Stillness in the cold

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.”  Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It)

I’m about to step into a river rushing by at 249 cfs. The ambient temperature is 42 degrees.  I can feel the strong current hit my leg from the west as I step in.  I slip my polarized sunglasses on to better see where I’m going.  It’s rocky underneath, so I cautiously progress forward; the cold air embracing me. My fly rod in my right hand and my eyes cast downward as I step.  I can feel the loneliness of the river as she welcomes me.  Two become one as I move further from the banks.

I have shared my love for the meditative qualities of fly fishing before with you.  I love the stillness that I experience while I’m out on the water.  Nothing, but me, the water, the action of the fly rod…it’s blissful.

Steadying the mind is one goal of meditation, but this practice can be trying when combating the noisy, ever present, conscious mind.  How is it that I can reach this stillness so quickly when I’m fly fishing?

It simple.  I become single-minded; nothing else in my awareness but what I’m doing.  This is the gift I receive from fly fishing.  This is what calls me to the river.

So I answer the call and slip silently into my watery world…still, quiet, free.


The cat who taught me about giving


He was the center of our home in Santa Fe, NM for just over five years.  “Little Mr. Personality”, I used to call him.  His real name was Beethoven Von Mars.  He was petite, vivacious, and lion hearted. If you have a pet or pet’s, you know how much they become a part of your life.  They are our constant companions, our confidants, and in some cases, our only friend.  They provide us loyalty, love and sanity.

They give us so much.

Beethoven was that and more.  He was unusual for a cat.  He loved to play fetch (and was really good at it).  He loved blue corn chips and cantaloupe.  He would work on unlocking a cabinet for hours, upon hours (successful on several occasions).  He was a top-notch hunter, putting a dent in our local hummingbirds population, much to my chagrin.  He would tell you when he needed something, and if ignored, he would climb on top of the refrigerator and knock things off till you came around.  He was a handful.  He was loud.  He was everywhere.

Last Thanksgiving Eve, Marilyn and I awoke to the sounds of Beethoven crying out in the night.  Stumbling out of bed, flipping on lights, we found Beethoven dragging himself down the hall; his hind quarters lifeless.  He was in pain and we were on our way to the pet hospital.

Beethoven left us that night.   Quickly and quietly.

The days that followed were difficult beyond belief.  I was hauntingly aware of how much he had filled the space around me.  There would be no more playing fetch, no late night snack demands, no more cabinet work…no more of his loving presence.  The loss of someone you love is one of the most painful lessons that life can gift you.

Beethoven was such a gift and he taught me this: show up fully in everything you do.  It’s not about how much you have or know, but rather, how much you give.  Beethoven gave himself to us…completely.

I am thankful, every day and night, for all I experience in my life: my family, my friends, the blue sky, the stars at night, little Mr. Beethoven .  They are all gifts to me.

Peace to you this Thanksgiving.




plural noun: fluctuations
  1. an irregular rising and falling in number or amount; a variation.
    “fluctuations in the yearly values could be caused by a variety of factors”*


Damning thoughts
rocket through
red thorax
coughing up
blue smoke
from engines
fired by
salt splintered
bones thrown
through glass
eyes deeply
gouged bloody
by gulls
glancing off
flat Earth.

Despot tears
rain dawn
plants closed
years ago
when anger
thrust them
out to seas
black tides
smothered demons
tiny worlds
draped by
moonlight slivers
shone through
broken hearts
left frail

Cold shrieks
drown soft
ears picked
clean by
solid women
looking through
eyes sewn
shut under
raspberry clouds
of winters
gone by

Broken clavicles
arch across
muddy souls
far deep
with in
kiln dried

last breath
drawn out
reaction free
bullets dropped
hours below
hallucinating angels
who couldn’t

take it …anymore.




“Abandon all attachment to the results of action and attain supreme peace”…. the Bhagavad Gita

My last couple of posts have been about the self and how taking action can help us make shifts in our lives.

I encourage people to take action.  But it is important not to make outcomes the the focus of those actions.  So what does this mean?

