Beginnings, endings

As the northern hemisphere entered the fall season in late September, I embarked on a 13 week journey guiding a circle of women to explore who they were, who they are, who they dream of becoming. We gathered together as the northern half the planet began its descent into darkness. As the days grew shorter we dug into our own shadow work, learning more about who we were and are, our true strengths and beauty becoming unearthed.  The journey has been intense and sometimes painful, as we shed layers and connected more deeply with ourselves. We have each struggled with resistance and our own shadows. We have each dug deep to excavate our own beauty and light.

I do this work along side the women I guide, quietly. I rarely share with them my own process because it seems inappropriate, it is their space and I hold it for them; I do not want my journey to taint theirs. And yet while I hold the space for them, they unwittingly hold the space for me. Each prompt was written only a day or two before it was sent out, giving me and the circle the space to be exactly as it needs.

The program shifted and transformed during our time together and at some point I threw away the outline I had for the course and simply allowed it to flow, letting my gut and heart guide me to offering these beautiful women, and myself, what we needed in those moments. It was a new experience for me to throw out my road map and rely entirely on my instincts. New and terrifying and amazing.

I tend to like to have a plan, and while I am open to the plan shifting and changing, I feel a safety in having a plan that I can lean back on. The problem with this, for me, is it can  become a crutch and I have felt myself become stagnant and not flowing or shifting at times; sticking to a plan because it was The Plan. I have often felt stuck and not right in my own skin, yet fear of the unknown kept me attached to The Plan. Old voices would insert doubt when I first started to consider ditching the outline for the program; voices that tried to convince me not to trust my gut, not to trust my heart, not to trust my womb and my own inner wisdom.

At some point during the this journey however I came to a crossroads. My skin wasn’t fitting, it felt like it was crawling around me and I knew it was time to shed, time to release the fear and the stories the voices tried to convince me of, the stories that weren’t true or real.  Still fearful, nervous, but knowing I truly had no choice if I wanted to feel good in my own skin again, I took that next step and opened myself to the possibilities.

I was inspired by the women in the circle who were doing the same. Sharing with us all the brave small and huge changes that were happening during our time together. I witnessed them as they faced fears, released stories, gained new perspectives. I saw each of them start to glow a little brighter, their presence becoming stronger, more solid, more tangible.

And because they were doing the work of moving into their next iterations, I had to step up and do the same.  That is the power of the circle: the conscious and intentional and the unconscious and unintentional support and strength that grows from a group of women gathered to do their own work, to be witnessed and to witness, to guide and be guided along this journey of becoming.

The constant evolving and shifting can be tiring, exhausting. There are days I feel it deep in my bones. Yet staying the same for too long does not feel right. I start to choke and my skin no longer feels comfortable, and I know this is true of the women who gathered together this fall for this work.

We began our work as the our parts of the world entered into darkness. We are now closing our circle as the northern half of the earth begins its ascension into the light.

I felt sadness today as I recorded our final video, and then wrote and scheduled the final prompt. I felt the desire to cling and not let go. I felt a poignancy about our journey together and a melancholy about the work that there is still to do. I want to stay with these women, in the safety of our circle. Not really hiding, but then not really allowing myself to be seen outside either. They brought so much to me through their journeys, allowing me to continue on mine and while shedding of layers is never easy, these women have done it with so much grace and beauty I am left feeling a bit awed by them.

So no, I do now want our time together to end. And yet, it is time for the circle to close.

Now is the time for the settling and resting. It is a time of allowing space for the final shiftings of this transformation. It is the final days of descending into the darkness, before we begin our ascension into the light. Perhaps this looks a bit like hibernation. Perhaps it looks a bit like doing nothing. Yet now, after the intentional work is complete, now in the quiet being is when the becoming truly starts to form.

ending beginning

 

Posted in Becoming, being & becoming, Being & Becoming Circle, Mindfulness, Personal growth, Personal Myths, Programs offered | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breathing, Noticing, Praying

I come up for air and I start to notice.

I notice that her eyes don’t light up like they used to.

I notice that she’ll start to ask me to play with her and then interupts herself and says “never mind.”

I notice that her laughed sounds forced.

I notice a sadness emitting from her, when there once was such joy.

