Your Triggers Are Your Spiritual Homework.


Here are this week’s ideas to help you SHOW UP AND GROW in your own life.

1. Your Triggers Are Your Spiritual Homework:  A few years back boudoir photography was bugging the HAELLLL out of me.  I was sooo activated every single time somebody shared an “empowering”  photo taken of themselves in lacy lingerie shot in anonymous (think hotel room backdrop) settings (with a definite eye for the male gaze).  This was happening on facebook.  I bitched about it, judgmentally, to a couple friends.  Being great friends, they challenged me to stop whining and do something about it.

So, I hired a professional and she took some naked pictures of me that did truly felt empowering to ME.

I’m not saying lingerie isn’t sexy. But, for me…sexy is more like being a part of the earth.

Maybe, I was just envious that they had the audacity?
Maybe, I needed to explore what “sexy” meant to me?

We don’t need to know why we are activated, we just need to be curious.

It was a profound experience and, when I look at the photos, I do feel powerful and vulnerable at the same time.

What or who has you all in a LATHER these days? Pay attention.  Then, see what you might do to to turn towards it.  This is our spiritual homework.

Photo by Wolfskull Creative

2. Flowers from Our Gardens: When we needed to sell my mom and dad’s home last year (They died in 2020 and 2023 respectively), it turned out that my dear friend Suzi needed a new home! Suzi was like a daughter to my parents.

The real estate transaction felt, to both of us, like my dear momma was orchestrating it all from her new spiritual location.

This week, Suzi brought me flowers from my mom’s garden.

Life is so good sometimes.

One of the great pleasures for me this summer has been cutting peonies from MY garden and delivering them to friends. I’ve been working with coach Kirsten Koel and I’m learning to trust pleasure!  Such sumptuous delight these flowers give!  When I spend time with them, I feel, as Mary Oliver says, “stained with light”

What activities bring you pleasure? Visually? Sensually?  Maybe its a delicious smell?  A certain sort of music? Whatever these things are, have you ever considered that by allowing yourself these pleasures, you are getting “stained with light**”...and that others will be impacted by that in a good way?  When we feel good, it gives others permission to feel good too!

**”It is six A.M., and I am working. I am absentminded, reckless, heedless of social obligations, etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, the tooth falls out, there will be a hundred meals without mustard. The poem gets written. I have wrestled with the angel and I am stained with light and I have no shame. Neither do I have guilt.”

― Mary Oliver, Upstream: Selected Essays

3. This Week’s Gobsmacking Poem: 

“There will always be voices that promise you greatness and glory:

They call out from the worldly marketplace;

They call out from the spiritual marketplace;

They call out from the fill-your-holes-marketplace;

They call out from the bigger-better-more marketplace.

Do not buy their false promises, or purchase their ephemeral wares;

What fulfills for a moment is not worth the price of your soul.

There are heights that will lift you, but not when you try to ascend them;

There are powers that will fill you, but not when you make them your own.

There are treasures, and there are imitations of treasures.

If you have lost your true gold, at least turn away from the glitter.

Want only what is true.

This will lead you to the well of your deepest sorrows.

Follow that passageway, all the way down;

Become the dark emptiness of your absent core.

Be still. Don’t measure the waiting.

Be still. Let the waiting become a fire.

Be still. Let the fire show you its secret heart:

A strand of clear light running through you.

Gather yourself there, and the luminous universe opens.

In that vast expanse, fathomless, infinite ocean of light,

Lose yourself, and find yourself, and become what you already are.

Renunciation, a poem by Jennifer Welwood

4. Resistance SUCKS, and I Found A Neat New Trick.  I have written about resistance.  One of my most favorited posts is here.  Recently, I had SO MUCH RESISTANCE to pleasure!  The very idea of it. Sexual pleasure, sensual pleasure, self-pleasure.  The irony that my tag line is “Follow your FEEL GOOD” is NOT lost on me! We teach what we most need to learn.

Leaning into this new (old?) resistance has been part of healing my relationship to my body.

Here’s what I have learned that is NEW to help you with resistance: 

First of all, ALLOW your resistance to be there- and remind yourself you can stay as long as you like right here.  (Phew! what a relief! This is scary!)

Of course, you may not want to stay in this stuck place because…it’s not much fun.  But, feeling pressure to move isn’t fun either.

WHEN YOU ARE READY, journal about what you get out of staying in resistance now? How does it protect you now? What has resistance protected you from in the past?

Write it all down- SPIT it all out on the page -the anger, the fear, the rage …the disgust ….the disdain and then,

PUT ON SOME MUSIC and dance it out to clear your body’s slate. Pick whatever music feels right. Beastie boys or Bach- let you body move it out.


