Oct 21, 2016

do not go gently

As a woman, who is also non-white, with non-white children within a queer family, I have a pretty huge stake in this critical cultural and political climate. No matter what happens in November, the ugly underbelly has been exposed and change must happen. It already is happening and I am incredibly grateful to all the badass change-makers who are on the front lines.

The most evident shifts I see happening are inside our sex positive community where consent culture is moving towards full-on recognition and reconciliation, dismantling the patriarchy and all its nuances and degrees. New safe and empowered spaces are being created for not only LGBTQ friends and allies, but for people of color and women as under-heard, underserved and previously disempowered minority groups within the subculture. Sexually empowered people are on the front lines of your freedom (I thought you should know).

I am also one of those humans - as is Alex.

And so I am showing up today to finally state for the record that I am for all of the movements, #blacklivesmatter  #waterislife  #defineslut  #nastywomenunite  #consentrocks ... anything that pushes back against the massive machine of bullshit oppression and misogyny.

Because that is what we are ultimately talking about this election cycle.

Are you voting for more hate or more love?

More freedom or more privilege?

This election is about basic human rights, and not about he said/she said. White privilege, male privilege, economic privilege, these are all very real things that have a direct impact on every aspect of my life. I need someone to be a champion for our basic fundamental rights. It is not just about equality, it is about my ability (and my family's) to survive and thrive in this world. 

Which is why if you are voting Red - after all the evidence of bile and vitriol the right is campaigning for - I can not help but question the roots of your integrity and beliefs, and your comfort in putting a violent, xenophobic, misogynist into power... and ultimately where that intersects with me personally.

So my due diligence is this:  if you are among the friends and family I know are swaying to the Right because you are fed up with establishment politics and lies, I ask you to consider not only what you are voting against, but what you are voting for... because this; your vote for Trump is ultimately a decisive act of violence towards my family. 

While this may feel like an wild exaggeration or gross overstatement, I assure you that it is not. Discrimination and inequality are insidious and everywhere, and it touches us (read: my children, myself, my husband) in big and small ways every single day. You are either okay with that, or not.

Unfortunately, there is no middle ground in this election.

It feels personal because it is very, deeply personal - you are either choosing to love and stand up for us/beside us, or you are choosing the hate against us.

It's a simple choice.

And I hope you will #chooselove.

Oct 17, 2016

she is ready to fly

I have a three and a half hour layover in Atlanta, and I am processing so much of what this weekend was for me. I feel raw and broken open in that way that only circles of women can do. It wasn't just the soul painting, it was the wild validation that I found sitting squarely inside my own life and the messages that were dialed in crystal clear.

Truth be told, I almost didn't make it. I booked this class back in April, and as time approached I wasn't sure I could really pull it off - read: felt a little guilty, unsure, crunched for time, but I knew if I didn't go I'd probably regret it. So I gave myself permission.

What I know now is that in giving myself this time, I am on the other side of something really huge. It's barely perceptible. Its just happened here in this noisy airport coffee shop. If we saw each other I'd probably seem like the same old me, but internally I feel like I have finally reached the vista. I am exhausted and out of breath, but I can see all the beauty that is before me, behind me, and also the next peak ahead. For those who are Seekers you know these moments are fleeting and rare, but here I am unceremoniously with a decaf latte and a pile of tissues beside me, the girl in the corner typing away on her laptop and dabbing away tears.

This is the card I drew inside our circle -- Our Lady of Sacred Hearth:

never fear being lost or abandoned
you are alway home
you have belonged all this time 
you have outgrown what has been and the manifestation of the new is only a matter of time
this greater sense of belonging to yourself is to help you fulfill your spiritual purpose

So Mary tells me. It's taken me 24 hours to really believe it.

And so it is.

Maybe it was the releasing of this full Hunters Moon. Maybe it was the girl I met going through her own adoption healing. Maybe it was the permission and alone time. Maybe it was reading Christine's book along the way or the email she just serendipitously sent me. Maybe it was the heart wings that found me in their Ruby Slipper sort of way. Maybe it was being in a different environment that felt like the softest place to land.

Whatever it was, this weekend is what finally unlocked this next chamber of my heart. Of course there is work to do here too, but for now I will sit and revel in this in-between place before starting off on the next journey, and listen in full gratitude to the steady rhythm of my Heart(h).

Home... home... home.

