Desert Moon Rising

Life Coaching & Conscious Living

December 29, 2022
by Pam Bell
Comments Off on I Am Living. I Am Dying. A Mantra for an Awakened Life

I Am Living. I Am Dying. A Mantra for an Awakened Life

I Am Living. I Am Dying. A Mantra for an Awakened Life

Recently I was driving home at night and listening to the radio, something I mainly do in my car. I was listening to NPR and although I’m not sure what specific show was on the air (because I only caught 15 minutes of it), there was a man reading from a journal. I found the story he was reading to be so moving, it inspired me to write this column. I am unclear as to whether the man was reading his own journal or someone else’s but no matter, the profundity of the story is the same.

The Story goes like this: this particular man had been diagnosed with the HIV/AIDS and was told to prepare to die. Again I am unclear as to what time in the AIDS epidemic this was taking place but no matter, he was far enough along that dying was his only option. So, he prepared to die and in his dying he was liberated. He said that he never felt more alive than when he was sentenced to die! Colors were more vidid, tastes more poignant, personal relationships and encounters more meaningful. It was as if someone turned on a light and he could finally see….after living so many years in the dark. Every day became meaningful and purposeful and he was not only acceptant about his dying, he actually felt real joy for the first time in his adult life. He accepted and embraced his fate completely until one day he went to see his doctor and the doctor told him about these new drugs. Drugs that could possible arrest the AIDS virus and save his life! And so, willing to take a chance on living, he prepared himself to live. He began the miracle drug treatment with caution and as so many people come to realize while taking “life saving drugs,” they made him really, really sick. He was nauseous, dizzy and sometimes unable to leave his apartment for days or even weeks. After a period of time spent in this homebound drug induced reflection, he realized that although he was indeed “living”, inside he felt like he was dying. And in that moment he decided he’d rather die than live like this. In that moment, he chose to quit the drugs and to be more “alive while dying” rather than “dead while living.” In his process of coming to terms with the decision he made, knowing fully it was his choice this time and that he was not a victim of there being “no cure”……he pulled out his prayer beads and created a new mantra with which he could now relate to: I Am Living. I Am Dying. I Am Living. I Am Dying.

In hearing this story I couldn’t help but think of just how many people, people who aren’t even sick, are living a life as if they were already dead. A life that has dulled their senses. A life that is full of struggle and strife. A life full of anger and resentment and regret. An ordinary life that anyone from the outside looking in might view as “decent” yet, a life that the person occupying it has become estranged to. A life that is unfulfilling. A life with seemingly little choice. A life lived from “should’s” rather than from “why the hell not’s!” We all know people like this and it is deeply sad.

Equally, I couldn’t help but think of all the people who live with a disability of some sort……maybe they are blind, or sick, or are immobile for some reason, and yet, they live as if they are fully alive! Fully functioning. Getting out on the streets even though they can not see…riding buses, holding down jobs. Crossing overpasses in their motorized scooters or using whatever devices they can afford so as to not be held back. I have seen beggars in India with no arms and no legs who have a better since of humor, deeper acceptance and a more sincere smile than most people in our modern society! It is impressive to see people not letting their physical conditions dictate their consciousness and I am often moved to tears because of it.

And then there are those with great wealth who will never have enough. And those with hardly anything who are willing to give it all away. This is a complex world in which we live. A world full of opposites – of pain and joy, suffering and celebration, wealth and poverty. It is not a “fair” world but it is the way it is. Call it karma. Call it luck. Call it fortune or misfortune. Call it what you will but by all means, call it something you can make peace with. Paint your imagination whatever color will allow you to live fully while you are living, as if everyday might be your last, and die as if dying were the next great adventure….because dying truly is that one great mystery nobody can really solve, isn’t it?

