Kim Hermanson, Ph.D.'s Posts (28)

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Wanted to share some of the learnings that have been coming up in Doorway sessions with my clients about the covid19 pandemic... I made a little 5 minute video of the ways my clients (and all of us) are being tested by the Deep Creative. We're clearly being asked to shift into our true power now. Here's the link:

By the way, my next online experiential event starts April 10th. Please join us!  Click here for info:

Kim Hermanson, PhD. is an author, healer, coach and faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is known for her skill in quickly shifting people out of spiritual and psychological difficulties into a place of profound beauty, healing and creative flow. She has been core faculty at Meridian University and adjunct faculty at Sophia Center at Holy Names University, University of California Berkeley, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and the Esalen Institute. Her books include Getting Messy: A guide to taking risks and opening the imagination and Sky's the limit, which received an Independent Publisher Book Award. Kim worked as a corporate computer scientist in the field of artificial intelligence before a series of mystical experiences changed the course of her life and launched her calling to expand our human ways of learning and knowing. Her PhD is from the University of Chicago.

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Last fall was the first time I heard it.

A very clear, calm, inner voice said, “Don’t worry Kim, you’re going to be fine.”

I have heard that voice every day since. And although I work with the Other side, at first I had no idea WHY I was being constantly reassured.

Of course, now I know why I heard the voice.

And because this voice had been so consistent and relentless, when Covid 19 first broke out in China, I knew it was serious. I realized immediately that I needed to take extra precautions… and I didn’t travel.

You may not hear inner voices, your inner guidance may come to you in different ways.

But here is what’s true: Your deep knowing MATTERS.

So I hope you’ll join me for a special teleclass Your Deep Knowing Matters: Claiming Your Strength, Power and Intuition.

There’s Something bigger that’s happening here, Something that our very brilliant minds can’t figure it out. We need another way of knowing. A way of knowing that makes us look in a much different direction…to a much different kind of intelligence. An inner, non-verbal, heart-based intelligence.

More information and the link to register are below. I hope you will join us.


Your Deep Knowing Matters:

Claiming Your Strength, Power and Intuition


In times of crisis, we humans tend to push for answers and solutions, when we really need to deepen, drop below the surface, and connect with what’s real.

When faced with fear, disruptions and the unknown, it can be too easy to forget what we know is true:

Something below the surface is begging for our attention.

In this special teleclass you will regain peace, productivity, and healthy alignment with your intuitive knowing.

Collectively, we’ll rest into Something greater than ourselves… and witness It work through us.

  • Claim your wholeness, power, courage and creative fire.
  • Align with your inner Source of abundance & well-being.
  • Use your time, resources, attention & energy wisely.
  • Spend your days connected to Spirit, fully present to your inner knowing.
  • Experience natural strength, discipline, healthy boundaries, and focus.

When you’re in your right form, the Universe can work with you.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity.

Note: This is a tele-class, so you can live anywhere in the world and participate.

Early Bird Price: $85 until March 29th, $99 after that

includes audios, handouts & a personal reading with Kim

GROUP CALLS: 3 Fridays April 10th, 17th & 24th

10 am – 12 pm PST

* If you can’t attend live, these calls will be recorded.


 Kim Hermanson, PhD. is an award-winning author, healer, coach, and faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Kim's books include Getting Messy and Sky's the Limit, which received an Independent Publisher Book Award. She has also co-authored articles and book chapters with Mihaly CsikszentmihalyiNew York Times bestselling author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Kim is known for her skill in quickly shifting people out of spiritual and psychological difficulties into a place of profound beauty, healing and creative flow. Her PhD is from the University of Chicago.

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It’s fall and I don’t know if this is happening to you, but all areas of my life are pinging and needing attention all at once—work, finances, health (I’m determined to lose my 10 extra pounds), love (I’m surprised at this one…), my creative muse (wish I had more time to devote…), and family (I need to fly to Iowa to help clean out and sell the family house. When am I gonna have time to do that…?)

I’m feeling some overwhelm.

When we’re in fear, overwhelm, confusion, or exasperated that our goals aren’t being achieved, what we humans tend to do is put artificial structure on ourselves. We set demanding schedules, read self-help books, and beat ourselves up when we don’t make progress on the things we most want to do.

In this upcoming experiential teleclass, we’re going to be working with a particular form of Source energy that will give you organic, internal structure, clarity and definition. This visceral Source energy will allow you to navigate relationships, unruly emotions, and overwhelm with grace, ease and strength… because it’s coming from your essence.

It’s going to be a powerful class, I hope you’ll join me.






Most creative people don’t need more ideas. Nor do they need more creative flow, or more fire. They need proper containment of their creative energy. They need structure—discipline, boundaries and focus—to execute their brilliant visions. They need to own their authority and not get distracted by drama, obligations that don’t fill them up, or their own unruly emotions. They need clarity about what their next step is and when they have that clarity, the fortitude to act on it.

Do you:

  • say yes when you mean no?
  • find days floating by without accomplishing much?
  • have sloppy habits around food, money, and time on the internet?
  • feel emotional, fuzzy, confused or unclear?
  • get distracted, depressed or overwhelmed easily?
  • have ongoing issues w/ a colleague, friend or family member?
  • long to start a project but can’t seem to get going?

Whether we want to lose ten pounds, grow a business, have a more loving relationship with our partner, or gracefully navigate a challenging situation, we need sturdy inner structure and the ability to hold clear boundaries.

Our minds think, “this is ridiculous, it’s so easy. All I need is to follow a food plan and I’ll lose that weight.” Or, “I just need to schedule time every morning to work on my book.” But if you’re like many creative people, after two days (or two hours), our old patterns and distractions take over. We’re back in fuzzy energy again.

In this class we’ll work with a particular form of Source Energy that provides natural strength, discipline, healthy boundaries, focus and clarity.

You will up-level your daily habits, move past the fuzziness that’s been clouding your brain, clean up those messy areas in your life, and operate from a natural strength of purpose.

This is about sturdy inner form… we’ll be aligning our deep desires with who we’re being in the world.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity.

Note: This is a tele-class, so you can live anywhere in the world and participate.

Early Bird Price: $89 until October 10th, $99 after that
includes audios, handouts & a personal reading with Kim

GROUP CALLS: three Fridays October 18th, 25th & Nov 1st
10 am – 12 pm PST

* If you can’t attend live, these calls will be recorded.


