If we keep doin’ what we’ve been doin’…

Yep! “We keep gettin’ what we’ve got!”

And, it’s a useful strategy if what we’re getting is what we want.

You may have noticed, though, that it doesn’t always work! Here’s an example…

I’ve spent a good bit of my life thinking I was learning new things. And I was. I still am.

Remember back when calculators were new?

And microwaves?

And beepers?

Even antibiotics!

And the world has done a pretty great job of convincing us that new is inherently better than old.

Recently, though, I’ve decided to make intentional space for some old things.

Honestly, it hasn’t been easy.

It’s not as simple as new is good and old is bad.

Old is good and new is bad doesn’t work either.

Instead, we have to make choices. Choices in context. Choices based on what we’re trying to accomplish.

So, I’m celebrating the fact that one of The Legendary Husband’s new health strategies is helping.

And, at the same time, I’m learning really old strategies, like essential oils, to help with some of my challenges.

I’m learning Red Thread Circles even more deeply than before because they help with clarity and connection and community, which are huge needs in this world.

And early this morning, while I was dozing/pondering my hearth tending strategy for #work-in-progress Wednesday, I had an ah-ha moment.

In the world where I grew up – if you ignore Geometry class for the moment – Circle was a word for what church women did with coffee, while men set the budgets and made decisions and, well, preached sermons.

At some level of un-awareness, when I first began to sense a call to ministry, I seem to have left any notion of circle behind.

I traded what felt old for what felt new and brighter and shinier and more powerful.

And now I’m grateful to realize that we need both/and way more than either/or!

We need people – whatever their notion of gender might be – who can be in intentional communities where it’s safe to inquire and share and witness.

And we need people – whatever their notion of gender might be – who who can be in intentional communities tasked to assess and discern and lead.

It’s the feeling that we have to give up one to belong in the other that tears us apart and tragically limits all of us.

Part of living in a both/and world view is claiming our own ability to choose. For ourselves.

And also realizing that others will make different choices for themselves.

It isn’t easy. And, yes, it can be scary.

But, last week, the girls and I held our very own March on Washington. And, yes, I had my Good Trouble button on!

Because the world needs us – people who truly value each other and creating connections – to lead.

If you’re wondering how to move forward, I can help! JUST CLICK HERE … and bring all of you along on the path! Maybe even some red thread, though we can work up to that!

ps… today a new friend gave me an easy opportunity to practice a skill which still feels a bit scary sometimes. So, I’m going to practice again and invite you to come check out all the hope at FierceArtWithHeart! From original art to mugs and posters and archival prints, wander and wonder!

The return from Far Far Away…

Or the land where your family, your myths, and your legends meet!

Okay, here’s the short version… the being in Grammy Land was delightful.

Well, except for the whole air conditioner initiation!

The getting home bit, way less delightful. Though, I am, indeed, here.

Grandmother Moon, apparently, missed me. She had a whole lot to say this morning!

The story she insists I share will feel familiar to some of you. I’m really hoping you’ll read it either way. You see, I’ve never before shared it in the context of this moment…

This is my re-telling of what I learned as an ancient Sufi teaching story, long, long ago in a hypnotherapy training.

The Wise Old Man at the Top of the Mountain

Once upon a time, a very, very long time ago, there was a farmer. The farmer lived in a small village in a far-away land, near a mountain.

One morning the farmer got up and went out to care for his animals. As he went about his chores, the farmer, who was very poor, noticed that his cow was missing. “Oh, no!” cried the farmer. “Whatever will we do?” The farmer was very upset and he had no idea what to do next. As the day went on, the farmer became even more unhappy. Finally he decided that he had to do something. There was only one thing he could think of to do.

He walked sadly down the little road until it started to lead up the mountain. The farmer climbed and climbed up the mountain. His feet hurt and it was beginning to get cold, but still the farmer climbed. When he got to the top of the mountain, he found a cave where there lived a wise old man.

“Farmer!” called the wise old man, for he was used to having visitors like this. “Come in. Sit by the fire. Have a cup of tea. And tell me what brings you here today.”

The farmer bowed to the wise old man and accepted his cup of tea. And then, with a shaking voice and a tiny tear in his eye, the farmer told the wise old man that his cow was gone. Disappeared.

“How will my family live?” the farmer asked. “We need the cow for milk and to plow our fields. Without her, we will starve.”

The wise old man set his tea down and he began to pull on his long skinny beard with one of his hands, as he looked deep into the farmer’s eyes. “We don’t know,” said the wise old man, “whether this is good news or bad news.”

The farmer leaped up, dropping his tea on the floor. This man wasn’t wise! Clearly losing their cow was terrible news. And off the farmer went, stomping down the mountain and muttering to himself about the crazy old man.

Several days went by. The farmer spent a lot of time telling his neighbors about his trip up the mountain and how strange it was that the old man just said, “We don’t know if this is good news or bad news.”

The next morning the very worried farmer got up and went out to begin his work. There, much to his surprise, was his cow. And not only his cow, but a big, strong bull as well. The farmer was so surprised and so happy that he dropped his tools and went, as fast as he could go, back up the mountain to see the wise old man.

“Come in,” the wise old man greeted him. “Sit down. Have a cup of tea.”

The farmer was so excited he was nearly bursting with his news.

“Tell me what brings you here today,” said the wise old man.

“Well!” said the farmer. “I got up this morning and there was my cow. She came home! And not only that, but there was a beautiful, strong bull in the yard as well! Our family is saved! We’ll be rich!”

