Checking In

AEDM 11.13, from an on-going altered book project I started 8 years ago the first year I did Art Every Day Month

AEDM 11.13, from an on-going altered book project I started 8 years ago the first year I did Art Every Day Month

Shortly this website will be down for a redo.  Seemed like as good a time as any especially since I am not writing regularly right now.

So if it all disappears, never fear, I shall return (don’t I always!).

Today I was reviewing one of my larger art journals – more art than journal but enough journal to see where I’ve been and how I’ve progressed toward dreams.  the news is very very good:  I’m making huge steps and in directions not originally anticipated (that is nothing new – I’ve learned not to anticipate in my life.  Much better to be open).

I went back to a Tarot spread I did for myself at the end of December, after I though I had things nailed down at my regular paying job and before I walked out of that same job.

It was absolutely prescient in hindsight.  Mostly things are but not necessarily things like Tarot spreads.  I love it when it works that way.  I can deal with a lot a work:  difficult peers being the one I thought would get me.  But it didn’t.  It was the one with the lesson I sort of felt so stuck it out.  What blindsided me was nondisclosure: i.e., that for a part-time job I would have to make all of my finances and that of any of my family who deals with the state – as does my daughter as a teacher - available to the Ethics Commission and to the public because I might have some contact with funders.  And the kicker?  That obligation remains even though I quit the job.  Mind you, the organization was supposed to report the job witinh 60 days of hire, and didn’t for 13 months and I didn’t hear anything about any of it until almost 1.5 years into the job.  I checked with HR and found  I signed no agreement to disclose and asked if I had been told verbally – no.  They don’t do that.  The final killer?  No penalties accrue to the organization.  They all accrue to me if I am disinclined (even tho I quit) to go along.  That is an ongoing decision I need to make.

Meanwhile, real estate moguldom which i have been claiming out loud for a little over a year, seems to have taken front and center.  I am now studying to be a real estate agent, as much to learn about the complexities (as if buying houses hasn’t shown me a lot of them…I used to think it was bad luck but apparently each transaction is it’s own little slice of adventure) of buying and selling and financing as to sell houses – but I’m thinking I’m going to love it.  And I’m learning that everything shows up and stays for as long as it is supposed to.  To hang on to anything longer than it is supposed to be in your life never every turns out well.  Ok, Universe, I think I’ve got this one!AEDM 11 - final

Meanwhile, I’ve discovered some very good reading, about which I’ve already written recently, and today’s blog is to share some more words from Living Deeply:  The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life.  The more I pay attention to transition and transformation, the more I realize how important community is, and that is captured well here:

When we asked our teachers how to integrate transformative realizations into everyday life and long-term shifts in ways of being, the most common response we received was to connect with a like-minded community.  In fact, many teachers said that finding a like-minded community with whom you can share our transformative process is essential.  Having people in your life who support your metamorphosis can help fortify the results ….Moreover, your community can serve both as a crucible for your transformation and as a sanctuary for exploring new ideas and insights…

…much benefit can come from practice done in synchrony with others.  This doesn’t require actually living in a monastery or other spiritual community.  having a group of like-minded peers that you trust can help you calibrate your experiences….[and] may actually even allow you to learn more from the transformative process.

…These elements can all be great criteria for choosing who you want to support you on your transformative journey.  Look for a like-minded community consisting of people in a range of developmental levels; a community with guides who don’t just hand out solutions but help you discover them for yourself, and leaders who don’t dominate all interactions; a community where those who are learning are also given the opportunity to teach.

I write about this a lot (  here, here, and here for a few)  because we need hand-holding and to hold hands at different parts of our journey and that it more easily done in community.

Where do you find community?  Who is in your tribe?  Share in the comments below.

How to Stop Running on Empty

*You have a list.  You woke up with 3 must dos, 2 want to dos and 4 should dos.  Before you were out of bed, you were already behind.

Then you think:  “I create my world.  I can do this!” and push on through to whatever “this” is, running on empty, getting more uncentered because you “don’t have time” to stop and take a breath.

And then you start shuting down because there’s too much energy aimed at you and you feel like you’ve been sucked dry.

And then you get angry because no one seems to understand that you simply have nothing left to give even to yourself.  And you lash out at someone over something that has nothing to do with your actual anger.  And then you get angry at yourself for being angry.

