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Epiphany

“Slipping around in the ashes.”

I heard myself say it to a friend yesterday.  I hadn’t been aware that I’d burned down the farm. But when I heard myself say it—  Saw the image in my mind, where the phrase came from—  Recognized the familiar feeling of being lost, then found in the stark gaze of it—  I got it.

In a springtime post, I described getting naked, stripping down Story Charmer to see what’s there, what’s mine, what’s not, to find out what gets restored, what departs after clearing out, getting real. Hell, finding real. Every so often, it’s good to check if the pulse still beats in the right places of one’s purpose. Turns out naked is smoking hot.

Barn’s burned down

After I said it, I paused. Thought. Yes. I’d burned down the farm. The smoke’s no longer rising. I can see past the skeleton structures, blackened, the cleared out pieces of them fallen, returning to earth.

*That’s* where those went. Huh. 

And then… I can plant a garden in that spot there.

And… Look at the sky leaning in so closely here, where before it tucked behind that tree…the tree is gone.

Fertile flames

In California, elements of the chaparral are designed to be more fertile once burned. In one of my life’s big transitions, I’ve returned home to California from Portland. Lush, liquid, evergreen Portland, Oregon. To desert heat, ocean wind, fleecy golden hills, eternal spring. And fires so familiar I’d forgotten how they burn.

Story Charmer has yet to get dressed. The closet burned down too. But the view. It’s clear and getting clearer. It’s simple as dirt and sky. And as life-bringing.

 

Photo by Chris Bennett 

 

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Disclaimer: Run now or hold your peace

No parent wants to read about their child’s first sexual encounter under their own roof. And so for that reason, I caution my dad and anyone else who feels fatherly or motherly toward me, or anyone squeamish about teenage love to click away right now.

See you clickers in the next post. 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 . . .

Virginal

For all who have stayed. Welcome. To the night I got naked. With a girl. In my brother’s bedroom. It’s a passion play that, like all good dramas, begins its slow turn much earlier.

She and I were best friends. On this night, we turned lovers, in a willful gesture that I learned was desire. It took over me as if I was watching myself on a movie screen. And yet, I lived each moment in the heat that spread in my heart, my gut, my skin, exploding my head. Each choice. And then the next. I was 16.

My dad was a preacher. My mom slept nearby on the living room couch. My brother was no longer. At least, not his physical form. He had died suddenly, nine months before, at 17.

The end of innocence

His room was intact. I would go in there from time to time, to make his absence real. And to pierce the mute, open doorway standing at the end of the hall, that no one walked through anymore, but which shone blue from the paint on his walls.

It had a bigger bed than mine, covered by the blue and red afghan our grandma crocheted. I would sit on it and stare out the window. Run my hand over coarse yarn and stare out the door. Stare into his closet. Velcro my eyes to the song lyrics he had written on the pad still on his desk. The cartoons he had drawn. His life still in the lines.

But this night, the scratchy afghan slipped to the floor. My best friend and I, we’d been to the beach. Heat from our sunburns made the room feel like day. Street lamp light sifted the darkness telling us it was night. All of it transcended time.

Resurrection mix tape

Dawn came. Then morning sun. Then sleep.

It was Easter Sunday. My dad woke us ten minutes into slumber, to get ready for church.

Pastel floral farm skirt and my favorite greenish cropped top. What I wore that day is sealed on my memory, as is the way the sun slanted through the windows and her next to me in the pew in black pedal pushers. Somebody preached. About Jesus dying for our sins. And coming back to life. While I flashed on fresh sins I could still feel. And felt alive in them.

The people here hurt for me and my family’s loss deeply. They wrapped me in love as much as I would let them. And I knew with fearful certainty that if they knew the sins I knew, they would reject me without argument. That was the day a new piece of my spirit struggled free, while my relationship with religion ground to its end.

Lost

As it happened, it was my job to drive Grandma to church. That wasn’t going to change. So I went, every Sunday, for the next three years until I left for college, smiling to see the folks that raised me in this community, and dying inside to think we wouldn’t be having this conversation if they knew what I knew about me.

