Hard Decisions, Dancing with Change, and Finding What’s Right For You

Hard Decisions, Dancing with Change, and Finding What’s Right For You

Unlike many people, I’m actually a fan of change.

I used to joke that I was Change’s Whore, always ready to prostrate myself to potential.

Still, even with my propensity for riding whirlwinds, change is bittersweet. Especially when it’s unexpected.

Bend of Ivy Lodge, where I’ll be holding my November gathering this year, just contacted me to book my fifth year of hosting the Deep Magic Retreat. But instead of eagerly signing the contract, something in me whispered pause…

So I took a deep breath and felt into the moment. Since I can get brain-centric (trying to wring decisions from my sometimes indecisive mind), feeling into things is my personal life-hack for connecting with my inner-wisdom. This helps me make decisions aligned with not just my brain but my whole being.

So what the heck does it look like to “feel into” something?  (more…)

Plant Magic, Divination, and A Special Message Just For You!

Plant Magic, Divination, and A Special Message Just For You!

An interviewer recently asked me “how did you dream up The Illustrated Herbiary?”

It all started with a blog post that looked a lot like this one!

As a writer and creatrix, I’m also noodling ways to help you engage with your inner-wisdom, your intuition, and your deep rooted connection to the collective unconscious. As a plant person and herbalist, I’m also searching for inspiring ways to connect you to the green world around you and to introduce you to the plants in easy and personal ways.

Could the plants be used as an oracle system? Would it be accurate? Would it be lush, and yummy, and make your soul sing? I decided to find out!

The results were spot on and we all had a lot of fun discussing their accuracy on social media, so I thought today we’d celebrate the origins of The Illustrated Herbiary— the Flower Power Oracle! (more…)

When the World’s a Hot Mess and You’re Fraying at the Seams

When the World’s a Hot Mess and You’re Fraying at the Seams

This week I did something I haven’t done since high school.

My mind was bouncing all over the place, from news article to news article, trying to get a handle on what the hell is going on in our world. Have the forces of evil finally prevailed? Have our better angels been deposed or deported?

It all felt so vast, so cosmic, and so very beyond the scope of little ‘ole me.

Which was when I realized: it is vast and cosmic. Nations aren’t built on a human time frame. Our individual life spans happen in dog years compared to the life of nations (okay, some nations. There are parts of the globe where the names change so constantly I can’t keep track.).

The nation I live in was built on an idea. Sure there’s the daily doings which keep things humming along, but ultimately, being a part of this nation is about buying into a concept and continuing to work toward it, cutting a trail not just for yourself but for everyone who comes after.

When I take an eagle’s eye view, I see a tangle of complex problems and personalities. The time spans which might offer solutions are well beyond those I’ll be here to witness. Looking at this big picture, I feel pretty helpless to do anything except make another cup of tea and lose myself in a fantasy novel.

I’ve been doing this a lot: looking at the BIGGEST possible picture and feeling small.

So today I did something I haven’t done since high school: I reread the Declaration of Independence. (more…)

How to Ignite Your Creative Spark and Birth A Book, or Blog, or Banjo Sonata

How to Ignite Your Creative Spark and Birth A Book, or Blog, or Banjo Sonata

I’ve been getting creative wrong for decades.

Let me start at the creative beginning…

Okay, not quite the beginning – which was a story about a unicorn in a bottle who washed up on the Jersey shore. After that were short stories sneered at by Mr. Leshan, the faculty advisor for the high school lit mag (I’m sure he didn’t think he was sneering but it sure looked like a sneer to me), and then countless hours, my back snugged-up to a tree on the University of Michigan Quad, with tears running down my face as I blathered through formless, emotive poetry.

On second thought…

… let’s start nowhere near the beginning.

Let’s start in the middle. Let’s start the day my Dad took me out for stone-fired pizza, back in the days I could eat whatever I wanted, and asked me why I wasn’t writing. I told him lots of things, some true and some true only through the filter of a twenty-two year old. But this one is obviously false:

I told him I had nothing to write.

You see, I’d read over and over again that authors had stories burning in their souls, characters who demanded to be let out. And I had nothing.

So for years I waited, hoping someday I’d have something to say.

I went to writing workshops and heard the spiel on discipline, on putting your butt in the chair and writing. My translation: once you had something to say, show up to do the work of birthing your idea into the world.

But I was missing the point. (more…)

Wishes Rarely Come True Unless You Get Intentional About It

Wishes Rarely Come True Unless You Get Intentional About It

Wishes rarely come true.

Wishes aren’t the same as intentions. Think about it: can you even remember half the wishes you made as you blew out the candles on your numerous birthday cakes? Did you think about them much after the moment of wishing?

A wish has very little energy behind it. It’s a thought on the wind, a vague hope.

But an intention? Now that’s another story. Or at least it should be.

Let’s start with the basics:

An intention is not the same thing as a wish.

If a wish is a vague hope, an intention is an expertly shot arrow.

Sure, every once in a while a complete neophyte hits the target (and a random wish might, too), but if you want to have any degree of success at this whole intending thing, you need to treat it like art… or like archery:  you must hone your craft and become one hell of a marksman.

The best way to do this?

(more…)

Our Best Medicine

Our Best Medicine

My students often want to know what their purpose is; ancient stories tell us we all have a unique purpose called our “medicine.”

Our best medicine is this original medicine: the spark you brought into this life that is yours and yours alone. When you live from this soul-space, you thrive, even when external circumstances are difficult.

Each of us knows, deep inside, who we are. But this sense of self can get buried beneath who we think we’re supposed to be.

Over a lifetime, you’ll have many manifestations of the same essential self.

Check out this poem I wrote fifteen years ago when I was teaching poetry to kids in Harlem. Can you see my essential self poking her head out?

(more…)