Author Archives: JoAnne Dodgson

Loving Everything

Loving Everything

When I moved away from my beloved mesas in Abiquiu, life felt turned inside out and upside down. Such a whirlwind of packing and unpacking, reorienting to a new place and time in my life. And nothing in the house seemed to quite work as it should. Much cleaning and repair were needed to create a healthy and comfortable living space. Exhausted and not feeling at home, I kept wondering if I could stay.

And then there was Jasmine, my four-legged friend, who simply loved everything about everything from the minute she jumped out of the car.

She joyfully followed trails of invisible scents, gathering up stories along the way. She barked with coyotes and befriended neighbors’ dogs. She walked out on the ice along the riverbank to find open water to drink. She curled up to rest in sun-warmed piles of dried cottonwood leaves.

There wasn’t a momentary pause in Jasmine’s passionate presence in her self, in her life, in her newfound place on the land.

I was spending my days washing walls and floors and fixtures. Cleaning up years of accumulated grime and dust. Clearing trash from the land. Clearing disharmonious energies from the house. Waiting for the repairman to finally show up. Sometimes I could laugh about the wild circumstances. Other times I got tripped up by discouragement and doubts.

Side by side with Jasmine’s boundless love of everything about everything, my complaints and distress became harder to justify. Jasmine’s enchantment with life so naturally flowed from inside her, shaping her relationship with the world all around her.

Such big love is not blind. Jasmine doesn’t allow just anyone or anything to step too far into her space. She intently investigates things close up – looking and smelling, listening and tasting, sensing the energies inside everything going on. Then she chooses what to engage with, what to move away from, what to tenaciously pursue, what to simply allow to pass by.

Not a hint of judgment. No fears or self-doubt. Just keen awareness and purposeful choices. Freedom and contentment. Boundless curiosity. A wide-open, all-encompassing embrace.

In the presence of such expansive love, it became clear that my frustration and stress were imprisoning, only serving to shut things down. Things like Joy. Creativity. Gratitude. And the freedom to see what actually exists in the here and now.

Like the river, just steps from my door. The eagles and cottonwood trees. The welcoming from the Land Spirits. The generous giving from friends. The beautiful mesa towering over the nearby tribal lands. All the spaciousness, the peacefulness, the quiet.

Loving everything about everything, Jasmine guided me back home. To my heart. To my happiness. To passionate enchantment with life. To my newfound place on the land.

Honoring everything about everything. Respecting everything about everything. Accepting everything about everything. Loving everything about everything.

It’s a dance. It’s the Song. Our co-creation. A natural rhythm. A beautiful way of life.


Remember the Power of Your Dreams

Remember the Power of Your Dreams

We are entering a new lunar cycle this week, our first New Moon in the new calendar year. Each of us, everyone in the vast web of life, is immersed in, surrounded by, sharing and shaping the new cycles. For us two-leggeds, the New Moon offers a powerful time to set intentions for new beginnings, to passionately vision and dream.

What do you really want? What do you really really want…for your life, for your family and community, for the earth, for all life?

“Your wants awaken your passions,” said Ka`Kao. “Your passions lead you to your dreams. Your dreams hold the remembering of what you love about life. Feel your aliveness. Feel the callings of your heart.” ~ from Spirit of Chocolate

So often we learn to tone down our dreams, to silence the passions of our very own hearts. We go into hiding. We work hard to avoid judgments. We try to outrun our fears. This is exhausting, stressful, and numbing.

In our new lunar cycle in the beginnings of our new year, how about giving yourself the gift of exploring this question: What do you really want?

And you can ask others the very same thing. And how would it feel to deeply listen and openly share, to honor the uniqueness of your own and others’ dreams?

Imagine the possibilities if we cultivate the skill of listening and perceiving with the eyes of the heart. This is one of my dreams.

Our dreams don’t exist in isolation. Our dreams are rooted in connection with ourselves and one another. Our dreams are found in our relationship with life itself. Every dream links the now and the future, weaving fibers of connection, building the bridge to the new.

Here’s a story from an experience I had over a decade ago. The wise ways of the plants who live in the high desert are still helping me remember, after all these years, the power of dreaming with awareness of our connectedness with all that is and all that will be.


Walking among the towering pines, I shared a gift offering with the spirits of the land to ask for their help. I had driven to the mountains to find some sage plants to harvest for ceremonies. I’m-looking-for-Sage became a silent chant, a drumbeat setting the rhythm for my explorations around the land. I found feathers. I listened to the ravens and watched vultures coast in the winds. I shared quiet companionship with rabbits and deer. I welcomed the sight of the ancient crumbling rocks, feeling embraced by the presence of my old friends. But Sage was nowhere to be found.