I take a deep breathe and I start to notice.

I notice my tone isn’t as gentle as I’d like it to be.

I notice more agitated sighs escaping my lips.

I notice how lost I feel in this parenting journey.

I slowly exhale and I start to notice.

I notice her. I notice me. I notice the disconnection.

And in this disconnection there is a deeper connection. I remember how it was when I became a big sister. I remember how I felt so lost and abandoned. I remember how the baby made everyone laugh and smile and all I could seem to do was annoy everyone.

I remember how much I needed my mom. I remember how very little I still was. Even though I was “older.”

And so I breathe. In and out. And I remember I can change this story.

She comes to me, scared, worried I will be mad or irritated. And she timidly asks if I could do bedtime, even though it’s not my night. And this time, I got it right and I say “Of course.”  And we brush our teeth and I read her stories and sing her songs and hold her close.

She starts to ask me to play, but interrupts herself, again. And this time, I get it right and say “Let’s go play in your room.” And we play dolls, and laugh and start to connect.

I pray more of these moments happen. I pray for more patience and clarity and understanding. I pray for her eyes to light up again. I pray for her laughter to rise up from her belly and not be forced from her throat. I pray for me to become the mama I want to be.

I breathe in and out. I allow myself to soften. Knowing in this softness is wisdom, strength. I soften for her, remembering what it is like to be that little girl. Knowing the criticism does more harm than good. Knowing these stories that live in me about what proper girls do and don’t are only that: stories, not truths. And slowly, painstakingly slowly, I release them and let her be.

And in letting her be, I am allowing myself to be. In allowing her imperfection, I allow mine. As I wrap her in my arms, I wrap myself. And slowly, painstakingly slowly, we heal.

And I know in those moments, we’ll be okay. Both of us, each of us, will be okay.

 

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What if I dove in?

I’ve been holding back.

For months. For years. Stops and starts. Layers shed. Never quite reaching the center. Never quite letting the core be seen, heard, felt, acknowledged.

I have allowed fear of what They might think stop me. Slow me. Not allow me to dive into what I want to do, who I want to be. I’ve been allowing The Rules, someone else’s Rules, determine what I can and can’t do, who I can and can’t be.

What if I get in trouble? What if my career is stopped before it even begins?

And then knowing in my bones I have to do things my way, I have no choice but to follow my calling, to listen to my belly rumblings and heart whispers.

Why do I always have to do things differently? Why can’t I follow the beaten path, just once? Why must I never feel like the tried and true fits my skin?

I have followed. Asked advice. Mimicked, but not really. Watched. Observed. How have others done it? Does that fit me? Should I try it on?

And then, when I want to crawl out of my skin, but not my skin, someone else’s I know.

It doesn’t fit. It’s  not quite right. Maybe it’s close, but it’s not me, it’s them.

So…

What if? What if I dove in? What if I dove into me? Would I drown? Would I struggle and gasp and claw and flail about? Would I tread, gracelessly bobbing up and down, catching my breath but not really breathing? Or would I grow my mermaid tail and glide effortlessly, feeling both the resistance and support of the ocean surrounding me, the salt water from where I came, finding my breath in the depths, my ground, my home?

What if I sat and looked through hundreds of design options for my site and found The One. The One that is nothing like anyone else’s? And even knowing the vast amount of work involved with the overhaul, find myself giddy with the thought of it, of the home of my words finally being right?

What if I wrote from my heart? Allowed the words to flow straight from my womb, up across my throat, through my fingers and onto the screen? What if I allowed the tears to fall as my throat finally opened up and the words appeared. What if I wrote my truth and reality in this moment?

What if I let go of my fear? What if I followed my mantra and looked at the rules and decided they didn’t really apply to me and did what I want? What if my fear held on tight and through shaking hands and trembling voice I did it anyway?

What if I owned the words that have howled my name? What if I started living my vision of me?

What if I went deeper? What if I embraced the adventure?

What if I finally allowed all that BIG to break loose? What if I owned my strength, my beauty, my balance of ebb and flow?

What if I started over, again? And again, and again?

What if I allowed my roots as a mother, as a writer, as a woman to dig down into me? What if I stopped worrying about my “audience”? What if I really made my own statement, for real, for always?

