Reflections From My True Self

Remembering Who I Really Am


Fickle to My Calling

That calling, that pulling, forceful energy that awakens a  yearning inside me, I feel it again. I recognize it. I know that I am meant to move towards it, as it moves towards me.

But when I think I can almost define it, almost close my fingers over it or pull it to me in an embrace, I lose it, the way a soap bubble pops and leaves only moisture behind. And then it’s gone, and even that moisture is insufficient proof that it ever existed.

I remember those stories of olden days that I read as a child, of two young people who recognized something in one another when they met and were then separated by life circumstances. They parted, then, with a soft promise, followed by a long separation, perhaps of many years, without any more connection between them than the fading memory of their encounter and their promise. In those stories, they held faith across vast expanses of time until they were finally joined by life once again.

My first thought is that those stories do not describe me. I know how fickle I can be! I need reminders, reconnections, a gentle wind over red embers. I need that calling held before me continuously, palpably, in order not to fall back again into oblivion.

Or, maybe not?

Is it possible that the fading memory of my encounter with that energy, of the promises I fervently made in its presence are powerful enough to hold me up until life joins us once again?

Photo Credit: John Boyer

Photo Credit: John Boyer


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I am grateful that I am here, whole, present, alive… and taking this time. I am grateful that this day that threatened chaos has moved me to center myself, to remember what is important. I am grateful to remember that my only job is to align myself with my Deepest Wisdom.

I am grateful to realize that what is before me is what I must attend to, and that whatever is important and not before me, is also already unfolding. Therefore, I am grateful for the promised scent of toast and coffee.

I am grateful to trust enough to relax, even though I could cringe in fear for one hundred thousand reasons. I am grateful for Reiki, for the warmth it spreads through me, and for the love I can extend through it to others.

I am grateful that I serve. And grateful, too, that I don’t need to understand how I do. I am grateful for the connections I experience each day with the people whose paths I cross.

I am grateful for the awakening that my loved ones open in my chest: my children, Brujo, the friends of my soul. I am grateful for their help in expanding my experiences, my awarenesses.

I am grateful for beauty: in the white sky brushed by naked branches, in the music of laughter, and the stark silhouette of a high rise by the lake. I am grateful for red: in my Oma’s shawl, and the cardinal in the window.

I am grateful that this day holds so many treasures that I cannot sit here and enumerate them, that I must go now and waken my children with soft kisses to warm cheeks, and feed them, and begin again the dance of the day, that wearies me, and enlivens me, all at once!


Photo Credit: John Boyer

Photo Credit: John Boyer

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Sage Mother plant came to my little bit of a garden late in the fall, when I wondered if she would manage to take properly. She came to me as a gift from a stranger, a gardener who loved her plants and wanted their care to continue even after they left her garden. It was a reluctant gift, because I am no knowledgeable gardener in these latitudes. Now it is summer and Sage has extended, lifted her branches, unfurled her velvety leaves. She blooms in astonishing purples, flowers that appear like tiny faces, ready to speak.

And I sit nearby, amidst the savory fragrance of her leaves. I am aware of her vitality, even when I look away from her. I close my eyes and realize that our roles have changed. When I planted her, I felt motherly, protective.

Now, sitting here, I feel her protective reach draw me in like a hug. She is my teacher, gently, silently, sharing some of her wisdom with me, inviting me to come often to visit her in my little garden.

Photo credit: Ayla87 (Michael & Christa Richert) on

Photo credit: Ayla87 (Michael & Christa Richert) on



I recently heard a fascinating podcast interview of John Lewis by Krista Tippett, where he mentions how showing feelings and true emotions can be perceived as weakness in this culture, and how saying “I love you” can sometimes feel so difficult. As a fan of  Bené Brown and her work on shame, I would say that touching into true emotions makes us feel vulnerable.

In the dunes by Lake Michigan, two children, young, unguarded, allow themselves unmeasured pleasure, dragging their feet in the sand and crowing at the trail they make. Now they thread, at top speed, through the still-bare shrubs at the edge of the sand hills, whipping branches behind them. I catch myself thinking I want to play that way, too, but such full-hearted enjoyment would be unseemly in an adult, if anyone were watching.

