Archive for the ‘meditation’ Category

How to Make a Great Decision

Monday, February 9th, 2015


Sitting in sacred circle with a group of women, I listened to stories told by a group ranging from 19-90. Do you resonate with some of what they shared?

“I’m bursting with energy, but confused. How do I prioritize all I want to do?”

“I have a list of things I love, but I’m not doing that list.”

“I’m so distractible, interested in everything. I need to focus.”

“I have physical symptoms that tell me I’m not on the right path, and it’s still hard to trust doing what I love and know to be true.”

So what is the theme? It sounded to me like the question, “How do we see our path, and then how do we follow it?” This is an important and recurring theme that follows us through life.

Is the answer to discipline ourselves? To crack down and force ourselves to focus and choose? I think not! That is the old way.

This circle, facilitated by dear friend Elise Collins Shields, was an honoring of St. Brigid, descended from the Celtic goddess of the hearth. And so I asked Brigid to whisper in my ear about what we as women leaders, who are immersed in complexity, need to do. How do we discern in the new way? Here is what I “heard:”

As goddess of the hearth, I say, build a fire within to warm and bless your heart’s home–the place inside where you are who you’ve always been and always will be. This is a place outside time and space, a place only the heart knows.

Sit by the hearth, the place of warmth, comfort and safety within your heart and have a fireside chat.

Say to the Universe, “In this great journey where there are so many possibilities to manifest, I wish to liberate myself from outdated stories and beliefs and embody the IAM, The One, the Beloved, the Truth.

Now ask–no, command that the Truth within you enter this room with eyes open, head held high, and speak what is next for you. Listen and “take it in.” Embody that Truth.

Then, rooted in and embodying that Truth, you will conduct a mediation with the mind, which will be a great help to the Truth in working out the third dimension details.

This is the right order of things.

This message from Brigid has stayed with me, and it reminds me of some important things I want to remember:

  1. The heart is the first place I want to go when making any decision. That is “the right order of things.”
  1. The heart is fearless about moving forward and telling me the Truth, and that will always come in Love.
  1. My mind is useful as well, and is a wonderful implementor. I don’t have to worry that my heart will lead me down a scary or impractical path, because the mind will always help with the strategic, clever and practical ways to manifest the heart’s truth in the “real” world.
  2. We all know more than our mind admits. So another question to ask   myself is, “What if I just did what I really know is next?”

This kind of discernment and decision-making is a great gift for a heart-centered leader. It will save time in the end, and move us forward in important ways.

Will you join me in making decisions in this way? Try it and let me know how it works for you.  I look forward to your comments.




Which Road Will You Take?

Saturday, January 10th, 2015


As I weep over the multi-layered tragedy in France, I am also aware of pain in other areas, both personal and institutional, all around us. The pain raises that age-old question once again, a question that is more dramatic than ever in this age where we are exposed to global events in the media in a very tangible way. What is our role when we see suffering, and how do we handle our feelings about it?

When I move away from the huge issues surrounding terrorism, religious intolerance and violent fundamentalism and concentrate on my own life, certain themes become clear. Some examples…

Clients always come to me with a story, and I come to myself with my own stories. All of us want these stories solved, and we usually approach them by trying to figure them out. When we get engaged on that level, we usually get caught in a loop, going round and round. I tell my clients and myself, “The answer does not lie within the story.”

My shamanic training taught me to be an ally for clients by looking at their story “through a different lens.” Instead of engaging with the drama, my job is to hold space for a larger possibility.

The story has brought the client to a crossroads, where there is a decision to be made. Do I take the same road I’ve always taken when issues like this come up, or do I take a road I’ve never taken?

I ask them to choose the road not taken, which is to engage not from the “smaller” self that becomes victim to every drama, but from the larger self which knows better. This self can look at things from a larger consciousness, from the soul level. From that level, there is a big, long journey visible.

And so the larger self can say about the current tragedy, “Of course you have these emotions about it.” And then that soul-self can add, “And what could be good about all this?

On a personal level, what could be good about a tragedy is that someone might respond to it by deciding to go down the road of truly seizing their life and going after their heart’s desire. Now there’s an exciting opportunity!

