Monthly Archives: April 2013

Refrigerator Poetry

At the tail end of National Poetry Writing Month, I want to sneak in this story of a way my creative juices were unexpectedly activated. Several years ago I traveled to L.A. to participate in a group experience. A friend of mine flew down from Denver to accompany me. We would be staying with friends who had recently bought an old mansion in an area undergoing gentrification. It was an incredible place—three stories’ worth—with a conservatory and even a library. The new owners envisioned it as gathering place for the arts community, avant-garde thinkers and adventurers, as well as their home. They were intent on bringing it back to original condition.

While I went to the event, my traveling companion—a horticulturist by profession—had volunteered to design a garden and brought his computer for that purpose. When I returned a day later from my group activity, I discovered that things hadn’t progressed as planned. It would be some hours added to our original departure point. There wasn’t much room for me in the design process. Everyone was crowded around the computer screen in the breakfast room. I was more interested in enjoying the ambience of the house anyway.

Next to all the design activity was a huge old-fashioned kitchen, a big island in the middle and a formal butler’s pantry. My eye caught the jumble on the refrigerator door: hundreds of words on little magnets, arranged into witty sayings, others silly or downright gross. That was the first time I’d seen magnetic poetry—and I was intrigued.

The longer I stood there looking at the possibilities, words became fragments and then merged to form a thread. After an hour of fun, this is what presented itself.

We must be mad

soaring playfully like a thousand storms

under the winter moon.

Will you think me crazy

for smearing my skin with a diamond symphony?

Ache deliriously, run frantically

when I shine,

drunk on beauty.

Magnetic words now grace my own refrigerator door. I couldn’t wait to get home and purchase some. I keep some finished pieces displayed. Others are phrases lodged there to remind me they could be worked more when I’m in the mood. I threaten to publish them all one day in a little book called Refrigerator Poetry, maybe illustrated with my artwork. Magnetic wordsBut what I like best is how these word magnets work on your creativity. They’re almost irresistible. And I always chuckle when I discover some poems or messages that friends left, unbeknownst to me. The latest was a brief note from my latest house sitters, discovered weeks after I’d returned home. P1040134If you can’t wait to have some of your own, you can find magnetic words here. But I warn you: You’ll find yourself dawdling in front of your refrigerator consistently—not to tempt yourself with ice cream or pie—but to feed your inner poet!  

This story recalled through The Daily Prompt: Unleash Your Inner Dickinson.

Categories: Arts, Creativity Strategies, The Writing Life | Tags: , | 4 Comments

History, Herstory, Your Story

Periodically I offer retreats, an opportunity to create a parenthesis, a safe haven to cocoon, in order to create clarity of intent and direction without the “busyness” rewarded by our culture that can feed distraction. Sometimes we work in the area of family lineage. I’ll share with you the introductory paragraphs of the process sheet I give participants as one approach in this area.

Collective UnconsciousThere exists a collective unconscious—a field of information—in your family line; what is passed down in underlying knowledge and expression through generations.

History/Herstory.  Her story. His story. Your story.

Now is an opportunity to bring to consciousness what was unconscious. Witness. Inquire. Reflect. To choose what is yours—your own heartbeat and what of your lineage aligns to it.

Marking out space on the floor as a timeline, you have those who came before youyour ancestorsand those who came from youyour descendants. We all leave our fingerprints on others in ways wider than we might imagine, even if we have no biological offspring. Stepping back to witness interwoven connections over time can give a whole new meaning to your own personal choices in the present and what you can and do affect.


I have people work as partners, trading off once complete. The partner acts as a witness to the explorer’s process, also to document significant aspects and prompt questions. In this way, the discovery and its effect have depth.

InheritenceFirst, they just observe from a point beside their lineage timeline. Then I invite them to walk beside the timeline and note their own responses and, when their body is drawn, to step onto the timeline and into the body/subtle energy field of that ancestor. I encourage them to do so even when it doesn’t make logical sense; an ancestor generations back isn’t even known to them. After “becoming” the ancestor these are some of the questions answered: What intelligence is communicated through posture, sensation or energy? What is the patterning? Is there a gift?

Usually the draw has to do with a vibratory resonance. Something within them has found a match in some way. The origins of a talent may be suddenly explained through this sort of inquiry. Or maybe the discovery of a detrimental pattern, having skipped a generation or two, but active in the present through the past, is now apparent. What are the stories that have been passed down through the family field of invisible information?

These new awarenesses are but seeds. From this place, answers to follow-on questions can emerge, and means of getting there can present themselves.

What are the gifts you’ve been blessed with that you wish to pass on?

What are any dreams that you’ve taken on that aren’t yours to live?

What are any wounds to be healed that are not yours to be borne?

As the reader, you might wonder how anything could come from this exercise. Here’s what I’ve found to be true through many years of guiding such inquiry and undertaking it myself. There’s something in playduring the parenthesis of a retreatwhen we take off the overcoat of our everyday selves. Then an inner intelligence has a chance to take the lead, delve into areas usually not given notice and integrate the results into day-to-day thoughts and actions.

Energy FieldThis particular line of inquiry is produced from the person’s own energy body, their resident fieldnot through analysis by the mind. In fact, if the everyday mind takes the lead in this process, the explorer will likely be hindered or stalled. Although, insight will be channeled to the mind through energy intelligence.

Whether it turns into conscious awareness or not isn’t really important from my standpoint. For those who are used to intellectual investigation, this pathway can be especially frustrating because they may not know what created the shift. But in the end, is that really important? Or is it more meaningful that lifeafter such a level of work – naturally evolves to include clarity and joy?


Note: This process was inspired from  NLP and the ground-breaking work of Virginia Satir and Bert Hellinger in family systems.  Then it was further produced from inquiry into my own lineage and ongoing exploration into the ways of energy.  If you’d like to know more about retreats go here or get in touch.


Categories: Energy Healing, Healing, NLP, Personal Growth, Spiritual Evolution | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lifepath Design [Special Offer] – Why take the long way home?

Lifepath Design Special: Your Personal Intensive
Spring Limited Time Offer

I would rather be a superb meteor, ever atom of me in magnificent glow,

than a sleepy and permanent planet.     — Jack London


Photo: Carla Woody

 Spring is the perfect time to come to life—completely. There are those of you who have been itching to accelerate a breakthrough, and I want to do my part to support that process. As a gift to subscribers and Facebook friends, I’m offering a private retreat day at a deep discount. (Your intensive may also be divided into two sessions.) I have space in my calendar to engage with seven people over the next couple of months in this way. If you’re interested, get in touch:

Such an intensive won’t be to everyone’s taste.


Photo: Carla Woody

But it will be a perfect match if:

✯ You are hovering at a threshold and want to move through it;

✯ You seek to sort through options and dissolve confusion;

✯ You aim to bring a deeply held dream to ground and create clarity;

✯ You desire to engage your spiritual values, your highest priorities and kickstart a fully expressive lifepath;

✯ You are ready to invest in yourself and move beyond stagnation.

It’s my passion to mentor people through a process I went through myself and refined over twenty years to make it readily accessible to others. That’s why I’m making a special discounted offer of $897 ($1497 value) for seven people. Your personal intensive may be taken in person, via phone or Skype. This invitation is good until May 8 and must be taken by July 12.

Here’s an extra bonus: If you decide you need additional guidance, you can apply the retreat cost against Navigating Your Lifepath, my six month mentoring program. You can also read more about my own journey.

Why take the long way home? A well calculated shortcut is ever so much better.

If you fit the criteria above, I’d love to hear from you: Be sure to act now! Lifepath Design Intensives are something I rarely offer due to other commitments. If you’re ready to work, then let’s do it, and it would be my honor.

Categories: Healing, Healthy Living, NLP, Personal Growth, Spiritual Evolution | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment



I take daily respite in the morning. It’s my habit to arise quite early, usually before the sun is up, and sit cross-legged facing the east, to the hills just across the way, above the preserved land below my home. Then I go into meditation. I no longer use any technique as I did years ago. Going into meditation became automatic. The energy and stillness just arrive. When the sun comes up over the hills I know it immediately, not only from the strong light that plays against my eyelids, but also because the sun’s vibration is palpable, adding to what I was already experiencing on my own.

For more than thirty years, I’ve started my day this way, in different homes through time but essentially the same process. The fruits of this ritual are potent. It sets the tone for my day; it’s a benefit to my health; insights and guidance are offered: something explained, inspiration given, direction that becomes evident. But most importantly perhaps is the feeling of Presence, a sense of the sacred.


