I can be spontaneous, just let me pack my tea.

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On the plane I ask for hot water and lime or hot water and cream. The first is for my tea, the second is for my mushroom coffee powder. I rub my wrists with patchouli, grapefruit, amber and lotus. (Here.) It isn't strong enough to bother others, it is enough to calm my nervous system. Patchouli and amber are part of me.

In my carry on bag I've tucked an extra pair of fingerless gloves which ground me, keep me warm and when I'm moving through new spaces they feel like this simple little boundary of protection. 

No matter where I'm going I have on my 1974 vintage (does this mean I am vintage, year I was born?) Frye cowboy boots on. I'll pack other shoes, flip flops or tennis shoes depending on where I'm going. Those boots are my center of gravity. I can go anywhere in the world with these guiding me.

I can't think of too many plane rides or road trips where I haven't made a sandwich. I may not even eat it that day, just knowing it is there comforts me.

This is my favorite bread (gluten doesn't work for my body) which I'll smother with mayonnaise and mustard and then add my favorite fillings. At home I put kimchi on my sandwiches, on a plane, not so much because the smell can offend. 

I've started using a little slaw I make with apple cider vinegar and honey and lemon. Helps my digestion and gives me the little hit of sour I love. 

To go with my sandwich a little bag of potato chips, kettle cooked, lots of salt. If you get low blood sugar or a headache and need to take some motrin, that small bag of chips is golden. 

I pack our little anytime meal in a lunch box that slips into a carry on. I'll also add some cashews, dark chocolate, cucumbers. That kind of thing.

Once I packed us broccoli and peanut butter to dip it in. I pulled it out on the plane and Dave didn't even blink, he just went with it! 

I bring my huge water bottle to fill up in the airport or if we are on a road trip with a few gallon water bottles. I get dehydrated (always pack chapstick) when I travel because I am so afraid to not be able to go to a bathroom. While I don't drink much I take little sips often enough to keep headaches away. 

In my carry on I'll also have a huge scarf that can act as a blanket, my reading glasses, a book, a black sharpie, little notecards for lists or notes, motrin, homeopathic tablets for yeast, panty liners, a couple of oils like lavender and frankincense, my phone, and my rings (hands puff up during travel so I keep them in the bag). 

The one thing I don't bring when I travel is a sheepskin and I want to I want to I want to. I need to find a sheepskin that is thin enough to roll right up in my bag! 

I have a highly sensitive nervous system and I love to adventure. The problem is that if I come undone during travel it can be hard to come back from that and find ease in the adventuring. These specific things are my grounding.

I can be spontaneous, I just need to pack my tea bags first. 

.......

Dave and I are heading to Mexico early Tuesday morning on a trip that his work hosts each year. 

It is part show up as Dave's partner and make a good impression and part feel the sun on my skin, eat amazing food, walk on the beach, collect coral, go with the flow.

All a huge blessing and I am so grateful to be his love and show up for him in this way.

I've been practicing wearing the dresses I might pack, practicing wearing less clothes, layers.

The shock of going from freezing cold to heat is a wild transition for my body. Being seen in less is triggering so a few minutes in a bathing suit with the heat turned up pays off.

The important outfit is the one I will climb into at 3am and start in cold and end up in the heat of Mexico sun and the craziness of the airport. I have settled on a long tank dress with a sweater and light jacket layered over it so I can pull off layers as we warm up.

If I don't do this preparation, I could spend the first couple of days feeling off, and we are only there for a short time.

This practice and planning is how I heal my future self when she is up against the nervous system attack. 

I have already started to make piles of what may end up going into the suitcase. If I take a few days (or so) to feel into making sure I have options and making sure what I have with me already feels good, my transition is smoother. 

Dave packs in 10 minutes. Would never think to make himself a sandwich or need one. Often the night before he figures out what time he is leaving in the morning.

If this is you, let this be a little PSA to help you understand the sensitive spirits in your world. 

We will need ::

4 days to pack.

2 weeks to think about packing. 

A schedule of all the times that we'll need to think about for about 3 days. 

To talk about what time we are setting the alarm for to the point of you wondering if we are crazy. 

Probably 2 scarves because the first one might not feel right or be too heavy or not be warm enough. Or we might loose it.

A sandwich. We will make you one too, it is the highly sensitive love language to keep your nervous system in proper function too.

Oils. Which you may not love the smell of at night when we want to rub them on your feet because your belly hurts and we can fix it.

A full bottle of conditioner, not the travel size. Which means we are checking our bags. We probably need to get up earlier.

And of course our tea. We really, really need our tea bags. And then we can be fully spontaneous right along side you.

Spiritstyle Winter

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When :: February 27th for 10 days

Cost :: A gift from me to you, simply enter your email below

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 used the outside expression of self to guide the transformation of who i am on the inside since i was young. the guiding for how i chose to layer on clothes as my way of being in the world. 

being seen. being true. being the most amazing version of me.

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.......

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. big sweaters. often no bra. simple mala to ground. fabric draped. sexy and comfort as one. 

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.

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

and this is my practice. again and again. finding who i am now. learning how to communicate that self so she can radiate through me.

.......

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.

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.......

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. now one of my easiest outfits is a long tank that goes over my bum so i can wear it over leggings with many more layers. 

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 that never felt like me. it looked so good on other women. i wanted to fit into someone else's spiritstyle.

i spent years uncomfortable and confused. when i went back to school in 2008 i found myself back inside of the free spirit world. every kind of women that ever existed. 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 and iterate.
  • 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.

.......

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I used to want to be famous.

