Archive for April, 2008

Kimberly Lindsay – In the presence of new life

Teacher, Resident fairy, Celtic Shaman

What do you love about being a doula?

I just love babies, I have loved babies my whole life, there is something about being at the beginning of life and bringing life into this world, it goes back to creational energy and a baby is the utmost creational energy in the world! It is also the second most initimate thing you do in your life, love with your partner and bringing a baby into the world. For an outside person it is really personal.

What is it about that connection that you are really drawn too?

It is about us being humans, it is part of life, this is what we do, part of the reason we are here on earth, being there to witness the full cycle. You have two people that connect to this ray of energy to bring this child in, the baby is created and in birth it comes through all your chakras. It’s the full cycle of creating a life into the physical from the spiritual realms.

What do you think are the benefits for mother and child in having a doula present?

Statistics show that by having a doula, risks and the possibility of having a cesarian, goes down by half. The hospitals run their own agenda. If mothers don’t have a partner or extra support they get pressured a lot by the hospitals. When you have a loving supportive person who is constant, who doesn’t leave, knows it is all about you, is there to keep you calm and help you to breathe, the possible influence of the nurses to take Pitocin, have an epidural or cesarian doesn’t penetrate as much.

It is about creating a sacred space for the mother to labor how she wants to labor. Doulas can help remind the mother how well they are doing and that they are doing what they want to do, be encouraging. Doulas are knowledgeable about labor, it is about moral support, physical support and emotional support.

How do you take care of yourself in a birthing situation?

The labor room is kind of a high, you also know that it will be over in a few hours or 24 hours…there is an end to it. At the end there is going to be a beautiful baby there and you are going to see a family being born. I am there in service of that mother and baby, you are stretching with the mom and breathing with the mom and that infiltrates into you through them. It’s an amazing process of passion and joy, love and hope.

Does the role change when the husband or partner is present?

You know it depends on the husband, some husbands can’t see the woman in pain as they feel responsible and they sometimes back out. The doula can step up when this happens. It is really great with the dads, because you usually want someone behind the moms supporting the back and you want someone in front, you want her taken care of all the way around.

The doula cannot take the place of the partner and meet those deeper emotional needs, only the partner can do that. I want the dads to be as active as they want to be, it is their experience. Sometimes if he needs energy work I will work with him too if she is OK, and sometimes I need to step out.

I am thankful to witness the birth of a family, it is amazing, it is one of the coolest and fulfilling things being in the presence of new life.

Kimberly, thank you for giving us a small peek into your world. If you have further questions, comments or would like to have Kimberly’s support at your impending birth please contact her via the comments page.

© The Red Barn Cooperative

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue “Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, both RSS feeder or email subscriptions are available. Just click the link up on the right. We would be honored to have you join our community.

You can post your own nourishing lists at My nourishing Top Ten we love to share them.


Richard Caputo – Passion for people & planet

Richie tell me some things about you.

I grew up in NYC and loved my little village (one block in the Bronx on Croes Ave between Watson and I forget). I was either playing stickball in the street or being disciplined by the nuns at the local catholic school. I was trained as an engineer and finally left NYC at 21 to see the world.

Next stop Pittsburgh, I worked on building a nuclear rocket that was to carry humans to Mars, wound up in southern California, was busy helping send spacecraft all over the solar system and dove into the first attempt to deal with our energy “situation”. Got involved in renewable energy from roof-top hot water systems to gigantic orbital solar power plants. Helped start the Solar Energy Research Institute in Golden Colorado (yes, the Coors beer place) and worked with Carter’s people fashioning the first and so far the last, National Solar Energy Plan.

Met Carol, my love mate. What a difference!
Here in Julian our home burned down in the Cedar fire storm after a prolonged drought. We built a new house that won the SANDEE (energy excellence) award. Writing a book on energy called Hitting the Wall.

Your spirit of adventure is so much a part of you, tell me more about that.

Spirit of adventure? Never really thought about it. But I guess your right. I always seemed to think that everything I was considering was a little bigger than life. Something to look at differently and to be enjoyed. Adventure is more than something like joining a Lewis and Clark type of expedition. It can be almost anything you try to do.