Hoodoos, Mt. Lemmon

I have another respite that I’ve come, over the past few years, to treasure equally, with the same benefits. It’s turned into a habit as well. Every several weeks, five women convene at a home to share a meal and deep communication. I am one of them. We come from different walks of life, life stages and range of experiences and talents. Not all of us even knew the others when we began to gather. Yet we are a homogenous group in that we all seek the same thing: a safe haven where we can let our hair down, talk about tough nuggets we encounter, explore new ideas and celebrate each other. I think I can speak for all of those involved in saying: We’ve become significant to each other, a family of choice.

Santa Catalinas

Santa Catalinas

Salad Nicoise

Salad Nicoise with seared ahi with thanks to our gourmet chef who has mastered champagne camping.

Two years ago, we added an annual camping trip. I have to laugh because we have different ideas of what camping is and the activities involved. But we came to consensus, and this days-long respite has become paramount, too. Last year we camped in the Manti-La Sal National Forest in southeastern Utah. Two weeks ago we were in the Catalinas north of Tucson. We were early this year, and those of us in tents, rather than the camper, froze some nights. Indeed, when I got up at 5 a.m. there was frost blanketing the outside of my tent. But the sun came up. The coffee was hot and the conversation warm. As normal, we undertook our individual pursuits—reading, napping, hiking in quiet places and birdwatching, writing, one-on-one time—and gathering as a group for meals or when we felt like it for deep conversation. It’s fully free and easy.

It was to this group I entrusted the initial reading of my forthcoming novel Portals to the Vision Serpent, to test the flow and story. Any author will understand what it is to let others view their work at that early stage. I knew I could let them hold my fragile newborn, and they would make it dear and be honest. I made changes based on their feedback.

 So, I also knew that I could test an idea I have for the next novel with them. I’ve been mulling it over for the past few years, bits and pieces coming to me over time. It’s fairly complex and pushes the boundaries of a religious doctrine. Right before our camping trip somehow I stumbled upon an actual person who may serve as the inspiration for the main character. It finally seemed time to share, even though the framework wasn’t fully formed. I was grateful I had their full attention.  After listening to my somewhat disjointed dissertation, they agreed the idea had sturdy legs. Now I’m further inspired.

I’ll end here by relating what I’ve learned to be true:

       Daily respite enriches life and is a necessity to mine;

       Gathering regularly with intended community encourages risk-taking, provides comfort and is a sacred respite in itself;

       Even though I live in a wilderness area where silence prevails, leaving home and work for retreat invites further Presence into my life.

This post is dedicated to my Moon Sistars.

Categories: Compassionate Communication, Healthy Living, Meditation, Sacred Reciprocity, Solitude, Spiritual Evolution, Spiritual Travel, The Writing Life | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Lifepath Dialogues Gathering: The Question of Spiritual Responsibility (Audio Archive)

Lifepath Dialogue Gathering

The Lifepath Dialogues Gathering was a local monthly gathering held in Prescott, Arizona. The intent was to build like-hearted community and dialogue about what truly matters. I chose monthly topics from my blog and hosted the evening with special invited guest(s) whose philosophies and work are relevant to the topic. The format involved my presentation of material to create a framework and interview of the special guests. This portion was recorded to share with the world community. Then we turn off the recorder and turn to intimate sharing.

The Lifepath Dialogues discussion will now continue in a virtual format. Periodically, I will interview folks world-wide who are involved in life-affirming practices and lifeways. The recording will be posted here. I invite your comments and questions always.

From the March Lifepath Dialogues Gathering

with special guest

Filmer Kewanyama:
The Question of Spiritual Responsibility
The complete unedited audio is about 40 minutes long. Click below to listen. I hope you enjoy.

This discussion was based on the post:
Spiritual Responsibility? Duty? Cargo?
By Carla Woody
Author of Calling Our Spirits Home and Standing Stark
Founder, Kenosis and Kenosis Spirit Keepers

Filmer Kewanyama Photo

Filmer Kewanyama is an award-winning Hopi artist from Shungopavi, Second Mesa, Arizona, whose work depicts the sacred Hopi way of life. He learned the ceremonies that his ancestors passed on to him. Such knowledge comes with its own set of responsibilities, complicated by modern life.

Categories: cultural interests, Hopi, Sacred Reciprocity, Spiritual Evolution | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Eugene O’Neill and Me

Eugene O'Neill PhotoI have a relationship with Eugene O’Neill, and it has endured over fifteen years. Like some other close friends I have, we live apart. There may be long periods when we don’t see each other. But when we pick up the threads of communication again, the exchange cuts to the chase. Understanding is immediate. We have history.

