Category Archives: Wonder Women

The Magic of Musing with a Mountain Mermaid


It’s not every day I meet a mountain mermaid.  Especially one as colorful as Lisa.  We met at The Collage Café, one of my favorite neighborhood gathering spaces.  Our purpose was “musing.”

Noticing What Works

Lisa’s musing journey began near the headwaters of the Arkansas River in Colorado.  A few years back, she noticed a couple of things about her daily planner.  First, it devoted lots of space to Monday through Friday, but not nearly enough to Saturday and Sunday to suit her.  Secondly, she realized she wanted space — a place where she could doodle, sketch, color, collage & dream.

Watching Her Practice Unfold

With a background in printing, she began experimenting with developing a journal where her musing practice could thrive.  In 2013, she realized she wanted to create a musings journal for the entire year in advance — rather than month by month — and the Daily Musing Journal was born.  Once it was created and she shared it with other people, they got excited about musing on a regular basis, too.


Letting My Inner Muse Lead Me

Fast forward to a lovely October day in 2015, when I had the chance to spend two hours musing with Lisa, Patti, Katie, and Lindy.  Our assignment was to muse visually — with doodles, sketches, inspirations, gratitudes — about the week we had just completed.  I enjoyed noticing what rose to the surface of my memory.  What I remembered and what had simply slid away.  I noted how much color I used to capture my week, curious about whether that would always be the case.  Two hours later, I strode home refreshed, rejuvenated, and surprised by the power of a 3″ x 3″ daily “blank canvas” and excited at just how far musing could take me.

Cropped Musing Journal

Email a sentence, thought, doodle or note about musing to sherry@newviewnow(.)com if you would like to be registered to win a FREE 2016 Daily Musing Journal designed by Lisa, the Mountain Mermaid.  Wellness Coach Nina will draw the winner on Weds., Nov. 4, 2015.  Learn more about Lisa at Enjoy ~


Celebrating Peg’s Joyful Commitment

Sr. Peg Party

It’s fitting that this Sunday afternoon, there’s a special celebration at Tacoma’s STAR Center for Sr. Peg Murphy, a dear friend and mentor.  In 2000, after teaching and parish and community advocacy careers, the Tacoma Dominican (TD) Community and the dreamers who founded Catherine Place tapped Peg to serve as director of the fledgling organization.

Embodying the Spirit of a Namesake

The choice would prove to be a wise one.  Fifteen years later, more than 1,500 women turn to Catherine Place ( each year.  Although Peg always reminds us that Catherine Place “could never be about one person,” it’s hard to imagine a founding director who could better embody the spirit of Catherine Place’s namesake – Catherine of Siena.

Catherine Place

Compassion, Wisdom & Resourcefulness

From 2008 to 2014, I had the opportunity to witness Peg’s compassion, wisdom, and resourcefulness.  Like Catherine of Siena, a 14th century Dominican, Peg works tirelessly and fearlessly at Catherine Place and through her work with organizations such as Nativity House, St. Leo’s Parish, and the Tacoma Dominican community to affect positive change in our society.  

I watched Peg’s passion for Catherine Place’s mission of improving the quality of life for women and her welcoming, nurturing spirit embolden women on the margins – many of whom were navigating the daily challenges associated with poverty, violence, loss, immigration, and chronic health conditions.

Hugging Peg

Bringing Out the Best in People and Our World

Knowing Peg made me a better woman and a wiser, more compassionate human being.   Her generosity and dedication inspire me and reach around the globe.  During Maher Founder & Director Sr. Lucy Kurien’s 2013 visit, Peg quietly tucked an interspiritual pendant that she wore almost daily into Sr. Lucy’s purse.  Ever since discovering the treasured gift that she had so admired in her bag, Sr. Lucy is seldom seen without it.

Peg has a gift of knowing what is needed and offering it — without fanfare.  Her students, her colleagues and clients, the women of Catherine Place and the Tacoma Dominican community were blessed the day she arrived on America’s shore.

Wherever I am, I’m stronger knowing there’s a Catherine Place in our world.  If you’re in Tacoma this Sunday, I would like it more than anything if you would stop by Tacoma’s STAR Center and give Peg a hug for me . . .  and don’t be surprised if a MIRACLE happens.

Celebrating Sr. Peg Murphy,, Sun., Oct. 25, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m., Tacoma’s STAR Center , 3873 S. 66 St.  To RSVP or donate, visit       

From the Trunk of Her Car to $27 Million


When Edna Ruth Byler was visiting with women artisans in Puerto Rico in 1946 she couldn’t possibly have imagined that these conversations would spark a global fair trade movement now in its 69th year.

Struck by the overwhelming poverty and believing she could provide sustainable economic opportunities for artisans in developing countries, she got started selling handcrafted products to family and friends in the U.S. out of the trunk of her car.  She would work tirelessly for the next 30 years, in conjunction with the Mennonite Central Committee, connecting individual entrepreneurs — mostly in the Global South — with market opportunities in the U.S.


It would be a quarter of a century before the first gift and thrift shop, then called SELF-HELP: Crafts of the World, would open in Bluffton, OH and another 15 until sales would reach $3.6 million.  Three years after that, SELF-HELP:  Crafts of the World would help found The International Fair Trade Association (IFAT).


On its 50th Anniversary, the name would change to Ten Thousand Villages, symbolizing its commitment to community and tradition and its bold hope that one day there would be 10,000 villages offering hand-crafted items to improve the quality of life for the artisans and their families as well as customers.  Since 2008, Ten Thousand Villages has gone on to repeatedly be named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by the Ethisphere Institute and has been featured in Forbes Magazine.  Sales now top $27 million annually.


All because a pioneering businesswoman was  deeply disturbed by overwhelming poverty and moved to take action.  Next time, something catches your attention, remember Edna.  In a hurried world, it’s easy to believe that just getting started, even if it’s out of the trunk of your car, might not be “big enough” to matter.  Like fair and alternative trade, Edna’s story helps me remember that even an effort that starts out small can make a powerful difference in people’s lives.

What’s got your attention?  What’s moving you? 

Photos from the Ten Thousand Villages website.