Reflective Patterns

“Humans are good at discerning subtle patterns that are really there, but equally so at imagining them when they are altogether absent.” ~Carl Sagan~ “Our humility rest upon a series of learned behaviors, woven together into patterns that are infinitely … Continue reading

Letting Go into Dreams

“Deep, deep infinity! Quietness. To dream away from the tensions of daily living; to sail over a calm sea at the prow of a ship, toward a horizon that always recedes; to stare at the passing waves and listen to … Continue reading

La Loba, The Wolf Woman



“Over intellectualization can obscure the patterns of the instinctual nature. So, to further our kinship relationship with the instinctual nature, it assists greatly if we understand stories as though we are inside them, rather than as though they are outside of us. We enter into a story through the door of inner hearing. The spoken story touches the auditory nerve, which runs across the floor of the skull into the brainstem just below the pons. There, auditory impulses are relayed upward to the consciousness or else, it is said to the soul…depending on the attitude with one listens. Ancient dissectionists spoke of the auditory nerve being divided into three or more pathways deep in the brain. They surmised that the ear was meant , therefore, to hear at three different levels. One pathway was said to hear the mundane conversations of the world. A second pathway apprehended learning and art. And the third pathway existed so the soul itself might hear guidance and gain knowledge while here on earth. Listen then with soul-hearing now, for that is the mission of story.

Bone by bone, hair by hair, Wild Woman comes back. Through night dreams, through events half understood and half remembered, Wild Woman comes back. She comes back through story.”

La Loba

There is an old woman who lives in a hidden place that everyone knows in their souls but few have ever seen. As in the fairy tales of Eastern Europe, she seems to wait for lost or wandering people and seekers to come to her place.  

She is circumspect, often hairy, always fat, and especially wishes to evade most company. She is both a crower and a cackler, generally having more animal sounds than human ones. 

I might say she lives among the rotten granite slopes in Tarahumara Indian territory. Or that she is buried outside Phoenix near a well. Perhaps she will be seen traveling south to Monte Albán in a burnt-out car with the back window shot out. Or maybe she will be spotted standing by the highway near El Paso, or riding shotgun with truckers to Morelia, Mexico, or walking to market above Oaxaca with strangely formed boughs of firewood on her back. She calls herself by many names: La Huesera, Bone Woman; La Trapera, The Gatherer; and La Loba, Wolf Woman.

The sole work of La Loba is the collecting of bones. She collects and preserves especially that which is in danger of being lost to the world. Her cave is filled with the bones of all manner of desert creatures: the deer, the rattlesnake, the crow. But her specialty is wolves.

She creeps and crawls and sifts through the montañas, mountains, and arroyos, dry riverbeds, looking for wolf bones, and when she has assembled an entire skeleton, when the last bone is in place and the beautiful white sculpture of the creature is laid out before her, she sits by the fire and thinks about what song she will sing.

And when she is sure, she stands over the criatura, raises her arms over it, and sings out. That is when the rib bones and leg bones of the wolf begin to flesh out and the creature becomes furred. La Loba sings some more, and more of the creature comes into being; its tail curls upward, shaggy and strong.

And La Loba sings some more and the wolf creature begins to breathe. And still La Loba sings so deeply that the floor of the desert shakes, and as she sings, the wolf opens its eyes, leaps up, and runs away down the canyon. 

Somewhere in its running, whether by the speed of its running, or by splashing its way into a river, or by way of a ray of sunlight or moonlight hitting it right in the side, the wolf is suddenly transformed into a laughing woman who runs free toward the horizon. 

So remember, if you wander the desert, and it is near sundown, and you are perhaps a little lost, and certainly tired, that you are lucky, for La Loba may take a liking to you and show you something—something of the soul.

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes~

Imagepaintings by Susan Seddon Boulet

Sieving through Life

Imagephoto found on Stuart Limbrick’s pinterest board: 

A coarse sieve catches little.

A fine mesh catches more.

If you want the subtle, be refined,

But prepare to deal with the coarse.

The irony of spiritual living is that you become more sensitive and more subtle. Therefore, you become intolerant of the coarse. There is not much choice in this. If you want to catch the subtle things in life, then you must become refined yourself. But the coarser things will then accumulate all the more quickly. A coarse sieve in a rushing stream will hold back only debris and large rocks. A fine mesh will catch smaller things, but it will also retain the large. 

