Tag Archives: grand canyon

Jamie’s BLOG – DAY 114 :: beautiful places: grand canyon

25 Apr

Today continues the new series:  Beautiful Places. Today is also surgery day, so I am sharing some beauty with you. Focus on the beauty. Focus on the beauty!

Today’s pick: Grand Canyon!

There’s just so much to say about the beauty and splendor and incredible, jaw-dropping nature. So much that I just can’t say it all. So what I will say is this: GO!

You must go there. Soak it in. Be there.
It’s beautiful.

More tomorrow.

{have you rafted the grand canyon?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 188 :: what does it mean to make a promise?

7 Jul

As I get closer to closing in on 1,000 days of blogging, I am so inspired and overwhelmed with all the people who have supported me, and, all those who are making promises too..
And today, I just want to say … THANK YOU.Thank you for supporting me in my crazy experiment to make bold, life-changing promises.From not shopping for an entire year……to not eating all sorts of things

…to loving more and fearing less

…to walking down this amazing path of abundance.

This journey has been thrilling.

And I was thrilled all over again to see this video of us last summer rafting the Colorada River in the Grand Canyon that Courtney posted on Facebook.

Zoom forward to 2:16 to see us enter the rapid.

It’s enough to make me wonder… was that really me? Did we really do that?

But, yes, that was us on a CLASS 10 RAPID, a rapid that almost dumped our boat. Fearless, indeed.

It’s amazing what you can do when you make a meaningful promise to change. Like, who would have thought I could sleep next to scorpions under those big rock walls, without a tent, in the dark?

But I did it.

And we all made it through the Grand Canyon and came out stronger.

Something I believe happens whenever we make promises and keep them.

So here’s to making promises — big ones and small.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless}

PS – if you want to make a promise, check out ThePromiseDaily.com — I’ll be excited to see you there!
{what does a promise mean to you?}

Day 255: who’s afraid of the dark?

12 Sep

I just realized something tonight.
I’m afraid of the dark.

It’s true. And, now so much of my life makes sense since I just realized the big, bad, boogie man is hiding outside as soon as the sun sets. Or, at least that’s what my mind thinks.

Tonight as I took Pup out for his last walk of the night, (really he takes me out for a walk) with the sun setting so early and the sky sitting heavy, pitch black, and eerily dark, I was totally spooked.

As Pup pulled me through the darkness I wondered why I was on edge.

Why am I spooked? What am I afraid of?

Wasn’t I the girl who slept next to scorpions in the Grand Canyon? The bikini clad body that swam next to sharks in the Bahamas? The Braveheart that rid herself of her old wedding rings?

Yes. And that girl, me, myself and I, is afraid of the dark. Or rather, what I cannot see.

It makes so much sense.

It’s what makes my skin crawl in the ocean with all those creepy crawly creatures skimming next to my bare skin.

It’s what freaks me out when Pup pulls me around hedges and up and down the dark Martha’s Vineyard streets with no lights and visions of skunks dancing in my head.

It’s now so clear to me. I’m afraid of what I cannot see.

As I work on what I love and what I fear this year, it’s plain to me that I can’t let what I cannot see stop me.

I must keep walking. One step at a time.
Even if it’s in the dark. 

Day 247: back to school trapper keepers

4 Sep

Can you smell that?
There is a breeze in the air that smells distinctly of school supplies. Wafts of pink erasers, lined paper notebooks and plastic Trapper Keepers are floating by my nostalgic nose.

Sad thing is: I can barely finish the books I already have on my shelf — and in my iPad!

Even so, in this Back-To-School-Fall-Frenzy I am motivated to take myself back.
To school.

I am committing to finishing all the books that I set out to read this year.


Just writing that down gives me a lump in my throat. But I know there is so much more I can learn in this Lovemore+Fearless year of mine. Sure, I have already swam with sharks, reclaimed Paris from my past and rode the whitewater of the Grand Canyon. But, I know there is more for my mind and heart that is just waiting for me.

Which means I have less than four months to put my nose in a handful of books. If you have a good book suggestion on LOVE or FEAR please send it my way!

I’ll put it in my Trapper Keeper.