You have a passion for helping the planet, where does that come from?

I know we all have a different sensitivity to environmental concerns. For some of us, there is no such thing as an environmental impact requiring mitigation. The environment can recover from any insult. Whatever the environmental problem is, it is just normal stuff that has always happened that needs either adoption to a changing environment or an action program to be mounted by clever and creative entrepreneurial people. Others see environmental problems and say why bother — it is not possible to do anything about it anyway. Some see environment problems almost everywhere and see it as the result of equity imbalances in the way we do “business”. The incessant need for growth and greed are the core problems to both inequity in the world and selling the planet down the river. Finally, there are those who think there are real environmental problems that better planning, better organization and new rules and regulations can deal with. These are the main discernible voices that I hear around me. Where do I fit in the cacophony of values and views? I hear all these voices and think they all have some truth. They all need to be part of what we do.

I do think that I do see environment problems especially when scientific studies expose the basis for the problems and the likely impacts. This is especially true of climate change where our collective actions are driving the planet to a new planetary climate regime. One that is likely to be very disruptive. So we have a very energic global economic engine that produce an inequitable distribution of wealth but as a byproduct, is doing a fair job of raising millions out of poverty. With exponential growth of population, energy and standard of living (consumption), there had to be point when a finite planet would finally reach some limit. It appears that this limit, it the ability of the atmosphere to absorb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. So what do you do when the basic economic/industrial processes that we have evolved as a species is threatening the ability of the planet to support all of us?

I guess I care that we are on the brink of really messing things up. This isn’t right. We have no right to screw things up so badly. I think that we are causing the problem out of our cleverness in developing the amazing global economic system and I also believe that we are the solution. All we have to do is look up, figuratively and literally. Look up and make the necessary changes so that the planet will be able to continue to work for all of us. That is, I am sure that we are able to use our cleverness to operate an increasing effective global economic system that functions to create wealth and a better standard of living that goes beyond just consumption. That properly considers the ability of the planet to function and yet meets our material needs.

Part of the solution is technical innovation and changing the way we do buildings, energy conversion and transportation. Part of the solution is to look beyond material needs and to balance this with spiritual and human values that exist in other domains than material. We need to evolve a better balance that reflects all our needs and to not trash the planet. So I do have passion for the planet and the people on the planet. I just can’t believe we will mindlessly destroy the only planet we have in a seemingly mad rush to get a bigger car, bigger house and bigger waistline. I refuse to believe this!

Wow, lots of passion in many areas and on many levels.
Thanks for sharing I look forward to your book.

Check out

© The Red Barn Cooperative

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue “Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, both RSS feeder or email subscriptions are available. Just click the link up on the right. We would be honored to have you join our community.

Don’t forget you can also post your own nourishing lists at My nourishing Top Ten we love to share them.

Dale Howard – Fueled by curiosity

Landscape Artist, Light Chaser

Who is the man behind the lens ?

I’ve always looked around with curiosity, and that inevitably led me to pick up a camera as a young man. Growing up next door to my grandfather, I had to sit through his 8mm movies of our large family, and his trips to Baja, Mexico to Alaska, with lots of stops in between. So film became a logical way for me to tell my stories of where I’ve been, what I’ve seen that’s worth shouting about, and all the beautiful family and friends I’ve had the pleasure to be with. I’ve been called a ‘Light Chaser’ because that’s just what I love to do, chase the light as it casts it’s moods onto just about anything and everything. And the pride of showing off my images is the joy of sharing the absolute beauty of life here on our most awesome Mother Earth. So, with camera in hand, I take off in any direction in pursuit of the quest to see Gaia’s delicious being. The camera becomes my divining rod, and I seek out the emotive waters of a rich and bejeweled landscape. Anywhere I look, perfection smiles back at me. Heck, the picture taking is just an excuse to look at her raw beauty. In that moment, I am fully alive, and fully at peace, sort of my walking meditation.

Where else has your curiosity taken you ?

