“Not for Pretend-sies!”

Or, the tale of a painting that’s painting me…

Early last November I began a journey through the land of Intentional Creativity® known as Vivid… Tapestry.

In our first gathering, Maestra Shiloh Sophia McCloud invited us to allow the experience to come through us and to see what would become revealed.

If that creates feelings which could be labeled both just a touch scary and exciting within you, you’re in the right place for the rest of the story.

We were invited to relate to our canvas as a portal through which new knowing could emerge and as a screen, like the one where you’re reading this story, where you have continuous access to that which wants to be revealed.


Perhaps. But also, as Shiloh warned us, not for pretend-sies!

Translation… it has a lot to do with physics and vision and perception. And, trust me when I tell you, it’s still working!

Or, to put it another way, with what we are weaving together.

Here’s how I know…

My particular journey stalled out as November led to December and December led to visiting the kids and, well, some other complex adventures.

Then, this past Friday, that which ironically passes for the United States Supreme Court these days, overturned Roe v Wade.

Then, in the wee small hours between Monday night and Tuesday morning, Grandmother Moon started whispering in my ear, as I knew she would.

It took me a while to start putting the pieces together…

Sequins… Buttons… Weaving… Paint brushes…

I went hunting. It took a bit, as we are in the midst of a major studio re-imagining.

And there she was. Just as you met her, above. My Vivid… Tapestry canvas, insisting that her time had come!

We worked, she and I, literally through Tuesday’s un-scheduled hearing on the 1/6 Insurrection.

I suspect we were both an odd mix of appalled and encouraged. And she was, clearly, steering our journey.

Here’s where we are in this moment:

I have no idea where we go next, she and I.

I will share her updated message …

Not for Done-sies, either!

I’m pretty sure she’s serious!

For now, though, a few words from an urgent family meeting of another sort, called by a teacher and author named Kathleen McGowan:

Hope fuels perseverance!

And, just in case that touches something in you, I have questions…

Are you in?

What will you do?

How can I help?

Click HERE if you, too, are on the path!

ps… should you happen to have a copy of Shiloh’s Tea with the Midnight Muse handy, check out Tree of Life Blessing on page 109. Here’s my favorite bit: May you take one step, however small, toward that which you have always longed for. Now is the right time.

pps… the weaving goes on! Or, as Kathleen would say, The Great Weavers of the tapestry are supporting us! So be it, for me and for you, and for all of us!

A time for thumb-sucking books… old & new!

Abracadabra… for I will create something from the word.

First, we have to choose which words!

Friday’s announcement that the Supreme Court had overturned Roe v Wade sent me running for words!

My first stop was a string of words which would require a whole lot of space and an infinite supply of @*%#’s to include here. Use your imagination!

My second stop, surprisingly, was a place called Printful where I’ve recently learned to make things for my shop, FierceArtWithHeart. I was an artist on a mission.

Specifically, a tank top mission.

Having gotten that accomplished, I was able to move on to other words.

My memory led me next to my dog-eared copy of The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. A tale of the first century C.E. Roman siege on the mountain of Masada, the fortress of the Jews.

You, if you have not read it, are wondering why. If you have read it, you already know.

A people with no rights and no resources. With scant food and water. And what passed for healthcare provided by women called witches.

Including abortion care.

A herb called rue which brought about cramping. Vile. Flesh burning. Effective.

The people of Yahweh. One thousand nine hundred and fifty two years ago.

Fiction, technically. Perspective, assuredly.

And, still, my mind was searching.

The Dovekeepers was a New York Times bestseller, so I went to their page. Virtually.

The marvel of reviews online yielded this:

Yet in between, instead of a gripping work of fiction that lives up to this praise, is a long novel full of middling descriptions, hackneyed characters and histrionic plot twists… Sarah Fay

Never mind for the moment that histrionic is not a word in my chosen lexicon, and the irony of the Times readers being apparently more openminded than the reviewer, I call vested interest! And power! On somebody’s part…

Beyond that, I can’t help but claim that, for me, The Dovekeepers was important for many reasons… not the least of which is my own deep, visceral grasp of the reality that abortion has always been with us and SCOTUS can’t change that.

