Aug 27, 2015

sacred scholarships, feeling fallish & full moon medicine

Focusing on aligned choices, spiritual connection, purification and cleansing, serendipities with nature and the elements and all that is mystical, this Full Moon is a ripe one.

I've certainly felt the pull to clean and organize, ground and connect, and before reading about this weekend's lunar forecast I had just cleaned and organized my studio, threw all the bed linens into the wash, and opened all the windows to let in the fresh fallish air. Truly, this morning has felt like a revelation.

While we've been enjoying the last of summer's sweetness, the shift to autumn has begun. New year energy. A new school for my oldest. Brand new soul-offering almost ready to begin. 

In the spirit of all the grace and gratitude in response to this Wish Alchemists Circle, I have decide to offer a few Sacred Scholarships to fill this circle. So, if you are YES to the desire inside of your own life and wish to commit the better part of this next school year to dream excavation and the work of truth and dare, send me a letter speaking to your why. I'd love nothing more than to wave my magic wand and make this happen for you (limited scholarships will be granted on an as-needed basis). Let's be all-in together! 

And if your heart is set on making more Alchemy Cards, the fall round will be open for registration next week! Our Earth Guides are gorgeously grounded and so so wise, and I can't wait to share with you who will be offering up their magic to you. In the meantime I've begun gathering up all the yummy bits for Earth Alchemy Kits, which is a creative process that makes me so darn giddy. This time I even have an extra special treat for you, created by an extra special co-inspirer (squee!). 

So, here's to releasing into all there is to come! All the goodness. All the magic. All the connection.

Aug 25, 2015

joyous body, wild flesh

I always need a safe container. 

This is true for all of my work, whether it be within my day to day schedule, devotion to my writing and other practices, or the physical presence of my studio table that is always ready for my creative projects. With this new way of eating, it's been finding freedom inside of 1480. Calories that is. That is the healthful number I was given to begin with. What I wanted to do differently this time was to make space for healthy food choices that were not an act of defiant depravation, but rather a fierce kind of listening and honoring of my body. True nourishment. And what I found was that inside of this magic number, there was plenty, spaciousness, abundance and...freedom!

This awareness has made all the difference, being able to choose how I eat while staying close to love in every bite. No guilt. No pressure. All grace.

Here's what I've learned thus far:

* Eating intuitively is where it's at. I don't prescribe to any kind of Plan. I've tried it all before, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, meat free, Atkins, the Master Cleanse.... I have done it all in the name of dieting. I'm done with that. When I eat more intuitively, my nutrition is generally pretty balanced as well as light on excess bad stuff. My body tends to crave what it needs, if I listen. If I really truly listen.

* I really need to watch my portions. Coming from a feast on life, sort of point of view where I'd sample from the buffet heartily and with abandon, this is a big shift for me. Smaller, beautiful plates are what I try to create. 

* It took a while for me to learn my body's real cues.... like what hunger really felt like, and being full enough, to sense a need vs. a craving especially before my cycle. I try not to be too black and white about it, too all or nothing. That is not a sustainable way to go. Often a bite or two of something decadent, will satisfy.

* My sugar, carb, salt story was way off. Sweets have never been my thing, but I had fallen into that crazy routine of eating a meal and then craving dessert. I can tell now that was a blood sugar thing, that over-eating led to more cravings. I'm not a dessert girl. Salt is another story, and something I need to keep my eye on. 

* My body yearns to stretch and move. I often would ignore the urges and tell myself I am too tired or didn't have enough time. Now I listen. When I'm yearning for yoga, I roll out my matt. When I need to burn, I go for a walk. And my body is stronger and wiser than I ever gave it credit for. It wants to be challenged.

* I love fresh. Canned or processed foods make my body sad. I can tell even at restaurants when things are not made from real food. Even though a lot of this stuff "tastes" good, they don't make my body feel very good.

* I've had to make the changes slowly. I downloaded the app that would serve as my guidepost in January, but let myself off the hook until I really felt ready, which wasn't until May. I began on a random day, not the first of the month so it didn't feel like A Plan. I started when I felt committed and ready. It was a Tuesday. Momentous none the less.