If you’ve ever been a closeted gay teen stoic at church, you know that hyper-self-awareness can widen into silence and separation. Turn into rejection and resentment. Years into the shut-down, I became allergic to all things holy. The day, a decade later, that I sat in traffic behind a Christian fish symbol bumper sticker, and raged at the intolerant audacity of a blindly religious vocal majority, I heard the silence in my car stab back at me. My outrage, the silent echo suggested, might be a bigger fish to fry than the one on the bumper.

A modern chance

There was no where to go in the traffic. No one to hear but myself. I’d learned enough to know that inordinate venom is usually the tip off to a personal problem buried so deep you can’t see it. It was there, gridlocked behind the Christian fish car, that I missed spirituality.

If I were a preacher, I’d be fourth in a generational line of them, starting with my great-grandfather on my dad’s side. Church, before there was a building for it, used to be held in the very house that I lived in. My dad as a boy would set out folding chairs in his living room for the congregants, which, if you’ve ever crammed into a living room and shared stories and reverence, you know is a silly name to call each other when it feels rather like family.

I missed…a feeling. That family. The reverence. The sensation of awe and peace and wonder that my dad called “the spirit.” I missed people caring and loving and coming together just to be together in a sacred hour. As much as I had grown to detest all things related to a religious tenet that would kill me if it had a modern chance, I even missed praying.

Found

And so there in my car, I cracked open and allowed myself to feel, allowed myself to wonder, and to wander through thoughts of God as God related to ME and not a religion.

That was the beginning of what has become an increasingly spiritual journey. I remembered the reverence with which I absorbed nature on the walks to school and in the national parks we traveled with my grandparents. I remembered the joy and gratitude of stewardship that my grandma modeled. And I remembered that I had as much fascination for a fundamentalist’s diehard faith as I had vitriol for what it espoused.

I think they call this collection of attributes “humanist,” and maybe that’s what I was becoming. But what I knew in the moment was that access to spirit was no longer trapped in the church box. It was no longer separate from me and my heathen ways. Access to spirit is mine if I want it, even if religion has its party without me.

Thank God.

In the Pulpit with Ronna Detrick

In addition to stripping down and exploring through memories, I’m gearing up for Sunday morning in the pulpit with Ronna Detrick, spiritual adviser and conversation sparker extraordinaire, creator of sacred community through conversations on God and women. Please join us for her inspired invocation of the divine in all of us, as we talk about new ways of understanding and incorporating faith, beliefs, spirituality, and gorgeous, significant story.

Sunday Services you want to WAKE UP for!
with Ronna Detrick, Spiritual Director and creator of Inspired by Eve.
and guest, Pema Teeter, Story Charmer
May 27, 2012
10:00 am (PST)
We need congregation. We need sacred space.
 And we need conversation that is unscripted, unedited, and unboundaried.
 We need each other.

Dial: 530.881.1300 Code: 590920#

(Skype callers: Add ‘freeconferencing.5308811300′ to your contacts.
Once you’ve dialed in, locate the key pad and enter the access code. )

Smart, engaging conversation about topics that matter. Soak up community wisdom. Even worship. It’s divine.

I hope you’ll join us.

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A golden pool

Me in it up to my calves. Looking across it at a figure. Lying on his side on a temple, seductive somewhat. Caressing the top of the water with his hand. Looking at me. It’s Ganesh. The elephant god. Eyes black rimmed in kohl. He beckons to me with his eyes, his fingers tracing the water. He knows I want to come. I am afraid. Reverent. I stand still, water lapping at my calves.

The water is not water. It is a liquid golden light. It is a pool of liquid light lapping at my skin and moving beneath Ganesh’s fingers. I am an Indian boy with thick black hair close cropped. I am a girl. I am me. I want to answer Ganesh’s invitation but I do not know if I can rise to it.

He watches me from across the pool.

I see other…initiates? Devotees? Women with loose cloths draped over their breasts, their legs. What are they doing? Are they afraid? They are dipping their hands in the golden light water and dripping it on themselves. Down their chests, behind their necks. I do what they do. I dip my hands in the water and pull it to my head. It runs down golden in rivulets. It feels good. I feel grace. Gratitude.