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A really good day for me is when I get through without telling myself that something is wrong with me. 

In my business group I like to ask each person to define their definition of success. The old definition of more money, more status, more notoriety, more power, more more is making way for a softer, less intense, less 'more' based success.

A personal success for me is being kind to my skin, my belly, my people, my heart. It is only recently I have understood how difficult kindness is as a practice. And I desire it like crazy.

I used to want to be famous, now I want to lay my head on a pillow at night feeling loved and seen and challenged and filled with a prayer for tomorrow.

.......

I went to the thrift store. I brought myself over to the rack of dresses. The first thing I needed to move through was the size. The last time I bought a dress I was a good two sizes smaller. 

This is ok I told myself. Be where you are now.

I spent about 40 minutes going through long racks of dresses ranging from crazy orange and brown retro lace to bright flowers in styles I couldn't try to describe.

I had given myself a goal, sexy beach nights. 

I'll be accompanying Dave on his business trip to Mexico and I knew that last year I ended up feeling like I wanted to hide myself amidst all the string bikinis drinking blended drinks like their sugar and alcohol calories converted to magic. 

This year I was not playing that game. What I know, what I freaking teach about confidence, is that it has nothing to do with a string bikini and tight abs.

I plan to radiate.

Which means I have to start putting the pieces into place now.

I pulled about 14 dresses into my cart. 

My color story clear. Black. Gray. White. Mocha. I challenged myself to find patterns and there were so many patterns, this is why we love thrifting, the unexpected, the surprises. 

In the dressing room I did a fast and furious round of trying things on over my leggings and tank top. The rooms are so tiny I kept crashing into the sides and dropping hangers and then I started to sweat in my big winter boots and the creeping in feeling of claustrophobia.

The lighting however is so good it may have led to some false purchases. I kind of love that though, because I can think of people who I can give them to for the next round of their fabric lives. (Which then led to the idea of hosting a giveaway for a box of thrifted items that I send out based on a few questions about style and color and size and lifestyle.) 

I ended up with about 7 dresses knowing that I would need to wear each one for at least a day to see if it felt right, to see if I felt right inside of it. Seams. Pulling. Pinching. Rising up. Falling down. Softness. Does it need a bra. Can you see the panty line cause I gotta wear panties.

All that highly sensitive stuff that makes practicing clothing an essential skill.

.......

I am studying, watching, practicing, challenging.

I am deep inside of creation.

A newness about to be born.

I crave comfort inside this time and what I am creating is the opposite.

I put on the tight dress.

I practice inside the discomfort. All day. In my home. On the school yard. On Instagram.

I am in a becoming of the she who will walk the beaches in Mexico and radiate her joy and adoration of who she has iterated into, which may only find her the moment her feet touch the white sand.

The she who has an idea that is only sticky notes and trust. 

That all of it was always leading here.

.......

One dress I got actually scares me. And makes me laugh. I haven't practiced it yet. It has one sleeve and is tight.

It may be the one that the lighting in the store conned me into purchasing.

At $4.00 my edges were a tad more daring.

Even if this one doesn't get sorted out on my body there is something about having pulled it off the rack and into that dressing room that makes me giggle and remember how I want to feel and how I am willing to practice getting there.

Sexy beach nights. The feeling of the best dressing room lighting shining from inside of you. Your scent of confidence lingering and touching others you pass.

.......

The discomfort of the practice of radiating joy means she (we) will be 'more.' 

A more that is soft, kind, intensely loving. 

A more that will let others see her (us) because she has studied and taught alongside those who desire the same.

She (we) becomes brave because she is not alone in the challenge of pushing herself to actively practice the things that would be so much easier not to.

A more that knows it isn't about the dresses (or the ____) and is so about those dresses.

.......

If I think about the bikini's sipping mudslides my body will have an energetic shift into chaos and chaos will be how I make my choices. How I will feel.

I send love to the magical sugar transforming goddesses of the poolside bars and pour some green powdery kombucha while thinking about which dress will be next.

43 year old magic potions being bottled over here. One unorganized discomfort of change at a time.

.......

Why I feel so boring.

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First. When your grandfather calls and leaves you a message checking your pulse because your Friday letters haven't been coming to his inbox, you better sit down and write. 

(Honestly, how much more loved can a person feel than that voicemail?) 

Second. I've been sitting with my computer for the last 3 hours - 3 days - 3 weeks - not writing. Writers must write to be writers. We also must listen. And experience. And sometimes be in the stillness of no words. 

Which can feel like an emotional torture.

.......

I was at the nail salon, Star Nails, and I had chosen a color I still have on and truly do not like. As I was watching this color I regretted picking the moment she opened the bottle, I was reminding myself that this was on purpose. 

I walked in planning on picking an outside of my box color. After far too long thinking about it, chose bright pink.

I challenge myself with little games often, to see if these choices, these experiences will bring me new information about who I am becoming. Or if it is as simple as painting the pink on and then you have become.

(This could also speak to my theory on how boring my life is right now as this was my greatest excitement for the week.)

Typically when I am uncomfortable I can feel it all over my body. My mind starting to tell me I just wasted my money, my body feeling itchy and twitchy. 

The woman painting my nails was listening to the woman talking beside her. And every so often she would make a small sound of acknowledgement, like a gentle mmm, but different, I may not have letters for it. 

I was certain the woman didn't like the color either and maybe even sensed that I was trying to pretend to like it. She carefully brushed it on and continued making her sweet little noises in regards to her friend's story. 