What are you going to do with the rest of your year?

Day 238: white butterflies

26 Aug

I see butterflies. White butterflies. Everywhere. 

I first noticed white butterflies in the Grand Canyon during one of our amazing hikes up to Upper Deer Creek and the “Patio.”

There, the beautiful little creatures flew all around the waterfalls and crevices in the canyon wherever it was growing greenery. I didn’t think anything of it then, other than the fact that it was the most perfectly peaceful spa-like setting I could imagine out in the wild.

But, lately, here on the Vineyard, all I see are white butterflies.

And, it has me wondering... why?

Maybe it is butterfly season?
Maybe it’s some strange butterfly dance or mating call?

Who knows?

Something inside me has a feeling that it is something else. So I did what I recommend nobody should ever do — I looked it up on Google. Which returned more results than I could possible sort through in this lifetime.

To some, the white butterfly symbolizes rebirth, or a spiritual stage in life.  To others, it represents the soul of a child or even a sign of death.

I’m not sure which source to trust, but I can tell you this — as soon as I tried to take to the streets to take a photo and hunt the elusive white butterfly, they all disappeared.

No more white butterflies. Just like that, gone. 

I will of course be on the look out with camera phone constantly in hand, wondering …
What are these white butterflies trying to tell me?


Day 210: fearlessly getting my hands dirty

29 Jul

I just washed the final bit of dirt out from underneath my fingertips.
While a Sunday in July may be known as wedding day for many, it was “weeding” day around here for me.

And, I am so proud of myself.
I didn’t shriek once as I buried my BARE hands in the dirt digging for roots.

Before my lovemore-fearless mantra I wouldn’t think twice about wearing gloves on my hands. Before my lovemore-fearless adventure this year, I would have screamed and scrammed at the first sight of a spider too.

But, not now. At least now I pause before I scream.
I credit the Grand Canyon for my newfound fearlessness.

Sure, not wearing gloves in the garden sounds pretty puny to some.
But, to me, it’s a HUGE accomplishment.

And, today, to top it all off, there were no spider sightings. It’s as if those spiders know something in me has changed. As if they are no longer needed.

To that I say (at least today):
Pack it up eight-legged boys, your work here is done. 


Day 200: tick, tock, tick, tock!

19 Jul

In the middle of my work day, while typing away on my computer, fingers flying in all directions — I reached up and scratched my head.

A scab. 
Some sort of dried-up scab was sitting on the right side of my head, above my ear.

“How odd?” I thought, not remembering any reason to have a scab on my head. I am prone to hitting my head on lots of things — showers, low ceilings, beams, doors — being almost six feet tall.

As I replayed my last 48 hours, I could not remember for the life of me, hitting my head with any scab-causing force. “Although,” I thought, “if I did smack my cranium I could have blacked out with a small case of head-scab amnesia…”

As I pulled the scab down to my palm to inspect it with the curiosity of a scab-picking thirty-eight year old, the scab ran up my finger.

For one, it was good confirmation that I did not hit my head.
Second, I swear the tick could fly.

I actually flung it off my fingers so fast I didn’t see where it landed. Which caused acute panic in my little Amygdala, as my eyes scanned the landscape of my desk to see where it lay.

“Oh, no!” my head screamed.
“Is it on me?
Did it land on my desk?
Are there more?”

I furiously scratched my scalp to see if there was an infestation on my hands and head.


Just one tick, now dangling off the corner of my journal. I scooped up my journal and held it over the toilet, hitting the end of it like a ketchup bottle, coaxing the little thing to jump off.

No dice. Not happening. Sure, he could jump onto my head of hair with no problem and make himself a merry little home, but try to remove him from my red, leather journal and his legs turn to glue.

I resorted to toilet paper.
He flushed down the toilet in a spiraling tick send off.
Right. Down. The. Drain.

It left me with so many questions.

1) How did I get a tick in my hair?

2) How did I not feel it moving on my scalp?

3) Why don’t I feel bad for flushing it down the drain?

Thus is life on Martha’s Vineyard in the summer. 

Sure, people talk about the sailing and the tennis and the hiking and the beaches.

