Lessons from Geese 

(by Milton Olson, adapted by Angeles Arrien)

Fact 1

As each goose flaps its wings it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.


People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.


When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.


If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.


When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.


It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources.


The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.


We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.


When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.


If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.


Learn How To Howl

It's so important to learn how to howl.  Whatch this sweet wolf form his very first howl.


Notes from a David Whyte Conference


I recently attended an amazing weekend conference at Asilomar with the poet David Whyte.  I was moved in many different directions within myself over the weekend and enjoyed the many layers of thought, emotion and spirit that became apparent within me.  I knew that the words he spoke and the inquiries he presented would continue to move through me so I took a lot of notes.  I thought I would share some of my notes from the weekend.  These notes are unedited, copied from my journal and were things that either David said or that I became aware of becasue of what he said.  So some of it is close to a quote and some is very far off from his own language and very much in mine.  The theme for the weekend was 'The Pilgrim Way'


We have many names throughout our lives.  Some names are better than others.  We should be careful not to take on names that we don't want.

Rededicating ourselves to the path, falling in love with our path

You don't get to choose your path.  The pilgrim path doesn't let you choose what you want from the world and what the world wants from you.

The pilgrim wanders

Pathmaker there is no path, you make the path by walking.

A pilgrim is someone who is passing through quickly

Redicating ourselves to our path makes us available spiritually to attract and seduce life to ourselves again

Falling in love is a willful neccessity to letting down control.

Illness asks us to give full attention to the parts of the body that need our full attention and to acknowledge the parts that are working and let them do their job.

There is an artform to asking for help.  Both visible and invisible help.  Invisible help is what you don't know that you need.

The ability to ask for something that you do not know you need makes you brave and face fear.

Open space inside yourself to make room for new horizons within.

Walk into fear.

All new revelations come as a stranger.  A hand to take you that you have not taken before.

We live in a time of distrust of strangers.

What is my relationship to what is known or not known?  Do I only connect with what is in my circle?

The courageous path is the heartfelt path.  The path we care about following.

Escape the refining story we've been telling ourselves.  Leave the story open to outside revelation.

Stories that are told over and over to create an identity are limiting.

 When home (identity) becomes prison, it's time to walk out the door or listen for a knock.

Innocence- the ability to be found by the world.  Innocence is a way of paying attention.

Allow yourself to be transformed by experience.

There are processes that will occur with or without your participation.

The way we listen to the world shapes our identity.

To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings.

Put down the weight of your aloneness.

Forming friendships with the world of the unknown.

The ground of your own being as a place of inquiry

Attention is a form of transformation.

Internal smmetry

The horizon inside ourselves.

Make ourselves equal inside to the largeness of life.

By witnessing the larger horizon that you perceive for another, you invite them into that space.

Invisible arrivals

What story am I telling myself?

Ask yourself more and more beautiful questions.

To learn how to uncover yourself.

Have a conversation within yourself that can lead you somewhere.

What stories in my life am I insisting on too much?

Ask yourself fierce and liberating questions.

Pay attention to how you speak to yourself.

As soon as you give way to the powerlessness, you are on your way.

We constantly choose too early in the process, before things have come to fruition.

How much surface area to I have to meet anything other than myself?  Where is the contact point?

Where is the place where my feet are actually touching the ground?

Are you large enough to live with even the paths that you haven't figured out yet?

When nothing makes sense it takes a lot of energy to try to build a story prematurely before allowing the path to be defined.

Taste the phsyical makeup of your own imprisonment.

Get out of daily rituals you've learned to keep yourself locked in that prison cell.

Remember the long draught that preceeded your arrival.

Strength to let go of the thirsty self. if you deserved what you loved all along."

Note all the ways you feel it's impossible to be free.

 Make a list of three things you think are impossible.

"Give up all the other worlds except the ones to which you belong."

"Anything or anyone who does not bring you alive is too small for you."

You don't do the work of transformation.  You engage in conversation.  Hang out in edges, make ourselves available for seduction by the world.  

You are meant to make yourself available to the next tall dark stranger, only it might not take the form of a stranger.

What am I in conversation with?

Am I listening to invitations?

Devotion is a fierce form of attention.

Don't take other people's questions into your body.  Ask your own questions.

There is a part of you that already knows your next step.

Your success in incarnation does not depend on your control.

A good relationship with the mirror of existence.

Risk yourself for the things that call you back.

There is no path that goes all the way.





A Grain of Sand

This photo is of sand, magnified 250 times.  Isn't it magnificent?  So many details and tiny pieces of various things all serendipitously grouped together.  I will definitely tune into this more when I take my beach walks.  


Occupy Wildness


Foundational Truth

This is one of the reasons why I choose to travel this path...



I took this photo the other day while on a hike. Rainbows are real life magic. As I changed positions along my hike I noticed that different portions of the rainbow became visible while the others were not. I realized that you can't actually get to the pot of gold if you follow the rainbow because you can only see it from a distance. Maybe it is the gold already.


Containing Contradiction

Today there seems to be an odd energy of contradiction that permeates my conversations, my work with clients.  Is is possible to hold a pair of opposites in equal reverie?  


What is intuition ?

Here is a great article from The Heart Math Institute that talks about intuition:


Coming Out of The Closet

I was asked earlier today by a client about how I found the courage to offer my intuitive services to others.  The woman who was asking me mentioned that she has always had intuitive gifts and was feeling a calling to share them but was afraid.  She mentioned that people she had known for 20 years did not know this about her.  But that she couldn't hold back anymore.  So I thought I'd share my response with you.  Because it was really liberating to acknowledge that it is not easy to 'put yourself out there.'


