Reflections From My True Self

Remembering Who I Really Am


Clear Space

Even before I am fully awake, today I am tempted to feel blue. I want to look at the landscape of my life colored with fear and doubt, and I want to cast around for some unease to hold onto, something that will save me any efforts to pay attention, to sit with discomfort, to entertain confusion.  Today I want the easy way, just to mire.

But I have a session in a short time and I have to prepare for it. So I do, I prepare the space the way a dancer warms up for her performance, with familiar movements, stretching gently, without analysis or deep thought, just doing what I always do.

And as I do this, I find that there is no room in my energy field for all that heaviness which I was holding so dearly, as if my life depended on it anchoring me. That routine for warm-up, that careful and meticulous process of clearing the space in the room and in my energy field sweeps out everything that does not belong there, including my limiting thoughts, my straitjacket perspective, my self-involved emotions.  After clearing, I can not invoke them, even if I try.

I am so grateful that, in creating the clear and sacred space for my client, in offering her this first gift of my heart, I wind up, also, gifting my Self.

I am reminded, this is how it always is: when I gift another, I gift myself; when I bless you, I am blessed, too.

Photo by Gabriella Fabbri on

Photo by Gabriella Fabbri on



A Practice of Sharing Good News

I have a natural tendency, which I can trace back at least as far as adolescence, to notice what feels challenging. It turns out I have been keeping a mental list of everything that I thought has gone “wrong,” of every ill feeling I’ve had, regardless of how fleeting. And I have been keeping this list just beyond the surface of my consciousness, so that it feels almost like a secret I have kept from myself! I am, apparently, exceptionally skilled at this tracking of all that would weigh me down, hold me back, feed my self-pity.

So it is truly a blessing to have acquired a spiritual practice of noticing and sharing the good news of the week with a companion of my Spirit, every Monday evening. Often, I will start out not knowing very clearly if there has even been any good news to share. But as soon as I enter the space of sharing, it comes to me, flooding me with awarenesses of the wonderful, important occurrences. The visit this week of a dear friend, whom I haven’t seen in years definitely qualifies as important, good news. But the awarenesses include the small things that do so much to nourish my soul from moment to moment, such as reading a blog about a widow’s reluctance to share her still fresh grief a few years after her husband’s death, and finding a slew of comments of encouragement and compassion that renew my sense of connection with strangers. Or the chance encounter I have with a house finch when I step out of my car, noticing how colorful his feathers have become, and my day seems suddenly brighter than a moment before.

Regardless of what I may have been feeling when we begin retelling our good news, sharing it is one of the most powerful ways I know to lift my mood. Hearing the news of my friend, and the genuine feelings of celebration it elicits could be another item on my list to share! And even beyond that, looking back at all the wonderful experiences of the week balances out that tendency I have to keep an accounting of all I did not like, it reminds me that there is even more to celebrate than that which I am remembering, and that, when that tendency I mentioned earlier kicks in, I have only to shift my focus to tap into the energy of recognizing my blessings.

And there are more gifts from this practice! One of its highlights is sharing the challenges I am experiencing at the moment through the lens of good news. It’s so easy to be caught up in an energy of struggle, to focus on the distance between where I am and where I want to be. Speaking of the challenge as good news reminds me of what I am receiving by being where I am, and by the process of getting where I am going. And those are blessings easily missed, with only the bigger, more colorful ones being rescued by hindsight. Sharing good news is my way of harvesting every blessing and allowing gratitude to fill me.

Photo Credit: ©lusi (sanja gjenero) at

Photo Credit: ©lusi (sanja gjenero) at


Something Greater

It is my intention always to follow what is alive for me, where the energy calls. But sometimes what that is, how to do it, is not so clear to me. In recent months, I have been doing some volunteer work that includes crafting a written environmental statement that my mind recognizes is vitally important, but that has felt immobile, stuck, in no way beckoning!

I am fortunate that I do not work alone, and that my companion on the journey, Amy, is a woman of wisdom who calls me to step into my own center when I forget. Recognizing the static energy in our task, together, and before our scheduled meeting, we decided to set aside all that we had done before and open ourselves up to inspiration.

That intention, consciously set, moved within my dreams, in the archives of my memories, in my imagination. An image came to me of a medicine wheel, sprung from my learnings in shamanism; an image that seemed completely outside of the worldview this Statement is supposed to fit into.  But it felt alive: a huge circle made of stones laid side by side; a circle, cut in quarters, and each separating line leading to a vibrant bunch of wild herbs growing. That image reminds me of the energy of la Finca, of mountains and soil and green trees unfolding, the place where I feel most aligned. That image connected me to the energies of all that which our Statement claims to celebrate and protect, but that I had drifted away from in the minutiae of wheres and wherefores.

