An unseasonal visit to summer camp!

By now, many of you know I grew up as a camp counselor.

Wow, am I having flashbacks!

And, yes… Kumbaya is playing in the background…

In addition to having my first Red-Thread-Circle-by-another-name at camp, and being in charge of remembering all the words to all the songs from one year to the next, one of my bigger counselor tasks was teaching the rocks to swim!

The rocks, as you’ve no doubt guessed, were the kids who were utterly convinced that they could not swim. Period.

We’ll leave for another time the many ways they might have come to that conclusion…

When you run a camp on a river or near Florida springs, though, there’s a safety thing involved. The directive from the director was that everyone must be able to float or tread water.

This was a long time ago, and a rustic, woodsy sort of crowd, and we just didn’t have campers who might have been actually unable to swim. Jean, I’m sure, would have found another perspective if we had.

Anyway… Sue and the rocks. It was a really good match!

Back then, I knew nothing (consciously) about limiting beliefs and filters. And, I wasn’t quite far enough along in my adventure with abstract thought to sort the trauma reaction possibilities.

So, while it seems much more complex to me now than it did in the mid 1970’s, I taught them to float, tread water, and swim. Every one!

I’m not exactly sure how we pulled it off.

What I do remember is that it took working with each girl as an individual.

Transmitting, if you will, the magic to each of these unique young women in a way that they could receive it.

And, it worked!

And I cried my eyes out handing them their awards at the closing fire circle each session. (It’s fine if you’re not surprised by that!)

So, why this story, now???

Well, probably because I’m feeling a bit like a rock in this moment!

It has to do with tech challenges. A thing I need to grasp in order to do a year’s worth of supporting others in a way I feel utterly called to do.

And, I’ve learned 3 or 4 things which aren’t the answer, which – at least – narrows things down a bit.

Or, that’s what I’m telling myself!

That and 87 choruses of, If the rocks could learn to swim, surely I can do this!

You, dear heart, may reasonably be wondering why this story, in this moment…

Two reasons!

The thing I’m getting ready for is quite a lot like camp was for me.

New people. New context. New learning. And a good dose of ritual and sacred space.

That’s a big part of why this story.

The other part is the thing called modeling.

You know… the Steve Glenn version I cling to in which letting others glimpse our own paths of learning – even the hard parts – often makes the learning they long for seem a bit more possible!

Even when it can feel scary!!!

So, I’m heading back to sorting the new stuff.

To a bit of Temple Keeping and all the tech-y stuff that (ironically!) goes with it.

And, to a few precious drops of Bay Laurel oil. For victory.

Not over. But, for!

ps… the art wants you to know that this is deep, deep underlayers which no longer exist in this dimension except by the name, Processing Hope. Let the calendar elves know if you’d like to chat about what that looks like in your world! 45 min. My gift. And some new options…

pps… the shop-keeping elves have been distracted lately, which means there are LOTS of things still at holiday prices! Now would be a really great time to check out FierceArtWithHeart!!!

What might we see if we open our eyes?


After a brief trip down the hall, early this morning, I tucked my creaky-achey self back in the bed, longing for a bit more comfort after yesterday’s adventure with the physical therapist.

Oddly, I found more than I hoped!

(In order to follow along, you need to know that I am nearsighted. At least I used to be. Now I’m some deeply inconvenient combination of near/far/in-between sighted. And, I need to have my eyes checked! This does not help my cranky neck!)

Anyway… I curled under the weighted blanket, glasses still beside me on the nightstand, and wound up facing the front window.

Grey. Chilly-looking. Quiet. I snuggled a bit deeper and closed my eyes.

And opened them, again.

And, again… close – open… (You know how it goes!)

By the third or fourth time I saw her!

The face in the trees! Head tipped to one side. Looking a great deal like one of Shiloh Sophia’s how-to-draw-a-face demos!

And my language center kicked in!

How long has she been there?

Why have I never seen her before?

What is she saying?

You know I like questions!

And so I listened while I watched.

At one point, I reached for my phone and took the photo so I wouldn’t forget. (As if!!!)

I considered putting my glasses on, but I wouldn’t have been able to lay, watching, at the same angle.

And, then, I heard her!

And the tears rolled down my cheeks and into my pillow as she whispered:

I’ve been here all along. You only need to look!

That got me out of bed!

Heat flipped on. Tea made. Nearest black pen in hand.

And, yep! Tissues.

And Filters! (Especially the ones about beliefs and learning new things!)

Who is she? The Divine? Me?? Ancestors???

(It’s a good thing I’ve been editing my Map of Reality, lately!)

