Powerful Kindness & Radical Acts Of Gratitude [newsletter]

I'm going to tell you a story about how a
hostage was returned. 

Perhaps you're thinking: "Leah, it's the holidays...can't you bring us something more season appropriate?
I’m asking you to trust me.
But even more than me, I’m asking you to trust this story, because it has been banging at the door asking to be shared. It begins like this...
Laura Ling was a journalist that was held captive by the North Koreans for 5 months.


This story has nothing to do with how or why she was kidnapped. 

It has everything to do with what she did while she was being held captive, facing a sentence of 12 years of hard labor. 

I worked with Laura at Current TV, not closely, but close enough so that at nearly every gathering, every meal, every hike in the wilderness during those 5 months I thought of her, alone in a cell. It’s weird when you know that someone who is humble and kind and makes self-deprecating jokes is being held captive by North Korea.


Laura was released after 5 months. 

Kim Jong-un agreed to release Laura under the condition that Bill Clinton would meet with him.
You see, when Kim’s father died, Bill Clinton was one of the first to call him with a condolence.
And ever since receiving that phone call, after recieving someone reaching out under and over the story of politics and into the story of human connection, Kim had always wanted to meet Bill.
Kind of mind blowing when you consider what one little act of radical kindness would eventually influence.


A medieval philosophical sense, from Late Latin radicalis "of or having roots," from PIE root *wrad- "branch, root"
Meaning: "going to the origin, essential"

“Gratitude is what got me through”

It was a few years later when Laura and I were meeting for tea talking about a few story concepts. I don’t know how it came up, but when someone starts telling you that gratitude is what kept them from going coo-coo while being held hostage in North Korea, you pay attention.
“But I had to be grateful for what was actually happening in the moment, it wasn’t about being grateful for another time, it was being grateful for what I had in the moment. Sometimes it would take real effort to find something, such as being grateful to the guard who decided to whistle when I hadn’t heard music in months.”


Laura's story reminded me of my own experience of experiencing radical gratitude. 
Gratitude introduced itself to me when I was walking the rings of a large circular garden I built while in the six months of recovering from thyroid cancer. Every morning I walked into the center of the garden with my gratitude, and walked out with my prayers. I wouldn’t say I was particularly spiritual or prayed before that event. I don't even know how I knew to do it. I just know that it changed me.

When I wasn't looking or trying. Gratitude wrapped its arms around me when I needed it most. 
It would appear that extreme situations can provide insight on how to live in normal times.

Want More Story In Your Life? 


Here are a few ways we can play...
A grand last minute gift idea (If I don’t say so myself) is a SOUL STORY.
(Gift certificates can be emailed within a few hours of an order)

A soul story is a one of a kind story that is created for the receiver of the gift. It is a mystical form of storytelling that helps one see their life and how they are experiencing it through symbols, myth, and metaphors.  I do them for individuals, couples, and groups.
To help you understand this out of the box interpersonal storytelling session I'll share that Clarissa Pinkola Estes references how a sect of mystical storytellers use El Duarte (the wind) to blow the soul of the person into them, and Michael Mead says that behind this dimension, is the mythic dimension. This is exactly how I understand a Soul Story to work. It's esoterical and magical and mysterious in the best of ways. Here's how a few people explain the experience:

“Receiving my sacred soul story was truly a gift of great proportion. I thought at first it would be a fun idea. Little did I know how greatly transformative the whole process would actually be for me.” ~ Marta Maria Marraccini
“Leah's story was the sweetest medicine to my soul. I felt not only reflected in my essence but lifted up to enjoy the greater story unfolding in all of us.” 
-Dominique Lando

Other ways we can play in the realm of story include these upcoming workshops;
Online: Myth Magic and Medicine
In CA: Temple Woman (1 day event) & The Story of The Witch (5 Day Retreat)
Jan In Kauai
Feb In Maui

Green Gift Ideas Part 4

Welcome to the last installation of green gift ideas. As always, I receive no benefit from sharing these aside from the pleasure of sharing good things and good people. And in this case: some shameless self promotion. You can catch Green Gift Guides parts 1-3 here. 

A Date With An Artistic Experience: Season tickets: think global act local: another great last minute gift idea. Support your favorite local arts organization by purchasing season ticket for your loved one. Museums, theater, film festivals..

A Date With An Artistic Experience:

Season tickets: think global act local: another great last minute gift idea. Support your favorite local arts organization by purchasing season ticket for your loved one. Museums, theater, film festivals..

Mojo: A DIY guide to planning and strategizing magic in your life. Kat Teplyan’s new age planner is using old school ways (pen and paper). It’s like Franklin Covey meets Martha Stewart in the planning of house and home and even includes reflection and gratitude. A great gift for yourself in prep for the new year.

