Slingshot: limbo anticipation? #journal #ramblings

I’ve been mulling over the slingshot image for a few days now.

I have been recognizing a darkness and a certain kind of fatigue in the air of late.

In many in my circle.

Certainly in me.

I feel like I am being pulled backward, downwards– just when I thought I had it all figured out and knew what the plan was.


…the clarity of what’s to come is just beyond our reach… – The Power Path

Being pulled back into revisiting so many triggers from the past.

Strangely reconnecting with so many people from way back.

Weighed down by the same old fears…


The bills are piling up, but no money is coming in. Or maybe your baby left you, walked right out. Perhaps you’ve made an epic mistake, with disastrous and irrevocable consequences. You can barely breathe, suffocated by the unwieldy weight of your own broken heart.

You frantically scan the landscape, looking for clues or any kind of lifeline. But the vista is barren. You’re shredded into a million bewildering pieces. You’re hanging on for sweet life. Or maybe you don’t know what you’re hanging on to anymore, or if you even can.

This is survival mode. And it will be okay. – Rebelle Society


Realizing though that all this pulling back to the past

all this imagery and memory-

is about reviewing

to be able to say

alright, that’s not serving me anymore.  Though it was HEARTFELT and AMAZING, DRAINING and DEEP- I am ready to unravel myself from it.  

To suture up.  To prepare for next launch.


I am pulled taut.

Another life is set.

Is this limbo?  Or anticipation?

This is the time for complete surrender.

Time to shoot past the past the past… SLINGSHOT!


Whenever I feel overwhelmed or out of balance I turn to my version of The Slingshot Principle. It’s simply a reminder that in order to fly forward, often we need to first pull back. Just like a slingshot, the real power and velocity comes from being stretched and pulled… but in a backwards motion.

It’s that backwards motion that is the hardest direction for us to go but vitally important if we are to create momentum, speed and forward progress. – Daniel Decker, The Slingshot Principle

Little Brown Mouse Journal Ramblings


Little Brown Mouse Journal Ramblings

I have been told in the past that I think TOO BIG.  But I have come to realize, I may not be dreaming BIG ENOUGH.

* why, oh why do I question [everything]? *

*so embarrassed *

I have been too timid, too small, too local, too shy…

I say “$1 million” when I should say $10 BILLION.  My default setting is set too low.

My fear of failure should be fear of small mindedness.  No more of this now. 

I am half sick of shadows.


Pay attention to the signs. Badger. #alignment


The image of the badger has been playing in my mind the past few weeks. 

I really have no idea why.  

But in the spirit of trusting the signs, I play along.

Badger symbolism: 


The badger symbolizes aggressiveness, reliance, self-expression, holding ones own, link to the underworld and the magic and mystery of creation, link to plant and animal spirits, fearlessness, boldness, braveness…

The power of the badger lies in is its aggressiveness and the readiness to fight for what it wants. On the flip side, the badger is also about healing – they are the keeper of Earth’s healing herbs. Badger will persevere in finding a cure. People with this power animal are often healers and have the guts to use unconventional methods…

They are fearless and fierce and if driven into a corner badgers will go at it tooth and nail and fight to the death! Very unsociable badgers are, so those with this medicine may find it hard relating to others, sneering at authority and holding their own in any given situation. One of their biggest tests would be being able to express themselves clearly.

Being amazing diggers, badgers are able to get below ground with no difficulty, linking them to the underworld. This is where the mysteries and magic of life and creation is held. Also, this is symbolic of a powerful link to animal and plant spirits, and can show badger people how to get in balance and alignment with above and below ground.  – Ina Woolcot

Strangely, this all relates to my current direction these days. 

The need to isolate to create,

the new-found confidence to say no, 

to say yes, 

to align myself to focus

to create more impactful work

to do less

so I can do more,

to ride the wave,

to trust,

to dig deep and protect my cave,

to embrace the magic of life and death. 

To aggressively embrace my new sense of worthiness. 

From The Power Path:

When there is a possibility for a new alignment there is tremendous potential for having things be very different in a positive way. This is your opportunity to dream bigger and to move beyond the limitations of what you always thought possible. This New Alignment will affect finances, relationships, creativity, the physical body, mental health, and success in projects, work, study and play.


Mr. Badger- Gruff and solitary, who “simply hates society”, Badger embodies the “wise hermit” figure.  A friend of Toad’s late father, he is uncompromising with the disappointing Toad yet remains optimistic his good qualities will prevail.  He lives in a vast underground sett, part of which incorporates the remains of a buried Roman settlement.  A brave and a skilled fighter, Badger helped clear the Wild Wooders from Toad Hall with his large cudgel. The Wind in the Willows

What happens when you open yourself up? #journal #truth


April 28, 2015

What happens when you open yourself up and share some painful truths?  Say that you are with a (safe) person and the door opens to have the conversation.

What happens first?

The heart beats a little faster.

And your breath gets more rapid and shallow.

Perhaps the bile rises a bit in your throat and the stomach feels a bit acidic.

The gut speaks.  Trust that gut.

Does the door remain open?

Perhaps the (safe) person gives some reassuring yet challenging feedback.

