Acting AS IF

I’m acting AS IF I know how to write a blog post. I’m tempted to tell you all the reasons it’s NOT a good idea for me to do this (my Scorpio need for secrecy, growing up invisible, etc.), but instead . . . This blog is about the art of living. I am a woman, wife, and mother. I am a healer, teacher, and artist. Currently, I create art quilts and little gouache paintings. I am a middle-aged, too short for my weight (according to one insurance company, what do THEY know!), recovering people pleaser who has made it a priority to impress HERSELF this year. (I’ll tell you more about that another time.)

I’m still nesting with my blog purpose statement. Meanwhile, let me share with you a step in that direction. In Women Who Run with the Wolves; Myths & Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in the introduction to the Ugly Duckling chapter, has a heart-filling section on “Finding one’s pack: belonging as blessing.” This section ends with “You may not belong to your original family at all. You may match your family genetically, but temperamentally you may belong to another group of people. Or you may belong to your family perfunctorily while your soul leaps out, runs down the road, and is gluttonously happy munching spiritual cookies somewhere else.”

Stepping Out

My blog is about leaping out, running down the road, and being gluttonously happy munching spiritual cookies with you! If you are in my pack, interested in the intersection of art, healing, intuition, and life, welcome! If you’re not in my pack, don’t worry about it–there is a pack for you, waiting with the door wide open and the table set for you.

Do you have people with whom you can munch spiritual cookies? (Even if it’s only one person, how blessed you are!) What do you notice about the people in your pack?


  1. Janet — beautiful post! You leave me counting my blessings for the “pack/packs” I belong to! You leave me wanting to read the book you quoted. 🙂

    I don’t know for sure how to describe the people in my pack…I think that could be a whole new blog post! In general the words that pop out at me are: supportive, always there, willing to challenge, empathetic, able to be serious and laugh until they cry, creative in their own special ways… I think I need to spend some alone time to think about this. Thank you!!!!

    Fabulous authentic post!
    from BBTL

    • (ms.) Michael, Thank you for your comment! My pack is similar to yours. As I was doing a guided imagery exercise in Liv Lane’s blog course to discover the characteristics of my ideal reader, one of the words that popped in was “smirking”!!? Following my initial surprise with the assurance that they will be “smirking WITH you, not AT you.” Well, all right then. 🙂

  2. Great post Janet. I agree, we must find our packs so we can grow and encourage each other in a positive way. I want to be in your pack. 🙂

  3. I’ve never had a hankering for spiritual cookies until today and I’m starving! Let me be the first to tell you that your feelings that you should NOT be doing this might be wrong. Great post and oozing with bravery!

  4. Do you know that I’ve had a copy of “Women Who Run With Wolves” on a bookshelf in my living room for YEARS, and I’ve yet to read it? I am a book hoarder, so I buy things and then they get lost under other books. Your blog is about the third or fourth mention I’ve seen this week about this book– I am pulling it out and dusting it off as soon as I get back home.

    And I admire your stepping out. I, too, am stepping out a little further than usual. Here’s to stepping out together.

    • Stacey, I have a strange relationship with “Women Who Run With Wolves.” Those few sentences I quoted in my blog post were so powerful for me that they have been feeding me (and my students) for years. I’d like to be able to read the book cover to cover, but I’m still full from my first perusals. So I send thank you’s to Clarissa Pinkola Estes through the ether, and continue to share her quote.

  5. I love your post. I can see you running down the road, eating those spiritual cookies and I want some! Can’t wait to see where this part of your journey leads you.

    • Michele, I’m definitely sharing my cookies, and my journey. Looking forward to more connections with you!

  6. Spiritual Cookies. Hmm. Excellent way of looking at it.

  7. I love your posting about finding our packs. I’m actually a bit beyond middle-age and I, too, have leaped out and am running down my road. I love how you used this phrase. I keep telling everyone that I’m in my second life and I’m on this creative journey, waiting to see where it will take me.

  8. You had me at scorpio….and then you mentioned cookies! 😉 I remember borrowing that book from the library when I was a teenager, don’t think I finished it though, and maybe its time to go find it again! Some things you mentioned about belonging resonate with me – and I think this is my great reason for trying to find my ‘pack’ outside of my family. Great post!

    • Anneri, Thank you for stopping by. Your note makes me remember . . . who’s to say we can’t have more than one pack!

  9. Yumm, Spiritual Cookies. I love the humor resonant throughout this post.

  10. Better spiritual cookies than spiritual kool-aid : ) You have a unique voice and one worth sharing. Keep blogging whether you feel you “should” or not. We all need fellow travelers who are living artfully!

    • Lynn, You made me laugh out loud. Thank you for your encouragement and your beautiful example. (Everybody, Lynn is painting herself OUT of depression.)

  11. nice post.
    i’ve also read that book but it might be time to get it out again.
    i love the idea of having a ‘pack’ out there. sometimes i do feel a little out of sync with my family. lol

  12. I’m with Anneri, here… scorpio AND cookies?! I’m in your pack!! 🙂 Seriously awesome post! I’m getting the book and I’m going to send you a note about attending one of your classes. Yay!

    • Toni, Welcome to my pack, I’m happy to be in yours and would LOVE to have you in one of my classes.

  13. LOVE -Woman who run with the Wolves, and the idea of finding your pack– I am just starting to in the ethereal internet world. Thank-you for your beautiful insights.

