Hope does not come from being in the light.
Hope comes from being in the dark.

These are dark days – even the season is pushing us to go into the dark and reflect and find hope for the Spring.

It would be easy to turn away from the darkness – to turn on the light.
Sometimes staying with and holding onto the darkness is what we need to find the light.

I think back to when my Mother died and how dark that time was for me.
I turned away from grief then.
I was young, I did not yet have the skills to cope or understand that I needed to grieve and to wallow until I was ready to inch forward.
Instead I moved full-steam ahead, grasping at any light that would get me through.
It only brought me more darkness and with that came emptiness.

If we always look for light out there, we are starting in the wrong place.
The light is not out there, it’s in all of us and sometimes we have to have to go into the dark and be gentle on ourselves and grieve for the light we’ve lost.

It may take a long time, it may take 4 years, but what is four years in a lifetime? A long time to grieve, yes, but life is long.

I want to be angry, but right now, there is nothing but sadness.
I want to grieve and allow the time for uncontrollable sobbing.
I want to take a long look at myself and try to understand my own fear, hate, and bigotry – because this darkness is somehow a reflection of all of us. I want to stay with this darkness.

Darkness gives us the chance to find meaning. It gives us the ability to make change. It gives us the ability to make real change. Not ones that we’ve known before, not what we think change looks like, but what it really is and sometimes that is the scariest place – not knowing.

While this might sound a lot like hope, there’s much work to be done to get to hope

David Whyte says it this way in his poem Sweet Darkness:

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your home tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

Now is not the time for hope. It is time to go into the sweet darkness. Hope will come, it always does. And you know what hope does?
Hope gives us the ability to see that there is light, our challenge is to find it.

Our challenge is to help those that don’t have the skills to grieve, help those who have only known darkness, help each other find our way through this darkness.

This is our wake up call – are we willing?

The only way out of this darkness is through.



IMG_0474I began to write about authenticity and how we sometimes live split lives because of our political values or our inability to be genuine with people because our beliefs don’t match theirs. Or we can’t be honest with ourselves and admit who we really are and live a split life out of fear.

This all began because of something I read on Facebook.

I like Facebook in general because it helps me keep up with people, but many times I see people use Facebook to – as my Mother used to say “air their dirty laundry” and in general say things to other people they would never say to their face. Which is a strange techno-behavior that we’ve all been seeing trend upward since Al Gore invented the internet.

And that was where I started to think about authenticity.  What came next though was what happens some days – I got a status update from David Whyte – which always brings a sense of future and freshness to my Facebook experience. Instead of people complaining about people on food stamps, I get a taste of future and freshness.

The Opening of Eyes

That day I saw beneath dark clouds,
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before,
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.

It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing,
speaking out loud in the clear air.

It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.

From River Flow: New and Selected Poems. ©David Whyte

So I read this and thought to myself – that’s it – again authenticity. But it changed my view on writing about someone else and I returned to writing from my own experience.

For me, right now, I’m happier than I’ve ever been in life, that’s a scary thought. What if I’m never this happy again?! So, I feel myself clinging to these moments as if they could end tomorrow and what I know from being unhappy for a very long time, I did the same thing. During the unhappy moments – while I longed for better times, I clung to the bitterness, and the hurt, and the past, because it was what I knew. And I knew when it changed – things would be different and change is a terrible and awesome thing, but we don’t like it, because we don’t know what’s on the other side of where we are.

So what’s the point ?

I’ve seen happiness is a state of mind, it’s not money, it’s not politics, it’s not anything other than being open – as David Whyte says – it’s speaking out loud in the clear air – the secret conversations of your own heart.  That’s pretty deep.

When you can finally admit to yourself and to everyone around you what your own secret longing is, no matter how foolish it might sound, that’s when you can be authentic, true, real, genuine.

today is the future

7664654346_335f7e8e19_bAt one of the last places I worked, the creative founder, many times used Ezra Pound’s line – Make it New. One year it was turned around into Make it New. Make it Now.

For me, that changed to The Future is Now.

The Future is Now reminds me of – The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. The power and things falling apart are both about living now and feeling now rather than thinking about the future. This doesn’t mean the thought of the future should not be bright, but the brightest point in our future might just be now. In most moments there is an energy, a spark, a something that says – everything is okay – everything if felt right now is good. Even if it’s terrible.

I remember being in the middle of a panic attack – and I find those two words strung together so interesting – PANIC ATTACK. The panic is coming after me, but in truth, I’m creating it. So what would that look like in words? MY PANIC? I’m slowly killing my own self through worry?

