Posted by: helens22 | April 30, 2012!!

An excellent informational call “Smart Meters Conference calls: Privacy and Health” was recorded on April 26 and is now available at along with a pdf of information to download. 

It is also on youtube at!

Posted by: helens22 | February 13, 2012

How Friendship Can Grow—with a small yellow flower

I recently found my sketch book from my first trip to Ecuador in January of 2003. On one page, off to the side is a tiny five-petaled flower, drawn in pencil. The main subject on that page is a large plume of flowering wild grass. I don’t remember drawing the flower nor noticing it when I occasionally looked at my drawings from

But the subject, the subject, I know her very well now and oh, I do love her. She’s the little yellow five-petalled wild flower I’ve grown to be friends with at the Loma de Ensueños on an eroded hillside near Mt. Cotopaxi in Ecuador. 

It’s a little like finding out years later that I was in the same small room for a poetry reading with my husband to be, my first year in college. We didn’t notice each other and went about our separate ways for several years more before officially meeting, courting, falling in love, marrying, spending a lifetime together.

So it is for me, apparently, with the little yellow flower. Somehow I noticed her enough to sketch her form,
and then forgot. And yet…early on we  briefly shared the same space, a tiny connection that would lead to more.

She pops up first in a photo from a trip to a different part of Ecuador in 2004 while I was visiting a friend. Her sunny, yellow face shines in the single photo, but I have no memory of her from then either. So, without knowing it, I’ve been called into relationship, and even responded. And yet—recognition still has not come. It’s like with brief encounters with a stranger over years. But each time the connection, the thread, though occurring briefly, goes unrecognized and is missed. The moment passes and is forgotten. 

Years later in 2009, when we decide to put down roots and build on that eroded hillside—so barren to look at, but that feels like warm silk or a familiar embrace—I find her again as I look around to see who lives here and what they are like. I’m mostly struck by the barrenness, but there she is. And now she’s caught my attention – springing up from the rock-like ground—a miracle of sunshine in an impossible place. My camera focuses in on just her, and the hard, bare ground. Her spirit has called to me. Her spirit is showing me the way we must be—happy and undaunted by difficulties—if we are to make the hillside green again.

Coming to visit my new house for the first time, later that same year, I’m mostly consumed by my mind’s incessant questions of why am I here, why do I have a house, what will this all lead to!? This year the rains are not coming. The hillside grows drier by the day. Yet now, I remember her, I seek her out. Seeking, I find only one, bedraggled flower to photograph. Without water, how can even she, survive?

It is the next summer of 2010 when our friendship blossoms into love and deep respect. Each day, I marvel at         her sunny presence, and ponder how I might be more like her in the difficult moments of my life. I photograph  her carefully and on returning home, enlarge her image till it fills the whole frame. I often visit her on my computer and think of her and her companion, the other yellow Loma flower, the one who resembles a dandelion, but hugs the ground, and has a flowerette of leaves to hold precious moisture close to her for just a few hours longer in the sun and wind.

And it’s in the early fall, back in Michigan, that I am inspired to create a sunny mixture of essential oils and to call her spirit to give its gifts to the yellow oil. Moringa Molle Sunshine Oil, I call it. It brings together the energies of the Andes and India (from where the mooring oil which I’m using as a base, comes). It includes the protective and healing energy of the essential oil of the Molle tree, with which we hope to reforest the Loma, and the sun-filled scent of lemon. And to bring their own special sunny energy, I entreat my five petalled friend and my other yellow friend to fill the mixture with their own special gifts. It is the first time I’ve ever done such a thing, though to a part of me, it’s very familiar, ancient.  The feedback from others is that they love the oil, and when I visit Ecuador the next time, I’m moved almost to tears when my teacher takes out of his pocket the bottle I gave him, and tells me that he always carries it with him.

One last  small story in this on-going love affair. When I visit the Loma again in the winter of 2010-2011, it is the rainy season, and this year there is rain. I’m amazed to find that my sunny friend, when given water, does not grow alone—one solitary blossom at a time—but loves company and springs up in abundance wherever there is a small depression to collect and hold water. The day I have my camera, I find her as five sisters and take her portrait once more.

