Women Gathering

in small groups, talking …

Evolution of the ‘Ohana’ Tribe

I’m amazed at what happens as these collectives grow and expand in ways beyond the imagination.  My life continues to evolve in ways that at one point in my life I wouldn’t have thought possible and now…it’s simply what I expect.  Imagine expecting nothing less than what I deserve in life for my own evolution?

Imagine being part of something where all that is required is to show up and simply be yourSelf?  As new tribal members meet the excitement grows.  What does my/our life look like as I/we continue to share with others the truth of our own experience?

Last night was an experience like so many others that I now have.  While having a meaningful conversation on the phone with my friend Naomi, my friend Sarah arrives for a visit.  Both women had only heard of each other up until the Women of Intensity Gathering at my office.  It was easy to note the excitement in Naomi’s voice knowing that Sarah (a new found Ohana Tribal member and friend) was going to be engaging in meaningful conversation with me…and I’m sure that she realized that even though her physical presence may not have been there, she was there on a whole different level.

Both women incredible with so much to share with others.  Last night I was the ‘other’ woman that they chose to share with and now, I share this experience with all of you.  I sit here in my living room and know that even though the physical bodies of other women may not be seen here, I sense so many of my friends as I write.  I’ll never be or feel alone again.

When women gather…by phone, Google Groups, small gatherings or any other way, miracles happen.  I remember myself as well as others saying an expression that seems almost amusing to me now.  “All we can do is pray for a miracle.”  Well maybe then, maybe for others but what I know for mySelf is that every day that I wake up and get to live another day in a way which is meaningful to me (and possible touch someone else’s life), is a miracle.  Did I have to stop and pray for it?  No.  I create my own miracles and it’s simply…’Miraculous.”  :)

I remember when I started this journey and it changed my life in ways that there are no words for.  I wanted everyone to live as I was living knowing that not only my life had evolved but health issues disappeared.  How could others not want what I had?  How could others not embrace the genius of what I had discovered and was so willing to share with them?  It’s quite simple.  They’re not me and I was no different than they were before I discovered a different way of moving through the world.

What I realize now is that I have nothing to prove or justify to others.  Rather I can be Honest – Open – Clear and Direct when someone asks, “So what are these programs/retreats/courses that you’ve taken?”  I could become annoyed or share with them what I have experienced.  In spite of the rolling of the eyes or the looks of disbelief, when I remember who I am and know that their body reactions are nothing more than them allowing their body to process what they’re hearing, there is no need for annoyance.  What they do with the information is entirely up to them.  And…I choose to continue to move forward in a direction that is meaningful and will feed my soul and the evolution of Self. 

As I continue to share what I know and the truth of who I am, who knows where it will all lead and what I know is that if I don’t share…then I know what I can expect…Nothing.  If I believe and I do believe that each and every one of us is magnificent, I would only be limiting mySelf and possibly would only ‘coast’ through my life in stead of experiencing my life to the fullest.

What if we were to stop being polite to others by having small conversations and allowed ourselves to have ‘engaging’ conversations all day and every day?  What would our lives look like?  What would others’ lives look like?  Guess What?  There’s only one way to find out.  :)

I’m welcoming of other Ohana and am excited…wait a minute…SOOOO EXCITED  at what lies ahead of me and better yet, at who I can become as I share the truth of who I am.                And who am I?

I Am the Bold Vibration for Accelerated Change.   (Care to meet with me)?   :)


December 30th, 2008 Posted by | Groups, Insights | no comments

Tribal Ohana

The email arrived December 18th.  I opened it and read these simple lines: 


I have no need for you to fix me or save me; I just like your company.  Louise, thank you, for continuing to be the fiercest and the kindest person I have ever met.

My breath caught in my throat.  I felt tears in my eyes.  How strange to have someone notice and encourage that within me which is fierce.  I know who I am – and now I know that she does, too.  But perhaps what touched me most was how strange to have that of me which is fierce, held with the same warmth and appreciation as that of me which is kind.  