Taking action creates life in it’s fullness.  But in that fullness there can be unexpected outcomes…some pleasant and some not so pleasant – like sorrow, suffering, pain, death.  One never really know what will happen once we begin to create movement.

But we must take action regardless of the outcomes.  But we do this from a place of consciousness – “not thinking about I but rather, thou”* – so not to entangle ourselves in outcomes.  We are in action, not in reaction.  We begin to shift our experience of the self.

Taking action is about being brave and willing.  Taking action is about being in our power.  A great resource on the topic of action is the classic Bhagavad Gita, from which I have quoted in this post.

So take action, but ask yourself this – can I let go of expectation?  Let go of an outcomes?


Action vs. In-action

There is something deeply universal about taking action as a means of moving spiritually through life. Action is the great I AM on our pathway to self-awareness.  Taking action is about moving energy…all energy.

Then what is in-action?

In-action takes the shape of many things – including doubt, procrastination, lack-of-confidence, avoidance – they are all means of non-action in our lives.  Even the littlest of things, like not fixing a broken door or speaking up, can be symptomatic of in-action.  And when we are not moving, the energy around us, doesn’t move.  We are stagnant.

An example in my life recently had to do with our shower.  Both the shower release and shower head were not working properly.  The flow of water from the shower head was compromised by calcium build-up, reducing our flow by at least 50%.  The spout release barely functional, making pulling it up arduous.  These small, but important necessities in our daily routines clearly were not working, but neither of us did anything about it due to money and time constraints.

Then, one day Marilyn says “we are picking up new parts for the shower today“.  Off to the store we go.  I had both items repaired with in 30 minutes of being home.  What a revelation. We had water pressure.  The shower worked great.  Everything functioned as it should…with ease.

The next day, both of our lives flowed.  I couldn’t help but notice the energetic change around me and correlation between my day and the work done the night before.  We took action and now both of us were basking in the outcomes.

So where in your life do you have a lack of flow?  Where could you be taking action?  

Take a walk around your world and ask yourself these questions.  Look both internally and externally.  Create a plan to take action on those things that are immediate (actionable now – like changing a light bulb, or eating better).  Then just be open to and aware of what happens next.


The loss of self-responsibility

When I wrote “What I do to you, I do to myself”, I had no idea how quickly the future would turn for the worse.

The meta-message in my post is about how the ultimate responsibility for change, lies within all of us. We, as in I AM, are responsible for credible, real change and not someone or something outside of us.

But the paradigm has been flipped. Blaming others, succumbing to our fears, disinformation, have become public policy. Self-responsibility gone out the window.

When our communal leadership shifts in ways that are detrimental to the common good, we must not collapse. We must look deeper into our gut and heart. We must ask ourselves hard questions about what we want and what must be done to “bring balance” back to our lives (and the world).

This I believe to be a truth. – that we are not alone in this world and that our individual actions do make a difference (for better or for worse).


So, what do you find when you look inside?

What would you like to bring fourth to the world?

What can you do to make that change happen now?


I give you, the reader, pause to think about these questions.

What you find in your answers today, may be important to the rest of us in the future.


The Wisdom Path Podcast series – has launched.

Hello friends, creatives and fellow bloggers,

I want to invite you to follow and participate in my podcast project that I’m super passionate about.

The series is called the Wisdom Path Podcasts and is scheduled for release March of 2017.  Here is a brief overview of the project:

The Podcasts:

  • 12 – 15 of the coolest, hippest young indigenous creatives.
  • They will be sharing the important stories, tales and myths of their respective peoples.
  • From these stories, we will focus on the pieces of wisdom in areas such as: Life, Death, Love, Nature, Place, Time and Value.
  • unpack their stories extracting the embedded lessons.

In addition, we will also be:

  • capturing the story as an audio file for preservation; the development of a digital archive.
  • building a library of wisdom and knowledge as the foundation for a future book.

Some really exciting, good stuff planned, but we are relying on our recently launched KickStarter campaign to fund this project.  No funding, no podcast.

Your support is critical in making the Wisdom Path happen.  To get involved, please visit either of the links below:




I greatly appreciate your support and actions.  It will be amazing.


Guillermo Tilley