In exactly 16 days, a group of 65 women will board a plane and land in Paris.
These women are part of my intimate inner circle called The Creation Course.
For each of us to ignite and inspire and re-consecrate our Inner Courtesan, in the city that gave birth to her.
We are headed on a “Courtesan’s Tour of Paris.”
There are certain words that reach off the page and tug you awake.
“Paris” is one of those words.
“Courtesan” is another.
Well, if we are going to study something, anything, at the School of Womanly Arts, we head straight for the top, the best, the most iconic.
And Paris? She is unsurpassable.
Paris presses you right up against a gorgeous limestone wall, like a hungry lover, and forces you to remember a forgotten part of yourself. continue reading…
When was the last time you were brought to your knees?
Literally or figuratively?
There is you, in one corner.
And there is that next step that you need to take, in the other corner, looking more like your opponent than your ally. You know you have to get yourself up and take it, but that next step seems so impossible, or you are just so tired, disappointed, overwhelmed, exhausted, defeated, and you just do not, I tell you, do not have it in you to even move.
When at that crazy crossroads, how do you find the strength to go on?
I just got back from a trip to Spain, with my daughter Maggie and a group of parents, kids, and teachers. We hiked the Camino de Santiago, in Galicia, the northwest part of Spain, which is a centuries-old pilgrimage, with pre-Christian roots, that leads to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. We travelled 115 kilometers in 6 days.
And yes, it was a pilgrimage.
There is no other way to describe the sense of being utterly lost, and utterly found.
I am not what you might call an experienced hiker.
Walking around New York City thinking I walk a lot is not hiking. continue reading…
I am going through this absolutely agonizingly delicious process, right now, of clearing out and reorganizing my office. (Impatient sigh.) Taking each book from the shelf, holding it in my hand, and deciding — do I want this thing? Will I read it again? Did I ever read it? Am I keeping it because it was a gift? Should I donate it? The whole process makes me lightheaded and queasy. I am working with an organizer, and it still smarts.
That is, until one shelf is done. And then another. And then, a whole mess of oxygen and space and light are freed up. Instead of feeling congested and pressed when I sit at my desk, I feel happy. And free. And when someone asks me for a book, I can race to the shelf and pick it up, knowing just where it is. Oh, what a feeling. No more agonizing over which pile it lives behind! I am like a gazelle when I reach for a book — no, more like a bird of prey, swooping down from a mountain, targeting my kill.
My poetry is back. I am myself again. And all I did was handle my own backlog of clutter and chaos. And I did it right on schedule. It is spring right now, after all.
Time for a little spring cleaning, anyone? continue reading…
This holiday season has kicked up a festival of emotions inside me.
I am so grateful to be sharing Christmas with my mom, her fiancé and his family, and my daughter.
I am also feeling a little somber, a bit sad, and a floating sense of loss this Christmas, being so aware of the shattering loss that the families in Newtown are experiencing.
And so aware of so many conflicts and violence all over the world.
And all I want to do is slow down.
And be grateful.
Grateful, grateful, grateful.
Grateful for my 7 a.m. S Factor class, and the hot bath I took afterwards.
For my 9th grader, who is home with a wild cold today.
For the pink candle on my desk.
For the spectacular gang of women who I get to work with every day.
Grateful for the way things quiet down in these weeks around the holidays.
And oh-so grateful for this glorious community of Sister Goddesses that we are.
This community of women is amazing. continue reading…
I don’t know about you, but I cannot remember a more dramatic fall season.
Hurricanes, elections, war, violence, colliding with unprecedented outpourings of support and activism.
It feels like everything old is falling away and being remade into something new and unexpected.
At times like this, there is nothing familiar to rest on.
There is no same old same old.
No ordinary, no predictable.
Rapid change is the new normal.
Not just globally, but inside every woman, every man, every child.
Rupture is everywhere.
So, last Monday, I came back from the four most glorious days in Miami, teaching “A Place Called Rapture.” It was one of the highlights of my teaching career. The women were awe-inspiring, the course was wondrous and powerful, and the sense of Sisterhood and Community was palpable, cellular. As if something larger than all of us was calling us forward, backward, and reassembling itself in real time.
And I came home and what did I do?
I immediately yelled at my kid.
Really, I did.
Full-on Crazy Mama moment.
And I realized something. continue reading…