Why does this feel familiar? Ahhh! Ten year old me. Leaving the eye doctor’s office with my first pair of glasses. Able to see – for the first time – individual leaves on trees!

What does she want? What I need… perspective!!!

Or, to put it another way… What matters in my soul!!!

The next question feels a bit more challenging… How will I do that???

The answer to that one is an old answer. One that’s not original to me.

One day at a time!

For today that means Phoebe’s eye medicine. A bunch of meetings of the starting-new-things variety. These words, for you!

Along with a smidge of my fabulous batch of bone broth for lunch, complete with bay laurel leaves, for victory. And, a few drops of Courage oil for – you know – showing up!

ps… do you suspect you have some more showing up to do? Are there things you’re only beginning to give yourself permission to want? I can help! Spend a few minutes jotting down your thoughts, then allow the calendar elves to find us some time to talk. My gift to you!

pps… we’ve got this!

What does a Dangerous Old Woman do on Super Bowl Weekend???

I would imagine there are lots of answers to that question.

Nearly as many, perhaps, as there are people who claim the honorary Dangerous Old Woman label!

Being even more football avoidant these days than usual, here’s some of my list… With surprises at the end!

First, another lap and a half around my new indoor workout space, Kudzu, which doubles as a huge store filled with assorted vintage goodies, art, old windows, and the occasional dog learning to meet new people.

Use your imagination! I’ll take pics next time.

I planned for two whole laps but someone showed up with a big batch of furniture and the traffic got challenging. I’m still claiming the win! Browsing helps distract from – you know – exercising!

Then… bones to boil! The dear person known as my Fav Niece is having surgery shortly and that will mean a few weeks of liquid nourishment.

Blessedly, the freezer is well stocked at the moment. It will be sometime late Monday before the magic is all made. Fortunately, the mythical cauldron is up for the adventure.

Phoebe is camped out in the kitchen, nose twitching like a rabbit, praying that somebody drops something.

Fortunately, other things can go on while the broth simmers.

A video recorded with lots of hopes in mind. The whole converting/editing/posting bit is someone else’s department! I drew pictures and talked! (Natalie and Daphne helped!)

Not bad for a recovering camera-phobe!

Then, meatloaf!

I’ve adapted the way we’ve always done it version I learned from Mom to skip the carbs for the Legendary Husband. I even hide some veggies in there…

It works!!! Our local farmer buddies are a huge help!

Eight cute little loaves stashed in the freezer and one headed for the oven, momentarily.

Then, lest we bored, it seems Grandmother Moon decided the video could use a wee bit of editing. And, she was right! I learned something new, explaining a thing I’ve done dozens of times!

Grandmother Moon is generally right…

So, take two. Prayers for the cloud appreciated.

There’s painting to do, of course. And steps in the direction of further out-from-under-the-rock beginnings. I’d like to share two of those with you and your Muse! There’s not much time, though!!!

First, an invitation from my friend, Astara Jane Ashley, of Flower of Life Press. Just click HERE to read about having your writing included in an upcoming anthology project. I’m so excited to be involved! Here’s the thing, though… if you even suspect you could be interested, check it out NOW. The doors close Monday evening!

Then, it’s Red Madonna time again! A year long journey in the Intentional Creativity® tradition. Painting. Writing. Being in the Red Tent with creative, supportive sisters. Shiloh Sophia McCloud and Havi Brysk Mandell will be leading the way and I’m thrilled to be part of the team, calling women just like you, just like I learned from Dr. E, to the fireside of the dangerous old woman! (And you don’t need previous painting or Intentional Creativity® experience to join us!) Click here to learn all about it.

Seriously, what would it hurt to explore???

And, now… For you from me! A trophy, perhaps. For all of us who are showing up for the real Super Bowl… called life! Just click here..

pps… stuff bubbling inside??? Dreams to claim? Paths to plan? Let’s talk! Just ask the calendar elves to hook you up with 45 minutes, as my gift!

The family biz…

When I was in the 4th grade, Mrs. Ray – one of my very favorite teachers – asked us all what businesses our families were in.

I knew the answer.

(I liked knowing the answers!)

My dad was in sales. And moving!

My mother’s family were in businesses ranging from car repair to railroads to meat processing.

My father’s family were farmers.

Now I know more! Literally thousands of years worth of more. And, as you might imagine, the list is long.

So, as I’m the one telling this story, I get to decide which bits matter most in this moment.

From farmers to kings and queens… from teachers and preachers and soldiers… from moms and aunts and grammies without number… they persevered.

Many of them against huge odds.

Many of them standing up for the voices of women and girls. For the choices of women and girls.

Some of them in times when arranged marriages and witch hangings were far too popular.

I’ve been busy learning their stories.