From there, I was led deep inside to the place where truth lives. In this case, truth from The West Wing.

(And, yes, if you’ve been hanging around for more than about 10 minutes, you know where this is going. Feel free to sing along!)

Season 7. Jimmy Smits & Alan Alda – aka Matt Santos & Arnold Vinick – in a hotly contested presidential race.

Santos, a Democratic House Rep from Texas and a Roman Catholic, was being chastised by his church and excluded from Communion for his position on abortion. In response to a pointed question, he replied:

Abortion is a tragedy. It should be safe. It should be legal. It should be a whole lot rarer than it is.

To which I can only say, So be it!

What the United States Supreme Court did this week was not remotely about that.

It was about power over instead of power for.

It was about an ancient belief that women are for making more authoritarian, power-hungry men who want to tell the whole world what the rules are.

It was about intentionally mis-reading and mis-representing the message of Jesus.

And it’s still happening.

For me, I’m saying NO!

I’m saying that the way is truth and truth is love and equality and justice.

And I’m willing to risk redundancy again, for the sake of claiming the place where this very issue led me to put my faith where my mouth was, about 30 years ago.

A young woman in the church I served was wresting with an abortion decision. Her family asked me to speak with her. I did.

She chose to end her pregnancy.

An elder asked why I didn’t talk her out of that decision.

This is what I, the very new preacher, replied… face flushed, teeth chattering, and knees knocking:

If I’m going to stand in the pulpit on Sunday and proclaim, in the Assurance of Pardon, that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is ours in Christ Jesus I have to be able to say the same thing sitting in a living room with a young woman asking that question.

And, yes, there was some irony in that particular quote, but I know more now than I did then. And it works for me, still.

In this moment, my wrists hurt – a lot – from typing. And the big dogs are doing the hungry dance. So, let’s go with this…

I’ve read some more books lately.

I’m choosing the way of Love, as best I understand it. Of bodily sovereignty. Of choice. Of intentionally living Love instead of making power-grasping rules.

Let me know if you want some book titles! And may the Divine Creator pick us up and dust us off and set us on the path again. This may help…

I have 2 granddaughters growing up in this world.

ps… yes, the painting’s been around a lot lately. And yes, it’s my understanding of the Creative Divine.

pps… oh! The tank top… FierceArtWithHeart. Get yours and I’ll make a $5.00 contribution to Planned Parenthood, which will be doubled through June 30.

ppps… some of my ancestors are having hissy fits about my creating these words in this moment. Others are doing a lineage happy dance. Abracadabra! And, #BloomBoldly !

When change is strange… but still fine!

I started showing dogs the summer I was seventeen. Really big dogs. Mastiffs!

That’s also about the time I became a super-fan of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. If you’re a fan, too, you know that this event, which is a lot like our version of the Oscars, is supposed to happen right around Valentine’s Day.

In fact, the Legendary Husband and I have a long tradition of moving Valentine’s Day so it doesn’t overlap with the dog show.

Recently, though, Westminster has happened in June. Outdoors! And yes, because of the pandemic.

I have adapted. In fact, I was thinking about that on Monday as I sat riveted to the tv, hypnotized by the Master Agility competition.

This was not the kind of showing I did. The run in a circle with a big dog and hold their mouth open for the judge kind was more my style. Mastiffs. Great Pyrenees. English Springers. Newfoundlands.

Agility is, literally, an obstacle course for dogs. AND their handlers! Hurdles and tunnels and teeter-totters. And speed matters!

The dogs are the athletes. Their handlers are the coaches who run along and encourage with voices and hand signals and applause.

The thing that amazes me most is how much they love it. Dogs and people!

Which is not to say that it doesn’t get tricky. Often.

Missed jumps. The tunnel taken backwards. Sight seeing from the top of the dog walk bridge. And the whole pole weaving thing.

