Tag Archives: Hunger

Day of Rest

This is one of those posts where I show up to write having no idea what I’m going to say. And yet, I can feel something there, see it like I would a shape in the fog, moving towards me but as yet unnameable.

Eric is walking Sam this morning, or rather running with him. It’s windy and cold, so Eric offered to take him, in part to be nice to me (Colorado wind is my least favorite weather, even worse than rain) but also because he knew if I went he’d have to walk and that would mean being cold. When they run, he doesn’t notice the weather so much — seems like a metaphor, doesn’t it?

The weather seems a perfect match to the card I pulled this morning, “a card of conflict” with the image of five scattered wands. The card warns that “Your energy moves outward in many directions, yet you are suffering inside.” I realized this morning that once again, I was trying to do too much. I was thinking specifically of all the things I’d signed up for leading up to the holidays, all good stuff, emails of wisdom and prompts for reflection and opportunities to connect, but maybe too much… okay, not maybe — too much.

fiveofwandsI am working on a paradigm shift, and that’s hard. I am attempting to move from thinking I can’t be trusted, that I’m not allowed to want what I want, have what I want, that I have to work to earn acceptance and love, looking outward to external cues and messages, trying to do what others want, make them happy so they will in turn love and care for me, thinking that wisdom resides “out there,” that if I’m not getting it right it’s because I’m either stupid or an asshole, measuring my worth by how successfully I pleased others, some of whom are almost impossible to please, and rebelling or collapsing, self-destructing when it gets to be too much.

I can’t do it anymore. It doesn’t work. It will never work. If it did, I would have figured it out by now, but it’s a broken system. I am officially giving up. I am learning how to trust myself, to be myself. I am allowing myself to want what I want, to have what I want. I am moving from focused on what I have to offer to how I want my life to feel, the experience I want to have, what I’m truly hungry for, and no one else can tell me what that looks like, what that should be. I am the expert, only I can know.

For starters, “pancakes make me want to dance,” and I won’t be apologizing for that anymore.

Full Wolf Moon Dreamboard

From Jamie’s post: “The wolf reminds us to connect to our hunger, to notice what desires are calling for our attention. Our dreamboards can help us bring these desires to light and to being! This is an invitation to not just notice our desires but to begin the important work of tending to them, stepping into what we can do to honour what we know of our dreams. What a beautiful way to begin the year.”

The Full Wolf Moon asks “What are you hungry for?”


I am hungry for home, for beauty, for rest, for play,
for companionship and time alone, for comfort and joy.
I am hungry for books, for reading, for learning and dreaming.
I long to relax, open, deepen.

I am hungry for friendship and laughter,
to connect, to tell the truth, for tribe, for play,
to find comfort and joy in these things.
I long to relax, open, deepen.

I also hunger for elements of nature.

When you step out into the wilderness,
you must give yourself over to nature.
Respecting its power and unpredictability,
you must give yourself courage,
while remaining humble and awake.

I am hungry for trails less traveled, for space.
I long to relax, open, deepen.

I hunger for love, wisdom, and kindness.
I long to stay awake, to practice, to feel free.
I am hungry for life.

P.S. I find it curious that the one thing that didn’t come up, that I wasn’t hungry for is food.

Well-Fed Woman Retreatshop Review

Disclaimer: I am utterly smitten with Rachel Cole. She is inspiring and supportive, fierce and compassionate. She glows with energy and love. Having finally met her in person only confirmed my early opinion of her: she is magic. If you get the chance to work with her, through a Retreatshop or consulting or coaching or even just reading her blog, you will be encouraged and enriched.

Also, my experience of the Retreatshop itself is not typical. As a host, during the event I was finding it hard to focus because I was trying to make sure everyone else was comfortable, having a good time, and getting what they needed–be it a tissue or directions to the bathroom or a comfortable chair or time to ask questions or a drink of water. What more than made up for that is I was able to spend one-on-one time with Rachel before and after. But, it did make my experience a bit different than someone who simply attends the Retreatshop.

Well-Fed Woman Retreatshop Review

Rachel has those who register respond to a set of questions ahead of time. They served to focus us all on the central intention for our time together.

What are you most hoping to take away from the mini-retreatshop?
What are you truly hungry for?
What gets in the way of you feeding your truest hungers?

As women arrived at the Retreatshop, Rachel introduced herself to every one. It was interesting for me, who knew all of the women in attendance, to watch each of them relax and smile when Rachel approached. She put them at ease, giving them a gentle invitation to join her in that space and moment.