Because people don’t come here for the ticks.  They come for the island vibe, the summer sun, the cool breeze and the water view.

Ticks come with the territory.
They were probably here first.

Later tonight, I walked down to the water to sit on a rock.

Over in the distance, next to the beach line, sat two pink chairs.

You can’t get to these two chairs from the beach, they are surrounded by brush (probably tick infested and laced with poison ivy!).

Here sits two pink chairs, perfectly situated to watch the summer view privately — as the sign says — PRIVATE PROPERTY.

Seeing these two chairs made me think about the people who sit on them.  Are they married? Did they grow up here? Do they bring a picnic basket down to the (almost) beach line and watch the sunset?

Do they stare at the rest of us on the other side of the PRIVATE PROPERTY sign?  Do they talk to people on the other side of the hedge?  Or, do they just sit there, marking their property, sipping their wine and munching on snacks.  Maybe they read a book?

Why do these chairs need protection?
What are they afraid of?

Who knows?
I suppose it’s not my business.

In a way, it’s no different than some unsuspecting tick, one of God’s creatures no doubt, who thought he landed a nice new pad on the top of my head today.

Instead, he landed in the middle of the swirling toilet bowl.

To which I pointed to the sign that in my mind said private property.
Get out!

I’m learning to be LOVEMORE this year, and, I must admit after a 9-day trek in the Grand Canyon, I’ve made considerable progress with spiders. But, I’m having a hard time with ticks. And, skunks.

As the clock ticks down to December 31st, I realize I have a long way to go. Tick, tock! Tick, tock!

Fearlessness takes patience.
And, a little practice I suppose. 

Day 197: fat, sick and nearly dead

16 Jul

As you know, I entered this year determined to be fearless. But, I don’t want more fear or less in my life.  I want more love.  So I made up a new word, lovemore!   That’s why Lovemore Mondays are here.

Today’s Lovemore Monday is a love story about food.

My dinner consisted of:




and Leftover Baked Apples and Pears


I got a chuckle out of it, actually.

We’ve eaten so well over this last year, mostly yummy, fresh, natural foods. So much so, my sorry semblance of a “meal” tonight made me feel like I was fasting.

Over the past year, there have been a few moments of dietary dilemmas: yes, that’s you Paris and the Grand Canyon!  They both sent my dietary routine into a tail spin.

Let me just point out that there is an interesting phenomenon that happens when you write a daily blog. For one, friends stop calling because they already know what you’re doing — and everybody else knows what you eat (or don’t).

So much so, down in the Grand Canyon a family member pulled me aside and said, “So, I see you are eating cookies…”

Yes. I ate cookies in the Grand Canyon.  

Before we left, I decided to let my diet be open to anything during our trek in the canyon. Mostly because I didn’t know what to expect and I really didn’t want to be a pain at dinner time gatherings.  We were, obviously, not just on vacation but on a survival trek — and if ever there were a time to eat an extra 58,000 calories, I figured this would be it.

(Just kidding on the 58,000of calories. I have no idea how many calories we ate down in the canyon, but I do know this:  nothing tastes better than a big meal after a hard day of work and play.)

Now back to civilization I am and my body needs a rest.

So, this weekend I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It’s the story of Joe Cross from Australia and his commitment to juicing 60 days straight in order to clean up his act and his health.

I’m not ready to jump into a 60 day fast.  But, it did make me realize all the goodies I can add to my summer diet.

Oh! Did you hear that?
The fresh tomatoes are literally dropping off the vine.

And, that’s why, on this hot, scorcher of a summer day…
I. Love. It.

Happy summer. Happy fresh food. Here’s to your summer dinner table (clink! clink!).


Day 190: lovemore monday :: go fearlessly forward!

9 Jul

As you know, I entered this year determined to be fearless. But, I don’t want more fear or less in my life.  I want more love.  So I made up a new word, lovemore!   That’s why Lovemore Mondays are here.

Today’s Lovemore Monday is a love story about a tee.

Tonight I watched this Harvard Graduation Speech by the author of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling. It’s worth the good 20 minutes it takes — and I mean, GOOD 20 minutes! (Thanks to The Daily Love for posting a link to this speech today).

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.”