And still, everybody’s having fun.

It reminds me of my teacher/friend, Steve Glenn. In fact, I can hear his voice even now. Whispering under the thundering applause…

There’s no such thing as failure. Only experience to be learned from.

What if WE could be like those dogs? What if we could teach others to be like that, as the handlers do. As my friend, Kate, does.

Then came the lightbulb!

What if Agility were a metaphor, as well as a sport?

What would WE do with that much joy – even with the learning experiences?

THAT’S what I want to help my girls learn! I want them to know they can go back and try again and I’ll cheer them on. I want them to be proud of themselves.

Even when, as at Westminster, often other dogs take home the big hardware.

In the case of Agility, this year, my personal fav, Truant, a Border Collie from the over 20 inch class. And the big winner, Bee, a Shetland Sheepdog from the over 16 inch class.

And, there’s more show to come!

At the moment, my favorite is the winner of the Herding group. A stunning German Shepherd Dog, named River, from just up the road in Woodstock, GA.

But, the Sporting and Working and Terrier groups are still to come before we head off to the big ring for Best in Show!

But, before that, flowers to paint. A guided imagery adventure with a dear friend who is beginning chemotherapy soon. And, I suspect, some more conversation with Grandmother Moon about what my version of doing what matters that much to me looks like at the other end of the mystery tunnel.

What if Agility were a state of mind???

ps… it is!!!

pps… want to know more? Check out Your Epic SuperPower Path ! I promise… no teeter-totters to fall from!

ppps… at our house, the agility course is made of paintings!

Father’s Day Eve…

I seem to be having rather an odd evening.

Many things are as expected. Bill’s off doing the techy male bonding thing. Iron Chef is on tv. The big dogs are snoring gently, as close as possible to the air conditioning vents.

A couple of things are different.

I sliced a significant gash in the tip of my left ring finger a couple of hours ago. (Who knew mixed media journals could be dangerous???) This makes the creation of tomorrow’s blog post more challenging than usual.

And, my head is swimming in stories I wish my Dad knew.

He passed on before Dave graduated from Vet School, which he would have loved. And, while he was a huge fan of Kelly’s, he never met our girls. They would have lit up his heart, for sure.

And I’ve been busy learning new things and new stories, many of which would, I suspect, have been puzzles for him.

Me, the artist? The counselor/coach? The author?

Me, the collector of ancestor stories I’d bet my last nickel he never imagined?

Me, the blatantly liberal political activist?

Let’s just say that I suspect there are some things we would disagree about.

There is one, though, that I imagine he’d go for.

It’s the tank top my buddy Daphne is wearing in the photo.

Able to choose.

Granted, it might have meant something different to him than the first thing that comes to mind just now. And that’s okay. It means many things to me, too!

But that’s the way I remember him most. Able to choose.

So, tomorrow, the Legendary Husband/Dad/Grampy and I will go have lunch on our favorite sidewalk – hoping there are homemade Vidalia onion rings! – and spend a bit of time wandering down memory lane with those who came before us and planning some time with those who are making their own ways in the world these days.

And, then, more making space, in my world, for that which is being created within me.

Blessings to you and yours from me and mine!

ps… if you, too, are aware of standing between the past and the future, come check out Your Epic SuperPower Path. It’s a free, fun adventure and, maybe, a new way of seeing!

pps… need a tank top? Daphne will set you up! Just click here! (It comes in several colors and lots of sizes!)

A message in a…

Nope! Not a bottle.

A plant!

Once upon a time… yesterday, to be exact, I set out on a journey. I took along two paintings. The one you see above, and this one:

I took paper and markers and and books.

I took a head full of plans. You see, I was leading a workshop in Intentional Creativity®

This seemed like a familiar journey. I was ready!

An odd thing happened along the the way…

I arrived – about 3 miles from my house – in a new world!

Okay, it wasn’t the first time I’d been there. It was just the first time I’d been one of the team!

This world was inhabited by dear people who speak languages I’m only beginning to grasp.

