The Wolf Mother

Recently, I was challenged on how I mothered my child and for the first time in my life, I felt a threat around whether I would lose her.

Something deep and primal woke up in me.  A wolf mother, a creature inside of me that roared from my belly out into my throat. My jaw energetically felt longer, I could imagine myself having fangs and sinking my teeth into prey, or anyone who threatened my family.   My arms felt tight and I felt my body embody a kind of dynamic tension, ready to pounce should the danger come my way or my child’s way.

This embodied feeling of becoming a wild creature is the antithesis to how I was raised.  I was born into a Buddhist family.  Despite growing up in a war, I did not feel hatred towards the people who fought my forefathers or conquered my home.   I was brought up by a wise old grandmother who never attended school but believed in the power of prayer and the harmony of the universe, no matter how it looked.  I still remember how after a bombing in South Vietnam, after many of our neighbors had perished, I had wanted to take a gun and shoot all the invaders should they come near our home.  It was then that grandma took my hand and walked me through the windy tropically leaved path to the temple, where I gathered with about a hundred of other Vietnamese villagers, and about 20 monks and chanted.  We chanted for five hours that day, and in the chant, the hatred in our hearts turned into kinship.  The feeling of devastation turned into connection.  My anger and need to retaliate turned into a deep compassion for all who suffered.

So, this part of me, the part that was willing to kill the others who threatened my family went to sleep.  Until now.

It’s not that I plan on killing anyone, because that would mean intense repercussions in my life and would not serve to support my path as a mother, it was just that the drive to protect and to be primal about it came back.

So, based on the suggestion of my Somatics teacher, Caffyn, I roared and clenched my hands into claws.  I felt the anger rise in my belly and the power that my anger harnessed was big. It was animal.  I breathed through my anger and roared in my throat.  My heart beat fast.  And in that moment, I knew there was a power to this feeling, that even in doing nothing about it, being able to feel viscerally into my body made me feel more alive.  It cut through my shock and my sadness and it evaporated my despair.wolf-mom-cub-lick

Instead of going on a rampage, I resolved to pee into a container and then mark my entire space, house and yard with my essence.  Like an animal, I declared my territory .  I was going to protect what was mine, my body, my child, my home, my energy .   I didn’t have to be nice to people who trespassed my boundaries’ or treated me without respect.  I could be angry, and I could be a wolf mother.

I am grateful that I learned compassion for all beings early in my life.  I was seven when I went to temple with grandmother.  And I’m grateful that 45 years later , I found my Wolf Mother.  Two parts – the compassionate girl and the Wolf Mother – can walk together, hand in hand, in my life and into my future.


Quynh Phuong Nguyen


November, 2018

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Sonar Love – Non-doing Connection

My beloved and I frequently have conversations over the phone to connect, as we are miles apart on the North American continent.

And although we love to hear each other, I noticed in me a tendency to grasp for more things to say, to discuss and to plan, in order to feel connected.  It was a grasping based on fear that if we didn’t put a lot of activity in our lives together,  if we didn’t have many conversations about us , that our connection wouldn’t survive or that it wouldn’t grow to be something deep and sustainable.

So, we were Yang, active, fiery and talkative lovers.  We spent time discussing our days, planning our future, rehashing our past.  At times, I noticed we felt a bit edgy and tired, although we knew that we weren’t tired of one another.  We were tired of the Doing in Relationships.  We didn’t want to ” Do Love”,  we wanted to simply feel the love that is ever-present in our bond, as well as ever present in the world.   The love that just comes from the simple joy of being alive.

I sank deep into myself and realized that it isn’t his words that I craved to be in touch with, it was his essence, his soul, his being-ness.  If he were with me in the body,  I would be content to just sit next to him and breathe or to be in the same room with him, reading our books or doing our work.  His very still presence satiates my being in a way that a thousand plans or activities could never do.  Our connection requires and inspires deep stillness.   It is a connection where I feel a desire to rest, not do,  an invitation to experience my soul, Source and my beloved all in one container.

I knew this from the beginning of our connection when he uttered, ” Stillness” to me, and my body expressed a deep sigh within and simply melted into him.

