Friday, May 17, 2013

15 Days...The Spiral Is...

The symbol of the Wise Woman tradition is a spiral.
A spiral is a cycle as it moves through time.
A spiral is movement around and beyond a circle, 
always returning to itself, 
but never at exactly the same place. 
Spirals never repeat themselves.

The symbol of the Wise Woman tradition is the spiral.
The spiral is the bubbling cauldron.
The spiral is the curl of the wave.
The spiral is the lift of the wind.
The spiral is the whirlpool of water.
The spiral is the umbilical cord.
The spiral is the great serpent.
The spiral is the path of the earth.
The spiral is the twist of the helix.
The spiral is the spin of our galaxy. 
The spiral is the soft guts.
The spiral is the labyrinth.
The spiral is the womb-moon-tide mobius pull.
The spiral is your individual life.
The spiral is the passage between worlds: 
birth passing into death passing into birth.
The path of enlightenment is the spiral dance of bliss.

The symbol of the Wise Woman Tradition is a spiral.
Twelve is the number of established order.
One step beyond is thirteen, the wild card, 
the indivisible prime, the number of change.
Walk a spiral, you will inevitably come 
to the unique next step, the unknown, 
the thirteenth step, the opportunity for change, 
the window of transformation.
The thirteenth step creates the spiral.

Susun Weed

Thursday, May 16, 2013

17 Days...Jitters and Feeling Unsure

I haven't written for several days.  I notice that I do this when I feel nervous, scared and unsure about what I am doing, how I am doing it, and the results that I am getting.

My belly is full of jitters...I keep taking small steps forward...most of the time.

I noticed yesterday that when I am doing what I've been guided to do, which is walk, share KeenFit Pole Walking with people - lead pole walking clinics, support people to order KeenFit poles, plant seeds for future classes and ways of sharing walking poles, such as through different organizations - then I feel clear, confident, aligned and connected.  When I deviate from this, I feel scared, anxious and unsure.

When I see this, my mind kicks in and tells me that it's because I'm stretching and opening up to new possibilities that I am feeling scared and anxious.  That this is good - good for me and blah, blah, blah.

When I feel good, and connected, it's because I am in my comfort zone, and that while it may be fun and feel good, it's not going to generate and create the results that I want, and most certainly, won't bring in any money.

As I write this, I am feeling how money is really one of my biggest saboteurs, and wants to lure me away from my truth and resonance.

Interesting to notice...

Gotta go...time to get ready for teaching a group of senior citizens pole walking...LOVE THIS!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

22 Days Until England! Cornwall Calls.

Friday father arrives today for a 10 day visit.

My father is 80 years old, and he is writing a novel.  His first.  The Miner and the Viscount.  And I know it's not his last.  It's become the first in a trilogy, The Cornish Chronicle, a series of historical fiction novels based in 18th and 19th century Cornwall.

My father's family is Cornish, and he grew up in Liskeard, in the eastern half of Cornwall, not far from Plymouth.  My grandfather, "Granfer" was the editor of the Cornish Times.  He then went on to school in Bristol and then onto Oxford University where he read History.  I love that through writing these novels he gets to integrate his Cornish heritage and roots with his love of history and storytelling.

Last fall, he spent several weeks in Cornwall, exploring the sites and settings of his novel, such as the mines, manor homes, and pubs so that he could bring a real life quality to his writing and descriptions.  I had just completed walking the next section of my Celtic Camino walk in France, and timed it so that I could come over to England, meet my husband in London, and then come down to Cornwall to be with my father and stepmother.  While I was there, we visited Lanhydrock, a beautiful estate home south of Bodmin, Lostwithiel and Restormel Castle, Polperro as well as Liskeard, Wadebridge, and Polzeath on the north coast where my father had many of his summer holidays as a child.