Still afraid but surrendering

I look over to the other women and when I look back, I am up to my thighs in the pool. Ganesh still strokes the water, eyes on me. He wants me to come to him. I am still afraid, but I am surrendering. He is asking me, isn’t he? Why be afraid? But I remain thigh deep in the golden pool of light. I run my hands in it like Ganesh. He smiles his slow smile. I step toward him.

Are the other women? Where are they? Totally self-absorbed, in their own light. I am chest high now and my arms float at the water’s surface. Ganesh is beautiful and I am closer to him now. He wants me to surrender fully to the light. To come to him through the light. To approach him. His attention, relaxed as it is, is trained on me. His look beckons.

Now it is just me. No more attention paid to the other initiates. It is me in the light, up to my chest, it cradling my arms and flooding my body.

“There’s more,” says Ganesh’s look, which hasn’t changed. His smile is a coy smile. He knows something I don’t.

Worthy or not

Somewhere here, my fear gives way. The resistance leaves and I realize I must submerse myself in the light. Worthy or not, I must dip myself into it entirely. Will I be able to breathe? Am I worthy to approach Ganesh in this way? Will I disappear? What is within the liquid light?

My left shoulder is in. Then my face as I look beneath the surface. And then I am submerged. My fear has left me and there is only experience. Light against my skin. Warm bath of gold washing against me, holding me in it. I am horizontal. Naked. I am caressed by the gold, lit by the light. I see no other creatures but I know that they are there. I am light. I cannot see them because we are all light. I have become this light. I feel like I am exploring this sensation. This experience. This disappearance indeed. But I am calmed by knowing that Ganesh is above the surface, tracing his hand along the water. He is there so that I do not have to be. He is a placeholder for me and a place for me to return to. An anchor. I can remain under the light pool’s surface without fear of not coming back. I can come back. For now, I feel the light. It is light-weight and airy and golden. It is grace.

This is me

I stay because it is not time to leave. And suddenly, I spring from beneath the water’s surface to the branch of a tree on the shore where I started. I am an owl. I have taken the shape of an owl! I spread my wings and shake them. Golden! Made of light! This is me. I watch Ganesh in his shrine. He smiles at my ride in this light. The branch beneath my golden feet begins to turn gold. The light spreads all down the tree. And I am back under the surface of the pool, submerged, floating subsurface. Enjoying this.

There is something more. I can feel it but I don’t know what it is, so I float. I am close to Ganesh and his hand above the water’s surface. I remember that he had beckoned me. I was to walk to him. I go to him, to his hand at the water’s top. My vision of his hand is golden from my submerged view. I place my hand beneath his. I place my hand beneath his and it is a man’s hand. It is an elephant’s ancient foot, leathery. It is a man’s hand again. We touch, my palm reaching up against his.

Several images and sensations of this occur, like flipping slowly through a deck of cards, all versions of the same picture. Our hands touching at the golden light’s surface, me submerged and he aloft.

Me and God

There are a few flashes of this image, and then I am Ganesh, lying on his palette under his shrine’s ceiling, upon the grand, shallow steps of his temple, leading down to the golden water’s edge. I am Ganesh. And Ganesh is me. Ganesh is me beneath the water, submersed in golden light and I am Ganesh. We are one. I am god. This is his lesson. Why he called me from the other side of the pool. We are one. There is no one between me and god.

I trace the surface of the water with my hand. It is warm and soft in its texture. Liquid light. My gaze is fixed on a young figure across the pool. It is me. Or another me. Another initiate, with short cropped black hair, loose cloths covering his or her limbs. It is me and I am Ganesh and Ganesh is beneath the surface of the Golden Light. We create a triangle, timeless. We are God. Ever beginning and ever complete. We are one.

 

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Memories

I’m writing memories for a while, in exploration. Staring out the window in the mornings, letting them fall out of lit corners and dark folds, rustling leaves, blunt sunshine of spring. Join me if you please. Write yours in the comments, or link to your blog. Explore with me.

