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You deserve to love, honor, cherish and respect yourself.  ~Gwynn Raimondi


Beautiful  reader,

I've said at least a million times and will probably say a million more: my children are my greatest teachers. Every day contains lessons in patience, unraveling my stories, digging into my shit, kindness, allowing, love and more. And as life seems to go for me, some lessons are repeated over and over until I get them and others don't show up until I am ready to receive them.

Friday morning I received a lesson from my son. It is burned in me and I know that I wouldn't have seen it had I not been laying out some groundwork for myself and our family.

You see, over the last few months I've been putting a lot of thought into the concept of consent. As my daughter's body blossoms, all my fears of what the world can do to her have been sprouting up. Realistic fears. Of rape. Of abuse. Of her not knowing she can stand firm in her no, in her power, in her voice.

So my focus has been on her. On talking about her changing body. About how no one ever gets to touch it without her approval. About sexuality and masturbation and honestly all the things my own mother wanted to talk with me about and couldn't quite find the words because of her own shame. These are conversations my girl and I have had sporadically her entire life, and now that she is clearly growing into a tween and young woman, I am driving them home like nobody's business.

I have become acutely aware of when and how her father and I trample all over her consent and silence her voice and I have been correcting both of us as I am able and reminding her that her voice matters, she can say no, she doesn't need to obey (and hell yes, this is the hardest one for both her parents), that she is in charge of her body.

She has been my focus. Perhaps because she is older and it is more imperative she embody these lessons. Perhaps because I know what our culture thinks of girls and women. Perhaps because I want different for her than what I had. Perhaps because since she was in the womb I have worried about the survival of this girl-becoming-a-woman.

Perhaps because she is a girl.


I have never worried about our son in the ways or depths I have worried about her. I'm still picking that all apart and I know that some of it is because I learned from her how children truly are resilient; some is that he is the second and seven years younger than his sister. And when I'm really honest I acknowledge that some of it is that he's a boy.

While I don't worry about him, I am also keenly aware that I am raising a white male. And all the implications and responsibility that come with that.

With him my focus has been on making sure he understands consent from the standpoint of others giving it to him. I've set boundaries with him about my body much younger than I ever did with this sister. He and his sister also learn about boundaries in their play, and he is reminded over and over that No Means No. Little dude isn't even two yet and honestly I think he has a better understanding of boundaries and more emotional intelligence than many of the grown ups I've known.

And of course I think that I am doing such a great job of teaching consent and to ask permission and that he can't just take what he wants or get what he wants the moment he wants it.

And then Friday morning.

He asked for a banana as I was making breakfast, so I gave him one. He ate about half of it and then brought it back to me saying he didn't want anymore right now. Not that he was done with it. That he didn't want anymore right now.  I said okay, took a bite of the banana and he started screaming.

I mindlessly took a bite of his banana.

Without asking.

The days lesson in consent: Those in power don't need to ask.

I want to say, I am not beating myself up for taking a bite of his banana. I rarely beat myself up for my parenting snafus anymore.

And I am proud that I immediately recognized what happened and didn't try to defend my actions with excuses (But you said you didn't want want it) or invalidating his feelings (You're over-reacting).

I did apologize. About a thousand times. And told him it was not okay that I just took a bite of his banana without asking. Next time I would ask. That what mama did was wrong and she is deeply sorry.

He cried and melted in my arms and I was left hoping he heard my words of what I did wasn't okay and that I should have asked his permission.

We had another similar lesson about changing his diaper a couple hours later.

And again about eating lunch.

And again about what show he was going to watch in the afternoon.

And I'm sure there will be many more opportunities in the years to come. And really, even later today.

We learn about consent in both directions. One is how we are reminded to ask permission. The other is whether others ask our permission:: whether our parents granted us reign over our own bodies and things; whether we had opportunities to say no and make choices about our own lives at a young age; whether adults respected us and our space as we were growing up.

And then the macro messages, like the recent court ruling against the Navajo Nation.

Those in power don't have to ask for consent.