Late in the afternoon, I started hiking back to my car. My mind was consumed by distracting chatter. Had I come all this way only to return home empty-handed? I should have talked with an expert who really knows about plants. Am I just wandering around following my heart, aimlessly getting off track?

Slowed by the tugs of doubt and disappointment, I stopped and stood still in the middle of the path. I breathed in the pines. I felt the earth beneath my feet. I remembered what I had come here to do.

“I’m searching for Sage,” I said aloud to the trees. I took a few steps into the meadow. “And Sage is searching for me,” I said with a smile, playing around. But I loved the feeling of this new possibility: I’m looking for Sage and Sage is looking for me. Instinctively we now were joined in the hunt, both seeking and searching, reaching out to meet up.

I walked on through the meadow with renewed curiosity and intent. Something lying on the ground near a tree caught my attention – a collection of bones bleached white by the sun. I leaned in to have a closer look. There by my foot was a sage plant, graceful stems of tiny mint-green leaves reaching out in all directions, soaking up the sun. I glanced around and discovered yet another plant and then a whole cluster and then even more. Sage plants were flourishing in the meadow. How had I not seen them before?

Sage taught me something essential about manifesting: It’s a mutual thing. It’s embodied in connection. What we seek we will find when we know (without a doubt) that it too is seeking us – be it a plant or a friend or abundance or love. Manifesting is a birthing, a calling-into-existence, an intimate weaving of the choice and intent of everyone and everything involved.

Welcoming the New Year

Welcoming the New Year


I decided I could embrace all of it.
I could be accepting of every little bit.
The endings.
The beginnings.
The in-betweens.
All of life.
All of me.

~Thea, in Spirit of Chocolate

We had a magical ceremony in Taos to welcome the new year ~ a beautiful group of people, heartfelt questions and quests, and powerful healing and guidance from the spirits. 

Here are some gems to share with you. Soak in the medicines of these empowering gifts from the spirits. May this new year be a homecoming…to all that lives in your heart, naturally.

The dogs have something to say…

Awaken the Passion of Your Dreams


Horse Medicine: Natural Flow of Giving and Receiving

With the Eyes of the Heart

With the Eyes of the Heart

Manaole U Manaole. This is the traditional greeting among the tribal peoples who have lived the ways of Ka Ta See for tens of thousands of years.

Translating other languages to English is not always an easy task. Our language is filled with words that exude judgments, fear, separation, warring, better-thans and less-thans, worthiness of love or not.

The life-changing gift of encountering a traditional lineage and language that are rooted in a different existence is that our minds and hearts can expand beyond our blindspots. We become aware of things we’ve not been able to see before.

I’ve spent years pondering this seemingly simple greeting: manaole u manaole (prounounced: mana – oh – l – oo – mana – oh – l). The translation is: from my heart to the heart of the mother earth to your heart.

Words, like all sounds, radiate particular energies and vibrations. We shape this with our intent, with our inner experience as we think or speak. Can you feel the fullness of the weaving of connections in these words ~ manaole u manaole, from my heart to the heart of the mother earth to your heart ~ as you read or say them outloud?

I love imagining a whole tribe of people, generation after generation after generation, greeting each other in this way. What a beautiful way to say hello! What a beautiful way to relate! The natural, genuine connectedness among us is being acknowledged, respected, and woven together in everyday interactions and encounters.

This is so very different than a common greeting in our contemporary society: “How are you?” “I’m fine. How are you?” We’re talking in sound bytes with empty words. We’re not really asking. We’re not really listening. We say we’re fine when we’re not. We’re distracted and ready to rush onto the next thing. We’re pushing facades between us from the very beginning of the exchange.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

I’ve come to understand manaole u manaole not only as a greeting, not just something to say, but rather a way of life. There are extraordinary treasures and teachings inside these words. Here’s what I’ve been discovering:

Every relationship, every social interaction between you and me, between us and them, involves the mother earth too. We are inextricably woven together. Most of the time, we forget this. We ignore the beauty and vastness of how this really feels. We separate ourselves from this natural way of being that could inform every word we speak, every thought we think, every next action we take.

The traditional greeting, manaole u manaole, all by itself, can help us remember something fundamental about who we are, about our innate relatedness, about living in harmony with all life, with our mother earth.

