“When you go out next, take a look at the dirt at the side of the road. Blonde dirt, ochre red dirt, black dirt, brown dirt, yellow dirt, clay white dirt, green dirt. Then, look inside your house. Most everything in it came from the dirt first. Our Mother is everywhere: metal, plastic, paper, glass. Don’t tell me you have no ideas. Dig.”

~Tending the Creative Fire manuscript, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés


Last Thursday, I painted with Chris Zydel, (@wildheartqueen for you twitteraties).

Chris leads Process painting. Beautifully.

The Process began with picking my paint colors and brushes.

For me, this process was about digging. The painting I did didn’t come from the top of me. My head. It came from someplace deep down in the darkness, someplace where the paint flows like honey, like blood, like dirt…I guess that would be mud.

As Chris said right from the beginning, it’s not about the painting, it’s about the process, about what’s happening within you as you choose colors, choose brushes, face the white paper, become the conduit for seed to sprout from the dirt, and for the mystery to come to life as creation.

At the very root of it all, it’s a big mystery. I didn’t know what would come out on the paper. I don’t know what it is or even what it means. It just came out. It’s as simple as that.

I noticed, as I painted without a plan and without a story, that it was fun. I had fun simply watching it all happen. I felt playful as the color changed the paper from white to painted. It was spontaneous. Joyous. Innocent.

It was a lot like the painting I did as a child at pre-school, where long tables were made from saw horses and wood, long tables that held clean white butcher paper.

Back then, I just LOVED to see the paint flow onto the paper. That’s the part I remember most. The colors. The mixing. The colors mixing and turning the paper from white to painted to creation.

Sometimes, what is flowing wants my mind to join in, so the creation can have meaning, can be shared with words, can have a different kind of impact. Sometimes, there’s no invitation to the mind to join in. I like those times. They’re empty. Nothing here but dirt and digging.

I could try to make something up about what it means, but why?

Dirt is where it all comes from.

I just dig.


Women and The Social Web of Connection


Each day of December, I am being  moved to post by Gwen Bell’s Best of 2009 Blog Challenge:
Today is Day
27 Social web moment. Did you meet someone you used to only know from her blog? Did you discover Twitter?

Yes and Yes.

I met a couple of someones in person that I had only known from blogs and or Twitter:

@JonathanFields at his Tribal Author Camp in NYC. Jonathan is all that he seems to be on Twitter and his blog, and even more. His camp was fantastic because he’s a real, straightshooter. He knows his stuff.

@WhiteHotTruth (fiery Danielle La Porte) at my Sunday morning dance in Sausalito. She was out here in California to hold one of her Fire Starter sessions in Oakland. After dancing in the same Sweat Your Prayers meditation for two hours, I finally realized where I knew her from: Twitter. I told her I recognized her from Twitter. We chatted for a moment. Then that was that.

@WildHeartQueen (the lovely Chris Zydel) for lunch after we met at the Oakland Tweetup, just after I joined Twitter. Chris is just as vivacious and lovely as she is in Twitterland. I look forward to more in-person time with her.

Multiple lovely twitteraties at the Oakland Tweetup at @numitea in Alameda, California.


I did discover Twitter in 2009.


But, if I were to look back on 2009 to decide which was THE social web moment, it would be hard to pick just one. I have met many wonderful people through social media this year, which has only strengthened my belief in the basic goodness of human beings, and the desire of humans to connect, share and love.

Twitter love is real. Twitter is (not what I had initially anticipated) a place where people genuinely want to discover support, and learn from others, which can go hand-in-hand with networking and marketing your business.

I’ll share just one story that helps to show this. Last week, I saw a tweet about a blog post on the Winter Solstice. I clicked on the link and was taken to the most lovely enticing post about the Solstice, written by a woman I had never heard of: Marjory Mejia. I was so moved by her post, I left a comment on the page and re-tweeted her initial Tweet about the post. In very little time, a matter of minutes, I received a beautiful, heart-felt thank you from Marjory. She expressed such gratitude for my very small acts of support for her work. She genuinely was touched by the words I wrote.

Multiply this story many times, and you have my best social web moment for 2009. I have met many generous people through social media. I have supported them, and in a reciprocity that seems to be the backbone of Twitter, they have supported me ten times that. In fact, @jonathanfields told those of us who attended his tribal author camp to put in 10X what we ever hoped to receive back in to social media, supporting those people we genuinely felt a connection with. I find that no matter how much I feel I give, I always receive so much more.

The most beautiful thing for me is the connection I am making with women who are discovering their voice through writing and blogging, just as I am. A spirit of comraderie and love is present, in a way that I have not experienced for a while. Way back in 2004, I joined the Ryze network, and promptly established a network on Ryze named Wildly Creative Women. There, I met so many wonderful women from around the world.

The Social Web is most definitely a place where women are connecting with each other, witnessing each other as we write from our hearts, and sharing the emerging feminine consciousness.

I want to give another shout out to @gwenbell. Her wonderful challenge has been a catalyst for so many of us to write more, post more and support more. Thank you.

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