PSA from Thunderstorms (and a free power up ceremony)

There is nothing like a Texas thunderstorm. The hot wind knocking at oak trees and beating rain on rooftops are powerful reminders of the force of nature.

Thunderstorms can cause a great deal of destruction; knocking down trees, damaging road ways, flooding homes, and even in extreme cases taking human lives.


However, the flip side of a storm is that it quenches a dry and thirsty earth, supplying the landscape with new life and refreshing water.

The overall message of the storm is a simple one; power can be destructive and/or it can be rejuvenating. Much like a thunderstorm, we each have the ability to do both great harm and great good in this world with our thoughts and actions.

I think that we all need to be taught (or reminded) just how magnificent we are. We need to be told from the very beginning and everyday there after that we are indeed powerful. Often we get the opposite message, we are told we are not enough, that we are at the whim of circumstance and fate. But this is a lie, no matter how the world has tried to disempower us, each of us is a remarkable being capable of moving mountains.

You are powerful. I am powerful. We are powerful. The way we think, move, and relate has an impact on the world around us.

Take a second…notice your own power. Just bring your awareness to it. Where is it in your body? In your thoughts? How does it manifest? Get to know it…please.

Because most importantly, we are not actually thunderstorms. We are conscious beings and we have choice in how we put our power to use. We can use the agency and magnificence we have how ever we like.

What will you choose? How will you take action in the world, in your own life, in your body. What ever you choose, please do it consciously from a place of truly knowing who you are and what you are capable of, because if you come at life “disempowered” you are destined to wreak havoc.

There is another way.

When we become aware of, embrace, and respect our personal power then we can (each of us) water the earth with our powerful love.

The following is a brief ceremony you can do to get in touch with your own power


  • read the whole ceremony before you start and make an amendments that you like

  • Start by picking the right time to do this ceremony. perhaps during a thunderstorm?

  • Make sure you dress in something that makes you feel very much like “you”.

  • Pick a space where you already feel safe and empowered. This could be in your home or workplace, just make sure you won’t be interrupted for a few minutes.

  • Gather: a candle, a lighter or matches, a piece of jewelry or a stone that you like and can wear or carry with you as needed, something sweet to eat and some favorite music of yours…perhaps a power ballad?

    dim the lights and light a candle.

    As you light the candle invite in protection and resource to guide you. You can say something like “I open to my resources and my wisdom. I am safe and protected in this space.”

    Allow your self to sit in front of the flame of the candle and look into it.

    Contemplate. Ask yourself these questions one at a time and sit quietly until you get a reply to before you move on to the next. Feel free to read the list as you go or even to briefly write the answers that come to you down in a journal.

    How am I like this light?

    What parts of me get lit up easily?

    How do I feel and think when i am lit up?

    How do I act when I am lit up?

    What holds me back from feeling lit up or empowered all the time?

    How can I lovingly move those limits out of the way for now?

    What does it feel like to be limitless?

    What would change if I could limitless all the time?

    Do I want that?

    Take the piece of jewelry or the stone and hold it over the flame as you say the following or something like “ This is mine and mine alone. I fill it now with light and resource. Let it radiate, let the heat of my own power warm it. This is mine and mine alone. May it warm me on cold days. May it remind my wandering thoughts of their own power. May it slow my actions towards wisdom. This is mine and mine alone. I am limitless.”

    Take a deep breath

    Feel the power of your own body, your thoughts, and your emotions as they are right now. Know that what ever you feel is enough and it is real.

    Feel gratitude as you put the jewelry item on or place the stone in a safe pocket to be carried with you as needed.

    Prepare to close your ceremony. Say this or something like it “I close this time in gratitude. I am safe and protected always.”

    blow the candle out.

    watch the smoke until it dissipates.

  • Afterwards and as you clean up eat something sweet or listen to some empowering music. Maybe a dance party?

Groups of Summer

It turns out the summer is slow in the private practice therapy world. Clients take vacations and (maybe more importantly) that which was a crisis in the dark days of winter somehow melts into "manageable" as the days get longer and the air gets thicker. There is just somehow less need. So, my schedule has opened up and so has my worry. 

I am only a few months into this new venture and I still get pretty nervous when a week goes by with no new clients calling me. So, I do what any budding professional would do...I call them. Kind of. I have started to solicit group work from local agencies. These groups are contract work where I a hired to come in as an art therapist and lead several sessions of Expressive Arts interventions. 

Even though all this started just to drum up more work, I have to say it brings me such joy. I love therapy groups. I think they are rich with deep learning if you let them be.

