Forever Emerging: A Dreamstory

A dreamstory, poetry of visions, moving through on a crisp morning at the Art of Hosting on Whidbey Island.

Trees droop on a heavy wet morning.
The fog offering a lightness to the sky, an air of awakening becoming evident in the crisp light softened by the mist.

A woman sits at the base of a tall pine. Her spine sculpted by its embracing form, heart blending, space sharing, love unending. They breathe together. Giving freely, opening widely, surrendering effortlessly.

There’s a spirit circling the edges… a shimmer in the light? a falling drop catching a reflection? a bird whispering through? What is that effervescent heart skip that tickles her awareness and peeks her curiosity? Her mind pokes forward, leaning in, wanting to engage, feeling pulled to follow. And yet… at her back she feels the tree’s shape-shifting. A giant oak with ominous limbs looming down to embrace her. Her spirit picking up. Her own tree form emerging. A sacred union of goldenous love echoing the heart of all that is. The roots of the oak are growing beneath her. Fat, full, forever reaching. She (as we) is solid and grounded.

she as we is solid and grounded. there is no separation. there is complete illumination. it is.

Forever Emerging. A heart pulse. a tear. long grains of moss growing. a teacher, a warrior, a shaman, so dear. Forever Emerging.

Time passes and she wakes from a dream of tomorrow, feeling cuddled in today, wondering when next week will next court her fire. The bends and wraps of time have been intensifying her dance. Space and shape have taken on all new meanings for her since this great convening. She’s discovering what it means to live as a shapeshifter. She’s discovering what it feels like to adorn this cloak of being becoming, always here, never exactly clear where the next moment’s relations will invite her soul to travel.

Like the xylem of the tree, drawing water and nourishment from the ground, traveling the journey to the tip, a fluid channel… a constant source… she too is finding this place of calm knowing at her center. And she marvels at the steadiness around which the chaos and order emerge, takes shape. A teacher, a guide, a student, a child, an elder, a foe, a mirror, a cloak, an angel, a fox, an eagle, a lizard. How to host these many entities circling the core of her relations, igniting the core of her expression, and loving the soul of existence which cradles her in being. She walks steadily this path of love. A fire enraptured as her heart, lit upon her hearth as the embrace and companionship of dear friends, heart play mates, circle in all forms, inviting her into this new journey. Forever Emerging.

Tree photo by Andy Burrows
Video and story of the ritual art

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posted by ashley


Seeds of Compassion New Website

"Seeds of Compassion is an initiative to nurture kindness and compassion in the world starting with children and all those who touch their lives. By connecting parents, educators, and caregivers, Seeds of Compassion will inspire and empower adults and youth in the development of kinder and more compassionate local and global communities."

One of the things I've been involved in lately is this incredibly exciting and inspiring initiative, Seeds of Compassion. They have just launched their new website filled with many resources. I am particularly excited to dive into the classroom resources provided for educators. I know I'll be using the curriculum in my Friendship Groups and sharing them with other teachers. Have a look. There is also information for kids/teens, parents, and businesses/government and ways for everyone to get involved.

Stay tuned as I'll definitely be sharing more when the What Does Compassion Look Like? campaign launches and information for hosting your own Compassion Circle. And perhaps one day I'll also write about my own personal reflections on why this initiative is so inspiring to me!!


posted by ashley


Receiving Compliments and Passing Them On

Tom Davis offered a wonderful practice for interacting with compliments in response to an earlier inquiry into compliments:
When Malcom Forbes was awarded the first ever GQ Manstyle award he said something like, "We most appreciate those awards we least deserve."

So I always try to remind myself of that when someone gives me a compliment. If the compliment is something which seems easy for me to do, then maybe I do deserve it, so I should be thankful and thoughtful that maybe that's an area I can use as a gift to help others for which it does not come easily. And if the compliment pleases me enormously, then be thankful for the compliment but realize that maybe there are others who are more deserving and that I should pass a compliment on to them sometime soon.
I love this extended invitation to pass on a compliment that feels good and yet I still see room for me to grow in that area. I love how that opens my eyes to recognizing my mentors, teachers, inspirations... and whole-heartedly sharing a compliment.

Thank you, Tom

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posted by ashley


Balancing Knowing and Not-Knowing


my cells breathe
a deep knowing clarity

my body resonates
with recognition

my heart is awake
a full knowing awareness


I open, accept, surrender

being with
the mysterious emergence
of this moment

falling, floating, flailing, flying
a flower turning inside out
a void of total stillness

knowing is trusting
the sacred listening
of my human instrument

not-knowing is trusting
the sacred wholeness of wisdom
transcending my personal reach

~ knowing photo by Right Eye in an inspiring series called Essence: What shapes our identity?
~ not-knowing photo by Denis Collette
~ monkey photo by pandiyan
~ poem a Woven Essence collaboration

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posted by ashley


Curious about knowing and unknowing

What does it feel like
to live life
guided by a knowing that

I don’t know
and I don’t need to know

I'd love to learn from your experiences. Got a story to share?


posted by ashley


Do You Like Me? (sigh and smirk!)

I had a great conversation with a friend last night about the energy I spend (people spend) worrying about whether or not people like me (us). I've also been swinging the tree-tops of my monkey mind wondering (worrying) if the heart of my intentions is felt by others. Oh the places I go when following the flow of insecurities!

I've been following a new blog, Dhrumil (thanks to CharityFocus) and this post has me smiling:
"You may be spending a lot of time thinking about what others think about you. But the truth is people are too busy thinking about themselves to be bothered. Even when they make comments or pass judgement, they’re just reacting to their own insecurities. Take comments or energy, that are other than love, as simply the byproduct of conditioning and nothing more. Most people are a pile of past conditions. Which means the real them is deeper waiting to surface. The less you react to their conditioning, the greater the likely hood their true nature will show."
May we continue to support and encourage one another, inviting our true natures to shine. May we also find fun and creative ways to practice random acts of contact in the name of kindness and friendship.

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posted by ashley


Sweet Seattle Rituals

In Seattle, there are many residential roads where cars are parked on both sides of the street and there is only room for one car to drive through at a time. I sincerely treasure the norms that the citizens of this city have developed for this situation.

Drivers self-organize. One person chooses to pull over into an opening between parked cars while the other car drives through. The car who has been granted permission to pass almost always gives the other driver a wave of gratitude. The driver that pulled over often waves back. I love this ritual. There is often even eye contact during these exchanges.

Today I felt a real fondness for the guy that let me drive through. I thought to myself "I like him!" I then felt a little pang of sadness. When we're not adorned with our clunky metal armor, I often don't find people exhibiting the same willingness to extend oneself into another person's personal space in kind and friendly ways. hmmm... how can I start living this more fully?

Photo source

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posted by ashley


Gentle Breath of Being

…To be human
is to become visible
while carrying
what is hidden
as a gift to others…
— David Whyte

A beautiful New Year's wish from Mike. Thank you.

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posted by ashley



Where I've been.

Where I am now!

Happy New Year!
posted by ashley

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