Super triggered by another mom.

(photo by ruth, tattoo available now on her site)

(photo by ruth, tattoo available now on her site)

When I am inside of marketing a program it doesn't look like a business plan or strategy.

It is intuition meets drive meets mama life meets procrastination meets find that sticky note with that idea meets laying in bed for hours writing a newsletter in my head meets too much time on Pinterest as favorite form of procrastination meets prayer meets faith meets I want to quit meets what the hell am I doing meets I am so blessed meets pull the covers over my head and cry meets do it and don't stop meets am I a fraud meets I can't believe I get to do this work and circle with these women who change my life.

I have a strong suspicion having a linear plan outlined on a clipboard with specific dates and strategies and everything all ready to go would possibly be easier.

Maybe that is a question. I don't know.

That isn't me and I accepted years ago that if I was going to do this work for myself gig I was going to need to stop trying to be someone else. Embrace my super powers of procrastination and intuition and compassion and find the magic in it.

.......

I stumbled on a mom in the midst of a launch for a business circle. I typically don't go near any marketing or copy or sales from others doing similar work so that I don't compare myself or get all weird wonky brain talk that pulls me out of my own space.

But this is a woman I adore and I was curious how the transition into motherhood was going and I also was having that moment of oh shit...this is kind of like my circle on steroids with a marketing team and branding team and tech team and major clipboard strategies.

Cue self doubt. Cue fear. Cue all the feelings I shouldn't be feeling because I shouldn't be sitting here watching this and can't stop myself. (Tip :: the word should/shouldn't is an incredibly powerful negative word and thought choice.)

And then I heard her say something. Words that triggered the hell out of me.

"This has never been taught this way before."

All of these words about how nothing like this exists anywhere else and on and on about how this is the only place where you will get this and learn this and revolutionary ideas on yada yada.

My heart sank.

First it sank because I was disappointed that marketing like this is inside of our female culture of women circling and creating soul businesses.

It sank because I had this moment of just wishing that honesty in marketing was better than that.

And I suppose it sank because I knew that those words were working. I knew that the branding, the weaving of words and photos and the beautifully designed sales plan were bringing in hundreds of women.

I'm happy that those women are finding a place to land to be supported and to be given solid information and nurture.

I'm also triggered by the notion that no one else is doing this, no one else is teaching this, no one else is thinking this, no one else ever had this thought marketing strategy works.

It pisses me off. I'm annoyed by it. I don't want to be triggered by it, and yet, I am.

When I went to school the marketing taught to us was pretty much this kind of thing. Position yourself as the expert on something, no matter what, and sell yourself as the expert.

It felt dirty. It felt wrong. It felt dishonest. And it pissed me off. Triggered me.

I do wallow in my triggered feelings long enough to text my friends or rant to someone.

Then I flip the feelings around. I don't like feeling triggered or judgmental. It makes me feel like an asshole.

Why am I triggered? What does this mean for me? What can I take from feeling this way and turn it around into something powerful?

I ask myself a bunch of questions. I have a little communing with my higher self. 

That kind of marketing sells. And it is OK that it sells.

Just because it works doesn't mean that I have to believe in it.

Just because someone I adore happens to use it in her marketing doesn't mean that she is a bad human. It means she is crazy good at making money in a style that feels good to her brand.

.......

I know a woman who has studied with some of the most powerful healers/shamans/teachers/mothers/I don't know who else but like amazing humans.

This friend is someone that others can want to put on a pedestal. She has women who hold her as their guru as she teaches from Spirit in a way that each of us can access no matter what our past.

And this woman is student and teacher, gathering knowledge as she shares it. This woman speaks of what she teaches as old wisdom that is past down from generation to generation and how blessed she is to have been given the wisdom to now teach in her own way, through her unique gifts and the reach that we now have as women in this time of technology.

I am in awe of her.

I learn from her magic and allow it to infuse my magic.

This is an incredible gift.

I don't want to be an expert, I want to share my magic so that you may infuse your magic.

.......

My mother self is a collection of the wisdom from my mother, our mothers, the mothers who raised babies alongside me, the mothers who circle with me, the mothers who are brave enough to truth speak and live in the vulnerability of often having no idea what we are doing while being guided by the intuition of Earth, Spirit, Universe, God, Joy, Love.

She is who she is from the fathers, the men, the children, the lovers, the guides, the friends who have taught her and loved her and supported her.

My teacher self is that same collection. 

All I know is the infusion of the collection of time and trust and love that now breathes through me and becomes my own.

I call it magic. If feels like magic. I honor it as magic through the work I bring to my circles.

As teacher I am gifted in deepening my knowledge and understanding and desire for wanting to understand more and more and more.

.......

All this to say, it probably would be easier with a team and a strategy and a design plan and I don't know that those are things I want.

I love this life. I love what I've created. I love sharing it. I love screwing up and learning from it. 

I woke this morning to an email from a woman who has been in community with me for a long time.

(I'll tell you a secret. Every time I get an email from someone in my community before I read the words my first thought is always that I am terrified that I'll be told what is wrong with me or how they don't like me or the work. Every time. Nine years in. Imagine why email scares the shit out of me. I'm working on it.)

In the email she took me back to before my divorce. To the choices I've made. To how she has witnessed and walked beside me. She mentioned moments and pictures of my magic that have infused into her magic.

And then the words that came just in time for me to receive as I am gearing up for the rollercoaster ride of the week before a program begins and all the emotions that come with that.

I am truly proud of the way you have woven your life into what it is today. I see you and I honour your strength and your courage.

I see the beauty you have crafted.

.......

I see the beauty you have crafted. 

This beauty.

This beauty is why as women we circle to bleed with the moon, to craft meals to feed our family, to explore sacred sexuality with ourselves and our lovers, to consciously partner in love and family, to feel intuition as rhythm and ritual, to truth speak when we want to run, to craft a life that is Spirit filled with our magic.

Eli (my 12 year old) just came upstairs and wrapped his arms around me and said, "You are so cute, I'm so proud of you."

It is possible my love Dave might have told them I am working hard to provide for our family and how proud he is of me.

This beauty weaves deep.

Dave thanks me for guiding him and walking alongside him as he discovers ways to heal and become aligned to his integrity and devotion to our love our children our life that is precious in its beauty.

I believe in magic.
I believe in choosing to create a business that empowers women while empowering myself as provider and nurturer of my family.
I believe in the beauty.

.......

This week will be stressful. It will be filled with surprise love. It will be late nights choosing words. It will be doubt and fear mixed with procrastination.

This week will model for my kids how to take faith and wisdom and magic and bring them to life while cooking dinner, checking homework, grabbing 20 minutes to do yoga, starting my bleed (oh the timing), driving to and from schools, finishing up Halloween costumes and studying for Latin tests.

This week will be surrendering to help from Dave which is a deeper learning and trust for me. He will show up with faith in me and the work in a way that I may struggle to feel. He will tell me I am beautiful and brilliant and how he can't believe I chose him.

This week will start with me burning last night's dinner left overs because I got lost in writing these words and having my daughter get annoyed by me doing that and then having a poor parenting moment because she was mad at me.

This week will be only one trip to the grocery store with a well crafted meal plan, including already roasted chicken, so that my time is in abundance. The kids have already come into my office 4 times now asking when we can go shop.

This week. Oh, this week.

This week will be crafted beauty. 

.......

I just found a clipboard with a checklist our 9 year old made for our day today as Dave and I were talking through how to meet each person's needs today. It simply had each child's name on it with a box next to each for checking off.

Our own unique magic. That is why we do this together.

Creatives want to quit.

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I am trained as an actor and a health coach. I have fancy pieces of paper speaking to the time spent studying and practicing both.

When I was a child I was fascinated by plants. I remember science experiments growing plants in the dark. 

I dream of living on a farm. Goats. Pigs. Gardens overflowing with tomatoes.

Sometimes I think about opening a bar that makes homemade soups and breads and has a wall of tequilas in fancy bottles with vintage glasses decorating the space. And wine. Lots of wine.

I want to have a store filled with plants and vintage collections and art and people gathering and being in community. I imagine my daughter running it so I can continue to travel and live location independent.

Building a business with my love, my partner in life, gives me goosebumps of excitement and possibility to create something that could allow us to create even more freedom together.

My dream now, that I'm so close to believing, includes real estate and rentals and making homes.

Nothing I do makes sense and it is all perfect. Because it is desire led.

I release dreams all the time. 

