Wishes and Prayers Answered and Becoming

When my daughter was younger she used to wish upon the sun, using the logic that our sun is a star. She would alter the well-known rhyme to “Starlight, star bright, first star I see alright. I wish I may I wish I might have the wish I wish in daylight” and she would make whatever wish her heart called in that moment.

She also prays to the Tooth Fairy. After each tooth lost, all eight now, before we start to read our story for the night, she will quietly lay down on her bed, fold her hands together at her chest, close her eyes and send a prayer to the Tooth Fairy that she not take her tooth, that she understand her unwillingness to let this literal piece of herself go just yet, and could she please go ahead and leave the money anyhow. (If you were wondering, of course the Tooth Fairy always answered by complying).

To date, this sweet girl always asks before she gets a piece of candy or sits down at the computer or to watch TV. She makes sure she is “allowed” and at closing in on eight, I wonder how much longer this will last. How will her way of checking in with us change? When will she stop asking permission and instead choose to ask for forgiveness? How did we ever raise a girl concerned with rules?

Curled up close at the end of the day, or as we are at the sink brushing our teeth or at the breakfast table or randomly in the car she will say “Thank you for being the best mommy in the whole world!”  I’m never sure what I have done to deserve those words, and certainly could give you a long list of things I have done to prove I do NOT deserve those words, and yet she gives them to me, a gift straight from her soul into mine.

I am in awe of this girl child growing into a young woman. I’m not always sure where she came from, and the joke in our family for a long time was we didn’t know who her mother was. Despite all my foibles and outright failures she is a beautiful person, shining brightly every day. I’m honored to be her mama, and I hope as she grows and our relationship has its storms, we both always remember this: She is her own Self—she is not mine even though she came from me, both my body and my heart, and I will always love her and be proud of her, even when I don’t agree with her or her choices.

Because there will likely come a day when she makes a choice that worries me or scares me or worse: reminds  me too much of myself. I pray that I enter those times with grace, allowing her to be her own person, make her own mistakes or even prove me wrong with my worry or fear. I pray I don’t get lost in my own ego and judgement and that I am gentle with her, even more so than when she was an infant, even more so than I am now. I pray I always let her know that no matter what, I am her mama, I love her, and she always has a place in our home.

I pray for a life for her I did not know. I pray for a relationship between us to be one I did not have with my own mother until it was almost too late.

I know in my heart, it will be different, she and I will be different, our relationship has already been different these first seven plus years. And I breathe in the truth that I let go of the stories of how children should be raised and how girls should act and held onto my own truth of what it means to be a mama, what it is to raise a child with love and respect and compassion, what it means to raise a girl into a woman.

And so my prayers may already be answered as I look over at this beautiful girl, engrossed in a game of creation. Her gangly legs bent and her posture that of a teen already. I say another silent prayer: please slow down, please let me savor these between moments a bit longer.  Because the truth is,  it all goes too fast, even when we are paying attention.

her own self

 

 

Posted in A Mama's Life, Becoming, being & becoming, Connection, healing, Mamahood, Mindful parenting, Mindfulness, Motherhood, Personal growth, Personal Myths, Softness, Transformation, Unbecoming | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Winter’s Day

Standing in the sunbeam that forced its way through our slider door, I know the warmth of winter, hibernation and family. My boy crawling along the floor, exploring, examining, experimenting with each of his toys as he pulls them from his orange and white toy basket, wrapped in his own world of play and understanding of his world around him. My girl, curled up on the futon, exploring, experimenting, creating in Minecraft, wrapped in her own world of play and understanding of this world she is growing into.

And then there is me. Sitting, watching. In awe of their curiosity and determination. Breathing in this lesson of theirs to dig in, to examine, explore and find deeper understanding. To allow my own curiosity to take over and to seek and find what is me and mine.

I watch my son throw a toy to the wayside and pick up another. His endless exploration, wanting to taste, touch, know each object in his little basket. I laugh as he shakes one toy and as it makes noise it looks like he starts to dance. He hears his own music and I am grateful for my own cracking open so I can hear the music that bubbles up from within me.