And you go to bed promising yourself to start new and then you don’t sleep because you’re not quite sure what “start new” means and all of a sudden you are back to “*” and set to repeat.

You can see things were a bit of a mess (and I had already started on this corner before I took the picture; hence, the empty shelf you can see and the fact that the big bag of dog food and big bag of bird seed are no longer in sight)

Do you recognize this scenario?

When was the last time you scheduled your day around activities that fill you up first?

Not enough time?

Actually, you don’t have time NOT to do this!

Just as the airline steward tells you that if the air masks drop you put yours on first, so I’m telling you that you must schedule yourself and your refueling time first and fit other things around that.

Unless of course you want to be caught in the endless cycle above.

You have choices here.  You may not like what you have to give up to schedule yourself first, and/or you may not like what you have to face or say to someone else if you are going to schedule yourself first but I know for a fact that you always have choices around this.  And if you don’t have time, it’s because you’re choosing not to.

Here’s a quick overview of what it looks like to put yourself first and what follows:

A couple of orders, several shows and moving sewing into my bead room have left me feeling very crowded. And just as in life, if you stop and find space for things, figure out what stays and what goes, pretty soon the room will become more spacious and habitable. It is good to inhabit your life!

1.  You discover what fills you up and honor yourself with time to do that.  This usually looks like some daily practice, a practice of be-ing, and can be as little as starting the habit of being grateful for the new day upon waking in the morning and doing 5 minutes of breathing in and out and anchoring yourself in your center before your jump into doing.

2.  You decide to pay attention to your body and when it starts feeling tense you immediately stop and move into a centering practice before you do anything else. A centering practice can be as simple as breathing in, deep into your belly, and breathing out.  When you breath in pay attention to your shoulders and your neck.  Relax.  When you breathe out, think: I release this stress. How does your body feel?  If you have to repeat, repeat until you feel your shoulders relax.

3.  You tell those around you of your new practice and why (good modeling!)

Yes it took a lot of time – And what you can’t see is that the drawers in the red chest have all been cleaned out and ordered to (you will not they are now labeled).

and ask for their help with one or two things.  Then you let them help or not but you do not take back responsibility for completing the task you have transferred.  You also do not look at what is done and think about how you could do it better.  You have to give up something if you’re going to move into a life that has some space in it – and the first thing to let go of is control.

4.  You are kind to yourself when you forget.  You are kind to yourself when you don’t manage as well as you’d like.  You continue to practice your daily practice.

5. You cannot fill up without first opening up – being vulnerable.  You may have to tear down some protective walls.

6.  You find support and community – in person, on-line, by phone.

Why do this?  Because when you start filling up, there’s always an overflow.  And that overflow looks like joy and feels like generosity. How can you tell you are filling up?  Your responses will feel open and cruious and abundant.  You won’t want to go back to fill small and insecure and harried.  In other words, the practice brings its own reward.

And here’s the table and floor around it. I can put my hand on anything immediately which means I save the time of searching through piles and still not finding it (which means suddenly I have that searching time to use for other things!). There’s more to do, but I got a really good start at it today and I am grateful for that!

(first published in 2012)

Getting to “HOW”

Getting to “HOW”

transition to transformation

transition to transformation

My experience is that all the well-known coaches out there say:  know your what and your why, and the the clarity of how will take care of itself.

Every single one of them.

Well, in the past, my how has never taken care of itself.  I have never been able to figure out how it is that I can follow my passion and have a roof over my head and food to eat.  Because it has always seemed like one or the other, and a struggle.  A real hard struggle.  Which led to beating my Self up because I wasn’t getting the HOW even though I pretty much had the what and the why all sewn up.

What’s up with that? And am I the only one? (No, because if I’m asking this question, I know that others are too).

A couple of things are up with that:

1.  The what and the why have a tendency to change as you grow.

2.  If the how is to take care of itself, it has to be something that transcends the what and the why – a base foundation if you will.

3.  At least that’s what I’m saying here because it works well with my thesis.  This is a working thesis – please feel free to poke holes in it and I will go back to the drawing board and invite you over to brainstorm with me.

Before get back to the how, let me back up and make sure we are on the same definition of the what and the why.

What:  Clarity  about what it is you really want.  How do you get to clarity?  Ah – see?  “How” comes up immediately.

