Becoming Whole – Part 6: What is our True Nature?

On March 4th, 2023, a small group gathered at the base of a former blackberry slope to learn about plans for watershed restoration.  As we disbanded, an old friend joined me on the trail. Talk of salmon surfaced – how almost none return to our streams. (I’ve been a volunteer monitor for the last 12 years, and I know how their numbers have declined.) As we strolled toward her farm, her eyes filled with tears as she remembered a one-man performance called SalmonPeople. Experienced nearly 15 years ago, Peter Donaldson’s truthtelling story still moved her. Over all these years since, she’s searched for a video of that sacred theatrical experience, but all she could find was a 7-minute collection of highlights. She sent the link to me the next day. I watched: I cried.

Said sarcastically, sardonically, his repeated refrain sticks with me:
Everyone knows how the real world works!
The audience laughs uproariously as the enormity of the lie hits home.*

In the real world of today’s marketplace, we think we humans are in charge. Inflated like balloons, our egos are “gonna” collapse when the truth finally pierces our skins.

When Copernicus discovered that our Earth home is not the center of the universe, culture trembled. With a seismic shift, a new story arose which suggested that humans must not only separate from all other life forms, but we have a right to consider ourselves superior, too. We are the only animals who can think. If we think hard enough, we can create an immaculate, inviolate, perfect world, no longer vulnerable to outside influences.

 Many cultures refused to buy into this new “truth.” It didn’t fit their experience. So to preserve the new found “security,” the dominant culture tried to snuff out those voices. Europeans turned against Europeans. White people snuffed out white people, men snuffed out women, children were taken from parents, people were forbidden to hold ceremony, to make prayers in their stone circles, to honor the wells and the medicine trees, to talk the old languages. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Eventually, Empire-hungry Europeans began wiping out all the other colorful cultures who refused to believe in a new human story of separation and superiority.

For me, the word “pitiful” surfaces here. I lived in Montana for thirty years and was graced in the early 1980’s by meeting local members of various tribes nearby. Attending talking-circles and participating in sweat lodges, I heard tribal elders refer to us humans as “pitiful.” I’m sure my mouth hung open with horror. (I gave up on the sin and redemption form of Christianity when I was 16.)

I eventually came to recognize that their use of the word, “pitiful,” had a different meaning. At some deep level I must have always resonated with that descriptor, because long after I had given up playing with dolls, I asked for a Poor Pitiful Pearl doll to take to college. Do any of you remember her?

My Mom knit her a sweater to match my college colors. She embroidered a college logo on the front. I pinned my pledge pin on her after my sorority initiation. Poor Pitiful Pearl sat on my bed, maybe sometimes on my lap when I was despairing, until I graduated. Now she lives in a box in the storage shed.

As I write about Pearl now, I think an unconscious part of me resonated with the truth of our human “pitifulness.” But it took 25 more years for me to understand that truth consciously. And it was Beaver who ripped me open to deeper understanding!
Thank you, thank you, brothersister.

I’ll tell you that story next time.

*(Peter Donaldson’s current work can be found at this link,
 though I haven’t yet found a reference on that website to SalmonPeople. )  

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Becoming Whole – Part 5

3/20/23 – Equinox NH Spring/SH Autumn.  Both hemispheres experience the same balance of light and dark. What a precious moment…a globe unified by cycles of seasons.

Insecurity destroys relationships.
For approximately the last 2000 years, our dominant, Eurocentric, Northern Hemisphere culture has been driven by insecurity.
Insecurity by any other name is Separation.

We humans have been splitting ourselves into many pieces since before this common era (CE) began. We have separated ourselves from all other life and called ourselves superior. We have even ravaged other humans who refused to buy into the story of separation.