Dancing to my own beat and shedding the story of not making a spectacle of myself. Allowing the music, my music, to fill my soul and push out the voices that tell me to calm down, sit down, be quiet, don’t move, don’t feel, don’t experience my own body, my own inner music, my own innate wisdom.

I was never good at listening to those voices for too long, though I would obey for periods of time. Just long enough to allow the volcano to build up and eventually I would crack and explode, gaining disapproving looks from my grandmother. At times my mother would encourage me, when she felt strong in her own dance and at others, when she was filled with her own fears of loss and abandonment and good enoughness, she would put all her energy in silencing me. And the cycle would begin again.

I look over at my girl, sitting quietly on her tablet, and I know the pattern I have adopted from my mother: at times encouraging my girl’s voice to be loud and bold and at others, in my weaker moments, demanding her silence and even giving the same disapproving looks of my grandmother. My hope as I sit here in this winter sunbeam is that the encouragement outweighs the demands, that she keeps her voice and dances to her own music always, regardless of my parenting failures.

As I sit and observe and reflect, I know the stories handed to me by my ancestors, and I know the ones I am passing on to my girl.  And while I am sad at what I am passing on, I also know what I am not passing to her, and I dream of the day, in thirty years or so, when she sits in a winter sunbeam and reflects on what she is passing on to her children and what lessons she is allowing them to teach her.

snapshot of a winters day

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Dreaming of the future, the past, & the now

Beneath the twinkle lights, I find myself staring out into the fog that has enveloped our fairy forest. The chilly coziness of this grey blanket brings a smile upon my face as I dream of my future that is quickly becoming my now.

I dream of women gathered together, around a campfire on an ocean beach. Howling, laughing, crying. Hugging, holding. Seeing each other’s strength in their vulnerability to share and shed and be and unbecome and become. Being witness to the evolution and transformation of each beautiful soul in those moments of community, grace, and sisterhood.

My dream shifts to couples sitting together, around a short coffee table alter, a fire burning in the background. They are holding each other, hands, shoulders. Tears fall and laughter rings. Repair, reconnection, returning to their foundations. Seeing each other again as they see the other couples in the room. Witnessing their common threads of trials and pain and knowing on the path to healing they are not alone.

My smile broadens as the images of children playing, connecting, sharing comes into my vision. Mothers and fathers in circle together with each other, with their children and without. Days together of joy, connection, seeing and finding new ways to be together, to cope with the ever changing way of being in their particular family. Beauty as understanding comes forward and villages are built. Connection, support, chosen family.

As I sit here at my desk, my smile broadens. I am humbled to know these dreams are being birthed now, both in my internship and guide work allowing me to do the work my heart is called to do: Connecting, healing, circling, transforming.

And as I sit and think of my future, I see so clearly the now that is forming: the women who are gathering and circling with me now in my programs; who are called to quest and circle with each other, allowing me to guide them along this step of their journeys. I feel a deep gratitude for this work and these women. I find myself in awe of them and me: the long journeys we have all been on, together and not, each of us transforming ourselves and each other along the way.

I see my own transformation in this work, this work that fulfills me and changes me and allows me to give to the world as others have given to me. I see my own trust, lost and found, in my own soul and body as it expands and comes more fully into being. I feel myself, my own raw stories, and I know that I am softer and stronger and that these two things are not opposites but necessary compliments of each other. I feel my own juicy center bubble up and feel that knowing smile as I look back and forward and feel the very essence of the now.

There is more to any story we have, and for my own stories, the digging deep, the unearthing and then the exploration, the examination, the questioning and asking has all come both naturally and as though pulling teeth without anesthetic. I know my own metamorphic pains and I am witness to the pains of others, as they go through their own fires and rise from the ashes, shedding what isn’t theirs and becoming more themselves than before.

