BE with what IS

Several months ago, I had what Jungians call “a big dream”.    . . .   In my dream, I am taking a workshop taught by a prominent spiritual teacher/wisdom figure.  P1030264During an exercise, I receive a message, which I relay to the wisdom figure.  “The lesson is to BE with what IS.”  The wisdom figure laughs saying, “Yes!  That’s THE lesson for ALL of us!”

That dream continues to live inside me, becoming my spiritual practice.  A cross country motorcycle trip became a rolling meditation for me.  DSCF0034. . .  BE with what IS  . . .  a field radiant with bright yellow wildflowers  . . .  notice and BE with the wildflowers  . . .  let them go  . . .  two deer standing at a fence  . . .  notice and BE with the deer  . . .  let them go  . . .  a red barn in an open field  . . .  notice and BE with the barn  . . .  let it go  . . .  inner city junkyard  . . .  notice and BE with the junk  . . . let it go  . . .  suspension bridge over the river  . . .  notice and BE on the bridge, BE with the river  . . . let them go  . . .  bicyclist on a winding country road  . . .  BE with the bicyclist  . . . let him go  . . . . . . . . . . . .

The rolling meditation on the back of our bike was a great introduction to my spiritual practice, like learning to ride a bike with training wheels.  Doogan Terry and Raven Bundle Up 1-5-14Real life, day to day joys, struggles, heartache, fears, emotions and pain, that’s where the rubber really meets the road.  Floating in the air during indoor skydiving  . . .  BE with the wind, momentarily free of gravity  . . .  A long, slow lazy weekend morning snuggling with my beloved . . . BE immersed in his love, letting it soak in and wash over me  . . .  Keeping the pups safe from winter’s brutality  . . .  Be with them in the bundling up  . . .  Stand-off in a family conflict  . . .  BE with the tension and pain, letting go of the fantasy family  . . . . . . . . . . .

It’s challenging enough to mindfully embrace the everyday moments of life by BEing with what is.  How do I dig deep into my soul to find the inner resources to bear the unbearable, accept the unacceptable, and tolerate the intolerable?  SAM_2804My heart heavy with grief and loss as my abilities slip away  . . .  BE with my pain, letting my tears soothe and cleanse my heavy heart  . . .  Hoping and praying for a healing that didn’t happen  . . .  BE with the disappointment, letting go of unrealized hope  . . .  Inching my way towards a brain surgery that terrifies me  . . .  BE on this path  . . . . . . . DSCF0024

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Embrace the Shakes

SAM_0643Recently receiving devastating news from the neurologist, I’ve been struggling to come to terms with an aggressive tremor that is ravishing my ability to use my hands.  . . .  Waking up at 3 am, I ask the Universe to give me what I need as I open myself to the source of all knowledge and wisdom.  . . .  Phil Hansen’s Ted Talk entitled Embrace the Shakes was the offering via Google.  . . .  Amanda Palmer stepped on stage next and inspired me through The Art of Asking.



It amazes me how God, the Divine Spirit, is always there offering exactly what is needed (not necessarily what we think we need, but what we truly need), if we are only open to noticing and receiving it.


Here are some of the raw tidbits from Phil Hansen and Amanda Palmer that I intend to allow to percolate inside me, trusting my process to see what comes to life.  Life really is messy.  I do need to literally let go and dive in.

Wisdom from Phil Hansen . . .

SAM_1023“we need to first be limited in order to become limitless”

As I destroyed each project, I was learning to let go, let go of outcomes, let go of failures, and let go of imperfections. And in return, I found a process of creating art that’s perpetual and unencumbered by results. I found myself in a state of constant creation, thinking only of what’s next and coming up with more ideas than ever. ”

Learning to be creative within the confines of our limitations is the bestSAM_1018 hope we have to transform ourselves and, collectively, transform our world

Looking at limitations as a source of creativity changed the course of my life. Now, when I run into a barrier or I find myself creatively stumped, I sometimes still struggle, but I continue to show up for the process and try to remind myself of the possibilities

“instead of telling each other to seize the day, maybe we can remind ourselves every day to seize the limitation.



Inspiration from Amanda Palmer . . .

through the very act of asking people, I’d connected with them, and when you connect with them, people want to help you. It’s kind of counterintuitive for a lot of SAM_0666artists. They don’t want to ask for things. But it’s not easy. It’s not easy to ask. And a lot of artists have a problem with this. Asking makes you vulnerable. ”

“what I was really saying here was, I trust you this much.  Should I?  Show me.