What if I whispered YES through painted red lips? What if I growled it?

What if I shared the stories, the truth of them, releasing the details to the wind, knowing they don’t matter? What if I got to the center, the core, the heartache, the joy, the agony, the pleasure?

What if I opened myself up, again, and and instead of running and hiding when it felt like to much, this time I stayed rooted, chin up, eyes open? Allowing for bending and swaying, but not running, not hiding?

What if I shed another layer of those stories that have held me back? Time and again held me back. What if I went off script and did not what was expected or assumed, but instead became classically, timelessly me?

Writer. Rebel. Guide.

What if I owned those words, truly? Allowed them to sink into my skin? Permitted myself to be these words that have danced around me, begging me to claim them? Maybe not forever, but at least for now? And what if forever, knowing as I type that a smile spreads across my face and my soul, my body softening into the truth that yes, yes, forever.

What if I recognize the fire in my belly to write and put my words out into the world, connecting through letters and screens and gathering and finding and holding hands with my tribe? What if I realize this fire has been there since childhood, but I have squelched it, dampened it, hidden it? Writer. Always a writer. Then, now, tomorrow. Always.

What if I dig down and know I can’t do it the way every one else has, that I have to break out of any molds, that I have no choice but to do it my way, to be the woman I am at my center, to howl at the sun and the moon and to sometimes ask forgiveness, but never, ever again, ask permission? Rebel. Yes. Oh yes, since birth, doing it my way. Always stomping, dancing, skipping, stumbling on my own path.

What if I got quiet and listened, fervently  listened? What if heard my own embodied wisdom? And then, what if I held my fears by the hand and walked into the world knowing I could help others, knowing I could guide them into being and becoming, into shedding and releasing, into growing and glowing? What if I looked around and saw those gathered, looking back seeing the depth of the circle, looking forward seeing its breadth? Guide. The voices and myths becoming angry that I dare take on that word, that I dare allow it to melt into me, me into it. Guide, yes, a piece of me as true as the writer and the rebel.

What if I dove in? Indeed. What if?

going off script Inspired by a liberated lines flash :: tell me offered generously by Alisha Sommer and Robin Sandomirsky, Diving in, growing my mermaid tail, finding my breath in the depths.

 

 

 

Posted in Becoming, Being, being & becoming, Grounding, Growth, guide, Personal growth, Personal Myths, rebel, writer, writing | Leave a comment

What lies beneath

Deep in my belly lie the words that need to find a page, the passion I have suppressed for too long, now clawing its way up and out, across my heart and throat, pushing, tearing, seeking.  The words are not words, formless. Emotions and expression trying to find their way.

My throat, my strong brave throat, she stops them, silences them. I feel the battle, throat tight, sore, raw. How long can she hold out? How long until the rawness breaks through and pours out my mouth, my fingers?

So many years of not writing, of not speaking. So many years of keeping secrets and wearing masks. Untold stories lost, but not really. They have found their way deep into my bones, my DNA.

What have I passed down to her? To him? What struggles, heartbreaks, tragedies have they never experienced yet live within them? Because I experienced them, or my mother or grandmother or great-great-great-grandmother. I sometime wonder what is mine and what was theirs.

The stories they never told, but held tight within their muscles. Passed on again and again. Through blood and cells and actions and words. Through tears and shame.

If the trauma runs so deep, why doesn’t the joy?

Deep in my belly, my heart, my head, lies the passion to share these stories. To hear them. To witness and be witnessed. To find relief and release.

My quest, to shed the stories that no longer serve me, no longer serve you. The ones that get caught in our throats, held there by fear of releasing them and becoming what is unknown.

I’m right along side you.

So many paths of womanhood. All of us mothers, whether we have children or not. We are creators, birthing beauty into the world. Sometimes birthing ugliness. And what does that mean? We are not to blame for this world we were born into, for the scars so deep that they are passed along through womb after womb down to us. And yet… and yet.

We, the creators, can also be the destroyers, the rebuilders. Once the old stories are excavated and released, new stories can be written. We will stumble along the way. I know I do, constantly stumbling and thinking as the hurtful words pour out of my mouth “What the fuck are you doing?? Stop!!” And still they flow.