Kim Hermanson, PhD. is an award-winning author, healer, coach, and faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is known for her skill in quickly shifting people out of spiritual and psychological difficulties into a place of profound beauty, healing and creative flow.

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Having the Courage to Speak Up

9142466674?profile=originalI’ve always had trouble voicing things… speaking up for myself, calling out deception, and owning my own value and worth. When I was growing up, my mother would always tell me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I wasn’t sure that whatever I was thinking was nice, so I stuffed my thoughts and feelings.

Years ago, I heard a story about a Cesar Chavez farm worker meeting in the 1950s. The room was packed with men who were arguing loudly. And then an old woman who’d been sitting silently in the back of the room for the past hour, rose to speak. Apparently, you could hear a pin drop. I don’t remember now what she said, but I do remember how important her voice was. 

Her courage to stand up and speak changed the energy and direction of the entire conversation.

In a machismo culture, in a roomful of men, her voice had an impact.

Perhaps the reason that story has stayed with me is because I’ve had moments where I haven’t had the courage to speak.

I grew up in an ordinary middle class home in Iowa, my father was a farmer, and I attended public schools. Through a stroke of fate, I ended up being critically injured in a head-on collision in my 20s, received insurance money and wound up in the PhD program at the University of Chicago. Unlike myself, most of my fellow classmates came from wealthy families.

One day I was sitting in a huge conference auditorium where an educational policy was being discussed. It’s too much for me to go into the details of what made me so angry, but it had to do with the arrogance of privilege. A fellow graduate student waxing on about public schools, while he himself had never set foot inside a public school, nor would he ever send his children to public school.

I couldn’t believe the arrogance. I sat there steaming, yearning to stand up in front of all these people and call out the hypocrisy.

But I didn’t. I didn’t have the courage.

The upcoming teleclass that I'm offering on Depth Psychology Alliance is a redress.

I don’t know what you need to say to someone (…and perhaps you don’t either.) And what you need to say might not be so dramatic as standing up in a room packed with people. Perhaps it’s for your husband or mother, the community group you belong to, or voicing the value of your work in the world

We’re not always in a position to make a difference, but sometimes we are. And when that moment comes for you, I want you to be standing in your full value, worth, strength and integrity.

It’s about speaking with authority when we need to do that, but of course, it’s also about so many other things… 

  • Valuing ourselves and our work
  • Appropriate boundaries
  • Deep clarity and conviction
  • Self-confidence, self-esteem, and… 
  • Trusting yourself. 

Please join us. (The early bird rate ends August 22nd!).


Here's the event posting on the Alliance website:




If you’ve been muffling your deep truths and hiding your gifts… If you’ve suffered through moments of having a deep yearning to speak up, but timidity and low self-worth got the better of you… If you have something important to share, but find yourself mired in self-doubt and fear… If you find it hard to value yourself, your wisdom and your contributions… please join us.

This teleclass is about your voice, because you have a choice how you use it in this life.

Those who genuinely have something to share are often too afraid to speak up, but the worst betrayal is the betrayal of ourselves.

There are truths lying buried beneath the surface that can transform this world. There are creative solutions, powerful gifts and answers to our most pressing problems.

You have a sacred responsibility to give voice to what you know.

  • voice what’s been hidden
  • firmly own your worth and value
  • speak your truth with self-confidence, grace and ease
  • allow your voice be heard above the din

In this teleclass we will take an experiential journey into Source energy. As you enter this vibrantly alive energetic field, you’ll receive clarity, guidance, next steps and deep connection with your own inner knowing.

It’s time for you to fully own your gifts and stand in your innate courage, wisdom, bravery and power.

What you know matters. When you speak what you know, it matters even more.


Note: This is a tele-class, so you can live anywhere in the world and participate.

Early bird price:  $65 includes audios and a personal reading with Kim. ($75 after August 20th)

Group calls: Thursdays September 5th & September 12th.   10 am – 12 pm PST 


NOTE: If you can’t attend live, this event will be recorded. And all participants, whether you attend live or not, can receive a personal reading from Kim as part of the class.


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Finding YOUR Way to Self Care

Ivanka Trump was widely panned for suggesting that busy mothers should get regular massages, because for many of us that’s just not realistic.

I myself, have never been into meditating. And if I don’t like something, I’m not going to end up doing it.

A friend says that people always tell her to slow down, but she’s a raging extrovert. Being around lots of people is what recharges her.

Self-care requires clarity about what we need. Not what others think, or what we’re “supposed” to do, or what experts prescribe. Good self-care requires an ongoing connection with what’s true for us.

At different times in your life, self-care is going to look different. At one time, self-care might be stepping up into leadership in your community. Sometimes, it might be about doing more. At another time, it might be letting go, shifting gears, or resting. For some of us, self-care may be about saying ‘no’ to the part of ourselves that wants to spend the day lounging. For others, it will be saying ‘yes’ to that desire.

And for many of us, self-care requires addressing that negative voice in your head that says you don’t have the training you need, or you’re too old, too poor, or too broken.

I worked with a client recently who knew she needed to stop and take a breather from all the intensive training programs she was involved in, but she was having a hard time shifting gears. She’d invested so much time, energy and resources going down this particular path. I have another client who’s been intensely trying to finish a book these past few months, and taking time out to address her own needs has gone out the window.

I don’t know why it is, but when when we’re most in need of self-care–when we’re most in need of slowing down and connecting with our own deep inner wisdom, when we’re most in need of feeling deep support–that’s often the time when it’s hardest to access. When we get tired, worn out and overwhelmed, or when we’re anxious about something, it’s harder to make that inner connection, and harder to do those things that would most serve us.

I’m offering a self-care tele-class with Depth Psychology Alliance, and I hope you will join us.

I’d especially love for you to join us if:

  • you’ve been feeling super disconnected…from yourself and Spirit
  • you need clarity and direction
  • you know you need to make a change, but you’re hesitating or resisting it
  • you feel anxious, scared or off-center about something
  • you’re struggling with depression
  • you have an addictive pattern you would like to change
  • you’re not sure what you need right now

We’ll be going deep into our own inner landscapes, discovering what Source energy wants to say to you right now. We will shift into a place where whatever it is that you’ve been struggling with is not present. In that space of deep clarity, you will know what you need.

Dates: Thursdays  June 13th and June 20th.

10 am – 12 pm PDT.

$75, includes class recordings, handouts and a private reading with me.

NOTE: If you can’t make it live, you can still sign up to receive the recording and work with me individually.


