SoulCollage® Companion Suit

Posted Thursday, May 8th, 2014 @ 1:25 pm by Kathryn
Categories: Arts, Journal, Meditation, Nature, Spirit
Companion Suit: Turtle - 1st Chakra - Root

Companion Suit: 1st Chakra/Root – Turtle

I am one who lives intimately with the roots of the earth. I am one who is hardy. I am one who moves deliberately. I am one who travels at the speed of eternity. I carry the earth and its Source in me.

Artist Date

Posted Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 @ 6:19 pm by Kathryn
Categories: Arts, Journal, Meditation, Recreation

I made a date with myself to go to Lori Krein Studios and play with collage today. It made me happy.

Asian Collage Play

The Dark Path to Enlightenment

Posted Friday, April 18th, 2014 @ 7:25 am by Kathryn
Categories: Buddhism, Journal, Meditation, Quotes, Spirit

“We seldom go freely into the belly of the beast. Unless we face a major disaster like the death of a friend or spouse or loss of a marriage or job, we usually will not go there. As a culture, we have to be taught the language of descent. That is the great language of religion. It teaches us to enter willingly, trustingly into the dark periods of life. These dark periods are good teachers. Religious energy is in the dark questions, seldom in the answers. Answers are the way out, but that is not what we are here for. But when we look at the questions, we look for the opening to transformation. Fixing something doesn’t usually transform us. We try to change events in order to avoid changing ourselves. We must learn to stay with the pain of life, without answers, without conclusions, and some days without meaning. That is the path, the perilous dark path of true prayer.”

—Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer

Open Wide to Love

Posted Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 @ 1:47 pm by Kathryn
Categories: Buddhism, Journal, Spirit

My OA sponsor wrote and asked me how I’m doing, and am I tracking my food intake as I’d intended. I wrote her back, but I’m putting it “out there” as well.
I began tracking my food after we met using an app on my phone. Then I stopped when I realized it required entering meals right away — there’s no way to go back and do it later. I understand why — to induce awareness. So in short, no.

And then, on Monday, I went to Target in the evening to get toothpaste and hair ties. When I set foot in the store, I KNEW I was going to buy some Easter candy. I was keenly aware of this part of myself, and the aware part of myself was saying, “Really? Come on! Let’s not.” But the primal part carried out the acquisition. I sat in the car, eating two Reeses’ eggs and a 5 oz. chocolate bunny. And none of it even TASTED good. There was no enjoyment. There was just the impulse to finish. I didn’t reach out to you or Hub. I didn’t tell Hub. I threw away the trash. Note to self: maybe it would be good to avoid Target at night, though it didn’t used to be a problem. Then again, there’s more to this — it’s not just about Target.

So I was meeting with my friend Sofia (who is a spiritual facilitator) Tuesday and explored this. Here’s what I noticed: I go through life unconsciously with tight stomach muscles, as if I’m holding myself together. When I realize this and relax, I feel the expansion and pressure on my clothing. It feels a little bit freeing, and also out of control. So I’ve just practiced noticing and relaxing, being curious over how it feels to be “all out there.” Because the deeper wisdom in me sees that being obese is a form of protection. I am afraid of my power. I have the power, and it takes about 50 extra pounds to quell it.

Right now I’m not prodding myself with “why?” Why? What am I afraid of? Hell, as if knowing in my mind I could transform and fix it. Instead, I’m meeting that part of myself. Instead of power struggle, it feels like an invitation. “I see that you’re afraid. May I just keep you company?” And if Primal Me wants to eat something that Wisdom realizes my body doesn’t need, then Wisdom is connecting with Primal Me where she’s at. Wisdom isn’t completely silent. She says, “I see you’re pouring a bowl of Raisin Bran and adding walnuts. Are you hungry?” Primal Me says, “I just WANT it. And I WILL HAVE IT.” Wisdom says, “Okay, you take care of yourself. I’m here if you want or need me.”

On one hand this looks like a recipe (hah!) for condoning destructive behavior. But it FEELS different. There’s a very young part of me — Primal Me — that has urges, needs, wants, and doesn’t know how to get them met except by consuming. I’ve judged her, deprived her of love and attention, for decades. Gaining her trust and helping her heal will probably take more time than my ego would like. But Wisdom knows that’s how true healing occurs. And in fact, I have been healing for the past couple of years. It started with Honesty Salons, and Ecstatic Dance. In the past year I’ve lived increasingly through intuition, working with Sofia. Then I took the SoulCollage® facilitator training, and committed to a spiritual community at the Los Gatos UU Fellowship. I’m in therapy (since December), and have met you.

So it’s happening. And yes, I would like to weigh less and move more, with power and strength. My body hurts. I worry how the weight compromises my abilities and health; I worry about the message I’m giving my daughter. But apparently Ego can’t force this. It’s a process beyond “me” and yet I’m part of it. Does this make sense?

Committee Suit: Tender Protection

SoulCollage® Committee Suit: Tender Protection

I am one who is small and frightened, who needs protection. I am one who wanted protection. I am one who wants an all-present Mother, who wants tenderness.

Baby Steps

Posted Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 @ 9:54 am by Kathryn
Categories: Buddhism, Journal, Motherhood

You’d think that having support from my minister, my therapist, my Zen teacher, my OA sponsor, and my personal coach, I’d be pretty damn enlightened, but no. Spiritual awakening is a process of realizing how unconscious I am much of the time. Each of these people accompany me through different facets of evolution.