I fall to my knees, sometimes metaphorically, sometimes literally. I ask for forgiveness, of her and him and her and him and them. I beg forgiveness of myself. I find grace and new definitions of beauty. I get up, brush myself off and try again, and again, and again.

And slowly, so slowly, the new stories are written and some of the cells from other generations are shed and I emerge, new but not new.

What stories lie beneath? Let’s unearth them together.

A part of the alter in my office. Release mantra card by Jen Lashua.

A part of the alter in my office. Release mantra card by Jen Lashua.

Inspired by a Liberated Lines Flash offered generously by Alisha Sommer and Robin Sandomirsky, by the reminder in this article and by my own calling to do this guiding work and play . xoxo.

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Our foundation

I watch her. One moment a little girl, the next a young woman. She’s only seven and a half and yet her body is starting to connect with the moon and with mine. Mood swings monthly. Huge tears. My sensitive girl made more sensitive. I ask her, “What is wrong?” and the sobs wrack her body as she shouts “I DON’T EVEN KNOW!!”. Her confusion breaks me. I find my soft place for her, knowing this change won’t be easy for this girl who weeps at every birthday, not wanting to become older, not wanting to accept the next age and iteration of her life.

I find a soft place for myself. To mourn the little girl who is disappearing but not really. The moments I missed or worse, tainted and destroyed. Knowing my own imperfect journey of motherhood. Forever trying. Sometimes wondering if I’m doing more damage than good and still  knowing now, that I am good enough. Knowing she was meant to be my girl and I was meant to be her mama.

Finding my own innate wisdom, my own embodied knowledge. Allowing the wise women before me to come forth and hold my hand through this new trial. Helping me to both hold her and let her go, at the same time. Allowing myself to shed my own layers of hurt and let that young girl in me come forward, to comfort her along with my daughter.

This wisdom rising up of what it is to be a woman. What it is to own my power and strength and beauty. To know there is infinite strength in the softness, the curves, the bending.

I see myself reflected in her eyes. I allow her own sadness to burst forth. Holding space for her as I do for so many others. And yet I sometimes forget she needs me to hold space for her first, always. Sometimes she gets my impatience and annoyance instead. Sometimes I fail at this thing called mamahood. And yet she always forgives me, she always tells me I am the best mama in the world, the most perfect mama just for her. And my heart cracks and shatters at her words and I find the strength to be gentle with her, with me.

I find myself grasping for her as she giggles and pulls away. In the next moment, she reaches for me, but I am not there. This is the dance of this mother and daughter. Beautiful, imperfect and filled with love and humanity.

I root down into my own embodied knowledge, my own wisdom. This too shall pass, too quickly. I have blinked too many times and missed so much. Those moments I have caught though, with my eyes wide open… they have been breath-taking, amazing. And it is those moments that remind me it’s not the big events and once time occasions, its the every day that defines us.

The every day quiet moments. The snuggles at bedtime. The warm hugs first thing in the morning. The bowl of oatmeal, lovingly prepared. The stopping typing and looking at her when she speaks to me. Holding her hand as we cross the street. The long talks in the car as we go from here to there. Those are the moments that have build the foundation of our relationship.

So we dance on this foundation, allowing it to hold us, to keep us safe during the turbulence and stress. For each moment I know I have screwed up, there is another moment or five that I know I got right. Those moments, the ones I got right, they keep us going, they give me faith in the tomorrows to come, again knowing in my bones I’ll screw some of those moments up too, and yet I will get so many more of them just right.

 

It seems just yesterday she was napping peacefully here.

It seems just yesterday she was napping peacefully here.

Inspired by a Liberated Lines Flash offered generously by Alisha Sommer and Robin Sandomirsky. So thrilled to be writing from and for my heart again.

Posted in A Mama's Life, Becoming, Being, being & becoming, Connection, Gratitude, Grounding, Mamahood, Mindful parenting, Motherhood, Release, Repair, writing | 2 Comments

Life as prayer… aka breaking open

Inspired by a Liberated Lines Flash offered generously by Alisha Sommer and Robin Sandomirsky. So excited to open my writing for my heart again.

Today. Today. Today.

I remind myself what I have is today.

