Spiritual Hiking Boots

I know what my end goal is related to holding healing space for others; retreats.

Healing for me has happened a few ways; writing, individual therapy sessions for processing and accountability, art/creating, body work, and in community on retreats (where all of the other healing practices come together).

This is how I heal, this is how I know how to hold space for healing. I will get the license and start my practice and in time I will offer groups and retreats.

I have always known that my retreats will be collaborative. That feels important, healing in community. I have a friend, a fellow healer, who I have talked to about this more than once because I know she is meant to be at least one person that I hold the retreats with, and today that message of certainty was confirmed. Her light is on and she is finding her path.

I love that our lights came on at the same time. Our paths look different and her end goal may look different than my own but I do feel certain that we will hold some space for community healing together and I am so excited about that. I am excited it is her, I want it to be her.

I am grateful for my many knowings. I am grateful that I listen to them. I am grateful for the path. I am grateful that my boots are on and I know I am ready.

Welcoming Connection, Joy, and Growth

I am feeling a deep sense of connection and joy on the other side of our family road trip. Life feels easier. Nothing has changed but my perspective, but perspective can make the difference.

When we got home I took a few days to get clear with myself on what I want and what I do not want to do and feel going forward. When the clarity came, so did the follow through.

There have been changes in our routines that prioritize family time while honoring individual needs as well. Little bubby is getting a bigger say in his routines now that his little voice can be used to self-advocate for his needs. Even Lu dog is in on the changes. Every weekend morning we go outside to the meadow next to our home and play as a family in the grass while watching the sunrise together. Lu gets to play off leash, little bubby has the best time chasing her.

Another change came with my decision to once again walk away from social media. The last time I broke away lasted 5 years. I do not know what this break will look like, here is what I do know; it served its purpose and it was time to go. I rejoined social media as a way to practice allowing myself to be seen as a healer, artist, and mother – three areas of my life that I hold deeply sacred AND that were shadowed by shame. I am grateful to Instagram and those who supported me on the platform. I am standing outside of those shadows now and I know it is time to move on.

Moving on means shifting focus to the here and now of my life which is motherhood, healing, and building a home.

We are in the beginning stages of building our forever home, hoping to be completed this time next year. In my healing space I see my next goal set out and am excited to do the work to meet it head on. And motherhood..

I am in such a sweet spot with Motherhood right now. I love our routine. All day it is me and him and I am so in love and so filled up. I have a super snuggly little boy and it breaks my heart with sweetness. I love the nature adventures, and the art, and the dancing to Motown, and the cooking together, and the reading stories, and bath time, and playing dinosaur chase, and ALL of it.

There have been times when Motherhood has been hard, and bittersweet, and overwhelming. This is not any of those times. This is the time of full on joy and I am bathing myself thoroughly in it because I know it is a season, like every season before it has been, and it will change. The sweetness will be there still, but the AND will return. There is no AND right now, just sweetness and I welcome the bellyache and cavities, bring it on, bring on ALL the sweet my little Mother body can take.

I feel the pull to maybe start writing here more again. There are a few big projects that are in pregnancy stages and I am feeling the need to process as I prepare for their birth. I will sit with my feelings and write as I feel called to.

I am grateful for the trip and how the space and time helped me.

Compassion Over Division

The last thing I want to say, with Love, has to do with a choice we can all be making right now, compassion.

As our country nears voting day, as people are still dying everyday from a global pandemic, and fear is spreading as quickly and deadly as the disease, please remember compassion is always a choice.

Self-compassion, compassion for those around you who are in their struggle, compassion for those with whom you have differing values and ideals, compassion for our leaders, compassion for the suffering of the world’s people.

Start with yourself, give yourself grace, then pour from that well as far out as you feel you can go without emptying your vessel. Always start with yourself and your vessel’s capacity for compassion will grow.

I can hold my Truth Sacred and Love those whose Truth differs. This will always be true as long as I am holding myself sacred in Love first.

She was Love

Over the summer I read The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd. After reading it I immediately exclaimed to a close friend who has also read it that this book was a top three favorite for me. Now that time has gone by, and I continue to reflect regularly on the story, I cannot think of one book that has impacted me as deeply as this one.

Towards the beginning of the story the main character is communing with Source using a divination bowl. In her prayer she expresses that after she returns to ash she wants people to stand over her bones and say She was a Voice.

My insides vibrated with this longing, with my own similar truth of longing.

When I return to ash I want those who knew me to stand over my bones and say She was Love.

It is not about being known, it is about knowing you came with a message and feeling the urgency and sacredness of this purpose. It is choosing to live your life intentionally from this purpose so when your breath leaves you there is nothing more to say than She was this, whatever this is for you.

Living in line with your soul’s purpose is an intentional practice. It takes intention and practice.

