Transformation: We Want It & It Scares Us

Transformation by Robert Lovejoy

Transformation by Robert Lovejoy

The other week I watched my niece, 7 month-old Kat, on her belly getting set to crawl.

I had seen her and Mira (my sister) about 4 days earlier and enough time had elapsed for very visible change. Kat felt weightier, heartier, even more energetic. Watching young ones during these times of rapid development is such a gift!

It is possible to literally watch her grow.

So I did. I watched her as she squirmed on her belly. Mira said she is a minute away from crawling. And it’s true. She shimmies. She moves. She swerves. She uses her hands, her arms, her feet, her legs, her belly. She uses everything she has. She’s propelled forward by her curiosity, her interest in that colourful thing in front of her, that place she wants to get to.

Pushing, grunting, working.

A short time ago, I watched another baby a few months older who has mastered crawling and can shoot swiftly across a room before you’ve even had a chance to blink.

Consider how one’s world opens up?

I was taking all of this in while watching Kat, wondering if this was going to be the moment. Would I get to witness the moment of transformation?

This is the moment life evolves. The moment after which nothing is ever the same again.

And, while I have the privilege of watching her and knowing what is coming up, she herself doesn’t know. She doesn’t know how much more exciting and interesting life is about to get.

Watching her, and really getting into the energy and the electricity around this impending milestone, I had a new appreciation and understanding of transformation.

The nature, and the very definition, of transformation is that we CANNOT know what awaits us on the other side.

Transformation requires some blind faith, requires that we give up trying to know or control what awaits us, requires giving up the expectation of a reward or gain, requires us to continue driving forward, propelled, unconcerned with failure, innocent, untroubled by the unknown.

To just keep going with no guarantees that anything awaits us on the other side.

Lots of us get to a point where we are done. We’ve learned and mastered all there is, we think. Maybe we are complacent. Maybe resigned. Like that’s all there is, at least for us anyway. Let someone smarter/richer/stronger do the other stuff. I’m fine

I’ve been there. A lot.

Where have we given up? And why?

Are we really okay with what is so or are we in some denial about some nagging feelings of regret or anxiety that stir around just under the surface?

Do we have to wait until our present situation is so bad, so untenable, that the only choice we have is to leap. Aren’t we there yet??

Present day mystic and spiritual teacher, Caroline Myss, refers to us humans as being in a time of predicament. It isn’t that we have a lot of problems in need of solutions. We, humans, are in a time of predicament with regards to our survival on the earth.

There are no solutions to predicaments. Predicaments must call forth transformation. Transformation starts with me. And it starts with you.

The more we are willing, and we allow ourselves to be in this uncomfortable space, the more we make it possible for others to do the same.

Where is it in life that it would serve to keep plugging away, squirming, getting sweaty, being okay with the discomfort, grunting, working…without attachment or knowing what it will bring? Without any measurable, visible show of progress?

Can we be okay with failing over and over and over again? And still getting on with the work anyway without any guarantee that anything will happen.

It’s actually an electrifying and powerful place to come from.

Of course, many of us are dealing with a lot of trauma. It may be here that we need to start.

Truly consider that our collective lives on Earth depend on our willingness and capacity to transform and throw ourselves into the scary unknown.

I share these insights and experiences on transformation here because the work we do here is transformational in nature. Reclaiming our Feminine selves is powerful. It can feel scary. It is diving into the unknown. But I’ve never known anyone who would go back to the time before.

You know, before crawling.


Can We Begin To Find the Temple in the Place We Call Home

Goddess of the Mountains by Laurie Crain

Goddess of the Mountains by Laurie Crain

And why it’s vital now more than ever.

In conversation with a dear friend the other day, we shared some personal pandemic ruminations. He said there are some things he is in no rush to do once restrictions lift. Like drinking in a bar.

