I know. I know. God is neither a man nor a white-bearded patriarch in the sky. And yes, I know that God is not a woman either. Qualities of both. The best of everything. (Thankfully) beyond my capacity to imagine, entertain, or hope. Energy and light and love. Yes, I know.

But just because I know something doesn’t mean I can fully incorporate it. Just because the intellectual and intelligent part of me gets it, doesn’t mean that I don’t, still, admittedly, struggle to separate from old habits, deeply-ingrained lessons, nearly-in-my-DNA-dogma. And truth-be-told, sometimes, when stuck in this kind of mental spinning and theological puzzling, I want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Only not really…

I need ways of helping my brain latch onto and understand something else, anything else. I need experiences of something, anything else. More than all else, I need and long for my head to quiet down and my heart to speak; for Her to speak. And so, by way of practice and discipline, I imagine the voice of God as a woman. What does She say? What does She know? How does She invite me to new ways of experiencing the Sacred that already and always dwell within me?

Most recently, just.like.this.:

I see how deeply and desperately you long for rest. Rest from the swirling, spinning, endless thoughts in your brain. Rest from attempts to control outcomes. Rest from the labor required to get circumstances (and particular people) to go your way.
*

Despite all your best intentions, all the work your brilliant mind does to craft and implement solutions, at the end of the day, you can rest. Your heart will carry you. Your soul knows. Your intuition courses powerfully through your blood, your body, your very being. And there is a larger story that is writing you. It is beautiful and miraculous.
*

Even more, you are beautiful and miraculous. You are a womb for miracles. You bear and bring forth life that is infinite and  dazzling in impact and force. You are chosen. You are worthy. You are seen. You are so much more than enough. And you are not too much. Ever.
*

Because of all this…and so much more, you are loved.

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And did I mention? You can rest.

*
To tell you that I have deep, unfailing faith that never wavers wouldn’t be true. What is true, though, is that I have deep, unfailing, and never-wavering hunger – and hope – for all of the above, and then some. If I could find, know, and experience this God, I’d be sold, I’d be committed, I’d be devoted, I’d preach!

do find, know, and experience this God. Just not all of the time. 

Anne LaMott once said that “the absence of faith is not doubt, but certainty.” Because I really like Anne LaMott and because I am convinced she has a direct line to God (how else could she write as she does?) I’m going to go with this. I trust that my uncertainty is actually the doorway into faith; a faith that far exceeds the one I grew up with, the one that is too small, the one with the white, bearded man in the sky. And as I continue to doubt, I’m going to continue with the “if God was a woman” process for no other reason than to offer my brain some God-given rest and much-deserved Grace; to let my heart lead and beat and love as it wants and knows to do. In the midst, maybe, just maybe I’ll come to believe (i.e., have faith) that every single word I’ve written above is actually true.

That would offer me rest. And it does.

May it be so (for you, as well).

2015 SacredReadingsOne of the most powerful ways in which I continue to heal old images and understandings of God for myself (and for you) is to retell, reimagine, and redeem the stories of women. Ancient, sacred ones. And in honor of my 54th birthday (just days ago), I’m offering 2015 New Year SacredReadings for only $54. Don’t you wonder who the woman is who is choosing you? She’s that close, that powerful, that sacred. I promise

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    My gift to you...There are stories – women’s stories –
    ancient, sacred ones,
    that hold wisdom, encouragement,
    perspective, and grace.

    One of these stories, one of these women,
    offers all of this to you – and then some. *

    All you have to do is ask.
    *

    2015 SacredReadings

    Wouldn’t you love to know the one ancient, sacred story and woman within who comes alongside you in the New Year? Who will serve as your companion, guide, and friend. Who has much to say, much to offer, much to give – to you. The Sacred She who will serve as your mentor and muse…

    *
    I will shuffle the deck, draw a card, and introduce you to the ancient, sacred woman who has chosen you; who walks alongside you in the year ahead. She has exactly the right story to tell, words to say, kindness to offer, and direction to give. 
    She is perfect for you. I promise.
    *

    Julie DaleyI just received my SacredReading from Ronna. It moved me so deeply, I had to stop reading mid-way to feel everything it brought up. It couldn’t have been more ‘right’. Everything I felt in response was alive, exhilarating, and yes, scary in the way you know the truth has been revealed…a truth I must live. ~ Julie Daley, Unabashedly Female

    TanyaGeislerYou know when you scratch an itch that you didn’t know was even there? That was my SacredReading, the soothing of a deep soul itch. I’ve come to expect nothing but impeccability when it comes to Ronna’s work. Her reading left me teary-eyed and truly breathless. Truth’s like that. ~ Tanya Geisler, Leadership Coach, Step Into Your Starring Role Leader

    Ronna, your words have me stopped still, pondering, realizing nothing could be more true right now. This wisdom and guidance was handcrafted just for me. These words have reached into my very soul and touched a place that has been in slumber…Your words have brought healing in a time of immense confusion and pain. ~ SacredReading recipient

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    Here’s the best news:

    *
    SacredReadings 
    are $135.