As Shedding Shoulds comes to a close this week and my focus turns to Being and Unbecoming, I am feeling nostalgic of this circle of life and transformation. I think of the layers and depths and spirals we all travel through and down and on and feel the community of growth and expansion and rebellion. I see, in each circle that gathers, a bit more of the status quo worn away and a new way of being and living and loving emerging.

And that’s what happens when we circle and it is why I do this work: we change ourselves, yes; we change each other, for sure; and whether we see it or not, we are changing the world to be a place of softness and strength, of beauty and awe and most importantly, love.

wise women dance with troubleThe first step of this new quest is open and early bird pricing is available until February 20th. Are you ready to join our circle and embark on the quest of unbecoming everything that isn’t you so you can truly be who you are meant to be? For details, click here.

 

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Crystal

As I look out on the deck covered in brown leaves lined in crystal frost, I think of the impermanence of it all: how slowly and quickly each season passes, how the frost will melt, the children will grow, my husband and I will gain more grey hairs.

Looking back over the years, they seem to have passed in a blink. I look at photos of my husband and I when we first met and I cannot believe that was almost two decades ago. I look at those young people and smile, still feeling them in my heart and bones. I look in the mirror and am sometimes shocked by the grey and the lines, not always sure when they first appeared. I wonder how it can be that this body is over 43 years old when most days I don’t feel that. But then of course, there are the days I do.

I wonder how the days can feel so long at times when the years seem to have passed in less than a blink. How is it possible I have been with one amazing man for over 17 years? How did my tiny premature baby girl grow into this giant almost-8 year old? How did my boy grow from helpless infant to a little toddler who walks and climbs and insists already on doing things on his own and in his own way?

I wonder how I survived the days that seemed to drag out forever. The fights and arguments that I swore would shatter us? The sleepless nights comforting my teething girl and now my teething boy? The ER visits where I swear my heart leaped out of my body as they showed us images of broken bones? The days of being yelled at constantly by one child or the other or sometimes now both? The days of not having time to sit down and write and allow the flow of my experience and soul to find a resting place? The days of not even having time to go pee by myself?

Yet survive them I did. And survive the ones to come I will. This life, so precious, so fragile, so strong.

He sits in his bouncer babbling at me as these words appear on the screen. Hiccups come and he chews on his finger, in awe of the teeth that have sprouted up over the last couple days. There are days this all annoys me, not having time to write on my own, not being able to concentrate, but today I smile and the truth that this won’t always be reality washes over me.

She is still asleep in her cozy bed. I wonder when she will awaken? When will she join our quiet little party of words babbled and typed? When will she add her smiles to our morning revelry? Soon enough, at exactly the right moment I know.

Was it just yesterday that I was worn to my core with his screams and demands of not allowing me to leave his side as he napped? Was it just yesterday that her laughter grated on my very being, so loud, so disturbing to my ears? Yes it was, and it may again be today and possibly tomorrow.

Right now, however, right now I smile and want to wrap them in my arms, holding them close and never letting them go. Right now I want time to stop and the smiles and laughter to dance in the air. I want these quiet, private moments between us to be remembered in my soul in those moments I want to runaway screaming and crying. I do not want these moments to melt away with the passage of time, I want to keep them fresh as a new fallen snow, forever.

So I sit and type my words as he babbles and starts to become irritated by his trappings of the bouncy seat and I wonder if his shouts will wake his sister. They are my flesh and blood, and yet they are not me or mine really. They are their own and still we are one.

snow tree last foreverWriting inspired by Corinne Cunningham‘s Writing Naturally:Winter workshop.

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Squall

Looking in, I see the storm brewing, rising up. There is a need that will no longer be ignored. Getting the words out. Telling the story, examining the story, understanding the story. My story. How I came to be. For me.

It’s not a pretty story, but it is a true one. True in that way that I believe it to be, though others may have a different opinion. There is pain and heartbreak. There are hospital visits and abandonment. There are moments of hope and peace. There is redemption and survival and living, deep, breath-taking living.

There is a long period of self-destruction and while that phase may make others sad or uncomfortable, it was necessary. The breaking down had to occur for the re-construction to take place.  It had to be that dark so I could notice the light.