I want to walk, talk, eat, breathe, feel, share, create LOVE. It takes intention and practice.

Walking on this earth with Love. Intentionally choosing gentleness and compassion, takes practice.
Talking from a space of Love. Intentionally choosing listening over speaking, compassion over curt, responding over reacting, takes practice.
Eating with Love. Intentionally choosing to Love my body, my holy vessel, with nourishment and without judgment, takes practice.
Breathing Love. Intentionally choosing quiet inner connection to Self and Source over the noise and distraction of the outside, takes practice.
Feeling Love. Intentionally choosing to bathe in my own internal well of Love, takes practice.
Sharing Love. Intentionally choosing to share from my well with others without feelings of scarcity, takes practice.
Creating from a space of deep Love. Intentionally choosing creation and Love over destruction and fear, takes practice.

When my little parts were exposed to religion, the place where I found peace was in the music. I still love many of the hymns I grew up listening to in church. As I wrote the last part of this post one of those songs started playing in my ears;

I who made the stars of night
I will make their darkness bright
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night
I will go, Lord
If You lead me
I will hold Your people in my heart

And I Will Bolt the Door

I am feeling a deep yearning to go within. Not in a self-isolating way, in a spiritual shift way.

The pandemic has brought with it an aspect of social isolation which is why when I started to feel this pull it surprised me. The thing is though, since the start of the pandemic, I have had nearly no time alone, truly alone.

Our family routines and individual routines have been impacted which has resulted in lots more time together. I have enjoyed this, we all have, it is part of what we count in our gratitude. AND without my conscious awareness it has led to a level of disconnection for me.

I think of some of my favorite authors, Harper Lee and J.D. Salinger, what I love about them is not only their masterful work, but the fact that they were both hermits. J.D. Salinger would talk about locking himself away with his books and coffee and bolting the door on the society. I get it, on a soul level I get it.

I know from experience sometimes the biggest moments of brilliance or stunning clarity come after turning the volume on the outside all the way down. This is part of where I am experiencing disconnection.

This act of quiet solitude is spiritual. When the outside is turned off I am hear nothing but my own voice and the Mother. I am missing my voice. The one who knows and shares this knowing through writing and art and communing with the Mother. I miss the connection to Divine Wisdom. I need quiet, I need me.

My family is planning a trip to see my husband’s parents. I know that this will allow for so much time alone, or mostly alone, with the Mother and my thoughts. Traveling with a toddler means lots of stops, traveling during Covid means these stops will be nature heavy to avoid crowds.

I see myself there on a trail I have never stood on, my feet unbound in the dirt and leaves, my channel open. I see Divine energy flowing through me and out. I am ready to shift and connect and Love.

A Light Within

Tonight as I was laying in bed with the lights out my brain started doing that thing that our brains sometimes do; it started taking me back to all the painful memories of people I have hurt prior to, and during, my healing.

It was my critic. The one inside that has an internalized voice who does not sound like me. The one who tries to control me with false stories and shame. The one understands that the more I come home to my truth of Love, the less power he/she/they/it/whatever has.

So I need to take a moment and be in Love because I know I have a choice here, and I choose Love over shame.

Here are some truths:

I am sad. I am sad that I am not in a relationship with my brother. There is a part of me that has not fully let go of him yet, she is little and hopeful and everyday that things remain the same she feels crushed. I am sad and I am grieving and I am not choosing my grief. I am choosing the crush. I do not want to be crushed, I want to be True.

I know that one day my brother is no longer going to be here and those few years in the middle when his hands were no longer on my body and we ignored the Truth of what happened between us, that was all the time we got. I grieve what we never had. That is what crushes me.

That is what crushes me with my entire family. Never feeling Loved and Accepted for all that I am, as I came here. I see their efforts, I know they all want so badly to Love me, I also know what Love feels like now and what they offer is not that.

That little one, the one who is crushed, the one with hope, the one who is not ready to let go. She believes in their capacity to Love. She believes in living beings capacity to Love.

Am I cynical when I sit in my knowing that their are people here in this lifetime who will not get there? Who will not do the work of untangling and connection in order to get back to Divine Love. Am I judging? Am I judging them for it? All the while knowing we all come here to be who we are meant to be and that is enough?

How could I ever judge my brother for how he is showing up in the world, for the role he played in my life during this lifetime, when I know what our story is? When I know the Divine Why of it all.

Any judgment I project out is my own to hold. Am I not seeing myself worthy enough of safety and Love? Am I not valuing my holiness? Am I valuing the scraps of love on the outside, which is not Love as I know it, over my own Love of Self? Am I not enough for me?