Looking back is important, yes. Seeing the patterns that break us, seeing what we can change and fix and explore and transform now. And knowing we can never actually change the events of yesterday, we can only change our reactions to them today, make the repairs necessary, to ourselves, with others.

Looking forward is everything some days. Knowing this won’t last forever, that it too shall pass. Excavating and building dreams. Seeing ourselves in a different place and time, knowing we have the power to become that future self. And still knowing the only way to give birth to her is to be in today, to make the shifts and shakes we need to in these moments, to shed skin, expose layer after layer.

I slow down this morning, inspired by an email to write a prayer. And what pours out in my morning reflection is sadness, turmoil, the not knowing and feeling lost. Lost in this thing called motherhood. Knowing I’m not getting it right at all and in the same moments knowing I’m doing exactly the right things. It can make a person feel schizophrenic, borderline, not whole, exhausted.

I sit here typing these words, tears running down my face as I look over and see her on the other computer, playing a game. I want to reach out, pick her up, carry her into bed and snuggle her, for hours, for days. And so I do, I go to her and try to pick her up, but find I can’t really anymore. So I just hold her and ask her how she became so big, so grown up. And she laughs and squirms and squeals “Let me go” and so I do. Even though I don’t want to, I want to squeeze and hold her forever.

And this is how it goes. We know the hours and minutes and seconds and days pass us by and sometimes we wish they would speed up and other times we want them to stop. Just for a moment to stop, so we can catch our breath and allow it all to settle into us a bit, allow us to catch up to the world that seems to be racing by.

And the world doesn’t stop. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow isn’t quite here here. We have now, this moment, this day.

And sometimes that sucks. And sometimes that great. And that is the ebb of flow of life, of being human, of being and become, always.

I want to go back and do some things differently. The tears flow with the knowledge that I can’t. But I can hug her and tickle her and let her know how much I love her now. Because she is beautiful and perfectly imperfect in these moments. As she was yesterday and last month and three years ago. As she will be tomorrow and next year and in a decade from now.

And it is as true of her as it is of me, and of you. We are each beautiful, perfectly imperfect; ebbing and flowing; being and becoming; breaking open and shedding skin and finding our own glow and power and truth. Each moment. It’s as true of yesterday as of today as it will be tomorrow.

And breathe.

mama and her girl :: a moment captured

Posted in A Mama's Life, being & becoming, Being & Becoming Circle, Blessing, Connection, Grounding, Mamahood, Surrender, Transformation | Comments Off

What sparks me: A quick and dirty list of some of the things

Inspired by a Liberated Lines Flash offered generously by Alisha Sommer and Robin Sandomirsky. So excited to open my writing for my heart again.