On an institutional level, when things fall apart, the good thing could be that the leadership sees old patterns that are not sustainable and embraces a larger vision that really serves their dream and also serves the planet. Hooray!

And on a global level, the good thing about a terrible tragedy is that it brings things to light that have not been recognized by the general populace, and they have the chance when they see what’s wrong, to stand for a new and brighter road to a different future.

The crossroads in all three situations present the choice between submitting to something that may feel like fate, or seizing our soul’s true destiny. I would like to hold the vision of that destiny, and to take a stand for that.

I do that through spiritual practice that reminds me of who I truly am and of my unity with unseen spiritual support. And I hold energetic space for change to flow through me and through others, who will make their own choices.

This is a tough discipline for sure. But that is what we are being asked to do, and why we may be on the planet at this time. So join me in responding to it all with–along with our natural grief and compassion–a larger and more powerful force that holds it all.





Tools for Taking Back the Pilot’s Seat

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Sometimes I cringe when I meet someone who asks me what I do. Answering either “life coach” or certainly “energy medicine practitioner” or for sure, “shamanic practitioner” can lead to immediate Eyes Glazing Over Syndrome.

Sometimes I do better when I tell a client story, but the best approach is asking questions. Like, “Have you ever had the feeling that something is missing in your life, even if you’ve read a lot of books, had therapy or tried meditating?” (At this point, I am checking for “Woo Woo, Checking Out Now Syndrome.)

But I persist. “Do you ever feel confused about your purpose? Or feel that your passion for your life has gone flat?”

Even though such complaints are vague, most of us have experienced them. Someone who says “Absolutely not” would probably not want life coaching or any personal development enrichment.

In reality, we have all experienced feelings that some might call burnout, and others might describe as being out of balance. Even someone who has never quite found that path, that center, usually can recognize these symptoms. The vocabulary isn’t important. And so…what?

I would call the feeling of being in our center, on our path, feeling passion and purpose “the pilot’s seat.” And I would say that the one who has taken the pilot’s seat in such moments must be the essential self. The one who is all about our life force, or soul.

Sometimes the essential self manages to take the pilot’s seat “by accident,” or really without our effort. In those moments we might call grace, we simply know and we simply are.

When you’ve been there, it’s painful to be dislodged from the pilot’s seat, or to have it commandeered by sub-personalities, or by the ego, who is not well-connected to essence.

Sometimes just the awareness of being off-center is enough to correct the situation. Other times, we need help. We need tools. Here are some to consider:

  •   Deep talk, soul sharing with a friend or advisor who listens well
  •   Traveling into invisible realms for guidance, through meditation, prayer, dreams or shamanic journeying—or my Sand Spirits Insight Cards!
  •  Any breathwork or meditation system that leads you back into your heart
  •  Asking the Great Mystery for help
  • Work with changing old beliefs and releasing old patterns

If any of this resonates with you, I invite you to call me for a complementary phone consultation. Or if this has helped you remember your own tools, please add your comment!

Taking the Pilot’s Seat: Controlling Airspeed

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

When I walk on the beautiful land in the Sutherland Valley, beneath the Catalina Mountains, the land reminds me that Mother Earth has a heartbeat, a rhythm. Being in nature attunes my body to her rhythm and reminds me of my own natural pace. So does meditation—it is a way of stopping to check in with the Source, and with my own body/mind, and re-calibrating.

I need to change my “attitude,”—an aviation term for the angle of the airplane– to pull the nose of my airplane up a bit and slow my speed.

When I think of the idea of slowing my pace, my “small mind” immediately panics at the thought. What will I miss? What will I not accomplish?

Fortunately my “larger mind” responds by asking, “Where are you going so fast? What is your destination or goal that is so crucial? Isn’t the journey the point?”

My small mind says nothing.

I remember Thich Nhat Hahn’s cautions about our pace, his advice about mindful walking and mindful eating and avoiding multi-tasking.

My small mind points out how many things I accomplish by multi-tasking. Is that really true? Recent research points out that our brains don’t operate at maximum efficiency when we do more than one thing at a time. Maybe we are sacrificing focus, intensity and depth of thought, excellence in problem-solving.