And eventually the light was noticed and the reconstruction began. It would be nice to say that it was all flowers and sausages from that moment forward, but this is reality, life, my life, we are talking about. There have been rocky bits and scarey bits and rainbows and laughter and windstorms and thunderbolts. There has been pleasure and joy and beauty and perfect imperfection. It has been a whirlwind some days, weeks and months, and other times more of a quiet, gentle breeze, and other times still the air has felt so stagnant I couldn’t breathe at all.

This is the ebb and flow of life, my life specifically and I’m quite certain your life, and your life, and their life too. We have periods of destruction (hopefully) followed (hopefully) by reconstruction. And we are never quite the same after each breaking down; each new iteration of us something more than we were before. We become people with more jagged edges and softer, gooey-er centers. We become harder and softer, depending on where we are, who we are and how we view the world.

We each have our own lens that developed in those early years of life. Many of us were given our lens by our parents, grandparents, teachers and other important adults in our lives. They tried their best, I need to think, and each had his or her own lens they viewed the world through. And their lenses influenced our lens and at some point we aren’t sure where they stop and we begin.

And there is a time of seeking and searching and sorting out what is theirs and what is ours. What is mine and what is hers and what is his, where in the blurred edges do they actually stop and I actually begin?

Maybe there is no real separation. Even as I shed their stories and sort out what is truly me, I know that they are still a part of that. They still influenced all the decisions before, either in my conscious or my unconscious heart and mind. For me, the point isn’t to extract them fully from my being, but rather about being aware of them and understanding when it is more them and less me. Knowing when the fear that creeps up is the generations old story and not from my personal experience. Knowing when to soak in the wisdom and when to gently yet forcibly push out the myth that no longer serves me, or them.

Because they do live in me, the women and men before, those who make up my DNA. The ones who gave me their eyes and hips and lips and voice. The ones who passed along this love of words and writing and the ones who didn’t pass on an innate talent for drawing or painting. They and their experiences are as much a part of me as my own experiences are. And this sorting out and deciding what to keep and what to let go is like an endless cleaning of the attic, constantly finding both treasures and trash.

So now, in these moments of my 44th year of life, I feel I am in the quiet of the storm. I see the chaos that surrounded me, that created me yet I feel at peace and calmed by it. I am now in that place of being able to reject what no longer serves me and to allow myself to step more fulling into who I want to be. Their limitations are not mine and I do not need them to keep me safe. I now call on their strength and bravery to step into this next iteration, this new way of being me, being proud of me and who I am, and who I am becoming and unbecoming.

storm brewingInspired by a prompt from Corinne Cunningham‘s Writing Naturally : Winter online workshop.

Posted in Becoming, Being, being & becoming, Connection, Mamahood, Mindfulness, Motherhood, Personal growth, Personal Myths, Roots, Shedding, Unbecoming, writing | Leave a comment

To Be Alive

Breathing in, out, deeply, slowly.

It always begins with breath. Our life, a roar as the breath enters our lungs for the first time amidst the bright lights or dark corners. And the cold. The cold that lets us know we are alive, autonomous, singular.

The roar that rises up in those first moments of life. Her roar came quickly, his after he had a look around for a bit. Mine? I don’t know what those first moments of my life were like, if I roared immediately or if I looked around first and then made myself known.

Perhaps I did look around at first, try to figure out what the hell was this place, where I had landed. Perhaps that has been my home base this whole life so far: sitting back observing. Then when I’m ready, the roar comes.

I feel the roar and cold and my body coming alive. I have watched and observed and I know I could continue to do so for the rest of my days, but now, now is the moment to make myself seen, heard, known.

These words flow out of my fingers, onto this screen.  They have bubbled and boiled in my womb and belly. Sometimes they burst up and others they slowly simmer and rise. These words, sharing the experience of being mama, of being woman, of stepping into my own being, my own becoming and unbecoming.

