Death In The Family


    Transmutation is defined as a change in state.

    A short time ago, I walked into the woods. White winter snow dressed the ground and the trees stood bare in the afternoon light. A frozen river marked the trail I walked along and the sounds of my snow shoes kept me company. Spring warmed the day with intermittent drips and the prints of animals that had walked before me settled in their melting space.

    I carried two carnations.

    An acting teacher named Stanford Meisner famously said that in order to grow, you have to kill your parents. It was never intended to be a literal quote, at least, it never came across that way to me. I understood that he was saying, in order to become my own person, the relationships that ushered me into life had to change.

    I buried my Father in a small copse of woods: pine trees ascended in clean lines to the sky, funneling a channel of light down to his final resting place and one white carnation. I felt good about leaving him here. I thanked him for the priorities he made in his life: the blessing that has been my life directly results from his choices. The week previous, I would not have had this perspective on him or my own life.

    I kept Mom close to him, so that they could continue on in the fashion they’d become accustomed to, caring for one another, kindly. One red carnation, she rests near a bend in the river, and with spring now in full swing, I conjure the sounds of its gentle rolling rhythm. She took care of me in ways that I never knew I needed and my every interaction with the world is a direct result of her influence.

    Entering these woods, I had wondered at the emotion that might arise from consciously uncoupling from my folks. Leaving these woods felt like the most positive thing that I could have done for our future relating. I experienced that in the letters I wrote: they expressed the most positive aspects of my relationship with each of my parents. Being able to gift these letters to my parents within the week of writing them is a blessing that has changed our way of relating.

    Much of my life I have spent judging my parents based on the information I gathered as a child. Today, I am able to see that that child had no frame of reference for the interactions of adults. As a child, the emotions churning through my being were incredibly powerful, hard to feel and difficult to communicate.

     The way I experienced my childhood left me thinking that distance over depth was safer. I knew that it felt better to not hurt others. I wasn’t so interested in getting hurt either. I have never been clear which was more important.

    In some respects, it hasn’t been much of a life. I have travelled to interesting places and spent years on the road collecting experiences, stories and skills. I have read great works of fiction and trashy novels. I have watched Love, Actually in three languages about twenty times. I have been in environments where all there was was water and I have been in places where not a drop of it was found.

    Through all of these expansive interactions with people, though things have been interesting, I haven’t always been available. For friendships and for lovers, things remained buffered and insulated. As an example, in Barcelona, I once lived in a Benetton ad: a mad Englishman, a lovely French woman, and a kind man from Mexico. We met while living in a hostel, where a con artist took a bunch of us out for hot chocolate on a day that it snowed. He then fled the city with a thousand euro of other peoples money.

    I felt so lucky to be living with these people that I made a room behind an armoire just to be near them. It must have worked for them too, for they invited me to do so. I used to marvel at how sweet these strangers were to one another, how they made a family out of each other. I tried to be one with them; often I was so hard on myself, it was probably the trying that left me feeling awkward. I haven’t been in touch with any of them for decades.

    In burying my parents, I was able to appreciate the moments they sacrificed for me, their gifts of character and value and the times I was too much to handle.

    I attended two more funerals in those woods.

    I buried this version of myself, the isolationist who prefers books to people. He died sad, and lonely, unable to acknowledge his responsibility: for the path he walked; the ways he choose to push people away; playing the victim. His goodbye was a somber affair in a cool corner of the woods with kind attendees who spoke of always liking him and yet, never really knew his heart. He lays there in the dark, still lamenting his being as some broken thing.

    The other burial was filled with celebration of a life well lived: that man I am birthing, is engaged with life and says yes to it. Nestled in sunshine that shone from the south, this plot of land overlooked a narrow island shaped by the raven river’s current. He appreciates opportunities presented with gratitude and curiosity.  His rudder is love and compassion and the expansion he nourishes will leave an impact to be felt for generations.

    These funerals created space for me to believe in myself. More than that, they crafted space for me to see my parents, not as my parents but as people doing the best they knew how to do, products of their own childhood. I learned compassion for them as human beings and in recognizing my old way of being, I freed the choice to choose a me that I believe in.

    I wasn’t born an individual.

    I was born a member of a tribe. I was raised with values and influences that have shaped the person that I am today. I pay my respects to each link in the chain of those who came before me. I learn many things at the knee of my ancestors and their influences thread through my life to this moment.

    Each spring is a time of change, of new births. Each ending itself, is a new beginning. Each gestation requires an act of creation.
    I trust the source of all things and receive a clear signal: take care of yourself; be kind to yourself.