Perhaps I suffer from the aviator’s dreaded plague, “get-there-itis,” the disease that leads to unwise decisions like flying too late, or into bad weather, or when sick, or in conditions outside our expertise. If we crash, we might ask ourselves what was so important about that destination and how much time we really saved.

If I take time to gaze out the window, perhaps I’ll really see something like the scene in the photo of the water and cloud formations along the Sea of Cortez. What’s the hurry, really?

These are thoughts each of us must bring to consciousness as we pilot our way through a year that may challenge us to drop old patterns, to take responsibility for our own energy, to ask treasured family and friends to support us as responsible pilots who have taken the left seat. We may not be able to manage the strong winds of life, but we can manage ourselves.

What are your thoughts?  Interact with us at!


Getting ready for fall

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Sand Spirit Insight card #1

It doesn’t feel at all like fall yet in Tucson, but they tell us that the fall equinox is Wednesday, September 22. This marks the beginning of fall in the northern hemisphere. So I drew a Sand Spirit card, asking the question in the title: how do I best get ready for fall?

I drew card #1, which looks to me like a being who is very still and focused inside. I see the hands in prayer, and I see another being or energy in the lower right hand corner–perhaps another person or issue that is in the outer world. What do you see in this image?

This being tells me this is a good time for me to be focused inward, to remain calm and remember who I truly am. What does your image have to say to you?

Fall is a new beginning for many of us who grew accustomed to school beginning, and thus entering a “new year.” I used to buy day timers that went from September to September. Does a new chapter begin for you in fall?

I’ve recently gotten a little more interested in numerology and how it relates to the Sand Spirits. #1 is all about new beginnings. And September, being the 9th month, is all about completions, prior to October, being a #10, which reduces to a #1. So the message I get is, focus inside and find that still place, that place of reverence and prayer and solid ground–so that you can be calm as you complete things this month and prepare for new beginnings next month.

Finding the still place resonates with me, because I’m finishing the editing of the first of the seven lessons in my book, Flying Lessons. The first lesson is “Know Where You’re Going to Land.” It’s all about finding solid ground inside.

What is your safe landing space in life? Do you look to relationships? To your job? Do you have a still place inside that is there despite outer circumstances? Surely we all need this in times like these.

I wish for you that you see something inspiring in this message and that you use it to get yourself ready for fall, for new beginnings, and for strengthening that place within you that represents solid ground.

3 Ways to become an empowered feminine leader

Monday, May 10th, 2010

blue wave

Today there is a new wave of opportunity for women who want to become empowered, conscious, evolutionary leaders who make a difference. Teleclasses abound. Just google Integral Enlightment or Feminine Power or Conscious Evolutionaries and you’ll see.  In the meantime, here are 3 principles to think about and practice:

1. Nourish yourself. This means on the level of mind, body and spirit. These are not times for wimps. We need to be strong. Gentle warriors, standing in our truth. If we don’t take care of ourselves, what good will we be for anyone else? So what is your premium fuel? Fill that tank.

2.  Ride the wave. The wave in the photo is a wave of light, a photo projected on the wall of an imaginative San Diego restaurant. Light is nothing but energy. You are nothing but energy and light. So ride the big wave of light, the one other “en-lightened” beings ride. Jump on. Meditate, pray, do yoga, eat spinach or do whatever else helps you stay on. Ride the wave of light.

3. Bring out your soul’s gifts. If you don’t bring them out, what in the world are they for anyway? They are your “original medicine” and if you don’t bring them out, they could disappear forever. This is the moment. We are the ones. We need whatever you can offer. Remember what Jesus said (according to the Gnostic gospels): “If you bring out what is within you, what is within you will save you; if you do not bring out what is within you, what is within you will destroy you.” Sounds dramatic, but think about illness, crime and other tragedies. Could be as simple as this. Out. Into the world. Now.

The Dalai Lama said it best recently: “The western woman will save the world.” I guess it’s up to us. Let’s get started!

Slowing down long enough to see

Friday, April 30th, 2010

speedAmong the many prophesies about these challenging times we are inhabiting, the Hopi have commented on how things will continue to speed up. And their advice? “When things speed up, slow down.”

