Success from the Heart – The Heart of the Mendocino Coast, Part 1

I’ve visited the Mendocino coast nearly every year; as far back as I can remember.  My dad was passionate about the Northern California

Village of Mendocino, CA

Village of Mendocino, CA

coast and the rugged shores of Mendocino.  We headed there on summer road trips, to brave the bracing winds and stinging-cold water and watch my mom comb the beaches for shells and pretty pieces of glass.   In my early adolescence I became fascinated with the bohemian lifestyle of the village of Mendocino: a grocery store in an old church, charming bookstores in funky water towers, and colorful people and their artwork all over town.

This year I traveled to the Mendocino coast again as I planned and assisted the Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce with a press trip for travel writers.  I was meeting and working and getting to know a few people who live and work in Mendocino and Fort Bragg.   As I listened to them I somehow began to sense what it feels like to live there.  I could feel how different and unique it is to dwell on this coastal edge; edging up against the rocky beaches, cold and windy days, forest roads and rural living.

It’s not completely easy to live on the Mendocino coast.  The town of Fort Bragg, the village of Mendocino and a few small hamlets along Hwy 1 are on their own for providing all of the modern conveniences that we, in the 21st century, take for granted.  Cell phone service is limited, having just landed in Mendocino about two years ago; still, most likely, you have to duck around a corner, or go outside on your porch to pick up a signal.   There are not a lot of choices for employment; working and making a living takes creativity and diligence. Keep reading

Advertisements

Between a geologist and a water witch

View from Stagecoach Vineyards

View from Stagecoach Vineyards

Yesterday I had the greatest pleasure to visit Stagecoach Vineyards; way up the hillside of Soda Canyon Road.  From the office of Krupp Brothers Estate vineyards, you can see across their property to the top of the mountain side, where 500 acres of Stagecoach vineyards are planted.  This is high-elevation, hot, rugged landscape.   Jan Krupp had a marvelous vision…a person that wants to take his vision all the way.  The land he set his sights on had no known source of water, no roads to the area, and what it had most were huge rocks and thin, rocky soil.  It didn’t seem feasible, or even possible.  Why go there?

I have only heard Jan talk of this vision briefly, but I today I am still pondering with fascination the drive and perseverance that he and his partners put forth to realize this vision.   And the water was found…first, a geologist marked out five areas where water might be, but concluded it was too far to drill…concluded it “couldn’t be done”.   Then a water witch was consulted and yes, there was water, in the area of the marks of the geologist and probably 350 feet underground.  The Krupp’s drilled and got their water.  Today we enjoy the remarkable cabernet sauvignon they have produced…and more. The grapes of Stagecoach vineyards have produced award winning wines for over 50 wineries in the Napa Valley.  http://www.stagecoachvineyard.com/

I conclude that from here forward, when I think “it can’t be done” or my faith is waning, I will summon my new mantra:   “somewhere between a geologist and a water witch” and I’ll give it another go.

Please indulge yourself and explore the wines of Krupp Brothers,  http://www.kruppbrothersestates.com/home.htm

What about the “witch”??  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowsing

Intriguing, yes?

Connecting with Butterflies – Carole Peccorini’s Success from the Heart

I interviewed Carole Peccorini in April of 2008.  Since then The Butterfly Project has raised over half of her goal of $60,000 to fund the college education of Uganda girls.  The Butterfly Project works in collaboration with Village Volunteers, a non-profit organization that works in partnership with rural village and capacity-building programs to support the development of sustainable solutions for

Carole Peccorini and Evaline, Uganda

Carole Peccorini and Evaline, Uganda

community survival, education, and growth.  www.VillageVolunteers.org

Carole Peccorini was my first inspiration to create interviews with people that are working and living from their hearts.  Whether making tons of money or not, it is truly Success from the Heart.  www.TheButterflyProject.com

1.         For your first trip to Uganda, how did you “get the nerve” to go to Africa?

Since childhood I have had a longing and connection with Africa.  My heroes are Albert Schweitzer, Jane Goodall with the chimps, Diane Fossey with the gorillas and the Leakeys searching for the oldest human remains in the Oldavi Gorge. I just love all of the wildlife and the new knowledge based on their long-term research and discoveries.  Over a ten to fifteen year period  I probably read every book they published about Africa.  So it was already in me; a sense and longing that got ignited.  It seemed to be my destiny.

