A Higher Perspective


Last weekend I created a self-guided retreat for myself in the mountains of New Hampshire. While I was not sure how I would spend my time overall, one thing I knew for certain: I needed to get out on the trail and into the mountains at daybreak.

So it was so interesting to watch my mind go from an intuitive certainty and excitement, to fear. It was dark. I didn’t know where I was going. I had no idea how long the hike would take, or what I would encounter. What if I got hurt?

Blah. Blah. Blah.

One of the things that I love so well about being in the woods alone, especially if it is at all a strenuous endeavor, is the way that my mind reveals itself for what it is. That being, a fear-mongering machine. And then, what I love most, is the way that the Presence of the Natural World offers me a clear reflection of reality. If I so choose.

There are so very many ways to be afraid these days. Some legitimate, but far too many exaggerated, fabricated, and even, intentionally generated.

So how are we to know? How are we to distinguish between what is real and what is made up when it comes to the fears that come out of our own minds? In modern day living, at least initially, this is a moment to moment observation of, along with a challenging of, what pops up that terrifies us. It is a commitment to discovering when it is that what frightens you, has no merit. And then making the choice to intentionally steer clear of what that is as often as you can.

For instance, I know there are many who would say that it is inherently unsafe for a woman, maybe even an older woman just coming off an injury, to be alone in the woods. To be somewhere where literally not another soul knows where she is. And perhaps they would be right on any given day. But that would just be speculation based on fear and a mindset that says the woods are a risky and dangerous place, and that a woman alone in the woods is automatically problematic.

That one perspective alone would be more than enough to stop me, and if it didn’t stop me, at least enough to ruin a perfectly good walk in the woods. You see, it is all a matter of perception. We will always find exactly what it is that we are looking for. From one state of mind the woods are a perilous place filled with ticks, slippery river crossings, predators of the human kind, and wild animals seeking to harm you. Or… It can be a place of absolute solace, inspiration and Mystery.

The choice is always ours.

Sadly, many of us never even get this far because we have been trained and brainwashed into believing that we cannot trust our animal instincts. That we are separate from the woods; having been spoon-fed on outrageous and distorted images via a screen that disconnect us from our truest Nature, and leave us terrified of what we cannot control. And then, we go on to erroneously believe that holed up in our control based lives, we are safe.

Never seeing that we are only half alive.

In Lockdown


Did you know that the brain wave states active when you are feeling threatened are different than when you are at peace? And that in the fear-based survival mind you lock onto a “me versus you” orientation towards others, while a primitive territorial aggression around scarcity arises?

Imagine now that millions, maybe even billions of us, because we are in such longstanding states of chronic stress, are walking around feeling threatened by others. As well as fiercely territorial over our capacity to get our own most basic needs for safety and security met. When you add it all up, do you know what you get?


Here’s the real kicker. We can be making it all up in our own minds. We can literally be preparing for battle based on the thoughts we are keeping; with no imminent danger actually before us. And because the body believes everything that the mind says, it kicks into action, preparing to defend itself, by tightening up and getting ready for war.

The truth is, no one will ever do worse to us than what we do to ourselves in our own minds. If you are with me thus far, it only becomes the next logical step to see that the real make or break place when it comes to how it feels to be alive, is within our own minds. For the reality is, every moment of every day, we have a choice. Will we choose heaven? Or will we choose hell?

I see this being played out as my body continues to unwind from an injury, so does my mind. I am watching how long standing patterns of gripping and tensing, a kind of hanging on for dear life in my muscle patterns, are an expression of a survival mind. One so old that I had not noticed it at this level before. So old that the tension has become familiar to me. “Normal.” Expected. A way to structure myself. This is concerning, for to structure oneself around stress is to suffer.

And it is to cause suffering.

And yet, if there is anything that the time of Covid lockdowns and restrictions has taught me, it is that I have a choice. No matter what. No matter what the outer circumstances; whether that be mandates or a spasming back-my mind and the state of my nervous system is my own to decide. It is literally the one thing in my humanity that no one else can have. Or dictate.

I read something recently where an Indian sage is quoted as saying, “The will of God is not for weak people.” No kidding. This plays out for me as I see all of the ways that my mind can make up a threat in the world of restrictions, or in an unwelcome pain. But I will tell you something that I know deep inside my bones. When I can see that there is Something Greater at play in all of this, I know that to a person, we are all being given an opportunity to make a choice. Different than we have ever made before. And it is not for the weak, or the faint of heart.

I see it as being the chance to break with all of the hells we have created in our own minds, whatever that is for each of us, in order to open to what we all most yearn for. A kind of literal Heaven on Earth. For me, that looks and feels like a world where Life is honored. In all of its forms and expressions. And where violations against Life itself, are the things in lockdown.

If this feels resonant to you, then by extension, we must be willing to ask some very deep and penetrating questions of ourselves like, “Where in my daily routines have I made it “normal” to violate Life? Mine or another’s?”



Spending time last week with a gripping pain in my body continues to offer many teachings. Right now I am working with what it is to be with myself, my thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations without trying to fix what I am experiencing.

I am a “fixer” from way back. It helped me to survive what felt like chaos and harm growing up; allowing me to feel empowered in disempowering situations. While there is nothing wrong with seeking a fix, it can become problematic when the efforts are knee-jerk and unconscious. Based more from a need to make difficult things go away, then it is to accurately see what is there. This “seeing what is there” being the key ingredient in taking “right” action. By that I mean an action which not only correctly matches what is needed, it also does not create more harm, or a new level of problem.

