Soul Food for 2020

The past few weeks have literally been a blur. Like the crocus, I feel like I am just now emerging from a dark space. I’m hungry for some light, ready to stretch up again, and even craving a little soul food.

One of my annual rituals is to indulge in My Word Goddess Reading offered by Dr. Amy Palko. Amy works with hundreds of people around the world to discover their goddess guide for the year. As she describes it, “the practice of connecting with a goddess to accompany you through the year as your guide, your witness, your cheerleader, your coach, is an exceptionally potent one. Not only can she shine lights in dark places, bring delicious self-awareness and inspire you to dive deep in the ocean of self-love, she can also attract your attention to certain themes.”

Iduna, Goddess of Soul Food is the goddess that stepped forward for me in 2020. According to Amy, “Iduna is the keeper of the apples, the goddess of Avalon. Apples were considered to be the sacred fruit which had the capacity to hold the soul as it transitioned from one realm to another. They were thought to be one of the routes of inspiration – as one person shares their wisdom, their perception, their knowing with another, it was the soul medicine that the other person needed to unlock their own wisdom, their own knowing, their own way of seeing the world.” Inspired by Iduna, my intent for 2020 is to flourish.

Amy’s story is an interesting one. Her biography notes that after completing her undergraduate and masters degree at Stirling University in Scotland, Amy began teaching undergraduate students while working on her PhD in 2005. Since 2011, Amy has grown a vibrant and multi-faceted on line business which is dedicated to supporting women to consciously cross the thresholds of their own becoming through her intuitive readings , her myth writing, her poetry and art. She works with goddess archetype of ancient myth, taking a Jungian approach that invites both an embracing of the shadow and an embodying of personal truth. (Learn more about her latest offerings here).

I connected to Amy’s work just after stepping away from a corporate role and stepping into the world of equine-assisted learning in 2014. Getting out of my head and distancing myself from more ‘masculine’, analytic ways of being, I was hungry for my own source of soul food. To work effectively with horses while supporting clients on their journey of self-discovery, I needed to be open to and embrace my own more intuitive ways of working. I needed to listen to my senses and quiet the chatter in my mind. I engaged in Amy’s on-line programs and found that her language and her experience spoke to me. My daughter, Sarah, and I also had a chance to connect with Amy in person for a special Goddess reading while on our trip to Scotland a few years ago for Sarah’s 25th birthday. Amy’s work is one of many sources that informs our equine experiences and workshop offerings.

Amy’s creative work inspires me. She is authentic and real. As she notes in her biography, she “shares things that other people keep hidden.” She shares what is locked inside her to unlock what is inside of others. I am only now just learning to share from this place, with small steps, addressing my hidden fears of rejection and of looking stupid. The heart of everything Amy does is about fostering self-acceptance and empathy for others. Often the biggest challenge is accepting our individual uniqueness as strength. My soul food is self-empathy and self-acceptance. Sometimes I crave it.

Is it possible to flourish in 2020? Yes and as I start to look up and around again, what I am witnessing are stories of hope, courage and resilience emerging as people step up and respond to forces that are beyond their control. I am inspired by the many first responders, health care workers and many others who are generously showing up to support us all in our time of greatest vulnerability and need. They too are feeding our souls.

As I walk around the farm, I’m also nurtured and reassured by the promise of our natural world returning each year in the season of Spring with the hope and possibility of renewed growth. Daffodils, tulips and crocus are starting to show up again, pushing their way beyond the weight of the earth. Geese have returned in their V formation – an invitation to be open to new possibilities. Robins invite us to sing our own song to bring new growth. Other spring birds soothe us and lift our spirits with soul-soothing sweet song. Horses are shedding and there is heightened energy in the field. Now is the time to plant your seeds, feed your roots and appreciate the sun again. Life is a cycle and this too shall pass.

What does Iduna want you to know at this time? How can you feed your own soul? What is the wisdom that you can share with another that can be their soul medicine to unlock their way of seeing the world? What or who inspires you and how can you flourish in 2020?

About the Author: Jennifer Garland is the Owner/Program Director of The Mane Intent, offering Health and Wellness Workshops and Individual and Team Effectiveness Coaching. Jennifer’s intent is to bring horses, donkeys and humans together to explore new possibilities and find new meaning in lived experience. Learn more about Jennifer’s corporate experience, lectures, awards and publications,  here.

Learn more at 705-295-6618 or contact

The Mane Intent

April 20, 2020

Other Recent Posts…

Goodbye Sunny

Goodbye Sunny

We said goodbye to Sunny on December 17, 2023 after he tragically broke his front leg. There was no recovering from his injury and the only option was to release him from his suffering. I lost a piece of my heart that morning. Sunny stepped into my life as I...

2024 Theme: Embodied Confidence

2024 Theme: Embodied Confidence

One New Year's ritual I've embraced over time is choosing a word or phrase for the year ahead. This word becomes an intention and a reminder of what matters to me right now...and is often easier to remember than a long list of resolutions!  This year, I'm choosing two...