A major severance arrived in history’s nearby memory with St. Augustine in the 4th century AD (CE). He broke with Christ’s original message of divinity belonging to us all, of loving and including all creation in the miracle of life.  I haven’t studied Augustine’s life well enough to understand his motivation but it made great sense to the people of that time and continues to dominate humanity now, though we are beginning to wake up to his story’s failings. Augustine proposed that our bodies were dirty and holiness demanded purity and perfection. He, and others, split spirit from matter, sent heaven up and hell down, made man more important than woman, light better than dark, etc. He promoted the sin and redemption form of Christianity, which is not how Christianity began but which mainstream Christians chose to forget. ( See Appendix B in Matthew Fox’s Original Blessing.)

A thousand years later or so, Copernicus upset European culture by discovering and declaring that Earth was NOT the center of all things. This “un-centering of Earth (left) Europe’s educated citizenry in a precarious state of distrust,” according to Martin Lee Mueller on page 164 of his illuminating book: Being Salmon Being Human – Encountering the Wild in Us and Us in the Wild.  Along comes Descartes in the 1600’s with a “desirable counternarrative…Every new achievement of the rational intellect would bring Europeans a little closer to…’restored perfection’…the rational intellect…would create an immaculate world…no longer vulnerable to outside forces.”

As young children, we revel in being alive. We express our feelings as we feel them. We savor everything we can see, hear, smell, touch and taste. Our imaginations take us where our parents can no longer follow.

And we are punished for it…curbed, constrained, restrained, doubted, and diminished. Our splitting has almost completely severed us from all to which we should belong –
our bodies, our souls, our spirits, our creativity, our air and water and soil and sun, our plants, our animal kin, including each other, our imagination, our reason, our feelings, our night AND daytime dreams, our ability to commune with the unseen and the inaudible. We have narrowed the range of senses we experience to a mere five or maybe six if we include the amorphous sense of intuition. Our ancestors may have had a hundred…( See anything written by Laurens Van der Post.)

So I ask you: can you imagine who you will be when the infection of separation has run its course and you are whole?

May the virus of insecurity that plagues humanity today find the good medicine of love, kinship, and whole brain/mindbody embodiment!

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Becoming Whole – #4

In our Western, Euro-centric, North American, dominant, competitive, capitalistic culture, feelings have been categorized as weak, contemptable, irrational, uncivilized, etc. The feeling we call love has been relegated to a commercial holiday once a year.

We’ve been taught, in one way or another, not to trust our bodies – our senses, our intuition, our feelings, our innate knowing of truth – since 400 ad when Augustine neatly separated Earth from Heaven and human from divine.  Descartes took it a step further in the 1600’s when he declared: I think, therefore I am. But where is our thinking housed if not in this living, breathing, feeling, sensing body? And how does thought have meaning without expression. And what allows expression but lungs and vocal cords, tongue and teeth to breathe that sentence out of the mouth/or hands and fingers holding a marker and the phenomenal nervous system that allows muscle and sinew and bone and vessel to move that marker on a surface to record marks to make that thought readable and available to us today.

And how do we interpret marks without this entire sentient body in which our consciousness lives?

Without our feelings we cannot be fully alive; we cannot fully engage with the miracle of living in an animal body. We call ourselves numb, when we can’t feel in response to experience. Numb suggests rigidity, tiredness, heaviness, dullness, unmoved and unmoveable. Flat affect is what many call depression. And surprise, surprise, depression is a consequence of literally keeping a lid on our feelings. Depressing our feelings, our inner responses to lived experience, takes a great deal of energy and literally robs us of our capacities to flourish, rebound, rekindle optimism, etc. That’s depressing!

Seriously, how can we be fully alive without this whole body that feels feelings?

Though love has been diminished, unwarranted fear has been magnified way out of proportion to its legitimate role as a preserver of lives! None of us humans would be here now if our ancestors hadn’t been alerted to impending life threatening danger so they could live long enough to procreate. But our consumer driven culture has used fear as an anxiety producer, and anxiety is a consequence, similar to depression, not the fear feeling itself. Buying more than we can possibly use, hoarding more money than one lifetime needs, building bigger and better, seeking the latest techno fix, waging war on someone else to protect us from terrorism, all of that acquisitive competition provides no security and denies life its vitality. As a culture, anxiety rules many, if not most, lives, and the young are particularly vulnerable.