As a child I loved physical events….hiking, baseball, exercising, playing. I loved trying every sport that was available to me in school. One year I ‘lettered’ in Football, Track & Field, Baseball, and Tennis, and still got on the Dean’s List for good grades. My curiosity in school was in science, math, history, and art. Then in college, I dove into everything esoteric…questioning traditions, and trying alternatives. After that, religions played a prominent role in my world view, and I left the old ways and tried on more indigenous lifestyles and thinking. Curiosity finally led me to the juncture of quantum physics and spiritual laws, the magical thinking of religious history. Yet, having traveled around the world of thought and ‘no thought’…I’m right back to being the little kid who loved to play in the dirt, pile up rocks, and grow flowers in my own yard…

I have seen what you can do with rocks, dirt & flowers. Your spaces have quite a sacredness to them. Where does the inspiration come from?

From Mother Nature and Mother Valeria Mae, my earthly mom. As a child, she always had gardens and orchards flourishing around me as I played. Soon I was the caretaker of her landscape. To this day she and I get on our knees and serve the flora around her retirement home. This was symbolic of the spiritual service she showed me towards others. As a young man, I became caretaker of beautiful estates in La Jolla, CA and devoted all remaining time to spiritually beautifying of my inner landscape. So now, when out in the back country anywhere I look, I see this incredible order of things, just as it’s been for millennia. Human gardens only attempt to replicate what’s already laid out in nature. And that’s just what I do here in my own 2 acre backyard. Try to build a little ‘Heaven on Earth’…!

So what’s worth shouting about today?

Progress. Even though I rest satisfied with my life, my love, my children, and my grandchildren…I am excited with my curiosity at what’s next, how will I get there, and what will I find. With the help of my life coach, I am challenged to see clearly my motives and my passions. I want to finish with a flurry of good work, satisfying accomplishments, and crystalline awareness….as to my purpose, my potential, and my chance to be alive right here right now. Like the sage who said, ‘May you live in interesting times’ …we do, and I want to experience them with clarity and wisdom.

Thanks for chatting with me Dale, and sharing your inner landscape.
Dale can be contacted at

© The Red Barn Cooperative

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue “Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, both RSS feeder or email subscriptions are available. Just click the link up on the right. We would be honored to have you join our community.

Don’t forget you can also post your own nourishing lists at My nourishing Top Ten we love to share them.

Penny Collins – Finding joy with a mountain tribe

Penny resides in beautiful Julian the Apple Pie capital of Southern California. Trained as a Co-Active Coach by The Coaches Training Institute, she finds that coaching allows expression for several other loves; meaningful connection with people, authenticity, living communities, archeology & discovery. Penny is my ‘partner-in-nourishment’ at The Red Barn Cooperative and she recently wrote the article lead-follow explaining how her passions for belly dancing and coaching align. Originally from Calgary, Canada is where her many years of working for non profit youth organizations began. Penny threw herself at the opportunity to travel to Europe and continued with the nonprofit groove for 11 years. Work took her to Holland, France, Spain, Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia (as it was was formerly known), the tiny principality of Andorra and she found herself settling in Belgium, where her daughter was born. On arrival in California Penny became a massage therapist working in Occupational Therapy, and she followed her passion for horses (she owns an Arabian, named Shanna) training in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. She became a member of the Mountain Tribal Gypsies in 2005.

Penny, I am so happy that I get to chat to you today about one of your own sources of nourishment, so tell me exactly how your love of belly dancing began.

My fascination with belly dance began several years ago when I began to see three ladies in the small town I live in showing up at art festivals, and local cultural events doing this gorgeous style of belly dance. What impressed me most was the joy that radiated from them. They loved what they were doing.

This fascination led me to being an avid fan of the troupe and not missing any of their performances. Then about three years ago, at the hounding of so many local women it would be impossible to count, the troupe started a class. I was in and I was hooked.

You mention a sense of joy, what areas of your life have been enriched from being part of the Mountain Tribal Gypsies?

