Boundaries, empaths, introverts, activists; feminist, social justice, eco-consciousness; depth, dreams, body, and archetype.

Margaret A. Howard, MFA, LCSW

Over the last several years these things have helped me heal from my traumas so much: Connecting more and more deeply with the natural world through taking seriously my responsibility as caretaker to this tiny piece of land, learning it, thanking it, and cultivating it in a sustainable way, and all the ways that practice connects to and is part of my spiritual practice; dream work; my dear Nya dog, with her happy disposition, protection, and love; the therapy with my Jungian analyst and somatic psychotherapist; becoming very clear about my boundaries, what I need and don’t need, who I am and why I’m here, absolutely not in comparison to anyone else (finally); and solitude, which includes the intentional absence of devious, unwell, and/or otherwise yucky men (long story; hope to have the book completed some day). It’s just the truth. Let the truth surface; let the truth sing. In our truth is our freedom. Within our firm boundaries compassion and wisdom of the self can flourish. 🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱 Here are more signs of life stirring: New leaves on the elderberry bush; teensy yarrow fronds pocking up under last year’s spent and dead stalks; Nya enjoying the sunshine while I clean out the beds and plant early seeds. Winter may be coming again, but for now the earth here is awakening, and we are alive.

Seedzzzzzzzz! They want to grow, I’m giving them a space and medium. 💕🙌😊🌗🌱🌞


Oh the sweet cuddles. #valentines #galentines #dogentines #love

Wherever the love in your life comes from, it’s still love. #love #valentinesday #galentinesday #difference #goodness #dino #fish

Referencing my last post, here is the “outside garlic” that is expressing the same development as the “inside garlic.” That is, one was planted in the ground last fall for spring harvest, and the other was simply for culinary use.

How is it that the regular, inside garlic for cooking is at the same sprouting stage as the outside garlic for growing (which I checked on yesterday by peeking under the 6 inches of straw mulch)? Maybe because we don’t have to be literally immersed in nature and her cycles to be part of nature and feeling her cycles? This happens all the time. It goes to the reality of our need to attend to the seasons when we’re noticing how we feel, and whether we’re reflecting a dormancy or a growing stage. We *are* nature. That’s why. It’s impossible to be truly separate from these cycles. We can only be more or less conscious of them. It is the same with every living being on this planet. Including cloves of garlic.

Awww! Rare photo of my co-therapist, Nya, as a pup. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ She didn’t come to me until she was a year old, so I don’t have many of her pupper self. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Drawing from one of my own healing work (therapy) sessions with a somatic psychotherapy practitioner, a few years ago, while visualizing and connecting with my innate protection and protectors. Nothing is more important in a therapist, or any person that we go to for healing, than that they are engaged in their own healing work.

Looking around, there are signs that Earth is waking up from her winter sleep. Eagles and hawks are starting their nests in preparation for their new babies. The early spring bulbs are poking their little green heads up through the mulch and leaves. The sap is beginning to run in some of the trees around here. And I can feel, have felt for a couple of weeks, more and more energy coursing through my own limbs; this odd desire to move around, clean things out, take care of what’s been dormant. Every year winter feels interminable, and every year, before it even seems time, here comes spring!

“All winter long the trees are bare, the wind is cold and the fields are empty. But very early in the Spring the Sun begins to grow warmer, the air softer and the sky bluer. And the boys and girls grow happier though they cannot tell just why. Down underground something is happening. Something secret and wonderful. The root children who have been sleeping soundly all winter are awakened by the Earth Mother. She comes with her candle and her little firefly helpers to tell them they must be up and at work for it will soon be Spring. They are very sleepy at first but soon begin to stretch and open their eyes and be glad that it is time to wake.” From Etwas von der Wurzelkindern (trans. The Story of the Root Children), originally written by Sibylle von Offers, here retold by Helen Dean Fish as When the Root Children Wake Up. This is the story of the waking of the Root Children and the wonderful, magical transformation of Winter into Spring. Happy Imbolc. #Ibmolc #rootchildren #spring #firststirrings #newenergy #newlife #awakening #healing #thankyouearth #thankyoucyclesoflife In some parts of the world today, Imbolc, St. Brigid’s Day, is recognized as the first and earliest day of Spring. I love today bringing out this books after its long winter sleep in the shelf, the lovely drawings in which depict the first stirrings underground, which I then keep open in the office at the page that represents the seasonal moment.

For those feeling so much grief, sadness, pain right now, and for those who refuse to and instead continue the squelching, tamping down, avoiding, covering over, denying, refusing, and bypassing of the deep feeling, as we watch the world as it is: Presently and continually being blown away by the ways of thinking and feeling expressed by Daniel Foor. Like this, on what it is like to be living in this great extinction period, the grief of it, these times: “In the collective, the denial of strong feeling among some people increases the pressure on the people who are open to feel, on behalf of the species. Because feeling is a way to bring us back into connection with the Others [all the Creatures and Beings who are not human], it’s a kind of merging or empathizing or communion that rewires things. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s beneficial for people to just be underwater and not able to function. So, for people who are especially open, it’s more their work to know how to cultivate enough boundaries that they can be of service instead of just be a casualty to the times.”

Behold! the gorgeous artwork by @caitie_metz for my new dream journal! It will grace the hand letterpress, hand bound book I’ll be offering for sale to all you dear dreamers (available for preorder! See below). This is a preview. The colors will be a darker blue paper with a lighter blue ink. Very deep and restful. The back has simple, straightforward instructions for writing down your dreams so as to seed and cultivate deep work and connection. I’m offering them for presale, now. They’re not even up on my website yet. Details below. . . I’ve been wanting to create a dream journal for those who come to my practice for dream work. After doing a book binding workshop with @caitie_metz, I realized that the hand bound books are so lovely, such a pleasure to hold, and her artwork so compelling, and that her work in the world is inclusive, social justice oriented, and body grounded and centered that making this book together and offering it more widely just, well, felt wonderful and right. . To preorder, just message me here on Instagram or email me ( $20, first 10 orders will get free shipping and handling (about a $5 value, still calculating that). . . Working with our dreams is a primary, ancient, and deep way to enter into the work of, as Daniel Foor says, “Healing the illusory split between humans and the rest of the natural world.” Writing them down facilitates remembering them more, and in more detail.

Have you had a dream of our current president? If so, there is a Jungian psychoanalyst who is collecting them, with the aim of analyzing their collective meaning and publishing a book of her findings. I do believe that working with our dreams is a route to deep change, not just individually, but collectively. #45dreams #collectiveunconscious #undergroundresistence #dreams #jung #nofilter

Gift from beloved daughter. The power of being seen. #owl #owlwoman #ourpowerisrising #deepwork #nourishourroots #gift #daughter #bonecarving

When it’s your 6th birthday and you won’t let go of your new hedgehog. #Nya #dogsofinstagram #hedgehog #birthday #blueheeler

I was not until today aware of this quote from Dr. King. I endeavor to understand him as he really was, and not as he has been homogenized and pasteurized for the consumption of white and comfortable America. This quote, though not directly challenging in some ways, is in others, and strikes me as a facet of him and his legacy that is very important right now: “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the inter-related structure of reality.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The panel. Supporting Silence Breakers. #supportingsilencebreakers

Very excited to listen to these awesome women speak. #supportingthesilencebreakera

This book. Oh, my. So solid, luminous, feels so wonderful in hand, beautifully designed. I can’t even remember how I ran across it and ordered it, but I’m glad I did. #celtic #ancestors #intergenerational #trauma #healing #sight #caitlinmatthews #thewild