He spent this winter re-writing and editing his novel, and including his hands on experiences of these places into his novel.  It should be done this summer, with a view to self publish it at first.  It's a great read, and very interesting and real.  You can hear the miner's deep Cornish accents in their conversations, the homes of the "viscounts" has come to life since the edited descriptions have been included, and best of all, you get an exciting, interesting, dramatic yet real experience of life in 18th century Cornwall.   His dream is for it to become a popular and much loved PBS mini-series, perhaps something like Downton Abbey!

Last October was my first visit to Cornwall in over 30 years.  I spent a little time there when I lived in England for a year back in 1981-82, when I visited my Great Auntie Hilda in Wadebridge, and went to Port Isaac with my dear friend, Diana.  While I knew that I wanted to spend my time in England more in the south where my families are from - Dad's family from Cornwall, and my mother's family from Somerset, I somehow forgot that was what I wanted, and ended up spending most of time in London and up in northwest England with my boyfriend's family.  As I look back, I have to accept that it was all good, and that if I had been ready and able to deeply reconnect with my roots and ancestors, I would have.   Perhaps it is something that I really need to long for and desire that is making it so important and essential for me to claim and own it for myself now.

No more giving it away.   No more grafting myself on to other's roots, dreams, ideas of who I should and can be.

I am going home to walk the sacred and ancient pilgrimage paths of Cornwall and southwest England to reconnect with my roots, my heritage, my ancestors, my people, my land.

I want to have my own deep roots, connected on one end to the core of the Earth through the land of my peoples and connected on the other end into my core.

I am rooted, connected, alive and nourished.  I know who I am.  I trust who I am.  I trust my Self.  I know when I am on my path, and when I am not.  I have the courage, awareness, and strength to know that right now, I am a pilgrim who walks to come home to herself.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

24 Days to England - Matter Matters

It’s not deep pockets that we need in order to manifest, but deep roots. It’s quite simple: The more grounded you are, the more easily you can manifest. Roots have both a masculine and feminine quality. On the masculine side, they penetrate the earth, pushing their way downward between rocks and soil. The feminine aspect of roots is receptive, drawing nourishment and moisture up from the earth to feed the plant. You must be able to do both— to hold your ground, deeply penetrating “what’s so” with your intention to create “what’s possible,” while also receiving support and nourishment from the world.  

Anodea Judith PhD, ; Lion Goodman, Creating on Purpose (p. 211)

This is why I leave in 24 days to walk in England  - to connect with my deep roots.  I have lived my life and worked really hard to manifest, to act as if "matter matters", but it's like my container for holding and building is like a sieve.  It is filled with holes, so that all comes in leaks out without my fully receiving it and using it to create and manifest.  It feels like I don't actually get to the boiling point of full, complete manifestation.  The energy leaks out before I get to receive the joy of fully completing a project or intention, as though I don't know how to contain or fully receive it.

Today is my daughter's 19th birthday.  Funnily, enough she was born minutes ago - 5:19am - after an intense labor.  I had dilated quickly, but pushed for over 3 hours.  As I woke up this morning and reflected on being in labor, I remembered that I had pushed hard, yet very ineffectively for such a long time that I swelled up in a way that I didn't know was possible.  I could barely close my legs after my daughter was born.

Two aspects of this labor are relevant here.  One is that while I thought I was pushing hard, I was actually working really hard, yet avoiding the kind of pushing that would go deep under the pain and effectively push the baby out.  I worked really hard to avoid the intensity of bringing the baby down into the "ring of fire."  I was terrified of that level of sensation and pain.  I have created many ways to avoid intensity in my life.  How we do anything is how we do everything.  How I birth is how I live.  I would rather drag something on that go into the heart of the matter, get really intense, clear, focused and   committed.  Hmm.  Don't like seeing or revealing that one, at all.  So in this birth, I pushed for a really long time, got painfully swollen and also became very frustrated and felt powerless to push my baby out.  I didn't even know that I could do it another way.  I was doing it the way I knew how, at the time. I didn't even know that there was a place that I was avoiding, a place that I could choose to go.  In my following two births, I got to experience both being aware of this intense "ring of fire", and actually choosing to go there and go through it.