A DIY guide to planning and strategizing magic in your life. Kat Teplyan’s new age planner is using old school ways (pen and paper). It’s like Franklin Covey meets Martha Stewart in the planning of house and home and even includes reflection and gratitude. A great gift for yourself in prep for the new year.

Myth, Magic, & Medicine A 4-week online class connects you to an online community dedicated to exploring the art of sacred storytelling. Gift your loved one an opportunity to explore the myths they live with, the medicine that runs through them, and the magic them make when they consciously tell stories infused with the medicine they came to give.

Myth, Magic, & Medicine
A 4-week online class connects you to an online community dedicated to exploring the art of sacred storytelling. Gift your loved one an opportunity to explore the myths they live with, the medicine that runs through them, and the magic them make when they consciously tell stories infused with the medicine they came to give.

Bow Glass An ancient art form, hand crafted just for you or your beloved. (True confession, Pierre, the creator of Bow Glass, is my brother, so I come by my awe of his creations honestly.) He hand blows and designs decanters, bowls, glasses, and many other beautiful things. Follow him on instagram or order a work of art at Blowglass.com.

Bow Glass
An ancient art form, hand crafted just for you or your beloved. (True confession, Pierre, the creator of Bow Glass, is my brother, so I come by my awe of his creations honestly.) He hand blows and designs decanters, bowls, glasses, and many other beautiful things. Follow him on instagram or order a work of art at Blowglass.com.

Laughter, Big Moments, & How To Bring More Storytelling To Your Hometown [newsletter]

“I can't die. Bill Clinton needs all the democrats he can get.”

The air was pungent, filled with the sweet and soft smells of a southern summer as we sat on Kelly’s front porch watching fireflies light up the darkness.
Kelly was telling me the story of how her mother almost~ or rather did ~ die while giving birth to her younger brother. “She said she was hovering above her body, watching the doctors and nurses rush around, and when she realized she was thinking of politics (it was right before Clinton’s first election) she started laughing. And that is what brought her back into her body.”

Laughing at herself.
“My mom told me that story in a really dark moment in life. Sometimes you just need to look at what there is… and laugh,” Kelly eyed me. “Are you thinking about death a lot?”
“It’s hard not to. We’re living through the 6th mass extinction after all,” I answered.
“Even my 6 year old is thinking about it, she said. "Last week he asked me if I thought humanity is going to end soon. And when I asked how he thought it would end, he answered we’d either die from climate change or nuclear war.” 
It seems in right action to pause when we discover that our children are considering the end of humanity.

On that note… might I suggest a beauty break and that you open another window to listen to the glorious music created by the one and only Arianna Savall while enjoying the rest of this storyletter? (click here in case you missed the cue.)

Big Moments.

I don't know about you, but all of the big moments I have experienced have been made up of little moments that didn’t feel like much. It wasn’t until later, when we dressed the moments up with context and meaning that they became big moments.
The big moments are minutes are waiting on a clock on the date you place a lot of expectation around, and you really want them, more than any other, to be good moments. But some of the most impactful big moments really suck…in the moment…and only become the ingredients for legacy when you look back.
And yet, there are so many great moments that saunter by when you aren’t looking for fabulous, have no expectation for epic, and so they can fly by… under the radar…under appreciated.

I had the pleasure of seeing The Art of Courage a few months ago. Of course now it carries a different round of meanings in our most recent state of affairs since the film tells one of the stories of the creation of the 100% Renewable art piece created at the Paris UN Climate Talks from last year. I think you can see my hand in one of the scenes. 
It was a big moment by any standard.

These are listening times.
When you need to read the signs and look for what’s living between the lines.
So soften your focus, escape the confines of literalism, and act like a tracker might when she or he is trying to catch the scent of wild animal on the run. Best I can tell, that is where the path to sanity might be found.

Want To Bring a Storytelling Event or Workshop to Your Hometown?

I’m planning the fall schedule and now is a grand time to tell me if you want to bring a storytelling event or workshop to your community.
Let’s get the conversation started here.
To wet your whistle here are a few things that are available:


  • Myth, Magic, & Medicine Storytelling for a New Paradigm A 2 day workshop
  • How to Tell Stories Designed To Transform The World: This workshop has been done in corporate settings and classes. 
  • Good Old Fashion Storytelling Skills: This class is designed for people who want to master the art of storytelling

Storytelling Events:

  • Storytelling Alchemy: These gatherings use story combined with a unique group process to improve empathy and build community. Examples of topics that have been worked with in the past include rights of passage, love & betrayal, and forgiveness. These work for intimate gatherings as well as office trainings.
  • She Rises: A New Story for a New Paradigm explores the state of climate and politics through a mythic lens.
  • Soul Story Oracle Circles: Easier to explain once you’ve experienced one. A story is channeled in the moment as the participants unpack and apply the symbols and mythic context to their life circumstances. Great to do with a community, yoga studio, birthday celebration, or any other purpose you dream up. 