Why:  when you speak of why you are doing what you’re doing the word “passion” should come up.  Frequently.  And it should have a “hell YES!!”-I’m-doing-this-because-I can’t-not quality to it.  If it doesn’t then you still have some work to do on the what.

Now to the how.

I don’t know that I’ve read this anywhere before because, as I said, everyone in the great out there is suggesting that the how just works out.  Just like that.  No effort.  It just lays itself down in front of you and pants to put that million dollars right into your bank account  and/or deliver the perfect partner to your front door (if you don’t already have one of course).

It’s like each of those coaches is keeping the one final really important ingredient from the mix….just so you don’t catch up with them. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit of paranoia.

Sunsets Happen by Tammy Vitale

So, you know what?  I think they have it backwards.

I think if you know the how,  then the what and the why do indeed lay themselves down in front of you panting to deliver the world to your door.

Here’s what the how  is:  a daily practice that takes you into your core self where you have every thing you need, and a community (even if it’s only one other person) to believe in and support you on days when you’re having a hard time doing that.

I can hear it now:  all those smacked foreheads.  Been there: ” What?  Yet another “practice” to put on my todo list?  When am I supposed to sleep?”

Secret:  If you do a daily practice, time opens up.  How?  Because you more easily see the next step that needs doing and three others you were thinking about simply fall away.  They have no heat, no passion and moving from a daily practice of focus shows that up quicker than “snap.”

So I’m going to suggest that in addition to, and maybe even before, you figure out what/clarity and why/passion you seek out how/daily practice and supportive community.

Grand Tetons by Tammy Vitale

Daily practice hooks you into your subconscious where all magic lives.  It opens you to see and hear and find things that you might have ignored before.  It’s like the Wizard of  Oz folks:  in the end they discovered that what they thought they needed, they had all along.  You already have the Ruby Slippers – but you can’t use them until you can see their power.

I think this deserves more discussion – do you have a daily practice?  A supportive community?  I’d love to hear about it – or about your questions/concerns/obstacles to setting those two things up in your daily life.

Subscribe to this blog if you want to watch where this goes – that nice box over in the right hand column.

Next up we’ll talk about “daily practice”

Oh!  and p.s. my Wylde Women’s Wisdom FaceBook page is back up – go see, like it, and choose to get notifications so you actually see it!

(This blog is adopted from a blog I posted here Dec. 6, 2012).


The Boundaries of The Pond You Swim In

The Boundaries of The Pond You Swim In

An actual picture of my pond is used as the background for this meme.  Photo by Tammy Vitale

An actual picture of my pond is used as the background for this meme. Photo by Tammy Vitale

I love my pond.  It is at once a beautiful place to observe year round, an inspiration for poetry and writing, and a metaphor  to try to imagine the pond I am swimming in and what I cannot see yet.

(Note:  If you’re having a hard time reading the quote on the picture, click once and it will take the picture to a separate page.  Click a 2nd time and it will be enlarged.)

How big is it really, my pond?  Am I persistently thinking too small?  What have I killed to keep new ideas from being introduced.  Who have I button-holed in a tank somewhere because it’s safer for me to see them that way?  Can I wake up enough to become one of those walk on land fish…or maybe even a flying fish?

Michael Singer says that when you are awake, you are constantly hitting the limits of your comfort zone [the edges of my pond].  “You see that you’re afraid to tell people what you really think.  You see that you’re too self-conscious to freely express yourself.  You see that you have to say on top of everything in order to be okay.

“Why?  There’s really no reason.  You have set these limits on yourself. If you don’t stay within them, you get scared, you feel hurt, and you feel threatened. that’s your cage…Your bars are the outer boundary of your comfort zone.  The minute you come to the edge of your cage, it lets you know it in no uncertain terms.” [emphasis mine]

In January of 2011, I wrote 10 Ways to Know that You’re Awake. I named these questions as good indicators of whether or not you are awake:

1.  Am I doing new things?  Are they scarey?  Am I doing them anyways?

2.  Is my world expanding?  Am I adding new ideas and new people with whom to explore those ideas?

3.  Am I grateful for everything that comes my way, even the stuff that makes me uncomfortable, or sad?

My pond in winter.  Photo by Tammy Vitale 1/23/14

My pond in winter. Photo by Tammy Vitale 1/23/14

4.  Do I stand in my own power?  Do I pull that power from within rather than from what others think/say/do?  If I’m the only one, do I stand up anyways?


