Danielle recommended Hillary to me. It turns out that Hillary presented at TEDx and they met because Danielle was assigned as her coach. What a lovely connection! In the company of her cats and dog, Hillary and I chatted at a little table in her living room where she does her readings. She spoke with passion and experience and confidence and I genuinely loved every second of it. She gifted me with many kind words and a stone and a hug and even some hope. I go into these meetings most often with very little information about each person but with an open mind and willingness to be pleasantly surprised and I continually am. I think the same would be true for all of us. Give it a try - I dare you.
Who are you and how would you describe yourself?
Wow. Who am I? Such a provocative question, isn't it? I'm thinking about the bio that I had to do, but I think that I would describe myself as passionate, creative, intense, and a devotee.
What matters to you?
I've always been drawn to triangles and trinities and the way you find them in all cultures. I work a lot in various different metaphysical studies and the triangle's the strongest geometric base. And the triangle is a sacred symbol, too, like goals and visions. And my basic triad for what gets me and where I would say the triangular base of my life would be art, nature, and healing. And in those three dominions you would find all of my deepest passions and my deepest drives.
Fundamentally, I see myself as an artist, which means I view the world in the template of the artist. And the artist, to me, is the one who graciously is able to express, if possible, the connection to the divine. Our process is a process that goes Wow, I'm inspired to do something to offer back to humanity something that's fully human and fully godlike. So, art embodies it all, right? To me, art means how you live your life, even. Not so much whether you do art or not. Now mind you I happen to do a variety of different realms of art. From performing arts to the hands-on arts. If I didn't have art I would have killed myself. There would be no purpose for me without seeing the world as an artist. Because the world, in the way that it's in, without the framework of beauty - the possibility of beauty as my template - it would be overwhelmingly difficult. So that's one piece.
The next piece would be nature because I'm deeply connected to the natural world and the world of energy and how Mother Nature presents it all. And so that realm of having the opportunity to connect to spirit and to the energy of nature itself is another gift. Thank you Mother and Father for raising me in Oregon and hiking every weekend and camping and being really in relationship to Earth in a way that, I think, is the foundation for a lot of my passion, too. Because I have a deep, deep connection to her and a deep sorrow of what we have done to her and are doing to her. So there's a devotion to nature and the natural world about, Wow, this is our home. Come on folks, we're killing it!
And the last is healing, which is, to me, absolutely imperative. The route of waking up and realizing that this is a path of healing. This is a path of learning how to heal the Earth, heal each other, and start taking care of ourselves in a new way. And I see that, as I was talking earlier to you, in a global way of community and ceremony and drumming and all the human salves. Singing, drumming, story telling, and silence, which all cover the essential nature of human connectivity.
This is my favorite story. In the olden days, when you were in despair or you were hurt, you would go to the medicine man or woman. And you were asked one or all of the four questions for your path. When is the last time you were singing? When was the last time you were dancing? When was the last time you were enchanted by a story? And, my favorite, When was the last time you were comforted by the deep territory of silence? So, to me, those were considered the salves. Those are the anointment for humanity. These are the things you need to do in order to be in fucking relation to anything. The song gives you the voice of yourself and when you sing together it releases oxytocin. It's one of the only things in which it literally elevates the vibration. The dance is accessing the rhythm of life. The story is the frailty and vulnerability of humanity. And the silence is connecting to Source. You think about modern day society, we're pretty far away from that. Except those people doing ceremony and practicing a certain level of bhakti or devotion to all connectedness.
I would say that is my jam - those three things. And the avenue for connection happens to be grief for me. I happen to have a capacity to hold space for enormous grief. For the world.
What does community mean to you?
