Of red ink and other curious things…

I’ve spent a whole lot of time flinging red ink around the world.

It’s often called editing and, back in the dark ages, when I began doing that sort of thing, we really did use red ink.

It all began with yearbook staff when I was in high school. I got named head of the grammar police!

I don’t know why I’m good at it. I just am. And that may be helped along by the fact that my brain hears what my eyes read!

So, I’ve needed a good bit of virtual red ink this week. Here’s what happened…

A week or so ago I had a conversation with a paint sister. One thing led to another, as things often do, and I ended up agreeing to shake an idea out of my head and into a form that could be shared. With more people.


That meant fluffing some not-quite-current things here on the website. Which meant adding a recent book title and replacing a couple of photos, and the kinds of really tech-y things for which I need – and am blessed to have – serious help.

And, while all that was going on, I was wrestling with a painting. Flow Nouveau!

I spent much of my weekend flow-ing. And it was fun. Except for the part where the next right thing totally didn’t work for me! A couple of times!!!

All of which made it kind of a miracle that I got any sleep at all.

Then, Grandmother Moon showed up early this morning, to help. (And, yes… I was getting nervous!)

Along with the usual whispering in my ear, she left a story under my pillow. And, oddly for me, a glimpse of an image in my head. A glimpse of the next right thing for my painting.

Story first!

My son is mostly colorblind, which I didn’t know until he was about eight!

The new eye doc with the fancy kiddie-cartoon tools figured it out and a whole lot of things made more sense.

One of those things has kind of taken up residence in my head. It has to do with Dave’s first grade teacher. You see, Dave made lots of marks in the way the world refers to as backwards.

Math was a struggle. I asked for a meeting with his teacher.

I tried really hard to explain that when he made numbers backwards it didn’t mean his answer to the math problem was wrong!

I begged her to use a color other than red to re-draw the number in the more usual left-to-right fashion.

And, yes… it was about two years later before I learned he was colorblind. Which gave both of us more information for learning!

I even tried editing my work in other colors for a while, but my brain understands “fix stuff in red” so I mark my paper stuff up that way. Still! Also, some of the professional projects I help with. Book drafts and such.

I did a bunch of red ink stuff this morning and things are way better. So much so that I pushed the button and sent the thing and set up a meeting. (I’ll keep you posted!!!)

Then, I took advantage of that rare inner glimpse of an image

And I spent a bunch of my day helping my painting make its way back much closer to where it was when I fell in love with it. It wasn’t that I did it wrong. I just didn’t know where I was headed!

There’s more to do… fixing the fixing, if you will. And then a few finishing steps I didn’t quite make it through, before. Kind of like the undo button!

It FEELS so much better, already

If you squint a bit, you may notice that the paint – much of it red – is still wet.

And I have huge hope!

ps… these days I think of red ink – and red paint – as symbols for the red yarn which connects us with all those who will be important in our lives, if we’re willing!

pps… there’s one more thing I’m done editing! It’s the first thing you’ll find when you click here and it’s really, really cool!!! Go for it…………………… (The other stuff is really cool, too!)

In the Flow (Nouveau)!

It is a journey of Hope and Intention.

People from 12 global nations… gathered in the mostly-virtual land of Intentional Creativity® for the adventure.

We began, at the Equinox, by honoring our ancestors. If you’ve been reading along for a bit, you know that I have a pretty big collection of those folks and I know their names. I think the thing we sometimes lose track of is that we ALL have very big collections of those folks!

(I’m way better at names and stories but the math is mind boggling! You can look it up if you’re curious…)

We also recognized that, for almost all of us, the land on which we were standing, paint brushes at hand, was once the home of other peoples. In my case, they were the people of the United Cherokee AniYunWiYa Nation.

Much of our intentionally inclusive medicine painting adventure was about learning trust with ourselves, so that whatever limiting parts of our perceptions or habits or beliefs which are ready to be moved can be! In an embodied way!!!

Medicine Painting is all about allowing our deep identity to speak as we paint. It is permission to be who we are. Not external permission, so much – though that is there – but an experiment with internal permission!

If you’re like me, this may be a relatively new concept for your Inner Child!

My personal Inner Child learned that she was the smart kid. The good kid. The big sister in charge of keeping the little sister out of trouble.

(This – mind you – is not an assumption that my parents meant me to learn these things. It’s just what I learned!)

So… it was at about this point in the journey that things got complicated for me. I wanted to rebel! Really!!!