In a flash, the image of the goddess Sekhmet filled my awareness.  The image of a woman’s body with the head of a lioness.  What a powerful image for the woman that I AM, and for the women that I am coming to know!  The body of a woman (the capacity to love and nurture; to give birth and sustain and embrace) and the head of a lioness (the capacity to hunt, to destroy; cunning and wise; the willingness and ability to lead with an edge if and when required).   Fiercely loving and fiercely holding ground!  

How many women live their lives without a head?  In today’s world, a woman is synonymous with her body; with its shape and size, with its desirability and availability.  How many of us have bound ourselves to a life of ‘body’ only, often resulting in becoming the buffet from which those around us feed freely?  How many of us have for so long denied the ‘head of the lioness’ that we ourselves, have lost our connection to and to all that it brings into our lives?  

Rare is the moment in my world when a woman is seen to be fierce and it is welcomed.  My life has been filled with so many women who have kept that aspect of themselves – that which is fierce and formidable – so deeply hidden even they could not find it.  If it showed itself at all, it would manifest as outbursts of noise and flurry; or It would seep out as depression or anxiety or some unnamed, unclaimed agitation for which the prescription pad was the familiar and easy solution.  And they would die a little more. 

The woman who wrote that email is the same woman has found within herself her own fierce determination to live her life fully!  With a diagnosis of cancer, the roar of her unwillingness to go quietly into the night, allowing her terror to lead, has become the torch that lights her way to find the line in the sand… each and every day of her life….that will not be crossed.  Her life is hers to live, and she is clear:  she’s here to live it large! 

Sandy’s diagnosis could have been her invitation to lie down and die; to give up; to curl in on herself and allow her fear and dread to become the cocoon that would be her demise.  Not this woman!  On the last day of her second 5-day intensive, Sandy found her fury – unleashed in a powerful, awakened collective of women – and allowed herself to be claimed by it.   The wave began with a roar, swept through the room and washed over all who were present.  Not one soul present braced against or stiffened as the wave moved through them.  Not one of them left the room or turned away.  Not one of these amazing women interfered.  Each, in her own way, relaxed into the fury… breathed… and knew that what would be awakened in them would become the force of who they are.  In not time, the tears came, followed by a different roar – the roar of laughter!  In less than five minutes, we had all become more.

In that moment, Sandy found her tribe.  It was some time before she wrote about it on the Women Gathering Google Group, in a way that moved us all.  Tribal Healing was born. 

My own world has come to be shaped by ‘ohana’… the Hawaiian notion of family of choice.  For me, ohana has a sense of wholeness.  It is reminiscent of soft, curved lines that flow outward and make room for all to be embraced.  It feeds me and sources how I live. 

As I read Sandy’s note on finding her ‘tribe’, I was moved by the power of that word.  The notion of ‘tribe’ is much more primal – much more ‘fierce’ – than that of ohana.  Tribe is such a primary element, such an essential expression of our very being, as we are born into our first ‘tribe’ when energy takes form.  Without tribe, we die. 

The two notions have now come together in a much more powerful way!  The notion of ‘ohana’ is the body of the woman; the notion of ‘tribe’ is the head of the lioness.  Separate and unique, offering access to the full measure of the living forces that we are; and yet both are of the same being. 

 Ohana : long, soft, fluid lines that curve and expand.  Tribe:  straight lines, sharp angles and an edge that is formidable.  

Ohana: expansive, expanding, making room to reach out and journey away from where we are.  Tribe:  deep roots, strong  trunk, making it possible for the branches to grow yet still be safely held by the ‘ground’ from which it is sourced… and on which it stands.  

Perhaps healing comes from Tribal Ohana… from the combination of what both bring into our lives.  Perhaps in creating our experience of Tribal Ohana of choice, we claim it all:  we claim that we are, too, fierce and kind with every breath – and unwilling ever to be anything less. 

Around the world, women have no tribe.  We flow ourselves into the tribe or ohana that exists, shaping ourselves to be like water moving through cracks left to us by whatever social frameworks have been designed.  We seep into the smallest of spaces, making it impossible for others to see the full force of who we are, since we rarely, if ever, gather ourselves up.  But what of a tribe of women?  What of ohana that  is large enough, welcoming enough and open enough to allow all of us to show up for our own lives?  

