Posts Tagged With: healing

Book Review: The Gargoyle

The Gargoyle

An absolutely engrossing and complex novel about a man living a depraved lifestyle until a serious car accident intervenes. Burnt over most of his body and terribly deformed, he undergoes the process of healing forced upon him by medical science. He wants nothing more than to end his life and sets out planning the suicide he would undertake once released from the care unit. In the course of treatments he meets Marianne, a beautiful sculptor who had slipped out of the psychiatric ward and showed up in his room. She claims they were lovers in medieval Germany when she was a nun scribe at the famed Engelthal Abbey and he was a soldier who suffered a similar injury as he had in present times. Through her ministering, not only his body, but also his soul began to heal. The story weaves back and forth between present-day to the Middle Ages, Los Angeles, Germany and elsewhere building a powerful tale of love and intrigue.

Would that the story could end there. But Marianne had word from beyond the veil that her work was nearly done in the present. She was in a frenzied countdown to finish twenty-seven more gargoyles before leaving this plane. Overlay that with the main character’s struggle with the enticements of drug addiction. The reader will vacillate between hope and dread, the outcome being unpredictable. 

For people fascinated with questions relating to the sometime blurred line between mysticism and mental illness, reincarnation, the process of healing and resiliency of the soul, I’m betting you will find The Gargoyle as compelling as I did. Points of medieval life and the mystics of Engelthal Abbey are well researched, an additional plus.  Be forewarned that the description of burn treatment and healing is quite graphic, and unless you’re in the medical profession may be too much for you. If you can get through it, as I did, then you’ll find yourself much more educated on the subject and holding even more compassion for anyone who has to go through such suffering. 

This is Andrew Davidson’s debut novel and he has well proven himself already. I am very much awaiting his next work. Available on Amazon and elsewhere. 

Categories: Book Review, Healing, Spiritual Evolution | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Interview with Becca Begnaud, Cajun Traiteur

In October 2012, I was visiting friends in Lafayette, Louisiana—Cajun Country—and fell in love with the area. My time there was made that much more interesting by meeting Becca Begnaud who is a traiteur, a Cajun prayer healer. I was invited to interview her for The Lifepath Dialogues during a program of hers. To me, the outcome was fascinating. We cover a lot of ground. Listen to Becca as she talks about what it means to be a traiteur, Cajun culture and challenges on the path as a healer. It’s worth 38 minutes of your time.

Interview on You Tube.

Interview on You Tube.

I will be returning to Lafayette shortly. Becca will be sponsoring my work for her Healing Arts Collective. You can find the details of the November 15 talk Timeless Pathways for Today’s Spirit Keepers and November 16 workshop Asking the Answer in this downloadable flyer. I’ll also be giving a talk in Baton Rouge on November 14 at The Red Shoes, a center for personal and spiritual growth. I’m very much looking forward to returning to this area, rich in so many ways.

Categories: cultural interests, Gratitude, Healing, Interview, Personal Growth, Spiritual Evolution | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review – Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection

Full Moon Feast

Jessica Prentice is a chef and food activist in the San Francisco Bay area who is an avid proponent for locally grown foods. In other words, she urges us toward tradition. Full Moon Feast is a book about food and more with stories from Indigenous cultures of appreciation for what nourishes. It also tells of challenges and confusion related to relationship with food. Jessica advocates for small farmers who choose to uphold commitment and passion toward their way of life. At the same time, she documents methods of modern food production that have lost their humanity and encourage disconnection from our food sources and each other.

The author calls us back to a more engaged, mindful way of nourishing ourselves by connecting us to what food once held—the circle of life. She grounds the meaning and timing of food selection by our own natural rhythms and the thirteen lunar cycles. This book comforts and takes back to our roots—easily forgotten in a fast food universe. And it’s full of tempting recipes like Salmon Cured with Maple and Juniper, Summer Berries with Lavender Créme Anglaise or Sourdough Cheese Herb Scones. If you allow it, Full Moon Feast will deepen your appreciation for the food in your life and cause you to start searching out locally grown produce as it did me. The book is available through Amazon and bookstores. 

Categories: Book Review, Healing, Healthy Living, Indigenous Wisdom, Sacred Reciprocity | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Common Threads Beyond Culture

With news of devastations in Syria and the US Government poised to take warring actions, I’m compelled to share these thoughts and send prayers toward peace.

Offering Photo credit: Carla Woody

Photo credit: Carla Woody

I traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia in 2005 where I had the privilege of presenting workshops and sitting on a roundtable discussion at the 13th Annual Conference on Conflict Resolution whose theme was “Engaging the Other.” Cosponsors were the Harmony Institute of St. Petersburg and Common Bond Institute located in Michigan, along with a whole list of multinational endorsers. Aside from Russia and the US, there were participants and presenters from Israel, Serbia, South Africa, Palestinian Authority and a number of other countries.