Clearly, I'm still undoing all my training in this matter. I'm still trying to understand and grant consent so my children grow up being strong in knowing their Noes are to be respected.  And of course it is a juggling act of keeping them safe and fed and rested.  I'm still learning and stumbling along this way, as I sort out what it means to have so much power over another human being and exactly how I want to wield that.

I'm still learning what consent means for myself in many ways too. The long lists of "have tos" and "shoulds" and "rules" and the millions of ways we are each told our voices and space and bodies don't matter.

It is a tangled web our culture weaves.

There are a million ways we change the world. Sometimes it's in apologizing for taking a bite of an almost-two year old's banana without asking. Sometimes it's in drilling into our girls that they and they alone get to decide who touches them where (and that they can change their minds at any point). Sometimes it's in not letting other adults railroad us at work or in the grocery store or at a social gathering. Sometimes it's speaking out, loudly.  Sometimes it is walking away, quietly and quickly.

No matter the details, the root is the same: we need to become aware of our own flaws and failings in these matters, without judging. We need to dig into our own stories that have been drilled into our head by our culture about our worth and deserving and the wielding of power.

As Kelly Diels reminds us, over and over, Once we know better, we can do better.

I would also say:

Until we know better, we can't do better.

I'm all about the knowing. The learning. The unearthing, the uncovering. Without judging. With all the curiosity.

When I finally see a pattern, a wound, then, and only then, I can take action to heal, to unravel, to shake it up.

I believe this to be true with all my being.

Today I was reminded that I need to look at consent from both sides, with both kids. I need to remember I have the power and I need to be fully aware of how I use it. To dig into my own stories of privilege and oppression and keep unearthing all those layers.

For my kids, and for every person I interact with in the world.

I invite you to join me in connecting to our knowing, into the digging in the muck, into the unraveling of all the stories and tearing down our cultural paradigm bit by bloody bit. It's hard and painful and so deeply gratifying. xoxo

P.S. Privilege and power come in many shapes and sizes. We all carry our own stories of each. There is not shame in this. Once we are able to look at these stories, to notice them, to no longer judge ourselves for internalizing them, to acknowledge we didn't knowingly or mindfully consent to these stories,  we can shift them. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. It's messy work. It's holy work. It is the work, I believe, that will change the world.



What does power look like to you? How do you wield your power with others? What are your childhood stories of "respecting authority"? How do you think those stories influence you today?



I have changed where to find my guided meditations as there seemed to be some compression issues when I uploaded the files that was creating a lot squeaks and other sound artifacts. So now they can be found on YouTube. 

Today I am sharing with you the Loving Kindness Meditation. This meditation connects you to various people in your life, including yourself, and helps you develop empathy.  It is just over 15 minutes long and can be found here.



Wild Woman Within : Reconnecting to our forgotten knowing. A twelve month epic quest connecting deeply to our Self and re-writing the stories that disconnect us from our body, mind and spirit. Applications will be available beginning July 1. Twelve spaces available. September 1, 2016-August 31, 2017 with optional in-person retreat September 13-17, 2017. Further details to be available soon.

Mindful Mantras. A year long, free program offering a guiding word or phrase to help you become more centered and grounded through out your week. Emails go out on Sunday mornings and discussions will be posted in the FB group each Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. For more information and to register, click here.

Embodiment Sessions. Work with me 1:1 to connect deeply with your own embodied wisdom, to learn to dance with your Shadow, melt away shame, transform your stories of being too much and not enough, and to embrace and love your whole Self. We can work month to month (minimum three month initial commitment) or I also offer six month and twelve month packages. Payment plans are available. You can learn more by clicking here.



Five Day Mental Detox - Melissa Toler is offering a free 5-day mental detox to help us fight our Body Shame Beasts. I love Melissa's message and work, and maybe you will too.

Salt & Honey - Isabel Abbott's book is currently available for pre-order and I can barely even wait to receive mine.

Desiree Adaway Mastermind -  Desiree Adaway is gathering her next six month mastermind. I have so much love and respect for this woman and her work. If you are an entrepreneur or in a career transition this might just be the mastermind just for you.



Therapist | Writer | Guide

Connecting you to your own embodied knowing

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