Sweet Treats:

Solstice Soul Story Special

In honor of the longest day of the year, I am offering a 1.5 hour Solstice Soul Story Special for $111 (normally $250). This special is available for sessions that are booked by June 21st.  You can learn more about these one of a kind story created just for you at medicinestories.com.

White Ally Tool Kit:
This tool kit was created by David Campt (aka the race doctor), advisor to Clinton's race relations committee. “Research says there are ways to reduce racial bias. Calling people racist is not one of them.”

Griefwalker:Documentary Film

This documentary introduces Stephen Jenkinson, who has been at the deathbed of well over 1,000 people. What he sees over and over, he says, is "a wretched anxiety and an existential terror" even when there is no pain. Indicting the practice of palliative care itself, he has made it his life's mission to change the way we die - to turn the act of dying from denial and resistance into an essential part of life.

Men Explain Things To Me:

A small book filled with sharp tongued essays and insights about what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women.

May you find your way to laughter through the big and small moments, may you remember to return to your body when you are needed most, and may we cross paths again sooner than later,


A word (or two) about Patreon... Want to play a part in bringing more art into the world? I’m working away on The Whale Dreamer~ and am traveling with a small but mighty group of people ~ sharing the intimacies of what it is to write a book and create a campaign designed to engage the next generation of ocean and land stewardship. I share special treats with Patrons, such as the latest story recorded on audio, The Day I Married A Polar Bear, recorded at CDM Studios.

Dumb Guppies, The Story Of Scarcity, & Crowdfunding From The Heart [newsletter]

On singing, scarcity, crowdfunding, and more! 

“Some of the best opera singers are dumb as a doornail."

They don't let their mind get in the way of their breath." My voice teacher, Tamuz, is teaching me how to breath.
(psst. If you clicked for the free guide on crowdfunding-- skip to the bottom of the page. Now back to this regularly programmed storytletter)
“You have to let the mind get out of the way. Just act like a dumb guppy.”

Tamuz let her mouth go slack, allowed her eyes to wander up and to the left as if staring into nothing, and showed me what it looks like when you just open your mouth and trust that all the air you need will come and provide what is needed to belt out the next note.
I’ve been singing till I’m depleted and out of air, then gasping, sucking it in with desperation before the next note. My voice has become a critical part of the performances and Soul Story work, the resonance creating a form of magic that I can’t begin to explain, so I knew in my bones that I needed to address this running out of air piece.

I just didn’t know why.
Until now.  

I’ve been studying scarcity. 
It was no surprise that it showed up in my conversation with money.
I didn’t realize it was so pervasive in my relationship to time.
Or that it lived in my relationships.
Or whispered to me in the kitchen.
But it never occurred to me that it could be living in my breath.

“You’re working too hard,” Tamuz explained.
I couldn’t help but think about how our whole planet is working too hard, and the harder we work, the more resources we use as we stay up late, use more oil as we commute longer hours… We are using so many of our planet’s resources to depletion because we are working too hard.

A few years back I got an idea for a book called, “Dangerous Stories.” I liked the title. But I didn’t know what kind of stories would go in it.
Now I know.
The story of scarcity is a dangerous story.
I really wouldn’t recommend diving in without a belay.
“You aren’t really trying to do this on your own?” Matt asked rather incredulously. Then I realized that this idea that I had to face the darkest parts of my navel gazing on my own was even woven out of the threads of scarcity. Then he showed me a piece written by Tad about how our current model of self reliance and the village making (link below).

I’ve been asking a uncomfortable question: Do I need to blow up the whole foundation and structure that has been built out of scarcity consciousness and start from scratch?
Or can I just build a new platform of prosperity consciousness on top of this foundation?
And I started to realize…I’m not the only one grappling with this question is living deep inside of our collective unconsciousness as we  try to imagine what it will take to create a sustainable mode of living on this planet.

Do we need to blow the whole thing up and start again from scratch?

Or can we build on top of an infrastructure that was built and designed based on a depleting resources model-- and find a new way to find balance with the inherent prosperity that this planet is created from?

Meanwhile, I’m putting together the next cohort of crowdfunders. After I ran a couple of kickstarter campaigns people started approaching me for consulting. I love it. I get to put all of my knowledge about online engagement, online communication and strategy, writing and long term community engagement strategy to good work while supportying activists, social do-gooders, and artists manifest their dreams into reality.

I put together this rad video interview series (if I don't say so myself) with some stellar human beings and social good entrepreneurs who have raised from 30K to over 100K and share their systems, techniques, and tricks of the trade. After hosting 6 of these conversations, turns out every single conversation is threaded with the same keys to their success: Love and generosity. I kid you not.
You see, the trick to crowdfunding, is that is has very little to do with asking for money, and everything to do with cultivating a massive field of generosity. 

If you want to know more about the logistics, as part of my storyteller community I would love to offer you my 23 page Action Guide on how to crowdfund as a gift. Just email me and I'll send it along. 
 And if you knowof anyone who is getting ready to launch a campaign, I’m putting together a group of people who can support each other in the process.

