Trust & The Times


“Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.”

This powerful line by Goethe has been one of my most steadfast reminders and mantras for almost two decades. I ran into this profound guidance just when I needed it most. As in, just when I was open enough to believe that perhaps, just perhaps, it was up to me to decide how I got to live. How I got to feel about myself. How I got to choose what to believe in, what to want, what to need and how to be.

This was all happening at a time when I was just beginning to wake up to the idea that my life would remain the unhappy mess I often fell into because of my outer and other oriented approach to Life. Or, I could find another way. There was no choice as far as I was concerned. As a new mother, I was up against the harsh reality that Life as I had known it, was over. And even though a great deal of me wanted to hunker down and force things through per usual, another wiser, more trust-worthy part knew that somehow this was my chance. Though at the time I could not have told you what that chance was that was being offered to me.

But I can now.

And what I can tell you is this. That “time” I am referring to is here now for all of us. Whether we want it or not. Whether we are comfortable or not. Whether we feel as though we can do it or not. The time is now and it is here. And it cares not for our ideas around how things are supposed to go. It is here and it is asking one question, and one question only: Will you be with it? Will you let yourself be shaped by the times, carried by them, smashed to smithereens by them, squeezed out empty by them? With no guarantees offered. With little foreshadowing available. And with lots of confusion, frustration and missteps, along with lots and lots of hard work.

This is not easy and writing it makes me wonder who would ever sign up for such a thing? The answer? None of us. Not one of us. Which is why the big shifts in our lives come in ways we have no control over. In ways we did not see coming, nor would ever ask for. And yet, somewhere in all of this there is a hidden promise. That being, that if you can learn to navigate the unknown and the unknowable, exactly as you and only you can do, mistakes and all, you will be gifted with the most profound of all capacities: self-trust.

Self-trust gifts us with the colossal ability to go inside, to go below the noise and the external pressures of those around us, as well as our own fears, hang-ups and limitations. And in the going beyond we come to a place where the most exquisite answers and guidance reside. A place that does not answer to the status quo, consensual reality or mass consciousness. A place that despite the way it moves against consensual reality, offers up, for all of us when even one of us gets there, the most supreme of all perspectives; a flowing, never-ending Source of information that transcends the 24-hour news cycles, social media feeds, the fears du jour, and all of the rest of the inner and outer noise that we engage in that takes us away from ourselves, each other and the Truth.

Do you feel called to help the place we individually and collectively find ourselves in now? If so, the greatest act you could ever take would be to learn how to trust yourself. To learn how to think for yourself. To learn what you need and then, how to satisfy only the realest of those needs.

How to begin? Make a commitment to yourself that you, and only you, can decide what is right and true for you. Then, watch what happens. And when you come to all of the places where you allow others to tell you what to believe in, what to want, what to feel, and how to be, know that your work has just begun. And when you come to the place that believes that to do this would be selfish, know that your work has just begun. Best of all, know that it will be the most valuable and finest work you have ever done.

P.S. Get away from the mind-numbing and incessant messages that distract you and that you take as your own, without even knowing it. Question whether your thoughts are your own, or are something you have picked up from outside of you. The only way to do this is two-fold: get agenda-free time on your own, and fast from outside versions of “truth,” in whatever form they take.



We have chickens. For the past year we have had six of them. They are their own little flock; easy on each other and easy to be around. Last week, we brought in four new girls to join the existing flock. As you might imagine, the old girls did not take kindly to the new girls.

During the first night, for what seemed like hours to me, after we had closed them up in the coop, the distress calls began to ring out into the night and right into my living room. I opened the front door to hear better. I listened. And then I listened some more. Mostly though, I fretted. Were they all right? Were the old ones attacking the new ones? Would I find a bloody mess in the morning? Would it be my fault that I did not intervene? Finally, coming to the conclusion there was nothing to do, and in order to save my own sanity, I had to close the window. But I could still hear them.

Despite trying to reassure myself that they would work it out, something in me felt agitated and lit up by the distraught nature of their calling.

In the morning when I got into my practice, the same thing was being played out again. Over and over and over. It was driving me mad. My whole body, heart and mind was filled with their distress. I literally could not get beyond it. So much so, that I was driven off my mat and out to the coop to make sure no one was being harmed.