Her sounds were like a guided meditation for my anxious body. I could feel myself transporting to a state that wasn't twitchy at all. I felt calm under the presence of this bright bright bright pink.

Then she quietly held up my hand and said (she has done my nails before and I always choose grays and pale colors), "This is different. Bright. I can like this for you."

I remembered again, this was on purpose. She could like this for me even if I couldn't.

.......

Not writing. Being boring. Pausing in the stillness. 

This is not what you would consider sound business advise. To pause. To be still. To not write your newsletter. To be incredibly boring. 

The honest truth is. I've been a bit annoyed at all the things we are supposed to be doing in business and social media and networking. I am not driven to create a legacy of work. I am not driven to make more and more and more and more money than years before. I am not driven to be the best ever at something. 

I have been overwhelmed with wanting to walk away from everything I have created so that I can find what is underneath it all, or what can be because of it all. 

In this I was struck with craving finding a way to hear what I have sensed was calling me towards it. I have little notes with bits and pieces of thoughts and wonderings and ideas. 

I have been studying trends and research and remembering how things were 7 years ago when it was a love fest with other women creating businesses and how we were all like, holy shit, can you believe we can really do this! 

I have been letting myself sit and think about a shelf in my home for more hours than perhaps seems rational because it brings me pleasure to research ideas and look at pictures and then finally get that moment of YES!!! I figured it out. I know what I will do. 

I have iterated into so many becomings that it surprised me when I became rather boring. I ran out of things to say. I was communing with my plants and being mama and catching these random downloads of something intangible. 

The daily challenges and games written just for me were adding up. I was immersed in figuring out who I was in each one.

.......

Do something to your hair each day that makes you feel beautiful. 

I have discovered my formerly 80's poofs and Lagertha braids, reclaimed for my 43 year old self.

Each time you eat let it become the most sensual experience possible. 

The other day my smoothie came out too thick with almonds and banana transforming the pea protein milk and chocolate powder into a pudding. I ate it with a spoon. It was sensual bliss. And noodles are back in my life. With chopsticks.

Before bed spend time giving your face love with creams and potions and oils. 

I have been using little samples and finding what my face loves, like this one. One of my favorite people texted me the other night and she has been doing the same thing. We shared pictures of our little bottles of creams and potions.

Go to every Petco in the area and spend time with the hamsters until you find her. 

I am impulsive. I am challenging myself not to always be so. I spend a large amount of time alone, and I miss her. I am creating a little meditation/reading/plant nook upstairs in a hidden hallway and I think this would be the perfect home for a new friend.

Find a way to have open shelving in your curated kitchen filled with cabinets. 

My dream was always to find an old house and fix it up. My love's dream was to never do that again in his life! Our compromise was finding a newer home with so much space, that was void of much personality but had potential to become way more bohemian chic than it was intended.

I love this home in all its potential funk. I miss seeing my plates and mugs and glasses as every cabinet has a door. When we decided to ditch a formal dining room and turn it into an office space I realized I could turn a shelf that held our office supplies into open shelving for our kitchen. This is how much it matters to me, I started crying when I knew I could make this transformation. That my kitchen could start to feel more like me. 

Use up all the left-overs in your fridge. 

Fish stew came from this one. 

Mushy brown rice that had too much water. Roasted veggies from a pork chop night and all the sauce from the drippings. Some eggplant, celery, spinach, artichoke hearts that had gone over the mushy rice another night. Some white wine to deglaze after I cooked the veggies down even more. Chicken stock. A frozen bag of Trader Joe's green chickpeas and lentils and tomatoes. All cooked for hours on the stove and then before serving some Trader Joe's white fish Vera Cruz went it until cooked through.

I have been eating it non-stop. Sensually of course.

Let yourself be seen inside of your family, with your love, truly seen. 

This might be its own letter...

Walk with the mantra, my body is sexy and sensual, so when you show up to your vacation in Mexico without having dieted to get there, you will be so. 

Dave's work hosts a reward trip each Winter and this will be our third time going to Mexico.

Each year I am faced with being the 40-something among young 20-somethings in bikinis sitting poolside, drinking like they are fish and the calories transforming into more sexiness oozing off of them and it messes with my mind.

This year I am going to mess with my mind before I go. Because it is true that I am exactly as I am now and I love her. I adore her. I want to show up as her. I want to nurture her. 

.......

All of this on purpose. Listening to sounds from inside from Spirit from people I love from women I circle with that let my body relax after feeling itchy and twitchy and boring.

And maybe we need someone to like it for us as we try it all on.

Until we are ready to change it.

.......

Noodles. And all the questions.

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There is this place of hibernation that has held my mind.

A place where questions are gathering and asking of me to be in the stillness of the words.

Mornings wake with pondering of value of compassion of relevancy of beauty of new choices.

Arising out of a question was the knowing that I will never tell myself I can't eat a grain for purposes of keeping myself slim.

My pleasure comes from combining spices, boiling bone broths, discovering new teas, pairing a wine with a roast, chopping kale into tiny shreds. My pleasure comes from the stack of wooden cutting boards that sit on the counter next to the empty oil bottles waiting for the someday project of infusing oils. My pleasure comes from holding a wooden spoon soaked and stained from their time in the soup pot. 

The words begging us to believe we are not whole running through media, it is time to lose that weight once and for all so just buy Oprah's new soup. My inbox stuffed with more communication than I can receive. So much to buy to know to read. 

I find the place of hibernation and questions as my physical self continues the act of mothering and loving and teaching and providing.

In the mirror each night I am faced with the questions around my body and I refuse the answers that a part of me clings to. I refuse the answers and return to the hibernation of my mind.

