Sestina of a Dancer

for Susan


painful mirror

your body

is my departure

i watch you dance

as light

pours into a glass


flawless as glass

terrible mirror

woman of light

this body


our departure


that even now departs

as brightness from the glass

a shadow dance

across the mirror

of your body

fractile as light


and turning in the light

that already departs

your body

a thin glass


the dance


of shadows dancing

with light

falling in mirrors

of arrival and departure

on the glass

wall of our bodies


this body


fractures as glass

filled with too much light

i watch your departure

in the mirror


a body of light

in this departing dance

as the mirror turns clear glass


—Maxima Kahn, first published in Rattlesnake Review

The Heart

Impossible organ,

beating and pumping our blood river

to some unknown sea.


It doesn’t take much, a small glitch

in the inevitable rhythm,

weatherbreak, wind-howl

and we are set adrift.


We long for order,

but the heart

with its incessant

thump-thump   thump-thump

has its own music, its own reasons,

if you can call them that.


Today the sun rises gold as it always does,

washes the buildings across the way with autumnal light,

and as the squalling of birds mingles with the morning traffic,

the heart wakes too into its own song,

its own colors and weathers,


the way the wind

animates the leaves outside the window,

the way red catches the eye.

—© Maxima Kahn

Published in the Nevada County Poetry Series Anthology and in Sacred Fire Magazine


The Fifth Helpful Spirit: Play!

The Fifth Helpful Spirit: Play!

Oh my gosh, if you know me at all, you know that this spirit is the nearest and dearest to my heart. I’m on a life mission to get everyone playing again, rediscovering the immense value and gifts of play. It’s my dream to get the world leaders to take off their shoes and watches and roll around and play with finger paints and so on. And it’s my dream that we all have permission and time to truly play, be silly, have fun, take risks, experiment, collaborate, fall down, make messes.

So, last but not least, the spirit of Play reminds us not to take ourselves and our path of dreams so seriously, to hold it all lightly and with joy, curiosity and wonder, as the mystery of our Life unfolds and our Dreams reveal the secret gifts they hold for us.

We need to be able to fall down, make mistakes, look silly on the path to our Dreams, so the spirit of Play is a big help here, letting us also play dress up and try on new selves.

Bringing in Play helps us to use our Imaginations and Enthusiasm, keeps us open and available (Invitation) and makes space for Inspiration to strike, so Play is a powerful helper spirit on the path of Dreams, bringing in all the other spirits. And it certainly makes the journey more fun!

Think of a dream you have for your life or one you are working towards. How can you play towards it instead? How could you bring the spirit of Play in, more lightness, more openness, more wonder, more ridiculousness? How could you allow the child self, with its extraordinary wisdom and grace, to guide you toward your Dream? How could you let the path become fun, instead of heavy, hard work, serious, difficult?

Even if you don’t know the answers to those questions yet, just asking them with a spirit of wonder and openness will help invite Play to be present. Ask the spirit of Play as if it were an angel or guide these questions and listen for the answers or draw them with crayon or dance them. Then tell me what you got. I’d love to hear from you.

To your playful, joyful life, maxima

The The Fourth Helpful Spirit: Inspiration

The The Fourth Helpful Spirit: Inspiration

So far we have been introduced to the helpful spirits of Invitation, Imagination and Enthusiasm. I’d love to hear what opens up for you in playing with these towards your dreams. How do things shift? What do you discover? Email me and let me know.

With the spirit of Inspiration, you allow yourself to breathe in Spirit–that’s what inspiration literally means–you breathe in the Life Force, you breathe in guidance, and light your way to your Dream with inspired vision and feeling.

So, begin just by breathing more deeply, letting yourself connect to that wind, that spirit, that breath that wants to enliven you, breathe through you. Let go and get curious and open to what’s most alive in you now.

