Potluck Succulence


Sharing Beauty

Sometimes, I stumble across the most divine succulence in everyday moments. I can’t help but swoon at how life displays itself in infinite ways.


I’ve become captivated with Instagram on my iPhone. A closet photographer, I love to snap pictures of the everydayness of life, and this app invites me out to play on a daily basis.

I took the above photo on Wednesday, in a parking lot in San Francisco. This beauty was soaking up the rays and I couldn’t help but notice her succulence.

graceful afternoon

This is another of my favorite Instagram shots from the many long walks I have taken in Tilden Park.

eBook Gifts for You

I’d love to let you know of a couple of ebooks I am thrilled to have contributed to. They are free and filled with some pretty great wisdom and love.

23 Things You Might Not Know About You

The first is a gift from Lisa Baldwin at Zen at Play. Lisa is a delightful woman, filled with much wisdom and kindness. Download her gift, 23 things you might not know about you. As Lisa writes:

When I asked 23 glorious humans if they’d like to write a love note of encouragement to your glorious self, they said: Yes please!

So here it is, my lovely. Just for you. A gathering of wise, gentle nudges to remind you of your magnificence, your sense of possibility, your beauty and your truth.

Your notes of encouragement, smartness and truth come from:

Alexandra Franzen. Amanda Oaks. Chris Guillebeau. Chris Zydel. Danielle LaPorte. Darrah Parker. Dyana Valentine. Goddess Leonie. Fabeku Fatunmise. Heidi Fischbach. Hiro Boga. Jamie Ridler. Jen Louden. Julie Daley. Karen Maezen Miller. Kylie Springman. Leo Babauta. Marianne Elliott. Mark Silver. Susannah Conway. Tammy Strobel. Tara Gentile. Tara Sophia Mohr.

The She-ro’s Journey

The second ebook was put together by Jennifer Louden, a woman I feel blessed to call friend. She is woman on a mission to ignite us all to savor and serve. Her ebook, The She-ro’s Journey, is a collection of offerings of which I am thrilled to be a part of. Here’s what Jen had to say:

Are you with us?

You will need food for the journey and companions. I asked 47 women to respond to the question:

How are you stepping into your she-ro’s journey these days?

Here is what they said – compiled in a gorgeous and inspiring and freeee love-fest e-book! Essays, photographs, videos, poems, art – amazing voices to inspire your journey.

Simply click here.

My Journey

Speaking of journeys, I am moving, tomorrow, to the City. It’s a big change for me. I may be away from the blog for a few days, but trust, when I return, I’ll fill you in with all that’s happening my in life.

May you see the beauty inherent in each moment as it unfolds before you.


A Leap of Faith Into Ourselves


It makes no sense to use feminine power to succeed in a patriarchy. Like Coke giving micro loans to African women so they can sell its products to villagers. This is life turning against life. Instead, women need to trust in our unique power. We need a leap of faith into ourselves. It might be a long leap – with not many signs of success. But success in a the patriarchy is not the success we long for.
~ Women’s Power Wheel on Facebook

Womb of Compassion

I’ve often wondered why success in this paradigm feels so empty for so many women. I think the wise women at Women’s Power Wheel have succinctly described why this is so. (For more of this contemporary wisdom, ‘Like’ their page, so you can learn more of what they offer.)

Our power does not thirst for acquisition or conquering others. Our power does not grow from making others small. Rather, our power hungers to give sustain life, to support and nurture it.

We are in the midst of a change in how we view power and what it means to be powerful. I have come to see, we are most powerful when we live who we really are…sometimes easier said than done, but if we are to do what this quote suggests, to “trust in our unique power”, then it is in living unabashedly as women that this power will come forth.

And, you?

Take a moment to think of a time when you felt truly powerful, a joyful power that radiated from your whole being, a sense that you were doing what you are here to do, to serve. Perhaps the word power throws you, because of how it is used in this masculine-centric culture, yet allow your body to show you a time such as this.

