another one of the hometowns for the Jonas Brothers. Los Angeles is where they record music and film their show Jonas. They live and play here. There is a sense of comfort and hanging out with their friends and family. It happens in NYC, too.

Every concert is great wherever they are.

Jan 27, 2010

Beautiful weather today. I started the one thing I have been dreaming about for months. Long walks in nice weather. Today I walked about 40 blocks. While Hannah waited for the band to arrive, I walked to the bank and took in all of the sights and sounds of the city. I love LA!


Diane Birch is the opening band on this tour. My favorite song is Valentino. High energy dancing with lots of audience interaction. My favorite lines are:

My tears don’t show, but oh, honey they flow

Here are two links to this song, if you haven’t heard it.
The first one has the words and the singing:

This second one has a ton of newspaper clippings, pictures of Diane and quotes:

She loves to take pictures of the audience in the middle of the show and posts them on Twitter.

NickJ came on stage with an LA style suit and wearing glasses. After two songs, he was so cute when he told everyone that he didn’t need them, it was for fashion and then took them off. Thanks for keeping it real Nick!

Cool staging:


The Administration:

Tommy Barbarella, keyboard (Prince’s New Power Generation band)
Sonny Thompson, lead guitar (Prince’s New Power Generation band)
Michael Bland, drums (Prince’s New Power Generation band)
 John Fields, bass guitar (music producer for the Jonas Brothers and many others and multi-instrumentalist)

The band is so good. The talent and experience of the band has really made this concerts special. Here is a link to one of the songs to give you a flavor of the difference in the music.

Jan 28, 2010

Hannah and I went to The Jay Leno Show on this day. We arrived at 8am to get in line for stand-by tickets. Hannah received a text from a friend of hers, Blaise, who thought a friend of hers had tickets for both of us. The friend who had the tickets wasn’t there waiting with us in line, yet. There was a lot of waiting around.

Finally around 1:30pm, a group of girls behind us said they had a ticket for me and Hannah got a ticket with Blaise and her friend.  (Sorry to Hannah’s Jonas friend, Daryen for changing the driving plans for today. Still figuring out the driving and logistics in LA)

Learning another part of the LA scene. How to get tickets to TV shows!

When we entered the studio, I felt a little bit like a traitor. I had been on Team Conan during the Conan-Leno craziness! I have to say that Jay Leno is really an amazing performer. He was warm and it really felt authentic. The taping is an hour. It is a live show with no retakes.

I think the Conan-Leno thing was an NBC behind the scenes problem. NBC wanted to lock in Conan and made Jay go to the earlier time period. It was crazy from the beginning 5-7 months ago. Okay, on to the show.

The guests on the show were Massachusetts Congressman Scott Brown, Bill Paxton from Big Love (one of my favorite actors) and finally NickJ and the Administration. I was ushered to a floor seat near the TV show band. Hannah was taken to an area right in front of the stage for Nick Jonas. Once again, I do not fit the “profile” of a Jonas fan. They put me with the group that supposedly didn’t know Nick Jonas. Ha! Ha! If they only knew…

I had a really great seat tonight. Level 2, Row 2. There was filming in the venue that evening, so the section to my right had all of the seats removed and a camera with a swinging arm. Maybe they were recording the song, “STAY,” a song Nick wrote while on tour. Here is the version he sang on Jan 27:

Nick wore this suit on the Leno show, too.


I am immersed in Los Angeles and loving it.

Jan 29, 2010

We connected with Daryen (the Jonas fan from Florida) in Manhattan Beach today. She was leaving a hotel there and staying in a hotel in Burbank so she could be part of a group who were interviewing Garbo, the Jonas Brothers bass player, the next day. Hannah and I were leaving for Berkeley after the concert tonight or we would have invited her to stay in our hotel.

We were stuck in a traffic jam for hours but finally arrived at her hotel, dropped off her suitcase and headed to the Grove LA for an Honor Society meet and greet.