I am riveted by the larger significance of love as a feeling force. Could love be an antidote for irrational fears that are used to manipulate our behavior? Of course. Just read Valarie Kaur’s book: See No Stranger- A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love for inspiration. Another source of revolutionary love thinking arose from the painting that layered itself onto my canvas for many days. I finished it last Monday, March 6th. On Wednesday, March 8th, the synchronistic threads of painting, sleeping, reading, and timing birthed a prose/poem, that I was still refining earlier today. But here are both: image first, words below it. I would enjoy hearing how they land in you.

Together We Sanctify Love
Deborah J Milton

What is this love?
Like gravity, love attracts us to “the larger body within whom we live,”*
compels us to do whatever it takes to strengthen
that vital relationship, to nurture belonging.
Like breathing, love animates
awareness, aliveness, and presence.
Like grieving, love opens our hearts to continual emergence.
Like wisdom, love humbles us
before this miracle of Earth’s inclusive abundance
invites us to restrain our urge to exploit.
Like energy, love allows us to
hear the inaudible, to see the invisible,
to heed life’s intelligence, within and without.
Like faith, love enlarges our capacity to live without irrational fears,
 to trust Great Mystery,
to protect Creation’s complexity, wholeness and beauty
because we, too, embody that holiness.
When love shows up, everything changes.
Let’s celebrate!

*p 206: Being Salmon, Being Human by Martin Lee Mueller

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Becoming Whole – Part 3

Despite exploring expanded states of consciousness for 30 years, despite 40 years of spiritual practice and wilderness adventures, despite exploring my imagination and artistry for most of my lifetime – I am now in my 9th decade – new perspectives arrived only last week. As my colleague and I prepared for our next session of “What’s Love Got to Do with IT?”, we stumbled upon a series of video excerpts from Duane Elgin’s longer presentations. All of them bend my mind in new directions, but one in particular, only 2.28 minutes long, took me to brand new territory. His message is totally familiar since I had a vision in 1983 that gave me an experience of what he describes. That visionary experience transformed me and has guided my life ever since. But Elgin’s articulation now gave new flesh to my old bones’ truth.

Elgin begins by asking us to pay attention to current scientific discoveries about the universe: 96% is dark matter, dark energy. He immediately says – and of course I paraphrase – No no no. don’t worry. Dark doesn’t mean bad, evil…that’s just our culture talking. Dark simply means invisible!

Then he asks: Doesn’t it seem reasonable, since we’re made of the same ingredients as the universe, that we’re 96% invisible too? This suggests that when our body dies, 96% of us may continue…

He goes further: This invisible energy and infinitesimal matter inside our bodies provide feelings, intuition, responsiveness and keep our body well-functioning. According to worldwide spiritual traditions, this invisible universe within harbors soul.

And what is soul? According to these same traditions, our soul resonates with four spiritual qualities: light, love, music and knowing. And those qualities bring us right back to science. Light, love, music and knowing all relate to vibration, to resonance and that is what string theory espouses too. The universe is one great orchestration of music. Soul is music and each of us has a unique soul song, like our fingerprint on the outside, our soul song sings us on the inside…and outside, too, if we are willing to give it voice.

How does this perspective animate and enlarge your imaginative capacities?
AND isn’t it soothing to hear that spirit and science sing together in these current times? No more disharmony…
Imagine how this perspective may enlarge your own sense of wholeness after centuries of separation.

Here is the link to this particular Duane Elgin video: Are we mostly invisible? Elgin has written a number of books including Voluntary Simplicity, the Living Universe, and Choosing Earth.

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Becoming Whole – Part 2.

Part 1 concluded with this question:
Who will we be as a species if we give ourselves enough time on Earth to become truly whole?  

