How much of what happens is because we are expecting it to happen?


Our minds are so very, very powerful. Powerful enough to heal our bodies with sugar pills and medically “faked” procedures. A mere suggestion from a doctor can take us to new health heights, or find us dead in exactly the amount of time we were “given” to live. And while this and more falls under the term “placebo effect,” it is so much more than that limited phrase suggests.

Likely you have heard of the placebo effect; described as being an experience where the brain convinces the body that a treatment not known to cure what is ailing you, somehow has the capacity to do so. Taking it further, maybe you have even had the experience where you were thinking something or feeling something in your mind so strongly that something happened in your body. Negative or positive. An experience where you created health or disease; “just” by a thought, “just” by an emotion.

The first time this ever happened to me I was in my mid 20’s and I was coming down with some kind of womping respiratory illness that I knew was going to leave me very sick. I knew it because the symptoms that were arising were the indicators of how I would typically get sick; having already gone through multiple bouts of bronchitis that would lay me up for weeks, and sometimes even months. At the time I had been going through an enormous amount of stress, and was very unhappy.

Somehow I convinced myself that what I needed most was a night of some hard core partying to blow out the deadly stress and difficult emotions that had been building up inside. I believed fully, absolutely and completely that a night of smoking and drinking was what I needed to set myself straight.

It worked.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that health depleting practices like getting drunk and filling the lungs with smoke is a remedy for respiratory health. What I am suggesting is that I so fully believed it that my body responded in kind. With my expectations somehow internally producing the exact combination of chemistry and more to render me well.

Expectations have an enormous impact and effect on bodily functions and systems. Our minds make a prediction about what is possible with our health, and then make it come true through our own internal pharmacies and healing processes.

This then begs the question: If we have something so powerful built right into us, why is this not the leading approach in all that we do around health and well-being? A timely corollary being: Do we continue to experience what we are experiencing now because the “expert” predictions, the very same ones that so many of our minds have taken to be true, are creating expectations in our minds that our bodies go on to fulfill?

Think about it.

What if all around us, we were bathing in messages that made use of this power instead of ingesting messages that predict, plan and expect for ill health? Can you imagine it? Can you imagine charting your own health in this way? Not easy. Not at all.

But so very, very possible.

(I highly recommend Joe Dispenza’s book, “You Are The Placebo”)





A few years ago, I did a vision quest in the desert of New Mexico. The experience continues to reverberate; having sunk its beautiful fangs into me in such a way that I have been unable to deny the power of such an arduous and difficult experience. And while the acuteness of the difficulties I encountered there have subsided, the teachings have not. If anything, they have gotten stronger through the process of integrating them into my life. So that now, they no longer stick out as something I went through, something that happened to me, something that I survived. And are instead, a part of who I am and how I move though the world now.

The things that challenge. The things that bite. The things that hurt. The things that sting. Not necessarily any of the things any one of us wants. As a matter of fact, the unwanted and the unpleasant are all things we strive, often at whatever cost, to avoid.

Yet, they remain a part of Life nonetheless.

I once read that it is easy to appreciate the pleasing stuff, but that it is the biting stuff that forces us to think differently. That the things that sting are the very things that are the most profound in the lessons they impart.

I know this so well around wasps. I hate them. I fear them. I fight with them even when they are not actually around. I am outraged that they wind up in my home. I am indignant whenever they show up in unexpected places. Meaning places I believe they have no right to be; as in, on my porch when I am trying to read or relax.

In the midst of one of my all-time, all-out wars with them, I read that in some African cultures, wasps are a symbol of evolution and control over life’s circumstances. My first reaction was “What? Are you out of your mind?” And then… “Yes, of course.”

What a perfect reminder to me that there are things in Life that I can control. And things that I cannot. Thank God for that. Thank God that I cannot control the wasps. Thank God I cannot obliterate all the things that make me uncomfortable. Thank God I do not get to decide such things as what gets to be here and what does not. This one understanding alone is truly revolutionary.

And evolutionary.

Which takes us to one of the most necessary evolutions of humankind needing to happen. That being, to understand that we are not in charge of it all. To understand that everything that is here, belongs. Whether we like it or not. Whether we understand it or not. Whether we get our way or not.

The evolution at hand being to ultimately understand that we do not always get a say on what stays, and what goes.

To work with this is to stop fighting. It is to learn to know the difference between what is in our power and what is not. It is in a word, to say, “Yes.” And to recognize that to evolve requires integrating all of the experiences of Life into a narrative uplifting and meaningful enough to change you and how you move through the world.

To that end, can you find Truth and Power and Beauty in whatever is stinging you right now?




My husband and I are discussing the latest CDC recommendation to wear masks when out in public. It prompts a philosophical conversation around individual choice and belonging. In the end, my husband determines, that while personally he does not feel called to wear a mask, he would do it to “blend in.” 

Blending in.

Is this not the catch phrase for all of the things we as human beings do to not stick out, disturb or generate the “wrong” optics? Might this be precisely the most difficult of all dilemmas anyone of us will ever face who chooses to know themselves unto themselves?

