Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it life? - Mary Oliver

Big Ideas is an oasis for profound and practical transformation. It is a pool of clear water bubbling up from inner power and wisdom. It is a place to "dip your bucket down" and bring up your prophet, your muse, your genius to draw your vision, power and soul from within. It is a sanctuary for your creative imagination and a channel to bring your soul qualities and aliveness into creative action. It is the company of women in Rich Conversation to discover and nourish who we truly are and seed ideas that are truly ours to do. Because the more we do this, the better our world will be. This is the edge of time when real change is possible. We are here to create, not in a self-sacrificing way, not at our own expense, but from true, strong, deep energy from the depths of our soul. It is natural self expression like a rose gives off her fragrance.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Falling in Love with our Wild Souls ~ Big Ideas Winter into Spring 2015 ~ How we reclaim more of ourselves

We are going to take a “breath of wildness” as we step into the New Year 2015.  It is so easy in our modern culture to feel less vital and more domesticated and simply not even notice we are numb.

It’s also easy to feel afraid of the word “wild” or the mystery of the word “soul”.  When I write about soul, I’m not thinking about religious doctrine.  I’m thinking about the deepest truths that can’t be measured like love, happiness, wisdom, peace, well being, yearning, bravery, vulnerability, creativity.  These truths give our lives meaning and zest.

We live our lives in the poetic and mysterious realms, in the complexity and uncertainty of life.  From ancient times our experience is deeply embedded in the natural world landscapes and its wildness.  This is real.  We were not meant to go through life numb or "breathing just a little" as poet Mary Oliver writes.

The question for us is, even if it scares us, would you like to discover feeling more alive in 2015 ~ to find more breathing room, more freedom within and spaciousness?  Together we create a practice of inquiry and awareness about our actual day-to-day lives and how we can align actual moments with what we truly value.  It’s that migration from surface to depth and back again that creates a profound feeling of being true and authentic.  It is doable.

The opportunity?  You can join a small group of women in rich conversation beginning Friday, January 16 from 1:30 – 3:30pm in Sonoma.  This will be the first of a series of 7 sessions ~ January 16 and 30, February 13 and 27, Mar 13 and 27 and April 10.  We meet in Sonoma at my home on Riverside Drive.

We love to welcome new women.

We are also going to be reading a new book by writer Mary Reynolds Thompson called Reclaiming the Wild Soul.  She weaves together our own evolution as women with the landscapes of the natural world.  It will give us fresh eyes for the conversation about our personal lives.

It’s a slim, easy to read book that will help us touch the deepest truths through familiar landscapes.  It also provides a way when someone misses a session to stay in the process of discovery along with us.

It’s important to register as we are committed to the benefits of a small group and January 16 is very near.  You have two options:  you can register online here in the right sidebar at the top using either PayPal or your credit card or you can send a check to Carole Peccorini/Big Ideas, 18398 Riverside Drive, Sonoma CA 95476.

The series is $315 and you may divide your payment in two if that would be more doable for you.  Split payments will need to be made by check $157.50 before Jan 16 and Feb 27.   You can let me know.

Go ahead and order your book right away.  Either purchase at your local bookstore if it is available or with Amazon, click here Reclaiming the Wild Soul.  Go ahead and read the first few pages leading through the Introduction.

Questions?  Feel free to contact me at 707-996-2167 or

If you felt something in you stir as you read this and then you squelched it with a problem in your mind, I invite you to go back to your original inspiration and consider moving from that space.  I am always stunned and amazed by the beauty of our conversations and what we reclaim for ourselves.

Carole Peccorini RN, MA
Big Ideas

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sometimes a Voice is Calling You ~ Big Ideas Fall Series 2014 ~ How we re-imagine ourselves today and again

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Thousands of Torii in Kyoto ~ Ching Fong Yang
When the poet Rainier Maria Rilke says to us “Sometimes a voice is calling you out the door”, he is speaking of the voice of your own heart and soul. 