    • Cheryl, I am brand new to the blogging world, and I am amazed at the open-hearted community that is unfolding rapidly in front of my oh-so-ready self! (P.S. I can’t wait to share your sentence about abstract painting, on your website) with my art mentor. It feels so potent and accurate.)

  14. I love this post! I’m so glad of blogging because without my blog I’m not sure I would have found the women in my pack. I have searched high and low for them in real life. Thanks for sharing!

  15. I love the idea of us finding our pack. Just because we were born into a certain group, doesn’t mean they are our true pack. They may be. But they may not be. Searching out people of our true pack can be a little scary (for me) but it’s so important to do! Thanks.

    • Yes, Dara, it is important, because we have gifts to share . . . and it may take understanding, and encouraging, and loving to identify those gifts, claim them, and bring them into the light. Thank you for stopping by.

  16. Chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia nut, oatmeal, Oreos… I don’t discriminate. Bring on the spiritual cookies!

  17. Janet, Your post is delicious! I am so honored and Graced to be part of your pack.(I think I am) Guess what I will bring to class next week. Thanks also for being a good leader and snapping kindly at my heels.

    • Carol, As if you don’t already bring your plate of spiritual cookies to every class session! I just made it over to your first blog posting. Anybody wondering if it’s okay to be creative, check it out!

  18. First, I’m with the person above – a cookie-loving Scorpio is the best. And, yes, I know Women Who Run With the Wolves well. I think I actually read the whole book. What I remember most about it is that, going on 20 years ago now, I read an excerpt from the book at the farewell gathering we had when my mother left the planet. (Californians do not do “funerals”. We gathered on the lawn of the mausoleum at the World’s Largest Community of Departed People – Rose Hills, Whittier, California (home of Richard Nixon) and said good-bye.) My mother so wanted to run with the wolves – and, every now and then, she would. She knew the packs were out there, but people born in 1910 did not just head out and run. She did, however, like cookies.

    Keep the blog going, and just let it go where it wants to go. Because it will, anyway.

    • Margaret, It’s starting to sound like we have a large sub-pack of Scorpio cookie-lovers! I am glad to hear the story about your mother. In many ways, we have more freedom than the women who came before us. Good blog advice. Thank you for stopping by!

  19. Janet, great post! …the kind that activates those soul-searching kinda questions 🙂 A part of me remains forever with my og family, and this other part, out here in the wild west, has befriended seekers and searchers like yourself. I think we can do both. Yours Truly, a Scorpio Rising 😉

  20. Mary Elizabeth Kitchens says:

    I am so excited to be a follower of your journey… I am in awe of you and would be honored to be a part of your pack… of course.. if you will have me! M

  21. Hi Janet and everyone. I am not a Scorpio, but I love the idea of eating spiritual cookies with all of you. Beautiful, inspiring and engaging post, Janet! We WILL be following you down that road. Munch on!

  22. Janet, though I have heard about this book “Women Who Run With Wolves,” , I haven’t read it yet. Your blog has made me curious, I will get it soon. Thanks for sharing these cookies.

    • Thank you for stopping by, Nupur. I have the book but find it difficult to read (cover to cover) because of how rich it is. I am thinking about getting it on Kindle because I think it would be a good fit for reading in snippets while on an exercise bike.

  23. What a wonderful, intimate post. Thank you for so openly sharing. I read Women who run with the Wolves, maybe 20 years ago. I should dig it out and reread.

    • Connie, Thank you, stop by again! I took a sneak peak at your blog and will spend more time with it later, looks good!

  24. Hi Janet, what a wonderful blog post, I just loved it.
    Today I left for 5 days at a cottage, some much needed ME down time. I call it my retreat. Time to reconnect with myself and do things that I love. I gasped when I saw you mention ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves; Myths & Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype’… I bought this book years ago and never read it. Last night I grabbed a few books out of my hundreds of books to bring with me and this morning I almost put it back thinking I’d never read it… then your blog post caught my attention and there’s the name of the book which I did bring with me. Thank you. 🙂
    Suzanne recently posted..Comment on The upside down Kleenex boxes by SuzanneMy Profile

    • Suzanne, Thank you for stopping by! I am glad you are in the flow of receiving the guidance you need. Have a wonderful time in your own company at the cottage!

  25. YES!!! I could run with this pack. But my spiritual cookies better be loaded with spiritual chocolate chips!
    Susan recently posted..Like Mother TMy Profile

  26. I have three copies of Women Who Run With Wolves…that’s how much it has meant to me over the last 20 years. And I’m Scorpio rising. And I like to think of the sun warmed spiritual cookies being chocolate chip in flavor (or with M&Ms) and eating them straight out of the oven! I’m slowly finding my tribe. Or tribes. Thanks!!
    Sue Jorgenson recently posted..The Hearing AidMy Profile

  27. Janet, what a great post, love it! You have a very natural way of writing, I felt like you were in my kitchen having a cup of coffee. And your post really made me think- I think I have been searching for my pack for a long time. Found one or two along the way but I feel I’m searching for other creative souls like myself. Look forward to hearing more from you!
    Sue recently posted..A simple tip to get the creative juices flowingMy Profile

    • Sue, Thank you for your kind words, and the lovely image of us sitting together in your kitchen. May your pack find YOU!


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