Synchronicity - today is a full solar eclipse, also referred to as the ring of fire.  I experience it as the point at which what wants to be birthed into experience stretches you to the maximum and transmutes you into a bigger, better, version of who you truly are.  It is the moment of transformation when the fire burns through all that no longer serves and creates a pathway to receive and allow the new.

The other aspect of this birth that was so revealing was that after my daughter's head was born, my body stopped pushing.  It was as though all the pushing I had done to get her this far was as far as I could go.  I had to go into "manual" pushing where I literally had to use my mind and will to push here out, with no assistance from my body.  My body quit, and it seemed like an eternity for her body to born.   Subsequently, because my uterus was no longer contracting, I hemorrhaged a lot of blood.  I just leaked out all of the energy from giving birth.  I could not contain it.  It felt as though my life force was just draining out of me.  It was.  My blood pressure went down to 50/0.  I was given drugs so that my uterus would contract and the bleeding would stop.  I was given several bags of saline.  The midwife painfully pinched the soles of my feet to keep me awake and in my body.   And I didn't really notice how drained I felt...I just felt warm and oozy.

I hemmorhaged on some level at each of my births.  I either bled out blood, or bled out energy, or bled out both.  With my first son, I bled out blood and some energy.  With my first daughter, I severely bled out both.  With my second son, I bled out energy and no blood.  With my second daughter, I bled out blood, but no energy.  

I had no container to hold the energy, or to receive the energy from giving birth.  Giving birth is a profound experience.  As birthing women, we get to experience the ancient wisdom and power of our bodies taking over and bringing a baby into this world.  We cannot think our ways through this experience.   We cannot give birth without our bodies, and allowing its wisdom to take over and be in charge of this process.  In this, we also get to experience the Divine and Sacred Feminine moving through us, using our bodies as a vehicle to bring in and birth life.  This is profoundly transformative.

Yet I could not contain or fully receive the energy, power and empowerment from these experiences.  I got to experience a taste of it, only to leak it  out of me, leaving me depleted on a deeply physical and energetic level.  I then didn't have this energy to use and transform myself into a powerful, creative, goddess woman and mother.  I was back in survival mode, using everything I had to take care of my baby, and children, and giving myself just enough to be able to do this.  

Had I been connected to my deep roots, not only would I have not leaked out and hemmorhaged this sacred birthing energy, I also would have had the energy to root even more deeply to fully receive this birthing, feminine energy and would/could been deeply nourished and transformed by its deep wisdom and power. My container would have become stronger, more polished and even more cauldron-like!  I would have believed in my capacity to bring to life and birth my dreams.  

Here I am today, 19 years after the birth of my first daughter, and nearly 12 years after the birth of my last child.  My children are amazing beings, each of them in their unique and beautiful way.  I am so honored and delighted to be their mother.   I firmly believe that my children are not of me, but that they chose to come through me.  

My dreams, longings, and soul's desires are of me, and through me.  Without me, they will not and cannot come through.
"What I desire, desires me"
It desires, and needs me to call it forth, and bring it forth into this world.   It is time. Enough avoiding the intensity, to power, the deep yearnings I feel inside of me.  Enough leaking out my power and my capacity and ability to manifest and create.  I am done with this.  Done.

I go to walk my path to connect with my tap root, to plug it back into the seat of my soul, to plug the leak, and to make my cauldron whole and complete again. 

The time is now for me to reclaim and reconnect with MY roots, my tap root.  I am so deeply desiring to manifest and create in this world, and contribute in a powerful, and meaningful way to the new world that is emerging.  I have to believe that my contribution is necessary and worthy, just as I believe that everyone's is, and to contribute my piece.

I have to be willing to walk my path, root myself, ground myself, contain myself so that I can build my capacity to receive, create, and contain, thereby increasing my ability to make solid and create form, speak my truth, claim for myself, and honor and birth what I truly, deeply long for and desire.  

Walk my Path ~ Weave my Dreams ~ Live MY Purpose.  

Solvitur Ambulando!*

*it is solved through walking

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Walk. Embody. Transform.

