A new word for a new world!

As you may recall, I never went to Kindergarten.

In those way-back days, before the characters my kid referred to as Bernie & Ert, I didn’t begin to read until first grade.

Sally, Dick & Jane were my best friends, and I’ve loved words ever since.

This morning, over my first cup of tea, I realized I needed a new word. And, yes… the paintings have been whispering again. I’m so excited!!!

The painting, above, is a big hint. I’ve known for a few weeks now that it was going to be a book cover. The book even has a title! And, now – thanks to the whispering – it has the subtitle that’s been missing! And, yes… I’ll tell you in just a minute! First, though, a bit of context.

I have two books hatching inside me… all at once! It feels a bit like it must feel to be pregnant with twins. Growing together with much in common. And precious differences, too.

These books already have their own personalities. Their own needs. Their own intentions. And they feel quite different than my previous books have felt, in their gestational phases!

I think it’s because I’m different!

And, when you get right down to it, isn’t that kind of the point???

Which brings us to my new word!


First, I should probably admit that I never quite figured out Postmodernist! What I do know is that it wasn’t a nearly big enough Medicine Basket for what’s hatching inside me!

And, it’s taken me a while to get here. I set out, with huge Intention, when my teacher, friend, and cherished author, Kathleen McGowan, was looking for a book for a child who was asking…

Why are people so mad about Jesus?

In that moment, this book began growing inside me. In this context. Now. And that brings us back to this morning, when the walls were whispering book titles. Here goes:

Soul Dancing with Grandmother Moon…
Sacred Tales for MetaModern Littles & the Adults Who Love Them!®

Then, the other voices in my head chimed in. Mostly the ones concerned about whose stories I can tell. And Grandmother Moon explained it in the emphatic way she has when she’s serious:

It’s not about appropriating other traditions, or discounting them… it’s about learning from other souls!!!

And, I suspect she was still meddlin’ when I found this on Facebook about half a cup of tea later!

A Creation story from the Hopi Nation, Arizona

Creator said:
I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it.
It is the realization that they create their own reality.

The eagle said:
Give it to me. I will take it to the moon.
Creator said:
No. One day they will go there and find it.
The salmon said:
I will bury it on the bottom of the ocean.
Creator said:
No. They will go there, too.
The buffalo said:
I will bury it on the Great Plains.
Creator said:
They will cut into the skin of the earth and find it even there.
Grandmother who lives at the breast of Mother Earth and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said:
Put it inside of them.
And Creator said:
It is done.

May it be so inside of me. And inside of you, too, if you are ready for the call!

ps… my second Legend painting has offered to walk beside us on the road and help claim the reality we’re creating!

pps… could you use a witness for your journey??? Let’s talk! 30 min. My gift. Bring a cuppa and a bit of Red Thread, if it’s handy. I’ll bring my Medicine Basket!

Life is for learning… and I get to choose!

True confession…

I have LOTS of practice at the good student thing. (Okay, let’s skip over the whole Hebrew grammar adventure!)

I was really good at reading and writing. Numbers, not so much. Biology went a whole lot better than physics!

Now that I know about things like brain development and perceptual patterns, I feel better about some of those things that didn’t go so well. I wasn’t bad at math, so much as my brain needed more time to grow into all that. You hear me…

And, yes… the Fiercely Compassionate Grandmother who lives in me gets clear to livid at the people in the world trying to decide what we should all think and what we can or cannot choose.

Fortunately, before I chased that rabbit too far, there was painting to do!

My new elephant friend has chosen a name. Matilda! And, she was kind enough to offer a few suggestions for “finishing” touches. Here’s a current peek…

And, the photo at the top is yet another new adventure beginning! First, though, a brief trip in the way-back machine…

Do you remember Bob Ross? The guy who gave painting lessons on weekend TV?? And wanted everything to be happy???

I loved what he demonstrated but it got drowned out, in my mind and heart, with the loop in my brain which reminded me, over and over, that I was not the artistic kid.

These days, I know more.

  • Mom was trying really hard to be helpful!
  • Sometimes new things are possible if we allow ourselves to try!

Fortunately, there is lots of painting to do! Painting about noticing & wondering. About allowing. About being open to surprises… to what is real and true for me!

And, it was just what my brain and I were longing for.

It works like this… think a thought in words. Like the Intention for a painting, or vessel, perhaps, or love light.