As I go deeper into the experience of pain, I see the flaws inherent in trying to fix something. Mainly that when I need to fix, it implies something is wrong. Which brings me right into judgement. Of myself, the situation, and whatever it is I am experiencing. In the judgment there is intolerance. With that comes resistance. And in the resistance, a battle ensues.

So now, instead of being wide open and observational about what is happening, I have tightened up and narrowed down my focus into a mere sliver of the information available. This is one of the quintessential hallmarks of being in a survival response. The blinders go on, our view narrows, and we are left with a fraction of the input we need to make a good choice.

So what does this result in? We throw on band-aids. We go back to what we did in the past. Even if it didn’t work. We leave out essential information. We close ourselves off to, and are intolerant of, new ways of approaching old and long-standing problems. Look around. It is everywhere. But mostly, we can find it in the personal and collective approaches we continue to take to health. So like a mosquito banging itself against a glass window when there is an open door behind it, we too stay trapped in the same old same old.

If you are up for something different, other than remaining trapped in old ways of doing things, try this: Whenever you are feeling an unwanted sensation in your body, pause. Take a breath. Give what is happening a name. And just for this moment, let it be. Just let it be.

Watch what happens when you do not fight.

The Limitations of Certainty Seeking


A friend of mine introduced me to the phrase, “certainty seeking.” It means just what it sounds like.

While it is so natural as a human being to want a high degree of certainty guaranteed, when it comes to how things in Life will go, it is an illusion. As a species we seem to be the only ones on the planet who not only do not know that there are no such guarantees, we go so far as to demand that it be so; compounding an already dangerous and misguided notion.

I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know what to do. While terrifying to hold at first, this orientation to Life is a true one. A real one. One that lines us up with reality, thereby allowing us to be with things from a clear starting point. Meaning, we are much more likely to respond with accuracy and in a right-sized manner.

This past week, I had a surprising turn of events in that suddenly my back was spasming with such intensity that I could barely walk. I could not take a deep breath. Nor could I get my pants on by myself. In the midst of the worst of it, my husband found me sobbing, “I don’t know what to do.” All of my usual approaches and remedies had fallen short. Nothing was working.

Later, working with one of my practitioners, he uttered the phrase “trapped vulnerability,” which initiated another round of sobbing. There it was. The physical pain was nothing compared to the deep existential vulnerability of being alive that I was up against. Now the question became, “How am I going to be with this?”

What has unfolded over this week is that my deepest vulnerability is bound to my deepest power. That giving way to vulnerability and uncertainty puts me back into alignment with Truth. The doorway in being, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what is going to happen.” It is from this place that I create an opening. A portal if you will, where things I never thought of have a chance to reveal themselves. Where unimaginable support has a chance to come in. And where the most unbearable pain turns into Strength. Possibility. Healing.

We are living in times where a kind of dogma of certainty has settled over us like a plague; settling in us and between us. The message? This, and only this is what you are allowed to believe in. If you do, you are guaranteed a certain outcome. And while to many of us this certainty can feel so reassuring, it is illusion. One that is robbing us of Truth and Possibility.

To believe that another can offer you the certainty you seek is a fool’s errand. An existential foreclosure. Worst of all, somewhere deep inside, you know it is not true. To trade in this lie is to set yourself against the forces and the powers of the Universe. The very same One, which never has and never will, offer you that type of guarantee.

The Future of Health


Not long ago, I saw a commercial which seems to sum up where we are, and where we are headed when it comes to health. Unless, that is, enough of us decide for something else. Something more True. More Real. More Life-affirming. More, well, human.

The commercial opens with the following tagline: “The future of health is on your wrist.” We are then shown a woman operating at warp speed in her life, while being continuously reminded by the device on her arm to “Relax.” Then it tells her to “Run.” Then “Swim.” Then do “Tae Kwon Do.” Then “Dance.” I watch in horror as she manically leaps from one instruction to the next; all directed by a tiny machine she is wearing on her arm.

If this weren’t so alarming, it would be funny. Saturday Night Live parody funny.

But it’s not funny. Not when we consider how many of us take health advice from people trying to sell us something, and whose mixed agenda includes delivering messages of “health and well-being” while bolstering their the bottom line by keeping us ever insecure and doubtful about our own ability to go it without them. It becomes even less funny when we break down the messages that are being taken up by viewers regarding what it means to be healthy. Images that are telling us that instructions from a piece of technology are what we need to be listening to. That somehow we will not know what we need, or what to do, and that it is best to outsource that knowing to something non-human.

In our infatuation with, and now indoctrination into, all things technological in order to stay healthy, we are losing the main and central ingredient to health and well-being. That being, it is built in and is predicated on a personal knowing born of experience and attention.The “knowing” of which I speak is inborn, and yet it requires both cultivation and protection. It does not take its cues from a commercial. Nor does it require a machine in order to stay well. In fact, the abdication of this personal knowing is what is at the heart of a deep and dangerous disconnect from the natural and healing wisdom of our bodies.

The future of health would do well to consider not only what is presently happening in health care, but to take a good, hard look at how it is that we have arrived in a place where so many of us are so sick and so disconnected from the most basic principles of how to care for a human body. For before we can talk about the future, we must weed out what is currently not working. What is outdated. Misleading. Harmful even.

Do you want to know what the real future of health is? IT IS YOU. It is your inner and personal knowing restored, trusted, and acted upon. And it is so, so basic. As basic as paying closer attention to yourself. For instance, how often do you see something advertised that is claiming to be able to improve your health, and that you jump at because you think either this will be easy, or because “they” must know better. Watch the impulse to outsource your health and well-being while getting into the habit of checking in with yourself, asking, “Is that really what a human being needs to be well, or am I being sold something?”