Creating Your Right Life

inspiration & tools for empowered living


Make Your Own Pocket Eden… Insight from Martha

220px__lesser_goldfinch_1I’ve written a lot of delirious prose about my experiences in Africa, and in my new home where the back yard is a national forest. If I could, I would take everyone to these gorgeous places that restore my spirit. It frustrates me that I can’t. Recently, however, I’ve found a spot as wondrous and magical as any safari I’ve ever taken—and this one you can replicate, if you want. I highly recommend it.

Here’s what I did: I put a bird feeder and a little fountain outside my bedroom window. I face that window when I meditate. While I’m supposed to be watching Nothing, I sometimes realize that I’ve become enthralled by the miniature ecosystem outside.

I especially love a family of tiny Lesser Goldfinches who couldn’t care less about an ordinary birdbath, but love to bathe in running water. I am not kidding; these little yellow puffballs love bathing like drug abusers love crack. They shiver with joy, lowering themselves into the water and fluffing their feathers with pleasure so obvious it would get them arrested in some states (not California). Each time I see this, it makes me deeply, absurdly happy.

I’m going on about this because I’m pretty sure you could make this experience, or something like it, happen for yourself.  If there’s even the tiniest space—a window ledge, a planter box—where you could invite nature in, do it. Then sit still long enough to see wild things discover and enjoy what you’ve offered them.

I could quote studies showing that this will do fantastic things for your physical and mental health. But I’d rather just have you go look outside, maybe scatter some birdseed, and let the wild things come and tell you themselves. 

P.S.— Watch my home video of the tiny goldfinches frolicking in the bath above. Then, click on the picture below to see how my oneness with the tiny birds manifested the first-ever appearance of an eagle (captured by a nature camera on a different part of my ranch).


Lame Animal Totem: Skunked Dog


This month’s lame animal totem is the Skunked Dog.  This is a unique animal, a phenomenon that occurs when two ordinary totems, Skunk and Dog, meet and form an altogether different spirit animal. The Skunked Dog represents flagrantly self-destructive stupidity, intrusiveness, and the inability to imagine the consequences of reckless behavior. Its energy is morose, whiny, unrepentant, and disgusting. 
When a Skunked Dog enters your life, it is a sign that you should close all your doors and windows. THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR. CLOSE THE DOORS AND WINDOWS. The aroma of the Skunked Dog will pervade any area that is not immediately sealed, preferably by a federally qualified hazmat team. If the Skunked Dog is your spirit animal, you have definitely been doing something you were advised against. You can expect to find yourself washed vigorously 73 times, sprayed with two full cans of aerosol deodorant, and exiled to the screened porches of your loved ones’ lives. And it will be your own damn fault.

The model for this month’s lame animal totem is none other than my beloved and recently skunked canine, Bjorn. ~Martha