* I don't weigh myself very often. I'm not married to a number so much as I am gauging how I feel inside my own skin. I can tell by how my clothes fit, and tossing away the bigger clothes has been it's own sort of sweet hallelujah! I've begun to clean out my closet and have made a pact with myself to not own anything that doesn't fit me, right now - no secret stash of "someday" clothes. Only sacred adornments that make me feel gooood, today. 

* I don't judge or bash my food choices. I used to eat with a lot of guilt. Now I treat myself with kindness. I am not what I eat, I am more clearly reflected in the choices I make.... the how and why behind the food. As long as I am mindful about the choices, I feel like I am honoring the process and don't sweat the occasional indulgence.

* I have to have a fall-back plan. On the days that are really hard, I don't focus on what I am not able to do. Rather, I find one thing that I can do and I celebrate the heck out of that, like eat a plate of greens, do a few sun salutations, drink lots of water. Something simple that is my ace in the hole no matter what. Forward progress by baby stepping, every damn day.

* I need to be committed to where I am in the present, while also having my eye on the bigger picture. In other words, I have to honor the slow and steady progress and the fact this is not a transition that happens over night. There is a commitment and wisdom that is greater than what I see happening from day to day. 

And I haven’t looked back. 

The gap between how I feel on the inside and how I want to feel on the outside, is narrowing. I'm chasing that feeling more than an end result.

My body has kept me from doing things I want to do, and I am SO done with allowing that to be true. With a lighter constitution, new dreams and wishes are emerging and all the shedding has held important lessons I'm working through as they come up. It’s been a physical letting go for sure, but there also has been an unexpected emotional component as well. It's years of internal heaviness and weight that I have become so accustomed to holding onto and carrying, and as the ounces fall away there has been both mourning and celebration inside of this transition. A recalibration of the highest order. 

But the realignment is truly happening, and I am grateful for the healing it's taken me to get to this place: joyous and wild and heartbreakingly true.... that is where I live my very best life.

Aug 18, 2015

Wish Alchemists Circle

"Powerful women sometimes take decades to recognize that they are straight-up sorcerers." 
Amber Tamblyn

It began with an intense longing.

For what? I'm not exactly sure. My entry point, way back then, was a shiny new blogging community and the undeniable tug of creative expression.

It was a way to finally hear my own voice.

What I found in the wake of a feverish devotion to these unnamed desires, the constant pull towards a surprise ending I never could have expected, was that it all began and ended with my own true heart.  These core truths have held the most powerful and profound answers to every one of my burning questions.

It wasn't a thing I had been wishing for, or even an experience or certain kind of success. That's only what it looked like from the outside. Now, having walked through the fire year after year, on the other side is not perfection or some pinnacle of life, it is a greater view of the entire landscape and all the peaks and valleys of where I've been and where I wish to go - it is seeing myself for who I truly am. 

A commitment to this kind of truth always reveals the answers, and these answers propel us forward with fierce velocity.

So, I often get asked how I make stuff happen in my life. What are the nuts and bolts, the behind-the-scenes steps and missteps, the wisdom inside of repeatedly baring my heart in search of abundance, connection and light? More specifically, how do I manifest my soul wishes and dreams in the midst of motherhood, wildly open and connected relationships, and running a heart-centered business I love?

I can tell you with utmost honesty, I do not have all the answers for you.

But I can also tell you with unwavering certainty... you hold all those answers within - and you have to trust yourself deeply to find them. 

And I can absolutely help guide you there. 

Wish Alchemy is real. I know this only because my life today is living proof of this wild and sacred magic. By giving over to my own true desires, big and small, one after the next, I learned how to bring them to reality and create the life I wanted.

Ten years as a Wish Alchemist, I am now able to feel the rhythm of this soul-work and how to guide my creative energy from one season, one year to the next, in a way that serves my greatest potential and biggest dreams. It's an organic, living process of experience and evolution. It's imperfect, messy, honest, and real.

This is what I want to share with you...what it's all been leading up to. We will walk the path together and come out the other side changed in beautiful and extraordinary ways.

Wish Alchemists Circle (online, with optional in-person gatherings) is the wisdom of 10 years of deeply personal work offered to you in one inspired and sacred container of creativity, guidance, truth, desire, community and love.