You see, I was totally in love with what had happened on my canvas and I was NOT a fan of the next right thing, commonly known as big, scary glaze!

And, yes… this was a familiar feeling! So, while the rest of the painters glazed, I stared at my canvas. I tended in the chat, which was part of my team contribution to the adventure. (I love tending!) I even confessed my stuck-ness in public!

Then, it came to me! I would wait until good daylight, the next morning, and take a really great photo. Then, I would glaze – and spatter! – before it was time to begin again with the group. (And, yes… it’s the photo you see at the top!)

And so, I did.

Day 2 was quite the adventure!

Kind of ironically, it had a whole lot to do with what I refer to as Filters! Turns out you can paint them, too. Or, paint what they mean!

Here’s a peek… we can choose filters different than those we grew up with when we are longing for different outcomes! Even if others – shall we say – aren’t quite on board!

A lot of the rest had to do with who we choose to be. I’ve been working on that one for quite a while. And it has, indeed, meant claiming a lot of things that used to get me in trouble.

Like any notion at all of fierce. Or, worse yet, rebel! And yet, in certain contexts, with my interpretations, those notions are a huge part of who I am.

The Fiercely Compassionate Rebel Grandmother!

For a brief time, complete with wet paint, my adventure looked like this:

It still does, in my heart. And, with some fixing, it will be back, pretty close to this, with the addition of some roses and a bit of coding. (Learning is not always straightforward!)

For now, I’m tired. And there’s one thing more my painting needs me to share.

My wild child wants me to know that I have found my Way of Love.

And a big part of that is helping people like you find and claim their own paths! That’s why the Filters pre-sale offer is good for a few more days! (It’s a really good deal… and we’re really close to launching!) Just click HERE for all the details!!!

ps… huge thanks to Shiloh Sophia McCloud, Jonathan McCloud, and all the Intentional Creativity® team for Flow Nouveau and Origins and all the other utterly amazing things coming up! Questions??? Ask me!

Who decides???

True confession… my head feels, in this moment, like someone has taken my neatly sorted plastic boxes of quilt scraps and dumped them in the road and run over them a few times!

All the bits which made sense among their color or pattern or designer friends are now in chaos.

And yes, I’ve been watching the news.

We’re going to call that context for the story I want to share…

Fair warning… a bit of time travel will be involved!

In July of this year I was in France. Not just in the contemporary nation of acres of blooming sunflowers and fabulous food and art, but in the places where my ancestors stood in the Middle Ages. In the places where some of them lost their lives for their spiritual beliefs.

In January of 1989 I was in Hungary with a group of students from Columbia Theological Seminary. I passed through customs into – and out of – a communist country. I sat in worship with women on one side of the sanctuary and men on the other. Church was permitted. Christian Education was not.

I visited a Jewish Rabbinical Seminary – the only one in Eastern Europe to survive World War II – where students removed their shoes before entering the library… a place which had not been permitted to acquire any new writings since before the war began.

There was a lot of conversation on that journey about the Protestant Reformation.

The simplistic explanation for that time in history would be the break of Lutherans and Calvinists from the Roman Catholic Church.

I’ve recently learned that The Reformation was considerably more complicated than I once understood. And I had relatives involved in that, too. Many of them European women with enough resources to be able to read and write and support the education of girls.

Lately, l’ve taken to watching Madam Secretary on Netflix. For the uninitiated, Secretary of State, Elizabeth McCord, is married to a religious ethics scholar named Henry. In one episode, Henry explains that the Reformation happened because of the printing press… because scripture could be printed in the language of real people who could then read for themselves instead of only hearing what priests chose to share, in Latin.

Which brings us back to the news. Here’s what I heard…

The battles over the Department of Justice, and the national budget, and election fraud, and having enough personnel to run the military, and civil rights, and the education our children will receive all boils down to who gets to decide who gets to decide.

And, in my opinion, in this place at this time, the answer still needs to be we, the people.

Which, clearly, isn’t easy.

It means that we, the people need to show up. Even when it’s hard.

And, yes, I took a break today for painting and energy healing!

Then, I went back to the thing I call Filters, and my process for getting it out into the world.

It’s coming! Soon!!! (The videos are done…)

And, it’s my best way of being the printing press in the face of all the AI stuff in our world.

For now, though… one more story from Hungary. A group of us were speaking with a young Hungarian seminary student. He told us that he and his friends were raised with the need to wake up every morning and find out who was in charge and where they lived.

I was horrified, then.

I’m way too close to relating, now.