Will you keep the door open?

Allow the bodily sensations?

Trust that it was OK to expose yourself to sharing those deep truths?

Or will you restitch- unfinished?  Unresolved?

Or allow the healing process some time- some much needed new infusion of wisdom?


Pay attention to the birds: Part 5- Sparrow

Bliss- walking my old dog slowly, oh so slowly, in our West End neighborhood listening to the sweet song of the white-throated sparrow.  Miraculous.

I walk with a smile on my face.  I am filled with self-love for truly the first time in my life.  I know my own worth and I can sing it from the rooftops.  Today.  For today is all I have, and that is beautiful!  And lo and behold-

The sparrow reflects self-worth.   If a Sparrow totem has entered your life, ask yourself if you know your own self-worth.  The sparrow will show you that even a common little bird can triumph.

The song sparrow reflects the chakra energy awakening from the heart and throat.  It reminds us to sing out our own song of dignity and self-worth. [source]


The Sparrow is ever vigilant in her goals. She is always bustling for her food, foraging for her nests, and gathering for her young. Fastidious and productive, the Sparrow is a reminder that idle hands (and idle minds) should be avoided in order to live a full, healthy life.

She is a master of flight, and camouflage, and as such the Sparrow teaches us to use our creativity to get around in life – think outside the box, and be creative in solving our problems.

As an bird totem, the Sparrow speaks of higher thoughts and ideals. She beckons us to keep our burdens as light as we can in order to avoid a heavy heart. [source]

Birds hold so much meaning to me.  And they always feel like messengers, telling me to pay strict attention.

My bird, Asterix, age 26.
My bird, Asterix, age 26.

See also:

PART 1: Kingfisher

PART 2: American Robin

PART 3: Pigeon

Part 4: Hummingbird

POST: They let their wings down…

POST: Dead messengers

Self-imposed exile- let it go, let it go.o

Curled up in my chair in self-imposed exile.  Wrapped in old knits.

Personal art therapy- drawing fan art
Personal art therapy- drawing fan art

Loving less interaction. Loving not working on my to-do’s. Happy to be doing less.

Should I worry and fret?  Feel guilty?

No.  Nah.

Let it go.

Let it all go.

So fatigued- let it go.
Heavy grief dreams these days- let them go.

Dreamt about running, easily, in a race, Olympic level, through the forest- let it go.

Dreamt about mom- and both of us not getting off the ferry in time and being separated from our kids- let it go.

Frida let go
“Let go of the need to heal old emotional wounds.” – The Power Path

Hey!  Feeling valued these days!  Let it go.
Feeling more assured- let it go.
Loving the new work- let it go.
Should be illustrating- let it go.
Should be should be- let it go.

Hey, waking up without anxiety! Let it go.
Should I be worried about—? Let it go.
What about resolving—? Let it go.
Organize those papers- let it go.
Push yourself- let it go.
The sun through the kitchen window- let it go.
Look how far you’ve come- let it go.
I need to think. Let it go.
Loving solitude. Let it go.

Simplify? Yes.

Personal craft therapy- picking up old scraps of cloth and just letting whatever happens, happen.

By letting it go, it all gets done. – Lao Tzu

Procrastination embraced. Journal exercise.

If you procrastinate, it has served you in some way. Welcome it! Congratulate yourself. Study its effects in your life, and its gifts – allow yourself to accept and then release your procrastination! – SARK

The following journal exercise can take you a few minutes or several weeks- totally up to you!

1. Get a composition book.  (Dollar store has delicious ones):IMG_3038.JPG2. When you finally get around to it, write today’s date (whatever that day may be):IMG_30453. Gather some drawing and writing supplies, so they are ready for when the time is right:IMG_3039.JPG4. Collect all your to-do’s in a basket, if they fit:IMG_3040.JPG5. Make a pile “to read” books.  This visual will make you feel productive:IMG_3042.JPG6. Grab a cup of coffee and your phone:IMG_3043.JPG7. Collect some stuff to eventually add to the composition book:IMG_3044.JPG8.  Go on instagram (essential):IMG_30469. Tweet a little (optional):IMG_3048.PNG10.  Wait for further instructions.  That’s enough for today.

Love Kat


Pay attention to the birds: Part 4- Hummingbird

hummingbird Frida

I came across a bush the other day abuzz with crimson hummingbirds.  BREATHTAKING.

If the hummingbird shows up in your life as a spirit animal, it may remind you to enjoy life’s simple pleasures and take time to enjoy yourself. The hummingbird’s wisdom carries an invitation to take part in and draw to you life’s sweetness, like you would drink the nectar of your own flower.

The call of the hummingbird totem will guide you to open up to love and lightness in your emotional life. When you see your totem, you are encouraged to open up your heart and expose yourself more to joy and love. It might be time to show how you feel to loved ones or people who are close to you. [source]

I recall watching hummingbirds land on my sea of sunflowers in my Roberts Creek garden.

I often dream of them.

From Dream Journal- the rat, the jay and the hummingbird

The hummingbird reminds me that by taking small steps, I can achieve my dreams.

I have turned a new leaf of late— simplifying my life and allowing myself to take those smaller steps.

