Standing in the Circle of Love

  Are you scared of love? I am. I’m scared of being vulnerable, scared to ask for what I need (much less what I want), scared of being rejected or found unworthy. I suspect that most of us feel this way more often than we admit. I also suspect that most of us have learned to be scared and love anyway.   Being scared and doing it anyway is the definition of courage. When we are sick or hurt or struggling, it can be especially hard to RECEIVE all the love that comes our way even though it’s what we need the most. So I wrote a song about standing in the center of the circle of love for a dear friend who had just been diagnosed with non-smoker’s lung cancer and was blown away by all the love and support coming her way. I wanted to remind her that she was doing a remarkable job receiving and to encourage her to keep going. Little did I know that it would do the same for me. Last Tuesday I was in another car accident. I’m ok, tho pretty battered and bruised, mostly from the airbag, which did its job really well – that’s the good news and the bad news. Being on the receiving end of an airbag when it deploys is like being on the wrong end of a battering ram. Way better than the alternative though, that’s for sure! So I’ve had lots of opportunities in the last week to stand in the center of my own love circle and exercise my own courage muscles. I’ve received incredible...

Woodpile Wisdom: The Power of Simply Starting

  I’ve been hibernating in the woods next to the ocean for the last two months. I’ve had lots of time to marinate in the silence and isolation that always calls to me when the nights get long and the natural world sleeps. I’ve also learned a lot. From my woodpile, no less.   The house I’m in is old and the walls are full of love and life well lived. It’s also cold. And damp, especially in the winter. A wood-burning stove is my primary source of heat. Fortunately, the house comes with its own seemingly endless supply of wood. But the wood is out back and there is no one here to help me move it inside.   When I first arrived, I was totally overwhelmed just by the idea of bringing enough wood inside to heat the house. Thinking about it made my back and head hurt. So, for the first few days, I simply turned up the old thermostat and added another layer. I pretended that I was warm enough. But it was January, the temperature was dropping and heavy rains were in the forecast. I knew I had to face the music and bring in wood. So I bundled up, found some work gloves and headed out back, dreading the process and hoping that once I was sitting in front of a warm fire, it would all be worth it.   As I rounded the corner of the house, the first thing I saw was a wheelbarrow.   AHA!! That will help.   I took the wheelbarrow over to the woodpile and started loading...

Release Fear and Ride the Butterflies!

“Be more curious than afraid.”  -Ishi   I am calling BULLSHIT on fearlessness. Fearlessness is a myth. A set-up. An illusion. On the other hand, fear is a natural, often healthy response that arises deep in our reptilian brain. Evolutionarily speaking, it got us here. It helped our species survive in a world that really wasn’t safe, when “not belonging” to a family or a tribe really was a matter of life and death.   While there are no more saw-tooth tigers threatening us, our reptilian brain – and its fear response – is not going away. Trying to get rid of fear is like Sisyphus trying to roll the stone up that mountain. It’s a no-win. That’s why I’m calling BULLSHIT on fearlessness.   If fear is here to stay, how do we move beyond it? Here’s my current fear challenge. I long to move out into the world. To give what I know I came here to give. Yet, when it comes to acting on my desire, I am often paralyzed by fear. It feels like I’m on my own personal see-saw. One breath, I’m up, ready to take off. The next breath, I’m down, so scared I can’t move. It’s crazy-making.   Does this sound familiar? How often do we find ourselves here? Too many to count right? Sigh. Each time I wake up in this place, I have to re-remember that I can be scared AND move forward at the same time. I can choose to move through – and beyond – fear, if I’m willing to practice – a lot! – compassion, curiosity and courage. ...

Overcoming Our Fear of Mistakes

  What a wonderful time to be alive! Summer is here. The days are long. The gardens are growing. There is so much to be grateful for!   I am deeply grateful that YOU chose to join me on this incredible journey we call life.  I know that you have more than enough material in your inbox and am honored that you chose to add mine to the mix.   These last two months have been a whirlwind of activity, causing me to dream wistfully of those wonderful lazy summer days when I was a kid and the most important question was whether to stay in and read a good book or go out and PLAY. Ahh, yes, little did we appreciate how lucky we were!   Just like giving a new workshop for the first time, launching my website reminded me of the big plays we used to produce in high school– the intense preparation, the thrill of production, and the “let-down” when it’s all over and suddenly there is a vacuum. It feels like I’m learning all over again how to maintain momentum so that I can continue to connect, inspire and do the work I want to do in the world.   And that makes me wonder about you.  What brings you joy?  How do you respond to the vacuum?   How do you manage the let down and maintain momentum?   One of my personal tricks is to remember that the journey of 10,000 miles begins with every step.  When I feel overwhelmed by all there is to do, I remind myself that just like...

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