Reflections From My True Self

Remembering Who I Really Am

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A Reminder

Even though I work this way with others, I have not gone into retreat for a long, long time. I am inspired by the effect of retreating on those for whom I am companion and guide. But I forget how vital this work is for me.

I determine that it is time again, to go into retreat, in preparation for the turn of the year. As is to be expected, this feels inconvenient to do now, hard to find time for, requiring too much from me.  Still, I persevere, and sequester myself in silence, light my candles and bring out my rattle.

The past year floats under the glare of my gaze, and I rescue forgotten blessings, feel my heart tighten with unresolved pains and fears.  I honor all of the energies I find, witness them wholly.

In the smoke of the incense, I release what does not serve me, and feel lightened, heartened.

Then I remember, one last thing.

This year, too often, I have felt disconnected; disconnected from Nature, from the cycles of the year and my body, from awe and from what is sacred in my daily doings.  As this recognition comes to me, along with the question of how to release this large, heavy energy, a movement outside my window catches my eye.

It is a great bird, with powerful wings, gently coasting past, and my mind is slow to grasp, to process, to return to me: owl.  The bird alights in the high branches of a towering tree, the tree that I gaze on as I do my daily practices, the one that reminds me that trees are also my relations.

It can’t be an owl, I think. This is the city. It is broad daylight. Could it be?  The bird is still, imposing, enormous, unblinking. It is indisputably an owl.

My mind is startled into stillness. I remember the thought of disconnection and, immediately, a new thought arises: I could never be disconnected from Nature, from what is sacred, from my Self.

No sooner does this thought rise in my awareness, as the great owl takes flight and coasts away into the white sky, disappears from my view.

I could never be disconnected from my Self; Owl has come to remind me of it.

Photo Credit: Jay Simmons

Photo Credit: Jay Simmons


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Hold and Release

For days now, I have been seeing, feeling, receiving reminders from within me, and also from outside myself, to recognize that clearing and focusing my mind is not sufficient to produce the results I am desiring.  For that, I must engage the energy of creation, the energy of what already exists just beyond my perception.

I have learned this before. I think I should know it, do it, easily, effortlessly, elegantly.  But I cannot remember, cannot grasp how I ever achieved it before.  How to Focus and Flow, Hold and Release? Simultaneously?  How can I be spirit and form at once?

This is a paradox I cannot fathom.

In the park, I sit under a huge elm tree, whose branches and roots extend far past its trunk and my body resting against it. I am in its shade and I am embraced by its singular energy. The leaves extend outward and shape a frame for my view of the lake and sky on the horizon.  The water moves continuously in ripples and waves that appear autonomous, separate from each other.

I watch them and think of the breeze playing with the surface, and the currents pulling below, of the great liquid body that responds in tides to the face of the moon.

Suddenly, wordlessly, I understand. The paradox is no more.


Photo by Marcelo Terraza on

Photo by Marcelo Terraza on


A Gift From the Sea



A smooth, white stone came to me, carried in a soft, warm wave of the Pacific Ocean, it rolled against my foot on the beach. It fits in my palm, and has a perfect circle carved out in its core. Like a large bead. I could hang it around my neck on a ribbon.


To remind me. That the water and sand can rub through stone. That, given time, an orifice, precisely spherical, could appear. That sometimes I am stone. And sometimes I am water.


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I come out of a coaching session, aware again, as I am after virtually every session, of the privilege that I have, to be a companion to another soul on its unique journey.

I am colored in awe for the courage I witness, and the wisdom that so naturally arises in each of us.

I am inspired by your willingness to step forth when clarity is lacking about the direction taken.

And then, I am inspired again by the synchronistic presence of every resource, every understanding, every connection needed to take another step forward into the unknown.

Awash with wonder, we look back together and see in this mosaic of tiny steps, the artful patterns that create this colorful, moving and powerful scene.

And I am reminded: your scene, with different tiles, steps in different directions, is part of the same collection as mine.

Mosaic of cobalt blue tiles with gold lines radiating through it


Tapped by a calling

Painting of a hand with symbols on the palm

My friend Rose Alexander made this for me after Reiki, some coaching, and working through  The Artist’s Way helped her overcome her creative block.

We caught up again recently, for the first time since she returned to Bangkok 6 months ago. It was such a moment of synchronicity for both of us. She wanted to find answers about her daughter’s aura and, as I explained that she could learn how to find out for herself, I was able to remind her that she had been shamanically tapped for her spiritual path when she lived here, if she chooses to answer the call. Turns out, she’s been seeing signs right and left, including things she wouldn’t believe she could find in Thailand, like energy healers using feathers.

And with the call, I am reminded that this is the way it goes with a calling; I didn’t have to try to do anything for her in order to help her, way back when the Reiki worked for her. I am reminded that she wanted to meet me for the energy she perceived in me, not for anything I was trying to portray to her. I am reminded that she has felt supported by me with things that come absolutely naturally, effortlessly to me. When I told her I have been doing intuitive life coaching, she was so excited… because she knows, it suits me perfectly!

And this is a good time to remind myself: I don’t have to think things through so much beforehand, I don’t have to plan all the time and take care of all the “what ifs.” When it comes to following my inner Truth, my mind is frequently a limiting factor, instead of an enhancement.  I have only to be willing to do the footwork and then get out of my own way. Most times I am amazed by what I find!

And when I fall flat on my face, (with time) I remember there is meaning in that, too, before I get up again.