Noodles. In college it was Ramen. Set the timer for three minutes, or was it two? We would make three packets at a time. Always chicken. That was our meal.

Then I discovered Pad Thai in New York City, steaming with basil and fish sauce and flavors entered my world that were like mysteries I would one day solve. They have been solved.

Pasta Puttanesca and its story of the ladies of the night simmering this spicy salty sauce and how the capers and anchovies and hot peppers must have become their perfume. I imagine these women piling into the kitchen for connection and escape and that something that beautiful spicy food gives us.

My mom making Fettuccine Alfredo and how I can taste it and smell it in my memory, the inspiration for a pizza I made with butternut squash and shrimp and roasted chickpeas on the Alfredo sauce. 

The meal I made over and over after I miscarried my first pregnancy, roasted eggplant mixed with more lemon than is sensible and the parmesan cheese and black pepper that attach to each strand of the spaghetti, somehow healing my insides through the comfort of the noodles. 

I will not take noodles away from myself again. And this act of kindness and pleasure will mean the questions continue to look at me through my skin as I stand in the mirror.

Earlier today I started to write this email. The first in weeks. The hibernation over and my mind unable to hold back words.

I was about half way through and realized I was typing it into a text block I don't normally use. I didn't know the text block was attached to the picture. The picture I deleted.

Looking at the screen, seeing there was no way to un-do this decision.

Tears. I thought it was good. Really good. I knew I would not get it back. 

The hibernation over and the first words lost.

My throat is aching and my glands sore. I got in the car to go pick up Chloe. I drove the 30 minutes with words dancing in my mind, mixed with the sadness of those lost.

I thought about the three packages of beans I have in the pantry. I imagined what each would become in time.

Winter Solstice making an enchilada pie after soaking the beans then cooking them in onions, garlic and broth until they fall apart. Like she made for me on one of the hardest nights I have lived through.

Pigeon peas for salads. Adzuki for bean burgers. 

The pleasure I feel when I put my hand in a bowl of beans softening. I used to not let myself eat bean either.

The softening in my body of forty-three years. A rooting in as I ache to get the words back and find comfort in knowing that everything we loose is always somehow inside of us. That energy we release or hold.

I decide to surrender. I send a note to my business group and rearrange a video call so I can rest my throat and neck.

Chicken meatballs with grated sweet potato, garlic, onion and kale. Shiitake mushrooms and kale with hot pepper sauce and teriyaki coconut aminos and rice wine vinegar. Rice because kids love rice. I am quiet and listening to them. 

"Mom, there is water all over the floor of the bathroom." I look over at the kitchen floor. The water is dripping down through the ceiling.

We run around for towels as he fixes the leak.

We are sitting at the dinner table. Dave and I have one kid in between us on the wooden bench I gave him for his birthday. All of a sudden he reaches over to me, rubs my shoulder, he is smiling at me with such truth and we hold hands behind our little one.

The kids have second helpings of the meatballs. 

Answers are finding their way in. The hibernation is over. The beans will be soaked. The noodles will be slurped. My pleasure my words my silence my compassion my relevancy my sadness my sore throat my questions.

And so it is. 

Part 3 :: Cold Egg Sandwiches Bring You Closer To Home.

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I left my utility belt at the security check at some airport months ago. For this trip I found a velvet silver fanny pack that delighted me in its silliness and perfection. That first morning we were up at 4:30am and I piled on layers of hand warmers, scarf, cowboy hat, sweater, skirt, leggings, leg warmers, boots.

I felt so crazy much like me.

I put two braids in my hair, the way I used to a couple years ago in my Vikings obsession days. My nails were painted a pale beige, I knew I'd be staring at them on the steering wheel and wanted something soft and calming.

I took my 'I'm getting on a plane' photo in the airport bathroom which I did not like, but I got nervous I'd be caught by other travelers taking pictures so I quickly put my phone away and settled.

Not long after I posted that photo we'd be sitting at the bar, realizing we wouldn't be in California. 

.......

One of the earliest things I started to notice on our drive was the absence of talking. Not my own so much, but that of Dave. I spend most days on my own until the kids get picked up. If I don't have a coaching call I go hours without speaking. 

Dave spends most of every day on the phone for his job and isn't a texting kind of guy, he talks to his family and friends on the phone. These days in the car he only spoke a couple times to family, a separation between him and his phone that I imagine felt like beautiful silence to his body. 

I noticed how hours could feel endless and fleeting all together as the earth would go from the rows of palm trees to red clay filled with rocks piled like a Jenga game and then mountains smoky and blue.

The peace and awe became companions as we would point out another rock, mountain, shape, tree, patch of dirt, as though we were the first to ever have seen those particular sights. Dave delights in the simplest of wonders as I do, we are quite matched in that area.

I loved holding space with Dave while he didn't have to talk. As he drove I would watch his face for long stretches, either he didn't notice or didn't mind. I had no desire to know what he was thinking which is unusual for me. I found myself enamored with simply being with him inside of not having to do anything other than drive. It wasn't that we didn't talk. It was that we didn't have to. 

.......

The final hotel breakfast morning I brought some gluten free rolls and toasted one until it was crispy on the edges and soft inside. I spread cream cheese on one side and put the eggs that don't taste like eggs inside with hot sauce and ketchup. Nothing healthy, this was simply a taste hack.

We brought our sandwiches in the car along with my two cups of mushroom coffee. Our final hotel stay was in Virginia and it was in the single digits cold. I started the drive that morning, sipping my coffee and knowing we would be home that night.

