…and ANOTHER great question!

Okay, I know this will be a shock, but I was painting last night and making prayer dots – the fingerprint kind! Dots for a dear friend and her dad, who is having some health issues.

Communication with the hospital has been a bit of a challenge. (Well… more than a bit!)

She was, quite understandably, worried. And, if we’re being honest, I was worried about her.

As she and I touched base back and forth, I had an inspiration. A question I had never thought to ask, before…

What can you do to take care of yourself while you worry???

Telling people they shouldn’t worry never seems to do much good.

Telling MYSELF not to worry never seems to do much good.

In fact… and this is another new thought as I’m literally typing these words…

Worry feels somehow deeply related to compassion! Even – or perhaps, especially – fierce compassion!

I don’t know who James Redfield is but his name is the one that popped up when I searched for an old quote tickling my consciousness…

Where the attention goes… the energy flows.

It sure works that way for me. Not always, I should add, in a productive or nurturing kind of way!

Which brings us back to worrying. And the wild notion of what we might be able to do for ourselves while we do the worrying that sometimes just is.

You know me… often I boil bones. Even the aroma in the house is soothing for me. And, often, I can give the broth to the beloveds I’m worrying over.

And, dots, of course. Kinesthetic, auditory-digital, and visual processing. Whole person praying. Like walking a labyrinth. Or celebrating communion. Prayer knitting works really well, too, though it’s pretty hard on my hands these days.

And, yes… had I been raised right by other people in other places, I might mention that this whole conversation is a pretty good argument for rosaries, too.

All of which brings us to cookies. Really!

Specifically, the shortbread cookies that come clear from Scotland in wee plaid packages. They are whole-person comfort food for me, with remarkably whole-food ingredients. I love the aroma when I tear open one of those packages. And the barely sweet crunch. They make my teeth happy… especially when dipped in a smidge of flakey sea salt. And my ears!

And, like so many things in our world, few is often better than many… though it looks like more when they break! So…

Staying fresh. Nearby. A conscious choice, rather than something along the lines of I’m walking by the big box on the shelf in the kitchen so I should just grab some! (Especially when part of my deal with my Physical Therapist involves going “the long way around” on my path from here to there!)

Will cookies solve all the problems of the world. Sadly, not!

Does having a medicine basket with multi-sensory strategies for comfort help? It does! Especially when it helps us honor all of who we are and what matters to us.

In my world, this is all about seeing consciously, so that we can get from if only… to I am! Curious??? Let’s talk! 30 min. My gift. It could well be your next right thing!

ps… some of my best advice for Intentional Creativity painters is plant lots of roses!

pps… there’s still time to join the amazing community known as Red Madonna… Celebratrix. A year-long adventure in medicine painting and claiming our lives! All the info is here! The doors open Friday! (And you can do this… even if you’ve never painted before. Really!)

Where IC® meets M Sec!

Or… symbols of many sorts!

Things are a bit crazier in my studio than usual. In my head, too, I suppose. You see, many things are wrapping up on my calendar. And a whole lot of new ones are about to start. (Stay tuned!!!)

You probably know how new things are… Long before they officially begin, there are lots of things clamoring for attention, like hatching and bread rising and soup bones bubbling.

Which is kind of a reminder that births, of many sorts, take a while!

Just between us, I feel more than a bit like the tortoise who is appearing on my Red Madonna Prophetess canvas. We’re making progress, she and I. She’s considerably bigger than when we began, and I’ve pretty much got the puzzle pieces of her shell blocked in.

I seem to have gotten braver with time. You see, she’s not my first tortoise. The first one was born when I took a black & white photo of a concrete garden statue, re-sized it, printed it out, and decoupaged it to the canvas. (It works!!!)

This one insisted on being painted, like the banyan trees she’s standing amongst. And we’ve got some more painting to go. The first attempt at facial details turned out likely to terrify small children, which is okay because it’s #wip Wednesday!

I love Wednesdays. Thousands of Intentional Creativity® artists from around the world get together and claim that on-the-way is sometimes even more helpful than finished!

For me, it’s like celebrating all the things to be learned on the path to where we thought we were going. And sometimes we wind up there. Sometimes, somewhere else.

It kind of all boils down to the very em-power-ing realization that I like choices!

And, when it’s time for paint to dry – or my hand to commune with essential oils or ice – I frequently hang out in the land of Madam Secretary! It’s different neighborhood full of women choosing choice and voice and sovereignty. A lot like Intentional Creativity® and requiring considerably less wall space!

To be honest, those are not really concepts I grew up with.

They are, however, concepts I’m doing my best to spread like dandelion seeds, all over this world my grand-teens are inheriting.

