Wednesday, April 27, 2022


“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“Grown up.”

While the preceding exchange happened multiple decades ago, I recall it vividly. The question was directed at me many times during my youth. It seemed to be a kind of icebreaker between adults and kids at the time. With mostly little in common, it was a potential meeting place for connection. I,however, recollect the feeling of being put on the spot. I felt I needed to not only have an answer. I needed to have an answer that would be acceptable and even impressive to the inquiring adult. I had endured the question several times before this particularly penetrating exchange occurred.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“Grown up.”

While I guess it was a bit tongue in cheek if not directly sarcastic, my answer has become truer than ever.

I want to be grown up.

More than anything.

I want Life to grow me up. I want Life to spiral me up and forward. At this somewhat late stage in my life journey, I want to grow beyond the past stories I have told myself about myself. I will to be a living embodiment of integrity, authenticity, and maturity. I am not content to just talk about spiritual principles. I want to live FROM Principle. To court Truth as an actualized inner experience. I am not satisfied with juvenile notions of what life and spiritual living are about. As we find in sacred literature, “when I was a child I saw, spoke, acted out from a childish perspective.” I intend to spend the remainder of my days seeing, speaking, acting out from a grown-up place in consciousness. I embrace being child-like. Being childish is something altogether different.

Childhood wounding is running the show for most of humanity. Until emotional imprints are felt-through, integrated, and thus healed they will continue to run the shows we call our lives. They fuel wound-based thinking, choices, and relating. We see examples of this everywhere. People in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond are still battling it out in a sandbox of other wounded kids. This from my perspective is not to be judged or made wrong. It is to be compassioned and seen for what it is: unintegrated trauma playing out as repeated and habitual drama. Situation after situation. Circumstance after circumstance. Relationship after relationship. An emotional seven-year-old in a seventy-year-old body playing out patterns that never got resolved. And never will be resolved until some deep and mature and yes, grown-up inner work is done.

I can clearly only speak for myself, but deep and mature and yes, grown up inner work is my purpose and has proven to be my redemption.

The less time I realize I have before me the more urgency my desire to live as a grown up has become. While I am clear that maturity is not a matter of age, time in this regard has proven to be my friend. The time I have to remain on this planet and in this incarnation is far less than the time I have already spent here. I spent more time than I care to report in childish self-absorption. My personal diminishing imprints cried out to finally be recognized, accepted, approved of, and loved. The little boy who was repeatedly rejected, bullied, judged, made wrong struggled to grow up beyond that. The old stories of that wounded young boy were as experiential quicksand. My development was arrested, my growth stunted. The emotional body is ageless. The child can be in charge for a lifetime, regardless of the adult activities we also engage in. As I began to self-realize this, I at first attempted to rid myself of this often tantrum- driven child. Yet it was not until I learned to allow the grown-up part of me to deal with the child part of me that things began to change. I needed to bring the recognition, acceptance, approval, and love to that wounded inner child. Shaming what had been repeatedly shamed served nothing. I needed to be the loving grown-up I had always sought. The adult self-needed to be in charge of the show.

So, here I am at sixty-five. I am not all that I had hoped I would be at this point. Yet I have dedicated myself to a life of spiritual awakening and compassionate service. I constantly allow for and follow an impulse within me that I know to be Source seeking to grow me up. While way less frequently I can still find myself captured by an old imprint. I can feel an internal tantrum brewing. I rarely act out on those impulses at this point. I don’t have to because I have learned to deal with my child-self from a grown-up perspective. I have also learned to deal with other people’s “trauma-dramas” from a mature and understanding place as well. Not always. And it is a process. My child internally speaks first and loudest. And then my grown up takes the lead. My grown-up heads into prayer and response rather than tantrum and reaction. The pause between stimulus and reaction has grown substantially. And so have I.

What do I want to be when I grow up?

More grown up.

One of my favorite quotes from the Talmud is “above every blade of grass is an angel whispering GROW.”

Above and within me there is a host of angels always whispering to me “grow, Taylor.” Grow up, forward Taylor.” “Not just for you. For all beings.”

I love that. I listen to that. I move with that.

So, I guess that long ago retort has become my reality.

