Perspective Issues!

It’s Legend time again, in one of the lands where I live.

Well, technically, Legend time is coming to a close for this year, while I am just beginning.

Beginning, that is, after a trip to places where legends run deep in the land and in my heart.

So, I am not, as I might once have supposed, behind. I am more ready!

And the painting I began today will be utterly different because I am.

First, a re-purposed canvas. It began in the night sky and got somehow derailed by other adventures. And it feels like the perfect volunteer for this journey!

Then, two colors. One has appeared. Turquoise. Voice chakra. Truth, some would say. A portal of Grace.

Then, soon, the green which carries the energy of Compassion in my world.

And, as you might suspect, a question…

What story have I been telling myself about myself?

I’ll let you know when the answer appears!

For now, me in my imaginary Writing Cave, complete with flickering candlelight and one of my favorite paint shirts.

A different me than the one who began her first Legend painting early in 2018. And that is a huge part of the magic!

That’s where the notion of perspective comes in!

The painting at the top is a messy middle phase of that first Legend journey. My third Intentional Creativity® painting. And my first attempt at a non-chalkboard face.

It was quite the adventure! Especially for the photo-avoidant kid who still hangs out deep inside me.

And the stakes felt really huge.

You see, finishing that first Legend painting was part of the acceptance process for Color of Woman. And, against all odds, I really, really wanted to make that journey even though it felt utterly outside my notions of me.

And so, I broke one of the rules I was raised with.

I did a thing we didn’t do!

And I am still finding a whole lot more of me!

Clearly there are more adventures to be had. Possibly without the Pepto pink paint!

And a question… what adventures might you be pondering? And how might the treasures in my Medicine Basket be helpful??? (The world needs a whole lot of us and the calendar elves will be delighted to hook you up with 45 minutes. My gift. Bring your dreams!)

Re-entry shock!

Eight hundred years is a long time ago… and I feel like I’ve just been magically transported through that much time. Twice.

It’s been quite the trip!

I seem to be coughing more than sleeping. No fever. Covid tests negative. And allergies to most of the stuff you’d take if you were coughing.

Somehow, I’m making my way back to – well – normal. Or, perhaps, familiar would be a better word.

Except that it doesn’t feel that way.

Instead, it feels louder than usual.

MSNBC. Harp music. Chainsaws. Madam Secretary. And, of course, dreams.

(With a pause for a reminder that my very strong neuro-linguistic processing backup is auditory-digital!)

For clarification, the chainsaws are the aftermath of a recent storm.

The rest of it could all be lumped in the category of shifting filters.

It’s not necessarily an easy adventure.

It does feel a whole lot safer than it has in the past. You see, my map of reality has become clear and conscious.

Chosen, even. Intentionally.

And, the process is being helped along by externalizing it. By literally taking scraps of paper and a glue stick and a helpful question or two and creating a visual map of reality.

Which, in a world that often feels like Atlanta rush hour traffic, is really empowering!

Here’s the big news!

We don’t just get one map for all times and all challenges. We get to edit the map as we grow and learn and change!

And, no… this isn’t the way my 7th grade geography teacher explained it!

And, yes… it’s kind of scary.

What’s even scarier, at least for me, is the all too prevalent notion that there’s a right way to see everything and somebody gets to tell us what that is.

So, as the laundry machines spin on and I swig seeming gallons of hot ginger tea, I’m practicing my choosing.

Here’s a clue…

ps… are you ready to get intentional about choosing??? I can help! The first move is yours… take the risk of claiming your version of Buechner’s place where your deep joy and the world’s deep longing meet. Then, let the calendar elves hook you up with 45 minutes. My gift. Let’s cause some good trouble!

Where re-entry meets re-frame… or, “for those with ears to hear!”

Let’s start with truth.

My body missed my chair while I was in France! It turns out that right angles and no chair arms are less optimal, orthopedically, than remote control footrests and all the angles just so.

Geographically, I’ve been home about five days… much of it spent coughing and trying to find ankles somewhere below my knees.

Mentally, emotionally, perspectively, I suspect I’ll never go back to what I used to think of as home again.

You see, home got a whole lot bigger while I was wandering, even though the view from my chair remains the same.

If you’re going to follow along – and I so hope you will! – the view from my chair looks like this:

There has been a lot of intentional curating going on with this view for the last couple of months.

The paintings which are teaching me the most in these days.

The courage to claim what they mean in my life.

Reminders of the path I’m choosing… one step at a time.

For this moment, let’s focus on the large bust on the blue bench. She’s been around for a while, now. Several months. Maybe a year.

She followed me home from the magical neighborhood place called Kudzu, where I often go to walk and wonder.

I wasn’t entirely sure why she insisted on being adopted. I just knew that she had a story to tell me.

(Time out for a reminder that art is both what is intended by the artist and what is received by the viewer… and – if the magic truly works – the message grows over time!)