What do you see? remember? feel?

What would it take to make this leap of faith into yourself, and into other women?

What is the success you long for?


Something Different for Earth Day


The task for women is to consciously live their unique connection with the earth. The earth needs to stay connected with consciousness. Matter is so dense, and consciousness vibrates at a much finer frequency, and matter needs consciousness. You can look at it as women providing a way for the earth to be conscious. ~ Angela Fischer, shared by Hilary Hart in The Unknown She

Softly Imbued with Life

Last year, the United Nations designated April 22 International Mother Earth Day. I didn’t know they had inserted the word Mother…nice.

I’ve spent a fair number of hours in these past weeks taking walks in the park across the street, a park filled with redwoods, creeks, a lake, all sorts of furry, scaly and winged creatures, and even a merry-go-round.

On my walks, I’ve been noticing how the earth is so alive, so available, so nourishing. As I walk, I feel the same aliveness is me, in the body, and I notice how deeply connected I am to her. I notice that as I am acutely aware of my own consciousness in the body, my awareness of her deepens. and vice versa.

Something Different for Earth Day

What is this deep connection women have with the earth?

Friends left some beautiful comments on my last post, Earth’s Embrace:

Colette: This is the most important thing we can do for Gaia today…simply engage with her.

Marjory: The Earth comes even more alive when we truly see and feel Her.

She comes alive, and we come more alive. There is a deep relatedness between women and the earth.

I’m feeling something different for earth day could truly bring us all more vibrantly alive.

Coming to know the earth in this manner, woman to earth to woman, can help us all to awaken.

Rainer Marie Rilke wrote:

“Women, in whom life lingers and dwells more immediately, more fruitfully, and more confidently, must surely have become riper and more human in their depths than light, easygoing man, who is not pulled down beneath the surface of life by the weight of any bodily fruit and who, arrogant and hasty, undervalues what he thinks he loves.”

earthy mystique




Pulled down beneath the surface.

In our depths.

In our bodies.

Open and receptive to life.

Surrendered to life entering.

Creating and birthing new life.

As of the earth,

so as of women.


The old Irish saying, “May the road rise up to meet you” is a wonderful experience when you can really feel the earth meeting your foot.

When I consciously walk on the earth (in the happiest moments, I am barefoot), it’s as if the earth is meeting each footstep, meeting the foot, coming into relationship with each step. The earth is not just a lump of dirt…it is alive. It meets us, especially if we meet her, giving her our love with each step. I’m not sure the Irish meant that, but then perhaps they did.

One practice I give my coaching clients is that of ‘Lotioning’. I want to share it here, because it is such a lovely way to awaken the cells of the body with awareness and love.

Lotioning Practice

  1. Find a nice lotion, one you really love the fragrance and feel of.
  2. For a generous amount of time, at least 10 minutes, give yourself complete time and space to silently apply lotion to each part of your body, in this particular way. You can begin with any part of the body, but for example we’ll begin with the thigh.
  3. Apply the lotion with your hand to your thigh, with awareness in your hand as it touches the thigh. Be aware that you are the lotioner, applying lotion to the leg.
  4. Switch, and allow your awareness to be in your thigh, so you are the one being lotioned, aware there is a hand applying lotion to you. Feel the experience of being lotioned.
  5. Switch back and forth, from lotioner to lotionee. Feel each sensation of applying lotion, and each sensation of being lotioned.
  6. Repeat with your entire body, area by area.
  7. As you lotion, notice if there are areas of the body where it is more difficult to be aware. Be kind to yourself as you enter these areas. Lotion lightly, yet continue to invite awareness into the cells there. If emotions arise, feel them, and let them move through you.

Take this awareness outside

  1. You can take this same awareness outside to the earth.
  2. Find a soft place to walk barefoot.
  3. As you walk, become aware of your feet, each foot as you step on it. Feel the ground underneath each foot.
  4. As you become more aware of the earth beneath your foot, be curious about any awareness you experience in the earth beneath your foot. Allow yourself to be surprised.