Being a part of the MTG has enriched my life in many areas. The connection we have as dancers from the hours we practice together has developed a knowing of each other on a deeply spiritual level. As well as the nature of tribal style belly dance which is not choreographed, we have learned each other’s unique rhythms, which creates a strong connection. We come from extremely diverse backgrounds and training , but I can truly say that these women are my tribe. I also find it very enriching to see us as women grow in our love of ourselves, our bodies, and how belly dance has brought a freedom of expression. This is who we are and how we want to put ourselves out there in the world.

The beautiful costuming allows for abundant creativity. It truly is a celebration of the beauty of women. Our troupe is growing in recognition as well, we have just finished having a documentary made on our little troupe. We are traveling to perform in new places besides our small town which is a lot of fun. We have several festivals coming up this spring and summer.

Do many of your clients know that you are coach by day and belly dancer by night ?

Yes actually several of my clients do know. I find there are a lot of similarities between co-active coaching and tribal belly dance so it comes out in one way or another during coaching.

It sounds very rewarding to be able to combine your passions. Do you feel that you have a coaching niche based on creativity?

I would have to say it’s about authenticity. The pattern I’m seeing with my clients is them connecting with their true selves and living that in a fuller, deeper, expression.

Having watched you guys perform, I would have to say that you all seem to be expressing your own authenticity pretty fully. It is incredible to see women of all ages and body types move so naturally together in dance. What would you say to someone who is still finding the courage to take up belly dance or any kind of dance class?

Dancing has a great way of making a strong connection with the wisdom of our bodies. We get out of our heads for a change and connection with another wisdom we can access. I would say if dance is what your dreaming of exploring, Go for it !!. Try several different styles if your not sure which one is for you. If you are drawn to classical or latin music you might try ballroom, ballet, or flamenco. If you want something fast paced try hip-hop ,West Coast Swing, tap or jazz. If you like country music try line dancing or square dancing. Think about what kind of music makes you want to move your body, then explore a dance style that uses that kind of music. You’ll find your own unique rhythm and expression. Make sure you have fun!!!! Off to dance, hugs…..

To chat to Penny or to arrange a sample coaching session you can contact her at

Pen, so shocked that ‘a cup of tea’ didn’t make your top ten nourishing things!

© The Red Barn Cooperative

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue “Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, both RSS feeder or email subscriptions are available. Just click the link up on the right. We would be honored to have you join our community.

Don’t forget you can also post your own nourishing lists at My nourishing Top Ten we love to share them.

Dan Lewis – Belonging in the moment

Cowboy, Team Roper, Bull rider.

Dan, do you remember your first time on a horse?

Two hours before I was born is what my mom loves to tell. Except for the last four years, honestly I don’t remember a time in my life when I haven’t been on the back of a horse.

Where has being with horses taken you?

To hell, and to heaven and back.

What is hell like?

Cold, hot, dirty, painful, and all around miserable.

What is heaven like?

Quiet. The ultimate. It is different for everyone, I think people can sit back and imagine what it has been like to be a cowboy. I don’t want to tell all the details I like to get people to think about things they have never experienced.

Heaven and hell seem pretty far apart! Is there anything in between?

Life, there’s just life, we all dream of what life should be but in the end there’s just life. Everything builds to something else.

What does being on the back of a horse mean to you?

Freedom, being able to breath , ego, power, I belong.

Tell me more about ‘I belong’.

We all need a place to feel alive, where your senses are alive, to the smells, the sights, the feel. It’s a comfort zone , it’s church, it’s freedom.

Is your place a physical place or a sense of being?

It’s a place, definitely a place. It can be anywhere, as long as it is long on wilderness and short on people. I have spent my entire adult life on the back of a horse in the mountains hence society confuses the heck out of me. And it’s a time, it can’t get any better than right now.

People need to think about now, what they say, and how they treat people. Ask themselves are they being truthful, are my words hollow? Do I say things I’m not willing to back up?

That gnaws on me right now because I say I’m a cowboy, but I’m not doing that right now. It’s about walking your talk, so I know I need to get back.

What has happened in the last four years to get you off the back of a horse?

