Jan 18, 2017

really vulnerable work

{photo taken at the Dean Hotel}

When you use the template of your own life and beliefs to anchor the work of change and becoming out in the world, the vulnerability of it is always a significant factor at play. I'm always edging around the perimeters of my own heart so that I can lean in close enough to pull out meaningful things to share. The soul of my work is Me, not some product line created in a boardroom using focus groups and metrics.

So as a wild-heart inspirer, my studio life is messy and unpredictable. Staying grounded and knowing how to deal with a vulnerability hangover is critical to my work.

I'm sure you've been there too, after having acted on something you deeply believe in or baring your soul in a scary but necessary way. The buzz of excitement and adrenalin starts to mellow and the reality begins to settle... did I really just say/do that?... like authenticity PTSD. Don't be alarmed, this doesn't mean you've made the wrong choice to use your voice. It just means you've touched on something very deep and very meaningful, and probably something really important and elemental to who you are.

After this week's personal truthfest, and for all of you who are standing up against all that is happening in the world, I though this would be a really helpful reminder to all of us.

// How to Manage a Vulnerability Hangover //

Give yourself permission to have the conversation slowly, in layers, and over time. Don't feel like you have to drop the mother load on everyone, all in one moment. In fact, it's probably easier and safer to roll out hard and vulnerable conversations in smaller digestible increments. Tell those closest to you and/or those who you know will be your unconditional cheerleaders, and let the rest follow as you are ready.

Embrace the vulnerability. Be prepared that when the momentum starts to wear off you will feel moments of doubt and fear and sadness. You are saying goodbye to an older version of You, after all, and this probably means you are leaving behind people who knew and loved that person you are no longer. The discomfort of stepping into a new place is inevitable, so breathe through it and be gentle on your heart in the days following.

Tend to the physical symptoms. You will probably feel exhaustion and even a little run down physically. You've just energetically offloaded a huge weight and your body will feel this sudden change of energy too. Make room for some extra rest, some nourishing food, and for a few little immune boosters like extra sleep, zinc drops, and essential oils etc. until your equilibrium re-calibrates. This takes time. Be patient with the process. Moving your body, sweat, wringing out the emotions will really help as well.

Allow others time to let it all sink in. Just because the people you tell don't immediately rush to your side, don't discount them. Everyone has different ways of processing things and different ways of expressing (or not expressing) their feelings, and it may take time for others to really get comfortable with what you are saying. Their discomfort is not about you, it is all about them, and you have also had time to move through a lot of your fears before making the big announcement. They have not. Time will absolutely help.

Let go of expectations. I know this is so so hard, but do your best to let go of any expected outcomes. You have no control over how others might react. That is part of their story, not yours. The important thing is that you have shared your true heart. Onward you must go.

Have at least one person you can talk to.  It's so important to have someone on your side who you can trust and have real and honest conversations with, in the moment, to help you process the waves of emotions that will come up. Nothing fights fear more than those people in your life who truly SEE you, and LOVE and HONOR you! Lean on those people if you can.

Engage in the conversation. Though the temptation might be great, don't let the conversation just fade away. Keep people who have an interest in what you are saying, engaged. You know that saying, fake it til you make it? Yes! If your conviction is wavering, it's okay. You'll find yourself in a more solid place soon. The more often you speak your truth, the deeper that will truth root within you. Keep on keeping on... we need you!

Trust. Celebrate. Gratitude. Congratulations! One of the hardest parts is over. All you need to do now is to keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust in who you are. Keep your cheerleaders close by, and don't forget to turn on the disco ball and throw some confetti. You deserve to celebrate! And for those who show up to hold your light, for the freedom that starts to illuminate your way, for the ease of spirit that will start to wash over you... gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.

Jan 14, 2017

the art of intimacy

I am learning to use my voice. Quite literally, actually. The new podcast, using Voxer to stay in touch with friends, my first FB live event yesterday... being heard, for me, is showing up in a new, intimate way. 