Inspiration is about connecting to the force and field of all life and tapping into that powerful feeling of being inspired about your Dream. This is where you let the dream come to you, the dream that’s already living inside of you wanting to be expressed through you, and you let the contours of that dream, the feeling of living it, the details come to you. You don’t try to force them or make them up. You breathe them in from the infinite field of all life to which you are intimately connected, so that you feel lit up from within, you feel excited and illuminated, you feel inspired.

To cultivate the helpful spirit of Inspiration, you need to relax. So, as I said, it helps to start by taking some deep breaths, let yourself find a comfortable position for your body, a comfortable place to be, and close your eyes. Let go of trying to control your reality for a few minutes, let go of needing to know the “how” of making your dream come true. Open yourself to the wind that blows, the spirit moving through you. Listen, feel, touch that spirit. What wants to born in you now? What lights you up when you think of it?

If nothing comes, try going out to a windy spot and sit in the wind and just open to it. Ask the wind for help connecting to your most inspired self and to what wants to come through you now. But you have to be willing to let go of the obsession with “how.” That will come later.

The continued feeling of Inspiration is important on the path to your dream, so you know that the Dream is one that lights you up and feels right and true and good and doesn’t become a “should” dream or a drudgery somewhere along the way. Keep tapping in to that open-minded, open-hearted place, willing to receive new inspiration, information, guidance, feeling, support. Let me know how it goes.

I’m standing for the fulfillment of your heartfelt dreams, maxima

The Third Helpful Spirit: Enthusiasm

The Third Helpful Spirit: Enthusiasm

Enthusiam is an essential feeling to keep making contact with on the path to living our Dreams. Enthusiasm comes from Greek words meaning “the God within” (En-theos), or you could think of it as that essential Divine spark in each of us. When we feel enthusiastic toward our Dreams, we are literally inspired (spirit within). We light up, we have energy, we have bright ideas, and we move with much greater ease and joy through the obstacles and challenges to our Dreams. We are guided by our innate inner spark towards the life that is right for us, the life that deeply fulfills us and lets us give our gifts and find our  native joy. And, our enthusiasm is contagious and inspires others to help us and join us, to support us in our Dreams.

If you’ve lost that spark of Enthusiasm for whatever your heart desires, it’s time to re-kindle it or else choose a new dream to follow. One way to re-kindle it is to ask your heart or your deepest self: “Why is this Dream important to me? What will it give me? How will it benefit me? Who will I be being inside the fulfillment of this dream? What will it give to others? How will it contribute to our world?”

Ask your heart and listen deeply for the answers. Close your eyes and see/feel/hear with as many senses and as vividly as possible the answers to these questions. Be patient and trusting of whatever comes. Connect with what I call the “deep why” of your dream.

You may need to go several levels with this, asking of the first response you get, “and why is that important to me?” and continuing to delve deeper to the deepest why, the deepest most heart-connected motivation for your Dream. When you find that, you will either find your natural, unstoppable enthusiasm, or you will find this dream is not really for you–it doesn’t light you up.

In that case, maybe it was someone else’s dream for you, or what you thought you needed or should want, and you don’t need it any more. Phew! Now you’re free to find what you are really called to. If you don’t know what Life is calling you to, I encourage you to join me for The Artist’s Way and discover for yourself. Even if you’ve done the course before, it may be time to go to the next level of discovery.

To your beautiful enthusiasm and spark,


The Second Helpful Spirit: Imagination

The Second Helpful Spirit: Imagination

With the spirit of Imagination, you make use of your natural, brilliant, creative imagination (that we all have) to help light the way, inspire you, and call forth what you dream for your life.

Using visualization, writing, dancing the dream, collage, vocalization, and any other creative expressions, you bring the dream to life vividly, using all of your senses.

And you don’t just do this once or twice; you keep using your imagination all along the way to imagine the Dream fully realized in your life, to imagine the steps to your Dream, to imagine who you need to be being inside the fulfillment of your Dream.

