Sunday, December 30, 2012


I love the idea of a New Year!  I love the punctuation of time! I love the ritual that allows us to mark a spot on our path and see both forward and behind us.  What has recently brought us here.  Where do we imagine we will go?

Brambles last winter

It is a grand time to take ourselves out the front door in search of some natural space.  When we exit our indoor lives, we are immediately given a perspective different from that of our egocentric attentions.  It is so easy, and surely necessary at times to delve into the small acts of business that organize our rooms, our desks, our work and lives.  But this ritual of a New Year brings some release from the routines that  we lean into and allow to define us over time.
The winter sun sets behind white hills, snowy fields, and a farm gate.

Find your walk.  Find a place that allows you to leave your human business behind you for a moment and immerse yourself in a new perspective.  Invite inspirations and welcome contemplations about your place in the world.    Where do you fit in this larger world?  Is there a path calling you into the deep wood of your own adventures?  What lessons are waiting for you in the new year?  What joys and understandings.

Like each tree and cloud, we can each find our rightful place.  Maybe it is finding that we belong where we are.  I always loved that line "Bloom where you are planted".  If we allow ourselves to wander on the road, following the light, sitting on a stump.  Letting the color, air, scent of the land enter our awareness.  Time dissolves and our hearts beat in tune to something beyond what we knew a moment ago.

The Yosemite valley after about 12 inches of fresh snow.

We have another home, beyond our bedded houses.  We belong to a bigger place. Take a walk today, and remember where that is..

Blessings for us all in the new year!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Deep Deep Winter's Breath....Aaah!

Winter Wonderland Photo

Winter 2012

Can we just breathe?
Take in the same air that holds the geese overhead,
Or circles the Rock,
Or makes the horizon all those miles out to sea?

Can we take it deep within us
And see also that a drop of this bay water,
Has touched the shores of India
And South Africa and Scotland?

Do we know this, and can we hold it?
Wasn’t it yesterday I chanted by the Guru’s feet to the rising sun?
And later hiked to Inverness and ate Loch Salmon.
I can almost remember.

I did dream of wild dancing with my  tribe while the dingos bayed at the moon,
And when I awoke
I knew what came with the breath.

Every breath brings a moment of equilibrium,
Lilting Soltice passages where we can hold it all.
Like yoga poses when our feet do find the root to core earth
And we know we can stand like trees for decades.

These are portals where it is all possible.
This is where all is held in balance.
Infinity doors, thresholds
And there is magic.
We can do anything.

So tonight go deep,
Breathe into that flannel pillow,
Go everywhere…… dream.

B. Misty Wycoff
Los Osos, California

A meteor streaks past stars in the night sky over Stonehenge in Salisbury Plain, southern England August 12, 2010. The Perseid meteor shower is sparked every August when the Earth passes through a stream of space debris left by comet Swift-Tuttle. Picture taken using a long exposure. © REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Goethe’s final words “More light”  Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that’s been our unifying cry, “More light”,  sunlight, torchlight candlelight, neon, incandescent.  Light to banish the darkness from our caves, to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refridgerators.  Big floods for the games at Soldier’s Field, little flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we are supposed to be asleep.  Light is a metaphor, “Thy word is a lamp under my feet”  “Rage, rage against the dying of the light”, “Lead kindly light, amid the encircling doom, lead me on”,  “The night is dark and I am far from home, lead thou me on”,  “Arise, shine, for thy light has comed”.  Light is knowledge, light is life, light is light.

Some of you might remember this passage from an old TV show called Northern Exposure.  This was the episode where Chris-in-the-morning, the town seeker, artist, radio DJ, says these words to introduce his piece of art, one that consisted of just about every light appliance and light bulb from the town, all strung together and lit in the town square.

As we come down the month of Novemeber, we experience the shift from daylight savings time, we  notice the early darkness in the evening, and we begin to feel the darkness of winter sneaking into our consciousness.  Although I have come to really love this time, a way of being BEAR and lumbering into my various caves of experience, a way of choosing to be more still, more introspective and contemplative.  Some find this darkening time hard to manage.   The question would be, do you have the Seasonal Affective Disorder, or is it a discomfort with the life at our interior…the “darker” places within all of us?

