What do YOU dream???


Not so much the dinner-too-late dreams. Or the too-much-news dreams.

I’m asking about the ones that leave you taking really deep breaths and brushing away a tear or two and braving the cold and even the fear to – well – do something!

I’ve been having a lot of those dreams lately. And, yes, Grandmother Moon, who graciously agreed to have the photo you know stand by for just a bit, is the leader of my personal Dream Team, hanging there on the wall next to my pillow.

The photo at the top, though, is her heart.

And, yes… it’s nearly the same size, on the canvas, as her head, which works way better in the land of Intentional Creativity® than it would have in some of the places I used to hang out!

The prayer dots are, of course, for love. All the kinds our world needs so desperately. Now.

And the red thread reminds me of just how connected we all are to those who will matter on our journeys. Those who walk with us, as well as those who came before us and those who will come after us. Like this one:

Yep! This is the wee one who shifted my whole perception of the universe… who helped me see through Fiercely Compassionate Grandmother eyes!

When we get right down to real, my dreams are about my girls. About the world they are trying to navigate. The world their own possible littles will inherit.

And, then, the morning comes. I convince my knees to put my feet on the floor and I get up and set out on my part of the path.

The path to the place where I feel called. The place Frederick Buechner described as…

One of the biggest things has been realizing – and claiming – the amazing truth that part of my calling is to help others find – and claim – their way along that path!

And NOW is the time to start! Or to take the next steps!

So, I’m doing it. And you’re invited…

(Yep… it’s safe, even though it’s red!)

ps… already claimed your dream? Great! Path not quite clear??? Obstacles between here and there??? This is for you, too! (And a whole lot more effective than 47 choruses of Somewhere, over the rainbow…)

pps… we start soon! With laying it down in a small, intentionally safe group. In a world full of things we can’t change, there really are big things that we can! So, take a deep breath… and tug! We’ve got this!!!

From endings… new beginnings!

The last few days have been challenging… to say the least!

It was time to walk our sweet Phoebe across the Rainbow Bridge.

We’ve been here many times and knew it was time. Making the arrangements was even harder than it had been before. We knew that we were consciously becoming empty nesters.

Dogs. Lots of them through the years. The last several, Newfoundland rescues. All of them with hard stories and huge hearts.

Our dear friend and Veterinarian, Karen, came to the house as is our choice. Poor Phoebe was struggling by then. Stumbling. Confused.

We all worked together, as we have before, to make her passing as easy as we could.

Oddly, there was another guest at the edge of the bridge.

A moth had gotten in the house. One of the big, owl-colored, Spring-time ones. It flitted around us as we held our girl, landing on her several times. Once I needed to shoo it gently out of Karen’s face.

We wondered together about the symbolism, but were busy with more urgent matters.

Phoebe passed with Peace Oil in the air, a red thread around one ankle, loving hands holding her, and words of blessing in her ears.

A couple of hours later, I got this message from Karen:

What is the symbolism and meaning of the moth?

The moth is a symbol of transformation and change.The moth is also a symbol of death and rebirth.The moth spirit animal can remind us that death is not the end. It is simply a part of life. We all go through times of darkness, but we always come out into the light again.

And, yes… more tears. The kind with sorrow and gratitude, mixed.

Between making arrangements to donate dog food and belongings, The Legendary Husband and I carried on with the (perpetual!) Furniture Yahtzee project.

Distraction, of a sort… yes.

But also, steps into the light…

Sam Bennett’s adventure known as Get It Done Lab began Saturday morning. I have frequent flyer miles on this one… because it helps!

One of the things I’ve learned along the way is that we have to make space for newness. A big part of my list involves fluffing for making the Filters videos which are coming soon.

Tools rising like bread inside me which have the power to em-power LOTS of people!

Part of the fluffing involved the prayer dot version of touch up paint on a really big wall.

Imagine… Hope from clean walls!!!

For this moment, a ton of Newf hair to pick out of the dryer filter and more laundry to do.

And grace… with myself. It’s a pretty good place to start!

Also, prayer dots! Especially in the chaos…

ps… if you hurry, you can still join Get It Done Lab! Just click and be amazed!

pps… in honor of Phoebe and all her Newfie litter mates, and rescue dogs everywhere, I’ll donate 10% of all of this week’s sales (from now, through Mothers Day!) at FierceArtWithHeart to SouthEast Newf Rescue! Everything from mugs to leggings to original art… because my herd helped create it all! (Lots of items are specially priced at the moment… )

Best Laid Plans…

Or, Life is for Learning!