Anxiety was attacking me and I thought about the Power of Now and to Pema Chodron. In this moment – I am – I thought to myself, I am what? I am terrified and I cannot control what is going on. That’s one thing, but what else? In this moment, I am still alive. There, that is better. It’s all I could cling to – the moment of being alive – standing at the edge of a cliff with a wall of anxiety behind me, in front of me, beside me and below me, but still ALIVE. HERE. NOW. Not being able to calm that shit down is the worst.  Learning how to reframe it is a gift.

I love Pema Chodron because this is how she reframes it: “Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look.”

I’m no professional when it comes to curing anxiety, but I am an expert at having anxiety and now – at taking care of myself through it. I’ve learned that much of MY anxiety and anxiety in general came from not living in this moment, but thinking the future would be better, instead of focusing on making now good – I’d focus on the tomorrow, the what if or the past. Those things were killing me.

I needed a set of tools to help with anxiety to look at my shitty-feeling self through a new lens. Tools that could change my mind, change my outlook, change my life. All very scary, because when I started to find those tools, to learn how to deal with anxiety – I also learned I had to deal with all the issues in my life that were helping create anxiety. Miserable job, bad relationships, bad ideas, drama, my attitude and my behavior. I realized that living a life that is not about living now – was not about living at all, but existing. I want to do more than exist. Taking good care of myself first, rather than taking care of my job, the people around me or anyone else was the key to actually being able to have a future.

Here is a list of few tools that I learned help me: (the audio versions helped me tremendously)

First find a therapist, an adviser, a friend, someone who knows about the kinds of things you are going through. It’s not always easy to find the right one, but it’s worth it.

David Whyte: Midlife and the Great Unknown 

Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now

Pemo Chodron: When Things Fall Apart

The West Wing – I’ve no idea why this made the list, other than I watched it obsessively for two or three years.

Journal Writing and the Wish Jar – I’d write in my journal and anytime I came to a point where I was writing about something I wanted to happen in the future, I’d write it on a small slip of paper and put it in a jar, then I didn’t need to dwell on it. It was safe for the future. (I might have stolen this from the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – yet another tool – or I might have made it up, I can’t remember)

When I say journal writing, I think – ick – I hate the sound of it and the thought of it, but I sit down and do it anyway.

The future is not next week, next month, next year – it is NOW. Changes may take you well into the future, but there is no place to start but NOW. There is something in every moment, even if it’s just asking the question, what am I right now, what can I learn right now?

The future is NOW. And Now.

What are your tools? Post them here, I’m always looking for new tools.


4899620047_afe282f3d6_bFor one week I’ve worked for myself – can i really do this? – jitters, my dog nearly died, the computer nearly died and it’s Mercury Retrograde.

With all of that going on I’m happy and sad. Revolution is not easy. Which made me think of David Whyte’s poem – Revelation must be terrible

And the last line of the poem pays it off:

revelation must be terrible
knowing you can
never hide your voice again.

GULP. It’s true – arriving where you are supposed to be and where you long to be is never what you expect. Although I wasn’t truly setting myself up with an expectation of how this all would happen, I trusted that it would. I would like to feel more settled, but I don’t, so I’m just going to go with it.

I’m reading True Refuge by Tara Brach, it’s definitely a woo-woo kind of book that 10 years ago I would have read in secret and never mentioned out loud, but I get it now, it’s good to find something that helps even if it sounds stupid to someone else.  Maybe that’s what being over 40 taught me – I don’t worry what other people think about these things. Anyway, Tara Brach reminds me to stay in the present.  She also recommends meditation, which I read, but don’t really practice, so that’s pretty half-ass, but it’s a start.

Tara Brach, David Whyte, the love for my dog, understanding that Mercury retrograde will always be a challenging time – it’s what keeps me in the present and out of worrying.

What tools do you have that keep you in the present moment?

No PLAN but a Path

If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path. ~ Joseph Campbell

I’ve talked about enVISIONing the future, not planning and following the energy. There is one more thing that can set you up for disappointment.  The outcome – The how you get where you are going – The way things come together.

If you are tied to how you get THERE, I can almost guarantee you’ll be disappointed.  The path almost never looks the way we imagined.

I’ll quote myself here too – I can’t ask the universe to deliver what deep down I want for my future and at the same time say, I didn’t expect it to look like this!

No back pedaling – keep going – the path is almost always unclear – everyone else may be saying – that’s not for you, don’t go that way!  And all you’ve got to do is trust that you know the way, you know the path, go with it, don’t fight it.

I don’t know what’s on the other side – I’m not sure what comes next – what I know is I’m right where I need to be right now and so are you.  David Whyte says ~ Everything is waiting for you.

