Thank you. I love you. I release you with great love.
Listening to who I was then is helping me become who I am now
It’s Autumn. I’m at it (again). Thinning the bookshelves, clearing the closet and countertops. Making space.
I crave space the way I once craved ice cream. Breathing space. Moving space. Space to expand into. Space around me - empty and open. Space.
Two years ago, during quarantine, I wandered the rooms of this house, picking up objects, interviewing each book, blouse and bauble: Do I still want to keep you? If not, I blessed it: Thank you. I love you. I release you with great love.
If I kept an object, I blessed it back into presence: I see you teacup. I cherish you photograph. Seashell, yellow bowl, white plate, cookbook - I’m so glad you’re here.
I set these items, newly chosen, onto more spacious shelves, appreciating them as if they were new. In a way, they were new: gifts from the me I once was to the me that I’ve become.
Appreciation requires space
- we can’t see what we have when it’s all jammed together. Seas of clutter, piles of paper. Cartons stacked against the wall waiting for the someday when we’ll have the time and energy to choose.
Choosing now creates space for now.
Choosing later takes up space even in our attention. When am I gonna get to that? Am I becoming a hoarder?
When there’s space around me - in my home and workspace— there’s space in my mind.
Space in my heart, I can love more fully.
Space in my mind, I can think more clearly.
Somehow, this emotional and mental space loosens the joints and spine and sinew of my body. I dance in the kitchen. I move more fluidly through my day.
Mind chatter slows. Silence fills me. I relax. Life is easier.
Space invites order to rise from within, as opposed to living in reaction to the orders and systems imposed by others. I don’t like too much structure - schedules, car pools and commitments make me squirmy. Yet, when I drill down to the heart of my work, I discover I’m obsessed with order.
The order of … everything.
How does the world work? How do we fit into that? How do we build human lives that can breathe and flourish inside a world of plastic and controversy, distraction and chaos?
We begin with space and then, inside of that space, we build our own kind of order.
At the end of last year, I committed to a one-year program of weekly Zoom calls. Though part of me worried I might not like it, another part of me (a quieter and perhaps, more genuine part) suspected I might love it.
I did - the soft, once-a-week structure held me gently. It was generous, circular, a loose garment that allowed movement and shape-shifting. I wanted to see what happened when I showed up without a script or a plan. I listened for the lessons. I channeled the meditations. I waited for what emerged from the circle - the space between us.
It was perfect. A pilgrim space. Deep. Important. Holy.
We journeyed through forests, explored caves. We dolphined in and out of healing pools. In our own lives, we moved from frenzied busyness to a new interior stillness. We found pockets of silence. Nearing the end of our year together, we find ourselves in the desert: wandering without a map. Sleeping under a starry sky.
It’s priceless work - a portal to magic in a quiet, wide open week.
I’m doing it again. It worked. I made space and inside of that space, I made order, and it held me.
What I mean is: guiding the journey of our small circle of pilgrims also guided me.
I gathered gifts from nature, from spirit guides, from my own own heart.
And midyear, when, synchronistically, inevitably, Google let me know it was time to clear my virtual space, I was prepared. I made virtual space - and inside that space, I knew what I wanted to keep.
As I dragged years of digital clutter - to do lists, screen shots, junk mail - to the dustbin at the bottom of my screen, years of old recordings surfaced.
Workshops, conversations, those side-by-side interviews I did with so many bloggers. Thank you. I love you. I release you with great love.
And each day, as I emptied the dishwasher, as I cleared the kitchen counters, as I folded the laundry - I listened to…
- the first recordings of the Soul Caller Training
- that first year of LAB - when we wanted to keep going and keep growing together.
I listened while I made dinner. I listened in the car.
I listened like a student, my own voice offering my own wisdom back to me.
I listened to the woman I was then - she was so brave!
No idea what she was doing but she figured it out.
She got the platform up.
She got the words out.
I don’t give her nearly enough credit.
Brava, younger me!
She was just the teacher I needed to help me work through a tight squeezy stuck place. A familiar tight squeezy stuck. I always land here - just before the breakthrough. When a book won’t constellate around a title. When a magazine article won’t cohere, when a blog post sits like a mess-pile of words, rather than the meaningful message I want to bring.
In this part of my creative pattern, I’m a lighthouse awaiting a boat, casting my beam across the open water. I’m listening, watching - I make endless false starts, lists of titles, all of which feel illuminated until I sit down to write.
Like the end stage of pregnancy, I feel swollen and full. Something that needs to come out - NOW! I’m impatient to see its face.
When I worked at the magazine, I felt this way every Wednesday.
Desperate. Frustrated. Stuck.
I’d walk the parking lot. Humming to myself. Doing jumping jacks out there by the dumpsters. Anything to make the energy move.
Waiting was hard.
So hard that, every week, I gave up.
And of course… that’s when the story came.
This is my creative pattern.
The Swelling. The Impatience. The Urgent Frustration. The Surrender.
It was good to hear the voice of my younger self as she moved through it.
She reminded me:
Trust. Wait. Listen. Stack the dishes on the shelves.
The story is here and it wants to be told.
This is how the storyteller fills with the journey.
The lighthouse casts her light upon the water and calls the boat home.
Out of this waiting and listening, one project kept floating to the surface of my awareness: The Flow Materials.
For the past ten years, I've been keeping notes as my relationship with guidance deepened and informed every part of my life. As I kept bumping up against this treasure trove, I asked myself: Should I make this into a book? I was surprised to receive a clear NO. This work, guidance told me, is important to share but it was meant to be flowed... one message at a time, the way that I received it. So I made a space for that. Go see.
Join me for the Journey in 2023.
This is the year of emergence. Opening to receive. Giving what you long to give. The journey begins in January.
Guided meditation, journaling and discussion.
may you savor the crunch-snap-crisp
the sweater weather snug,
with maybe mittens and that hat
from last winter.
may you wrap a warm scarf around your shoulders
and get out there.
may you get into
the rosy cheek, cloud breath of cool morning
the blaze of red, purple
the days of this autumn show off.
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