As soon as I arrived, the original girls, who were making all the noise, came over to me and quieted. It felt so good. And then, it didn’t. Because they started back up again.

Back on my cushion, I watched the agitation in me rise again and again based on their distress. And so I began to wonder about this. I know that it is natural for one sentient being to feel what is happening for another. That it is a necessary and essential part of being alive and being with others. And I also know that as a human being, I can muck up the works with my beliefs, habits and imprints about what it means to be with another’s suffering. This is especially so for some of us, more than others.

Because I know this about myself, I watched my thoughts and emotions around all of this. And what I found, way deep, deep down, was that my discomfort was not so much that they were distressed (although that was there). Not so much that I could not soothe them (although that was there). But mostly because I felt that their distress was somehow connected to my own well-being. In others words, that unbearable feeling I was having was less about them and more about me. It was me believing that if another is troubled around me, then somehow I cannot be OK. This leaves me doing the only thing I think I can do: Make another’s troubles my troubles.

Which takes me to something my astrologer recently said to me: “Two drowning people are not better than one.”  Or for that matter 50, or a thousand, or a million, or a world full of the distraught. Don’t get me wrong. This is not about ignoring suffering. It is instead, about not increasing it. About not taking on what is not yours. About not making a life out of being miserable because others are miserable. For the truth is, someone, somewhere, will always be in trouble. And if your happiness and well-being are linked to that, well, you get the picture.

The natural fact that we are indeed all inextricably bound aside, how often is our concern, our compassion, our empathy really about our need to get another to be okay so that we can be okay? In other words, how often are our altruistic, caring gestures, in fact, a kind of co-dependency? This can be very, very hard to hear for all of us caring souls. And yet,  getting clear on this is a crucial piece of the puzzle as we make our way forward in times where the distress is so palpable. So visible. So alarming.

Interestingly enough, if we take my small example of going out to the coop, there is guidance there. Because I made an effort to calm myself as I approached them, they were able to sense that, if even for a moment, giving them respite from their distress. Try it. Instead of jumping into the drowning pool with another, make yourself calm and be with them. No fixing. Just being, while being as okay as you can possibly muster.

New Normal


I recently heard author and women’s health advocate Christianne Northrup describe what we are going through right now as “The Great Awakening.”  Yes. You heard it right.

With that said, could you, for even one moment, open to the possibility that everything that is happening now, all of the chaos, the pain, the uncertainty, the fear and the break down, is Something exquisitely and intentionally designed just for you? As Something not meant to punish, but to promote the very highest and best in all of us?

I know, it can feel like a stretch. Or even an insult or an outrage. Or something too New-Agey to take seriously.

But what if it were true? What if this was our one big chance, for all of us here now, to do something different. Something life-affirming. Something beyond what we would have thought possible, or been willing to do when things were less intense. More “certain.” More to our liking. More “normal.” What if all that is happening is precisely what is required to wake us up to the truth that each and every one of us is here at this very moment for a great and powerful reason? And what if, even if you think I am full of it, or this makes you mad, that you might decide to play along just to see what would happen by picking up such a powerful and profound perspective.

That perspective being, that what you do matters. That how you meet up with Life matters. That this is your one life, and this is what is here now, so what will you do? Will you bemoan the fact you are here? Will you live feeling as though you have been cheated from your life? Will you lash out because it is not what you wanted? Will you hunker down in terror?

It puts me in mind of a new favorite quote of mine: “The will of God is not for weak people.”

Several months ago, just as all of this was really getting started, I was traveling back and forth to Florida to be with my mother. In the midst of the fear brewing, the uncertainty of what was happening with my mother, the proximity to people I feel challenged by while finding myself moving through a medical system that feels inhumane at best and downright harmful at worst, every day, every single day, I would ask for a miracle.

And every day I got one.