The wise old man set his tea down and he began to pull on his long skinny beard with one of his hands as he looked into the farmer’s eyes. “We don’t know,” said the wise old man, “whether this is good news or bad news.”

The farmer had never heard anything so silly in his life! Of course this was good news! And off the farmer went, stomping down the mountain and muttering to himself about the crazy old man.

Some more time passed.

One day, the farmer’s son, who was just learning to use the plow to dig up the earth for planting, hitched the big, strong bull to the plow and began to work. It was a nice, sunny day and the farmer’s son was thinking about many things. Suddenly, a very large bee flew up and stung the bull right on his nose.

Well! The bull bellowed really loudly, as bulls are known to do, and began to run. The farmer’s son wasn’t strong enough to hold on to the plow. He fell over right in the field and heard a loud sound coming from his leg. Suddenly his leg began to hurt more than anything had ever hurt before. All he could do was sit in the dirt and watch as the bull dug up the earth and ran, as fast as he could go, right through the fence and away down the road.

The farmer, who loved his son, heard him crying and went running to see what was wrong. There was his dear son on the ground. The field was destroyed where it was all dug up. The bull had clearly crashed through the fence and run away. The farmer did not know what he and his family would do so he did the first right thing. He went and got the village doctor who came and cared for his son.

The boy’s leg was broken. The doctor tied tree branches to each side of it, as they used to do long ago, and wrapped it tight with some old pieces of cloth. The farmer and the doctor carried the boy to a small porch on the front of their tiny home. The doctor said the boy would have to stay there for many weeks and would not be able to walk.

The farmer was more and more upset. In fact, he was more upset than he’d ever been. Finally, because he didn’t know what else to do, he went and climbed slowly up the mountain.

“Come in,” the wise old man greeted him. “Sit down. Have a cup of tea. Tell me what brings you here today.”

The farmer was so upset he could barely talk. Finally he managed to explain what had happened. His field was ruined. The bull was gone, and with him the plow. And his dear son’s leg was broken and would not heal for many weeks.

The wise old man set his tea down and he began to pull on his long skinny beard with one of his hands, as he looked deep into the farmer’s eyes. “We don’t know,” said the wise old man, “whether this is good news or bad news.”

With that, the farmer flung his tea cup to the ground and went stomping down off the mountain, threatening to tell everyone he knew that the wise old man was not wise at all, but mean and just plain crazy.

The farmer was so angry he could barely do his work. A few days passed as he cared for his son without crutches or wheelchairs or any of the things we might use in our time.

Then, one morning, the farmer woke to all kinds of noise in the village. There were soldiers from far away on the road, with wagons, capturing all the young men of the village to go and fight in a war. People were crying and begging that their sons not be taken.

The farmer’s son couldn’t go, because of his broken leg.

When the soldiers had left the village, the farmer went and fixed tea for his son and himself. And he pulled a bit at his long, skinny beard and said, with a light of understanding in his eye, “We really don’t know, do we? 

(Boardman, Grandmothers Are In Charge Of Hope)

ps… if you’re still reading, thank you! And there’s a prize… help on your path up & down whatever epic mountain you’re facing! Just CLICK HERE!

pps… the featured painting is from my wonder-full wanderings with Maria Yraceburu… my version of up & down the mountain, leaving some old things behind and claiming some new! The story for the painting just below is for another day. Stay tuned!

The land of learning…

It’s 4 pm ET. There is a small pinch pot, complete with face and hands and feet, in progress on the kitchen counter.

The table is currently the home of electronic medical records and a first adventure with crocheting.

A movement is afoot to clear the whole counter for dinner prep.

It is, indeed, French Laundry experiment night!

But, before that… a call to the A/C repair folks for advice. (And, yes, it’s HOT!)

I am temporarily resting up from a major raid on Michaels, in preparation for sous chef duties.

My grandsnake is, well, snaking around his huge aquarium condo next to the table. I’ve begun to find him interesting, which is major learning for me. (Possibly enough learning in this case!)

The fabulous fish place was short a fillet-er and we had to leave before rush hour, so the mom & dad & I will be tackling that adventure, too.

I used to help my dad a lot.

That was, shall we say, a long time ago!

The girls are going to give me jewelry lessons. (Probably tomorrow.)

We’ve also been painting!

The cats are prowling around, somehow having guessed that there is snapper in the fridge. Or, maybe they’re just hopeful!

I have learned how to give money to tweens & teens new to the wonders of banking and debit cards!

And had a lesson in airpods! (Since I added a remote drive to my laptop, I have waaaayyy too many things with cords!)

I know all this sounds like blah… blah… blah… It really isn’t!

It’s the place where all the things I’ve learned and survived on my journey, thus far, feel like exactly what I needed to be ready for this moment.

I am utterly in my power… and have no need to be in charge.

Which is, when you think about it, kind of miraculous!

I suspect all this revelation is related to my recent ability to claim the fact that my SuperPower, if you will, is helping others claim and live into their SuperPowers.

This knowing has been a long time coming.

Blessedly generous teachers. Some effective choices at the crossroads of learn new things or give up. A hefty bit of urgent desperation along the path.

A lineage of amazing women. And taking my place on the way… following a great many and helping to lead some, too.

The power-full painting at the top belongs to one of those amazing women.

The slightly younger amazing woman, below, is already a talented sous chef.

And the fortune in the cookie for this moment, borrowed from a chosen Mama, Caron McCloud, is this:

Mattering matters!

ps… ready to take your place along the way? CLICK HERE!!! (It’s fun, fast, and free!)

pps… the elves at FierceArtWithHeart are busy adding new items! Come check it out…

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