Tenderness and Courage


We are diving into what it means to Dream Out Of The Box In Ongoing Class.

Dream – As in

•    Conceive of, envisage, imagine, intend,

Out of….

The Box – As in how we

•    define ourselves

•    dedicate our time, energy, resources to who we “believe” we are.

•    Do or don’t question the superstitions (big topic in class right now); taboos, loyalties, and longings, we claim as our own.

It’s a rich conversation and it strikes me there are a couple of powers you need for the journey:

•    Tenderness  – (responsiveness, kindness, humaneness)

what a power it is . A salve; a solvent; an ear; a whisper; a unexpected gesture of acceptance.  Sustenance.

•    make a list of the kinds of tenderness you have mastered.
•    Make another of the kind you hunger to know.

Grow it.

Give it.

Risk it.

Yes. Power is risky business. No getting around it. That’s why you need

Courage –  from the French: Coeur -to act from the truth of one’s own heart.

You’ve got to have it

And you do

We all do.

You’ve got to tend to it (tend: as in care for it Hint : tend-erly, catch it? Good.)
How do you do that?
You practice.
You rub stick and flint together (commitment)
Your breathe into it (inspiration)
You watch for smoke (attention)
Then spark (patience)
Then fire (faith)

add kindling ( tend – ing to)
Until the air around you fills with light
The atmosphere warmth
Now a beacon.
A hearth.
A place to take flight

To remember-
Your life is precious.
You matter.
You are gifted with what the world needs.



Madaline B

What’s In A Name, Part One

Do you know who you are?

  • What Names are you using to define yourself?
  • What Labels have you accepted from others’ ideas of you?
  • Are they boxing you in?

I am thinking about labels these days. Not the ones we wear, (although if the metaphor fits… you know what I mean?) labels as in titles; as in this makes me, Me; and that makes you, You; I am thinking about labels and Names, those we seek; those we carry like a worn wooden yoke across our shoulders and those we hunger to claim as our own.

Names are Symbols. They hold power. It takes courage to take on a Name. To walk in the world standing for what you have decided consciously or unconsciously your Name holds for you.

Be courageous

  • Make a list like this: Madaline is__________. (better to use your name)

The rules: whatever comes in your head goes on the page, whether you agree with it, believe it, imagine it to be true or not, put everything that comes up down on the page. No censoring.

Be Transparent

Let it be an expression of your desire to know how you are truly defining yourself.

  • After you have completed your list, (write everything, everything, did I say everything, every little whisper of consciousness that crosses your mind, yes even that!) Take a moment and close your eyes.
  • Notice what you are feeling throughout your body and where.
  • Let three words come into your mind that describe what the sensations in your body actually feels like. Jot down where those sensations are in your body.
  • What do you notice? How does it feel in your skin to define yourself that way?

Like a magic spell how you name someone or something, most importantly yourself, creates a box. Boxes are useful. They create structure and form, establish boundaries; define what belongs and what doesn’t and whom for better or worse. They can provide shelter for dreams; but they can also box you in place. In old magic if you wanted to capture the spirit of a person, you drew a box around some representation you had of them, ritualizing your intent, forever keeping them prisoner exactly as they are.

Who you say you are is like a magnet it either attracts or repels. Make sure you have your hand on the right end at the right time.

Names, labels and superstitions are part of the conversation in Ongoing class right now. It’s rich. It delicate. It’s potent. It’s all about learning the art of

  • maintaining your own right to choose how you define yourself.
  • Letting go of the labels that no longer describe how you long to move through your world today
  • and how to nurture (embody) their expression throughout your whole life.

What’s In a Name, Part Two

Existing or Claiming your Name

Big business, a Name. Serious advertising dollars get spent testing out just the right one to catch your eye, open your ear, claim your heart; win your loyalty. It’s more than flirting; it’s sex.

Look around you. It’s on Bill boards; TV screens, the magazines you do and don’t read; it’s falling off the lips of politicians, Spiritual leaders, soft drink advertisements: Be like me. Look like this. Follow me, buy my brand and…. (don’t get me wrong I adore wearing beautiful clothes, but I will never give up my embroidered and patched together 501 jeans)

IT’s the And I am talking about here…. That’s the important part, the And.

The hoodoo- voodoo, Adam, Eve and the Serpent and, the one that says…. Be, adorn, follow, buy and, (fill in the blank with your deepest fears) nothing bad will ever happen to you again. The one that implies, just stay right where you are, in their box. Everything’s going to be alright, right?

  • What cherished parts of you have you surrendered in the seduction?
  • How is that for you? Does it make you feel more alive or less?
  • Are you trapped in someone else’s skin or vision of life? What does that feel like in your body?

Make no mistake about it; this battle is epic. It’s Mata Hari- esque level seduction. And it don’t give up! What do you do?

Yell. Yell out your own Name. Claim your own until now unnamed, forgotten, and dormant parts of your Self. Yell until the walls come tumbling down (I told you it was epic, even biblical) Yell, cry, speak, move; create a new job ( more on that in part 3) find your own rhythm of breath and don’t stop until you see your own true reflection shining back at you in the mirror.

Andwhen you have, whisper a thanks to your courageous self who never abandoned you through the deepest, darkest, seemingly endless wandering of your once exiled, now trembling soul.

To Live . . .

I will not die an unlived life,
I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire,
I choose to inhabit my days,
To allow my living to open me,
To make me less afraid,
More accessible,
To loosen my heart
Until it becomes a wing,
A torch, a promise,
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom
Goes on as fruit.
-Dawna Markova