    This year, to mark my 54th birthday…
    *

    I’m offering
    2015 New Year SacredReadings
    for $54!

    *
    This discounted price is only available between November 30 and December 21.

    Regular rates resume on December 22.  

     *

    It would be the best present ever if I knew you had a SacredReading of your own for the year ahead; if these women’s stories were known, heard, and loved even a little bit more; if you could believe-believe-believe what I do: that they long to (and do) speak in intimate, powerful, and amazingly profound ways! I promise.

    *
    Your 2015 SacredReading includes the following:

    • A 4-6 page keepsake document that tells you of the woman who chooses you and walks alongside you in 2015 – her story and wisdom, to be sure; more, the themes and particulars that apply to you. Truths to ponder. Questions to ask. Patterns within your story to pay attention to. Ways of being in your life, your work, your relationships that will make the year ahead far deeper and more meaningful, yes, more Sacred.

    • A personalized Blessing she speaks on your behalf that you can cherish as secret message, as mantra, as prayer, as Sacred Writ. 

    • Practical ways in which to incorporate every bit of her wisdom, her story into your day-to-day life. Journaling exercises. Reflections. More. 

    • The Sacred awareness that you are not alone; that you are accompanied and companioned by your very matrilineage – the women from whom you, me, all of us descend. 

    Your 2015 SacredReading will be emailed to you no later than midnight (PDT), December 31 so that She is yours – accessible, and available as the New Year begins – overflowing with Sacred wisdom, encouragement, perspective, and grace.  

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    2015 SacredReading

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    Don’t you wonder about the Sacred She who is choosing you?

    I do! I can hardly wait to offer you her story, her voice, her heart –
    every bit of which speaks perfectly to your story,
    strengthens your voice, and emboldens your heart.

    I promise.
    *

    Christine-Valters-Paintner-Ronna’s SacredReadings offer the tremendous grace of bringing together the wisdom of ancient voices with her own arresting vision for a process that is full of depth, insight, and generosity. Give yourself the gift of a soulful connection to the women who have wrestled in their own lives to bring forth treasures still shimmering  brightly for us.  Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, online Abbess at Abbey of the Arts

    Nona Jordan CoachingOn an intuitive zing, I signed up for one of Ronna’s SacredReadings. Surprising because my natural response to anything related to stories from the Bible is something along the lines of, “Wow the Bible sucks.” But the way Ronna unfurled the story had me in tears – epiphany after epiphany rolling in and washing over me. I am walking with a new understanding of myself and the most important ways for me to move through the world that are resonant down to the core. With this beautiful reading, and one conversation with Ronna, I feel like my life has changed. ~ Nona Jordan, Master Certified Coach

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    Three final notes:

    • This $54 price-point is only available for three weeks – until midnight, December 21. Order your 2015 SacredReading today!

    • Last year, a number of women ordered these as gifts for sisters, aunts, mothers, daughters, and friends. Of course, that’s available again! When you place your order, just email me (ronna@ronnadetrick.com) to let me know that it’s a gift. I will send it directly to the recipient or to you so that you can give it to them yourself. You might even order one for you and more for the other women in your world, then gather together to read them to one another. 

    • Often, after receiving SacredReadings, people want to learn more about who has shown up for them and even deeper ways in which to make that story their own. I offer one-hour calls for exactly that purpose. Pricing is normally $125/hour, including an MP3 recording of our conversation. Between November 30 and December 30, these are available for only $100 with no expiration date. Whenever you are ready to talk more, I am here for you. Click here to make that additional purchase.

    2015 SacredReading

    My SacredReading arrived and it was complex, complete, concise, evocative. Shimmering with meaning and metaphor. And then, I read it through again. It began to expand – and open, like a nested doll. You see, this work is archetypal – meaning that it’s layered, and each layer has a deeper meaning than the last. Ronna’s wisdom led me into my soul story through a new doorway where I was able to work with ancient story to make new, modern connections to my own life experience. Brilliant work. ~ Amy Oscar, Healer, Teacher, and originator of Soul Caller Training

    Wise. Beautiful. Powerful. What more can I say? Ronna has a true gift – not only for making these ancient (and often unknown) stories come alive but also allowing them to shed light on the struggles, issues, and choices that we face very day. Andrea Olson, A Multitude of Things

    Have I mentioned how much your reading means to me?? I can’t stop reading it. It’s so beautiful and just exactly what I needed to hear right now. ~ Andrea Mee Maurer

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      There’s an ancient sacred story told of a woman who was beautifully, lavishly, even shockingly extravagant.