This pre-paves the way for the Dream to manifest and helps guide you to right action and to the right Dreams themselves. If you cannot vividly imagine the fulfillment of your Dream, it is either not a heartfelt Dream, not right for you, or there is a block inside that needs releasing–so, this is important to know!

Your imagination will supply you with helpful and surprising information, steps to take you might not have dreamed, changes of direction, and healing that needs to happen. It also helps bring your body, mind, heart and spirit into alignment with the Dream. Using your imagination is one of the most powerful tools for Dream creation, and it’s uplifting and fun!

What have you found is a helpful spirit in creating your Dreams?

The First Helpful Spirit: Invitation

The First Helpful Spirit: Invitation

With the spirit of Invitation, you invite your Dream to come to you, to be realized in your life.

You invite support, resources, guidance, people, openings to appear as you need them. You open to receive.

You cultivate the spirit of invitation by becoming inviting and welcoming to the Dream and to Life. You consciously welcome it in, instead of unconsciously holding it at bay with your doubts, fears and false beliefs (These will be there, but you keep cultivating and choosing to be invitational to the Dream). You make a soft spot for your Dream to land in your life.

You allow the path to show you the way and you allow it to be as easeful as it can, not needing to make it hard to prove your false beliefs are true. You don’t fight with the Dream nor fight your way to the Dream. You don’t idolize suffering and hard work. But you also don’t abandon the Dream, expecting Life to do all the work. You stay committed, open and inviting, connected, receptive, welcoming, excited to see it manifest and committed to staying in action toward the Dream, doing your part.

Imagine holding a party for your Dream and inviting it to show up. Imagine inviting all the beings and things you also need for the Dream to show up too. Allow yourself to be in partnership with Life in co-creating your Dreams.

How could you be more invitational to that which you desire now? Write me and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to hear what opens up for you in cultivating the spirit of Invitation.

love, maxima

The 5 Helpful Spirits

The 5 Helpful Spirits

I’m going to share with you something I haven’t shared before, the Five Helpful Spirits that I have identified really help you to co-create your life dreams with greater ease and grace and fun. I think of them as magical spirits, but you  might also call them qualities, attitudes, approaches.

Here’s the thing: If you really long for something in your heart, if your spirit feels called to something, then there are going to be challenges on the path to actually having/being/living that Dream. It’s a hero’s or heroine’s journey. So, it’s wise to have some helpful spirits accompany you. Aren’t there always helpers that show up in any good fairytale or hero’s quest?

I’m going to share the spirits with you one at a time in my upcoming emails. We’ll start with the first spirit, the spirit of Invitation. See my next post to begin meeting the Helpful Spirits. . .

Summer of Love

Summer of Love

As far as I’m concerned, every summer can be a summer of love. Love is what we are, and in essence, what all things are. When we tap that place of love within us, that deep wisdom of the heart, that all-knowingness, life flows with so much more grace and ease, miracles occur frequently, gratitude wells up, and we have the feeling of being in the flow.

But, we often need reminders to bring us back to that innate being, knowing, bliss that we are. Friends, helpful practices, teachers, sources of inspiration, helpers on the way can all be profoundly useful in coming back to the love we are. We need these reminders because contemporary life is so often bombarding us with false messages of lack, fear, not enough, worry and woe.

Every moment we have a choice. The more we choose love and the deep knowing within, the more we practice living from our hearts, the stronger those “muscles” get, so that becomes our habitual way of being.

What reminders do you have in your life that help you return again and again to that truth, that essence? What keeps you aligned with what you love, what matters to you? What helps you believe in the beauty of your dreams?

You might want to make a list and post that list somewhere where you see it often. What brings you joy? What connects you to your heart, your truth? Who or what brings you back to love?

Then, how can you be sure to have one or more of those things in this day and every day?

If you’re tempted to say, but I have no time! Ask yourself, what is really more important than this?

Share with me below some of the things that bring you back into connection with your heart, your joy, your essence.

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun”
Pablo Picasso



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