Sunday, November 30, 2008


"If you can put fear aside, you're unstoppable." -
Janet Hagberg

This is the last day over at Soul Coaching. It has been an interesting month. At the beginning of the month I questioned my own ability to follow through; to show up and to trust myself with this journey, and I am proud to say that I did it. I did show up here at my desk every day. This is huge for me! I am sad about some things. I did not have time to visit everyone on the journey very much, and some days I did the bare minimum required, but I journeyed just the same! (Thank you so much to Jamie for hosting!!)

Today is about celebrating yourself and the changes you have made. I am actually surprised by the profound change that seems to have happened in me. It feels quite fresh and tender and new so I am not going to show it too much light yet, but just know that things are going to change around here! I'm feeling a shift, and that shift is moving me forward in lots of ways.

I have been sitting here for almost an hour writing and rewriting this post. I want to be eloquent and profound, but the only words that keep going through my head are, "I'm done." I keep hearing them no matter what else I try to say. I guess that is the most profound shift. I'm done. I can't explain it more than that. It's not the blog that is done, it's not me that is done, but on so many other things, I am done. It's finished. Stick a fork in me! For a long time I have been about the 'me' part of this blog - about all of my questions - and this month I have had answers. I feel like a chick ready to hatch. I am done being small and worried and unsure. There is no more time for all of that. I'm ready to embrace the 'more' part. Starting right now.

"I am larger, better than I thought, I did not know I held so much goodness." - Walt Whitman

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Girls Rock.

"Remember, you are not here to play it safe. You are here to start fires."
- Sera Beak

Because these two gorgeous girls are in this world, and because my friend Karen has two girls and my friend Colleen has two girls and my friend Gerb has two girls, and because I take my job as fairy godmother to Helen very seriously, I wanted to share some good GIRL STUFF.

In the past few years I have been on a real journey towards being a girl. Yes, I said girl because I never really embraced girl before, and you really need to do that before you can make the leap to woman. I was very girlie when I was small, but then something happened (school and camp happened) and I thought that being independent was the same as being tough and full of attitude. There was no room in my life for pink and soft when there was so much beer drinking to do and attitude to give, and boys to torture with my stinging wit.

But in my old age I have come to realize that there is room for all of it. There is a place for gentle and nice and feminine and that doesn't have to be mutually exclusive of strong and fierce and independent. Being a girl means being complex and complicated and full of questions and fire and femininity. By coming to terms with those things and bringing them all together, we can step into our power as women.

And hopefully by doing that, we can show other girls the way.

Women showing the way:

1. Christine Kane. She is fierce and inspiring. This is her blog, and this is a fabulous song.

2. Patti Digh. She shows you how to live deliberately. This is her blog. Her book is amazing.

3. Sera Beak. She will make you think about the Universe. A lot.

4. Sahara. This is a beautiful idea!

5. Geneen Roth. If you have EVER gone on a diet or had a bad thought about your body, find Geneen. Her books are life changing, and she also has a blog!!

6. Sabrina Ward Harrison. Who showed a lot of us it could be different.

7. Goddess Leonie. She is incredible.

And good things that are happening in this world:

Rock Camp for Girls. (This site has music!) (Anybody want to go to Ladies Rock Camp with me?) I posted this ages ago, and sometimes I just go back to watch it again!

Karen Heck, Lyn Mikel Brown and Lynn Cole.


Women for Women International.

... have you got any women to recommend or links to send? I'd love to make this list grow and grow!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gluten Free ME.

"My body is incredibly strong and healthy." - Denise Linn

A strange thing happened the day before we were due to start Soul Coaching. I was called into the doctor to get the results of the blood test I had had taken a week before. The blood test had come back positive for Celiac Disease (Coeliac if you are in the UK!) But the doctor told me that was I was allowed to start eating differently until I had had another test. Inside of my head I was thinking that that was okay - I could eat all of the things I would never be able to eat again and then I would be ready for going gluten-free in December. But then I started to pay attention, and I started to read up on Coeliac Disease, and I started to read Soul Coaching, and now all I can think about is getting healthy.