The trip to Uganda in 2005 was with MannaRelief, a non profit program of a biotech nutraceutical company called Mannatech.   I have an independent business with Mannatech.  MannaRelief is devoted to children, providing vital nutrients to the orphans in the developing world.  Their first team went to Uganda in 2005.  I’ve been a pediatric nurse, with a passion and commitment for children.  I got the email about the pending trip to Uganda just 5 or 6 weeks before they were scheduled to depart.  I talked it over with my friend Leta, who also had a lifelong dream to go to Africa and we just said, “Should we say yes?” and we took the leap!  I didn’t have a clue how to come up with the money, had to clear my calendar and didn’t know how it would all work.  But I knew in my heart it would work.  I had made a commitment to myself that in my 60’s I would have life-opening experiences.  The decision came from my heart.  The majority of time you just do what is reasonable and keep things working.  But sometimes an inner self just knows when to make a leap. I trusted that inner self to say “Yes” to something that was transformational and life-changing.

2.         It was during that trip that The Butterfly Project evolved.  Do you remember a  specific incident that sparked the idea for  The Butterfly Project?

Probably a handful of things.  While there, we met with, Dr. Nsaba Butero, the Minister for Information & Broadcasting, in the Office of the President.  He had a PhD in Social Sciences.  I just loved this man! What he said touched me deeply: “We don’t need charity. We’re not looking for handouts. What we need are partners to solve problems.” This conversation happened early in the trip.  Uganda has amazing bio-rich resources and wonderful people. They need partnerships to develop what they have.  They not only want to solve problems for their people, but to participate in the global economy.

In addition to that experience, we were with the kids, the orphans, teaching them about the nutrients.  I had brought 1200 Blue Morpho butterflies, small replicas, to delight the children.  The butterflies were easy to include in my luggage.  The kids just lit up when they got a butterfly!  It was very joyful.  And then, when I would begin to leave, the kids would always hug us and say, “I love you”. They would also say, “When you go home, please tell everyone I love them.”  They made an extraordinary connection to people everywhere.

And, of course, I met Eveline, a young orphan girl who was very bright and engaging.  I asked about continuing school for her and could she go to the university. I found out from Bob, the orphanage director, that it cost $6000, total, to attend the university.  I said to him, “That’s doable!”  From that point I knew the funds would be there for her to go to college if she chose. And while in Uganda, it was my 62nd birthday. I met Bette, also an orphan since six.  She had been trained to be a masseuse and as a gift I was given a massage from Bette.  From learning her story and knowing about all the other girls, by then I just knew that I’d send 10 Ugandan girls to college. It was done and complete in my heart.   It was another big “Yes!”

3.         What’s the most daunting hurdle you’ve had to conquer to get The Butterfly Project going or keep it going?

At some point, transformational vision has to move back into the realm of reasonable.  It was about four of five weeks after I returned before I had the name, The Butterfly Project. In that transformational arena, connections and solutions come magically, but I had to go back and forth between practical actions and transformational connections.  The story made the connections.  The biggest hurdle was turning my vision into a non-profit organization, in addition to running my regular business!  It is an arduous process.  Three main things are needed to establish a non-profit that involves another country: it has to be a legal non profit; there have to be people on the ground in Uganda to make it happen; and there has to be a fundraising division.  I partnered with Global Partners for Development to establish the non profit status and I’ve been learning what it takes to bring The Butterfly Project into a mature, sustainable program that works.

4.         What keeps your commitment going?

The fact that the decision came from my heart, from that sense of spirit within me.  It actually feels sacred, like a covenant.  With that it takes the will to get it going and the passion for it and then the results. There are policies to develop, strategic plans to be made and funds to be raised.  Whenever I do a presentation, the magic of the story re-ignites my commitment.  More stories will develop as the girls attend the universities and have opportunities in their lives that will benefit their villages and the world.  This keeps the juice and joy

Carole and kids, Uganda

Carole and kids, Uganda

going; people’s lives being changed and saying “yes”.

