Category Archives: Patricia Lynn Reilly

Mojo Monday ~ Sustaining Wonder

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“In truth, our aliveness depends on our ability to sustain wonder:
to lengthen the moments we are truly uncovered, to be still and quiet
till all the elements of the earth and all the secrets of the oceans
stir the aspects of life waiting within us.”
~ Mark Nepo
In The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo, the topic for November 11th is called Sustaining Wonder.  He begins the days reflection with a quote by Kahlil Gibran.

“In one atom are found all the elements 

of the earth; in one motion of the mind are found 

all the motions of existence; in one drop of water 
are found all the secrets f the endless oceans; 
in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of life.”
How do you sustain wonder in your life?

Do you think there is a connection between sustaining wonder and guarding your time so that you have time to ponder, reflect, and marvel? 

What things can make you think “WOW!”?

The author’s reflection on November 1st entitled The Next Moment of Love also offered up thoughts on overextending ourselves.  It begins with a quote by Thomas Merton:
“To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude 
of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, 
to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help 
everyone in everything is to succumb to violence.  
The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his or her work for peace.”

Mark Nepo then continues, “Merton wisely challenges us not just to slow down, but, at the heart of it, to accept our limitations.  We are at best filled with the divine, but we have only two hands and one heart.  In a deep and subtle way, the want to do it all is a want to be it all, and though it comes from a desire to do good, it often becomes frenzied because our egos seize our goodness as a way to be revered.  I have done this many times: not wanting to say no, not wanting to miss an opportunity, not wanting to be seen as less than totally compassionate.  But wherever I cannot bring my entire being, I am not there.”
Consider these thoughts and questions that he poses at the end of this section.
  • Center yourself and think of the many kindnesses that you feel called to do. 
  • As you breathe, let your heart glow around one.
  • Without thinking, pray for the others, but devote yourself today to the one.

Wonder is also mentioned in the November 9th reflection called Diving Half-Blind.  This quote by Thomas Brown introduces the topic:
“We carry within us
the wonders we seek
without us.”
Mark Nepo later in this passage writes, “….the deeper we go, the slower the world; the slower the world, the soften our way.  So we must keep calling each other into the depths of what we know.  For below the surface we all shine.  Diving in, we all turn silver.   Given to air alone, the cuts of this world burn.  But when we dare to enter what is deep, the bruises we carry soften and glow.  In truth, the more we accept our limitations and surrender to the depths below our woundedness, the more the vastness holds us up.  There is no way to know this but to dive.”
He closes with the following suggestions:
  • Center yourself and hold a pain or ached that you carry; hold it gently before you.
  • As you breathe slowly, surround your pain or ache with a loving kindness meditation that keeps broadening your prayer for all living things.
  • Allow this silent prayer to subside.
  • Now, if you can, feel your pain or ache slightly softened by your love for the world.
There is wonder in the simplest of things.  This thing called life is a wonder.  Our “aliveness” is a wonder.  Author Mark Nepo shares these profound thoughts about life in his reflections of November 24th entitled The Need to Continue.
“The longer I wake on this Earth, the louder the quiet things speak to me.  The more I experience and survive, the more I find truth in the commonalities we all share.  The more pain softens me, the deeper my joy and the greater the lessons of those things that live in great stillness.
      Before I had cancer, I used to complain so much, annoyed that every chore would need to be done again, that the grass would grow back as soon as I’d cut it.  Now I am in aw how it will grow no matter what you do to it.  How I need that knowledge.
     Now, twelve years from that bed, I am standing in a gentle rain, each drop a whisper of simple things I will never understand.  Now, there is only air in the sky of heart waiting to rain. Now, I am thinner, grayer, brighter, less able to say, and my heart has learned more on this side than it will ever let me know.  Now, I want to learn how to kiss an orange, unpeeled, and taste the juice.
       Twelve years ago the unasked-for growth disappeared, and —praise this life — I have been shedding ever since.  Now, all that remains is my armless heart wanting to live.”
  • Sit quietly and consider your thoughts as leaves and your hears as the tree.
  • Breathe slowly, and try to listen to the soil you share with everything.
  • Breathe deeply, and meditate on what is oldest in you.

Here is a poem to inspire you in all your wonder and wow-ness!


Remember Your Wow-ness by Patricia Lynn Reilly
(Poem appears in Patricia’s book called Words Made Flesh.)

Verse 1
Do you ever look up at the night sky and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the night sky.

Verse 2
Do you ever get lost in it’s bigness and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the big sky.

Verse 3
Do you ever feel held by its darkness and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the dark sky.

Verse 4
Do you feel the tug of the full moon and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the full moon.

Verse 5
Do you ever try to count the stars and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the night star.