If you’re still reading, I’ll bet you already get it, but please, please, please… ask the hard questions. Get involved. And check your voter registration! Your voice matters… now more than ever before in your life.

And, yes…

I have 2 granddaughters trying very hard to grow up in this world!

The Rev Dr Susan L Boardman, Gnostic Judeo-Christian Mystic Medicine Woman, walking the Way of Love (aka: The Fiercely Compassionate Rebel Grandmother, For Rent!)

ps… the special pre-sale offer for the Filters journey is still available, but not for much longer! Get all the goodies at a considerable savings by acting now. Just click here!

pps… the photo at the top is underlayers of a painting which became known as SuperPowers and you could have leggings like this! (Really!!!) Wearable Art! And, if you see more pairs you’d like, use the special code at checkout… Buy 2 – Save $8

I confess! I wanted to rant & rave.

And, yes, I’ve been watching the news again. There’s a LOT there to want to rant and rave about.

Then I heard her whispering. The Great Emergent MA from the land of Red Madonna which is a neighborhood in the world of Intentional Creativity®. (And one of my paintings-in-progress.)

So, here’s the deal…

You go ahead and fill in anything you need to rant and rave about. Really! There’s so much to choose from!!!

Then – if you’d like – you can sit with me under MA’s gaze, and wonder what she might do, instead. Or next.

Technically, what they might do. There are three figures in the painting, but some aren’t feeling ready for major photo shoots just yet. (I can relate!)

So, the Legendary Husband and I did a bit of the out with the old/space for the new dance and then I sat with the canvas for a while and listened.

What I heard was something She must have heard many times…

If you love me, feed my sheep!

You can’t make this stuff up. Well, I can’t! So, I sat and listened some more. And what I realized was that She meant literal food. And that meant a trip to the shelf where the cook books live!

Since we’re feeling the first faint hints of Autumn in these parts, I found myself wandering amongst things which go in the oven.

Here’s what called to me the most…

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Walnuts

Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan

Note: I survived about the first 50 years of my life having eaten only one Brussels sprout. Boiled and squishy, with a sulfur-y taste… it was awful! Fortunately, neither of my parents thought they wanted to eat them either, so I was rescued from the “everybody eats it all” law. Then I discovered roasted Brussels sprouts! Absolute Heaven. A whole different world. Here, they make an excellent side dish or the base of a hearty meal for just about everybody. Call them something different if necessary. I hope you’ll love this, too!

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Use all organic ingredients if possible!

Wash, drain, trim stems, and remove outer leaves as necessary from 1 1/2 – 2 lb. Brussels sprouts.

Compost trimmings. Cut sprouts in half, the long way. Place in large mixing bowl. Add: 3 Tbsp. good olive oil and 1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper.

Toss with clean hands. Spread sprouts into single layer on sheet pan lined with parchment paper, cut sides up, and place in preheated oven for about 30 – 40 min. until sprouts are getting crispy at edges.

Place into fairly large serving bowl: Roasted Brussels sprouts, 2 Granny Smith apples – washed, quartered, cored & chopped into small dice, 1 c. chopped walnuts.

Drizzle with about 1 tsp. very good quality, well-aged Balsamic Vinegar & extra olive oil as needed.

Toss all together and serve hot or at room temp.

For a heartier dish, serve with cooked Quinoa. This is a delicious complete protein that’s good for nearly everybody. Wild rice works, too!!!

ps… a quarter cup dried, organic cranberries will elevate everyday sprouts to holiday traditions!

pps… want more great receipes??? There’s a whole book full! (Paperback or Kindle) Just click: WE GATHER TOGETHER… holiday feasts with the family you have!

ppps… the calendar elves are ready to find you a time to move forward on YOUR dream! 45 min. My gift. And, one of the best questions I know!

Once upon a time…

Jed Bartlet was having a rough day on The West Wing. (It had something to do with the TV Republicans!)

Leo, his Chief of Staff, asked the President how he was doing.

Bartlet: Vexed, riled, irked… Ticked, honked, pissed.

I was right beside him!

Yes, the news was enough. The garden guy’s helper cutting the tv/internet cable sealed the deal!

Thirty hours later, we’re back in business. (Not that anybody was counting!)

Along the way, I noticed a couple of cool things…

I lived without MSNBC. Possibly, with better blood pressure!

I got all my prep work for Filters videos done even though our tech challenges were messing with my calendar! (And they’re going to be even better because I did a bit more noticing of my own limiting beliefs!!!)

I also noticed some interesting internal reactions while I was sorting the calendar elves… like things I was sad to change and things I wasn’t!