Four years ago I had an auto accident and I broke my neck. I found the old adage was true, “that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”. Before that I was just a cowboy that was it. But through breaking my neck and not being able to do what I love, really taught me that it is truly my passion. It’s about knowing who you are, and what you stand for. You’ve got to know where you stand. In order to take a stand you have to know who you are. If this sounds like a riddle, good, welcome to being alive.

What has pain taught you?

It has taught me that I’m alive. When you feel pain no matter what kind, physical, emotional, mental, you are aware that life is right here for you to live. No hiding, you get bucked off, you go through it and move on.

When you talk about riding a good cow reining horse you get giddy, tell me more about that.

It’s hard to put that into words. I’ll train a horse for six months to reach that one point, it doesn’t get better. Ultimate high ultimate rush, and that goes back to nothing is better than this moment.

So what might the next moment hold for you?

Thats the great thing about being alive, what’s the next adventure?

I am currently starting a new chapter. I have entered the business world. I have designed the safest (for the horse) portable round pen and in which to train horses. Horses hit their legs when they go around pens, with my pen design I have eliminated that . It’s been a bit of a struggle to get people to think outside their boxes and see the benefit of a totally new and innovative design, it puts a kink in their gid-a-long. It’s coming along.

Dan, thanks for spending time with a city girl.
Take care, Penny

Photo Credits – Jacquie Ogle

© The Red Barn Cooperative

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue “Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, both RSS feeder or email subscriptions are available. Just click the link up on the right. We would be honored to have you join our community.

Don’t forget you can also post your own nourishing lists at My nourishing Top Ten we love to share them.

Will Travis – Freedom & fear

Will is a 38 year old Brit, founder of branding agency ATTIK’s US operation (now part of Dentsu) and leader of the groups global business development and marketing voice. An industry expert in youth marketing, branding and creativity, he sits on numerous business boards and loves sharing his experiences on a global stage. An avid explorer, mountaineer, father of daughters Amelia and Beatrice, partner of Zhanna, creative catalyst and sportsman. He lives in NY and Montreal and eats way too much Haagen Dazs dolce de leche when watching movies.

Will, when I first saw this photo of you I was so surprised by it. Fill me in on your mountaineering adventures, when did you start climbing and where have you traveled to?

I started climbing as a kid, not big stuff but living in the north of England, I always loved the escape of the hills and would clamber up and down peaks in the rain and cold – mad I know!
Then my dad started to get me going during holidays – we climbed all the biggies in Scotland, Wales and England but to be honest I was miserable. I would tag along behind him following his footsteps, swearing under by breath, as any right minded teenage boy on a hill would do when deprived the precious time with ladies underwear catalogues.

The big turn came in ’03 when I was playing darts in a California pub with my explorer friend Jamie Clarke. A few too many pints later and the bets started flowing, resulting in my agreement to join Jamie on his fifth of the worlds highest seven summits – Mt Elbruz in Russia. Since then my larger trips have included Mt Vinson Massif in Antarctica in ’05, again with Jamie and in ’07 motor biking 2,500 miles over the worlds highest road, through the Himalayas, on a Royal Enfield Bullet.

What do you feel when you climb?

Climbing is a weird one – it’s one of those sports that encompass an array of emotions.
When I set out on an expedition there’s a great deal of excitement, the excitement of adventure, of the unknown, of doing something that most people have never done, of discovery. This is mixed with fear. When you’re at the total whim of the elements, you suddenly realize just how pathetic a creature humans are at fending off cold, danger, winds, drought, starvation etc and vulnerability stares you straight in the face.

If I take the wrong gear, wear the wrong clothes, underestimate or over estimate what I should take or even jump a gap an inch too short – the outcome can be detrimental. Mountaineering is all about preparation, balance, clear headiness and the acceptance of failure. In business it’s a lot easier to get back up and try again or walk away leaving your mistake to be cleaned up. On a mountain there is nowhere and I mean nowhere to hide. It’s you, the elements and your team and every part needs to work in harmony – swiftly, sensibly and collectively.