Voice Choir
You are composed of the same stuff as the Milky Way.
You are an exquisite dimension of the Galaxy’s development.
You are a space the Universe fashioned to feel its own grandeur.
You are an individualized expression of WOW. WOW! 

Mojo Monday ~ Remember Your Wow-ness

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Remember Your Wow-ness by Patricia Lynn Reilly
(Poem appears in Patricia’s book called Words Made Flesh.)
Remember Your Wow-ness
Verse 1
Do you ever look up at the night sky and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the night sky.
Verse 2
Do you ever get lost in it’s bigness and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the big sky.
Verse 3
Do you ever feel held by its darkness and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the dark sky.
Verse 4
Do you feel the tug of the full moon and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the full moon.
Verse 5
Do you ever try to count the stars and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the night star.
Voice Choir
You are composed of the same stuff as the Milky Way.
You are an exquisite dimension of the Galaxy’s development.
You are a space the Universe fashioned to feel its own grandeur.
You are an individualized expression of WOW. WOW!

We ARE the stars.
Listen to Astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse,
and understand why he feels big, not small, as part of the universe.
Something we should all remember when we feel alone, insignificant, or disconnected.

 This video is a result of when he was asked by TIME magazine,

“What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?”

This is his answer.



The Most Astounding Fact from Max Schlickenmeyer on Vimeo.

Image above is known as the Galactic Rose ~ Taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273. The larger of the spiral galaxies, known as UGC 1810, has a disc that is tidally distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. The swathe of blue jewels across the top is the combined light from clusters of intensely bright and hot young blue stars. These massive stars glow fiercely in ultraviolet light.

Mojo Monday ~ Being Thankful

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“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melodie Beattie

Here is a beautiful song called I Give Thanks by the talented Kathryn Mostow. 

This week the majority of people in the USA will gather on Thursday for a holiday called Thanksgiving.  The origins of the holiday may have a complicated historical past, yet the idea of families and friends gathering together to share in a day of Giving Thanks and expressing their Gratitude is inspiring.    

I have been in some circles where we have gone around the dining table in order for each person to express his/her gratitude.  I have also experienced meals where we each wrote down something for which we were thankful on a piece of paper and then they were all read at the table.  

This last Friday night my family gathered with some other adult friends and we all dined together.  We shared one thing we had learned this past year and at least one thing we are grateful for.  Even my daughters shared what they were grateful for in their kindergarten class and brought home a drawing and the words written out for us to see.

Share with us here on the Red Boa what you will be Giving Thanks for this year.

“Embrace your ordinary life, whatever its wrapping, for in the embrace you will hear the whisper of Gratitude. Listen for her in the ordinary activities of your day, in the ordinary encounters with loved ones, and in the ordinary challenges that greet you each morning. She speaks from the depths of you, in the voice of your ordinary life.” —Patricia Lynn Reilly

Mojo Monday ~ The Gifts of Imperfection

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I am unable to count how many times I have come to learn that a woman who I find to be amazing, beautiful, fabulous, inspirational and talented, will underneath all her obvious strengths, find fault with herself and thinks she is “not enough” in one way or another.


When I recently read a poem by Patricia Lynn Reilly I felt she so amazingly captured in her writing what we go through when we question “What’s Wrong with Me?”


What’s Wrong with Me?


We frequent the therapist’s office,
Hoping the past holds an answer within it.


We fill the churches,
Maybe God knows the answer.


We attend self-help meetings, assured an answer is encoded within the Twelve Steps.


We write “Dear Abby” and every other expert,
Certain that they must know the answer.


We sit at the feet of spirituality gurus,
Believing they will show us the way to an answer.


We buy every self-help book that hits the market,
Confident that a new project will quiet the question.


We consent to outrageous measures
To guarantee our fertility or our attractability,
Convinced that the presence of a child
Or a love in our arms will dissolve the question.


We sign up for diet clubs and plans and spas,
Convinced that our bodies are at the core of the answer,
Whatever it turns out to be.


We spend hundreds of dollars
On new outfits to hide the question
And on new body parts to eradicate the question.


And then at night after the day’s search is over,
We binge on a quart of ice cream or a bottle of wine,
Or we spend hours on the Internet or telephone
In tormented conversations trying to figure out
Why the relationship isn’t working,
Hoping that when we reach the bottom of the quart or bottle,
Or the far reaches of the internet or conversation,
Things will have shifted deep within us
And once and for all we will know the answer
And what to do about it.


Yet no matter what we do in search of an answer:
No matter how much we lose or how slimming the dress,
No matter how expensive or authoritative the expert,
No matter how many babies, relationships,
Possessions we have or don’t’ have,
No matter how spiritual, therapeutic, or recovered we become
We are left with the same question over and over again
As we look into the mirror horrified
That the restructuring of our relationship, our womb,
Or our breasts did not quiet the question
There it is in the morning whispering from the mirror,
“What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with me?’
A mantra that accompanies us the length of our days.