Then, move your hand to paint. Brush. Fingers. Sprigs of rosemary. Whatever…

And, then, see what appears on the canvas.

Suddenly, the major processing patterns of your brain are all working together to create newness!!!

Not just the image on the canvas, though that’s a huge wonder! But, also, new neuro-pathways! It’s a bit like creating new connections between different parts of your brain. Or, if you prefer, upgrading your software!

I think of it like creating new little neuro-fountains of curiosity, right there in my awareness! And that, dear heart, feels hugely important in this world.

Matilda agrees! And she’s really busy writing the table of contents for that new book in my head!

For today, though, Matilda and I have a question for you. A real question!

You can leave us a comment, below. Or email me! suesvoice@gmail.com

And, stay tuned… new opportunities come from new neuro-pathways!!!

ps… Saturday would have been Mom’s 89th Earth birthday. Last night I dreamed she and Matilda were making friends!

Following Alice!

Do you know how this feels?

Peeking behind a curtain, curious, and a wee bit anxious? Not sure what you’ll find… and compelled to find out?

Yep! #apothecary! Part NEXT…

And, wow… did I get surprised!!! The kind of surprised that sometimes comes when we allow ourselves to hear what other eyes see.

First, though, a bit of a dot review. More following than controlling. A riff on an old Quaker teaching, word by word. Hope, in the midst of unavoidable tragedy.

Over and over. And over and over.

And, then.. the parentheses marks around the dots. Another, even older, old story. The punchline goes like this…

Then, I got really brave and shared my progress with other travelers on the road.

One of those other travelers – who clearly knew more old stories – commented that she saw Ganesha. Research was in order!

Ganesha – or Ganesh – is the elephant-headed god in Hindu Religion and symbolizes protection and the removal of obstacles from one’s path. (Thank you, Google… we didn’t cover this in nursing school or seminary!)

That’s a message I’ll gladly receive!!!

All of which felt even more aligned when I reminded myself that the #apothecary painting is part of a larger journey known as #animystica.

Sleep was definitely in order! And, dreams. The whisper-y Grandmother Moon kind of dreams.

And then, more paint. The Big Scary Glaze kind that changes many things!

So… drum roll, please! I have a book title! And I’m close to having cover art. (The #wip has graciously volunteered!) And the content already lives within me. It’s just been looking for a container deep and wide enough.

The next right thing is even more Big Scary Glaze. And an alabaster jar.

Oh! The line for joy and pleasure appeared from above and became a vessel, too! It just needs filling with stardust soup!

This has been quite the Squeegie Hunt. And – remarkably – I’m not afraid!!!

Perhaps that’s why I’m humming something pretty close to Go Tell it on the Mountain!

ps… also bought a domain name. My new book title! The Art of Overcoming Obstacles®. Stay tuned!!!

pps… if you’ve been hanging around a bit, you may detect a hint of Filters! You’re absolutely right. And there’s more to come!!!

ppps… just in case you missed part one of this adventure, just click here to be magically transported!

Nothing is the same, already!

And, yes… we’re talking Medicine Painting! Specifically, the journey known as Apothecary. The photo from my journal, above, should give you an idea of what this adventure feels like in the beginning.

It’s like all the parts of my brain dancing together at once. Early on, there was quite a bit of singing going on inside me. I thought John Denver was a bit odd in this mix until I heard:

Comin’ home… to a place we’ve never been before!

It had a lot to do with the metaphoric river under the river… the Rio Abajo Rio.

Now, before we go any further, I should let you know that I’d be a bit behind, if we believed in that. (And, no… you’re not surprised!)

Imagine, though, a very busy spider, of the Weaver Dreamer sort, with a whole lot of new web to weave. That’s what this journey feels like for me. You know how the spider puts her web back together after a big bug tears it or a storm blows it loose from the the corner of a window?

Now, imagine doing that for yourself, with paint. (And you don’t even have to hang upside down!) That’s what this is like for me.

One of the things I’m weaving back in is some of those old summer camp stories. Like my first-ever Red Thread circle. And the amazing notion that we all work together to make the world work.

Then there was the random impulse to anoint the back of my canvas with a bit of the cacao from my mug. Kind of a comfort thing in the midst of some deep noticing and wondering.

There’s a painted line for joy and pleasure coming up. First, though… Context!!! By which, of course, I mean news. Not just the national kind – which is huge enough – but also the inner kind. The really personal stuff.

