Monthly Archives: August 2012

September 26 Lifepath Dialogues Gathering

Lifepath Dialogue Gathering

Exploring the many threads that weave together an expressive, celebrated life.


You are invited! Please pass to friends and family.

SEPTEMBER 26, 6:30-8 PM

FREE Monthly Gathering on Fourth Wednesdays

Creekside Center, 337 N. Rush Street, Prescott, Arizona

September’s topic:



Author of Calling Our Spirits Home and Standing Stark
Founder, Kenosis and Kenosis Spirit Keepers

Ross Dunbar, ND, MSOM

Ross Dunbar, ND, MSOM
Photo credit: Carla Woody

September’s special guest is S. Ross Dunbar, ND, MSOM, a Naturopathic physician and Chinese medicine practitioner who has practiced in Prescott, Arizona for the past 10 years. He has studied and practiced alternative medicine since 1995 and is passionately committed to achieving wellness through various alternative modalities by accessing the body’s own innate ability to heal. Dr. Dunbar has achieved great results with his patients by listening empathically and thinking strategically, blending a broad array of traditional and cutting edge, alternative treatment methods. Through a comprehensive clinical evaluation, including lab work and medical history, he creates a holistic treatment plan comprised of dietary, lifestyle and nutritional recommendations as well as any Chinese herbal medicines that may be appropriate. Modalities of treatment may also include acupuncture, homeopathy, musculoskeletal manipulation, IV nutritional therapy, injection therapy, and prescription medication. Dr. Dunbar works collaboratively to design a treatment plan that is realistic, achievable, and is in line with the patient’s needs and goals.

Dr. Dunbar

Dr. Dunbar performing acupuncture.
Photo credit: Carla Woody

For more information, Dr. Dunbar can be reached at Prescott Naturopathic Medical Group, 810 W. Gurley St. Prescott, AZ 86305, (928) 445-1999.

I’m very much looking forward to presenting some material on The Edge of Limitation and opening a discussion with Dr. Dunbar for its relevance based upon his philosophies and professional practice. For more information on the topic see my blog post.

Email: or call 928.778.1058.

Categories: Healing, NLP, Personal Growth, Spiritual Evolution | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lifepath Dialogues Gathering: The Wake-Up Call (Audio)

The Lifepath Dialogues Gathering is held on the fourth Wednesdays, 6:30-8 PM, at Creekside Center in Prescott, Arizona. The intent is to build like-hearted community and dialogue about what truly matters. I choose monthly topics from my blog and host the evening with special invited guest(s) whose philosophies and work are relevant to the topic. The format involves my presentation of material to create a framework and interview of the special guests. This portion is recorded to share with the world community—wherever you are. Then we turn off the recorder and turn to intimate sharing.

The August 22 Lifepath Dialogues Gathering:


My special guests for this month were Marilyn Markham Petrich and Al Petrich of Aloha Emergence Care. My thanks to Marilyn and Al for their addition to the in-depth sharing we enjoyed. In this recording, you’ll first hear Al Petrich playing the Hawaiian nose flute, beautifully haunting music, to open our evening. The complete unedited audio is 42 minutes long. Click on the link below to listen. Please be patient as it may take a few minutes to download! I hope you enjoy. We had a great time and a wonderful turn-out. Many thanks to you local folks for engaging in this way!

The Lifepath Dialogues Gathering: The Wake-Up Call (Audio)

Speakers Photo

Marilyn Petrich (left), Al Petrich (center) and Carla Woody (right) at the August 22 Lifepath Dialogues Gathering.

You may contact Marilyn and Al by calling 1 (928) 445-9646, email or visiting their website:  And I always love to hear from folks: phone 1-928-778-1058 and email

Next Month’s Lifepath Dialogue Gathering:


Our next gathering will be held on Wednesday, September 26, 6:30-8 PM, at Creekside Center as usual. My special guest will be Ross Dunbar, ND, MSOM, a Naturopathic physician and Chinese Medicine practitioner who has practiced at the Prescott Naturopathic Medical Group for the past ten years. I’m quite pleased that he has accepted my invitation to offer his perspective on The Edge of Limitation.

To remain current on monthly topics subscribe to The Lifepath Dialogues blog or Kenosis Inspirations ezine.

Categories: Healing, Personal Growth, Spiritual Evolution | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Review – Faustino’s Patagonian Retreat

Map La Florida PeninsulaFaustino Barrientos lives alone on the isolated Patagonian peninsula called La Florida near the shores of Lake O’Higgins. He’s been there since 1965 relishing the nearly lost lifestyle of the Chilean gaucho. Faustino has completely removed himself from civilization with the exception of a solar panel to run his radio, a chain saw, and a few other such implements that make a simple life a little easier. “If you spend a year without going out, you see nobody,” he said. And he’s chosen that life.

Vice Media sent a young film crew from New York to make a documentary on Faustino for their show Far Out: Lifestyles of the Remote and Solitary. It took them four days to reach him by plane, pick-up truck, ferry and finally by foot. Faustino had the reputation from family, and villagers from the town he left, of being cantankerous with not much use for people, even as a young man. The young filmmakers were worried. They were going into an isolated wilderness with no possible communication to the outside world to meet a recluse with a bad reputation—unannounced.

