Date: (Sunday, December 19, 2010)

I have felt this writing
coming on for awhile as thoughts tumble about in

this brain of mine.

It seems I must write them, put pen to paper as the stones polish.

There are two books I share with you.


The Earth Speaks is a collection of earth wisdom that perhaps will be enjoyed by all of us together as we connect with Mother Earth! This writing resonates with so much of who I am and who I want to be.

Maybe some of it may resonate with you.


One of the early writings in this collection is by Ralph Waldo Emerson “The earth laughs in flowers”.  My spirit work over the last year has been on cultivating “playfulness” in my life and “lightening up a bit”. The magic of flowers help me smile and laugh, as I let go of any weariness that plagues my spirit. This specific work on playfulness has resulted in me resigning from a secure mental health nursing position of 14 years in March, 2010; a most difficult, painful decision and venturing out on my own. Scary- you bet yah!

Letting myself be a little more playful is an emotional stretch yet a necessary pushup in the life lessons coming my way. My future work plans are uncertain as I make room for other possibilities. I find myself curious about what is showing up. For some time I’ve been toying with the idea of pursuing an independent practice under the trade name “Karing Stories” as counselor, educator, facilitator, and story catcher. Now I have put this into action. And believe it or not- it’s working out just fine. The little people are my new teachers as are our native brothers and sisters. In keeping with playfulness there’s also this older guy with a graying beard who wants me to ride the iron horse with him touring as our son Wilson heads off to university to study stars, space and time travel. So this summer past I crawled on back & made the annual bike trek across the country. Those that know me well will understand how much of stretch this was for me. This old guy with the iron horse tells me “Your heart is smiling now”. My son says “You’re taking a leap of faith Mom. I have confidence in you. You’ll make it work. You always do”. I have learned to trust their wisdom; to listen with my heart. The eagles stay close, keeping watch, sharing strength. Together anything is possible. Life wants to happen.

The wilderness calls. We must answer.

Stay open to her lessons; they can be fierce and brutal.

The wilderness also teaches us about abundance, working together, adapting, cooperating, and valuing our interdependence. It teaches us about relationship. We exist in webs of relationships.

We can not survive alone. It is not possible for us to do it alone.

It is not about survival of the fittest which equates with competition and scarcity of resources where few are winners and the rest are losers. I no longer believe this. Well actually I am challenging this belief and trying to dig up the roots of it in my life. This belief only fosters despair, hopelessness, greed, hatred, fear and a need to control. Competition is not the whole story. Living systems in nature actually teach us that it is survival of the fit. Where fitness equates with how well we adapt to new incoming messages about what we need to change and who we need to cooperate with in order to sustain life. Sustainability equates with how well we value our differences, how well we cooperate and learn together from the relationships we are a part of, and how well we use our resources. It’s about how well we listen, make decisions & adapt.

The second book The Great Turning shares a more in depth dialogue about this, exploring the notion of cooperative partnership. Timing is perfect for this read. My challenge for you is to read it with an open heart. It has an intriguing message. I don’t pretend to be wise or moral enough to understand or take action on it all. I do believe it worthy of our time, energy and consideration in embracing new better ways of living and actualizing our talents in service to others and the world we live in!


This is my learning journey. I don’t always listen well yet know I am improving.

The wilderness calls for me too

with lessons from:

The Horse-

            noble old friend; a  free, flying spirit in race with the wind,

authentically present


The Eagle-

guardian angel of darkness and light;

traveler between worlds with powers of vision that stretch through time

The Rainbow Serpent of Australia’s Uluru

trailblazer who excavates desert river beds, influencing the directional flow of water the source of life & all that is fertile


and my ever faithful companion, The Dog.


Lessons from the pine and Mother Bear.

Lessons from the land, the mountains and the desert.

Lessons from the swamp.

Lessons from the people that would care for me

Lessons from those who would do me harm.


I hear the heart beat of Mother Earth. I feel the pulse deep within the center. Drumming.


These lessons give me hope and the necessary faith to make difficult changes; they help me find the necessary vision and courage. There are days when it seems I may need several lifetimes to master all I need to master. It is then I am thankful for the Buddhists. I don’t have to have it all figured out this moment or in this lifetime- I am responsible to the lessons in front of me right now about my physical, emotional & spiritual wellbeing and the wellbeing of those who seek me out for a dose of Karen. To live and die well in meaningful relationship with others connecting in matters of heart. Time is irrelevant with the exception of this very moment Now.


I can live and die knowing

I am engaged with learning to live life

at its fullest and helping others embrace this wisdom.


Wrapping up, one of the greatest gifts I brought home from the land down under in 2007 is some original music for original people “Jabaru”. It is very good medicine as is the song by John Denver- Eagles & Horses, singing a story close to me. Check it out.


I am thankful to our Great Creator for granting me breath for another day with many blessings. I am better for knowing you and will carry your wisdom on the journey ahead. Here’s to living well & bravely as we each answer our own unique call to greatness, in letting our light shine in service to those in need.


Many Blessings,


Spirit Walking with Karen. © 2010, Karen Brinkman, Karing Stories. All rights reserved.