Dark and Light: Coming to Trust in the Source of Creativity


So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. — T. S. Eliot



Just as the moon becomes fully eclipsed, I enter the center of the labyrinth. It’s about 5:00 am. The labyrinth is lit up a bit by the lights surrounding Grace Cathedral, offering a bit of light to this very dark moment.

As I stand in the center of the labyrinth, I gaze at the moon for quite a while.


I stand there, simply feeling.

Something is being remembered.

It feels as if my soul is reaching back into time, and back into other layers of existence or understanding or something such as this. It’s a feeling, and along with it are images of dark passageways. Not literal passageways, but passageways that seem to be showing straights of time and existence.


I know I am remembering something, but it’s not a remembering of something in this life or something my mind might understand. Rather, it’s a remembering of the Soul. I can feel the ‘meeting’ between knowing and my Soul. I feel it down deep in the darkness, down deep in the cells, down deep somewhere that I cannot see, but can see by feeling.

And so, my opening to the darkness as beauty, darkness as wisdom, darkness as rich soil of the divine comes in waves of knowing and realizations of not-knowing, too. My mind cannot figure out what this all means, and believe me it is trying to figure it out. It wants to sneak into these divine moments of darkness. It is trying, yet the pull of this deep feeling space is so sensual and so deeply loving.


There is a beautiful cauldron of creation from which all is born. And for women, this universe of becoming also resides in your female body, deep in the waters of the sacred center that is held so artfully and lovingly by the pelvic bowl

Our relationship to the dark is how we relate to our own creativity. Creativity is born out of this cauldron of creation. We can’t see what will be born from the dark. We must come to trust in the dark, in creation itself.

Perhaps what we’ve been taught to believe about the dark isn’t true at all, anymore than what we’ve been taught about light. It is out of the darkest darkness that the most brilliant light is born. And brilliant light eventually finds its way back to the dark.

It’s easy to label things light and dark, good and bad, right and wrong because in a world where we are taught that everything is either/or, we come to believe this way of thinking is the only way. But standing in the labyrinth, feeling the moon and earth and sun deeply affect the deep regions of my psyche, I come to know that nothing is as it seems to the mind. And, it is here in this rich stew of remembering that I settle down into my bones, into the center of a matrix that holds me.

If we truly want to live in harmony with life, and with the earth and moon and sun, we must come to know this aspect of ourselves – the brilliant darkness from which light is born.

Notice how many times you hear dark being used as something bad, while light is seen as the good. Notice how you have learned to shy away from the dark while persistently trying to ‘stay in the light’. Just notice. And, notice what you begin to remember when you allow the darkness of your internal world to welcome you home. Notice how it feels.

Stand in the center welcoming this remembrance, however it shows itself. You don’t need an eclipse or a labyrinth to do so. Simply stand in your own center.

In the stillness of noticing, see how what-you-truly-are is already dancing in divine harmony.


I’ll be teaching again next June (14th – 20th) at Feathered Pipe Ranch in Helena Montana.

Feathered Pipe is a beautiful place, with wonderful people, delicious food, and land that welcomes you even before you arrive. I’ll be teaching with Michael Lennox, whom I co-taught with last year. Over our week at Feathered Pipe, we’ll explore this beautiful darkness within from which all is born. I’d love to have you join us.

If you register by October 31st, tomorrow, you can take advantage of two discounts. If you pay in full, both lodging and retreat, you receive 10% off the entire cost. If you register with the $300 required deposit, you’ll pay the 2013 price rather than the 2014 price. You cannot combine the two. Correction: You CAN combine these two discounts.


I want to share these wonderful interviews with you that I did with three good friends. I love it when good interviewers get you to share some nuggets you’ve never shared before.

  • Rachael Maddox is the ‘ringleader of the Traveling Soul Circus’. Take a look at what Rachael does. She’s truly inspiring. In our conversation, Rachael and I talk about Bringing Ourselves to the World Situation: Natural, Organic, Real :: Age & Meaning’
  • Evelyn Kalinosky is a catalyst and mentor for business women in midlife transition. I loved getting to know Evelyn and the great work she does with women.This interview was for Evelyn’s Conversations That Matter series. Evelyn asked me to share some of the moments of my life that have been big catalysts for my evolution. I’ve shared some personal stuff here.
  • Nikki Groom has been touted as THE copywriter to watch. She writes exclusively for  women entrepreneurs and believes that words should speak to the heart–not just to the head. Our conversation was fun and is deeply engaging…as is Nikki. She’s fun and has a wonderful way with words.