Anne Sexton writes, “Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”

You can fall in love with your life again.  Will you come?

Have you noticed how easy it is in our pressured and over-busy lives to forget you are free?  We’ll invite some myths, wisdom stories and metaphors to join our conversation and take us to that part of us that knows. 

When we can recognize our own story of how we have imprisoned ourselves, then we can discover how we are free. We can make choices to live the deep life themes of being alive in the present rather than riddled with anxiety and controlling habits of repetitive thinking or doing that leave us feeling small, flat, empty and very tired.

Imagine yourself in a small group in conversations with like-minded women gathered to re-imagine yourself and rewrite your story.  Too many times without awareness, we are actually living out what belongs to other people.  Together we learn to grow the flame in our own hearts so we deeply experience being alive and free from our self-imposed prison.   It is your presence and willingness to engage that creates the depth and magic in re-writing your story to be truly yours.

We can sing together David Pomeranz beautiful lyrics,   “It’s in every one of us to be wise ~ Find your heart, open up both your eyes. We all know everything without ever knowing why.  It’s in everyone of us, by and by.”  When our automatic ego relaxes, we can hear our souls.

You can fall in love with your life again, the one that is truly yours to live.  Come join us. 

It is very effective to work in small group conversations. When the flame catches in one, it ignites for us all. We commit to gathering twice a month for two hours each time.  Our Friday morning 10a - noon group is nearly full.  We have plenty of room on Wednesday evening 7 – 9p.  We meet in Sonoma at my home.

Registration in advance is necessary because of our small group format.  You may do this in 2 ways:
·      Write a check to me Carole Peccorini/Big Ideas for $270 (6 sessions @ $45 ea) and mail to 18398 Riverside Drive, Sonoma CA 95476.  For those with financial necessity, you may register with $135 and pay the balance the first meeting in November.  Be sure to include which group you want to register for.
·      Or, you can go online to and through the PayPal link in the right sidebar follow the prompts to use your credit card if you prefer.  There is a small add’l fee that PayPal charges.

Your next very important step is to mark your calendar with these dates so that you stand behind your commitment to yourself.  Old habits will intrude and try and rob you of this.

Friday morn 10a ~ noon:  Sept 19, Oct 3, Oct 17, Nov 7, Nov 21 and Dec 5

Wednesday eve 7p – 9p:  Sept 24, Oct 8, Oct 22, Nov 5, Nov 19 and Dec 3

Warm Eyes Muse ~ Ojo Caliente Woman
Here’s what it might feel like ~ by William Stafford, When I Met My Muse

I glanced at her and took my glasses
off – they were still singing.  They buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then
ceased.  Her voice belled forth, and the
sunlight bent.  I felt the ceiling arch and
knew the nails up there took a new grip
on whatever they touched.  “I am your own
way of looking at things,” she said.  “When
you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation.”  And I took her hand.

I invite you to take her hand and come join us this Fall.
Warmly, Carole

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summertime is Here Ripe with Plenty of Time

Come join us any time you choose for Movies and Conversations in Summer.  Nourish what is ripe inside you with conversations that touch a hunger, tenderness and joy within.

July 9 Wed eve, 6:30 - 9:15pm
Symphony of the Soil film and Conversation

If you love fresh fruits and veggies, the beauty of flowers, and the call to learn something that matters, join us.  Glimpse pure wonder as we discover the beautiful truth of what we ordinarily can't see.

July 18 Fri morn, 10a - noon
Conversations about Forgiveness and Regrets

A harvest awaits us in a new discovery.  What part of us can actually forgive and how does it happen?  Why?

July 23 Wed eve, 6:30 - 9:15p
Life of Pi film and Conversation

The teaching power of mythic stories in our life.  What tames us?  What is wild within?  What is freedom from the too small spaces that imprison us?

August 1 Fri morn, 10a - noon
A Theme for your Life Now.  Harvesting the fruits that are ours.

Conversation about purpose, intentions and themes for our lives.  What is freedom?  How do we find our compass when life changes and we enter new uncertain territory?

