Kathy Murphy, Ph.D.

Welcome to The Journey of a Lifetime,
Come and be a part of The Journey.
Light a candle, pick up your journal, or journal here on our pages.
Let this be a Safe Place for you to
Consider the Possibilities for Your Life…

Where Do You Want to Be… When You Turn 70?

Michael turned 70 years of age this past Tuesday, June 4. Looking good, huh? This feels like a milestone. In all the best ways.  He is healthy and happy. Who could ask for anything more?

And he is doing exactly what he wants to be doing.  He is living his life by his own design. On purpose.  With meaning.  I am grateful to be along for the ride. And what a ride it has been!

So hold on, because he’s on a roll. His new mantra for life is:

If not now,


From Michael’s Point of View

For the last four weeks, I have been intoxicated with the rugged, natural beauty of Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. We’ve spent the last five days in Glacier National Park – both on the US side at St. Mary’s east entrance and on the Canadian side at Waterton Lake Peace Park. This is what I wanted for my birthday ~ these wide open spaces, with rolling hills and green meadows, punctuated by jagged rocky mountaintops, stretching into the blue, blue sky holding their winter snow at the peaks for one last show of white brilliance. I have been in a never-ending state of “WOW” for the last month.

Yes, there is a God. Come to this country. Sit down. Look around. Be prepared to be amazed and over-whelmed. Then just say “Thank you.

(PS…make sure you see the photo tags on each picture which will tell you where we are.)




On Turning 70

How did that happen?  As Henry Fonda said in On Golden Pond, “I’m not middle-aged anymore.”  So what am I?  I don’t feel old and, thankfully, I still have health and vitality.  I think this is going to be an incredible decade.

I have tried to live in the present these last ten years.  I have tried to not get stuck in the past and the old stories.  I have tried not to fantasize about the future and miss today.  But turning 70, I have given myself permission to stop and reflect on my life so far.  What I feel most is gratitude.  So many people have helped me, inspired me, made me laugh, and a special few have saved me from the dark side.  To all of you, I say, “Thank you.”

In 70 years, here’s some of  what I’ve learned:

  1. Look for joy in every day.  Sometimes it’s hard to see, but it’s there.  It may be a flower or a sunset or a child’s laugh or smile.
  2. We control nothing. But we do have a choice in how we will deal with what life gives us.
  3. See God in everyone.  We are all His creation.
  4. Ignore no one.  We all have special gifts to give.
  5. Don’t take work too seriously.  It’s only work.
  6. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Remember no one does it right the first time.  (Oh, how I wish I had understood this when I was young.  So many missed opportunities.)
  7. Travel.  We tend to fear what we do not know.  When we travel, we see the common humanity in all of us.
  8. Explore before you settle down and never completely settle down.  There is so much to see and learn. There are so many inspiring people to meet.
  9. Time is a precious gift.  Honor it.  Use it wisely.  Don’t take it for granted.
  10. Smile and say “Thank you”.

The Inner Journey

During our week of service at Ring Lake Ranch, we worked and socialized a lot, but there was still plenty of time… to be still and know. Here, if you want to, if you are open, and if you are a seeker, you can hear and feel the presence of God. This is what I believe Ring Lake Ranch is all about.

Waking up to the lake and mountain views, going to sleep at night in your cabin with no TV or cell phone (or heat, as in our case), this is the perfect place for those of us seeking rest, restoration, and healing, and for those of us who just want to relax and return to nature…full time.

Healing at The Ranch 

Simply being at the ranch is enough. But, add to this, breath-taking country, wise and wonderful staff,  hikes in the glorious mountains, the splendor of the horses, the inspiring and thought-provoking programs, and the myriad of gifts the other guests bring, and  Ring Lake Ranch becomes a deeply loving, caring, and healing community. If you watch the video, you will understand.  You will want to come here.  Michael says we will be back and I agree.

Ring Lake Ranch has been providing spiritual and personal growth retreats and programs for over 40 years. While I love the programs they offer, one of the things that I really love, is that they provide  opportunities for young adolescent boys throughout the summer. Can you imagine how magical those weeks must be?  See the Ben and Amanda video.

There are so many stories of people and families who come here to renourish…and to remember.  Emmie Mears was a little girl who loved the ranch.  At the age of eight, she tragically died in a car accident.  The Mears family now come annually as a homage to young Emmie. Ring Lake Ranch is a living example of how community nourishes and heals. Probably the most healing part of the ranch, after the fellowship, is the horses. Emmie loved the horses.

During this trip. I had the opportunity to deal with a fear of horses I’d had since childhood. Throughout the week, I kept watching the young girls thrive around these beautiful creatures. When I finally decided to go for it, the most important and helpful part was the encouragement and the support I got from the other horsewomen in the corral. Thanks to them, I got on a horse for the first time since childhood.

What would you like to heal in your life? What kind of support would you like?