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My awakening has not been of the “alarm-clock-ring-snaps-me-into-action” variety. More like the “waking-up my-16-year-old-son-for-school” variety.  I hear his alarm go off and I wait. Then I gently rouse him to consciousness and say, “Time to get up. You don’t want to miss the bus.” He looks at me and nods. A little later I am back, this time lifting him into a sitting position or tickling his toes or knocking his legs off the bed. “Come on. You have to be out the door in 10 minutes! Now or never.”

The awakening I have been resisting is pretty radical. It means dropping societally sanctioned definitions of success and questioning the fabric of my (and our) societal norms. And oh, by the way, might force me to stop doing what I am doing and choose an entirely different path. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Leza and Peter have been trying to wake me up.

Leza Danly is the founder of Lucid Living. Some messages from a class I am taking with Leza have been disturbing my comfortable sleep.

  • You don’t make success happen you allow yourself to experience success.
  • Real world definitions of success are an illusion. Money doesn’t give you security.
  • Success comes when our deepest soul/self is given form in our lives. This is deep work that comes with intention and commitment.

This (and so much more) put a kink in my general conviction that my earnings are the juicy fruits of my success. Inconsistent to be striving for a more soulful existence even as I pursue the pot of gold? MMM… yes. (Because clearly I am acting as if I believe there is a pot of gold.) I would attend a class. Do the meditations. Journal. Feel moved. Sense a deep stirring. And all the while plan new products, reach out to new prospects and watch the bottom line. It was my version of hitting the snooze button.

Peter Block is a transformational leader. I have been reading his work obsessively. In his latest book The Abundant Community co-authored with John McKnight, he gently and kindly tickled my toes and warned that I might miss my bus. You see I am a certified leadership and systems coach. Here is what he had to say.

Professionalization is the market replacement for a community that has lost or outsourced its capacity to care…What my uncle once knew is now a secret known only to my therapist. What this produces is a hollow neighborhood that does not value coming together around troubles. Neighbors pay professionals to process their troubles.

He goes on to say that the commodification of care also means care-givers need to continue to see people’s deficiencies to justify their own existence. (And by the way, companies need you to believe you need what they are selling- i.e. you are not enough.)

Holy bed knobs and broomsticks! I am out of bed and shaking in my pajamas.

Never mind that I am all about people’s potential and dignity. Never mind that I bring people together to create community that is conscious and intentional. Peter is right. I need them to need me! I need them to be dysfunctional! Why else would they be calling me (and paying me)?!

I don’t want to go to school!

 

Wake-up calls, lessons…they are not fun. If I am to get dressed and get going with this new consciousness, I am going to have to make big changes and make some people profoundly uncomfortable.

May I just say, I am not out the door—yet. I am savoring my coffee and looking out the window. I am working my way up to it.

I don’t know what it will look like yet:

  • Start a bartering system to offer my gifts and receive the gifts of those around me?
  • Re-educate my clients to rely on each other?
  • Scale down our lives so we have fewer material needs?
  • Refocus on the love and laughter and real emotion I bring to my life as the currency which enriches me.

Here is what I do know. Pema has it right: “one person and the next, one community coming into consciousness and then the next.”

 

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Pearl Mattenson is a writer, leadership and systems coach. We met while writing for Danielle LaPorte’s pre-FLAME incarnation, Carrie and Danielle, and have kept in touch following each others’ work, and meeting when our tips of the globe unite. Pearl plugs IN. You can read + learn from her journeys on her blog.

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Wake up with me for the 7-day Wake UP! March 20-27. Join us + watch your life pop open. Cost: Zero dollars and a few dawns.

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Story Charmer’s Waking Up Series is the month of March in meditation on WAKING UP. What does it mean? What growth does it spur? What wonder and challenge? GUEST POSTS and personal queries will appear here throughout the month. Read all the posts in the series here…

If you’re spurred by what you read, and you want to write a post in reply, email me (hi) at (storycharmer) dot (com).

Join the conversation. Leave a comment. Write a post.

Let’s wake up together.