5.  Am I reaching out to those coming behind me?  Am I walking with at least one someone beside me?  Better, have I created a community  from which I can draw strength and courage and to which I can contribute the same?   Have I developed strategies for and a practice of distilling the wisdom of those who have gone before me?

6.  In my profession, can I acknowledge – and feel good about – those who reject my work, seeing it as my work and not me?  Do I know with certainty that my work is not for everyone and that’s okay?

Egg sacs in my pond, spring 2013 - something new a birthing.  Phot by Tammy Vitale

Egg sacs in my pond, spring 2013 – something new a birthing. Phot by Tammy Vitale

7.  Do I acknowledge and understand how my minute to minute choices create the life I am living?

8.  Am I familiar with all the stories I tell myself, the roles I play in them and how to change them?

9.  Can I let go of trying to control anything and everything in my life and go with the flow?  (No try, just do.  Yoda)  Do I acknowledge that there is no such thing as control or security – so I might as well just name everything an adventure and get on with it?

10.  Am I okay that there’s no one right answer for whatever is offering and opening itself to me?  Am I happy to live in the question?

Sometime I surprise myself – those are pretty good questions.  So then I have to wonder why I am forever forgetting what I already know.  I don’t have the answer for that, yet, and that’s okay.

But it seems to me that I do have a good feel for finding the boundaries of my pond – the place that when I cross the boundary I feel “like a fish out of water” – like I can’t breathe.  I’m going to start paying close attention to that.  How about you?

“The Untethered Soul” and other good reads

“The Untethered Soul” and other good reads

2D prart on chair trustI have promised myself that I will work on my book today and it is getting toward dark, so I am productively procrastinating here to share with you some really good reads I’ve had just today!

Last Sunday I was visiting son and asked me to take me to The Temple of the Universe, a place he has spoken of one and off over the years.  It is run by Michael Singer.  I was suitably impressed by the talk – Singer is really good at bringing concepts down to earth.  So impressed, I hopped on Amazon and bought his book, The Untethered Soul:  The Journey Beyond Yourself.”  I have not been one bit disappointed!  I had to start highlighting in different colors to stay with key concepts – which is to say, I was underling a whole lot of the text and needed to be able to find things on my Kindle.  Color it is!

This is towards the end of the book.  The lead up is simple and easy to follow.  I hope you get something provocative from this excerpt too.

Start with this interview with Michael and Oprah (please don’t be put off – he’s very down to earth in person – I didn’t even know about Oprah until I looked him up.   He has an interesting background.)  It ends saying that we all want freedom, and that’s where I pick up in his book:

To live at this level of freedom, you must learn not to be afraid of inner pain and disturbance.  As long as you are afraid of the pain, you will try to protecct yourself from it.  The fear will make you do that.  If you want to be free, simply view inner pain as a temporary shift in your energy flow.  There is no reason to fear this experience.  You must not be afraid of rejection, or of how you would feel if you got sick, or if someone died, or if something else went wrong.  You cannot spend your life avoiding things that are not actually happening, or everything will become negative.  All you will end up seeing is how much can potentially go wrong.  Do you have any idea how many things can cause inner pain and disturbance?  Probably more than there are stars in the sky.  If you want to grow and be free to explore life, you cannot spend your life avoiding the myriad things that might hurt your heart or mind.  You must look inside yourself and determine that from now on pain is not a problem…

If you fee insecurity, it’s just a feeling.  You can handle a feeling.  If you feel embarrassed, it’s just a feeling.  It’s just a part of creation.  If you feel jealousy and your heart burns, just look at it objectiv ely, like your would a mild bruise…it cannot touch you unless you touch it [by being afraid].