The world will heal when women’s hips speak freely again.


The music pulses and my hip responds.
It’s my right hip.
She’s clearly talking.
She’s got something to say.
She’s been silent for eons, but now she’s awake.

Hips can be like that.
Especially women’s hips.
They can hold onto words not said, impulses not acted upon, and instincts not honored.
Until, one day, they wake up.

The music is all drums and she begins to thrust.
Just drums.
Just beat.
The drums speak her language and she’s deep in conversation.

Hips and pelvis are sacred territory.
All around the sacrum, deep in the pelvic bowl, lies the glorious instinctive feminine.
She sways and thrusts, drawing divine infinity marks with rhythmic precision.

Her mother tongue is ancient.
No words, just movement.

She’s asserting herself.
She’s uncoiling eons of serpent-like wisdom and sensuality.

She guides me to the wall and makes it clear I must dance against it.
Palms pressed hard against the wood slats, I can feel her power undulating and spiraling out.
It’s as if my entire body wants to experience this power in its cells – all the way out the arms to the tips of my fingers, out my legs to where my toes meet the ground.

She talks and talks and talks.
After centuries of silence, she has much to say.
She’s not going back.
She’s awake now.
She knows her medicine is good medicine.

She knows the world will heal when women’s hips speak freely again.


The status quo and the status quo keeper are in Cahoots!


The status quo is only interested in one thing – keeping the status quo the status quo.

Whether it’s our own internal status quo, a community status quo, or a cultural status quo, at the heart of the status quo is a built in defense mechanism for maintaining things as they are. By definition.

You can see how hard the status quo works to maintain the status quo. You can see it in yourself, and you can see it in the culture at large. Even when a big part of us doesn’t like what is happening, there is a part that wants to keep things EXACTLY AS THEY ARE. That’s the inner status quo keeper.

We all have one. Yup, we all do.

For a moment, just feel your internal status quo keeper. Get a sense of how it will do almost ANYTHING to keep things the same as they are right now…forever…and ever.

And, get a sense of how it feels to fight against the status quo keeper. How does it feel? Like a battle of heavyweights going a full 15 rounds?

Fighting the status quo only gets the status quo to dig in its heels deeper.

And…consider the cultural status quo…the culture you live in. Consider how intractable some problems are. Racism. Misogyny. Religious intolerance. Homophobia. The devaluation of our planet. Greed…just to name a few.

Something in our culture, and within us, is trying desperately to hang on to the ‘way things are’ – the way we as a species has been living on this planet. We are in cahoots, whether we want to see it or not.

This something is really good at rationalizing. Really good at it. It rationalizes all over the place why this ‘one little thing’ won’t hurt, or that ‘way of doing things’ isn’t so bad.

This something is powerful, and NOTHING will ever come out of this something that could upend itself or its way of life.

No thinking out of this something will ever bring about the end of this something.


This is so important to get. Really important. Nothing will ever come out of the status quo keeper that will end the keeper.


So what do we do?

What resource do we have as a species that can show a new way out of this seemingly intractable mess?

Our creativity. Yes, creativity. Not art. Not artistic talent. Creativity, the essential nature of each and every human being, and of all of life.

Life is a creative process. Life in general, and our lives. We are creative beings. I’m not talking problem solving. That’s almost always more of the same thinking…trying to solve rather than allowing, receiving, trusting in a deeper knowing.

The status quo keeper doesn’t like creativity. Not at all. It doesn’t like anything that knows that the unknown is a place of fertile possibility, an unfathomable mystery. The status quo keeper doesn’t like mystery. It holds up logic and reason as the sole arbiter of problem solving. And the more we try to ‘solve’ our intractable problems with more intractable thinking…well you get the picture.

Just look at what’s happening at the top ‘leadership’ positions in the United States. So many keepers trying to keep their idea of what is right and logical in place. At the heart of it all, there’s an ‘established order’ of things we have somehow all agreed upon…even if it was by simply being born into this culture. Institutions and systems all based upon some kind of agreed upon way for human beings to ‘run’ things.