For this moment, though… another new choice I made!

Here’s the thing… I have a freezer full of bone broth, which is great. In order for it to be lunch or dinner, though, it needs some more stuff. Often leftover roasted veg and wild rice. (Yum!)

Sometimes though, we’re short on leftovers and time and energy. I know… this probably doesn’t happen at your house 😉 😉

But, since my recent adventure with the “blasphemy” of Instant Pot broth, I learned some more!

Way more veg, even on hard days! (Or days when the easel is calling!!!)

Here’s what I’m doing so far… about 1c. of broth and 1/4 – 1/2 c. of miracle dehydrated veg. (They’ll grow!) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until veg are done to your liking, 20 min or so. Season as desired… it probably won’t need much! Enjoy! (And congratulate yourself for upping your comfort level and nutritional density!)

Choice and Voice and Sovereignty are all pretty yummy, too!

ps… here’s a choice I’m really excited about! And you’re invited, too!!! Click to check out this FREE opportunity to paint with Shiloh Sophia and get a taste of what’s up in the land of Intentional Creativity® And, if you get excited enough to join the big adventure, please mention my name!

pps… the dandelions are growing abundantly in my yard and on a canvas with some very cool friends! The original of that 24×36 inch mixed media painting is available for adoption! If you’re curious – or a button freak – let’s talk before this gets listed in my shop! suesvoice@gmail.com

Making “orders” easier to follow!

So, the “O” word really isn’t one of my favorites.

Flashbacks, I suspect, from when the scrub-clad people shouting orders were known as, Sir! and were all too happy to tell me I didn’t get paid to think, while trying to grab my butt.

Not all of them… but way too many for my comfort!

Through the years, though, I’ve found several different ways to deal with the orders my various orthopedic challenges keep putting in my path.

Take yesterday. Newly negotiated orders from my highly enlightened physical therapist, having more than a little to do with knees and feet. Moving, as you might suspect, was involved.

I’m not coordinated enough to paint while simultaneously doing the point and flex thing with my right ankle. And there’s a lot of painting to do!

There is also sunshine today. And flowers blooming! So, instead of following orders, I took myself on a stroll through the garden, camera in tow! My intention was appreciation and pleasure, which feels a lot more inviting than however many reps of the ankle thing! And, I even stood in the space between the sage and the roses and did some more official ankle stuff.

Then, I found more fiddleheads! They felt like magical, fairy tale surprises!!! Like Creator at play!

There really was a lot to appreciate out there! Including the hiking pole which helps me not – you know – fall down!

Here’s the big message, though…

I learned much of this shift in perception and strategy at my easel, in the magical land of Intentional Creativity® !!!

Would I kid you about this??? Not a chance!

And the counselor/coach part of me is thrilled!

Shaming and blaming people is no way to help them become who they long to be. Even when they are we!

All of which is a huge reminder that my old friend, Steve Glenn, was right! Here are his words from back in the mid ’80’s when I worked with him…

If a teenaged child has 5 adults who will listen to them, take them seriously, and not shame or blame them for their questions, that child is practically immune from ever attempting suicide.

I’ll bet my last nickel that, if Steve were with us today, he’d absolutely agree that the way to start doing that for others is to begin by doing it for ourselves!

So… a question!

What is YOUR version of a walk in the garden while the paint dries???

I really want to know! For this moment, though, I’m off to witness some fabulous artwork from my Red Madonna sisters. My Prophetess is still in the #wip Wednesday phase, but agreed to drop in to say hi. Squint and you might glimpse the beginnings of an owl and a tortoise who insisted on joining the party.

I’m okay with orders from The Muse!

ps… need a reminder that you matter??? This one holds tea or coffee or cacao!!! And it has lots of friends to check out! Take a break and wander through FierceArtWithHeart!

Isn’t that blasphemy???

This question from a dear friend, who continued with… bone broth in an Instant Pot???

The answer, of course, is that depends! Since I’m the one about to answer, it depends – as most questions do – on whom you’re asking and what you’re trying to accomplish!

Let’s do truth. As true as I know it.

First, the definition. Blasphemy… n. The act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things: profane talk.

Bone broth is, clearly, not the Divine of my understanding. It is, in my world, sacred, in the sense that synonyms for sacred include hallowed, blessed, consecrated, sanctified, dedicated, venerated, and revered.

Or, to climb down out of the ivory tower, when I create bone broth I do it with care and prayer and intentions for healing and wholeness. Which is to say that I don’t pray to it. I pray over it! And, often, I offer it as a gift to those on healing journeys. So, not sacrilegious!!!

