How I learned to put the pieces back together

It was only a few years ago that I was driving home from work, sitting in traffic. I was probably pumping my head full of info from NPR but I remember not really wanting to *be* at home. I walked in the door and my roommate/partner/rocky relationship person had his back turned to me, didn't say hello, and I felt invisible. I went straight to the shower and broke down in tears as soon as the water turned on…

Life is a Ceremony

Without going into too many details right now, I have spent the last week understanding and fully feeling what it means to be alive.  I have taken part in a ceremony that opened the floodgates of my heart and showed me a truth that I feel I've been searching for, my entire life.

My sister, Marlena, writes songs that speak so much to the essence of what life is: 

"Each moment you wake up, the choice is yours to hold. Will you lay down in fear, or stand up and be bold? We have a choice to rise up and be a vessel for love. Sometimes there's boulders in our path; forcing us to slow down. Here we must face our pain, there's no easy way around. We have a choice to rise up and be a vessel for love. Can you see yourself as capable and divine? Treat yourself with reverence; and honor your life. We have a choice to rise up and be a vessel for love." 

It's true. When we go through our days, we can either fall down and let life run over us; being a victim to circumstance. Or we can stand tall and be the warriors; sending others our love as we trudge through our pain.

 Just as there are bad days and good days, each MINUTE of our lives is a constant current of energy. That's what we are; energetic beings taking part in this world in physical bodies.  Why do we do what we do? Is it all just a distraction from pain that needs to be pulled up and healed? Sometimes we distract ourselves by numbing our pain; sometimes we distract ourselves with drama as we become obsessed with the stories of our lives.

But sometimes, we get glimpses of our pain; we experience death or heartbreak or anger until we can't handle the intensity.

And we fall apart.

And in that falling apart, we are broken open. We let our tears or an injury or our rage take that pain and pull it out of us. 

And we begin to come back together again.

Without the breaking open; the falling apart; the darkness, we cannot feel the love- the joy. They are one in the same.  There is no person that experiences the deepest love, that hasn't felt the deepest pain.  So, as Marlena sings:

"Life is just a ceremony. Full of ups and downs. We can learn to ride the waves and we will never drown."

What waves are you riding? Do you feel like the current of life is always trying to pull you under? Do you feel confident in your energetic body? Do you love your physical body? Are you spending your entire life, waiting for someone or something to save you?

We have the strength to heal ourselves.  It's only a matter of time until we decide to do the work. Are you ready to be a warrior and embrace your pain to get to the love? 

photography by Richard Casteel




Self-Parenting: for the baby in all of us!

Self-Parenting; this topic has been coming up for me extensively in the last few years but seems to be on my horizon when I need it the most.  And apparently, right now, I need to really get back to treating myself like a baby.  In a good way…

We are all children; innocent and malleable, but strong and stubborn.  Can you close your eyes and see how you feel, deep down? Does the infant inside of you feel safe and secure and nurtured? Or is she tired or frightened or lonely?

Photo by V ictoria Lucia

Photo by Victoria Lucia

Reality check: no one can be there for us, like we can be there for ourselves.  I’ve learned this the hard way throughout my life as I’ve TRIED to rely on boyfriends and my family to supply needs that are nestled so deep within me, they can’t possibly be met by anyone other than me.  When I first learned about the concept of self-parenting, it was in the form of mothering.  It was 2014 and I was in the midst of a 9 month period of choosing not to be in contact with my mother.  It wasn’t a decision with forethought but rather the culmination of a life-time of little to no boundaries and a lack of awareness around why my mother triggered negative emotions in me.  As I discovered during this period of separation with her, even our own mothers didn’t parent us in every single way that we needed- from infancy to adulthood.  They just did the best that they could at that time. Once we “grow up”, it’s time for us to do the best WE CAN, for ourselves.  

There comes a point in life when it is time for us to take the reigns and lead ourselves to freedom and pure self-love.  I chose to take the reigns that summer, in 2014.  I learned how to treat myself like I was a baby- making sure that my basic needs were met, and then nurturing myself. For me, I did it by asking myself (constantly) what I needed.  I literally nurtured myself with everything that I was aware that I needed. I cut off friendships, jobs, and hobbies that I felt weren’t in my best interest as I went through a very reclusive and sensitive time.  