It's a really good question because I've had to learn what it is by virtue of what it isn't. The aspect of community in my mind has always been the fairytale from fairytale stories. I was a child of the sixties. I protested. We lived in communes. I'm an Aquarian. I'm literally an elder of the new age - of the Aquarian age. So, how I see it, is the return to community is the return to a collective source, a shared resources, a realm of... like, you got a potluck - the classic thing in old lesbian culture is we'd have a potluck and everyone would bring something and there would be enough food for everyone and more. Why? Because when you share your resource it adds to what we have. Exactly the opposite of how we were raised in this culture. You own and you acquire. It's not a given. Sobonfu, my teacher, in her village - because hers was a true community - things were shared. I gave her a Hydroflask with her name on it and she goes, When I take it to the village, everybody borrows it. When I ask her, Who's your mother? She said, Which one? The idea of community is, to me, an anomaly. It's a fairytale. From what I understand of indigenous cultures, community has a lot to do with the recognition that we as a species, when we're in our little pods or hives, it is our responsibility, collectively, to take care of each other. Because when we all do that, not only do we thrive, but there's enough for everyone! So it goes completely against the community of what we have now, which is compartmentalized and separated. Where is our community? I grew up and the Stalls' and the Schultz' next door - I could go to both of those houses and borrow sugar and when my mother and father weren't around, we stayed at their houses. It was just a given. We ran around in packs in the neighborhood. We don't have that anymore. We don't have a sense of that interconnectivity. So community means for me an interconnectivity. And it means kind of a responsibility for something other than self. And I believe we're going to be called forth for that because of Mother's influenza and her illness. And the illness of the world. We'll literally be forced to deal with community 'cause that's how we learn - we learn through crisis. Especially Americans. It's the only country that has not gone through the devastations - except for the Civil War - of the way all other cultures have been going through.
Where do you think this individualism and greed got its birth?
You really want to know my truth? From the moment we stole from the Natives. I think we are a culture based on unresolved grief. And unresolved grief is the inability to release the toxicity of a grief. And a grief is when a terrible thing happens to either an environment, the self, group - whatever. We came in here under the auspices of a free land. We stole from our people. We lied [to] them. We broke the promises. We brought in slavery. So the baseline of America is based on oppression, slavery, lies, broken promises. That's grief. So to declare constitutions - which is ridiculous! You listen to the fucking constitution - we do not live by the constitution. We never have. If we had, we would not be in the state we're in. So, I think it comes from way back then. I think it also comes from puritanicalism and it comes from extreme religiosity. The danes to say my religion is the way and your religion isn't. I'm a basist: one race, one religion: love. One race, human race. One religion: love. One planet: Earth! Home. Fuck the borders! What are our resources now? What do we have that we can support in each other and share? But this is, this concept is... not for the new age, I might add. Not for the younger generation. Not for the children being... no. Because we know that's the truth. So I hope to god I get to see it before I die and I think I probably won't. But I'm holding to it. I will live my life by a devotion towards the raising of the Divine Feminine, towards community, and towards global villages. It's imperative! It breaks my heart! That's how impassioned I am about it. That's what I mean by devotion. I've seen myself living in a pod in a community ever since I was 16 years old. And I thought it was about being a lesbian and we'd all go off as old lesbians together. No. It's not gonna be that. It's gonna be a community of people who are willing to live together with me doing my storytelling on Friday and cooking on Wednesday and taking off on the world, doing my conferences and trainings around the world and coming back to a community. That's what we need to be doing. And that means giving up our shit! Which, as Americans - big order!
What is the individual's role in the reparations or in the fight against the variety of social injustices?
I think the individual role is, first and foremost, to do your fucking work. And what I mean by that is own what you come into the world with: own your shadow, own your family constellations and what that means and the impact on, own the expectations you have between your self and America. Own your shit! Clean up your side of the sidewalk. That's imperative. If I'm speaking about wanting to be in community, I better sure know what pushes my buttons and where that area's gonna bother me because it will. I'm a independent sort. I don't want to live in the same house with 10 people. I want my own little pod and then I want a big house that I can go to. Which I think is actually a suitable realm for some of us who need a certain independence or a certain solitude and what not. So, you need to know your own boundaries. And, to me, politics - I don't think politics are separate. What is the dictum you live by? Me - I wanna walk my walk, I wanna talk my talk. That is hard! If I speak about love, I want to practice love. If I'm gonna talk to you about vulnerability, I sure as hell better show you mine. My big thing is I don't ask patients and I don't ask people who come to see me to do something I have not done or tried. So yeah, it's our responsibility, again, the ability to respond not react, to take care of our business and know what it is. And also to be able to ask for help. To be able to realize we are a species - our one thing is connection. We all own that. That is inherent in us. That needs to be exercised. Which means we need to be vulnerable enough to say, I need your help. Or, Here, I'd like to help you. I'm hurting, I need help. I'm scared, I need help. I'm happy, let me help you. How do we learn how to, again, have an articulation around grief and a way in which we can support each other go through the difficulties of life? Instead of what's happening now where everybody gets more and more isolated, disconnected... with World Wide Web - the greatest disconnector that's ever been. Strangely enough, right? There I have access to everything in that little fucking thing in my hand - it disconnects me from people. I have to put that fucking phone down a few hours a day and remember...