The roundtable where I was a panel member was entitled “The Other as Both Humankind’s Oldest, Most Resilient Foe and Our Shared Identity.” My workshop session introduced the “Re-Membering Process,” the model of spiritual evolution I developed, along with experiences of working with intent. In the parallel youth conference, I focused on cleaning the energy body with the teens.

My participation in this conference was a case of intuitive guidance. While I didn’t give it much thought beforehand, there was something inside me that said it was important to go. Once I got over the initial eleven-hour jet lag and began to immerse myself in the conference, I realized it was impacting me in a way I couldn’t articulate and certainly hadn’t expected. I had to sit with it for a time and allow the meaning to come in bits and pieces.

First, I recognized that twenty-five years ago this conference couldn’t have happened. I was in Moscow in the mid-1980s as a tourist when things were still shaky between the US and Russia. The atmosphere at that time was uncomfortable, to say the least. At the 2005 conference, people whose nations were current enemies, or foes in the recent past, were sitting side by side for learning, dialogue and some fun along the way. This was a progressive group of people who looked well beyond the politics of their respective countries.


Photo: Carla Woody

My next realization was the contrast between my focus, alignment of the individual in order to make a difference, and the majority of other workshops, which were dealing with the traumas and ravages of war, extreme social strife and disease. I quickly noted how removed my own life is from such things. I’ve had my challenges but nothing like what these presenters were discussing. I began to wonder if what I had to share would have value in those cultures experiencing such high degrees of discord.

I told the workshop group that I knew the “Re-membering Process”* to be true in my own culture. But I didn’t know if it would be valid for them and invited them to give me feedback. As I led them through the phases of spiritual evolution that I had identified, the issues that tended to arise and the path of progression, I saw a lot of heads nodding in agreement.

A number of people shared their stories. But one woman’s story in particular was quite moving. She came from an area of Russia that had a long history of hostilities. She said her grandparents had been killed and her father was jailed for many years. She gave examples of her own suffering through those times. Through tears, she then stated that the “Re-Membering Process” was true for nations as well as individuals. It gave her hope as she could identify her own progression and that of her country. Later when I led a guided imagery, meant to take the group into the Core Self and experience intent, she experienced an energetic opening, as did others, never having done so before.

The outcome of that workshop deepened a certain meaning for me. There is indeed a common thread that runs through us all. We want the same things. Some of us find ourselves in horrific situations in which we feel helpless and hopeless. Yet there is a resident resilience in the human spirit that whispers to us: Something else exists.

Yes. We need to get through the traumas of war. But then what? Dialoguing alone won’t do it—and further aggression won’t either. To leave the times of war behind, whether the conflict is internal or external, micro or macro, we must experience the possibility of spiritual evolutionand connect to it. As we step into Core Essence and remain even remotely aligned to it, we positively affect ourselves but also others. The results can then blow like a strong wind across all lands. I believe it.


 *Note: The “Re-Membering Process” is thoroughly described in my book Standing Stark. To learn more about this annual conference, see Common Bond Institute.

Categories: Compassionate Communication, Healing, Spiritual Evolution | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Book Review – Fleeting Moments of Fierce Clarity: Journal of a New England Poet

Fleeting Moments

L.M. Browning has written a volume about spiritual travel, not in the sense of exotic adventure, but in leaving the familiar inner dwelling, while staying close to home, to discover what is true. She lets the reader know that difficult circumstances accompanied her through much of her young life, alluding to sacrifices and betrayals. But that’s not where she leaves us. The purpose of disclosure is to let us know where she’s been and where she’s come to this point: unstintingly honest having found strength in vulnerability. Gratitude for the small things. Connection to place.

She frequently mentions the Transcendentalists. In reading the poetry and introductory essays, I can easily imagine the author walking by Thoreau’s side around Walden Pond. I’ve traveled to some of the places named. But even if I hadn’t, her use of language makes them immediate. And there’s a feeling sense that speaks to an inner space common to all of usif we choose to know it.

 As I grasped the old wrought doorknobs, I shook hands with the past.

 Celebrations of nature and history are used as vehicles urging toward spiritual travel, to shed what is meaningless and embrace greater freedom. There are examples on every page. I’ve chosen this one, reprinted with permission, to include here.

The Truce


Pluck a strand of wind

And listen to the trees quiver.


Run until your heart pounds

And watch the stagnant surface

Of the pond ripple.