August 6 Wed eve, 6:30 - 9:00 pm
8 Fearless Questions to Ask Yourself DVD and Conversation ~ the wild truth

August 8 Fri morn, 10a - noon
Conversations about Knowing in your Bones and Vulnerability ~ more wild truth

August 15 Fri Eve, 5:30 - 8p and August 16 Sat 10a - 5:30p
Meet your Muse as She Emerges in Paint 

We all have an inner Essential Self, an old Interior Angel with No-Nonsense Wisdom and Compassion, our Soul, our Delight, our Wild Truth within.  She has many names and faces yet often lives submerged in our post-it list lives and busy agendas.

It's my birthday and I'd love to celebrate in a special way with you.  Jodi and Mary have created a process that works for everyone in which your inner muse emerges visually in paint and you discover her arriving at your door.  Trust me you won't know how and it doesn't matter.  More details and how to register for this workshop coming soon.  For now, save the dates. 
To reserve your space for all other July and August sessions on Wed eve and Fri morn, registration in advance is necessary.  $45 for each session.  Please send your check to Big Ideas/Carole Peccorini, 18398 Riverside Drive, Sonoma CA 95476.  Tell me which dates you are planning to attend.  Call 707-996-2167 for info, requests, questions.

Wildly and warmly,  Carole

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Listen: Worlds are Forming in Our Hearts and Souls ~ Big Ideas Winter into Spring Series 2014 ~ An Invitation in 2 Parts

Across the centuries we have this timeless 

Live directly,
and care for your soul as if it
were the whole world.                                                              
The Little Book of Awakening, - poet Mark Nepo

I help women tend to their souls and to bring more soul into the world. We need each other to do this. We need to stay in authentic conversations about what our heart feels and knows to be true. Our life of feelings returns us to a river of aliveness that is always seeking us. With our hearts and souls, we pay attention. We engage. We take action from this inner place and it ripples out. We experience transformation regularly. Moments fully met are always doorways.

Are you attending to the emerging story of your life?  - Carol Hegedus

We are all in this together.

Anything you can do from the soulful self will help lighten the burden of the world  ~  anything.   Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Part 1 ~ Listen to a talk by Lynne Twist on The Soul of Money to open our conversation for 2014

Choose the best time option for you: Wednesday eve, January 8 from 6:45 – 9:15 pm or Friday morn, January 10 from 9:45a – 12:15 pm.   Sonoma location. Preregister $45.  Single session.

Lynne‘s recording offers us a deeply moving conversation about the disturbance in our culture with money and what is enough? She invites us into an intimate conversation about money and the false beliefs that confuse us and create a huge mix-up about what is so. Most of us live in a world of striving and we feel upset and fearful about money no matter how much we have or don’t have.

You will be deeply moved as Lynne’s stories travel right to the heart and soul of sufficiency and whether we feel we are ever enough.

Our conversation offers us an inspiring, radical first step into the new year.

Part 2 ~ Stepping toward the Life You Want for Yourself

Our six-session series beginning either Wednesday eve,  January 22 or you may choose Friday morning, Jan 24

In his poem called True Love, David Whyte writes about that moment when we finally step out of the boat and everything holds:

And if you wanted
To drown you could,
But you don’t

Because finally
After all this struggle
And all these years,
You don’t want to any more,
You’ve simply had enough
Of drowning,
And you want to live and you
Want to love and you will
Walk across any territory
And any darkness. . . .

When we take the risk to become what we love the most, we become genuine to the depths of our souls and this alignment benefits us and everyone around us.

We will explore intimacy. We will play with how we create something new within our own lives. We’ll do an Intentions process like you have never done it before ~ inside out and upside down so your thinking mind cannot control and imprison your aliveness.  "You must remember one thing," resounds David Whyte.  "The world was meant to be free in."