But, first… the words of Shiloh Sophia McCloud.

And it works!!!

Somewhere along the line, while we were taking a studio break on Saturday afternoon, I was able to claim a thing that has changed for me. A thing which I didn’t consciously know was holding me back. A thing called grief. And I realized that the composting has happened and I am ready to go forward.

And I spoke my claimed perception shift. And made space for newness to begin.

The loss is still there, but there is now room for newness. And I’m off to make marks for that on my canvas!

It’s not much to look at so far. Here’s a peek…

Tears. Right there with the paint.

Tears of release and hope! Tears of strength for living into what I was born to do. If you squint, you might see the eye!

And, then, the line before the one for joy and pleasure, which is still to come.

This one is the line for unavoidable tragedy. Mine insisted upon appearing in one of my personal codes which has been with me since The Muse appeared in 2018. And it feels like a really good sign, now!

There’s a lot more painting to do. More learning. More claiming. More singing. More showing up.

Here’s a hint… I was born to do this!

For now… huge hugs. And the hope that you’re beginning to imagine what such a journey might look like in your world! This world needs all of us, now!

ps… I just saw another eye! Wonder what’s next…

Of dreams and drummers…

Last night I spent about an hour and a half – just before bed – answering questions. Questions which are part of the beginning of a new Intentional Creativity® adventure.

“Supposedly” I was answering them for our fearless leaders. I suspect, though, it was more of a talk the good student into doing some reflecting kind of thing! And, yes… I do have those tendencies.

Having pushed send, I tucked myself in with my book and weighted blanket, after a challenging day with the physical therapist, and fell asleep… lights on, book in the bed. I think the dreams were ready for me to show up!

Or… I was ready for the dreams to show up!

The mystical woman you see, above, appeared first. An artifact of my Red Thread Guide journey, she feels like summer camp to me. And I love that!

And, as sometimes happens in dream land, the magic began… Joan Baez was singing along with the drummer! Singing summer camp songs from my teen years, heavy on peace and justice, with overtones of Woodstock. (The guitars-around-the-campfire counselors were just enough older than I was to teach me all the words!)

All of which makes perfect sense as the new creativity adventure, known as Animystica, has a lot to do with the kind of history which makes some of the folks uncomfortable. The kind of history many, many of us were taught to deny.

My friend with the drum, however, is done with the enforced denying bit. I’m done with it, too. The tiny turquoise dot on her throat is my claim and reminder that I am done.

And, if you look closely, you might see the dot people, gathered around our drummer. Prayer-dot people.

Embodied prayers for worth, courage, and em-power-ment.

And all of this… the dreams, the writing, the preparing… is happening in the context of the news. Which causes me to think we need several million more prayer-dot people!

Here’s what I know. My ancestors – many, many of them – experienced times like this. Some of them survived. Too many of them did not.

Part of the calling I feel is to re-member. To re-claim their courage and determination. To learn from their stories, even the ones others have tried to convince me were wrong, or didn’t matter.

The other part of what I feel called to is helping others to re-member and re-claim things. Things that will help them go forward with courage and determination because whatever happens next is going to be a whole lot better if we keep showing up!

It’s time, as I learned from the late Congressman John R. Lewis, for Good Trouble! I was painting deep background for something or other the night he passed on. And this is what showed up on my canvas…

Can’t you just hear Joan singing and the owls hooting? Let’s go do this!!!

I have 2 grand-teens trying very hard to grow up in this world,

Gnostic Judeo-Christian Mystic Medicine Woman walking the Way of Love (aka: The Fiercely Compassionate Rebel Grandmother, for Rent!)


For real! You see, I am – predictably – learning another new thing. We’ll get to that in a bit. For now, though, Grandmother Moon has been whispering again.

This time it took me a while to interpret the message. And then, I knew!

HAROLD and the PURPLE CRAYON! The kids’ book, published in 1955. I’m not sure when Harold and I met. It certainly wasn’t when I was the age Crockett Johnson was probably imagining, wrapped in foot-y pj’s and listening to a bed time story. (Possibly because Mom didn’t know Harold when she was a kid!)

As Grandmother Moon tends to have very helpful messages, it was research time! And this one came with pictures!!! If you haven’t met Harold, or hung out with him in ages, I’m not going to blow the whole story line now.