Women Gathering Google Group is a space that invites Tribal Ohana …. the energy that is the goddess Sekhmet.. to come to life!  It is a place where we no longer need to hide the ferocity of the fullness of who we are.  It is a place that recognizes and welcomes that in the wholeness of who we are, there must be room for our fury and not just our loving, compassionate and gentle ways.  

Sandy has found her Tribe – and so have I!

December 23rd, 2008 Posted by | Insights, leadership | one comment

Younger Voices Gathering


About 2 years ago, I ran a short two-hour WEL-Systems program experience for my senior level skaters. This experience introduced them to some of the WEL-Systems ® models and focused on integrating the CODE Model ™ and Quantum TLC ™ into their athletic training. As a National StarSkate coach, my coaching business is now centered within a WEL-Systems approach so all of my skaters have become accustomed to my engaging with them in this way.

Several weeks ago, during a test day, a couple of my adolescent skaters, who had engaged in this 2006 WEL-Systems ® program, noticed that one of my skaters (whom I had only been coaching for about 6 weeks) was quite nervous while waiting to perform her dance test. Upon noticing her heightened energy, these 2 young women proceeded to assist her in moving her attention to the base of her spine through the White Feather exercise. They also encouraged her by modeling a breathing pattern to change her own breathing in order to stabilize her energy level and to shift her state. Having created this Quantum TLC ™ experience, one turned to me matter of factly and stated, “Susan … have you not shown her how to do this?” then, both acknowledged to this skater “It really does help (performing the test) by doing this!” Subsequently, they all performed well and passed their tests.

A few days ago, little known to me, these senior skaters were engaged in a conversation at the rink on how they utilize the WEL-Systems ® approach in their everyday lives. One of them related back to me what was learned through this exchange.

While writing school exams, one young woman notices that, during particularly challenging questions, she is holding her breath and cannot intellectually think of the answer … then, upon taking a couple of breaths and moving her attention within her body, suddenly, the answer surfaces into awareness. She adds that it is so cool when this happens over and over again. Her fellow classmates are not too sure what she is doing with this breathing stuff yet she is perfectly okay with their response.

Another bears witness to what happens to her fellow classmates who are frequently not breathing and their stress increases in the exam room. Upon leaving the exam room, breathing resumes and, as a result, sobbing tears flow from these students as the energy begins to move.

Another young woman realizes that she cannot get to sleep at night so she breathes deeply and allows the energy to move until the body stabilizes and relaxation occurs.

When overwhelmed with several school project demands, one young woman, rather than become overwhelmed, maintains her intention by choosing to complete the required work to her own internally referenced desires within the time frame that she has rather than live up to some externally referenced teacher marking standard. Once completed, she remains satisfied that, however it unfolds, she is fine with her choice.

In one recent class experiment, students were required to hold their breath then upon breathing have their blood pressure taken to demonstrate an increase in blood pressure. This same young woman took only 2 long breaths after holding her breath, and upon taking her blood pressure, the body had quickly stabilized so the blood pressure was unexpectedly low for the experimental result. The perplexed teacher did this a few more times only to find that her blood pressure continued to be consistently stable and low. Curious, he asked what she was doing and she let him know that she simply took 2 long breaths. Still perplexed, he voiced his belief that this was not usual or “normal”. She simply responded that her skating coach teaches her how to do all this WEL-Systems ® stuff so that it is perfectly okay (that he did not understand)!

I am overcome with a mixture of joyous laughter and heartfelt tears that these young “adolescent” women are finding ways to play with and to integrate a WEL-Systems ® approach into their lives. They are beginning to discover, as many of us much older women have, that WEL-Systems ® is not simply a technique or an approach, it is a way of living more fully in everyday life!

December 18th, 2008 Posted by | Insights, leadership | no comments

The Magic Of Simply “Being”

Today I gathered with a group of women and every time is the same as the time before.  Magnificent.

There is something to be said about what takes place when women gather and have meaningful conversations.  Nothing to do except speak of the truth that roams around in our bodies.  