If we are honest with ourselves we will acknowledge that we are all living and dying at the same time. Our days are numbered and unpredictable yet we live as if we will live forever, as if dying isn’t something that will happened to us…..until it does. Like it did to my friend Miguel Walters who died suddenly last week at age of 44. And as it does to so many children. And to so many others who have not lived out their years. Having not died yet myself, I can not say it is actually a bad thing….in my version of death there is only magnificence!…..but to those who are left behind it can be a crushing loss.

By remembering the precarious and precious nature of this gift of life on a daily basis, we are bound to be more present and participatory to both, the living and the dying.

Hence a daily reminder through a mantra – I Am Living. I Am Dying.

December 29, 2022
by Pam Bell
Comments Off on Picking Up Where You Left Off

Picking Up Where You Left Off

Picking Up Where You Left Off

Is there something you started and didn’t finish? A project perhaps? A great invention? An idea? Something you really cared about and enjoyed doing but for some reason, life got in the way? If so, this article is for you!

Life is busy…..yes? Life is also unpredictable. Often, and for reasons beyond our control, we are headed in one direction and life turns us around and sends us in another, one we hadn’t planned on and sometimes, one we never even could have imagined! Life is not static. Life is not here to meet our expectations. Life, and the conditions herein, are tied to so many infinite unpredictables it is mind-blowing if you really look closely. Yet, for most of us, life goes on day after day pretty much the same and we grow to expect this, and to rely on it, and to like it until one day….it doesn’t.

Imagine this scenario (it won’t be hard): we are wandering along on our happy little path, one we think we have mastered, and make stops at all our favorite places like clock work…to get our coffee, and our mid-day snack, and to meet our friends for yoga, then a cocktail or two, then home for dinner and bed and looking so forward to finishing that art piece, or that article we are writing, or that novel, or that garden we are planting, or that training for the marathon we are running in November, or that mathematical equation we are so close to solving….you know, the one that will answer once and for all just how many galaxies there are in the Universe…..on our next day off! We ponder the possibilities all day long in our car, at our desk, we invent and reinvent just how it’s going to look, and feel, to be done! To have completed something that was deeply meaningful to us. Something that was our own creation, our own invention, our pride and joy, and just how deeply satisfied we will be once it’s finished. Or maybe instead, we notice just how wonderful it is to be in this process of engagement, in this place of deep intrigue, so much so that we are not concerned with the end result at all. But still, it steals your attention…when you have attention to steal, that is.

But then your day off comes and something comes up at work, or a family member needs a helping hand, or a friend needs a shoulder, or you promised the kids you’d take them to the beach….which you forgot until they boisteriously reminded you. It’s ok….you’ll get to your project another day….tomorrow maybe? Or next weekend for sure! This goes on for a while, you know the conversation better than I, the negotiation between giving yourself the time and giving it to others. “But they need me,” you say, or “My hands were tied, there was no getting out of that!” And your project waits, and it waits….it is a very patient project. It only needs feeding when you have the food to give it. It is the PERFECT pet! And sometimes, on occasion, you do get to feed it! You have an evening off, unscheduled and unplanned, and you sit and you make nice with your neglected project and you become close friends once again! You are inspired and your project has new life, a new brush stroke…”yes, yes, that’s the direction I want to go. We are on a roll now” you say.

And, as with many artful things, things that come from way down deep inside, there are the relationship issues to navigate as well. One day in love, the next, agitation. It’s just not cooperating like you want it to…stupid project! You know what you want to say but you don’t know how to say it. You envision it in your mind but what comes out on paper is not the same….it is not rich enough, deep enough,”if I only had the words, the right color, if only I was better at this!” Stupid project….who needs it? Yet, just like with some relationships you can’t walk away. You know if you just stick it out, there is something really worth having here. Something you will miss out on if you throw in the towel now. It continues to enchant you, to court you, and you renew your commitment. You feel good! You know there are real possibilities in this project so you decide to dedicate yourself to it more regularly. You make it a real priority, even over your friends needs, and you are really determined this time! And then something happens – all kinds of things can happen, take your pick – someone gets really sick, maybe you? Or hurt, maybe you? But something happens that is in fact beyond your control and the lines of your priorities are drawn for you. Where and how you spend your time are now crystal clear and your project gets put on the back burner. Suddenly and almost over night it is not even a part of your mental computation. It is utterly forgotten.