Click here for the event listing on Depth Psychology Alliance.

“Kim’s work is pioneering.”   ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, New York Times bestselling author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

“Kim’s work is powerful. A single session with her gave me a breakthrough on an obstacle I’d been struggling with. I recommend it to everyone.”  ~ Bonnie Bright, Ph.D., Founder of Depth Psychology Alliance


Kim Hermanson, PhD. is an author and transformative coach, known for her skill in quickly shifting people out of spiritual and psychological difficulties into a place of profound beauty, healing and creative flow. She serves as adjunct faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute.

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Many years ago I sat on a stool in the Art barn at Esalen Institute painting a paper mache mask. I’d originally signed up for some sort of contemplative workshop, but found it too cerebral and ended up here.

I painted the mask magenta and then decided to paint a vine of flowers on the side. As I slowly drew a long vine down the side of my mask–getting into the feeling sense of the vine’s graceful, elegant beauty–I found my hand being moved by something Greater than myself.

I was no longer directing my hand, Something Else was. Something was moving me, brushing the paint on this mask.

We humans set goals for our lives and make all kinds of goals, plans, and schedules. We trudge along, continuing to believe we’re solely in charge of our destinies.

While all the while… Something Else urgently wants to move and express through us.

Don’t waste your precious time and resources on anything less.

I’m launching a 5-week experiential adventure for entrepreneurs this coming Friday. While the focus will be for those who know they’re being called to be ambassadors of a mission larger than themselves, you are all welcome. If you simply want to shift out of overwhelm, depression and confusion and live your fullest life, please join us.

We’re going to let Source Energy nurture, strengthen, empower, shift, surprise and move us.

You can live anywhere in the world and participate. Calls will be recorded for those who can’t make it live. Details below.

Shift into Your Fullest Creative Potential

5-Week Summer Seminar for Visionary Entrepreneurs

Fridays June 29 – July 27 

10 am – 11:30 am PDT (1 – 2:30 pm EDT)

$269, includes recorded sessions and an individual Doorway session with Kim


For those with a calling to do depth-oriented work, the path is rarely linear. Your soul’s gift is unique—- there are no pre-existing models or “6 Easy Steps” for how to get it out there. The process of developing and launching it is a sacred journey and those of us who take this journey are pioneers, creating our path as we go.

  • See the synergy between what the world needs and what you are here to give
  • Tap into potent creative energies to launch and expand your soul calling
  • See inner resources & possibilities that wouldn’t be revealed any other ways
  • Get clear about your mission…take actions focused and on fire

During each group session we’ll enter into Source Energy and activate its power, allowing it to vibrationally shift us. You’ll receive great clarity and insight on whatever you’re addressing.

Week 1: Connecting to Source Energy

Week 2: Growing a Form Nourishing of What You Want to Create

Week 3: Clarity, Language & Direction

Week 4: Money & Abundance: Making it, Enjoying it

Week 5: Sharing Your Voice & Your Work, Marketing

Let’s bring Something bigger than ourselves into form.


“Not since Carlos Castenada’s books 40 years ago, have I had such a strong reaction. Kim’s work is pioneering.” ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, New York Times bestselling author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

“Your work is powerful and ‘the Door’ stays open...insights and shifts keep happening after the session ends.” ~ Diane P. Coffey, PhD

“I’m blown away with this work! I’m amazed at how easily the energies open up understanding and bypass my conscious mind.” ~ Marcia Atkin, MA, Artist

“I’ve been involved in Jungian therapies for 40 years and worked with many world-famous teachers. None of them were able to bring my soul’s images to me, as you did. You have a special and unique gift.” ~ Joan Green, Consultant to the Assisi Institute

Read more…

9142466657?profile=originalWhen people are ready to launch something new (…a workshop, a business, a creative work of art), they’ll sometimes take steps that are too small for them. This often stems from a fear of expressing their true vision. It also happens when they’re concerned about spending money on something that has an unknown outcome (…when we launch something new, we are by definition stepping into unknown territory).

For example, my client Mary wrote up a workshop description that she’d been talking about for months. She was finally launching her own work into the world…bravo! But she ended up “hedging” in the writing of it. Instead of sharing her true vision, she wrote something more conservative and restrained, something that seemed safer and more acceptable. Something that was more similar to what other people in her field were doing, rather than the original and unique work that she has to offer.

Sarah, a visual artist, took the wonderful step of renting studio space but ended up settling for a studio that was too small. In our session, what became clear is that her soul really wanted a studio that would be big enough to display several large canvases at once, so that the energies and themes would interact and play off one another. What Sarah really needs right now is SPACE. She won’t always need space, but right now, her work needs big space.

Of course, it’s great that both Mary and Sarah took these steps. But those steps aren’t going to be fully satisfying (or workable in the long run), because they weren’t big enough. Marsha moved into a small studio, and then realized it wasn’t a match for the work she was being called to do. She ultimately packed up everything and moved again. Mary had a nice experience teaching, but the participants didn’t get to see what she really had to offer because she was hiding it. She missed an opportunity to grow her own work.

I don’t want to diminish the importance of taking steps, but the truth is this: Often, when we don’t take the big step when it’s in front of us, it ends up costing us more time, energy, money and resources.

If you’re wondering about the size of the step that’s in front of you right now, please join me for my upcoming teleclass with Depth Psychology Alliance

Launch Your Soul’s Calling: Tapping Core Shamanic Energies & Guidance

December 8th, 1 – 3 pm PST. $45 includes recording of the class.

Click here to register!

In the teleclass, you’ll be able to metaphorically see the vision and experience the energies of what your soul wants to create. You’ll have the added advantage of being able to work with me individually with your vision..

When we work with metaphor, we enter the sacred third space that lies beyond our mind’s perception of our work or situation. In third space, we know and can profoundly feel the deep truth of what wants to be created, and our alignment with it.

I invite you to take a pause from your busy life to feel/sense/see your own deep creative energies and how they want to move and express right now.

So your next step will be big enough for you.

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When the Next Step...Isn't Visible Yet


I once had a well-known psychic tell me, “your life is like a quilt with many different pieces. It will come together a piece at a time.” 

That image has been helpful. I often get confused when I’ve finished a piece of the quilt (it’s been stitched in and there’s no more stitching to do…), and the next piece isn’t within sight.

And even though there surely must be a grand design of some sort, it often seems that when the next piece shows up, it doesn’t look like the rest of the pieces I’ve already stitched.

A creative life can be puzzling.