And to NOT complicate the path.  It’s all good.

If you have bitten off more than you can chew and if you were not ready for your bid for power, it will be obvious. Do not judge yourself, just make an adjustment and take a baby step instead of a huge leap. Practice gratitude for all of your opportunities and when you feel overwhelmed go back to handling the details in front of you, one at a time. – – Source


I spent a beautiful morning with Brenda Morrison and her students teaching a 4th year Criminology class with Laura Mack at SFU on February 23, 2015.

The lovely egg above was a gift from Brenda- made by “lifer” at Ferndale Institute.  It features a hummingbird with the word “spirit.”

In October, Brenda gave me a beautiful book from another SFU class: The Flight of the Hummingbird. The theme of the book is the power of taking small steps to achieve a big goal.  

“I am doing what I can.” – Dukdukdiya.  

Birds hold so much meaning to me.  And they always feel like messengers, telling me to pay strict attention.

See also:

PART 1: Kingfisher

PART 2: American Robin

PART 3: Pigeon

POST: They let their wings down…

POST: Dead messengers

Pay attention to the birds: Part 3- Pigeon

Delighted that my dog has entered some kind of remission.  One week after believing it was time for that “family meeting,” he is well enough to eat and walk again.

He runs like a, somewhat lame, puppy after his bath- so it’s all good for now.

I savour every minute with Tobey, knowing he has lived

and is living

a full

and lovely

and loved life.



And so I walk with him when he can.  Like yesterday morning at 6:30 AM.  Under blossomed trees at Comox and Chilco.

Tobey and I were enveloped in the whooop whooop whooop sound of pigeons flying and landing on balconies.

What could I learn by listening?

China marker on newsprint

The pigeon is a determined creature. It will stay in an area as long as there is food, despite attempts by humans or other birds to chase it away. The pigeon sighting can encourage you to be stubborn and hang in there, regardless of what challenges are thrown in your path.

The pigeon also has strong connections to house and home. If a pigeon appears to you, take a look at your relationship with your home. What does it represent to you? What would you like it to be for you? If these things don’t match up, you know you have work to do. The pigeon is safest in a flock. Don’t discount the strength and support found in a community. Furthermore, remember the importance of communication within that community; don’t assume people know things just because you do. Make sure everyone is in the loop regarding important information. [source]

I like paying attention to those magical moments, standing rooted in my new neighborhood– full of gratitude for the struggles and gifts that brought me to this place.

Birds hold so much meaning to me.  And they always feel like messengers, telling me to pay strict attention.

See also:

PART 1: Kingfisher

PART 2: American Robin

POST: They let their wings down…

POST: Dead messengers

Pay attention to the birds: Part 2- American Robin

I never keep walking when I see a robin.  I stop and observe.  I love their attentiveness.  The way they listen to the earth.  The way their torsos look like eggs.

The robin brings a fresh new perspective to situations that are otherwise foggy and unclear. Try calling on robin energy for clarity when your judgement is clouded or when you need light shed on an issue.

The red robin reminds us it’s time to shake the sleepiness out of our head (both figuratively and literally), get alert, get moving, and start enjoying life! Spring has sprung, tides have turned, and no matter how crummy or grey our world has been it is time for new beginnings! Enjoy the bright road ahead because it’s only going to get brighter! [source]

China marker on newsprint

When Spring returns, the earth becomes a child who recites poetry. – Rainier Maria Rilke

Recall PART 1: Kingfisher

Birds hold so much meaning to me.  And they always feel like messengers, telling me to pay strict attention.

Pay attention to the birds: Part 1- Kingfisher


On February 27, 2015, I observed a Kingfisher at the Spruce Harbour Marina.

I was mesmerized.  Birds hold so much meaning to me.  And they always feel like messengers, telling me to pay strict attention.  I pulled out my composition book and made a note to remember the moment.

Also known as the Halycon, the Kingfisher is a long-time symbol of peace and prosperity… It is said the Kingfisher is the promise of abundance, of new warmth, prosperity and love that is about to unfold within your life. [source]

China marker on newsprint


Touch me life, not softly. #journalentry

How will you take on this week? Last week was truly full of too muchness, too fullness, too many extremes, but at the same time, I was grateful for the intensity. It helped me clarify what was truly important. There was output and connection, there was trauma and fear, there was despair and elation, and there was reconfiguration and realization. How will I take on the week ahead? With a don’t know mind, with allowance, with my hand round my cock, with a hustling frame of mind, with humor and curiosity. With self-assurance. With Frida in my heart.




[Inspired by The Power Path]


Touch me life, not softly.– Maya Angelou

Contemplating death, loss, hope, acceptance…


Leap of faith


Life rough on the seas


Mother father daughter love






New beginnings



Dedicated to my mother Karin September 17, 1936 – November 8, 2008 and my father Roar August 8, 1930 – October 25, 2012. And my sweet cat Violet who passed October 29, 2014.

My retreat journal part 6 of 6: The Closing Circle

I experienced a life-changing weekend as I co-facilitated Creativity and Connection Retreat October 17-19, 2014 on Bowen Island with Laura Mack at Xenia Retreat


Here are some journal excerpts so you can get a small glimpse as to how powerful the experience was for me.