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1. One Voice Ain’t Enough

So I figured it out. With the help of Dyana Valentine and Stephanie Murphy, my confideante, the Wake Up Series will continue like this:

Through March 31, Story Charmer will be a platform for community pieces, conversations on waking up. Send me your stories, your moments of awakening, and I’ll post them here. Depending on time and space, I may send the piece back to you with questions to help you elaborate–I’m a Story Charmer after all.

There’ll be one posted per day through March 31. I’ll be writing mine, too. The project MAY continue if story submissions dictate, but for now, we’re looking at the end of March as the end of the Waking Up Series. We’ll all be perky, awake, and a full leap into spring by then.

2. The 7-day Wake UP!

Then! March 20 is the FIRST DAY OF SPRING! The Northern Hemisphere is waking up all over with longer hours of daylight, blossoms busting out of their bulbs, grills emerging for outdoor dinners (albeit in jackets).

For SEVEN days, we’ll get up at 4 a.m., get on a call together, and talk (or sit quietly together) for 15-30 minutes.

Four a.m. is said to be a holy hour for those who meditate. Here, we’ll see the other side of day. Wake up and welcome the divine in us to open. Lean into our animal limbs before dawn, the physical reality of the human body emerging from its nightly cocoon, to explore the possibility of wonder.

So that we can welcome the dawn, chase the edges of sleep in togetherness, curiosity and witness. What is out there? What is inside us in this journey into night to find the dawn? What in our lives do we want to wake to? What waking is there to be done?

Join us –> Hi [at] StoryCharmer [dot] com

3. Your Life Is Ringing. Pick Up.

The origin of this project: I’m sitting on my bed, dead of night, laptop on lap, giggling to myself at the mental image of a character waking up early each morning in an effort to become enlightened. Mid-giggle, I ask, Why not?

The destination may call us, but the journey attends us. It’s the journey we intimately come to know. It’s the practice that brings us the most valued reward, and surprise. Why not wake up to wake up? Why not see what the night, and the dawn in its wake, has for us? In failing, the only thing lost is sleep. And gained? That’s the journey. Adventure, I hear your call.

So I commit to the project. And the minute I do, my life starts popping open all over, so much so, that I can’t keep up with it. Even the method I’d planned for the Waking Up Series–intended to be a sequel, of sorts, to the Memory to Light story circle–woke UP three days before the start. It plugged into community, making VOICE the prong and community the light socket.

My single voice that led the last project said, Congratulations, you’re a deep thinker. What will your deep thoughts awaken plugged in? What voices can yours plug into? What systems will they wake up, in small quivers or tsunamis unleashed, by thinking out loud?

Wake Up to Wake Up – Made to Scale

Get up with me at 4a.m. Get on the call. See what the darkness brings in the hours before light. Listen to what your community is finding, feeling, waking up to in their lives. AND IF YOU DON’T get on the call, ANSWER THE CALL. Wake up anyway. Watch for the FB + Twitter correspondence. Read the stories here. Keep a notebook in your pocket and note the brightness that was missing the day before. Note the revelations and the serendipities. Note the corners of your peripheral vision that widened over night.

Want to wake up with me? Send me a note at Hi [at] Storycharmer [dot] com. I’ll send you details. Call will be at 4 a.m. Pacific, March 20-27. How about that, yous in other time zones can get up a bit later. Or, you can get up at your own 4 a.m. and tell us about how it went, encourage us along in our West Coast hour.

Ready for wide open wonder? Turbo-oh-my-stars awakening?

The dawn. Is ON.

Join me –> Hi [at] StoryCharmer [dot] com

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Story Charmer’s Waking Up Series is the month of March in meditation on WAKING UP. What does it mean? What growth does it spur? What wonder and challenge? GUEST POSTS and personal queries will appear here throughout the month. Read all the posts in the series here…

If you’re spurred by what you read, and you want to write a post in reply, email me (hi) at (storycharmer) dot (com).

Join the conversation. Leave a comment. Write a post.

Let’s wake up together.

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On budgeting. In love.