6 Session Series ~ Winter into Spring 2014 ~ Sonoma location

Wed eves: 1/22, 2/5, 2/19, 3/5, 3/19, 4/2
Fri morns:  1/24, 2/7, 2/21, 3/7, 3/21, 4/4

Why do a 6-session series? Because it works ~ and it is more than you or I can imagine.
The small group is the unit of transformation in the 21st C. We are in this together. We can’t do it alone.

Preregister to reserve your space and your commitment to yourself with physical action. 
There are two options:

Send your check in advance to Carole Peccorini/Big Ideas, 18398 Riverside Drive, Sonoma CA 95476. $270 (or you may choose 2 payments of $135 each) for the 6 session series. $45 for the Lynne Twist conversation on Jan 8 or 10. Or if you attend both, the total would be $315.
Please indicate whether you want to attend the Wed eve or Fri morn offerings. I'll need your email address and/or phone number to confirm and provide you location information.

Or, you may preregister online with the same choices in the right sidebar above.  There is an additional fee for the PayPal charge which is included in the registration sidebar.  You may use their credit card option if you choose. You do not have to have a PayPal account yourself to pay with your credit card.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lit the flame within us.  -  Albert Schweitzer

There is nothing like the freedom of  human soul on fire,

Carole Peccorini RN, MA

Friday, August 9, 2013

Your Fire Grows Because the Space Is There ~ Big Ideas Fall Series 2013 ~ An Invitation in 3 Parts

A fire grows because the space is there
With openings in which the flame that knows
Just how it wants to burn
Can find its way.

~ from Fire by Judy Sorum-Brown
The Art and Spirit of Leadership

Part 1 ~ A Talk by Marianna Cacciatore ~ Meeting at the Intersection of Grief, Generosity and Love to Create the Space for a Shared World ~ and to open our conversations for our Fall Small Group Series. 


Wednesday Eve, August 28, Sonoma. 7 ~ 9 pm. Limited Seating. Pre-registration by check or online. $45.

Marianna Cacciatore
Founding Executive Director, Bread for the Journey
International Author of Being There for Someone in Grief
Founder of Children to Children, A Center for Children and Families in Grief
In her talk, Marianna illustrates the passage from grief to generosity to love ~ a journey she has lived ~ as a remarkable treasure map that has been hidden in plain sight for as long as humans have lived. She draws on her experience in philanthropy to bring attention to the ways in which generosity can lift us up from the hard things we experience in life and carry us to a place of love.

Her compelling way of telling stories from her own life and the lives of others becomes a healing balm that stays with you long after you’ve gone home. Hers is a hopeful message that does not gloss over the hard realities we face, but instead treats them with a tenderness that offers respect for the truth and a perspective that gives us courage and hope.

After Marianna’s talk we will have space for our conversation together. She will have copies of her book Being There available for purchase, $18. Her book is one of the books we will use in our Fall Small Group Series. You may also be deeply moved to join me in making a gift donation to Bread for the Journey. 

Parts 2 and 3 ~ Our Small Group Series for Fall ~ Two offerings ~ Wednesday eve or Friday mornings 

In many old wisdom cultures, the Fall is the space in the year for learning and letting go.
We will pay attention to this space and grow our awareness of how we can see daily moments in which our response and choice of action can come from breathing space in our pressured lives. We discover a more intimate experience with what we care about most deeply ~ with generosity, gratitude, grace, grief, love along with the tenderness of our vulnerability and the resilience we can build from these core values and experiences. At the heart of love and spirit is openness.

What makes a fire burn
Is the space between the logs,
A breathing space.

We all need a holder of space and this is what our small group conversations provide for you, for all of us. You will become more skilled at building breathing space for yourself and with others and discover the benefits of openness in your own experience.

Part 2 ~ A Stepping In 

For new small group members (or a refresh and deepen revisit for others)
Wednesday evenings from 7 – 9 pm ~ Sonoma

In the Wednesday evening group series, we will focus on Daring Greatly by Brene Brown as our first step. We will discover a very practical yet transforming secret. Adding more armor in an effort to not feel our vulnerability is like piling more and more logs on the fire until it compresses all the space and snuffs out the flames of feeling alive and wholehearted and creative. When we tell the truth about our vulnerability and it is OK, the armor loosens its grip and space expands to fuel our fire.