Sunday AM.  Woke up at 6:30.  Showered, prepped.  Cozy.  Slept so well as the room was inviting, the bed so comfortable and the light so right.  Going to grab a coffee while I can and then come back and savour these moments in the cabin. 


Chatted with others in the kitchen about fathers and death.  Such camaraderie in that.  Prepping for 8:30 start on the Raven drawing.


After breakfast, we sat in opening circle and pulled Goddess cards. 

Participant 1 pulled “Mary Magdalene” and that message certainly resonated with what this participant focused on this weekend: self-love/heal the situation with love. 

Participant 2 pulled “Mother Earth.”  Though the message at first seemed environmental and about taking care of the planet, upon reflection it also became about taking care of the self and the inner world. 

Laura pulled “Sorceress”- making complete sense to me.  I love watching Laura move into new, richer, visible leadership.  Trust.  I am so blessed to watch my dear friend blossom and expand her work. 

Participant 3 pulled “True Love”- a card that shone with the message of the gift of staying in the present. 

I pulled LEAP OF FAITH- again!!!  Take a risk and put your heart’s true desire into action!

Our drawing session began with a Raven drawing and unfolded into an image of grounded perspective and reflecting the work we have been doing around archetypes.  Water (LOVER), Earth (WARRIOR), Raven (MAGICIAN), Crown (SOVEREIGN).



A bio break and then snack time with Saria’s delicious muffins and blueberries plus crumble and whipped cream.  Bliss.

Laura has taken us into more perspectives around the work we have been focusing on at this retreat- providing tools to carry with us as we “re-enter” our lives.  Clean Talk, Clear Actions.

We are now journaling around what awaits us as we step back into the world. 

Deep breaths.  Address a piece at a time.  In small steps.  TRUST.  Trust that I am taken care of.  This pause from my daily life certainly feels cleansing, but certainly stepping back into it feels slightly ominous because this experience truly allowed me to take a real emotional dive/mental break from TV/Phone/To-do Lists/Worry/Fear- is it possible to allow myself to carry this lesson forward into my life “on the mainland”?  To be cleansed by this LEAP OF FAITH?

Filling this journal with stream of consciousness and drawings has been the greatest feeling.  Dancing again, teaching, creating, being together, being in the structure of the yurt during processes, pausing and being, being nourished by this welcoming land, being nourished by glorious food, being taken care of but also leading, guiding, sharing who I am as a creative force. 

It is Sunday AM and I am tired.  A plane flies overhead.  Reminds me that tonight I do not open my computer or prep for the week.  Leave that to tomorrow.  The yurt is being pelted by leaves.  Loud leaves.

The participants role played and practiced clean talk. 

Then off to a beautiful Mexican lunch with Saria.  We presented her with our art piece: Creative Prayer and I read her “A Breakfast for Barbarians” by Gwendolyn MacEwen.  To me, the poetry of Gwendolyn MacEwen partnered perfectly with this retreat and this particular poem was a perfect thank you to Saria.


my friends, my sweet barbarians,

there is that hunger which is not for food —

but an eye at the navel turns the appetite


with visions of some fabulous sandwich,

the brain’s golden breakfast

                                        eaten with beasts

                                        with books on plates


let us make an anthology of recipes,

let us edit for breakfast

our most unspeakable appetites —

let us pool spoons, knives

and all cutlery in a cosmic cuisine,

let us answer hunger

with boiled chimera

and apocalyptic tea,

an arcane salad of spiced bibles,

tossed dictionaries —

                                        (O my barbarians

                                        we will consume our mysteries)


and can we, can we slake the gaping eye of our desires?

we will sit around our hewn wood table

until our hair is long and our eyes are feeble,

eating, my people, O my insatiates,

eating until we are no more able

to jack up the jaws any longer —


to no more complain of the soul’s vulgar cavities,

to gaze at each other over the rust-heap of cutlery,

drinking a coffee that takes an eternity —

till, bursting, bleary,

we laugh, barbarians, and rock the universe —

and exclaim to each other over the table

over the table of bones and scrap metal

over the gigantic junk-heaped table:


 by God that was a meal

Gwendolyn MacEwen, “A Breakfast for Barbarians” from Magic Animals: Selected Poems Old and New. Copyright © 1974 by David MacKinnon. Reprinted by permission of David MacKinnon.


We then packed and entered our closing circle. 


Laura shared more tools to sustain the experience of the retreat and we reviewed our original intentions from Friday evening.

My original intentions:

Be present

Stillness of the heart


I truly feel I have met my own intentions during this retreat.  I allowed the fears to come up and I met them with love and stillness.  I navigated the journey with Laura with ease, being present to changing currents.  I allowed myself to welcome back the dancer.  I even sang!  I know that I now infuse and exude all the lessons of my life and I can maintain my intentions to be present, to allow, to have stillness of the heart.  I immerse myself in the creative process- not to escape but to simply BE- to allow stillness, connection, action, results and move back and forth through the spiral.  No judgment. 