It’s about a few people loving you up close and about those people being enough.”

SAM_1027I don’t see these things as risk. I see them as trust. Now, the online tools to make the exchange as easy and as instinctive as the street, they’re getting there. But the perfect tools aren’t going to help us if we can’t face each other and give and receive fearlessly, but, more important, to ask without shame. ”

“I think when we really see each other, we want to help each other.


What’s percolating inside of you? . . . Please Share!

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Letting Go of the Shoulds and Supposed Tos of Life . . .

I have a stirring deep in my soul, a sense there’s something I need to be doing during this seemingly long, blink of an eye life in this human body.  My soul whispers to me, “You need to paint“, “You must write“.  The deepest parts of my soul are longing, yearning, crying out for expression.  I have every intention of listening and making space for creative, soulful expression.      Yes, absolutely YES!     I’ll get to it right after . . . . . .

Shoulds and Supposed Tos

Shoulds and Supposed Tos

You know the list.  I know you have your list too, even if it isn’t in concrete form.  My step-daughter/dear friend calls it her “do do list”.

. . . . . And then I look up and notice that the day’s flown by on turbo speed and my soul sits waiting, silenced . . . . . . .  and frankly frustrated with me and my endless activity tending to the seemingly important stuff of life.

There’s a lot of meaningful, necessary, and even soulful activities on my list, consuming day after day, year after year of my life.  There’s never a point at which I am all caught up and have nothing pressing to do.  No, quite the opposite.  The list of undones can swirl around in my mind when I’m trying to sleep.  They have a heavy energy that quite literally takes up residence in the cells of my body.

Act of Releasing . . .

Act of Releasing . . .

So, how to open up my life to give my soul the priority for which it yearns, calls, and cries? How to release the consuming burden of “have to”,”supposed to”, and “shoulds” to make space for my soul’s true purpose?

Burning the List Releases the Energy . . .

Burning the List Releases the Energy . . .

Perhaps I need to let go of trying to hold it all together and take the courageous leap to let some things fall apart.   . . . .  Perhaps?

If you see a path, it isn’t yours.                   – Cate Rondenet, Jungian Analyst

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Listening to the Wisdom Within

My entire life, I haven’t had a great relationship with my body.  From the moment I made premiean early entrance into the world, I felt cheated, having to live with physical challenges no one else in my world had to negotiate.  As life continued on, new challenges that were uniquely my own arose.  I learned to have a full, rich life by adapting and ignoring the struggles of my body.

This year, my body refuses to be ignored and silenced.  My body found new ways to get my attention.  A variety of medical doctors, eastern medicine, and alternative healers provided pills, potions, detoxing, adjusting, balancing, and energizing ways of treating my ailing body.  Relief, bringing hope was often followed by the frustration and discouragement of new, more intolerable symptoms . . .  my body intent on being heard.P1020312

At the end of my rope, feeling worse than ever, frantic to figure out where to turn next for help and healing, my intuition told me to look for the answers within; quit looking for external answers.  I finally began to hear the whispers of my soul . . . “My body wants to heal.  Start with a clean slate.  Get back to basics and give my body what it needs to heal” . . . Real FoodNourishing food, REAL FOOD,    not chemically produced or enhanced substances marketed to us as food . . . Sleep and rest to provide my body with the energy and resources to restore my health . . . Meditation, to access spiritual guidance and inner wisdom to further support and resource my body in its innate healing process . . .  Balance of solitude and meaningful contact with the world, allowing myself plenty of solitude to reflect, listen, process, and care for my ailing body.

The whispers of my soul set me on the right path, yet I still didn’t feel good and didn’t see an end in sight.  I just wanted my life back, when I started noticing the energy of my emotions – frustration, discouragement, anger, and hopelessness.  Into my mind popped thoughts about the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto, a Japanese researcher, doctor of alternative medicine, and author of several books including Messages from Water.

Water Exposed to Words of Disgust

Water Exposed to Words of Disgust

More than half of my body is water.  Reflecting on the type of thoughts and feelings I have had towards my body, if Dr. Emoto’s research has any merit, despite some controversy in scientific circles, I could only imagine the impact my strong emotions may have had on all the cells of my body.  What happens if I change my relationship with my body?