Coming Up

Today we leave for a long, two-day car trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. We  have been wanting to return here since our last visit over ten years ago. Vancouver is such a progressive and hip city. We’ve invited our 28 year old daughter to join us.  This should be a lot of fun. Next we will go for a short visit to Victoria, BC, and then on to another truly grand adventure. Michael and I will be volunteering for a month at Hollyhock – an internationally renowned centre for learning and well-being in the beautiful Cortes Island. Check out some of the personal, professional and social development programs being offered

  Join Us on The Journey

We hope that throughout the year you will keep clicking through to see where we are. We are requesting input and feedback from all of you. Tell us where you’d like to go.  Make suggestions for us. Ask us to check some places out for you!  We are also hoping some of the places we visit and the experiences we share will ignite your life and maybe even set you off on your own spiritual journey.  We’d love to hear from all of you.  And if you know anyone who may be interested, please share our blog.

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20 Responses to “Where Do You Want to Be… When You Turn 70?”

Diane says:

Wow Kathy-
I sure am enjoying hearing along the way about the crosscountry journey you two ‘kids’ are on. Michaels piece was inspiring/thought provoking for us post middle-agers …
So happy for you both & glad the root canals didnt derail the trip. Ouch. This is why i prefer travel in USA. So much to see , learn,soak in, appreciate .(And dental care not as scary as it could be on a remote island).
The photos are fabulous!
(from the other ( older, in number only! ) diane at the sanctuary weekend)

Robyn Heath says:

Loved your picture. You both are such beautiful people .
Continue to travel and enjoy life.
Much wished Love, Health and Happiness

Diane says:

I am in awe of your trip planning. How on earth did you line up all these places in advance? Kudos. Enjoying your travels from my cozy home place. Happy Birthday Michael. You look mahvelous! Glad all is well with you two. Blessings, D.

Mo says:

I remember the firt time I met Michael Murphy – he talked about those magnificent Rocky Mountains!! Your travels make me happy!!
Healthy, happy, grateful and together – what a lovely way to celebrate! Safe travels til we meet again… Big hug.. Mo

Pam says:

Wow! What a trip of a lifetime. I will look forward to following your progress on the travel across our magnificent country. I have always thought we have some of the most incredible sights right in our own backyard. Stay safe and enjoy. Happy Birthday Michael!

Deb Jayne says:

Happy Birthday Michael ! Your birthday and my stepson {Son} are on the same day, beautiful people born on that day. I am so happy to be able to “see” where you both are going. Enjoying the journey is what life is about. I hope you got to experience the horses while you were at the ranch, I know first hand what healing and spiritual beings they are. Thank you for sharing the insight on age, I feel more at home with myself than ever. I am still on a high from the meditation retreat as for me it was life affirming that I am on the right path. God bless and love you both

Barbara says:

Happy Birthday Michael, the yearbook might say 70 but the heart and mind say, young and handsome as ever!! You’re the poster boy for the seventh generation, you rock! Enjoy this ride around the sun. Love & hugs, Barb

connie dugan says:

You both inspire the “wanderlust” in me, and reaffirm the reason to get unstick from a place as lovely as the low country. Its a big wide world out there- beckoning adventure!

Dianne says:

Wonderful advice, Michael. I recently turned 50 and also am saying “If not now, when?” I wholeheartedly agree! Kudos to you both for following your dream and making time for this awesome year of travel. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Nancy says:

Love this part of the journey and Michael’s writing. It occurs to me that I have zero idea what Michael’s voice sounds like! More reason to meet again. Travel safely and well. Love,

Ryan from The Rarebit says:

You know, Michael’s lessons are applicable not only to someone turning 70, but make perfect sense to me at 28 as well. They are invaluable remarks that I should respect and apply to my daily life. All too often as I try to figure out where my life is going, it becomes very easy to get overwhelmed. It is nice to be able to follow this journey and see that we can find ourselves over and over again at any age. With that being said, I am going to use Michael’s lesson number 10. I’m smiling and just want to say, “thank you”.

Val says:

Kathy and Michael what you are doing is a real dream come true. It reminds of what Dad and Mom would do and i know why you were so afraid of horses. Its a little late but happy birthday wishes to Michael and hugs to Tara when she is there. Be safe and you know you and Michael are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing and with much love, Val.

Joyce says:

Hi Kathy and Michael,
I have not missed one single entry in your journal. As I sit in my kitchen overlooking the golf course in my Myrtle Beach residence, I long with all my heart to be doing what you two are…..such an amazing step into the world, especially the holistic, spiritual world. I just don’t think my Michael will do it. BTW, he just turned 71, so we are in a similar place in life. Having spent 11 years overseas in a variety of countries, I, too, long to see our wonderful, vast, green, rocky country. Your journeys are so inspiring and give me such hope, even if I am living your life vicariously. I enjoyed both your entries, and wish you love, peace, and gratitude.


Stone says:

Hi Kathy and Michael,
Just getting around to reading your adventure at Ring Lake ranch. I sure admire the spirit with which you both live your lives and your thoughts on living life, Michael, are so true and so very important. Many blessings in peace and love, Stone

Jeff L says:

Kathy and Michael,
WOW! Thank you for sharing your adventures and experiences. They continue to provide much peace and grounding! Hollyhock is now on the bucket list! All the best…..

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