She has a name now! It’s Minerva, in honor of the place my feet have just been called Minerve.

Also, in honor of my favorite Great Aunt, Emma Minerva. Just between us, she looks very much the way I remember Aunt Em which makes a whole lot of sense in the big picture!

Since she followed me home, she’s been mostly known as Courage. She has graciously received Courage essential oil on her forehead as part of many prayer requests.

Now, as the old saying goes… I know more! For I have walked the ground of Minerve. The place where many courageous Cathar people walked into the flames of crusaders rooting out the heresy of Love and Faith.

Part of the outcome of those tragic days was that nearly a thousand years worth of people grew up never knowing their stories.

I’m beyond grateful, though, that the stories live on, for those with ears to hear. And the perspective to listen!

And, you, dear friend, are already where this is heading… in a world where those who value power over Love are once again trying to hide the real stories of our human journey.

Which is, indeed, to say that YES, my filters are shifting even more!

And, while I’ve been resting up from my cosmic adventure with portals, I’ve also been planting seeds. Seeds of Intention. Of what is next. Of how to share.

A six-petal rose will certainly be involved. Quite probably ready to receive other learners. Pilgrims, even!

Obviously, there will be a lot more trust involved as the future unfolds. Everyday reminders that the story on the news isn’t the only story there is!

And, we do get to choose! May we teach our children well…

ps… I tried to hand Minerva the pen, as we often do with canvases, and she politely declined – with one eyebrow raised – and whispered that this story was mine to tell! More courage!

pps… if you’re reading along and haven’t joined the blog post list yet, now would be a great time! Deep breath… click annoying pop-up thingy and have an adventure! You are welcome here!!!

ppps… if you guessed that this whole story is ultimately about letting go of limiting beliefs – and suspect that you might be ready to lay down a few of your own, let’s talk! The calendar elves will set you up. 45 min. My gift. Real progress!

Portals… or Trust, part next!

Well, I have returned from my huge adventure!

In many ways, it feels like a return through a cosmic portal. At least portal was the word that came to mind during a very long couple of days getting here!

The Legendary Husband is the local expert on sci-fi fantasy things so I asked for some background info. We wound up at an episode of Stargate. I watched enough to know that the people vanishing into tunnels of light and sound, only to be plopped out in other places, was a reasonable metaphor for what I’m feeling!

Here’s what I do know… the return trip was another huge adventure in trust. Three airports. Very little sleep. An inner suitcase full of previous experience with lost. And falling. Delayed flights. Broken elevators. And the need to deal with a whole lot of the navigation on my own.

Blessedly, while wandering around Heathrow with a boarding pass tagged “unaccompanied wheel chair user,” I survived all the security bit and set out to wait. A lot. And I found a piece of familiar!

The very same Gordon Ramsay Plane Food restaurant I had discovered all the seeming eons ago when I was still on the way! And the manager remembered me. And so I camped, at a small, out of the traffic table with a big pillar right next to it… the perfect hitching post for my wheel chair!

The food was really good. The servers were kind and didn’t rush me. The manager actually offered to reserve my table so I could make a quick trip in need of other other necessary things.

I nested there for about 6 hours, in a place where I felt safe. And left grateful tips!

Then, back into the fray!

Figuring out which gate I needed was a challenge. Finding it was another deal all its own. Including the indoor train adventure with me pushing the wheelchair!

After a lot more yada yada and another delay or two, I was finally in my seat, time zone perplexed and kinda wishing for the ruby slippers!

We won’t even get into overseas arrivals and baggage claim back in Atlanta! Finally, I found Bill, and a considerate young man offered to help us out to the car, even though that was quite an extension of his usual task. (More grateful tipping!)

And, eventually, a pillow.

Grandmother Moon, it seems, missed me, for she had much to share!

Her biggest point was that I managed all of the above challenges because I was trusting in the Divine, much bigger and more power-full than myself.

And then she reminded me of a pre-trip ah-hah in some recent writing.

In partnership with the Divine, I create. And walk the Way of Love.

It’s aspirational, for sure. It’s also Intentional! And that’s a really big thing when we let it be!

And then she gently suggested that, rather than trying to explain portals, I might share some with you from my journey!


The one at the top is inside the abbey at Alet-les-Bains, where we spent two glorious evenings.

The one just below is a glimpse of what re-entry actually looked like!

And the one with which I’ll leave you for this moment is the utterly incredible portal to lots of Divine knowing… David Bailey. (I brought some home!)

ps… you, dear heart, have probably already guessed that trusting in myself was also involved in this adventure! Let’s just say that my filters were undergoing some really helpful editing!!! Wanna know more? The calendar elves are back at work! 45 min. My gift. Your dream!

pps… want more music? Find David Bailey HERE!

ppps… do you think maybe Grandmother Moon is a portal, too???