Though, definitely a Dangerous Old Woman thing!

Here’s the thing…

I used to do it the (relatively) old-fashioned way. Huge stock pot. The best ingredients I could find. Simmered with love for at least 8, and often 24, hours. Really!

Then Covid entered my context.

Our kitchen stove – the electric kind with a glass top perfect for simmering, even through the night – died. And we couldn’t get another like it for about 8 months.

Online shopping was in order. (More so, because restaurants were not!)

What we could get, with only a 4 week wait, was a gas range. And, as we already had gas heat in the house, that seemed like an option. (Now we have solar, too!)

You’ve already guessed the challenge! I just can’t leave the gas burner on overnight. No way. No time. No how. And I’m okay with the fact that that’s not a rational statement. It’s just true.


It’s not nearly as sexy. Or comforting. And it doesn’t make nearly as much at once.

It does work! And I’ve been practicing for long enough that I’m ready to share the process I use.

First… follow the directions for the pressure-machine you have! I (duh!) bought the book!

Then… really, really good ingredients! Let’s assume chicken. It’s a good place to start. (Beef, pork, even crab shells, all work!) Here’s what I put in last week’s batch:

Chicken… carcasses of 2 trusted rotisserie chickens, local, sustainably raised, and prepared by a chef friend who totally gets the REAL food thing. Leave whatever bits of skin or meat are attached!

Then, because I like a mix of cooked and raw bones, a couple of raw chicken necks. Ditto, the local, sustainable bit. (There’s a stash in the freezer!)

2 organic onions, quartered, with inner skins left on.

2 large bulbs of organic garlic, cut in half horizontally, papers still in place. (Whole bulbs – not cloves!)

A small bundle of fresh organic fennel stems & leaves, tied with cotton kitchen string. (Parsley stems, carrot tops, celery stalks… all organic, will work, too. Just use what you have for added vitamins & flavor.)

2 or 3 bay leaves, fresh if possible. Fresh (or dried) organic thyme or rosemary, if handy.

A slug – 2 or 3 ounces – of good Apple Cider Vinegar… like Bragg’s. (It helps draw the minerals out of the bones!)

Then, it’s time for liquid! There’s a fill line in the pot. It’s important!!! If I have a spare quart of broth around, I’ll start with that, thawed, and add cool room temp water, up to the line. It adds to the flavor. If no handy broth, just cool room temp water to the line.

Then, put the lid on carefully and it’s button pushing time. Switch the flippy thing on the top to seal. (Again, read the directions that came with your machine!) I set mine on soup/broth and set the time for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (I turn keep warm off.)

When it’s done & beeps at you for attention, I unplug it. Then allow the pressure to come down. Don’t open it until the little pop-up thingy is all the way down and you’ve switched the flippy thing to venting! It will hiss like a grumpy cat.

When I remove the lid, I place a clean kitchen towel over the top of the pot so it can breathe & cool more quickly. (You may need to wait a bit before trying to remove the inner pot from the machine!) When you can comfortably hold your hand against the outside of the pot, it’s fridge time. I usually cool in fridge before I do all the obvious scooping and straining bit.

Congratulations! You’ve made magic!!! Quite possibly, the Inspired kind!

Freeze in BPA-free plastic containers, leaving about an inch of head space for expansion. Label and freeze.

To serve… sip from a mug. Make a big pot of veg soup. Use to cook veg, wild rice, etc. Give to struggling friends. It’s not God, but it is pretty close to heaven on earth!

ps… imagine my surprise when my broth pot appeared in my very first Legend painting… complete with a volunteer Phoenix!

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!


First, our trip home last night was a bit more of an extended adventure than we planned.

Missing jetways, baggage gone walkabout, really sore muscles… you get the picture.

Then, to say that my morning started off in a dramatic fashion is a bit of an understatement.

I was reading a book I’ll tell you about in a minute.

All of a sudden, the Boom! along with the house shaking, which is a bit much for me during my first cup of tea.

Detective work was clearly in order.

  1. Text to check on Legendary Husband, already at work in the basement.
  2. Attain levitation.
  3. Peek out windows.

The front was all clear. I even noticed the beginnings of pollinator flowers blooming in the garden, which I had missed at midnight.

The side toward our neighbors was clear, too. At least what I could see.

Then, the studio, and the huge tree down in the back yard! Fortunately it missed the house!

A quick check with the neighbors confirmed that they, too, were okay, despite a somewhat crushed fence.

By then, only half a cup of tea ahead, it was time to head off to physical therapy.

After a batch of dry needles, we went back to strategizing for the trip to France and I learned to hula!

For real!!!