I understand that, I said. That particular activity isn’t one I indulged in often so I haven’t missed it. I’ve missed being able to throw parties and have people over; I’ve missed rummaging through thrift shops for treasures. I have missed most having a sense of freedom and being able to go somewhere and travel.

Despite not even having a budget for travel, there is still something of a ceiling on even my imagination that I have felt. The right word to describe it is probably ‘depressing’. As in this stark reality, pressing down upon me: you are trapped here, you can’t go anywhere.

Yet, to be honest now, I am not feeling in a hurry to travel.

Home has been Toronto (Tkaranto, the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit) and during this time, due to poor leadership and mismanagement, we have had one of the longest lock-downs in North America. I am fortunate and privileged in having a place to live and food to eat and still it has not been without challenges.

I have taken myself out for daily walks in my neighbourhood. I have reminded myself of my fortune and privilege in living both close to the city’s largest park and the waterfront — which has always factored into my decisions when choosing where to live. I will gladly sacrifice some comforts for nature and beauty at my doorstep.

I prepared myself mentally for a long-haul winter but the early spring, as per usual, was the challenge. Especially with no prospect of escape. Here I was walking the same old streets like a crazed mouse in a maze. Where was the reward? When, freedom?

We are still locked down being taunted with things slowly re-opening. Soon. Soon. I, like many others, like my friend, are watching places from afar opening up again. It’s unsurprising to read of flights selling out as travel resumes in some of these places. While obviously I understand this, I’ve come around to feeling disappointed about it.

What is it about our ‘homes’ — cities for most of us — that we relate to as pit stops or perhaps just ‘good enough’ that we have to escape from as soon as the ticket queue opens up?

Is it possible or desirable to begin to relate to ‘home’ differently?

Has it become clear that cities are difficult places for humans to live in happily and healthily for extended periods of time? Here in Toronto, we have seen one of the largest condominium booms in the world. On and off for the past decade, I have worked in one of the most condo-dense areas in the city. There has never been a single time in these past 10 years that at least one hasn’t been construction literally surrounding the building I work in.

(Meanwhile, the number of people pitching tents they call home in the city’s parks grows.)

I have watched and felt how these condo-dense downtown areas have become darker and shadier as more of the sun is blocked out. I have noticed how the green and open spaces have disappeared to be replaced with scraggy random token trees not given enough soil and space to grow so they die after a few, sad years.

I understand that if you live in such a dense area, you are likely experiencing more of this itch to escape. I would be too, I don’t blame you. But it highlights why it is important to look at where we are living and how our environments may support or harm us. I also understand not all of us have a lot of choice in the matter. It’s complicated.

Once upon a time not so long ago, commercial travel was expensive and it was rare. People did (and many still do based on ability) live their lives in one relative space without ever traveling very far at all in their entire lifetimes. Travel was a luxury and a privilege. It’s disappointing, though again unsurprising, that many of us want to pretend that everything was great and okay before pandemic times and that we can seamlessly go back to cheap travel and the way things were.

Pandemic times have not erased the reality of climate change and the cost of cheap travel to our environment.

So in good faith I am not in a hurry to travel. I will not be first out of the gate in booking a flight out. Part of what has been illuminated in this time for me is how important and possible it actually is to see where I live with ever new and appreciative eyes.

So we come back to how I titled this piece. How to find the temple, and the sacred holy ground in the place where we call home, where we lay roots, the place where we spend most of our lives. Ask:

  • Where is the holiness to be found here?
  • Is there more to be seen and known beneath the surface of this familiar and ‘known’ space?
  • What have I not opened my eyes and heart to?
  • Should it be that I’m never able to travel anywhere again, can I be happy and content here?
  • What can I create?

What I increasingly know to be true is that, while it is special and wonderful to be able to travel and experience different climates and cultures, it can be borne of a restlessness and search for meaning that will never be quenched. If I can’t be happy and fulfilled and whole in the place I call home then I will not find it by roaming elsewhere. I will, at best, distract myself for a time.