I am enthralled by imagining who humans could be. I see us standing at the trailhead of a momentous adventure, not yet fully appreciating the miracle unfolding before us. Evolution doesn’t stop. We are a young species. Imagine our earliest days 150,000 years ago. Our sense of self must have blended into the environment around us. We probably responded to experience, to needs like hunger, warmth, coolth, dryness, thirst, without much logical thinking. We did what we had to do and responded in concert with all other life around us. We lived as “right-brainers”. But then our species began longing for something more. Was it possible to develop further? Of course. For 10,000 years or so ( I consider this the modern era ) our species began waking up to our ability to think. We expanded our intellectual capacity and the left hemisphere of our brains. To do that we had to depress all our other ways of being in order for our new cognitive skills to be articulated, honed and habituated.

How else could we learn to be headcentered rather than bodywise?
And we slowly became conscious of choice!

Imagine NOW. We humans are beginning to realize we have separated our heads from our bodies for long enough. We’re missing something. We have denied the value of half of our brain! We have diminished our aliveness by dishonoring our feelings, ignoring our gut knowledge, dismissing our intuition, and destroying our reverence. We have alienated ourselves from the ground of our being at the same time we have forced ourselves to believe that the only reality that’s real is the one we can shatter, the one we can count. We have denied the reality of energy, the invisible, the inaudible when all of that is actually around us all the time. Think about something as basic as gravity. We can’t see it or smell it or touch it, yet it governs everything we do.

We have forgotten ALL that we used to know.

Imagine the potential of a whole brain. Imagine our two brain hemispheres dancing the tango – their partnership allowing expansion never before possible. Imagine that same fullsome brain dancing gladly with the bodymind, Then, we will have access to our entirety, heart wisdom included, to choose how we want to live.

Oh my, who will we be then?

Imagine, that our sensory capacities are remembered – not just 5 or 6 that we identify now, but maybe 106… That our intuition knows no limits. Imagine that by being embodied, we can actually expand our consciousness further. I think of my body as a semi-permeable membrane, that allows me to travel in non-ordinary worlds at the same time I am happily tethered to this ordinary world of matter. Imagine that, even without virtual reality technology, we can literally experience being another: a jaguar, a seed, a dying star, an estuary, a salmon…Imagine that, even without the use of psychedelic drugs, we can commune with the spirit world, tune into the intelligence of life itself. A few original people still know how to journey far beyond mapped territory. Medicine people still know how to commune with the spirit world and bring wisdom back to the community. All of us have these capacities within us, waiting like a hibernating bear to be invited out into the warm light of Spring.

Imagine who we can CHOOSE to be!

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Becoming Whole – Part 1

In October 2022, my 2 colleagues and I began a series called: What’s Love Got to Do with It – Bringing our Hearts to Global Earth Repair. We offered two sessions as a local contribution to the Global Earth Repair Summit October 21st to 24th. ( here’s a link to find out more about the Summit and the work of its founder, Michael Pilarski: Our contribution focused on localism and love, watching two films: Planet Local ( and Wisdom Weavers (

Two of us have continued the series. In November we were inspired by Michael Pilarski who came to give us an overview of what happened at the summit. A prime take-away from the summit and his own research is the urgency of caring for fresh water. We need to honor it by not polluting it, by slowing it down, spreading it out, and letting it sink in.

Remember, we can only live a few days without drinking water! And all our food depends on fresh water!!

On January 26th we met again. One of our invitations included these words: Evidence of the failure to love is everywhere around us… love what we have been given and urge others to do the same. Barry Lopez in Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World.

Join Kathryn Lafond and Deborah Milton to continue exploring the topic:
“What’s Love Got to Do with IT?
IT refers to the fragile and sacred nature of life on earth.
IT refers to the trauma of being a modern human.
IT refers to transforming our culture as we expand our own consciousness and heal our wholeness…

A friend immediately responds with two questions. At first I don’t take them seriously. But then I ask why she asked. She replies: I asked because I wanted to understand your meaning.

Duh#@&*=! Was I not clear? I pride myself on writing well. What’s not to understand, but then I begin really thinking about her first question: “a modern human”…like “humans of today” as opposed to “humans of the past?” Now I get it. What DOES being a MODERN human mean? I realize, to my horror really, that I am so embedded in my own understanding of being a modern human that I forget my point of view is only one among millions, and probably not one of the majority. My definition is this: Humans in rudimentary form arrived on Earth perhaps as long ago as 2,ooo,ooo,ooo years. So a modern human is anyone born from about 10,000 years ago until the present. When I use the word modern, it includes a lot of our ancestors!