I have always felt like I was capable of MORE (hence the title of my blog!) - of sparkling and being a real force in the world - but I hated - HATED - myself because I couldn't seem to do the things I wanted to do. I wanted to shine, but I spent nights exhausted on the couch watching television. I wanted to dance, but I made excuses in phys. ed. to let myself sit out. I just didn't feel good. I eat really well, I take supplements, I read every health article I can get my hands on, I try to exercise, but nothing ever made me feel healthy and energetic. I thought I was just lazy. And that hurts.

But for the past few weeks alongside Soul Coaching, I have been reading the book Gluten Free Girl by Shauna James Ahern and my neck is practically hurting from all of the nodding I have been doing - it's ME! It's ALL THERE - the hospitalization for unexplained stomach pains in high school, the exhaustion, the weight, the unexplained medical symptoms of digestive problems, abdominal pain, the foggy feeling, everything!

But now I have a huge problem waiting for the second test. I know what I need to do to get healthy. I know that when I stop eating gluten I will feel BETTER. I know that my body will heal and I will know what it is like to feel great. But I can't do it and it's incredibly frustrating. Today the heading for level two in Soul Coaching is "Change your body, change your life." (178) Well I can't. I desperately want to, but I can't - yet.

It's a strange feeling to know exactly what will help and how to do it, but to not be allowed to. But in some ways I think that this time has been a gift. I think that if I had been able to start right away I would have had a much bigger grieving process. I would have wanted pizza and hamburgers and bagels and muffins. But now I have had those things and have felt rotten. Now I am ready to feel good. And feeling good will be worth far more than a toasted bagel!

I'm sure of it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


...close your eyes and ask yourself, "If my soul had something to tell me about today, what would it be?" - Denise Linn

Two and a half years ago, I had an inkling for a book. I had scattered thoughts and some scribbled notes, but I couldn't get started. The book that I had in mind was so unusual that I didn't think I had any right to write it. I also didn't know where to start. But my soul was telling me the story anyway, even though I pretended that I didn't know what it was saying. Eventually my soul got tired of whispering and began to shout.

For some reason the week I began the book, I had tried meditating. It was like I could feel that something was trying to come through. I sat in my room and got very quiet, not really knowing what I was doing, but concentrating on my breath. When I came out of the meditation, I had the entire first paragraph resting in my head. I knew where to start. I wrote it down breathlessly. But the hesitation was still there - who am I to write this book?

But every time I hesitated, I would get a sign. The main character came to me with an unusual name. I didn't want to use it, but that weekend I went to Bath (and met the Gorgon in the photo above - talk about a creative fire!) and had a glaring sign that that was the name I needed to use. I kept being drawn to do things I hadn't done for ages - writing morning pages, dancing, colouring, going for walks - and in those moments, the whole book came to me loud and clear. I just needed to get quiet and get into the flow that comes from being creative.

Today in Soul Coaching, Denise talks about creativity. She says: "When you are being truly creative, time stands still, and you enter into a dimension that can carry you beyond the ordinariness of life." (156) I know this to be true. I got a whole book out of it. And this week? This week of fire and energy and creativity? It gifted me with another book. I have another bubbling idea. My advice? Get INTO being creative. Dance or colour or write or meditate or bake or do whatever it is you do that makes you lose track of time, because it is there in that moment that magic happens.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Good Things

"Are you living your passion? are you following your dreams? If not, you have eight days to initiate powerful shifts in your life. Reinstate your intention - after all, miracles can happen in eight days."
Soul Coaching by Denise Linn

Giggle. What a message. I have eight days to shift things in my life! That's both a joy to read and a bit of pressure!!

Today is all about love and kindness, and being quiet about it. So I am not going to write much except to give you some links of love!

1. Go here every day. Every click on every site it links to provides something for someone in need. It is all paid for by advertising.

2. They need our help very very badly.

3. So do they. Go here to read all about it!

In other good news and an attitude of gratitude, I opened my email this morning to discover I had won a beautiful photograph at Kerstin's blog. I am so excited! Her photographs are stunning! I bet you can guess which one I chose! Thank you so much Kerstin!

and in more goodness:

Nicole offered to do a reading from her Soul Coaching deck for those of us participating in the program. I leaped at the chance. I am a sucker for cards and readings! I had a tarot reading by Jamie a while back and it was great!

