The Road Less Traveled. My Heart Reminisces and Blossoms.

The Road Less Traveled. My Heart Reminices and Blossoms.

There was a time in my life that taking the shortest, fastest route was how I traveled anywhere I went. Just thinking about that now makes me want to jump out of my skin.

These days I look for the most scenic route to take. This often means taking the back roads. The roads less traveled these days it seems. I try to avoid the long stretch of speed and concrete on the super highways if possible.

I actually feel different and better when I do.

This morning I didn’t plan accordingly with my time when I set out to go to the dentist. As I was driving 70 miles an hour down the highway I felt my soul shrink into a safe place, not wanting to keep pace with the cars rushing by me.

I knew after my dental cleaning was done that to entice my soul back out of its cocoon that a picturesque ride back home would be in the cards.

The dentist office I go to is about a half hour from my home. It is also close to the neighborhood I grew up as a little girl. I didn’t have anywhere to be after my appointment so I rambled home the long and slow way.

What a treat!  I love driving down Geele Avenue to 10th street where I walked those sidewalks many a times when I went to Washington Elementary School. I don’t have vivid memories of being a young girl, but I do remember bits and parts. Like trick or treating at night, which I loved and wish they still did today. I also remember playing “Barbie dolls” with my friend Liz on the different corners of our block.

When I travel this way, back to the “old” neighborhood I think about all the good memories of my childhood. Past my house on 10th street I went. Such a long time ago. Another life and many chapters ago. Going past the house I lived in until in the seventh grade, I often think of my childhood friend, Kelly. I fondly called her Kewee and she called me Bwarpie. She lived a few short blocks away and between the two of us we had a pretty big stuffed animal collection.

I took the country roads home, listening to the Doris Day station on Pandora, which I’m addicted to lately. Past farms, barns, cows, sheep, horses, and blossoming trees as my soul slowly peeked back out again. I swear I heard it sigh in relief.

And past part of the Sheboygan River I went. Not a car in site, so I got out and took the photo above. I could hear the water rushing under the bridge and it made my heart feel home. There is just something about nature that makes me feel at peace.

As I got back in the car I silently gave thanks for this time I had to take the long way home. The road less traveled never seems to feed my soul in such a beautiful way.

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The “Seaside Donkey” Film. I Couldn’t Stop Smiling. A Donklightful Review!

The “Seaside Donkey” Film. I Couldn’t Stop Smiling. A Donklightful Review!

The tagline? 1000 miles around Wales, with a donkey. Indeed, that is the succinct description of what the film is about.


Last night, I snuggled Miss Gidget on my lap, downloaded the film, Seaside Donkey onto my ipad, and was immediately hooked from the start.

It is a one hour and seventeen minute donkumentary (as it is creatively described!) by filmmaker Rhys Thwaites-Jones, and it captivated me.


Though, truly no surprise to those who know me and that I simply adore donkeys! Just as much as dachshunds I must confess. And interestingly they are both similar in many ways!  Stubborn, willful, affectionate, and wise creatures they are.


Hannah Engelkamp set out on a quest to travel around Wales, along the seaside, on foot, with an ass (err, donkey!) named Chico beside her as her companion. She conjured up in her mind this romantic and meditative journey.

The thing is, Hannah never had an animal in her life. She had no idea what she was about to experience in the human-animal bond phenomenon. And this is exactly why the film had me laughing out loud often, smiling just about the whole way through, and my heart melting and eyes misting over with tears and what Chico was teaching her.

Donkeys don’t like water and don’t care to climb hills. And there would be plenty of that on their jaunt around Wales which had me laughing, but also feeling very much the frustration Hannah was experiencing.

But also intriguing as it was a reminder that we are not in control. A reminder to live in the present moment and take it as it is. Donkey wisdom, don’t you know, is so wise!

The film shows how simple life can be and the immense joy we can find in that, which left me wanting even more simplicity in my own. It also taught Hannah, strong-willed herself, that asking for help isn’t a bad thing. There were times it was the only way — and the gifts she received in letting go were unexpected and delightful rewards.

This film and it’s book version (which I’ll be reading next and can hardly wait!), is one I took part in donating to via a Kickstarter campaign.

I greatly admire Ms. Englekamp for her kick-ass (ass pun intended!) attitude and adventurous spirit. It was an honor to support this endearing, full of laughter, and wisdom at every turn story.

If you love donkeys, admire those who follow their hearts calling, and live from the inside, out… well, do yourself a favor and check this film and book out today at Seaside Donkey website. It was truly donklightful!

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Goddess Paintings Now Grace My Studio. They Have Much Wisdom to Share.

Goddess Paintings Now Grace My Studio. They Have Much Wisdom to Share.
artwork by: Barbara Techel

I did it. I painted three large paintings (24 x 48). I kind of can’t believe it.

I always said I couldn’t paint. But then one said wonderful artist, who I also happen to call Mom, inspired and encouraged me to give it a try.

The day spent with my mom a few months ago learning how to do what she calls “paper towel” painting is a memory that fills my soul with love and joy.

“Paper towel” painting is mixing acrylic paints together and then dabbing a scrunched up paper towel into the mixed colors and dabbing it onto the canvas. The ground, middle, and sky portion of each of these paintings is this technique.

I was inspired to do these tree Goddess paintings after seeing another painting that incorporated this idea.

My Joyful Pause Studio where I teach SoulCollage(r) workshops and where I happened to have a very long wall I needed something for was where I knew I wanted my Goddesses to reside.

It’s a space where I want to continue to welcome women to take time for themselves, tune into their own inner wisdom, create, and discover new things about themselves that I hope will help them to live a more meaningful and joyful life.

I felt a wave of emotion surge through me when I hung the last Goddess painting on the wall yesterday afternoon.

It took me some time to complete these paintings and at times I was frustrated. But it also made me think about this new place I’m at in my life which has been something I’ve envisioned for a long time.

Just like times I was frustrated thinking I didn’t know where I was headed, but could sense a new path wanting to emerge, I knew I had to have patience and trust in the process.

Just like doing the paintings. And just like SoulCollage(r) teaches – trusting in our own process-moving to the rhythms of our own inner soul whispers is what I believe we are all being called to do.

I also find myself fighting the urge to say my paintings are not perfect, they could be better — that I am not an artist in this sense.

But I know these are conditions I’ve been taught to believe about myself. And I know they are not true even though I must fight the urge to think so.

I am not perfect, nor do I want to be. I want to continue to grow and learn. I am an artist. I am a Goddess.

A Goddess who wants to continue to stand in her feminine, artistic, womanly wisdom and open her arms to other women seeking to embrace the power of their inner Goddess.

And together we will form a circle of love, joy and peace that will radiate out into the universe and set the planet aglow.

Now didn’t I tell you? These Goddess have much wisdom to share. I, for one, plan to keep paying attention.

If you’d like to learn more about my workshops, I have a special page set up on my website for information. You can learn more here.

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