January 11, 2011

I have this story I love to tell about the day I turned my money around. I was broke. Busted, disgusted, can’t be trusted, as my college roommate used to say. So much so that I wondered if I wasn’t broke, but broken.

I was also training for a marathon. Running is free, after all. I loved the daily run. It felt like an accomplishment, not ever having been a runner before. I had unlocked the secret for myself, which was that running is a technical sport. It’s not just an activity where you throw yourself at the road, run really fast and it’s over. You can time your pace, feel each muscle, call on other muscles when those are tired. You can build your stamina by way of strengthening your heart, and you can strengthen your heart with a stretch of road and a wristwatch heart monitor.

You can also let your mind unspool out there on the path. And if you have a mind like mine, you know it’s like taking the dog out to play. You have to let it run all over the place at some point if you want to have a relaxing night.

Not love

For all I loved about running, I HATED the first mile. It’s horrible. It hurts. For the first eleven minutes of every run, I negotiated, one side a chorale spectacular resounding the suck factor and saying I was stupid for even trying. The other side just shouldered the weight, like a grim old man shoveling snow. Nobody else gonna do it ain’t no sun gonna clear it but me coffee’s gonna taste good this mornin, ‘f I don’t stroke before I git there.

So one morning, when I looked up and saw I had run two miles without so much as a peep from my choir, no aching joints, no pleading psyche, I gasped. I laughed. I searched my mind for what had occupied it so intently that I couldn’t feel the vice of my nemesis first mile.

It was my budget. I was juggling it. If I give $10 a week to x and pay my gas bill a little late, then pay y $25 every other…

Not broke

I wondered at this a second. Being broke took up every waking moment. I hated it more than I hated the first mile. But…I LIKED this juggling. It was a puzzle. My mind took it to task and I got all kinds of satisfaction being clever enough to figure it out each moment. In that moment, I was a changed woman. I decided that if I loved budgeting my debt so much, why not budget my millions? Within a few months’ time, I had queued up two job interviews at investment companies.

I got the job I wanted. My broke got healed. I’m not budgeting millions, but I’m not busted anymore either. I AM still enjoying the strategies of money.

So it occurs to me this morning to apply this to love.

The Law of Three

My dad used to tell me that I brought home strays. Which may explain why, in my late 20s, I finally instituted my Law of Three:

If the romantic interest was

Addicted (to even smoking or coffee or Tic Tacs),
On medication for depression, or
Deep in debt due to irresponsible spending

I could not date them.

Having the occasion to pull out the old Law of Three in a recent conversation, I wondered if it wasn’t a little outdated. Nope, still applies, I thought. We all have our issues, but these are the ones I personally need to stay away from.

Increasing the love budget

This morning, I stopped in my mental tracks like I did the day I was running for my money. In setting my standard here, at these bottom absolutes, am I not budgeting my debt, not my millions? If it’s all the same exercise, why don’t I juggle abundance instead of poverty? Poverty of spirit, love, vision, opportunity, happiness. Abundance of the same.

Same coin. Different side.

Same game. Different pride.

My friends, it’s a brand new awareness and I don’t know how to end this post. Seems silly to say it’s a new beginning. Jesus has the corner on that market.

Existential pie chart. Of love.

Maybe borrowing from Joseph Campbell is best here. We’re born whole. We break into pieces. We spend the rest of our journey questing for the pieces and bringing them back to the whole. Peace.

I was broke. I was broken. But that run keeps reminding me, when I’m ready, of different pieces I left behind…and where to find them.

Hm. I’m listening to Pandora right now. The lyrics, “Heaven tastes like this.”

Just looked up the song. “All That Money Wants,” by The Psychedelic Furs.

Don’t you just love serendipity?

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“Story Changers: Love” has me crying already.

I got this in my inbox this morning:

Jasmine just made a donation of $55 in your name to Safe Spaces & Loans for 2,000 Girls in Bangladesh, a project on GlobalGiving.org.

The card said: Pema, Here is to intimate love blossoming in our lives and in the world. Thanks for your help in creating this opportunity. Love, Jasmine

Story Changers grew out of a desire to change my life by changing the stories I tell about it. I have watched others do it. I have coached clients that tell their success stories and then live into them.