Some people attempt to cope with this by becoming multilayered. They set up a series of screens to their personalities, from the coarse to the subtle so that they can deal with all that life has to offer. This is quite laudable from an ordinary point of view, but from the point of view of Tao, it is a great deal of bother. 

What do we do? If we remain coarse, then only the coarse comes to us. If we become subtle, then we gain the refined but are plagued with the coarse as well. If we become multilayered, then we create a complexity that isolates us from Tao.

The solution lies in floating on the current of Tao, uniting with it. That way we no longer seek to hold or to reject. 

~Deng Ming-Dao~

Imagephoto found on:



Be Your True Self

“We think sometimes we’re only drawn to the good, but we’re actually drawn to the authentic. We like people who are real more than those who hide their true selves under layers of artificial niceties” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Life Lessons: … Continue reading

There is Something Wrong with You


My Name Is Toxic Shame

I was there at your conception

In the epinephrine of your mother’s shame

You felt me in the fluid of her womb

I came upon you before you could speak

Before you understood

Before you had any way of knowing

I came upon you when you were learning to walk

When you vulnerable and needy

Before you had any boundaries

My Name Is Toxic Shame.


I came upon you when you were magical

Before you could know I was there

I severed your soul

I pierced you to the core

I brought you feelings of distrust, ugliness, stupidity, doubt

worthlessness, inferiority, and unworthiness

I made you feel different

I told you there was something wrong with you

I soiled you Godlikeness

My Name Is Toxic Shame.


I existed before conscience

Before guilt

Before morality

I am the master of emotion

I am the internal voice that whispers

words of condemnation

I am the eternal shudder that courses through you

without any mental preparation

My Name Is Toxic Shame.


I live in secrecy

In the deep moist banks of darkness

depression and despair

Always I sneak up on you, I catch you off guard

I come through the back door

Uninvited  unwanted

The first to arrive

I was there at the beginning of time

With Father Adam, Mother Eve

Brother Cain

I was at the Tower of Babel

the Slaughter of the Innocents

My Name Is Toxic Shame.


I come from ‘shameless’ caretakers, abandonment,

ridicule, abuse, neglect—perfectionistic systems

I am empowered by the shocking intensity of a parent’s rage

The cruel remarks of siblings

The jeering humiliation of other children

The awkward reflection in mirrors

The touch that feels icky and frightening

The slap, the pinch, the jerk that ruptures trust

I am intensified by

A racist, sexist culture

The righteous condemnation of religious bigots

The fears and pressures of schooling

The hypocrisy of politicians

The multigenerational shame of dysfunctional family systems

My Name Is Toxic Shame.


I can transform a woman person, a Jewish person, a black person

a gay person, an oriental person, a precious child into

A bitch, a kike, a nigger, a bull dyke, a faggot, a chink,

a selfish, little bastard

I bring pain that is chronic

A pain that will not go away

I am the hunter that stalks you night and day

Every day everywhere

I have no boundaries

You try to hide from me

But you cannot

Because I live inside you

I make you feel hopeless

Like there is no way out

My Name Is Toxic Shame.


My pain is so unbearable that you must pass me on to others

Through control, perfectionism, contempt, criticism, blame,

envy, judgement, power, and rage.

My pain is so intense

You must cover me up with addictions, rigid roles, reenactment,

and unconscious ego defenses.

My pain is so intense

That you must numb out and no longer feel me.

I convinced you that I am gone—that I do not exist—you

experience absence and emptiness

My Name Is Toxic Shame.


I am the core of co-dependency

I am spiritual bankruptcy

The logic of absurdity

The repetition compulsion

I am crime, violence, incest, rape

I am the voracious hole that fuels all addictions

I am insatiability and lust

I am Ahasverus the Wandering Jew,

Wagner’s Flying Dutchman, Dostoevsky’s underground man,

Kierkegaard’s seducer, Goethe’s Faust

I twist who you are into what you do and have

I murder your soul and you pass me on for generations

My Name Is Toxic Shame.

-originally by Leo Booth, adapted by John Bradshaw-