For all those years before 10,000 bce, we had no choice but to be inextricable from our surroundings. We had no choice but to live communally, collaboratively, and in response to the world around us. We belonged in every way to life. But life evolves and so do species, including humans. We began to yearn for something different. We began developing other skills and gifts and intelligence. We began separating ourselves from our essential nature. We separated ourselves from not only our habitat but each other. We developed choice and as we separated we became competitive, tyrannical, hierarchical, etc. We became driven by greed and fear. Concomitantly, we developed new capacities to think. We became rational, logical, analytical and drew straight lines between dark and light, good and bad. We even trained ourselves to distrust our own bodies. We left our dreamtime, our cyclical roots and could no longer hear the intelligence of the universe.

 ( *If you want to learn more about this, watch a 6 minute film: Breaking the Cycle –…Compelling chart at about 5.15 minutes)

I appreciate these developments as necessary for our species to mature. Like a toddler learning to individuate from his/her parents, to grow up as a species we had to diminish our bodymind capacities in order to develop other parts of our brain. I do not judge this, but accept that this is cosmic design at work. The problem is that we have wandered so far into the linear, mechanistic, separate direction that we’ve wreaked havoc on Earth’s biosphere, threatening life’s ability to thrive.

The planet will eventually recover but we humans may not. And this may be evolution’s design, too. Obviously we will not be the first species to go extinct, but we may be the youngest!

At first, my friend’s second question is harder for me to appreciate. Question #2: heal our wholeness – Does this mean healing ourselves back to wholeness?

But then the lightning bolt: There is no “healing ourselves BACK to wholeness.”

We have NEVER been whole!

This is new, uncharted, unmapped territory, with no trail guides!
For approximately two million years we were living in a gestalt with each other and our world. We couldn’t separate ourselves. NOW we have separated ourselves so far from the nature of life and our essential human desire to be connected, to be in relationship, to commune with something greater than ourselves, that we imagine becoming cyborgs living with virtual everything including food. EEEEEEGAD.

Who will we be as a species if we give ourselves enough time with Earth to become truly whole?

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Celebrate Life

Every day should be Earth Day!  Without Earth, …well I can’t even imagine that void…can you?

Life is precious. Life is a miracle. Life is the best!
Because we’re sharing it, experiencing it, belonging to it –
the lows and the highs, the fears and the faith, the love and the laughter, the light and the shadow.

We make meaning of our experiences by telling our stories. We’re at a tipping point right now when we need to choose consciously the stories we want to tell our great grandchildren.

A story I want to remember is how in the first quarter of the 21st Century, we urbanized humans suddenly woke up from a long slumber. . Not because of a kiss from a prince but because the wind whispered like an alarm:
Come Celebrate! Join the party of life before you miss it.

I’ve recently committed my time and energy to an organization envisioned in 2016 by Stephanie Mines, a specialist in trauma recovery. It’s called Climate Change and Consciousness. At the celebration of their anniversary on Earth Day last week, I was privileged to be one of three keynote speakers. I joined dedicated activists and founders of their own programs, Rosalinda Visolela Namises from Namibia and Sue Lenox from Australia. The event was titled: Crisis and Courage and I chose to focus my talk on Fear and Doubt because crisis and courage depend on those two companions. Here’s a link to the whole event. If you want to watch my talk, which includes photographs of me as a younger Self as well as a liberal scattering of paintings, scroll to minute 17 or so.

As we face continued catastrophes on our tiny globe, we know we need to change our old stories. And that means
honoring our doubts and choosing to move toward the unknown future despite our fears in the moment.
Happily I can report that befriending fear and embracing doubt weave their way throughout our blessing classes.
Kathryn Lafond and I invite you to join us as we embark on another round of the
Forgotten Power of Blessing beginning next week, May 4th
As you know from your own experience, our culture needs therapy. We’ve lost our moral compass.
On the personal level, we’ve lost our own personal authority, our inner crap detector, our sense of belonging, our awe and wonder for life – all these precious aspects of being have been tarnished so badly we may feel helpless, lost in the thicket.
The Forgotten Power of Blessing provides both a reliable map for living into compassionate clarity
and a key for opening the door to home. AND by wholing ourselves we heal our culture.