I have been home from my last Camino, or Chemin in this case, for nearly 3 months - November, December and January.  These months have been full and busy with the holidays, and as January comes to a close this week, I am becoming aware of subtle shifts within me.  Who I am being and how I respond to certain situations and people is different than before.  Is walking the Celtic Camino, this profound pilgrimage of initiation actually contributing to real-life transformation and change within me?!

So, really then, what is changing? What has shifted? How am I different?

I have now completed the journey from Santiago, the first chakra of this journey, to Toulouse, the second chakra.  I began the journey in October of 2010, and completed it two years later in October 2012.   It is a long section of the Celtic Camino, approximately 1000 kilometers.  As I visualize this journey from the first to second chakra on my own body, it also feels like a long journey, from my perineum up and around to my belly, the foundation of core and the trunk of my body.  It also has felt the most weak, split open and unattended area of my body.

When I feel into my lower belly, it feels as though a zipper has been zipped up to my second chakra.  The split I have referred to in past blogs is healing.  What used to feel like a metal sieve - cold, holey, thin, weak, now feels like a warm pottery bowl.   As I write this, I have been holding my hands out in front of me, the tips of my fingers open and facing each other about 6 inches apart.  I then bring my hands and fingers together, and allow my fingers to slide in together.  My fingers naturally fit next to each other, and create a woven, seamless basket made out of my hands being brought together.  Can you imagine what I am describing?  This is what my lower belly feels like - a woven, seamless basket of lovingly held and cohered energy.  Even the basket, or the bowl feels warm, strong and solid in and of itself.  Both the container and the container feel strong, clear, and full of energy and love!

I do not remember ever feeling this before. It's a new experience for me.  I have something in me and of myself that feels different.  I have a base, a place from which to root myself that is about me.  That's it.  My sense of rootedness and belonging now belongs to me, within me.  It is no longer outside of myself.    All of my life  I have looked outside of myself, to my family, friends, school, society, to tell me who to be, how to be, what I want, how I should look...and I worked desperately hard at trying to do it all the way I thought I was supposed to.  Now, my compass can look within and actually have a place to point to!!  And, I can viscerally feel the difference.

I had been told years ago that I had no core, no sense of self.  I couldn't get it...what does that mean?  With no sense of self, I couldn't even understand what having no sense of self meant!  I was given homework to go for a walk by myself in nature 6 days a week for 45 minutes.  I am recognizing that even then, 24 years ago, walking was a huge part of my healing and coming home to myself.  I hadn't even put that together before.  Walking.  In nature.  With myself.  Wow.

Walking has always been in me.  When I was in my early 20's and living in England, I remember saying to myself that I wanted to walk the Devon/Cornwall coast when I was older and retired.  At that point, that meant in my 60's!  But it did mean that I was healthy, strong and vibrant enough - and able to walk - when I was "old"!!  Hehe!  Now, being older looks more like when I am in my 70's and 80's, but isn't it interesting that even then, the one dream I had for myself as an older person was to be able to walk this coastal path?

I have allowed these 3 months of being home to be a time of allowing and integration.  I have learned from past Caminos that it takes time to come home, and for the lessons and gifts of the journey to reveal themselves.  No rushing, no pushing here.  Reminds me of a paragraph from Gifts from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

But it must not be sought for - heaven forbid! - dug for.  No, no dredging of the sea-bottom here.  That would defeat one's purpose.  The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith.  Patience, patience, patience,  is what the sea teaches.  One should lie empty, open, choiceness as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea.

So, while waiting for my gifts from the path, I have been fully engaged in my life, with my family, my business, and open to guidance, clarity, and direction.  I have been writing, learning, listening, responding.  I have also been very, very clear about what I want.  I have been allowing and feeling my desires and longings.  I am no longer willing to put them aside and forget about them.  My desires have become my compass, and they are deeply rooted in who I am, what I want, and why I am here on this Earth, at this time, right now.  They are actually the source of my power and my willingness, capacity and ability to create a life a value, meaning and contribution.

What do I want?

