The Cook Awakening

Archive for the ‘Seasonal Change’ Category


A Prayer

May 10, 2020
Posted in: Seasonal Change

In this uncertain time, when there seems to be threat lurking and polarization everywhere, I offer this.

May all beings feel safe. May all beings have their needs met. May all beings be awake.

Late springtime backyard bouquet

For myself and for the collective

I call in resilience.

I call in the capacity to act when needed, to rest before depleted, and the discernment to know which is appropriate at any given time.

༄ I humbly request that there be wisdom infusing all decision making, that there be the capacity to listen to intuition and measured information, and use them in synergy.

༄ I call in compassion to meet fear and pain and anger, and clarity to know how to express that compassion in a way that helps calm and soothe and heal.

༄ I call in the remembrance that all things in the phenomenal world pass. All things pass.

༄ I call in blessings on those who die and blessings on those left behind.

༄ I call in the collective wisdom needed to learn from the current situation and the power and will to do what we can individually to create the change needed to further evolution infused with compassion.

༄ I call in the capacity to ride the waves of chaos and change with a relaxed and joyful discernment — engaged, loving, allowing the unfolding to be as it is, guided where it can be, surrendered to when it can’t.

༄ I call in the remembrance that all is connected. All is One.

༄ May all needs be met, even those needs that we don’t know we have.

Welcome to 2020!

January 9, 2020
Posted in: Events, Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Life on Life's Terms, Seasonal Change, Spiritual Practice

It’s a big time. Can you feel it? It’s obvious on the planetary level, so much conflict and structures breaking down politically and environmentally.

Most people that I talk to, clients, friends, and family, are experiencing the last year as being a time of deconstruction in many ways. Some examples include:

༄ Feeling like identity is breaking apart
༄ Loved ones dying
༄ Relationships ending
༄ Important events being canceled for reasons beyond their control
༄ Being assailed by doubts about whether what’s really desired is possible
༄ Feeling betrayed by loved ones
༄ Deeply understanding that patterns of being (jobs, relationships, living situations) are totally unsustainable, and not knowing what to do about it

It can feel like trying to pick up sand or water with your hands and having it just run through your fingers.

There are astrological influences that are at play right now that have been effecting the last year or more. I want to give a shout out to Emily Trinkaus who explains it all far better than I can. Here’s a recording of her class describing the Pluto-Saturn conjunction that’s happening on Sunday, January 12th, and will be felt for a few days, and will lay in energies that will last 35 + years, and this is her class on the Cancer full moon lunar eclipse happening tomorrow, Friday, January 10th.
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Sacred Pause Revisited

December 18, 2019
Posted in: Events, Life on Life's Terms, Meditation, Seasonal Change, Spiritual Practice

This is an article I wrote last year around this time, edited to feel current to today.

It can seem overwhelming. The holidays. Crowds, traffic, the stimulation of gatherings and lights and cooking and eating, so many words. Kids wanting, wanting, wanting. Tummies rumbling from too much yum. Perhaps there are financial stresses in the mix.

Or, it may feel lonely, if you don’t have the energy for it all, or if community feels distant.

I have a memory of our dog, Jazz, the best dog in the world, who, for her first 5 years, would get so excited when we went to the dog park, she’d run and run and run with every dog she saw. At first we thought it was fun. Look how happy she was! She’s such an extrovert, look how she loves to chase and wrestle with the other dogs!

Jazz in motion

Until we realized, what we were seeing as fun, at some point became frenzy. We started to put her on the leash after she’d run long and hard when we’d see froth on her lips. And, you know what? There was clearly a feeling of “oh, thank you for saving me from myself” in her manner as she’d flop down next to us at the park bench.

In a different way that feeling can be there when we have too much isolation. Like water that becomes fetid without enough movement, you can see that the things growing in it are not healthy. Drinking that will make you sick. There can be too much inward movement, too, leading to stagnation.

All of nature runs in cycles and spirals of expansion and contraction. Breathing. The heart beating. The seasons. Sunrise and sunset. Birth and death.

We need the out-breath. We cannot breathe in constantly — we’d literally burst. The sun can’t be up forever, we’d be scorched, and the other side of the earth would be frigid.

This Saturday is winter solstice, the shortest day/longest night of the year. This is the bottom of the earth’s out breath. (Or, some say it’s the top of the in breath. Either way, it’s a powerful transition point!)

She needs a pause. We need a pause.

As I’ve written before, the days don’t immediately begin to get longer after solstice. There is a pause, a still point.

That still point is sacred. Many spiritual traditions emphasize noticing what happens on subtle levels during the pause at both the top and the bottom of the breath.

The still point is a beautiful time to say a prayer, in whatever way you do. That could be formal prayer. That may be setting intentions (think New Year). That may be gathering around the table with blood or chosen family over food that human hands you know have touched and loved. That could be as simple as finding your way to your open heart and asking that you be shown the way through. Many light a candle at this time of year to anchor their intentions, to invite light into their deepest longings.

