Reflections From My True Self

Remembering Who I Really Am


My Inner Saboteur

This is what I do when the saboteur grabs hold of me and I lose myself in self-doubt: I wrap myself in a thick quilt of silence and walk backward as far as I can until I find a big, dark shadow to stand in, a large, tall tree to hide behind, and I sit there, far from anyone, and listen to the volume rising on the voice within me telling me I am not enough.

It would take so little to keep me from going there, so little to mute the voice of my saboteur. All I need is the proof that I have done something meaningful, or have someone look me in the eye and tell me, with clear conviction, that there is no means to measure the enormity of my worth.

But by the time I need it, I don’t allow myself to seek this proof, I am too far gone to look anyone in the eye. Shame keeps my sight locked on the ground.

And then I inhabit the shadow, and waste away my gifts, until a miracle, a sliver of sunlight, hits me and gives me just enough strength to remember I have a tool box. And I reach in with my last ounce of strength and have to pull myself along, out of the darkness, inch by inch, using every last resource, every last tool to save myself from my own self-doubts.

And I know this is exactly what happens for my clients, although they may visualize the process differently: they retreat into themselves, where the voice of self-judgment is loudest, and spiral into depression and paralysis.

But we don’t have to do that! And, just because I have the tools doesn’t mean I should create the conditions in which I need them. I can choose another way. I can recognize the voice of my saboteur, and lower the volume on it immediately! I can take the wisdom from its message, without having to accept the self-hatred and vitriol as well. And I also teach my clients how to do that, because none of us has to live in the shadow.

A thick tree trunk creates a shadow to hide behind

We take to the shadows, with the saboteur at full volume, until sunlight hits.
Photo Credit: Andreas Krappweis



Letter to My Son: When You See Defeat Before You

My Chiqui, you committed to playing in this soccer tournament and realized, in the midst of it, that your patched-together-team was at a decided disadvantage, the rules and conditions were quite simply against you. You, my competitive boy who loves to win, realized you may not only not even have a shot at winning the championship, you could be setting yourself up for loss upon loss. Your disappointment, your anger, and misery were evident.

I held space then for your feelings, and I honor them even now. There are unwritten rules about what you may feel and how you may express it, especially as a boy. You have learned them in spite of my wish to shelter you from them. And yet, you choose to acknowledge those feelings, to allow them to flow, in spite of the disappointment and disdain they can elicit in others. You force me to recognize my own discomfort with them, and with your choice. I honor the integrity in that choice to attend your truth regardless of what the world has to say about it.

When you were gauging how to finish the tournament, knowing winning was not in the cards and was never entirely up to you, seeing your team-mates (some of them friends, most of them strangers) breathing defeat, you questioned whether you would even really try.

I said to you then, and am writing it again now, because it is worth remembering:  Play your best. Not for the championship, not for your team. Play your best for your own sake. Use that same energetic integrity you show in allowing your feelings, when you play. Because playing half-hearted does you damage, it drains your core energy and weakens you. Playing your best didn’t change your team’s standing, but choosing to be full-hearted in anything you do always strengthens your energetic alignment, it always fortifies your core energy.

I said it then, and I write it now because when you do anything full-hearted, when it’s all over, you have that inner power that enables you to find enjoyment, and good lessons, in spite of the score. Especially, it enables you to be strong from the inside, even in defeat.

Photo by Woodsy (Steve Woods) on

Photo by Woodsy (Steve Woods) on

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I Don’t Know How to Look at Suffering

Sometimes I understand that loss and pain are good for me, when they force me to stretch my neck beyond the boulder that hides me and I can see a whole new landscape unfurled beyond, inviting. Sometimes, today, I don’t know how to look at suffering and love what is there. I don’t know how to feel gratitude for the breaking, for the loss.

When I allow myself to intuit the depths of my fear, my impotence, then I understand how easy it is to defer to anger. I feel how much strength it takes for me to open myself, truly, to empathy. The question is: Am I willing to summon it?

I need to go inside to that core place, from which I find my way, where my Truth rests. But, sometimes, today, I find no real comfort there. And yet, I am aware of the Wisdom in openness, in empathy, and vulnerability. I am familiar with the gifts that they can bring.

And… I can perceive my strength, hidden in there, somewhere.  If I stay long enough, I know that I can choose them all, some time, when I find that hidden strength.  Or the will to summon it.

©David Ritter at

©David Ritter at

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A Lump of Clay

In the spirit of Birthing from Within, I once shaped a palm-sized lump of clay in the form of the Venus of Willendorf. As my daughter was forming in my body, I shaped the clay with longing, and made the figurine rounded and generous.

I held it tucked against my palm, my fingers curled around it, sometimes relaxed, sometimes gripping, while I labored with Chiqui to bring her into the world.

It was a time out of time, when the little room I labored in was all the world that existed for me, and our energy ebbed and flowed, opening my body, making way.

It was a sacred time. Of power and strength. Of intense, tight focus, and simultaneous connection to Immensity.  I was fully in my body, and infinitely larger than any body.

I have held this little lump of clay many times since my daughter’s birth, and when I take it into my palm, its curves fit perfectly alongside my fingers, and I feel an instant recognition in my body of the energy of pure power, of animal strength, of standing in alignment at my center. When I hold it, I am grounded to the Earth and anchoring to stars, aware of the energy that is me, and the Oneness of which I am a part. It is but a little lump of clay, stained black and hard, and yet, it reminds me of what is within me that I so easily lose sight of.

A lump of clay in the form of the Venus of Willendorf


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