A small photo of him sits on my desk. When my eyes glance over in the course of my days, I subliminally recall important times, the same with other friends and family whose photos sit around my home. But much of the time, his image gets covered over with stacks of papers, shunted off, buried in notes. Our relationship seems to go underground.

He made an overt appearance the other day that I’ll tell you about a little later, but first perhaps you’d like to know more about how it all began. It was so significant that I relayed the start and development in my two previous books.


 Excerpt from Standing Stark published in 2004:

Calling Our Spirits HomeIn my book Calling Our Spirits Home I relayed a dream that gave me both a warning and a prophecy. Eugene O’Neill appeared in the course of the dream metaphorically compelling me to write and advising that it would become part of my livelihood. It showed me essentially ignoring him and becoming distracted down another avenue. I had this dream well before I considered undertaking the book in question, or even any writing for that matter. I also knew very little about Eugene O’Neill and hadn’t, in my memory, been exposed recently to anything he’d penned. Much later, when I finally decided to write, my attention was indeed split by a venture that proved, in the end, not only disappointing but also distinctly unprofitable. I hadn’t been smart enough at the time to heed his advice.

Again, it’s possible that this is just an interesting and coincidental story. But after I had started this present book and was finding all ways imaginable not to write—as writers sometimes do—Eugene O’Neill appeared to me again in a dream. This time it was very brief. But it was a flash I clearly recalled. 

“I’ll have to go,” he said to me and began to turn away.

“Wait!” I cried out desperately, waking myself up.

After that I once again picked up my pen, so to speak. A few weeks later, I was cross-country visiting my parents. While there, I had dinner with an old friend. In the midst of our conversation, I told him about my unusual relationship with Eugene O’Neill. We laughed about it and went on to other topics.

When I returned to my parents’ home late that night, they were already in bed. Being too energized by my hours long discussion with my friend, I looked for a way to unwind so that I could go to bed. Reading the newspaper is not a habit of mine. However, the newspaper was there and after scanning the front page, I opened it. There staring back at me was a photograph of Eugene O’Neill! In a column entitled “This Day in History,” I was informed that on that date in 1946 “The Iceman Cometh” had opened on Broadway. I also noticed from the article that he had passed the year I was born. I may have been chuckling with my friend earlier that evening, but someone was having a big laugh at my expense then. It was a few more hours before I was able to retire for the night.

Standing Stark CoverHow is it that I could be the “protegé” of Eugene O’Neill? Or that simple events could arrange themselves in a way that I definitely glean meaning in them for my life? The only answer I have is that at those times when he actively manifested in my awareness, there must have been a resonance of some sort between us. If vibrations are similar, they often attract. I noticed that I saw him only when I was using delaying tactics, or was generally unconscious in my actions. Perhaps in his life, he knew those same patterns all too well. I can only feel deeply touched by his clipped, direct guidance and be grateful for it.

I haven’t seen my mentor in a metaphysical manner in quite some time. But writing has become a regular practice for me. Maybe it’s his intense dark eyes staring at me from the newspaper photo that I preserve on my desk that keeps me in line. He’s had no further need to reappear.

My illustrations here lend a new meaning to possibility. If something has ever existed in some form, then it’s still present on a certain level. In the instances above, I stumbled upon this truism. But we can consciously open to it. Holding the intent to connect with what would guide us, we can do so.


As I noted in Standing Stark, I no longer need encouragement to write. But it’s always nice to be acknowledged and to do the same in turn. Several days ago, I was clearing my desk, throwing out a plethora of notes I no longer needed. The project had come to completion. I had just sent off the last advance copy of my new book Portals to the Vision Serpent to the editorial reviewers. 

In my straightening up, Eugene O’Neill was suddenly visible again, the photo yellowed with age. Our eyes hadn’t met for a long time, and when they did, I could swear that he bowed his head slightly to me. I smiled and bowed mine in return.


Portals to the Vision Serpent is the initiation journey of a young man, carried by faith to fill the gaping hole left by not knowing his people, even as they insistently call to him. The story moves through Georgia, Arizona and into the rainforests of Guatemala and Mexico. Interwoven are the struggles of native people to preserve their way of life and tragedies that often come through misunderstanding between cultures. This is a tale of dark wounds, healing, hope and cross-cultural acceptance.

The novel will be published in print and e-book by June. Watch for the announcement.

Categories: Creativity Strategies, Sacred Reciprocity, The Writing Life | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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