All of nature needs the in breath, the out breath. All nature benefits from the still point of the transition between them, too.

I encourage you to pay attention to this pause that the earth is experiencing. We’re not separate from nature. How can you find your way into the sacred pause of your life? Is it making sure you have a minute or hour in nature? Maybe it’s remembering to connect with the physical sensations of your breath while you’re waiting in the insanely long line at the grocery store. Perhaps it’s putting away your phone and computer, and turning off the TV for an hour before you go to bed and just sitting quietly.

Were you able to see the full moon rising last week? It was glorious over Portland.

The Cold Moon — December full moon over Portland, OR


The seeds that are planted at this time of year can bear rich fruit come springtime. Don’t miss this opportunity to pause.

If you’d like some support in learning to slow down, or focus your energy differently as we move into the cold season, remember my New Year special is in effect now — if you are a new client, your first month of counseling is half price when you commit to 3 months of working with me. Read more about that here.

And, Sovereign Self, a women’s group and Deep Communication Circle™ meets this coming Friday, December 20th at 10 am via Zoom video conference. Read more about that here.

Wishing you all blessed holy days, however you celebrate them. Wishing you a nourishing connection with the pause in the world, however you can feel it. Blessings, blessings, blessings.

The Blessing of Impermanence

March 25, 2019
Posted in: Life on Life's Terms, Living with Health Challenges, Seasonal Change, Spiritual Practice

“I’m afraid if I really allow myself to feel what’s going on with me, the feelings will never stop. I’ll be lost, forever weeping or shaking, and I’ll never feel good again.”

I think we all experience some version of this. I know my clients do. I do! Even though the path through this “resistance to what is” is very familiar to me, I still have to navigate some version of “I don’t want to feel this!” when unpleasant emotions arise.

It’s natural. It’s human. So, before I proceed any further, please know that. There’s no criticism needed in this scenario. My goal is to tenderly support you in being utterly human, in all it’s aspects. It’s what your soul took birth to be.

However, the resistance to feeling can lead us into greater suffering than is actually necessary.

My dad played American football in high school. I remember him telling us the story about the time he broke his arm, and didn’t know it for two weeks. He continued to play during that time.

He broke his arm and didn’t know it for two weeks. Now, that’s resisting pain!

Once they figured out that something was wrong, he had ground the bone around the fracture to little bits. He wore a cast for over a year in order to heal. (He continued to play football the entire time, and broke the cast a number of times. His doctors would replace it, and he’d keep playing.)

He grew up in an environment where it was clear — you do not feel your pain. I won’t go deeper into that, there’s ancestral patterns I’ve been working with for years that led to his high tolerance for discomfort. My point in using this example is simple.

If he’d been able to experience his pain when he first felt it he’d have known something was wrong, and he’d only have had to wear a cast for 6 — 8 weeks. Compared to over a year. My suspicion is that if he’d taken a break from playing football, he would have healed faster, too.

This is a pretty concrete example that carries over into the realm of other kinds of human feelings. How it works in the case of emotions is a bit different, though.

The geese are easy with the day’s end


There’s a core truth taught in many spiritual paths. It’s often experienced as a truth that people don’t like, but it has a vast benefit as well.
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Sacred Pause

December 21, 2018
Posted in: Events, Grief, Life on Life's Terms, Meditation, Seasonal Change, Spiritual Practice

It can seem overwhelming. The holidays. Crowds, traffic, the stimulation of gatherings and lights and cooking and eating, so many words. Kids wanting, wanting, wanting. Tummies rumbling from too much yum. Perhaps there are financial stresses in the mix.

Or, it may feel lonely, if you don’t have the energy for it all, or if community feels distant.

I have a memory of our dog, Jazz, the best dog in the world, who, for her first 5 years, would get so excited when we went to the dog park, she’d run and run and run with every dog she saw. At first we thought it was fun. Look how happy she was! She’s such an extrovert, look how she loves to chase and wrestle with the other dogs!

Jazz in motion

Until we realized, what we were seeing started as fun, but would at some point become frenzy. We started to put her on the leash after she’d run long and hard when we’d see froth on her lips. And, you know what? There was clearly a feeling of “oh, thank you for saving me from myself” in her manner as she’d flop down next to us at the park bench.
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The Breath

November 29, 2018
Posted in: Life on Life's Terms, Living with Health Challenges, Meditation, Seasonal Change, Spiritual Practice

We’re in that chute again. My husband and I call it “Slogging toward Solstice”. It’s dark at 4:30 pm, it’s colder, it’s wet outside, and for some of us, there’s snow on the ground.

Right when there’s an internal calling at the end of the day (or beginning, for that matter) to build a fire, snuggle up with a good book or watch a good show, many of us also feel the reality of a busier calendar. I remark on it to myself every year. Why is there so much to DO?!

That internal tension can be uncomfortable. If you’re like a lot of people, you feel pressure to show up to events. It’s a whole train of family gatherings (hello Thanksgiving), classes, meetings, school fundraisers, shopping, concerts, holiday parties are coming up, ….
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