All of that happened yesterday, when I had no idea when the world as I’ve come to depend on it would be working again. And, then, today arrived. And I did a really unusual thing.

I declared today PAINT DAY!

The whole day! (Okay… time out for telling you about it!)

You see, not only did I have several #wip’s looking for attention, I needed dot time. Here’s a small glimpse of what happened:

You, wise reader, may be wondering what the prayers were behind all those dots!

And, yes… there’s an answer.


Just like the frog at the top! (Thanks, Pete!)

You see, I’ve been busy noticing and wondering. And it’s time to make some choices based on what I’ve learned. Time, in many ways, to act on my deepest hopes.

It’s a bit early for details just yet. There are other dreams and calendars and challenges involved.

I feel really good, though, about listening to my dreams.

And, admittedly, a bit anxious. Dreams bring changes. Risks, even. And, quite probably the need to learn more new things.

The fact that I love learning doesn’t mean it isn’t scary, sometimes!

So… more dots. Dots which will be, before long, the petals of Oakleaf Hydrangeas, with thanks that we have a home and hope for those who are longing for home.

And some more, still, for a deeply courageous woman named Jen who told her tragic healthcare story on MSNBC tonight. May we have ears to hear!

And a special deal for you… a pre-sale offer on the Filters videos!!! If you’re ready to take the next steps toward that place where your greatest hope meets the world’s deepest needs, this is for you! Just click here…

ps… there are also special prices on coaching packages if you’re ready to work personally with me. I have space for 2 more individual clients!

Notes on an Encounter with Chaos… or, a deep peek into the Medicine Basket!

First, chaos is a very good description of my dreams last night!

Dreams of the been here before sort. And the pace picked up considerably after I went back to sleep early this morning. (Grandmother Moon was on the job!)

The short version is that I was wandering in the place where history meets the present moment, no matter how much we might wish it didn’t!

And, yes… we’re talking 9/11. How could we not be???

On September 11, in 2001, I was propped up in bed, days out of the hospital, laptop at hand, working on final galley proofs for an upcoming issue of Monday Morning Magazine, of which I was the the editor. Then, the phone rang.

It was the Legendary Husband who said, simply, “Turn on the TV!” and hung up.

I did. And you know what I saw.

Chaos for which I had no box in my brain!

Phone calls were the next right thing. I knew people who worked in the Pentagon. Then, pain meds for the blown disc in my back. Then, panic.

I was supposed to get on a plane to California. My first semester at Pacifica Graduate Institute was about to begin and I was suddenly terrified. Of flying.

Our September class was cancelled. The reading was not. And, when I woke this morning, the first place I headed was a particular bookshelf in my section of our vast library.

Bound copies of Monday Morning from my time as editor. And, rather ironically, a collection of papers from my time at Pacifica. Not all of them… just the ones that mattered to me!

Then, a brief detour to another bookshelf… the one where the biggest, best things I know live. It didn’t take me long to put my hands on this:

Thus empowered with context and memories, I was ready for tea.

First, hear me say that if you haven’t read Van Eenwyk’s book, please do. It’s brilliant. In fact, the preacher/therapist in me appreciates it even more since I’ve become an artist!

For now, though… a bit of my paper entitled, like this post, Notes on an Encounter with Chaos. It begins this way:

I have a secret.

When I get really stressed — when the chaos in my world gets too big or too close, I iron.

Please don’t call me Martha Stewart! It’s not about impressing the neighbors. Nor do I believe it’s impossible for normal humans to feel loved if their pillowcases are not perfectly pressed, monogram and all.

I iron because it is a kinesthetic, olfactory, visual experience of making order out of chaos. Vintage linens are best. If there aren’t any around waiting to be ironed, which is a rare circumstance in my home, I’ll even wash some just so I can iron them!

What I’ve realized, though, as I pondered this assignment, is that my ironing is not simply about the comfort of warm linen under my fingertips, or that peculiar clean scent of steam, or even the gratifying sight of stacks of scraps redeemed from the laundry basket and made beautiful again but, rather, it’s about distracting my either/or conscious mind so that my more creative both/and unconscious mind can work.

Kind of surprisingly, in retrospect, the next line reads:

Painting works, too, by the way!

And, it does! In many, many more ways than I knew in 2001!!! (Starting with the hundreds of dots I made last night!)

In case you’re wondering… no, I don’t iron so much anymore. It’s the order out of chaos bit that matters! Perhaps more now, than ever.