The SIMPLICITY in all this is that I have gifts that I love to share and those gifts are my guardians.  I am safe.  I am me.  I am taken care of by the peacefulness of the creative process, by the stillness of knowledge, by the trust. 

That is one thing I’d like to share with the group: TRUST.  When the fear arises, fall back to stillness and trust.  Unravel the past from the present, from the future, the depression from the anxiety from the peace and give them all space to dance and breathe together, to let it all BREATHE.


Thank you, Laura.

My retreat journal Part 5 of 6: The Dance

I experienced a life-changing weekend as I co-facilitated Creativity and Connection Retreat October 17-19, 2014 on Bowen Island with Laura Mack at Xenia Retreat


Here are some journal excerpts so you can get a small glimpse as to how powerful the experience was for me.







After lunch, Laura took two participants through the Symbols Way process.  Beautiful and profound moments and insights.  

We had a labyrinth drawing break before dinner- we added the labyrinths to the Cyclops Goddess.  A friend came by who lives on Bowen Island and joined us for dinner; she gave me a beautiful book as a gift from her SFU class: The Flight of the Hummingbird.  Again- magical connections as the theme of the book is the power of taking small steps to achieve a big goal.  “I am doing what I can.” – Dukdukdiya.  Recall the LEAP OF FAITH theme this weekend!

After a lovely salmon dinner and chats about restorative justice and all that good stuff, we headed back to the yurt for the final process.  I loved the experience of scribing for the participants and gathering information for them as a take away tool.  Then dessert and I moved my things into the Writer’s Retreat cabin to have the experience of that cozy lodging.  

At 9 PM we all returned to the yurt to dance.  Intense muscle memory came back and I literally gave myself to the dance.  I was stunned, relieved, at ease, grateful…  Obviously, I will feel it in my joints and muscles tomorrow [I actually didn’t!  My body is loose and pain free] but my soul was thankful to revisit the dancer- who is seemingly alive and well.  


How could I have left her so dormant?  

She wasn’t dead.  She was dormant.  

Like the floor of Death Valley covered in flowers after a rare rainfall.  Seemingly nothing grows there until the right conditions arrive.  


I allowed myself to welcome back the dancer- “dance” in the schedule was the one thing that made me hesitate more than the anticipation of darkness.  

Stay tuned for Part 6: The Closing Circle


My retreat journal Part 3 of 6: The Cyclops Goddess

I experienced a life-changing weekend as I co-facilitated Creativity and Connection Retreat October 17-19, 2014 on Bowen Island with Laura Mack at Xenia Retreat


Here are some journal excerpts so you can get a small glimpse as to how powerful the experience was for me.





Laura explained the Symbols Way process and got us in the frame of mind to fully enter the process this afternoon.  

As part of our facilitation posters, I had reflected the 4 archetypes in my own way, and I feel the imagery I chose worked well within our natural Xenia landscape:

The Warrior (SOUTH)- imagined as a blackberry bush- emotional gateway ANGER; The Sovereign (NORTH)- imagined as Opa the tree- emotional gateway JOY; The Love (EAST)- imagined an autumn leaf- emotional gateway GRIEF; The Magician- imagined as a raven- emotional gateway FEAR
The Warrior (SOUTH) EARTH- imagined as a blackberry bush- emotional gateway ANGER; The Sovereign (NORTH) FIRE- imagined as Opa the Xenia tree- emotional gateway JOY; The Lover (EAST) WATER- imagined an autumn leaf- emotional gateway GRIEF; The Magician (WEST) AIR- imagined as a raven- emotional gateway FEAR

But before each participant was taken through the Symbols Way process individually, we dove into more messy creative process.  I took the participants through my chakra drawing exercise— taken from previous lessons I have shared with other students.  I love building and re-interpreting.




We drew a human figure and then went on to drawing a 3-D eye.  We wrote the chakra chart and started incorporating the lessons thus far.  It was truly a GO WITH IT exercise, creating a CYCLOPS GODDESS that we just kept layering on top of!







Of course, I had to look up the meaning of the CYCLOPS to see why she was appearing:

Blind, yet seeing.  Ego vs spiritual enlightenment.

CYCL: the circle, the wheel.

HERE WE GO.  More magic!  How appropriate that the words in the chant we sang on the way to the sanctuary last night were:

We’re spiralling into the circle, the circle of our wheel.

We’re spiralling into the circle, the circle of our wheel.

We are the weavers, we are the woven ones,

We are the dreamers, we are the dream.

We are the children, we are the chosen ones,

We are all part of the web.



Screen shot 2014-10-24 at 8.02.50 PM

We also journaled around the matrilineal question: What was your mother’s name?  And if you know them, your grandmother and your great grandmother’s names? What are some qualities you or others associate with each of these women?  This was a great way to “set the scene” for beginning the Symbols Way process.



I read MORNING LAUGHTER  by Gwendolyn MacEwen

Screen shot 2014-10-24 at 8.19.59 PM

See more of the poem at: link

Stay tuned for Part 4: The
Symbols Way


My retreat journal Part 1 of 6: INTO SILENCE

I experienced a life-changing weekend as I co-facilitated Creativity and Connection Retreat October 17-19, 2014 on Bowen Island with Laura Mack at Xenia Retreat


SPECIAL THANK YOU Saria, and to Angelyn, Loretta, Fran and Lorena


Here are some journal excerpts so you can get a small glimpse as to how powerful the experience was for me.