And it is this visit, when I decide to draw her once again. But now it as a friend. Now I draw as a way of connecting more deeply with someone I already love.

Love is a mystery.
What is it that draws us to a specific dear one?
And how much more love can we find
when we allow ourselves to expand
past thinking of relationships as something
we can only have with our own kind, or in one way,
and instead recognize the love that is calling to us
from every place, in every moment,
from the wind, the water, the flowers, the birds, the trees.
We need never lack for love again.

Posted by: helens22 | June 25, 2011

Fragrant oil blends with the heart energy of the Andes

As many of you know, our family has a second home in Ecuador and have been spending time there whenever we can. Our home is on a hillside with a spectacular view which includes two volcanoes – one snow-covered, the other (further away!) occasionally active! We are involved in a project to reforest the hillside.

When I returned from our most recent trip, I found myself taking time to reflect on, and write about, the special experiences of connection which I had there. And as I wrote, the significance and depth of the experiences became more apparent to me.

Besides writing and drawing from my experiences, I felt very drawn to create a series of fragrant oil blends to capture the special energies I’d experienced. Each has its own particular way of helping with the challenges of life in these times. All contain molle essential oil, distilled by my teacher Alverto Taxo and his students. Molle is the tree we are primarily using to reforest the hillside.  Don Alverto has said that the molle essential oil contains powerful energies of healing and protection, particularly suited for these times. Molle essential oil is also known for its antimicrobial properties, among many others. Each blend has other essential oils as well as a specific energetic purpose.

The base oil I’ve used is also very special and unique. It is made from the moringa plant which comes originally from the foothills of the Himalayas in India. It is a clear, bright yellow color and is extremely rich in nutrients and is extensively used in cosmetics for its emollient and anti-aging properties.

I’ve lived with each oil on a daily basis, enjoying their fragrances and energies. And now I’m delighted to be able to share them with you. The four oils are
Moringa Molle Sunshine Oil—encourages the ability to experience happiness during difficult times
Moringa Molle Hummingbird Oil—facilitates the softening, opening and healing of the heart
Moringa Molle Búho (Owl) Oil—strengthens the ability to see into, learn from, and transform darkness
Moring Molle Rainbow Oil—inspires the appreciation of beauty and hope in times of difficulty and despair

Posted by: helens22 | April 3, 2011

Owl (Búho) Darshan

It’s dusk, towards dark on our last night at the Loma. Earlier in the afternoon, my son and I took a long walk to say goodbye and take it all in one more time. As we passed the búho area we slowed and looked, but no owl eyes, no swiveling head, no flash of flapping wings, greeted us. Our friend from the area told us that búhos live in tunnels during the day—he’s seen three. They used to live right behind where our house is now, but with the construction and disturbance of people and machinery, they moved over a few hundred feet to the area where my son spotted them several times.

One time I too saw the búho – flat, exaggerated owl eye surrounds, with a strikingly white connected line of ‘eyebrow’. The búho faced down towards the valley; we stood uphill of it. Without the slightest movement of body, the búho alternately lined his head up with his forward-facing feet, and with us behind him. Very striking he was—the white streak across his forehead and the Cirque de Soleil neck. And then suddenly, the sound of flapping, the surprisingly wide wing span on a smallish body, and the búho was gone down the hillside, meeting the approaching darkness.

Anyway—I’m now standing right by our house in the semi-dark with my friends. We’re discussing the details of some repairs to our house to be done after we’re gone. A bird calls in the distance, up the hill from us. “Búho!” my friend says. Again the call. Is it really, I wonder, trying to distinguish it from the other bird call I’ve heard at dusk and sometimes dawn. But this is different—less strident, two-noted, quiet, yet stirring. We listen and then go back to the discussion at hand.

A rushing sound of wings spread wide, movement of the air above our heads, Búho! gracing us with her presence, passing directly and low over our heads and then off down the hillside in the gathering dark. A visitation—we all feel it. A blessing—that’s how I experience it.