It is a daring strategy about action in the present moment and in the openness of space that is available to us in every moment once we see it.

Being There by Marianna Cacciatore turns our attention toward exploring those spaces of vulnerability shaped by our losses and grief and opening up those spaces for the energy-giving fire to return. We talk about it, we listen and we learn together. It is both profound and practical.

Mark these 7 Wednesday evening dates on your calendar and register because space is limited: Sept 11 and 25, Oct 9 and 23, Nov 6 and 20 and closing on Dec 4.
Pre- registration by check or online. Series $315 

Part 3 ~ Stepping through 

For small group members ready to take prior work with Daring Greatly into some new spaces.
Friday mornings from 10 am – noon ~ Sonoma

While continuing to recognize daily moments to bring our actions in alignment with our core values, with who we truly are rather than our armor, we will turn our attention to portions of 3 books: Saved by a Poem by Kim Rosen, Being There for Someone in Grief by Marianna Cacciatore and Ten Poems to Say Goodbye by Roger Housden. Poetry and transformative words open us to the fullness of our experience, even as it is leaving.

Mark these 7 Friday mornings on your calendar and register because space is limited: Sept 13 and 27, Oct 11 and 25, Nov 8 and 22, and closure on Dec 6.
Pre-registration by check or online. Series $315

Too much of a good thing,
Too many logs packed in too tight,
Can dowse the flames almost as surely
As a pail of water would.

So building fires requires attention
To the spaces in between
As much as the wood.

When we are able to build opens spaces
In the same way we pile on logs,
Then we can come to see
It is the fuel and the absence of fuel together
That makes this possible.

We only need to lay a log lightly from time to time.

We invite you to join us. Together we can learn not to build armor against the truth of life and how to build open spaces instead so we can live our wholehearted fire from within and feel our life moving in us again.

To register for Fall events, you can send your check to Carole Peccorini, Sonoma Big Ideas, 18398 Riverside Drive, Sonoma CA 95476. Or, you can register online at using the PayPal link in the sidebar.  There is an additional fee assessed by PayPal. $2 for the August 28 talk only and $5 for either small group series, with or without the talk on August 28.

To register for both the talk and one of the groups, it is $360 by check or $365 through PayPal.
You will be notified of Sonoma events location upon registration.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Finding the Wedge of Freedom in Your Own Heart ~ Big Ideas Small Group April and May 2013

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt ~ marvelous error! ~
that a spring was breaking out in my heart.
I said:  Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk!
    ~ poet Antonio Machado

When we can begin to see our armor and decisions made from fear, we discover we are not free but living in a small and heavy space.  You may know something about this space.

Together in our small groups, we are discovering what works and celebrating.  It is less about the past or achievements in the future.  It is about the present moment and the power to transform it with one small awareness and one small choice.  We practice together.  The waters begin to flow again from hidden places and we have a different conversation with the world.  We are no longer stagnant.

We pay attention.

Our next small group series begins on Wednesday eve, April 17, or you may choose Friday morn, April 19.  We meet every other week for 5 sessions.  For new members the first session is without charge with a handful of seats available only.  We meet in my home in Sonoma.  All the details are below.  Call Carole Peccorini 707-996-2167 for information and to register in advance. 

Carole Pecorrini
What will you discover?
We engage.  We build resilience.  We move away from judgment and toward moments of shared awe and belonging.  When you return to more of yourself in the process, I return to more of myself.

We begin to see the weight of pleasing, performing, perfecting, numbing and judgment.

When we return to the truth of our vulnerability, we grow our courage and creativity to transform from that lowly, yet sacred place.  We move toward whole hearted living and being worthy.  In our culture we dry doing more to feel worthy and it is never enough.