5.         Do you have a specific joyous result or incident that has come from The Butterfly Project?

My vision and prayer for what would happen in my 60’s is happening. My life opened and I have new amazing people in my life.  On a personal level, this is a very powerful result.  And my heart leaps for joy for Evaline!  For her progress in school and knowing she will be able to go to university if she chooses. I’ve seen friends’ lives open from the story and this has allowed them to say yes to transformational possibilities in their own lives.  These opening often arrive unplanned and they usually are not reasonable. But then to see it in action is joyful, to see the results ripple out to many.

1. For your first trip to Uganda, how did you “get the nerve” to go to Africa?

Since childhood I have had a longing and connection with Africa. My heroes are Albert Schweitzer, Jane Goodall with the chimps, Diane Fossey with the gorillas and the Leakeys searching for the oldest human remains in the Oldavi Gorge. I just love all of the wildlife and the new knowledge based on their long-term research and discoveries. Over a ten to fifteen year period I probably read every book they published about Africa. So it was already in me; a sense and longing that got ignited. It seemed to be my destiny.

The trip to Uganda in 2005 was with MannaRelief, a non profit program of a biotech nutraceutical company called Mannatech. I have an independent business with Mannatech. MannaRelief is devoted to children, providing vital nutrients to the orphans in the developing world. Their first team went to Uganda in 2005. I’ve been a pediatric nurse, with a passion and commitment for children. I got the email about the pending trip to Uganda just 5 or 6 weeks before they were scheduled to depart. I talked it over with my friend Leta, who also had a lifelong dream to go to Africa and we just said, “Should we say yes?” and we took the leap! I didn’t have a clue how to come up with the money, had to clear my calendar and didn’t know how it would all work. But I knew in my heart it would work. I had made a commitment to myself that in my 60’s I would have life-opening experiences. The decision came from my heart. The majority of time you just do what is reasonable and keep things working. But sometimes an inner self just knows when to make a leap. I trusted that inner self to say “Yes” to something that was transformational and life-changing.

2. It was during that trip that The Butterfly Project evolved. Do you remember a specific incident that sparked the idea for The Butterfly Project?

Probably a handful of things. While there, we met with, Dr. Nsaba Butero, the Minister for Information & Broadcasting, in the Office of the President. He had a PhD in Social Sciences. I just loved this man! What he said touched me deeply: “We don’t need charity. We’re not looking for handouts. What we need are partners to solve problems.” This conversation happened early in the trip. Uganda has amazing bio-rich resources and wonderful people. They need partnerships to develop what they have. They not only want to solve problems for their people, but to participate in the global economy.

In addition to that experience, we were with the kids, the orphans, teaching them about the nutrients. I had brought 1200 Blue Morpho butterflies, small replicas, to delight the children. The butterflies were easy to include in my luggage. The kids just lit up when they got a butterfly! It was very joyful. And then, when I would begin to leave, the kids would always hug us and say, “I love you”. They would also say, “When you go home, please tell everyone I love them.” They made an extraordinary connection to people everywhere.

And, of course, I met Eveline, a young orphan girl who was very bright and engaging. I asked about continuing school for her and could she go to the university. I found out from Bob, the orphanage director, that it cost $6000, total, to attend the university. I said to him, “That’s doable!” From that point I knew the funds would be there for her to go to college if she chose. And while in Uganda, it was my 62nd birthday. I met Bette, also an orphan since six. She had been trained to be a masseuse and as a gift I was given a massage from Bette. From learning her story and knowing about all the other girls, by then I just knew that I’d send 10 Ugandan girls to college. It was done and complete in my heart. It was another big “Yes!”

3. What’s the most daunting hurdle you’ve had to conquer to get The Butterfly Project going or keep it going?

At some point, transformational vision has to move back into the realm of reasonable. It was about four of five weeks after I returned before I had the name, The Butterfly Project. In that transformational arena, connections and solutions come magically, but I had to go back and forth between practical actions and transformational connections. The story made the connections. The biggest hurdle was turning my vision into a non-profit organization, in addition to running my regular business! It is an arduous process. Three main things are needed to establish a non-profit that involves another country: it has to be a legal non profit; there have to be people on the ground in Uganda to make it happen; and there has to be a fundraising division. I partnered with Global Partners for Development to establish the non profit status and I’ve been learning what it takes to bring The Butterfly Project into a mature, sustainable program that works.