There is no one right way to self-parent but for me, I needed a lot of alone time and self-care rituals.  It was that year, 2014, that I began setting intentions on the New Moon and releasing negativity on the Full Moon.  I started leading New Moon gatherings for women and thus- a year later- Lunar Nourishment was born.  I truly believe that if it weren’t for my extreme form of self-parenting, I wouldn’t have had the guts or gumption to release parts of my life that were no longer serving me in order to make room for new endeavors. 

My self-parenting looked like this:

  • Constant check-in's with how I felt emotionally and physically

  • Feeding myself the best and most nutritious foods

  • Slowing down + pretty much stopping my yoga practice and most physical exertions

  • Spending a lot of time in nature and in the sun

  • Quitting my job and working for myself

  • Living alone

  • Not drinking alcohol or being very social

  • Only doing things that felt like a HELL YES

  • Saying no to things that didn't feel good

But lately, there’s been a shift.  Self-parenting looked like those things that I listed above but now, I can feel my Soul asking me to “level up”.  I had a conversation with my sister, Marlena, about this the other day and she shared that sometimes what used to serve us, is no longer ENOUGH.  For the last few years I have needed rest and alone time and a very light workload mixed in with some time in nature and the sun.  Now, I feel a call to rest in a different way. To sit in silence when I want. To practice yoga and move my body more. To work smarter, not harder.  But most of all, to keep parenting myself.  

On this Scorpio Full Moon, I invite you to explore your inner child and your inner Mother. How you can you be both and treat yourself the best way possible.  On this Full Moon, embrace letting go of old ways of being that aren't truly nurturing for your Soul. 

Do you parent yourself? How do you give your body and your soul what it needs? What does your practice look like? Do you feel guilty about treating yourself like an infant?  Comment below and see who can learn from your story. 


Needing to heal doesn't mean you're weak.

I received a massage last week, in my home, and as the sun shone in through my windows, all I felt was guilt.  Even though I was able to soften my body, I had a thought, “I am a spoiled woman receiving a massage at 10am on a Tuesday. Why do I deserve this?”  After a few minutes, I let myself sink into it and I remembered that I deserve everything. I deserve self-love and self-care.  I am not selfish for wanting the best for ME.  When do you find yourself feeling guilty, even though it's unwarranted?

As I learn how to be a better receiver, I am learning how to be a better giver.  My livelihood is dependent on the services I provide to others and the space that I hold for them.  If I don’t care for myself, I can’t truly give to others.  For the last few years, I have found myself giving everything that I’ve got until all I am is a watered down version of who I truly am or want to be. 

At our New Moon Circle last month, a very wise woman said that she realized she is no longer responsible for others’ feelings.  She no longer wants to carry their burden, their heartache, their sadness.  Why do we so often feel drawn to the pain of others, while we ignore our own pain? I believe so much of it is inherited. Somewhere along the way, we lost our capacity to (know that we can) heal ourselves.  We lost our ability to feel the energy in our body and to realize when it’s off balance. We began listening to others more than we listen to ourselves. 

My own mother says that “in her day”, you only complained about pain if you were close to passing out from it and that her generation has an engrained sense of the word HEALING meaning WEAKNESS.  But just because you have something to heal from, doesn’t mean you’re weak.  In fact, it’s just the opposite. The brave ones, the strong ones, the courageous ones have the ability to look and feel within themselves to become aware of an imbalance.  The Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang speaks to the fact that humans were born from the chaos at the center of the planet.  That without chaos, harmony does not exist.  

It’s true; think back to a time in your life when everything was going perfectly.  When you were flowing through life and each day was amazing. Those times, while great, don’t offer us growth.  Evolution, change, transformation and growth come from CHAOS. They come from the messy.  It’s when we’re in a fetal position crying on our bedroom floor that we are growing.  It’s when we want to crawl out of our skin that we are evolving. It’s when we leave work early and drive out of the city to cry in a field that we are becoming wiser.  

I invite you this month to EMBRACE THE MESSY. To not be a chameleon (click that link to read an AWESOME post about this topic!) and mold ourselves to what others want. I invite you to "level up" your life by not feeling guilty about what you deserve.  Guilt is pointless; Eckhart Tolle explains that there is no need to feel guilty about anything in our past that we've done because we are now operating at a higher level of consciousness.  Past "mistakes" aren't mistakes- they are actions that you took at the highest level of consciousness you could, at the time.  So let's move past our guilt and star to live in the NOW.  

be true to you; receive what comes your way with grace and gratitude.  give only from the heart, not from obligation. 

I invite you to stop settling, and start living from your place of truth.