Neither of us were hungry so we drove for hours before unwrapping the cold egg sandwiches at 11:00am knowing this would mean we wouldn't have to stop for lunch.

We were closer to home because of those cold egg sandwiches. I could feel it in the way you don't want to. Home is my favorite thing in the world. All I wanted in that moment was my home inside of this van, next to this man I love. 

.......

We had been looking for a van for months after mine drove its last miles. The ones we found from a private sale would be gone in hours. During a trip to see Dave's brother in California he mentioned selling his van, which was the exact one we had been looking for.

No salt or snow ever on it. Gently driven. Perfect price. An adventure together driving across country.

It was the latter that made us say yes. 

.......

The morning we woke up in our own bed, my ex husband (I hate that term btw) texted me, "Glad to be home?" 

"Bittersweet. I really loved being on the road more than I thought I would. I think this is the first time in forever all I had to do was think about driving, eating and sleeping." 

"It's good for you ;)" 

And in that moment I could feel it. The tears in Rhode Island. The craving to turn around, keep driving.

The so much of nothing that I would never have known I could feel.

I was flooded with feelings from years in seconds, now laying on the bed that was so familiar, the hotel room now miles away.

The first miscarriage. The day we told the kids we were separating. The morning my dog broke my computer when Lucas was a baby and I was so lost. The ache of saying goodbye to a lover so long ago. The pain Patrick and I traveled through before we came to this place of friendship and forgiveness. The fights Dave and I had over things that had nothing to do with us. Unmet longings. Fears of not having vulnerability where I need it. Another loss of pregnancy. The hell we went through blending our families together when joy was what you sought. Standing by the side of Dave while he suffered inside of his divorce. Anger. Fear. Loss. So much. So, so much.

In that van I felt none of it. It was so much nothing that it takes my breath away thinking back to it, like a fantasy feeling. The lull of the miles, the views of desert and mountain, the absence of noise, the bonding together of one goal :: drive.

.......

The Blind Tiger restaurant got its name from Prohibition when they would place a small animal like a tiger on a table, indicating that there were back rooms where people would turn a blind eye on those who chose to drink. 

I imagine placing a small tiger on my dashboard, reminding me of the so much of nothing I never knew was there in my own 'back room', the feeling that has settled into my nervous system in what I can only describe as what I've spent the last 6 months focused on as my guiding words. 

The guides I have been asking for when I am curled over in pain of spirit. 

It feels like kindness and compassion. The words I have prayed over. The values I have prayed over. The feelings I have longed to give so I may receive them. 

I feel them. For myself. I feel kindness and compassion for my heart that has travelled through the most agonizing of pain and loss that I have known yet. I feel them. 

.......

As the voice reads aloud the words of the story we have fallen into as our companion I wonder how we will finish the story together once five kids pile back home and Dave picks up the phone and I cuddle up with my computer writing and preparing for hours of coaching. 

I wonder if when I hear the storyteller voice I will fall back into the nothing or if there will be a haze of life blocking my ears from fully taking it in. 

I love being home, as my kids are piled on the couch watching a movie together, all back together after longer than a week apart. 

Every something we have had to take on, go through, feel, to get us to this Home together, was worth each tear, fight, pain, loss. When I look over at them on the couch there is nowhere else I want to be. The nothing is back in time and I am in my happiest life.

Of so much.

.......

In the kitchen our first night home I make a Minestrone soup. I grab him in a hug and the tears that found me in Rhode Island come back. 

"That is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. With me. Thank you." 

"I would do anything for you baby, don't you know that?" 

Through my tears I tell him I'm starting to know that.

I'm starting to know that.

.......
 

Part 2 :: The Road of Ice We Would Never See.

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I forgot what my hair does when the humidity is sucked from the air. The back of it starts to weave itself together and create a nest. Eventually it envelopes the hair on the side and if you lift up just one piece of hair the entire mass rises with it. 

I forgot to pack things for my hair, I was distracted by knowing my bleed would arrive on the drive, obsessed with packing little pouches with pads and tampons and Motrin and oils. 

Forgotten were my brush, shampoo and conditioner, my tools for untangling the nest. The hotels leave tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner, the nest would require 10 of those tiny bottles of conditioner. 

In somewhere Arizona, it began with a B,  the nest was so tight and uncomfortable I wrapped my hair in a scarf I had for my neck. I screamed as I tightened it and Dave carefully took his turn tying it as I tried not to yell that it hurt. 

My body was bloated from being in the early days before the bleed, my hair was distracting me and I needed my coffee. Our bodies had yet to yield to the soothing rhythm of the drive, I was feeling Dave's anxiety to make up for the lost day of driving as my own.

Hotel breakfasts are tough if you are health conscious, gluten-free or just like eggs that taste like eggs. It wasn't until our last morning that I figured out a breakfast hack.

On this morning the first thing I did was pour the hot water into the mushroom coffee powder that was traveling with me and then found the hot chocolate packets and fixed Dave a hot chocolate the way he likes it, extra powder, extra cream. He doesn't need the ritual the way I do, for me including him into the ritual of morning grounds me into him. Us.

.......

We talked about making a list of talking points for the drive, before beginning, jokingly worrying we would run out of things to talk about.

When you are driving speeds of 80 plus miles an hour words become scarce. When you are driving on sheets of ice in Texas words become scarce. When you spend 14 hours sitting next to one other person words become scarce.

When we drove from California to Massachusetts our words became scarce. In the way so much of something becomes so much of nothing. In the way I am only just understanding was the gift of the trip, the absence of something. Into a nothing I ache for when I remember.