And it is – Are you ready?



I’ve been networking the past few weeks.  Usually the first question from the other person is – what’s your plan? what’s next?
I pause – how do I go about saying – I’m planning not to plan.

We’re supposed to have a plan right? The world wants a plan. The world wants to know when you are getting up, and out, and after it.  The world
wants to know you are safe from being out on the streets and then the world wants to walk away and think…she’s going to be fine. I don’t need to worry about her. DONE

What the world doesn’t realize is that things are changing and not everyone needs to be all getting out there and getting after it all the time.  Finding meaning and our own individual path is becoming collectively important.

With that in mind, my plan is not to plan, but to follow my intuition with an open heart and mind.  To be open to possibility and to what’s next. Grasping, planning, searching all feel wrong right now.  The wrong direction.

Poet David Whyte says, of the time he told everyone he was moving toward becoming a full-time poet – I had an intuition that when you really annunciate what you want in the world you will always be greeted, in the first place, with some species of silence. If the goal is intensely personal, as it should be, others naturally should not be able to understand it the first time it finds its own voice.  It means in a way, in a very difficult way, that you are on to something. 

David Whyte, is in fact, now, a full-time poet and speaker.

Right now – WRITING – is all that feels right to me.  So I’m writing in my own authentic voice. I’m on to something.

Whenever I am in a place like this – the path is not yet laid.  I’ve been here before and tried to plan my escape – afterward it never looked anything like the plan I started with.

I do not know which way to go, because I haven’t done it before.

I can look at what others have done, but that was their path. I can and will take what resonates with me from their experiences. For anyone else it will be different.

I’m willing to let intuition lead on all fronts.

And in the process of not planning while writing this morning I was thinking – I have four or five sessions I could post, which one do I choose? This quote from Joe Campbell came up on my Facebook feed – Joe wins, always.

‎”Where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s footsteps. Each of us has to find his own way, and this is what gives our Occidental world its initiative and creative quality. Nobody can give you a mythology. The images that mean something to you, you’ll find in your dreams, in your visions, in your actions – and you’ll find out what they are after you’ve passed them.” Joseph Campbell

Be true to yourself – listen to your intuition – it is speaking to you.

What’s your plan to not plan? What’s your intuition telling you?


Getting ready to get into formation

I know writing is what I’m called to do. I’m good at other things, but nothing feels more RIGHT than to WRITE. I love that those two words are pronounced in the same way. Write. Right?  Writing is what rights me.

Sometimes I sit down with the pen in my hand and begin – it might be a list of things, a love letter, a story, a poem. It doesn’t matter what I write, what matters is I end feeling more RIGHT. The invisible is visible, right on the page.

The first line of the Odyssey by Homer is – Sing in me muse and through me tell the story.  For me, this is a call to action – the GO BIG or GO HOME message from the 8th century, giving me permission to write – asking for invisible help to guide me through.  The line by Homer is inscribed on a ring I wear on my pinky finger. It grounds me into writing, it’s right.

I have always wanted to be a writer.

I’m only now willing and able to say I AM a writer AND I’m going to incorporate writing into making a living – somehow – because I must. I know it’s what’s right. Somewhere deep.  It’s what I need.  I don’t exactly know what that looks like yet, but I’m going to keep showing up for it and trust that it will come. When I say something like this, I understand I have to be okay with the outcome – What if this means I end up writing legal copy for packaging? – well that’s not what I really want to do – but if that’s what happens, I’ll trust it’s all part of getting there.

I have this fear that wells up when I say I’m a writer.  I think of my father, who used to write poetry and send it off to Reader’s Digest and nothing would happen.  He too wanted to be a writer in his mid-70s.  Did he start too late? What if I’m like him? What if I can’t make this dream happen? Gulp, I would rather have tried and evolved, than not tried at all. I won’t wait until I’m 70.

I’ve spent the last eight years writing in my spare time, EIGHT! – mostly in the dark shadows, with some thoughts and intentions of bringing it alive, but no real push to actually DO IT.

I know that eight years ago I could not have left a job and started writing, not even two weeks ago was I willing to do it, but getting fired well – it’s forced me to rethink things.

I am ready to do it NOW, because I never stopped writing. I never gave up on it. I kept it in mind, always.  Now, I see that all that writing in the dark shadows, was so that I could write in the light, in the daytime.  I was righting things all along.

What are you called to do?  What are you not giving up on? What rights you?

Next month I’ll share an excerpt from my upcoming memoir. Terrifying writing that here, but it’s what I’m going to do. Fear be damned!

Credit to the words invisible help to poet David Whyte.