So, my right knee is, apparently, jealous of the snazzy brace the left one often gets to wear and decided throwing a fit might get it some attention. (It worked!)

This reminds me of a Facebook post from my Newf Rescue sister, Kitty Sanderson.

Imagine, capable reader, a hand, gently holding a white feather, as you read:

Beneath every behavior there is a feeling. And beneath every feeling there is a need. And when we meet that need rather than focus on the behavior, we begin to deal with the cause, not the symptom.

Thus, a big day with my physical therapist buddy yesterday!

My tech toys were, I suspect, experimenting with the same sort of behavior mod theories!

Email full of sky is falling messages like You’re almost out of space! And Update bank info! (Truly terrifying!!!)

Also, more routine questions for my personal tech wizard.

Thus… meeting!!! We got a whole lot done… blessed be!

We also discovered a few sub-optimal things!

First, a bit of perspective!

When I started Seminary, in 1987, my tech tool was the sort of snazzy electric typewriter that used the round gizmos in the photo!

Which leaves us with two things which are true:

I’ve come a looooonnnng way!


I have a LOT more to learn!

You may have already noticed some of the outcome of my recent lesson!

It turns out that some of you who have joined my email list since the last time big changes were made in the land of email management might not have had the super-special, very sparkly, Welcome-tag attached to your name by the elves!

Thus, you may be getting welcome emails now, even though you’ve been part of the family for a while.

(I know this because I’m getting them, too!)

And, no, I don’t really understand it. I do know I’d much rather have you welcomed belatedly than, accidentally, not at all.

And, I know that some of them are a tiny bit out of date. Like the one I received today from Phoebe and Luther.

I totally promise, though, that Luther is just as glad you’re here, even from the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. In all the ways that matter, he’s still here, too!

I also promise that there are cool new things in the wings!

For this moment, before I dash off to a writers’ workshop and a virtual art show, I’m hoping you’ll consider this peek into Real Sue-ville a gift!

A gift in the sense of choices for your medicine basket.

It goes a bit like this…

If you, perhaps, have been feeling afraid, or reluctant, or even not worthy, to set some of your dreams and gifts loose in the world…

If, under that feeling, there lurks a need… perhaps for a Guide or for an Inner Grandmother or even just to know you’re not alone

You’re in the right place!

And, yes, there’s more to come!!!

For this moment, be gentle with you.

Add a new piece of Red Thread to your wrist, if you’re so inclined. And remind yourself that we are all connected and we’re only responsible for our piece of the thread! (Not everybody else’s!!!)

Then, if you want to chat about some of what you’re hoping – or about unsticking some of what feels stuck – just ask the calendar elves to set you up with some time. 45 min. My gift! (And, yes… as far as I can tell, they are – in fact – doing what they’re supposed to be doing!)

ps… how about art leggings??? I “made” some! And I just wore mine for the first time. They’re great!!! Lots of sizes. And they wash well. Check it out… more designs to come!

Mixed Metaphor Alert!!!

…Or, when shoulding on yourself quits working!

Which is a whole lot like time for the Medicine Basket!

Let’s start with the #work-still-in-progress painting, above. It may feel familiar.

It’s an opinionated project, so far! The working title is Laying it Down…

It as in beliefs which aren’t empowering. And, even in the only begun stage, it’s a great reminder which I’m really glad I had standing by for this last week!

Here’s the thing… we’re not just talking about head-beliefs!

Body and heart beliefs matter, too!

And a whole bunch of mine – all kinds – seem to have gotten riled up since my trip with Luther to the Rainbow Bridge.

As in: I should be able to handle this!

Yesterday’s trip to physical therapy was an intentional exercise in laying a whole bunch of those beliefs down.

We began with some adjustments and instructions for my new strength trainer… aka: rollator walker.


It’s not that the mobility thing is suddenly worse, though it’s been a challenge for a while.

Instead, I suddenly need it to be a whole lot better. Less scary. More reliable. (Details, eventually…)

And that kind of need involves a boatload of believing that it can change!

And that involves laying down whatever shoulda-coulda-woulda junk is taking up space where hope could live in my Medicine Basket.

So, a learner’s permit from my friend, the PT!

And, then, some time known as soothing.

Specifically, Craniosacral Therapy.

I can’t explain it… except that it shifts things. (And it’s pretty relaxing!)

Then, home to the place known as the real world.

Chair. Lunch. Really, really dark chocolate. Meetings. The adventurous kind.

You know… out of the box! Most of them having to do with what comes after the laying it down bit.

A good conversation with my kid… the birthday dude.

