Aug 1, 2015

wild embodied life

Embody. It feels like forever that I've wanted to live inside this ideal, and I realize now that little by little, year after year, I was. Even when I was struggling, every turn around the sun I was learning, becoming, shedding... coming to this place of finally being able to be true in my own skin, match what's inside to what's outside.

For me this is the next lesson, and one of the most pivotal layers of my letting go.

I've been on the cusp of this change for years, especially since embracing a more authentic kind of sexuality, it's felt like a bright yearning buried somewhere just out of reach. That's the thing about authenticity, it doesn't start and end with one thing. Every truth unearths the next, and you either choose to embrace each as it comes and evolve or fight it and stay in some way stuck. As my kids have taught me, it's all about leveling up, and my soul whispers the same urgent message... keep going... more freedom, more light.

Most of my life I have fought this lesson and have lived inside this silent war with myself. My relationship with food and nourishment is complex. I thought for a long time it was about coming into this world literally starving and that my formative early months as an orphan had carved a swath of irrevocable pain and hunger into my spirit. I read the books. I talked to my therapist. I mourned for that baby who was never fed enough, who's picture I look at and see a malnourished ghost of a girl. She was me. For a long time I could not even bear to acknowledge that truth.

Until finally, this turn around, I realized that food for me was fear. Every thought. Every bite. Every meal for as long as I can remember. Fear of not ever having enough, and, that ultimately it wasn't about what was on my plate. It was really a fear about not enough love - about believing that in some way I was not lovable. It was the story I believed I was born into.

Somewhere down the road, food then became a way for me to not love myself. I could eat to keep myself from having to really show up, from having to feel the feelings I needed to address. I wasn't eating to nourish, I was eating to smother, to annihilate.

And so I've felt smothered in this way for so many years. Buried under forty extra pounds of fear.

What I know now, better nourishment isn't about knowing what to eat or how to exercise. It's about knowing why I'm choosing to eat in a way that is not serving me. It's not about wanting to be thinner, or about needing to get my blood pressure in check (both of which have been true for a very long time). It is about choosing to feel all the things I've been avoiding, and choosing to live inside of each moment as honestly and openly as possible. It's about consciously not shutting down.

More and more my soul aches for alignment, integration, freedom and light! It demands it, actually. This is the shift - that it is more unbearable to live numbly inside of discontent and disconnect than it is to do the work. But it takes effort, time, lessons to get there, one baby step in front of the next. Not a meal plan. Not a personal trainer. But the desire to actively choose love in the form of nourishment. Every thought. Every bite. Every meal.

And so this is the transformation I am deep inside of. It's been since May that I've been slowly making this shift, and it has been surprisingly natural, easy even. I think I was just so completely ready. And so I am shedding like never before.

Old ideas about hunger.

Clothes that don't fit me any longer.

The pain and fear that showed up as pounds and inches.

I feel immeasurably lighter already. My knees and heart thank me with every step, but my soul is what feels brighter and more embodied. I can see with more clarity. And that dialogue of fear I used to inhabit every time I sat with a fork in my hand.... gone. I'm completely at peace at the table. It feels like a miracle.

Instead, there is only love, joy, wisdom, abundance and pleasure.

It is work, a commitment for sure, but it's where my spirit needs me to go to take on whatever is next.

This is my #wildembodiedlife

Jul 19, 2015

fire in the belly

It is 90 degrees outside. We just passed the halfway mark of our summer Fire Coven circle with so much inspiring heat and creative burn happening. Just finished hosting a weekend of dreaming and doing and exploring, topped off with a field trip to the movies to see Magic Mike (whew!) you know, for work purposes ;)  I've been workshopping and sharing a draft of a sexy little story that I'm flushing out for later, in my love letters, and also realized that these Life, Unabashed stories has hit over 23 thousand words! In the studio, I'm beginning a piece about -consent- for the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health's anniversary bash and art exhibition. On top of all that, last week I co-created and sent in my very first live class submission for sex school coming this fall, something I've been wanting to do, (but really nervous about!) for a very long time.  

Clearly, I am in the season of FIRE!

Please send buckets of ice. Stat.

