• being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Grace Changes Everything

    We need to be held in order to hold others. I am feeling this truth deep in my body today. Since returning hOMe from the first residential of my spiritual guidance certification training, this knowing has landed, first as an unexplainable sense of ease, followed by an unpacking of how I got here. For about the last week I’ve been living in wonder and awe. I’ve been journaling and writing but have been having a hard time understanding what exactly happened during the retreat that shifted inside. There is a definite before and after. Interestingly I also notice sabotage creeping in. Living intentionally is diligent lifelong work. I don’t have to will not buy into the old stories anymore. I don’t have to will not stay stuck. I can trust myself and my process and I can know that I am perfectly made in…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment

    My God Story

    The first writing assignment for my spiritual direction/pastoral counseling program was to write and record my spiritual memoir. I loved the process; it made me hone my thoughts from minutia to big picture. I share here now for posterity’s sake: What an adventure my spiritual journey has been. I used to envy the self-assured ones, those with complete certitude in their faith (and lives, in general). My truth, however, is that I’ve always been a seeker. I used to run from this fact; it made me feel inadequate. But that was only a made-up story in my head, due in part to a dis-regulated nervous system that is finally healing—the main block that has kept me from trusting myself, God, and from living into my fullness. Today I have deep faith in God and recognize that everything has been divinely timed. My spiritual heritage…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning

    Herbal Healing Journey

    Sometimes (most of the time), we don’t see ourselves clearly. I wonder if we are supposed to. We form our identities and sense of self through everything we experience, our surroundings, our people, our histories, genetics and many other things of life. No two people are alike and no two people should be treated the same for their ailments. My story relates to my nervous system and the ways it’s wreaked havoc on all of me. Long story short, I’ve only been diagnosed with hypertension and for over twenty years I’ve been taking a light dose of medication for this diagnosis. The problem? There is a much larger, more complex story around this diagnosis … my hypertension is the manifestation of a dis-regulated nervous system; it’s the end result of many other things going on inside. The problem is that my doctor (and most…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    Embodied Truths

    One of my most treasured teachers, James Finley, often asks, “how has it come to be that you are the person you are today?” What an interesting question to ponder! How, exactly? How would you answer this question? Is it even a question we should try to answer? I have been a spiritual seeker my whole life, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve been looking for answers. So while there is truth to the phrase, “life is a journey, not a destination,” perhaps the same can be said of this and other existential questions: life is a mystery; our job is not to understand it all, but to simply to live it. As a student of the Living School, I would say that I am learning to live in these questions, but the deeper truth is that God is gracing me…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    A Sage Alchemy

    I have always loved my name, Heather; the thought that I was named after a flower is beautiful to me. But my mom didn’t have a middle name and she didn’t give one to either my brother or myself … I always wanted a middle name and through the years I’ve had friends give them to me: Ann, Marie, Michelle, but none stuck. When mom passed and my only daughter moved out of the house, the entire world as I knew it disappeared. Vanished. Hell, I vanished too. I’ve written about it plenty here so no need to belabor my three year ‘dark night of the soul,’ except to say that when one goes through such a thing, one either burns to the ground or allows that fire to transform them, to alchemize their being. This is the story of how I alchemized a…

  • being human,  embodiment,  writing

    The Afternoon of Life

    Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the season of life I’m in. There is a restlessness here that didn’t exist before, and yet, there are many blessings too. This phase, that all of us live through if we live long enough, is a great phase for looking inward. Going deep. Taking stock. Making sense of what matters most. And possibly rearranging, if we’re willing to live in deep alignment with our souls. With my only child now out of the home, it is just my husband, J, and I. And we are both blessed and privileged enough to get to make beautiful life changes, which is exactly what I’m embarking upon. After a two and a half year ‘dark night of the soul’ and another two years of deep spiritual practice, I now know ‘what I want to be when I grow up.’…

  • writing

    Spiritual Biography

    I have been thinking a lot about the road I’ve traveled, the long and winding road that didn’t make sense so much of the time, yet always made sense to the Divine. We are always being led, whether we realize it or not. I just wrote about this very thing on Instagram. And so today, I thought I’d try to make sense of my journey, my spiritual biography as I understand it thus far. My Living School journey has been such a turning point in my life, and an apex of sorts. It’s the highest point I’ve reached yet, and I can see that life has been leading me to this place all along. Are you a seeker? That is the best word I can use to describe myself. I have been seeking for God, the Divine, Source of all of life, for as…

  • being human,  embodiment,  learning,  writing

    We Are One

    We, as individuals, are one. We are one connected system, within ourselves. The body, heart, mind and soul share one system, yet the system is often not in agreement with each of the individual parts. Conscious mind, subconscious mind, deep wounding (still residing) in the body, the shadow self, false self, true self, all of our conditioning, our reactions … each of these live inside of us. We try our hardest to live the best way we know how, all the while these forces work on us in big and small ways. We do the work. We begin to heal. We are better than ever, but in my experience, we never ‘arrive’ in this lifetime as perfect, completely enlightened beings. I used to think it was possible but I’m no longer convinced. I believe we learn and get better as life goes on. I…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment,  learning,  writing

    Aliveness is a Gift

    I am learning to connect to my life by caring deeply about it, by being fully in it. It’s not that I never cared before. My conditioning just leaned more toward rush and anxiety. As my nervous system calmed, I learned new ways of being. My beloved’s smile is a gift. A friend in need is a gift. The sound of the morning. Every sunrise and sunset. This delicious food in abundance. Sharing my life with others. Each day, night, breath. All gifts. And it is my job to savor this one ‘wild and precious life’ I’ve been given. Please accept my apologies for not learning this lesson sooner. I’m here now. Fully. Completely. Honoring the divinity that resides within. I love you. I tend to my life and it gives back in ways I could never have imagined. There is sacredness in the…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment,  writing

    The Cost of Truth

    We come to God not by doing it right, but by doing it wrong. And yet the great forgiveness is to forgive ourselves for doing it wrong. That’s probably the hardest forgiveness of all: that I’m not perfect, that I’m not unwounded, I’m not innocent. “One always learns one’s mystery at the price of one’s innocence.” [1] If I want to maintain an image of myself as innocent, superior, righteous, or saved, I can only do that at the cost of truth. I have to reject the mysterious side, the shadow side, the broken side, the unconscious side of almost everything.   The art of letting go really is the way to heaven because when we fall down there to the bottom, we fall on solid ground, the great foundation. . . . On that foundation where we have nothing to prove, nothing to…