October 17, 2014 FRIDAY

Sitting in the kitchen at Xenia with Laura as Saria makes Shepherd’s Pie.  We took the 11 AM ferry- lunch at Artisan’s Square then to Xenia to prep and settle.  Expecting guests at 6:30 and the large Yurt is all set up.




Everyone has arrived.  Angelyn comes to visit as we wait for dinner and talks about the history of Xenia.  

Opening circle after dinner (checkins, intros, intentions, expectations, What is the crossroads that you find yourself at this time?)  We chanted and sang as we walked in the rain to the Sanctuary.  

Photo source: Globe Dater
Photo source: Globe Dater

Laura read a beautiful quote on LISTENING.  We then went into SILENCE (to end at 9 AM opening circle on Saturday after breakfast).  We sat in silence for many many pregnant minutes.  Ok- so THIS is indeed SILENCE.  


We walked back to the lodge and ate dessert.  I walked to the yurt to get my journal and enjoy the space for awhile.  I am now back at the Maple Lodge (sharing it tonight with Laura)- prepping for bed.  


I had panicked at the sanctuary- that familiar trigger as the darkness felt like a black pool of ink floating above me and descending.  But I found I could stay with it.  I breathed deep breaths in time with my heart and I was right back to being with my parents at their last breaths.  My heart beat with theirs and as theirs slowed mine carried on- carried on beating for them.  

But I am now feeling angst come up as I anticipate turning out the lights.


Xenia is inviting me to feel safe.  Enveloping me in magic.  And I am ready to see it, hear it, experience it and give myself to it.

Recall seeing two deer– gentleness, move through life and obstacles with grace, sensitive, intuitive, ability to change directions quickly, to be in touch with life’s mysteries.  

Recall seeing the little frog trying to get in through our door at Maple Lodge.  

“As symbol of transition and transformation, this spirit animal supports us in times of change. Strongly associated with the water element, it connects us with the world of emotions and feminine energies, as well as the process of cleansing, whether it’s physical, emotional, or more spiritual or energetic.” [source]

I took the frog as an invite to dive into creative process- and as a reminder that this weekend is a leap of faith on our part. He was a small frog- ie. small steps, take it easy.  Recall that Laura drew the Aine: Leap of Faith goddess card yesterday and I drew it today… [I drew it again on Sunday!]  Hello!

“Allow yourself to trust that the Universe will support and guide you where you need to be. Virtue recommends going on a nature walk, meditating, or praying to aid in making a decision upon what your heart truly desires. Once making that decision, the Universe will provide for you! You will begin to see helpers come your way, sudden opportunities opening up for you, or even books that can help you along your journey. But none of this will happen if you do not take action steps and get started on fulfilling your dreams. Do not get overwhelmed. Breakdown your goals into smaller tasks to complete over a period of time. Be gentle and kind to yourself, but remain focused.” [source]

It was interesting falling into silence— very liquidly somehow.  Texting, mumbling, writing may not be full silence- but hey one step at a time.  OK- lights out.  Be still my heart.  The deer and frog protect.

Stay tuned for Part 2 Saturday morning…


And for information on more workshops and retreats!


Grief hits me when I least suspect it, with a solitary evening walk…


All of a sudden, all I want to do is organize mom’s closet, as she lies on the bed and chats with me, the parrot cuddling her hand, Tobey on the floor below, with Grey Gardens on in the background.

Grief hits me when I least suspect it, with a solitary evening walk, letting the dog meander where he wants, with that first drop of rain.  It hits me sideways and bores into my bad ear, and worms its way down to right below the sternum, to that place between the heart and the gut.  Then moves up through the trachea, into the sinuses then makes the neuralgia flare.  My eyes feel swollen and the tears want to come.  But they don’t.  Not yet.

I saved my mom’s dishrag.  It rests on my mantle like some kind of sacred heirloom.  That dishrag she’d rub obsessively over the counter if she was upset, or cleaned the birdcage with, Oprah on in the background, or washed a stain off my shirt as we got ready for the film fest.

But why just tonight, why now?  What is it about this moment that makes loss so palpable?  So intermingled with nostalgia and gratitude?


Why the need to draw what draws us? #journal #rambling

Why are we drawn to the human face? What draws us in? Why the need to draw what draws us? Why do we fixate on the stare of an eye meeting an eye? Is the draw of the portrait the silence in the glance, the fastidiousness of the stare? The reflection in a mirror- a reflection of recognition, a longing, a curiosity? Is it that we can imagine what is said and therefore get closer to the truth? Do we long for the silence of the portrait so we can hear ourselves, hear them? Do we see them or do we hope that they see us? That they hear us?


Why are we drawn? What draws us in? What are we drawing? Who do we actually see?


Is her reflection actually our own? Who and what are we drawing out?


Does time actually stand still?

Model: artist @kiahtaryn_

The dying crow.