What is it to be alive? It is to feel the brisk cold morning air as I settle in to write. It is to feel their warm bodies pressed against mine at the end of the day. It is to hold his hand, and know, simply know to depths of my soul, that he loves me, as I am in this moment. It is to laugh and shiver and glow. It is to whine and feel frustration and wanting. It is to listen to the whispers of my heart and it is to roar out my very being.

It is to own what is mine and make amends when I can. It is to love myself and my humanity and all its foibles. It is to love them and all their perfect imperfections. It is to examine, and excavate, and unearth, deeper and deeper, seeking out that juicy center that is me and all me and no one else.

It is to be curious and playful and ever the scientist experimenting and exploring. It is to be creative, filled with wonder and awe, ever the artist expressing and sharing the world as I experience it, as I know it.

It is reaching up to the stars as my toes root down into the mud. It is being made of clay and stardust and first laughs and lingering kisses and tears and heartache and unquenched passion.

To be alive is all this and more. It is feeling my body, from the inside out and the outside in. It is feeling my skin crawl and belly ache and head pound. It is feeling cool water quench my thirst, warm water soak my muscles and sunshine shower down on my face.

And more than all that. Being alive is living and it is more than mere words can express. It is the silence and deafening loudness, the darkness and the blinding light and it is everything in-between all of that.

It is in those in-between spaces that most living actually happens. In those ordinary moments when we don’t even notice how alive we feel. Or perhaps we do notice. And smile. And know.

Know that this life of ours, is ours. That we choose, each moment, how to live it, even in those moments when we don’t consciously or intentionally choose. How we act and react, what be pass on and keep, what we believe to be Truth and what we believe to be Lies. It is all choice.

To be alive is to choose, every moment, every day. And so I choose to know, to dig, to dive into my depths and grow my mermaid tail, knowing that in time I will glide with ease through this layer of being. I choose to connect and reconnect with this body of mine, to live inside it and not hover above it, unfeeling, unsensing. I choose to feel and know. I choose to explore and shed and allow what is me to glow through.

Starting Friday, for 30-days,  I will guide an amazing circle of women to their depths through deeper connection with their breath, their body, their self and to shedding the stories that no longer serve them.  Won’t you join us?

It is to roar

(Blog post inspired by a prompt from Alisha Sommer and Robin Sandomirsky‘s Liberated Lines FLASH::Amplify.)

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Tranquil

Sitting in the quiet of the morning, before the babes and husband have awoken, I find my breath. Multicolored twinkle lights glowing above my head and reflecting in the slider door, I look outside to our fairy forest, the first bits of light allowing it to be seen through the dense fog.

I feel tired, annoyed in this moment. These are the only quiet moments in my day and they are all to brief. Already I hear my girl starting to stir and I feel my body clench knowing at any moment she will enter my sanctuary and I will need to be mom, warm and loving, inviting.

It is not that I do not want to invite her into my quiet circle. I love the bubble of love and life that she and I create, that we have. Our secrets whispered, our bonds strengthened. It is that I feel I am losing me in this process of being a mother of two. Her brother more demanding than she ever was as an infant and not allowing any space for me (or her) to exist outside of him. Naps I am chained to his side, unable to do anything more than lay there, which brings its own set of frustrations into our world twice a day.

Try as I might to “take advantage” of that quiet time he demands and enforces I feel trapped, claustrophobic. I want to escape. I want quiet and tranquility on my own terms, not his. I want to have control of my being and not feel so imprisoned.  They say, hell I say, to savor these moments as they will pass too quickly, yet in the day to day I cannot wait for this phase to pass, for me to be able to get up to pee without him yowling and screaming awake.

I have no quiet, no rest, except in these first moments of the day. And they are not long enough. I crave to have the quiet stretch further out, so I can ease into life. No chattering, not cries. No need to feed any other body than my own. How in these moments I long for the days I didn’t appreciate before the babies came.