Then, the apparently misguided notion that I was ready to sleep.

I tried! In fact, I tried until about 2:30 am.

And then, the magic chair. Book. Weighted blanket. And, eventually, sleep.

Complete with dreams about cats! (Go ahead and be surprised… that really doesn’t happen much around here!)

Except that I discovered, while swinging from the branches of my family tree a couple of days ago, a new Great Aunt, many, many generations back. Another of the handful of related Saints nobody ever mentioned. Here’s my favorite photo:

Yep! The Patron Saint of Cats is my Aunt Gertrude! My sister is very excited!!!

Here’s what else I know about Aunt Gert so far… She was born in what is now Belgium, in 626 CE. Like other women in her prominent family, she chose – with her mother’s help – to escape an arranged marriage of the politically and financially beneficial sort, and establish a monastery for women dedicated to living their faith and helping people.

And that tells me that she was also a fan of laying down beliefs which were not empowering!

And it also suggests that some of my tendencies in the same direction just might come from a long line of women who found hope in choosing to fill their Medicine Baskets with tools for change.

At least, that’s what I heard when I woke!

ps… bizarre question! Would you help me with my soul homework??? If yes, please respond to the questions below in the comments or by email… suesvoice@gmail.com Sending huge thanks in advance!!!

Assuming that YOU are ready for some help with your big dreams – your soul homework – Which of these gift-steps feels LEAST terrifying to you??? (Extra thanks for a note about what feels best about your choice!)

  1. An ah-hah, now I know more-type quiz
  2. An on-demand video adventure in perspective shifting
  3. Something I can read, on my own time
  4. Staying stuck

I chose!

Today, I stayed late in the bed. (Well, later than usual!)

Snuggled under the new weighted blanket, which really does seem to help with the sleeping!

Choosing to take care of me.

Tea, later. Time for reading, both fascinating and helpful!

Phone off. And, yes, Joan Baez singing in the background.

Compassion essential oil in the diffuser.

Deeply nourishing comfort food. And some really, really dark chocolate.

Then – you guessed it – dots.

Lots and lots and lots of dots!!!

My #work-in-progress buddy kindly agreed to help.

Call them prayer dots or dots of intention. Call them painting or meditating. Call them a strategy for soothing. Call them whatever works for you.

In my case, they are all of that, plus a fair helping of trauma healing. The place where healing meets neuroplasticity meets art. And a medicine basket essential!

On this day, the dots were tied to my three claimed words for 2023.

Courage. Purpose. Perseverance.

All three primary processing patterns working together by choice. And the dots helped.

You see, yesterday was a very hard day.

It was time for the biggest of the big Studio Angels, Luther, to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

I’m not really up to all the details. Technically, we might say something along the lines of rapid onset dementia.

The part that matters is that he suddenly became confused and lost and scared.

And I promised him, a long time ago, that he didn’t have to feel that way ever again.

I am beyond grateful for our wise and compassionate support system. For the help in setting him free.

Not surprisingly, he is teaching me, still. Predictably, with a question…

What would it take for me to give myself permission to take a whole day for what I need??? No shame. No blame. No guilt. Just love.

And support for my intention…

Courage. Purpose. Perseverance.

I know we’ve talked about words for 2023 before. I don’t know what yours might be, if you’ve claimed some.

What I do know is this…

Moving in the direction of those words – being empowered by them – is going to mean giving ourselves permission to choose what our spirits need. No shame. No blame. No guilt. Just love.

And, just in case you need a reminder now and then, here’s one… from my heart, and Luther’s, to yours.

ps… our wee Studio Angel, Phoebe, is resting and adjusting. Prayers welcome!

pps… we’ll talk more about Purpose soon!

What will we do with the stories?

It’s about one o’clock on Christmas afternoon… at least in Georgia. And, yes, it’s cold!

We’re juggling internet outages and the magic of making the laptop work with a cell phone beside it.

Don’t ask me! I don’t understand any of this… except for the part about our chilly house being way better than having no shelter!

We had planned on a rather minimalist holiday in terms of decorations and fa-la-la-la-la. (Luther doesn’t really understand the Christmas tree, anyway, and he’s having navigational difficulties.)

One of the rather odd traditions around here is watching the movie 1776. And, yes, I know all the words to all the songs… which I first learned in 8th grade English class! The Legendary Husband actually knows most of them, too. (Which, between the two of us, kind of makes the dogs wish they lived somewhere else!)

We did, indeed, watch – and sing – last night.

And, while it’s not exactly Oh Holy Night, it did get me thinking about the stories we all learned along the way, and how those stories turn into beliefs.