Isn’t it true that when we do slow down, the days seem longer? When we were children, time went so slowly. As we grow older and accelerate our “progress,” time speeds up. Proof that time is relative.

And isn’t it true that right now everything seems accelerated? For me it seems harder to stay in touch with everyone on a deep level, in spite of all the social media. Lives are getting more challenging and complex. Things are speeding up.

All the mindful meditation practices encourage us to notice all the elements of this very moment. That is slowing down to the now. And when I do that, I can actually see where I am. See better what drives me, what delights me. See more clearly what action I’d like to take next.  See more wholly how I can serve.

What do you think about time? Is it running you? Are you “running” out of time? Or are you pausing, stepping out of time? Slowing down long enough to see and be?


Friday, April 2nd, 2010


Being is wide-hipped

and wide-lipped.

She is like honey spilled

all over myself

spreading, oozing, sticky, adhering

to all my persistent doing.

Gumming up the works,

widening my cells, opening my heart, expanding to connect with all.

Being is curious.

She follows each feeling, each perception

without having to do anything at all.

She listens and sees

by moving under the thought or feeling

and simply holding it,

being it. Knowing it.

And then the most curious thing something happens

without will.

Something occurs, just appears

and then there’s a bit of doing to be done.

Not out of effort, just out of responsiveness.

And Being says that’s all we have to do. Really.

Just fully be and see what occurs

and respond to that.

That’s all.

Good bye to the hard case of doing,

to the constricted determination,

to the marching and the gritting of teeth,

to the stridency, to the striving, to the pushing up hills.

Hello to the honey, my honey, who is Being.

To the Mother who holds the seed,

the womb of the stars,

to the One within me who has already done it all

who knows it

and who simply


Winter Remembers the Spring

Sunday, February 28th, 2010


I walk out into the desert’s winter, watching for signs.

The blonde brittle grasses part, giving me a glimpse of apple green beneath.

The hard ground softens for ants wakening to build spring mounds.

Black broken trees play dead, but tell me the sap is rising like warm honey in their limbs.

The mountains’ sprinkling of sugar pours down into liquid in the washes.

Wildflowers are plotting from deep within their seeds, imagining their riot.

And I thrill to the feel of my heart widening into the sweet flow of breath within.

The land is remembering me into new life.

A Sand Spirit’s Healing Message

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
Sand Spirit Insight card #4

Sand Spirit Insight card #4

I’m continuing my experiment of asking a question about a personal issue of mine, and then thinking of a number between 1 and 36, since that’s how many Sand Spirit Insight cards there are in the set. Today I asked about my lingering laryngitis.  What do I need to know or do to get completely well?

Two numbers came to mind: 31 and 4.  Interesting, since 4 is the sum of  3 and 1—so 4 seems to be up with this issue. The section on numerology and the Sand Spirits in my own workbook lists these words for the number 4:  Work, foundation, order, health, service, practicality, application, loyalty, struggle against limtis, steady growth, rigidity and repression. Some words having to do with the light side of me and some referring to the shadow.

The Sand Spirit image looks like a guardian angel to me, and always makes me feel I am surrounded by protection and support.  That’s a comfort. So I ask this angelic advisor, what words apply to me now, and what can I do to improve my health and my immune system?

The Sand Spirit points out that there’s a whole back story here about me not wanting to slow down, fighting limitations, not listening to my inner voice, and suffering health issues as a result. But I’ve been working on this. So now what?

“Still more layers,” she answers. “Loyalty…to others or to yourself? You’re still making your way toward equality in this department. Be willing to slow even more. Be very practical. You want to serve, and that is great. But some of your own needs are still being repressed.  Look for them in your body…”

“So, would you say this has to do with speaking up for myself, or feeling I have no voice to do that?” I ask.

“Remember the little one at the bottom of the image who is the younger, smaller you?” the Sand Spirit asks. “You need to be her guardian angel and prompt her to speak up for herself. She needs to feel equal to the aspects of yourself you consider more worthy, more together, more of an achiever. When you accept the shadow as equal to the light, all will be well.”

And so, once again, the Sand Spirit has more wisdom that I know how to live out. So I am off to give that a try.

What did you see in this Sand Spirit image? What message does the figure have for you today?