Yet even in that desperate longing I know I wouldn’t go back, even if I could. Despite the loss of a me I once knew and loved, they have truly given me life. They probe me and encourage me and expand me in ways I could have never imagined before them. And while I crave for solitude and tranquility in this moment, I would not have it at the loss of the chaos and noise that is my life now. I know, even though I protest and resist and whine, that these few moments in the morning will be enough for now, enough to recharge, to allow me to be. It is the time for the words to flow and my brain and soul and body to come into the world.

And soon enough this time will be gone too and the morning writing will be replaced by morning snuggles as my husband’s work schedule changes again. My quiet won’t come until the end of the day, when I am tired and words don’t always flow as easily. And this phase will pass too, as each before it did. I will find time for my words and for my family and for me in the constant ebb and flow that is our life.

This will pass too

Inspired by a prompt from Corinne Cunningham‘s Writing Naturally : Winter online workshop.

Posted in A Mama's Life, being & becoming, Family, Mamahood, Mindfulness, Motherhood, Surrender, Truth | Leave a comment

These bones

In my bones are stories that aren’t mine. Stories of my mother’s or grandmothers’ or great-grandmothers’. Perhaps they weren’t their stories either, perhaps they were handed down to them too. Passed off as Truth, as Rules to Live By, as The Way We Must Be. Stories of what it is to be a mother, a woman, a wife. Stories of how or when to talk, what it means to be successful, how our worth is measured by others, be they by our side or not.

Stories of being a bad mother not deserving of children. Stories of not having value. Stories of not talking too much, or shining too brightly. Stories of being noticed, but only for the right things.

So many stories live in my muscles and bones and DNA. Stories given to me on silver platters lined in blood and tears.

Competition, holding down, holding back. No trust in these stories, no sisterhood. No love. These stories were not shared in the red tent or in circle around the fire while howling at the moon. These stories were born of loneliness, isolation, pain, and fear.  Always fear.

Who spoke the first story telling me, them, us, we have no value of our own? Who forced these stories upon my mothers and grandmothers and aunts and great-grandmothers and all the women before them? When did these stories become “Truth”? Was it when Hesoid transformed Pandora from a Earth Mother Goddess, a creatrix of life, into the bearer of all pain and destruction in this world? Was it that long ago? And why, oh why did my mothers succumb to the fear and allow those stories to be told so many millennia ago? Why, did they take them in as truth and allow them to be  spread as a disease that grows in our being, to be passed down through flesh and bone to each of their daughters?

What will it be to shed these stories one by one? Will they ever all be shed? How can I not pass these stories on to my daughter, who is made up of half my DNA? How I can show her the value of being a girl growing into a woman? How can I replace our tainted bones with ones of life and creation and beauty?

Slowly, so slowly the layers peel back, getting deeper into these bones, extracting the marrow that no longer serves and allowing a new nourishment to grow in its place. It is messy and painful and beautiful this extraction and new growth. One story excavated, shown for what it is: a myth, not Truth unless I want it to be. And as this story rewrites and reforms into my own reality and truth and being now, I find yet another story of theirs, and I take in a slow deep breath and prepare myself for this next procedure of extraction and new growth.

Coming into my body, into my breath, taking back my muscles and skin and bones and very being as mine. First in my body and then in my soul, me, mine. Sharing, giving, melding, and still holding what is mine as sacred and honest and earth and blood. The stories come and go and the tears flow and I hear their whispers and screams to stop this process, to let the stories lie and continue to live in fear of being too much or too little and always never enough. I wrap us all in love and comfort, letting my mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers and their mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers and theirs too, all know that we will be okay, that there is no wrong in digging down to our truth and stories, in allowing this regrowth; there is only beauty in coming together in circle and allowing ourselves and each other to glow and that as we own our body and being and breath and life, we will do more than survive; we will flourish and thrive and glow and truly, deeply, fully, live.

know theyself

 

Inspired by Alisha Sommer and Robin Sandomirsky‘s Liberated Lines FLASH::Amplify.

Posted in Becoming, being & becoming, Connection, Family, Mamahood, Mindful living, Mindfulness, Personal Myths | 2 Comments

These three words

I’ve had a hard time lately. Sitting down to write has been a huge challenge. I feel the words bubbling up inside of me, and yet I haven’t been able to sit down and put them on paper or screen. And so they bubble and fester and demand to be released and I tell them, soon, tomorrow, later today, just not now.

