Jul 24, 2016

adventures in exploring our sexy

Fresh from the adventure that was Studiofemme, 14 days of delving into different aspects of honest sexuality and desire within a group of wildly exploring fierce women, I am reminded of why I do this work. Every time I dive deep within a tribe of seekers, I come through it learning so much even as the leader and guide. Their brave hearts and all the opening and becoming inspires me to keep going into my own vulnerable places. It reminds me how we need one another.

I've never had a group quite like this. Turns out creativity and desire make excellent bedfellows, which I sort of knew, but hadn't fully experienced. The women who stepped into this circle came from every corner of my life. I always wondered what it might feel like to integrate all the worlds... creative tribe... sex positive community... friends and family. Now I know. I am so much more fully and solidly immersed in this sweet spot I have been cultivating for what feels like forever.

There comes a point when the work becomes, the work. Where it takes on a life of it's own and is sturdy enough to hold all the edges of discomfort, even my own. So, showing up in my own desires and sexual truths in front of women I admire and know, some very personally, was not at all difficult because they were doing exactly the same. We showed each other the way.

We questioned. We claimed. We came out. We supported. We felt the feelings. We transformed. We created. We shared the hard things. We celebrated the ultimate joy of owning, more fully, our YES.

It was not the kind of class to be spread over social media. It was the gritty, close-to-the-bone soul work of women seeing and holding space for one another's wider truths, taking risks together that felt both epically tender yet deliciously empowered. It was showing up for ourselves in a way we don't often allow.

We need more of this, for sure.

To be in these conversations is always a revelation. The universality of our struggles. The beauty of each truth. The power of standing in sisterhood.

And I know exactly where this is leading us next.

Our sexy adventures have only just begun!

Jul 19, 2016

Inner Alchemy Cards // Elements, book pre-launch celebration!

This is it! (woo hoo!) 

For so many of you who asked for this little treasure, my Inner Alchemy Circle // Elements guidebook is now available for pre-order before its official fall launch!

Learn how to make your own deck of Alchemy Cards in this wildly beautiful how-to guide filled with intuitive insight and over 100 creative examples along with their meanings. The card lexicon is rich with depth and beauty, representing the energies of Air, Earth, Fire and Water. It is all four of my previous Inner Alchemy Circle classes all compiled into one gorgeous collection, including the wisdom, artwork and words from over 40 inspiring contributors who helped me to create the incredible cards in my circles over the last few years! So much gratitude goes out to these fierce, magical women!

Tracey Clark * Susannah Conway * Meghan Genge * Susan Tuttle * Jen Lemon * Lisa Parks * Deb Taylor * Kimberly Wilson * Andrea Scher * Michelle Ensminger * Kelly Clark * Mindy Scime * Rachel Cole * Carissa Paige * Christine Mason Miller * Meghan Davidson * Kelly Barton * Nina Gilbert * Bella Cirovic * Em Falconbridge * Joanna Otten * Jamie Ridler * Alexandra Hulme * Amanda Oaks * Rachel Rice * Stephanie Perkinson * Jennifer Belthoff * Julie Gibbons * C. Delia Mulrooney * Ruth Clark * Isabel Abbott * Chris Zydel * Lisa Hofmann * Suzanne Sperl *  Jena Schwartz * Jenica Lake * Donna Wynn *  Michelle GD * Nissa Howard * Corinne Cunningham * Lisa R. Charles * Jessica Schneider * Eliza Tobin * Misty Pittman 

Throw some confetti with me! (as always, it comes included in your bundle of love :)

Inner Alchemy Circle // Elements guidebook // 8x8 full color, limited edition
Pre-order price {$19} $24

Price includes shipping

*special pre-order price through August 19th! (your shipping will begin late september). Thank you for all the card love!

Jul 7, 2016

shine on

If you're like me (or you know, just alive and human), the latest flow of tragedies in our world might have your heart feeling a bit flayed. I can only be on social media for short stints, popping in to watch baby turtles eating raspberries and to find other luscious soul snacks as a way to hold onto the light. I can only read so much doom and gloom in one sitting, and so I've been fairly quiet digesting and processing all the bile at a pace that I can handle.

Focusing on the good stuff, on making sparks fly and conjuring creative magic is my rescue remedy. More than ever, it feels like a lifeline. I'm holding on to birthday party planning for my boys, passion projects, sunsets and cotton candy on the boardwalk, and good old fashioned rest.... all the tiny beautiful things.

So I thought I'd beam some of my own soul-medicine your way.

To let you know I feel you.

I'm here for you.

We can stand in the light together.

Here are a few things that might brighten your sky....

