Dance is the Next Yoga

Bali, 2013.  Photo: Rolf Gibbs

Bali, 2013. Photo: Rolf Gibbs

Sometimes, when I’m on stage at a festival or facilitating a class, I look out at a sea of dancing people, and I think:

“Wow.  This is what the it looks like when we ‘arrive.’  This is what it looks like when people are awake – not just as consciousness – but fully in their bodies, in expression, in connection.  This is real freedom.”

“This is what the world would look like if peace were a reality for all beings.”

“Dang… this practice could totally change the world.”

“Whoah… it really IS.”

Why?  It’s just the way evolution is moving.  Watching a group of people dance is like watching evolution happen – everything conspires towards greater connection, collaboration, resonance and synergy.   Dance is a microcosm of the macrocosm.  It’s the cutting edge of consciousness as a practice that anyone can do.

I’ve witnessed uncounted miracles on the dance floor.  I’ve gotten feedback from literally thousands of people that Dancing Freedom has been a safe space to finally know and engage higher purpose, to heal what felt impossible to heal, or to know and trust membership and empowerment in community.

Collective awakening is awesome.  Seriously.  It’s a power that transcends the individual.  In Buddhism, it’s called Maitreya – collective Buddha – the thing that happens when a whole group of people awaken together and come into ownership of the indomitable power of WE.

(If you’ve ever been on a dance floor when everyone breaks into ecstasy at the same time, you know what I mean.)

We left tribal living a long time ago in favor of knowing ourselves.  It’s been an amazing ride.  We got really good at being individuals, and in the process, we’ve evolved culture and technology to extraordinary levels of complexity and capacity.  Now, the requirements of our earth and the expansion of consciousness are spiraling us upwards into the truth of our interconnectivity.

Some like to say say, “we is the new me.”  I like to say that now is the time for a softer, stronger me and a more interwoven and mutually engaged we.  It’s time to be and dance as people who can co-create a beautiful world.

This is why dance is the next yoga.

Yoga brings us home to our bodies, our essential energy and our connection to source consciousness.  It’s a self-focused way of practice that opens people to the fullness of what we really are and can be.

Dance takes our spirituality off the mat and into community.

Dance brings us fully into life – into relationship, onto the earth, and into the chaotic unfoldment of engaged purpose as the place where real freedom happens.

Spiritual liberation without the encouragement and the support to bring it into life is meaningless freedom.

The difference is community.

When we’re in it together, we get freedom in relationship:  freedom to grow, freedom to see and be seen, freedom to co-create, freedom to give and receive, freedom to fall down, freedom to fly.

This is the kind of freedom that can change the world.

Do you resonate?

Share your experiences below.

Or, help us bring more dance to the world.  Join our next Dancing Freedom Facilitator Training.

November 8-29, 2015 • Byron Bay, Australia

(Literally, THE most beautiful place I’ve ever been!)

Can’t wait.

For Us All


Today I have received news of the second suicide of a young person in one of my communities.  The news falls hard.  There’s a lot of news like this, these days.  Have you noticed?  How are you feeling?

Today, I have softened my heart to listened and offered the gentle counsel of non-blaming, no-faulting.  I have quietly offered words of embrace to the people still living, navigating the constellation of grief, shock, loss.

And, today, I have found this poem.  I wrote it in 2008.  It is as relevant now.  It is FOR US ALL.  Whatever you are dealing with today- ease or challenge, loss or the burden of having, love or the strange absence of loneliness, or all of the above… This is for you.  This is for us.  These are healing words for today.

34For Us All

These bones – translucent – are your bones. They find us in the halls of her-story.
This blood – fire – is your blood, pulsing the tides of a timeless ocean.
This heart – royal – is our heart. Shall we share the majesty?
Shall we remember our birthright as leaders and children?
Shall we fall quietly into the deafening silence
Of a greater promise?