If we imagine what winter might be asking of us, would we find that we are invited to sit with those less comfortable places within…if just for moment or two?  To use the quilting layers of dark, perhaps as comfort to us, to make a safe place to explore, again, just a little.

I believe that our tenure here on the planet is an opportunity.  An chance to do many things, strengthen our bodies, develop our minds, expand our perspectives, learn to love deeply, and yes, make some peace with our inner demons.  So in that “light”,  I request the honor of your presence in the soft night, again, for just a minute each day, to be still, to be quiet, to tolerate our jagged edged parts and surround them with our consciousness, and bring the gifts of that moment back into our personal daylight.  A call.  A small Hero’s Journey, (Joseph Campbell).

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Carl Jung: “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious”.

Go softly .

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Butterfly Heart

Photo: Monarch butterfly on a flower
I recently traveled a few miles south of here to the Pismo Beach area where there is a Monarch Butterfly Grove.  This is a place where these elusive creatures come each year to winter, rest and breed in the Spring before they head North again.  They are here from 6 to 8  months.  Just beginning to arrive now, there were not many of them, but I stood talking to a docent for a bit about their lives.
They cling to the leaves of specific eucalyptus trees, but do not eat all winter as their metabolism slows.   As you can see from this second photo, they clump together, probably to keep warm. They don't move around much but as temperatures change they raise or lower their position on the tree relative to temperature.  The ones that arrive in the fall from west of the Rockies travel up to 3,000 miles.  Most of the western Monarchs end up all along the California coast.  The ones east of the Rockies head for Mexico.  They feed on Milkweed on their trip south and fatten up (yep, fat butterflies!) and do not eat again  until after they breed.   The new crop emerges and heads to the foothills for the fresh crop of Milkweed.
What I found amazing about them is that it takes 4 generations to make the round trip from Canada to Southern California and back.  So the ones that arrive here will live for 6-8 months hanging in the trees, breed and die.  The baby generation will make it to foothills but will only live about 6-8 weeks, (not months).  Each generation follows the Milkweed production to the north also living only 6-8 weeks, until next late summer when the fourth generation begins their journey south.  The lifespan of the "winter butterflies" is greatly different given the climate and temperature.   There is little know about how the great grandchildren of the butterflies that leave here in the spring navigate and return to the same trees that their great grandparent butterflies left 4-6 months before.
  There lives are so elusive and short.  But they are lead, in a direction, not knowing their fate, but are pulled and fashioned to make this extraordinary trip, linking them to those that go before and after them.  It puts me in mind to trust, believe, yield to the instincts within me, to listen for the call, whether it be to Milkweed, Ocean, taking a new path today, or just to sleep later this morning.  We are all part of something.  Like the Monarch, we may not be able to see the end of the journey, but we must pay attention and do our part of the journey as best we can.

Key words:   We belong to a process much greater than our own little lifespan.  
Pay attention to what you are here to do.

Saturday, October 27, 2012



Product Details

One of my favorite, by-the-bedside books for years now, has been this little piece called "The Spirit of Intimacy" by Sonbonfu Some.  Wonderful essays on the spirituality, intimacy, and community as experienced by a member of the Dagara people of West Africa.  The subtitle is Ancient Teachings In the Ways of Relationship. 

Here are some quotes:  

"In our tradition, each of us is seen as a spirit who has taken the form of a human in order to carry out a purpose."

"The role of spirit in our relationships is to be the driver, to monitor our relationships for the good.  It's purpose is to help us be better people, to bind us in such a way that we maintain our connection, not only with ourselves, but with the great beyond.  Spirit helps us fulfill our own life purpose and maintain our sanity."

"Community is the spirit, the guiding light of the tribe, whereby people come together in order to fulfill a specific purpose, to help others fulfill their purpose, and to take care of one another.  The goal of the community is to make sure each member of the community is heard and is properly giving the gifts he has brought to this world.  Without this giving, the community dies.  And without the community, the individual is left without a place where he can contribute.  The community is that grounding place where people come and share their gifts and receive from others."