Notes from a former trust-walk dropout!

After I “graduated” from the amazing, fabulous, life-changing summer camp journey of my youth, I moved on, as adult staff, to lots of church based summer camp adventures.

Most of those were amazing, fabulous, and life-changing, too! In different ways.

There were, however, challenges involved. I won’t bore you with all the details.

One big challenge, for me, though, was the week in Tennessee when we had a volunteer director obsessed with Trust Walks.

This notion presented two challenges for me, as Camp Nurse. First, I was supposed to helping people avoid injuries which is hard when lots of them are teens wandering around blind-folded.

Then there was the fact that I have trust issues. Big, historical ones with deep, deep roots. I tried. Really. I just couldn’t do the blindfolded bit with a virtual stranger.

Yesterday was a huge reminder of the challenge to trust. And there were moments when I kind of wished I had a blindfold!

Just mix a large bus with a winding, narrow, steep mountain road and a whole lot of places where I couldn’t see – you know – ground out the window!

We are on the way… to Montsegur, in the Pyrenees mountains of France! Shepherded, blessedly, by the amazing Jeremy, our driver.

As we wound our way up the mountain, it came to me in a flash… This whole place is about TRUST!

It’s about a lot of other things, too, but under them all, for me, lies trust.

I haven’t gotten all the exact historical stories down just yet. For now let us pause and consider that…

In the year 1244, hundreds of Cathar people, also known as the Pure Ones, walked into the burning fires at Montsegur, after bravely saving their most precious prophesies and sacred stories, and some of their children, these believers in God and Jesus and Mary Magdalene, gave their lives rather than repent their Christian faith.

The siege had been long and terrible armies, commanded by Pope Innocent III, killed hundreds upon hundreds of the faithful for not believing exactly as he proclaimed they must.

We began our time in Montsegur beneath a spreading laurel tree… a sacred place for remembering. And, for me, for renewing my promise to trust what is Divine Creator for me.

I wasn’t able to manage the walk up the mountain. (Well, my wise leader-sisters who’d made the climb before suggested that while I might make it up, down would have been a whole other issue! And, yes… I have more work to do!)

Instead, we stayed long beneath the laurel tree, relishing the shade and the stories.

There were questions, as well.

How, Kathleen McGowan asked, did we feel called to live out of trust in our faith… in this word, now?

It’s a power-full and em-power-ing question! Perhaps it has been so, always. I am certain that it is so, now.

Later, after our sisters returned from the climb, we visited Notre Dame de Montsegur, a 13th century church. The artwork was stunning. Among my favorites…

A nearly life-sized Black Madonna created specifically for Montsegur and unique because she is a part of the church building, permanently installed.

And a replica of Notre Dame de Montserrat, who brings up a whole lot of stories for another time…

For now, it is late… well, here it is! And tomorrow is the beginning of the long path home. So, I’ll press a few more buttons and trust that the elves will do what I pay them for and deliver this peek into my heart to you.

And I’ll hope that you’ll share what bubbles forth in you as you read along.

ps… yes! I do have some new medicine for my basket! Stay tuned!!!

pps… what do you see???

Are you afraid of roller coasters???

I am. At least I used to be.

I got so good at being afraid of them that I haven’t been anywhere near one since our Grad Night trip to Disney Word! And I have to add that taking that particular ride in the dark didn’t help change my mind one bit!

Thus far, this adventure in France feels a bit like a roller coaster. The actual world piece is hills. Rocky, uneven, winding hills – and gorgeous, terrifying, ancient stone steps, often without railings.

Then, though, there’s the other part. For simplicity’s sake we’ll call it the transformation part! The part that – at least for me – involves seeing new things with my eyes and hearing new stories with my ears, only to be absolutely certain that they have lived inside me for ages.

There are lots of ways to talk about such ah-hah’s. You can choose what works for you. For our purposes, here, I’m going with gnosis.

We are in Magdalene country. One of the things which fascinate me is the way the ancient and the eternal are holding hands!

Black Madonnas are a great example.

Many of them were statues to goddesses in places which were temples to goddesses back in the days before there were Christians. And they tend to appear in places with strong energy.

Yesterday, we visited a magnificent, ancient place filled with old rock walls and art and palpable energy and, yes, a Black Madonna. Notre Dame du Cros. (MInerve.)

The photo at the top was taken outside. At a Black Madonna spring. I decided to skip the slippery, wet rocks, in favor of a near-by perch where the moving water gurgled and sang. It was 96 F and pretty sunny. I had chill bumps the whole time.

After some stories by the water, we entered the chapel, where the figure of Our Lady waited for us.

Fair warning… this next bit may be a shock.

Your eyes are not lying to you! She has been white-washed.

Much of the story we heard was from a wise native of Provence. I wasn’t quite able to grasp the time in history when the magnificent image, like far too many of her sisters, was defaced.