Join us by signing up with me: or Kathryn Lafond at

Here’s more information about learning the Practice of Blessing in our four session introduction.

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Tune In

Elly and I have arrived at the root clogged ground where we make our nature art in honor of the new and full moons. The earth is soaked, our shoulders and hair damp from the moisture dripping trees, the sky heavy with oxford gray. But here we are on this inclement full moon day at the end of January 2021. I feel like a guest at a supper party. I want to give something back to the earth, our hostess, who provides a table groaning with abundance.

The gift we can provide as humans is creating something from nothing because creating is one of the gifts of our species. Creativity lies at our essential core, but as modern people we have been taught that only the rare few can claim to be creative. Hogwash. From the moment we are born we are co-creating with our world.

 For the last few months, Elly and I have been giving back by making time to create visual art out of the materials nature provides right where we stand: pebbles, twigs, fallen leaves in all the shades of autumn, dead grasses. We add simple things from home on occasion – spent match sticks from lighting prayer candles, crumbled bits of sage from my smudge stick, grains of honored corn meal…

Usually we make a circle with an identifiable center, a simple mandala.

The process is spontaneous and intuitive. Standing side by side, we close our eyes and fall silent, listening for guidance on how to begin. Breathing quiet questions into the invisible field of life force all around us: Who am I in this moment? For what do I pray? For what do I yearn? What does the world need from me now here?

I listen.

She listens.

We wait in silence.

Then a few words flow of blessing, gratitude, prayer. We shake small rattles. I ask for guidance from the ancestors of this place, ask for vision from the beings all around us – the plants, the trees, the creatures both seen and heard and those who are not, ask the energy of the cosmos coursing through our vibrating, living bodies to show us what to create today, how to make artful prayers that express gratitude.

Tuning in, listening, listening. It doesn’t take long and the ritual is simple, though humble, reverent and true.

Somehow we know when to stop rattling, when to open our eyes, when to share. And every time we do – I mean every time – we learn that the world has shown us how to proceed. There is no doubt, no conflict. This synergy doesn’t surprise us as much as it did the first few times, but never the less, the grace provided still gives me chill bumps.

 Elly and I look at each other and can hardly stop giggling with the joy of discovery. We’re meant to honor being at home on the earth. We’ve recognized that the stars, the universe, are the larger womb from which all life has come. And we’ve seen how deeply our lives belong to this blue green marble spinning in space. Our love and gratitude are wrapped by wonder.

Our mandala needs to express the spiraling energy of galaxies –the arms radiating from the center. We see concentric circles. They represent both the endless waves of rippling energy at the quantum level, as well as the web of life’s intricate and endless weaving. I see 5 limbs spiraling and Elly says that feels right. I realize that the classic star shape we all learn to draw as kids is five pointed and that Michelangelo’s iconic human form stands with 5 limbs stretched wide – the fifth being the head and neck.

We smile as we share an epiphany. Making decisions is so easy this way. Elly points out that we’ve simply tuned into the same energetic field of wisdom. All we have to do is step into it. Trust it. The impact of this revelatory experience opens to a vision: Imagine how different our world would be if everyone tuned into the greater wisdom we all share before taking any action. Corporate boards would make entirely different decisions. Imagine if schools began supporting and nurturing children’s intuition, instead of stifling it. For the rest of our lives, all our rational behaviors would be informed by the greater intelligence.

The mandala grows effortlessly and as we finish up, we make prayers of gratitude for the whole process. As we begin to pack up our things, Elly notices a small red droplet on my purple egg shaped rattle. She looks closer and calls me over. “Can you believe this?,” she exclaims. “It’s a ladybug!!!”

I can’t imagine why she’s here at this time of year and all alone sitting on a plastic egg.