Because friends don’t let friends crowdfund alone.

Allison sent me this photo~ inspired by some of the art in the past newsletters. I love it (and her). 
A few really great resources out there if you want to keep exploring scarcity: 
The Soul of Money (an absolute must read and is also on audio)
The Art of Ask by Amanda Palmer (available on book, audio and a Ted talk)
On Village-Making: The Means and the Ends of Our Personal and Collective Redemption (mentioned above: by Tad Hardgrave)

And if you are in the bay area, Tamuz is one of the most extraordinary voice teachers I know. 
May you breathe with the ease of a dumb guppy,


PS: Tamuz swears that the dumb guppy metaphor was created in my honor. It made me laugh so hard it was really hard to sing. 

PPS: Thank you to everyone who responds with a little love note after receiving this wild experiment in storyletters. I appreciate every single one. 

PPS: Illustrations by April Wilson

Love Letters And Sweet Nothings: Myth, Magic, And Medicine [newsletter]

Creative approaches. How to do Aloha. It's all in there. 

Let's be gentle during fragile times. 

Let's breathe into the places we were once convinced we couldn't.

Let's find comfort in the chaos.

Last week I learned that hearts broken open can create pathways for the ancestors to walk through. And when you surrender to the pain and stop resisting, that is the invitation for Grace to walk in.  

I'm learning that giving up on hope can be liberating. 

And taking on the task of trust requires focus and commitment. 

I'm learning that during uncertain times, it is good to go to the creativity gym, the listening gym, and the generosity gym. Building these skills takes practice...and while there is no such thing as perfect...there is something to be said for getting in shape. 


(Early Bird Special ends Feb 28th)

Calling all Changemakers, Teachers, Entrepreneurs, Healers, & Everyone Ready to Make Meaning Out of Their Story!        

Transform your old stories into powerful teachings

Learn new skills to develop your intuition and creativity

  • Expand your knowledge on archetypes, myths and mythic stories from around the globe

  • Be witnessed in the telling of your personal story

  • Discover new ways to bring ritual and the sacred into your life

  • Embody the magic and medicine we are into your every day life

  • Join a private facebook group and community from the moment you register comprised of the Myth Magic and Medicine community of students who have taken this course in the past.
    Learn more here. 

Deep Listening & Creative Approaches

Matthew Stillman, author of Genesis Deflowered, meets love in action via listening to strangers. Since 2009 he's been setting up a chair at Union Square in NYC with a sign that offers a creative approach to your challenge of the day. And then... he listens. To gangsters. To urban gardeners. He's listened to over 4,000 people and come up with a lot of creative solutions to a lot of problems. If you want to know where to begin taking this in, blush away as you read, I don't think we need to go all the way to 20. 


"When time is seemingly running out and fear is running in there is a sense of urgency and everything becomes an emergency. In these moments I tend to force things that should not be. Pushing hard against the flow (is silly) and not allowing what is to simply be (is sillier :). It is my experience that this is not a good way to live, if you can even call it living at all, and it certainly does not allow for my highest self to present him/her/itself.

It is difficult to live in truth when you are running away. 

Things I know right this second…
Uncertainty is challenging.
Change is hard.
Acceptance can be a straight up bitch."

Chris Pilaro said that. As he faced the knowledge that he was dying from cancer, and choosing to live as much as he could in the process.  
Chris died yesterday. (It's worth re-reading now that you have context.)

I could say more, but I want to honor him and the way he chose to live his life today by letting him speak for himself, and introduce you to The Greater Good, an award winning film about vaccine issues Chris co-produced.

I had the honor of making my very first film with Chris in college (a "how to" film about how to steal a car), and was reunited over a decade later when Celia brought me in to join their amazing team to help design their outreach and engagement campaign.  It was a bold and daring documentary that doesn't make vaccines right or wrong, good or bad. But it shows the complexity and explains how the pharmaceutical industry works. The website provides access to research that is not easily available to people who don't know how to research medical journals.

I'm thinking about Aloha today. 

Remembering this day when I was driving. 
James was in the passenger seat. 
We were on Kauai. 
A car was at the intersection, and I gestured for them to go. 
"What was that?" he asked.
"I was telling them they could go.
James gave me a look.
"What?" I demanded. "I was being nice." 
"That was not done with Aloha." James schooled me. "It's not just a wave through the air. When you do it with Aloha, you do it with generosity."
James made a graceful movement with his hand moving through the air with his palm facing upward. 

Here is to Aloha and generosity living in every gesture of life,
with love,

PS: Those images are from a book published back in 1983 titled “The Red Couch – A Portrait of America” and that final image was of a bunch of friends from college who were apparently inspired by that project. It didn't feel right to keep dropping images of people by themselves. 