What sparks me::A quick and dirty list of some of the things

  1. His babbles
  2. Her smiles
  3. His strong embrace.
  4. The way the sunlight hits the trees of our fairy forest, lighting it up, yet never quite reaching me.
  5. The crispness of the cool air as it sneaks in through the cracks of our door
  6. Her sneaking in to quietly give me a kiss
  7. The smile that is spreading across my face
  8. Women gathering, circling. Sometimes with me guiding, sometimes not. Together, finding our power, our selves.
  9. flashing lights that mark the passing of each second
  10. quotes in books that make me scream YES! and want to share them with the entire world
  11. moving beyond
  12. magazine clippings waiting patiently to be assembled on the board, to give birth to the program to come
  13. notices in my inbox, reminding me to keep following my soul, my intuition
  14. coffee. because, well coffee.
  15. a new mug, just for me, found by me. all mine.
  16. cake. because, well cake.
  17. the whispering of our creek in the fall.
  18. crunching in piles of leaves
  19. a table filled with food, surrounded by those I love
  20. gathering. always gathering.
  21. sharing secrets in the dark, under the warmest of covers, only her and I, sharing our souls, letting ourselves be seen in the darkness
  22. a card to cheer me up
  23. slow cookers
  24. quiet slow mornings where I come into myself as they sleep.
  25. warm water beating down on my skin, reminding me to feel, to sense, to notice
  26. walls filled with her art, given to us.
  27. walls filled with my art, allowing myself to be seen.
  28. walls filled with his art, reminding me of reason #1,345,094, 452 why I love him
  29. unexpected packages on our doorstep
  30. unexpected texts on my phone
  31. shelves filled with over loved books, covers soft, corners tattered
  32. yellow
  33. blue
  34. pink
  35. red.
  36. fire, hot, burning
  37. fire, warm, comforting
  38. ice, cold, burning
  39. ice, cool, refreshing
  40. the city, with its magic, its energy, always calling to me
  41. the grass, my toes digging in
  42. mud, earth, connecting to the dirt and dust and water from whence we came
  43. cozy beds, with so many pillows, so many blankets, so many arms and legs tangled up in each other
  44. space, open
  45. breath. always.
  46. questioning
  47. questing
  48. seeking
  49. finding
  50. all the things
  51. wise women, clearing paths before me
  52. clearing my own path
  53. the hum of the heater as I feel the cold leave my bones
  54. stillness
  55. twinkling lights, a rainbow on my wall
  56. sand, warm on my skin
  57. boots. The boots. Those boots.
  58. laundry baskets filled with clean clothes, waiting to worn again
  59. grief, raw, real, reminding us our humanity, our utter lack of control
  60. surrender
  61. shedding skin, each layer coming through in its own time, and then, quietly disappearing, becoming dust
  62. fairy tales, rewritten, giving power where power belongs
  63. myths, exposed, released
  64. Christmas trees and wreathes with beautiful baubles, sparkling, bring memories of what never really was, but yet is deeply felt in my core
  65. creating the life I want, I dreamed of, I never thought possible
  66. knowing myself
  67. others who know themselves
  68. talking, whispering, screaming, of the evolution of who we are and were and will be
  69. letting go
  70. holding tight
  71. being blinded by the sheer beauty of it all
  72. tears of joy, of disbelief
  73. holding hands, her hands, his hands, infant hands, adult hands
  74. body wracking sobs
  75. loud, spontaneous laughter
  76. earthquakes, reminding us that even our planet can’t stay still, must move and reform and reshape
  77. words… always words.
  78. Wonder Woman, Jean Gray, Rogue, Black Canary, Black Widow, Bionic Woman.
  79. My Cher Barbie doll, long lost
  80. lotus
  81. Om
  82. yoga, stretching muscles, opening hearts, allowing
  83. glitter. because, glitter.
  84. baby hands grabbing at necklaces, tasting them.
  85. exploring with my hands, my own mouth
  86. fingers dancing across the keyboard
  87. Circles of women. Not binders.
  88. ink on skin, permanent and not
  89. long hair. short hair. red hair. purple hair.
  90. forgiveness, and the breath that comes with it
  91. warrior women, not always amazons
  92. hearts
  93. their smiles.
  94. open doors, inviting me in, for no reason
  95. those who give comfort. always.
  96. Mamas, dead and living
  97. My tribes. All of them. Each of them.
  98. allowing every person to have so many sides
  99. allowing myself to not love them all, but still acknowledge and accept them all
  100. me. because, me.
  101. (more to come…)

Explore the power of you

Posted in being & becoming, Blessing, Divine Feminine, Grace, Gratitude, Grounding, Growth, Mamahood, Motherhood | Comments Off

morning reflection, a new practice

I’m not a morning person. I desperately need to come into the world, the day, slowly. This can be a challenge with kids, they don’t really care that you need some quiet and peace and slow when their tummies are hungry, or they need snuggles, or they are just awake and ready for the day.

Before our son was born I was starting to get this slowness down. Our girl became old enough to leave me be for a bit, sometimes even getting her own breakfast or playing quietly in her room while I came  into the day and my body with some morning yoga and meditations, sometimes even get in some writing. Then our little dude arrived and well, infants don’t really give a crap about their parents’ needs. And my beautiful, peaceful, slow mornings went out the freaking window.

Baby Boy is a little over five months now and I am starting to see the glimmer of having at least a little time in the mornings to me again. He wakes me up to nurse sometime between six and seven a.m. and when he’s done and settled back to a deeper sleep I slip out of the bed and try to slip into the my day. This sounds great on paper, except now our girl is waking about the same time baby boy is and so the morning juggle starts before I am ready. I’ve been asking her to stay in bed, because really it’s too early for her to be up, and she will for a while. But eventually she comes out and asks to watch some videos, which I say okay because it’s the only way I’ll get my slow morning.