Just imagine a little bald dude who goes on adventures and uses his purple crayon to create solutions to challenges.

And, yes… if Intentional Creativity® comes to mind, I’m right there with you! We’re in a bit of a transition time just now. Big things finishing. New big things starting. One of those things, for me, grew out of the ongoing saga of a painting I call Revelation! (aka Apothecary, 2023)

It is all the things I most love to teach on a 40×30″ canvas! It’s on the way to becoming a book. And, it’s a big part of what inspired me learn to record audio books.

Saturday was my first live workshop. (I’d be a bit behind if I believed in such things, but I’m sticking with perfect timing for me!)

There are plenty of tech things that still need sorting and I’ve asked for help. (Also some furniture things, but that part is easy!)

One of the things that I did understand from the set-up recordings is that the special sock-muffler that came with the mic is, literally, a cashmere blend… probably because I relate to cashmere much better than I would to some kind of faux poly toxic sort of invention.

Here’s the thing that makes me grin. Having claimed the connection between MIKE and the CASHMERE SOCK and the crayon-wielding kid named Harold, I showed up for my first chance to pretend-record totally ready, inside.

And, it went great!

It was also pretty emotional for me. The kind of emotional that happens when we show up real and do something that matters. A big leap, if you will, on the road to the place Frederick Buechner described as where our great joy and the world’s deep longing meet.

And, I have an even clearer idea of how to help people like us – people who relate to the notion that mattering matters – consciously use their Filters and some paint and an interesting navigational tool to claim that place and map out their personal journey from here to there!

And, who knows? Cashmere socks might be handy! (At least the symbolic ones…) For this moment, Mike is excited about the next steps. There’s another practice workshop coming!

First, though, I’m going to take advantage of all the work I did sorting bookshelves and go put the copy of HAROLD and the PURPLE CRAYON, which magically appeared in my driveway, on that shelf where Buechner and some more of my heroes hang out!

Then, more paint… and tree branches!

ps… it’s going to be a bit before I get a group together to do the paint and journey mapping magic but it works 1:1 too! In person or virtual. Your dream. Your timeline. Me and my medicine basket. Let’s talk! 30 min. My gift. The calendar elves will be thrilled to hook you up!

pps… curious about what’s behind the stuff in my medicine basket? Here’s some more info…

Circuit Overload… or, sometimes too much wants in!

And, sometimes seems to be now!

It turns out that physical therapy, primary election returns, and the finale’ of The Voice are a whole lot of neurological input in one day. Add staring at a painting for next right things and it’s like a riot in the land of neuro-linguistic programming.

Translation… all the parts of my brain are shouting for attention at once!

And, yes… it’s pretty exhausting.

It’s also a really helpful reminder of the thing I call Filters! The short version is that there’s a whole lot getting in and not too much being set aside or saved for later.

And, I’m guessing this may feel familiar to you, too!

The cool thing is being conscious in the middle of it all. No shoulda-woulda-coulda going on. Just gratitude for my sense of partnership with my filters. And confidence in the fact that they CAN be edited!

So, with all due respect to the experts, I just did a bit of editing on the fly. In my world, neuro-linguistic programming just became neuro-linguistic processing. And, already it feels more manageable. More me. And less other! And that, dear friend, comes with more choices!!!

And that made space for my inner Fiercely Compassionate Rebel Grandmother to take 3 big, deep breaths and intentionally re-claim choice, voice, and sovereignty… even in the midst of what feels like chaos.

Which might have a bit to do with the fact that we re-hung my painting of those very things! Officially, this is Constellation of Being, now high enough that viewers need to look up to take her all in!

I know… the High Museum probably isn’t going to try talk me out of this huge canvas. And that’s okay! They – or WE – represent my greatest hopes for myself and our world.

Which brings me to one of my favorite questions!

If you know the answer, I’d love to hear it. You can leave a comment, below, or email me. suesvoice@gmail.com

If you’re still trying to put your answer into words… to claim it… to take steps from here to there… let’s take a step together and talk! I have a medicine basket full of tools to help you do those very things! 30 min. My gift. Just click and the calendar elves will make it so!

For now… paint! It is time for claiming courage in my world! Love for you to join me!

ps… that whole thing about raising the painting? “Research from neuroscientist Fred Previc shows that when we look above the horizon, it activates areas of our brains that are usually engaged during meditation, dreaming, [spiritual] experiences, and creative activities”!!!

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