Well it is a process for me in regards to 'coming out of the closet' with regards to my intuitive gifts.  I am like you, I have always had this gift.  I can just see and sense things.  It took me a while to put myself out there.  I live in a pretty urban area and yet there are many people who would call what I do evil work and the like.  But I am fortunate to have supportivepeople in my life who encourage me with my gifts and that has been a huge help.  A lot of my personal work in regards to feeling safe putting myself out there as an intuitive has been practicing coexisting in two worlds, the mystical and the everyday life. This allows me to feel comfortable being myself in all situations. In many ways there is no separation for me now. The human and the mystical worlds are pretty much the same thing for me now.    
Hiding or not fully being myself is really a weight on my soul and a contradiction to who I am.  But I still must say that when I run into people who still believe that intuition or psychic gifts are evil or scary, I have that age old 'witch' issue come up that I believe lives in our DNA.  That unconscious fear of being burnt at the stake or being shunned or stoned, worst of all outcasted from a society that is already weary of these types of gifts.  So to tell you the truth, I have done a whole lot of healing work with my 'witch' issues and have worked a lot with a therapist who has helped me 'be myself' openly.  I think many people have this same issue in other ways.  We all struggle to fully emerge as our true selves in the world.  It makes us extremely vulnerable.  And there is the fear that we will not be accepted for who we are.  But the tipping point came for me when it was more painful to hide my gifts than to share them.  And all of this has happened slowly, one step at a time.  I have to add that I believe it was my willingness to embrace this role and put myself out there that opened  a lot of doors and attracted people into my life who would support me rather than shun me.  
It continually amazes me  how much people long for the gifts that we carry.  And they carry them as well.  Most of all, I love that when you follow the intuitive flow, it always is guiding you.  There is this beautiful serendipitous exchange that is happening all the time, bringing people together, guiding us towards growth and healing.  So I might liken my coming out of the closet to a slow and steady journey that is still unfolding.  There is certainly more work to do for me in regards to stepping into my full power and embracing the extent of what my intuitive gifts can do for others.  But I am also in dialogue with the same intuitive guidance that I offer to my clients and I listen to it as my compass for my life.  It makes it a lot easier to know what to do in this world of limitless and sometimes immobilizing possibilities.  



Thursday thoughts

I am a life studier.  I read every day, people, books, trees, Universal wisdom.  I study the world around me, the big and the small things.  I watch for the sparks that could turn into seeds of growth and change and fuel the process of conscious evolution.  I see a world ripe with potential yet hungry for substance that might give it the right nutrients to blossom into it’s full capacity.  Seeing the world in this way is not something I try to do, it just is a way that chose me.  


Feminine Land Art

A beautiful video of artist Cecilia Vicuna making a piece of land art.  I couldn't embed it so if you would like to see it please follow this link:


A True Creative Visionary

The Junk King and his beautiful cathrdral:


Great Video on advertising and its role in women's body image


Obsession: The Tyranny of Slenderness by Kim Chernin

This is a great article on body image...


Queen of Wands

Today I began a journal entry with a cutout of the words 'Queen of Wands.'  This was my prompt for the journaling.  I left the book open to the blank page with only this cutout snippet of words.  Later, I ran across this image of a woman feeding the birds. She appears so effortlessly joyful.  So I pasted the image below that title. The Queen of wands in the tarot as I understand it represents the feminine power in action. This woman embodies that concept for me. I love that I simply set my intention in my journal to explore the 'Queen of Wands'. Then I find this image and then I went on to write this statement. 'She is the Queen of her own world'. 'She has mastered her own ability to produce joy.'  There is freedom in giving yourself full permission to derive happiness from wherever you would like.


Poetry, Insects and the Nobel Peace Prize

"I am the place / where creation is working itself out," -Tomas Transtromer

An inspiring film about Tomas Transtromer: Poet, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winner & Insect Collector:




A beautiful interview with John O'Donohue

Must read article by John O'Donohue titled 'The Unseen Life That Dreams Us'


I don't Need You To Love Me

One of the most liberating experiences I've had recently came from a realization that I had truly broken free from a lifelong pattern that caused more pain than necessary and held me back from a truly loving relationship with myself and others for too long.  I had the realization recently when I was confronted with a situation that normally would trigger all kinds of hurt.  But instead of dwelling on it, I let it slowly wiggle it's way through me.  I surprisingly found that it actually kept on going this time.  Sort of like standing very still while a poisonous snake slithers by.  At first, I was hurt, but then the awareness kicked in and it took my hand, guiding me to a serene place within myself instead of the hurt trap I usually got stuck in.  I heard my own voice of wisdom remind me that I no longer needed to hope people who do not want to love me will love me.  I needed to repeat this a while to let it spiral around inside like a good mantra.  "I no longer need to hope that people who do not want to love me will love me." How liberating.   

I used to attract these people who would never love me no matter how hard I tried, no matter how much self abandonment and self beatings I would take.  It was just awful.  And I wanted to prove to myself that I was worthy of love so I would work all kinds of angles to get them to love me, ultimately fail and then sink into a deep pit of murky abandonment.  It really was  a twisted thing.  Of course I wasn't doing it on purose, it was a pattern that had been in place for a long time.  A pattern built around fears of not being good enough or not deserving love.  But it was one of those gifts you don't realize until you are in the right place to receive it.   I can see now how far I have come to have so much true love in my life, and to be able to recognize where it is not available.  A very wise woman once taught me how to send the unloving connections to the back of the crowd and reserve my inner circle for those truly fulfilling mutually loving connections.