I have been valuing outside of myself this year which I am seeing now has caused me to feel lost at times and disconnected. I see it now and there is no judgement for it, just a plan for tenderness as I come home to myself and reconnect with my Truth and Love.

More Truth:

I was scared. In every instance of hurt I caused I was scared. Even when I was puffing up my chest and attempting to take up space. Even when my voice was loud and my energy all consuming. Even when I was the most fearsome storm, powerful and intimidating. I was small and I was afraid.

I was projecting that fear out. I was projecting the pain behind the fear out. I was giving it to another to hold. It is mine and now as I recognize that I reach out to each of you energetically and untangle myself from those moments. I take my pain back, for me to hold, for me to comfort and tend to and Love.

I send each of you Love. I loved each of you, lower case ā€œlā€, which means I was not loving myself well and unable to share love with you that you deserved. I know that I loved you though because I would have never allowed you so close to my flame of my pain if this was not true. I leave you to tend to your wounds, to apply the healing salve of Love as only you are able to. I am asking my little one to come inside now, to direct her light of hope inward and forward instead of outward and back. Me turning my light off to you does not mean I have stopped loving you, it just means I have started Loving me.

So let the grief come as it will, and with it I save space to rejoice. There is both joy and grief in this process of Love.

On the Other Side of Risk

A few weeks ago I began selling my art. I opened an online shop, I started marketing myself more online, and in general stepped into my identity as an artist more fully and truly than I have ever allowed myself before.

That last part is important because it is the key to the door we all want opened.

If you want to live the life you dream of, you have to give yourself permission.

I have always been an artist. I disconnected from this part of myself after shame and sorrow took up semi-permanent residence for a few years. Creating, expressing my emotions, joy.. There was just no room for it. My light was dimmed and shadow was Queen.

Once reconnected with Self through giving myself permission to grieve, and rage, and wash myself free of my own self-judgment, there was room again for creativity and play.

Even still, it was years, 5 to be exact, before I finally felt grounded enough in Truth and Love to step fully into the light and share my purpose; art. Well, Love and Art that manifests as healing art.

Now that I have walked through that door, Love and Joy abound. I have started creating even more art that I am doubly excited about because I am experimenting in new ways, ways I had previously told myself I had no skill for. What I learned is, when I am trusting and believing in myself, I can do everything I want to do.

Last year I confided in my husband that I wanted to pursue my art more intentionally. So I created and created and created and when it was time to share it with the world I did the work and found my space. Today I told my husband I want to stand next to my art and talk with the people purchasing it, I want to make connections through my art. So now I am doing the work to find my space inside of local art festivals. I also understand that I want to hold more space for healing in community through art, I talked to my husband about this and now I am meditating on the idea of creating art workshops and retreats.

Discussing my dreams with my husband has always been an important part of the process because it is how I let the Universe know I am ready!

I will have a vision of where I am going next after I have accomplished a healing goal. I will sit with this vision for months, feeling everything I need to feel about it, trying it on for size, making sure it fits. When I finally share my vision with my husband, that is when I know I am ready to receive all of the divine support needed to give birth to my vision and create my reality.

Again, the KEY to this life I want, the KEY to meeting each goal I set for myself, is permission. My own.

When creating my vision of making and selling art;

I gave myself permission to take my time.
I gave myself permission to take breaks and rest.
I gave myself permission to experiment, and fiddle, and tweak, to make mistakes and start over.
I gave myself permission to act when inspired and step back when unsure.
I gave myself a whole lot of permission to be seen and take up space in ways I had been afraid to before.
I gave myself permission to stand in my identity as an artist long before I felt fully sure of its Truth.
I gave myself permission to be misunderstood.
I gave myself permission to take a risk on myself.
I gave myself permission to be scared and experience doubt.
I gave myself permission to hold sacred loving space for my inner critic.
I gave myself permission to follow my intuition and do every single (wackadoo risky) thing that felt right.
I gave myself permission to ask for help.
I gave myself permission to play and be silly and share that joy openly.
I gave myself permission to be True.

On the other side of the risk taken and the permission given is abundance. Abundance in the form of courage, Love, joy, deeper connection to Self, creativity, inspiration (so much inspiration), and lightness.. a feeling of lightness I have never experienced. An unburdening took place in this process that I was not even aware of and I am grateful for it.

Now that I have spoken my Truth out loud and shared my vision for what comes next, I know the Universe is working in my favor. I know when the Universe knocks on my door with opportunity it will find my door open and me walking through it with a jubilant YES!! on my lips. Yes Universe, I am home, and I am ready for all the greatness and beauty you have in store.

My Mother Did My Hair

Once I sat in a room with other women, all of us gathered together to heal our hurts. I told of a time I felt disconnected from my body, it was a small thing but it mattered. As a child, I shared, my mother did my hair. Whether I liked it or not, my mother did my hair. Often, I did not.

