Bits and Pieces

It’s not that I haven’t been writing! My words are being seen now on Praying True,  the global group on Facebook for blessing our precious planet and its waters that I began with my virtual – but very truebluefeeling – friend from New Zealand, Jane Cunningham.

In addition, I’ve been invited to write for a new online monthly magazine that inspires me. Called “Creative Sacred Living,” it’s been birthed by another online friend from my intuitive painting world. Please consider subscribing because I think it’s, quite frankly, AWE-some. And it even inspires me to paint brand new images JUST to illustrate my writing. I wrote for the first issue last month. My column, ‘In my Shoes’, appears for the first time later this month.

Only two more decks remain in my stash of the Fearless Sisters Oracle Deck – Awakening to your Divine Self. We hope to do a second printing but don’t know how soon, so if you’re thinking about owning a deck for yourself, let me know. The cards inspire, support and transform. Wonderful stories continue to pour in. You can read one of mine here!


And the riches of Spectrum. Oh my goodness. Each month seems more amazingly full of insight and encouragement than the last. Though it’s a ten month course weaving threads of Art, Body and Nature, it could take years to do justice to all the materials offered. And it’s colorful and approachable too. My teaching session,” Asking Fear to be your BFF”, arrives in mid June along with four other topics related to the theme: Activate.  I re-listened to my audio and was quite impressed. Really! I encourage you to subscribe. Even though we began in March, you’ll receive all the prior lessons. I haven’t opened up May, yet, so you’ll be in good company!

Recently, I accepted my own challenge to pray at the edge. I went to the beach and made my first Waterwheel. What a precious process. Thank you Pixie Campbell for designing this mandala form and making the connection between sacred geometry and shifting energy on the planet. Thank you Jane Cunningham for posting this on Praying True and bringing this new artful prayer practice to our awareness.

waterwheel one

I loved doing it. I kept it very simple since it was the first time and at a public beach but the rhythm of making the six petals and the concentric circles felt ever so good. I decided to place the wheel in front of a burned tree – probably a “recycled” Christmas tree – that someone had planted in the sand as a sentinel of sorts. I placed a shell and a piece of green beach glass in a crook of a branch of that tree and drew the mandala at the base. I found myself drawing it counterclockwise and said to myself: Oh yes, the moon and alternate reality are guiding me. When I finished drawing it, I put the drawing stick in the center and placed another piece of green beach glass on the top of it. That repetition felt auspicious somehow – like the concentric circles -ever amplifying/expanding. Then I walked counter clockwise making prayers for water and plants at the point of each petal, scattering herbs from both northern and southern hemispheres gifted to me a few days ago by master drummer healing friend from Cyprus, Heleniq Argyrou.

First Waterwheel (411x640)

Water and plants – at the tip of each petal, I added different embellishments which are already lost to the ethers – all blessings embued with awe and gratitude for this abundant web of water and plants on which we depend. Author Daniel Quinn recently brought this fact to my awareness: all creatures who live by eating do so by the largesse of plants.

Think about that…for me that’s a WOW.

Summer solstice is coming soon. I invite everyone to make a waterwheel wherever you live. I’ll speak to that global invitation in my next post.

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Wonders of Water

March 22nd was a global call to bless our waters. I didn’t have time that day to offer the proper prayer called for but luckily prayer comes in many forms. As I rode the ferry that morning back to the island where I live, I gazed down at the water I traveled upon with wonder. That to me is a form of prayer. How amazing is this element upon which this huge and heavy boat floats. Truly astounding! How can this liquid open up to my diving form and allow me to enter it at the same time this ship rides upon it as if the surface were solid? This substance called water supports an entire world with all its denizens while simultaneously providing food for the masses on land AND dealing with the outpouring of industrial waste. How astonishing is this being? Beyond words…realllllly. And that awe, that reverence, that love I feel are certainly a form of praying…and ignites my desire to protect this precious element.
water mtn
At the time designated for our region to pray for water I was teaching Painting True, an intuitive art class designed to nourish the soul, at the new healing space on Bainbridge Island called the Dayaalu Center.

Intuitive painting is a form of prayer so I’d told the group that water would be our muse that day. I titled the session: The Many Faces of Water, Reflections of the Soul.

birds and eggsWe talked in a sacred circle first and verbally free associated to the significance of water in our lives.

Surprising insights tumbled forth, ie: water takes the shape of its container, spiraling deep

water responds to the conditions around it (temperature, wind, earthquakes, moon, etc),

water is colorless but reflects every color imaginable from both above and below,

water transforms and changes character depending on its relationship to everything else. It can shatter into a million droplets and come back together in a single torrent.
Water is all about connectivity, kinship, magnetism, gravity.


Then suddenly one of our members – who happens to be a retired rocket scientist – said,

“You know, water is the only element in which its solid form is lighter than its liquid form. If ice sank to the bottom rather than floated to the top, our entire planet would be a different place.”