I want to live in England.  I want to move back and forth between the US and the UK with grace and ease, and no jet lag!  I want to be paid to live in both countries, to put down roots in both countries, to create my life around both/and.  I was born in England, moved here when I was nearly 3, and have spent my life in the US.  But I feel deeply at home and connected to England.  I wanna go home!

This is my big, deep desire and everything else falls under this, is created out of this.  I see it like an umbrella, containing and giving shape, purpose and direction to everything else that I am about.  

There is something so powerful about allowing myself to truly, deeply want this, desire it, long for it.  In the past, I would want it, then forget about it, be talked out of it, and let it go.  How crazy, impractical, expensive is wanting to live in England. I mean, really.  Why would you want to live in England?  

Because my heart and soul long for it with every cell of my being.  I feel more at home in England than I do anywhere.  The second that I stepped on the soil of England back in 2009, I felt this wave of "at-homeness" wash over me.  I thought "this is crazy" - I'm in a train station in Kent.  My roots aren't even from around here. They're in Cornwall, Somerset and Northumberland...but I'll tell you, this feeling, sensation, experience of being at home was with me the entire time I spent in England that year.  Every moment, every step, every interaction, every shift of the gear with my left hand!!  I may sound American, but I deeply, cellularly English.

No wonder I have experienced a questioning of belonging and fitting in.   One of the gifts of these past 3 months has been to uncover in a very deep way the shadow side of my needing and wanting to belong, and how it has shaped and informed many of my choices and decisions.  Becoming aware of this had actually freed me up from its grip.  And today, I choose to belong to myself, and to be anchored and guided by my desires and longings.

Because this is what I've learned - what we desire, desires us.  Our desires are the yellow arrows of the Camino, directing and guiding us along our life's path.  It is listening to and honoring these arrows of desire that actually point us clearly in the direction of our soul's purpose, the reason we are here and how we most clearly offer and share our gifts, and be of service to this beautiful planet and her people.  It's all right here, in us, in our hearts and souls.  We just have to listen, honor and allow them to be.  Because they will direct and guide us.  They do show us the way, step by step.

I now belong to my Self.  I have come home to myself, and am deeply rooted in my connection to Source, Spirit.  It's not about England or America.  It's not even about my family of origin, or my family by design.  It's about me, and from this core of belonging to me, I no longer have to prove, defend, explain or enroll.  I live my life in alignment with the yellow arrows of my heart and soul, and from this, I am the kind, caring, loving and compassionate person I've always longed to be.  I am at peace within myself, and so am at peace with the world around me.

I knew that longing was somehow transforming my relationship to belonging.  The word "longing" is even inside of "belonging." And then I saw a quote from Tara Brach in Radical Acceptance:

Longing, felt fully, carries us to belonging. 

As I continue to bring full circle the gifts, lesson, invitations, and healing of the pilgrimage of initiation from the first chakra at Santiago to the second chakra at Toulouse, I recognize that it has been a nearly 4 year journey to come home to myself and my desires and longings, to belong to myself.  This is my core.  This is the essence of who I truly am.  And it is from this core, rooted in my feet, my first chakra and my heart, that my life can then spiral out from a deep connection to what is real, true and loving, and how I can most generously, sustainably and authentically be of service and contribution.  It is the paradox of when I am most connected to myself that I can be of the highest service to others.  And as Carolyn Myss says, when "paradox is present, so is the Divine." 


Sunday, October 7, 2012


Arrived last night after our 4th day of walking from St. Jean Pied de Port. In beginning our pilgrimage in St. Jean and walking east to Toulouse, we actually walked the most difficult 4 days at the very beginning. The Pyrenees have been to our right as we walked a total of about 80 kilometers in distance and through woods, corn fields, farms, villages and towns, and up and over many steep foothills and down into valleys carved out by creeks and rivers.

