Tag Archives: Whitefish

Home, Sweet Home

Home, sweet home.  I have been away since April 7.  Most of my time away was up at The Haven leading a Come Alive, followed by Couples Alive I & Couples Alive II.  It was a very full stretch.  Of course, I loved the work and the wonderful people I had the chance to meet and work with.  I am very fortunate that I get to do work I love.  We finished off the trip with a two day corporate client event down in Portland.

Couples Alive & On the Edge!
Here are just a few of the great couples having some fun!

There were many moments where I had some great ideas and/or experiences I wanted to share.  However, there wasn’t much free time so the imagined blog post were never completed. Now home, I have the time but not quite as inspired!

Currently, the biggest thing on my mind is my desire to create community and connections for myself here in Whitefish.  See, I found myself thinking about moving, and when I mentioned this to CrisMarie, she wisely pointed out that my solution might not really be solving my underlying dissatisfaction.  In the past six months I have been living on Gabriola Island BC more than I have been at home. Prior to that six month period there were some key changes in my connections here.  We finished our Masters program at Jwalan Muktika School for Illumination (JMSI) my term on the JMSI Board ended, my favorite hangout The Green Tea House closed, and we had a major break with some of our closest friends here in Whitefish.  Suddenly, Whitefish, though gorgeous and quite wonderful, seems more like a tourist stop than home.

After getting the first dose of wisdom from CrisMarie, she let that settle and delivered the second bit of input. Though she thought I thrived while engaged in a community, she didn’t think I was all that good at creating one.  Again, the feedback stung but had a lot of truth in it.  When I moved to Seattle, I did struggle to create the connections I wanted.  Mostly, I blamed that on traffic and too many choices.  Looking back more closely at my patterns, I noticed that I am great at jumping into groups and structures already in place, but may not be so great at building those connections myself.

So home again and this time without any long periods away for a while, I am hoping to break through and build the community I want here.  I know there are lots of possibilities. My first step is Whitefish Ladies Golf Night.  There are six of us who are game for being part of a team.  We play once a week on Tuesday evening.  I am not a great golfer, but the team agreed, this was for fun and connecting.  It’s okay if we lose or have big handicaps!

I would also like to start a monthly Body, Breath and Energy evening or Relational Health night in the Flathead Valley, bringing a bit of The Haven to Whitefish.  Of course, that will involve some marketing and may be more than I am up for.  Still, I would love to find some ways to do what I love right here at home.  Home, Sweet Home

I was happy to land back here in Montana.  Loved sleeping in my own bed and picking up Sooke, our most amazing dog.  Indeed, home is sweet. I just want to put a bit more effort into making it even better.  I’ll keep you posted along the way.







It’s Showtime Here In Whitefish!

CrisMarie is engaged in the local community theater again this year. She is once again playing the part of the family maid. This year’s production of Dividing the Estate, though billed as a comedy, has some quite realistic themes of fighting over money and other dysfunctional family dynamics that can cut close to the core. Her character, Mildred, the maid, gets a bit caught up in the “When do I get the money” theme of this Horton Foote play.

I have now seen the play three times. It has not been as easy to enjoy as last year’s zany comedy, You Can’t Take it With You, but I am beginning to appreciate Foot’s ability to show a slice of middle-American life.

I think we would all prefer not to recognize how we could be one of the members of this play. I hate to think I would hire lawyers and argue about the division of money and property the day my parents die. However, I have no doubt that if feeling desperate and fearful about my own security and livelihood, I too, would likely resort to unfavorable human dynamics in order to survive.

What is interesting for me during this annual theater experience and seeing the play so many times, is that I’m seeing aspects of the characters that I would otherwise never fully appreciate. Stella, the matriarch of the family, at first pass seems controlling and demanding. Three shows later, I am much more aware of her deep desire to have her family close. Though she doesn’t listen or connect to anyone other than Doug, the older servant, I get that she wants to give something to each of them. When one of her children is in trouble, she drops her crusty attitude and does whatever is needed. Stella’s unwillingness to divide the estate is much more about keeping the family together than holding on to money and land.

I could go on with each character, but unless you live in Whitefish and are around this weekend, you may never see this play. I don’t think it is one that shows regularly.  Still, I am reminded how much I like live theater.

In my many years at the Haven with Ben and Jock, I would always enjoy listening to them share their views of plays they would see in New York City.  Each year they would spend a week or more watching two plays a day, if possible, and come back using the stories from the stage as a connecting point for all of our lives.  For them, theater was so much like life.  Throughout the year at The Haven leading groups, these guys would work endlessly with the stories of peoples’ lives.  The hardships, the pain, the joy, the craziness—would be played out in group after group.  Ben and Jock were masters at directing people and assisting them in seeing how the choices they were making in their lives provided them with possible new interpretations on ways of living.  I loved learning from them.

I get it now. Each day of my life is like live theater, always acting with some objective in mind.  There is always a back story influencing each interaction. I have lines that I use and often forget.  I have a choice at all times to either respond in the moment and connect with the others on my stage or simply live life from the script without fully making an impact or connecting.

I get it and I am grateful for my annual community theater experience, and joyful that CrisMarie loves acting.  Maybe this year I will even make it to New York City for a week of seeing plays.  I know for sure that I will be at the Haven directing, assisting and participating in the rich and wonderful stories of others who join me on that stage.  Hopefully, I’ll do as well as Mildred and the others in Dividing The Estate at bringing all of me to the stage in whatever part is mine to play!

The Green Tea House Opens!!

Today is the first official day that The Green Tea House (TGTH) in Whitefish, MT is open for business.   TGTH is not my business though I am very excited and engaged in making it a success.  My friend, Vickie Kelson, had the inspiration for TGTH over ten years ago.  Last year she really started raising cash and breaking ground.  Over this past year there have many, many reasons why TGTH was not practical or viable.  TGTH is a gluten-free, organic, vegan cafe and tea house in the center of Whitefish, MT.  Nothing about the place is cheap or inexpensive.  In the current economy it is not looking like the best time for such an endeavor.  However, the opening day is proving that it is worth holding on to a dream even when the winds of resistance and frequent storms and obstacles get in the way of manifestation.

TGTH, is bright and colorful, the food is wonderful and I do believe it will inspire even the dieheart meateater to try a few vegan meals.  For anyone who has discovered the importance of taking in healthy food that nurtures the soul,  TGTH will be a naturally sweet surprise in a world too focused on fast-food, refined sugar, carbs and red meat.  For me it is the energy of a dream that I tap into whenever I come through the doors.

As I sit here today with the doors open and folks coming in for tea, I actually believe I will write my book.  I may just do it sitting here.  The place is alive with excitement.  Of course there are still many bridges to cross before The Green Tea House is solidly on it’s financial legs.  That the doors are open is a miracle and reminder that we do live in a world of unlimited possibilities.  I want to celebrate and spread the word – miracles happen when someone has the inspiration and courage to dream and stay with the dream through the storms that come with bringing a new idea to life. Way to go Vickie and all who have been a part of making The Green Tea House possible!!!

If you are interested in learning more or even in offering financial support to The Green Tea House you can find out more at www.thegreenteahouse.net.

Of course what I most highly recommend is stop by for tea!!