Each group is like its own little life form made up of individuals gathering for a common cause. The group has a life cycle, a purpose, and a product. The way a group forms, grows and establishes norms seems magical, but it is actually delicate science.

Like all life forms, its main goal is survival. A group's members are always unconsciously doing a delicate dance to maintain health and ease within the group. They are balancing power dynamics, tasks, and established patterns. If a member doesn't have enough "buy in" if they threaten the group as a whole, the group will find a way to either enlist or expel them just as our bodies do with bacteria. All parts of the whole are working for the good of the whole and they are working because being a part of the group is nourishing to the individual.

What an amazing reminder of the systems that we are, that we are a part of, and that we rebel against. The universe is just gatherings joining together to make organisms, joining together to make bodies, joining together to make groups, joining together to make organizations, joining together to make collectives, joining together to make planets, joining together to make systems. It is an infinite web of connection, of individual and other.

And the most amazing part is; when you pull on any one part of it everything moves. 

That is why therapy groups can be so powerful and can acelerate the healing process so much. They offer an opportunity to witness and play a part in the growth of others and every time one person shifts, they all do. 


3 Reasons to Stop & Look at the Moon

ONE: This Sunday (September 27th) is the Harvest Moon, the full moon that occurs closest to the Fall equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The term "Harvest Moon" conjures up a moon radiating a warm Autumn glow.  In China it brings the Moon Festival, a time when families gather together to eat mooncakes and watch the moon, a symbol of Harmony and Unity. In North American cultures the Harvest Moon is a time of reaping when farmers can work late into the night gathering crops by the light of the moon.

The Harvest Moon by Sammuel Palmer

The Harvest Moon by Sammuel Palmer

 TWO: It will also be a supermoon, meaning the moon will be huge. This happens when a full moon coincides with the point at which the moon is closest to the Earth during it's elliptical orbit. Legends link supermoons to earthquakes and tsunamis. Although there is very little science supporting a link between supermoons and natural disasters, they symbolize the power of nature in our lives.

THREE: There will be a lunar eclipse visible over the sky of the Western world. If you have never taken the time out to watch an eclipse, I advise you do so. This will be the night to see it. The moon will be big, the sky should be clear. As you watch I invite you to think back on ancient humans watching in wonder as the moon slowly disappeared and reappeared. All sorts of magic was concocted to explain the mystery and we still live with the remnants of that magical thinking. We experience it in some sort of deep place in our souls a place of curiosity and wonder.

We have more in common with those ancient myth tellers than we like to admit. Maybe as you watch the moon this Sunday, something magical will happen to you; maybe you will be reminded of the seasonal renewal occurring in your own life. Perhaps just taking the time to stop and watch the moon could become it's own sort of ceremony. A ceremony to honor the passageway you find yourself in right now. 


Fall Traditions

How will you mark the changing seasons?


I know that for me, warm apple cider on the first or second cool day of the year is a big tradition. There are so many seasonal foods that I crave all year long. In the Spring and Winter I long for Watermelon, but these days I find myself excited about squash, turkey, and pie. This natural craving for seasonal foods is rooted deep in our biology from a time when you really couldn't get strawberries in January. I invite you to celebrate the changes in your life by eating seasonally. You might be shocked by the memories that accumulate around the meals in your life when you bring just a touch of continuousness to your palate.

Arts and Crafts

I also get excited about pumpkins. I know it is silly, but I just love a good pumpkin carving where your up to your elbows in innards and joy. Every year I long for the disgustingly rewarding feeling of scraping out the seeds with a spoon. It just doesn't feel like Autumn until there is a jack-o-lantern on my doorstep. The Fall is also a great time for other types of crafting. Those of you who love a good hot glue gun, get it out and start on that wreath of autumn leaves, a new quit, or your Halloween costume. I'll be over here, with my pumpkin guts.

Time in Nature

There is no better time to get out doors and just go exploring. If you are lucky enough to live in a place where foliage shifts, I implore you to just step out side some time and be grateful for what you have. In Texas, we have mosquitos...but the cooler weather will eventually lull them to sleep, at which point I will get outside to walk...or do some much needed gardening.

Seasonal Gatherings

It isn't quite time for that Winter fire, but the Fall is a beautiful time to gather friends for a board game night or a simple meal and movie. Ancestrally we all know to move inwards as the weather cools, towards our close communities and families. Take the excuse to huddle up and laugh with a group of people who make you feel cozy and at home.