But something deep in me stirs: Ladybug is a gift from spirit to affirm our homing. We’ve been pouring our love into our Earthhome which is under huge duress. I flash on Greta Thunberg’s statement: Our house is on fire! …I want you to panic. Then the old nursery rhyme races through me.

 Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home.
 Your house is on fire
and your children are gone.

Mystery has affirmed our prayers. Elly googles with her phone right there on the spot and learns that this rhyme relates to Christianity and the separating of nature worship from church worship. Later I also google and learn that the old nursery rhyme may relate to the times when pagans had to go underground, when priests were told they could only preach in buildings, when the goddess was relegated to the shadows – or it could relate to the farmers who released ladybugs in the spring for nurturing their crops and burned their old crops in the fall, letting the ladybugs know the fires were starting so they’d leave and wouldn’t get burned. Though we’ll never know the origins of this old nursery rhyme for certain, ladybug’s presence connects us to our human ancestry and affirms the power of prayer. Elly and I receive her blessing.

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Re-membering Beauty

With a pandemic still traveling the globe, violence in our American streets, hatred and division among humans, the rape of our own earthbody, you might well ask, “What beauty? Where’s beauty?”

“It’s everywhere,” say I. Especially in the plants. The plants still grow, pushing their green lives up through the cement, the droughts, the floods, the fires, the poisons, the human destruction. The animals still give birth. The storms do their best to clear the air and reclaim the natural paths of rivers. Despite all we humans do to ravage the natural world around us, life refuses to succumb. Life quickly attempts to restore itself, to resurrect itself, given the smallest gesture of encouragement from us. That’s beautiful and holy and worthy of my reverence and respect.

But my angst and anxiety rise. I fear that we may push life under one too many times, destroying her ability to come back. I pray often for us humans to see that our modern lifestyle is at odds with life. We are not biophiliacs!  We seem to think it would be easier to begin a new civilization on a barren planet than restore balance to the civilization on this one. It’s taken billions of years for life to create the nourishing abundance that makes our own lives possible now. How can we forget that?

How have we lost our amazement for life’s miracle? 10,000 years ago, we were still in awe of life and acted in ways to nurture its continuance because we knew that meant our lives would continue, too. But modernity and institutions have taught us to distrust our own bodily experience, to distrust our own senses, and there-in lies a problem. Over the last 5,000 years, give or take a few, we’ve learned to live in a world that dismisses intuition. denigrates feeling and ignores the aliveness of everything else. We’ve learned to think of everything else but ourselves as machines, not sentient, responsive beings with lives of their own. And in the last 100 years we’ve found a technological fix for every problem.

We’ve forgotten our fundamental nature. As self-aware beings belonging in an ever-changing body, our own personal experiences offer the only truth we can know with certainty. Trust your bone deep knowing. Witness the interconnectedness of all things and notice how you are embedded in that web.

And there in lies beauty. Isn’t it a miracle that I can write these words to you the reader? How can our brains, encased in complete darkness, bring light to these little marks and make sense of them? How do we perceive light when the photon packets bringing energy from the sun to our optic nerves carry no light whatsoever? How do we envision images in our heads? How does our body turn plant and meat and water into energy on which to move, and experience, and think?  We know now our ability to breathe rests with the trees and the phytoplankton in the ocean, yet we destroy both at a great rate. Are we mad?

Let’s pause for a moment and take stock. Is it not beautiful to be alive in a body? Is breathing not a holy act? Is eating of the bounty of this miraculous living world not worthy of a blessing?


Join Kathryn Lafond and me to live into the new story for life on earth: The Forgotten Power of Blessing – a four part series – begins again on September 15th. Contact me to join in:

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Forgotten Power of Blessing

I am glad to be alive in these compelling, chaotic, tumultuous and horrifying times. That may seem strange to say, but it’s true. For reasons beyond my understanding, I’ve been aware of the injustices of the world since very early childhood and have done my best to change those dynamics, often feeling helpless and alone in those endeavors. I’m a true elder now and was beginning to fear I would not live long enough to experience the tipping point, but I think this is it. It can’t get worse than this, can it? So I am choosing to believe that we have arrived at the tipping point, or at least are very close. Human injury to the life force and our enslavement of Earth,  human disregard for and subjugation of other humans, the human desire to have only one right way and that is HIS right way, all those viewpoints and behaviors have persisted for many more years than just the existence of the United States. The humans in charge for thousands of years now have not wanted to reckon with the fact that enslavement of anything and anyone is unsustainable.