Water Exposed to Words:  Love and Gratitude

Water Exposed to Words: Love and Gratitude

Heartfelt gratitude to all the cells, organs, and systems in my body for all the wondrous and miraculous ways my body works well.  Heartfelt love and gratitude for all the ways my body has worked with my unique variety of physical challenges and flaws.  Heartfelt compassion for the ways my body has been compromised and struggling.  Within a day or two, heartfelt love, gratitude, and compassion to all the cells of my body dramatically reduced, then eliminated the pain in my body and restored my energy and ability to fully engage in life.  Four weeks later, my relationship with my body has been transformed.  I really listen to the whispers of my soul and the wisdom of my body.  My body is at peace and at ease; my beautiful, beloved companion as I continue to journey through life.

For more information on Dr. Masaru Emoto’s research with water, visit his website . . . ThePowerOfLoveAndGratitude


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Living in the Unknown . . . Embrace Indeterminancy

“Indeterminancy means literally:  not fixed, not settled, uGalaxy Swirlncertain, indefinite.  It means that you don’t know where you are.  How can it be otherwise, say the Buddhist teachings, since you have no fixed or inherent identity and are ceaselessly in process? . . . Life is filled with uncertainty.   Chance events happen to all of us.  Each of us must take responsibility and make decisions.  None of us should be imposing our ego image on others.  . . . There’s another way to live.  Accept indeterminancy as a principle, and you see your life in a new light, as a series of seemingly unrelated jewel–like stories within a dazzling setting  of change and transformation.  Life BlossomsRecognize that you don’t know where you stand, and you will begin to watch where you put your feet.  That’s when the path appears.”  –— John Cage in Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists by Kay Larson via blog post Live the Mystery at

Belly full of pain, waiting for answers and solution from those who pretend to know what they don’t yet know, all the while knowing that there aren’t always answers.  Sometimes waving in the mysteries of the Universe reconnects and heals more powerfully than the magic potions pedaled by the corporate pharm.  I lay in my bed, trying to lean into what life is offering up, when all I want to do is get up and get on with my life. . . .Dancing Watercolor

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Unleash What Is Whispering

whisper-of-the-windReceiving a wink and a nod from the Creator of the Universe, I pay attention when something spontaneously comes to me in different ways.

In the past 16 hours, Robert Redford and Young-ha Kim unbiddenly entered my life with the divine message, “Everyone, yes, EVERYONE is an artist!”  From the moment we baby-covered-paintbecome mobile and verbal, we have a creative impulse, a force actually, that propels us forward with glorious imagination and uninhibited exuberance.  As babies and very young children, we danced our joy; we told our imaginative stories (sometimes labeled as “lies” boy ghost storyby those much bigger than us) ; we acted our dramas; we drew and painted the colors and visions that danced through our beings; we sang our rhymes.painted hands     SandDrawing clay-man

Unless we are fortunate to have an enlightened person to protect and nurture the young sprouts of our creative beings, the mechanisms of society designed to socialize us (e.g. our parents and our teachers) teach us, albeit inadvertently, to squelch our creative imaginations to become “productive” members of society.  Sadly, along the way to becoming “responsible” adults, we learn to  . . . color in the lines, that trees are green and the sky is blue, sing on key if you can or be quiet if you can’t, sit still, stop making up responsibilitystories, don’t be so loud, act like a lady or gentleman, don’t get dirty, be realistic, tell the truth, behave ourselves, be productive and work before play (except there’s never enough time to get it all done, so forget about the play).

Robert Redford had a third grade teacher who was inspired to Robot Pencil Drawinggive him 15 minutes every Wednesday and an easel to tell his class the stories contained in his drawings.  Young-ha Kim encourages parents to fan the sparks of young creative imaginations by asking baby-kingfor details about their children’s stories (aka “lies”); therein lies the seeds of potentiality that may bloom into great fiction, poetry, mystery . . . a novel is sentences strung together by connections.


Go out, Go in, Express Yourself.

Unleash what is whispering deep in your soul.

whisper of the soul

To listen to the NPR interview with Robert Redford . . .

Young-ha Kim’s Ted Talk . . .

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Tree’s Wisdom

I come out of meditation waiting for what calls to me today, this moment.  . . .

. . . Sitting . . .  Waiting . . .  Watching . . .  Feeling . . .

A slight depression pulls me inward . . .   
When do we stop doing, producing, taking in, putting out . . .

to go inward    and   just   BE?

 Outside my window, the tree shows me the way

her many arms open

embracing the imperceptible unfolding of life.


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