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Broken [Open] Heart Work




This is a poem from my friend urban shaman Donna Henes’ blog. If my practice is any indication, there’s a whole lotta broken [open] heart work going around, especially in the midst of the holy-day season of light.


A Message for those doing the hard work of heart work…

by Shiloh McCloud

When everything you think you know
what do you do then?
When all that you dreamed you might cause
what do you dream then?
When who you thought you were
how then to re-invent?
When how you believed the world to be
how shall you trust again?
When the ideas of childhood are no longer
how do you re-connect to innocence?
When the instruction manual you have been using
what step-by-step do you follow?
When the life you thought you would have
is out of view
how then shall you claim a new one?
When the paradigm you were living in
no longer makes sense
how do you enter one that matches who you are?
When your heart hurts and the crack is opening
even more
how do you continue to love and to listen?

When the unraveling has begun you must just wait
on the Beloved.
Sit in the broken sanctuary of your own heart
even if the wonder and cries are so loud,
that you cry all day. Know that you are not alone.
Don’t try to get through it, get it done
or rush to the next thing or to resolution
or the illusiveness of completion.
Don’t make up new stories to go in the place
of the old ones.

Sit in the discomfort and the spaciousness.

Practice the thought that somewhere in your consciousness you have a memory or thought that remembers that healing is possible.

Healing is possible
Creator built renewal into my bones
The heart knows how to do its work
Allow me to be present for this process
Give me the strength and courage to hold on
I surrender knowing what it will look like
while at the same time claiming to be a part
of the great unfolding of my life, and this life
I will not rush myself
I will not let others dictate my own cadence
I will wait on the Beloved
I will practice faith even when I don’t know what that is.
And I will continue to open myself to miracles …


Only 25 Books!

Stack of vintage books isolated on whiteMy friend and teacher Barbara Winter has sparked a remarkable idea in me. If I could only have 25 books, which ones would they be? Here are hers from her Joyfully Jobless Newsletter. I have no idea which ones I’d choose, but I am, to be sure, thinking on it.


Every room in my home-except for the bathrooms-displays part of my library. If you were to call me on Skype, you’d see a wall of books behind me. I live surrounded by books.


What if I could only have 25 books in my library, I mused. Which ones would I keep?


It took days to compile this list, but I ended up choosing those titles that have been read and revisited several times.

My list is also heavily stacked in favor of great storytelling and doesn’t include much how-to. It is, however, a terrific basic library for anyone involved in creative self-employment. I numbered them just to keep count, not to suggest order of importance.

1. Growing a Business by Paul Hawken is still one of the best things written about creating a business that’s an extension of who you are.

2. Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith tackles the tricky issue of marketing services.

3. Small is the New Big  by Seth Godin is my favorite from this prolific guru. Godin is at his best with short and smart pieces. This keeper is a collection of Godin’s favorite blog posts and covers a wide range of subjects.

4. Write it Down, Make it Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser is worth an annual review. Still my favorite on goal setting.

5. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is essential reading for anyone building a business. If you understand how the tipping point is reached, you might be more patient getting there.

6. The Creative License by Danny Gregory is a brilliant workout for your creative spirit.

7. UnMarketing by Scott Stratten advises us to stop marketing and start engaging. Then he shows us how.

8. Business Stripped Bare by Richard Branson is both an autobiography and exploration of lessons learned.

9. The Hungry Spirit by Charles Handy is a thoughtful look at finding purpose and meaning in our work.

10. Callings by Gregg Levoy helps the reader learn to hear (and follow) their own personal callings.

11. War of Art by Steven Pressfield is, quite simply, the best thing I’ve ever read about resistance-and how to act in the face of it.

12. A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink is subtitled Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. What more do you need to know?

13. The Element by Ken Robinson is subtitled How Finding Your Passion Changes

Everything. It’s a wonderful book from a leading authority on creativity.

14. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller is the eloquent tale of how a bored writer got his passion back.

15. Hershey by Michael D’Antonio is the fascinating story behind a visionary social entrepreneur who just happened to sell chocolate.

16. In Pursuit of the Common Good by Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner is the often amusing story of the unlikely success we know as Newman’s Own.

17. Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins by Annette Simmons shows how to put the power of storytelling to work in your business.


18. The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander is a fresh and inspiring call to actively pursue a life of unlimited possibilities.


19. Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland is an extraordinary tale about making a huge impact in a community others had thought hopeless. Your own challenges will seem tiny in comparison to those faced by the author.


20. Small Giants by Bo Burlingham shines a light on companies that chose to be great instead of big. Marvelous storytelling here.


21. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp is a handbook for anyone wanting to live a richly creative life.


22. The Gospel According to Coco Chanel by Karen Karbo is a witty collection of life lessons from a pioneering entrepreneur.


23. Ben & Jerry’s Double-Dip by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield may be harder to track down, but it’s worth the trouble to hear what our favorite hippies-turned-social entrepreneurs have to say.

24. Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher was radical when it appeared and is still a bit ahead of its time.

25. Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher is aimed more at people with a message to share than it is at professional writers. It’s loaded with advice on crafting a powerful message.


The cool thing is that I never even heard of a lot of these so this is just so many more book recommendations as far as I’m concerned!

I’ll keep working on my winnowing to my own 25, and someday you’ll see them on this blog.

Happy reading!

Two Declarations of Self

Esteem or otherwise … lovely words to think, be with and live.

Two Declarations of Self-Esteem By Queens

posted by Donna Henes

My Declaration of Self-Esteem

Virginia Satir I AM ME

In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me
Everything that comes out of me is authentically me
Because I alone chose it – I own everything about me
My body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions,
Whether they be to others or to myself – I own my fantasies,
My dreams, my hopes, my fears – I own all my triumphs and
Successes, all my failures and mistakes Because I own all of
Me, I can become intimately acquainted with me – by so doing
I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts – I know
There are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other
Aspects that I do not know – but as long as I am
Friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously
And hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles
And for ways to find out more about me – However I
Look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever
I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically
Me – If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought
And felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is
Unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that
Which I discarded – I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do
I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be
Productive to make sense and order out of the world of
People and things outside of me – I own me, and
therefore I can engineer me – I am me and


Virginia Satir

Our Deepest Fear

Marianne Williamson Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

Marianne Williamson
from A Return to Love