How do we get people to understand that we matter to each other?
(Sigh) Well, we deal with our grief. We get real. See 'cause my belief is whenever I operate from my heart, whenever I access my heart - which now I have the great capacity to access universal heart, which isn't always fun - and once that happens, then anything goes. Anything can be shared. I've had to share horrible things and it's been met with great love and acceptance. Why? Because the bridge of the hearts happened. So how do we make it matter? We say, You matter to me. See because you matter to me as much as my deepest friend. I have to see every connection, whether it's the garbage man on the street or the person doing my whatever - everybody is, everybody is... How do we make it matter? Well if we don't, there's not a whole lot of other options but what's already happening which is a disillusion. We make it matter by saying, Hey, try something new. Or, Remember? Come to ceremony and remember what it's like to hold hands and sing a song together. Yeah, like Kumbaya, but try it anyway. Try doing a ceremony seasonally where you're casting away the things that are getting in the way of you planting seeds for the spring. That's what's been happening for centuries and centuries. Try coming to the giveaway ceremonies that Barb Largent and I do in Bend four times out of the year. Why? Because they're giveaways, they're not gonna hurt you, and you might be able to experience this thing we're calling connecting. Which is ancient, by the way. It's not new! That's what's so ironic. We have failed. We have forgotten. We're the land of the poppy fields. We're asleep with every possible distraction you can imagine. And I'm a good distractor.
What do you want more of in your life?
Kisses and sex (laughs). You know, I'm a very fortunate being. I feel really blessed. I'm watching my life unfold now after many, many years of a lot of work unfold in a way that's really exciting. And I would say what I would want more is really this wonderful flow with the divine connection that's revealing this awesome experience of partial dreams coming true and partial embodiment of my greatest being. 'Cause really what I want more of, really what I want, is to be the fullest possible human being I can be. And to express that as richly and authentically and as passionately and joyfully as I can to the world. As much of myself in the minuscule amount that we know of ourselves be to give back to the world. And kisses. 'Cause I miss kisses.
Do you have anything you'd like to add?
For me, I think it's really simple and I think we complicate it. It's like the story of the eagle and the condor. You know the Mayan story that the eagle represents the mind and male and has been in rule - the mighty eagle. The story is the eagle's of the north and the condor's of the south - the warmth, the heat, the feminine. And when the eagle bows and releases it's feather, actually bows to the condor, that's when the revolution will be able to actually take fold. Which is that the man bows to the temple of the goddess. Returns to that recognition. It's not a gender thing. It's an energetic thing. The Divine Feminine is the co-creator of life. The idea of the emperor, the Divine Masculine, was to come in and be of great support and then pull back. Like the way Mother is with the ocean. And what happened was the energy of the Divine Masculine came in and got stuck and atrophied and that's gotta shift. We have to rebalance it and it has to be a bowing to the condor. And one of the spiritual activities during the eclipse was the Native tribes of the north came and bestowed the eagle feather to the condor of the south. We had something like 28 shamans there - all bringing blessings to a unified world of transformation in which the Divine Feminine, the condor, raises up the wings and says, It's time for a new alignment. It's time for a new paradigm. It's time for a new way of even dealing. We're no long in the echelon of the pyramid, we're in the spiral. The spiral is all-inclusive. And the council is a different kind of council. It comes from the wise times. Wow, I'm 64. That's fucking life experience that allows me to do this. I had the information when I was 16. I just wasn't using it very properly. I had wisdom as a young child, as most of us do - amazing wisdom - I just didn't have the experience. So, these things are what we've forgotten and these things need to be brought back. May I be able to sit on elder council. And support my beautiful sisters and brothers rising up and saying, What can I do to help you move forward and believe in something beyond this fucking myopic world that we live in called America? It's a mess at best. America is not first. It's not. It's the wrong venue. Wrong venue. America is in relation. We are a nation of the Earth. That's what I have to say.