What I wanted to be is what I actually am.


Wednesday, April 13, 2022


Do I live, love, and express as radically as I profess to? As I am called to? As I know I am meant to?

It is an ongoing inquiry that is far more a process than it is an answer.

I began writing this blog (in this form) in February of 2008. I was in the final months of a much needed and intensely revealing sabbatical. I previously had answered an inner call to cease leading an interfaith community that I had co-founded several years earlier. It was my passion and my sole source of income. I was taking a walk one beautiful morning when an inner voice clearly, unmistakably, and unequivocally told me it was time to stop doing what I had been doing. I was startled, baffled, and more than a bit frightened. And all of those feelings did not deter me from moving with thed guidance.

I stopped.

For me that was radical faith.

It made no earthly sense at all. There was no drama and no problems in my community. It was relatively small in numbers, yet it was vast in love and solvent in supply. And I knew that I knew the guidance was clear. It was as clear as was the guidance to begin the venture. As ancient wisdom teaches, for everything there is a season. The season began. And the season was ending.

After an extended period of sabbatical, it was clear that my heart and intuition were leading me to work independently at my vocation. I guest spoke at various spiritual communities. I did spiritual counseling, coaching, and direction. I wrote. I to this day do not know how I was able to support myself. It was a “loaves-fishes” dynamic that I do not feel the need to figure out. I always had what I needed when I needed it.

For me that was radical provision.

I truly loved working independently. I set my schedule and worked when it felt organic. I traveled some. I intensified my practice. I felt free. I followed my guidance faithfully. The faithful guidance was my provision.

It was for me a radical way to live and to serve.

It was not without its challenges. Lifelong patterns came into starker clarity. I have never had a confident personality. Early wounding and trauma could throw me into radical recoil which then blocked my intended radical expression. It was a dance for sure. And not always graceful. And yet in a different usage of the word it was always Graced. By grace the wounding could slow me down, yet it never stopped me. I felt an intense need to put my gifts out there, even though I knew that when I did, they would be evaluated and judged. Another lifelong pattern. People have always felt free to critique, define, and judge me. With my imprinting the last thing I would think I would do would be to pick expressions that set me up for scrutiny. And yet that is what I have done for decades.

For me that was radical courage.

So, since 2008 I have written a blog called Radical Expression. I have never really promoted it, and to say I have a modest following is generous. I know that I am not a great writer, yet that has never been my goal. I write about my experiences in hopes that my honest if imperfect meanderings might touch another heart. I have always placed authenticity above messages that I think will fit in. I write in much the same way that I lecture. I am not interested or governed by what I suspect people want to hear. I write and lecture about what I intuit people NEED to hear.

When I have really put myself out there, I often am met with a quick and cold feeling “unsubscribe.” I wince. I feel it in my gut and heart. I watch the commentary that says, “I will never write again.” I have sometimes taken breaks while I attend to my hurting heart. And then I feel and heed the impulse to write again. I sense an uncharacteristic bravery that risks expressing in the face of impending criticism. I trust the guidance. I trust I can sustain the minimizing commentary. I trust that I can become more when others seek to make me feel less. I have learned that often the more honest and candid I am the less popular the missives. I do not write to be popular. I write to be real.

For me that is radical trust.

When I stopped leading my interfaith community, I knew it was a critical demarcation. When I started working and writing independently, I know I was at another demarcation. When I stopped working independently to lead a Unity community, I know it was yet another Rubicon along my way. I made no attempt to figure it out or run it through my personal preferences. I said yes when my personality-self wanted to scream no! I knew and trusted it was the next right expression for me to give way to.

For me that was and is radical acceptance.

And as I rapidly approach a milestone birthday something radical is stirring within me. It is yet to be a definite direction. I am leaning into the stirring. I am embracing the impulse. I am confident with the current lack of clarity. I am surfing the waves of faithfulness, provision, service, courage, trust, acceptance. I know that when it is time to make a move, I will know it. I know that I will operate from faith even if there is fear. I will trust the orchestration that flows freely from a wholehearted yes.

Truth be told, I feel as if my most radical expression is yet to be. Blog or not, my greatest gift is yet to be given. Criticism or not, I will continue to stand up, stand out, and in my own unique and imperfect way radically express.