~J.K. Rowling

Over this journey and this promise of mine, I have learned much.  Most of which can be whittled down to one nugget of wisdom:  Lovemore-Fearless.

I have learned there are only two forces in this world: love and fear.

In any situation it’s our choice.
Choose love or fear. Your choice!

Learning this has made me more vibrant and more alive. It has even helped me get over some of my biggest fears — I swam with sharks in the Bahamas and I floated down the country’s biggest rapids in the Grand Canyon (sleeping in the wild without a tent, next to spiders and scorpions and snakes!).

But more than anything, now, I want to give this world a gift. It’s everything I know. It’s a promise to keep and wear over your heart: your lovemore-fearless heart!

So, it’s with great pleasure that I announce the opening of The Promise Shop and the first-ever, Limited Edition Lovemore-Fearless Tees.

I believe you can do anything — that includes surviving cancer, a divorce, job upheaval, one crazy year without shopping, this roller coaster economy and all the rocks and rolls of this thing called life.

I also agree with Ms. Rowling — we have the power to change our worlds.  And, that, I believe, will change the world.

And that’s why, on this Lovemore Monday…
I. Love. It.


Go fearlessly forward!

P.S. Limited Edition Lovemore-Fearless Tees available while supplies last, so click to get yours! — (somebody had to say it!)

Day 189: fearless in the grand canyon :: the finale – you can do anything!

8 Jul

Dawn breaks through the canyon walls in the early morning light.
It meant only one thing — it was time for us to leave. 

We reunited with our backpacks (which had been hiding for nine days) and instructed to repack our packs one more time.  This time for home.

My clean clothes were indiscernible from my dirty ones.  Everything in my bag smelled like river, even the few items I had not yet worn.

Our toiletry bag was torn to bits from the kamikaze ravens we encountered at one campsite.  The ravens got away with a bag of GORP (good old fashioned raisins and peanuts) but weren’t so lucky with our toothpaste.  We caught them right before they totally destroyed the ziplock bag holding my contacts, toothpaste and sunscreen.

I’ve never had an appreciation for ravens before. But, lore of the canyon says river guides come back reincarnated as the black birds — and, in watching the ravens of the canyon work together, that makes perfect sense. They fly together in pairs, they conference on rocks before they strike. They seem to know every nook and cranny of the canyon walls. They certainly knew which bags to steal a Vitamin C pack from.

But, it wasn’t just the ravens that surprised us.

We saw the most amazing creatures down in that canyon…

And insects…

And plant life…

And flowers…

All told, we hiked eight miles down from the top to the bottom of the grandest of canyons and rafted 190 miles of the Colorado River.

In 100+ degree heat…

As we packed our bags and prepared to board the jet boat, I reviewed in my mind what had just happened to me — what I had indeed done.

I jumped out of a boat, doing the splits…

Swam in the icy cold water of the Colorado River…

Learned how to get back into the boat (with a lot of help!)…

Jumped from the top of waterfalls…

Slept under the stars — without a tent!

Peed (and pooped) in a bucket…

Camped with scorpions crawling next to us…

Stood on the edge of the boat and Hunkered Down…

Rode the biggest rapid on the river…

Learned that deep down inside I can be FEARLESS!

Lovemore Fearless.

As we entered the jet boat and tied on our life preserves for the very last time, I was overcome with emotion.

As the jet boat motor sounded and we turned downstream, the river and rock started speeding, flashing by our eyes in an instant. It was the fastest we had gone all week.

Tears filled my eyes and a lump formed in my throat.
We did it. We made it. We were on our way home.

And in that moment, I knew. I knew it in my heart, in a way that I have never before so deeply understood.  I knew with every fiber of my being that we can do anything.

You Can Do Anything.

It repeated through my head as we sped down the green water and the tears were blown off my cheeks.

You can do anything.
You just have to try. Show up. Jump. Leap. Close your eyes and fly.

Just then, the jet boat swerved and abruptly stopped.  The captain pointed out something he had noticed over his last few trips down the canyon — a Great Blue Heron nest with babies.

As we sat in silence watching the brood, one took flight. And, then another.
Until they all flew away, back upstream.

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