That got us really excited as insights started to flow about the relationship between liquid and solid, spirit and soul, spirit and matter. What if our body, as a solid, rises up out of the spirit, as vapor. What if the soul, as our body, floats up from the depths of the watery womb of spirit. Something about this reflection: the soul is the solid version of the liquid/gaseous spirit – this insight animates my being and feels like deep prayer and all of that is inspired by our conversation about water as replenishing, nourishing, cleansing, responsive, malleable…ahhhhhhhhh water, I am beholden to you for so much more than quenching my thirst.

And to you, dear painters, you quench my thirsty soul! Thank you.


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Spirit in the Pub/ Soul at the Table

My friend, Sondra, asks me to join her and another friend for Happy Hour at a local pub. I have never been much of a pub goer, so the first time she asked, I was kind of relieved not to be able to join them. But the second time, I am free. She’s “near and dear” to me so I think, “What the heck, Deborah, step out of your box.”

I arrive about 15 minutes late but neither of them is there so I exit the noisy, jangly energy of the bar with relief. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

But as luck would have it, Sondra is hanging out in the clothes store nearby and hails me from across the parking lot. We enter the pub, find an empty high square table and a few extra tall chairs so we can sit. Our other friend, even later than we are, arrives, and our conversation heats up, in the sense of deep thoughts being bandied about in between bantering with the waiter and ordering our glasses of inexpensive wine. Then to my delight a third friend shows up, all of us elder types, but vibrant elder types if I do say so myself.

But then, but then, the daughter of a dear friend arrives. Only 22, she amazes me with her perspectives and her enjoyment hanging out with US. What a blessing!

Sondra, with a glint in her eye, starts fishing around in her purse. Triumphantly, she pulls her hand out of the bag clutching the deck of Fearless Sisters Oracle Cards.

“Are you ready to pull one?”

Even though I’m amazed that we’re embarking on a card reading in a nosy public place, I nod my head ,”Yes.” We pass the deck around, shuffling and cutting and generally putting our energy into the pack, each choosing the perfect card! Intention, You Are Enough, Storms, Compassion and Intuition…


At one point, we are so excited by the perfection of the unique wisdom and personally relevant information showing up that the five of us erupt into spontaneous applause. The entire pub quiets for a few seconds as heads turn to see what’s happening. Nothing anyone can see and the hubbub resumes, but I experience the bubble of loving exuberance at our table rippling throughout the room.

After we finish, my friends can’t stop talking about why this deck of cards seems so different from other oracle decks. Here’s my attempt at capturing their enthusiastic comments… so rich that I grab a scrap of paper to take rudimentary notes:

These cards are each gorgeous and perfect because they are unique, clearly expressing the truth of each woman who painted it.

The intention of “creating a soul-filled set of cards and messages to nurture, support, guide and inspire you to reconnect with your fearless soul” clearly guided each artist as she intuitively expressed what she wanted to say and needed to paint.

Being committed to that vision kept all the artists on track and that authentic voice shines through.

The artists’ honesty joins with the readers’ own authenticity, making it easier to embrace the truths we each personally need to recognize.

The cards offer a powerful invitation to get real, to step courageously into life.

The most important thing my friends said, though, is this: Your “work” is not done. The journey of awakening that the Fearless Sisters Oracle Card Deck inspires has only just begun!!!

The Fearless Sisters are considering a second printing but we’re not ready to commit to that quite yet. Happily, my inventory is dwindling so let me know soon if you’d like to purchase a deck.

And I really do hope Sondra invites me to Happy Hour again!



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Grief’s Gift

The tragedy that hit my old home town moves me in subtly deep and surprising ways – Trying to put it into words for you, I describe me as experiencing an openness, a gratitude for being embodied, an acceptance of life’s fragility, brevity and vagaries. I’m softer somehow, more able to encompass the whatevers that occur,  stronger and more stable internally. It’s good.

I feel privileged to live on this planet.

To witness the everyday miracles of raindrop on twig, tracks in the mud, new buds bursting, a crow carrying a twig, a gull carrying a clam, my dogs knowing more about their world through their noses than I can imagine exists, a bolt of sunlight through dark grey clouds, a wisp of breeze rippling the surface of the pond, the look of love in my granddaughter’s eye or the joy of frolicking in her puppy’s face, the color of paint transforming plain brown paper, all of that and endless variations on the theme of relishing experience are the symphony of my life.

Here then is my testimony for Michel, her journey teetering between worlds, courted by both, surrendering to the loving magnificence.


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Suburban Avalanche

When they’re snug inside their home by the hearth, reading or writing maybe, cooking dinner, perhaps creating art, they don’t expect to die by avalanche.  They’ve lived at the base of a mountain for thirty years, weathered all kinds of rain, threat of grass fires, winds, wild critters and snow. But this year, this year a pretty crazy weather pattern hit their valley, my old home town of Missoula, Montana and









By an avalanche

That poured

Down the slope

At 120 mph

And crushed

Her home with her

And her husband inside.

My grief is BIG!