"When you don't have community, you are not listened to; you don't have a place you can go to and feel that really belong.  You don't have people to affirm who are and to support you in bringing forward your gifts.  This disempowers the psyche, making you vulnerable....."

In our culture we tend to think more about what relationships can give us, not that relationship is a vehicle of the spirit.  What do you suppose would happen to our relationships, our communities, our country if we adopted an idea, that these areas are about being seen, being supported to "bring forward your gifts"?  What would relationships be like if we saw them as places where we are responsible for seeing others, companioning others, supporting others to find and bring forward their gifts?

Now of course, before we slip into extreme codependency attitudes....this clearly needs to be a reciprocal belief system.  Not a place where one person does all the giving and the other, all the receiving.  But a place of inviting others (our safe support system) into our experience and sharing the experience of living.

I have read this book over and over and always find something in it for me.  

Quick study:  Spirit is the driver of all relationships

We need communities to be seen, to get help finding our purpose, and to help others find theirs.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fish on a ladder

Celebrate today ten things that you either do well, enjoy, or seem important to you.  Say them out loud!  Smile when you are thinking it.   Imagine this idea as if it is the tastiest bite of food you have ever eaten, and you have just swallowed it.  Hold these things inside of you like a wedding present all wrapped up, like a sports trophy you just won, like the best words anyone ever said to you.  It is safe within you, this list.  In fact, it grows each day, and sometimes gets new wrapping and ribbons.Do not allow one moment of self criticism into your day.  If/when it comes unbidden, smile and send it on it's way with a bag lunch.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pushing Water, Treading Through

As I was doing my laps in the pool the other morning, I was reminded again of the way that we resist things.  Not only do we struggle with change in our lives, trying something new, grumbling over new procedures at work, but our bodies resist pushing through that next layer of the stress it takes to get a new skill.  I  swim 25 laps or 50 lengths in the pool.  Been doing it for over a year now, three times a week.   I always like it when I hit 31 on the count of lengths.  It made me remember years ago when I was a runner, doing 5 miles on a regular basis.  There was a time in that routine, like this one, where I could feel my body release me.  It is like someone suddenly oils my bearings and I roll into SMOOTH mode. In retrospect, it is like my body is resisting, resisting, resisting going to the next level and then AAAH.... it says OK I will let you!!

As I finished my laps I was thinking about how this translates into other areas of our lives.  First of all I think we give up on new things much too quickly.  We don't allow for the resistance thing to have it's way with us.  We try to learn something new, a sport, a language, a new food, or a new way of thinking about something.  It feels awkward, we feel stupid or embarassed, and then our ego takes us out of the arena.

When you think about it, when we learn everything, we feel that way in the beginning.  Think about learning to walk, ride a bike, or drive a car.  We were overwhemed at the complexity of it.  WHAT?  WHERE'S THE BRAKE?  OMG THERE'S A CAR COMING!!  HOW DO I PARK??   Or although it was preverbal for us, somewhere in us we were thinking.....HOW DO I STAY UPRIGHT?  HOW DO I MOVE THIS LEG FORWARD BUT NOT TOO FAR??    The thing is, the rewards were pretty great for hanging in there, we were getting loads of encouragement from our parents, or all of our friends were learning it as well as us.  We were able to push through to that point where it was more fun than trouble.

When learning how to talk about your feelings more clearly, or not expressing our anger in ways that are either frightening to others or simply ineffective, it would be easy to toss it all in and go back to the way you have always done it.  New behavior takes lots of practice.    We walked ALOT!!!  We drove ALOT!!

So here's the other thing.  Sometimes we know we need to keep going, but we act like we don't.  Sometimes we know we need to change, but we act like we don't.  Sometimes We don't know we know what we need to do, but the door keeps coming in front of us..    Remember we are always being helped to see where we need to persist.   Stop pretending to be asleep. Stop letting that lie act like a truth.  You can learn a new trick.  New dog, Old dog alike..   Now breathe, and now, do it again... and again... see how easy that is...