Our love, appreciation and desire for connection make her flight overhead feel like a gift—an acknowledgement and deepening of the connection we’ve been feeling. We gratefully drink in her presence.

But might it have more significance? I’d been telling my son how owl is the totem for seeing what others don’t see and that it sometimes comes in warning about that which is not as it seems. I wonder if there is also a message for me being offered—to look into what is obscure, to look deeper somehow. “All is not as you see it. Look again, look with owl eyes, look into the dark. Look all around you”

I remember the screech owl who called outside my Michigan window several years ago. At the time I was cooking up a collaborative plan with someone. It seemed like a good idea, but when the owl’s eerie cry rang out in the pre-dawn, I could feel the warning: “Look again! Reconsider! All is not as you see it now.” And I did that. I took a different path, and in doing so felt that I’d been protected by heeding the owl’s call.

I go into the dark now and look around to see if there is something hidden which I need to see. Nothing strikes me immediately, so I wait to see what will unfold. And unfold it does. As I return home from Ecuador old dysfunctional patterns of behavior seem to seize me in their talons. I’m caught in the grip of old feelings of unworthiness, failure, despair. At the same time, something new is growing and expressing itself. I’m finding ways to give voice to and share my experiences and understanding gained over many years in ways that delight me.

I feel like a battlefield where the old is trying to massacre the new at every turn. The new, however, is not fighting. Instead it is marching steadily away from the battlefield. The new gets knocked down and is sometimes wounded, but it keeps moving in the direction of its calling, undaunted. It doesn’t try to defeat the old; it just keeps moving away—away from the conflict, away from the dream of war and glory—gathering strength with every step forward.

The old calls up tremendous storms, lightning, hail, thunder. The old calls up torrential rains, out of season winds, even a tornado or two. The old wants anything but that I see in the dark, that I see through it to my true self. The old puts on a good show—it’s very convincing, truly awesome. It shadows and hounds me, and a tenacious critter of the dark grabs onto my pant leg and won’t let go. Yet the new keeps marching forward and I find myself drawn to follow, running to keep up, slowed down by the dangling beast, but not stopped.

I follow a trail of guidance, ‘coincidences’. Little by little the knowing comes, and the helpers I need are assembling to remove what must go so I can move forward unencumbered. From despair, I feel my heart shifting little by little to a lighter place. As governments fall and change in the outer world, I feel a shift of power within me. There is carnage, but the outcome of freedom becomes more and more likely.

Seeking to know more about the owl who flew over us, I do a modern pilgrimage via Google, to be richly rewarded by images, videos and a welcome and unexpected ally – the baby owls. Their energy is sweet, funny – hilarious even. Laughter cuts through the conjurings of the dark, showing them to be the illusions that they are.

I read more about how our owls have their young in burrows in the ground. They carry the power of both earth and sky, mother and father. And from many sides at once comes the call to balance these energies within me. As I stand on the cusp of my own son’s fledging and flying into adult life, as I review my own shortcomings and strengths at living out the role of mother, a new note is being sounded—self-forgiveness and unity. Self-forgiveness for not meeting the expectations of my judging mind, self-forgiveness for losing faith in the perfection of life, self-forgiveness for forgetting who I truly am and allowing the dark illusions to sway my behavior and vision of myself and of my son.

And unity—not a unity that destroys differences, but a unity that makes all differences complimentary, part of the whole, of the one Life. A unity that allows differences to embrace each other instead of battling each other. A unity that draws from both the powers of earth and sky, feminine and masculine.

Is this the emerging gift from that flight of the owl over our heads? Is this the energy of owl helping me to look into the dark, to see what I had not seen before? I have certainly felt in the dark much of these weeks. And yet, I find myself increasingly grateful. Unity and self-forgiveness are immense gifts, way beyond any I would have imagined. I look again at the owl eyes – so fierce and penetrating in the adults. It takes those kinds of eyes to see into darkness and penetrate its mysteries. I look again at the baby owls, so fluffy, innocent and comical. Lightheartedness is certainly a necessary and most welcome friend in the dark. As I find myself transforming, I thank my friend, the búho, for accompanying me and helping me to take advantage of this journey into darkness.