One woman that was there today had never been part of the experience and it was all new to her.  As I shared my thoughts with her of what ‘popped’ for me when she spoke, tears came streaming down her face.  Although the language that she heard was possibly different than what she was used to, there’s no denying that her body  knew ‘truth’ which she may not have tapped into until today.  The body will not be silenced.  I looked at her and I marveled as the truth of who she is awakened within.  Maybe she doesn’t know how magnificent she is today - and I trust that the truth of who she is started to awaken today and I witnessed it.  Now there is no turning back.  Moving forward will be all that her body will be calling for.  What she knows of her past she may very well discover is nothing more than a very old movie or story that is nothing more than comfortable because of its familiarity of knowing the outcome.  Hmmm, what she may discover is that it may not be so ‘comfortable’ for her anymore.

As the conversations went from one thing to another we all discovered things about ourselves as we shared the truth of our experiences.  Women, we’re truly magnificent beings.  Yes…Beings.  No longer willing or having space to only be ‘care givers’ or being ‘in service’ to others.

So today I gathered in the company of other women and I realize what an absolutely ‘Kick Ass’ life I have created for myself.  Yes.  I have created the life that I live and may I add that I live my life to the fullest and that every breath of every day is an ‘experience.’  I don’t believe that I have anything different than anyone else nor do I believe that it’s not attainable for others. 

Looking around the room and witnessing what I did, I am very clear that I don’t feel ‘sorry’ for any of these women.  Each and every one of us has something different to experience in our lives so how can I judge or feel sorry for someone when I am clearly not them and have no idea what it is that they have to move through in their lives?  These women are strong and powerful from within.  Why would I ‘belittle’ them by ‘feeling’ sorry for them?  That would mean that I don’t believe that they are capable or in charge of their own lives and that means that I’m not in charge of mine.  “I’m just…lucky I guess.”  Well  not friggin likely.  My life is of my choosing and luck is for someone that possibly believes that they aren’t in control of their lives.  Thank-you…and that’s not me.  :)

There’s something magical that happens when all we need to do is show up and just ‘be.’  This is how I live my life.  Possibly for other women that were there today it may be a new concept.  What I trust is that these women as well as myself, will continue to awaken to the truth that lies within and will no longer be willing to be ‘small’ so that others in our lives can ‘feel’ big.

I’m willing to live my life in a very large way.  How about you…you magnificent women in my life and others who I have yet to meet?

Letting go of the old movies and old stories and… Growing Forward.


December 14th, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | one comment

Emergent Living

It’s been (another!) incredible week for me!  A small group of women gathered at Oceanstone, talking… about our lives.  Whispers from Within Women’s Writing retreat is about life and living; about waking up, being awake and staying awake; about being bold and present and engaged!

Laughter and tears weave a tapestry of personal discovery and ‘public’ revelation of Self and all that it entails.  Our time, although leisurely, is layered with intensity and rest, views of the ocean always close at hand.  This time of year, twinkling lights, festive candles and boughs of green surround us in every space.  We are awakened by the conversations and soothed by the quiet moments spent in our own company. 

It is always so moving for me to be in the presence of such courageous women!  I am constantly amazed at how far, how fast and how deep women are willing to go in the search for themselves.  Once there, their courage and compassion becomes the invitation for other women to travel with them.  No matter what the cost, these women discover that no price is too great to pay to regain themselves; and no reward worth losing themselves, again.  

During this time together, one of these amazing women has been moving through a diagnosis of cancer.  I share with all of you the words that I shared with her, knowing as I wrote them that they are always, indeed about myself.  Perhaps you can find yourself. 

Like all things, life is a choice. ” I choose to live.” “I choose not to live.” “I choose to live small.” “I choose to live large.” “I choose to live outrageously!”  We are not officially trained into making these choices, that would be far too powerful a process to call our own. We are nudged, prodded, poked and yanked into living the life that is chosen for us; the life that is defined as the ‘right’ one or the ‘good’ one, given our genetics, our families of origin, our histories, our education, our religion and our economics.