.......

In the Texas ice storm driving past trucks spun off the road my tears spilled out as I clutched the steering wheel. Two people I love last year lost family on the road. Every car and truck we saw spun off became a prayer.

When we left the hotel that morning we didn't know the ice had formed its own road, a hidden one that eyes could not see. Once we had started, going back was scarier than moving forward, as there was an accident on every on and off ramp.

The fear and the coffee left my bladder full and pulsing. I told Dave I had to stop to pee so we pulled off to the side of the road when we found a huge space to our right, the safest spot we could find to shield us from a car sliding off the road. My cowboy boots slipped on the ice as Dave held my arm and guided me to the passenger door which he had opened for me to hold onto as I squatted to pee on the open road covered in ice on the road.

Modesty doesn't remind you of itself in fear or when a bladder is about to explode. Dave took over the drive and I sat there driving with him in my mind. It felt like together we could keep the van safe on this icy road you wouldn't believe existed. 

We knew it would end. We knew stopping held more danger than moving forward. The story of nothing transformed into fear for a few short hours in our silence. We traveled through internal journeys until the moment we saw cars driving towards us going West at speeds of 70 miles an hour. 

It took us more than a few beats to trust it. To allow the right foot to give a tiny bit more pressure down on the pedal. We found our way over a path of ice sitting side by side in the seats that had become seats of a table for meals, beds, offices, for the nothing of a drive that would take five days to complete.

.......

The brush manifested in a truck/RV stop that I wandered around in awe. Gadgets and tools and clothes and food. A little electric kettle for hot water that would shut itself off when it ran dry. Gray leg warmers making me feel less of a stand out as my own were tucked into my boots. It was an RVers dream store and I dream of an RV.

We almost bought a memory foam bum cushion for the driver's seat, days later regretting passing it by as our hips began to ache. With the brush I chose a pair of sunglasses that were bedazzled with rhinestones and green flowers, my rule being if you have to buy sunglasses at a rest stop, find the ones you normally wouldn't purchase. 

I washed my hair only once in those six days of travel, the truck stop brush pulling out more hair than I felt I wanted to part with as I stood under the hot water of a shower in a state I can't remember. Only two days since coming home the states and hotels and miles are like the same bead on a necklace strung over and over, each one beautiful when held alone then losing uniqueness when in line with the others.

.......

The day my hair was wrapped in the black scarf I stood in New Mexico; I couldn't believe I was in New Mexico. I made a video and took a photo in the front of the welcome sign. We saw little else of New Mexico other than that rest stop, and the scenery we drove by. I knew I would come back here, I felt the land calling me from a time in the future already imprinted with my visit.

The nothing was holding us as the miles gave me the comfort of sitting next to my man as he listened to football games and my eyes fell heavy into sleep under a seatbelt and our mocha colored blanket reminding us of home. 

As he drove I felt him as my protector, there was nothing that he wouldn't do for me. As I drove I wanted to wrap myself around him to guide him into sleep, my head glancing over in his direction every few minutes until I would hear his breath change over into sound that I could pick out from a hundred men sleeping, his sound the rooting of my nurturer lover partner self. 

.......

Lunch at the Blind Tiger in Louisiana is where our nervous systems would relax from the road of ice we would never see and the so much of nothing inside the miles of a drive would bring an absence of a feeling that has been a companion to me for so long. 

The fear of that absence of feeling is why I wanted to turn around in Rhode Island.  The absence of that feeling is what I sit here now looking to find words for. The absence of the feeling is lingering inside the van that now sits in our garage hiding from the storm laying down feet of snow in New England.

It asks for a third part to be written during a snow day with little boys running around bored. One more part that I long to be on the other side of as I sip a sour lemon tea and hear pleas for grilled cheese and tuna sandwiches to fill aching bellies.

One more part of a truth found on a drive of over 3,000 miles, West to East, next to the partner of my heart. The part that brought the tears that wouldn't stop yesterday as I felt my way into a re-entry of home.

.......

Part 1 :: Manhattans at 8:30am in the Airport.

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The words from the story The Name of the Wind were guiding me home in the last two hours. A story of magic and fantasy to linger inside of as the miles added up.

His voice came out of the silence underneath the sound of the storyteller, "Are we in Rhode Island?"

"I don't know." I didn't want to know.

"We are! Baby, we are in Rhode Island."

He sounded so happy I didn't want to show him the tears that were warming my face, they came so fast I didn't understand them, wasn't ready to share them. The darkness mixed with the distraction from the story became my focus.

Just drive. Even though you want to turn around. Drive home.

.......

We are on the plane, 7:00am on Thursday morning. The plan to get to CA by noon, have a quick lunch with Dave's brother who we are buying the van from, then get on the road so we can feel the sunshine and drive as far as we can that first day on the road.

We start for the runway and are called back. Fuel is leaking, quite rapidly from the plane. They run tests, try to fix it. 

At 8:30am I am at the bar with the other displaced passengers who are drinking Bloody Mary's and beers. This was a no alcohol trip as we would be driving every day for up to 600 miles at a time. When Dave assured me we would not be getting to CA that day, I thought about the time one of my best friend's and I ended up at the airport early together, going separate places and got to spend time at the bar.

I ordered a drink I know she loves. I don't think I've ever had a Manhattan. I called her about a possible ride home because we may not be leaving that day. One of her husband's friends who I met at their wedding is the bartender. This is how Rhode Island is, it rarely surprises me anymore.