To be clear, this is not a debate on the rightness or the wrongness of masks. Instead, it is an exploration around the nature of being an individual, a true and authentic individual, and what it means to belong from that place. As opposed to all of the shaving and distorting and acquiescing we do out of deep-seated fears around being shunned, shamed or left out. It is a hard look at all of the things each and every one of us does, every single day, to fit in. To avoid rocking the boat; garnering the disapproval of those around us.

To question your place in the scheme of things. To wonder what it means to be true to yourself. And then, to go on to do it all while remaining desirous of belonging is the making of not only a genuine and satisfying life, but it is absolutely the most essential stuff required for the making of a healthy, vibrant and flourishing community. For the truth is, there must be a challenge to the status quo. Otherwise our institutions, families, groups and communities wind up stale to fresh ideas, suffocating of individual expression and tyrannical and narrow-minded in structure and expectation.

Think for a moment. Who are your heroes? Your thought leaders? What would our world be like had even one of them not allowed their ideas and sensibilities to see the light of day? What would have been lost had any one of these true and unique individuals allowed the prevailing attitudes and customs of the times to squash what was unpopular, heretical or unfamiliar?

The challenging part here is that this is not a one-time choice. And there is no definitive response or line to be drawn that will hold true for all times and for all situations. This can leave it looking like there are no rules, and that therefore, the ways of the individual are undermining of the public good. This could not be further from the truth. For although the journey of the individual choosing authenticity may not always be recognizable to the group, or will not always look the same for everyone, there is one irrefutable truth you can count on.That being, that when an individual is truly choosing for their highest and best good, it will always, always, be in the highest and best good of all.

But for the group mind, the mind based on fear, consensus thinking and safety in numbers mentality, this can feel feel too unknown, too uncertain, too chaotic, too uncontrollable, and therefore too dangerous to consider. 

Why? Because we are talking about nothing less than people deciding their own minds. Nothing less than being unable to control or distort what is new, different, unfamiliar or downright opposed to how things are currently being done. Nothing less than getting comfortable with other people doing things differently than us and seeing it as a value. Nothing less than trusting our own process, along with the processes of those around us. Nothing less than full on faith and the recognition that when we support ourselves in our highest expression, while doing the same for those around us, ultimately, ultimately, we will get to the very best of who we are both individually and collectively.

But this will take time. And effort. And faith. And courage. And support. And it can only actually begin within and around us when we come to value our unique expressions right alongside our deep yearning and need to belong from that place, and that place only.

To wear a mask or not. On some deeply personal and communal level, is this not the question we are all faced with? And is this not an answer that each and every one of us must come to on our own?

Meeting Up


When my kids were younger, and then especially during the teen years, there would be times when they would offer up some hair brain scheme with great enthusiasm. With great justification around why it was such a good idea. With great hope, excitement  and even specific “well thought-out” plans around the soundness of what they were proposing.

Along with great denial around what my response would actually be.

At those times, I would sweetly respond to them by saying “Excuse me, have we met?” This was my comical, appropriate and parentally responsible way of saying, NO FUCKING WAY! Are you out of your mind? You surely must be to even think I would consider something like that. To which they would skulk off, knowing the conversation, and any further debate, was off the table. With the message being that what they were wanting was so absurd as to not even be worthy of further debate.

I loved it. It worked. It kept the relationship intact. It kept my sanity. And it kept the hierarchy of the relationship status in full view. As in who it was that was actually in charge of keeping things real. Supportive. Protective. And in line with what makes for a healthy response to Reality.

Which brings us to the point here. That being the challenge around meeting up with Reality with a capital “R” all on our own. The one we do not want to see. The one we do not want to be with. The very one we feel we cannot be with. The one we deny, distort and demand that it be other than it is. And the very same one that only by the Grace of Something More than us, Something Bigger than us, can we get back on track. That we can feel contained enough, guided enough and supported enough to turn and meet up with What Is. Despite our fears, denials and perhaps most of all, our lack of capacity and maturity.

Do you have this in your life? Some structure, some connection, some Presence that you recognize and honor as being more in the know than you are? As holding a far Greater Wisdom than your hair brained thoughts are capable of? Something Big enough to hold the feelings and the denials that you cannot be with? A Reflection that allows you to meet up with yourself as is, while holding you accountable to something more real?

If you have this, lean into it. If you don’t, open to it. There is no greater time than in the midst of widespread uncertainty than to find your way back into Something more mature than you. Something more knowing. Something with your best and long-term interests in mind. Something that would never, ever, allow you to go on, going in the wrong direction, unchecked.

To turn towards ourselves with some version of “Excuse me, have we met” when deranged thoughts and unhelpful feelings are running the show, is exactly the place to start. It is a choice that admits that our minds can so easily be deceived by the wrong ideas, and that what we most need to do is to submit to something bigger. Giving over, surrendering to, the healthiest of all developmental progressions that takes us from immaturity to maturity.

What if it is not about accessing more of your own crazy mind, or the crazy mind of those around you? And instead, everything to do with coming under the protective wing of Something that is not swayed by your lack of maturity and all of the immature demands and denials that emanate from that.