I had no idea it could change…the world.

Jasmine’s email brought home what we’re doing here. What love can do. How community can heal exponentially. How, from far flung parts of the world, we are a community, sprung solely from the desire for love.

Freely give, freely receive

STORY CHANGERS: LOVE is free. With a call to give.

When we put a stake in something, we’re likely to stay through the hard parts. We remember why we started and who we’re committed to, and keep going.

I’ll ask participants to give a donation to something that is meaningful to them–of any amount–that they believe will help keep their stake in the effort.

The Girl Effect

For instance, Tara Sophia Mohr’s #GirlEffect campaign is infiltrating the blogosphere. What if your heart goes out the girls in developing countries, and your wallet comes out to stoke nothing less than a revolution? You are changing the world a girl at a time as you are changing YOU. Each chapter you read for “Story Changers: Love,” you are causing love to come to you, and you’re offering a girl possibility, freedom, choice, life. You’re changing your story for the better. And you’re helping her changing hers.

Did you know? Less than two cents of every international aid dollar spent in the developing world is earmarked for girls. And yet when a girl has resources, she will reinvest them in her community at a much higher rate than a boy would. If the goal is health, wealth, and stability for all, a girl is the best investment.

If you’ve been looking for love, and you want to invite it into your life, give as you receive. Let yourself feel the love while you’re changing the story.

*       *        *       *       *       *

The Details

“Story Changers: Love” will follow the 7-week course in the book, Calling in the One: Seven Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life, by Katherine Woodward Thomas.

Format: Teleconference

Who:
For women only (this time around)

Cost: Free (Please consider donating to a cause important to you)

Duration: 9 weeks = One intro call, with intention setting and getting to know each other. 7 weekly calls on the course work. One closure call at the end of the group.

Dates: Dec 2, 2010 to Feb 3, 2011

Time: Call time will be on Thursday evenings, 6pm – 7pm Pacific. Start time may change if the group needs it to.

Register: Email Love@StoryCharmer.com

Get the book: Calling in the One: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life

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Heaven and Earth, clarified

September 17, 2010

I was thinking about Heaven and Earth

…on my climb up the six flights to my apartment.

I was thinking about how it is written in holy books and legacies that we tread and toil on “Earth” so that we can get to the paradise of “Heaven” and reap goodness from all we’ve sown. But it is also written that Earth is a place for the living, and Heaven you get when you’re good ‘n’ dead.

It’d been a blissful day on this walk up the stairs. Productive. Sunny and beautiful. Filled with promise of new projects and completion of current, and I got to meet a wonderful new friend.

This on the heels of the day before

…one of utter self loathing. One where it was all I could do to quiet the voices that were tearing me apart limb by limb. And as a matter of fact, I stopped trying to quiet them. I finally surrendered, knowing that when they are as mean and base as they were that day, there is no winning. Only surviving. So I sunk in and loathed myself more fiercely. And kept working. Kept surrendering. Kept hating.

“I hope,” I thought, “this doesn’t last.”

I was thinking about how there are these days, these ugly, wrong, upside-down days. And there are blissful ones. And if I can feel my way through these ugly bastards, I’ll reach the blissful ones…till the self loathing comes again, to hopefully, eventually be replaced by neutrality, and then bliss.

Sounds like a cycle, no?

Long about floor five on my climb I thought, “Today feels like Heaven next to yesterday’s Earthly toil. Yesterday I was busy earning today.”

I reached the top floor with a tiny and kind epiphany. Earth, and our lifetime on it, is not a place to stack up toil for a great big gain in the sky. It’s a place to practice, toil, loathe, breathe, and notice the Heaven between the living.

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The Lilith Road

Hello from the road! It’s been an amazing journey. My blog post on Alter Eco today goes deep to tell the richness of what I’m experiencing here, both as a woman, and a supporter of collaborative enterprise, and, you know, MUSIC!

Take a peek.

(P.S. It includes the gorgeous images of David Bergman, the tour photographer. So pretty. You don’t want to miss them.)

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