Persistence. Grace. Unfurling.



After a long, long week of wonderfully internal time, slow quiet mornings and a few days of being really sick, I’m re-entering this new year with less.

Yes, less.

A little less weight from being sick, but also less looking, less sense of internal chaos, less wanting.

A great load has been lifted from how I experience life. And, with the lifting of this load, there is a marked experience of less veiling, less pushing, and less of a need to search for something that never was attainable.

None of this was necessarily a beautiful spiritual experience. Ha. I suppose there is such a thing. Yes, I suppose I have had them. But I don’t want to make it sound like this was all grace and light and beauty. It was painful. And that pain was beautiful, is beautiful. It was real. I felt things I had stuffed for eons, things I didn’t want to feel, but finally came to realize there was no avoiding it if I wanted to know peace…and be free.

I saw things about myself that aren’t pretty, ways I can be, ways I have been with others, ways I hold myself back: self-righteousness, jealousy, wanting to be special, wanting to be wanted, and how damn careful I can be…

In being with these parts of myself, really being with them with love, I came to see that at the heart of each of these unskillful habits is a pearl, a little gem of goodness and truth that was the seed of what grew into behavior was absolutely necessary at the time and saved my little psyche. AND, as an adult this behavior certainly wasn’t helpful in my relationships with others or with myself.

Shedding, unfurling, letting go…all beautiful acts of both persistence and grace.

Speaking of Unfurling

I’d love for you to take a look at this interview I did with Amy Kessel, ACC, a coach and simply a beautiful woman. Video is not my favorite form of communicating, but with Amy it was a lot of fun. She has a gracious presence that drew me in from the moment I first met her by Skype.

Her question of me and other women is, How are you unfurling? A lovely question. I think it’s a great one for all of us to ask ourselves.

While at Amy’s site, check out her other interviews on unfurling with Jennifer Louden, Ronna Detrick, and Kate Courageous.


Happy New Year!



Begs the Question – part two


So Beautiful. So, so beautiful. And yet…

Why don’t we feel this way about our own beautiful, sexual female bodies?

About the same time I took this picture, I came across this article by Eve Ensler, Over it. If you haven’t read it, do. And, after reading that post by Eve, I came across this one, and these words jumped out at me:

“Vagina is the most terrifying word, the most threatening word, in any language of any country I have ever been to. Even when the vagina is worshiped in theory, as the yoni is in India, it is denigrated in practice. It is more reviled and feared than words like plutonium, genocide and starvation. In many countries the word for female genitalia is so derogatory or disgusting, it cannot be spoken in public. In a few places, there is no word in the language for vagina at all.”

A Big Fat Lie

There is a big fat lie of a story in our world, a story that says the feminine is evil, bad, not to be trusted.

We could ask, “Why?”, for the rest of our lives. As Durga points out, dwelling in the negative robs us of our power:

I had secretly followed the “Goddess of Negativity” into her empire. She is a goddess of illusion, seducing us to complain about our life circumstances. She walks into our nights and grows in our dreams of worries and fear. She rules the space. She is a master of pretending to be something different.

She brings up stories and secretly turns optimism into negative magnets. She is a possessed collector of experiences we refuse to consciously digest. Instead we pin them on a fame wall inside a forgotten room of ourselves, and then we leave forever, leaving it alone and unprotected. Negativity knows these rooms and turns our secrets into fearful memories. And because we have left this room to her, she owns our power.

Staying in the place of wondering why keeps us locked in undigested places where we don’t know why we are stuck…

I know I’ve stayed in this place of “Why” for a long, long time. And, remarkably, I don’t move forward when I wait for an answer. The only part that would want to know is the part that does take it personally, because it is the part that believes it is separate from the whole of life and wants to stay separate.

This part doesn’t consciously want to stay separate. And, it’s desire to continue to stay in the illusion of the big fat lie comes from wanting it to change, wanting others out there, most certainly men, to acknowledge it isn’t true. Yet, they can’t tell me what is true. That’s just giving power away, again.

If someone else could tell me how worthy I am, then that same someone else could also take that worthiness away by simply stating something else. I no longer have any willingness to give another person permission to tell me what I am worth.