I manifest dreams all the time.

I am scared all the time.

So.

I do.

I feel.

I create.
.......

My dream from the start was to have a thriving, small business. To do small in amazing ways. To reach as many women as I can hold space for and to allow those women to then go and gift others with their magic. Movement like water. Flowing from idea to idea, teaching to teaching, heart to heart.

I'd rather read a business book than a novel and when I do I am converting the language and the ideas into magic making. 

And still. I am afraid. I worry about being a fraud. Of not knowing enough. I question my intelligence. I cry during launches. 

As I am crying I am remembering you. Why I do this. Why it matters. Why I question everything and then move through it to the other side because of you. 

The woman who steps into circle with a dream.
The woman who steps into circle with so many ideas she feels overwhelmed.
The woman who is creating magic and wants to infuse it all around her.
The woman who is lost in her life and knows there is something more.
The woman who can't stop thinking about a life working for herself rather than in an office. The woman that burns with passion.
The woman who craves freedom.
The woman that falls to her knees in prayer when it all is falling apart.
The woman that desires other women as friends, mentors, guides.
The woman that knows this life holds more gifts than she has yet to unwrap.
.......

Tonight as I finish from three days of writing the words above and others now marked on the page, I want to say thank you.

To all of you. Who sit reading on the other side. The ones I can't see, but feel.

There is wild vulnerability living inside of dreams. Of turning your life and stories into your work.

I know no other way. And oh-the-feelings.

Thank you for your love, your passion, your wantings.

Thank you for the times you hit reply and help me connect to my why. (Including my amazing grandfather.)
.......

Dave just brought me a glass of wine. I sit typing words, erasing them, trying to find something more clever or just different than what is flowing.

This is my favorite thing that I do. It continues to terrify me.

In the morning I'll wake up and say my silent coffee prayers as I do each morning holding my hot mug.

We will pack for our camping trip with 4 other families. I will make sloppy joes and cole slaw and pack far too much because I have to have it all.

I will surprise the kids with bacon and eggs for brunch.

The wrangling of toothbrushes and water bottles and notebooks and sleeping bags and all the things will commence.

Dave and I will find our laughter inside of the frustration I can imagine we are going to feel. Two cars piled high with supplies and kids driving into the woods.

I will keep remembering nothing I do makes sense and everything is perfect.

So grateful for the journey.

Scavenge 5 :: Show us you.

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Being seen.

Truly what this whole week has been about. Seeing others. Thanking others. Shining a light on others. And then. Allowing the light to be shown on ourselves.

I can think back to all my edges on social media. Just getting a Facebook account was bizarre to me. After that I realized there were no pictures of me, outside of the giving birth pictures. I was the one taking the pictures.

I learned how to take selfies before cell phone cameras, using just a little camera and guessing where my head might be in the frame.

9 years later I have found a loving, nurturing, giving relationship with social media that extends through my life and business and family.

I created this Scavenger Hunt to give you some permission to explore and play and find some edges of your own.

It was fun spending time with you and seeing the gorgeous community we have gathered together.

I'll announce all the prize winners on Monday! Probably on Instagram...

All my love,

xo H

 

Scavenge 4 :: How do you want to feel inside?

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I want to feel freedom, space and adoration inside my business and my life. I find they are not separable, perhaps being the kind of work I do, or perhaps because work is such a large part of our lives that the feeling doesn't shift around for me, it encompasses.

I say that I am a mama whose primary blessing is being able to be with my kids and I happen to have learned and nurtured this amazing way of creating an energy exchange for money through my offerings.

Money offering me freedom. My work offering me space. The way I live offering me the give and take of adoration.

In the past I would say, I'm a stay at home mom who is lucky enough to make really good money accidentally.

It is no accident. It isn't luck. And I've always believed we could come up with a better term than stay at home mom.

My language around who I am is evolving. As is my work. My love. My family. My heart.

I am loving making Insta Stories and watching Stories. I feel more connected to the women out there in my social media land. I feel as though I can give more of myself.

Today I encouraged those playing the Scavenger Hunt to create a story around the way they want to feel inside their business, dreams or life.

There was a big learning curve for me putting myself in the line of vision in this way, I felt super vulnerable and as though I didn't know what I was doing. A few weeks in, I get it. 

Doing it was the only way to move through the uncomfortable thoughts running through my head.

If you aren't doing the Hunt with us or don't do Instagram, I invite you to give some space today to finding the words that attach to how you want to feel.

They can change. There is no right or wrong.

There just is. Your feelings. Now. How you want to feel.

I'm off to finish helping a project on Otzi the Iceman and then take one shopping for a Homecoming Dance and somewhere in there make some burgers because I have been craving, craving a juicy burger smothered in swiss cheese and tomatoes and pickles.

Sending you love for your day or night.

Scavenge 2 :: Share someone you admire with your circles.

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I used to teach a course called Community Grace.

I remember taking a walk with my dog and having this vision of a long wooden table, like 16 feet long, set with mix matched glasses and vintage plates and little blue bottles holding flowers. In the middle of nowhere forest.

Women were gathering around the table. Some off to the sides in conversation, some had spread out blankets on the grass. A huge pot held a stone soup and kombucha was poured into each beautiful glass.

Then we said Grace. 

And it was exactly how I wanted to feel inside my business. Those words of Grace held out for the higher power of love, God, Universe.

Community for me in the online world was building spaces and places and soft landings for people where they were. 

There is a grace in sharing freely and without feelings of not having enough. This is hard.

Often we have jealousy around others. My best teaching offering for this is that the jealousy is simply pointing out for us what we are craving, desiring, wanting.

Once we realize it, we can find that feeling of what is inside the wanting and free the jealousy into a form of community grace.

Wanting for you is wanting for me.

Day 2. Share someone you admire with your circles.

So happy you are playing along.

xo

Scavenge 1 :: Thank someone who lifts you up.

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I've never had the discipline to make a gratitude list every day. I remember Oprah talking about writing down 5 things every night.

I tried it. I think I got 4 days in and then forgot.

In my head I constantly swirl in gratitude. When I get angry, there is that moment when I start to calm down and shift, it comes because I am rolling through what feels better to choose to think or remember than the anger feels.

Saying thank you is a way of living that feels incredible to the spirit. Whenever you do it. However you do it.

Thank you for the glass of water. Thank you for a steaming french press filled with coffee. Thank you for helping me understand. Thank you to the divine. Thank you God, Universe, Joy.

I have a little more adding and subtracting to do, but I've cultivated my Instagram feed to one that lifts me up. 

I want to see my best friend's posts. I want to see designers who have a shared love for white walls, cactuses and baskets. I want to see the work of the women I circle with. I want to see the words and photos of the people who are choosing to put out a vibration that raises mine.

Thank them. 

The ones who lift you up.

Sometimes a public thank you can create a ripple effect of allowing others to share in the amazingness of that person and in your gratitude.

Social media is not an enemy, it can be a gift, if we choose to use it with boundaries, love and compassion.

Pick one person or send thank you love all day.

Our first day of the hunt.

#saythankyou

Instagram Scavenger Hunt :: MMC Business Circle Warm-Up (Prizes included)

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For my 39th birthday I was in the midst of rewriting my story. I had some catching up to do of time.

I had fallen in love at 19, married at 24, became pregnant at 25, lost my pregnancy at 16 weeks at 25 and then spent the next year having monthly blood tests to make sure my body wasn't making a cancer from the molar pregnancy that I had lost. I was 28 when Chloe, my first, was born, after losing more pregnancies.

It wasn't until my mid 30's that I even realized how lost I was or what a toll it had taken on my marriage and my heart and spirit.

Fast forward to my 39th year. I wanted it to be epic. I wanted to find the parts of me that felt lost.

With the help of my amazing friends, I created a birithday night filled with scavenges all over Providence. 39 of them.

By 4am we realized we would not make it fully through the 39 and still it was some of the most fun I have ever had in my life.

The women who joined me were all in. No matter how ridiculous and wild and ridiculous some of the scavenges were.

I felt more like me than any other night of my life.

I was all in. Committed to promising myself a way of being in the world that was edgy and loving and raw and fun and sensual and truthful and vulnerable and iterating.

I remind myself that all it takes is one prompt, one risk, one ask, one attempt, one edge each day to live inside a life of magic and possibility and faith.

.......

When I was thinking of a way to warm up for the MMC Business Circle I kept thinking about the scavenger hunt for my birthday. Of how the prompts for each scavenge pushed us to play, to explore, to see more deeply who we all were.