When something painful touches your body, you tend to pull away instinctively.  The fact is, your psyche does the same

Butterfly series by Tammy Vitale

Butterfly series by Tammy Vitale

thing.  If something disturbing touches it, its tendency is to withdraw, to pull back and to protect itself…In essence, you “cloce,” which is simply an attempt to put a shield around your inner energy.  You can feel the effects of this as the sensation of contracting within your heart.  Somebody says something displeasing, and you feel some distrubance in your heart.  Then your mind start talking:  “I don’t have to put up with this.  I’ll just walk away and never talk to them again.  They’ll be sorry.”  Your heart is attempting to pull back from what it’s experiencing and protect itself…Once you close, your mind will build an entire psychological structure around your closed energy.  Your thoughts will try to rationalize why you’re right, why the other person’s wrong, and what you should do about it.

Sound familiar?  Yes, he goes on to give you a how to counteract this by relaxing and releasing.  Of course nothing feels that simple, but what have you got to lose trying to see if it really is that simple?!  Simplicity doesn’t mean it will happen tomorrow, it just means the action is easy – so repeat, repeat, repeat!

Here’s another of my favorite bloggers, The Indigo Vat.  Today she shares an amazing poem.  Here’s a piece of it (go read the rest, you won’t be sorry):

(Yes! wall sculpture by Tammy Vitale) Morgaine loves creative tools to remind her of goddess spirituality and her own connection to the earth. To that end, she loves practicing in community to make fetishes and altar objects that help her remember her own divinity and what she is here to do.

(Yes! wall sculpture by Tammy Vitale)

At the end of the world there was a woman

called a witch, a woman who knew the sacred knot tying of the
umbilical cord, and was not afraid to reach into a woman’s body to turn
a breech birth right, a woman who knew the winds but would not
sell them in red knots to sailors because she did not believe a
wind should be sold; a woman who talked to every creature she encountered
and waited for a reply. It will not surprise you they
wanted her dead. It doesn’t much matter when, or where.
Finally, another favorite blogger, Charlotte Hamrick, writes in ZouxZoux
your eyes are gray as the air
between skyscrapers when
cold fog rolls in, people scurrying
about clutching their coats
close to their chins thinking about
a warm fire or maybe just a radiator
and a long drink of a fiery liquid
sliding down the throat and warming
the belly
What are you reading today that you love?  Share!

What’s *Your* Story – And Why You Should Drop It

2d life is one surprise  tammyvitale.comThe first few days of 2015 have been amazing – some wonderful ahas, starting with with what I shared my last post, Seeing Yourself in a Different Light.  Come along with me today and see what you think!

Heatherash Amara, in her book Warrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You are Meant to Be, says:

One day, as I was sharing the story of my life with a new friend, I had an epiphany.  I realized that my story was not a factual collection of words describing my life.  My story was a heavy anchor I ws dragging behind me while trying to catch the wind in my sails.

If you follow this blog at all, you know that I am fascinated by Story, and how the ones we tell ourselves and others – which strands of our life we choose to focus on – affect individuals, communities, societies, cultures, the world.  If you want to change any one of those stories, find the main strands and change them.  There is always a strand that has been left out to make the story better.  Always."Stained Glass" paint window by Tammy Vitale. Chimes to be added.

The problem becomes that once one strand it pulled, other stands come loose with it.  So you might want to change just one aspect and suddenly find yourself in the midst of a huge transition you weren’t counting on.  That can land you somewhere on the scale of uncomfortable to terrifying.

Living Deeply:  The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life (Schlitz, Vieten, Amorok) says:  “When transformation requires some kind of sacrifice – whether of a cherished belief, a comfortable habit or something you think you can’t survive without – you may avoid it until there is no other option…One of the gifts of intense suffering can be a newfound willingness to make significant changes…painful and frightening experiences [can] loosen our control and dissolve our identities.

…The further you get from your values or purpose, the more painful life tends to become…many of our respondents [to interviews for the book] used the word ‘surrender’ to describe the moment when suffering becomes so great that a person just gives up.”

“However, the book goes on to note that “not all doorways to or catalysts of transformation are filled with pain…equal numbers…described [the transformative process] as very pleasant.”

Although neither reading directly says so, how the transformative stage feels to us may well be based on the story we have immersed ourselves in.  So, it pays to be aware of what you are telling yourself  and others about who you are and what is happening in your life.

If you want to live life as an adventure, you know you are going to hit spots where you run into the unknown.  In fact, isn’t that what an adventure is:  learning new things by being exposed to new experiences?