I've never felt super comfortable talking out-loud, especially if that meant articulating any part of my inner world. I think it had to do with my own discomfort and the fear of letting others into that mess. I think it also speaks to how important parts of my own self have been hidden from my own view for such a long time, tucked away in a place of safety yet also a place of solitude. Breaking down these internal walls is changing the game, big time. So is practicing speaking my truth. It's not so scary after all.

Here is what I now believe of intimacy; intimacy is presence. It is showing up in your full range of being. It is reciprocal, dimensional, and in real time. Intimacy is a two-way street of love and liberation. It doesn't have to be daily or even routinely. It is is more about your willingness, the allowing and actively letting each other in - choosing and being chosen... I see you; I want you to see me.

In non-monogamy there is this term for someone who flies in and out of your life once in a great while. They're called a comet. I used to believe that intimacy could only be longitudinal and within a relationship that is built over time. What I think is more true, is that intimacy exists on a spectrum. It's not all-or-nothing, or something that can be neatly assigned to certain labels, friend vs. lover. Relationship language does not create nearly enough space for all the different kinds of intimacy. 

Whether you are in orbit of one another year after year or simply passing through, the intensity of an intimate connection is not dictated by time or even action. A perfect example of this is how we are often more apt to do closeness with our families, but not necessarily intimacy. When a friend recently pointed this out to me, it was a lightbulb moment for me to finally see that differentiation. The difference being how much vulnerability is at stake. 

Intimacy, I believe, is determined more by a certain mindful alignment of devotion. What is the intimacy landscape you and I want to create and share? How vulnerable are we both willing to be? How can we get there, together? It can look like friendship, or collaboration, or love, or partnership, or familial, or everything in-between. 

Where the trouble appears, is when these intimacy expectations don't align. This is what I am having to sort out in some of my own relationships, both how I do intimacy (who I am), and where I'm willing to live inside any given relationship (what I want). There are certain relationships that are so important to me and utterly contained by the sheer power of love, that I am completely willing to sacrifice degrees of intimacy. There are others that don't feel quite so clearly defined, and this is the hard part of relationships... figuring how to meet each other where we are, at any given time. 

I don't think we have to necessarily always be in the same exact place intimately or relationally. Actually, it seems we most often are not if we are growing and learning as humans, but I do think what's ultimately important is that we want to eventually end up at the same destination, whatever that looks like - as BFF's, as co-creators, in bed for one night, as long term life partners, and so on. 

Living inside all the questions helps me to navigate and remember that intimacy is a fluid conversation. As with any conversation the most important thing we can do is to simply show up... imperfect, but perfectly willing to be in the process together.

Jan 5, 2017

mad about sparkle {2017 planner ritual}

There is something about the tradition of creating my new planner every year that is so grounding and also exciting! To see what emerges... what colors, words, and mood appears, is always such a surprise. I really just try to feel my way through the process and it always seems to come out just the way it's meant to. I gave up long ago on boring blank or prefab covers that didn't speak my truth. Devotion to this more personalized practice is always so much more rewarding for me.

I let the images find me, the ones that instantly feel like a 'yes' in my body.....

...and then I always add some shimmer, this year some gold leaf...

...and I allow the words to appear like magic. It feels like this. Every time.

This year is so much about Truth, Daring and LOVE. These seem to be touchstones that always find me. I think this cover captures the vulnerability of what I think this year will be too, accompanied by sparkle and power and adventure. And wings. Always wings. Maybe even some sexy yoga ;)

Last year I think I was deep in the liminal mess (you can peek at last year's cover, here), inside that dark and womb-like work of creation. This year I can feel myself emerging. I see it in this cover story as well. More light, more strength, more direction, more celebration. 

I am ready <3

Are you?