While to many, these practices may not seem as important or practical as what we’ve been taught to do on Earth Day, and everyday, anything that brings women into closer communion with the earth may be some of the most important ways we pay reverence and respect to this beautiful home that provides for us day in and day out.

I’ve discovered a direct correlation between how awake I am in my own body and how aware I am of the earth’s aliveness. The more aware I am of how little respect and love I’ve had for this body, the more aware I am of how unconscious I have been of the earth and all she provides.

May the earth rise up to meet you and may you come to know her as vibrantly alive and awake, and may we all come to know, in the cells of all matter, how sacred life is.


Earth’s Embrace


Yesterday, as I do most days, I walked in the woods across the street from our house. But before I set out, I took a moment to capture some of the sights in our own yard. This one picture speaks to me in so many ways.

The heaviness of fruit is, many times, how I feel. My hips, my thighs, my belly all weighted down, pulling me close to the Earth’s embrace.

Just as these gorgeous fruity globes display, I, too, am imperfect. Blemishes here, spots there, a not-quite-symmetric fleshy shape enrobes me.

And while I can feel heavy and weighted, if I am willing to be vulnerable, I notice I am bathed in a light that is tender and fragrant. If I open to  the nourishment available to me in any moment, I can feel it enter my skin and bring sustenance to the cells that crave its touch.

All around me I am reminded of how the Earth provides. And, all around me I am reminded of how I take from her, almost always without any conscious gratitude of what she offers up without hesitation.

The Earth is alive. I hear her in the breeze. I feel her in the redwood trees outside my house. I taste her in every meal I eat. I know her as I know my own body – sometimes acutely aware, sometimes completely unconscious.

I hope to come to know her body through mine, to give back to her in some way for all she continually offers up to me, to my children and their children, and to all the world’s children.


Wild Iris

Wild Iris

Just imagine the beauty still veiled by these delicate petals.

Deep inside the heart of this wild iris is the most tender essence of life.

Perhaps we are like this.

Perhaps we save our innermost places of the heart for one beloved.


Awake. Alive. Eternal.


You can see eternity in a newborn’s eyes.

image by miss pupik

Look into these eyes.

Even in a picture, you can see eternity looking back at you.

These eyes are unobstructed by personality. That hasn’t been formed…yet.

Something alive is smiling back.

There’s no attempt to hide from being seen.

No trying to be more than what he is.

No fear that he is not enough.

Last week, I became a grandmother for the fourth time.

Each time is just as wondrous.

Each child a pure miracle.

Each one completely unique.

I’ve fallen in love with my new grandson.

[This is not him here, in this picture. His parents get to share him with the world.]

He is so sweet and so beautiful.

I wonder who he is and what he’ll love to do.

I was thinking about this, that once, a long time ago, this was me.

And you.

Unobstructed radiance.

No sense of not-enoughness.

This is what the sacred looks like when it hasn’t forgotten that it is sacred.

This is what the sacred looks like when there is no concept of ‘sacred’.

And, even when we do ‘forget’ and replace our awareness of life with our concepts of life,

the same eternal radiance is looking out our eyes, very much still aware of our true nature.

As I held my grandson for the first time, I knew I was in the presence of this radiance.

I could feel it.

I could see it.

I could sense it.

It wasn’t a perfect moment, and it wasn’t perfectly still or quiet at all.

He’s a newborn baby crying, farting, sleeping, and gurgling.

He’s alive.

That’s the point, if there is a point.

Look in your mirror and, without trying to see, see what is there. already there.




The personality wants to think it is something other.

Notice, just notice, that you already know you aren’t something other.

You are the same as what is looking at you from these glorious newborn’s eyes.

Attribution image courtesy of Flickr: Some rights reserved by miss pupik

As a side note, no, this is not my grandson.  I don’t share my grandchildren’s images here on my blog. That’s for their parents to enjoy.