      Desiring love, she risked. Potential misunderstanding. Certain ridicule and scorn. Whispers, shouts, and most certainly shame. None of it mattered. Only the experience and expression of love.

      Compelled by love, she held nothing back. Unrestrained and passionate, her deepest heart revealed and exposed.

      A recipient of love, she gave. Generously, without thought to prudence, scarcity, boundary, or anyone else’s ideas of what was appropriate (or not).

      And because of all this, she knew extravagant response:

      Worthy of love, she was honored. All shame erased. All spoken and unspoken bonds broken. All penalties paid. Freedom hers. “Truly, I say to you, wherever good news is spoken in the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

      ****************

      There’s so much I love about this story, so much I love about her. But most of all this: Her love was pre-determined, her actions hers alone, and NONE of this dependent on the response she might (or might not) receive. That is extravagance, right there. And that, right there, calls forth the truest, most honest expression of self we could possibly hope to attain.

      Want to be more authentic? Want to live in a brave and connected-to-the-Sacred-Feminine way? Here’s the template:

      *
      Risk.

      Hold nothing back.
      Give.
      Be extravagant.
      And all as expression of the love that is yours to offer; the Love that is you!

      *
      Extravagant, indeed.

      This woman calls us to be exactly who we are: risky, honest, generous, and completely compelled by (not for) the love that already dwells within us; the love that defines us; the Love that is us! When we are truly ourselves, we can be nothing other. And this is extravagant, indeed.

      *
      ************

      Be assured, I’m hardly preaching here – other than to the choir. I’m working diligently on these ideas/practices in my own life. For I intuitively know that this is the way in which I am to be.

      The afraid, protective part of me is, well, afraid and protective. It’s true: I’ve been hurt before, the love I’ve expressed has not always been returned, and the risks have often felt far too costly. With a closer and more honest look though, I can see that these memories and experiences also carried my expectation, my desire demand for love’s return and a reward/recompense for being oh-so-generous and eh-hmm, loving. This is not my truest self. This is not my truest nature. This is not the Sacred radiating forth through my life. And this is not extravagant.

      So what if, even in the smallest of moments and slightest of ways, I could move through my world as the glorious being I most truly am? What if I were to risk because it’s a thrill; because I’m strong enough to handle it? What if I were to hold nothing back – in my relationships, to be sure, but also in my writing, my parenting, my friendships, my self-care?  What if I gave little-to-no thought to what’s in it for me, and instead, just gave, period?

      What if I were extravagant?

      *
      Though a rhetorical question, I already know the answer. I would be me. I would be Love. And I would reflect the Divine.

      May it be so.
      *

      [Deep appreciation to this Extravagant Woman and her story for connecting me to my own. Just one of the ancient, sacred narratives I so need and so love.]

      *
      ************

      My gift to you...My birthday is on November 30. There’s a BIG gift I’m offering you on that day, but if you’re subscribed to these posts you’ll get the news one day earlier! Here’s the link to sign up: http://www.ronnadetrick.com/subscribe

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      *

      Callahan McDonough and I have created beautiful SacredArt together. Well, truth-be-told, Callahan has created the art via the inspiration of my stories and words. This story, this woman, “Extravagant” is one of those pieces. See (and hear) her here.

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        It is with profound gratitude, deep appreciation, and WILD celebration that I join in the Blog Tour for Amy Palko’s From Revolutionary Lips. 

        *
        I am privileged beyond expression to have worked with Amy; to have collaborated with her; to have had the privilege of sitting at her feet and taking in her gorgeous, wild wisdom; and more than all else, to call her friend. When I hear her voice (which is lilting and intoxicating), I cannot help but remember my own. When I encounter her passion (which runs deep and true), I cannot help but feel my own. When I am captivated by her Sacredness and feminine power (which is impossible to resist), I become even more certain of my own. The same will be true for you.

        Amy speaks graciously here about women’s voices and the Sacred. But keep reading. One of her poems, Listen, from From Revolutionary Lips follows.

        She is powerful, wise, beautiful, and wild.
        Introducing: Amy Palko

        *
        What of women’s voices – when heard in unbound, unrestrained ways – is Sacred?

        The pure, the undiluted, the unadulterated voice that longs to find its way out from behind layers and layers of cultural conditioning feels like the very essence of what the sacred means and is. If in the beginning was the word, then it existed long before the entrapments and expectations and compromises and censorships that continually filter what we say and how we say it. What sound would you release from your body if there was no set behavioural practices that your voice needed to comply with? What words would you speak? What song would you sing? What noise would you unleash? Because whatever it would be, I can promise you that it would be sacred. It couldn’t be anything other.
        *

        How might we listen to and actually experience our own stories as expression of the Sacred? What has this awareness shifted in you?