OK – back to the feelings. So lets jump ahead, I’m on the trip. Freedom is one of the first real things you feel, you are free to make every decision. There’s no walls, no confinement. There’s no-one baby sitting you and life is there for the taking. It’s exhilarating to know every turn you make can and will lead to a totally new experience. You feel pain as your boots rub, confusion when a trail suddenly ends, exhilaration when you stand on the top of the world and depression when you feel you can no longer go on. The peaks and troughs of emotion are the largest you will ever feel.

Every time I climb, as my body realizes its burning more calories than I’m consuming, I drop into a state of depression. I hate the people I follow, I hate people that I’m disgruntled with at home, I hate parts of my job – my body is kicking into fight mode and I hate. When I summit though, I love everyone. The slightest reflection of a loved one leads to tears and I realize how concealed everyday life keeps my natural emotions.

So are my expeditions all fun all the time – absolutely not, a lot of the time I am damn right miserable! BUT how the pleasure outweighs the misery after the fact is huge. I have gained experiences that life unexplored can never understand. I understand how to control and handle my fears and I understand what in life really matters and what a year on would fade to insignificance.

I am so impressed and thrilled that you are brave enough to take yourself off on these expeditions and I thank you for sharing your incredible experiences and insights. Your story also brought to mind a Maslow saying – ‘Think of life as a process of choices, one after another. At each point there is a progression choice and a regression choice. To make the growth choice instead of the fear choice a dozen times a day is to move a dozen times toward self-actualization.”

Will I owe you a gallon of Dolce de leche and for the rest of us, maybe today is just as good a day as any to choose growth over fear.
Warmly, C

© The Red Barn Cooperative

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Both RSS feeder or email subscriptions are available, just click the link up on the right. You can also still leave your ‘Nourishing Top Ten’ on last weeks posting, we would love to hear from you.

Nourishing Conversations – What nourishes you?

I am writing this as I watch ‘American Idol Gives Back’. Did you watch it too? A gathering of celebrities from various areas of sport and entertainment raising funds for children around the world. As I type they are at $21m and Brad Pitt just came on stage to a hysterical standing ovation. If you missed it I am sure you will be able to catch it on You Tube tomorrow. Among the many heart tugging stories I highly recommend viewing the Annie Lennox, Forest Whitaker and Daughtry segments.

The community spirit of this fundraiser humbly inspired me to divert from our normal Thursday interview and turn the blog over to you, our readers.

In the last couple of months we have published interviews that featured nourishment in many guises, from spirituality, eco fashion, health and cultural hobbies to surviving break ups and magic. And with it we created community too.

I am curious about you on so many levels, but today I would like permission to ask – What nourishes you?

Yes, I know you have a plane to catch, a meeting to attend or something very important to do today but what would be new for you if you took just a minute to notice from what and from where you receive nourishment?

I took a minute, and wrote my nourishing top ten. The list is in no particular order, it reflects my thoughts in this single moment, tonight. Tomorrow it may change, in a month it could alter again, but for now these are the things that raise my spirits, bring me joy, have me live my life on purpose and let me be me.

1. The lyrics to ‘Unwritten’ by Natasha Beddingfield
2. My tiny beach shack & garden that any self respecting fairy would be happy to live in
3. My boyfriend Marc and all the yummy meals he makes time to cook for me
4. Cuddling up to my dog Poppy while she snores.
5. My incredible friends who support me in all I do
6. Being able to create within The Red Barn Cooperative
7. The KNOWING that we can all make a difference
8. My iphone, imac, OK everything Apple
9. The life learnings I gain everyday from my clients
10. Whimsy, laughter and Tord Boontje – in my mind they totally go together

I ask you to take a minute today to look at your own top 10.

Jot them down and share them in the comments section on this page so we might get to know each other, learn from one another and share our nourishing finds.

Don’t put it off, you may find something wonderful in this minute that nourishes you for the rest of your day.

With warmth and sparkle

© The Red Barn Cooperative

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Both RSS feeder or email subscriptions are available, just click the link up on the right.

April 2008
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