We know we are failing and we don’t know what to do about it – but creativity does. Creativity is outside of the keeper. It sees the status quo and it sees the keeper of the status quo. And the keeper knows it.

What can upend the status quo? Creativity. Life. The wisdom of the Body. Embodied Creativity. Sacred Creativity.

We are life and when we embody our creative nature, we know we are deeply connected to life and our wisdom flows in harmony with life. We know we are living in a sacred world, and that we are sacred.

Talking about creativity can get people riled up. Much has been made about how creative people are crazy. They see things differently. They are a little out there. Yup. That’s the point. Don’t we need to see things differently? Is doing the same old thing, getting the same old outcome NOT crazy?

Creativity is a direct challenge to the status quo. It is a letting go of what you want, in fact perhaps even a letting go of the ‘you’ that wants it. It is getting out of the way of what wants to be born.

A creator is an activist. A creator activates something within that is much more intelligent than the status quo keeper – ANY status quo keeper.

Why? Because life is never stopped long enough to become a status quo. Life flows. Always. Life births, grows, dies, and is reborn again. There is no status quo. Everything is in flux. Change is constant.


I share this here because we’ve just begun our 24-week deep dive into embodied creativity for women – Becoming a Force of Nature. A force of nature is unstoppable because nature is unstoppable. It flows, moves, creates, lives, dies, and is born again. A force of nature is always transforming…and when we live from our creativity so are we.

I’m calling all women activists to come along
on the journey, but activists who are
willing to lean in to life itself, to nature, for nature.


Life lived through human beings CAN be in harmony with nature, rather than attempting to control or dominate it. The status quo keeper is into control and domination.

Take a look at the course. Listen to our Kickoff call, an hour long call where we experience a deep meditation, and talk about the deep erotic nature of women and the feminine, a nature that is at the heart of sustained change.

You’re not too late. You can register through midnight pdt tomorrow night, Tuesday October 22nd. 

If you feel the urge, the nudge, the knowing that you belong in the course, please follow it.

It’s really good material. I know. I’ve taught it for eleven years now to a wide variety of people in a variety of situations, and I’ve seen the transformation that happens. We’re a beautiful group of women and we’d love to have you join us.

Right now, we are being supported in untold and unimaginable ways to help us make this shift as a species. It is time for this. 




Reclaiming Flesh is Holy Work



The innermost layers of a woman’s flesh hold stories whose endings can emerge as the most beautiful tales of redemption and liberation.

Redeeming flesh is not easy; yet it is holy work.


This is a vulnerable post. I won’t tell you details, but I’ll tell you I’ve been weeping – you know that kind of crying where the tears just run out your eyes and down your cheeks? It’s as if the tears have a life of their own. They just flow. You aren’t completely sure why they are flowing, but it is clear the tears know. They flow out from these innermost layers of flesh, places and pockets where pain from long, long ago were secreted away.

There’ve been many little moments this week that seem to be bringing forth these tears – moments where I can feel love wants to move through me, guiding me, yet I feel frozen because of fear. While the culture, and of course my own ego, would tell me I am right to trust my fear, my heart just breaks when I do…when I choose fear over love and offering myself to the moment at hand. These are real life moments, with people I do not know. Love wants me to move toward them in moments that might very well be unsafe. Yet, I can feel the love, and I can feel the grief when I do not move with love.

This week, though, rather than getting upset with myself for my responses, probably because I’ve been softened inside and out these past two weeks, I find these tears flowing from the heartbreak of seeing just how painfully, and beautifully, human I am. And, yes, it is painful when I see myself choosing between ‘staying safe’ and offering myself to an unknown I can’t know.

And there’s been a big moment, an experience that’s really accelerated this ‘undoing’, something that has me feeling into these deep places and pockets where I long ago secreted away experiences too painful to feel at such a tender age.  In the dark, stories of rejection and abandonment grow into what seem like beasts too fierce for reacquainting.

At some point, these stories wake up and begin to make noise. They don’t like being caged. Like everything else in this world, they long to be free.


I can feel love behind these tears, right behind them, trying to make its way in on the tail of my tears. The tears soften my flesh and love rushes in.