Tonight was an ending of the concerts. You could feel it in the energy of the band. It is the end of the whirlwind, the interviews, the national TV show events and the end of concerts in a town that is one of their homes, Los Angeles, California.

Berkeley is the true last concert but tonight was a celebration of the whole tour and all of the people who had supported Nick in making this dream come true.

I have to bring up the alien story. At every concert, Nick was trying to fill some of the time with a conversation on stage. He used joke books and now this alien story. He wondered why the audience didn’t really react when he said he met an alien. Okay, I want a show of hands. How many of you secretly believe that maybe there is life on other planets or galaxies. “It could happen.” (quote from Angels in the Outfield)

All we really want to hear about is his day. He doesn’t need to be funny. I want to tell Nick to let go of the joke books and the alien stories and tell us about the details of his day. Talk about the Jay Leno show experience or what you had for breakfast! Be yourself and share the day to day stuff. That is all we really want to know.

Nick rocking it:

On this last night, I was on the aisle seat. Section 3. Row 1. Across the aisle, right next to me were JONAS stars Nicole Andersen and Chelsea Staub and Chelsea’s friend who is a musician.  Their friends and TV stars were coming all night long. Security had to sit next to them and shoo people away all night. The picture taking was out of control.

Nicole and Chelsea:

Chelsea and her friend, the musician (I will look for her name)

Joe and Kevin and Nick and Frankie came on stage together. This is perfect. They are all here in Los Angeles getting ready for the Grammy;’s and then the filming of JONAS, their TV show.

Singing their songs together and Nick’s songs. It was fantastic!

Here is a video of them singing Who I am. Sound is a little rough. Hannah was so close to the speakers, it was hard to record this. I love how Joe didn’t know all the words and they improvised some of this. A glimpse into how a show comes together. They were all so happy. It was a great way to end the tour in LA.

And Lovebug:

After the concert, we drove to Fresno for the night. Halfway to Berkeley and ready to celebrate Hannah’s 17th birthday and the last concert of the tour.
FYI: My Food places for four days:

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf- free wireless, great direct trade coffee and food, a place to connect with Jonas fans. A haven from the rain.

Bagel works-Satisfied my bagel craving. Missing my East Coast bagel shops!

Jamba Juice for a carrot juice with a shot of wheatgrass juice.

Ralph’s grocery store for after the show sandwiches and sushi and snacks.

Day 10: On the Road: The Blind Side and the Gift of Service

January 21, 2010

I saw a movie today called, “The Blindside.” The storyline features Michael Oher, an offensive lineman who plays for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL. It is about Michael’s life. From foster homes to an opportunity to go to a Christian school to living with the Touhy’s, a wealthy family from the school, we get an insight into the challenges he overcame. There was a point in his life when he needed a 2.5 to get a NCAA Division I Scholarship. Michael got a 2.52 grade point average with hard work and a team of people providing support including the Touhy’s, teachers from his school and a private tutor.

This film was recommended by many of my friends from Baltimore as a great inspirational film. And it is a great, inspirational film. That would have been enough, but there is more for me than the connection to the Ravens, Baltimore and inspiration. It is a connection to a theme that has been bubbling inside of me for the last year. It is the theme of the giver and the receiver.

I grew up in a family that served the community and the world. Giving to neighbors, volunteering through Girl Scouts, donating money to nature preserves and UNICEF. There is a long list of organizations and activities that were a part of my childhood. As an adult and with my children that legacy of helping people, wanting to make a difference has continued. Stream clean-ups, adopting families at Christmas, delivering food to friends in need. My older daughters, Liz and Mary both have careers that involve serving communities of children, women and men and animals and the planet.

I can’t imagine a life without giving and helping. But the new theme that has crossed my path in the last few months is how the person in need has served the giver.

Yesterday when I watched The Blind Side film, the mother in the family talked about how the true gift for her was the opportunity to serve Michael. It was Michael Oher who had impacted her life.