4. What keeps your commitment going?

The fact that the decision came from my heart, from that sense of spirit within me. It actually feels sacred, like a covenant. With that it takes the will to get it going and the passion for it and then the results. There are policies to develop, strategic plans to be made and funds to be raised. Whenever I do a presentation, the magic of the story re-ignites my commitment. More stories will develop as the girls attend the universities and have opportunities in their lives that will benefit their villages and the world. This keeps the juice and joy going; people’s lives being changed and saying “yes”.

5. Do you have a specific joyous result or incident that has come from The Butterfly Project?

My vision and prayer for what would happen in my 60’s is happening. My life opened and I have new amazing people in my life. On a personal level, this is a very powerful result. And my heart leaps for joy for Evaline! For her progress in school and knowing she will be able to go to university if she chooses. I’ve seen friends’ lives open from the story and this has allowed them to say yes to transformational possibilities in their own lives. These opening often arrive unplanned and they usually are not reasonable. But then to see it in action is joyful, to see the results ripple out to many.

I may see a Tarantula and I have to get shots.

In the past I’ve talked about being in my prime; that at 55, I am in my own personal Prime Time. Prime Time is for all of us between the age of 50 and 70 (and beyond! who knows?). We’ve got so many strange and wonderful experiences behind us and we have EARNED our wisdom. (see my post from January) So, with all those happy and motivational thoughts, the next thing I came upon is CHANGE. Ohhh; with all this knowledge and ability to choose wisely, now I realize that many decisions will require a change in myself. You see, I am accutely aware of what and how I did things before…how I handled relationships, obligations, commitments, goals, obstacles and on and on. About 35 years, a entire lifetime, of gettin’ it all together. Now, in my prime I know that to move forward I may…most likely…certainly will, have to change: me. I have been embarking on new work/career/income/creative projects for about two years now; navigating the prime of my life. Today I can tell you that when you make changes, big changes, changes to your environment, body, home, relationships, hair, shoes (whatever!) you will be immediately presented with the big, fat fears that have kept you from even considering these wonderful adventures in the first place! In 2006 I had the amazing opportunity to travel to East Africa. It would be in the category of “humanitarian” trip, visiting projects for clean water, schools, and micro-business being developed in Kenya and Tanzania. And it would include 3-4 days of awesome safari. I jumped at the chance! I was elevated, like feet barely touching the ground at the prospect of me going to Africa! Yes! Yes! Yes!…what? inoculations? how many? five?! shots? needles? oh. And my phantom phobia of big, hairy spiders!! jungle! banana trees! wide-open landscapes! they are everywhere! I just know it! Continue reading

Are You Ready for Prime Time?


I’m 55 years old and I’ve been noticing that most of my peers, friends and associates are now between the ages of 50 and 70 years old. I’m declaring that we are in our prime! What if 50 to 70 years old is the “Prime Time” of our life?

Just knowing more about ourselves: been all over there and done all that! Maybe retirement and the freedom to realize dreams of travel. Or choosing to work on projects and occupations that we actually want to do. Folks with grand kids to enjoy…gleefully handing them back to the parents to do the real job of child rearing.

Because I feel that this is my Prime Time, I am more aware of the importance of my health, especially prevention and sustainability. I realize that I don’t actually have a “choice”, whether to take care of myself or not. You see, at this age my body is only going to keep going with how I’ve managed it so far. I know that from now on, things will get “worse”…in terms of slower, saggy-er, etc. But that doesn’t stop me from getting more information about how to sustain what I’ve got and committing to what will sustain my energy, flexibility and healthy cell structure. I’ve been learning about “cell structure”, and really getting the picture of how my body is connected by all these buoyant little cells, communicating and interacting, making up this big mass of fun called Me.

Maybe the Saturday Night Live crew was “not quite ready for Prime Time” on television; but I’m so grateful to be a Prime Time Player in 2009!