We started the workshop identifying hungers, writing them down on post-it notes and sticking them to the walls. Even though I had recently read Rachel’s post on “Primary Hungers,” about how we often confuse them with secondary ones, I still struggled in those beginning moments to see the difference. Luckily for me, Rachel is a “hunger whisperer.”

I wrote down a whole row of hungers related to time: time to rest, time to work, time to play, time to think, time to create, time. Rachel challenged that hunger for time, saying it actually was a secondary hunger. With her help, I was able to identify that I am truly hungry to trust my ability to care for myself, to be able to identify what I need and then provide it. I’m hungry for self-care. Once I identified my primary hunger, Rachel gave me suggestions for how I might begin to work with it.

What you have to understand is that throughout the three hours, she did this for every woman there. Some have since told me this was the most powerful element of the whole experience for them. Rachel listens and with a few questions, suddenly everything is clear, a new way revealed.

“It doesn’t matter how long we may have been stuck in a sense of our limitations. If we go into a darkened room and turn on the light, it doesn’t matter if the room has been dark for a day, a week, or ten thousand years — we turn on the light and it is illuminated. Once we control our capacity for love and happiness, the light has been turned on.” ~Sharon Salzberg

Rachel shares her own story, her own journey, during the Retreatshop, giving those in attendance a specific example that illustrates this important process–identifying what you are truly hungry for and learning how to feed it. Rachel has a map that shows the way, one that she wrote herself as she traveled through this same territory, and she is a kind and gentle guide. The Retreatshop was a mix of full group conversation and questions, smaller groups, visualizations, and journaling, with Rachel wholeheartedly present throughout.

What you will find if you attend a Retreatshop is that three hours isn’t enough time. You feel as if you’ve just gotten started, but the good news is: you have started! And, Rachel is available for further coaching and consulting, her good work will continue, and she’s created a Facebook group where those of us who have attended can continue our conversation about these issues, offer support and share ideas. She also emailed my group with suggestions for following up, continuing the work we’d started. The Retreatshop is just a taste of what’s possible, an appetizer, but if you go, you will be on your way to being a well-fed woman.

If you have questions about the Retreatshop, I’d be happy to answer them, as would Rachel. If you have been to a Retreatshop, please add a comment about your experience.

Three Truths and One Wish

I’m not ready to do a full write up, a whole review of Sunday’s Well-Fed Woman Retreatshop, as I feel like I am still digesting, processing so much of it–but I would like to share some of what I learned, some truths that Rachel shared with us.

1. Truth: “Your hungers are patient.” No matter how long you’ve ignored them, no matter how good you are at denying and disconnecting and distracting yourself, if they are true, primary hungers, they will wait.

2. Truth: We often confuse our secondary and primary hungers. “In fact, this is why so many women are hungry. They go to feed the secondary hunger without addressing the core primary hunger and are often left unsatiated because the secondary hunger isn’t what they want after all,” (read more about this in Rachel’s “Primary Hungers” post). For example, in the Retreatshop on Sunday, I identified being hungry for time, (more time to do lots of things–think, work, play, rest), but Rachel helped me to see that wasn’t the real, fundamental, primary hunger. What I really wanted was to trust myself to make the right decisions about how to spend my time. My primary hunger was for self-care.

3. Truth: We can trust ourselves. “When we are judgmental, we create a very unsafe internal environment.” Enough denial of our hungers leads to distrust. If you feel you can’t trust yourself, you become the enemy, and view each hunger as an attack. And yet, we can change this. We can move from being our own enemy to deep communication and connection. We can provide acceptance and safety and care and love for ourselves. When it comes to our hungers, we can trust them and trust that we know how to feed them. We have all the kindness and wisdom we need to do so.

One wish: that you are well-fed, in all ways, always. That you are full and satisfied, free from suffering.

Something Good

First on my list today has to be the Well-Fed Woman Retreatshop and Rachel Cole. 13 brave Fort Collins woman sat in a circle with Rachel yesterday, identifying and connecting with their hungers, trying to understand what was getting in the way of feeding them. I can’t stop thinking that we planted a seed, started something, and how powerful we can be, what great things we’ll do, how much love we’ll generate and spread. And when I think of that circle of women, so many of my favorites, I keep thinking of this quote: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” ~Muriel Rukeyser

Ladybug on the cover of my new notebook. I didn’t even realize it was there, and then, while I was sitting in the above circle of women, I looked down, and there she was. Considering who was sitting next to me at the time (Kandyce), it was pretty special.