Faustino at Lake O'Higgins

Faustino at Lake O’Higgins
Photo: Peter Sutherland

Their fears were set aside after meeting an eighty-one year old man who was quite gracious and robust. He welcomed them. This documentary is Faustino’s story: how he came to live the last forty-six years in self-imposed solitude and the ingenuity it took for him to thrive; and how he’s bearing witness to global warming in a manner up front and personal.

Faustino and his hand-made goggles

Faustino and his hand-made goggles.
Photo: Peter Sutherland

I wondered if the filmmakers would touch on the spiritual fortitude it must take to live such a life. They didn’t—except to cover a story of Faustino’s early vigilante tendencies and the kindness they found instead. They did note that there was much Faustino kept to himself.

Faustino in hut

Photo: Peter Sutherland

The film is thirty-seven minutes. I was touched. You can see the trailer and complete film for free here.

Categories: Film Review, Solitude | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: El Andalón (The Healer)

Don Sergio doctoring

Don Sergio Castro attending a patient.
Photo: Director Consuelo Alba & Producer John Speyer

El Andalón is a thirty-minute documentary about the healing work of humanitarian Don Sergio Castro who lives in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico. It opens with a scene of Don Sergio swabbing a patient’s injury, all the while speaking kindly. He has been doing the same thing for nearly fifty years seeing about twenty people a day. His patients are the poor, coming to him from the town and surrounding area; and he makes the rounds to Maya villages where he’s much needed. The documentary contains several stories like this of a woman who had a severe injury to her leg:

I don’t know what kind of magic he has in his hands…but he heals…sometimes we aren’t so welcome in the hospital…(She breaks down in tears.)…I almost lost my leg and thanks to him I was healed…

My friend and colleague Carol Karasik said of Don Sergio: “He’s known as something of a saint here. He works with not even as much as most Americans have in their medicine cabinet.”

Don Sergio doesn’t charge his patients; they pay him with their blessings or tamales. His generosity has often made it difficult to make ends meet for his own family—or to fund the work to which he’s dedicated. Years ago, some patients began giving him their own traditional clothing. Don Sergio discovered that visitors were quite interested in these samples. He hit upon a brilliant idea and opened his own small textile museum, which doubles as a clinic. From that source and the occasional donation he’s somehow been able to keep going.

But his work doesn’t stop with doctoring. Villagers began asking him to help with other matters, including schools for their children where there were none. They had no help from the government. So far Don Sergio is responsible for raising funds to help them build twenty-five schools.

Ccochamocco School

School in the Q’ero village of Ccochamocco
Photo: Freddy Machacca

This clearly brought back my own remembrance of being asked by Q’ero spiritual leaders to help do the same for the high altitude village of Ccochmocco in the Andes of Peru: now operating since March 2010. It wasn’t an easy task.

With the dip in tourism to Mexico, Don Sergio’s ability to fund his work has been severely affected. At one point toward the end of the film he becomes overwhelmed with emotion. With a hand gesturing skyward he sends a prayer up that he finds a way to continue. It was heart-rending to me.

I somehow stumbled upon this documentary and then queried Carol. As a result we are now including an audience with Don Sergio and a visit to his textile museum in our “Entering the Maya Mysteries” program during our time in San Cristóbal. I have asked participants to bring any medical supplies they can as a part of our offering, aside from a donation I’ll make from Kenosis—and look at ongoing ways to support this self-less humanitarian work.

Viewers of the film will also get a glimpse Don Sergio with Don Antonio Martinez, with whom we engage in the Lacandón Maya village of Najá, as well as spiritual leader Chan K’in Viejo who passed in the 1990s. The village of Chamula will look familiar to folks who have traveled with us.

El Andalon

Film Poster
Director: Consuelo Albo
Producer: John Speyer

I want to personally thank director Consuelo Alba and producer John Speyer for bringing to light Don Sergio’s work; and to Culture Unplugged for sponsoring it on their website. You can view their documentary on Culture Unplugged. It’s well worth your time.

Categories: Film Review, Healing, Indigenous Wisdom, Lacandón Maya, Spiritual Travel, Travel Experiences | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sculpting a Life

I just completed a three-day workshop at the Mountain Artists Guild with artist Mary Schulte exploring papier mache and concrete sculpture. Sculpture isn’t something I’d done before; I’d never been attracted or even curious. But I met Mary and saw her exquisite papier mache giraffes in June at the “Arte Natura” artists’ reception at the Prescott Center for the Arts Gallery where my own artwork was also exhibited. And something pulled at me; I was intrigued.

Papier Mache Horse

My first attempt at papier mache: a whimsical horse with twigs for legs and straw for mane and tail.

Close-up of horse

Her gentle soul emerged.

That “something” had been running under my skin for a while urging me to move out of the status quo. I long ago learned that when I get a solid internal signal I follow it—even though all the “whys” are unclear. And if the usual excuses of “not enough” time…money…you name it…jump up especially strong then I acknowledge the excuse but set it aside; I’m then certain I’m on the right track. I just follow my initial intuition because…I also learned something else many years ago. The part of me that seeks to maintain the comfort zone gets quite vocal when familiarity is threatened.