The only truth is the truth of life, known by way of my experience.

Only I can know what is true, and I can only know that by living what I want to know. By being it, by paying attention, by realizing I am not simply an object but a soul with a female body.

I am unlearning the lies I was fed, by paying attention to my experience, and by feeling the wisdom shared by others to see if it resonates with me. I can no longer take others’ words as truth, and I can feel for resonance with their words, as I did with Eve and Durga’s words.

The Power of Creation

The only truth is the truth of life, known by way of my experience.

Only I can know what is true, and I can only know that by living what I want to know. By being it, by paying attention, by realizing I am not simply an object but a soul with a female body.

Can I settle down into my body and begin to be aware in these cells that are the vagina?

Can I come to know myself without this story of evil and disgust?

How long will I continue to tell this story? It is buried deep within where I don’t have to feel its effects on my body, my heart, my psyche.

In reality, this place within my woman’s body isn’t even really a vagina. It is simply life.

The word itself carries so much.

Can we reclaim the word and not get lost in the word?

Can we be in the body, really BE in the body?

Beingness is love. Simply being in the body, is being the great love that we are in this female body, without the big fat lie.

This female body holds a great power. It is time to once again know this power, love this power and live this power, for it is not power over another, it is the power of creation and life.


I’d love to know your feelings and thoughts. Please share them here in the comments.

This post is part two of a three-part series titled, “Begs the Question. You can read part one here.


Begs the Question


I take pictures of flowers. I can’t help myself. Something in me is completely drawn to a flower in the midst of opening to life, it’s soft petals so vulnerable in a what can be a harsh world.

I have this gorgeous orchid in my home. It was a gift and is now in bloom again. As I walked past it the other day, the sun was shining through its translucent petals. The luminosity drew me to it like a moth to flame. In much the same way, when I get too close to such beauty, something in me dies to this beauty.

I posted another shot of this luminous flower online and received a number of comments.

Absolutely gorgeous.


Oh my goodness. Made my heart jump.

Very vaginal in the best way ever.

It was clear that this orchid looks like a woman’s sexual anatomy – vagina, vulva, clitoris, etc.

It seems as though we respond to this flower as something breathtakingly beautiful.

And this begs the question,

Why don’t we feel this way about our own beautiful, sexual female bodies?


This post is part one of a three-part series. I’d love to know how you feel…


For Longing


A friend shared this poem, and I cried tears…

Tears for the beauty of these words.

Tears for the beauty that was this soul, this soul named John O’Donhoue.

Tears for the longing of the soul.

Tears for the beginnings of a glimmer of this knowing: “May you know the urgency with which God longs for you.”

His books, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom and Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, are gorgeous works. I’ve read them, and re-read them, and still I can tell I will read them again. While the words are gorgeous and full, there is something that weaves between the words that lights me up in a way nothing else does. Light moves through his words, through the pages into my own soul.

Let these words of his pour over you, filling the cells of your being with the love that is in every cell of existence. This is our inheritance. To know love like this. To know that God is longing for us with urgency. All stories fall away in the power of this knowing.


For Longing by John O’Donohue

Blessed be the longing that brought you here

And quickens your soul with wonder.

May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire

That disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.

May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease

To discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.

May the forms of your belonging–in love, creativity, and friendship–

Be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.

May the one you long for long for you.

May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.

May a secret Providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.

May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which
your body inhabits the world.

May your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.

May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.

May you know the urgency with which God longs for you.


For Tori


She died, today.
Somehow, I just never thought she would.

It makes me wonder.

And, in the wonder, I see something
I’ll never know.

I know that I don’t know.
I know that I can’t know.

Underneath the wonder
Is an unending blackness.

A deep, unbound, freefall into,
“I don’t know.”

I fall as I stand.


There is no knowing. Why.
She died, today.

[ For Tori ]


Dahlias, Feminine Flesh and Love – August’s Potpourri

Dahlias in the Window

Good Morning!

This is a little August Potpourri post.

A potpourri is both

a mixture of flowers, herbs and spices used to scent one’s space and

a more generic mixture of things.