I keep at it. It isn’t always simple or easy. I step out from my house and it can feel as though there is nowhere new to go, nothing new to see. So I search. The sky is always different, the way the breeze feels on my skin. Every day brings new growth to the plants and the flowers, the trees. In the park there are so many, how could I have ever thought to know them all?

Walking this familiar maze of streets, I’ve been able to open my eyes and melt my heart into seeing the pulsating life, the ever-changing yet eternal renewal, growth, and decay of the earth. It moves me to deep reverie and a growing connection to this place.

I have seen in the Bosnian mountains shades of Oahu. There are times here in Toronto, in the park, where I’m brought back to the feeling of being in Sedona. I gaze at the vast pines, their crowns high in the distance of the sky and I sense that I’m in British Columbia.

It is all one Earth and the holiness and divinity of this place can’t but be everywhere if we allow ourselves to soften and see. We don’t have to go anywhere to find it, it is already always where we are.

As the world begins to open up, many of us will like, or expect to, jump right back into the familiar ways of living (and let’s face it, consuming) we’ve known before. This may be possible for at time but for how long? The reality is that many places in the world are still struggling to contain this virus. Nothing is assured for any of us.

Which is why it makes the most sense to cultivate this connection with ‘home,’ wherever it may be. To touch and commune with the ground underneath our feet. We don’t know what awaits around the corner. Most of us could never have conceived of enduring the situation of the past year. Anything is possible.

But to feel connected, nourished, and held exactly where you are without need to escape…that is an immense gift. It needs nothing added, nor can anything be taken away.

Will you try it today?


Welcoming Being Lost

louis-maniquet-hXHe80zZZYk-unsplashOn three occasions this past week, I found myself lost in the world.

Twice in my neighbourhood and the third time a bit farther out, though still a place with which I am well acquainted.

In one, I turned a corner onto a street I had walked many times before and it appeared utterly different to me. I even stopped and muttered ‘where am I?’ My brain needed a few seconds to sort itself out, recall what we were expecting and then began to see a few of the familiar things – signs, buildings, landmarks. ‘Oh, yes. OK…I see.’

Then this experience repeated twice more within a matter of days.
knock! knock! knock!

Has this ever happened to you?

The quality to this experience for me is disorienting, even dizzying. It doesn’t last long, a handful of seconds. But in that brief time, something happens…

…a crack breaks open in the code of my life.

Personally I enjoy this kind of disorientation. It’s not unfamiliar. I welcome it as a gift.

In those seconds, I feel like a kid again; the world looms so large and mysterious and unknown before me. I feel like I have no body, I experience myself as a kind of floating nothingness. Where am I? Who am I? What’s happening?

Those seconds of disorientation offer a portal, a glimpse, into all-that-I-don’t-know. It is a potent reminder that I am just an experience, of many, in an infinite, mysterious world.

Even the most basic, elementary things I think I know – perhaps I really don’t. Perhaps there is nothing at all that should be left off the table; what can I really be sure of?

And can I be okay with not being sure of anything? Where does that leave me?

This is a breaking apart, and allowing, that’s been happening for many years. Where it is nudging me towards is more permeability, more flexibility, more curiosity, less attachment to who I might think I am and what I think I know.

I receive this as a gift.
Especially now when I think it would be good for us to question all we think we know. I think this would be a gift most especially for people who think they do question everything already. Because this is ultimately not about questioning what is outside of ourselves.

It’s questioning what is inside.
What is the realest of the real for you, and could it be false? Or something else entirely?

Are you willing to even entertain the question?

Photo by Louis Maniquet on Unsplash


Making Sparks

Art by Autumn Skye Morrison

Art by Autumn Skye Morrison

I had made all sorts of judgments about this man based on his clothes, his stance, his manner of speaking. I discerned in my mind his intelligence, his interests, essentially his value. I had him pegged pretty early and quickly. I didn’t give much thought to whether it was true or not. He was kind of amusing to me from afar and didn’t have much to offer me.