Cue words.   DO IT AGAIN, 


Friday, September 7, 2012


I have been busy in the garden for the last month.  I am lucky enough to be involved in a community garden as well as my yard at the house.  I have felt the abundance and specificity of the earth and seeds.   A pumpkin seed cannot ever become a corn plant, nor a daisy, a dahlia.  I love the idea that inherent in each of us are the seeds to how we will grow and develop.  Will I be the knotty branches of a sea pine, or the fiery color in a red tipped rose?

 I am a believer.  A believer in will and effort and magic and miracles.  But there is such wisdom in seeds.  Wildflowers will often wait as much as a decade on the open plains, waiting for the right season of water and temperature to flourish into wild colored beauty.
This whole area here is blessed with such rich soil.  Often you will drive by farmland and see a complete field of yellow or orange, dense color, like from spilled paint, and as you approach, you realize it is a field of seed flowers.  Flowers raised for those little packets you can buy in garden shops.

My garden feeds me a fresh salad every day, with lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers, and dinner every night of swiss chard, spinach, beans.  I have not had this bounty in my life for some time, and I can only tell you that it heals me.
I see people either fight against their nature, or talents, or simply not know what they like or which activities enlivens and nourishes them.  I think that like each seed, we each have some destiny in us.  We have a particular way that we each need to grow.  I am not saying that we cannot explore life and taste and try things.  I  think this is an important part of living.  But we need to remember that we have some direction within us.  We each have talents, skills and passions, that when we discover them will be like coming home.  Like plants, some of us need more sunlight, some don't transplant well, some seeds scatter and carry on the wind.    Some of are trees, some food, some for the ever shining beauty of flowers.    

What is most true is that we all belong here.  We all have a guide within that will take us and send our shoots out to the right trellis, or the night sky,  or dig into the soil beneath us with our carrot and beet bottoms, or fill a field with oats and grain.  Our map, our pattern lies within.                                                                                    

          The question would be:  How does one know what kind of person we are?
In gardening, sometimes you don't really know what you have until you plant it and see how it does. Every day of our lives is an experiment in gardening our passions, cultivating our environment, feeding and watering ourselves with attention to what will most help us grow and produce what it is in our nature to produce. I do know that when we are in the right environment for us, we will rise each day toward the sun, and flourish, and with the abundance of earth

CUE WORDS:          I BELONG.  

               I AM BECOMING WHO I AM.


Saturday, August 11, 2012


This week I went to a Native American flute circle.  I took my hand made drum, made by my Paiute/Shoshone friend Bert Pete in Nevada.  I was met by a lovely woman with long white hair and the friendliest, kindest manner I have come across in a long while.   The short story is I had so much fun playing my drum and listening to flute music, and eventually trying to play a loaner flute the woman Alice, showed me how to use.  Iris and Zuzu, my scottie girls, have been sitting with heads cocked as I undertake this new version of me.  My friends have kidded me that I will be on the road in a tour bus with the group in no time.   As I said.....FUN!!!!

I have long been taken with rattles and other instruments of percussion.  I have a collection of ones that have come to me or  that I have made.   They have been sitting in a handmade basket for years, moving with me from house to house, with the basket getting fuller as the years pass.  This morning I was thinking about those pieces of ourselves that seem to hang around at the edges of our lives.  Maybe our lack of attention is time related, or we simply forget that we enjoy such things, or perhaps we do not give ourselves permission to try, to venture out, to begin something new, to be "not very good at" something.

I think this interlude served to remind me that our hearts/souls/spirits/Psyche KNOWS what it needs, and often waits patiently until we turn around and look.  So just for today, look around and see if there is something that invites your pleasure.  Maybe it is musical or a club or a sport.  Just for today pick it up. Sing, dance, drum.  It will be present that you give to your Soul.  I promise it will make you laugh in joy.


Friday, July 27, 2012

HEART TO HOME >>>>>> Calling YOU!

                                                           Good Morning to you.  

In the last three days I have heard the old 60's phrase of "Peace Out".  I was figuring it was time for a revival. Let us begin by holding your center, your Self in the BIG.  The LARGE.  The CCCCCC....COSMOS!    PEACE OUT!!!!

