What Does Discernment Have to Do With Expansion?


I am realizing that we can be open to expansion, receptive to change, ready for a shift, but if we are full-up and full-on, there is no room, and no possibility for expansion.

There’s a common question in life coaching: In order to say “Yes” to this (new opportunity), what do you need to say “No” to?

When I first heard that question, it was revolutionary for me.

But now, I no longer believe that it’s a simple zero sum game. That’s an “outer” way of looking at it.

There’s a difference between expansion and taking more on.

For any true and lasting expansion to occur, an inner shift must happen first.

We will only have the energy, excitement, and vitality necessary for expansion if the expansion is “our’s” to do, and if it is right timing.

I ask:

  • What is mine to do?
  • What is it time for?

These are my doors in to discernment.

I sit with those questions until they inspire and inform me, with a clarity of direction, and an understanding of rhythm and timing.

Maybe this discernment process is what it means to be actively engaged in our own expansion.

How do you actively engage in your expansion?


Every day we have a sunset.

I think of sunsets as a kind of completion.

Sunsets are an opportunity and an invitation to pause and reflect about what is completing in our lives.

What is completing for you today?


As I took my morning walk, the Eastern sky lit up in a tapestry of yellow, orange, and blue.

Every day, we are blessed with a sunrise, a new awakening, that is calling us to new potential.

It occurred to me one day that sunrise is a thing worth celebrating and worth pausing and taking a breath.

It is an invitation, every day, to welcome what is awakening in our lives.

How can you celebrate what is awakening within you?


There’s a tree that stands midway up our driveway. It’s been dead for several years, but it is still beautiful, and still standing tall. It feels like a totem to me.

It is a sacred presence that welcomes us home.

What are the things that are a sacred presence in your life?

Dancing Tree

I call this the Dancing Tree, or maybe it is the Startled Tree.

Whatever it is, it is a character of the landscape, and it makes me laugh when I see it.

What is making you laugh today?


As I began my walk, all I could think of was what a dreary day it was.

Within a couple of minutes, I was walking by the pond, and these swirling patterns in the ice caught my attention. Nature never ceases to amaze me with its beauty and unique moments.

What surprises are waiting for you today?

The Dark Soul of Potential


Just before winter every year, I fill a pot with potting soil and plant some seeds in it. These are seeds that I have collected during autumn, usually along the road where I live.

It is fun to see what emerges when these seeds are given some light, water, and warmth. It is also fun to have some new growth in the darkness of the winter season.

But mostly I plant them to remind me of the power of being in the darkness, as these seeds are when they are planted, and before the plants start to emerge.

There is a lot going on, beneath the surface of the soil, in the darkness.

These seeds are preparing themselves for growth. They are putting down roots, and then developing their root systems, which will, of course, eventually be the mechanism by which they take in nutrients to grow.

These root systems are what keep them stable when their foliage starts to push up above ground.

These seeds teach me about the blessing of the darkness.

I am comforted to know that the darkness of winter is not just a dead time for me to get through.

It is instead an essential time of being in the darkness, and putting down roots for the creative energy that will grow and emerge from me in Spring.

What is the darkness about for you?

Water Under the Bridge

bridge zubiri

I haven’t written on the blog for ages. I made a commitment to myself a year or so ago that I would only share my words when I am inspired to share, rather than writing just because I haven’t written in a while.

My commitment is to be open and receptive, and what comes will come in its own timing. I wish for all of us that we live our lives in the flow, rather than pushing against it.

Speaking of flow, there’s been a lot of water under the bridge since I last wrote.

Cinn and Hamilton

Our dog Cinny passed away, after 12 years of fun, frolic, and feistiness with us. We feel so blessed that she was such a big part of our lives for so long. This picture is of Cinn with one of her favorite toys, Hamilton. Be free, sweet Cinnamon; we miss you every single day.

mandala rose

I created and led an experiential workshop called Bringing the Sacred into Everyday Life. Eight of us gathered to spend five mornings together, creating altars, walking the labyrinth, drawing mandalas, communing with nature, and painting blessing flags. It was a rich week of fun, deep sharing, and profound learning.

2016 pilgimage

I have begun another virtual pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain. I feel called to be a pilgrim when I find myself in Not Knowing Land, in various aspects of my life. I have done two other virtual pilgrimages in the last five years, one on the Camino (the same route), and one to Ireland.

Being on a pilgrimage helps me remember that it is OK to Not Know, that sometimes Not Knowing is the most powerful place to be, and that all we really need to know is our next step.

At its essence, a pilgrimage is an inner journey, so it is not necessary that we actually set foot out our doors (although a real pilgrimage walk is a very powerful and luminous experience; ask anyone who’s done it).

I believe that our lives are pilgrimages, when lived consciously and with intention.

When I look back at the last few months, what I see is my commitment to pay attention to that which is precious in my life.

What is the water that has passed under your bridge, in the last 3 months?

What is precious to you?

What do you want to pay attention to?

The Turning of the Season

crane migration too

The Sandhill Cranes are flying North. This is a sure sign of the turning of the season.

We don’t know how they know, but they do know when to return to their Northern breeding grounds, which are far North of here.

I always love seeing them. They are one of the signs of hope and promise of the new season, for me. They are heralds of hope and new growth. They represent the new and the renewed.

The cranes are a tonic for my soul that has been buried in the underground of dormancy and incubation for months now.

They are a call to return to the possibility of the new, even though I may not know what it is, yet.

They are a call to pay attention to what might be awakening from the dormancy, deep within.

Now is the time to pay attention.

What are you paying attention to?

Geese in Flight

geese in flight

I looked up when I heard the honking.

A flock of Canadian Geese had just taken off and was flying right towards us as it was gaining lift. They were on their way South for the winter. They are a little late in leaving this year; it’s been a mild winter so far.

Something very primal awakens within me when the migrating geese fly by.

It is a profound reminder that we all live in mystery.

Much of bird migration is a mystery: how birds know when to migrate, how far they go, where they go, and how they choose their route.

But, what about the greater mystery that we all live in?

I tend to walk through the days of my life much more aware of the predictability of it, rather than the mystery of it.

Comforted by rhythms and routines, I rarely think about the greater mystery that life is, until I find myself in a moment of awe and wonder and mystery, like the one with the geese this morning.

When I have a moment of awe and wonder, I realize that I like living in mystery. I realize that I like not knowing, and I like discovering things as I go along. I like trusting the unfolding process of life.

What is the mystery that you are living in?


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