It feelings like a river of undoing, like the river that is rushing is wearing away my resistance to love. I can feel that to choose love is to let go of a kind of ‘forced certainty’ I can hold onto when I stay insulated. It is forced because I am forcing it. I get that.

The river is rapid and insistent. Love is that way.

It is in these moments of choice that I come right up against my flaws and learned separation, and the habit of responding from fear. The stories the flesh holds about letting love in to these darker places put up some strong resistance. And I see how deeply the pain and shame of past hurts is burrowed into the innermost flesh in my body.

And the flesh holds stories about power and instincts, about unleashing and unchaining, and all the things that could happen. So many damn stories about this power within me

I remember it as a young girl – this instinctive connection to all of life.


I remember the power dancing with instinct as if they’d known each other forever.

But now, I sometimes feel like a lioness that has lost her footing. Her power is there, but the instincts aren’t fully conscious, so her big furry paws step guardedly rather than assuredly.

I sense this is why there is fear in some of my choices. When the instincts have been deemed too much or too powerful or inappropriate, they get caged where they can’t roam free. Instincts need to touch ground, feel the wind and sun, and be nourished with breath. They need to be fed and loved. They need to feel the earth.

Four paws that are in divine relationship with the earth know where to take that next step, can feel into the next step, and can sense direction and speed and gait. Four paws that are bound know little of these necessities.


The deep love a woman has for life, and her ability to hold the space for it, needs her instincts to ground it. We need this instinctual self to sniff and taste and hear and feel what is so. This love, this power, these instincts – they are all part of our aliveness, our vital life force. They are part of our creativity, and redeeming them out of the stories in our flesh is our necessary work, necessary for our own emancipation and the emancipation of our planet.

The process of reclaiming flesh is intelligent. Tears falling shows us something, especially when they fall of their own accord, as if flushed out of flesh ready to be free again.

Reclaiming flesh is holy work. Your tears can lead you across the threshold into these secreted places. And even though the stories were created in a time when it felt like true love was nowhere to be found, a river of love is riding on the tail of each tear, ready and waiting to inscribe ‘The End’ at the end of each story.


Update May 18th, 2015:

bafonbadge300pxIf you are curious about the journey of embodiment and coming to know again this sacred creativity, join me for my new course, Becoming a Force of Nature. We’ll be walking on four paws, feeling our instinctual way through a magnificent journey together. You can read more, here. The Early-bird price ends Sunday, May 24th at Midnight PDT.






Body Talk and Let’s Talk


I’ve three fun things to share with you. But first, this:


I am in the middle of the launch for my new course, Becoming a Force of Nature. I’m excited about teaching it here online after teaching this material for so many years. And, I’m nervous. Why? Because I’m finally mixing this Stanford curriculum with my very personal experience and wisdom about the sacred feminine. I’ve wanted to share this, but I’ve been filled with a voice that asks me, “Who are you to teach this?”

The reason I’m finally offering this course is because I came to see that I have experienced what I’ve experienced, and that is what I teach from…not only in the Stanford work but also the accompanying material around womanhood, the feminine, and what is needed in our world today. And this is the heart of the course…coming to know Self by way of your own experience. It is time to come home to ourselves, to what WE know, not what another tells us is so. This has been the most difficult thing for me to do – to not look outside of myself for answer. I still do it – and my coach lovingly guides me back.

This morning a friend on Facebook shared a link to my course with words that showed how much she believes in me. She wrote, ‘She’s the real deal.’ I read these and I wept. She caught me off guard. It was out of the blue, not requested by me, but solely an action from her heart. And in a flash the voice that usually shouts fraud was silent.

Somewhere inside each of us is a small voice that so worries that she’s a fraud.

I remember being in my third week at Stanford, sitting in a room with a group of non-traditional students. Our advisor asked us to close our eyes and then to raise our hand if we answered the following question with yes: “Do you feel like a fraud?”  I raised my hand without a second thought. I mean, of course I was. I didn’t belong there. She then asked us to keep our hands where they were and open our eyes. I did, and lo and behold every single hand was raised. We all looked at each other and burst out laughing. Every single one of us felt like a fraud.

No one is immune from this.

