1000 Tiny Steps Home

Mar 19, 2019


Heart. Beat.


Heart. Beat.


Heart. Beat. Heart. Beat. Heart. Beat. Heart. Beat. Heart. Beat. Heart. Beat. Heart. Beat.




Two weeks ago, my heart started pounding double time,

then triple time

I hauled in deep breaths to try to keep up

and my chest was filled with a thousand tiny butterflies

and my stomach churned and my mind raced as I hoped so dearly they wouldn’t escape

taking me with it.

Too young.  Too soon.  Too many more walks through the forest, books to write, hands to hold.

Please no. Please no. Please no.



It went on for a week.  A week punctuated by doctors visits and blood pressure cuffs and anxiety medication and literally, quite literally, punctuated by blood test after blood test.










and I caught my breath

I wondered

what wake up call is this, dear body?


And the tiniest, most un-generous part of my mind

– you know the one I’m talking about –


“Good one.  You just wrote the book on Body Love.  You teach embodiment and rest and rewilding and what, this?  And this?”




and then


that Benevolent Motherself within me flew in on the winds of compassion, her warm cloaks billowing out behind her and a gentle smile on her face said


“Darling.  Darling.  Darlingdarlingdarling.  Sweet.  Sweet honeybabe.  Oh honey.  Your body!  Look at the perfect message it has given you.  Darling, your sweet body has been integrating integrating integrating everything that has been happening in the last three months – every triumph every challenge: look how well!  Oh look!  Look how beautifully.”

I nod.  Touch my arms.  Look down at my chest that just days ago didn’t seem as though it could hold my life force, and marvel in its solidity.


“Darling.  You are perfectly and wonderfully made.  And it is time to rest.”


I stare skyward.

I stare ahead.

And I breathe again

because I know the way home.


I know the path back to myself.

I have traveled it oh, oh, oh so many times before.

A thousand tiny steps home.


The road is well worn

and though I believed that I would only need to walk it once

I know now

I will be walking this road all the days of my life

A thousand tiny steps home.


A walk down the old dirt road.

Onions sautéing in butter and wine.

Knowing who to call just when.

Words written in the pre-dawn hours.

A scarf around my neck just so.

Remembering how to say no.

Remembering what to say yes to.




More rest.

Enough time to dream.

Cups of tea and books and candles lit

A moment, looking up from the words in my journal, where I remember, in a flood of lifeforce, what I’m here for.

The feel of water rushing past my ears

and the prickle of pine needles

and the pocketing of sea glass

Phone calls home

Remembering how to receive

Remembering that it’s okay to

Remembering how I like my eggs

and that I love to make music.  Remembering to make music.


– knowing – that none of this is predicated on my success or the status of my to-do list or on whether the kids watched television today or on how many dollars are in my bank account



A thousand tiny steps back home to myself.  I am grateful I have walked this path so very many times before: to know that there are many roads back, some of them meandering, most of them well-rutted with time.  And to know that I have a compass, and a true north that says

Remember magic.  Don’t forget to dance a little.  Write, oh please god.  Eat your eggs with the yolks runny and get outside in the trees.  Bury your face in the folds of your children’s sweet necks and remember the raw power of your body on the day they came.  Know what you are capable of, but choose only what ease allows.  Cut your hair.  Oh please.  Call your sister.  Write with coloured markers and make to do lists of things you’ve already done so you can cross them off and don’t forget to sing in the car.


I know the way home.



A thousand tiny steps.

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!