    My work of becoming gives birth…




Two Right Choices


Two Right Choices

If you’re like me, you have had feelings arise at times that were challenging. Feelings that asked you commit to an action and follow through, no matter the chaos that might be introduced to the lives around you.

When I was in my twenties, my sister shared with me that she was getting married. To say that I acted poorly that night would be an understatement. But I know that I was honest. And over the long run, that has served her and I in becoming closer.

When she told me that, I was forced to sit with whether I was living my own life or that of another…

Shortly thereafter, i quit my job working for a liquor company and I set out to travel. I told everyone that I would return in three years. I have yet to move back.

Big changes can happen really fast. It takes as long as you decide it need to.

I’ve spent decades asking other people what they think I should do. It’s been something that I’ve struggled with the most in my life. This need to please and to be appreciated. I’ve smoked it to the filter. The seasons have changed.

Some changes take a moment to manifest. The most important yoga class I will teach this year will be at my cousin Kieron’s wedding. In 2005 she came home with a brochure for a yoga teacher training that began in four days. It was one of the most comprehensive 200 hr YTT’s that I’ve yet to encounter and it changed my life.

In those four days I wholesaled my life, tearing down my job, my lack of direction and my understanding of the known. I wouldn’t change a thing.

I don’t lament the time that I asked everyone else what they thought I should be doing. I often reflect on needing to explore the periphery in order to understand the center. It was good for me and part of the process to reach now.

It was reasonably put to me that before me I have two right choices.

I can trust this knowing in my gut that makes little logical and linear sense and go about this process of working with chaos, feeling into my heart and moving with compassion and confidence sans guilt. The work is to increase my personal connection to spirit. And that is the work of trusting that I know.

Or I can play it safe and interact with my life in a way that is safe.

I’m wearing a gift from a dear friend. I look around and the things that I am carrying are things that I care for and that have cared for me. I know that there are things that bind me to the past and I could be done with them now. I encourage you to join me in assessing a few items that have served you in getting this far but their time to go has come. Losing a few things will create all sorts of room for that which is to come. So purge a thing or two and allow things to be as you know them to be.

Know, and know that you know.


Wired To Intuition- Communicating With The Subconscious


Wired To Intuition- Communicating With The Subconscious


    I’m sitting here working to break the insurmountable task that I have before me into small manageable bites. I don’t really know what would be the most practical or the most productive next step and I am lost. SO I’m writing about it.

    I have so many plates spinning in the air that I am scared to look down to pick up the next one, for fear that the whole show will come falling down. I don’t know what will transcend it.

    I feel like a safe cracker looking for that first number.

    Cause I have a hint of what rests behind that door. I have suspected it for a long time. Suggestions of potential along the path offered possibilities but now I am here and I’ve never been here before…

    Something that you can resonate with perhaps… You’ve likely got something going on in your days that there is no blueprint for. No model or mentor that you can turn to, just the requirement that you progress, not perfect (thanks Marie Forleo.)

    There are ways to salvage shifts in perfection from the seeming ashes that rest at your feet. Simple check ins with the body’s wisdom are a way to communicate with intuition beyond the language of words.

    Each of you will have your own frame for the how of this but will ultimately share the why: to clear the voices from your brain and settle into wisdom at a gut layer of knowing.

    Here’s how to go about communicating with the subconscious.

    You MUST teach your body what is a positive or a negative. Without it, the message is lost amidst chatter. Because the subconscious has no frame for language, this step is integral to getting clarity regarding your questions.
    Begin with affirming what a positive feels like. For myself, when I am standing, I have created a response where my weight shifts onto my heels and I stand up straighter. Seated the cue is a little different, but ultimately similar in that I sense an expansion from my midline/solar plexus area.

    Teach the body what a negative feels like by opposing the previous into a state of contraction. If that is not about a shift of weight or a sense of expansion/contraction, there are a number of different ways for you to cultivate that sense of communication with your body.

    So experiment for yourself. Collect yourself where you find your experience strongest.

    Ask a question. Phrase it in a positive way. I like using the prompt “it is in my highest interest that/to….”

    I tend to repeat the question three times, as if it were a mantra, conjuring my feeling as if I were existing under those circumstances. My body attenuates to the frequency of that experience and I notice some iteration of that expansion/contraction state.

    And there in lies the answer; that’s how you get down to the essence. You can phrase the question in a number of ways, helping to clarify or confirm the situation.

    The Subconscious exists outside of time and it’s wisdom has access to information that the conscious mind can’t fathom. Touching that space is less about language and more about feeling intuitively, which is why the body can both express and understand that level of communication.

    This works incredibly well due to the information traveling along the vagus nerve. It’s a passage that is unique to mammals and permits a large amount of information to travel widely throughout the body.