You can experience and share heart to heart connection without speaking the words. Say the words on the inside. Feel your connectedness energetically through the everyday moments of your everyday life. From my heart to the heart of the mother earth to your heart. Start where this is easy ~ sharing a belly laugh with friends, admiring the sunset, playing with your child, on a walk with your dog. Then keep stretching into other experiences where the habits of judgment and disconnection more readily get triggered. Stuck in a traffic jam. Reading the headline news. Balancing the checkbook. Facing a challenge with your spouse. Stress about meeting a deadline at work. Sensing someone else’s judgment of you.

Awareness of the truth of your connectedness ~ with yourself, the earth, everyone, all life ~ opens the possibility to change the conversations, to feel and relate differently, to cultivate a safe space of respect, to find remedies that hadn’t been seen before. The old patterns that are infused with judgment or fear, the old webs of distractions and empty words, will start untangling and fall away if they’re not fed and rewoven, over and over again.

Connecting heart to heart does not mean that you condone violence or have to stay in a threatening situation. Reaching out from your heart, respecting the heart of all others, weaves a web of connection that is healing, transformational, and opens space for birthing something new. Manaole u manaole offers us a grounding cord, a way to remember our natural ability to see with the eyes of the heart. This centers us in a vast field of connectedness and creativity. Isolation and separation are misunderstandings and lies. When we are aware of our connectedness, the potentials and possibilities are boundless. The knowledge available to us ~ from within, from others, from the earth, from all life ~ is astounding. The choices we have are far beyond what we’ve even dared to dream.

We can share heart to heart connections with humans and many many others. Greet the sun in the morning. Say hello, manaole u manaole, to the land and the waters around your home. Honor the animals, birds and plants who live miles away as well as those in your home and backyard.

It can take just a moment. And imagine what would happen if we all took just a moment to connect heart to heart….we’d fill ourselves and the world with the power and beauty of everyone being loved, respected, and seen.

Seeing with the eyes of the heart opens up a universe of possibilities, a vast flow of creative energy and vision, beyond the habitual mode of judgment and fear, fight or flight. Change on the inside ripples out and touches all life. This is how we change our world.

Manaole U Manaole,
from my heart to the heart of the mother earth to your heart,


Spirit of Chocolate ♥️ my new book!

Spirit of Chocolate ♥️ my new book!

SPIRIT OF CHOCOLATE: A Woman’s Journey to the Rainforest in Search of Her Dreams

Spirit of Chocolate is a truly enchanting story…this book is a true gem!” – Sandra Ingerman, author of Soul Retrieval and Walking in Light

Spirit of Chocolate is a beautiful reminder of the sacredness in all things. From the opening words JoAnne Dodgson pulls you into a sacred journey that calls to your own heart.” – Rosalee de la Forêt, author of Alchemy of Herbs

Spirit of Chocolate is a lucid dream of vibrant color, magic and wisdom. Enter it, taste it and succumb to its alchemy.” – James O’Dea, author of The Conscious Activist


Spirit of Chocolate was inspired over ten years ago. Spending afternoons in a chocolate shop, writing stories and sipping spicy elixirs, ignited my passion for the heart-opening medicines of cacao (ka-KOW). I was compelled to learn more about the ancient traditions surrounding this sacred food. I was enchanted by the cacao tree and the seeds from which chocolate is made.

For years, the vision for this book has been held close in my heart, embraced by friends, and honored in ceremonial ways. The story has been simmering, shifting, deepening over time, and finally is ready to be shared.

Spirit of Chocolate weaves together many passions in my life – my love for stories, for our Mother Earth, for ancestral traditions, for dreaming new dreams, and for personal healing that transforms our lives and our world.

I invite you to join me in this journey through the rainforest. Flourish in the beauty of the tree frogs, the mystery of the jaguar, the passion of Thea’s spiritual quest, the wisdom of the Old Woman, and the gifts shared so generously by Ka`Kao.

May Spirit of Chocolate carry you home to your heart and to the awakening of harmony in your life and on our earth.

Order Spirit of Chocolate here! ♥️ I’m so excited to share the story with you.

Manaole U Manaole,
from my heart to the heart of the mother earth to your heart,

Gifts of Gratitude

Gifts of Gratitude

These sacred bundles of corn are being shared with gratitude for your presence in my life.

May the medicines of Grandmother Corn ~ her nourishment and abundance ~ touch your heart and ripple out beyond into our world.

Manaole U Manaole, from my heart to the heart of the mother earth to your heart,


Unleashing Love

A Gift For You!

A Gift For You!

Sign up for my newsletter and join me in creating a heart-centered world.   As a welcome gift I will send you a copy of my eBook Unleashing Love: Medicine Stories to Feed your Spirit and Awaken Your Heart.

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