Fresh flowers // You know things are at ground zero when the man who does not believe in buying flowers comes home with a big colorful bouquet for you. It's not that he's not romantic like that, he's just a flower humanitarian who only likes to give living things. I have a house full of rooted trees and plants to prove it (my Valentine ficus being my favorite). But the summer blooms are making me seriously happy... and you can go even deeper and explore their meanings, which I always love to do.

Beautiful images // While we are on the topic of my husband, many of you have often asked about his side of the story in our modern mash-up of a life. Someday he will write a bit I hope (he's got lots of stories to tell), but in the meantime you can peek at his IG for a look through his eyes at our colorful world. I love his view, and he's a damn good photographer if I do say so myself.

Send love // Life is short. So, more love! This will be my 5th(?) time participating in the Love Notes postcard swap, a practice I truly adore and look forward to every time. Kids are now invited to participate and join the growing group of world-wide love warriors! So fun to give and receive good mail for a few weeks. Sign up today (or a kiddo you know) - it begins next week.

Contribute // There are endless ways to make a difference in something you care about, win/win ways to feel like you are actually improving our world in some small way. I'll be contributing to the local conservation effort by donating some artwork to their fundraising event (please sign the petition, if you wish to help!). Jamie's project is also an amazing way to reach out. Sharing your time, talents and wisdom is always invaluable to all hearts involved.

New magazines // Not only are they always good for word hunting and making art, but they are essential for hitting the beach (which I have not done much of yet, but plan to soon!). My local library has a swap area for periodicals that I am constantly contributing to and raiding, and occasionally I'll splurge on something new - like the latest issue of Happinez. So good. And that name! Loving all the gorgeous indie mags these days, and so happy to support small publishers.

Accept an invitation // Sometimes you need to just get the heck outta dodge and step into circles of love. Especially when we might be inclined to stay in and avoid the hustle and bustle. A little social butterfly-ing can be good food for the soul. Wear something you adore. Put on some sparkle. Go out and have some fun!

Epic napping // A little extra rest can do wonders for an aching heart. As an INFP and HSP, I need to turn off my brain for relief, and to recharge my battery. Napping is essential. Build it into your day and snooze unapologetically. Try this fun test for a little more insight into your own energetic ways.

Make something // Getting into the hands and out of the head is always excellent mojo. I'm starting yet another Easiest Shawl Ever, because it's one of the very few things I can knit and I have gorgeous Blue Sky yarn from Squam ---> have you seen the new beautiful website btw??? Swoon.

Plan an adventure // Go to sex camp. Paint with me in North Carolina. Rise your writing. Come to Twilight Brunch! Add something to your calendar, just for you, that is out of your regular routine and that you can really look forward to.

Listen deeply // Podcasts are making my ears blissfully happy these days. Loved this chat with book maven Lisa Occhipinti, and omg Elizabeth and Kimberly totally made my day! This one with Esther Perel I had to listen to twice, like wow. And this one had me really thinking too.

What's keeping you afloat these days? Please do tell.

Jul 5, 2016

a constellation of scars

Truth be told, this one little word is a hard won battle scar as much as it is a beautiful prayer.

Indelibly. Infinitely. Unfailingly.

Because I sometimes forget the lesson when it comes to my own heart, and every so often I still get lost in wild tangles of despair.

I need this reminder, this breadcrumb trail back to my own true north... that love comes not from being worthy or good enough, that it is not something to strive for or earn, rather it's embedded in every molecule of being and alive in every single breath. Yours and mine.

We only have to choose it, to believe it, to allow it.

I continue to learn this lesson, again and again.

My skin already holds endless stories of sadness and loss, scars like constellations that have kissed my flesh too bright and hot, to slowly fade with the painful memories of burning stars.

Maybe this word can claim some of that back, fill the space between suffering and becoming, a salve for all the parts that ache and sometimes seem too much or at times, broken. It's a mantra to place solidly over my own heartcenter or press into the palm of another, one that I can never turn away from. Whatever I reach for, whoever I touch, love will be there to blaze its truth so that I might not forget again so easily.

Love and be loved.

In the flesh, forever.

Jun 21, 2016

rebel warrior love

Because I needed a place to pour my own heart.

Because I wanted to know that this love and support exists in my little community.

Because we need more visibility for our LGBTQ friends and allies.

Because wishes hold power.

Because we can all be Rebel Love Warriors.

Because together, we are a force to be reckoned with.

Because your words matter.

Because this is the kind of world I want to live in.

Because making rainbows and making a statement is how we can move through the hard stuff.

Because more LOVE!

Because LOVE and WISHES win.

The Rainbow Wishing Tree will be moving to Salem, MA for North Shore Pride!

Come make your wish and celebrate!