Until the time comes however, when you remember. You have your energy back, your strength, and your time is once again your own. You begin to dust around the corners of your life and lo and behold….there lies your faithful friend. You know, the very patient and now faded version of your original idea? But all is not lost. It just needs a little dusting, maybe a wet cloth, a little freshening up. Sit down with a cup of tea, get reacquainted and see if the intrigue is still with you. See if there is still energy between you. Is there something that is waiting to be discovered? A voice waiting to get out? A story perhaps now richened by the depth of your recent experiences? “Don’t give up on me” it say’s. “I am not an accident. There is life in me that needs your expression! Your unique view, your wry sense of humor. This story can only be told by you. It is the only way it will ever make any sense!”

And you know these words are true. You can feel it in your bones. It breathes life into the dark recesses of your imagination and suddenly, you feel alive!

And so, you begin again. Or at least you should if you ever expect things to make any sense.

Beginning again

December 29, 2022
by Pam Bell
Comments Off on Doing Less. Being More

Doing Less. Being More

Doing Less. Being More

We hear it all the time but most of us don’t really believe it is true. You might say: “Less money is more – what? Less work is more – not in my world! Less assets are more – I don’t think so!” But if we don’t believe the “less is more” principle is true, it’s because we don’t really understand the root meaning. Well, we probably DO understand the root meaning but we might not have enough faith in the results were we to make the sacrifices to see if it actually is true or not…..for us. In the case of frenzied activity however with which most of us live our lives, I’m here to tell you, it is true. Less really is more. And right now might be the perfect time to put it to the test.

We live in such harried times. The constant demands on our time, energy and resources are surely enough to shorten or dim our lives by a few years here or there. It seems everyone I talk to feels behind the eight ball in at least one area of their life if not many. If they are on top of things at work, they are falling short at home. If they are able to keep a good home/work life balance, they fall short in taking care of themselves. If they are adept enough to take care of themselves in addition to work and home, they fall short in their social life, or spiritual life, or in taking care of elderly parents. There is just so much to do and it seemingly never ends but eventually, somethings got to give!

And it will! Something will give. Probably your health, maybe your relationship, maybe even your career, but definitely, most definitely what what is being sacrificed at this very moment is your quality of life!

I personally believe this endless drive to be all you can be began with the need for human achievement. Which is awesome, right? As a species we need to grow, to expand, and to reach new heights. I believe it also began with the desire for more. Along with the desire for more, comes the need to earn more so we can afford to have the more we seek. Bigger house, more cars, more clothes, more goods, better quality of life…..or so we think. Along with the need to earn more we have to work more which means both parents working, kids in daycare, more expenses and the perpetual cycle rolls on. Of course with both parents working they get to remain “engaged” with society and to stimulate their minds so this is not a bad thing, it’s just a “thing” and a contributing factor to our current crisis of being all you can be and then some. The other main contributor to this crisis is technology. Again, technology is amazing! Our lives and our reach are so expansive because of it. We can have a meeting with people on the other side of the planet while sitting in out pajamas in the comfort of our own living room….amazing! A doctor can perform surgery without ever making an incision…..amazing! The things we can do with technology today were unimaginable 100 years ago and one can’t help but wonder where will we be 100 years from today? But, technology is demanding. Personal computers have crept into our homes, our work places, our classrooms, our bathrooms, our purses and our pockets…..we can’t get away from technology if we tried or at least, we’d have to try very very hard and run real fast.