Jul 7, 2015

open marriage, open heart, open life

Aside from being a sort of broad mission statement about my life, open marriage is the space in which I learn so much about who I am, what I am made of, and what I truly want. It's a playground for my desires to run free and eventually shake loose certain unmistakable truths.

I'm learning to understand the difference between a fast burn and a slow unfolding. Both have importance and merit, but are means to different ends and exist at different depths. I have the opportunity to explore it all. That is the gift - a free fall into the unknown with a soft place to land.

Some days it's hard to be so open to vulnerability all the time, but it is also the only way my life seems to make sense - to be committed to being fully awake and alive. The price of freedom in this spiritual sense is in feeling and allowing all the feels... the joy, the heartbreak, the fear, the wonder, the exhilaration, the jealousy, the uncertainty, the passion, the fragility, and the wild tempest inside it all.

YES to every last drop.

No to holding back, to numbing out, to shutting down.

Open is sacred. 

Open, is the world I've created, the truth I value, and the life I have chosen.

So, in the moments when the practice of being open feels really hard, when I want to curl my wings in and pull back into the shadows, I have to remind myself of these lessons.

Staying open is the only way I fly.

Jul 1, 2015

there's only this

As full moons sometimes do, this one is sort of kicking my ass. A lot of the time the waxing energy feels buzzy, high, and maybe even a bit off, but this particular moon is more like friction and intensity holding true to it's dualistic Gemini influences, Venus and Jupiter (female and male) energies - pragmatic and action oriented vs. flowing and feeling oriented (head and heart), and the balance of self care and responsibility. The work is in staying open and anchored in authentic voice, so a lot is happening within the lines of communication.

If you could peek into my email inbox and hear the conversations over the last few days, you'd find lots of examples of this, people pulling on the reigns and slowing things down, changing direction and intuiting the need for more ease and familiarity. I think it is a good time to let go of extra embellishments and just stay with what is necessary and nurturing - yes, the sacred stories - the card I pulled for my alter today.

So with a bit of uncertainty brewing in both the expansion and aching of one heart, my own, I am rooting in what I know. Love is my anchor, always. It makes all the hard choices a little easier.

I'll pull my cards today and set out my full moon bowl under the waxing rainy sky to usher in the gentle deer energy, a clear path to love, and a bit of protective guidance to help me live fiery and fully in the midst of all that is wildly sweet and heart-breakingly sad. It's in this duality my life is always revealed, so these words are my anchor: "If any of our hardships take us away from joy – which I’m not sure they do – I know this: they also bring us closer to love." (thank you, Tara).

There's only this.

My mantra for this moon cycle, brought to you by the cast of Rent, because every mystic has her superpower tools for listening and tuning into soul - broadway show tunes happens to be one of mine ;)

There's only us
There's only this
Forget regret-- or life is yours to miss.
No other road
No other way
No day but today

There's only yes
Only tonight
We must let go
To know what is right
No other course
No other way
No day but today

I can't control
My destiny
I trust my soul
My only hope
is just to be

There's only now
There's only here
Give in to love
Or live in fear
No other path
No other way
No day but today

Happy full moon. Blessed be.

Jun 27, 2015

Gone Wishing :: a mini retreat

July 18-19, 2015
1pm Saturday until 3pm Sunday

Come experience a little Island alchemy with me and stay the weekend at Gone Wishing, my little Plum Island cottage by the sea. We will drink in two dreamy days of creativity and exploring, easy bohemian style... complete with a dreamcatcher workshop, in town shopping and dining, s'mores and drinks around the fire pit, and the local vintage flea market!

* only 6 spots available *

Day 1: We will begin with a Wishcatcher workshop, my own version of a dreamcatcher that requires no weaving - a simple yet beautiful way to create a bit of dreamy magic for your home. I'll show you how to string vintage lace into your own kind of wish-manifesting wonder, adorned with ribbons, lace, gemstones and feathers.

We will stay sleepover style, in my cozy cottage, which will be yours for the weekend to come and go as you wish! The fridge will be stocked with yummy bites and drinks, and sweet touches will adorn shared rooms for you to cozy up for a sweet nights sleep in the ocean air. 

Kindred connections are part of this magical togetherness, where stories are shared, hearts are opened and friendships are forged by the fires of creativity.