The idea that has been coming to me is that instead of feeling sorry for a person or situation, see them as a guardian angel that has been sent to you as a teacher. They are here to provide an opportunity to help you find purpose, creativity, meaning, love, happiness and compassion. They are here to help YOU!

I have been watching people and reflecting on my life this year. I have watched friends prepare food for a homeless shelter. Yes, it fed the people at the shelter and was a wonderful gift of money and time. Yes, the people at the shelter were hungry and needed help. I do not mean to minimize their pain. What I also saw was how the experience created a light in the faces of my friends. A light that wasn’t there before they served the meal.

I saw a friend connect with a deeper part of herself this year by becoming the caretaker for a man she met at the shelter. I saw her confidence increase and her heart expand as she learned how to give medicine and take blood and take him to the hospital and sit in the waiting room while he had surgery. This was something she had never been able to do for family and friends. She didn’t feel she was capable of it. This man provided her with an opportunity to serve him with love and compassion and it has expanded her as a person.

In my own experience, I had a son who was born with a congenital heart defect. Through his birth, 19 months of operations and physical therapy, and his death, he taught me about who I truly am. I learned to love like I had never loved before. I am still discovering new things about myself because of his service to me. He died 17 years ago and I honor him as one of my greatest teachers and guides.

I encourage you to find a place to volunteer that speaks to your soul and your heart. Appreciate the person and the situation and step into it. This is one of the reasons you are here. There are people who need help and I guarantee that helping them will make your life richer.

In the book, Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Women’s Guide to Life, Ginny Robertson wrote a story called, “Answering the Call: Making a Difference While Doing What’s Right for You.” She encourages people to find something that you are passionate about and to provide your uniqueness. That will serve the person and it will serve your soul.

I encourage you to find the cause that stirs your soul. When you give from a place of deep connection to the cause and follow the calling it feeds your soul, and it feeds the world.

Day 6- On the road: A weather delay

For weeks the weather forecast in Los Angeles area had been sunny in the 70’s and 80’s. Gorgeous warm weather calling me from the harsh winter on the East Coast. Hannah and I drove for four days to make it to Scottsdale, Arizona. The plan was to visit with my daughter, Liz for two days, take a breath and then move on to California.

On the first day in Arizona, I took time to write a blog, visited with a friend, Sherryl Haldy, cheered the Ravens on to…defeat, instead of victory! at a local sports bar and to assess the situation with the foster family for my cats in Santa Barbara, CA. Ready to move on now.

But, there is a delay. A weather delay. The initial feeling was frustration. My daughter lives in an apt that is the perfect size for she and her boyfriend, Ari and their two big dogs, Mac and Morrie. Add a mother (me) on an air mattress, a sister on the couch (Hannah) and 2 cats that the boyfriend is extremely allergic to and watch the stress mount. Ari, the boyfriend, is working in Los Angeles. He is out of town for a few weeks and agreed to have us stay there while he is away. Liz is going to do a major cleaning after we leave.

But the stress of staying here. Should we go to a hotel? Is there a way for us to communicate and find a way to work things out in the apartment?

I know that everything is Divine. Every delay, every leap, all of it has been perfect. I really believe that even when I don’t see it in the moment. So, what is the opportunity in this delay? What is the gift? I am listening and awake as I watch the opportunity unfold.

Day 4: On the road: The Adventure of the Open Road

One of the blessings and joys of sharing this journey with you is that I get to hear your stories, too. I am grateful for the spirit of adventure, the willingness to embrace change and the cheer leading from the sidelines. It makes the adventure of life even richer. (I would love to hear about some of your favorite travel moments. Write about an adventure in the comment section)

As I drove from East to West over the last four days, I was flooded with memories. I was born to drive cross this country, a calling. (I hope to see more of the world in the future by plane and train!)