Your cheek, my sister, is so soft, as we hold each other sighing. I want to walk forward with you, like we know who we are, like we trust one another, like fullness. I want to forget the doubting, and remember the fierce certainty of loving. I want to cradle the one and the many in the expanse of my wings, and to take flight when you squeeze me tight, gathering me to the Earth. I want to resign this job of trying, and take a post of radical success at Café Unconditional. I want to meet meet myself, and see you, and us, and forever, AND feel safe – because I choose to.

I want to fall down laughing – again.

This Harvest is mixed.
Shall we play?
This catch is small.
Shall we sing?
This table is empty.
Shall we dance on it?

Shall we work, and pray and do the long, hard labor of dying and birthing? Together?

We do. And we shall.
Rise up in courage beyond hope
As a tidal wave on unknowable shores.
We do. And we shall.
Surrender arms and take up the one weapon that matters –
An awake heart.
We do. And we shall.
Be the will and the waking of the One.

~ Samantha Sweetwater, October 24, 2008

Embodied Leadership Basics

188673_10151360355406578_4379643_npssst… did you hear?  I’m writing a new book.  It’s called More Life, Please.

Yes.  I want more life.


Anyhooo… In the process, I’m digging up some of the old treasures of writing I’ve done for the Dancing Freedom Manual, the Peacebody School and other projects.  I’ve decided to share a bunch of goodies with you – unedited.  (Please be kind with typos or less than perfect structure.)  For all of you co-creating evolution out there, here’s a piece to help you better understand the higher power dynamics at play as you develop and share your unique and perfect gifts:  Embodied Leadership Basics. I think you’ll like it. The 24 Keys of Embodied Leadership will follow in a few days.



Embodied Leadership Basics

Hey Embodied Leaders! Here are some basic principles that apply holographically to every aspect life and action. They are equally applicable to whole-being, psychosomatic health, co-creating healthy relationships and co-creating healthy systems (businesses and institutions) that function in integrity with life. They are alchemical principles. Alchemy describes the actual process of being the change: when you change yourself, you change your world. And, as the world changes, you are also changed. (As above, so below. As below, so above. As within, so without. As without, so within.)

Leadership is both an archetypal position that some people hold and an attribute that all people have. Some people are simply “born leaders” – they radiate archetypal qualities that people trust and follow. They attract attention and move large amounts of energy. They are charismatic and easily take the lead. Not everyone has this quality. (Think of JFK, Gandhi, MLK or Michael Jackson.) OBSERVE: Who do you naturally “follow?” Why? How do people naturally follow (or not follow) you? How do you radiate the archetype of leadership?

On another level, leadership is an attribute that every person exercises in different ways at different times. Each of us leads through example as we co-create our lives in integrity with spirit, soul and all of life. We lead when we be, do, and create our lives as true expressions of our heart-knowing. You lead by being you. How do you embody and exercise the attribute of leadership in your home? Your workplace? Your relationships? Your communities?
Embodied Leadership means showing up in integrity with your core values, purpose and soul essence. It means actually integrating who you say you want to be into your body, your personality, your habits of thought, word, and action and your ways of relating in the world.

Leading is not always about “being the lead.” It is also about following and supporting– being a strong follower, letting others shine, flowing with “the energy”, letting the collective heart lead, following divine directives, letting life lead. Much leadership is invisible. True leaders are not “out there for themselves”, they are great listeners, great followers. They place their lives and their actions at service to something larger than themselves.

Embodied leadership means having a certain level of integration – maturity. It is never “achieved.”  It requires ongoing practice – living consciously in dynamic balance with life itself – with the changes, challenges and opportunities life offers. It means putting Embodied principles into practice daily as we structure our lives, our work, our relationships, our communication patterns and our social, economic and political systems. It is an ecological approach – a whole-being, inter-relational, life-centric approach to the harmony and interdependence of life.


…more soon as I dig through old treasures on my way to More, Life Please.

ps.  If you liked this, you may want to join me for Initiation|Soul Quest, September 22-27 in my home bioregion, the magical Siskiyou Mountains, or for the Dancing Freedom Facilitator Training, November 8-29, 2015 in uber-gorgeous and spiritually potent Byron Bay, Australia.

