365 Days in Aspen



ouchOuch! I'm still hurting from my accident Monday. 

There's not much exciting to share about that, other than acknowledging that an active lifestyle can lead to higher degrees of risk. If I was back in Atlanta, working out inside…

Oops. Forgot about the scabies I caught from gym equipment. That was horrible. 

I guess life is filled with risk no matter what you do. 

And there was no way for me to avoid that guy who hit me. I was just skiing, slowly, in a straight line in a not very congested area. I wasn't trying any daredevil moves. Not trying to navigate thigh-high moguls. Not going down a black diamond run. Nope.  

And that's life. I'm okay. Just swollen and sore. 

Oh, well.

Ski Songs

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Music has always been a crucial part of my enjoyment of skiing. I guess I should be as self-conscious as you feel when you're caught driving and singing at the top of your lungs, but frankly I don't care what people think. If anyone judges me when I'm enjoying myself, then it's their problem. 

As a subscriber to Google Play Music, I can create my own playlists of songs, comprised of music from their service as well as tracks I own. And unlike other services, once I've downloaded the playlist to my phone, I don't have to be connected to the internet or use up data while I listen. 

So here's my latest "Ski Songs" playlist. As you'll see, it's a combination of new tunes and classics. Some you might scratch your head and wonder what that song could possibly have to do with skiing. I hope that's true. I like keeping you guessing.  





Skiing My A** Off!

fat-boys-and-the-beach-boys-wipeout-1987Saturday, and again today (Monday) I skied my a** off.  Actually in a way literally. Without giving too much away, on Saturday I skied "with" a famous person and her entourage. I put "with" in quotation marks because of course I wasn't actually sking with this person who I admire so much. But I was able to get some pictures until I was politely asked to stop. And she/they were skiing behind me for over an hour – always two seats behind me in the lift line.  

Question: If you saw someone famous you admire and took a picture, would you share them? Sell them? Or respect their privacy?

I was skiing so well (mainly thanks to my friend who was encouraging me to keep up and the fact that the conditions were pretty nice) that I ended up skiing 10 runs from top to bottom – my personal record! It took 3 hours of non-stop fast-paced skiing. 

I took off on Sunday so I could have an Author Takeover Event on Facebook and tell people about my Fifty Shades Deeper. 

Today I went skiing again and WHAM! got knocked on my butt by an out-of-control snowboarder. Now I have a busted lip and swollen hip and bruises all over. 


I'll surivive. 

But I did tell him that if he'd hit me this hard 2 months ago he would've killed me.  (Because of the blood thinners I was on.)

Guess I'm taking a few days off.  

More later.

Save Our Precious Landmarks

ExploreBooksellersThere are certain things every town needs to preserve. A walkable "Main Street," as many parks as possible, and a bookstore. 

The world of books and publishing has changed so much over the past 10 or so years that bookstores have been struggling. And in a place like Aspen, where real estate is extremely expensive, keeping a business like a bookstore alive is even that much more challenging. 

But what would a town be like without a bookstore? 

10405Thankfully, we do have one here – Explore Booksellers – and I've had the pleasure of visiting there twice in two days. The first was the event by the Aspen Writer's Network when I spoke there Thursday night. And then again yesterday I went back to hear Robert Wagner talk about his new book, "I Loved Her In The Movies."  

What a fun-loving, gracious and classy man. And an honor to meet him. Hopefully there will be "more of that story" in a future post. 



Made You Cry!

transitus picAs a writer and storyteller, one of the greatest feelings in the world is when you really move someone, even more so when you make them cry.  

I remember the first time I did this. I was on the high school Speech Team and performing for a "prose" competition where I delivered the final speech by Gayle Sayers from the TV movie "Brian's Song." The teacher who was judging the event was crying when I finished with "I love Brian Piccolo, and I'd like all of you to love him, too. And tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him." 


Last night I was asked to speak at an Aspen Writer's Network event and I read a short story I'd written recently. Every time I'd read it to myself, practicing for the event, I cried at the ending. And when I delivered it last night, I made at least one audience member cry, too. 

Here's the story, if you're interested in reading it. I hope you feel moved, too. 


Transitus Part 1 – Justine – for Explore Reading

Archetypes (and Purpose), Part 4

archetypes.breed_According to Caroline Myss, our archetypes are not only components of our soul – the part of us that existed before we're born and will continue on after we die – they are also key elements of our purpose on Earth. 

Interestingly, and perhaps paradoxically, our archetypes also determine whether we actually believe we have a purpose. 

I'm no expert – and will readily admit that I can't tell you how some of the 80 or so archetypes Myss identifies could possibly have any kind of "soul purpose." Like Gunslinger, Victim or Vampire. Either I need to read more about it (I'm about halfway through the book and just ordered her "Archetype Cards" and still need to read Soul Contracts) or my belief system isn't in alignment with hers. I'm hoping it's more about lessons than purpose. I'll let you know.  


In the meantime, I will say how my top three archetypes mentioned the other day impact my life – both positively and negatively. 

The other day a friend suggested that my goals might be too lofty/ambitious. She said I was good at other things, hinting that I might want a more "average" lifestyle. 

But if you listen to Myss, she says that once you find your purpose, your archetypes and how they combine with your soul purpose, there's no denying it. You are compelled to follow that path. No. Matter. What. 

No matter what. 

What drives you? What's your purpose? What are you unconditionally willing to sacrifice to follow that path? 

I think you know the answer for me. Creative + Visionary + Caretaker. Creating big ideas that can change the world. Lofty? Yes, undeniably. But it's in my soul. My purpose. No. Matter. What. 

What's the answer for you?

Here's an exercise on Myss's website: https://www.myss.com/free-resources/sacred-contracts-and-your-archetypes/determining-your-archetypes/


Gone Skiing

gone skiing














I went skiing yesterday and today for the first time in almost 3 weeks. So I'm not going to write much. Look for more on Archetypes tomorrow.  

Why so long between skiing trips, you might ask? A combination of reasons. One is that I'm spoiled living here and only feel compelled to go when the weather and conditions are ideal. Another is that it does take up more time, and forces me to leave earlier in the day than I would have to do if I was hiking (and I love hiking). And a third reason is that I have been busy. I took a class two weeks ago (still need to write about that). And I've been working on launching my book and writing a new one. And I guess laziness and self-indulgence figures into it, too… 

Tune in tomorrow for more on Archetypes and Purpose! 

Archetypes, Part 3







The past two days I've discussed Archetypes and how they can impact your life. I started with highlighting the top archetypes identified on Archetypes.com.  "Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start."  (Can you name that tune?)  

Of course, there are quite a bit more than the dozen listed here. Caroline Myss suggests that we have 12 major archetypes that define our soul – and determine our soul contract(s) for this lifetime. 

I'm still learning what mine are – trying to distinguish between the ones that are aspirational vs. actual – beyond the three that I talked about in the last two posts. (I still haven't finished her book, after all. And I certainly need to do more studying). On her website, Myss offers a "gallery" of the archetypes she mentions: https://www.myss.com/free-resources/sacred-contracts-and-your-archetypes/appendix-a-gallery-of-archtypes/.  

Am I an addict? Maybe a little – to my drive to create and share a vision.

Am I an advocator? Only in my role as a caregiver to the planet. 

Am I an alchemist? Yes – in my inventions and creations and manifesting my visions.

Angel? Um, no.  

Artist? More of a creator than an artist per se.

Athlete? Not really.  Avenger? Nope. Beggar? Hope not. Bully? No. Child? No. Clown? No. Companion? No. Damsel? No. Destroyer? No. Detective? Not really. Dilettante? Need to learn more to see if that fits. Don Juan? Don't think so! Engineer? No. Exorcist? No. Father? Um, no. Femme Fatale? No. Gambler? Maybe a little. God? No! Goddess? Doubt it. Gossip? Don't think so. Healer? Yes a bit. Hedonist? No. Hero/Heroine? Aspirational. Judge? More like justice-seeker than judge. King? No. Knight? No. Liberator? Need to read more. Lover? In a way (but not how you think). Martyr? Hope not. Mentor? Hope so. Messiah? Doubt it! Midas? No way. Monk/Nun: No. Mother? No. (Explains a lot). Mystic? No. Networker? Maybe. Poet? Not really. Priest? As if! Prince? No. Prostitute? No. Queen? No. Rebel. Doubt it – it's more that I don't fit into this world than I'm rebelling against it. Rescuer? Maybe. Saboteur? Maybe. Samaritan? Don't think so. Scribe? No. Seeker? Probably a little. Servant? Hope not. Shape-Shifter? Hmmm… Slave? Hope not. Storyteller? Yes. Student? Only a little. Teacher? Yes. Thief? Nope. Trickster? No. Vampire? No. Victim? Not today. Virgin? Hmmm… Visionary? Yes of course. Warrior? No. 

How about you? Are you willing to share and discuss?

Archetypes, Part 2

visionary typesYesterday I talked about archetypes, and shared with you my own. Each archetype has multiple dimensions. For example, the Creative archetype are different forms of creative expression. The artist, the chef, the poet, the novelist. 

The other expressions of the Visionary, my secondary type, were most interesting to me. The Designer, the Futurist, the Entrepreneur, the Director, the Strategist, the Intuitive, the Detective. 


Now let's look at the shadow side of the Visionary. (The shadow side of the Creative didn't fit me, to be honest.  I'm neither a perfectionist nor a copycat. The Visionary in me would never allow either!)  

shadow to visionaryThe shadow side of the Visionary does hit close to the mark. 

"Without investors, many visionaries would be nowhere." Oops.

And "You have an inordinate need for solitude." Yep. This explains why some people might wonder how I can enjoy Aspen and not go out to every event every moment of the day. I need time to create, to think. 

"Can also become intolerant of other people and other places." Yes – especially when it/they conflict with my 3rd Archetype, which is Caregiver. Ohhh yeah. And another reason for my despair for what's going on in the world today. 

I hope you enjoyed this discussion on Archetypes. I would LOVE to hear yours!  Please go to my facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/365DaysinAspen/ – and tell me what you got!  



archetypesI've mentioned before that one way my life has changed a lot is that I've gone from exercising in a gym (primarily an elliptical machine and stationary bike) to exercising outdoors. It makes my workouts more weather-dependent, which is an adjustment I've still not quite adapted to. (I might even call the nearby gym to see What their rates are). In the winter, it's not that bad, since snow is easier to walk/hike/ski in than rain. But when it's a blizzard or rain that goes on for several days, I'm relegated to an indoor, sedentary life. 

Another adjustment in this lifestyle is that I used to be able to read and read and read while I worked out. Working out 1 1/2 to 2 hours a day, I could read one or more books a week. But the inability to read while hiking or skiing has put a damper on my reading. The only option is to find audio books, which is a long way to introduce my topic today: Archetypes. 

As I hike, I've been listening to Caroline Myss talk about Archetypes. It's quite interesting, and a good follow-up to my recent discussions about the Mexican Fisherman. How? You may ask. 

my archetypesThe Archetypes tell us a lot about ourselves. Not only our personality, but our purpose. They tie to our soul contracts; our reason for being here. The lessons we're here to learn and the accomplishments we're here to fulfill. 

I went online today and found a quiz to determine your archetypes. They're not exactly the ones Caroline uses, but it's a good start and a fun, insightful and easy quiz.  http://www.archetypes.com/  My results came back, and here they are: 56% Creative; 27% Visionary and 17% Caregiver.  

Okay, that fits. It explains how I want to do big, creative, breakthrough things that help people. Works for me!  (My only problem, as you may have surmised by now, is getting the world to see it that way, too.  Hmmm).  

The "other expressions" of the Visionary archetype include: Entrepreneur, Innovator, Pioneer, Guide, Dreamer, and the "Life Journey" is "To bring the future into the present, and sense the changing impulses of society."

Uh-oh. No wonder I'm so affected by what's going on in the world today. 

Further in this report, it shows more about each archetype. I'll get into that tomorrow.