Stay tuned here for location and updates <3


Jun 14, 2016

the lovers, the dreamers, and me

{photo by Alex}

Oh, the difference a year can make. This time last June was our family's first adventure into Boson for Pride. We were ready to show up and include the kids. What felt tender and a little scary even, was a huge step forward for all of us. Are we doing the right thing? - the eternal question on a parent's mind. There were a lot of new conversations, questions, curiosities, and probably even uncertainties. Even Alex was stepping out in bigger and braver ways to be the kind of man and father he believes in. It meant so much to stand beside him. To see him and love him in all the ways. It still does.

Though time shifts all things, and this year's parade was different for all of us. Still celebratory. Still questions. But the conversations expand and feel more rooted as we all integrate information with experience. 

At 6, he has not yet asked about how babies are made, but love, he understands. He is learning to question the confines of gender and cultural expectations. He wants to wear nail polish and likes the color pink, and knows how hard even that can be for a boy. Seeing a world, if even for just one day, where barriers don't exist is incredibly important at this time. To see his wonder and joy amidst it all is a gift, and not something I could ever explain or teach. It's something that simply seeps in.

At 12, there is now a righteousness born out of greater wisdom. Seeing marriage equality come to pass and knowing there is still resistance and small-mindedness bears out more complex questions, abut sexuality, about life choices, about our places of belonging in our communities. His values are solidifying. He is more at ease. He's beginning to understand the wider landscape with fresh maturity and open-minded curiosity. This day means something to him, even bigger than just his family. Inside every truth, there is LOVE - the most important belief of all.

Alex, in this last year has naturally risen within the community as the leader he is. Using his superpowers as a space holder, connector, and trailblazer, he is heading up a local community group for bisexual men, a nearly invisible demographic on the spectrum. The BRC and Fenway Health have his back, which feels profoundly meaningful and ripe. Expansion is happening for him in ways I am truly in awe of, but not at all surprised. To be walking in the parade this time was both an honor and a new way to celebrate his own coming out as the complex and powerful inch by inch process that it continues to be.  

For me, this year was a realty check in the most humbling of ways. There was a moment on the train ride in to Boston, when were packed together like a rainbow colored clown car hurdling off to the happiest place on earth, where I felt terrified. The fear and hate seeped in, and I caught myself looking around at all the faces, all the backpacks, all the eyes I could not see into, wondering if this was somehow a terrible idea, putting our family in the line of potential fire. The thought wasn't fleeting. There were police and swat teams looking under cars, bomb dogs weaving through the crowd, and I thought about what it means to live in this world, what it really takes to stand in solidarity, in truth and love. When I read about Orlando the next day, I can't even begin to parse how broken and afraid it makes me feel. As a mother it feels almost unspeakable. But then so does hiding under the covers and allowing hate to win. 

This year's celebration was a solemn reminder. I know I must somehow continue to be a light-bearer even at times when it feels impossibly hard. Especially in those times. 

To be a Love Warrior, and never forget the sacrifice.

To choose love, again and again.

To live in love, and believe in love. 

There is no other way. There is work to be done.

Because love is love is love is love.

And that is the world I want us to live in.

Jun 8, 2016

lake effect

In the days following Squam, I always clear my calendar. There is work to be done in the re-entry. Aside from the piles of laundry and loads of unpacking, there is a sweet, slow integration and sinking in that begs for solitude, spaciousness and epic napping. Mining the gems takes time. The resonance of what was shared and what I experienced echoes in the days after, and I am listening deeply - so much to reflect upon and so many joy-filled moments to sift through. I always find new pieces of my heart when I am by the lake.

The deepest stories are in the connections.

Whatever I carry with me into the woods, is what I will find. The relationships somehow become perfectly distilled reflections of the hopes, the fear, the uncertainty, the vulnerability, the love. Truth, manifested. This time in particular, I feel as though I was seen and loved on like crazy. Not only just in simple passing kindness and gratitude, but in solid waves of beautiful full-on LOVE. Maybe I was more open. Maybe I am getting better at letting others in.

Squam, most of all, is always a huge lesson in receiving and allowing. It's learning to rise up to meet the brightest light within and then passing it on, one fiery spark to the next.

May 26, 2016

the language of mothers

Today, my mom turns 70.

It's really just in these latter years that I am finally able to see and feel the grand fabric of our stories that have been woven together, like a single tapestry that holds all the threads of our relationship as mother and daughter; as two moms with very different birth stories, as daughters with our own mother wounds, as separate yet deeply connected women, as soul mates who somehow found one another other across oceans of hope and loss and love, one needing a home and the other needing a child.

All of it is stitched together. The tiny miracles, the heartbroken and wonder-filled, messy and imperfect.

Every year I think I see her more clearly. Time reveals, perspective broadens and evolves, and more stories rise to the surface.