PPS: That top bit of writing is speaking to the experience of living through these times and was partly inspired by the creation of She Rises, A New Story For A New Paradigm. This is an amazing workshop where we work with groups to co-create a new myth about the times we are living in. I shared one of the audio stories and a bit about the creative process with people who hang out on patreon (just sayin). 

Love Actualized [newsletter]

Love Stories, Love Actualized, and the risky business of love. 

“Love is Risky Business.”

Dominique dropped that line after I spoke to the pain in my heart.
I have this theory, that love has a super power: it never dies. It can change form, it can run to a mountain top far away, hide under a rock when afraid of being destroyed, but once created, I'm pretty sure that love never dies. 

But it’s complicated, and love hangs out with a motley crew. Can’t you see a bar scene where Love struts in, wearing a sailor cap, and a thick gold chain around its neck. And on one arm it has its buddies Ecstasy, Intimacy, and Romance, and the other arm is linked with Jealousy, Rage, and Abandonment. 'Cause when Love show up it brings the party. (I have an entire animated script on that very topic waiting to be produced).

Valentine’s Day is beckoning.

Want to delight a loved one with something that that fosters your intimacy and connection (and doesn't involve cards, roses, or lace?)

Soul to Soul Love Stories (50% off for Valentine's Day) could be a delightful way to honor a soul love, whether that person be in the form of a lover, a friend, or family member.

To explain the mysterious: a Soul to Soul love story sheds light on how your relationship dynamics play out in the archetype, myth, and metaphor. This is a dynamic and fun way to look at your relationship through a completely different lens. 

Michael Mead says we have a dimension right behind this one, it is a mythic dimension. Clarissa Pikola Estes refers to an ancient lineage of story tellers that used the wind to blow the soul of the person into their face. The way I explain this unique work is that we integrate your mythic/archetypal self into your human form by calling in your soul's story. We make the intangible tangible through the word and symbol so that you can relate to it. It is a great way to examine what is living in your unconsciousness in a most delightful way. 
If you are curious but still scratching your head, the best way to understand is to hear from the people who have experienced them. 

When I’m winning, my favorite Valentine's Day game to play is to think about who needs a little extra kiss from the universe and make sure they get a good dose of a secret valentine. Sometimes I win at that game and get fueled by the thrill of a generous and giving heart.

And sometimes I end up in the corner sobbing about how no one is loving me in the way I most want to be loved.

But you wouldn’t know anything about that, so we’ll move along.

“Oh onion, you are just so handsome.”

 (That was Emily, falling in love with the vegetables she was putting into her soup. She also spoke with fond affection towards the fennel).

There have been moments when a simple and sweet love walked in and dressed the walls of my being with beautiful paintings, causing a radiance to flow through and fill the space with grace.

And then there has been that love that drops in unannounced and blows the whole place to bits. If you’re lucky that doesn’t happen too many times in a life time.
And if you’re lucky, it happens at least once.

Celia says that she has a friend who is advocating for lovecations. It’s sort of like family leave, but is designed for those first few months after you fall head over heels in love and have a hard time concentrating on the realities of life. (For the record, falling in love is a tragic expression. Can’t you just see a big pool that all of these people fall into, and they are gasping for breath as they grab at the air trying to get out? Or maybe we should change the scene, they aren’t drowning at all, they are all swimming in love, rolling around like happy dolphins…)

A few years ago I was watching the sun rise over San Francisco on New Year’s Day with Kait and Rae. Rather than make new years resolutions (that’s so 1999) we declared a phrase for the year. Mine was LOVE ACTUALIZED. Yeah, I wanted romance. But I wanted more than that. I wanted to live a life in love, love of self, love of work, love of friends and community, and love in the bedroom. 10 days later I woke up on my birthday to discover that Rae had made me a Love Actualized sign. I hope everyone gets to have a friend like Rae. And be a friend like Rae.

We lost a lot of friends of the planet this week. In two separate stranding 650 pilot whales beached themselves in New Zealand. 350 have died. But 200 self rescued yesterday and have joined their pod out at sea. Tesa called to tell just as I was finishing up this love note to you. I like to keep these letters a sweet oasis for you— a safe place from so much of the tragedy that is fills our news stream. But today, a great number of dear ones have given their life, and I can’t speak about love, and not speak to these gentle giants. These beloveds of the planet that have evoked the sensation of love in me like no other. 

We first met when I was in college, studying marine ecology in Baja when a calf jumped out of the water and looked us right in the eye. Her mother rolled over beside our skiff like a dog on the rug gives her belly to be rubbed. Somehow, this animal, that I have never touched, held, or ridden, not only captured my attention, but my commitment, and my love. I’ve spent 6 years working on (and off) a book called The Whale Dreamer. Listened to more whale music than I should admit to while writing it, and bask in their resonance every chance I get in and out of the water. The book is nearly done, and I am earning to bring the outrageous story of Kelley, a young girl called to by the whales to surface something they have been protecting for a very long time: the dream of our future. 
When 400 whales bring themselves to the surface of the ocean, and land themselves on our shores, I can't help but wonder what are they offering to bring to the surface? 

