Doorways Traveler
Doorways Traveler


  daughter of female peer-educator with vatsalya's health clinic for commercial sex workers.

 ajmer, india, september 2009. 

my facebook status yesterday read, "sometimes i feel like i am digging a tunnel with a teaspoon." that pretty much sums it up. except, i'm not really putting a value judgment behind this experience, it's simply the truth. progress feels slow. each step i am taking toward creating a real sustainable business for myself to continue to do the kind of work i was able to do in india, comes with it an entire universe of details that are new and foreign and smacked with growing pains. i am also learning how to work circular. as much as it might make sense to complete one task and then move onto another, i'm finding that my best productivity lie in utilizing the pause of one step to glance over and inch-along another. it sometimes feels like no one thing is ever going to see completion, but, somehow, i know i am moving closer.

honestly, it'd be pretty boring to go more into the details, but i am here to share today that progress is, indeed, happening. one of my biggest fears is being someone who blows a lot of hot air and doesn't deliver. who dreams but doesn't manifest. who promises and doesn't follow through. and sometimes i feel like i do put out the wishes and the wants before i really know how i'm going to make it so. that's all part of the saying "yes" thing. at times, this committing-before-knowing-how plan creates some stress for me. fears come up as i begin to doubt the inner-knowing that said yes in the first place. and when the fears come up, the productivity, the flow, is halted. that's when i begin to stare at walls and everything gets big and blurry. i know you know what i am talking about.

what is different now from any other time in my life, is that the "yes" is coming entirely from me. from passion and fervor. and so, even when the wall-staring cloud is cast over me, something deep and sure inside rises up to greet it. sometimes it takes a while. sometimes it's a little timid. but it comes. (thank god)

i am learning that the productivity of passion has it's own pace. and that pace is not always what i think it's going to be. there are bursts and flurries and there are big open fields of emptiness that, somehow, eventually, yield something tangible. the measurement of progress, i am constantly reminded, is as much about the products (the edited photos, the giclee prints, the movie, the etsy shop, the cards, the business license, the project proposal, the website….) as it is about those things that cannot be measured and held. 

and the immeasurable is why i am here, digging away with my teaspoon. to gaze into the eyes of another, like the entrancing little girl above, and to see myself.  to love more and be happy. to travel, connect, and experience beauty. to open doors to greater freedom in my life and the lives of others who may not be able to on their own. and, hopefully, inspire you to do the same. 

(it is good to repeat intention)

(there is sometimes value in stating the obvious so that it becomes, well, obvious)

(yesterday, when my daughter asked me what i wanted for christmas, i immediately started to cry. all i really want is this. to do this work. to have the means to continue on my path. and, yeah, a canon 5d with two lenses)

(why that first paragraph is formatting wonky is beyond me. i have tried to fix it for way too long. time to let go. and move on. another lesson in productivity. sometimes good enough is ok.) 

(and for those of you who are thinking i've lost it because the paragraph looks fine, yet another lesson is that sometimes it is good to ask for help. my husband fixed the wonky paragraph in the html code in about 10 seconds.)

(these are random after-thoughts that seemed important. if they weren't stated, i might stare at more walls while wishing they had been.)


Categories: experiencing, revealing


  • Julia:

    I wish i had the words to describe what your words do to me. This feeling that someone is inside your head and heart extracting everything beautiful and sacred and scary; the passions and stirrings, the intense longing to do your life’s work, to touch and heal, to connect and open and expand. And to love without all that stuff that wants to get in the way. The courage to dream, to keep moving forward despite the doubts that continually creep in.
    With your big heart and courage and beautiful words, you speak for us all.
    Here’s to digging away with our teaspoons and to knowing that it really is all about the immeasurable.
    You inspire me deeply. Thank you

  • sas:

    i have watched the video you made on the last night in india about 6 times now. i watched it when i was having a really shitty day.
    you sparked me out of my doubting, tired self.
    you gave me a teaspoon.
    here is mine right back at you :)

  • Christianne:

    I so appreciate what you are sharing here. That feeling of digging through a tunnel with a teaspoon … of saying yes to something before you know what it even means or will require to make it go … of knowing that at least the yes rising up in you is coming from your real self, not anywhere else.
    I am in this place now. I feel the frustration of staring at walls and everything becoming big and blurry when the fear and the big unanswered questions start looming. It’s helpful to hear it put to words by someone else, some brave soul who is doing her part to impact the world in a meaningful, soul-deep way, too. Thank you.

  • Swirly:

    Passion does, indeed, have its own pace…this is a lesson I learn over and over again.

  • Marianne @ Zen Peacekeeping:

    Sometimes we say yes because our soul refuses to say no, any longer, to what it knows it needs to be and do. But that doesn’t mean we know how to do it yet. Write a book? Yes! Eeek – how on earth do you write a book? But I’m here, right next to you, digging this tunnel with my teaspoon too and stopping for a cup and tea and your company when it all feels like too much. Thank you my friend.

  • Tara Bradford:

    Change, progress – always painful; always necessary to move past dark. Stunning photo! xo


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Doorways Traveler
Doorways Traveler