Posted by: helens22 | March 12, 2011

Time of Rainbows

Time of Rainbows      3-10-11

Rainbows greeted and amazed us on our recent visit to our home on a hillside in Ecuador We’d seen rainbows there before—we have a wide expansive view and the clouds, rain and sun come and go rapidly, making the possibility of a rainbow not unusual as the day draws to a close. But this time was different.

It started for me when one morning I woke to the image of a rainbow shining in my mind’s eye. It was different from any rainbow I’d ever seen. Within the bow of the main rainbow were very thin intense lines of color creating two ‘echoes’ or mini rainbows.

The first rainbow of our trip came on Christmas day as a storm front rolled in near us. We sat in the rain marveling at the rainbow’s beauty, not wanting to go inside and miss a moment of its fleeting splendor.

And then began what I think of as the New Year’s 2011 series – one on the 31st to herald the coming new year, one on the 1st to welcome the new year, and one on the 2nd to usher us on into the flow and energy of 2011!

The first of these three amazed me – it was like the image I’d seen in my mind’s eye. Beneath a perfect rainbow were nestled thin bright bands of color forming 2 ‘echoes’! How amazing to see my inner image spread itself out before me in the sky!

We were out working in our new garden on new year’s day, when our friend excitedly pointed to the sky. The brilliant colors of the perfect rainbow seemed to emerge from behind the orange tile roof of our nearby teachings center and then continued arching over us. Lit from within, it seemed to me. The colors were neon in intensity against the dark sky.  And then a faint double started to form above it, gradually becoming clearer until it was complete and lovely. I ran to get my video camera to be able to share this moment with friends, family and those who support and love our project of replanting the eroded hillside behind our house.

The final rainbow brought my son almost to tears. We’d been trying to decide whether to go home early so he wouldn’t miss any of the first days of his classes at school. Struck by the extraordinary beauty of this rainbow moment and the special place that held it, he realized the preciousness of each day here. The main rainbow stretched, seemingly over our roof—brilliant and complete. And once again, a second lighter rainbow appeared little by little until it stretched from end to end. Inside the main rainbow, the light was particularly bright, sunlit, radiant.

As the beauty of these rainbows filled us, I couldn’t help but also think about the rainbow’s traditional association with hope and the promise that what seems dark and difficult now, will pass, and in passing will reveal its gifts and beauty.

Of the four of us there on the land, taking in the rainbows, each was facing deep challenges, heartache, fear, worry. One seemed to be losing the most cherished relationship of their life, one was poised on the cusp of change they felt totally unprepared for, one faced worries of dwindling finances, unexpected illness in someone very close and a seeming clash between responsibilities and creative calling. As for me, I ached with the others’ sufferings and wrestled with the desire to be both more on our hillside in Ecuador, and yet having responsibilities at our home 3000 miles away in Michigan.

The rainbows stretched before us—urging us—”Take heart! The dark clouds will pass. But remember to welcome the dark times too, for without them my beauty would not exist. I know you see no way forward now, but I am here to remind you of the promise of a coming light, the promise of that light whose brilliance is seen now in the space lit beneath me. Do not despair. Take heart!”

I often remember those beautiful messengers now that I’m back in the gray dark cold of Michigan in late winter. I keep the image of the rainbow on my computer screen. Our son stitched together many photos to capture the full expanse of the rainbow. And when I sense that one of the four of us is falling far into their suffering, I bring out the image of the rainbow, and we reaffirm to each other, “Yes, its promise keeps me going. Yes, this darkness will pass. Yes, no matter what life is giving me, I am blessed.”

A lovely serendipity came my way as I wrote this experience of the rainbows. A friend sent me an email with a story and photos of a mother bear with five cubs. The photographer had spent 4 hours a day, 7 days a week for 6 weeks, trying to encounter the bears so he could photograph them, and his time did come! Then came winter and the mother and her cubs hibernated, but no one knew if they’d all make it through the winter. He caught a glimpse of them after the winter, dreamed nightly of taking another portrait of them. And his dream came true!