It only seems right to leave you with this video. It was designed as a pilot for a series I wanted to produce about people healing through their contact with the natural world and introduces Rebecca Goff. I'll let her and the whales speak for themselves.  

We filmed it in Maui, and not more than a few hours after arriving, the sirens went off as Fukushima took place sending a shock wave across the ocean. Two days later we were in the water, swimming through the resonance of the whale songs, as the earth recalibrated through a series of small quakes around the world. We received aqua cranial in the deep ocean that day, with whales singing, and the earth shaking. There are but a few moments in this life that I can pin point and say, “There, that one changed me.” That day was one of them.
I hope you go swim in the wild with the whales. That you drift on the surface as a song that holds the resonance of mothers milk seeps through you.

Once again, I have been indulgent with my words. I hope a few were placed in such a way that served you.

And it romance calls, or your want to honor a soul connection with a friend or family member, Soul to Soul Love Stories are pretty darn delightful if I don't say so myself. 

May you love well, and generously, and risk what is worth being lost in the name of love,


"What we are doing here is so important, we better not take it too seriously." Suzuki Roshi

Do You Believe In Me? [newsletter]

Thoughts about artists, what we believe in, and great examples of Love in Action. 

I'm not asking if you want me, or if you approve of me.  

What I'm asking:
Do you believe in what I'm taking a stand for? 

  • That art plays a critical role in society.
  • For being committed to delivering messages of inspiration, liberation, imbued with information.
  • For claiming our power to influence, impact, and change the narrative of our time.
  • For championing that stories are the fabric of our existence, and giving people the tools they need to transform their stories, along with the mindfulness practices to implement these practices.

Artists bring us something necessary to survive challenging times…a healthy and productive way to channel our unknown and unexplainable feelings, a way to reflect on the circumstances of life, and a healthy and productive way to express ourselves. We demonstrate the courage to speak, have the courage to feel, and the daring to express what we might not otherwise be expressed.
Artists help make it possible to see the beauty in everything around us.
Especially in those moments when it might not be so easy to see beauty.
I’m coming to you in a humble way on this day.
As I sat under the stars this last weekend, reflecting on life at large, I had to ask the good hard honest question… While I know I am on the right track, am I riding on the best vehicle?
And the universe said… ask out loud.
Be vulnerable in your inquiry.
And listen for if people believe in what you are putting out in the world.

For the record: I don’t really want to send this email.
But I made an agreement to listen and to act on what I hear, and some of the most amazing epic and extraordinary things have happened over and over and over again when this game of life in this way.

I'm asking for you to be my sign from the universe. 
A few months ago I decided to go all in. And I mean ALL IN. Against all practical advise I left behind my work as a media and communications consultant and followed what was yanking on my soul. In the wake of that a lot happened.
The sacred storytelling ceremony was birthed. Two new huge creation stories about the times we are living in came through. Soul Story Circles have happened from coast to coast. Stories have taken place at Symbiosis to Burning Man, the online courses Myth, Magic & Medicine: Storytelling for a New Paradigm & Love, & Courage and Awakening The Warrior were created. A talk at Google is scheduled for March. Transformational Workshops designed to integrate and help people take control and claim their role in the great unfolding of our times are happening, and an extraordinary opportunity to help people learn how to dream a new future has presented in a immersive tech theme park in Asia.
I've been working day and night.
Working on things that I am passionate about and believe in, and feed the soul.
This is a luxury.
And now I'm coming here in a vulnerable state of inquiry... Is what I'm offering what you need? What you want? Is what I am offering feeding you? I want to know. (You can tell me by responding to this email with a y or n. (but we both know I really want more than that).
 Here is how you can be my sign from the universe:

  • How can we collaborate? Lets talk about how to bring the power of storytelling, exploring our mythic realities, and transformational workshops into your workplace, community, church, inner city program or anything else that comes to mind.
  • Become a patron of the arts: You can come on to support (for just $1) very specific projects or join a community of people who want to bring a bit more of the creative process into their lives. Patreon is a great place where we can get personal about the creative process. I also give special treats over there, like a sneak peak at articles that are being published before anyone else gets to see them and creative exercises to inspire your own creativity.
  • There are so many offers over on my website for ways we can engage. Feel free to take a gander. 

As always… a few presents for you.