In her introduction Mary talked about the types of sculpting. You can carve away like you would with marble or wood. Or you can hand build, adding layer by layer, as in the case of the media we would use. Over the next three days we students—none of us having done anything like it before—engaged in a joint journey of discovery with Mary as our skilled guide.

We students agreed on several things:

  • Undertaking the exploration was exhilarating and fun;
  • There’s focused attention to learning;
  • One medium was easier than the other;
  • Just because one took more learning didn’t mean we’d rule it out;
  • Having a guide who knows the territory saves a ton of angst and wasted time;
  • Even though we did similar things, we each had our own unique signature;
  • By deciding to undertake even this small journey it instilled options and a further sense of freedom.
Concrete Raven

This bird was as feisty as the concrete medium. He became more raven-like as he emerged, grew claws and perched on a wooden branch.

Ultimately, you can look at everything you do for cues as to your own growth. The important thing is to be active. Get out of your comfort zone. Stretch yourself. Otherwise, you relegate yourself to a ho-hum life.

By virtue of its definition, personal growth requires you to carve away what no longer fits or serves you; and to add what does and build upon it.

For me, I learned that my other art capabilities are transferable to an area I hadn’t even considered. And those three days were well spent. Aside from learning a new skill I could add into my body of resources, it did something even more important. It served to open a doorway and leverage evolution—giving a clear announcement to myself that I’m on the move. Permission granted.


If you’d like to know more about Mary Schulte’s artwork or when she’ll offer workshops, contact her at I recommend it!

Categories: Arts, Creativity Strategies, Personal Growth, Spiritual Evolution, Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Imagination Runs Wild

NJ airport

Newark, NJ Airport
©2012 Carla Woody

At this point I’ve lost track of how many hours I’ve been up without sleep in transit from Ireland back home. I’ve just spent two weeks traversing Counties Clare, Kerry and Waterford on my folks’ 60th anniversary trip where I was their willing driver. We had quite memorable travels and I’ll probably share bits of it over time. I’ve been up since 1:30 AM Ireland time for a wake-up at 5 AM—and it’s gone on from there.

But now I’m sitting in the Newark, NJ airport in a restaurant called Gallagher’s Steakhouse tucked into a corridor in the back, thankfully away from the chaos of the airport. I was attracted by the Caesar salad with grilled shrimp, there being a noticeable absence of fresh veggies in the last two weeks.

My folks are safely settled over in Terminal A waiting for their plane home and I’m here in C with another four hours yet before I take the next leg. You’d think that with the many hours of travel and absolutely no sleep, plus the onerous stress of travel these days, that I’d just want to veg and people watch. Part of that was true.

Gallagher's Steakhouse

Gallagher’s Steakhouse
©2012 Carla Woody

If you sit in a place long enough you begin to notice the dynamics of the interactions or let your imagination run wild—at least I do. I guess the first thing that sparked my interest was when the server approached my table, a dead ringer for Hattie McDaniel, in a black and white uniform. It was clear in no time that she ran the show, firing off side retorts to the other servers and some kind of gesture shorthand I didn’t understand—and they immediately snapped to. Or a look that screwed up her face and they scurried away in response. I filed away a mental note for a potential story later.

My mind quickly ran off to other times when I sat in restaurants, parks or other places and gave myself leeway to imagine the lives of the inhabitants.


In 1998 I sat in a pub in Brighton, England passing time. I happened to have a journal with me. I’d been leisurely observing two elderly gentlemen on their third or fourth stout: Beamish. Paul McCartney singing “Yesterday” came through the sound system and one of the gentlemen softly sang along under his breath, ending with “Ahhhh…yesterday.”

Spud's Place

Spud’s Place
©2012 Carla Woody

“Do you remember when Hudson’s used to be down along the corner? Now they were ones who offered service, not like it is today. They had those boys with bicycles and baskets.”

“Yea…delivery. And they had so many things. Sometimes they’d even throw in the odd bottle of wine. You know, to show your worth to them.

A few minutes passed in silence.

“Yea…Christmas will be here soon.”

“My daughter always gives those abominable books. The ones she likes to read, you know. Not me. Can’t tell her anything though. Quite so. She just pops off.”

“Yea…Well, must be pushing off now. Thursday then.”


Sometimes I’d have an accomplice and we’d muse together. I remember years ago in a small bagel shop outside Bar Harbour, Maine when my companion and I tried to decide if the man and woman who worked the place were married. We decided they were and then made up a life for them when the town virtually shut down for the winter.

It’s part of the license given to a writer—and one who imagines life into being. It’s an indulgence but also a creative exercise. In the meantime, here in Gallagher’s Steakhouse in the Newark, NJ airport I can see the woman at the table in the corner stealing looks at me as I write this…perhaps wondering what I’m up to. Hmmm. I wonder what her story is.

Written July 29, 2012.

Categories: Creativity Strategies, The Writing Life, Travel Experiences | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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