5x7 print, double matted, available from Tammy Vitale $20 includes postage

5×7 print, double matted, available from Tammy Vitale $20 includes postage

What if, instead of telling yourself a story where you already know the outcome because you are basing your projections on past experience (which may have nothing to do with what is presenting now), you decide that not only do you not know what is next, but also that it is okay not to know.  And instead of telling yourself a story that you don’t know and that’s scary and dangerous you instead drop all stories and let the story tell itself.  Be curious and ask questions as you run into new events and experiences.  Stay open to the inquiry of what’s happening right now in front of you – not what has happened in the past or *might* happen in the future .  Approach new information with a sense of exploration.

What questions would you ask?  And how might that change your life?


Seeing Yourself In a Different Light

Seeing Yourself In a Different Light

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver

There is nothing like travel to let you see yourself, literally, in a different light.

I have lived in my home for 2o years.  I know what I look like in the mirror where I dress, fix my hair and put on my makeup every morning.  At least I think I do.  You know how the brain is:  you see what you expect to see.

So when I travel, my brain expects to see the same thing.  Well.  Different lighting and unfamiliar mirror means my brain doesn’t quite know what I’m supposed to look like so it opens up and lets me see what’s really there.  Worse than a photograph at my age!

Add in different water (mine at home is soft well water), different shampoo – a small one to travel, more humidity and my hair has taken on a life of its own.  And I’ve had to decide whether to obsess or go with the flow.

My word for the year is unflappable so with the flow it is.

There are some things you do that broaden you without your even thinking about it.  Staying away from the safe cocoon of your home – at a friend’s or on the road – can do that.  Snap.  Just like that.

Yesterday I was heavy into a book, on paper not on Kindle, Living Deeply:  The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday

Discoverature - an original tile by Tammy Vitale

Discoverature – an original tile by Tammy Vitale

LIfe.  It had the same effect on my mind that different light had on my face.  Opened up new spaces and gave me some new ways of looking at things.  Also gave me some one word names for things I have been describing in sentences for years:

  • scaffolding:  holding open a space for learning experiences – not solving problems but providing a supportive structure for folks to reach solutions for themselves.  The way I’ve always described what I do when I’m organizing in communities.
  • embodiment:  taking the abstract to concrete.  I’ve always thought of my skill set as taking abstract to concrete whether it was an idea that a community wanted to put forward when doing community based organizing (the real thing, not the door to door canvassing thing) or bringing a piece of clay alive.  Energy wants expression.  I provide the conduit and then get out of the way.  “Embodiment.”  Who knew?!

There is so much information in this book I could (and will be) write about “ahas” for days.

But for today I leave you with this thought:

..the great change we call transformation isn’t really a change at all, but an unveiling, a reorganization, a deepening

into who you are and what already is..

I wish you different lights, new mirrors (literal or friends or a great book) and an few awesome “aha!s” for this, the first week in the new year!


How Will You Play This Year?

How Will You Play This Year?

vision journal page for 2015 in the works New Year's Eve

vision journal page for 2015 in the works New Year’s Eve

For the past two days I have been working on looking back and then looking forward.  That time of year and I have time off the work-for-someone-else job, so why not?

I think of 2014 as a quiet year simply because I pulled everything back inside and hunkered down to gestate.  That kind of year.

Looking back I realize that hunkering down meant playing a lot in the studio since I wasn’t try to sell anything.  I made BIG things:  a 7 ft goddess for the yard (she still needs to be mounted for the yard but she’s finished); my hall bathroom floor – a dream for at least 5 years realized; new front steps so that I could mosaic the risers on them (I’m half way done).  Not bad for being quiet!

So I learned that being quiet is okay because it opens up space and lets dreams in.

More of what came in:  I went to Patti Digh’s Life is a Verb camp outside of Asheville NC. Just before that hubby and I ran down to the Outer Banks and arrived in the midst of a Nor’Easter – he on the motorcycle because he was coming home as I went off to camp.  We couldn’t get in our rented room because of sand and waves so we had to settle for something across the street with only the ocean running a creek in front of it instead of waves.  There was a full moon in there somewhere and some magical energy that exploded all around me and has stayed simmering since.  At any rate, I’m planning to go to Patti’s Camp this year too.  And meet

vision journal page looking back and looking forward

vision journal page looking back and looking forward

two dear on-line Goddess friends who live in the area while I’m at it.