Oct 6, 2016

houses and parts

It is week six of this new rhythm. 

My parts are getting to know one another and I am getting to know them, as my therapist would say.

I woke up this morning after dreaming about The House. For as long as I can remember I have always dreamt about these houses... big, grand, beautiful ones with long hallways and huge rooms and so many secrets and fear places inside. In my twenties, there was a tall staircase with a locked door at the top, inside the house I dreamt of back then. I always walked up to go try the handle and it never would open, until one day it did and then the house changed. Somewhere in my thirties, I could freely wander through the vast courtyard and the third floor expanse, but it always felt like a dark and scary place, a haunted place I did not want to be. So the shadow rooms always stayed empty and uninhabited. I rarely would go there, but I could always feel their pull even when the dream was about something else entirely and took place in another part of the house.

Last night I was in a new house, floor after floor of crooked rooms at odd angles, and cluttered with piles and piles of stuff. It always feels familiar, so much like home yet always scary in places, but this house was different, no hidden places. Every room though, was filled with an overwhelming amount of things from past and present, trash and treasure. And so I just started cleaning.

Alex said to me after I told him about my dream, that I am the house. Of course. Makes so much sense, and I'm not sure why I never really thought of this. 

These are my parts. 

It's taken me decades to reach some of these deepest parts of my psyche, especially the ones I have no language for or memory of, but they are emerging little by little. Like in my dream, it all seems like an overwhelming mess, but I am slowly clearing and de-cluttering, and most importantly I finally feel like I have access to see what's underneath. It is incredibly exciting and also extremely terrifying -- I'm in the sweet spot of transformation, for sure.

Sep 23, 2016

new moon circles

A different kind of gathering is emerging.

It feels this like a bridge between old work and new worlds, both an evolution and a re-alignment. Just as Brunch manifested from a wild longing for something more, so too are these New Moon Circles bringing new expansion and vision to what I want to offer and how I want to show up in my community, offering more, opening wider, holding more intention and possibility.

We will sink into creativity and togetherness as a ritual.

We will move and play and listen deeply.

There will be small surprises and big openings.

And lots of fun and laughter along the way, as well.

I invite you to come along at the end of each month, to see what we might discover within the ripest shadow places of the New Moon (I love the shadow places). There will be circling in moon salutations and intention setting, then we will flow into juicy creative time to call in our wishes.

Bring a yoga mat, an art journal if you like, an item to share on our collective New Moon alter, and whatever creature comforts you'd like to have with you (a snack, a blanket, a candle). All other supplies will be provided and we will savor some time inside deep nurturing, magic and ease.

This is mostly about connection.... to ourselves and to one another. The moon and the making are our doorways in.

Pita Hall
8 Plum Island Turnpike
Newbury, MA

September, Thursday {9.29} 6:30pm

October, Friday {10.28} 6pm

* no set fee, pay-what-you-can Karma Jar

Sep 14, 2016

she is the storm

As always, the fall school plunge has brought with it swirling winds of change, new shoes scattered in its wake as proof of growth and moving on. A passing tropical storm, Mercury retro, and so much unsettled energy had us riding through all the bumps our first week back. Now solidly into week two, we are the tiniest bit more entrenched and small hints of rhythm are appearing on the horizon. I'd usually be at the lake helping host my favorite kindred gathering, amidst more hustle and bustle and awash in magic and love, but instead I am home helping to usher in transition alongside my own little tribe. The divine timing and grace of this decision is still seeping in.

Always sacrifice.

Always moving towards more possible ease.

We've started a new family ritual at dinnertime. Gratitude for all. More grounding in the sweetness that is our shared life. I've missed the gravity of the dinner table terribly as summer was so much coming and going with meals often spent in restaurants or on the fly. Bit by bit I am finding my way back to what feels most like home.

For me, it's been my morning routine of coffee, writing and gratitude, rooting in what I know which then allows me to reach further out towards making necessary change. Inverterasco. This season I am going for it. I am in the trenches of self study with more clarity than before. Through IFS and a healthy dose of complimentary spirit medicine, I'm mining through feelings and soulwork I have been avoiding for so long, I am in it. My life choices have caught up with me, finally landing me in that place of having to either do this work (for real) or make the hard decision to give up some critical part of the dream. It is simply where we are on our open marriage journey, and where I am on my own. The two are walking each other forward - big lessons on letting others in with the ripening of connections in all direction. So much change. So much learning inside of ancient fears and new horizons. Intimacy is a badass teacher, and wants all the love.