Then on this night when the community was having a party, he came over to stand beside me.

He put his hand on my shoulder and asked me a question.

In those few seconds a lot could have taken hold of my attention but what was most palpable to me were not his actions or his words but rather his energy.

And my response to it

Which was fully

Pulled in and

Drawn to his.

He *felt* fantastic to me. Cat nip. Like if we were to picture or imagine energy as the field around me, every part of it suddenly felt amazing, buzzing and tingling with his. No gaps, no icky feelings, no lack of clarity, no doubts. I just wanted to stand in this and drink it in for as long as it existed. I felt so much pleasure with our energy mixing just standing there.

Given the manner in which my eyes and ears had perceived and discounted him, I was so utterly surprised.

The night before had another man approach me.  Different dude, different energy. He came on to me gently but undeniably. Again, I didn’t expect it but I was curious about the energy thing so I spent some time with him, let him tell me about his life philosophy and ways.

And while we had some laughs and some fun moments, the energy wasn’t quite matching up. He wasn’t quite hitting the mark, I wasn’t losing myself in these moments. Things were coming up a bit short and I was distracted and feeling disappointed that.

It’s all about energy.

If the energy is a match between two people, it creates an unpredictable, delightful magic. And I’ve found it often won’t correspond to what the eyes find pretty and delicious. Maybe this is why so many of us end up unfulfilled. Allowing the eyes to determine the criteria and taking our cues from there, we’ve already potentially cut off our best, most feel-sensational matches.

And it goes the other way too. If we spend significantly more time and effort on our external appearance rather than cultivating, exploring and enjoying our energy then we aren’t going to be attracting our highest matches (whether it’s for pleasure, knowledge, marriage or business)

Like I did with the first dude when I determined I knew exactly what he was all about. Because ultimately what I then was able to discover was how layered, nuanced and interesting he actually is. And moreover, what he had to teach me about myself.

So the moral of the story? If you want to find happiness, delight, knowing, sexual satisfaction work on your energy and presence. It’s a dynamic, ever-flowing, shifting experience of life.

This is what we do here #livingfemininepresence


Checking In

Underlay in red by Andrius Kovelinas

‘Underlay in Red’ by Andrius Kovelinas

How often do you drop into your lower belly, your pelvis, your womb space?

Just to check in and see what emotions, what energy you might be holding there?

Often when I’m menstruating and it’s uncomfortable or painful, I’m avoiding it. Can you relate?

I don’t want to feel the pain so I check out in whatever way I can: distractions, groaning & complaining, medicating, and so on.

Often this makes the situation worse. If I can bring my awareness to my womb even and especially when it’s hurting, my experience can change. Have you ever tried to feel the pain and discomfort of something? It’s not usually our approach because it feels awful to feel pain. It can be debilitating. Yet, until we can be in the pain, we can’t actually transform it. We can medicate and numb and this may work in the short-term to have us feel better but it merely masks the root of the problem.

There are other times when I find I’m not in my womb. Being nervous or anxious is always a tip-off that I’m disconnected. And if I clue in and drop into my pelvis, I will typically note what I would describe as a crunchy feeling. Something has been brewing and I haven’t been listening.

And therein is the other thing I notice. If there is some guidance, some wisdom I am avoiding because it means that something in my life has to change. Like I know this but I don’t know this and the frightened part of me wants to keep it that way.

And again, all there is really to do is bring my compassionate awareness to it; remind myself to drop my awareness and my attention inside, be quiet and be with it. Just be.

Because the truth is, it is our space, our wisdom, our intuition. Sometimes having to act on it is scary but it’s actually far, far worse to keep ignoring it.

I’d love to hear from you, what keeps you from accessing your womb space wisdom regularly?

Art: “Underlay in Red” by Andrius Kovelinas