Are you in a place can’t see how the “pieces” are going to fit together?

Do you have a dream or faint inkling of Something Greater that you haven’t been able to move forward with?

Have you lost your focus and direction?

Are you yearning for deep connection with Higher Guidance?


I invite you to join me for a special teleclass with Depth Psychology Alliance: Your Soul’s Calling: Tapping Core Shamanic Energies on FRIDAY, December 8th, 1 to 3 pm PST.

In this experiential class, you’ll get answers, see opportunities and uncover resources that can’t be known any other way. When we’re confused, scared or disoriented, there’s absolutely nothing more important than taking time out to connect with Something greater than ourselves.


More information can be found here:

Click here to REGISTER

NOTE: If you can’t make the actual event, the class WILL be recorded. You can listen and do the experiential process later, at your convenience.

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When I was growing up, my mother frequently said that I was “accident prone.” Perhaps it’s because I broke my leg when I was two by “putting my foot down” when the neighbor kid was pushing four of us on a carriage swing. I wanted him to stop pushing so hard and when screaming didn’t work, I tried another tactic.

My mother was probably right, I think I’ve had more than my share of injuries and broken bones.

When I think about all the desires I have in life, having peace of mind and feeling good in my body are always at the top of the list. I’ve witnessed my clients transform physical challenges by tapping into metaphoric energies. It’s so tremendously healing to be plugged into something larger than ourselves. I know this work is powerful. Let’s tap it.

Metaphoric work is shamanic. When we “enter into” and become a metaphoric image—like a shaman might become a snake or a tree—it brings us into a realm of powerful creative energies that lie beyond our linear minds. Metaphoric images serve as portals, doorways into a mystical realm of otherworldly energies that urgently wish to express through us. They allow us to directly connect with the deep creative forces of our world.

Why is this important? Because creativity is how change happens in life. 

Our capacity to engage in this dynamic, underground metaphoric terrain gives us the remarkable ability to transform things that aren’t serving us. From resolving relationship difficulties to galvanizing a stagnating career, to healing depression, anxiety and physical ailments.

So if you have any health concerns or challenges, or you simply want to feel more alive, serene and happy in your physical body...I hope you’ll join us in an upcoming teleclass sponsored by Depth Psychology Alliance.

Healthy, Strong & Vibrant: Tapping Metaphor’s Healing Powers – Teleclass

Friday October 27  1 – 3 pm Pacific Daylight Time  (4 – 7 pm EDT)

NOTE: Since this is a teleclass, you can live anywhere in the world and participate. If you can’t make the class live, it WILL be recorded so you can listen later.

At a fundamental level, metaphor is not an image, but a sacred creative energy that wants to… shift your vibratory system and align you with an intelligence that lies beyond the linear mind. Tapping into these Source Energies and allowing them to move through us is profoundly healing. A metaphoric feeling sense... is how this realm teaches, heals and guides us.

Please bring to the class whatever health concern or questions you’re currently dealing with—no topic or question is off-limits. (You may participate in the class anonymously if that feels more comfortable.)

Through the somatic wisdom of metaphor we will enter a realm of potent Source Energy that can’t be visualized or “imagined” in the traditional sense. Customary visualization techniques can be problematic because they tend to keep us stuck in our mind’s limited perception of reality.

You will be able to see the energetic roots of health challenges…and most importantly, what your body wants for healing.

  • move through the world with grace, calm and ease
  • transform aging, illness, aches and pain
  • institute better habits of self-care
  • gain greater strength, flexibility and balance
  • flourish and thrive

Join us…and give your body a loving embrace.

$32 BEFORE Friday, October 13th ($42 after that)

NOTE: This teleclass WILL be recorded. Sign up for the replay if you can't make it in-person.

“Not since Carlos Castenada’s books 40 years ago, have I had such a strong reaction. Kim’s work is pioneering.” ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, New York Times bestselling author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience 

“I had been suffering from skin allergies and I was not getting results from regular medical doctors. I was so surprised that this one session could lead to such amazing healing. And in addition, I’ve also lost the weight I’d gained during menopause. I’m very grateful.” ~ Lera Welch, Jungian Coach

“I’ve been married for 15 years and I’ve felt anything BUT sexual for quite a long time. The energies that came through in our session were so deeply sensual and erotic, and ‘woke me up’ in so many ways. What a gift for the sexual part of me to be alive and thriving again.” ~ T. Baker, therapist


More information about the class can be found here:

Kim Hermanson, PhD is an author and visionary guide who currently serves as adjunct faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is known for her known for her skill in quickly shifting people out of spiritual and psychological difficulties into a place of profound beauty, healing and creative flow. She is the author of Getting Messy: Taking Risks and Opening the Imagination, Sky’s the Limit which received an Independent Publisher Award, and several articles with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, New York Times bestselling author of Flow. Her PhD is from the University of Chicago.

Read more…

On Inauguration Day in the US, I was interviewed on the Women in Depth podcast.   It was deeply symbolic for me, because intense feminine energies that have been underground for centuries have been showing up in full force in Doorway sessions these past few months. There's a whole other realm that urgently wishes to be known by us. 

You can listen or download the podcast here:

IN·AU·GU·RA·TION (iˌnôɡ(y)əˈrāSH(ə)n) noun

1. the beginning or introduction of a system, policy, or period.
2. a ceremony to mark the beginning of something

The Feminine has been inaugurated.

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A Message from the Other World

9142459484?profile=originalDespite my desire for zen-like calm, I've been affected by the deeply unpleasant US election and negative, hard-to-believe-this-is-the-US, stories in the news media. Sometimes I feel afraid…of nuclear war, climate change, and violence that I can't control. I worry about “what could happen.” And in addition to the national and international unrest, I have my own worries, as this past summer I had a serious health scare. I'm fine now, but it shook me.

Even though I’ve been working with the metaphoric realm for years and know without a doubt that this healing realm of other-worldly wisdom and transformative creative energies urgently wants to communicate with us… I need constant reminders.

There is something else other than this everyday world that we see with our ordinary eyesight. Something much bigger than us. And it sounds so simplistic to say that. "Well of course," one might say.

Yesterday I had a powerful session with a client. The ‘image’ that showed up was an azure blue field of energy. It was not diffuse energy…it was clearly a “thing” and it wanted to be known as a thing. Here was its message:

“I am a thing. I am not nothing. I need to be athing. I need to be a thing for you. People don't see the 'something' in the middle realm. You think there is something to fear. There is nothing to fear. I came here to tell you that. When you feel afraid, remember me.”