The million dollar question then (circling the globe in its pajamas) is: does technology and all these luxuries we have acquired really make our lives better or more meaningful? Does it truly add to the quality of our lives or does it leave us breathless? As in, a hamster on a wheel that can’t get off.

It is true, as humans we do have the need to grow and expand and reach new heights, but this doesn’t always have to be outside of ourselves, and in a material way. What about growing our mind? What about growing a better vision of a world in which we want to live? A world we feel good about leaving to our children? What about growing our patience? Our compassion? What about growing the qualities within ourselves that are truly going to give our life meaning and enhance the world around us? What about reaching new heights by letting go of judgement, racism, intolerance? What about taking the time to simply be with ourselves? Quiet. Reflective. Honest. And the time to sit with others in these same ways…..with sincerity and not looking at our phone every 5 seconds to see if we are needed somewhere else? What about the human need for love, kindness and understanding? What about the need to relate? And the need to be heard? And to be cared about? Instead however, we are too busy to grow these qualities on a deep and meaningful level. We are busy with our many roles and our achievements and our attainments, endeavoring to be the very best at everything we do. Endeavoring to reach our personal best by being all things to all people only, in the process we have forgotten who we are. We have become a blur and if we keep moving, perhaps no one will ask us these hard (but important) questions that we haven’t take the time to answer for ourselves.

Being overly busy is safe. It feels worthy and important. We can avoid a whole lot of personal growth, the work we are here to do, by keeping busy and trick ourselves into thinking we’re doing something  meaningful……something that matters. But then, when we sit quietly and in the company of our own mind, we are uncomfortable and wonder why, and many years down the road we will still be uncomfortable and add to that regretful because we will still not have answers to the bigger questions of life. Only then, It is likely it will be too late.

“Being” rather than “doing” is the greatest gift you could give to yourself and others. Being is expansive in ways technology is not. Being is fulfilling in ways material goods are not. Being satisfies the need for human achievement in ways that degrees and awards do not. Simply “being” is enough or at least it should be. It is even more than enough! It is the MORE of the ‘less is more” equation. It is like breathing….the more you acknowledge your existence through your breath, the more you will want to breath really deep because the awareness of your conscious mind is so amazing.

The more you acknowledge your existence by allowing your being-ness to emerge, the more being you will be!

January 8, 2014
by Pam Bell
Comments Off on Life Coaching Classes & Floral Design Classes – Winter 2014

Life Coaching Classes & Floral Design Classes – Winter 2014

Inspiring class offerings this Winter that you won’t want to miss!

Some of the classes are Life Coaching classes designed to help you dig deeper and explore wildly the transitions you are currently facing….or need to face, as well as helping you to get very clear about the words you use to describe who you are, what you (or your business) is doing, and what your ultimate vision really is. It’s amazing how many people (and businesses) fumble when speaking about their vision and leave the listener completely in the dark. These classes will help shed light on your path and demystify your objectives to both yourself and others. Look for these classes below under: Life Coaching

Other classes I’m teaching are by way of Design. As you may or may not know, I have been working with florals and other natural elements for over 20 years! Weddings, Holiday’s, Themed Events, you name it, I’ve probably done it. Working with nature has brought me so much JOY in my life that I have decided to teach others how to do the same. I just can’t keep all this fun to myself any longer! Therefore, I’ll be teaching year round classes at Dragonfly Farm up here in Sonoma County. Dragonfly Farm is a six-acre organic flower farm. They grow most of what they use for their weekly accounts and speciality arrangements as well as design some of the most beautiful wedding flowers on the planet! They do that and so much more! The Farm is open to the public for strolling and picnicking and they also offer wreath making classes over the holiday period. Look for these classes below under: Design

Life Coaching Classes: these classes are offered through Healdsburg Community Center and registration is through them as well. To sign up for these classes click above or call: 707-431-3300.