Yoga is helping me process all of the emotions being churned up by the therapeutic process. I've never employed this tactic quite in this way, and it seems to be beautifully complimentary. I understand on a cellular level now, how critical it is to embody this change and move and breathe through such a huge shift. I need to feel the heaviness dropping away as I excavate boulders and hidden gems too. The mat is bringing me back to ease and the necessary, physical act of pushing through and letting go.

I surrender.

At least I'm trying to... to be more like the eye of the storm and embrace the perfect calm inside all that power, wonder and change.

Sep 2, 2016

yoga is the new french fries

Last night I asked if I could bring my kids to yoga class because I was really craving the release, and the teacher was so kind and so gracious and so supportive, so we decided to give it a shot. It was one of the sweetest experiences the three of us have shared in a long time. When I felt my little guy reach over to hold my hand when we were doing legs-up-the-wall, it made my heart explode in the best possible way, and seeing my oldest surrounded by the nest of bolsters he made for himself and happy as a bird, I knew this was a win all around. We needed this grounding and re-centering together. Life has been hectic, and as a mom I have been not my best self. They can't wait to go back, (and why are there no Family Yoga classes, officially?)! Today we will paint together before heading off to Maine for our last summer jaunt as a family.

Things are shifting. Finally.

The low point of the summer was when I accidentally swallowed three of my son's methylphenidate (108mg of speed) thinking they were motrin, and was awake for 24 hours assuming I was having a psychiatric emergency. It was no joke - and such an amazing, yet unintentional, testament to how different our body chemistries are. Yikes. That was a humbling experience in every way. The lessons since then have been both of resilience and the epic ways of letting go of ego to reach out when I need help. Once I let my guard down, the shores rose up to meet me and I was no longer drowning, kind of like that video of little boy freaking out and flailing in the water only to be shown by his mother that he can actually stand. Oh! Yeah, that.

So, thank you to all the love warriors who have been showing me such radical acts of generosity and kindness (like, huge gifts of soul magic and support!), filling my life with words and stories of solidarity and gorgeous resources and such special offerings. There have been an army of you, wave upon wave of gentle nourishment, and I am in awe of the pure love that surrounds me with my hand over my heart in so much gratitude.

I am grateful.

I am grateful.

I am grateful.

Aug 29, 2016

prayers for the living

In the fallows of what will go down as one of the most memorable summers ever, as I pad around my kitchen this morning in the quiet ritual of sunrise and coffee, I am still with the same question that has been trying to work its way through me all season long.... how much of myself as a human, am I truly willing to risk? 

... for life... for love... for creating more far-reaching change and desire and light in a world that is both treacherously beautiful and spectacularly flawed.  

It always feels like there is so much on the line.

At times my spirit feels so close to breaking. Being tender-hearted in a life wide-open is never easy, yet I can not choose to sleepwalk. I've tried and it's too painful, goes too deeply against who I am, to quiet the seeker and truth teller for too long even on days when I want to pull the covers over my head and hide. 

As a girl growing up, when I felt overwhelmed I used to "run away" into the trees. The two giant pines at the edge of the woods on my parent's property stood close enough together that when you walked in between them, it was like stepping into a womb. The cool, green darkness was an immediate balm to my soul, and I'd climb the branches as high as I could go and sit, waiting to be recalibrated and reclaimed. I know I was also searching for something else too, some kind of rescue inside that dark and feral place.

These days I don't climb trees or tumble into forests, (though maybe I should). I go inward, collapsing into myself where the only rescue that can come is from me. This is where I have been most of this summer, in the messy wildness gathering prayers for the living - for my own life, one breath, one beat, at a time.

There was a surprise moment when I realized what a huge precipice of change I am on. A week ago, I was sitting in a cafe about to read the blog that I always go to when my soul needs a serious lift. I've read every post since long before I actually met Elizabeth and we became friends, from way back in her Blue Poppy days. Her writing somehow always captivated and sparked something deeply vital within me, soothing words for my spirit for nearly a decade (thank you, e <3). This time though, when I dialed up the medicine on my phone the first thing I saw was this photo of my own back yard. At first I was confused, and then it hit me... love, manifested. If this is not evidence of power and magic in my own life, I'm not sure what is.

So, how much of myself as a human am I truly willing to risk?