The language of anthroposophic medicine and the language of Waldorf education.

Each of them takes in to account, in their own contexts, whole human beings!

There’s more, if you look it up, not all complimentary, but that can be said of basically everything that doesn’t fit the boxes in our brains!

We sang.

We moved. Well, each in our own ways.

We did some right/left brain processing using the beginnings of a painting process known as Insight.

But, just before that, we looked at plants.

Now, allowing for the fact that this was a whole new adventure for me, filled with ways of noticing and wondering I had not encountered before, I’ll give you the bits that I brought home.

First, this method of observing plants comes from the work of Goethe – yep! that one! – who was, in addition to being a poet and philosopher, quite the student of botany, anatomy, and color.

This involved, as you might imagine, a trip outside!

It involved lots of looking. A bit of touching for those able to get close enough to the plants. And, after lots of looking, it involved some describing and drawing.

And yes, that’s Visual – Auditory/Digital – and Kinesthetic processing!

The thing that struck me most about this adventure into previously unknown world views was the message which came to me.

But first, a bit of imagining, if you would.

A tiny, gravel-y patch of dirt between two urban concrete parking lots. Quite a colony of plants you might consider to be weeds if you were raised in the land of suburban lawns.

(Here we’re going to depart from Goethe’s process just a bit and allow for some nouns in our description because you haven’t seen the specific plants from our adventure and deserve a bit of extra help!)

Large rosettes of moist, rounded, leathery green leaves, close to the ground. Thin, spiky, stem-ish bits reaching for the sky. Seed heads at the top of most. Loosely dandelion-like, but considerably smaller.

Oh… and the message I heard!

Delicate, vulnerable hope blown by the wind of the Spirit.

If you’ve known me for a bit, you’ve already realized that there are virtual context brackets around that message!

Mass shootings. January 6th attempted coup hearings. The war in Ukraine. Huge, intentional threats to civil rights… in the USA.

Delicate, vulnerable hope blown by the wind of the Spirit.

And people like you and me, rooted not in a lush, orderly garden, but right in the midst of this world, with the opportunity to be hope.

I’m in! Are you???

ps… need a bit of help finding or navigating your path? Your Epic SuperPower Path Survey

pps… the plant? Plantains. “Weeds” to many of us, which grow in my garden close to the dandelions (aka vegetables!) Being their part of a delicate eco-system which supports all life. I’m just sayin’!

A lifetime of shopping & still learning!

Family legend holds that, when I was just over a year old, I was in a store with my mom when I experienced – shall we say – a bit of a diaper disfunction.

Mom took the obvious action and headed for the door, wanting to get out of a perceived horrifying situation.

I, on the other hand, early language junkie that I was, screamed, “I wanna shop!” the whole way to the parking lot.

And, yes, I’ve had some more practice shopping along the way!

Between my orthopedic challenges and the whole pandemic thing, I’ve gotten pretty proficient at the push buttons-wait for packages model of procurement, despite my growing questions about the whole bigger picture behind some such enterprises.

This week, that plan kind of fell apart.

You see, I need chairs. Two of them.

And not just any chairs will do!

I have limited space and a whole lot of things to accomplish. Comfort and function are tied for first place. Which is not a bad place to start.

So, flexible chairs for tea and coaching clients of the talking sort. Also the drawing and painting sort.

Sturdy. Resistant to dog hair and drool. Easy to re-arrange. You get the drift. I even made a list!

And I hunted online. A lot. With very little progress. Frankly, I was getting pretty tired when Grandmother Moon volunteered some guidance.

So, yesterday, I climbed out of bed full of the radical notion that I needed whole-person shopping and that was going to require actual in-person shopping!

My options were limited, for back and shoulder reasons, to places that did not involve the big road. Read that, a favorite neighborhood wonderland! And so I set out with my walking stick and fav sneakers and my magic denim vest/purse complete with a measuring tape, the requisite political buttons and my fabulous new bizness cards!

The Inner Critic hitched a ride!

Wrong color! Too much money! There’s only one! Too square!