I didn't want to go home. It felt like going backwards. Going home, getting to Boston the next day. I told Dave I would go anywhere else. He got us to Atlanta that night, with a flight to LA the following morning.

Adventure doesn't need a timeline, so long as it keeps moving forward; these moments of change of letting go of a plan of not knowing what to expect, they mine a place inside of us that isn't defined by words, only a feeling that is the foundation of an iteration of spirit we didn't see coming.

And so we would go to Atlanta. We would sit in an airport for 10 hours (many of them trying to find a new flight plan) that was only 1 hour from home. 

When the plane was stopped because of the leaking fuel I knew that we would be safe on our drive. It felt like a blessing from the Universe, a sign. My nerves relaxed.

We got to our hotel room in Atlanta at 9:30pm, ate the turkey, cheese and coleslaw sandwiches I had made for the car ride that day and watched tv from bed. Little bags of potato chips crunched as we let our skin relax onto the bed acting as our table with little crumbs scattered on the white comforter.

Typically we fall to sleep each night after we come together in a sex that has become as ritualized as brushing our teeth. The way we connect after the day has pushed and pulled us. An ease into sleep, a repair of nervous systems, touch and intimacy our glue.

Hotel sex is unique in its unfamiliarity and offers a chance to let any stress of home be washed away as you lay underneath crisp sheets and pillows your head tries to understand. You leave it behind as though it was a moment of fantasy.

We were exhausted from nothing and just being there felt special. We had begun our journey.

Atlanta. To California.

I fell asleep hoping I could find hot water in the morning for the powdered coffee I had packed. My morning coffee is how I root in. I think about it as I clean the kitchen after dinner. 

Sensitive souls need to know where they will ground, especially inside of adventure. All the unknowns can be anchored in the safety of a cup of coffee, the scent of an oil, a hand wrapped in your own.

The alarm was set for early, I can't remember now the exact number. 

Tomorrow we would be in California where the sun would guide the start of our drive. I didn't know in that bed in Atlanta that the story about almost nothing, so much nothing, was about to be written.

.......

Rooting In. Lifting Up. 20 day winter devotional circle

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A 20 day winter devotional circle :: grounding rituals, stories and practices to root into the season and receive winter's blessings.

When :: January 12th - 31st

Cost :: $37

Add to Cart

.......

There was a wall in our home, the one we had dreamt of for so long, that was blue. It was a choice made by the family before us. Whenever I was in the living room sitting and gazing at the fire place where the blue wall was, I felt off. 

I wondered if the color held some story of angst that I could feel. It was more than the color, it was an energy coming through. One day I decided it was time to paint it.

In my basement I had a can of my favorite cloud white paint. While everyone was away I spent the day covering over the blue wall. It was magical. The dark room started to glow. Light was all around. As the room became cozier and brighter with each coat of the white I could feel my body releasing the angst and absorbing openess. 

I gathered some plants I had around the house that needed repotting and I spent time with my hands in the dirt, grounding the roots into new soil and terra-cotta pots. Their beauty felt like a prayer of thank you. 

They sit on the mantle with pine branches I picked in the woods, all of it against the soft white wall.

This small change gives me a sense of grounding. This is my rooting in. Making home. Shifting of energy. Honoring winter's arrival.

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Root vegetables and feet in the earth. 

Bowls of lemons sitting on the kitchen table.

Pine branches and red berries in vases.

Persimmons and candy canes for decorating the home.

Sheepskin making couches cozy and held.

Pad Thai ingredients spread out on the wooden cutting board.

Popcorn filling small bowls for little fingers.

Sweaters and leg warmers and scarves wrapping us up.

Curried stews with eggplant and chickpeas

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Watering the plants, touching the leaves, scavenging perfect spaces where the light would glow through the lace of the curtains onto them. 

Egg shells piled up in a bowl on a white countertop that holds the stories of the mamas before me, as each fried egg becomes a sandwich for little hands to hold for breakfast.

The pale green of the walls that hold their beds safe, the navy stars and gold hearts on sheets covered with gray fuzzy golden blankets topped with the furry giant bears and cheetahs and tigers they cuddle at night.

The way his body feels when we fall into bed each night, naked, lips promising a tomorrow filled with deepening safety inside of our love.

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We root in by making space in our life, through rituals that feel gorgeous and filling and by letting each feeling that comes through us have a place of safety.

We root in by putting our bare feet on earth even if just for a few seconds in the cold of the morning on hard wood floors.

We root in by letting go of stuff, of old stories, of chaos that breaks our connection with the ground.

We root in by letting each of the parts of us become honored and nurtured.

We root in through meditative trust and beauty as we honor the seasons.

.......

And then we lift. 

The connections of ritual. The sharing of stories, fears, photos. When another woman simply says...

...me too. 

...what if?

...how does that feel?

...I honor you.

...you are so beautiful.

...thank you.

In circle.

Each day becoming a walking prayer. 

A daily devotional to winter's spirit.

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20 days together ::

  • daily emails with story, photo and simple prompts; physical and spiritual
  • a circle of women; rooting and lifting
  • rituals of making home in the cozy of winter; beauty and space
  • the sacred, seasonal kitchen and table; service and feeding
  • safety in our hearts; reverence and adoration
  • shifting of space; release and opening
  • the parts of who we are; feeling and being seen
  • walking prayer; faith and repetition
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The gift of words from past circles ::

“What you do is take women who don’t even know how to believe in what they already are, don’t know that they should, and you give them hope, give them the tools, introduce them to a way of looking at themselves, the world, each other – that illuminates ILLUMINATES the path that we failed to notice was beneath our feet all along.”