Why are we so critical of ourselves? Why do so many of us attempt to attain some sort of perfection, and perfection being unreachable, then flagellate ourselves for failing.



I am reading a book entitled The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are that has the best definition of perfection I have ever read. According to author Brené Brown, Phd, LMSW, “Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame.” Embracing perfectionism is about adopting a belief system that “I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it. Please. Perform. Perfect. Healthy striving is self-focused – How can I improve? Perfectionism is other-focused – What will they think?”


Brown also shares that “Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life–paralysis. Life-paralysis refers to all of the opportunities we miss because we’re too afraid to put anything out in the world that could be imperfect. It’s also all of the dreams that we don’t follow because of our deep fear of failing, making mistakes, and disappointing others. It’s terrifying to risk when you’re a perfectionist; your self-worth is on the line.”


Prior to writing this book the author had been a self-described “shame researcher.” She shares incredible wisdom in every point she hits in her book. For example she touches on worthiness. Here is a taste of what she shares: “The greatest challenge for most of us is believing that we are worthy now, right this minute. Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites. So many of us have knowingly created/unknowingly allowed/been handed down a long list of worthiness prerequisites:


I’ll be worthy when I lose twenty pounds.
I’ll be worthy if I can get pregnant.
I’ll be worthy if I get/stay sober.
I’ll be worthy if everyone thinks I’m a good parent.
I’ll be worthy when I can make a living selling my art.
I’ll be worthy if I can hold my marriage together.
I’ll be worthy when I make partner.
I’ll be worthy when my parents finally approve.
I’ll be worthy if he calls back and asks me out.
I’ll be worthy when I can do it all and look like I’m not even trying.


Here’s what is truly at the heart of Wholeheartedness: Worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute. As is.”




As we sit at the campfire together consider what opportunity you are missing because you are too afraid to put something out in the world because it isn’t perfect.


Consider what you hold over your own head in order to feel worthy.


Share with us at least one such situation in which you hold back because you are seeking perfection.


Share with us if there are ways that questioning your own self-worth holds you back.


After considering the downfalls of perfectionism what might you do differently now?


After hearing that you are worthy now, right this minute, as you are, can you embrace this truth? Can you live it? Does it change anything for you?



The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. ~ Anna Quindlen


If you have a little more time on your hand here is a video of author Brené Brown appearing on a televised PBS interview and she talks about Shame and Perfection. Prior to the actual interview with the author is some information on the class she teaches and how creating art is included in the program, as well as how other organizations are using her research to help women who have spent time incarcerated to relearn how to accept and love themselves.

Mojo Monday ~ ~ Letters & Prayers for Shiloh’s Rite of Passage

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On Saturday, December 11th an evening reception was held in honor of Shiloh Sophia McCloud.
Part of the ritual included the creation of a ceremonial treasure chest that was to include letters, prayers, and testimonials honoring our Chief Laughing Cloud.
If you already wrote something for this treasure chest please share with us or feel free to write something to Shiloh now.

If you attended the event perhaps share with us a taste of your experience.
Here is the letter I sent to be part of the treasure chest:
The only word that I could speak upon entering The Wisdom House gallery was “WOW!” I was in awe of Shiloh’s art and then as I explored her journals and spoke with Mary McDonald I felt something stir in my soul. In the following months I would visit Shiloh’s web site to view her art and to learn more about the Cosmic Cowgirls and when I learned of the Bountiful Conference in October 2008 I was drawn to attend.
The first time I heard Shiloh speak at the conference my response was again “WOW!” It was incredible to see that not only her art represented a “wowness”, but so did the woman who created that art.
Months later while framing a print of Shiloh’s to display in my home, one of my 3 year old daughters asked to see what I was doing. I turned over the piece of art and the one word out of her little girl mouth was “WOW!” I actually wrote to Shiloh of that experience because here again that word “WOW!” was coming from the mouth of a mere baby whose own young soul was stirred by what she saw.
My heart knew no other path than to become a Cosmic Cowgirl and over the course of the past two years as I have taken painting classes, Sparked, attended conferences, written blogs and articles and interacted with other Cosmic Cowgirls, I have also been blessed to have grown to know Shiloh more personally. I have been so incredibly impressed and inspired by this remarkable woman who is firmly grounded (while wearing her red cowgirl boots no doubt) and yet is also reaching for the stars and encouraging everyone in her presence to do the same.
I would like to share a poem/song called Remember Your Wow-ness by a writer who is also a personal friend of Shiloh. It is by Patricia L. Reilly and appears in her book Words Made Flesh.
Remember Your Wow-ness

Verse 1
Do you ever look up at the night sky and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the night sky.