There is another reality that I often describe as “under the surface,” but it’s not under the surface. It’s right here, but we don’t see it because it requires a different way of looking. 

The intense beauty of the metaphoric realm is dormant...until we give it our attention. Seeing it requires a shift of our perception...a shift to seeing the metaphoric space in which the creative unfolding happens. 

I grew up in a middle-class, conservative Midwestern family and I was trained to be an academic at a rigorous and prestigious institution of higher education. I did not have new-age hippy parents. My family valued science and viewed creativity as “fluff.” I am not, by any means, a spiritual guru—talking about anything spiritual or “other worldly” is far outside of my comfort zone. My friends and family never spoke of experiences of non-ordinary reality and I certainly don’t want to attract any kind of negative attention toward myself. Given all this, I’m the last person I would have thought would ever speak about other “realms.”

I dismissed my own messages and experiences from the metaphoric realm for many years. I ignored mystical experiences of profound beauty and intuitive knowing—pushing them under the rug because I didn’t want to deal with anything that didn’t fit my own limited conception of reality. Even when I knew there was a disjuncture between what I was studying about human learning through years of research and high-level academic teaching positions, and how I learned in my own life, I still dismissed my own experiences.

It took a lot for the metaphoric realm to shake me out of my own dismissal. But the more I took these non-ordinary experiences of metaphoric knowing seriously, the more my life started changing dramatically.

It's time for us to look differently.

When we look through the eyes of metaphor, we experience the deep, profound creative energies of the Universe...unfolding

If you would like to align with the deep creative forces that want to express and move through your life, please join me for my upcoming Alliance event on December 9th, The Power of Metaphor: Unlocking the Creative.

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Being Profoundly Moved by the Creative

9142459888?profile=originalMany years ago I sat on a stool in the Art barn at Esalen Institute painting a paper mache mask. I'd originally signed up for some sort of contemplative workshop, but found it too cerebral and ended up here.

I painted the mask magenta and then decided to paint a vine of flowers on the side. As I slowly drew a long vine down the side of my mask—getting into the feeling sense of the vine's graceful, elegant beauty—I found my hand being moved by something Greater than myself. 

I was no longer directing my hand, something else was. Something was moving me, stroking the paint on this mask.

We humans set goals for our lives and make all kinds of plans, schedules and commitments. We trudge along, continuing to believe we're solely in charge of our destinies.

While all the while... something else urgently wants to move and express through us.

We access that Something Else through metaphor. Metaphor gives us direct access to the powers of creation. 

One of my clients, who was tired and worn out from writing a PhD dissertation and in desperate need of fresh creative energy, received an image of seeing herself dancing.

But when she metaphorically stepped into it, she was no longer looking at it.  She was BEING something far greater than herself.

Another client, going through a traumatizing divorce, received an image of a deep, still pool of water. But then he realized he wasn't resting in it...

He was BEING rested in a profoundly deep way.

Can you see how allowing yourself to be moved by something greater is a much different kind of experience? 

Being viscerally moved by otherworldly creative energies is transformative and exquisitely beautiful... 

like nothing else that I have ever experienced.

No one has ever walked the path that you are walkingNo one else has the particular gifts that you have. 

By allowing yourself to feel and express profound, deep metaphoric energy, you participate in the unfolding of a new world. 

What might YOU produce, if you allowed yourself to be moved by deep creative energies?

Are you curious what might want to be birthed?


Kim Hermanson, PhD is a coach and consultant at Doorway Sessions for Creative Breakthroughs and adjunct faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience and many other books, recently said this about her upcoming book, A Portal to the Creative: Using Metaphor to Unlock Creative Genius and Inspire Breakthroughs: "Not since Carlos Castenada's books 40 years ago, have I had such a strong reaction to anything written. This is very powerful stuff."

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Why do we need art?

9142455271?profile=originalI grew up in a hard working Norwegian farming family in the Midwest and not surprisingly, Midwestern practicality is etched into my cells. When I walk into an art gallery, I often marvel at the amount of time someone spent gluing hundreds or thousands of tiny pieces of glass into a sculpture or creating a fine painting. Thousands of hours in many cases, with no practical benefit other than to be looked at and admired. We can look at and admire a tree or a mountain, why do we need art?

We tend to evaluate the success of artists by whether they can make a living from their art. This is not an easy path and for many artists I know, it’s a struggle. But perhaps there are other reasons why artists labor against the odds to produce art.

Perhaps underneath it all, it’s not so much about making pretty things for people to look at and buy. Perhaps what they’re really doing—consciously or not—is engaging in a process that allows them to touch something that’s alive. And perhaps their creative efforts help the rest of us touch this place as well. Maybe… on some subconscious level, the creative process teaches us how to be better humans. Maybe it shows us how to step into something more expansive than ourselves.

The artistic process is not valued in our culture as a deeply profound way of knowing. That is clear when school districts make budget-cutting decisions…and arts programs are the first to go. And although corporations pay lip service to the need for creativity and innovation in order to stay competitive, most of them are too focused on their bottom line to explore a dimension of wisdom that bypasses our cognitive minds.

In my classes and Doorway sessions, I work with metaphor, which is a powerful—and untapped—way of knowing. Artists, consciously or not, have been connecting with the metaphoric realm for eons. Metaphor lies at the heart of the creative process.

The physicist Arthur Zajonc wrote:

I believe that artists are the harbingers of the future mentality required both by science and by the imperatives of living in our precarious times . . . we now truly stand in need, not only as scientists but as a civilization, of the artist’s cognitive capacities.

Sigmund Freud once said that no matter where his research led, a poet had already been there ahead of him. The question is: whyWhat is it that the poet does…that takes him or her beyond ordinary reasoning capacities?

Capacities such as the artist’s willingness to dwell in perplexity and confusion, welcoming any unlikely connection that shows up, and his or her sensitivity to nuance and qualities of beauty that others miss, provide us with important directional pointers. Unfortunately however, our culture separates off the artistic realm from normal everyday human activity. Whether artists are viewed as weird or genius does not matter, because in either case they are considered different from the rest of us.

Tribal cultures didn’t make artistic products that they set aside and looked at. In fact, they didn’t have the concept of “art” as something separate from life. To them, the process of creating art was a way to commune with the Gods. They made art because they needed to connect with something greater than themselves. I believe we all have that fundamental need. To live we need to grow—we need to reach beyond ourselves into something greater. We are meant to be learners in this world; we are meant to reach beyond.