Reinventing Yourself: 50 and Up!
Sat. Jan. 25th, 10-3PM. Cost: $75

Life transitions offer opportunities for us to reevaluate and reinvent. The years from 50 onward often find people in transition from what was their primary career to wondering what is next. Many people seek to move into more meaningful employment, volunteer work or ways to foster new interests and build new skills, while others are forced into looking for new ways to earn a living.

This day-course will help you to explore:
Where you are right now and where you want to go.

  • What skills and assets you have that are universally transferable.
  • Your core Values and how they influence your decisions.
  • How to set new priorities based on your current situation.
  • Your “ideal” lifestyle.
  • How to “let go” of that which no longer serves you.

Honing Your Marketing Message: How to Talk About What You Do
Sat. Feb. 8th, 10-3PM. Cost: $75

Communication is one of the fundamental ways we engage others curiosity. If we are unsure of what we’re doing or selling or wanting from others, unsure of how our business, service or skills fit into the Marketplace, your potential customers will be unsure too! Far too often peoples’ marketing message doesn’t meet their intent and how they talk about their business, service or skill-set is confusing. This class will help you create a new unified message and build continuity throughout your marketing or job-search campaign.

This day-course will help you to:
Get clear about what it is you’re offering.

  • Get clear about what it is you’re wanting.
  • Use engaging words and phrases that speak to your specialty.
  • Develop a convincing pitch for any conversation.
  • Become a better communicator.

Let Your Future Self Be Your Guide
Sat. Feb. 22nd, 10-2PM. Cost: $65

How many times in life have you wished you had a “wise elder” or better support group to help you navigate your challenges? Someone you could go to for advice, to help you stay true to yourself, to remind you to never sweat the small stuff? Someone who was more loyal to you then your own dog? Well, now you can! By being introduced to your Future Self and understanding how to work with this deep intuitive guide, you will never be alone again.

Knowing and working with your Future Self will help you to:

  •  Recognize and affirm your highest good.
  • Be more confident in your decisions.
  • Stay connected to the endearing parts of you.
  • Be more playful.
  • Be more trusting.
  • Live more freely.

All Coaching classes will consist of lecture, discussion and meditation. This is an interactive class requiring group participation.

*Please bring a journal
**There will be a 30 min. lunch break. Please bring a sack lunch.


Design Classes: All design classes are held at Dragonfly Farm at  425 Westside Road, Healdsburg, California To Register go to: Class Schedule


Designing in the Dead of Winter
Wednesday, January 22nd, 5:30-7:30, Cost: $95

Even in Winter, Mother Nature provides us with exquisite beauty if the mind is trained to see. In this class we’ll replicate the pure lines and simple color of nature, and learn how to bring this contemplative and regenerative time into our very own lives. Think woodsy, austere and simple beauty!


Flowers of Love. Love of Flowers
Tuesday, February 11th, 5:30-7:30, Cost: $95

Flowers have been the language of love since the beginning of time. Well ok, at least since the 18th Century. Come learn the language of flowers and the history of Valentine’s Day while we design with Nature’s early Spring offerings such as tulips, ranunculus and sweet peas. Surprise your “sweetie” in advance with this gorgeous Valentine’s Day gift from your heart!

Healing Through Nature. Healing By Design (Day-course)
Sunday, February 23rd, 10AM-3PM, Cost: $195 (Sliding scale available)

In this enriching and beneficial day-course we will learn the healing power of nature and the many benefits of sensory contact with this opulent gift from the Gods! This class will include discussion, meditation, contemplation and design. When’s the last time you created something from your soul? When’s the last time you allowed your inner beauty and expression to come out? In this class we will do just that. This class is for everyone but especially for those recovering from grief, illness, depression or loss. There is more to those flowers than just a pretty face!

“Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.” – Khalil Gibran

***Please wear comfortable clothes, bring a cushion to sit on, a blanket to wrap yourself in and a sack lunch.

The Beauty of Blossoming Branches
Wed, March 19th, 5:30-7:30, Cost: $95

In early Spring mother nature taunts us with what’s to come through the blossoming of glorious branches. Think flowering quince, magnolia, redbud, apple and pear! Bring your favorite large container and learn how to work with the simplicity of Nature’s first explosion of color.