The answer, I know, is everything.

Because, the unknown is the prayer. As well as all the love one can muster. There is no other way forward.

As I watch the trucks clear away the debris from Saturday's fire of the house that burned to the ground just 3 doors down, I know there will be a literal rise from the ashes. I am watching it happen and feel it so deeply in my own bones, the same prevailing resilience of hope and perpetuity, and how we are all heroes inside our own lives. Life is extraordinary and it is a battle, to stay awake and alive and to keep moving through the hard stuff. To find the joy amidst the rubble and know that no matter what, we are never truly broken.

Aug 18, 2016

Wish Alchemist's Circle 2016-17

"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 gentle devotion to these unnamed desires, was the constant pull towards my own true north which always seemed to reveal the most powerful and profound answers to my burning questions.

It wasn't a thing I had been wishing for, or an experience, or any level of success. That's only what it looked like from the outside. Now, having walked through the work, year after year, I now know it is all about cultivating a relationship with trust and the inherent value of my deepest truths.

So, I often get asked how exactly I make this kind of magic 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 intimate 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 commit to 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. It's an organic, living process of experience and evolution, imperfect, messy, honest, and real. It is a path made only by walking.

my 2015-16 Wish Alchemist's Notebook

Wish Alchemists Circle - a full year's worth of guidance and inspiration - wisdom, creativity, truth, desire, community and love. My approach, as always, is fierce compassion and safety grounded in wild honesty that serves our gentle 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.

September 1, 2016 - July 1, 2017
because it takes time to unearth your truest values, practice vulnerability, 
and begin to trust your innermost magic.

This circle is FREE, yet an immeasurable investment in your wildest wishes!

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

* Monthly email adventures, delivered to your in-box on the 1st of each month, designed to guide you with power and purpose through the sacred rhythm of our year, rooted in my personal real-time creative practice. We will walk the path together.

* Create your own sacred container and Wish Alchemist's Notebook. Think of it as your all-in-one inspiration journal and workbook, a simple yet personalized space for all of your musing and spilling throughout the year. It will become a treasure trove of your own wisdom and discovery, a process I have been using for years in my own work, and now share in many of my circles as well. It is my practice for capturing all the wishes.

* Art journal Alchemy Labs, monthly themes + visioning, Notebook printables, Alchemy card mojo, creative love stories, and more. Every month there will be surprises! No art experience required, just a willingness to get a little bold and messy. We will scribble, tear paper, play with words, paint, magic, and explore.

* Private virtual gathering space on Facebook, for you to dive deeper in connections, resources, goal setting, and all the soul work in our circle.

* A FREE, invite only, spring Wish Alchemist's gathering to connect in person with our circle, in all the wish-making magic!

The circle is closed for this year.... thank you to all who stepped in!

To stay connected with all my work and future circles, click here.

Aug 5, 2016

not here nor there

The well hasn't been dry, it's just been on a slow simmer. Summer always requires a downshift. I have been writing a little, working on a few deadlines coming around the corner, and gramming things here and there. Otherwise, I've been in a relative quiet creative cave coasting on more of an inward kind of energy. I'm peeking in here and there, napping and refeuling, and making forward progress on the things that are pressing. There's another birthday celebration to be had (the big 1-3... how is that possible?!?), a book to finish editing, courses to prep, and unbelievably school stuff to start thinking about.

Like I always say to my oldest, time does not wait for you, even if you wish it would.

I'm actually excited to begin thinking about fall, though a little wary that it might be a tad too early to start feeling that longing for autumn. August has just begun, after all, but the signs are here and a definite pull in that direction with Halloween stuff in all the stores (abeit way too early), reminders about fall activities are in my inbox, and the marsh grass just beginning to descend from its peak green into waning shades of gold which you would only notice if you stared at it day after day. Pretty soon the black ducks will be swimming in with the morning tides, a sure sign that it's nearing cooler weather. Summer is fast and furious.

For now it's an in between time. Not quite here nor there.

It's where I am too, getting ready and also winding down and wrapping up, in the transition of so many things and contemplating where I fit into it all.

I'm wondering what I want to call in for the fall, what gatherings I want to hold space for and what places I want to travel to, and I'm realizing now is the time to begin getting those ducks in a row. Yet there is still a lot of summering ahead. I look at my calendar and most of the days are full right up until the start of school and I'm wondering how we will make it all happen. Somehow we always do.

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!