[Note: there are portions of 1776 which have taken on whole new associations for me in this season of reports from the January 6 committee.]

There are more stories in my head, as well, for I am reading the actual hardcover edition of Kathleen McGowan’s new book, The Boleyn Heresy, which is more than a bit of a miracle of its own!

Just this morning, I read this:

But as surely as we must remember the reality of death, we are also not to dwell on it. We must also remember to celebrate life (p.73)

So all this is wandering through my consciousness while my beloved friends from Hungary remind me of the story many, many of us claim on this day.

Context really is a huge thing!

And, for me, context leads – as it so often does – to new questions. Here’s mine for this moment:

What will we do with the stories we claim?

If you sit with it for a bit, you’ll probably begin to see the challenges.

The first one is the radical notion that we get to choose! (Which may not be the way you were raised…)

The next one is that much depends on which we we mean!

My deep inner response isn’t easy because I have to admit that this line of pondering works best when taken up by people of good will. Good intention, if you will. And, in this moment, there are those among us who are not people of good will. At least not yet.

And, in those last four words, I’m claiming hope.

The kind of hope that just might let us keep on telling the stories we claim. The stories of good news. Each in our own way. Because that’s how change happens.

The kind of hope that just might let us live what we find holy!

Grace… Light… Hope…

May it be so for you and yours, from me and mine. And may we, you and I, shine in the darkness.

ps… just in case you’re looking for new ways to live some of your stories, I have a suggestion! Shiloh Sophia McCloud’s new livestream Intentional Creativity® class, Matrica happens on Friday, Dec. 30. (There will be a recording, too!) No experience required. We’ve got this! Check it out – soon! – because you may want a few supplies. Guests for the holidays? Make it a party! You only need one ticket per household!!!


It’s a complicated word for many of us.

Personally, I think the complications start with the whole spelling lesson bit!

i before e and all that…

Then there’s the blessed lesson.

Note: it’s possible that I’m about to go to meddlin’!

If you hung out in Sunday School, as I did, you’re likely to think that Jesus said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

A quick excursion to the land of Google (or an old-fashioned concordance) will suck you into all the complications of that thought, and I’m quite content for you to choose!

Let’s just say that those words can imply different things, depending on intention and context!

Also, I suspect, gender. (More meddlin’ !)

I don’t have any absolute answers. What I do have are decades worth of stories – most of them from women – about feeling guilty, or inadequate, for needing to receive help.

For letting themselves receive help.

And, some of those stories have been mine.

You, quite possibly, are wondering why this, on what is practically the Eve of the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA.

Well, because one of the things I’m learning is that it’s harder to separate giving and receiving than I used to suspect!

Here’s a pretty basic example:

The receiving I did, at my physical therapy appointment this week, has made me a whole lot more able to give.

Then, my literal hands and help for my dear friend, the mobile Veterinarian, who was working with one hand and a more complicated than usual relationship to the floor, during her blessed visit to the big dogs this week.

It took both of us, giving and receiving together, to make space for the magic to happen.

And the big dogs were giving and receiving, as well!

On a different level… laundry! There’s a LOT to do before our upcoming adventure and I can’t do it all. Not even all of mine. My hands and shoulders aren’t much for the whole pinchy-hanger, air dry bit.

So, while Bill helps with some of that, I picked up part of the early door shift with the beasties this morning so he could catch up on some sleep.

And, yes, on the days when the pain is worse than usual, I get bummed about needing help.

And, it doesn’t help!

Intention is a thing that does help!

Fingerprint prayer dots on a painting in progress, for hope. (For me, fingerprints often hurt less when my hands are brush-avoidant!)

Also dots for gnowing, as in the underlayers of the current Legend painting, above. (And, yes, I spelled that just the way I meant to!)

Rest… in the interest of more Helping. Giving. Making.

Hearing deep on Facebook. And a side order of activism.

You get this!

So… what if we turned the seeming dichotomy of giving/receiving into both/and rather than either/or???

I’m serious!

What would be different for you? And your people? And your world?

I’ve gotten serious about intending to find out! And yes, for me just now, that means putting it out there. Out here!

What might it mean for you???

You can leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Or email me! (suesvoice@gmail.com)

Or, if you have some ideas and could use a bit of help sorting them, let’s talk! My medicine basket is ready! Just get the calendar elves to hook you up for a quick chat as my gift to you.

ps… just in case you’re – you know – giving, the elves at FierceArtWithHeart have a special deal on great matted, wrapped art gift packs! Something for everybody!

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