You see, it feels as if there is more chaos to come. Not only in the USA, but in the world.

I have a plan. A three-part plan. It’s not all poetic yet, but it exists and, yes, this is where my Medicine Basket comes in!

  1. Re-read Archetypes & Strange Attractors.
  2. Keep creating! Paint, words, models for sharing… all the things my mind is quilting together in new ways! (Like Filters!)
  3. Put myself out there. (Gulp!) From the book hatching inside me – already known as Revelation! – to teaching and coaching – to an absolute dedication to voting. It’s time!

And one more thing… a vocabulary lesson!

It’s a word you’ve probably heard me mention before. A Hebrew word.


It means to remember. It also means to remind! And, now, dear heart, is the time for that!

ps… need help putting yourself out there? Or getting ready to? That’s what I do! To get started, just ask the calendar elves for 45 min. My gift. And, hurry! The fall calendar is filling up!!!

pps… the lovely lady, below, is from an Insight painting. She’s also the cover for turning point vol. 2, a number one bestselling anthology project with chapters by cool writers with great visions for activating the Divine Feminine Within. (And lots of great give-aways!) Just click to get yours!

Yep! One of “those” days…

Well, actually, a couple of them!

The Legendary Husband arrived home from his annual Labor Day field trip with a not-yet-specified coughing and snuffling thing. It’s less scary than it was, but – given the last couple of years – I’m anxious.

I had to skip physical therapy, given the germ uncertainty.

The dryer died. The new one arrived, but without a magic thingy to make it – you know – work. And, yes… there’s laundry waiting in heaps. At least until Friday!

Then there’s the Green Acres adventure. (Remember the old TV show???) Let’s just say that we are seeking an electrician with Nancy Drew aspirations!

Nobody’s sleeping well. Including the people firing guns at about 3:30 am. (I wish they were fireworks, but they weren’t.)

Blessedly, those are not the only things that are true!

The studio has been re-imagined enough to make space for really big canvases.

My paintings are feeling chatty, which I love. And, last night, my Sanctuary #wip actually offered to be sanctuary for my self-in-need-of-soothing.

Not dots, this time. (There are already lots of those!) Instead, roses! (The ones in the glimpse above.) It’s one of those whole brain kinds of things!

The red backgrounds were already in place. It was time for outlines and petals, even though this is not the way we Intentional Creativity® folks often do this sort of thing.

There’s something about following the spaces which are already there that I find relaxing. I think it’s because I don’t have to cope with everything at once. Just a specific space in a specific moment. And – at least in my case – no straight lines!!!

I shared the painting today, in a place where my sister-artists hang out. And I listened to them sharing their work. Ah-hahs and wonderings and what-ifs. All in a safe place.

Which often feels like a whole miracle in itself!

And the inspiration began to flow.

How to deal with the faces in my painting.

Hoots from a owl, longing to be included. And, flowers. Lilies and sunflowers. Because – well – duh!

Here’s the big picture at the moment…

Now, I’ll grant you… my painting journey isn’t going to solve all the problems of the world. (Not even all the problems of my personal world!)

It is helping me to access my soul resources. To remember to hope. To have more tools and perspectives to share with others on the journey.

Here’s an example:

Despite the seeming chaos around me, I was in a meeting today. The kind with sharing and actual listening. One of our leaders spoke of an article she’d read about safe green spaces being too rare in economically struggling urban areas.

A name popped instantly into my head. The name of a local county commissioner who gets it. This guy is all about creative changes like planting food crops on library lawns. And he has the platform to tell more people.

So, Havi tells a story. I hear it. I tell Ted. (Tomorrow!) Ted tells more people, some of whom make budget and policy decisions. And maybe – just maybe – we Atlanta folks have something to do that matters.

And, then, I tell you


It’s one of those each one, teach one things.

And, then, there’s my other answer…

I have 2 granddaughters growing up in this world!

One of them is turning 16 tomorrow. And, before too long, she’ll be able to vote!

So, here’s my question…

What’s YOUR Big Why?

Really! I want to know. Leave me a comment, below. Or email me. suesvoice@gmail.com

It’s going to take a whole lot of us… and I have ideas!

For now, though, my next right thing is more painting and pondering.

Nope! Make that painting and wondering!!!

ps… the each one, teach one thing is, according to the College of Education at the University of Arizona, an African proverb that became known in the USA during slavery when Africans were being denied education. When someone learned how to read or write, it became their responsibility to teach someone else… spreading knowledge for the benefit of community!

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