 All classes will include instruction, discussion and hands-on experience. Your take-away will always include something beautiful to enjoy in your home along with fresh perspective, new techniques and creative design ideas.

Please Join Me!

November 12, 2013
by Pam Bell
Comments Off on Remembering Grace

Remembering Grace

Remembering Grace
I dedicate this post to my friend Susie B. 

What is your relationship with “grace” and how does it show up in your everyday life?

From my past experience, grace is what we come to know, to truly understand and embrace, only after we have tried everything in our own power – forcing, pushing, shouting, stealing, crying, lying, deceiving, grieving and otherwise shoving our way through the world, resisting the ways of the Universe and ignoring the powerful forces beyond our own; until we have absolutely nothing left to give, no fight left in us and find ourselves on bended knees begging for help; when finally, and only with a sincere and pleading heart we surrender – does grace step in.

Grace, in her infinite wisdom is not taking any chances! It’s as if she wants to make absolutely sure she will be well received and so, she waits ever so patiently, until we are in our darkest hour….or so it seems.

Grace, that which is operating in our lives at all times; that which is the moral compass of our consciousness and the compassionate compass of our heart; that which is the all forgiving mother to all sentient beings; that which is soft, and beautiful, and sweet and found in the familiar eye of our fellow man; found also in the flock of geese at sunrise and the shooting star in the dark blue of night; the sense that all is right, even though it may be uncomfortable; the knowing that there is a greater mystery beyond our limited ability to understand…and trusting in this, that all is exactly as it should be……this is what I have come to know, as Grace.

Grace, in all it’s forms and by whatever name you choose to call her, is the ultimate entity we lean into when times are tough beyond reason and we know not where to turn, and as we slowly come to realize, she is always there. We only have to ask and to look and to be willing to see beyond our own expectation. But, she is there during good times too!

Grace is there during your morning coffee, your commute, your dinner with friends, your marriage, your child’s birth….she is there. She’s there while you’re cleaning your house or canning your peaches or counting your pennies, she is there. Grace is everywhere only, we have to ask and to look and to be willing to see beyond our own expectation……and there she is.

Her love is unbiased, generous, abundant and available at all times….but we forget. We forget to look, to ask, to let go of our stubborn ways. We think we know what is best and we force. Oh how we force ourselves’ and our views onto others….as if there couldn’t possibly be another side to the story, another approach to the problem. Who do we think we are really? So bold are we to demand our needs be met first, our children first, our happiness first, our complete satisfaction first above and beyond all others! This is turning away from grace, not walking with her, shunning her and sentencing her to the darkest recesses of our better selves…dusty and full of cob webs, with blankets thrown all over that which we do not wish to see…..refuse to see really, yet know is true.

Grace is at our Thanksgiving table of course, but to think of her only once a year is not doing her justice……or ourselves for that matter. Imagine a life where grace is with you everyday. Where you take her everywhere you go. Where that feeling of appreciation and love and abundance and generosity, that feeling you have while sitting at your Thanksgiving table just before you begin your feast, the one when you look into the faces of all the people you hold dear and it makes you wonder how you were so lucky to be sitting there at that very moment; that feeling of such wonder and awe and inspiration at the very life you have been given, you know, the one that has the power to change the lives of so many if you were to actually take it out into the world and share it with others, that same feeling that could actually change all of humanity if you were to carry it in your hearts at all times and not just during this special designated time of year, imagine that feeling being yours…..not just one day, but everyday…..even today!

Remembering grace is all you have to do. It is so simple. We make it so hard. It is unnatural……our hard ways.

Grace lives in your heart. Not outside of you, nor beyond you. You are grace! You only have to remember.


Where do you find Grace?