The email ended with these words: “When something as magical as this happens between man and animal, Native Americans say, “We have walked together in the shadow of a rainbow.”

We have walked together in the shadow of four rainbows during our time in Ecuador. What a special gift, and one to share. We are all walking together in the shadow of a rainbow on this beautiful earth in this time of change. May we keep hope alive in our hearts, even in the darkest times.

Posted by: helens22 | March 3, 2011

Little Bird

Hello! Hello! Hello! I fly quite close to you to get your attention. To you it sounds like, “cheep, cheep, cheep.” But… you do notice, because I’ve come just a bit closer to you than a wild bird should, landing a few feet away from your feet on this gray winter afternoon. I see the even darker gray clouds that cover your frozen heart—the heart you think will not know spring again.

Hello! Hello! Hello! Look here—I’ve flown to perch on a branch nearby you, just a little up and to your left. “Cheep, cheep, cheep” you hear, but you do take notice and somehow feel my friendly concern. You sit almost motionless on a dry wooden walkway, huddled in your winter coat, your booted feet in the snow.

I take up my post. I stop my greeting song, not wanting to disturb you in your quietness. I can feel you feeling my presence. I stay and stay and stay. I know how to fluff my feathers to sit in a wintery wind. No one else of my kind nearby, you find it odd that I’m still here—so still—but you finally start to feel—yes!—that I am here for you, maybe just for you. Why else would I stay? You watch my wind-ruffled feathers, my small, brave profile. You marvel at my steadfastness. You send me a silent thank you from your troubled heart.

Yet suddenly you leave. And though you’ve heard the gurgling of melting water beneath your feet, you haven’t given me enough time to melt the ice in your heart. I so wanted  your heart to start singing a melting song, but you left—still sad, still hard, still frozen. And you went, I know not where, but I fear for you.

I wait and wait and wait, but you don’t come back. Sadly, I fly off when I finally feel there is no chance you will return.

All I can hope is that the memory of me will work in time-delay
to warm your heart,
to start the melting song within you,
to bring you hope again.

Posted by: helens22 | February 14, 2011

gift of the baby hummingbird

An experience I had while we were visiting the Loma de Ensueños:

I don’t hear the thwack against the window. I’m in another room having a cherished quiet moment alone. But my son’s wail brings me quickly. “A bird hit our front window hard! How terrible; it’s probably dead already.” Geared for tragedy and loss, he is, and near tears.

Something in me feels ready and able, knowing what to do. I go outside and find the baby hummingbird, stunned on the cement porch near the front window. I look carefully and see it is breathing. Slowly approaching, I somehow know it will let me pick it up, so I do with great care. I hold it between my two hands, giving it life energy to use as it will—either to leave the body quickly and easily, or to stay. I don’t presume either way. I truly only want to serve its desire and need.

Shock allows for a swift, painless exit from the body. Birds are good at that—so alive when here, so easy to let go when their time comes. But this bird’s breathing continues, so very rapid—3 times a second or more, letting me know that for this moment anyway, it is still here, alive.

As more minutes pass and I warm it with my hands and feed it energy, the growing likelihood of it choosing to live dawns in me. I peek between my hands. Fifteen minutes have passed. One small black eye, then the other opens for a little, shuts and then opens again.

I watch for my healer friend to return. I can see him in the distance, talking to a neighbor, too far away to hail. He just recently nursed a stunned bird that he found on the hillside, back to life and freedom again. Yet this bird has come to my care, and she’s staying minute by minute longer.

Finally I see him walking up towards the house. I call to him and get up carefully, disturbing the wee bird in the process. I feel a fluttering of wings between my hands. But the wings are all askew. Will they ever be able to fly again? A hummingbird is such a delicate creature. I wonder how the long, curved beak could have withstood the force of the impact with the glass, unharmed, yet I see no signs of injury or blood.