  • Our engaged citizenry is having an impact. Here are just a few examples: Uber pledged $3M and immigration lawyers for its drivers after #DeleteUber trends on Twitter. --- The ACLU raised 24M over the weekend (normally 3-4Mil/year)--- US agencies: HHS, EPA, USDA gag order lifted.
  • Unlocking Performance: Breakthrough Strategies for Effective Action. (WORKSHOP) Tammy White is offering this amazing course and is introducing a somatic component to learning practices and strategies by engaging a master somatic practitioner, Denise Benson, to deepen the distinctions of embodied learning.  With a maximum capacity of 16 participants, they intend for this journey to be an intimate exploration with a small community of committed individuals. I can’t say enough good things about Tammy~ I took a course with her and Lynne Twist a few years that changed my life and catapulted me into a new chapter of my career.  
  • Intelligent Trees: Prepare to feel inspired, connected, and informed by this beautiful documentary out of Canada about the intelligence of Trees.

I hope this email stirred the stardust inside of you and sparked something… An idea. A new story. Some courage to stand for what you believe in and ask for a sign from the universe in the most vulnerable of ways. If nothing else, I hope it encourages you to speak out loud to things you believe in most.
With love,

PS: the images featured in this email were created by Vladamir Kush. 

On Living Forever, Preparing For Storms, & Valentines Stories [newsletter]

And you won't even have to get bitten by a vampire. 

You Are Going To Live Forever.

And it won't be because you were bitten by a vampire. 
Or frozen. 
Or take 100 pills a day. 

You are already doing it, with every breath you take, every move you make (insert melody from The Police), the ripple you are putting into the universe is ricocheting through the lives of those you touch, and in the absence of those you don't. 

I've been thinking about how to prepare for a storm. 

Maybe the inauguration has something to do with it. 

I grew up in New England. We know a think or two about storms. 

You spend the summer and fall filling your pantry with a variety of canned food for winter and spring. You split wood and make sure it is dry and covered so you have the fuel to keep you warm during the cold nights.  

Now I'm in California. Our tradition is that we empty to the grocery stores the night before a storm. 

It would seem this is as grand a moment as any to take good heed from the wisdom of those who know how to prepare for storms. You do it slowly, diligently, and every day. It isn't about greed. It's about having enough to feed your neighbors if they run out of something. Because at some point you will want to borrow a cup of sugar. 

A few fabulous things coming on the horizon: 

SUNDAY, January 29th Temple Woman
Berkeley, CA

I'll be doing a sacred storytelling circle as part of this day long event. 
This one day gathering is for 50 Temple Women. A Spiritual “Attune Up” and celebration of all you have become with Marta Maria MA. This is a beautiful and nourishing event.Register here. 

Valentines Day  is coming....
Don't let the pressure of Hallmark rain on your love parade!

A special offering for the soul story community special for $250. 
Learn more about Soul to Soul Love Stories here

PLEASE NOTE: I only have a few sessions on Valentines Day available, so if you want to book a session for the day, don't hesitate.  

Berkeley, CA


The earth is asking to receive your gifts.

In this highly experiential and interactive workshop that uses story, music and dance…we will begin with a story…a new story about the times we are living in, and together, through movement, story, a group collaborative process, and an exploration of your inner landscape, we will create an ending together. I'll be joining forces with award winning Italien composer and artist Laura Inserra and the mistress who sees through the dark, Dominique Lando. 

Reserve your space in this workshop here: 

We are entering into a new era on the planet. And it is an all hands on deck moment in the universe. And now, more than ever, we are being asked to stand in the power of what we are, activate our unique gifts, and claim the roles we play in the universe. 

And let's have fun while doing it, shall we?

This ongoing online course is way for us to gather as a community and study what lies behind the story of our time. We work with some of the most potent soul stories that have come through, and receive each other's medicine. 

A special offering for the Soul Story community: receive a 6 month membership for half the price when you register by January 31st. 

Wow. If you made it this far down.... color me impressed. 

May your day be filled with the sweetness that comes with a neighbor happy to bring you a cup of sugar. 

With love, 



The Making Of A Miracle

I don’t pick up the phone.

Not when I'm on deadline. 
But when Adrienne called, I picked up.
Because she lives in Canada, and everyone knows Canucks get special privileges.
Adrienne was crying.
Did I mention I was on a writing deadline and had to walk out the door in 20 minutes? Zut alors. Why hadn’t I stuck to the “do not pick up the phone when on deadline” rule? 
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
Adrienne asked if I remembered a woman from when I lived on Kauai.
I didn’t.
“What’s wrong?” I asked again. 18 minutes.

Before I continue, you need to know some things about Adrienne.
She is pure of heart, magic incarnate, has a special kind of genius when it comes to education, and I have yet to meet someone who knows her who doesn’t adore her.
And in the five years that I've known her I've never seen her cry.
We pay attention to these kinds of people.
Adrienne told me about her friend who had a new born, and was without a home in San Diego (for the record: even though I am in the same country as her friend, I am still over 400 miles away).
“Why are you calling me?”
I wasn’t meaning to be brisk, but I only had 17 minutes left.
“I figured you have a big network, maybe you can help her?” Adrienne asked.