        For me, this speaks to a question of validity. Sacredness is a quality of presence that spirals up through an awareness that we are all emanations of the mystery. And so, when we bring that quality to the telling and receiving of story, we see that sacredness is the subtext to all narratives. To see the sacred in our own stories simply calls for us to perceive the same subtext writ throughout the words we choose to share. It calls for us to believe in the validity of the stories that have been gestating in our dark hidden places, that have been roiling in our bellies, that have been sitting on the tips of our tongue, pleading that they be freed to find their way in the world.

        And if this is something that you are struggling with, then you only have to be in the presence of other women telling their stories. Sit in circle and listen to the way other women share their words, narrate their lives. Listen to the tone of their voice, the irrepressible emotion that keeps bubbling up, the laughter, the earnestness, the grief, the relief. And if you can’t find your way to a circle, then watch something like the YouTube channel Style Like U or read books like Jalaja Bonheim’s Aphrodite’s Daughters, Terry Tempest Williams’ When Women Were Birds, Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love or Sue Monk Kidd’s Dance of the Dissident Daughter. Become an avid receiver of stories – an attentive seeker of the sacred in the words of women. And then use the symphonic weave of their words to unlock your own stories, your own words, your own sound. And as you do so, tell your stories in the knowledge that they are sacred. Because they are. So sacred.
        *

        Listen

        Here I am
        listening in on myself.
        Secretly.
        With my ear pressed
        against the wall
        to see if I can pick up
        any sounds that I might then
        translate into words,
        which then may become sentences
        promising whole stories,
        whole narratives
        that will help me to understand
        myself, my next steps, my unfolding.
        And the trick of it all is, that I’m also
        on the other side of the wall
        – listening in.
        The self within and
        the self without.

        Betwixt and between.
        Inside and outside.
        Visible and hidden.
        Silent and silent.
        Listening and listening.

        And yet for all this attention,
        all this listening,
        all I’m hearing is
        the multiplication of my silence
        echoing around the walls
        of this house of self.

        And so, here I am.
        Listening for my own voice.
        A voice I can only hear
        if and when
        I choose to let myself utter
        the syllables,
        the sounds,
        the sentences,
        the stories….

        When will I release the voice I long to hear?
        *

        Amy PalkoAmy Palko is the creatrix of Red Thread Voices – a publishing house that aims to offer a home to the voice of exiled feminine.

        She is also a goddess guide, poet, photographer and lecturer whose work has been featured internationally.

        Amy lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her husband and three teenage children, in their home that overlooks the deep harbour, and the wide mouth of the River Forth as it opens up to swallow the cold waters of the North Sea.

        You can purchase From Revolutionary Lips as eBook and/or Audio file. Amy’s own words about her poems are these:  Here at Red Thread Voices, we are devoted to amplifying the wild woman’s howl. Consequently, these are not pretty poems. Although many find them beautiful. And they’re not all sweetness and light. Although I suspect you’ll find them illuminating. What they are is juicy, raw, and honest… 

        Learn more. Read more. And purchase From Revolutionary Lips for yourself.

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          Gym with Folding ChairsYesterday morning I sat in a high school gym surrounded by teenagers. The Veteran’s Day Assembly. I wasn’t there because of what was being commemorated (though that was worthwhile). I was there because my youngest, Abby, was singing in the choir and I wanted to hear her. It was, she was, as I expected: fabulous. Something happens to me, within me, when I hear choral music – the haunting harmonies, the familiar melodies, beauty that causes my heart to catch in my throat. I cannot help but cry. Today was no different. What I hadn’t expected was to see my oldest, Emma. She moved all over that same gym, wearing a “School Photographer” badge and wielding her camera. One moment she was taking pictures of a line of U.S. flags, the next a Veteran who stood alone and proud while the rest of us applauded, and in the midst, the faces of her peers who made up the bulk of the audience. Something happened to me, within me, as I watched her see and capture beauty. It caused my heart to catch in my throat. I could not help but cry.

          Just for a moment, sitting on that folding chair, I realized that this was the Sacred: two young women, my daughters, their felt/heard/seen presence in the world, their voices and talents shared. Just for a moment, I took a deep, raggedy breath and gave thanks. And then I cried some more.

          It wasn’t about them (though of course it was). It was about just that moment. Right then, right there, and completely unexpected, I was part of something Bigger than me, beyond me, and smack in the center of me. The Sacred.

          Truth-be-told, I rarely notice these moments. That could be probably is because I am more often, longing for, praying for, working for deep, wide, and ongoing ways in which I can endlessly, consistently feel connected to something of Meaning, of Beauty, of God. And yet, all along, the Sacred is showing up. Today especially. And apparently, exclusively, perfectly, powerfully, tenderly, amazingly – just for me.

          That’s grace. That’s God. That’s enough.

          May it be so.

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