The other day, I observed, in humbled silence, a vigil being kept by two crows as they watched over their dying companion- holding sacred space as the dying crow lay nestled in the grass.  I was so moved by their attentive eye and compassion.  The two sat high in the trees, taking turns warning and attacking any passer-by.  The dying crow picked at the grass, eyes glazed white, and burrowed deeper into the ground.  It was around 5 PM.  I stood there, observing from across the street, for about 30 minutes.  I’ve been there myself- holding sacred space, saying goodbye, keeping family close, blocking out unnecessary visitors.  I went out again at nightfall.  The crows were gone, having flown off to the rookery.  The dying crow- not there.




Sacred Contracts Journal Exercise Part 6 of 8: PULL BACK TO THE PAST





We are tapping into our calling, our purpose, our joy in this SACRED CONTRACTS journal series.  It is inspired by Caroline Myss.  The journal series is  an experiment on my part, and I welcome you to join along.

Recall Part 1: Future and Present where we took time to look at where we would like to be, and where we are in this moment.

In Part 2: Where are your energy leaks? we focused on our body signals and biography makes biology. 

In Part 3: What Masks Do We Wear? we examined the masks we wear to protect ourselves from being vulnerable.

In Part 4a: What is Your True Nature? we focused on our inner selves.

In Part 4b: Sacred Body we listened to the messages from our bodies.

In Part 5: Throat Chakra, I challenged you to speak your truth.

Today, we go back in time to identify that moment that may have created roadblocks that stop us from flowing forward smoothly.  In keeping with Part 5 and finding our voice, journal out your thoughts as you go back in time and perhaps come across a moment, an incident, that lends itself as the aha! moment- an event that  you feel affected you so profoundly that it shaped how you now walk in the world.

“The Sacred Labyrinth Walk, Illuminating the Inner Path, is the ancient practice of “Circling to the Center” by walking the labyrinth. The rediscovery of this self alignment tool to put our lives in perspective is one of the most important spiritual movements of our day. ” –

My journal entry:

When did I stop vocalizing my needs?  I’ve been thinking about this a lot.  I have been observing my niece and nephew who now flow into their lives so freely, surrounded by love and support and healthy attachment.  

Vivienne (now age 4 weeks) and Henrik (now age 2.8).  Photo by Cher Hanusiak, Fred Thorsen
Vivienne (now age 4 weeks) and Henrik (now age 2.8). Photo by Cher Hanusiak, Fred Thorsen

And though Henrik causes us to feel flustered as he expresses himself freely through his “Terrible Twos,” I am inspired by his vocalization.  His voice resounds freely through his “Incredible Twos.”

It makes me wonder when I lost my ability to express my needs openly, hysterically, fully.  What made me so fully aware that expressing my needs may cause heartache and distress in others?  

I have wondered what it would be like to not be allowed to go through the terrible twos with full vocal force. Last night, I asked myself the question yet again— what made me so fully aware of my parent’s emotions?

My mother’s mother passed away suddenly when I was two.  Mom’s friends have told me how incredibly hard that  time was for my mother.  I wonder what effect that had on my older brother and I.  

I cannot recall a time when I did not consider my parents in any choice that I made.  And if I took the step to make my own decision from the heart- just for me- there would be profound consequences.  Not punishment, but withdrawal or illness or despair.  The one area in which I could be truly free was my art- be it visual art or dance.  

I do not blame my parents.  They did the best they could and- wow- I had an incredible life with them.  But there are lasting legacies I need to address.  To look at, to stir up, to air out, to let go of.  

Incredibly, I have- with practice and encouragement- been able to express my inner most needs with my children of late.  As they are in their late 20s and have done some profound self-work, they welcome my voice and processes.  

My friend Laura tells me that this time of shadows and Dark Night of the Soul is a time where profound healing can take place.  And as I make a sacred contract with myself to truly step into my life with self-worth and power [taking time to gain clarity as to what I want to focus and develop], I honor my parents and let them go.  In certain moments these days, I experience a profound sense of freedom and peace. Truly anything is possible now.

This is the bath of birth… This is the merge of the small and the large and the outlet again. – Whitman


See also:

The Umbilical Cord Part 1

The Umbilical Cord Part 2

The Umbilical Cord Part 3

“I’d rather be whole than good.” – Carl Jung

“Seeing your life in broad strokes and in bright pieces allows you to redraw…” @carolinemyss

In detecting the emotional charge in your biography, you can begin to see how the fragments of your history have worked together in ways that have affected your past, your present, and the state of your health. This perspective is what I call symbolic sight. Seeing your life in broad strokes and in bright pieces allows you to redraw your conception of your future and fill in the fine, interpretive lines more consciously. Symbolic sight enables you to get back your energy or spirit and heal emotionally, spiritually, and sometimes even physically.

– Caroline Myss



Is debt an emotion? Changing attitudes.

There are so many shifts and transformations that color this past year for me.  I am learning.  Taking big steps and baby steps.

The biggest change is allowing anxiety around finances to just be, sitting with it, reaching out for help, enriching my support network, listening, facing, communicating, trying, failing, trying again, moving forward.

I am changing attitudes around the concept failure and success.