I Believe In Your Power to Choose Your Life

20-animal-black-and-white-photography-by-wolf-ademeit.previewHi.  I just wanted to take a moment to say something to you.

Yes… you.  That person reading this who, just like me, navigates some pretty outrageous and subtle challenges pretty much every day to move forward with the life you’ve been given.  That person who knows in her heart that your life is yours, but struggles sometimes to feel that it’s possible.

Yes.  It is possible.

I’m in the midst of final enrollments and logistics for one of my Dancing Freedom trainings.  It’s a huge container – three jam packed weeks of embodied transformation, earth ceremony, soul alchemy, nature immersion, permaculture and dancing.  Every time I do this, I get to be the gatekeeper for tens of people navigating the huge life choice of whether to spend the time, money and energy to do the training.  (I help people with doubt, uncertainty, and the sure power of their dreams.  I don’t sell.  I hold a doorway open and help people make an authentic decision that is empowered and that feels good.)  And, every time I do another one of these trainings, I go through layer upon layer of my own soul initiations to really WALK MY TALK.

So… this time, I’m navigating a big relationship transition (which will have me moving off the farm after the training), a car accident (75pmh impact with a deer) that totaled my car last Friday, healing my body of the trauma of that accident, searching for a new car… all the while managing all the logistics of a three week training, launching another training in Australia, helping on the farm, writing my book, and continuing to play a co-parenting roll with my ex-partner’s kids.       …dang…

So, my initiation (again) over the last 24 hours has been – do I believe in myself???  Can I keep responding gracefully to all the things on my plate?  Can I take responsibility for my sometimes difficult feelings in this breakup?  Can I look out at my Big Life and choose it?

I’ll be honest, last night, trying to talk through moving out and logistics with my ex, I kind of broke down.  We were in our “patterns” and not doing such a good job of listening to each other.  Some time after midnight, I realized I just needed to end the conversation and go to bed.

Thankfully, today is a new day.  Every day is a new day.

And, what I’m present to in this moment is that I HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE MY LIFE.

It took a little umph to get to that mindset.  It took a little will force.  (You have this same will force in you.)

I woke up this morning, and refocused myself on my own center and what’s actually real – everything is ok, I am supported in SO many ways to just take the next step, and I have immense power within me to support myself – through my own attitude and actions.  Whatever my ex doesn’t understand about how I live my life, what drives me, how spirit and the world speak to me, how I see the world… DOESN’T MATTER.  It’s not personal.  All that really matters is that I do what is mine to do.

This is the essence of CHOOSING YOUR LIFE:

  • Center in your self.
  • Do what’s yours to do.
  • Take the next step.

That next step is right there.  (Today, it looks like writing this, then going to find a new car, then getting myself to the retreat where I’m teaching this weekend.)  But, whatever it looks like for you – it’s your next step.

Take it.


The art of choosing your life is right in front of you.  Focus your energy on FORWARD.  That’s the only direction life flows.

The only direction that life flows is forward.  And, it does it one step at a time.

Do it from your heart.  Do it from the strength of your life force and will force.  It’s a STRONG force.  It is SOFT, too.

It’s all going to be ok.  And, no.  Ok doesn’t mean permanent or always stable or guaranteed safe.  It means it’s gonna be the way your life is given to you.  By spirit.  By your own soul.  Through your prayer.  Because you choose it.  Because you live it.

I believe in my power to choose my life.  I know this power through using it.  That’s knowing.  It’s deeper than belief.

It’s a very present tense experience of personal power accessed the moment you turn towards your capacity to respond – to walk forward – in the direction of life – in a way that’s authentic to you.

And, it’s the gentle confidence that comes from observing yourself over the arc of time.

(As I bring witness to my life as it is and as it’s been, I am getting to know that I – my way of doing my life – am a fairly trustworthy vehicle for my own soul.)

This is called seeing evidence in your own actions.  (All of nature and the universe will readily reflect whether you’re on track, too!)

And, it’s also just owning the incredible power that is a human being – that power specifically in you – specifically in me.  Own it.