And trying to figure out how to live the best parts of their legacy in this world, now.

I spent a good bit of my energy on Tuesday in circle with women asking similar questions which pretty much boiled down to how we feel called to matter in this moment.

It’s not easy.

Many of us learned that it didn’t even feel safe to try.

And many of us have noticed that believing we can’t make a difference is not working.

So, let’s experiment with believing that we can!

Let’s start right where we are. In the ways we know best.

For me, that means hope.

Rescue a pet. Share tools of self-discovery and expression. Be a Scout leader. Plant pollinator friendly gardens. Listen to children. Take them seriously.

Commit to human rights. All the rights. For all the people.

Find the place where you can be you.

And put something somewhere in your space that will remind you – in the hard moments – of what you intend at your very best.

Even if it’s just a plain old index card with your secret reminder scrawled on it. I have a zillion of those!


It’s not easy. And it matters.

Which seems, when I get right down to it, like that might just be the family business!

At least that’s the way I’m choosing – eyes wide open – to tell the story!

What story will you live? And tell???

I really want to know!

You can leave a comment, below, or email me at

ps… ready for more? Or ready to be ready??? Let’s chat! 45 min. as my gift! Sneak peek at what’s coming, and what’s already possible!

pps… the lovely beings at the top are my Legend paintings, numbers 1, 2, and 4. They’re all bravely lined up and ready to be in an upcoming Musea® online show. Stay tuned!

And… the FEAR sets in!

Which, oddly, is a good thing!!!

As I mentioned the last time we were together, I did a thing.

A thing I very much wanted to do.

A thing which, having done it, is terrifying on so many levels…

And, yes, we’re talking about the thing with passport numbers and plastic money.

Ironically, I’m not at all surprised to have fear show up! It happens a lot when we give ourselves permission to want what we want, even though – on several levels – wanting whatever it is may not seem to make much sense.

Which means – drum roll, please – it’s Medicine Basket time!

In order to follow along, you’re going to need a few details…

I, of the 6 knee surgeries in 9 years, am going to France this summer! The boonies, if you will, of France. The part where they like their centuries-old buildings the way they were built! The part you can’t get a direct flight to from the ATL!

And, ironically, that’s the – mentally – easy part!

Then there’s the I don’t speak the language part! (And a memory of the airport in Paris – the big, old, strung all over the place one – that has taken up residence in the box in my brain labeled Nope! Not again!)

Oh, and the minor bit about learning things which are, at the very least, not the way we’ve always done them.

And, yet, I am intending this trip with all my heart.


Well, with filters and metaphors and a text message to my youngest granddaughter!

You see, she has a thing on her phone which she said, while we were together for Thanksgiving, was helping her learn French. And this young woman loves to explain things! So, clearly, Grammy needs a thing-on-my-phone lesson!

Then, a bit of good old-fashioned red ink for the filter which insists that anything this scary is utterly unsafe. It now reads:

Fear is sometimes just a signal that it’s time to learn new things.

With a bit of button pushing, I’ve already discovered that there’s at least one way to get where I want to be without the scary airport in Paris!

Then, a good sorting of my metaphorical Medicine Basket. (The actual one is full of stick weaving at the moment!)

What goes in is a bottle of courage oil. A few old-fashioned medals for Saints. Ancestors, oddly. Seriously brave women. Then, the really cool red boots in the photo, which help sort both the mobility concern and a few others about who we are and how many of us have actually always done it!

Winner-winner-sushi dinner! as you’ve no doubt guessed! (Chicken being a non-starter with Tay at the table!)

There’s more, of course. Including a clever intention for an indoor walk on this cold, cloudy day!

For now, though, a question… for you!

What’s holding YOU back from your dreams???

Now, the spoiler alert. There’s a new quiz coming, and some cool videos full of goodies for your medicine basket. At the moment they exist metaphorically.

AND inside me… which means I can share them with you now! The low-tech way!

So, if this adventure saga makes your heart beat a bit faster… if it blows the dust off any of your dreams, let’s talk. My gift to you. And, some options which already exist for next steps. For tools for your medicine basket! We’ve got this! Hurry, though… the calendar elves are starting to feel swamped!

ps… nope! It’s not your imagination! The very cool red leather boots go really well with socks covered in prayer dots!

pps… look fabulously unique, stay warm, and help send an artist to France! There’s a special sale going on at FierceArtWithHeart !

Our Lady of Fierce Intention!

Once again, I seem to be the work-in-progress on this Wednesday!

And, yes, I’m hearth tending in the Red Thread Cafe, which I love doing. The art and the community are glorious.