Some days it would come in the soft sweet singing of the woman who was drawing blood from my mother’s terribly bruised arms that brought me to tears for the sheer humanity and tenderness of the moment amidst a brutal health system. Other days it would come in the form of a song that was playing as I turned on the radio; where the line being sung at that exact moment, spoke directly to where I was at and gave me all the hope and reassurance I needed. On other days it came in the form of the pre-dawn quiet and all that was conveyed to me in that space. I am filled with emotion as I write this; being instantaneously brought back to a perspective that gave me life when it felt as if there was so little to be had.

It is easy to succumb to fear, doubt, panic and negativity. But what is encoded in any Great Awakening is the strength, the endurance, the courage and the grace you need to pass though something you do not believe you can pass through. And it is in the faith, the foresight and the grit to recognize that in the dismantling, Something, somewhere, must be trying to tell you something.

By whatever name you go by, turn to the vast perspective of that Something and wonder what it is that is wanting to be awakened in you. Open to a perspective beyond your wants, desires, habits and fears. And do it every day. Every single day. Until this, and only this, is your new normal.


**Quote by Baba Hari Dass




My husband was recently recounting a conversation he had with a practitioner, who in anticipation of re-opening their office had asked, “Would you like me to tell you how we are going to keep you safe?” To which my husband responded, “I do not require you to keep me safe.” To which I would add, “Nor is that something you could ever guarantee me.”

Safety. We all want to feel safe. It is in fact perhaps our most basic of all needs. And at its very best, it is something we cultivate within and offer without.

Being safe and feeling safe are a major source of conversation in the culture at the moment. As a matter of fact, it is something that has been brewing beneath the surface for many of us for what seems like forever. Given that, and all that is being revealed around what this means in practice (not words) it is incumbent upon all of us to understand what we are asking for, what we are being promised, and what is being justified in the name of safety.

Spoiler alert: No one can guarantee your safety. Not a parent. Not your spouse. Not the government. Not a mask, hand washing, tracing or vaccines. But by God how we want it. And who wouldn’t? This most primary of needs for safety and protection harkens back to childhood when you believed that it was possible that someone else could promise and deliver a guarantee of safety to you. And how well your safety needs were or were not met in childhood sets the stage for how you will perceive the world. For your capacity to determine what is safe, what is a threat, and what is real and imagined around both.

The first time I ever heard anyone talk on this was years ago while I was in the midst of a very intense emotional. physical and spiritually challenging training. At some point, as things were breaking down and people’s fears and woundings were being revealed, in their terror they began to find fault with the training. In their inability to be with what they were experiencing, they began to accuse the program director and staff of creating an unsafe environment. It was a deeply heated and emotional group exchange, as well as something we were all feeling and navigating in our own ways.

Much to my surprise and ultimate deep gratitude, instead of the director going into self-blame and acquiescing because someone had thrown down the safety card, she navigated a brilliant truth: That being, that no one else can guarantee your safety. That being, that when we are afraid and rattled, we will default to that child-like expectation. Instead, she let us know that what she was offering was a sacred container for people to come together, and that what you did within that space was up to you.

The root of “safe” from the Greek means “whole,” with the definition being “free from risk, danger, harm or injury.” And while there are certain practices and ways of being that we agree upon for the well-being of all, a guarantee of life without risk, danger, harm or injury can never be proffered. Nor should it be expected. For to wholly live is to live with the risk of being alive. And to demand safety, to use safety as a protocol in the ways we are using it, is to set us all up for not only failure, but to set in motion the justification of all manner of things that have absolutely nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with a lie.

Safety can be an intention. It can be honored and it can be protected. It can be respected and agreed upon. And when it comes to re-imagining the long-standing and often outdated beliefs we hold around this, I will leave you with something my husband is talking about at work. 

“Safety is a shared responsibility.”

In practice: If you would like to see how this works in your world, do not go to the adult mind that would say, “Of course I know there are no guarantees.” Instead, go below the surface, to the child, to the unconscious, to the place that gets scared. Can you sit with that? Can you feel the need, the vulnerability and the desperation for someone to pledge a certainty for you? Can you open to all of that without trying to have someone take that away for you?

And if you would like to take a deeper look around the maps of safety and danger we create in childhood, the very same ones that continue to inform or drive us as adults, I recommend a book called “Nurturing Resilience” by Kathy Kain.