When I was a child, my family moved from California to Minnesota to Virginia to Texas to Minnesota and to Pennsylvania. If you count all of the different places we lived in each state, I moved 12 times by the time I was 15 years old. (My Dad worked for Pillsbury. A promotion meant a move and my parents loved fixing up and selling houses during the real estate boom of the 60’s and 70’s) In between all of the moves we traveled to many states to visit family, friends, and for business. We traveled with a cat and a dog in a station wagon.

Two favorite childhood memories:

A trip to Denver, Colorado and somewhere in Wyoming. I was nine, my sister, Joanne was 7 and my brother, Rob, was an infant. We went to a trade convention in Denver. I remember being fascinated with the cooking instructions on the side of the cake mixes, listing high altitude baking differences. I loved the lights, the demonstrations, and the samples. There was so much passion and enthusiasm in the convention. I remember trying different “astronaut” food. In Wyoming, we saw a rodeo and were dressed in cowgirl attire. This was awesome because my sister and I loved watching re-runs of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Now, we were really cowgirls!

The other childhood memory is visiting my grandparents home in Eastham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. My grandparents moved there as newlyweds and built their home, one room at a time. Tables folded up into the wall, like a boat because the first room was the kitchen and the bedroom! It was the one home that was consistent in my childhood and the memories grew over my lifetime. Collecting shells in Cape Cod Bay during low tide, lily pads in the pond and learning to row a boat, eating buttered toast with quince jelly, my grandfather’s stories and my grandmother’s rock tumbler which was used to make pieces of quahog shells shiny for jewelry making.


Moving on to adulthood, travel in the U.S continued. When I was homeschooling my children, a friend, Karen DaGrava, started a club called Celebrate the States. We were studying the states in the order that they entered the Union. Living in Maryland, it was easy to drive to another state for the day and bring back goodies to the club once a month. Delaware. Pennsylvania, New Jersey. When we came to Georgia, a group of us decided load up 2 cars and go on the road, visiting historical sites, the Coca-Cola museum, CNN, a puppetry museum and Stone Mountain.

Here are two of my favorite memories of travel with my kids during that time.

An afternoon spent at a laundromat in Mississippi. I was on a 7 state, 15 day trip with two of my daughters, Liz and Hannah and their friends, Erica and Katie. We spent the morning touring Graceland, Elvis Presley’s home in Tennessee. Our afternoon mission was LAUNDRY!! We drove until we found a place just over the border into Mississippi. Rainbow Laundromat. The woman who was running the laundromat had her two children with her that day. The children were curious about our travel. We took out maps and pictures and shared the journey with them. As I focused on the laundry, the children taught us some hand games and we played for hours. We all shared our lives that day and I felt richer for the experience. You can find people to connect with wherever you go.

The other memory is an afternoon at the Portland Open market in Portland, Maine. It was a cold, rainy day in March. A quick trip to the Portland Head Light, a lighthouse, and then we looked for a place to get warm. We rearranged a few tables and filled them with math books, postcards, coloring books, markers, pencils and pens. Karen DaGrava and I spent the afternoon with her children, and my daughter, Hannah, surrounded by delightful smells, hot chocolate and coffee, warm food and a friendly environment. We had time to talk about the trip and share laughter and stories.

Now on to travel in the last few years. In the last 2 1/2 years, I have driven over 85,000 miles. The odometer on my Toyota Highlander is proof of that. As we crossed the country, I was flooded with memories of the last few years. Going to the Columbus Zoo on one kid trip, seeing the Jonas Brothers last summer at the Nationwide Arena, cheap tickets from a scalper, and filming girls playing Bop-it.

St. Louis. How many times have I seen the arch? My heart still does a flip flop of joy when I see it. The Gateway to the West. I reflected on the summer I saw 20 fireworks displays from the top of a hill encircling the city. The magical day last summer when we won free Jonas tickets, won meet and greets for Honor Society and Jordin Sparks and met so many great people.