Sometimes we need to push some edges in order to find connection and specialness and freedom.

.......

Dreams ask us for courage and faith and movement and stillness. All of it.

You can play with us whether you have a business, a dream or all the things.

For 5 days we will use Instagram as our way of reaching out, being seen, exploring how we show up and sending gratitude all over social media.

.......

When :: October 16th-20th

Where :: Instagram.

Why :: Dreams matter.

And :: Prizes.

.......

You could win...

:: Entry from me to you into the MMC Business Circle for 6 months (if you win and are already signed up you will be reimbursed)

:: Ruth's tattoo

:: Mara's card deck

:: Cookie's magnesium cream

:: Chelsae's handmade vintage sun catcher

:: Persephone's treats

:: Jenning's granola

:: This list will be growing, more to come...

.......

Starting October 16th I will post the daily scavenge to Instagram and you can play along by posting to your Instagram account. 

Tag the post with #magicmakingbusinesscircle so myself and others playing will see your post. This will be an incredible opportunity to connect to women who are out there dreaming and believing together.

If it feels good, share this Scavenger Hunt with women who would be lifted up by playing along with us.

On Monday, October 23rd I'll announce the winners.

.......

For those of you already inside of the Magic Making Business Circle, you'll be seeing some more scavenges showing up for our 6 months together. I am crazy ready to play.

 

 

 

The makings of an office.

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The last house I lived in before my time at the Loft was a 900 square foot bungalow. I loved it. It was tiny and I can live small.

One of the things I did was to paint the walls all my favorite white, Benjamin Moore Cloud White. The white opened the walls and made the tiny home feel expansive.

When I rented the Loft, a huge industrial space with ceilings up to the sky and about 1,400 square feet I was able to expand my tiny life and start collecting antiques and thrifted treasures and creating altars all over. 

Now, I am in a home that is larger than any home I've ever lived. I am in love with it. From the moment I walked in it was that instant recognition of home.

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Inside this space of home there is a bedroom. A huge bedroom. In this bedroom had a nook by two windows. This nook was painted with stencils. I've never had an office of my own. Gratefully we agreed that I could create my #magicmakingoffice in this space.

I couldn't think with the stencils. They confused my head. The rest of the room is the color of the background of the stencils, a champagne color which I also was not loving on.

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I decided on two colors, a deep navy for the rest of the room and this crazy turquoise (Mallard Trek Turquoise) that changes the way it looks all day as the light shifts.

Stencils are assholes to paint over. So I took my brush and hand painted the area. I painted the paint on thick and worked in small patches swirling it around so that the texture under the paint would blend into the texture I was adding on.

I wasn't convinced my love was going to be pleased with my outside the box version of painting though he seems to love it. Mostly he loves that I have an office.

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Our trip to India gifted us with this gorgeous carpet that we had for almost a year before we had a home to lay it in. Every time I see it I see the love that Dave has for me, I feel the joy of our trip, I am reminded of building home together.

I start with a rough vision of the space and start pulling pieces I've collected together and filling in the gaps with trips to antique shows and stores. 

The wire basket and small chalkboard were from my trip to Brimfield this summer. I am already dreaming of my return trip.

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The chalkboard was an old piece I found that had green slate and was ruined with some marker writing on it. I painted it with chalkboard paint and then let the kids draw on it.

Then we realized we couldn't erase it fully. After wiping it off I was left with this. I was going to paint over it and I can't. There is something so charming about having all of the kid's words jumbled up together. Our blended family.

So I am calling it art. Love art.

The hanging basket is Amazon, the moon chart is Urban Outfitters and the butterfly I found at Savers. I scavenge many of the plants from Home Depots all over. New Hampshire has amazing plants.

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Dave gave me a computer screen which I will figure out at some point. The desk is a handmade piece I found at an antique store and it is just a bit too tall for a normal chair. I am trying to find something wonderful that will lift me up. For now I sit on a pillow and my back is mad at me!

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Slowly filling in the gaps and gathering my supplies. Having everything in one place is life shifting. I've been living out of two places for so long without any true places for anything. Knowing where my check book and stamps are is soothing to my soul.

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The kid's father always teased me that I have empty frames everywhere. Sometimes the frame arrives before the photo. I am going to work on looking through photos of Dave and I from the beginning. I read somewhere that your bedroom should only have pictures of the people that sleep there in it. That stuck with me and I love the idea of having some photo evidence of our start together.

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This incredible basket has been floating around the house looking for its place. I love it and it just wasn't working anywhere. Until now. 

And. Now I love the light champagne wall color on the rest of the walls. (Pictures soon, that is my next space to makeover.) I am scheming and dreaming about how I can finish the space for a complete room.

The way I am working feels new and sacred. The space is giving me boundaries working from home and being a stay at home mama as my primary role. The sun pours through the windows as I sit and type and I swear this color has given me new inspiration in my work.

All about the magic.

xo H

Thoughts on pie as beauty.

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There is vulnerability on the other side of the pictures of growth and evolution and joy. There is a struggle inside of sadness and exhaustion and hsp overwhelm. There is the need to cocoon and bathe as all the feelings wash over. The re-entries, the worries of other's feelings and which bits we take responsibility for. Love and joy can ache along side of it all. My thirst doesn't always feel good. I forget to drink. To hydrate my body and emotions. Moving through the uncomfortable pieces to find the truth. Feeling it all. Letting it settle in. The work. 
.......

Found words from three years before, I often feel like my past self left a little trail for me to find on the days when I can't remember where beauty is, and then the beauty starts to flood me like bliss from every direction, in every surprising possibility.
.......

She sent me a podcast link to listen to for my birthday. John O'Donohue - The Inner Landscape of Beauty. (onbeing.org) 

He talks about seeing time as the spirit of presence. He says words that flow over me as beauty. 

As I listen I scroll through an Instagram account of a woman I am highly intoxicated by in her beauty and way. 

I'm in my bed listening to the wild winds, snuggled up in my favorite sweater with sleeves so long I can hide my hands inside of them. It is a day I want to hide my whole self, my hands will have to do. I need to cry and the tears won't come.

.......

*NEW MOON* in Virgo augurs a time of deep self-healing. VIRGO is the archetype of the healer, the medicine woman, the one who is dedicated to serving her people.

And yet there always comes a time when even she must retreat and give some of that healing to herself. Her connection to Source is strengthened when she goes within. 

 

And so she allows things to fall where they may, and like leaves falling, she see the patterns and knows what she must keep and what she must shift.

 

And in the shifting tides, she allows herself the time she needs to heal. She makes a healing salve out of all her worries and abides marveling the perfection within the imperfection. - Mystic Mamma

.......

Virgos create order from chaos. She was new on my birthday. I am in it. The re-organizing of thoughts and prayers and stuff and needs.

Untangling of what is judgement and what is my definition of beauty. The beauty of compassion and kindness that I am aching for.

To be. To receive.

I am searching to find what is real versus old. After we forgive how do we let go? When our eyes are still so hurt we can't look at theirs. When we understand why they are or did or said or felt and still we hold onto it being ours, the deep wounds. Ours.

.......

He says in the podcast that spirituality is the art of homecoming. The photo above found from before in the place that would write her a story that she would tell over and over to her future self.

She would promise her home.
She would promise her safety.
She would promise her love.
She would promise her beauty.
She would promise her compassion.
She would promise her kindness.

.......

We were throwing out ideas for magic slips (a practice I teach in Magic Making Circles) and one of my soul-sisters mentioned spending the day speaking your preferences.

You know those moments when you feel a bit hit in the gut? That one did it for me.

I told myself I would practice this. Instantly inside of it I understood that this is where I don't feel safe. And trying to find order or release judgement or radiate compassion is a plead for safety.

.......

Last night I made pumpkin pie. Some of the kids ate it for breakfast while I sipped my coffee and prayed for the presence of beauty to find me.

The hug he gave me on his way out the door.
The smell of the pie as I emptied the dishwasher.
The sound of the wild wind.
The bandaid hugging my thumb after a knife sliced through.
The way a pile of clothes folded can remind you of who you are.
The memory of doing cross stitch as a child.
The way the dirty mirror makes the photo look like magical dancing light.
The mug holding the morning liquid.
The words waiting for me from long ago.
The way his words on beauty brought a safety to my vibration. 

I told them I make pumpkin pie for women after they have had a baby because it is filled with iron. I love the way it sits on the counter as the center of home.