Wednesday is Tibetan New Year: the Year of the Water Dragon. Another chance to begin again, make a fresh start, and the Dragon is a powerful symbol for the coming year: “The Warrior of Inscrutable: Dragon” and “The Mind of the Dragon and the Power of Non-Self.”

image by Will Clayton

Quote from Sakyong Mipham Rinphoche: “Aggression comes about from a feeling of inadequacy. Non-aggression comes about from a feeling of worthiness.”

Brittni Mehlhoff’s “Art to Inspire” posts on Scoutie Girl.

Neil Gaiman and his voice. I wish he would read me to sleep every night.

The Story You Are Telling Yourself” by Daniel Collinsworth on Metta Drum. “You, and you alone, generate the story that tells you who you are. So why not make it a beautiful one?”

Letter Love 101: Art Journals” Lettering Class!!!! I have been looking for some kind of calligraphy or lettering class for a long time, and this one is perfect, just what I wanted without even knowing how to describe what I wanted. And the fact that it’s self-paced and unlimited access means I don’t have to feel pressured or guilty about the timing.

Alaskan Husky Exercise Wheel. This dog looks like it is having so much fun.

29 Soundbites On Writing And Publishing” on the Creative Penn. I don’t agree with all of them, but it’s an interesting list.

Claire Brewster‘s Papercut Map Art. This is so cool.

Everblooming Amaryllis. The one in my office at work currently has eight blooms.

Joy Jam

What were the 3-5 things that gave you joy this week?

1. Reading Women Food and God by Geneen Roth: I first heard about this book from a work colleague, and then again from Rachel Cole. Originally, I checked it out from the library because, at the time, I was trying not to buy anymore books, (I have a problem, am a bibliophile who wants to have all the books). But I could tell early on, this would be a book I would read and reread, that I needed to keep reading it until I could embody and manifest its wisdom, so I bought a copy. This book might not be for every woman, but it’s exactly what I need to hear, to know, to accept. A quote from this morning: “We are unrepeatable beings of light [and love] and space and water who need these physical vehicles to get around.”

Reading it right now is really good timing because…

2. Fort Collins Well-Fed Woman Mini Retreatshop is here! There is still time to sign up if you want to come on Sunday. I am anxious (nervous) to finally meet Rachel in person. If you haven’t read her latest blog post, “The ABC’s of Self-Love: P is for Pleasure” you really should. It’s one of my favorites.

We’re actually starving for pleasure.

By taking care of everyone else. By striving to be loved, liked, approved of, to be the ‘good’ girl, to be the ‘bad’ girl. By seeking to numb ourselves and distract from what’s here. It’s exhausting, we’re exhausted, and all this clouds out pleasure.

We don’t receive pleasure when we do “shoulds,” have “to do’s,” or when we try to fit in, suck it up, suck it in.

Dry bread and low-fat cheese. Shoes so uncomfortable they make you want to cut your big toe off. The job that looks good on paper. Faking it in all the many ways we do. Denying our self what we truly hunger for.

This is where so many of us live and this is a pleasure desert.

Rachel has a map that shows the way out of the desert. She’s a gentle and kind guide that will lead you to the river, to a place that is not a mirage, not a dream, but your real life, your true life, your one wild and precious life.

3. Surprise love note.

4. Valentine’s Day, not the commercial aspects of the holiday, but the opportunity to contemplate love, generosity, gratitude, and grace.

5. Dexter. He came in one night this week to meditate with me, and I was reminded of how great he is, how much I love him, how much joy he brings me. His gentle sweetness, his steady and calm energy in contrast to everything that isn’t, the way he buries his head in my arm and sighs, the way he “pets” me back by pressing his paw into my arm and curling his toes, the white hair that’s grown in his ears and on his chin as he’s aged.

I hope you experienced joy this week, kind and gentle reader, and that you continue to do so. Happy Friday!

Full Moon Dreamboard: Full Wolf Moon

This month’s Full Moon Dreamboard from Jamie Ridler is explained this way, “What are you hungry for under this Full Wolf Moon? The wolf reminds us to connect to our hunger, to notice what desires are calling for our attention. Our dreamboards can help us bring these desires to light and to being! This is an invitation to not just notice our desires but to begin the important work of tending them, stepping into what we can do to honour what we know of our dreams. What a beautiful way to begin the year.”

The Full Wolf Moon asks: “What are you hungry for?”

A fresh start, a new beginning, joy and laughter, a sense of freedom, letting go of attachments, inviting something new, starting over, beginner’s mind (“only don’t know”), stop being stuck, stop waiting, stop suffering, grow wings, open my heart wide, a joyful and healthy relationship with food that feeds my body rather than comforting or numbing my feelings. Freedom. Joy. Every moment an opportunity to begin again.