Oklahoma City. Another Jonas memory, our radio interview in 2008 and the two days I spent at the Oklahoma City peace memorial writing.

And the list goes on and on. I can list the museums, the food, the places we have stayed, the people we have met and the details of all the trips. Underneath all of that is the passion I have for the land and nature. Over the last four days, I have seen hawks lining the road. They have been on fences, in trees and flying overhead as we drove through the MidWest and the West. The hawk messenger encouraging me to dream and listen and live. The land and nature fill my soul.

I am awake to life and open to the adventure one mile at a time.

Day 1: Open to Inspiration and the move to California.

On the road.

Things kept changing and it is four weeks later than the original plan to move to California. During those 4 weeks, I opened my eyes and saw the gifts that emerged from the “delay.” Christmas was spent with Kate and Molly, age 10, in Baltimore. This Christmas, Molly received a Barbie House and Barbie outfits for the next year. To see the delight of the child who still believes in the magic is marvelous. I believe in the magic and she re-filled my cup to the top.

We had great holiday celebrations that included a trip to Herr’s Potato Chip factory with warm potato chips off the assembly line; dinner at the Dizz in Hampden, where I met a waiter who is studying to be a chef; saw the lighting of the Mt. Vernon monument in Baltimore with fireworks; had an opportunity to see the Ace of Cakes filming outside; created two USTREAM shows in Kate’s kitchen with her encouragement and sound tips from the next room; celebrated New Year’s Eve with Kate and Karen and their kids; time to create dream and vision journals and went to NYC and Philadelphia to see NickJ (Jonas) and the Administration.

I discovered crumbs cupcakes, was in town for a snowstorm, officially started my book business- Live a Life Worth Celebrating. I watched 10 episodes of an old TV show called Quantum Leap and discovered how much they talked about combining spirituality and science in the show which was filmed in the early 90’s. I started the 40 day Oneness program with James Twyman and his co-author Anakha. Watched Ravens football with Molly and ate delicious shrimp and pigs in a blanket. Attended several ceremonies at the Center for Spiritual Peacemaking, including an emissary wheel ceremony and a burning bowl ceremony.

If we had pushed forward to complete a self-imposed deadline to get somewhere, we would have missed the opportunities that were right in front of us. We took a deep breath and released the need to control the timing.

And now we are on the road, headed to California. Here are a few of the details from that first day.

Hannah and I left around noon. In the last few days before leaving Baltimore, there was still more releasing of stuff. A good reminder that we can always release, release, release and release some more.

Something shifts every time I feel like I have figured this out, the inspiration of selling my home and moving to California. I am finally getting it. I am living the 8 step process that came to me during the summer of 2008. Open to Inspiration. I have 53 years of stories and examples of how I have lived this way and now another layer is being revealed. It is a new adventure and an even deeper way of being Open to Inspiration.

A few days ago, I was confused about traveling with the cats. I spent hours talking with Kate, my housemate for the last two months. We talked and brainstormed and I researched all of the options. I wanted the cats to travel in two crates inside of the car. I considered towing a small u-haul trailer or purchasing a roof top carrier to carry our suitcases, boxes of books, and sleeping bags. Finally, it came to me: one crate, re-prioritize the things we need and equip ourselves with harnesses and leashes for the cats. We would walk the cats at rest stops every few hours.

For two days, I packed the car and asked the same questions over and over. What is the most important stuff to have with us for the next few months? What are we going to be doing in California and what clothes, books, etc… do we need?

After 5 years of clearing it came down to more questions and another deeper evaluation. What would fit into all of the nooks and crannies of the car? I would look at the pile, pick 5 things and then find a place. Look at the pile again and decide what to leave. I had divided my big jug of powdered electrolyte drink, Performance, into 2 containers. Decided to take one and leave the other. A bag of books. Take 5 books, leave 3. I think you get the idea of the conscious choices in the last pile of stuff.