So we experimented with another way, a way of feeling one another and yet not having to use words, make plans, intellectualize who and what we are.

We started humming to one another.   Like the way whales and dolphins do to their pods that may be thousands of miles away . He would hum and I would answer back in a hum.   We would spend minutes doing this, burst out into laughter, say a few words and then when we felt we said enough, go back to humming.

It felt deeply satisfying.  Simply being in the pure presence of another, without the overlay of ego or personality , is a deep way to experience another being.  The voice, which originates from deep within our bellies, where we are instinctual, communicates a vibration and frequency that is unique to each being – the Essence.

When we communicate from Essence, there is an abundance of Love and Peace.

It is simple, pure, and beautiful.


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7:35 AM

  1. 17799492_10154696127699858_5428740514043257910_n
    At 7:35 AM
    the world
    is already out of control
    One of those days
    Where things are not
    Going as planned


I feed the chickens
Because they’re so loud
I’ll drive the kid to school
While multitasking
Email and phone calls


In the midst of this
My kid says she needs
To wear navy blue pants
That is at her father’s house
So the emergency phone
call is made 🙂


Soul goes on BREAK ….


I pull out breathing techniques
Mantras form and reform
Surrender the control
Embrace chaos
Do my best
It will all
My mind
Spins its
Like a popular


In this world where
Performance and the visage
Of control
Is so important to so many


I feel like the imposter
Because deep down
I feel what
really matters


Is the DEEP right now


It’s the rain outside
That teases me into
Its wonder
With its coolness
and clarity


It’s calling for
My will’s surrender


It’s my Calla lilies
With their
Wide sensual
Swirl Opening
To the wetness
of water
That Beckons
My touch
Of its velvety


they say


I sigh in
Sounds of
the rain
Singing Loud
Bathing me


Until I realize
I’m running late.


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Otherworldly Labyrinth

Today is a labyrinth
Through the corridors
of my past
where I pick up hints
on where I didn’t feel
and therefore
Propelled myself
Into the Observer
Space traveler
Mystic role

Something so
deep within me
yet comes from a

But now when I’m
out there
I meet other
Space Travelers

And we create
a place out
there that
feels like


Photo by Deirdre Montgomerie


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You had me at Darling
And that’s when it began
Of my old ways
Of Love

It used to be
Give and take
Weights and balances
Keeping the score
Optimizing for more

It’s all obliterated
My heart is a universe
That holds it all
Black holes and stardust
Suns and moons
All is allowed
And often
It’s all
About mystery

So I fell
For you
For the universe
For all of humanity

One fell swoop


Quynh Phuong Nguyen  copyright 2017Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 7.49.11 PM

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The Reluctant Seductress

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Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears. ~Edgar Allan Poe

A few years ago, on a photo shoot , the photographer’s assistant , a man in his mid forties, said to me ,  ” You are very  seductive. Men must love that..”

It was an interesting thing for him to say, as I moved from pose to pose in this photography session, under the lights and shadows of the studio.

“I am not seductive for the men, I am seductive for me. ” I retorted back.

These words came out of me, and I didn’t  fully know what they meant. They came spilling out of me instinctively.  The photographer, who is a woman in her fifties, smiled at me with a knowing smile. I was impressed with how she did not get defensive, or even say anything to him, she just gave me a look that said she knew exactly what I meant.

When I’ve been called seductive before in my life, I took it as a bad thing to be. Somehow, because of my looks, someone thought I was using my beauty in a way that was not good, using my power to have power over others. I’ve felt guilty about this word, power, and often times wondered if I was using my beauty  as power and somehow abusing that power.  According to certain crowds that I grew up with, to be seductive somehow meant that I had to take responsibility for everything that happened between me and a man, because it somehow meant that he was powerless in my presence.

That enough made me not want to be very seductive, or to share my beauty, because it felt like too much responsibility.  I wanted to hide, to not be seen as beautiful and yet a part of me felt I was suppressing something essential to my nature, my soft feminine.

I was the “reluctant seductress.” I feared being misunderstood by others.

This fear  resulted in me never really owning my beauty in a way that felt in integrity, I was always lost to other people’s version of what it was. And when I tried to be seductive and “succeeded “, it usually did not bring me joy because  I sensed that people wanted a projected version of me, one that was one dimensional and not really fully who I am.

And the thing is, I don’t always look that beautiful.  I am very blessed that I am an extremely photogenic woman and that I possess beauty. But in my regular life, I am often running around with no makeup, trying to get through my day, blending in with everyone else. Modeling served as an outlet for me to make art with my body, to express myself in a way that creates visual beauty.

But one thing I knew that day was that I meant it when I said I am not seductive for men right now, I am seductive for me. You see, I’ve been pulling my sensuality inward; I ‘ve been looking for the sacred union  within, because I was not finding joy in my unions in the outer world.

But it does make me think about the power of seduction. The word itself means a
means of seducing, which has several meanings: 1. To lead astray, 2. The persuade to have sexual intercourse, 3. To lead or draw away. 4. To win over, attract, entice.

The only option that I could align with was 4 – seduction is to win over, to attract, to entice.

Could seduction be positive? Could something in my pictures, in my honoring or celebration of beauty and sensuality win someone over to something good?

I feel most of my  growth path these days is the path to own my feminity, my deep female-ness,  to reclaim for myself  what I considered a shadow part of my sexuality, to bring light to any shame, guilt and to retrieve any part of myself that I had cast away.  I used to judge my sexiness, because I believed that somehow I was being “bad” by being sexy, which is actually me just being natural, and in touch with my body and sensuality.


Although I know that my “seductiveness” may be misinterpreted as a power trip, I also hold out the possibility that when someone looks at my pictures, they may be enticed to learn more about the complexity of women, or the sensuality of curves.  Maybe the seduction can be about the opening to beauty and the power of the female body to inspire.

And perhaps this kind of seduction is important because sometimes people don’t  want to listen to words but they can always be enticed look at bodies.

And perhaps it doesn’t matter what people think at all, what matters is what I think as I express myself in my pictures, because I can see my intentions when I see them.   And it’s the growth that I see in myself, in the way I look at myself now with my level of consciousness that matters.

Finally,  I have grown from a “reluctant” seductress to a “purposeful” one.

And it’s not about seduction at all, except perhaps an enticing invitation for others to embrace the Feminine.

May 31, 2016  Quynh Phuong Nguyen 

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What if Obstacles are Homeopathic?

darkness and light

What if every obstacle in our lives is actually the homeopathic substance that stimulates for us the deep healing our souls need to grow?

Homeopathy is based on the idea that “like cures like.” That is, if a substance causes a symptom in a healthy person, giving the person a very small amount of the same substance may cure the illness. In theory, a homeopathic dose enhances the body’s normal healing and self-regulatory processes.

If we saw obstacles as medicine , something that actually enhances our soul’s healing and self regulatory processes, how would we approach our obstacles?

A friend of mine admitted once that she had a pattern of falling for people who wasn’t “good for her”, who left her feeling lonely and unsupported.  She was down on herself about that.

I postulated that in every once of those circumstances, she was led closer and closer to her own truth, that in falling into these “destructive patterns” stimulated her to heal even deeper and feel even deeper the parts of herself that she had  previously hidden from herself.   Stuff that would have remained buried and therefore foundation-ally holding her back from a more fulfilled life,  now comes up to be resolved because it shows up in the “obstacle” of unfulfilling relationships.  As we conversed about her obstacle, she came to realize that there are ways she had been disconnected from knowing her own needs, areas in her psyche that were numb to feeling and therefore, there a disconnect in herself that prevented her from connecting with others in a way that could feel supportive.  It kept her from asking for what she needed from others ( since she couldn’t connect to certain needs) and it also kept her from discerning who could support her.    Basically something that appeared at first to be about others,  she now realizes has to do with her internal relationship with self.

