Heart Space

The eagles of the darkness

10/18/2011 Patrick’s blog – this is from an old blog of mine.

Reflections on the Shadow

This time of year reminds me of the Owl and Raven, sometimes called “The eagles of the darkness” for their ability to see and hunt in the darkness.  In our Current class, “The Teachings of the West” I use many resource books.  One of these in entitled “Shadow Dance”.  In that book they speak of the “positive” shadow, where we can “lose face”, or not have to use the ego to explain and justify.  The author goes on to say, “A healthy person can tolerate intimidation without having to appease the intimidator.  He or she can tolerate rejection without having to get back at someone for a personal affront.  Fearlessness is simply “no contest” in the face of these conditions of existence and relating; it is defenselessness.   Fearfulness is an inability to be that vulnerable; it is defendedness.  This is why fear is the opposite of love.  People may hurt or scare us, but that no longer compels us to punish or placate them.  Our ruffled ego no longer suborns us with fear of losing face or the desire to win.  Love impels us instead to the warmhearted alternative it always finds”. The fall is the “going within”, the time for introspection and inventory.  This is time to look objectively at our strengths and weaknesses, assets and liabilities. The other animal associated with the west is the Heart-Line Bear.  When we begin the powerful work of soul retrieval, we must not only face the abuse we carry from our abusers, but also feel the pain that made the little one inside go away.  The feelings reside in the heart, and the bear is the protector of this child’s spirit.  In order to get our whole heart back, we must prove to Grandmother Bear that we can love and nurture ourselves.

The “Mirror of the West”

The Autumn Equinox Bear Creek “Heartspace” sweat lodge will be October 1st rather than September 24th.  My good friend Franz will be helping and is out of town on the scheduled date so hopefully the burn ban is off. We will have an orientation/talking circle on Friday Evening, so those intending to join us please arrive Friday, and Invite no one without checking with me.  Also, plan to stay over until Sunday.  Protocol will be sent to those who request.

Continue reading “The “Mirror of the West””

Happy Fourth!

Having grown up in Huntington WV, I love the character of the people of Appalachia “almost heaven”. I earned a B.A and M.A. from Marshall and back in my college days in the 60’s we would go on spring break to Fort Lauderdale – in retrospect there was so much eye clutter in bill boards journeying from WV to Florida. Having lived in the beautiful Northwest since 1978 Continue reading “Happy Fourth!”


There were many sayings in my early AA years that I heard over and over until I really heard them. This is the difference between listening and hearing. In my impatience and ignorance, I often cut people and quit listening, or just be quiet but really don’t “hear.” In my graduate studies, I studied various therapies and the one that improved my own attention was that of the therapy developed by Carl Rogers called the “Rogerian Reflection”, which was both hearing the words and the underlying feeling behind the words and reflecting back what they were feeling rather than what they said.

Continue reading ““Reflection/noitcelfeR””


We keep throwing money at the problem rather than finding a solution. In counseling school and during my years directing Capital Campaigns, I have learned the first step is to identify the problem. I would argue that part of the problem is our collective “no” isn’t believable. I have just looked at my checkbook to see what I am investing in. Where my treasures are is also my heart. Less and less of my purchases are “impulsive” and more and more are aligned with my deep core values.

Continue reading “Balance”