I’ve been noticing how these slow mornings help me, how they truly impact me for the rest of the day. Taking the time to settle into being again, taking the time to breathe and check in with myself, is vital to me being present and patient for the rest of the day.

morning reflectionA few days ago I started a new practice. Inspired by the idea of Alisha Sommer’s Liberated Lines, every morning I take a picture of my reflection and do a quick stream of conscious piece. I’ve missed writing so very desperately. Finding time to sit down and write in my journal for half an hour feels impossible these days, and so I’ve been seeking ways to get writing in every day, in some form or an another. And Instagram came to the rescue for me. Doing this for only a few days has opened me up, slowly, quietly. Last night I decided to set my alarm a little earlier so I could return to my practice of coming fully into my body in the morning again. As I stretched and breathed into the morning today I felt myself come to center and a smile formed on my face. Yes, this is what my practices are for. This is what my slow mornings are about.

(If you want to follow along with me on IG I’m @gwynnraimondi and I’m using the hashtag #morningreflection)

pause observeA simple new practice is allowing me to both step into my being and step outside to observe myself, to see how the events of the days before are weighing on me (or not). Allowing me to see how I need to release, to breathe, to pause. To take these moments before the coffee to come into my being fully, into my body, into my words, into the world.

 

 

Posted in A Mama's Life, Becoming, Being, Blessing, Grounding, Mamahood, Mindfulness | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Becoming a Superheroine

Every time I send out a newsletter to my list, one person unsubscribes. When that notice comes through to my email, I smile. I’m always curious who it is and so always look. I’m send some loving thoughts to the email address that no longer wants to receive my love letters, and I wish them well. I thank them for allowing into their inbox for so long. And I nod to myself that I must be doing something right.

The truth is, I can’t, and don’t want to, please everyone. My love letters can sometimes be muddled and murky, sometimes crisp and clean; sometimes rambling, sometimes to the point. They are an expression of where and who I am in those moments. Part diary, part hey, what’s up, part love letter, to my readers and to myself. They document my skipping, running, walking and stumbling along this journey I’m on, this pilgrimage to each new iteration of me.

I acknowledge that my pilgrimage isn’t for everyone, and I’m grateful for that. The guide work I do is deep and intense, for me and those who allow me to guide them. I don’t want my energy going to those who don’t want it, or who aren’t ready for it. I want those who gather around my guide work to be ready to be… well to be guided into a deeper understanding of who they are, who they were and who they want to become.

This is not to say that every person who is ready for that deeper understanding would want me to be their guide. I get this and understand it. We cannot all be everything to everyone. If we stay true to who we are, the right people will start to gather. Our communities and circles will grow organically. None of this needs to be forced or demanded. It’s not about big numbers to me, it never has been. It’s about, has always been about, knowing exactly the right people will come forward at the right time, and the group that gathers around any particular program will have its own magic and feel.

So now I am in this place of curiosity about being female in a patriarchal society. I’m in this place of wanting to understand what it means to be a strong heroine in the fairy tales (like the show Once Upon A Time has re-written Snow White and others to be strong, warriors, independent, the true heroines of their own stories); what it means to be a super-heroine like Wonder Woman or better yet, Black Widow or Jean Grey. Women who have their own back stories, who weren’t always Super Heroines, who have had their own trials and struggles like all of us, and still are fighting for what is right, are still hoping to heal the world. Women who are strong and unapologetic in their femininity, who reject the rules that don’t fit them and allow themselves to be fully who they are. Women who have awakened to their own embodied knowing.

I have always been a rebel, in one way or another. I’ve written about it time and again, both here on the blog and in my love letters. I believe in screaming a firm fuck you to the status quo, in letting go and burning of all those shoulds and can’ts and definitions others place on us about what it means to be a woman or a mother or good girl or a bad girl. I firmly believe we need to shed our shame of who we are and embrace ourselves and each other. We need to stand together, accepting and celebrating our differences and our similarities, acknowledging that no two stories are exactly the same, but they are also so very, very much alike.

Another truth: we are all special snowflakes, and at the same time, none of us are.

So what does it mean to stumble on this pilgrimage of life, of being and becoming, of putting on our super heroine cape, to fail and succeed at becoming the people we are called to be? How many different capes and masks to do we wear, can we wear at once? And are they all us, each its own unique expression of who we are in each moment, in each setting?  I don’t have all the answers right now, and I believe this is my quest, my exploration and excavation work for this year of being 43.

So more layers will shed and new ones will glow through, and more people will decide the pilgrimage I’m on isn’t for them, and more people will gather close and circle with me; this is the ebb and flow of life; this is part of what it means for each of us to be on a heroine’s journey, each of us finding our own way, in our own time and gathering together when our paths meet, at exactly the right time, exactly the right place.

Transform to awaken embodied knowing

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Posted in being & becoming, Divine Feminine, Gratitude, Grounding, Mamahood, Motherhood, New Wave of Feminism, Personal growth, Personal Myths, Transformation | Comments Off

Falling and grounding

The leaves are settling on our deck and in our yard, as they slowly fall from the trees of our fairy forest. We have had a couple of windstorms, forcing leaves that maybe weren’t quite ready to leave their humble branch home, to move along their way; forcing them to stop clinging to what they now and to release into something new.

Some may think the leaves are falling to their death. I see them falling to their new life. Watching them sit and decompose in our yard, blending into the grass and mud, finding their new purpose, being one again with the ground.

I am seeing the amazing circle of women I am working with this fall in Being & Becoming are much like these leaves in some ways. Life has brought them to this moment in time, where they may not quite be ready to release what they think they know, yet they are letting go to become more grounded and centered; to discover who they are and want to be. I am honored that they chose me to be a part of this journey with them. I am grateful and awed by the work they do, the vulnerability that is coming forth. And I am learning my own lessons from them; releasing some of what I thought I knew, shedding another layer, becoming more grounded in who I am now, who I am becoming.

My 43rd birthday has passed. I quietly celebrated the day with my husband and then later with the him and the kids. It felt right to allow the day to softly pass with those who matter most to me in the world. I had quietly anticipated the day’s arrival, feeling calm in this new age, this new being I was becoming. Knowing that in one day I won’t be a different person, regardless of the anniversary that is marked by the passage of time, knowing that the passage of time will only reveal who I am.

I have been in a state of “pinch me” with my work, with the women I am guiding, with the families I hold space for at my internship, with my children and husband, with my friends. I have felt lucky and blessed and privileged to be doing this work and play also knowing the tears and frustration and near mental collapse that preceded this iteration of my life. It’s been almost four years since the metaphorical windstorm that formed me to let go of the life and career I was so desperately clinging to. When a layoff happens, in those early moments we aren’t able to see the rightness of it, the doors that have been flung open, the opportunity to explore and play and heal that has been granted to us. And yet, those things are all there in those early moments, we merely need to become aware of them.

Looking back seven years to the woman I was, right before and after the birth of my daughter. Knowing how she changed me, how I allowed the transformation, is a touch overwhelming. If people had told me then the woman I would be today I may have laughed at them and thought certainly they were in need of some medication. And yet here I am. The woman I never even thought of dreaming to become.

We make plans. And life has doesn’t care about those plans. When we are open to the shifting, the releasing, the grounding, our plans matter less and the being and becoming transforms into the ebb and flow of the breath of the universe. Sometimes our own breath is in rhythm with this ebb and flow and sometimes it is in discord. That is another piece of the ebb and flow of life.

As our son starts to figure out crawling and eating solid foods; as our daughter masters reading and writing and discovering her own passions and ways of being in the world; as my second to last semester of graduate school flows into the second half; I am seeing my own ebb and flow into being the woman I am now, the woman I dream of becoming. Part warrior becoming a super-heroine, part princess becoming a queen, part sage, part artist, part jester, part mother, part wife; filled with love and gratitude for those in and around my life; knowing that as I release from this branch, I will fall into my center and ground and grow into the next me who is meant to be.

stop clinging

Posted in A Mama's Life, Becoming, Being, being & becoming, Grounding, Growth, Mamahood, Mindfulness, Transformation | Comments Off