Ask the resistant part of you to step forward and write you a letter telling you what she’s afraid of.

From the letter I wrote, I discovered that I was worried that pleasure was a trap..that it was dangerous, that it was wrong to focus on and that I would lose myself in it….WOW!

I am learning that pleasure is NOT a trap. It is safe and sacred.  I can trust myself with pleasure.  I can sniff peonies for an hour and nothing dangerous happens.

If you do this process, I would love to know how it goes! Hit reply, if it feesl good,  and tell me.

5. Marriage Isn’t What We Thought Was. We are approaching 33 years on July 13th this year and I am feeling very lucky to be partnered with my husband for this long.  But, my marriage isn’t what I thought it was supposed to be when I was 24, or 35 or 48.  I loved what Pamela Madsen said recently:

“I would love to muse about marriage and long term relationship this morning. This August, my husband and I will be celebrating  43 years of marriage (Yes, we did it all wrong; I was truly a child bride). And what is real is that we are happily enough married. Still. And we have all kinds of shit going down around us all the time. Not one thing. A ton of things. A lot works about our marriage, and some things will always be problems because we have relationship patterns that suck sometimes. But they are our patterns and we can manage them. Our marriage is a blend of old world ideals and lots of stuff that we make up as we go along – that some folks might not understand, but It works for us. Now, 43 years of marriage is kinda a big deal in a world where people celebrate weddings more than they actually stay together. I remember someone telling me that they didn’t want what Kai and I have together, and I remember telling them that they didn’t have a clue. Most people really don’t. To have a happy enough and fulfilling long term relationship you need to be able to do a few things besides not leaving and not dying:

1. Suck it up and turn the other way. Door slamming and walking out doesn’t ever work. Emotional explosions/tantrums are for three year olds. They don’t work in marriages/relationships. And you really don’t have to talk everything out.

2. Be more than willing to let things go.

3. Acknowledge each other’s humanness.

4. Be a fucking cheerleader.

5. Forget sexy date nights as the key to a long-term relationship; do the fucking dishes. Pour each other coffee in the morning. Put toothpaste on each other toothbrush so you find it waiting for you. It’s THAT stuff that will hold you together — believe it or not — the sex educator here will tell you that it is NOT 25 positions and the Karma Sultra.

6. Hold each other. Hold hands. Cuddle. Touch. Marriage needs to be a cuddle party that never ends.

7. Don’t lie.

8. Don’t tell each other everything; there is a big difference between privacy and secrecy. Everyone needs their own space even extroverts.

9. Share activities and adventures.

10. Have separate activities and adventures.

11. Share an erotic life which can take many forms.

12. Have a private erotic life.

13. Praise each other a lot.

14 Keep some of your life private. Protect each other.

15. Take an interest in each other’s work.

16. Have your own money.

17. Share money.

18. Have your own friends.

19. Share friends.

20. Ask before you choose a movie on Netflix , or turn the channel, if the other person wants to watch what you want to watch too.

21. Relationships that go the long haul are not about controlling your partner.

22. Keep your jealousy in check. It might wreck you and them.

23. If your partner says go away. You might want to for a little while, but checking in and reaching back is always a good idea. Even if it’s to say: “You know, I love you. I want you in my life. We can work this out.” Sometimes, when we push people away out of hurt and anger – what we really want is for them to come closer.

Yep. 43 years this summer. I might have learned something.

Hope there is something here for you,

Loving you from here,

Pamela Madsen

I am sending SO MUCH LOVE to all of you!  We can do hard and beautiful things and we are ready!

I’m taking NEW clients again on Thursdays! I want you guys to have first dibs!
The page isn’t back up yet for the public, but you can go here to book your shamanic healing or coaching session. 

with love,

A world premier of a documentary ( a collab of Duluth Creative Co and myself!) is happening in Duluth, MN at Zeitgeist Arts!

SAVE THE DATE! July 18th 5:30-7:30 (7 minute film will show around 6:15 pm) Come on down and see what we have made for you!!! 🍿 🎥

This film was made, in part, with a grant from Arrowhead Regional Arts Council.🍓

RSVP and learn about tickets at Facbook event  

My art exhibit is now up until June 29th at Studio 21 (of Grand Marais Art Colony) next to Hippie Tacos on Hwy 61.  They are open THurs-Sat 10 am – 5 pm.  Let me know if you go! I would love to hear what you thought!

This newsletter is reader supported! I typed this at 4am (blame it on the full moon!) in our TV room!

One of the best ways to support me is to Pre-order my new BOUNDARIES book.  

Does your sacred space or healing studio need art?  Please check out all of my available work here. 


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