No one can take it away from you.  No one can take your power.  Nothing is personal.  Only you can choose your life.

But, sometimes we’ve gotta recenter, shake off, take some time to feel our difficult feelings, and review.  (That’s when it’s time to lean into belief.)

I believe in your power to choose your life.

I know you have the power to choose your life.

Do it.



How to Get More Life

10268567_10153508091628298_3719500381205598298_nThis morning, while driving down the Bayshore freeway in heavy traffic, I was overcome with tears of love and joy. My life is so powerfully overflowing with the endless answers to all my prayers – including YOU reading this now.  (Yes, I pray for my writing to be useful to real people.)

In our church, there’s a prayer we like to say: Thank you for answering every prayer I’ve ever prayed.

This prayer REALLY works. It focuses your attention on how your whole life, even if you haven’t been aware of it, has been the outcome of your thoughts, intentions, actions and relations. From the very beginning.  Always.  All the time.  Without exception.

We like to place responsibility elsewhere, to play the victim, to think we are inadequate or stupid, or to be shy about just how powerful we really are.  And, sometimes life indeed feels accidental, like, “WTF, how did I get here (this marriage, this job, this age, this bankrupt, this grief striken, etc.).”  But, it’s not.  It’s a co-creation with spirit in every minute of every day, every breath.

When take responsibility for your thoughts, intentions, words and actions and acknowledge that your life is a co-creation with a Power Larger Than Yourself (Your Creator) it’s one, very empowering, two, very relieving, and three, very attractive the the Power Larger Than Yourself to offer you more help.

Here are the keys.  They are simple.  Anyone can do them.

ONE:  make a prayer.  The way to make a prayer is to get quiet and open your connection to the stillness inside of you, to everything around you that wishes you well, and to God (or, Your Creator).  Then, you do three things.  Give thanks for what you are thankful for.  Ask for help.  Ask for what you want.

It’s good to do it out loud.  It’s good to do it with a piece of burning sage, which will help send your prayer up to Spirit.

Once you’ve made the prayer, give it up.  Let go of your will and open to the prayer being answered in a way that isn’t a reflection of control or ego, but is the way the creative force of the universe responds to you.

There are many, many ways to pray, but this simple pattern really works.  It’s a guaranteed way to open yourself up to the real frequency of an open hearted, vulnerable, honest prayer.  Do NOT skip the asking for help step.  Contemporary people are notorious for thinking they can think through and solve of do everything.  This is NOT the way of more life.  It’s the way of control.  Let go of a little control – get the help.  Don’t let go of control – don’t get the help.  Asking for help is one of the most sacred and profound things a human being can do.

TWO:  walk in your prayer.  In other words, you gotta do your part.  LIVE what you ask for, what you need, what you want, what your gratitude reveals about who you are and what moves you.  Live the open heart and receptivity it takes to genuinely receive and give love and assistance.  Walk towards it, do your deal.  Assert your clear boundaries.  Take responsibility what you really do and don’t want in your life.  And, give what you love.  This is called being a human with a prayer.  It will get you a life – a Big Life, the one you want, like you like it.

Don’t get stuck in the paradox of letting of your prayer and walking IN it.  It’s only a paradox if you try think it’s you causing your life, or that you are in charge of timings and outcomes.  it doesn’t work that way.  If you are paying any attention at all to the sacred energy steering your ship, it becomes obvious that your part is to show up with courage and softness, and be the person you pray to be.

Here’s a great story from my life.

Last night, after many years of prayer and life, countless prayer for healing and grace, countless phone calls, family dinners and times of just simply showing up – for whatever – my parents came to Pipe Ceremony. They came with me to meet my other family. They did the whole deal- prayer ties, prayers, smoking the pipe, hugging everybody, everything. And, they even liked it (which was far beyond anything I might have imagined or expected). I feel more connected and coherent than I think I’ve ever felt…. My blood family actually came to meet my soul family, and we all felt happy and connected… yippeeee!  This was an outcome of the prayers and the walking of the prayers – a prayer answered.  What’s next?  More love.  More life.  I get more love and more connection and a deeper sense of meaning and intimacy with my family.  That is more life.

In case you don’t know, Pipe Ceremony is when people come together with the master medicine of the Sacred Pipe, or chanupah, to sit in a circle and pray. It’s not about telling stories. It’s about simple, direct prayer. In my church, the love field is palpable, the sense of welcome so sweet it could melt almost anyone’s armor. Praying with a chanupa is just about the most direct way you can possibly talk to God.  I love it.  You probably will, too.

I’ll share more about how to pray in my next blog.

I love you.



Image credit:  Ashes and Snow

Image credit: Ashes and Snow


We are two. More than one. A community in the minor sense. A communion. We are explorers. Researchers. The body, our territory. Cellular laboratory. Each element a technology. Minutia of intelligences constantly communicating. Layer upon layer of complexity in dialogue. Complexity wed to simplicity. Absolutely nothing extra. Perfect complexity. A bowl of water. Two sacks of water.

Body in relation. He to me. Me to he. Us to gravity, to light, to wood. Us to emotion, in motion. All elements: Earth, Air, Water, Fire. Ether. Mystery and uncreated whisper before the next step, next breath. Ether: the dance of the imagination. Ether, the fractal rose of now unfolding through the heart.

We call on our capacity to relate, to be in the place between heaven and earth so particularly reserved for the human being, a cross upon our hearts. We are bound to express. We caress that expression. We choose to move from the center of being: Crystallized waves yield up the appearance of a dance, of bodies in time, of bodies in space, of bodies/human, of bodies/divine. Giving up choice, we are suddenly whole.

Human/nature is a practice. A collection of practices. An art of showing up, witnessing and translating. Relaxing the knowing. Living feeling. Being stillness and action – BRAIDED.

To dance human/nature is to walk and roll and pause upon this earth as lover, magician and friend. To dance human/nature is to amplify the flavors of relation for the benefit of ourselves and others. Call it performance. Call it practice. Call it what you will, it is our call, our stars, our embodiment we have been given to expand. We are born to be embodied. We are born in bodies because the body, in its moment to moment existence in time and space, is a prayer dance of the infinite loving its-self in finite, fractal form. Loving fully. Loving in solidity. Loving in BODY. We are born to experience THIS! If not, then why have we been given such marvelous tools? Hands, feet, arms, legs…spine? And, the sense organs to perceive the myriad wonder? We are sweet, gawky, wondrous creatures: humans and beings, in nature and form. We are human/nature. That is all. So much: a continuing dance.


ps.  I am a dancer, a lover, a nature mother, a warrior, a teacher, a friend – an experiential eco-cosmologist walking the path of one who’s sole purpose is to go deeper into life and wider into love – and to share that with others as a pathway to living grace.  Today is my 43rd birthday.  This passage was written in my mid twenties when I was totally immersed in research and practice (of consciousness) through the dance.  It has forever framed the way I live and love.  If you’d like to know more about me and dance, or train with me as a Dancing Freedom Facilitator, please head over to the Dancing Freedom website.  ~Much Love~

Get Your Life Out Of The Box: 5 Unconventional Tips for Tuning With Your Soul & Creating Your Dreams


Do you wake up for work feeling excited and curious about what your workday holds?  Or, do you wake up wishing you had a ticket to Hawaii?

When was the last time you felt that kid-at-Christmas rush in regards to you J. O. B.?  Or, do you sit at your desk feeling a little like stale toast?

I’ve lived my whole life out of the box.  I worked an office job for one summer in college.  I found out everything I needed to know.   I’ve never looked back.  I’d much rather live the light of my soul and passion than a slow, comfortable, predictable death.

Boxes work for cereal, but not for people.

You were not born to embody the status quo.  You were not born to fulfill the over-baked cookie cutter dreams of a culture that has lost it’s center and it’s sense of meaning.
C’mon… you were born to deconstruct boxes.  You were born to shape the world through your unique vision.  You were born to live the passionate truth of your soul.

You were born to do what you love.

Doing what you love isn’t just for lucky people.  It’s for anyone with a little bit of courage and a whole lot of love.  It’s for anyone who is willing tap into inner listening through body awareness and the messages of spirit and nature – and to take consistent, substantive steps to bring that awareness into the world as your work.

It’s for anyone who would rather dream than die.

What steps are you taking today to do what you love?


Here are 5 unconventional, and in my experience, highly effective, tips to live the dreams and create work that you love:


#1:  Stop doing what’s not yours to do.   

This may sound like a negative goal, but it’s not.  It’s the foundation for all big yeses.  The biggest reason most people don’t “get to do what they love” is that they are too busy doing what they think, “needs to be done” or just responding to whatever is in front of them.  Your body knows the sensation of YES.  Excitement = life.  If you don’t feel aliveness in what you are doing.  Stop doing it.  (It just takes a minute to feel this.  Take a few breaths and center in your body.  Then, just ask.  “No” feels dead or tense.  “Yes” feels awake, pulsing, tuned in, available, curious, present.)

#2:  Follow the feel good.

Once you get centered in the basic body sensation of yes (or no), then it’s time to tap into a deeper sensation.  When I say “follow the feel good,” I don’t just mean simple pleasure (tho that’s also a really great indicator).  “The FEEL GOOD” is the sense that what’s happening in your life is alive, lit up, potent, juicy or growthful for you.  The FEEL GOOD is the sensation of living in integrity with your soul.   This can include incredibly challenging situations.  It can also include shifting an attitude or behavioral set point – like letting yourself laugh or make intuitively driven decisions, even if you are “a serious person.”  To find that sensation, all you need to do is get a little quiet and check in with yourself – under the noise your body and your soul know what’s alive for you.

#3:  Fall In Love With Learning.

Dreams are never constant.  Dreams grow with you and your evolution.  And, they are co-generated by your willingness to explore, grow, learn and have new experiences.  Your soul is a voracious learner.   Feed your dreams by feeding your desire to learn.  Plus, if your dream involves doing something you’ve not yet achieved (which it hopefully does!), you will likely need new tools to achieve your goals.  Don’t be afraid to be a beginner and to ask for lots of help.

#4:  Choose a Better Story.

Life is really a fabric of stories.  You get the story you tend and love.  What is your “creation myth?”  Is it the “scrape and save” story, the “live at the margins so I can be free” story, or the “dreams are dangerous, best to follow the rules “ story?   I tend towards the “love always saves the day” story with a strong streak of “Hobbit with an elvin sword saves the world,” and an equally strong streak of “The Goddess meets The Medicine Path.”  It’s wild fun.  I also live the story of my life in a universe in ceaseless expansion and evolution whilst living on a gorgeous green planet that is teaching me (and all of humanity) the wisdom of limits.  I love how that story empowers my “life as a Great and abundant adventure” story.   What story do you choose?  (Some other fun options:  romantic comedy, inventor of universes, successful artist re-weaving the world through beauty.)  Once you get clear about your core stories, it’s useful to tease out aspects of them that might be in incongruity.  Congruity supports an uncomplicated experience of yourself and a unity of your energies in action.  If your story isn’t working for you, re-write it in a way that supports your FEEL GOOD.

#5:  Expand Your Concept of “TEAM.”

The universe wishes you well.  Seriously, you have a really BIG team.  You have all the people who know and care for you, who you touch and who have been touched by you.  You have colleagues and teachers and students.  You have special loved ones and core friends who know you inside out – both through affinity and time depth.  They have your back, and you can call on them any time.   And – here’s the real expansion – you have an unseen power team that is always supporting you, helping you to make better choices and waiting in the wings (for your request of help) to assist your awesomeness and your dreams.  Your unseen power team includes your Higher Self, your angels, your ancestors and your totem guides.  If you are reading this, it may be time to reconnect with that team, or to open to it’s existence simply by ASKING, if you haven’t already.

Bonus Tip:

Stop giving energy, attention or money to success gurus, unless you get a deep body yes to what they are offering.  Marketing is wicked accurate these days in terms of targeting your deepest fears and desires with perfectly programed language.  Start from the assumption that you are ENOUGH exactly as you are.  Ask, what do I really need and want to support my health, wholeness, happiness, growth and the manifestation of my dreams?  Then, ONLY go for this.

And, if DANCE is what you are most passionate about, if it’s your medicine and your magic, your home and your liberation, then come train with me as a Dancing Freedom Facilitator.   The next training is April 25-May 16, 2015 at my home, Seven Seeds Farm.  Find out more here.

…to your box free life!

How Life On a Farm at the End of the Road Has Changed Me

Oh.. the pleasures of soil and birdsong and baby goats and lambs!  This land is a living dance of earth medicine.  This is a place where we can truly remember the ancient patterns of planting dances, rain dances, harvest dances, a place where we can feel the ancient future patterns of dancing for our lives in harmony with all of life, where we can engage dance as a divine ceremony for the greater whole.  It’s a place where we can eat the food we danced for, wash our cell-ves in the water we danced for, sleep on the sweet earth we prayed for, and hatch our days into the dreaming awake prayer of a better world.  It’s a place where body and soul can heal in right livelihood, optimal nutrition, and deep nature immersion.  It’s a place where there are no veils between the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of our aliveness, where the birds and the bees dance with us, and where there is an honest, natural invitation to feel at home – just laying in the long grass in the sun.
It’s a place where community is exhalted – not because we say so, but because community is what makes this all possible.  Our hands tend the soil and our dancing feet tend our joy.

In my year an a half here at Seven Seeds Permaculture Farm, I’ve learned that the medicines of fire and the water are real.  I knew they were real before. But, now they are real in the visceral, embodied sense that I have daily relationships with them.  I tend my hearth daily… I chop the wood that makes the fire.  I am a part of the dance of that fire.  I know the deva of that hearth intimately.  It is my warmth, my comfort.  It takes all my prayers.

The water comes straight out of our ground.  It’s real water – untreated, unmediated.  It is free, so I am free in drinking it.  It is the spring of my body, the pulse of my blood, the fluid medium that makes my life possible.
These are truly my deepest allies – in all dances and all prayers.
I’ve learned how to bury my sadness in the dark earth and how to give my greatest intentions to the winds.  I’ve learned to watch for the first hummingbird of the season to feel the lifting joy of spring in the place where the sap of the trees and the wisdom of my body are one.
I’ve learned to celebrate frost because it represents the deep nourishment of quiescence.  I’ve discovered that the clouds are an endlessly innovative reflection of my own mind.  And, I’ve found that hours in sweaty work communion with weeds or thorns or manure can heal things we don’t even have words for.
Oh… and did I mention food.  I’ve learned that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that compares to the medicine of food that you’ve grown yourself on live soil with real water, sun and a whole lotta love.
falltime seed roundup
And, dancing in this wise community of about 3,000 people, I’ve taken an even deeper step into bringing my most authentic, present tense truth to my facilitation.  We all live here.  We all know each others stories.  There are no masks.  There is no trying.  There is only an invitation into the teaching of the moment and the truly great medicine of the dance.
I have been forever changed by this place, by the wisdom of the mountain and the old growth forests above the farm, by the indomitable strength and courage of a community that truly stewards its water, seeds, soil and land, and by the experience of life as ceremony – every every day.
It’s a quiet change, a seasoning, a deepening.  It’s not bells and whistles, but a change of great patience and persistence – like the oaks.  It’s a change that has softened my bark – like the madrones.  It’s a change that begins from witness, a knowing in my bones that I am a fierce protectress of the earth.  That protectress finds her roots in planting seeds, tending them, watching them grow, and seeing the children eat the fruits of that harvest.  That protectress tends her roots with daily visits to the secret spot by the creek to pray.   That protectress knows where she’s from.  It’s a change called knowing a Real Place as home.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and responses.  ❤

What is God|Consciousness|Spirit|Goddess??? Tell me in a way that I can understand.

Star Portal
God comes by many names.  Consciousness, Spirit, God, Goddess… is there any difference between any of these?  Really, no.  The difference is in the listener.The universe is constructed of information.  That information is Conscious.  The sum total of that Consciousness is what some of us call God, some of us call Goddess, some of us call Consciousness, some of us call Spirit.  What you call it ultimately doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you have a conscious relationship with that Consciousness.You will see and describe God|Goddess|Spirit|Consciousness through whatever lens makes the most sense to you.  That lens will be shaped by your culture, your experience and the proclivities of your soul.  To be real, it needs to be an authentic lens of feeling and experience, not just a collection of stories you inherited and repeated from your family or your context.

It is always bigger than you, yet paradoxically, also you.  It is always part of the larger experience of self that includes your inner awareness and the intelligence of what is outside of you.  (It’s something you can source for yourself, and it’s something you can rest into when you need a friend.) The way you see and describe it may shift upon your context – who you are talking to, and what part of that experience you are trying to express.

For example, when I’m talking with geekier types, I call on my own geeky experience of Consciousness-as-me having an experience called my life.  When I look deep into my own meditation and the inner dialogue of my daily experience, there is always a meta-dialogue going on that I easily recognize as a function of the intelligence of the universe-as-me.  A lot of geeky types get this.  They get that there is a part of themselves witnessing themselves that is bigger than themselves.  This amounts to the experience of Consciousness.  They get that how they interact with this this experience affects their moods and how powerfully they can bring presence to the day-to-day-ness of their lives.
Alternatively, when I’m talking with women, I often call on the Goddess.  Women understand the multiplicitous, ever creative, ever changing face of consciousness, that is described archetypally as the myriad faces and phases of the Goddess.  From the infinite, cool compassion of Quan Yin to the fiery fury of Kali, women understand that Consciousness, as a reflection of their own everchanging, creative essence as women, is a full spectrum of energies and essences that are innate to the manifest forms and functions of the universe.  They also get birth.  They get that things come out of nothing – and they get born through the feminine principle.
Just hold in your inner awareness the biologic furry of birthing in the same space as the luminous patience of a woman nursing an infant, and you begin to get it.  When you look at the many many faces of the Goddess (and of Gods when engaged as a pantheon), you see our seeking to name the specific meta-patterns, or archetypes, of the thing we called God.  This works really well when you’re wanting to relate to particular creative, destructive and preservative powers of the universe.
And, when I just want to be simple, I often say, “Spirit”, or “God”.  These names, for me, are both singular and embracing.  They are ways of calling to the magnificent, always present intelligence I am having a personal conversation with when I pray.  They are the everything that permeates the everything as a fabric bringing the world into form.  They are my own mind and awareness.  Everything.
Often, I use all the words at the same time, just to collapse our tendency to create wars over definitions.But, I DO use distinctions in how I speak to the various manifestations of Consciousness.  Consciousness, like people, is not all the same.  When I pray, I often pray to Tunkashela.  This is the Lakota word that refers to the specific aspect of God that cares for and listens to the humans.  I’m a human.  Somehow, it works for me to pray to the part of the intelligence of the universe that really cares for me.  Over a lifetime of praying in this way, I’ve seen amazing results.  So, this is all I need to keep doing it.
To make matters even more complex, you can also talk to Nature, or the Earth, or Gaia – or all that is manifest and the intelligence that manifests it.  Or, better yet, you can just listen to it.
But… I’m getting too complicated, here.
To really answer this question, you have to understand paradox.  Paradox describes the fact that the opposite of a great truth is often not a falsehood, but an equally great truth.  The universe doesn’t really give a shit what you call it, so long as you call.  The key is in the relationship you create.  But, the way to create a great relationship is to be specific.  Soul-fit is one of the keys to deep relationship.  So, your relationship with God|Consciousness|Soul|Spirit is best narrated in a way that feels authentic and honest to you.If you’ve never done it before, it might feel really awkward.  But, just start.  Open your mouth and talk to God|Goddess|Consciousness|Spirit.  That’s how you build a relationship.  And, that’s how the words start to make sense.