totem animals

Celebration of the Feminine Spirit

Celebration of the Feminine Spirit
Painting by Lynda Richardson

For the paths we’ve already walked and for new ones on the horizon and where we stand now… this celebration of the feminine spirit and what we can accomplish on our own and together…

It is magical. It is powerful. It is beautiful. It is graceful.

This painting, made by my dear mama, in support of my vision and expanded work in the world…which now graces my Joyful Pause Studio.

New workshop in the planning stages: connecting with your totem animal through SoulCollage® coming this April to Joyful Pause Studio. If you don’t want to miss details on this workshop be sure to sign up for my newsletter here.  

Message from Hippo. Welcome Home to Who You Are.

Message from Hippo. Welcome Home to Who You Are.

For over three years I’ve been giving thought to forming a women’s circle, which I’m in the process of preparing for, and gearing up to do, in the new year. I’m also collaborating with another young woman to offer a workshop on a Native American tradition about Talking Sticks. It will be December 21st, on the Winter Solstice.

As I move into this new space in my life I’ve been asking for guidance from the deck of Animal Wisdom Tarot cards and also from my deck of SoulCollage(r) cards I’ve created the past two years.

My question is simple as I shuffle the animal cards and my SoulCollage(r) deck: Please provide guidance for me around facilitating workshops for women.

Shivers ran up down and my spine when Hippo is the card that has revealed itself on three separate occasions in the past seven days when I’ve posed my question and Hippos wise message of Welcome home to who you are. Each time I think of this message it just makes me so happy.

And the SoulCollage(r) cards I’ve been drawing which have not been the same, but they have revolved around what I feel are reminders to follow my heart and are about the lessons I’ve learned around keeping myself grounded, going within often, and trusting in my intuition.

The first time I posed my question for guidance around doing workshops, the SoulCollage(r) card that came up was one of my spirit animals – the animal that came to me during a guided meditation in 2014 – Wolf.  The message I received at that time was to continue to open my heart and follow the fire within.

The other two cards that surfaced during two different occasions are reminders for me that no matter what I may do going forward, it is important to take time each day to refill my own well with time for reflection and meditation in some form.

And so it is. And I’m recalling when I decided to write my first children’s book – how I had feelings of fear and excitement all at the same time – and not sure where it would take me. And how I went on to write another children’s book and now two memoirs. I can’t say as I ever saw that coming or really ever planned it – but followed what felt right.  And oh, what a journey it has been!

And in many ways, I feel like it has led me to where I am today – venturing into somewhat new territory as I give thought to doing more workshops in my studio, Joyful Pause. I don’t know how it will all unfold, but trusting that if it is meant to be, I will continue to be guided.

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Black Panther Came to Me in a Dream


Friday night I dreamed of Black Panther.

He was in my house. While I was somewhat scared he was in my house, at the same time I wasn’t as frightened as one might think you’d be if a panther was really in your house.

John let him out the front door and he took off running. I began to cry because I was sad to see him go. I started to run after him. I ran and ran and ran, but never caught up to him.

Then he appeared again outside our house a few hours later. John ran outside and wrestled with him. It was a fierce battle. The panther’s mouth was open his jagged, sharp teeth exposed and saliva flying everywhere, yet he wasn’t attacking John. But still, it was very frightening.

While I didn’t want the panther to kill John, I also didn’t want the panther to die either.

And then I woke up.

What in the world did that dream mean, I wondered?

But I didn’t look into it until this morning. I wanted to see if my mind could find a reason for the dream. But nothing was coming to me.

I looked through my animal resources for what Panther means and didn’t find anything until I turned to a book by Jamie Sams and David Carson, Medicine Cards.


Interestingly enough, years ago I had gone through the exercise of finding my nine totem animals as the authors instruct to do. On our “Earth Walk” as they call it, in each direction, East, South, West North and Above, Below and Within, we have animal guides. But we also have an animal on either side (right and left) of us walking this journey.

Reading the list of animals that came up for me during this exercise I got goosebumps seeing that Panther was the animal that I had written down that is on my left side.

According to the book the left side represents:  This animal is the protector of your female side and teaches you that you must learn to receive abundance as well as nurture yourself and others. The left-side animal is also your teacher about relationships and mothering.

I then read further what Black Panther’s message may mean for me. One passage really struck a chord: Let go of fears that appear as obstacles or barriers. Embrace the unknown and flow with the mystery that is unfolding in your life. The next step may be leaping empty-handed into the void with implicit trust. In the stillness of the void, find the will to avoid foolish interruptions, going deeper into your own self-discovery and healing process.

And then it made perfect sense for me. Saturday I facilitated my first SoulCollage® workshop.

I’ve been very excited about sharing this process with others, while at the same time, apprehensive as it is going deeper, not only with myself, but encouraging that in others. I also have been in transition for quite sometime myself, listening deeply to the stillness and trying to just let life unfold as it is meant to be for me. That isn’t always easy.

There is mystery in that I don’t know how sharing this process with others will go, as well as, how it will unfold. But when I think about how I’ve been approaching this new adventure, I’ve been working hard on just allowing it to be without worrying how it should be.

I guess Panther is the reminder I need to keep trusting this process, even though I wrestle with some of the unknowns.

As I read more about Panther’s message and found the above photo, it really spoke to my heart. I knew what I was feeling and thinking was right on because tears sprang to my eyes. And that is always my indication that the spark in my soul is calling out to me.

So I say a grateful thank you to Panther for coming to me in my dream and for walking beside me as I journey forward.

Black Panther photo credit:  Bruce McAdam

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