In nearby historic downtown Newburyport, a bustling seaside artful community, there is an abundance of shopping and hidden surprises to explore. We will head into town for the evening to toast and break bread at one of the unique and award winning local restaurants.

As the sun sets, we will return to the cottage to circle around the fire and share stories and laughter and cocktails and s'mores. I have a feeling cards will be read too.

Day 2: Sunday morning we will wake early to hit our local vintage flea market, Todd Farm, and load up on special treasures and creative inspiration! There are hundreds of venders to peruse.

End your weekend with some slow and easy time on the dock at the cottage, or take advantage of more local offerings in and around Plum Island:

bike rentals
hiking in the bird sanctuary
kayak or canoeing (free, right from my dock)
Newburyport Farmers Market and more!

I can't wait to share with you a sweet dose of island magic!

* We will gather, rain or shine, as the weekend fee includes your workshop and all supplies, shared lodging (twin bed, couch or mattress), and all snacks and beverages. All other ventures and meals are a la carte additions and weather permitting.

Jun 24, 2015

love bomb

It was such a treat to be able to participate in The Love Letter Library's secret project of spreading joy and random acts of LOVE. I took my stack of notes and journal with me to a recent trip into the city and sprinkled bits of encouragement wherever I wandered. It really was a thrill to be the Love Fairy and gift a stranger with a spark of light in their day. I tucked love notes into sweet little corners and wide open spaces, hoping all 10 of them would be discovered in a moment of wild and happy surprise! Oh, what fun it was to spread these messages love, as you never know how it could shift someone's world.

Jun 14, 2015

tucked into my rainbow-filled heart

Faith is an interesting thing to find at a Pride Parade, but faith, in a lot of ways is what we all found. Faith in who we are as a family, faith in our community, even a greater rising faith in humanity. Attending Pride as a family called into question it all, and admittedly before going I did worry over what questions might come up and what my kids might possibly see.

But fear has no place at Pride.

What we all encountered and were deeply embraced by, was such wild and overflowing LOVE and beauty. It was the kind of celebration that affirmed this truth in every way.... we are enough... and there is space in this world for everyone. And there is love, and support, and kindness, and care holding us all, even if it's sometimes hard to see. 

To a 5 year old, it was a total lovefest. Even the wildest expressions of freedom just seemed like another joyous celebration of individuality. It's amazing that in the right context, girls in pasties and boys in miniskirts can seem so benign and fun! The things I thought would be potentially "inappropriate" and had fear around being able to find adequate words for, turned out to be nothing more than part of the greater joy, and the awkward questions become so simple to answer... "They are celebrating being free and who they want to be!" - a notion we can understand at any age.

To an 11 year old, with a father who is bisexual, who only understands this truth from conversations and questions, it was context for a personal reality. As a mom it was so gratifying to watch him throughout the progression of the parade, slowly come to the realization that we are not alone or strange or "abnormal" in some way. To watch him spill open and embrace what it means to truly be proud about who you are, gave me such a solid realization that he will indeed find his own way into this world, strong and true, no matter what those truths are. 

And in a quiet moment just between the two of them, he told his dad he was so proud of him. Two hearts cracked wide open, in that moment.

As a family, it felt so important to be a part of this greater narrative. To be present to the blessings and the struggle, and ultimately the triumph and wild JOY.

Not to mention there was crazy good swag. The kids came home loaded up with rainbows and an abundance of happiness and love.

 I am so very proud.

Jun 13, 2015

lakeside sorcery

My Squam Journal, that I admittedly bought long before even having had the experience of setting foot by the mythical lake, tells the story of wild transformation. This is what Squam Art Workshops is to me. Yes, it's creativity, and togetherness, and a special life-affirming kind of sacred kinship deep in the womb of Mother Earth, but mostly it is a place for shedding and getting closer to the bone. Each year I arrive on the dock another year wiser and deeper in my truth, and season after season my entries in the Journal pages have shifted and grown... from a longing to simply arrive... then a desire for integration and expansion... and now claiming my place in the narrative in a way I never expected, with new knowledge (as always) to be gained.

For me, the alchemy is all in the grit.

This is the lesson I learn over and over.