Q: When faced with impending success or the threat of failure, how do you respond?

A: Success: With relief.  Failure: More work, fast.

– Twyla Tharp

I am changing attitudes around the concept of debt.  I’m still in debt.  But this is different from before.  This is a paradigm shift around the meaning I place on it, allowing whatever emotion arises.

— Debt image 1

Debt image 2

What I learned in 2013: honor your gift.

Yesterday I posted what I learned about myself in 2013.  I was going to write a long list of words and concepts I embraced in 2013.


But I stripped it down.  Stripped it down to the bare essence:


So what I truly learned in 2013 is that I have the right, or more accurately, the duty to pursue the gift I was born with FULL TIME.  Being a creative is not an option for me.  It’s a way of life.

My father died an artist.  In his final years, he pursued his passion and worked on his innate gift every day.  Truly, his dream of living and dying an artist came true.


We are all born gifted.  And no matter what we may choose to believe, we constantly nurture the gift by simply living and experiencing.  But when the door presents itself to truly pursue the gift fully and develop it (ever-changing and evolving and never-ending development), we must go through the door.


“I’m filled with burning passion to experience life as fully and as madly as I can and I’ll always, always follow my heart. I am constantly evolving, learning, growing — life is a series of adventures tied together with the thread of friendship, experiences, lessons and love.  I am listening to my heart, I am noticing the subtle ebb and flow of my life as it unfolds before my eyes. I am open to change, I am vulnerable to the call of my soul but above all I have absolute faith in where I am going.  I am a firm believer in noticing synchronicities and letting them guide you on your path — noticing ‘signs’ directing you in a certain way can be magical in transforming your life. I also believe people come into your life for a reason, and that chance encounters can change your world.”

Zoe Quiney

The Housewife Howled- regurgitations from the journals of the husfru, 1994. Part 1


I pulled out an old package of journal scribblings from 1994.  Written when my kids were young, I was married and three years in to an art career.  Let’s take a look shall we?



So here I sit about to embark on the great adventure: the writing of a book.  My book.  But where to begin?  Here, I suppose.  Just the intimate privacy of me, my hand, the pen and the paper.  There is no audience.  There are no readers- except my critical eye who has promised to critique only that which is not full-out expression.  To critique timidity, a superficial and parasitical “emotion” that loves to repress.

Who cares what all this bullshit is?  The question is, “Will it get expressed?”  I challenge myself to a duel, in hopes that the self-confident, egomaniacal creator wins over the tired little pleaser, who likes to make no waves.

What’s to become of all this spewing?  This writing of words?  This non-stop verbal vomit, this desperate plea for recognition and understanding?  And does the result matter?  I leave these questions to simmer in the recesses and hallways of my mind.  I know this won’t be pretty.  But it will be honest, and honesty is always beautiful.

– Katarina Thorsen, August 5, 1994

Vancouver BC Canada


Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. – Henry Miller

Fear and resistance on a Monday morning. #Journal


The more scared we are of a work or a calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.

~ The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

I am answering a call.  More on that soon.

Yet still I struggle with the same old anxieties around money.  I am taking steps, mind you, but my anticipated financial overhaul/debt consolidation will be “delayed” for a few months as I wait until late Spring for the value of my home to increase to make the overhaul have any significant significance.  I say “delayed” with quotation marks for I sense I use that word because a voice in me constantly “encourages” me (annoyingly) to avoid taking any other action now that is just as helpful as a financial overhaul.   

But I cannot delay any longer! I’ve said it beforeOnly by accepting that all is ok in this moment, no matter where all the accounts stand, can I weigh those options, make bold moves, and ALLOW CHANGE.  It’s time to manage the moola…

But what I have done now, that is different from before, is that I have accepted to REALLY ACKNOWLEDGE what steps I need to take to allow for more income by following the direction of where my soul flows– the soul-lifting areas with incredible expansion potential- and to move away from the areas where I am only treading water and losing energy because of it.


I am too old to not take the “risk,” to not answer the call and to not give these opportunities I find myself in everything they deserve.  IT’S TIME.  These new opportunities deserve my FULL ME.

[Resistance is] any act which disdains short-term gratification in favor of long-term growth, health or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower. Any act of these types will elicit Resistance.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

And I embrace that, despite the tendency of being hard on myself for being in the struggle, EVERYTHING I have experienced to this point is actually empowering me!

EVERYTHING.  The shit and the sunshine, as my Dad would say.

So what am I actually feeling when I am fearing?  Fear is just old triggers reminding me of getting report cards in school and feeling judged and feeling stupid and never good enough.  Fear is just the increased blood pressure pushing blood through my veins a little faster.


Fear is my heart beating loudly, stuck at the starter gate [resistance], desperate for the signal to break free and RUN!

Well I howl now!



Out of the starter gate.  Jumping off the cliff. Forming wings on the way down.

Beautiful and free.  And fearless.  Created by my nephew Henrik during his summer holiday. Age 22 months.
Beautiful and free. And fearless. Created by my nephew Henrik during his summer holiday. Age 22 months.

She wasn’t falling.

She was soaring.

– Carolyn Riker

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