Throw back

The suffocating blankets of false comfort

And let yourself feel the renewal of the rain.


Only when we overcome

Our fear of being along,

Can we come to know the company

That is always with us.


In surrendering, we are cradled.

In accepting, we are able to impart.

In kneeling, we stand taller.


Gather what is worthy of your devotion

And never betray it.


So that, in the end,

You will know that,

Though you be small,

You poured out all that you are

Into what is greater


And in doing so,

Became part of it.

 In this thin volume much is said. You’ll not want to hurry through it but rather take a page or two and linger, much as you might to inform meditation practice. Fleeting Moments of Fierce Clarity has been given the distinction of Finalist, Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Non-Fiction Regional Category.

Available in trade paperback, e-book and audio formats via Homebound Publications, Amazon and other online or retail bookstores.

Categories: Book Review, Healing, Solitude, Spiritual Evolution, Spiritual Travel | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

New Book Release: Portals to the Vision Serpent

Portals to the Vision SerpentI am pleased to announce that my latest book has been released and is now available in trade paperback and/or Kindle versions in North America,  Europe and the UK. The Kindle version is also available in Japan, Brazil and India.

As with all my books, I’m donating 10% of profits from book sales to Kenosis Spirit Keepers, the nonprofit I founded to help preserve Indigenous wisdom traditions—like those featured in the novel. Know that if you’re drawn to read the book, you’re also supporting these important projects.


Preston Johns Cadell is tormented. He attempts to outrun discontent and the void in his heart. His mother is hardly around. His father’s origins and disappearance are shrouded by family secrets. His sole remembrance of his father is flying through the stars nestled in his arms.

Any comfort Preston derives is from an unseen advisor who teaches him of the invisible world. Now he is coming of age. Memories arrive from long ago when a brown-skinned woman cared for him. But she, too, vanished. Finding the buried remains of his father’s altar, Preston must answer the draw to his destiny, to discover his lineage—even though he has no idea how or where it will lead him.

Portals to the Vision Serpent is a Hero’s Journey into the realms of shamanism and the Maya world. Interwoven are the struggles of indigenous peoples to preserve their way of life and tragedies that often come from misunderstandings. Through a family saga of dark wounds and mystery, spiritual healing unfolds.

Editorial Reviews

The search to find one’s True Self is a journey that often challenges cultural preconceptions and assumptions. Portals to the Vision Serpent takes this journey deep into the heart of the True People, delivering a story of longing and mystery woven like a story cloth between two worlds.

—Sharon Brown, Publisher, Sacred Fire Magazine

Bloodlines are story lines. In Portals to the Vision Serpent, Carla Woody invites the reader to explore the mysterious, ever-unfolding tale that each one must tell with our lives…one chapter at a time. Step into these pages. Invoke your true name. Re-member who you have always been.

—Jamie K. Reaser, author of Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life and Note to Self: Poems for Changing the World from the Inside Out

Portals to the Vision Serpent is a transcendent spiritual adventure of a soul’s inner and outer journey into the rainforests of Guatemala and Mexico and brings awareness to the struggles of native people amidst the onslaught of cultural genocide.

—Matthew Pallamary, author of Land Without Evil

Other Books

Standing Stark Cover Trade paperback currently available in North America. (Watch for wider distribution soon.) Kindle ebook available in North America, Europe, Japan, India and Brazil.

Calling Our Spirits HomeCurrently available in trade paperback in North America. Wider distribution coming soon.

Categories: cultural interests, Healing, Lacandón Maya, Maya, Spiritual Evolution | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lifepath Dialogues Gathering: Voice and Expression (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 January 2013 Lifepath Dialogues Gathering

with many thanks to special guest host

Yaqin Lance Sandleben:
Voice and Expression
The complete unedited audio is about 40 minutes long. Click below to listen. I hope you enjoy.

This discussion inspired by  the post:
Voice and Expression
By Carla Woody
Author of Calling Our Spirits Home and Standing Stark
Founder, Kenosis and Kenosis Spirit Keepers

Yaqin Lance Sandleben Photo

Yaqin Lance Sandleben is a Cherag, an ordained minister of American Sufism following the Chisti Sufi lineage of India. He leads the Dances of Universal Peace, Universal Worship Service and offers guidance on the path of spiritual awakening. Yaqin lives in Prescott, Arizona, where he has practiced pharmacy for 35 years, raised a family, and served the community in different ways—mostly through volunteering.  His interests in religion, spiritual development, and the awakening process began at the age of 12 in the Christian Church.   For many years he studied well known and obscure paths of awakening.  He began meditating 40 years ago and embraced American Sufism 33 years ago.   He has also studied and practiced Buddhism with many teachers, including HH the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan teachers.  His Sufi connection has led him to India, to the shrines of saints, and to the study of Raga, Indian Classical music.