While I am all about the shiny things, it's in the underbelly that I truly thrive and come alive and become a weaver intangible, indelible things.

Now, firmly rooted on this other side, behind the scenes of helping to make the all magic happen, I see this is really where I belong... granting wishes, illuminating dark corners (with twinkle lights, of course), and creating space for other people's dreams to come makes complete sense. This is how my own magic is born. It's what I love and am meant to do. Tend the fire. Light the way. And play in the shifting elements that reveal my own sort of sorcery.

On the full moon, the day before everyone arrived, I sat quietly in front of the fire and pulled these cards. Here is the naked truth:

Current situation :: Swan :: coming into my own, finding what is beautiful inside and out, letting go of old stories (The Ugly Duckling) and becoming who I'm meant to be. And during our Full Moon gathering later that morning on the dock, I pulled the Story card, by the way.

Current challenge :: Three of Cups :: resolution, healing, conclusion and balance around ideas regarding abundance and pleasure.

Past :: Loving (inverted) :: in the wilds of self love, learning the lessons and doing the work of loving myself in the way I love others.

Recent past :: Witch :: alchemy, magic, shifting and learning about the power of all the energy in my life.

Best outcome :: Four of Cups :: new knowledge.

Future :: Sage :: the wisest self.

Lake magic clearly delivered this spot-on message.

To say I am insanely grateful for the spirit-friends who've helped shepherd me here, and for this entire experience and opportunity, would be a huge understatement. To have work that is both meaningful and fulfilling, fun and joyful, is a gift. Lest you be fooled, it was really hard work. I came home and slept for days, and it's taken me some time to process the fact that I am in a new place entirely. Squam, but not the place I once dreamed of. The dream was bigger than I could have imagined for myself, which is the real transformational magic of SAW, and yet I'm in a place of my own making - this life of my own making, really, and that is the greatest revelation of all.

Blessed be.

Jun 11, 2015

Inner Alchemy Circle: Fire Coven

Burn. Bare. Become...

Centered around making your own one-of-a-kind Alchemy Deck, in each circle you will be guided with stirring prompts and easy how-to's to infuse each of your cards with insight and deep personal meaning. You will also learn ways to use these cards as a powerful tool in your creative life and work. Best of all, you'll be able to call upon this deck over and over again to conjure inspired clarity and sparks of wisdom whenever you need it most.

NEW for this next round of Fire!

* brand new Guides, decks and card prompts making every deck is it's own adventure *

* daily videos and card notes *

* creating and tending your sacred Fire Alter *

 *new ways to use your cards and customize this work for what you most need *

These cards are magic... part works of art and part sacred love story. 

To see a glimpse of gorgeous Alchemy Cards created in previous circles, look here, or find them on Instagram under the hashtag #alchemycards.

As always, our circle will be guided by fierce magic-makers!

Inner Alchemy Circle :: Fire Coven
an online gathering
July 12-25, 2015

{$69} Fire Coven circle only


A Year of Inner Alchemy - Fire, Earth, Air & Water
{$219} *save $57, details are here

This circle is for YOU if you're longing for... 

>---> new wild ways into getting messy in creative inspiration adding a rich dose of core creativity to each day.

>---> developing a simple yet powerful creative practice that is rooted in playful possibility and wild and messy inner exploration.

>---> fierce guides to support you in wise conversations with your own truth allowing you to dig deeper into the magic you already posses.

>---> connections with kindred community in an encouraging and inspiring sacred circle.

These tools will be our way into our wild Inner Alchemy:

* Creating your own Fire Alchemy Deck (28 cards) with daily videos and easy how-to's. 

12 gorgeous Guides, offering up their own brand of alchemical badassery! 

* Alter making and sacred space clearing in the element of Fire.

* Fun ways to utilize your cards and integrate them into your creative work and life. 

* Custom Made Alchemy Kit exclusively available to workshop participants for an added infusion of Fire. For sale in my Etsy shop before the start of each class.

* Private site and Facebook page for gathering and group discussion, where you can safely dive into meaningful work at your own pace, make new connections, share the cards you make, and receive all the beautiful energy of our Inner Alchemy Circle Coven. 

Explore your Inner Alchemy

Fire Coven {$69}