We have met many vaches (cows), and brebis (sheep) and many wonderful, warm and welcoming local people, yet have encountered only two pilgrims after we left Mauleon, a young retired couple from Ontario whose were originally from Quebec. Even I could tell that their French was different, yet a natural language for them. They were on their way to St. Jean from Toulouse - having walked the path from our destination. Interesting timing of our paths crossing, given that we were wondering if we were actually going to Toulouse at that point, or were perhaps considering another destination of Conques, for its homage to Sainte Foy.

One of my experiences of the Camino, or le Chemin, and perhaps most simply, the path, is that the "path guides and provides every step of the way." This couple from France reminded me that my journey is to Toulouse, despite temptations to go elsewhere! Yet what I also know is that Conques will be on the way from Toulouse to Orleans...She has made that clear!

I already have a major blister on my right pinky toe that I am taking good care of. Just yesterday, I noticed that my legs started to reveal symptoms of "walker's legs" - a rash on my calves, swelling, intense tenderness in my feet. I thought I was just tired and out of walking shape. I did not prepare for this pilgrimage like I have for the others, either with the distance I walked or the weight I carried. I allowed my busy life to dictate my daily activities, rather than center my life around my daily walks. I should know better...walk first, and then else falls into place and alignment...with joy and ease.

We walked into town last night around 6:00, and then walked around town, which here means going up and down many steep hills into the different sections of town, until after 7pm looking for a hotel. There were many "manifestations" happening here last night, but our "Oloron Ange" helped up to find a sweet room with two windows at l'Hotel de France, across from la gare, the train station. He was worried that it would not be nice, as it was only 40 euros (my euro symbol does not work on this portable keyboard), but it is quite fine, and the older woman who owns and runs the hotel is lovely. SHe actually has a scarab on her necklace - I am longing to ask her about it!

Last night I think both Beebe and I were ready to call it complete. My feet hurt so badly, my legs were so tired and I couldn't remember why I was even doing this! Beebe too was questioning whether or not to continue. After a hot shower and delicious dinner, I knew that no matter what that I must walk this journey - by myself, with or without Beebe. I had felt concerns coming up over the past couple of days about walking this by myself and didn't know why I was having them. Now I understand...this is a journey that I must take. It is my soul's journey.

Ultimately I am walking from the first chakra of Santiago, up through all seven chakras to Rosslyn. I walked from Santiago to St. Jean 2 years ago - basically, I have been in between the first and second chakras for the past two years, and yes, this is what has been reflected in my life through my challenges, choices and processes.

I have now embarked on the journey to Toulouse, the second chakra, and quite honestly, I am not surprised that this has been the journey it has been so far for me! This is a challenging chakra for me - relationship with creativity, sexuality, finances, pleasure - and so no wonder, I want to get off and just have it come easy. I don't want it to be hard, grueling or challenging. I just want it!

To begin this journey with the hardest and steepest challenges is perfect. My commitment and will were being committed are you to receiving the gifts and beauty of this powerful and beautiful chakra? How willing am I to receive, period?


As I type these words, they seem to be the gift of this journey, and the question of the initiation...these past 4 days were the initiation, just like O Cebreiro was on my first Camino in 2009. My first day was up this strenuous and beautiful mountain. For most pilgrims who walk to Santiago from St. Jean, the Pyrenees are their initiation. One of the qualities of a true pilgrimage is the "initiation". While we do not know exactly what form it will take or how it will look, we can open ourselves up to receive it and give thanks for its presence, for its gift is the blessing of the pilgrimage itself.

I am so blessed and grateful to be on this pilgrimage of the second chakra.

Thank you.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Sarah,what do you do?

I was asked this question yesterday. Today, as I took a lovely walk in the rain,I found myself stating out loud the answer to the question.

I answered, "I weave women's pelvic/belly wisdom into sacred circle, sacred pilgrimage and sacred commerce. I co-create with women in sacred circles to embrace our worth. I walk with women in sacred pilgrimage to embelly our wisdom. I work with women in sacred commerce to own our wealth.

Together, we embody the divine Feminine, become WEALTHY* women, and transform ourselves and heal the world.
Abundant and authentic
Truthful, team player
Heart-centered and healthy