Open Hear Post #4 – A lesson in Fearlessness

Opening Hear

Inspirations that come from anywhere that cause us to listen with our hearts… unlocking them in the process.

“Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness.
It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart.
You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world.
You are willing to share your heart with others.”

Chogyam Trungpa Tibetan Buddhist, Scholar and Artist

In a moment our relationship changed.
I chose to be real with him. I told him why I was crying and his big, beautiful, sensitive heart opened right up to me.

My usual MO is to get angry. To take it out on them, my loved ones. This time, rather than try to hide my tears or make him wrong for wanting me to watch a video about dirtbikes, while Ben was making SO MUCH noise and it had been such a long day of trying to keep it all together, much like any day, and I JUST WANTED TO FINISH THIS ONE….DAMN…..PARAGRAPH that I was reading,  I owned it.

I found the source of my discomfort and I spilled it out. I gave him an honest picture of what was happening with me, right then, rather than covering it in all the ways that I’m so good at.  And I broke down.  I wept and kept weeping for a couple of minutes and he asked what was wrong at least twice.  As I finally caught my breath I said,”Sometimes I would like to work on some artwork, or reading or just be creative – and there are so many demands and distractions that I hardly every allow myself to do it”

He really heard me.

Later that night I went to veg out in front of the TV with him.  He grabbed two pieces of blank paper, two pencils,  and two big sturdy books and sat down by me on the couch.  He invited me to draw with him. He drew, I started writing this.  We talked about how sometimes watching TV helped drown out the mental background noise and helped him draw better. I told him I used music for this. We talked about how girls at school were being “all dramatic about boys and love and stuff”.  I suggested he ignore the drama as best he could.

I also thanked him to being so kind to me, for understanding about how my heart needs art and expression.  He must know this because He has it inside of himself too. I am so blessed.



Learning to swim

“The mystic and the schizophrenic
find themselves in the same ocean,
but whereas the mystic swims,
the schizophrenic drowns.”  –

Doña Ramona, a Seri shaman from Punta Chueca, ...

Doña Ramona, a Seri shaman from Punta Chueca, Sonora, Mexico.

“Now I’m aware that I alone am in the vast
of the sea
And cause the sea to be the sea

Just swim.
Just swim.
Go on with your story.

Dainin Katagiri Roshi – from” “Long Quiet Highway – Waking up in America” by Natalie Goldberg

So, to go on with my story……

I have always been afraid of being in water.  And, I have always known my grandmother’s house – the one house that has been there my entire life.  One night recently I dreamed that I was in my grandmothers house.  The entire house was filled with water.  There was nowhere to go but through it.

In my dream, I felt myself relax, and for the first time in my life, waking or otherwise, I enjoyed being in the water.  I woke up with a smile on my face and then cried because I wished I could walk to the ocean, right then, and jump in.

Water is a symbol of humanity’s unconscious, and of our emotional worlds, and other things.  I have been allowing so much of my deeper self to “float up” lately that it’s not really a surprise that I had this dream.  The surprise for me was the complete 180 degree turnaround my CONSCIOUS self experienced afterward.  I wanted to be in the ocean, in the rivers, the lakes.  I wanted to feel the caress that only water can give.  I wanted to swim literally and figuratively, mythologically and concretely. The fear was gone.

I have always had a burning desire to delve into the uncommon.  To root around in the dark mass, just below the surface of waking life.  To find my origin and destination.  To try to communicate back to others what I find.  This is no small task.  Turns out, there are  many others attempting the same thing through whatever means they find necessary.  I feel blessed to know some of you personally, and am thrilled by the thoughts of meeting others out there.

As a matter of fact, that thought, that there are many of us “shaman-in-training”, learning to swim through our own personal oceans, that has been almost constantly in my mind lately.  I am quieted inside when I realize that these people are my tribe.  I am quieted when I realize that so many of us are working on bringing awareness into being – into our beings.

What I’ve been working on…

I’ve been absent from here for a while.   Life busy.

But here’s a glimpse of a couple of things…

FINISHED finally!:

A few weeks ago, I put out to the universe – I want my mojo back!!! and I was rewarded with the impetus to create this collage/box – “Disco”

The inside of the box:

And here’s where I work, when I get the chance:

And, I’ve been practicing enjoying my kids more….

I’ll have some more thoughts to share soon….the ever elusive “soon”…..


‘If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of
the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to
break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold
ever-more wonders.”
—Andrew Harvey, *The Return of the Mother*

Through all the hours of watching Japan’s tragedy unfold, I have found it so essential to stay close to the realization that only the most important things are truly important.  Love, family, friends, honesty, clean water, air, land and food.  Everything else tends to be an abstraction. I hope this finds you, the reader, closer to your own deep realizations, with the courage to stay true to them.  I hope this for all of humanity.

Open Hear post #3

Opening Hear#3

Inspirations that come from anywhere that cause us to listen with our hearts… unlocking them in the process.

Yes! Magazine’s  Winter 2011 edition has wonderful articles based around “What Happy Families Know“.  I encourage anyone who hasn’t read Yes! Magazine in a while, or ever, to pick up a copy – or a subscription – or go to the library on a quarterly basis, to soak up it’s positivity and wisdom.  I have never been disappointed with the content.  As a matter of fact you’ll probably hear me talk about it quite a bit as time goes on.

My favorite story, “You Are Who You Eat With” by Katherine Gustafson has this quote: “When food advocate and chef Tom French asked a student how she felt after his organization, the Experience Food Project, began replacing the bland, processed food in her school cafeteria with fresh, healthy school lunches, he received an unexpected answer. “She gave it some serious thought,” he told me over the phone. “Then she said, ‘you know, I feel respected.’”

Family dinner photo by Patrick Barber
Food, and what we do to it – growing it, transporting it,
cooking, and serving it can make us feel respected, or not.

The Power to Drudge

“Real power is the ability to be resonant with
the Tao in such a way as to get in sync with
the power that already exists”

From: The Power Path


I know I’m supposed to Chop Wood and Carry Water

Do laundry, meticulously

be in the now

sweep my fucking dusty floors

pay attention

I just don’t feel like it makes for a real “powerful” day.

Feeding, cleaning, cleaning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, resting – where is the power in that?  Where can I let my soul sing through that?

I want bright colors, bold words, interesting thoughts, funny happenings

drudgery gets in the way

the way

the tao

my ego wants more excitement


I am isolated here in this house while others “work” – what am I doing, if not working?

I am working on keeping house


which is what this blog is ostensibly about

I am holding on

house holding