When we step into a potent metaphor, we step into another dimension, a place I often call the Feeling Dimension. In this metaphoric Dimension, we connect with and feel...the profound creative energies of the Universe. 

NOTE: This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, "A Portal to the Creative: Using Metaphor to Unlock Creative Genius and Inspire Breakthroughs"

The painting above is by Betsy Lewis Napangardi

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Opening Space for Transformative Change

I recently met someone who is an international expert on social change movements. Over breakfast at my favorite café we talked about how successful social protests open up space in places where we think there isn’t any space. The conversation fascinated me because I’ve spent the past two years writing a book about metaphor and the creative process… But what I’m really writing about is space. Creative change happens when a certain kind of Space is opened. That’s what I do in Doorway sessions---my client and I open doors to something that we didn't know existed.

Even though the space (or ground) is what allows transformation to happen, our focus is typically on the figure---or what is happening within a space. In his book Stillness Speaks, Eckhart Tolle writes: “Most people confuse the Now with what happens in the Now, but that’s not what it is. The Now is deeper than what happens in it. It is the space in which it happens.” We have not yet developed ways to see the “space in which it happens.” We might say, “I feel good when I’m in that person’s presence” or “I always have amazing insights in that teacher’s class” or “That person has great energy” but because we have no other way to understand it, we go on about our day and forget about the fertile, creative space that had been opened for us. It stays unseen and unknown.

As a culture, we focus on glamorous Hollywood stars and action heroes. In the fairy tale Cinderella (or at least one version of the tale) Cinderella steps into the pumpkin-turned-stagecoach, and she becomes a beautiful princess. Although we all adore Cinderella, she’s really just a pretty young girl who was transformed into a princess for a night. Thepumpkinis where the true power lies. Being able tooffer sacred, creative space is more important than any action that happens within that space. But the pumpkin is the ground and not the figure, so we focus on Cinderella and forget about the pumpkin. After all, the pumpkin hasn’t really done anything to our eyes. Opening imaginal space is subtle, it can't be seen with regular eyes.

Techniques for working with images have been around for a long time, likely long before Carl Jung coined the term active imagination. Visualization is considered by many to be the most powerful way to cure illness, make more money, give a great performance, and so forth. But there’s something else that wants to be known---not the tool or technique of visualizing, but the space within which those powerful images lie. The potential of transformative change lies with a particular kind of ground. After all, the creative process is always in movement---individual images are always shifting and changing into something else. If we really want to understand how creative change happens, we need to explore the terrain where those potent images live.

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One way to enter into the deep symbolic language of our soul is through a fairy tale. When we write a fairy tale, the words “Once upon a time” opens up a portal to another world. We have stepped into shamanic terrain.
Every fairy tale is psychologically significant. The narrative and images that show up are metaphorical, not literal. These metaphorical images are powerful, because they’re working on all levels at once. They will show you perspectives and doors that you wouldn’t have seen in any other way. When you enter into this metaphoric terrain, there’s an expansion that happens. Space is opened up and you naturally see other options and possibilities that wouldn't have occurred to you. Your brain starts firing in a different way.

Our creative process isn’t linear. It will make leaps, and your left brain may judge what you're writing and want to shut it down. Let go of your attachment to what you think this fairy tale should be. Welcome and write down anything that comes. Let the images that show up write the tale and simply record what they have to say. And they do have something to say to you.
If you come to a place where you feel stuck, write the words “…and what I really want to say is…” and see what happens. Those words will help drop you down into a deeper level of wisdom and insight.
Sacred moments are those that bring surprise. If we already know what’s going to happen, we’re not in a sacred moment. When we write a fairy tale, we are entering a sacred space where we don't know what's going to happen next. The more you realize that this fairy tale is a real place with real wisdom that you can tap into, the more it will reveal to you.
For more on fairy tales, as well as a process for you to follow when writing your own fairy tale, a short video:

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Mythologist Michael Meade describes sacred occurrences as those in which the "seal that separates the worlds" is broken and Spirit enters through that break. In Doorway sessions, clients go through a portal into a sacred, interior place where they tap into their own metaphoric inner wisdom. The messages from this realm are clear, direct and immediate. Once we've received an image, there is no further analysis or thinking that we need to do.


Valuing My Time: How a Metaphor Instantly Shifted Things


I've often felt uncomfortable setting limits and boundaries on my time with people. I've struggled with feeling that I was being callous, or it was my ego. But in a Doorway Session I saw fruit falling off my tree...and the fruit was my time. My tree was producing fruit and if I didn't take care to harvest that fruit, it would hit the ground and be wasted. I had been acting like I had unlimited time and the image clearly showed me that I don't. My tree won't be producing fruit forever and it's my responsibility to harvest it now.


After this image showed up, I had no energy about this anymore. Metaphors put an end to the stuckness, we're no longer in our heads analyzing the various sides of the issue: "Is it better for my business if I do this or I do that?"  Instead, we experience immediate truth. We all have such metaphoric inner wisdom available to us for any issue that we struggle with.


Two Doorways coaching groups will begin in March. For more information:

To find out more about Doorway Sessions:

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 I have a client who loves history. Before working with this client I’d never thought much about history. I like watching historical movies, but I disliked history as a subject in school and I always did poorly in it because it required memorizing information (names, dates, places) that felt dry and dead to me. But when my client talks about history, it’s anything but dry and dead. For him, history is alive—it’s something he engages with, something that challenges him, something that has continuing wisdom to share. Listening to him talk about it, I wanted to see what he saw. I wanted to experience that. And now history has started to come alive for me as well. Being able to see what he saw was a gift that he gave to me. I believe we each open these spaces for one another.

I’m reminded of a story by Robert Romanyshyn in The Metaphors of Consciousness about two men—a geologist and a botanist—who are walking together through a forest. They are both walking through the same forest, but the botanist notices the flowers and trips over the rocks…while the geologist notices the rocks and steps on the flowers. Each of them has a clear experience of being in the forest and are certain about what they have seen. There is only one forest, but the two men see very different things and have different experiences of it.

Romanyshyn’s story brings us back to the heart, because it is our loves and passions that drive our curiosities and subsequently, what we notice. The geologist loves rocks and doesn’t see the flowers. The botanist loves flowers and doesn’t see the rocks. It’s the heart that moved the botanist to be passionately curious about flowers and the geologist to be enamored with rocks. Rudolph Steiner said, “Unless I love something it cannot reveal itself to me.” Romanyshyn’s story beautifully illustrates how life is a creative process and we each participate in it in a unique way. Our hearts govern where our gifts lie and how we can contribute to others, because our hearts shows us what we see.