This post is both. We’ve got flowers, spice and…not sure it’s an herb, but then we get to mix it up however we want. I’m hoping this potourri scents your space and day with love and beauty.

The flowers… Dahlias in the window of the flower shop that’s just down the street from me. I love walking by to see what the latest arrangement is. And, I love capturing an image of both inside and outside, looking through the glass both ways.


I’m guest posting at 3Sisters, today:

The Mystery Robed in Clothes of Sacred Feminine Flesh


Humans use representations to make up, in their minds, what the world is like, how people behave and even how they should be and what they should do. We create images in our minds of how things are, and then we compare ourselves to those images, and more often than not, see how we don’t measure up.

There are so many representations of women in our world; so many archetypes; so many images and idols. How do we come to know ourselves anew, broken free of the gazillion ways women are represented in the manifested, constructed and imagined world?

Pin-ups & Centerfolds.

Rubens & Picasso.

Cosmo & Vogue.

Ms & Jezebel.

Mary & Qwan Yin.

Eve & Pandora.

Marilyn & Sophia.

Beyonce & Brittany.

Venus & Aphrodite.

Buffy & Xena.

Kali & Durga.

…continue reading at 3Sisters…


I’ll close with a reminder…

Do all of what you do with the great love that you are.

Many, many blessings to you.


Delicacy of Life


Unspeakable Beauty

The innermost places of the heart are unspeakably beautiful.

I’ve wondered what is like to travel there, to taste the utmost delicacy of life.

This woman’s protective shield has allowed her to not feel the pain that might

deliver her to the threshold of this most honest place.

Until now.


Seven Billion Beautiful People

Hydrangea at Grace Cathedral

Yesterday, I wrote about Grief, Growth and Beautiful People. I wanted to introduce you to a very important book about grief and moving toward beauty through grieving.

Over the course of the past 24 hours, grief has been on my mind. Beauty has been in my awareness. I’ve wondered about the seeming incongruousness of our world that is easy for a human mind to justify, but so hard for the heart to hold.

The incongruousness of a world we’ve created where some have so much more than they could ever, ever need, and others are dying from lack of clean water, food, or love.

Yes, this is the world we humans have created, the world based on our ideas of how things should be.

It’s okay to have so much since I’ve worked hard for it, I’ve done what it takes to make it, and others haven’t. Why should I care or share?

It’s okay to not have to think of others, because I’ve been born into privilege, and privilege means I don’t have to consider those who aren’t privileged.

It’s okay for me to legislate my beliefs into law because I know better and am right.

I, too, have thought these thoughts and believed these beliefs throughout my life. I was born into privilege and for most of my life, even though I knew on some deep level that those privileges hadn’t been earned and weren’t part of the natural world, I really never looked beneath the covers of that privilege to see what was hiding underneath.

The world itself,

the natural world we humans are so damn lucky to be a part of, has no beliefs written upon its pages. In reality, there may be incongruencies there as well, but if we look very closely and are very honest with ourselves, we can’t even say we understand this world, our place in it or why we’re here…or for that matter, who and what we really are. It’s really all conjecture.

What is clear is that we’re out of balance. It feels as though our structures are out of balance, and our way of life is out of balance.

Yesterday, after a lovely conversation over coffee downtown with fellow coach Heather Mills, I decided to walk home along some of the most beautiful scenic streets of San Francisco. Heather and I had talked about how easy it is to forget we’re a part of this natural world when we’re surrounded by the cold and steel secular structure of our man-made surroundings. Concrete gray surrounded us as we talked, and nowhere immediate in our gaze was there green or blue, or any other bright color of Mother Earth in our gaze. I had shared with Heather about the feelings I encountered when I returned home from India a few years ago. I had been struck by how cold and lifeless it felt here compared to the devotion-laced air I breathed in my travels there, and this recognition had brought with it great sadness.

On my walk home,

I stopped to watch the cable cars, gazed at the Fairmont Hotel and surrounding buildings with beautiful design details, and wandered the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral. As I almost always do when I walk, I was snapping pictures along the way. It’s a form of meditation for me, because as I look through the lens, even the lens of this quirky iPhone, my artist eye has a chance to behold what it sees with a sense of color, balance, composition, intrigue and surprise.