Wardrobe Shifts

Even something as seemingly simple as pulling all your sweaters and hats out of summer storage can be done thoughtfully. When I was in high school in Houston I remember so distinctly those precious "sweater days" when everyone could wear their warm clothing. For me it marked a change in the feeling of the world. Life was cooler and so was I. As you pull out your favorite scarf this year, notice how you have changed since the last time you wore it. 


Most of you have figured out by now that I love holidays. I love the history of them and I love the way people use them year after year to tap in to the season. All cultures have some sort of harvest of Fall celebration. Take a moment to research the traditions of your own background, or find a way completely your own to celebrate the harvest. For me, as an anglo American, it is Halloween. This simple strange holiday has it's roots in a combination of Catholicism, Celtic rituals, and 1950s nostalgia. I love spooky stories full of mystery and suspense almost as much as I love dressing up. That said, I use the season not just to evaluate my own fears but also to bring those who have gone before me in to my awareness. The memories of my grandparents, deceased friends, and lost opportunities fill my mind in Autumn. 

Because with the Fall comes not just relief from summer heat but also grief that it is over. As we ease in to Winter, let us savor these joyful Fall rituals and mourn the echo of long summer days.  

What new memories will you create in this season of remembrance?

Change is in the Air

Today marks the Fall Equinox in my hemisphere. In other places...Spring is starting. Around the world, things are changing, just as they do every year.

Growing up in South Texas, the changing of the seasons was anticlimactic to say the least. I remember being in school and being taught the seasons. I can specifically remember an illustrated wall poster that  listed all four seasons and I remember being confused. I had never seen snow and orange leaves were something I associated with scorched summer days when the sun bleached the green out of the trees. Still, like most things we learn when we are little, I took it at face value and moved on. 

I did not understand seasons until I moved to New York City after college to pursue a career. For the first twenty one years of my life I knew seasons existed but I never understood what an impact they could have on my physical, mental, and spiritual self.

In retrospect, it makes sense to me that although they did not pertain to me I was taught them as a child. The seasons of the US North East are so deeply engrained in our national culture because they are indeed powerful beyond belief. 

Now that I am back in Texas, I often miss the way the world echoed my metamorphosis. A season's shifting weather offers outward refection of inner changes. As I tap into my deep knowing, I notice the seasons much more than I did as a child. I allow myself to feel them even if nature's display looks a little different than that poster in my 2nd grade classroom. The feelings are the same regardless.

Here, as in most places, Autumn is a relief. The temperature cools, the rain starts back up again and the dead yellows and browns of a Texas summer start to turn back to green. It feels like you can live again too. Like the world is ready and waiting for your potential. 

Can you feel it? Change is in the air and there is so much to do.

Caught in the Rain

This week there were isolated Thunderstorms in the Austin area. I love that term "isolated thunderstorms". I picture a cartoon character being followed by a cloud raining directly down on them alone.I chuckle and think of the few instances in my life when I found myself surrounded by a storm with no warning.

The one that comes to mind happened just a few months ago. I was on the highway traveling to work. Up ahead I noticed that cars were applying their breaks. As I took my foot off the accelerator I wondered what had caused them all to stop so suddenly. The road ahead looked clear. All of a sudden, before I could complete my thought, all my windows fogged up and I lost visibility. I had driven into an invisible storm front that caused the outside temperature to drop by about 20 degrees. I quickly applied my breaks and flipped on my windshield wiper. Slowly the world came back into view.

That event left me shaken, but also amazed. As with most things in nature, I marvel at the spiritual truth laying just behind that front. Sometimes we do indeed hit invisible walls, things that we can not see coming but that drastically change our worlds. They cause us to slow down and revaluate what we thought was possible.


The metaphores avalible in weather do not stop there. Other times, the storms of our life come on slowly. The world grows yellow and smells that particular way that a ripe moment smells. We know something is coming and we take a deep breath of preparation as the rain begins.

Here in Texas it can rain. The rain is hard and fast. It pelts the earth, drumming out it's anthem. When storms like this happen you have to just find a spot and hold still. They stop you in your tracks but, you know that this "isolated thunderstorm" will shortly pass. And sometimes the metaphorical "storms of our life" are like that. They hurl a lot of energy at us and all we can do when caught in these storms is hold still and wait for them to pass.

Infact sometimes waiting for a storm to pass provides peace or a much needed moment of rest. If we find our self in a safe place when these storms pass through we can sit cozy and enjoy them. Alowing the weather to remain outside and the booming cries of chaos to lull us to sleep. It is a lucky day when safety can be found in the midst of a storm.

And of course, rain makes the earth blossom with new life. Hopefully, when the storm is over we can start anew in a world that feels somehow refreshed.