My big lesson for 2014 (and is it BIG) is that I don’t have to repeat old patterns that no longer serve.  And the Universe, generous soul, is giving me plenty of opportunities to practice that.  Suffice it to say I am passing, but it is taking time and focus and persistence!  I suppose nothing good and growth oriented is any different.  Somehow the idea that I should be able to be really good at something without any practice has lodged itself in my subconscious somewhere.  I am rooting that out by practicing imperfection.

For 2015 I plan to finish writing and publish (ebook first and then paperback) my book, Index to Transformation.  I’ve discovered, wandering back through 8 years of blogging and 20 years of writing and poetry that the over arching theme is always transformation.  I am taking that as a clue that I am supposed to focus on that.  So I shall.  Another book sitting waiting is Wylde Crone Rising.  It’s practically written in my head but I am giving Index first preference because it is written down and somewhat organized.  Wylde Crone seems organized until I try to pin it to a piece of paper.

So I have made vision journal pages and lists and thought about what’s next and asked for guidance when I go to sleep at night because morning twilight, when I’m waking, is the best time for intuition and grace to enter.

Vision Journal page for 2015...but I have to make another one for PLAY!!!

Vision Journal page for 2015…but I have to make another one for PLAY!!!

This morning, this first day of the new year, I woke at 5 a.m.  I felt a calling to open my hands, so I did, and this glwy golden light came and settled in them – heavy golden light.  I pulled the light into my solar plexus and it filled me up and spilled over so I opened my arms wide to let it flow out.  Gold sparkles everywhere.  And then came the thought:  how will you play this year?

All that work and I didn’t even address play, which seems to have opened the widest door for wonderful new things for me this year (the floor, the steps, Camp, the goddess).

I have my guiding question for the year.  Do you?  And, by the way, how will YOU play this year?

Happy New Year!

Photo of flower at the edge of asphalt. Photo and quote by Tammy Vitale

Photo and quote by Tammy Vitale

The Holy Tussle

The Holy Tussle

transition to transformation

transition to transformation

Yes, you who have no time because your hands are full of things for which you did not have the word, “no.”  It is time for transformation.

And you, who have given with love and by choice to your family, both older and younger.  It is time for transmutation.

And you, whose souls have stopped whispering and are starting to scream.  It is time for transfiguration.

And you who recognize the perfection of imperfection.  It is time for transmutation.

And you who yearn to honor yourself.  It is time for transfiguration.

And you, who feel lost and alone.  It is time for transformation.

And you who knows the story must be rewoven and retold, and that you and you alone have the power.  It is time.

Some days, my exact response to all this would be,   “Oh, yeah?  And exactly why is it time?”

So for those of you who wonder why it is now time, what one does with that knowledge, and how it all works, I will delve a bit deeper.    See what you you think (and let me know in the comments – I’m all ears).

I am at the ending of a transition period.

How I know I’m in transition:  I can’t quite name it – it’s more of a feeling:  a restless yearning; a notion that time is speeding and I am, in this space, standing still.  I speed up.  Nothing changes.  I look around – things that worked and worked well in the past no longer fit.  There is a pinched, closed down feeling to life.  A need for space in order to just take one single simple deep breath.  I slow down.  The surface remains the same.  Beneath the surface, in the deep inside of me, something green and new stirs – a tiny new root grow, a possibility of something wylde and blooming.

How I know I’m at the end of the transition period (which, in case you’re interested, lasted all of last year):  quite simply all the signs point to it being time to begin doing something with that gestation period.  I woke this morning with the title of this blog in my head.  For you it may be a passage in a book, a toss off comment from a friend or even foe, the way the light hits the frozen ground, the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin.  Whatever it is, it comes straight through and there’s a pause and shift and a recognition of  yes.

If you are a woman who has given birth, or helped it along, you know that transition is where the really hard work gets done at the end of gestation.  It is where you find, after you have labored and breathed and cried and laughed and waited and workedworkedworked, after you have come to the edge and think you can go no further, that you discover yes, you can.  Because you must.  Something is being born and you are the only one who can birth it [here is your why – is there a better “why” than this?]