    When I find myself in times of obstacle, I turn to this technique. It’s a dramatic departure from what I used to do which was ask pretty much everyone what I should do. I really appreciate the people in my life but I found that I was living for everyone else and less for myself.

    Tapping into the wisdom that is inherent in my body gives me a lot more grace in transitioning through moments of difficulty or transition.

    As the future is created through your thoughts and your actions, it is imperative that your voice reach the people that need to hear it. May these words encourage you to find yourself at the top of that list.

    Blessings on the journey!



Shadow and Light

Today marks my milestone of six months sober.

I am a high functioning pot head who is happiest functioning in the periphery, tenderly aware but more internal than present, distance and insulated from feeling the world. It is a tool that I discovered at 19 after the death of my dear friend Ryan. I’ve ridden it for over twenty years.

I love altering my consciousness. I love the places I go. The insights and interpretations, the reduced anxiety, the permission to detach… I spent a lot of time in my head: working with the principles of things as powerful shortcuts to understanding. Paying attention, though invigorating and empowering, can get to be exhausting. Smoking bridged paying attention to comprehension with none of the side effects of being timely, while enforcing a patience I didn’t know how to create for myself.

I was given access to deeper parts of myself that I judged, weird and wonderful parts, as my godmother would call them, full of funny dance moves, stories with no end, and an excitement that was innocently infectious.

There was more to this love. The ritual and the ceremony were grounding and consistent. Intention and prayer graced the sacred in the smoke, different for each ingestion preference. There were the random voyages to procure herb and the weirdos along the way; misfits who always had time for a random conversation about the esoteric. I would tap into something new. They would observe life happening.

Smoking permitted me a softer focus, taking my ego down a notch. I didn’t have to set the alarm in the morning so that the sun would rise. That kind of permission was invaluable to experience. I discovered myself to be less the creator of my life and more of a witness.

I did everything stoned. That was the issue.

Timothy Leary said that “when you get the message, hang up the phone.”

I spent decades relying upon Marijuana to get to a perception of the subtle.

That perception taught me that there is more out there, or rather, I am aware of more. Moments and events want to come through me. I am witness to things longing for birth, and I don’t know if anyone else can see them. My unique being was called for a purpose, and as I learn to speak for that, I learn to embrace my creator.

 I know pot heads who are incredibly productive. That was not me. I would take my intense dream and shuffle it around a bit but not do much in this world to bring it into being. And that got real tiresome. It felt less like love and more like a one night stand.

I didn’t have it in me to carry on like that. A slave to smoking, I was robbing me of my spirit. Slowly, I was less me. I would have loved to have encountered the medicine of Marijuana with none of the disruptive force that got me high. I’ve been looking for alternatives.

Six months of sobriety has given me a different home work assignment. I altar my consciousness with pranayama and meditation. This willful effort gets me to where I can perceive the layers of Light coming through me, waiting to be born. I observe stillness watching me and I witness it back. I use CBD Oil to support my neurological health and to treat inflammation throughout my body, so that I may support others.

I work with possibility. Nothingness isn’t the absence of everything. It’s filled with potential. As a creator, I recognize that life isn’t happening to me, it’s happening for me. My voyage is one of discovery and I explore the periphery so that I am able to hug into my center.

I believe we are but mirrors of Shadow and Light.

May you discover your road, as ever present with the field of possibility, radiant in the grace of love for yourself as I am certain that it is. Nothing, or rather, no thing separates us.

Love is all there is.



9 significant health impacts of CBD Oil


9 significant health impacts of CBD Oil

Since the dawn of agriculture, man has harvested a most resilient plant; versatile, its benefits on your health are documented in numerous peer reviewed journal entries.

From epilepsy to systemic inflammation, PTSD to anxiety, oxidization to neuro-degenerative disorder, cancer to immunology, hemp medicine is redefining our relationship to illness.

The EndoCannabinoid system exists as a part of the central nervous system. It’s unique receptors fit specific molecules, releasing the bodies potential for health and wellness, to be whole and healed, and to live in bliss.

Due to THC, a molecule in marijuana that is responsible for getting high, the most infamous association of hemp is marijuana. Smoking it creates an altered state of consciousness.

Cannabidiol is known as CBD. CBD oil promotes homeostasis, or a movement of the bodies internal processes towards equilibrium and is the molecule responsible for the medicinal benefits named above and more. No affect that changes perception.

It’s testy to get it into the body, so the delivery method is key. Bio availability is a topic for another time.

The bodies aging process is irreversible. That means retaining our mental and physical capacity beyond current expectations requires support.

Highest health can be found amidst our plant friends.