One of my go-to sources for inspiration and enlightenment is Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in particular her audiobook, Mother Night. During a recent listen, I heard Dr. Estes speak about “muddy angels.” Muddy angels are messy and can be somewhat disorganized. They are not pristine or perfect, and yet, they are deeply connected to the unseen world. Muddy angels are of the earth, and consequently, are not afraid to get dirty as they bring the messages from the unseen world into the mundane world. 

I suspect each one of us has witnessed a muddy angel in action. These angels are the people and animals who show up for others at the right moment. The stranger who ran next to me and talked me up the steep hill in the last leg of the race. My faithful yellow lab who would not leave my side as I labored with my first child. The man at the train station who showed us which train to board to get to the airport on time. 

Sometimes I do not see or know who the muddy angel is. Like the person who found my son’s wallet and returned it without taking any money or credit cards or the person who left food in the Little Free Pantry. 

Muddy angels do not always know when they are being angelic. In fact if you were to suggest to muddy angels that they are being angelic, they most likely will disagree or downplay their impact. I think this is why I like them so much: they are so down-to-earth. I never feel less than or condescended to when I am in the presence of a muddy angel, rather I feel loved and supported. 

I recently attended a parent’s panel during a college orientation for my youngest son. One of the parents on the panel offered the following advice: “Give your student grace and space as they navigate their first year of college. Your student is not you and they will not do things or approach things the same way that you would. Give them a chance to figure out what is best for them and be there for them when they make a mistake.” 

That parent in a moment of angelic intervention was inviting each parent in the room to be a muddy angel for their student. To let go of perfectionism, both for the student but also for the self, and to tune into the unseen and the unspoken needs which arise when mistakes are made and when one is not sure what decision to make. 

Muddy angels do not give advice. Instead they offer encouragement and tools to navigate indecision, challenges, and pain. Muddy angels act from a place of generosity and do not expect recognition or reimbursement. They give from a place of kindness and compassion without any strings attached. 

One other important note about muddy angels: they are not saints. They don’t always give freely or act kindly. In other words, muddy angels are also humans who think judgy thoughts and behave badly. Muddy angels are us. They are people who are challenged and struggle and they are people who have moments of brilliance and show up with and for love. 

I want to thank each muddy angel, who heard my plea for help, and immediately donated money and food to the Little Free Pantry. I was touched by how much and how quickly people came forward to help. Within five days, I received $360 in monetary donations and that does not include the people who brought food. Thank you!

Next week I will be out of the office attending a training at the Somatic Nature Connection Institute in Colorado. I will be without internet or cell phone service, so please know that I am not ignoring you and will be in touch upon my return. I will be back in time for the Shakti Summer Solstice Celebration and look forward to celebrating the new season and the new schedule with you then. 

Thank you to the muddy angels who are ensuring the running of Shakti in the Mountains in my absence! Wishing everyone a wonderful week!


Kim Bushore-Maki

Lesley Vernon

Thank you Lesley for another informative and inspiring workshop! I love your holistic approach to health.

Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where people could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.

Kim is a licensed professional counselor and a yoga teacher. She completed the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy program as well as the Shake Your Soul Yoga Dance program. Kim is very interested in somatic expressive therapy, archetypal psychology, gardening, herbalism, astrology, wisdom traditions, and regenerative economics.

Kim continues to build and to support inclusive, vibrant communities. She spends most of her time mentoring leaders, guiding healing programs, and providing mental health counseling.

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