My friend arrives and I show him the tiny bird. He immediately smoothes its wings into their proper place and I’m relieved to see them, looking normal again. He makes up some water with a bit of sugar and tastes it to be sure it’s not too sweet, finds a spoon and gently taps at the beak, pouring out a few sweet drops. A second and third time he does this, and then we see the bird’s mouth move and drink. My friend gives her a few more sips and then goes to get a birdcage he has at his house, so she has a safe space to recuperate where we can observe her. This cage is never used for keeping birds, except as convalescents. The house has perches on the ceiling for whatever birds might want to live with him, for whatever time.

My healer friend fans her, blows strongly on her. “She needs air to help her breathe, to remind her to fly.” He happily notes her tenacity in keeping her balance when he blows extra hard. “She’s a strong one!” He fans her again and again, knowing the power of air, the affinity of bird and air, the necessity for her to reconnect with the power of air.

We open the bird cage door and I carefully put my hand, with bird, inside. Her black eyes watch, but she still seems somewhat stunned. Her mouth takes in more sips of
nectar. It seems time to withdraw my hand. I sense that she needs to be left alone, that she’s received from me whatever was needed. In the process of taking my hand out, she startles and flies to the side of the cage, tiny claws grabbing onto the metal bars, and beak and tiny head trying to push through the bars to escape. Her short flight leaves us hopeful and happy. We move away and leave her alone, to continue regaining her strength.

After about 45 minutes my friend tries to feed her again, but now she responds like the wild creature she is, flying desperately away from him, wings whirring, bumping into the sides of the cage, trying to escape. “She seems strong, unharmed and clearly wants her freedom.”  So we take the cage outside. He manages to close his hand around her, remove it from the cage and release her. She flies, like a shot, straight to a flowering bush about 3 feet away. At first it looks like she’s made a bee-line to the nectar of a flower, but then my son sees her hanging from a stem, beak-down, looking stunned. “I don’t think she’s ok! We should never have let her go!”

But I feel hopeful, and I also know that our part in her life is now over. She continues to hang upside-down, motionless, but holding on tightly. I decide it’s time to continue on with my own activities, and I say good-bye and wish her the very best. About fifteen minutes later, I come back out to see her. The branch is empty—she’s flown free!

Two mornings later as I’m waking—suddenly the little hummingbird’s image and spirit is with me. She’s well and I feel she’s come to let me know and to say thank you. In the physical we never see her again, but I have the happy sense that she is living out her nectar-sipping life on our hillside.

I’ve often wondered since then why I was given this gift—the presence of such a delicate winged spirit—and why I was given the chance to offer healing energy. It was a precious gift to my heart to open and give love, to surrender to life’s will, and then to be delighted at her recovery.

When I received my Reiki 2 initiation, the first opportunity I had to use it was in the less happy circumstance of watching a mother duck and her babies cross the highway right in front of the onrushing cars. My friend saw the horrific physical results in the rear-view mirror, but I was spared that and given instead the focus of offering energetic assistance for a speedy and painless transition.

In both cases, I was given the gift of experiencing how loving energy is a blessing—to giver and receiver alike, regardless of the physical outcome. I guess for me, it’s easier to give to animals, than to people. There are less complications and animals wear their bodies so much more lightly, teaching me, by example, how to easily relinquish the body when the time comes.

My heart has lessons to learn from this experience with the baby bird. It also has something it needs to nurture and to cultivate. This heart of mine holds an energy as delicate and nectar-seeking as the hummingbird’s. I have a heart-bird who lies stunned within me, waiting for my gentle energy to encourage her back to life. No need to know what pane she hit, what pain stunned her. And no one else is nearby to help—it is my heart and hands that are called for.

The moment is now—tender, uncertain, full of sweetness and—a growing hope.

Posted by: helens22 | December 21, 2007

gratitude dance

I found this link a few days ago at
What a great way to start the day – dancing with gratitude!


Posted by: helens22 | December 21, 2007


4-elements.pngAs we come to the longest night of the year, I’m very grateful for the time I’ve had to shed from my life, mind and heart, the things I no longer need. And now, there’s the silent time to sit with the elements – the fire, my breath, the water flowing through me, on the earth, in this body which is earth with my spirit/essence – and to express gratitude for being alive in this beautiful world. And I’m grateful that there’s time to know and grow from deep inside – the light that will illumine my way in 2008.