Kim Hermanson, Ph.D. is adjunct faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute. To find out more about Doorway Sessions for Creative Breakthroughs, click here:

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How can you make it strange?

Creativity happens when we make unusual connections…making what is familiar “strange.” We presume that certain things automatically go together—boat, duck, and water, for example. When we put unusual things together, we are in “creative” terrain. (As a silly example, ham sandwich and hair jell don’t go together…it’s a creative combination.)

When we put two paradoxical words like ham sandwich and hair jell together, the tension between the two creates a third space. Pairing two paradoxical things is also the closest way that we can express ineffable things of any sort. In his book Beauty, the poet John O’Donohue writes about the limitation of rational thought and linear language:

It is impossible for language to express this nearness for in the end every thought is an act of distance, a separation with the Divine. Even words like “nearness,” “intimacy” or “love” still indicate separation. Only the strained language of paradox can suggest the breathtaking surprise of Divine closeness. God is breath-near, skin-touch, mind-home, heart-nest, thought-forest, otherness-river, night-well, time-salt, moon-wings, soul-fold.

In my Psychology of Creativity courses, I go even further. I want my students to leave their rational minds behind and let their imaginations take over. The only way to do that is to intentionally give them something confusing. One of my favorite and most powerful exercises is to have the students speak gibberish to one another. The mind can’t comprehend what is being said, so they’re forced to step into a “third space,” an “imaginal” space, where a new language comes to them through mental images, story and metaphor. My goal is take them out of their element in whatever way that I can. When we’re confronted with something that our very smart left-brains cannot even begin to figure out—that’s when the magic happens. That’s the moment we have a space for the imaginal.

Creating is about questioning our conventional way of seeing the world—seeing the world as if it could be otherwise, and connecting the unconnected. Making impossible juxtapositions creates a third space where we can see things we wouldn't have been able to see otherwise. What doesn’t make sense to you? What can you put together that is surprising or paradoxical? Start there.

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Entering the Break Between the Worlds

The mythologist Michael Meade describes sacred occurrences as those in which the “seal that separates the worlds” is broken, and Spirit enters through that break. And William Blake told us, “There’s a moment of eternity waiting for you every day.”


The making of art, in any form, gives us those “moments of eternity” and “breaks” between the worlds. The creative process creates a pause, a way to drop down to a deeper level and receive guidance that we wouldn’t have gotten in any other way. When done in an intentional way, it can open a portal to what the Irish call the “Other World” or “the world beside this world.” All of us have times when we get stuck in a mental loop, endlessly going over the details of a situation, analyzing its various aspects, trying to “figure out” what to do. But when we pause our mental story and engage in a creative process, we are taken out of analysis and into a place of spacious insight.


The modality that I use in Doorway sessions for passing into the “Other World” is writing. An intentional writing process takes my clients through a portal into a deep, rich, interior place, where a different language is spoken (metaphoric images) and another way of knowing is embraced (heart-knowing). This is a shamanic process—we enter the “Spirit world” and the only assurance we have is that we will be surprised.


The client doesn’t need to be a skilled writer and the process is certainly not about producing a great piece of writing (although this may happen.) It’s not writing in the “usual” way, where our minds direct our words. It’s an intuitive writing process that drops us below the surface of our conscious minds into the mythical imagination.


Writing, like any form of art-making, also gives us a product, something to keep and savor. The images and guidance that come from this deep, interior world are alive, and putting them down on paper retains that feeling of aliveness. The words on the page have their own energy, their own wisdom, their own life. I save every piece of writing that I receive from this realm.


When I do individual sessions, I go through the portal to the “Other World” at the same time as the client and do my own writing. My intention is to address the person’s issue in a helpful way, and I write what I see and experience. The writing that I do is similar to a “reading” of the client, or his or her issue or situation. It’s normally uncannily accurate in pointing out something important for the client, and he or she is often moved by it. My own writing often instigates an essential shift of perspective.


Below, I offer a few key signposts for opening the portal and embracing this rich, interior place of the mythical imagination.  

An Animate World

When we “drop down” into the “break between the worlds,” we are dropping into an animate place. In the literal, everyday world, a tree is just a tree. But in the “Other” World, a tree is alive and it has something it wants to say to you. In this animate world, we get to have conversations with things that we don’t normally get to have conversations with. A tree, a table, a cup of coffee…any particular thing can be a source of wisdom or a doorway to something else.

A Different Kind of Language

The “language” of this Other World is not words but images. Images lie at the heart of the creative process and I nearly always start the writing process by working with images in some way. We can simply pause and wait… until something interesting appears. The images need to be directing the writing, not our minds.


Guidance may show up as mud or vegetable soup or a blade of grass… and our conscious minds may be inclined to dismiss these images as too simple or silly. But this is the simply language of this realm. One client said, “This work was riveting, partly because it was so profoundly simple.” If the images were complex or polished, it means our minds created them. Our minds aren’t creating this language.


Over time people start to recognize their own images—the images that appear to them over and over again. These recurring images make up their own internal language and way of creatively healing and transforming their lives.

Feeling Your Way

Clients sometimes tell me that they are not visual, but the process here is not a visual way of knowing. We are not so much visually “seeing” something; we are feeling it. We are not “taking in” something in our usual ways of auditory, kinesthetic or visual learning. We are “feeling as a way of knowing” and any or all of our senses may be activated. This all-sensory way of knowing is the only way we can step into an “Other” World and learn from it. This interior place that we are dropping into is animate, and it can’t be understood with our rational minds. We must feel our way.

Stepping into the Image

I often tell clients to “step into” whatever image is showing up. If it’s a volcano, theybecome the volcano. If it’s a shabby, worn-out house, they become the shabby, worn-out house. Becoming the image is very different from standing back and interpreting something from an analytical distance (like we might do when we reflect back on images from our night dreams.) Our minds, of course, are likely to harshly judge an image of a shabby, worn-out house, but when we become the shabby house, our empathy shows up and we get a completely different perspective.


Let’s say we receive an image of deep tree roots planted in dark, fertile soil. We experience the shift when we feel what it’s like to BE this deep tree root… held and embraced in a dark, warm nurturing place with infinite space around us to spread out and grow. We are not learning how to visualize, we are learning how to feel and empathize.