My approach is very much, truth AND dare ---->  fierce compassion and safety, grounded in wild honesty that works to serve our forward progress. This is the momentum constantly at work in my own life. I will show you how to make it a part of yours (even in those tender places).

September 1, 2015 - June 1, 2016 ...we journey together
Because it takes time to unearth your truest values, practice vulnerability, 
and begin to trust your innermost strength and magic!

This circle is an investment in your wildest wishes and spirit-warrior self

* there will only be 100 spots available *

Because intimate is how I roll and how I love to hold space. I want to be all-in with you.

As a Wish Alchemist, these will be your sacred tools and offerings:

* An immersive and interactive online experience on our private site and blog, where all the content will be waiting for you as we go (no need compile and save another folder of emails). 

* 3 Seasonal, invitation only, Wish Alchemists gatherings on Plum Island, MA, a magical place and wildlife sanctuary, for those who are longing for more sacred in-person experiences. (Oct. 8, 2015 - Feb. 12, 2016 - and spring date TBA)

* Monthly, Wish Alchemy guided videos, for direction, insight and storytelling around the rhythm of the creative cycle and year (with an additional bonus look into July and August!). Discussions will be multifaceted and holistic touching on daring self care and embodied living, finding our boundaries and edges, fierce communication, authentic creativity and sexuality, sacred containers, intimacy and devotion, beautiful business, honoring the ebb and flow, and more.

* Monthly, Alchemy Lab creative mini-workshops, for playful exploration around core aspects of each months work. No art experience required, just a willingness to get a little bold and messy as there is something in the kinesthetic process of making that shakes loose new magic! We will scribble, tear paper, play with words, paint, and, of course, make a few Alchemy Cards.

* Private virtual gathering space for monthly goal setting and live chats on Facebook, helping us to dive deeper with connections, resources and all soul work in our circle. Live chats will be scheduled once per month, open to your specific questions and feedback.

* Moon cycle Inner Alchemy Card draws. On each New Moon and Full Moon I will draw and share an Inner Alchemy Card pull for you to muse upon, a practice that continues to help guide me throughout the year.

* A go at your own pace format, where you choose your own adventure and take only the wisdom and work that serves you. September to June will fly. 

You will soon feel the rhythm of each month like the air you breathe... organic, powerful, sustainable, where gentle shifts can occur and wishes do come true.

This circle is for YOU, if you

...are in need of a place to begin. 

...are further along on your path, but are seeking more integration, alignment and freedom.

...enjoy a combined holistic approach of grounded and practical, intuitive and spiritual.

...are searching for clarity around your own true rhythms, desires, practices, and soul-answers.

...need a platform to safely set goals and seek kind encouragement and accountability. 

...crave connection with others who are on a similar path of true-living.

...are ready to play with vulnerability in order to manifest wild transformation!

Wish Alchemists Circle
$35 mo. for 10 months (auto-billed monthly)

$298 for the complete year (save $52)

* Note: registrations are processed personally, by hand (not by computer) so may take up to 24hrs. I am so glad you've said YES!

Aug 6, 2015

the things we carry

There is nothing like full-on family time to bring into focus the myriad of feelings, memory, and story that inevitably become the wild and complex stew which feeds our lives. Our past is deeply embedded into our narrative DNA, and we all carry both blessings and broken parts. There is so much for each of us to unearth, discover, celebrate, and heal.

I think it is this human part of living that is most compelling to me - that we all have burdens to carry, lessons to learn and gifts to share as imperfect, evolving human beings, and no matter what the heartaches and triumphs look like in our lives, underneath it all it is simply a universal quest to love and be loved in the best way we know how.

It is a tough gig.

I feel the pull to prevail, to not be defined by the past, but to find my own ways of happiness and peace - to only carry with me what it is good and strong and beautiful. There is so much. But I also want to understand the mythos and lean into those spaces where our histories overlap. Family is tribe, and I can only understand who I am by understanding where I come from.

Most of all, I just feel so much compassion for all of us trying to make something of our time here on this earth. I can only hope that the legacy I leave behind is one that simply speaks of LOVE.

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.