My hands will stay snuggled up today inside the fabric of my sweater as the storm blows through. I am longing to rediscover hand work, touch beads, string, needles. I will make more pies.

Forming the pie crust.
Feeling the heat from the oven.
Smelling the flavors.
Inside the presence of time.
.......

all my love. 
H

Wanting. Part 2.

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"Changing women. We begin again like the moon."

~ Terry Tempest Williams
......

For years I walked through the world looking down. I was afraid. Of eyes, of knowings, of sensuality, of owning my female wild-ish woman.

Looking up meant my entire world would start to change, open, shift. I was terrified of what that meant or would look like. For the last few years I have exploded inside of an awakening that has pulsed through me and given rise to a sexual, sensual woman who has, what feel like, wings.

A feathered torso of sensual understanding and faith.

At 43 (in one day), I am new. My body is changed, shaped newly and carrying years of abuse through dieting and not enoughness.

.......

I look up.

In eyes that look back.

I face the camera towards myself and let myself look.

Even when it is hard. Especially when it is hard.

I look up. I see the colors, the black and white, the gray.

I look up. I am seeing the parts of me that held shame and stories that weren't mine.

I look up. I look at you. I see you.

Sexy and sanguine are the feelings we can capture together. There is never a right time, a right weight, a right relationship or a right age to be led by your sensuality, your sexuality, your gorgeous knowing of feminine self. It is a claiming of romancing your own skin, your physical body and your deeply gorgeous soul.
.......

It is confidence in your own truth.

I have learned to paint my beauty by numbers so that every day, even the ones where I struggle to look in the mirror, I have a path to follow and see.

And my seeing is often most intense when my eyes are closed and I am feeling into this practice of devoting myself to my joy.
.......

There is a tendency to complicate our journeys; a mixing in of too much noise, others words confusing our own feelings, believing that we can't truly know and adore ourselves until we do xyz.

Therapy and gym memberships and diet books and divorce can be true supportive needed and yet there are steps we are skipping along the way to build our own foundations of truth and beauty and awakenings.

We are ever changing like the moon. It is time to truly know her...

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Wanting. Part 2.
.......

I love cupcakes. Like serious love affair with a chocolate with vanilla frosting or a lemon with lemon frosting. Lemon. Lemon.

Gluten-free. That one bite.

For years I didn't allow myself to even have one bite of almost anything that didn't fit on my list of acceptable foods.

And then I started doing the practices that have become my devotional. 

Everything changed.

Now, if I pour a glass of Prosecco and maybe add some lavender bitters or cassis and I cut a piece of a cupcake, just one or two bites, I am in sensual heaven.

The colors and sounds of the bubbles, the feel of the soft frosting in my mouth, the taste of just enough sweetness without being overwhelmed.

This bite is sexy.
This bite feels sexy. 

.......

I stay in the bubble of sanguine when I don't drink too much or eat too much sugar. I stay in the bubble of sanguine when I don't deny myself things that bring me sensual pleasure.

My savory one bite (more like 3 bites) is a huge, juicy scallop, buttery and salty with a squeeze of lemon. I don't need a plate of them, I can have just a couple, letting each bite satisfy me and transport me into sensual bliss.

For a warm up think about your one bite. 

Think about who is with you or if you are having a sacred quiet moment with just you.

Do you close your eyes for this bite or are you fully open in all your senses?

Those of you in the program we'll meet on FB and play around sharing our one bites with each other. 

If you'd like to join, there is still time. We begin with this warm up. All you need is a camera (camera phones are awesome) and a blank journal for the soulwork prompts. 

I can't wait for you to truly know her.

On the eve. Wanting. Part 1.

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“I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.”

~ Rumi
.......

Last year I wrote my want list.

As I was preparing this letter to you, because the eve is my favorite of anything, I read over the words that have sat undisturbed for over a year now. 
.......

I want to start leaving love notes for my kids in surprise places. 

I want more kisses. Deep. Long. For no reason and all the reasons. 

I want to fight less, laugh more, fear less, risk more. 

I want to use my voice in the times when I can't find it, use it, allow it. 

I want my hair to feel beautiful again. 

I want time to expand as I pack up my boxes for the unknown of a storage unit. 

I want to eat a chocolate chip cookie out of the oven, with my littles, cold glasses of milk and homework spread out around us. 

I want the farmhouse to come alive in whatever shape it will take first for me so I have a home for my family. 

I want to feel beautiful in my photos again. Or still. 

I want more nights talking with him and our friends, learning and sharing stories, and feeling so connected. 

I want to drive the boat all on my own, letting the fear be overcome by joy. 

I want to write more again, in new ways, with ideas that have yet to find me. 

I want to hold space for letting things go. Things. Stuff. Clothes. Extra. 

I want my body to feel strong and tall and capable. 

I want money in the savings account to stay there and grow. 

I want coffee with cream in bed while I snuggle inside the cool white sheets. 

I want to feel sexy again when I climb on top of him and feel him become part of me. 

I want water to be my guide.
.......


The anticipation of the time before. The looking back. 

I drive the boat, it feels like the closest thing to flying. I just had a hair make over. The farmhouse manifested and was said goodbye to, all within the space of those wantings finding their way from my heart and out. 

There are things I am still in the wanting of. On that list. That have changed as I have.

In two days I will step into another year. Sometimes it feels almost impossible the movement of life, the forcing of the surrender to time.

In the morning we begin inside the wanting.
.......

The women are gathering because they crave knowing what they want, how they want to feel.

Because they feel wrong in their skin.

Because they can't look in their own eyes.

(Yet.)

Because it is one of the greatest gifts a woman can give to herself to devote a practice to adoring her skin and spirit.

Because healing.

Because freedom and sensuality and connection.

Because being seen.

Because sex hasn't been there and it is time to bring it back, by infusing something that long ago was or has longed to become.

Because confidence is a practice. A devotional ritual. 

Because sensuality changes everything.

 

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In wanting, the idea is to focus on what makes you feel good or what you sense or intuit will make you feel good, not on what you don't have or are lacking.

When we know what we want (desire), and feel it fully, we line up the vibrations to live inside of that.

We must want to feel sexy and sanguine before it can find us.

Make the words your own.

For me sexy and sanguine is confidence that sends out a vibration to others and flows back into me and living inside of a daily devotional practice of gentle sensuality and an intentional safe and free sexuality.

It is walking out into the world knowing some of the things we'll play with in the next couple of weeks.

Make it yours.

Grab a thesaurus, go into some magazines for found words (more on this soon) or just let your stream of consciousness take over.

Today open that book or journal and create your own want list. This does not need to be poetic or typo free, just real and true and yours.

If you were inside of this work last year, go back and see what you wrote. Find your words that have been lying still as mine have. See where they have taken you.

Mama turns 15

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I found the headshot in a box that my mom gave me. She took on the task of cleaning out the basement Patrick and I shared for 10 years. I am not sure either of us would have done it.

Divorce is hard enough without going through every box of memories you hold with that person. I knew how free he would feel when it was done. I knew how scared I was of those boxes and bins. Gratefully she gave me my past in boxes I could choose to open or wait on.

We did the headshots my Senior year of college. I graduated a semester early and was invested in following my acting dreams. But mostly I followed him. To Seattle.

It was there that something changed inside me. I can't find the remembrance of it, I just know the feeling.

I had my crazy blonde hair, bleached by own hand. I was 21. I was hyper sexual. I was hyper sensual. I was hyper sensitive.

He said to me right before we settled into our soft separation, "I always thought that when we were together I wasn't a jealous person. I realize now that you never did anything to make me jealous. Ever."

And it was true. I knew that he had that part of him, he had told me stories. We were both so young and all the things we didn't know or understood came through as fear.

I knew I was strongly attracted to other people, almost always. I just have that about me. 

I didn't need to act on an attraction or a turn on sexually, I just lived inside that vibration, but what I became terrified of was that I no longer felt I could be me inside of that attraction.

For me it was energy. Connection. When we are turned on by life, by people, by the sensory pleasure of food or touch or words or the softness of fabric that infuses into how we show up.

I did make sure he was never jealous. I felt the need to protect him from my essence. To change. To become without understanding what was happening.

The day my friend pointed out the men walking down the street past us admiring me I walked into the salon and cut off my hair. All of it.

It wasn't until the day I felt my awakening that she came back to me. The one who held a sensual desire for life. The one who was brave. The one who would push edges. The one who felt her sexuality infuse in her spirit. 

