Freedom From Fear: Emily, Laurie and Jenny

Exquisite Wildness by Suzi Banks Baum

Fearlessness demands that we take time to look at whatever feels threatening to us in all its complexity. We step in to the fear, in to the moment, and watch how by acknowledging and moving closer, fear dissipates and fearlessness arises.

In the Tibetan tradition, fearlessness is known as an act of ultimate generosity, one of the great gifts we offer others.

~Margaret J. Wheatley PRESERVERANCE

Close your eyes.
Gather all the kindling
About your heart.
To create one spark.
That is all you need
To nourish the flame
That will cleanse the dark.
Of its weight of festered fear.

A new confidence will come alive
To urge you toward higher ground
Where your imagination
Will learn to engage difficulty
As its most rewarding threshold!

~John O’Donohue
For Courage
from To Bless the Space Between Us

I watched a mother choose

exquisite ear-ornaments for someone
beloved, in the spring
of her life; they were
for her for sure, but also it seemed

a promise, a love-message, a commitment
to all girls, and boys too, so
beautiful and hopeful in this hard world
and young.

~Mary Oliver
The Poet Comments on Yet Another Approaching Spring


Goddess Altar


Lined up before me, on this morning of sacred readings,

symbols for all I pray gather around my family, praying the in the morning light. The moon, a whisper now, once, vigilant behind the maples in the southwest sky, velvet lavender where I stand watching it while squeezing a lemon, scraping ginger, dumping a glug of apple cider vinegar, aligning all forces of protection.

Every mother does this in her way.

Sweeps the stoop, blessing all who may enter here. May not trouble cross this doorstep.

Every woman does this in her way.

I can only write what I know, so I cannot write about the mothers of Fukushima, I have not met them, but I pray for them daily. I cannot write for the mothers of Syria, but they, with dying children in their arms, I pray for them daily. I cannot write about the mothers of Iraq, legless children aching to run, but for them, I light candles and pray. I cannot write about the polar bear parents, dashing across the shrinking ice plateaus, not knowing, any of us, of these engulfing changes.

We are stretched all of us, by care.
We are stretched, parent or not, by our loving of this planet and all who inhabit it- whales, skateboarders and armed uniformed boys with guns.

What do you do today, to stir your fearlessness?
How does being a mother change you?

I have three women close to me who are about to give birth. Another who just gave birth.

Today, I send each of them my prayers, seeing them each fearless, steeped in courage for the immediate and filled with fearlessness for the long run.

Standing with each other today, mothers or not, waiting for springs arrival, hope to deepen, children to arrive home safely. I cannot be in fearlessness without knowing fear.

Having known it, having pressed bare knees in to the ground to pray in dire emergency, asking for help from whoever was there listening, I know how a heart can expand to accompany challenging circumstances.

We all just keep looking for light.
And it appears.
In unexpected ways, but it is there.


Singing a song of courage
For you my dear.
My fingers twine round your
open palm, your lips softening,
your belly dropping
the baby descending.
Spring arrives with legs.
You are the light
at the end of this particular
The tunnel and the light
all at once.
I see you.




One way that I grow my fearlessness is in Circle with other women.

Rites of Passage by Sabine Volmer von Falken

Tomorrow I will be at this event. If you are near the Berkshires, join us!

Rites of Passage:
Writing our Way Over the Thresholds of Womanhood
Saturday March 22 10am-1pm
Whitney Center for the Arts- 42 Wendell Ave Pittsfield MA

Sending you so much love on this sunny afternoon,


PS Please make an act of Sisterhood and send this post to a friend who might need a dose of courage. xo S

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Showing 8 comments
  • Julie Bond Genovese

    OOoooo such gorgeousness to open my heart right before sitting down with my family. I’m smiling in tears tears tears of bittersweet joy and connection, thank you! I don’t even know where to begin…
    “Gather all the kindling
    About your heart.”
    and The tunnel and the light
    all at once.
    I see you.
    Oh the gift to be seen and to see myself in your words and feel the truths we all share – about motherhood, about fearlessness, about inevitable change. And the heart and prayers that keep us clean. Big sigh! And big love & blessings to wondrous you. Gotta go, pizza’s here <3

    • Suzi Banks Baum

      Here is to responsible fire building, eh?
      Together, we create a lot of light.
      xoxoox S

  • Lorrin Krouss

    I am in awe of our courageous 41 year old daughter who was told that she would never have her own child. She gave up for a while but then came out fighting for life — the life of the child she gave birth to last month. A beautiful 8 1/2 pound baby girl. Did I pray? Of course I did. Did anyone hear my words – I have no idea. But sometimes, mothers make miracles.

    • Julie Bond Genovese

      How fantabulous Lorrin! “She came out fighting” (love it) and she followed & found her powerful life-giving truth, despite the doctor’s silly prognosis. What a glorious gal & baby girl! And Booyah Grandma, yes mothers make miracles! <3

    • Suzi Banks Baum

      Lorrin you are so right. And blessings on that new baby! Birthed right along with so much wonderful writing by you! Congratulations and love, S

  • Emily Malpass

    Suzi, what a wonderful space you’ve created in my heart with this writing. I’ve read it every day since you posted, out loud to my baby still waiting for her moment in the light, and just copied most of it down into the book where I’ve been journaling my pregnancy in the form of letters to Ruby. Belly dropping now, baby descending now, and I know that in a matter of days, Spring will arrive with legs here in North Carolina! Thank you for bringing me peace on my ninth “bonus day” of gestation!

    • Suzi Banks Baum

      Oh thank you Emily. Just one year ago this was a longing of yours and NOW! Whoohooo! You have a legion of angels all round you. So happy this spoke to you. With love, S

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