The Sacred Realm of a Woman’s Body


I originally wrote this piece for Amy Oscar and her wisdom series – a series of thirteen posts by women whose writing she enjoys. Amy’s series wrapped up on Monday, and after the fact, I realized that you may not have read what I shared. So, I’m offering it here. Do go and check out Amy’s blog. Not only are there some fabulous posts in this series, but Amy’s blog is one I regularly read and thoroughly enjoy. I have a sense you will, too. I’d love to know what you think of this post, how it affects you, and what you feel about it.


I sit here poised to write.

My good friend Amy Oscar has asked me to contribute a post on wisdom to her spring collection of works by bloggers she loves to read.

I feel honored. I value and respect her work. I want to write something good, something fresh, and something alive.

So, I sit still and listen to my body. I close my eyes and ask my body what wants to be shared. This is where aliveness is, not in my thoughts about what I am feeling and desiring, but in the direct experience, in the cells of this body. Alive. Light. Numinous. Awake.

My body speaks of fertility, of abundance, of the rhythms of nature. My body knows these rhythms, even if my mind has forgotten.

I am aware of how much our culture fears the wildness of women, our wild nature. So much so, we have all but destroyed the home where we live, our beautiful Earth, in our quest to control and dominate this wild nature.

Feral and fertile, women’s creativity and sexuality are intertwined, like a long, long braid of gold. We know this deep in the center of our cells.

As Isadora Duncan wrote, “You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.”

The body knows this.  It knows we were once wild, and it knows we believe we’ve been tamed. Old traumas and unwelcome emotions are trapped in the body, trapped until we realize the soul’s longing to be free.

As I begin to write,

I can sense my strong sexual energy and a passion for creation. I feel deeply and I am happiest when my body is set free to express this passion through movement and dance, when I paint and the colors run freely on the paper, when words, whispered from someplace unseen, come to rest, together, in a way I could never have planned.

Women are different than men. Yes. We are different. It is not only okay to say that, it is imperative we see this. Why? Let me share a story with you.

A while ago,

perhaps six years or so, I took a class called mess-painting. Mess painting is a kind of process painting, where you use tempera paints, brushes and wall street journal pages to burn through layers that keep you from your deep creativity.

In the six-week process, I painted in my own apartment, in a tent of plastic sheets that I hung from the ceiling. This is a very messy process. I painted six days a week, at least twenty paintings in a session, where each painting was created in the span of two minutes.

In mess painting, the process is to cover one full sheet of Wall Street Journal paper (the ink used doesn’t run) with paint using brushes and any of eight specific colors. That’s it.

It’s a very physical process. You have to move quickly. There is no time to think about what colors you want or how they should go on the paper. There is only enough time to move the brush to the color then to the paper, allowing something more present than thought to choose which color and where to place it.

About four and a half weeks into the process, I suddenly felt a very different energy begin to move through me. It felt wild and untamed. It felt animal and soulful. I had the overwhelming urge to drop the brush and dive in with my body. I painted with my fingers, hands, and elbows. I couldn’t get enough of my body into the process.

I painted until the energy quieted. And then I wrote this:

When I mess-paint, I come alive. I can’t wait to pull out the colors and begin. When I am painting I am totally engrossed. I love to see the colors mix together on the paper, to see what transpires in a given session. I find I can’t get enough of me into the mess – hands, fingers, fingernails – I am so taken with the paintings that I keep watching them as they dry, dying to see what beauty is there. What are the qualities of my painting? There is an energetic pulse to it. I can feel my soul coming through me. Does it come charging through me like a tiger? Does it spread itself on the paper with love and softness, or even reckless abandon?