Jan 1, 2017

be a love revolutionary

{January page from my Notebook}

In 2017, I already know I'll be creating more dynamic and safe spaces of belonging... 

in my own body

in my own heart 

in my relationships

in my work

in my community

and in our world.

Heading into this new year I've hit the re-set button in a big way. I'm letting go of many things, clearing, editing and making room for what truly matters. 


I had a pivotal conversation with my mom last fall, that eventually allowed me to see the truth of so many things all at once... how sturdy I've become in my own beliefs, how wide some gaps of understanding might always be, but most importantly how deeply I know of love because that is what I've been taught from the very beginning; that it is never about biology or race or religion or orientation or relationship model, because love transcends every context. 

Inside all the work I've been doing, this, I realized, is the ultimate legacy of my adoption - that love is an unshakable, unfailing truth and not something that conforms to preconceived ideals or institutions. If someone from the outside looking in were to say to my parents, "I'm sad for you that you'll never have the real love of a biological daughter.", I know exactly how they would respond. Because it's exactly how I'd respond - to not be sad for me, because I absolutely know and have this love in spades... because love is not defined by anything other than our own hearts. I'm not sure my mom and dad know it, but they are love warriors too.

My revolutionary act is simply living my life. Powerfully, truthfully, beautifully, and in deep devotion to love that is only defined by me.

Love is your revolutionary act, as well. 

This is our call to action in 2017.

More belonging.

More connection.

More love.

I'm so on it.

Happy New Year, all you wild and gorgeous souls!!!! May it be everything your heart is wishing for, and more. We've got this.  xoxoxo

Dec 26, 2016

my word of 2017 (part 1)

I'd say more than anything these past several months have been a deep dive into some of the most complex and tender places of my heart. It is the culmination of a year that will go down in the books as one of my most transformative seasons of all time. They call it a completion year (which 2016 has been heralded to be, for those who believe in such things), and for me this has meant being immersed in healing work that has allowed me to finally pull back the curtain to see the truth of my own heart.

As it turns out, healing is not an end game. It really is just another beginning.

And while I can't say that I am clear through to the other side of what has turned out to be an extraordinary recovery mission, I am far enough along to know that everything has changed. This change is not a statement of good or bad, it is more an observation. I am gaining a new perspective I have never had access to, and this unfamiliar place feels both raw and open in a really beautiful way.

My word this last year was inveterasco - a latin word meaning to become both permanently rooted and expansive. What I thought was going to be a year in shoring up the foundation to allow for new potential growth ended up being so much more than that, a strengthening of my core in ways I couldn't see coming. It also took me half the year to first fall apart. Seven months of burning it all to the ground so I could see what would be left standing.

Now in this clearer and newfound space of intimacy and love, I can finally feel the difference between suffering and sadness. This is what 2016 will go down as... the year I let go of my suffering... the year I allowed myself to feel the depths of my sadness. This is where the suffering came from - the not allowing, the pushing away and trying to love with half my heart on lock down.

Hello, whole heart.

Hello, 2017 (almost....).

Can you feel why I'm excited?

While it's tempting to fly off in a million possible directions, I am being careful about what I'm choosing to fill my life with. I am recalibrating a lot of my beliefs and desires and dialing in more clarity around how I want to fully inhabit this heart. My word was revealed in this process. It's a good, sturdy, unsexy and necessary word.

What I do know now though, is what my work in this world truly looks like: creativity and community as a pathway to more fulfilling sex, love and intimacy.

Yes, please!

I'm hoping that you might want more of this in your life too.

On this week's New Moon, I'm thrilled to be releasing a brand new project with my husband. Yes, it's true! It feels perfectly timed and ripe, and is a total adventure in devotion and vulnerability and love. We can't wait to share it with you. This project, part 2 of this post, along with the reveal of my word for 2017 will also be in Thursday's love letter. It's going to be a very juicy delivery!

Thank you for hanging with me through one of my wildest (and hardest) years, ever. Your love has truly helped me find my way.