I don’t celebrate July 4th. It’s always been a hard day for me
as it is filled with duplicity, further war mongering and terrorizing fireworks.
Now, I absolutely can’t go there.
Independence? For whom? For What?
May all humans everywhere wake up to our interdependence,
make amends for our atrocities, our shortsighteddimwittedness,
seek the goodness in our hearts
and heal the ubiquitous, ancient wounds we all have.

I’m glad to see the infected wounds finally erupting everywhere. I wish we could have awoken more gently, but evolution may not work that way. Think of what it takes for a new star to be born. Think of the force it takes for a seed to split open for new plantlife, the energy it takes to crack open the shell fiercely protecting the life within. Think of the sundering of child birth. Birth is painful, messy, disorienting. Labor requires trust and endurance, holding faith that the struggle to open is worth the new life coming. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our world, our culture, is actually in the final stage of labor, ready to push through to a new story for how we humans live with the planet.
May we humans open our eyes to the miracle of life on our fragile Earth, our home, spinning in the immeasurable vastness of the universe tethered only by gravity – invisible yet real- to its planets and star and galaxy. May we modern humans honor our original ancestors who made it through tens of thousands of years so we could be here NOW. May we care enough about our own descendents that we choose to change our habits of seeing, honor the ineffable, and listen deeply to what the world as a whole wants US to learn.

In case you didn’t recognize the form of those preceding statements, they are blessings. Writing them felt good. They hone my vision of possibilities, and energetically feed the matrix of ideas circulating on our globe. In addition, I’m practicing what I preach!

Kathryn Lafond and I are delving deeply into our class called the Power of Blessing to Change Everything. We’ve just completed our second four session series, have begun a third, and the fourth begins July 8th. A fifth begins Tuesday August 25th.  We now recognize that Blessing is a powerful and forgotten practice – another victim of so called human progress which we need to reclaim since it transforms our relationship to life.  Blessing truly does change everything. From taking ALL OF THIS forgranted, we remember the miracle to which we are beholden. As I’ve prepared for the class, I discovered an old book by Pierre Pradervand: The Gentle Art of Blessing.  It’s rich with wisdom and very easy to read. He describes how to bless everything and absolutely everyone, even our enemies.  By choosing to see a stranger who looks different from us as another person who reflects the richness of our uniqueness, just like the endless variations of life in the forest, the garden, the desert, the ocean, we make a choice that quells fear and thus diminishes anger. Choosing to bless in this way, changes our sensations in both belly and heart from constriction to expansion, easing tension and contributing to a sense of well-being.  The felt-sense of shifting from hatred to compassion, from worry to trust, transforms our “seeing,” and frees up options for relating differently.

And now I’ve discovered the power of doodling our blessings. I call them illuminated blessings. Doodling is accessible to everyone and with the simplest of materials – pencil and paper. I was inspired by a book called Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth. Here’s an example of a doodle which began with the rosette form, blob shape in the middle with radiating lines. By drawing little shapes along each line, ( I used only two lines – straight and curved. ) everything changes, just like life!

















*expand your emotional and spiritual capacity to engage with our time…

*  feel more resilient, inspired, and compassionate…

*  find companions on the journey, the ones who are ready to stop clinging to the bank and join the flow of the river…

*  raise your consciousness and join the ranks of subtle/sacred/quantum activists…

*embody the new story for how we live on the planet.

* be inspired by poetic expression, explore links to other media for inspiration, welcome creative prompts for hoNework, and engage in meaningful dialogue.

Please contact me if blessing calls you.

You can learn more about Kathryn here:




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