So when my friend shared her confidence in me and my work this morning, her gesture soothed that small voice and filled my reservoir just a little bit more. I don’t know if it ever gets filled. I think that’s why it’s so important for us to champion each other, to delight in each other’s successes, to know that each of us has our own unique gift to share and that when each one is shared, the whole tapestry can finally be woven together.

When we stand in our own ordinariness, in the truth of our own experience, just as we are, as vulnerable as we can muster, the fraud voice has no place to stand.

A force of nature is unstoppable. Yes, we are forces of nature; yet, when we don’t trust our own knowing and wisdom, we stop ourselves.

And, when we don’t have a web of sisterhood to hold us, we can feel amazingly alone out there in the world doing the work we are here to do.

How about we find one woman each day and somehow, in some way, champion her? Tell her the truth about what we see in her. It has to be the truth, ’cause we know it when it’s not and it only then feeds the voice that believes it’s a fraud.

Thank you, Aime Miyamoto, for championing me. And, thank you to these two friends below, for including me in your latest creations.


My friend, Kristin Noelle, asked me to share something for her ‘My Body is my Guru‘ series. And, of course I said, Yes. You know how I am about the body. And when it came time to write it, my body wanted to have a big say in it. Of course.

I was writing about the body being the teacher. It had a few things to say. And that’s what the post is about…my body beginning to converse with me in a way it never has before.

From the post:

My body hungers for beauty and connection. It thirsts for the sun and wind. It feels exquisitely alive when it is touched, and is touching, with beautiful attention.

In listening to my body, I begin to understand in a deep way what it means to be a human being. The body is the human being. It is the creature. It’s the wild and furry feral cat that slides along her back just to feel the sunshine on her belly, or the fish that used to swim underwater for huge periods at a time, or even the snake on the dance floor that undulates along, moving in rhythmic motion.

You can read the entire post here.

And while you’re there, take a look at Kristin’s work on Trust. It’s beautiful. She is a trust coach, and writes, speaks, teaches, makes art, and listens deeply, all to help trust grow.


My friend and colleague, Dian Reid, has released her new eBook, Summer of Authenticity: Fully Alive!  Over the summer, I took part in her series, and now she’s put all of the stories together in one place for you to download for free. There are many great stories here, and many of my online friends are included.

From my story:

These words are moving in cycles, weaving things in and out. This post isn’t linear. And neither am I, nor are you. We are human. We aren’t reasonable. Nor is life. We are sensual, sensing, feeling beings. Long before humans were reasoning, analytic thinking creatures, we responded to life, to rhythms, to change instinctively, intuitively and skillfully, weaving together everything that happens in our experience. We still have this skill.

To be authentic human beings, means this, too: to come back to our animal selves, to sniff the scent of what’s here, to notice when we feel off, to feel our longing, and to notice when we are in tune with, or out of tune with, nature. 

I love Dian and her work. I was able to meet her in person this summer when she came to San Francisco for a weekend getaway with her partner. The three of us shared a bottle of wine together at the ferry building, overlooking the bay. We talked and laughed. It was one of those times when everything just flows with ease.

Dian coaches women around owning their authentic voice and using it to create transformational shifts in both life and business. She is bold, real, and very generous.


Tomorrow, October 10th, I’ll be hosting an information call for my new course, Becoming a Force of Nature. I’ll be sharing a bit about why not only finding our creativity but also bringing it into the world is so important at this time on the planet.

Thursday, October 10th, Noon PDT
Dial-in Number: (712) 775-7100
Access Code: 1005863#

I’d love to have you join me. I think we’ll have fun. And if you can’t, the call recording will be posted on the course page here.

A quick reminder: the early-bird price of $599 is good until Sunday, October 13th at 9:00 pm pdt. The price then increases to $799. There is a installment plan option if you’d like as well.

Sign-ups are going well. We have a beautiful group of women gathering together for this 24-week journey. I know it is going to be rich and full and lovely.


Somewhere, under all those layers, She is a Force of Nature



We wear many veils, veils that keep us from both seeing ourselves, and being seen by others,  as we really are.

Like this beautiful Iris, the petals protect the soft layers and fragrance of the Feminine. At some point, the petals spread themselves out to slow dance with the sun, and the beautiful soft places within come into the light.

What causes this flower to pulse and push and open to the sun? A fierce aliveness, a fierce desire to be fully expressed, fully seen, and fully held. Held by the earth, held by the hips, and held by One who loves her…deeply.