A person I care deeply for shared a confidence with me, because she felt safe doing so. She is smart, educated, worldly, and her dignity in the eyes of her peers is a matter of great importance to her. She confided that she trusted the wrong people and wound up losing considerable sums of money. The weight of this loss, for her, is doubled by the fear she carries of anyone knowing, of being judged foolish, unworthy of respect.

When I think of her, even in spite of what occurred, I do not find her unworthy. Dignity is not about appropriate behavior, about not taking risks or making mistakes. Right now, I feel it is about soul, about recognizing humanity (my own, as well as hers). I think of dignity as the ability to look up, around, even when fear would hide my eyes. It is standing with clarity and courage, after tripping along the path, or watching another falter alongside me.

There is a photograph my talented great-aunt, Hermi Friedmann, took some 60 or so years ago, of a Colombian peasant woman, perhaps of African ancestry, sitting in front of a large pile of pineapples. Her head  is wrapped in a scarf, her fingers work-worn, holding a cigarette to her aged face. She looks weary, and strong. She is the picture of dignity and beauty. (A copy of this photograph can be found here.)

It is in the recognition of our humanity, our timeless strengths as well as our wrenching weaknesses, in allowing ourselves vulnerability and self-acceptance, that old, wounding patterns can come loose and be released, and new, heartening opportunities opened.

Today, I will run in the sand.

I don’t have a copy of the photograph she took, so here is picture of Hermi Friedmann, in her own, full dignity.

I don’t have a copy of the photograph she took, to share with you, so here is a picture of Hermi Friedmann, in her own, full dignity.

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I am reading about power, the ability to make something happen. Yang power is what Westerners would think of when they hear the word “power.” It is what my ego would have me use. To make something happen, to cause a change that I predetermine, my ego wants a plan, preferably in black and white, with measurable markers along the way, and results it can hold up to the light to compare.

In Mother-Daughter Wisdom, Dr. Christiane Northrup calls yin power “the power of expectancy and faith… that change[s] our minds and our beliefs so we are better able to attract what we want. [It] knows how and when to wait and hold back… that sometimes the best action is to do nothing.”

This is the power my True Self would have me use. It is rich, loamy darkness, pulling my focus away from fear and to my soul’s desires. It requires that I sit in silent awareness, that I remain awake to my callings, and that I shift my vibration, tune myself up to the energy of that which is wanting to come into being through me.

©Fishmonk (Dan Shirley) at

©Fishmonk (Dan Shirley) at


A Circle of Women

A circle of women, present to themselves, to each other, safe in one another’s presence… I find a powerful energy there. For a long time now, I have wanted to foster this energy, pull it together. I have fed myself stories of calling up power, of building energy. But when I am sitting there, facing the center, and meeting the eyes of my companions, I recognize they have been stories… the energy is intrinsic to the circle, where each woman is a spoke connected to the center, where, together, we create the shape. The energy, it is ours, for us and from us.

In this space, we can open our hearts, allowing their energies to radiate outward, to merge and weave together into a brilliant tapestry. We find courage to hear our own voices, speaking, sometimes, what we have never brought ourselves to say. We offer nourishment, and receive sustenance. We recognize our strengths, and grow stronger. We find our clarity, and become clearer. We remember what we know at our core, and grow wiser.

This circle of women offers more gifts than my consciousness can hold. I open myself to receive them, and I offer myself, as well, to transmit them.

Photo credit: Sanja Gjenero at

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Following Suffices

When I feel my Soul calling, I know I am ALIVE!  And this awakens me to joy and radiance.

Often, the call requires me to stretch beyond my comfort zone, to gather courage and strength, to remember my commitment to my Self in order to find the determination to respond.

Often, what I am called to do has direct and visible consequences, not just for me, but for those around me. I have been called to do community work, to hold rituals, to offer Reiki… none of those occur alone, in my room, behind closed doors.

Often, those consequences distract me, they become the reason for what I am doing.

And when they don’t look the way I expected, my confidence fails and I want to retrace my steps.

But that is a mistake.

I can’t find a “logic” to what my deepest Self asks me to do. I don’t really know why something calls to me with a power I cannot deny. I especially don’t know it when I experience the call.

I forget that it is the fact of responding to my Soul’s urgings that is the reason I answer the call: honoring my Self.

Doing so makes me expansive and generous. And I know, for the briefest instant, the white-hot, numbing cold, impossible-to-reconcile, utterly familiar Oneness.

That is reason enough.

Photo Credit: Sanja Gjenero at