What follows was a gift to me.  I come to this sound, as I do many mornings, and am reminded of how quickly my heart clears, my mind slows, and I feel connected to the Great Beyond, however that looks this day.  Do take a moment to free yourself from the twittery, fluttery life of your day, and settle into that spot that brings home energy to your body and soul.  I bookmark it and listen to it in the evenings as well..  such a way to settle the spirit.  To the crazy, busy person inside of you I will assure that the time it takes to listen to it will genuinely change your energy, and in a few short minutes.

                              The Great Bell Chant (The End of Suffering) on Vimeo

                                                         Blessings,   Misty

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Conversations with Space

We often think of talking to ourselves as form of insanity.  I am thinking that we don't really do enough of it...that is to say, CONSCIOUSLY.   Yes, we are in there with the mind ALL THE TIME, but most of us are ducking and swinging at the voice, either trying to get it to shut up or shrinking away from the shame, judgement, abuse that we are unconsciously leveling at ourselves.

People often think that therapy, is about making changes, or solving problems.  I would say it has more to do with making our inner voices conscious.  It is in consciousness that we have choice.  Carl Jung said "Enlightenment is not about imagining figures of light, but about making the darkness conscious."  I have long loved that quote.  What wisdom therein!

So this path we are on, is more about seeing than changing.  I found this video that a young boy made in anticipation of sharing it with his older self.  The "older self" found it and made it into a dialog.  I think you will  enjoy it.

Has 32-Year-Old Man Conversation with 12-Year-Old Self - Mandatory

So here's the thought for the day:  Listen and speak to your inner self.  There may be more wisdom there than you imagine.  

And when you find that the words you hear inside of yourself are judging, unkind, shaming, speak with love and gentleness to yourself, as you would to a frightened abused child.  


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Toxic Soup

Remember you can reach me through my website at

                                Sometimes we draw energy to us, like the Bay Bridge in storm.  

We radiate a kind of acceptance to energies that we grew up with.  Sometimes we find ourselves feeling badly around people who apparently are our friends.  They have qualities that seem familiar.   We do need to remember that the word familiar, comes from the word family, and that those energies may hide some behaviors that are toxic to us.  Like a kind of toxic soup that we keep ladling into ourselves, thinking that it is good for us.

Do you have people in your life who:

           Cannot apologize when they have hurt you?

Justify their behavior and say things like:  "I cannot live my life taking care of your feelings?"

            Blame you for their foul moods and bad behavior?

Cannot speak up when their feelings get hurt and then act passive aggressively?
            Dictate how you should be in the world?

Store up negative emotion and then dump it on you in unsuspecting moment?

             Use your differences to make you wrong?

Call names, shame and embarrass you?

            Tell you this is the way that "everyone" does this?

All of the above describe dysfunctional, abusive relationship qualities.  Now most of us have managed to weed out the worst of these offenders as we grow up and become more conscious of ourselves.   It is often hard to see these characteristics in those relationships that often offer other nice qualities.  The question you have to ask yourself is this:   "How much am I willing to pay for those moments of goodness?"   

Sometimes we are drinking "Toxic Soup".  Just for today, focus only on those people that bring you joy and energy that is friendly to your being.  No need for judgement or criticism or even confrontation, just move back a little.  Notice how that feels.  Sometimes this action can bring up feelings of fear.  Just for today, notice them, acknowledge them, and recognize that these feelings are survivable, and relax.

Again, move your focus towards more loving energy.  

Relax,  Breathe,  Sip something else!

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bumping boats and falling in the water!


I started out above the bay, having lunch at a spot that overlooks Morro Rock, the jetty and the head of the bay.  There was a flurry of activity below me.  Fishing boats entering and exiting the bay to open sea and what was, apparently a school for sailing.  I counted twenty-six white sails, on small, light 10 foot boats that looked like a child's drawing of a rowboat.  Clearly each single person on each single boat was learning how to navigate in the wind.  Initially it looked rather chaotic, a swarm of white moths, bumping into one another, stopping, starting, with no apparent design.  I would look away, distracted by a kayaker or someone walking on the inside of the dunes that protect the bay, or the little island with fat seals pushing each other off as they scrambled aboard the small space.  The flutter of the sails would pull my eyes back to watch this dance of learning.  As time passed and my lunch disappeared and my dogs were snoring in their after beach walk nap, there began a rhythm, a beat, unheard by me, but indeed the sailors.  Like flocks in the sky, on the point of a moment, many would shift the sail and turn.  At first it was two at one end of the group, then three in the middle.  As the afternoon deepened, so did their sense of balance in the wind.  An hour later I was watching a ballet.