I went to the rainforest to cry with the rain and scatter blessings over the rain spattered pond. Returning home, my breathing was that uncontrollably deep full bodied breathing of grieving, making it hard to concentrate on plowing through taxes. I decided to take my grief to the canvas. Here, unfinished but a healer for me already is Michel’s Angel.

Ms angel (487x640)My shock is even BIGGER.

May we all remember to be humble before Nature, to honor its many powers, which, like a god, can kill us. Flood, drought, tornado, typhoon, hurricane and unexpected avalanches on small mountains with fairly gentle slopes are all gods and we are puny before them. But these gods are not wrathful. There is no evil intent.
I am reminded that my life is in Life’s hands, not my own. My best laid plans do not keep me safe from dying.

May we remember the blessing of each breath each moment each day, walking in gratitude and awe from this moment on for the miracle of being in-body and in relationship to one another, connected to the web spiraling round this planet.

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Fierce Love

With gratitude to my friend Jane for inspiring these thoughts in our conversation today.

By the end of January and the official end of the Painting the Feminine course with Connie Hozvicka, I felt discombobulated.

Confusion over love tossed me inside out and outside in. What is love? Does it have to be sweet? Am I too sweet? Do I need to be angrier in order to get my perspective heard? What is the feminine way? Is the tiger mother polite when someone threatens her cub? Is it always right to turn the other cheek? What does resistance look like, when it is fueled by passionate love for protecting the rights of all life, including that of my self and my family and the earth on which we all depend.

divine mother (427x640)

Sometimes I just want to hiss and snarl over the stupidity that so many intelligent humans wear like a mask.

How can anyone not appreciate our dependence on this planet? Without this we have nothing, no cell phones, Ipads, GPS’s, food, clothing, finger nail polish, treadmills at the gym…nothing.

All the wealth in all the world cannot buy food that nourishes us if our dirt is toxic.

All the wealth in all the world cannot purchase water that quenches our thirst if the rivers, rains, springs and oceans are toxic.

All the wealth in all the world cannot guarantee fresh air to breath if essential oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide are not in right relationship. Remember this planet’s atmosphere did not always support the life forms we know now.

All the wealth in all the world protects no one!

We are in this  planetary cocoon together and we’re experiencing caterpillar soup. Together we humans have the potential to metamorphose into a beautiful, wise wholeness we’ve never known before.

But that’s going to take fierce love and a devotion to faith.

holding space moonLove is not just light, airy and scented with the flower in the muzzle of a gun. Love is also deep and dark and enlivened by the risk of moving through the birth canal – teetering on the edge between death and life. Love is gravity and obsession, gentle and kind, a courageous willingness to be present: to witness the wounding, to tend to the fear, to cradle the horror. Love creating creates the space, the energy to transform the grit of thinking I’m helpless to the radiance of seeing the possible.

Let’s love!

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The Heart of Art

As one painting journey ends, another  begins.

I am struck with the gift of all the online opportunities to pray for this earth of ours through the blessings of art.

I spent the month of January totally immersed in Painting the Feminine with Connie Hozvicka. I will post more about that in the near future because depths of wisdom and confusion were revealed and it’s worth sorting out in this written form.

But today, I want to babble over the joy of applying both acrylic and oil pastel to simple pages in a journal. I’ve decided to leap into another offering of Connie’s. This one Prayer with a Paintbrush. Since I’d already committed to painting once a month inspired by my prayers for the health of wild salmon, this challenge fits right in. The remaining 11 months of this year will be inspired by Connie’s mid month theme and musings sent to our email boxes on the 14th of each month. I invite you to join me in this journey because it promises to be a blessing on many levels.

February’s theme not surprisingly is love – Healing Heart –

My morning walk had me ooooohing and ahhhhhhing over the radiant beauty of chartreuse mossy tree trunks being backlit by the rising sun- before the next deluge began an hour later – which made the beauty even more fabulous. Our local rain forest patch is truly a rainforest right now – mud and puddles all over the trail, small creeks overflowing and rushing to their culverts, the pond almost rising back up to its fullness, buds on branches swollen with new life and mini-ponds popping up all over the forest floor where they haven’t been seen at all for the 18 months I’ve lived here. The ducks are happily splashing!

I thought I’d start painting my love for the glorious green wonders of burgeoning forest life. In acrylic paint, here’s what I began. first treeI knew this intuitive painting process would change things quickly, but I hadn’t a clue how monumental the change would be.  I decided to snap a quick picture at this stage in the painting process. I turned the journal on its side to catch the light better. As I peered through the camera’s viewfinder, I suddenly realized a face was staring back at me. Oh my god there’s a face right smack dab in the middle of the tree trunk.

face shws up

That’s me…the wild forest woman…that’s the me I love, the me that wants to find her way into greater visibility, the me that calls for ever more courage to speak, to stand for what I know is important.

So I turned the journal on its side and worked on the face.


Tiring of paint, I knew it was time for oil pastel. Here’s what emerged.

hearthealing feb14

I never tire of the surprises of painting and give thanks for this wild woman who arrived with no invitation. She inspires me to be even more true to my heart’s passionate purpose.

Thank YOU!

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