You’ve probably had similar conversations along the way…

Blessedly, the Inner Critic, who means well but is terribly afraid of trying new things, was distracted by a booth full of old books, and I welcomed the Muse into the adventure.

She tends way more in the direction of What did you learn?

Over the next hour, my responses included: Too low! Too squishy! Too hard to get out of! Too itchy! And, to make our Inner Critic team member feel valued, lots of Wrong color!

Frankly, I felt a whole lot like Snow White, in the place where nothing was just right!

And I was learning a lot!

So, exhausted, but fairly pleased with myself, we headed home with a particular chair calling to me from virtual land.

The Legendary Husband, who tries to be a bridge between the Muse and the Inner Critic, suggested maybe – just maybe – ordering only one and trying it out.

It wasn’t the craziest idea I’ve ever heard!

So, we wait. (It’s on the way!)

The Inner Critic has agreed to take a couple of days off, given the fact that I did such a good job with the measuring tape!

The Muse just winks at me, with that little half-grin which implies we’ve got this.

I hope so! At the very least, we’ve avoided a whole lot of things that wouldn’t have worked which is a lot like using my SuperPowers for good!

And, just in case you have things on your list, like being and doing and mattering, and could use some help along the way…

Go here and do this!

(My Inner Critic will keep yours entertained while you actually do a new thing!)

ps… happy birthday, Mom. We miss you!

pps… in honor of my girls and their graduating adventures, a special deal on my favorite mug… which is a decidedly SuperPower kind of thing! Just click here and the elves will automatically adjust the price in your basket!

ppps… the lovely lady in the painting, who sees in several ways, is a glimpse of the Muse!

A view from the SuperPower Path…

Once upon a time, about 15 years ago, I was sitting in my living room with a group of amazing women, celebrating a magical workshop of creative giving we’d just led. And, at the risk of seeming, well, nostalgic, we were singing old summer camp songs. Mostly Peter, Paul & Mary.

Suddenly, the phone rang. I ducked out to answer. Little did I know, my life was about to change in a way that still amazes me every day.

My son was calling from Scotland. We did the hiya howya bit for a minute and then I heard this: Mama, you’re going to be a grandmother!

Witnesses would attest that I said nothing but Wow! for the next several minutes, followed by a flood of tears. I was utterly overwhelmed by the realization that my whole world had just become different. Bigger. Brighter.

The next thing I noticed, after a few more days of Wow, were the voices of teachers in my head. The two most insistent, oddly, both named Steve.

Stephen Covey was chattering about his model to gauge how to prioritize choices in life.

And H. Stephen Glenn sounded as close to preaching as he ever got with the core of his gospel… what our kids most desperately need from us.

Kind of oddly, for a person with advanced degrees in the way we’ve always done it, I don’t much care if this next ah-hah sounds bizarre. (It kind of felt bizarre at the time!) It is, simply, the truth.

I was born to be a grandmother! A Fiercely Compassionate Grandmother.

Not simply in the genetic sense, but in the universal sense. To act on the things which once felt theoretically important, but had suddenly begun to feel urgent, with a little one of my own on the way.

To be one of those five adults for as many people as possible, because kids aren’t the only ones who need them.

Especially these days.

And, yes, I’ve left an intentional bit of mystery in this tale, because curiosity is our best state for learning new things and making the changes we most long for.

I will come clean about my dream…

That we ALL claim our SuperPowers and use them for good!

Preferably now!

So, if you’re ready for some help along the way, I’ll be your Fiercely Compassionate Fairy Grandmother, and help you do just that!

Curious about where your path leads and what it all means, especially in these days???


Go here and do this!

We’ll start with your dream and add a lifetime of wisdom, a good bit of creativity (Yes, you are!) and a whole boatload of Big Why?

We’ll turn that into a path you can see and feel.

And, we’ll add a sprinkling of intentional  magic to keep you on the road, believing.

We’ve got this!

ps… know some likeminded wise women? Please share! sueboardman.com/superpowerpath/

Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach