Friday, November 8, 2013

Keeping The Spirit Alive

Ojai, CA -- Julie Tumamait-Stenslie, pictured here, is the Chairperson for the BarbareƱo/VentureƱo- Band of Mission Indians. Julie, a generous and accomplished woman, proudly carries the traditions of her family by sharing Chumash culture, history and songs to youth groups, schools, elder hostels, church and civic organizations.  Julie’s lived in the Ojai area nearly her entire life, and currently owns a home in the Meiners Oaks neighborhood, very near the birthplace of her great, great grandmother, Maria Ricarda Alulalmeque, who was raised in the Chumash village of Matilija. 

Photo: Graham Dunn

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Year In California

Basecamp, CA -- Every step of the journey is the journey.  The book I've worked on for the last four years is now printed.  Yipeee!  To learn more about it, visit:  For anyone lucky enough to have their dream come true, I pose a question: Now what?  Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Kickstarter Campaign Successful

On Independence Day, the book printing of "My Year In California ~ a journey toward midlife renewal" was funded on Kickstarter. Yippee!!! So grateful and humbled. My heart overflows with gratitude. Thank you to all my backers. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Here We Go!

Basecamp, CA--I've been writing a book "My Year In California ~ a journey toward midlife renewal," for the last 18 months.  It is 90 percent complete.  Yipee!!  I've launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the book's printing.  Visit the site to learn more about my project.  If you feel inspired to contribute and receive a reward, great.  I encourage you to view the Kickstarter website and see for yourself all the creative projects that people are working on.  Who knows, maybe you might just catch the fire and start your own project.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Intellectual Capitol of California

Sometimes magic happens...I walked to the clock tower or Campanile at U.C. Berkeley yesterday to gain some inspiration from the 22 Nobel laureates who were from Cal.  I’ve been struggling with the idea of surrendering to the writing process.  My book is in the homestretch, but I still needed some kind of grounding stone to set me on the path toward creativity.  I lay down on a cement bench and looked up at the clock tower and noticed it was almost 6 p.m.  I closed my eyes.  The scent of pine and concrete lingered in the air.  The clock struck six and I heard the deep sound of a gong being struck.  How cool was that? I thought to myself.  Then came the best part—it was the whimsical notes of a chime playing a lilting song.  I was being serenaded by the state’s largest musical jewelry box.  I surrendered to this ethereal experience and marveled at the beauty of life.  And then I wept. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Graduation Day

I graduated from Holy Names University in Oakland, California on May 18, 2013 with a Master’s Degree in Culture & Spirituality.  This two-year program is based on the new cosmology of Thomas Berry who said “The universe is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects.”  Thank you to my family and friends for their support on this sacred journey toward midlife renewal.  I’m grateful.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Book ~ A Journey Toward Midlife Renewal

Basecamp, CA -- The book is well on it's way toward completion.  Yipeee!!!  Here is the backcover blurb:

At midlife Ingrid Hart is a single woman whose two children have just left for college.  Once a mother who made cinnamon toast for her children, she has lost her identity. Ingrid wants to discover who she is in the second half of life and makes a bold choice. She launches on a one-year journey across California where she lives in one city per month for a year.  
Financial obstacles block her path from the start. Will she overcome these barriers and continue her journey or will she abandon her dream of discovering who she really is? 
Ingrid learns that her journey is mostly internal and loses faith in herself and her choices. She discovers her sacred wound—and it acts as a catalyst for her transformation—what imprisons her will also set her free. She holds both the lock and key to her personal salvation.  Ingrid must overcome her fears and learn to trust herself once again.  
A Journey Toward Midlife Renewal ~ My Year In California is a travelogue and pictorial essay.   There are over 80 images and captions of people and places that help tell Ingrid’s personal California story.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cabrillo National Monument

My son Jordan balances himself along
a wall at Cabrillo National Monument.
I closed my eyes while snapping this pix.

San Diego, CA -- “This may be the most beautiful day of the year,” I told Jordan at the Cabrillo National Monument as we gazed over all of downtown San Diego, sailboats set in the foreground.  It had rained the night before and there was snow on Mount Palomar and the Laguna Mountains.  I've worn contact lenses for the past 20 years, so my eyes are no longer sharp, yet I could still clearly make out the Spanish revival style tower that houses the Museum of Man at Balboa Park, ten miles away. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ojai: Krotona Library

My daughter Haley considers
the idea of theosophy as a course
of spiritual study for her future.
Ojai, CA -- I spent time at the Krotona Library studying my new non-religion: theosophy.   This well-stocked library, which was built in 1924 and houses rare, out-of-print books focuses on the esoteric branches of knowledge such as alchemy, astrology, and mysticism. In my opinion, the Kratona Library invented and now owns “new age.” Sometimes I would just sit in this venerable space looking out from the floor-to-ceiling picture window at the Heritage Oak tree and rose garden. In the background were rolling hills of dry, yellow grasslands framed by mountains. Through osmosis I would absorb the teachings without even cracking a book. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Venice: The Boys Are Back In Town

Venice, CA -- On a tranquil winter day, I sat on the beach, meditating on gentle waves tumbling on the shore when three young men carrying skateboards passed in front of me. Freedom. Riding on that same breeze was a whiff of incense, the scent of Venice, tenderly reminding me to remain in the present moment. I drew a deep breath, and slowly exhaled. There is only one time, and it is now.