Giving  or feeling out of control may be recognized by the thought “I can’t do this” .  Recognize that this is asking for help.  You can no longer handle anything  the way it was handled

Photo of flower at the edge of asphalt. Photo and quote by Tammy Vitale

Photo and quote by Tammy Vitale

in the past,  you need to do something differently.  You will not ask just anyone.  You will ask someone you trust to breathe with you and get you through the hard part.  To believe in you and what you are working towards even and especially when you are ready to give it all up.  This is a special someone you have sought out when you felt the restlessness begin, knowing you would need someone to hold your hand and sing your song when you’ve forgotten how it goes, a special someone who knows you are a hero and can say that when the path is hidden from you because your eyes are closed in fear.

If you give up, not only does your life force shrivel and die but also the thing that is almost here – the energy that is counting on you because you are the only conduit through which it can come in full expression – that thing never gets any chance at all. And the rest of the world is that much sadder and deprived for that loss.

Carol Pearson and Katherine Pope assure us that “The hero is not ‘above’ looking down on human endeavor, she is often confused, living in the flux.  Therefore she does not try to eliminate all suffering and pain, but to affirm life in all its manifestations, and through this affirmation to transform it.”  With a little help from her friend(s).

2d-poster-Christina-BaldwinWhen in your mind you hear, “I can’t, because…[you fill in the excuse.  you know it’s there,  this is your ego talking.  What was the thought just prior to “I can’t?”  Track it down.  Be ruthless no matter how hard the tracking is – that original thought, the one that set the ego in action, *that* thought is your intuition.  Find that thought and do whatever it said, and whatever it takes to do what it said.  [with thanks to my son who gave me that very succinct explanation] That is your next step,  your what that needs to happen to move from the dark enfolding (and now smothering) earth into the sunlight and air.

How do you want to feel *now* as you take this step?  Concentrate on *that* how.  Think, “How do I want to feel” rather than “How do I get [this thing that I want].  Why feelings instead of actions and plans?  Because actions and plans tend to have one outcome that you believe is what you want.  You belief will close down other possibilities moving toward you and make you blind to grace that sits down in your path and pants for your acknowledgement.  You will brush by it, ignoring it as you look for that which you have already decided is the “how” of getting to what you want.  There are many paths to feeling prosperity and abundance in your life so that you feel fulfilled. Can you think of some of them and write them down?  Be outlandish!  Don’t think outside of the box, believe that there is no box until you think of it.

The holy tussle is in this path through transition to tranformation.  It is in seeing obstacles as stepping stones, in holding yourself open to possibilities that you have never imagined because you have never before been on this particular path.  The holy tussle is believing in yourself and trusting your intuition and in the last moments before you give up reaching out to a friend.







What is it you want to do with your one wild and precious life?

What is it you want to do with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver

That time of year folks – take a look back, a look at present and a look forward.

For me it has been a wonderful year of trying new things (Patty Digh’s Life is a Verb Camp 2014), redoing my front yard and having new front steps put in so I can decorate the step risers with mosaic words of inspiration – and learn how to do mosaics on mesh…bonus!!!, make a 7 foot mosaic goddess, and spend a lot of time just thinking about “stuff” and throwing lines out imagining how that might manifest.

I am working on a book, Index to Transformation, since it turns out I’ve been writing poetry and prose and blogs about that for about 20 years.  The title was gifted to me by the very talented and generous Jacqualine-Marie Nunes Baxman and opened the door to putting together a lot of writing in one place.  I’m also working on whatever it is that Wylde Crone Rising wants to be – I don’t know yet:  writing, workshops, retreat, all of those, none of those, something new I don’t have the words for yet.

But the point of this post is to share some things I’ve run across lately that are great for opening a space to think about things.

Jacqualine-Marie (mentioned above) sent this url along with Scott Dinsmore talking about

“How to find and do work you love”


Dinsmore repeats the wisdom that everything is impossible until someone does it.  “Make the impossible the new normal.”

What if impossible is a wall you build around your dreams by Tammy Vitale

What if impossible is a wall you build around your dreams by Tammy Vitale

He notes that never mind all the things you can’t control, these things are 100% in your control:

1.  No one can tell you that you can’t learn about yourself

2.  No one can tell you you can’t push your limits and push your own ‘Impossible”

3.  No one can tell you that you can’t surround yourself with inspiring people and get away from those who bring you down

“The only limit to possibility now is your imagination.”

Flex your imagination.

Merry Holiday!