Verse 2
Do you ever get lost in it’s bigness and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the big sky.

Verse 3
Do you ever feel held by its darkness and say WOW?
Well you”re made of the same WOW-ness as the dark sky.

Verse 4
Do you feel the tug of the full moon and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the full moon.

Verse 5
Do you ever try to count the stars and say WOW?
Well you’re made of the same WOW-ness as the night star.

Voice Choir
You are composed of the same stuff as the Milky Way.
You are an exquisite dimension of the Galaxy’s development.
You are a space the Universe fashioned to feel its own grandeur.
You are an individualize expression of WOW. WOW!
Thank you Shiloh for all the “WOW” you add to our world and the Universe!
much love ~ Michelle Fairchild

Mojo Monday ~ Giving Thanks

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“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melodie Beattie

Here is a wonderful photo montage that plays to a beautiful song called I Give Thanks by the talented Kathryn Mostow.

This week the majority of people in the USA will gather on Thursday for a holiday called Thanksgiving.  The origins of the holiday may have a complicated historical past, yet the idea of families and friends gathering together to share in a day of Giving Thanks and expressing their Gratitude is inspiring.    

I have been in some circles where we have gone around the dining table in order for each person to express his/her gratitude.  I have also experienced meals where we each wrote down something for which we were thankful on a piece of paper and then they were all read at the table.

Share with us here on the Red Boa what you will be Giving Thanks for this year.

“Embrace your ordinary life, whatever its wrapping, for in the embrace you will hear the whisper of Gratitude. Listen for her in the ordinary activities of your day, in the ordinary encounters with loved ones, and in the ordinary challenges that greet you each morning. She speaks from the depths of you, in the voice of your ordinary life.” —Patricia Lynn Reilly

Mojo Monday ~ I Promise Myself

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Patricia Lynn Reilly, theologian, women’s empowerment pioneer, and author of Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself, contends that a woman’s relationship with herself is the source of all personal power and relational success. In I Promise Myself: Making a Commitment to Yourself and Your Dreams, she offers step-by-step support to make a vow of faithfulness to yourself and your dreams – the first essential step to achieving meaningful and reciprocal relationships with others. Author SARK, describes the book as “A profound and deeply illuminating guide to magnifying self-love.” And adds that “Patricia’s work is wise and resonant.”
The introduction to I Promise Myself begins like this:
An Invitation to Be True to Yourself

Imagine a woman who has grown in knowledge and love of herself.
A woman who has vowed faithfulness to her life and capacities.
Who remains loyal to herself. Regardless.
Imagine yourself as this woman.

For more than a decade, I have invited women to journey with me from self-loathing to self-love, from self-criticism to self-celebration. Along the way it has been necessary for us to dismantle the disempowering questions, “What’s wrong with me?” and “Who will save me?” As these questions are ousted from our lives, we return home to ourselves, reclaiming our natural resources and capacities; we author our own lives, participating fully in life’s gifts and challenges; and we remain loyal to ourselves even in the face of challenge and opposition. The journey transforms our inner landscapes and reframes our relationships to the world around us. To deepen these fundamental shifts in self-understanding within women’s hearts, minds and bodies, I have refashioned the wedding vow and wedding ceremony into transformational resources for making a lifelong commitment to ourselves. Each woman’s journey culminates in the composition of a “vow of faithfulness” to herself, which is then witnessed at a commitment ceremony…

Women of all ages, from all walks of life, are vowing faithfulness to their own lives. As a result, they are refusing to ask the questions “What’s wrong with me?” and “Who will save me?” Instead, they make powerful statements with every thought they share, every feeling they express, and every action they take on their own behalf. They use their personal and communal resources to give birth to woman-affirming rites of passage and ceremonies of transformation for their daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and for themselves. They are women ~ full of themselves!

…Pause for a moment and imagine growing in knowledge and love of yourself, vowing faithfulness to your own life and capacities, and remaining loyal to yourself ~ regardless. Imagine a life in which you deepen your relationship to your natural vitality, resilience, and sense of self. Imagine a ceremony of commitment to yourself, culminating with these words of self-blessing: “This is it. This is my life. Nothing to wait for. Nowhere else to go. No one to make it all different. What a relief to have finally landed here….now. Blessed be my life!
Did reading these excerpts from Patricia Lynn Reilly’s book conjure up any particular thoughts or feelings?

Is there something in particular you want to promise yourself?

Consider writing a ceremonial vow for yourself this week.

If you feel inclined to share, come back to the discussion and post your promises and/or vows of commitment to yourself.