The one who wanted her hair back.

My mama name turns 15 today. He and I made beautiful babies. They are even more amazing kids. He said, "Through many failures we have succeeded in many ways. We have great kids. I love them. They wouldn't be them without you. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being a great mother to our kids."

It wasn't his doing that I chose to shut down parts of myself. I chose it. It was the safe option. 

And it stripped me of my freedom inside of love.

When you have kids anything you have done to create that safety rises up and asks of you over and over to shed what isn't yours.

Over the years all of our safety vanished. There was no more.

We were stripped down.

And I found her again. Just like that photo in the box. 

When I met Dave I made a soul contract with myself that I would always and forever be inside of love with every truth, the ugly ones and the beautiful ones.

He is lit up by my turned on living. He is turned on when I am lit up. 

Living in this is a devotional to life love safety freedom joy surrender truth faith softness risk sensuality sanguine.

I can't believe she is 15.

Here we are. 

We made it. He is better. I am better. We are better.

15 years ago there she was, in my arms.

I will honor her for always by living this life the only way possible.

In all of me. Fully in. 

Turned on. Lit up. And for now, with a lot of blonde hair.

I set myself free.

And now we are amazing.

Happy Birthday Chloe Rane.

I can't wait to see who you become too.

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What changed me.

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(photo by Catherine Just)

My first tattoo was a bird on the back of my wrist.

I was 37 and as the ink sunk into my skin it was like someone was turning my skin inside out revealing the being that had been laying inside watching and waiting for her time.

In college I would see small black tattoos inked on women's skin. I would see the hoops circled inside their noses. 

Patrick (the man I was with for 21 years) made a comment once, when we were probably in our young 20's that he didn't like nose piercings after I expressed my adoration for them.

He doesn't remember saying it, as we discussed over a decade later. And yet, that one comment stopped me from stepping into a becoming that I had desired for so long.

My story was that he didn't like them so I couldn't have one. I couldn't have what I wanted because someone I loved didn't like it.

I have no idea how much of me lived like that. 

The inside out version of myself.
.......

The first day we met he had asked me out for coffee. The building I lived in and he worked in had a coffee shop in one of the hallways.

I asked him instead to come over to my Loft and I would make us coffee.

I didn't know he hated coffee and had planned on getting hot chocolate. I knew about myself that meeting him in public, awkwardly standing in line, wondering who would pay and showing up inside of anxiety would feel like torture.

My skin had already been turned right side out and I was becoming a master at knowing what I needed.

At this point in time I knew :: I have a reasonable dose of social anxiety. I feel safe in my own spaces. I don't do small talk. I have no idea how to go on a date. My magic is intensified when I am comfortable, no shoes, no bra, no worrying about details that will take me out of my body.

So I invited him to come to me. 

I never thought about how different from him I was. I never thought about my tattoos or nose piercing or the dreaded braids in my hair. I never thought about how his world was something I knew nothing about.

All I thought about was the feeling that was wiggling inside of me. This iteration of me sat at the table with him and felt so proud of who I was and the life I had built.

I didn't expect to fall in love with him, it was already written in the visions and dreams and walking prayers. 

Two hours later it was the calmest I have ever felt when hugging him good-bye. Knowing he was having the same feelings wiggling inside of him.
.......

When we felt ready to share our relationship with his side of our life I was promoting Sexy and Sanguine.

I've been publicly writing and blogging since my 9 year old was 5 months old. I am sensitive to others in my life, I use my intuition.

And. I am quite open. Because my skin turned right side out. Because I pretended in my life for so long I was never ever ever ever going to turn back.

What happens when people who don't understand who you are, your language, your intentions, your skin, your tattoos, your choices or your heart become the people who are now devouring every word you write, every photo you share, every possible piece they can use as ammunition for anger and fear against you?

You recoil. You flail. You fall. You start to turn your skin back inside and you expose your anger and your impatience and your fear of not being enough. Of being wrong. Of being unlovable. 

So many women have commented that our blending of families has been so beautiful and loving. And it has.

And also.

It has almost turned my skin back inside. I have never felt more raw and exposed.

I have deleted blog posts. I have deleted photos. I have erased words written. I have hidden parts that could not be exposed.

I have been angry. Really, really angry.

That anger and fear have stopped me from being as prolific as I was.

That anger has kept me from running programs that I once was.

That anger, I know, is the fear that I have done something wrong. That I've displeased. That I have pierced my nose and someone doesn't like it. That I have put a picture on the internet that makes someone else want to tear me down.

Yes. The blending of our families has been beautiful and it came at a cost for both of us.

There is no way to do divorce or loving again right. In fact it may be the biggest lesson in failure either of us have ever experienced. 

So much fear.

Last night the kids were at their dad's and Lucas got a horrible headache and was throwing up. His dad was texting me and keeping me updated on him as he fell asleep. I kept texting him through my tears.

"Is he ok?"

"Yes. I am right next to him on the couch."

"Ok, thank you." "Is he ok still?"

"Yes."

I cried and felt afraid. Because I wasn't there. Because I had to be a mama sitting on a couch in another house away from them.

And this man who sits beside me on the couch rubbed my jaw and tickle rubbed my arm and my tears slowed down.

We haven't done so much of this right. The words have been erased. Pictures taken down. I would do so much of the past in a different way.

Once I risked turning my skin right side out I was so attached to being authentic that I couldn't believe that anyone else would be any other way.

I couldn't find compassion for people who said things about me that hurt.

I couldn't find my way to trusting that this wasn't going to twist my skin back around.

The last two years have felt censored and filled with hurt and hard as shit. 

My fear has slowed down my work. My fear has led to a hibernation of sorts.

Last night, as I cried and he kept rubbing my arm, he told me I was an amazing mother.

Last night, as sure as I know anything, I knew that fear was never going to go anywhere, it was only going to create openings for more and more and more compassion and deeper faith where before I was faithless.

God, Universe, Spirit have been speaking to me and laying down small signs that feel like the lightest of breaths on my neck.

I am being reminded that my words are prayer. And prayer is my surrender. And surrender is the intersection between acceptance and change.
.......

We don't have only one moment in time of turning right side out. 

We have unlimited moments, possibilities.

We don't have to hold on to only one awakening, we are a becoming that is ours to design.

We can forgive on repeat.

We can love without having to be right.
.......

I've been getting messages about running Sexy and Sanguine again from women in my circles for months now.

I keep saying, "Yes, yes, of course, it will come back. Not sure when."

Every time I thought about it, I would be pulled back into a text I received with words that sunk into me and hurt so deeply or I think about the words spoken around the pictures I had on the sales page.

I would remember the judgement. The friction that Dave and I have been through together. The explosiveness of our fear meeting the eyes of others.

I wouldn't think about the women who had been part of it. The women who, like me, craved the experience of being seen and loved even though it is terrifying.

I will become 43 in a few weeks.

I crave the feeling of the younger me who sat in the tattoo shop feeling the ink flood her skin through a pain that was a little high of sorts. 

I am now in the moments before. When you are picking out the tattoo. Wondering if it will hurt. Wondering if you are making a mistake. Overwhelmed by the feeling of fear turned into safety.

That light breath on my neck of Spirit is the tickle touch from his hands is the morning spent typing these words is the call from Lucas telling me about his headache is the wind blowing outside this home I am falling in love with is the tears that fall again when I remember how much it all matters.

Yes, it is time for Sexy and Sanguine and the circle of women it will draw forth who will heal each other in ways I struggle to put to words.

It is safe for me to talk about this part of my story because we are all new and changed from it and we made it. We have all found a deeper compassion for the thoughts of others, especially when they don't match our own. 

And so.

The moments before we become new. I'll meet you there. Over and over.

And so it is.

{Sexy and Sanguine} Truly know her.

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What :: 4 weeks of prompts, challenges and explorations to truly know her

Why :: The way you feel is everything

When ::  September 19th (my 43rd birthday eve)

Cost :: $69

Add to Cart
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Your rogue ecstasy, your story of fantasy, your beautiful spaces?

Have you embraced the romance of waking up in your skin?

Can you feel the sensuality inside of grey, the rawness of an orange sky, the taste of a kiss full of red wine?

Do you reflect your light in others and draw their curiosity of pleasure into you?

Have you ripened? Have you ripened?

In a past life/future life have you stood in the blossoming of your sexuality with your senses exploding, in the gift of feeling?

