Writing as Witness



I’m intuitive and that doesn’t make me special or any different from you. I write to listen to what I already know but can’t hear.

It started last summer after a cancer diagnosis. I don’t call it ‘my cancer’, because I don’t choose to personalize it that way. It never belonged to me, nor do I take ownership of the creation of it. I may have ‘asked’ for a shift, or ‘attracted’ a change, but I most certainly did not ask for cancer.

That said, a black sticky-outy thingy arrived as the messenger for my particular ‘asked for’ shift.

Black Sticky Outy Thing


In processing this I began to write in a way I hadn’t before. I’ve always had a journal… yawwwnnnnnnnn and as you can see, I had become rather tired of that. I’ve written poetry forever, but somehow that felt too dark, almost too intimate. Frankly too indulgent really. I’ve also written opinion pieces when I’m wrestling with things as a way to figure them out. Here’s one of my favourites, only because the sheer writing of it filled me up when I’d been feeling empty. But writing that way seemed far too daunting and frankly too cerebral a process for what I was aching for.

Nothing fit. At that time in my life, I had been ready to roll out my own life’s red-carpet and reallllly get shit done. At the time of the diagnosis, my business had just started to rebound after a self-enforced, four year hibernation, my husband and I had finally closed a painful chapter in our marriage – together, and our children were growing up. Life was ready for a new growth stage. I was standing on the precipice of right now, in the clearing, ready to act, to start, to begin again, and a stranger broke into my house. My body. My throat. Full stop.

I wanted to land


The last bloody thing I wanted to do was write about it. I didn’t want to listen to my own self-reflecting. I didn’t want to ‘make friends’ with the cancer. I didn’t want to fight it, to ‘kick it’, to give IT any more of my life-force energy than it was already attempting to gobble up. I didn’t want to be in my own skin, let alone go into the depths of more self-discovery or listen to the words in my head. Good gawd. I’m a blabber mouth, blab blab blab blab blab. All I ever do is talk, and wonder, and question and press further to understand. Do you ever feel like you just don’t want to learn anymore?

It’s that place where entering one rabbit hole opens up another to lead to again more and more and then still more. How exhausting. I was empty. I know now, that’s how the cancer got in. I had left my post. I was too tired and forgot to lock the door. I probably didn’t even care really, if I’m truly honest. The door was abandoned open and the gate was swinging wide on it’s hinge. I did not have the energy to learn anything else. Instead,

I wanted to land.

I wanted to come home.

I wanted answers.

So I began to ask questions. I asked about the cancer, about being tired, about love, about soul mates, about purpose and work. I asked about my career and whether I had one, about being an artist, about my skills, about heaviness and healing. I asked and asked and I still ask today.

Sometimes the answers are deep like this one:

Dear Tina, what are the parts of my life that I must release to finish the journey?

…you are asked to release doubt. Between you and your call on your soul is doubt.  Tina this circle is complete when the mask of doubt is dropped and transforms into the essence of what it truly is: curiosity, intrigue, fascination, perplexed, passion, drive.  Tina there is shame around your curiosity and it has become doubt…

Sometimes they are informative:

Dear Tina, how are you today?

…Well you haven’t been taking great care of me these last few days. You haven’t been outside. You haven’t cooked anything and you haven’t written. These three things are your life blood and without them you will get sick, remain sick and everything else is just a measure to balance the toxicity instead of simply saying no to it. …saying no to what is not your life-force and saying yes to what is your life-force.

Sometimes it’s challenging.

Dear Tina, What is the story of this anger?

…Oh Tina, it’s before you – it’s young, it’s so young. When you are ready to go there you will.

Is it holding me back?


My first Dear Tina Journal

My first Dear Tina Journal



This became my Dear Tina practice.

Today, I woke up in a fog and with a headache. I went back to bed to try to sleep it off. I woke up still heavy with it. I went to my desk. I pulled out my ‘to do’ list. I cracked it open pretending this is what I was supposed to do. Then I looked over at my Dear Tina Journal and knew that was the call for me. Today’s message was so ridiculously banal and perfect. Here it is:

Dear Tina, Something is wrong. What is it? Tina something is wrong. What is it? What is it? What is it? What is it?

Tina you are chasing again. Chasing the money. Chasing the life. Chasing the body. You are acting out and holding back.

My tummy is upset. Why?

Because of restaurant food. That is all.

I have a headache. Why?

Because you’ve been wrapping your body up in knots.

I’m in a fog. What do I do?

You do what needs to be done. You sleep.

Why does everything seem so stupid?

Your period is coming.

Oh right. That’s what it is.

You are chasing the money. Chasing the body. Chasing the peace. You are still fighting the shift Tina.

No coffee. No, low, No, low wine. No sugar. More gardening and veggies.  This fog you are in is self induced. We wouldn’t want a fog for you. You have everything you need.  Your children are happy. Your marriage is strong. Your network is with you. You can rest in your Arbonne business. You have everything you need. Simply show up and do. You needn’t push. When you push, you get angry and push back. Pushing for you is counter productive.

Find the groove Tina.

Live in the groove of it all.

You got this.

This one made my laugh.  You got this? Ha! Has my higher self just entered into today’s date. Who am I to judge?

The message was clear.

#1 – my period is coming. Let go of high intensity today. How ridiculously simple is that?

#2 – the insight is that I’m chasing again and it’s taking me away from my centre. It’s a familiar feeling so when it landed I knew exactly what it meant.

#3 – the take away, because there is always a take-away, ‘pushing for me is counter productive, find the groove instead.’

Why do I share all of this with you? For lots of reasons. It’s part of what I’m designed to do. I write to share and in the sharing, you all become part of my own ‘witness protection program’. When you witness me, I can hear my own voice. So thank you for being my witness today. I also do this because I want you to see how accessible your inner-wisdom is to you. I want you to see how, with just a few breaths and patience you can come home to yourself, for yourself. For some this practice becomes their prayer, for others it’s their meditation and still more, simply, their listening.

All of us are intuitive. All of us are more than our five senses. All of us can listen our way out of a fog as I did today.

Everyone is intuitive

On July 23rd on beautiful Bowen Island, just outside of Vancouver, BC at Rivendell Retreat Centre, I am offering Writing as Witness, a one day retreat into the story and/or wisdom inside of you that wants to be heard.

The day includes: Walking meditation, Writing, baring Witness to others, and witnessing our own wisdom. The retreat time will be as private or as connected as you want it to be, which means, you needn’t share your writing or insights if it doesn’t feel right.

There will be a few ‘how to’s and  offered best practices’, but mostly, the day is a guided conversation with your-self and the ‘practice’ is in the following of how and what you are wanting to have heard.

Journals are provided. Snacks are also offered however, please bring a picnic lunch to enjoy outside (weather permitting).

July 23rd, 10am-4pm, maximum 16 participants.

Cost is $79 for the day.  

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