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Posts from the ‘Guest Post’ Category

Post to Post with Patty

“A walkabout requires a decision to take a first step, and a conscious and intentional movement  (inwardly, outwardly or both) in the general direction of a longing or calling — with an openness to the actual experience, and  a minimal attachment to expectations and results.” Betsy Lewis

This is a guest post by new Walkabout Woman, Patty Farrell. Patty is traveling 2, 923 miles by foot — without leaving her own hometown! There are as many ways to take a Walkabout as there are women. Read Patty’s version:

Last year I turned 60, and I was looking for a challenge.

Patty Farrell

Patty Farrell

Some friends in California asked if I would like to join them in Walking Across America.  One of my friends said she had done it. It took her about 1 ½ years to walk to New York, and  now she wanted to walk back to San Francisco.

I was a little confused because, as far as I knew, she had never left California.  How did she do it?  Also this was a bit extreme, and I wasn’t sure I had that kind of time ( I am retired — but this is a bit much.) I was curious so I asked for more info.

Well, it turns out there is a  guide book, written by Mary Lu Kost, named MileMarking I-80.  Apparently Kost traveled between San Francisco and New York via Highway I 80 numerous times.  She started taking notes on what services were available at the different exits or mileposts (smart lady).

Sometime during these many trips she decided to share this information with others, and she wrote a book. Patty book

This book became my “workbook.”  As I walked around my neighborhood in Ashland, Oregon, I started keeping track of my miles in Kost’s book.

I started in June of  2012 and, as I walked, I read about the different mileposts, towns, and points of interests (as if I was really there).

Eight months later, I have just crossed into Nevada and I am in Reno NV at the 4th Street Exit (this is all without leaving my home). This exit/milepost is not too interesting, but if I walk two more miles I will be at  Mile Post 18, and there I will find the Nugget Casino and the Heritage Museum (which is free).

The problem is,  if I continue at this rate, I will be 80 years old before I see New York!

I just celebrated another birthday, and decided that I want to really be in New York (never been there) next year.  So the only thing I have to do is virtually walk the 2,923 miles — and the real trip to New York will be my reward.

Patty map

So I am making a commitment to myself to start walking everyday (or most anyway), and share with you all my experiences and the points of interest I visit.

But mostly I want to share what I learn about myself and others along the way.

Last month I  bought a GPS watch to help track the miles. More next time on my struggle with figuring how to use that.  I am wondering how many pairs of shoes I will need.  Now that I have made this public, I will  be able to accomplish it. Right now I think I will go buy a cute walking outfit — that always makes me feel better!!

More next time. See you at the next MilePost!

Patty will be posting here on The Walkabout Woman regularly. You can follow her journey here or by clicking on Walkabout Stories on the menu above. You can also connect with Patty Farrell on her Facebook Page.

And, if you have a walkabout journey to share  — Contact Betsy Lewis.

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A walkabout with A New Wrinkle

This is a guest post by Gaea Yudron  who is creating a musical revue called “A New Wrinkle” to catalyze a new paradigm on aging.

Gaea Yudron of Sages Play

I am inspired thanks to Betsy Lewis’ new venture The Walkabout Woman Project (on Facebook) to view my journey of the past 15 years as a walkabout.

Walkabouts mean different things to different folks. A walkabout could mean a trip through the bush/wilderness, something with the feel of a rite of passage, undertaken in order to explore new territory both outer and inner.

Some people look at a walkabout as a walk with no particular goal, something that brightens one’s perceptions with its freshness and openness. Even an informal stroll by a public figure or royal family to display themselves to all and sundry is sometimes called a walkabout.

I have not yet done a walkabout in the wilderness. That remains to be done. This walkabout I’ve been on has often taken place in the territory of my imagination, then spilled out into the outer world.  I have to say that in my experience the territory of the imagination and the unconscious is quite a potent, mysterious, and unpredictable wilderness, sometimes bestowing richly illuminated insights, sometimes terrifying in its weather and the conditions of its revelations.

I began doing this walkabout with aging because I wanted to make sense of the events, patterns and meetings of my life. I have been writing about this for years. In the process, I realized I was doing what gerontologists call life review. This life review is a walkabout on its own. I highly recommend it as a tool for deeper self-understanding and integration. An article I wrote about life review and one essay titled The Fruits of Life Ripens are available as pdfs at the Sage’s Play website for any of you who wants to read more.

A few years after I began the journey of life review, I started working for Medifecta Healthcare Training, a company that develops and markets training materials for caregivers of elders, both family and professional. I still work part-time for them developing scripts and other written materials. This work exposed me to the field of aging. I became fascinated with the topics and issues, the thought leaders, the perspectives and assumptions that fueled those views.

I began to do a lot of reading and independent research. I realized that my view of aging as a powerful time of life was a rather minority view. Media and the popular imagination often frame aging as a dispirited time of decline and loss –or at the other extreme, as a time when one must continue hyperactively imitating youth in order to pass for young.

For years, my walkabout was rather solitary. During those years, I continued to develop my thinking about the importance of aging as a stage of human development and to look at the importance of spirituality and creativity in the later years. Several years ago, I decided to start a venture called Sage’s Play as a vehicle for programs that focus on creative and conscious aging.

Deepak Chopra talks about breaking free of the hypnosis of social conditioning in an essay he wrote in Audacious Aging, one of my favorite anthologies. That book contains 33 essays about aging that will knock your socks off, turn on the AHA! lights and give you inspiration to fulfill Auntie Mame’s injunction to “Live, live, live!” Remember Auntie Mame? She was a dramatic example of an adventurous older woman.

For me breaking free of the hypnosis of social conditioning is an ongoing commitment.

Playfulness, wordless, spontaneous swimming in the waters of the unconscious

As an artist and as an older woman,  I value freedom. And playfulness. To me, playfulness is something many of us could have a lot more of. Don’t you agree?

I am in the process of developing a workshop format that will give free rein to playfulness. I am excited about that because I like to play, and I really enjoy playing with others, too. I am calling it “Playfulness, Pleasure and the Art of Aging.”

My walkabout led me to sign up for a big vision. I decided I wanted to write a musical revue to catalyze a new paradigm on aging. That was over 3 years ago. I began to write songs, or should I say they poured out of me as if they had been standing around waiting for the chance to be expressed.

I decided to name the revue A New Wrinkle. One day I thought to myself, “I need a composer!” Following an intuitive hunch, I called artist Gaelyn Larrick (whom I did not know well at all) and asked her who she could recommend to write the music for the 12 songs in the revue. At first Gaelyn hesitated, but then she said, “Well the only person I know who could do that is Laura Rich.”

And so the magic of my collaboration with Laura began– because there is plenty of magic in the universe, if we open up to it. Laura has created a wonderful score for A New Wrinkle. Not only that, but she is a delightful person and friend.  All the song lyrics and mp3s of 4 of the songs are available at our website.

Okay, so I have no idea what the universe has in store for A New Wrinkle and its own walkabout!

You can follow Gaea’s progress on her walkabout with A New Wrinkle on her Sage’s Play website and blog.

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