We were meant to be spacious and free and to feel our own hearts beating.  Then we can bring our true selves into courageous conversation with the world and authentic relationships with others.

You can join us.

Dates of the Series:
Attend on either Wed Evenings or Fri Mornings

Wed Eve from 6:45 - 9pm                    Fri Morn from 9:45 - Noon
April 17                                                   April 19 (this session only from 10:45 a - 1pm)
May 1                                                       May 3 
May 15                                                     May 17
May 29                                                     May 31
There will be one more meeting in June ~ date yet to be determined.

Send your check for $225 for the entire series to Carole Peccorini/Big Ideas, 18398 Riverside Drive, Sonoma 95476.  If you are a brand new member to our small groups, there is no charge for the first session and reduced series fee is $180.

Welcoming you to new freedom and joys.

Carole Peccorini RN, MA
Big Ideas and Rich Conversations with Women

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A special invitation to "Give Forward"

“Sometimes you need your God to be a simple invitation.”  Second Sight, David Whyte

Dear Big Ideas Women,

Sometimes there are difficult places we are invited to walk through

To be well and healthy, and then suddenly fall ill, is one of those places. The focus shifts inward and new questions emerge about life itself. One has to pay attention to parts of oneself in tremendous need and to discovering the art of asking for help. These are journeys never meant to be taken alone.

In September by "accident", a small tumor was discovered on the tail of my pancreas. Because of its early discovery and location, complete surgical removal was possible. It was classified as Stage 1 which means there's lots of hope for cure and full recovery. However, the cost of this hope comes with an enormously high price tag. This is a very vulnerable truth to tell you and yet I know it happens to many, many people.

Throughout this time I practiced something I learned from Dr. Brene Brown in her newest book Daring Greatly. It helped me find my way through all the uncertain places. Whenever I felt afraid, I said "I am vulnerable. It's OK. I am grateful for. . . ." I found there were always things to be grateful for in the many people and kindnesses that came my way.

We continued our Big Ideas Small Group series through the fall and holiday season.  

It was not exactly smooth and a few sudden trips to the ER meant we had to reschedule another time to meet and yet we did it. Honestly, I see us doing the most transformational work we have ever done and it moves me deeply. It is the work I've been seeking always. We will be continuing with our next daring series beginning January 23/25 through March 20/22 on Wednesday nights or Friday morns.

There is yet another Big horizon emerging for 2013.

A circle of Big Ideas Women has come together to help generate financial support for me and my husband Francisco for medical and drug costs not covered by insurance. These costs have already far exceeded our total monthly income.**

Margarita Ramirez, who often greeted you at the door at Big Ideas events, recently wrote this beautiful request ~ "Please join us in expressing our communal gratitude to Carole by Gifting Forward at You will be surprised how this can change your life."

To kick off the fundraiser, we've decided to use the same approach that I used to raise funds to send nine young African women to college with The Butterfly Project through sharing the story and inviting people to both make small donations and pass along the story to others as well.

We are hoping to invite a very large community to participate and here's where you could help.

You are some of the most powerful women I know and you have broad connections to many people. Would you be willing to donate $10 and share my fundraising site with your own social network (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, emails, etc.) this week? 

We think we could involve 10,000 people in no time and we might create a model for a new, manageable way for people around the world to help each other in a moment of sincere need.

We all need help and one of the blessings of the internet world is that we can reach out and build a community of caring people who have a BIG impact for the good quickly.

During the first year of Big Ideas, one of our speakers was Alec Loorz. As a teen he's engaged thousands of people and especially kids taking leadership in an awareness campaign about global warming. He has a great visual that shows the ripple of influence we just described and are hoping to spark with this campaign. It visually depicts the ripple effect of small donations shared by many (1 person > shares with 170 friends who in turn share with their networks of friends > ripples out to a spontaneous brand new community of 10,000). And we've reached our goal just like that.

Image courtesy of Alec Loorz, iMatter

As Annie Lamott says, "Help. Thanks. Wow!"

Love, Carole