This morning Claire got angry at herself and a toy she was playing with, a teeny dish cupboard with even teenier dishes and utensils that wouldn’t stay put. It happened yesterday too. Her anger feels intense and out of proportion to the problem (and it’s been this way for a number of days). In my very sleepy morning state I said to her, “Why don’t you choose something else to play with?” She replied plaintively and angrily, “Why do you always want me to QUIT?”

Yikes! I took a breath, and then another. And then I replied, “I don’t want you to quit but I can see how it sounds like that. I was feeling triggered by your response to the situation and it made me feel anxious. Lately you’ve had a lot of anger. My self-talk is that I must be doing something wrong with you and I get uncomfortable. I try to take away that discomfort by redirecting you.”

She was quiet awhile and played. Then she said, “I figured out a different way to use the dishes.” Then I announced breakfast, and she came willingly and cheerfully. The energy within and between us had shifted, and then we had peace.

As a result of this interaction, I’m a smidge more aware of my story about how Claire shouldn’t be angry, how ungrateful she is to be angry (because she has such a wonderful life), about how her intense angry responses suggest something wrong with her or me, and how I’m leaving both of us when I live in that story. And THAT is enlightenment.


The Definition of My Life

Posted Monday, April 7th, 2014 @ 2:43 pm by Kathryn
Categories: Journal, Quotes

Oh, best of intentions! You know where they lead. I’d planned to focus more on the blog this year and it’s languished.

I’ve got many irons in the fire. And I’ll explore them here later. Meanwhile, of late this quote has been my email signature. It resonates.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

–Douglas Adams

Original Sin

Posted Thursday, March 13th, 2014 @ 1:06 pm by Kathryn
Categories: Journal, Spirit

Morning musing: “Original sin” is simply a phrase that speaks to our forgetting, when we are born, that we are part of the Mystery. The only “punishment” is the suffering we create for ourselves and others, because our egos have us believe we are separate and that “other” equals enemy. Redemption comes in the repeated practice of remembering our Origin, reconnecting with its presence in ourselves, and meeting the spark of that presence, the Mystery, that exists in everyone and everything.


Posted Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 @ 6:29 pm by Kathryn
Categories: Arts, Community, Journal, Motherhood, Nature, Recreation, Spirit

I’ve been working on uploading my SoulCollage® cards to share. You can find the link to them here.

She Is

Posted Thursday, February 20th, 2014 @ 8:21 pm by Kathryn
Categories: Aenigmas (My Poems), Motherhood, Spirit

Glimpses of My Daughter at Age Six

She is a sunflower-yellow
hourglass with a
center of nipple pink intensity
bouncing, twirling, burbling, squawking
like a Steller’s Jay.
She is Inside with Peter, Paul, and Mary,
multiplying three times infinity
in her rocking chair.
She is an apple, crisp and fresh,
the guitar singing melodies
sometimes jarring and jangling ears.
She’s a meandering stream of galaxies,
an ancient Redwood soul, not
fearing abandonment –
a kaleidoscope of wonder.

Be Mighty, Be Daring

Posted Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 @ 9:30 am by Kathryn
Categories: Arts, Community, Domestic Arts, Education, Journal, Motherhood, Nature, Recreation, Regional, Spirit

I enjoy creating in so many ways. My friend L (mom of one of Claire’s friends) and I are developing an informal girl group. After spending many years driving to see friends (which we’ll continue doing) we want to create friendships and develop deeper connections in the neighborhood.

After careful consideration, we decided to forgo Girl Scouts for a number of reasons:

  • They require parents having contact with girls to take training (online and in-person) and get fingerprinted. Our intention is to create an informal group of people we know and trust and make it easier for mothers to be involved.
  • Secondly, GS is divided by age, and we believe there are benefits to girls interacting across multiple age and grade levels. We hope the girls will be involved as they grow up and develop good friendships.
  • Lastly, we want to avoid the pressure of selling things to raise funds. We prefer to focus on developing activities and sharing the cost rather than have our activities defined by how much money the girls earn.

We plan to meet monthly. We have ideas of home-based activities to do; we also want to incorporate outings. For outings, each parent pays for her children and herself (if there are fees). To cover supplies for at-home activities, we suggest a nominal annual amount per child. We are researching the supplies and calculating costs.

While we want to have fun, we’re reaching beyond play dates. Our goal is to help our daughters become vibrant, confident, and engaged with the world. We want to nurture the development of their minds, souls, and bodies (and mother earth), and foster qualities such as integrity, curiosity, resiliency, and creativity. We are using several resources for ideas (adjusting for age with some activities):

A Mighty Girl
The Daring Book for Girls & The Double-Daring Book for Girls
What Do You Stand For? A Kids Guide to Building Character

So the girls and moms have a unifying element and develop a sense of belonging, we’re looking for inexpensive yellow t-shirts (a color that is sunny and gender-neutral). The quote we’re using is from Shakespeare: “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” That will be on the front, and on the back will be our group name: Mighty Daring Girls.

Our first meeting is March 2, and we have 8-9 girls interested!


Exploring Outdoors – One of our Planned Activities