Morro Bay, CA: Discover A New Rock Star!

Morro Bay Photos - Featured Images of Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County - TripAdvisor

I was thinking about how we learn things.  Much like the people in the tiny sailboats.. at first we bump around getting it wrong as often as we get it right.  But WE DO LEARN...   You cannot do something over and over again without eventually thinking of a way to do it more efficiently, more beautifully.  As with many things, it is the PRACTICE of something that brings change.

How important is it to fail?  It is essential.  We could not drive a car the first time we sat behind the wheel, but as we sat there, again and again, in many traffic situations, we learned.  We learned to pay attention to what was important, and ignore what was not.  What a miracle, what a joy!  We learn, because...... WE LEARN!!   How cool is that?

Cue words:  "When I fail, it means I am in the process of learning."   Now say it again.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I was sitting in one of my favorite spots overlooking the Rock in Morro Bay.  The mist was sliding around the base of the rock, sometimes occluding the top, and within minutes the lower portion.  For a moment I couldn't see it at all, and then, BLINK, there it was in full.

So often we only see such a small portion of what is happening, or what surrounds us, or the story.
We cannot think that the current difficulty is indeed tied to the joy waiting around the next bend.  Or see that the trouble here is a gift to give us an opportunity to miss and even bigger mess ahead.

All is connected.  We are connected.  Have the consciousness, just for today, that what we toss into the waters of the Pacific Ocean is felt by someone standing on the sand in the Sahara.

REPEAT:  I am not alone, have never been alone, and cannot, in the future ever be alone,  I belong in my life, and who I am today touches everyone, as they do me.

If this interests you, explore COURSE IN MIRACLES - A Course in Miracles - famous quotes and sayings

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Soul Habitats

When you do anything repetitive, it allows the mind to go into a kind of idle gear.  I think it is why I love those kinds of activities.  Not racing but settling into to something.  Anyway, when I was doing my mile in the pool yesterday morning, I started to think about water and how it surrounded and held me in place and time.  That lead me to think about that study about how water is effected by the surrounding emotions when it freezes.  LOVE water made different crystals than HATE water.

Although there are critics of this idea and this study, it led me to think about surrounding energies.  The first comes out of Siddha Yoga teachings, that tell us that our minds are deeply connected to those energies of the people around us.  In fact if we feel ourselves low or troubled, that we should first look to which people we have spent time with.  Is there energy uplifting and positive or critical, angry or sour?

The next thought was from Buddhist traditions and I was thinking about the living meditation of saying "I love you" within your mind whenever you are in the presence of someone who is fearful, escalating in anger or threatening in some way.  I have used this at times in sessions when I see a client sliding into a despairing state, or acting defensively out of fear.  I was often able to see immediate changes in the person, when nothing else had apparently influenced their state.

Reclining Buddha

Carl Jung also believed that if you want someone to know what you are thinking, you only have to KNOW IT DEEPLY yourself.  I have often seen this evidenced when a client works for a period of time towards the end result of confronting a person or situation.  What is surprising is that often when that state of readiness exists, they will often report that the situation or person has changed or shifted behavior.

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
Carl Jung"Memories, Dreams, Reflections", 1962

It is the same with the physical world as well.  If we are in places where there is stress, disorder and ugliness, we inhale this somehow into our being, for me a kind of disgruntled energy arises within.  And when we are in orderly places or natural environments, we are calmed.  I especially like orchards and vineyards, or well tended gardens, but the wildness of the forest or the ocean is calming and steadying as well.

Photo: Vineyard under cloud-studded blue sky

So what are we talking about here?  Our environment does touch our Psyche and Soul.  You might consider a day of watching where you are and how the space, people and world interact with your own energies.

OFFSTAGE CUES:  Energy fields, Mood changes.