Radical expression?

Radical expression!

Thursday, April 7, 2022


I am more than ready to retire.

I am two weeks away from turning sixty-five.

Please spare me the “age is just a number” pith.

I am two weeks away from turning sixty-five. I have not yet moved far enough beyond shock to know how I really feel about that.

Eons ago when I was young the vast majority of people turning sixty-five retired. It was mostly synonymous. The sixty-fifth birthday party was closely followed by the retirement party. Medicare and Social Security were both available at sixty-five. The age did seem to hold more weight in terms of being “old.” I guess culturally retirement and old age were achieved together.

So, as of April 1st I became a Medicare recipient.


I am not, however, eligible for full Social Security benefits until the age of sixty-six and six months.

I do not seem to have a particular feeling about that, though it may be in the same shock-container as is my upcoming digit.

I do not write until I am willing to be honest and authentic. So let me be real with you.

I have for the past few months seriously contemplated retiring, full SS benefits or not. I know that I have made prudent choices that would allow for a more modest yet secure living situation with or without a fulltime salary. My husband is retired, or more accurately, disabled. He does receive benefits that far exceed what I will ever qualify for.

Having said that, those facts are not the issue when I contemplate retiring.

I am currently employed fulltime. My “job” is really my vocation. It is clearly for me a calling. My quest for spiritual awakening is what is most important for me hands down. Leaving a legacy of love and compassion is my highest priority. The fact that I am paid to apply and demonstrate my highest calling has been and remains remarkable. I get paid to “God!”

I get paid to “God!”

That is crazy wild. Me. Imperfect, sometimes unconscious, often unskillful me.


Now, there are aspects of what I do that I would prefer not to do. During these two long years of pandemic and distancing I mentally quit my job several times a week. I also knew I would never leave a congregation during such trying and tumultuous times. That would never have happened. It would have been so far from my integrity I could not have lived with a decision to walk away.

Now that Covid seems to be subsiding, and I am turning sixty-five, revisiting the option of retiring has more concretely surfaced.

I have made no definitive decision. Yet.

The inquiry is proving to be remarkably fruitful, even two weeks out from the leap to full senior citizen status.

I have reformulated what retirement means for me.

Whether or not I continue to remain in fulltime employment I am retiring from many of the stresses I have placed upon myself. I am clear that I have nothing left I need to prove. I am retiring from other people’s opinions and evaluations of me. Professionally. Personally. I am through with the” trying to fit in-be approved of” hustle. It exhausts me. Though I know it originates in me I also use the mirror of how others react-respond to my expression as a way of becoming more autonomous and self-referred. More inner directed. Stronger if not always wiser. I have reached a point which for me came with age that I know deeply that your opinion of me is none of my business.

I am finding a freedom with aging that I never dreamed was possible. I thought the opportunities would lessen. Physically I suppose they have. Not spiritually. Not emotionally. Not in my vocational expression. I am becoming more alive and more expansive. More vital and passionate. With less time left I am far more intentional about how I use it. And way more grateful. Grateful to still be here. Grateful to have expanding awareness and choice. My internal possibilities are soaring.

Foundational to what I do is what I am. The more awake to what I am the more passionately and directly I imbue what I do.

And I cannot retire from what I am.

So, I am not waiting until my birthday to retire the self-diminishing stories that remain. I am not waiting until after I blow out the candles to breathe in the breadth of what I am. I am not waiting to open my presents to give the gift of me. Full out. Out loud. Bold. Fearless. If not fearless not held back by fear.

I know the form of my vocation will change. It will happen regardless of Medicare, Social Security, age, or intellectual decision. I trust Life will show me when to end this current modality and flow into the next. I truly, deeply trust that.

And I also know that I am retiring from effort. From outer identification. From fitting in. From your opinions and more importantly from my own. You can tell stories about me and I remain free.

Not that ultimately, I need to, but I have earned the right to decide my experience. I have worked hard. On myself. Whether or not that was the wisest choice it has been the choice I repeatedly made. I have regrets for sure. Yet I am crystal clear that I have done the very best I could. And that is good enough for me.

So, consider me retired.

From the job of trying to be me.