Her obstacle led her to her deeper truths.  Basically,  challenge and pain awakens us to deeper truth because it cuts through the layer of avoidance and complacency that is so easy for humans to fall into.  With pain, there’s no longer the option to avoid parts of ourselves that are wounded, that are not whole. Everything that hurts us bring us to a clearer awareness of what is beneath the pain.  Some of us has to keep repeating a cycle of having the same obstacles, to  keep learning through pain and then burn through to the bottom of what the issue is really about, while others dive straight into pain and process it and come through the other side quickly .  We each have our individual patterns of how we grow.  There is no one way to grow.

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”  Anais Nin

When I attempt to explain to others my strategy for diving into the hardest obstacles and getting to the other side of growth, many people are aghast. When I say I run towards my patterns with eyes wide open, I’m often met with worried looks.    It can seem unintuitive and perhaps masochistic to head towards your difficulties, to do the things you’re not already good at doing, to run into the fire of transformation rather than away from it.   And yet, it’s what I have been doing for many years.   It assures for me, that I’m facing what I need to face, that I’m harnessing the gift of the obstacle in front of me, rather than repeatedly recreating that pattern in a new relationship , a new job or a new place of living.

Well, sometime I do take the easier path.  I run away from the obstacle, I hide or try to stay the same.   Sometimes I simply choose not to grow right now.  That’s OK too, it is always my choice.  I no longer see this as a right or a wrong choice, but simply a choice.  Every choice has a consequence.  There are multiple paths to get to our soul’s destinations and some of us are very creative travelers.

When I make the choice to face something that is difficult for me to face, it is a choice that can both exciting, overwhelming, and exhausting.

I would liken it to playing a video game and finally getting to the bonus level, it’s the most exciting  and exhausting place to be.  You keep playing, you keep “dying”, and then finally, you beat that level, completely exhausted and exhilarated.   It feels really good.  And then, of course, you’re on to another level.  It’s basically this way for the rest of your life 🙂 Once I figured out that the next level of challenge will always be there, I relaxed and gave myself time.  It isn’t about getting through each level as fast as I can anymore.  It’s about exploring the scenery, having fun, and yet inevitably every level has a “boss” or “monster” that you have to face.  If you don’t face it, often it stalks you ( just like in real life, your problems catch up to you ).   It often requires all your resources to face the “monster” and then, you get a reward animation that is full of happiness and elation once you defeat it.   And then I realized that the game is enhanced when you bring Love to everything.. Love of self, love of others,  self compassion and compassion that everyone around you is playing their own unique game of their soul’s design, and doing the best they can.   While it appears that we are playing the same game,  each person has their own very unique path and set of circumstances that their soul designed.   So Love isn’t about just getting what you need from each other ( because that is often an “obstacle”) ,  it is about accepting that you and the others are well, sacred mirrors that reflect and reveal what game you’re actually playing.  And everyone you meet is actually an ally in helping you get through your game and down to your soul’s true path, no matter how it feels at the time.

If we knew that we are all soul allies with one another,  would we be nicer to each other and love one another more?

Every obstacle I ever overcame was a lesson in perseverance and hard work.  The work of self understanding and taking responsibility for my self care.  Every obstacle taught me that facing what needs to be faced is ultimately better than running away because I learned more deeply about myself and had to access my inner resources in a deeper way in order to overcome the obstacle.

It’s not an accident that every hero’s journey has lots of obstacles that has to overcome, that every heroine faces some kind of test before she can come “home”, and get the reward whether it’s fortune, love, or spiritual wisdom.  Odysseus,  one of the most well know epic poems , written by Homer involves a man who journeys for ten years back home after the Trojan war.  Along the way, he meets people, fights monsters and learns much about himself before finally returning home to his loved ones.   His adventures and trials made him a deeper, wiser person.  He becomes a true hero through facing his trials.   In the myth of Psyche and Eros, Psyche must face a number of tests of the soul, designed by Aphrodite, the goddess of Love, before she can be reunited with her love, Eros.   Our myths and favorite stories, are based on overcoming “seemingly insurmountable” obstacles to burn away what is not the true self, and to sharpen and  then rise to the potential that every human soul carries inside.  Soul potential that awaits awakening. The Soul uses obstacles to wake us up.

Obstacles are homeopathic because they serve to deliver the healing the soul needs to evolve.

They are Life Medicine.

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