And from that self that was or will be can you feel her guiding you?

Are you sexy and sanguine?

Do you feel belly passion?

Can you close your eyes and paint your beauty by numbers?

Is there a knowing in your toes, your ears, your breasts that each piece of you is loved and sacred and on the journey towards whole?

Is there a candle waiting to be lit that is celebrating you, celebrating her, celebrating this gorgeous life that you have claimed?

And where can you whisper ‘oh yes. oh yes. oh yes’?

Let me take you there. To the yes. To the roughness of your edges and the dance of your awakening.

Do you truly know her?

Sexy :: Stimulating. Erotic. Desirable. Appealing. Hot.

Sanguine :: Bloodred. Temperament of cheerfulness. Confidence.

When I was 22 I was out walking with a friend. I had long blonde hair, worked out often, was a champion dieter, known for really good skin and living in Seattle pursuing acting, 2 years away from marriage.

My friend said to me, “Whenever we are out I just watch men look at you, turn their heads.” 2 days later I went to a Salon and cut off all my hair. Not in the cute or sexy-declaration-of-myself-as-a-woman way, in the I-don’t-want-to-be-seen way. It terrified me. My sexual self, at 22, she scared me. I wanted to hide from her.

While many 22 year olds were out exploring their sexuality and beauty I found myself wanting to stuff it into a little box and find a hiding place for it. Part of my dieting history had so much to do with not wanting to be seen.

I was terrified of myself. Of my skin. Of my beauty. Of my yes.

This may not have been your 22 year old story. It may have happened after your marriage vows. Or when your first baby made her appearance. Maybe it was a story of a younger age or the fear of turning 50.

Or maybe your sexual confidence just slowly faded as the role of young woman turned into wife, mother, worker, nurturer, tender, multi-tasker.

Confidence is alluring, hot, sexy. Each year many of us choose a guiding word or phrase that will be the feeling we want to draw into our experiences, and it is a powerful practice. When I created this course last year my guiding phrase was gracefully sexy. All to lead me further into hot confidence.

Confidence is gracefully sexy.

Managing finances is gracefully sexy.

Feeling delicious in your skin is gracefully sexy.

Creating healthy boundaries is gracefully sexy.

SEXY AND SANGUINE WOMAN KNOW…

  • boundaries are beautiful.
  • dreams come true from feelings.
  • closets are sanctuaries.
  • the shade of lipstick that lights them up, or the perfect lipgloss to plump.
  • just when breakfast is for dinner and that bubbly can happen anytime, anywhere.
  • the part of their body they always hated can actually guide their pleasure.
  • pleasure.
  • how to hold a gaze.
  • how to receive. Really.
  • how to stand in front of a mirror naked.
  • to kiss and say hello before listing off complaints.
  • beauty is in the details.
  • how to hold space.
  • feeling sexy is inside and out.
  • that iterative living is gorgeous.
  • how to take risks.
  • saying yes is a turn on, after learning to say no.
  • that listening changes everything.
  • how to follow their animal spirit guide or tarot card into sacred space.
  • that hot confidence is a practice.
  • how to walk into a room and really see.
  • how to ask the questions that flip it all around.
  • that hot confidence is fierce magic.
  • that an awakening is non-negotiable.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR THIS COURSE…

  • A camera, iphone is great
  • Some apps for your picture editing which I'll share with you at start
  • A journal to poem and vision in, I love Moleskines
  • Some white space, clear the calendar a bit for some sexy and sanguine prompts
  • A hot date, with yourself, with a girlfriend or many, with your lover… in celebration

HOW IT WILL WORK...

  • One prompt a day for 28 days alternating between photo prompts and soulwork prompts
  • A FB group where we will gather and share our photos and our soulwork
  • A circle of women who will lift you up
  • 4 weeks of learning to truly know her

I look at who I am now after two years of this sexy and sanguine guiding soulwork and I am blown away. I feel gorgeous in my skin. I take my really bad days and I flip them around by getting infront of my camera. I made some huge life shifting decisions in this last year that took me from an edge of pain and unknowing into joy and movement.

I learned to spend time with my belly, the part of my body that gave me the most angst, torture that I had carried since childhood.

I photographed my belly, spent time adoring it and let myself lead my sexuality with this part of me that for so long had been hidden as though it was what made me unworthy of love. I look at the pictures of me now I can't believe I am the same woman. I feel like I have grown new skin. Every part of my cells seem to have changed into something lighter and filled with compassion and adoration for my own eyes.

And then. There are still the days that challenge me. That take me back to the soul work. Over and over. Back to looking through the lens. Back to the compassion that can get so lost. And when that happens I run this course again. For myself. And you.

My invitation to you is to come along for 4 weeks but to know that this journey will last into your year of 2016. It will be the beginning of a practice into deep sexy and sanguine living. I believe it will change your life.

Looking at yourself through the lens, doing the soulwork prompts, letting other women adore you and see you, you will not leave the same woman. You will leave with your sexy and sanguine in your soul.

I KNOW, YOU HAVE SOME QUESTIONS...

Do I have to get naked? Nope. This is not about naked.

Most of the women do in some way start to look at their body, their skin, their nakedness through the camera. Often it is just the curve of a hip or their shoulder and arm in the sunlight. We will share sensual photos. Our sensuality is going to be different for each of us.

Do I need to share all my photos in the group? You can share whatever feels good to you. Or share them with your partner privately. Or keep them all to yourself. This is about you seeing you through your lens. I will say one of the most life changing parts of this course is seeing other women's bodies and the words that flow back to them and lift them. I am  in awe of the beauty that I am met with each day inside of this circle.

I am taking your Magic Making Circle, will I be able to do both? You absolutely can. What I always suggest is that you carve out a little bit of time each day for this soul work, kind of like the ritual of a cup of coffee or morning shower. The MMC course is weekly prompts, giving us time to explore and take big actions and this course is daily. Tiny bites of prompts. I deeply believe that both work together.

We will also be able to use this course as a great reference for the work we are doing in circle.

I know you have more questions. Email me at hello@hannahmarcotti.com and I'll find an answer or two just for you.

On the eve of Spiritstyle

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I started feeling my own beauty about 5 years ago. Which means that for 5 years out of my 42 years I have been inside of the beauty of my spirit.

These last 5 years have held heartbreak and joy to the extremes that are rollercoasters in your gut.

And inside of them I found my beauty.

I remember when my partner and I were talking about compliments. I told him that so many women never hear someone tell them they are beautiful.

Gorgeous.
Stunning.
Ravishing.
Delicious.
Hot.

I have lived in a deficit of those words.

He said, "Women who feel beautiful radiate beauty. So much of it is how they feel."

And feeling beautiful is a life journey for so many of us. It is a mixture of joy and purpose and passion and living inside of honesty and compassion.

It is a place where sensuality meets the seduction of the ordinary, simple moments of gratitude and reverence for just being. 

It is a place where the softest shirt layered over a tank top in the morning can become a devotional practice of spirit.

It is a place where words matter. From other women. From the ones who love us. From strangers.

Words are powerful life shifters.

I love telling a woman she is beautiful. I love helping her see her beauty through my eyes, through the eyes of her camera lens, through the giving and receiving of the gift of words that cannot be underestimated.

You are beautiful. You are so beautiful.

How do we feel our own beauty?

Practice.

The generosity of others helping us to feel it and see it and know it.

By letting ourselves be seen from the glow of our spirit.

By adorning ourselves in what truly feels like us.

By stripping it all off and finding all of our parts.

Our beauty. By layering time and feelings together. By matching the parts of who we are with how we show up in the world.

5 years ago I started to feel my beauty.

I found my Spiritstyle.

I let myself become over and over, dancing on edges of being seen.

Of learning to show other women their beauty and tell them over and over and over... You are beautiful. You are so beautiful.

And by asking them who they were and how they wanted to feel inside of that.

This will be our journey.

Into change.

Into showing up.

Into infusing spirit as we dress our parts.
.......
On the eve of this discovery into our Spiritstyle gift another with your words. Tell them you love their hair or the way they put together an outfit or how they glow when they smile. Help someone you love or a stranger practice seeing and hearing words of their beauty.

Continue this practice for the 10 days and notice what happens inside of your spirit. Notice what you draw back to you. Feel it.

Because Spiritstyle is all about how you feel from your toes to your heart, from your heart to the top of your head.

It is walking through the world being seen as a translation of what your spirit feels.

