Posted on:  Apr 2, 2016 @ 9:00 Posted in:  Path Basics, Pathwork
Hansel and Gretel are lost in the woods and leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way home. Though this plan doesn’t seem to work out so well for them, it offers an evocative metaphor for those of us who are spiritual seekers on a journey home to a soul-based life.
My spiritual journey began in earnest the day I realized there was something essential missing from my life, that was somehow related to my soul. I was in the midst of my MBA studies, lost in a material, career-driven life, with an aching hunger for something I neither understood nor knew where to find.
No matter that I was lost, I had woken up to my spiritual hunger and decided that I needed to change. And that was enough. The Mysteries, those powerful, invisible forces that underlie our waking reality, heard my yes to change, and began to leave a trail of crumbs, in the form of life-changing encounters and events, for me to follow.
A few months later, I completed my MBA and set off on a solo backpacking adventure in Europe. Shortly into the trip, I landed on the wrong train in France, only to hook up with a fellow adventurer, who was also on the wrong train. She was a beautiful young woman from Hawaii, with an edge of wildness and burgeoning, feminine-based spirituality.
We decided to travel together, joining our itineraries. She took me to the subterranean caves of Dordogne to see Paleolithic paintings, and here I encountered the Goddess for the first time. Though I had no words or concepts to explain this encounter, I felt Her pulsing omnipresence the moment I descended into the womb-like darkness of the cave.
Somewhere along the way, I understood that I was on a Hansel and Gretel journey, and that the Mysteries and my soul were leading me home to the presence of being and soulful life that I longed for. My task was to follow the trail of crumbs, doing the soul work presented by each, knowing that the next crumb would naturally follow.
Your Hansel and Gretel Journey
As a spiritual seeker, perhaps you are also on a Hansel and Gretel journey. Whatever you have lost and whatever you are longing for, these things set you on your path of soul, leading you home to a richer, fuller expression of your Deep Self and the best of your nature and gifts.
Posted on:  Mar 25, 2016 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Everyday Magic, Path Basics, Pathwork
We humans are not good or bad, beautiful or ugly, perfect or imperfect, but some complex weaving of all of these things. To witness, embrace and hold space for the totality of our being is a very potent practice that can bring the transformative magic of healing and change to our lives and world.
I am on a hike with a dear friend in a wild area close to the ocean. A creek runs through a small, verdant valley, guarded over by towering evergreen trees. We stop walking, stop speaking, and gaze in slack-jawed wonder at this miniature Garden of Eden, arising from a fertile meeting ground of dappled sunlight and rich, moist soil. The beauty is visceral, a shining green luminescence that thrums up against my own shining core.
“We are this beautiful inside,” I tell my friend.
Later this same day, another dear friend shares a story about having to explain to her ten-year-old son what an army is. Her explanation went something like this: “I am so sorry to have to tell you this, but we give money to a group of people who use it to buy weapons that they use to kill other people.”
This is not a judgment of the courageous individuals in the armed forces who risk their lives in service to their countries, but more a paring war down to its simplest terms and seeing the horror, the ugly, at its core.
We humans are this ugly inside. Not just in relation to war, but in the many terrible, destructive things we do to each other and to our planet home.
Both of these statements are true. We have a whole lot of beauty and a whole lot of ugly inside of us and in our world. These two polar forces, inside and outside, battle for dominion over our soul. And it is here, in these opposing forces, that you find the transformative magic at the heart of your life story and our human experience.The Gift of the Beauty and the Ugly
This is never an easy conversation to have. If you are like most people, you’ve been socialized to push away and transcend the bad and the ugly, and to aspire to the good and the beautiful, while skating around the edges of the uncomfortable, unsavory parts of your own personality and our human society.
Posted on:  Mar 2, 2016 @ 11:22 Posted in:  Goddess
Consider this for a moment. There are two versions of the everyday:
The status quo where you live mostly on autopilot, following your regular routines and the outer dictates of family, work and culture; and
The sacred feminine where you live from your deep, beautiful Self outward, connected to your soul-based needs and desires, the rhythms of the natural world and your body, and the self-chosen demands of your outer life.
If you are like most people, the status quo version best reflects your everyday reality. You may get tastes of the sacred feminine through your spiritual beliefs and practice, and in special circumstances like a weekend retreat. But to live your day to day from this ethos may seem impossible given the hectic demands of the modern world where practicality, not soul, reigns supreme.
I recently had a taste of living the sacred feminine as my everyday. My family spent a month in Costa Rica, staying in a simple house surrounded by tropical forest, with no car and no agenda. We woke with the sun, ate when we were hungry, worked (me on my next creative project) until the day was too hot to concentrate, swam in the ocean until sunset, cooked dinner using local, organic food, settled in for a relaxing evening of reading, and then went to bed early.
Every day we followed the same simple routine, listening to our bodies, responding to Nature, adapting to the heat, balancing doing and being, and taking our pleasure in the unruly wind in the trees, the radiant sunshine, the lush, exotic trees and flowers, the bright-colored birds and Jurassic-sized insects, and the wild ruckus of howler monkeys that woke us in the middle of the night.
This experience has rewired me in some fundamental way, and now that I am back home I find myself intensely motivated to find the sweet spot where the sacred feminine naturally informs and guides my busy, demanding everyday existence.How to Weave the Sacred Feminine into your Everyday
The sacred feminine is the feminine face of divinity. She is the Goddess, the love- and life-centered ethos that infuses all of creation, and the sacred matter of your human body and of the living Earth. How does this more esoteric understanding of the sacred feminine translate into your everyday life? And how can you access Her presence on a daily basis?
Though there are infinite answers to these questions, here are four concrete ways you can begin to weave the sacred feminine into your daily life. …read more
Posted on:  Jul 8, 2015 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Goddess
I was a feminist doctoral student in a business faculty when I first stumbled upon the Goddess and women’s history/herstory. But I couldn’t finish my studies; they did not take me far or deep enough. My feminine ancestors had other plans for me. Shortly after quitting the doctoral program, I had a dream that called me to do my PhD in women and leadership. I woke up to a voice telling me to go to witchcamp.
There I went, to the coastal forests of California, not knowing a soul, and not a thing about magic or ritual. But no matter, those ancestors had arranged everything. I found myself co-organizing a ritual on the burning times — the most horrific period of our women’s history where an estimated 40,000-100,000 people accused of witchcraft (mostly women) were brutally persecuted and murdered. There amidst the slashed and burned shells of grandmother redwoods, with vibrant daughter trees growing from their ruins, I opened myself up to be a voice for my restless feminine ancestors.
And this is what they said: “The wisdom of the ancients still sings in your cells —below the desecration and the horror, below the fear and the forgetting — we are there. You are the waking witches. We call you to embrace your grief, step past your fear and walk our path of feminine power once more. We have never left you. We have been waiting for your return to our ways and knowing.”
So began my deep studies of women’s power and leadership, and a feminism beyond and below that of my academic studies and my thinking brain understanding of these things — an ancestral feminism still living and breathing in my body and yours.