To know you are held by this Love within yourself, truly, madly and deeply, is what ultimately allows your inner flesh to be revealed. 

Think of the force of nature it takes for this flower to open. Fully. Unabashedly. To the Light.

Within every woman lives the Feminine. But, She almost always lives deep within the shadows, underneath the many layers. For eons, it hasn’t been safe to let her out so women have kept her hidden. She’s been dormant. But no more.


She is here.

Somewhere, under all those layers, She is fiercely alive.

Can you feel Her?

Can you hear Her speaking to you in symbol and image, dream and metaphor?

She doesn’t speak the way we’re accustomed to being spoken to. She speaks in heartbeats, pulses, beauty, and fire.

Deep in your pelvis is a cauldron – a cauldron where She mixes her creations, where She nourishes and sustains creation until it is ready to breathe on its own. She lives within you. She is you. You ARE fiercely alive.

When you know She lives within you, when you feel Her pulsing every cell of your body with Life, you begin to feel this pulsation opening you from within.

At one point in my own life, I crossed the threshold from invitation to insistence. She no longer invited me to open, She insisted I open, and as every part of me pushed this away, She stood her ground. Literally. She came up into me through my feet, my legs, and into my core. She was lovingly and fiercely insistent.

I share this here, because She’s been insistent once again.


Becoming a Force of Nature

My new course, Becoming a Force of Nature, has been gestating for a long, long time. I was telling my mentor, Michael Ray, just this past Wednesday, that I feel like the gestational period must have been that of a dinosaur, ’cause it feels much longer than the 12 months of an elephant, and I don’t know anything much bigger than an elephant except for a dinosaur.

Becoming a Force of Nature is a potent, provocative, and highly practical 24-week journey. The Stanford curriculum has been taught for over three decades, in various places, with wildly successful results. It became famous, really, at the height of the boom of Silicon Valley because so many of the valley’s successful people were students in the course. And, with the rising feminine infusing all of us with a new way to be conscious in the world, the timing of these two aspects coming together is perfect.

The course is also an opportunity to hear and share experiences and stories of the Feminine making herself known within us. This is one very important way we come to see what is happening within us as women as we awaken to Her. I’ll have interviews with women who share their experiences, and there will be plenty of opportunity to share yours, or even to begin to articulate it.


The Inaugural Offering

The first one! A little wet behind the ears; assuredly a little messy. Fur needs to be licked. Legs need to be shaken out. But, She’s here. And, from what I can see, She is beautiful. And rich. And powerful. And tender. And waiting…

Waiting for you…if it’s right. And, you’ll know if it’s right by reading about Her, feeling Her in your body, sending into what might be possible if you allow Her to move you from where you are to where your soul is calling you to lead, live, and love from.

This course is a container to hold whatever transformation is right for you at this time, and it is indeed a time of transformation for us all and for the planet.


The Unknown IS a Creative Process

Whether we call it the Hero’s journey, the Shero’s journey, or the Human journey, it is about entering into the mystery of the creative process. If we are stepping out into the unknown in the world from a place of action, we must ultimately surrender to this creative process because the unknown is just that…a creative process. If we are going within, as this journey requires, in order to rescue ourselves in the deep way the feminine is asking us to do, we must disrobe, unveil, and offer ourselves into this mystery.

The creative process is this. If it is truly creative, it is a transformational process. If it is truly creative, it is a receiving of what comes. If it is truly creative, it is a letting of what we want and becoming a vessel for our soul to express in the world.

I’ve been teaching this Stanford curriculum for eleven years, and I’ve been living into the feminine for about the same time. That is no coincidence. These two pieces, married together, are a vehicle to bring together, into balance, the masculine and feminine within, bridging the two worlds within us that have been divided for so many centuries.

I tell you all of this, because I want you to know I understand this is not easy, but it can be filled with ease. It will be filled with grace.

You can learn more about the course, here, as well as listen to two audio pieces: one where I talk about the course, and one that is just a small sample of the kind of guided meditations and exercises you’ll do as part of the course.

Please consider joining me. We’re gathering a beautiful circle of women who feel called at this time to let go of the old way and to receive the new, the truly creative that is hungering to be expressed.



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