One client received an image of being in the center of the cyclone and everything else (and life-as-she-knew-it) was whirling around her. She came to the session anxious, and of course, anxiety is understandable when dealing with a cyclone. But the key image that was calling her was the "center" of the cyclone, not the cyclone itself. When she actually stepped into the center of the cyclone she experienced the shift--calm peacefulness, rather than the whirling cyclone she’d been immersed in. Transformation comes when we step into the image, not when we analyze it from a distance. Remember, this is heart-centered learning, it requires our empathy and willingness to step into it.

If you’re having trouble receiving an image for your particular question or situation, ask yourself what the situation feels like. Mucky soup? Mysterious darkness? When we ask ourselves that question, we have no choice but to respond to it metaphorically, and the metaphoric response naturally wants to bring us into the Other World.


What Are the Qualities of the Image?

In the everyday world, we presume that we already know about the things that we encounter, but in the Other World we do not know. Each quality that we notice has the capacity to lead us somewhere else. What aspects of the image stand out to you. Is it light? heavy? cold? hot? Noticing qualities opens up further portals, more ways to explore.


Where is the Movement?

The hallmark of the creative process is movement. If your writing has taken you to an image or scene that seems to be stuck, you can always ask, “In what direction does this image or scene want to move?” What does it long for? What does it desire?


What To Do When You Need Resolution

If you receive an image that’s negative, confusing, or troublesome, it simply means that there is more to be revealed. In this case, imagine that you are opening up more space “beside” this troublesome image, and wait for the second image to reveal itself. (In this rich, interior world, we have an infinite amount of space available to us. We can always create as much space as we need.) The second image will come as a “response” to the first image—it has come because it wants to creatively interact, in some way, with the first image. Remember, this is “heart wisdom”—the intention is always loving and it is creative, meaning that movement always wants to occur.

One of my clients wanted to come to peace with the rocky relationship she had with her mother. Her first image, which represented her relationship with her mother, was dry, cracked, parched earth. The second image that showed up was mucky vegetable soup. How did the two images creatively interact? The mucky vegetable soup wanted to fill the deep, dry cracks in the earth. On a literal level, these two images are not related. But in the metaphoric realm, they created a third space that was profoundly healing. My client could feel the mucky vegetable soup filling the deep, dry cracks. It was all that she needed for a transformative shift



Unlike our everyday world, in the imaginal realm we’re never stuck. I once received a vision of millions of women throughout history… whose heads had been cut off. The image was a metaphor, representing how women have historically been “bodies” with no voice. It was gruesome and the darkest image that I’ve ever received. And when I became the millions of headless women, I could feel the horrible powerlessness of having no voice. But I stayed with the image…. I had no power to speak, but I could melt… so I melted and became black tar. And the black tar had a certain kind of power—it could cover things. It proceeded to cover the entire earth. Again, this image was disturbing because my rational mind decided this meant the end of life on earth as we knew it. But of course, movement wanted to happen… the tar, the blackness wanted to create new soil, new fertility, new possibility. It was a deep and profound rebirthing image.


No matter what image is being presented to you, you have the ability to shape-shift. And with that ability to shape-shift, comes power. True power.


The “learning” that we engage in when we drop into the interior world serves us well in our everyday lives. After all, how many times in our lives do we “go into darkness,” get confused and have to “feel” our way through it? We are learning to engage with life in a different way, one where we aren’t reacting to external conditions, we’re feeling our way from a deeper place. No matter what situation you’re in, there is always fertile possibility available to you. It’s just that you need a certain kind of eye and a certain way of looking to see it. Seeing-feeing-sensing-intuiting… all at the same time. Only the heart can do that.

The creative process lies at the heart of all change that happens in life. And a deeply rich creative process requires that we open the door to a certain kind of space. When we allow ourselves that “moment of eternity,” the answers reveal themselves. 

Note: I have ongoing Doorway Coaching groups, and also have package rates for Doorway Sessions. For more information go to:

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Instinctual Ways of Knowing

25 years ago I critically injured my spinal cord in a head-on collision on a rural highway in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I could tell that I’d broken something in my back, and I had no feeling or movement below the waist. I was subsequently airlifted to one of the best spinal trauma units in the country, where the doctors gave me less than 5% chance of walking again.

Education and science were highly prized in my family. Both of my parents and both grandfathers received college degrees in the sciences; my sister is a physician, my brother an engineer. I was young and had no training or experience in disbelieving experts. After all, these were esteemed physicians at a prestigious medical center. Why did I not believe them? Why did I have an internal “knowing” that was different from what I was being told?

I wasn’t feeling resistance toward what they had to say. I was not blocking out their advice and information and I wasn’t proclaiming that I would “do my own thing” and prove them wrong. I was not locked into a battle with them or the information they were providing to me. On the contrary, I was open to their advice and wanted to learn whatever I could from them. What was happening for me was a knowing on some other level--a level where I could understand and process their information, but then make my own determination about what to do with that information. The “knowing” did not come from my rational mind, but from some level that I could not see or explain. I just knew.

Another unusual thing was that in the six months prior to the accident, I was focused intently on rigorous physical exercise. Every night after work, I played two hours of intensely competitive racquetball with my male coworkers, followed by an hour of lap swim. Although I’ve always been an active person, this period of time involved an abnormal amount of highly focused daily exercise…as if my body was preparing for what was to take place. Again, this was not a rational knowing. I was simply following some unarticulated inner wisdom.

In both instances, I was trusting in something that I could not see. I can’t explain why I get frazzled by minor traffic tickets or bad hair days, but when face-to-face with the best medical doctors in the country telling me that I would be permanently paralyzed and unable to use my bladder again, I was unfazed. I simply did not believe them. After several weeks in the hospital, I was able to walk with the use of a cane. Twenty-six years later, no one would ever guess at the extent of my injuries.

In my work with clients, I tap into this deeper way of knowing through metaphor. Metaphoric wisdom is ancient, powerful, and non-verbal. The earliest humans did not have verbal language; they communicated metaphorically by gesturing and drawing pictographs on cave walls and tuning into the natural world around them. In a metaphoric, synaesthetic feeling way, the earliest humans learned from and communicated with the raging river, thunder and lightning, sunrise, plant life and animal creatures. They knew things that were not “rational.”

Metaphoric wisdom is what I accessed years ago in that scary situation, and it has been my friend and companion ever since. It is our primal, instinctual language.

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