She has always been a warrior woman, middle child, rebel soul, Gemini spirit, but I can now feel how tender her heart truly is in a way I never could as a young girl. I see beneath her fierce exterior, the soft and fleshy parts of her sentimentality and love.

I know what a devoted partner she is to my father, through all the years of triumphant celebrations and especially the ones spent fighting for life.

Every moment deserves a party, she taught me. Live now. All the joy.

I see the fierce love she has for my boys as their "candy" Nana. I know how they see her, because I saw my Nana the same exact way. Part Fairy Godmother, part superhero, and all heart and the softest place to land. It was one gift I had wished for my kids long before ever becoming a mother, to be awash in the kind of love only a grandmother can sprinkle on. It's why I never moved too far away.

Hold your family close. Life is so much sweeter together. We need one another.

I know what a fun and loyal friend she has always been, over hours of coffee and Virginia Slims, inside circles of show tune sing-a-longs and backyard barbecues, and in adventuring together to far away places despite her fear of flying.

Never let your fear hold you back. Explore with abandon. An experience is always far more valuable than something you can hold in your hand.  

And as a mother, as her daughter, I profoundly understand that although our story is not born of flesh and blood, the language of mothers is still the same.... a deep and abiding, bone and marrow, unconditional ocean of love. She taught me that language.

My mom has shaped my world in countless, significant, and beautiful ways. Even in our struggles to fully know one another as individual human beings, she has been the greatest teacher in my life. Even now, I feel the safe womb of her warrior heart every single day.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

For every wish that has come true, and for all the wishes yet to come!

I see you. I love you. I honor you. Most of all, I am so grateful and so proud to be your daughter.

May 21, 2016

wanton spiritual desire

As I wind deeper into the mystical landscape of my creativity and sacred sexuality, the more connection points I keep uncovering between these similar feral places.

It's not at all surprising, but always inspiring and in so many ways also deeply confirming. The fiery, sweet spot of sacral generative mojo that lies within all of my work and wanderings has a soul-centered pull that I keep inadvertently and deliciously get drawn into, again and again and again. It is clear I am on a very certain trajectory. Even though I can't always see too far ahead, the path still finds me with meaning and velocity, especially since having made the connection that my creative work has always been its own kind of wanton spiritual adventure.

Always more desire to chase.

The sexuality workshop I attended Wednesday night had me driving up the coast to a small town in Maine, following the waning light and wayward thoughts of my own wanting. We sat in a close circle reflecting on similarities between spiritual journeywork and sacred sex - how in our coupling we are able to mindfully design expansive and incendiary experiences with power, specificity, and sublime pleasure and intent.

Yes. This is language of my heart. Ritual, breath, rhythm, simplify, embodiment, transformation. This path of creating from profound love and desire, is my lush adventure of this lifetime.

Lighting candles and illuminating connection.

Breathing out, as he breathes in.

Allowing for the expanse of every pleasure and story.

Feeling the aliveness of my heart through making with hands.

Distilling my purest truth.

Inviting in all the lessons.

And I will always hunger for more.

May 11, 2016

spirit lines

In Navaho weavings you will often find a small horizontal line stitched into one corner of a rug or tapestry. This weaver's pathway, or spirit line, is believed to create an exit that allows the energy and spirit of the maker to escape the detailed narrative she delves into with all her heart and power, so she does not get stuck in one place or story when she is finally finished with the piece. As every stitch holds meaning and momentum, it is meant to ensure that she is able to leave one creative journey and move on to the next. Some might see this as an imperfection, but really it is a beautiful part of the work.

I feel like much of my life and makings have this built-in exit strategy, a similar kind of spirit line woven into everything I do. All of it is a living, breathing, organic process that I'm inspired to share, and the energy around what manifests in my world shifts from day to day. Words that feel powerful one morning can feel uncertain, another. An idea that comes in with much sparkle and boom, can turn out to be not quite fully formed or ready for the world, but the only way for me to know is to move through it, give myself over and commit to it completely, and then always know that there is a pathway for undoing. It is possible to give something your whole heart, and then gracefully, without shame, let it go. I have done this countless times and I have learned that nothing is ever immovable of final. I need the answers these pathways provide.

The undoing is actually part of the soul work too.

This process is inherently messy. The only way I know if something will root is to plant it deeply and give it all my care. Sometimes things don't ever flower and I must choose not see this as failure, just information for the next journey as well as fuel and inspiration for what beautiful things do come to wild fruition. It's tender work, but I feel like all I desire, all I wish for, all that tugs my heart is worthy of a chance. To not scatter the seeds would be perilous in its own way.

I have to remember there is always a way out, and always another creative adventure to be had. My soul is never contained or defined by one creative act or another. It is all a part of the bigger, grander vision.