Then there’s the whole notion of #Inquiry which is one of my favorite things. And it was my task, as hearth tender, to pose an inquiry for the community this day.

We’ll get to that, in a bit.

First, though, some – you guessed it! – context.

And, yes, Grandmother Moon has been whispering in my ear. (I love it when she does that!)

So, last night I officially signed up for a really big adventure, coming up this summer. The whole on-line form, passport number, and plastic money thing.

It wasn’t a snap decision. I’ve been dreaming and planning for this for months now. The only thing that’s changed is that it’s a big step closer to official.

Part of that dreaming and planning has had a lot to do with how I see the work I do in the world.

I won’t bore you with all the details and history.

Instead, I’ll share a really helpful inquiry I’ve been hanging with as part of the make-it-real adventure.

An inquiry from my genius friend who helps with everything from which button to push on my laptop to make xyz happen, to really big questions. Like:

Who are the people you feel most called to work with? The ones who are most aligned, for you?

The answer, which appeared in my awareness about 4:00am, a couple of days ago, was:

Women who are okay with wanting what they want!

That felt really true… and in need of just a smidge of editing:

Women – and a few very brave men – who have given themselves permission to want what they want, and go for it!

All of which goes hand in hand with the practice of Intention!

And that Intention has already turned into a whole list of related thoughts and next steps.

The externalizing work – the getting the new language and options out in the world – is in progress. (It’s Wednesday, after all!)

The cool thing, though, is that I’ve already made space for a few more travelers on an intentional path from here to where they’ve given themselves permission to want to be!

(Even if that’s not the way we learned it!)

The very next right thing is even more helping my granddaughters learn differently!!!

ps… the image at the top could be an ancestor! Technically, she’s a basically life sized bust of a woman I’ve christened Our Lady of Fierce Intention who followed me home a few months ago. And, as it happens, I’ve recently discovered several actual ancestors who might have looked a lot like her. Her message, in the moment, is “eyes on the path”!

pps… since I’m in the start-right-where-you-are mode, let me know if you’d like to chat! The calendar elves will gladly hook you up with 45 minutes as a gift from Our Lady of Fierce Intention, and me! A scrap of red thread and a cuppa would be great! For now, Anointing and Awakening the Open Heart!

(Relative) Reality Therapy

I woke, on Saturday morning, to noises coming from the other side of the house.

Plumbing noises.

The kind you don’t want to hear.

I rolled over and tried to ignore those noises. Then I realized that I needed to pee.

Turns out the noises weren’t just coming from the other side of the house. They issued forth from “my” bathroom, too.

Ominous, non-flushing kinds of noises.

So much for sleeping! Investigation was definitely in order.

The Legendary Husband, being less of a mystery novel fan than I, had no clues, despite the high tech portal to the universe in front of his face.

Button pushing was in order.

Rumors of a water main break nearby. No details about when it might be – you know – fixed.

Local tv “news” obsessed with weather and traffic. (On a sunny Saturday morning!) Reports on restaurants having inspection challenges. Something about early MardiGras nearby.

I was aggravated.

No. I take that back. I was pissed.

And, then, the elephant in the news room appeared.

Video of the needless death of Tyree Nichols at the hands of police officers.

Video I haven’t yet watched.

Not because I’m not devastated, but because I am. And I’m overloaded with that these days.

The Atlanta area protests are thus far non-violent. Blessedly.

And, the world is bigger than Atlanta.

The world is also bigger than my local plumbing problems, which are pretty privileged problems when viewed through a global lens.

That’s when the perspective shift happened!

With more than a bit of help from Joan Baez. (It works for me!)

A rendition of The President Sang Amazing Grace let my tears be more for the world than for myself.

And, a few minutes later, God is God.

Sound scary? I get it. And it’s not the only message for this moment, but it’s one that just might be helpful!

After that, I was ready to move on to a bit of coaching for a new artist.

Phoebe’s eye meds. Read that, an occasion for t-r-e-a-t-s. (Newfs really do have big vocabularies!)

And back to the new generation of Grandmother Moon in progress. My own Divine Feminine image. Portable!

A combination of process and perspective which help me go on.

I’m pretty sure the more of us there are on board, the better the grace works for everybody!

ps… why the Joan Baez vibe/obsession??? Assumed it was nostalgia for peace & justice summer camp days in the midst of our current context. Turns out, there’s more! Like the art! And something singer/activist Patti Smith said when presenting Joan with an Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience award… “If the 16th century had Joan of Arc, we have Joan Baez.” May we have ears to hear!

pps… searching for some new tools for your medicine basket? I can help! Step one: ask the calendar elves to find you 45 minutes to chat. My gift. Red thread and a cuppa could be handy!

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