The words sit in my belly and in my throat. They make demands, and I tell them no, not now. I have things to do. Children to raise. Christmas to make happen. School to finish. Dishes to wash.

There is truth in this: the baby is loud and can’t be trusted to play quietly on his own for any period of time (this is very different from what his sister was like). Our girl needs nurturing and attention too. Plus there’s the homeschooling and my schooling and the administrative things that need to happen for my business. The list goes on. There truly are not enough hours in the day.

So I have struggled with finding the time to write. To let the words flow out of my heart and through my hands onto screen or paper. Many of the words have been lost, they disappear with each “not now,” “later,” and “maybe tomorrow.”

Not surprising as I suppress the words that are brewing in my belly, I have struggled with finding a guiding word for 2015. My words for 2013 (Connection) and 2014 (Release) came to me so easily. They were simply there and I knew. Truly those words informed and shaped these past two years. 2013 brought deep connections to my daughter, husband, friends and myself. 2014 was all about releasing things and stories and ideas that told me how I “should” live and were holding me back from truly living. Both words will continue to guide me through 2015, this I know. Yet they aren’t the words for 2015, they don’t embody the feeling or sense or way of being I see for 2015.

This feeling I want for 2015… it is the feeling that comes with shedding the stories that are holding me back; guiding others to do the same; not following rules because they exist; being true to who I am and my heart and my work. It is the feeling that grows from writing, writing and writing some more. It is the feeling that is born with being who I am in each moment and evolving into who I will be in the next.

I know many of the things 2015 will have in store: I will graduate from graduate school and I will get my license to become a marriage & family associate therapist. My daughter will turn 8 and she will move ever more into those years of the pre-teen. My son will walk and then run and surely climb and then eventually turn one. My husband and I will find new ways of being together with our growing family and the next iteration of my career. I will open a private practice with an office and start seeing clients in person. 2015 will certainly be filled with change and transformation, yet those are not the words I want to guide me through all that is to come, the known or the unknown.

Then in the not so quiet of my day, as my son was fighting his afternoon nap and my girl was playing Barbies and asking me to play with her, it came to me.  Not one word, but three. Three words that have made themselves known to me for almost a year. Three words I have claimed and then shied away from. Three words that scare me, yet are me, deeply and truly. Three words that have whispered and screamed at me, bubbled up from my womb, my belly, my heart. Three words that have forced their way across my throat and out my fingers, time and time again, yet I have ignored them to some degree, and definitely not fully owned them.

Writer. Rebel. Guide.

These words whispered to me in the spring of 2014. They screamed for me to pay attention just over a month ago.  Now I listen and acknowledge those whispers and screams.

2015 will be about me owning these three words. It will be about releasing all my fears and stories about claiming them. I will be diving deeper into me and who I am. I will begin (again) to accept, love and be proud of each iteration of me, who I am in each moment and who I am evolving into. It will be about making my writing a priority and seeking out opportunities beyond my little blog to be published. It will be about rebelling and not staying in the box They say I should stay in. It will about guiding others, along side myself, to owning their voices, their ways of being in this world and accepting who they are truly and deeply in their core.

I’m looking forward to this quest, and to be honest I’m also terrified. Who I will be at the end of 2015, I have no idea. And I know that who ever this future self will be, she will be evolving and transforming just as I am today.

Stepping into who we are, truly owning our Self, our Being’ opens us up to so much. It brings forth all the stories of not being good enough, all the stories of what we should or can do, all the stories about how we shouldn’t shine too brightly or be “too much” of who we are. It is stepping into a deep vulnerability, which as I said, is terrifying. Yet I know in my core, in my womb, in my very essence and being that this is my journey, my quest, my adventure and while I may be gripped with fear in many ways, I am also feeling exhilaration for this crazy process of being and becoming fully who I am.

Conduit and fuel

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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