I felt the contradiction between seeing beauty in these concrete creations, while also feeling a sense of estrangement. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what feels so lifeless in them. I looked around at the people I was passing and we all seemed to be so intent on something else other than what was right in front of us – this beautiful sacred creation of life itself that constantly invites us to be amazed. In some ways, what brought me back to the beauty of creation was this quirky artist’s eye…the one that stops to look and feel and compose…and then share images into the interwebs by way of my phone.

In yesterday’s post, I shared this quote:

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elizabeth Kubler Ross

On the final leg of my walk,

I felt a welling up of grief and the tears began to flow. So much beauty. I am swimming in so much beauty, and so much of the time I’m lost in my thoughts and beliefs and fears about the world, my place in it and what might happen. So much of the time I believe what I feel in my surroundings rather than feeling what is deep in my heart.

I thought about how things might be if we lived in a world inhabited by seven billion beautiful people…

Seven billion people who have found their way out of the depths of suffering, struggle, and loss.

Seven billion people filled with appreciation, sensitivity, compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern.

Seven billion beautiful people.

As Kubler Ross writes, beautiful people don’t just happen. We become beautiful people by feeling, seeing and knowing the depths of suffering and what it means to be human.


our doorway out of our current predicament is the same doorway into our awakening to the beauty we are, to the beauty of each other, to the beauty inherent in life itself.

Perhaps the fix we’re looking for, that congress is trying to legislate, that our politicians are fumbling to express is really as simple as coming to remember the sacred by feeling the depths of our own suffering that is right here, right now. Maybe, through this doorway of remembering, we might feel our way into a world of enough, of connection, of deep loving concern for all beings.

All the distractions we feed ourselves are done so we don’t have to feel. There is no human being on earth that does not suffer; yet there are many human beings who have learned, very well, how to not feel.

Privilege, like oppression, is infused with suffering.

Having too much, like having not enough, is infused with suffering.

Believing we know who we are, like forgetting who we really are, is infused with suffering.

Not feeling our own suffering is infused with suffering.

Perhaps we are on the threshold of this shift, right now, and our doorway in is to feel the depths of the grief that is right here in front of us.

Grief is an intelligent process.

After all, it can lead us from suffering to beauty, to compassion, to “gentleness and a deep loving concern”. It can lead us from separation to connection. It can lead us to all that is sacred within ourselves, and to a remembering of what is at the sacred heart of life in each other, all seven billion of us.

And, I know first hand, that fully grieving leads to joy and peace… a sweet simple joy, a lighthearted love of life.

What would it be like if the world were filled with seven billion people consciously grieving the state of our world, the loss of awareness of the sacred, our sense of separation, our fears of each other…grieving the very real suffering that exists right now?

How would things be if seven billion people felt this sweet simple joy, a lighthearted love of life that comes from remembering the sacred?

People all over the world feel grief every day. They face circumstances I could not even imagine. They see horrors, they know suffering, they live with grief.

Many of us who know abundance and plenty, enjoy freedom others could never imagine, and have our health are also experiencing grief about what is happening on the planet, although we may not be able to put in words what is happening.

In my short travels in India, even though many there I saw lived with so much less than what I have in my life, I also saw joy, a kind of joy I see here less and less.

I have a sense children already are, for as children we are still in touch with what’s real. Most children see through the illusions their parents have about life, but don’t know how to deal with the discrepancy between what they see and what their parents claim is reality.

I know all I can do is to continue to feel, continue to grieve what we’ve done to our world.

How have I contributed? How do I continue to be unconscious? What can I offer that I am not yet offering?

And, can I remember the sacred in the everyday moments of life?

What would it be like for all seven billion of us to walk through this doorway into awakening? Perhaps there would be seven billion people who’ve come to realize the inherent beauty that’s always been at the heart of who they really are.


Where No One Sees You

Found Art in Big Sur, CA (artist unknown)


In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest, where no one sees you,
But sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.


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.

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