We are shaped to live what is offered to us, enforced by the system of reward and/or punishment to which our ancestors have subscribed; often trading ‘saving face’ for a life of endless quiet (and sometimes not-so-quiet) struggle, conflict, confusion, disillusionment and despair.

Perhaps all of this at least makes us feign interest. The alternative is a life of tedium and monotony living a life that belongs to someone else.

Your life is yours to embrace, in whatever form you choose. It is a life that can be lived in fear and distrust – of that life, itself! – or can be lived with a faith in your own potential to make choices – not the ‘right’ choices, but the choices that are right for

I have not known you for a long time and yet, I know you. You are a strong, vital, funny woman of great curiosity about life. May your greatest curiosity about life be about your own.
You are not alone. You are surrounded by others who have both the compassion and the strength to walk with you without interfering.  Trust yourself. Trust the people you have called to yourself….and LIVE LARGE!

In our own words, we find ourselves.  We say out loud to others what presses hardest against our own barriers.  We listen for others and yet, when we listen to ourselves, our direction becomes clear.  In a holographic universe, can it ever be any other way?

December 6th, 2008 Posted by | Insights | no comments

Standing with…

As I was browsing the news, I came across an essay by Christiane Amanpour.  Whatever my thoughts or opinions on CNN, my admiration of this amazing woman stands on its own. 

Thursday, December 4th, Christiane’s most recent documentary – ‘Scream Bloody Murder’- will air on CNN at 9:00 pm.  As I read her essay, I felt a compelling need to engage in some way.  

I do not do what Christiane does.  I am drawn to engage my world in a very different way, and one that I believe makes a huge difference.  And, having said that, I feel the need to stand with this courageous and powerful woman in some way, as she often stands alone in the face of very real, very present and very grave danger. 

It will be difficult to know.  It will be difficult to watch the images that will, no doubt, cause great upheaval in the body to know that we – as a species – are capable of such horrific and vile acts.  It will be even more so to know that we are capable of harboring such intentions.  From those intentions flow our manifested reality. 

I encourage you to consider standing with her as she stands alone.  Look around you and notice:  where else in your life are women choosing to raise their voice and take a stand… often standing alone?  Whatever the issue, whatever the personal interest, consider what life may bring as you choose to stand with those who choose to stand alone. 

As you take a breath and wonder about it all, consider also:  where in your life is it up to you to stand alone?  And then, look around and notice all those who are willing to stand with you. 

No doubt, this conversation will surface and be further explored on the Women Gathering Google Group.  I hope to see you there.

December 3rd, 2008 Posted by | Articles, Events, Insights | one comment

Women waking up and awakening other women

It was a grey day today, sun barely making its presence felt just before lunch – then gone, again.  It never ceases to amaze me how the weather reflects the journey of those in the room. 

Today is Day 2 of Whispers from Within Women’s Writing Retreat.  All in the room are well versed in a WEL-Systems® way of moving through the world.  What that means is that not only do we all gleefully dive into the deep end of the pool, we do so from the high-dive platform to ensure intensity as we enter!  

Insights come fast, each woman seeing herself in every other.  Every conversation, no matter how seemingly private or personal it may be, is an expression in some way of the lives of everyone there.  Courage is unquestionable.  We trust – ourselves and each other – and we trust the process.  

Today, over lunch, I realized that it’s time for me to write about the power of defining ‘self’ through internal referencing, only.  We are creatures of having been shaped, often having no sense of the degree to which we are the deaf and mute expression of someone else’s version of who we should be.  All of us – men and women – are shaped in this way.  Women are the key to having it be otherwise. 

What also popped to mind today was a moment of standing at the end of December 2009 and knowing that more than 1000 women were actively engaging through the Women Gathering Google Group.  Pinpoints of light connected through the invisible web of the internet.  When one point of light vibrates, the movement is felt through the entire web.  The potential for acceleration is immense!  

Day 3 is a full day art workshop, followed by dinner together with other women in the area who are always hungry for those vast, expansive conversations.  Each day is a surprise, pressing me to be awake, aware and connected to mySelf in order not to lose my connection to every other.  

And there is always more….

December 2nd, 2008 Posted by | Groups, Insights | no comments