I had to tell Nicole my name and pick a number. This is the reading she sent me. I love it!!


Card Meaning: Break free, express yourself, and let your spirit fly! Flaunt
your stuff, dance, laugh, explore, and go beyond predicable behaviour. Be
daring. Fling your arms to the heavens in joy.

Your Soul wants you to know: You aren't here to be ordinary, but to step
beyond limitations and self-imposed boundaries. Don't allow yourself to be
trapped by convention or the expectations of others. You have the ability
to choose your life on your terms. Replace the phrase "I should" with "I
could, but I choose not to at this time." Perhaps you aren't always free to
create the exact circumstances of your life - but you're certainly able to
decide what meaning to give those situations. Select meanings that empower
you, for this is the time to break free.

Affirmations: Boundless freedom surges through me.

This has so much power for me beyond the obvious as I deal with a major shift in my life. Boy there is a lot of energy around this morning! I hope I can keep up!


Sunday, November 16, 2008


Unleash yourself upon the world!
- Denise Linn

I lit a candle this morning in honour of Fire Week and promptly forgot about it. It sat in the corner of my desk while I read the chapter and wrote in my journal. At first the smell of grapefruit cleansed the air, but then I smelled something strange.

During my lack of attention, the heat of the candle had begun to singe one of the feathers that I have stuck into my jar of sea glass. They are far enough above the candle that I didn't think they would be a problem, but the heat singed it just the same.

You'll forgive me, I hope, for seeing the obvious metaphor in this morning. You can't light a fire and then not pay attention. It must be something that you tend and nurture let fill you without letting it singe your wings. Lots of times I have felt full of fire. I have felt jazzed up and ready and full of beans and energy. That is often when the crash is the hardest. Fire isn't always followed by enough action, or it can also be followed by too much action that can make you burn yourself out.

Today I am going to let the energy of fire fill and inspire me. Today I am going to dance (thanks Jamie) and work on telling my story, but I am going to remember that the Skydiggers sang that "There's nothing as hot as a slow burning fire," and try to remember that there is a whole week of fire to come!

This poem has always inspired me and although I have shared it before, I thought it was perfect for today. It always makes me want to be more.

When she walks into the room,

everybody turns:

some kind of light is coming from her head.
Even the geraniums look curious...
We're all attracted to the perfume
of fermenting joy,

we've all tried to start a fire,
and one day maybe it will blaze up on its own.
In the meantime, she is the one today among us
most able to bear the idea of her own beauty,
and when we see it, what we do is natural:
we take our burned hands
out of our pockets,
and clap.

-Tony Hoagland

(The picture of the candle is by someone else, found here.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What is.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt

I am sitting in my office in England, thinking about the trip to the cottage that resulted in this picture. It is very early morning. I couldn't sleep, despite deep fatigue, so I got up and decided to get a little bit of work done. I can hear birds singing and sheep bleating, but other than that, it is very quiet.

I just wrote a whole post, and on the verge of hitting publish, I deleted it instead. It was another whiny, negative post that asked too many questions. I'm tired of making excuses and asking questions. I guess I got the message today after all:

"When you choose what is, your word becomes law in the universe." (117)

I have the acoustic version of Keisha White's "I Choose Life" in my head right now. If you can get hold of it, do listen, it's GOOD. In the meantime, here is the regular version. Put it on, turn it up, close your eyes and let it fill you up.

"It is an act of power to consciously choose your life. I do not mean to just choose parts of it (such as the parts you like or feel that you created), but to choose all of it - every bump, every dark night of the soul, every lie and falsehood, every fear... everything." - Denise Linn

Have a wonderful weekend.

P.S. I made art today!!! Inspired by this, and the tasks from yesterday I made art - but I can't get the scanner to work - you'll just have to trust me!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


"To change the world, you need to change yourself first." - Denise Linn

The first thing I have to say is: "Welcome to the world Anna! I promise to be the very best aunt I can be, and to love you unconditionally and completely." (Isn't she beautiful?! She was born on Monday night. Bliss.)