If you have someone you want to invite into our days together, they can get the details here.
 

Mami

(photo by the amazing Ruth Clark)

(photo by the amazing Ruth Clark)

I became Mami two years ago when my then 10 year old came home after school using that name as his term of endearment for me.

None of us really questioned it, other than my daughter who has proclaimed she will never call me that.

I love it.

My favorite part of the name is that once the boys started using it, my two bonus kids adopted the name for me as well. I'm a huge part of their mothering world and for us to have a name that ties the kids together as a family is what they were craving deeply.

For me the name has been my becoming. Going from 3 kids to 5. From a single mom terrified that I wouldn't be able to do it, to being a primary care giver to our family of seven.

I did some research on the word and Wikipedia has a long list of different things Mami is associated with, along with the Latin reference to Mother.

Mami Wata was on that list, a pantheon of ancient water spirits or deities. Mother of the water. 

Some stories tell of her abducting people when swimming in the water and how she brings them down to the paradisiacal realm and when they are let go they are found to have a new spiritual understanding reflected in their gaze, often having been said to grow wealthier, more attractive, and more easygoing after the encounter.

During last year's Magic Making Circle my spirit guide came to me, not from a magazine clipping as usual, but in a vision. I saw this water spirit that was fish like, wild hair. A seaweed soaked wild woman spirit.

I've let that image rest inside of me. As my hair is longer than ever before and my spiritual and physical world have drawn forth water as our home I feel like mother of the water.

Mami.

The women who come to the Lift Ups at the magic lake are quite possibly pulled into a realm that allows us all to leave with a new spiritual understanding, allowing the abundance and beauty and ease. 

Sometimes it feels we are chasing our becoming or scared of her or like we are looking into a steam covered mirror. Sometimes the image and the knowing are so clear we are in love with her and time lends the patience we need we to catch up with her.

Mami has become my home inside my body. A new moment to arrive at the mother I have longed to be and couldn't when my heart was hurting so deeply inside my marriage.

Mami has more patience, more curves, more love, more awe, more rawness, more laughter, more compassion.

I am still growing into her. 

She holds a shit ton.

She gets tired and needs more sleep than I ever did.

She is incredibly sexual.

Her focus is no longer making money to survive as her work is to nurture her family and tribe.

She is a healer, something I never identified with before.

She has the patience and calm to walk her man into his next iteration inside a mountain of old wounds and habits melting away. 

When things are off and I can feel the woman of my past taking over I withdraw. I go into my head. I go to this place that feels like Spirit's living room where I can sit with each part of myself. They are all there. Gathered. Some are fighting to be heard. Others are silently watching, feeling. 

I have rage at some of my parts. They hold that rage. 

I realize how much time I spend in my head, not reaching out, not talking about things.

The last few days I have been desperate for a change inside of something that feels like it is taking me down under water and holding me there. I pray that I can find my way up. That I can become the woman I am so in love with as my future self.  

Because the moments that feel like I can't breathe are no longer something I can let be part of who I am.

That spiritual resurfacing that Mami Wata gives is this abstract thing I know I am being asked to give myself.

And the only thing I know how to do right now is to be more still than I've ever been. And be Mami to the ones who need me. 

I need to discover how she gets dressed now. How she puts on make-up. How she adores her people. How she is choosing to love. How she finds her truth behind the anger, which right now feels like tears dripping down my face.

Mother of the water. Mami. Tears in my coffee. Spirit's living room. A gaze of kindness.
.......

Spiritstyle || A 10 day discovery

 

When :: August 28th

Cost :: A gift from me to you

i remember the feeling of school starting. i could smell it and there was that little pang in my belly. what i thought most about is how i would show up. who would i be.

every year after the summer break i would iterate into a new version of myself. the planning of the first day of school outfit would consume me. i remember the year of suspenders and a black hat for 10th grade. the following year my all black wardrobe. 

i've always known that how we show up on the outside directly impacts and transforms who we are on the inside. and the inside is our guide for how we layer on our clothes as the way of being in the world. 

being seen. being true. being our most amazing version of ourselves.

.......

this is my spiritstyle. a collection of time and feelings.

the things that if i layer on i become more me.

the colors of cream, mocha, black.

buttery soft. high waist. layered tanks. no bra. simple mala to ground me. fabric draped, falling off a shoulder. hints of sexy and sanguine. 

this is my spiritstyle. the parts of who i am communicated on the outside.

after the dishes are done, rings find my fingers. a final layer.

boots, worn, loved. leg warmers bunched.

a color story that washes over us.

this is my spiritstyle. a woman matching the parts of herself with how she shows up each day.

.......

she said ::

"i feel like i cycle through so many parts of me. the young girl, the earth mama, the wild woman, the falling apart-do-nothing-right-scared one, the angry wife, the warrior princess. they become confused and mixed up and instead of feeling each one i'm trying to ignore each of them."

she said ::

"i feel that way all the time. and i have been thinking about it a lot lately actually... and how trying to allow space for all of it often leaves me feeling exhausted and depleted. we need all these parts of ourselves. they are vital. because how amazing is that we have these selves to call upon to guide us through what is in front of us in any given moment. and even the ones that appear to be wounds or gaping holes are guides too."

this is how my women talk. i collect the words of the women who circle with me. our work together is to honor each part of who we are. some we need to heal. some just need to be seen. some need to be unearthed from the past and integrated into our becomings. 

one of my wishes a few years ago was to be the most amazing mom i could be, meaning less anger and exhaustion and more fun and loving moments. i could see her. she used to be part of me. she is fun and spontaneous and she includes her kids in all the parts of her life.

.......

becoming a mother changed my body. the shape and size were unfamiliar. my breasts went from an ab to a swelling c. nursing was my life for about 7 years, welcoming each baby with a mother who felt more confident each time.

i started wearing tank tops that i could pull down, instead of up, to nurse. skinny spaghetti straps with a shelf bra from target or old navy at first. then i started to like the thicker straps, hold the shelf bra. now my every day (no longer nursing) tank is from h&m and i own every color. i get the long ones that go over my bum so i can wear them over leggings. 

going from college free spirit to mama challenged something in me. i didn't know how to show up. i tried to fit into a button down blouse with mom jeans look for a while. i put on a bra and bought some shirts from that never felt like me.

i spent years uncomfortable and confused. when i went back to school in 2008 i found myself back inside of the free spirit world. from 3 inch heels to dreadlocks, the women were gorgeous. alive. themselves. the freedom of style and expression sucked me back to the girl of 17 who had no doubt who she was.

she didn't look like everyone else. she followed not a single fashion rule. her hair was wild and she knew that she was alive wearing clogs and leg warmers and leggings that hugged her body. she adored showing up in her spiritstyle because it felt like freedom.

this is spiritstyle. the feeling and witness of who we are.

and it changes. all the time. each day we can be new.

allowing this change is the magic.

.......

For 10 days through simple prompts and story we will ::

  • look at the different parts of who we are. name them. make a list.
  • find the feelings inside each of these parts.
  • look back at who we were. remember times that we felt most alive and free.
  • go into our closets. unearth past. clear space for how we want to feel in our now.
  • play with the feelings inside of how we are showing up and being seen.
  • purge what is no longer part of our spiritstyle.
  • find the pieces and layers that communicate.
  • understand dressing and layering a highly sensitive body.
  • discover our color stories.
  • vision into our spiritstyle becomings.
  • allow change to align us with the feeling of freedom and beauty.
  • practice showing up for the different parts of who we are.
  • share photos on our private facebook group
  • be new.

.......

Heart Palpitations and Hair Loss

I was starting to be able to set a clock by it.

Dave would come home for lunch. We would eat something, it was often my first meal of the day other than my coffee and handful of cashews.

(Because rules, I tried not to eat my first meal until after noon.)

We might close our eyes for a bit and then he would head back to work.

We were at the Urban Farmhouse then.

I can't remember when it started. It felt a lot like a panic attack with no panic attached initially.

I kept saying, "My heart keeps going out of rhythm."

I had no other words to describe it.

Sometimes it would last for hours. A panic attack would often come.

The most common times for it were 2:10pm, when I was getting ready to get in the van for the 2 hour commute picking up all the kids.

The other one was in the middle of the night or whenever I would first wake up to pee or from a dream.

I would go to the bathroom just steps away and my heart would be beating so fast I didn't know what I should do. Going back to sleep would take hours.

I was ready to go to the emergency room some nights, but I would just sit and wait it out.