It is akin to intimacy – when there are no longer any barriers between another and me: when clothes are off, small talk is quieted, distractions are gone, and there are only the two of us in conversation. The language is intimacy. The “words” are infused with love and deep meaning. There is a direct channel open where truth and soul are shared without reservation, without holding back. Passion, desire, and love all come pouring forth into this conversation between two beings. That is the incredible connection and intimacy that I long for. That is the juice I find in painting. When I create art, it is an individual act. It feels like connecting with myself in a deeply intimate way.

As I read again what I wrote then, I can feel the joy I felt in the liberation of this fiery self. I can feel the love and aliveness, and my soul’s desire for connection and expression. The direct connection between creativity and sexuality is right there and so plain to see.

I’ve been taught

to fear this power, to fear my feral side, my passion, my fire, my ferocity and uncontrollability. I’ve been taught well to fear chaos, yet it is from chaos that anything new is born. And while I was taught this, it is me that keeps it under wraps.

Chaos was wildly singing during that painting session.

Chaos is here, right now. Chaos is ushering out the old and inviting in the new. The old way is dying. Something new is coming. And we have no idea at all what that is.

It is time.

It is time to open deeply to this wild nature as woman. It is time to know it, to invite it out, to welcome it to express. It is time that we see the feminine cannot be reawakened by only knowing the feminine principle in both men and women. We must also honor the spiritual nature of women, the nature that flows through women’s bodies in ways it simply does not in men.

I’ve struggled to articulate my deep knowing that we women have this precious opportunity to come to know the sacred within the cells of our own bodies, how our bodies serve spirit in ways men’s’ bodies cannot, and what this direct experience and realization might do for the evolution of human consciousness.

And in my struggle to write about this, I happened upon an article written last year, by one of my favorite authors on this topic, Hilary Hart.  Hilary writes,

“This spiritual insight into the created world inquires into the nature of women’s bodies, and asks if the receptivity of the vagina, the spirit/matter-integrating capacity of the womb, the nourishment of our breasts, reflect an esoteric dimension that receives energy, serves the infusion of spirit into the physical world, and feeds life in a way men cannot.

Do our bodies show that we offer different gifts and have distinct roles in our collective spiritual evolution, just as they have different roles in the material realm?

While answers to these questions are not easy to come by, asking them opens us to an intriguing and compelling line of inquiry into an entire new spiritual territory – the spiritual nature and power of the incarnated world.”

I know…

I know the spiritual nature and power of this physical world by direct experience.

I know it because I’ve experienced it by way of the body’s cycles, by way of menstruation, pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding my daughters.

I know it when I remove myself from the places where I tend to be most in my head and go into the places that call to the wild succulence of my body.

I know it through the direct witnessing of the deaths of those people in my life I have profoundly loved and the births of those bright angels who are now vibrantly part of my life.

I know it because I have witnessed the cells of my own body come awake again, after a long, long sleep.

It is not mirrored in the collective consciousness, yet that does not negate it one damn bit.

It is neither valued nor protected in the linear, masculine-centric institutions of our culture, whether they be political, medical, legal or religious, yet we know this way down deep in our cells.

When I read Hilary’s words, clarity flows from the connection between my own knowing and her clear articulation. A gap that had been is now bridged.

It’s as if I have been hovering above my own knowing, not quite ready to drop down in all the way. It’s as if I’ve been held up by old beliefs that still infused my awareness, beliefs that kept telling me that the sacred is somewhere else, somewhere up there, and certainly not in this female body.

We don’t need to transcend our bodies to know the sacred realm. And we don’t need to look out there for our power as women. All we need to know is here, right here, within us. It’s already here.

My body has guided me through this writing. It has taken me on the journey of discovering something wholly new.

Our way is the way of the body. Our bodies are sacred and pure. Our creativity and sexuality are physical manifestations of the creative power of the sacred. Whether or not we ever physically give birth to a child, our bodies are vessels for new life. This is the “spiritual nature and power of the incarnated world.”


And, you?

I’d love to know of your experience of the “spiritual nature and power of the incarnated world.”

Blog Widget by LinkWithin