Categories: Creativity Strategies, Healing, Meditation, 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

Playing with Uncertainty

Do you remember what it was like to be a young child when everything was new? Being awestruck by all that you saw, heard and felt? Did you pick things up and examine them closely, put them in your mouth? Play—no holds barred? Sing at the top of your lungs just to hear what your voice sounded like?

Mollamarka Girl

Mollamarka Girl
©2003 Carla Woody

As the years unfold, most people become more and more comfortable with certainty—and forget to have the fresh perspective of a child. In fact, the older we are, the more afraid we are likely to be of uncertainty and even become stuck when something unforeseen happens. Paralysis occurs when we are fans of control.

But when spiritual evolution sends a calling card, if we acknowledge the invitation and accept, what we’re asking of ourselves is to let go. At that point, we find ourselves at a threshold, an urging at our back to move through it. Perhaps little may be seen in that beyond place, maybe nothing. Yet embracing the unknown is how we learn and grow.

Metaprograms and Change

 From NLP, metaprograms define how we individually sort information and guide our thought process. Metaprograms predict our behaviors. Note that metaprograms often differ depending on context—relationship, work, etc.—and are a complex mix but easily determined through language patterns. All metaprograms are useful in some context and can be shifted if the orientation is causing an issue.

I’m going to zero in on a couple of metaprograms that I find have a lot to do with how we deal with change—and good to know if we’re contemplating transition. Below is a very brief summary that discusses the outer limits of a range. Most people have some mixture of both.

Toward/Away from: People with a “toward” orientation have their eyes locked on a goal—and go for it. They have blinders on and anticipate the pleasure of having what they want. Those with an “away from” orientation are focused on what they don’t want and avoiding pain. When asked what they want…they often have no idea.

Options/Procedures: People with an “options” mind set are excited by alternatives and possibilities. They love to explore and may do so endlessly. Those with a “procedures” orientation tend to think in black and white terms and love doing things step-by-step to completion. If the procedure is interrupted, they usually grind to a halt.

The Trapeze of Spiritual Travel

It’s natural for all of us to settle into a lifestyle over time and incur aspects of life that become familiar, whether they truly serve us or not. When we choose to “Enter the Forest” beyond the threshold, it involves uncertainty—stepping outside the environment that we’re used to—where we know what to expect, at least most of the time, of ourselves and others. It’s predictable. Those who will have the most emotional difficulty when faced with upheaval will be folks with paired, outer limit “away from” and “procedures” metaprograms.  On the other side, those with paired, radical “toward” and “options” metaprograms may love the journey but have a challenge coming to a place of right fit and new-found foundation.

Danaan Parry’s parable “The Trapeze” really speaks to the balance between control and letting go in order to catch the next swing of the trapeze.

“The Trapeze” video on You Tube.

 There’s also the need to invoke early childhood qualities we may have forgotten: curiosity, appreciation, courage and finally, discernment to determine what truly tastes and feels good. That way we discover what further nurtures us.

The process can be a truly mystical one if we allow it. We will be delivered to the other side, indeed, transformed on the way. And in the midst of letting go we can play with uncertainty—as an ally. We can trust in an age-old process, one learned well by high wire artists and children.

 This is a form of spiritual travel.


 Drawn from Navigating Your Lifepath, the six-month mentoring program.

Categories: Healing, Healthy Living, Personal Growth, Spiritual Evolution, Spiritual Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

February 27 Lifepath Dialogues Gathering: The Spiritual Meaning of Lineage

Lifepath Dialogue Gathering

Exploring the many threads that weave together an expressive, celebrated life.


You are invited! Please pass to friends and family.

FEBRUARY 27, 6:30-8 PM

FREE Monthly Gathering on Fourth Wednesdays

Creekside Center, 337 N. Rush Street, Prescott, Arizona

February’s topic:

“The Spiritual Meaning of Lineage”

Based on the post: “Lineage: Calling on the Ancestors
Author of Calling Our Spirits Home and Standing Stark
Founder, Kenosis and Kenosis Spirit Keepers



Terri Hanauer-Brahm wondered why her father refused to discuss his past and why her relatives were the same way. She uncovered a family secret that sent her on an odyssey of discovery. Out of her quest came a book: “The Hanauer Family: Before, During and After the Holocaust.” She will share with us what this journey has meant to her.

Email: or call 928.778.1058

Categories: Healing, Healthy Living, Maya, Personal Growth, Spiritual Evolution, Travel Experiences | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: