I periodically pick up the very full and alive book Untie the Strong Woman by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés just to hear her deeply resonant voice relaying the ancient truths of her ancestors – the mothers, aunties, grandmothers who know. Sometimes I just plop open the book wherever it falls and some days I go to page 191 and reread her one-word prayer: Enséñame. “Whatever we need to see, be shown, be inspirited by – the summons is the same:  Enséñame. Please show me. Please teach me.  Aymen.  Aymen, Aymen.  In ancient times, this word, Aymen,… Read More

Calling All Angels

Photo image above courtesy of my friend, Kate Haen. I spent the afternoons this week in my art studio with k.d. lang. Her voice so soothing and deep and her tempo smooth – just right for my creative mood. I had nearly exhausted her Spotify playlist when I stumbled upon this one – Calling All Angels – a duet she did with Jane Siberry. I stopped what I was doing and just stopped. It was written five years ago, but it feels like it is for right now. For today and tomorrow. This… Read More

Intelligent Trees

I rented a movie last night – a documentary called Intelligent Trees. Did you know that trees actually prefer to grow slowly in groups rather than quickly alone? And not homogeneous groups. Rather, groups of varied species together like birches with elms and firs. We often put them in a position of growing alone when we plant them in our yards willing them to grow fast so we can enjoy some shade, but their preference is to be in mixed groups and grow together slowly because that’s what’s better for the tribe…. Read More

Believe them – then start healing them

I used to think this quote from the beloved Dr. Angelou was about me. I guess for a long while I was in a place of feeling misunderstood most of the time and thus wondering why it felt like nobody was hearing me, seeing me, believing me. “Believe me when I tell you who I am the first time, damn it!!!” And then I gravitated to feeling these words as warning signs from others. If someone showed their true colors with words or attitudes, then it was a good idea to keep… Read More

One Step at a Time

Whenever I embark on something new, my very first, knee-jerk reaction is to plan the life out of it. Whether it’s teaching a class, writing a blog or a book, creating an art piece, unraveling a pattern in me – I envision the end product. How will it look? How will it make me feel? How will it affect others? How can it be marketed, sold, reproduced? If I’m lucky during this runaway process of my quick mind and eager ego, I catch myself before the idea suffocates completely. The turnaround time… Read More

If You Want to Change the World, Love a Woman

We’ve endured months of incessant denigration of women with this campaign cycle – both from a candidate who has no true regard for women and toward a candidate as she seeks a position of power. It’s been deeply painful to feel as a member of this collective – as a woman. There is a lot of silver-lining awareness that comes from these extremes that allows all of us to see what still needs to be addressed and healed. This is good. And there is a lot of legislation, past and current and surely in… Read More

Speak Only Love

I attended a poetry reading a couple of years ago where a local poet, Ketu Oladuwa, read some of his work. All powerfully written. Spoken from a place of undeniable truth. One snippet cut me to the core and made me dig for a pen to jot it down. It was the following: Don’t fight to overcome fighting. Don’t politicize to overcome politics. Don’t convince to overcome self-righteousness. Step back from all of that. Look, listen and love. Then speak only that. I’ve revisited those words so many times in the years since,… Read More

We Were Made for These Times

It’s one week before the election and as things build to this climax of outcome, I’m finding myself quieter, less fearful, moving deeper into a space of trust. Headlines feel empty. Others’ expressed fears are absorbed without anxiety. My own worries from these past months feel more distant, less prominent. This is counter to what I expected. Several weeks ago, I stumbled upon a writing by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes – Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times – and it’s been churning around in me since. I’m not sure how… Read More

Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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