I’ll bet my last nickel, though, that it had to do with someone wanting to reduce her power in our hearts. My heart aches.

And, frankly, I’m pissed.

The only thing I know to do is to stay on the path of claiming what is true for me. At this point in time, I’d condense that truth into 11 words:

Our world needs all the Divine Feminine energy it can get!

Not to the exclusion of Divine Masculine energy, but in partnership with it, for together they can help us be whole…

Then, today, my Inner Rebel was called into the game! It’s a long-ish tale which we’ll save for another time. She did have a question for you, though:

What do you need to walk the path you feel called to???

I really want to know!

You can leave a comment below, or email me…

And, shortly, we’ll be able to talk the calendar elves out of some space to fix a cuppa and bust out the Red Thread. (There are more questions!)

ps… the leader of the amazing workshop in which my Inner Rebel appeared was a delightfully perceptive new sister from the UK, Eleanor O’Rourke. She likes questions, too! Can’t wait to check out her recent book, Flow Without the F*ckery – Wake up your killer creativity.

A challenge the ancestors didn’t have…

It’s 5:30am in France, the land of some ancestors I’m eager to learn more about.

I think! There’s no clock in my hotel room.

My iPhone, which was happily charging away on the bedside shelf, popped some kind of restore message, with a picture of a cord on the screen, and won’t do anything.

What it says on my trusty new laptop about recovering it involves the elves sending my iPhone a message, which it can’t get/tell me.

It’s check out time in the morning for the next phase of this adventure. Which kind of requires being awake!

So… off to lobby, jammies and all, to ask if there’s wifi trouble in the hotel.

Night clerk not so much on the English. Me, not so much on the French.

Time out for picture drawing and hand waving.

Now, the plan is for the desk to call me in 2 hours to be sure I’m awake. (I totally am!)

So… 14 inner choruses of This is a challenge but not – cosmically – a huge one.

(I’m trying!)

And then, a story for you!

One of my paint-type sisters and I went on an adventure to the Basilica of Our Lady of Duraude, also known as Notre Dame de la Daurade and the Black Madonna of Toulouse, which had been highly recommended for early arrivers.

A Black Madonna lives there! My first one in person!

Well, some of her lives there.

At some point in history, an attempt was made to destroy her. Only her head and a hand and the head of her infant remain. She wears a re-created robe and crown.

The art in that place is stunning. Many visitors came and went while we wandered and pondered.

Many of them stopped to light prayer candles and leave them on a small altar below the Madonna.

And, yes… this is not the way we learned things in a PC(USA) seminary!

Our visit was a huge multi-sensory experience for me. Echoes. Footsteps on very old tiled floors. Light coming through stained glass. The scent of the candles burning. Glorious paintings. The sculptural presence of massive organ pipes.

A whole lot of that artwork featured snakes! Snakes in tiled insets in the floors. Snakes in huge paintings. At least one of those paintings featured a larger than life-sized madonna figure standing with a crescent moon beneath her feet, much like Our Lady of Guadalupe. And the lower edge of the moon seemed positioned to cut off the head of the snake below it. (I have more questions about this!)

And, just perhaps for the wonder of it, a tiny spider web in a remote corner. An actual spider web!

I, of course, flashed instantly to Charlotte’s Web and found myself wondering what this cosmic Weaver-Dreamer might be trying to tell us.

I’m still listening for a message on that one.

What I do know is that I – like most of us – am a walking library of limiting beliefs, which, in my experience, often begin with the words…

We don’t….

There were a whole lot of we don’ts in that place. We don’t have images in churches. We don’t light candles as offerings. We don’t have saints…. Well, you get the drift!

And, yet, what if some of that don’t-ing is holding us back from experiences of feeling known? Of receiving the Divine with more parts of our awareness?

I’m just asking!

Here’s the punch line of this story…

The vast majority of us are walking this word with our own libraries of limiting beliefs. Current. Ancient. Individual. Traditional.

When we own, though, the miracle that they are simply beliefs – not absolute truth – we can thank the limiting ones for bringing us this far on our journeys and lay down, intentionally, the ones which are holding us back from being who we were created to be.

Can that feel scary? Yes!

Newness and hope often do!!!

For now, I’m hoping that, when my phone decides to play again, I can add some of the images I noticed to these wonderings. And we can all wonder together!

And maybe… just maybe… we might experiment with the notion that sometimes it’s possible to throw out the dirty bathwater without also throwing out the baby! I’m just sayin’…

ps… if you squint just a bit at the top photo, you might just notice a green snake lurking near the bottom in the stained glass! Curiouser and curiouser!

pps… need a black madonna of your own? There are several eager to be adopted at FierceArtWithHeart! Check in Original Paintings, Archival Prints, and Small Things! Can’t wait to see what you’ll choose!!!

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