Now, back to the book:

I have been a little bit quiet over the past few days. I think that I have needed a bit of cover after several days of really digging deep. As much as I am getting from a month of Soul Coaching, I think I have also realized that intensive self-realization can be a bit too much after awhile. Sometimes I have to put in a movie and curl up with Mark.

Today was all about how you relate to the world. It's about understanding your patterns. Once again, Denise hit me right in the solar plexus. She talked about a client who had a pattern of protecting herself. The description - right down to the checking to make sure the door was locked three times - caused a click in my brain. I do that. I protect myself. And here I thought I was just uptight!

Looking back at my life, I can see absolutely no reason why I should be so afraid. I was raised with lots of love and support. Tonight, however, I watched a movie of one niece meeting the other one for the first time. Helen has also been raised with masses of love and support, but she was clearly uncomfortable in the hospital. She hates loud noises and strange places already at 2. So the question is: is it possible to grow up without fear or self-doubt? When do normal nerves and hesitancy turn into a life long pattern?

It made me think about where our patterns begin, and at what point we have to take control. I think that we can waste a lot of time worrying about why we are the way we are. I think that at some point we have to stop trying to blame teachers, parents, friends, husbands, wives, and even children for the way our lives have turned out. I think that at some point we need to see our patterns and our decisions as something that we have created - something we have control over - and do something about them.

Denise's questions today are about just that: letting go of old patterns. There is a quote I read once that went something like: "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." I like that a lot. It puts responsibility and power right back where it matters, and where there is potential for real change.

"Today, be aware of the way that you relate to the world around you, and notice if there are any recurring emotional patterns." (99) I'm going to snuggle in now and see if I can't spot any other patterns in my life and begin to do what I can to gently let them go. I hope that you are able to do the same.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Good Things

Here are a few things that made me happy today:

1. This video that I found on Vivienne's blog. I loved it, and I completely fell in love with the song that it is set to. Po' Girl is amazing!

2. This Laini's Lady that is now for sale.

(Psst - it's my face!! Giggle!)

3. This new online course created by the remarkable Leonie.

4. This article at Wishstudio by Brandi.

5. This site is my new obsession. (Reason: I have almost been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. (Almost means that my blood tests are positive, but I have to go through another, more invasive test before they tell me officially.) I'm having some issues with it, most of which is a desire to begin living in a way that will make me FEEL BETTER, but having to wait. This blog has given me hope that I will not be left in a world of cardboard fake-bread.)

6. This post that made me take a deep breath.

7. This post - the first time a towel will make you salivate!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Ask a silly question...

"Today is also a day to watch for signs, synchronicities, and coincidences. In every moment, the universe is whispering to you." - Denise Linn

I have a confession to make. Last night I peeked ahead at today. I found out that today at Soul Coaching was about coming up with a mission statement. I have done this before, many times. In fact, I think I have a pretty good idea of what I am supposed to be doing with my life. I am lucky that I know, but that makes it worse that I don't always do it. Sometimes I think that angst is an addiction.

So last night after I brushed my teeth, I looked into the mirror and asked myself what I was doing here. I smiled and went to bed. This morning when I sat down and looked at today's challenges, I remembered asking myself that question and then I remembered one of my dreams. The dream was all about me trying to take a shower, so I picked up my dream book intending to look up 'shower.' As I sat down with the book in my hands, it immediately fell open to the entry for 'washing.' The first word out of my mouth was 'whoa.' I would never have looked up washing, as I assumed the dream was about a shower. (I LOVE it when the universe interferes!)

Well, once again, I got the same message I always get when I ask the universe for a message: get back to working on my book. 'Washing' suggests the cleansing of negative feelings such as despair or self-doubt. "Is it time to clean up your act or perhaps get started on a project you have been postponing?" Yes. Sigh. Thank you!

Later on I will be working on my mission statement, making some art, and catching up on your blogs, but right now I have to listen to the nudges of the universe. When you ask a question, your only job is to listen to the answer. I've been feeling bad about myself because I have this wonderful book I am not working on getting into the world. It's been muddying the waters around all of the other changes I am trying to make. I know I can change that. So that is what I am off to do -

What has been muddying your results? What have you been avoiding? Which page of the book would the Universe open for you?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Making Room for Magic

"When you shift the energy in your environment, it can have a mystical effect on your life." - Denise Linn

Jamie at Soul Coaching, said, "I am making room for magic!" And it gave me goosebumps. Big ones. I have been FULL of goosebumps over the past few days. I had goosebumps as I sat and watched from a different country as a nation and a world began to hope again. I got goosebumps as I watched an interview with a 107 year old man. He is one of only 4 remaining British survivors of World War One. I got goosebumps when I realized last night that I had not turned on the television numbly, but had curled up with a book instead. I got goosebumps when I re-read the comments from my last few posts and from the posts of some of the other participants on this journey. I got goosebumps when I signed in at work with my married name for the first time. I got goosebumps when I realized that as Air Week comes to a close, I can hear a near gale-force wind blowing outside of my flat. I just got goosebumps before I wrote this as I realized that I have been PAYING ATTENTION - and so have all of you! We have been paying attention to our lives in a way that is creating magic and miracles.

Today the journey is about lightening up - and I can feel it! I can feel a lightening in the air (maybe not in the gale force wind!) and in my surroundings. "With everything I release, more energy/ love/ abundance comes my way."

Today I am tackling my in boxes - all of them! Roar! What clutter are you tackling today?

Thursday, November 06, 2008


"A home that matches the contours of your soul subconsciously affirms that you are completely all right exactly the way you are. It is a place where you explore who you are and what you might become." - Denise Linn

Gadzooks, she did it again! As I read through Denise Linn's book this morning, I wasn't sure that I would have anything I needed to learn. It's another day about clutter, and I thought I had learned a lot about myself as I cleaned our bedroom last night.

I have always been a girl with a lot of clutter - always. That's me in the picture, happily surrounded by books and things, sitting on the one uncluttered surface in my bedroom. I think I must have been about 3.

So if I have always been a clutter girl, then two questions come up. 1. Is it just a part of who I am and I need to realize that I am allowed to feel good about myself surrounded by things? And 2. How can I change the pattern of a lifetime and stop feeling bad that I can't seem to keep things tidy and clutter free?

But then Denise said this: "A home that matches the contours of your soul subconsciously affirms that you are completely all right exactly the way you are." And I do not feel all right exactly as I am, surrounded am I am by clutter. I love things. I love creativity and beauty and sparkle and magic. I also currently live in a land that for some reason did not used to believe in building homes with closets. So I am surrounded by things. They are everywhere. And it drains me when I walk in the door.

So why? What's with the things? How can I be myself and feel mirrored by that self in my surroundings without all of the clutter? How can I create a home that supports who I am and what I might become while clearing the things that make me happy and drain me at the same time? And most importantly, how can this little magpie get rid of things that connect her to herself and her dreams and her two-continent life, when she feels so disconnected?

I think I need to take Denise's suggestion and change the lens. Tonight when I come home from work, I will try to see my home through different eyes before I tackle another room. Maybe I should invite someone gentle over to help - giggle - anyone fancy a de-clutter?

"I am clearing away blockages, and abundance in flowing into me."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Taming Myself

"When you begin to clear out any clutter in the environment around you, it can have a powerful corresponding effect on the mental clutter inside you." - Denise Linn

When people go on about why they blog and whether or not they want to keep doing it, I hope that they just once write a post about something that feels deeply personal and scary, only to have twenty six people comment and say, "Me, TOO!" It is a wonderful thing. Working on my values yesterday I found that one of mine was 'Connection.' This blog, this community is a vital part of that!

I have written about the concept of taming before, but I thought about it again today in relation to ourselves. I tried to revisit Day Two again this morning to make a commitment to something for the next twenty six days, but I was still too scared. I am so nervous that I won't follow through. But all of your comments yesterday helped me to see that I am not alone, and that all I need to do is be a bit more gentle with myself and start fresh every day. It brings this passage from The Little Prince to mind:

“If you want a friend,” said the Fox, “tame me.”

“What must I do to tame you?”

“First you will sit down at a little distance from me - like that - in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me every day.” - Antoine de SaintExupery

I will use that tactic on myself. I can commit to that. Once a day I will sit down a little closer to myself and do something to earn that trust. I will sit here and work through Soul Coaching, and I will commit to clearing a little bit of clutter every day as well. Eventually I will get through the clutter and the noise and hopefully I will have tamed myself.

Day Three: The last time I cleared clutter properly, I was determined to change my life and find someone to share it with. I cleaned out all of the clutter and put a statue of two ducks in the relationship corner (Feng Shui) of my house. Six months later I had moved to England with two suitcases and was madly in love. There is powerful magic in the challenge today! I intend to clear out the financial corner of my house tonight. I'll let you know how it goes.

"There is clarity within me and around me."

Monday, November 03, 2008

Soul Coaching - Day 2

"To make a commitment is to take a stand in life - the moment you are your commitment rather than it being something you said, you can actually impact the world." - Denise Linn

(This is another painting by Emily Carr (my new muse) I thought it captured 'Air Week' perfectly!)

With that one small sentence, Denise Linn kicked my ass this morning. I've been thinking a lot about self-respect over the past few weeks. My biggest problem and barrier to my dreams is that I don't follow through with what I say I am going to do. I simply don't do it. Without going more deeply into how, I realized this week that a huge part of my problem is that I don't respect myself because I can't trust myself. If I say "from now on I am going to do _________" and then don't do it, it sets up a tea party in my head that chatters about how I never do what I say I am going to do.

The tea party then goes on to say that this is why I am still overweight and unpublished. Then when I sit down to do something like this, it begins to chatter before I have even begun: "You've never done it before, why would you do it now?" or "We'll see how long this one lasts. The Artists Way only lasted three weeks!" or "You obviously don't want it badly enough or you'd do it." Urgh. So because I don't trust myself to follow through, it becomes harder and harder to even begin.

But today, that quote by Denise Linn did kick my ass a little bit. You have to BECOME your commitment. I guess I never really got that part before. I need to live, breathe, dance, and believe my commitment. How? How do I get past those little voice in my head? How do I do it every day, even when I don't feel like it? I just need to do it - like the Nike ad says - it sounds so deliciously easy doesn't it? Just do it.

"Do or do not - there is no try." - Yoda

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Soul Coaching - Day 1

"The soul loves the truth." - Denise Linn

I am so glad that today is the first day of Soul Coaching. I have so much gratitude for all of October 2008's gifts, but I am ready to get on with November. In October I got married, spent several weeks surrounded in love and family and friendship, and turned 34. October of 2008 is actually a month of enormous changes in another way too. As the month ended I discovered something that has huge implications for the rest of my life. This month will have to partly be about that. (More as I process.)

So Soul Coaching cannot come too soon! Tonight I cleared my desk and my drawers. My creating/ office space is now tidied, organized, cleansed and cleared! My brand new journal is sitting waiting for tomorrow morning, and I am quietly thinking about what is next. I have hesitated doing projects like this on line until now because I wondered whether anyone would want to read along as I worked through such personal stuff. But I have realized that what I think is so personal is often the things that people connect with the most. We are not so separate after all. Blogging has helped me get that.

So for the month of November I have:

- chosen the painting above as my inspirational image for the month. It's by the artist Emily Carr. I have chosen it because she was a trail-blazer, and was passionate about beauty and the landscape around her. I also have chosen it because images of paths get me every time and this month is about a path. I love that the totems are dotted along the route. I hope that my own has such beautiful and obvious guideposts.

- decided that I will only set one intention: I will show up. I very very rarely finish one of these books. I get sidetracked and overwhelmed. So this month I will be gentle, but I will show up. Every day. No matter what. Even if what I write is crap or I am afraid or angry or bored or uncomfortable. I may not always be HERE (this blog.) But I will show up to the page.

Wish me luck! Join us if you like!

(I haven't made any art today. I spent the day clearing space for art - my month is officially beginning tomorrow!)