During our meeting, when I shared the image with Amy, I did so only because it felt so alive, such a powerful presence in my mind’s eye, not because I could see its relevance to our task. Nonetheless, my wise companion invited me to allow what wanted to be expressed through us to arise. She set a process in motion that I could not describe, and before I could make sense of what we were doing, our staid, stiff Statement had turned into something new: a fluid tool that can hold highest consciousness, that can create space for any permutation of celebrating and protecting life, of learning from Nature, of connecting to Mystery.

In spite of the smallness of my imagination, I am blessed, for, in my willingness to follow, to open, I have been utilized again as a piece of the jigsaw that draws into the world something greater than my narrow mind could produce on its own!

Closeup of flowers open for seeding

Something Greater                                                       ©Marcelo Terraza (mterraza)


For the Sake of Others

It is my good fortune to be called to help others find stillness within them. It is my good fortune to be called to observe in silence, without judgment. It is my good fortune that, in the course of my work, I am required to do what really matters, the only thing that feels sane.

If not for my work, for the souls whose unfolding I am called to witness and assist, then I, too, would be trapped in the frenzy, illusions of urgency and pressure clouding my vision. Surely I would feel that I could not reconfigure my priorities, believe that there is no space for stillness, no time for quiet. I would not stop long enough for my feet to feel the earth. Always, I would be reaching, grasping what is beyond my touch, unaware that it could come with ease if I would only make space for it.

But it is my good fortune to be called to stillness and quiet. It is my good fortune to repeat, again and again, apparently for the benefit of others, but in truth, for the benefit of my Self, that life is so short, we must move very slowly.

It is my good fortune that, for the sake of others, I cannot forget.

©Miriam Wickett at

©Miriam Wickett at

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Constriction, Release

For expediency’s sake, I call our social structure the Patriarchy. And I feel myself wounded by it, I rail against it, I resist it. It results in oppression and constriction. Today I am aware again of how this is true for men, as much as for women. If anything, the oppression and constriction of men is more subtle, camouflaged, because we are not taught to see it, because it is the lens we do not know we see through.

What irony, what joy, that I can find the strength to see this and to recognize the woundedness in me, to heal myself, and, through me, a piece of the world, only in the safety of a circle of women.


Human Eye, ©Dave Edmonds at

Human Eye, ©Dave Edmonds at


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Every morning, after dropping my children off at school, I drive away thinking of all the work that lies ahead of me, of the demands of the day, of the ways that I will parse my time and the people I will attend to.  When I arrive, every day, I park my car in the alley, distracted by all that is required of me, all that I want to give.

But when I open the door to get out, each time, I am surprised by the solitary wildflower that is growing between the cracks in the concrete.  What began as an improbable,  scrawny little branch last year has now grown many limbs, is occupying space. And it blooms abundantly, colorful and bright, amidst the drabness of the neglected alley, in spite of the dust.

I find myself slowing before it, despite the expected arrival of a client or the pile of tasks that awaits on my desk. I find myself slowing before it in gratitude, for the surprise of it, for its beauty, for the layers of meanings, and the reminders it holds for me.

Every day, I stop a moment, to gaze upon a wildflower, and to recover my Self.

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For the Lake

The kids and I go to the lake in the morning. It stretches, vast and shining, beyond the horizon. I am overcome with its stillness and quiet. And yet, it’s waters are in constant, rhythmic movement.

Others arrive, many of them children, with long limbs and bouncy energy; they explore the water’s edge, venture briefly into the cold of it. We gather on the sandy shore and, together, we listen, to what arises from within each of us, for the lake, from it. And we play drums and rattles; one sunny child knocks rocks.

When quiet rises up amongst us again, we build mounds with the rocks, and a bird. The children quibble about the wing: it’s too long, too thin. They move the rocks, bring some sticks, open their minds. The bird is done to our collective satisfaction.

Then we line up where the waves end, and fill our cups with lake water. We hold those waters against our hearts. I think of all that we receive from it. I feel my gratitude radiate out of me, all around me, filling the cup and enveloping the children, the women, the couple sitting on a bench and enjoying their morning, the workmen tearing up the street on the other side of the park, the whole of this sprawling city and the corn fields beyond it, and further, further, where there are no edges, where nothing ends and all is beginnings.

I pour this all back into the lake with the water in my cup. One sprite-child begins a dance, slowly, magically, flinging her cup’s water out in an arc over her head, circling her body that dances and turns. The others follow suit. Everyone at their own pace, pouring water back into the lake, pouring healing and love back into the lake.

When we finish, a child speaks, from her heart, and says that we have made something beautiful, truly, because we brought only ourselves, and used what was given to us by the Lake.

Afterwards, at home, my son remarks that it’s usually girls who think about the Earth, about doing it service. But he thinks of it, too. And my heart is larger than my body on this day.