I would run from her, my hair wet from the bath, I would see her with comb in hand and hide behind the mustard yellow easy chair in the corner of the living-room. I did not like the scrape against my scalp. I did not like the pull and tug of the braid being placed. I did not like the patience it required to sit and endure.

I shared the words I remember falling from her mouth when my mother did my hair; rats nest, tangles. I took these for slights. They made me no more willing a participant when my mother did my hair.

I did not like when my mother did my hair so I decided to create a story wherein I was the victim and she was the perpetrator.

The women listened. They understood. We all have stories about our relationship with our hair, with our bodies. Stories that involve unwanted touch, stories where we are left feeling unlovable or unworthy as we are made. Then one woman shared a story like mine, but different.

As a child, she shared, my mother did not do my hair. Her mother did not make the time to comb, or brush, or braid. Her mother left her in the morning, with tangles from her pillow left untended, her mother did not do her hair. She shared the words she remembered falling from her classmates mouths; rats nest, as she was ridiculed at school because her mother did not do her hair.

What I saw as an act of malice, this woman had wished for as an act of love. And together we healed our stories.

With clearer eyes I was able to recall other times my mother did my hair.

For every play I acted in, my mother did my hair.
For school, my mother did my hair.
For every dance I attended, my mother did my hair.
When I woke up late and needed my wet hair braided, my mother did my hair.
When she was the one running late, my mother did my hair.
After my car accident, my mother did my hair.
On my wedding day, my mother did my hair.

In the end it can all be true. What I needed as a child was agency over my body and a voice in how and when my mother did my hair. This unmet need does not take away the love behind my mother’s action. As I got older, I had the sovereignty needed to allow myself to enjoy and appreciate when my mother did my hair.

And I know even now, if I asked, my mother would do my hair. Because when my mother did my hair it was, and always has been, an act of Love.

There Can Be Joy and Tears Together, Life is Like That Sometimes

The last few weeks have been busy and exciting and so filled with joy that for the first time since this illness overtook the world I have been able to go days without worry or fear because the reality of it was so far from my mind.

Until today.

I found out this morning my two year old may need surgery.

Fear and worry do not cover it. Not even close.

I am scared. I am. Gosh the fear is so different than any I have ever experienced before. I know nothing is promised. I know not to take anything in my life for granted. I know control in life is an illusion more often than not. I know this.

AND

This is so hard. It is hard to accept that I cannot control this. I can do all the things that feel right to me in the way that I love him, protect him, nurture him, encourage him.. I can do all the things AND I still have zero control over what is happening inside of his body. I have no power to fix anything here, no power to heal. I know there is so much I can and will do. I will be the comfort and the calm and gentle care before and after.But oh my heart. My heart breaks every single day for my love of this child, tonight the break is so sharp and painful. I am so devastated and scared.

And I am worried. I am so worried. I am worried about pain and how he will heal and complications. I am worried about him not understanding as language is still developing.. How do I explain this thing that is going to happen to his body?

I keep going back to my energy, all this time that is what I have always focused on with him. I know he can feel my energy and he responds to it, when words fail me I focus on connecting with him this way, through gentleness and calm and love.

I hate knowing that we are going to be in some hospital and some stranger is going to come and take my child from me and his body is going to be altered..

It was supposed to be a routine doctor’s appointment.

The doctor said not be worried and that this is common and routine. It is reassuring to hear this, it is. And, this is awful. I can be comforted and feeling all the fear and worry and grief I am feeling.

I don’t want this. I don’t want my baby taken from me. I don’t want him put under anesthesia. I don’t want his body cut and then sewn back together. I don’t want him to feel pain or fear or confusion. I don’t want this.

I know this will be okay. I know I will be exactly what he needs. There is so much I know that brings me comfort.. and tonight I am going to set all that down because what I know right now is I just need to cry.

Pinching Myself

It has not even been two weeks since I made my healing art available for purchase and already I have sold three pieces with a fourth that looks like it might be on its way out the door as well.

I am in shock. Truly. I feel stunned. When someone reaches out to me about a piece and decides to purchase, that whole exchange creates the most adrenaline rush.

My inner child is doing back flips inside of me. She is shaking the branches of the trees she resides in screaming THANK YOU FOR NOT FORGETTING ABOUT ME!!!!

I am so grateful for my healing. I cannot believe I delayed a single ounce of joy in my life because of fear. Loving and trusting and choosing myself was always the right choice, I am so glad I finally committed to that choice fully.

This moment is life changing, more so than any other choice I have made with intention before. My shift into greatness is happening now and I know from every shift that came before it, you cannot go back to the smaller version of yourself.

I am making my dreams come true just by the simple act of being true to myself.