Not like flowers and grass skirts, but quite cool.

I was holding onto a big metal frame (a doorway being a good home substitute) looking into a massive mirror (Gulp!) and getting my hips to move alternately up and down in a fashion quite like hula dancing which, trust me, they never covered in gym class but probably should have.

Here’s the surprise… it was fun AND it helps strengthen some muscles that can use all the help they can get!

Then, home for tea and a bit more reading.

Remember the book?

It’s part of my preparation for France and was written by the leader of the journey… Kathleen McGowan.

Here’s the part I just have to share:

The path of the first petal is faith, and it is the foundation upon which your spiritual life is built. One of my favorite quotes comes from Gandhi, who said, “Be the change you wish to see in this world.” I would add to that, if I may be so bold, “And the change you wish to see in your life.”

The Source of Miracles

And I would add to that, if I may be so bold…

even on days when the change you wish to see in your life involves learning to hula dance!

Which is kind of like saying that maybe, just maybe, walking the Way of Love is scary and turns out to be way better than we might have imagined!

I’d love to know what that looks like in your world! You can leave a comment, below, or email me. suesvoice@gmail.com

ps… the special offer on wearable art leggings is good until midnight (ET) June 30! They’re gorgeous. They wash great. And they come in LOTS of sizes. Check it out at FierceArtWithHeart. Just put any 2 pair in your basket and enter the magic code BUY 2 – SAVE $8

Miracles Abound!

Please read! Even if you think you hate – gulp! – asparagus…

This adventure isn’t really so much about vegetables as it is about hope and newness!

And creativity!

Are you with me?

First, a tiny history lesson… My sister, who has turned into a charming person, was not a fan of veg growing up. The only two vegetables she would voluntarily eat were corn and peas.

Mom, being a dedicated sort, was afraid her baby would starve. Thus, we ate a whole lot of corn and peas. I was fine with the corn part. I, emphatically, did not care for peas.

All this began when we still lived up North. Mom tended adventurously in the direction of frozen veg instead of canned. (Blessed be!!!) Trust me, though, when I tell you that there was only so much frozen corn & peas a foodie sort of kid (me!) could handle.

(Don’t even get me started on the whole tv dinner bit with peas and carrot cubes!!!)

Fast forward to the move to Florida. Suddenly, there were lots more choices and many of those were fresh! I was thrilled. The fan of frozen corn and peas, not so much.

I learned asparagus, steamed. With Granny’s lemon butter sauce. I liked it. Much better than peas!!!

Still, all those years ago, I had no idea how great veg could really be! The secret… roasting! (Recipe to follow.) First, the reason all this is bubbling inside me today!

I learned something new!

In one of the lands where I hang out, we are concluding the month on our very quirky calendar which is dedicated to the womb chakra and Intimacy essential oil. And, yes… this is all relatively new for me, too!

We did not cover chakras and essential oils in nursing school or seminary! These things are filed, in my mental library, under the notion that there are some things that were true before the things that we learned were true were true… and some of them are helpful, still!

Anyway… when the lightbulb came on yesterday, in our Sister Circle, what I realized is that, in the midst of this Crone Moon phase, lots of the womb and intimacy energy is around creativity. Not the kind that makes babies, so much, as the kind that births images which allow me/us to interact with our deepest hopes and dreams in new ways. In the world.

One of those recent acts of creativity, for me, looked like this in the early days:

And, yes, I’m making leggings out of this, too. A way to walk through the world wrapped in a great reminder of what it means to me to create in partnership with Creator. (And they’re really comfortable!)

But, first… let’s roast some asparagus!

If you don’t already have a patch in your garden, hunt for fresh, sustainably raised asparagus. (The myth about the bigger the stalk, the better, is just that. A myth!) I choose stalks about the size of my little finger.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse asparagus lightly, under cold water. Snap off the bottom ends where they want to separate. We’re keeping the tops!!! Pat dry.

Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. (Preferably the non-tox kind!) Spread spears across the tray, leaving some room between them.

Drizzle lightly with really good olive oil – even garlic olive oil! – and dust with good sea salt and ground pepper corns… not too fine!

Roast for about 10 minutes, until hot and tasty… not mushy!


Then, take a minute to notice, please, what might want creating in your world! It’s going to take a whole lot of us!!!

ps… one of those things for me is an upcoming book-baby with a whole village full of mamas. Stay tuned!

pps… a great many veg can be roasted in the same way. Green beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, winter squash…. Use your imagination! Just adjust sizes and times!

ppps… there are more leggings with great stories, already, at FierceArtWithHeart! Also, it’s now way easier to find sizing details. Thanks, Cherie and Veronica!

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