Sometimes I would get home from picking the kids up and immediately pour a drink to try to settle my heart back down.
.......

The last three years through separation and divorce have meant that I was for the first time a single mom, fully supporting myself and my kids financially, taking on things I never had to before (car registration and insurance and health insurance and bills and everything) sleeping alone at night for the first time since I was 19, running my own business and falling in love and building a life with someone in one of the hardest divorces I have witnessed. And five kids.

You just do it. You don't truly think much about it when you are in it. 

I didn't realize the fight or flight I was in until we moved in May and my life completely changed.

It wasn't just me anymore. Someone was taking care of me.

For the first time in 3 years, I was safe.

And safe inside of love.

I had no idea how much fear I was constantly sitting inside of. 

My heart wasn't racing anymore. I could pick up the kids without the panic.

Dave was so filled with joy with our house and our family being together and that he was taking care of me.

I can't explain what this man loving me feels like. But I can tell you that once we crossed through the incredible hell we had spent two years in and we were finally safe to become a family together, we are not the same.

We are still pinching ourselves that we made it. Because every single obstacle was there. The fear and judgments and secrets and sabotaging all around us would have made for a good reality tv series.

And we made it.
.......

I told her about my heart and how I had been convinced I had a heart condition and that the Ambulance would come for me.

She asked me about it. She mentioned the weight gain that I have had over the last year that I can't figure out or budge.

She told me about her diagnosis of adrenal fatigue.

Her heart. The tests that have been run on her heart coming up with nothing.

The way she would get up to pee at night and then find her heart racing out of her chest.

She told me about her weight gain.

And then I read everything I could get my hands on about adrenal fatigue. We had learned about it in school, years ago, but I wanted stories.
.......

I found this. I handed it to Dave to read. He asked if I had written it...

"I was packing my kids up for a trip to the park last month when I realized…something was wrong.

Work was finished for the day. The house was clean. My head felt clear, and the park sounded fun. But my heart was racing, and I felt riddled with anxiety. Full blown panic attack feeling had set in.

This had been happening more and more. This feeling that I was barely coping. Or, rather. The feeling that I wasn’t coping at all.

It scared me. As a single mom of four, working full time, shouldering the weight of finances and childcare, building a new love, maintaining a business, meeting deadlines, managing friends, trying to make yoga happen– life is busy. But, I’ve always been able to meet busy.

Yet the past six months, a near-constant anxiety has been building.

My hair has been falling out.

My belly has gotten soft.

My head feels spaced out constantly. Airheaded. Zoney.

My body doesn’t ever want to stop. Always itching to go. Even at bedtime.

Panic moments come. A lot. Randomly. Suddenly." - Brooke Lark (Cheeky Kitchen)
.......

I have lost half my hair. The vertigo started last summer and has caused my balance to be challenged daily. I've put on 20 pounds with nothing really changing. I'm exhausted at the times when I used to have the most energy. And vice versa. I've been losing words, saying the wrong word even though I can feel it is wrong but it comes out anyway and struggling to sit down and write without falling asleep. My bleed cycle has been so wacky. And the heart. The heart was the worst of it all.

I also read that women who stay on a paleo diet for a long time are more susceptible to adrenal disfunction as well. 

My internet reading wasn't to self diagnose but it was fascinating that it all matched up. The threads were finally making sense.
.......

Now I am eating breakfast with him each morning. And lunch. And dinner at a reasonable hour (because I love to eat dinner crazy late after the kids go to bed).

I am honoring my soft(er) belly and not feeling as concerned about hiding it. Love it up. Love it up.

There are boxes of vitamins and minerals and oils and tonics and tinctures and teas on their way.

Walking. Swimming. Resting. Napping. 

Dave and I have developed a beautiful way of communicating, with only a few little blips, it has felt like pure joy together.

We have been working on parenting the kids with some new patterns and support and patience and calm. They are responding in ways that blow our minds. This morning, after a potential melt down with our little one that we allowed to progress in his own timing, with his needs around moving through it and natural consequences as our guide, I looked at Dave and said, "Well, I am feeling like an awesome parent right now."

I am feeling ready to trust in friendship again, after some tough growing pains inside of that world of woman connections. Healing some little girl stuck fears and hurts. I believe that one might be the most healing of all. To open my arms and heart again.

Chloe (my 14 year old) and I just went to the store and got two new little fish. Plants are all around the house and she and I are learning to propagate succulents cause we lovelovelove them.

The lake house where we live in the summer and the kids go to camp is ordered, un-cluttered and so much of the old energy has been cleared. Don't underestimate the way 'stuff' holds the past hurts and traumas. Clear it. Get rid of it. Purge it. The house looks gorgeous and we are learning to relax inside of it. (Not our skill set, either of us.)

Instead of following the kids around and literally picking up every shoe, sock, cup, plate, tissue, toy, bathing suit, towel, crumb, book, iPod and more shoes, I am working to teach them to notice and take ownership of helping us create calm and peace in our house. This one is hard for me.

And I'm in love and I can feel it. In every cell. The way he loves me. From asking him to tell me he loves me over and over to the point of ridiculousness to being able to just wake up, reach over for his arm to anchor my transition from sleep, and feel it.

Feel his love.

Feel my love.

Feel safe.

I don't ever want to stop writing about this love story. 

The hair, the heart, the dizziness, the body, the loss.

Incredible metaphors and teachers during the burning down phase of our life. 

And now to write from the ashes, watching it all grow.

With a heart that trusts it is safe. A body in the transition of healing. Words winding back in.

 

Truth baby.

Truth :: Some of my favorite words to hear are, "You've lost weight."

Truth :: I used to thrive on seeing how much I could control my weight through practicing lack.

Truth :: My weight has consumed more time in my thoughts than I can quantify.

Truth :: Making rules around food for me has been my constant, that thing I can count on to keep the rhythm of my day.

Truth :: Every cleanse I would run or go on was always about losing just a little bit more.

Truth :: I find myself at my highest weight outside of pregnancy.

Truth :: Rules no loner apply but I am constantly catching myself saying things like "I'm paleo."

Truth :: I feel sexy, not so much from a physical sense, but from this inner confidence that has come after years of body shame, and from having a partner that desires me and devours me.

Truth :: When the weight first started showing I had a really hard time being out in public, even going to the grocery store was hard for me, it was like this crazy social anxiety I hadn't felt in years.

Truth :: After letting the rules go I can often feel untethered, like what do I have to hold onto?

Truth :: At 42, I wish that this one thing that consumes my thoughts could start to be replaced by something else.

Truth :: I would like to tell you that I'm over it, that I am now an intuitive eater who is so in love with herself that there is a calm and peace that you can have too if you just do A, B, C...

Truth :: Women completely captivate me, the beauty, the sensuality, the fears, the way each body is different, the curves, the colors, the way we choose to dress, the way we love, the softness, the way we change.

Truth :: I need to be here, in this place with my body, as I have grown into my 40's and a true sense that my hormones and my shape is changing.

Truth :: As I am starting to move my body more, after a long break of being still, I'm in awe at how quickly we can lose our strength which is so connected to a strength in our spirit; sweating and laughter are essential.

Truth :: It sucks to not fit into your old clothes but it feels really delicious to let yourself buy a few new things that fit you NOW.

Truth :: Having someone say you are sexy, gorgeous, beautiful, amazing and loved cannot be underestimated in how it changes our own thought patterns.

Truth :: There is a freedom in not wanting to be who I was at 26 or 39 and just freaking allow myself to love up this year of 42.

Truth :: When I started my journey into sexy and sanguine living I was exploring my sexual self in new ways, taking chances, opening to new experiences, learning to flirt again, looking myself in the eyes, opening to the fact that I am a highly sexual/sensual/sensitive person.

Truth :: No matter how hard it feels some days, I still stand in the mirror naked every day and find my way to adoration of my physical self.

Truth :: When I fall back into the obsessing about how I look I feel like I've somehow failed on this journey and as soon as I feel failure I know that it means I am doing the work and will never stop wanting to iterate into my next becoming. 

Truth :: I adore the sexual self that inhabits this body, I adore my spiritstyle, I adore my magic, I adore my exploration into my edges.

Truth :: Writing about sexuality and teaching others how to feel into their bodies as I am learning to heal my past body stories is an unbelievable honor. (Yes, Sexy and Sanguine is coming back!)

Truth :: I'm going to go have a truth vulnerability hangover now, make some lunch and curl up and listen to the rain fall.