I had just finished reading Amanda Palmers book, The Art of The Ask, where she talked about how she connected her fan community to each other by announcing when people needed help. I don’t have Amanda’s reach, but if she can engage the power of the collective, why can’t I?
“Sure thing,” With 15 minutes to go I opened up facebook and wrote, “Who wants to help make a miracle happen in San Diego?”
Within 4 minutes 5 people had responded.

  • 2 people offered me a place to stay without even knowing what I was looking for.
  • 2 people tagged people they knew in San Diego. One person I haven’t met wrote, “Leah is good people, help her out.”

I stopped in my tracks. The power of the ask.
And now the responsibility that comes with the ask.
Fuck. I had to walk out the door in 10 minutes,  had just opened a huge can of worms, and still needed to send the article to my editor before I left.

And here was the truth: I hadn’t written the full ask on my facebook page because…what did it say about me that I run with a crowd that includes a young mother who is homeless?

But the heart spoke louder than the ego when it counter-argued: How on earth do you turn away from a young mother with a child? I thought of how hard my friends worked raising their new babes in safe and warm homes, and then thought of this woman on her own,  without a home, trying to care for a new born, let alone herself. 
I called Adrienne back, and with 8 minutes to go the producer/east coast version of myself took over: “Adrienne, I need 5 lines about this woman: tell me about her strengths and her gifts. No sob stories. Nothing pathetic.” What can I say? I’m a storyteller. We could play the victim card: "Poor homeless woman with new born needs place to stay,” or we could play the hero card, “Young woman with new born needs a home. She is creative, intelligent, has a great sense of humor, has nanny skills, and is open to a work trade.” 
I started direct messaging people on facebook who had reached out and explained the nature of miracle I was looking for.

“That is a big ask,” was the first response.
And it was.

With no time to waste I came clean on my facebook page (which now had almost 12 responses) and provided all of the details about the young woman with child who needed a place to stay.
More offers for help came in.
One offer came from an old friend who lives on a farm in Southern California with her husband and two children. “Have her call me,” she said. I’ll admit it, tears swelled and I choked back a sob. That would be an amazing place to land.
People can be so damn amazing when given the opportunity.
I closed my lap top and ran off to where I was supposed to go.
Later that night I told one of my landmates, “I think I was part of making a miracle today.” I proceeded to tell the story.
“Well happy International Woman’s Day to you!” Nathan said.
And there I was feeling psudeoguilt for not showing up for a march.
Miracles are funny things.

Sometimes just knowing miracles are possible can breed more miracles. 

And sometimes just knowing that that a miracle is willing to find you when you ask is all you need. 

And sometimes just discovering if you have it in you to answer the call… is a miracle in itself.
Postscript: I followed up with Adrienne to see what happened. I’ll confess, I really wanted to be a part of that kind of miracle. Turns out the woman had found a place to say through other means. But it also turns out that she was incredibly touched that strangers 3 to 6 degrees of separation were willing to open their homes to her.

Stories Worth Your Attention: 
Get Out. A psychological thriller that will provide a shocking, haunting, and even at times hilarious new lens to examine race relations.
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
Gyasi's debut novel is so deliciously written that you don't mind being lead through hard stories about slavery because her telling bathes you in beauty every step of the way. Catch her book tour

How To Tell Stories Designed To Transform The World.
Rule #1: The moment you take the stage, the story stops being about you-- and starts being about the audience.

The people giving you their attention should be given a gift of a story that has universal themes. They should be able to see themselves in your story, meet the hero they want to be, and be shown the shadows of human existence where they don't want to live.

There are more rules covered in a talk I gave to the mystics of google. What you don’t get to see in this video, is a room full of googlers holding roses. (psst: in a perfect world I would edit this video. But since we don't live in a perfect world fast forward to 10 minutes which is when the talk begins). 

Myth, Magic & Medicine: Storytelling For A New Paradigm: The Summer Edition?
I wasn’t planning on running a summer course… but there have been enough requests for me to consider teaching a class in June/July. If this piques your interest please direct message me, and if there is a quorum, I’ll be in touch. 

Here is what a participant from the most recent online course had to say about the experience: "Thank you... Your generous, wise, deep and playful stories, exercises and support have opened a creative door that has been closed for 20 years. I'm excited to keep on journeying!"

Is the arrival of Summer Solstice making you earn for your Soul Story?
OMG. Me too. 
Soul Stories are one of a kind stories that help you examine your life through myth, metaphor, archetypes, and more. Sessions last 1.5 hours and can be done in person or over skype. Soul to Soul love stories for partners are also available. 

May your summer days be filled with sun on your skin, and your evenings filled with the sweet scent of jasmine and lit by a lightening bug or two,
PS: The beautiful art featured in this stortyletter was created by the one and onlyRaasa Leela De Montebello.

PPS: Patreon is where I share the day to day thrills of writing, creativity, and the thrills and chills that come with writing a novel. Patreon supporters help make writing happen...