I call this course correcting. You think you have it all figured out and another element is added that changes your perspective. Needed more course correcting with the cats. Cooper pooped all over a blanket in the first five minutes of the trip. The smell permeated the entire car. The harness did not fit Playful. The weather was so cold! Were we really going to train the cats to go for a walk and poop in this 15 degree weather at our first stop in the mountains of West Virginia?

On our way out of town we made one last stop at Petsmart. New harness for Playful found in the medium dog section. Three disposable litter boxes with more kitty litter. Put one litter box in the crate. Cats had half the leg room but it eliminated walking in the cold.

Finally on the road and headed to Columbus, Ohio for the first night’s sleep, I reflected on all it took to get here. Thinking back to the beginning of this cycle. Five years ago, Hurley, my husband was dying from cancer. We both began a clearing of stuff then. Our identities were changing. The words I used to define myself were changing. He died six months later. Five years I have been releasing stuff, dreams, businesses, and a house.

As I drove away from Baltimore, it was hard to believe that we were finally on our way to California after a year of talking about this. It was hard to connect with the realness, the significance of this moment. There had been so many moments to get us to this place.

I told myself, Just drive. This is the spiritual practice of the week. Drive. Observe nature, the bumper stickers and vanity license plates. Let the thoughts wash over you and drive. No thinking or figuring anything out. Let the last five years and all of the moments it took to get here, just BE. Let everything settle. Listen to your heart. This is the first day of a new chapter. Hello World! I AM Andrea.

An impulse to express: NickJ and the Administration: Jan 8, 2010

Have you ever had something bubbling up inside of you that is so powerful, the idea of not expressing it feels like you may burst! Did you follow that impulse?

Barbara Marx Hubbard is a world class futurist, an evolutionary educator and social innovator. She has been speaking for years about the set of crises we are facing actually being an evolutionary driver to awaken us to a deeper life purpose and a passion to co create a new and better world.

So, what does this have to do with Nick Jonas? Nick has been responding to a call within him to awaken a deeper passion and life purpose. He has been writing songs that speak about making it through hard times, about loving more, about Being who you. And that impulse within him has not stopped with the incredible success he has had as one of Jonas Brothers. Nick Jonas is teaching us all something with his new band, NickJ and the Administration.

He listened to his heart. As much as he loves his brothers, there was another dream, a passion that was bubbling up. This part of him had to be expressed. And he knew that he was taking a risk. The first interviews and concerts showed us all a vulnerability of this risk. He wasn’t sure if his fans would embrace this other side of him. But, to bury this dream would mean letting a piece of him die.

So, what did he do?

First he allowed the music to flow through him. He didn’t limit writing this music because it wouldn’t fit with a brother band. He embraced it, let it flow and opened to the inspiration.

Second, he talked with the Management Team of the Jonas Brothers. He shared the idea of a side project band where he would share the music that expressed his inner world, a world he wanted to share with others. When he had their support and a basic plan, he went to each of his brothers and talked to them individually. He shared the dream that was in his heart and they talked about it. He received individual blessings from both Kevin and Joe.

Third, he surrounded himself with experienced, amazing musicians who could help him take his music to the next level of brilliance. Each piece of this has been an open hearted, inspired action event.

The last piece is how the family is demonstrating supporting each other’s dreams. When Nick called Joe and Kevin onto the stage tonight, Joe did not take center stage when he started to sing. Without any hesitation, he motioned for Nick to move to the center. Nick hesitated for a minute and then stepped into that place.

It doesn’t matter how successful you are or what you have in your life, when there is something bubbling inside you, an expression of who you are, You must express it.

At the concert tonight, NickJ shared his musical talent, his passion for life, his deeper message of living life with the audience. His joy radiated and rippled through the Beacon Theater. You could feel it.

I leave you with one question. What is bubbling up inside of you and when are you going to let yourself express it?

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