“She has a magical balance of ferocity and gentleness that speak directly to your heart while not leaving your mind out of the equation. Oh, and she rocks.”

“There are moments in our lives when someone extraordinary comes into view, bringing with them great spirit and the power of transformation. Hannah Marcotti’s deeply rooted authenticity, gentle love and soft caress, creates beautiful spaces for knowing and a safe place for revealing our most authentic dreams and wishes, guiding you toward a realization and manifestation of your true hearts’ desire.”  

“Hannah is honest, real, a storyteller, authentic, magical, passionate, gentle and tough all at the same time…”

“This group, you all…this work, is the emotional scaffold I rebuild my spirit upon~”

.......

Any questions? Please send me a note at hello@hannahmarcotti.com

Death by Tarot

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We kept saying a time would come when we would meet in person. I found myself in her world (city) during the launch of the Biz Circle and after an emotional and lovely trip to see my 97 year old grandfather who is one of the most incredible humans. 

I had thought about doing a meet up and gathering women who lived in the area for a circle and then the reality of time zone changes and the launch and a time when Dave needed my energy to help hold him through some tough challenges in his work all swirled into my highly sensitive body and she said, "How about you come over for tea and tarot."

A sensitive extroverts perfect date.

When you get to meet the women you've worked with only online for years, it is truly a wild experience. You take all your data collected from words and photos and carry it with you until that first hug, that first moment.

Then all the data just washes away and there you are. Real. Touch. Flawed. Perfect.

And then there is tarot. Alix has done readings for many of the women in our circles and to be in person with her, holding the deck, asking the question, I could feel myself opening to the message in a way I'm not always present to.

I am a guide of iterations. I am a wildfire iterator. I am lining up and preparing for what is next.

The first card she put down was death. The spread was so powerful it took my breath away before we even talked about it.

I've felt inside that the work I've done is coming to a close to make way for a something special that has feeling without words, until the permission from this reading to let go. 

Not just that I could let go, but that I must. That it already was.

I've hinted at this being the last time I run my Magic Making Circles. There is no big announcement. It is a feeling. A feeling I am following.
.......

I can see myself 6 months from now and I am observing her. I am watching her inside of new adventures. She has burned down and ashes have always suited her.

I have 6 months to guide women who are inside of businesses and dreams of businesses to do exactly what I'm going to do. Figure it out. Become clear. See their future selves and use that vision as a way of working towards their becomings.

6 months of opening to the messages. I am a half year operator. I see time in 6 month iterations. 
.......

I watched as she placed the cards down and started guiding me through the reading. The lovers grounding me from pelvis to core. The emperor rooting my future self. The promise of not being alone as I move from Death into the boundaries of the she I watch quietly, sitting 6 months from now on her sheepskin, fully in her body and breath, fully in the rise from letting go.

My worth is in the dishwasher.

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I think many great stories could be started with, "So, we were in therapy..."

And then.

So, we were in therapy.

You know that moment at the end of the session with a healer when there are about 4 minutes left and the tears start. You search for where they are coming from.

"Hannah, what's happening for you now?"

"It is a whole other session."

"Perhaps. And I want you to discover it now."

I couldn't find my words to match the rapid flow of tears. His arm was behind me and I felt him reach over to comfort me and then pull back, knowing that he needed to let me be inside of it.

I started laughing and told him I felt him wanting to make it better and how awesome it was that he was able to let me be in the feeling. We all laughed that he got busted!

"That's mine, it is what I do. I screwed up my morning. I didn't plan well. I ended up scrambling for time. I could have done it better and instead I was so worked up and ended up being an asshole that they didn't empty the dishwasher. That is mine. It really wasn't about asking for help it was about me not doing my job well."

The words came out and sounded a little like nonsense rambling and a lot like something my healer and I had worked on 2 years ago.

She looked at me in the way she does when I can hear her speak without words.

"Because it is where you feel your worth."

And then.

So, we were in therapy.

The tears pouring. The love of my life holding space for my truth.

"Because that is where I feel my worth."

When I empty the dishwasher. When I make soup. When I do, do and do some more. I am so brilliant at it. I am typically 3 steps ahead of what needs to happen in my head.

The moments when I am led by being allows the doing to become a beautiful extension of how I love, nurture, breathe my spirit. Soup becomes my meditation. Driving them to school becomes my space to be fully open and receiving.

The being into doing where my value isn't dependent on the dishwasher being emptied or filled and the joy then flows forth from those acts of doing. Not because of them. 

The doing to be, to be valued, to be told I am worthy, to be proof of why I am important or good.

The doing to be still finds its way out. That part of me that feels like she isn't perfect and her expectations around what must happen so she can be valued.

Loved. Worthy.

And then.

So, we were in therapy.

I found my worth in the dishwasher.

We emptied it together. 

An old story that still gets stuck when stress or sickness or pressure turns the page of time back so we can work it through again. 

Each time, it becomes lighter, less.

I started a new ritual as a family. Each night after dinner we clean up together. (Instead of me doing it.) Each night after clean up we take out the lunch boxes and the kids create their own lunches. (Instead of me kicking everyone out of the kitchen and doing it.)

I watch them think of new ideas of what to pack.

Sometimes they don't want a sandwich. Sometimes the one who refuses to eat PB&J wants to pack a PB&J. Apple sauce in little containers. Cheese and crackers and pepitas. Corn tortillas with beans and chicken. Gluten free cookies and raisins.

I have to hold my hands down by my sides to not wipe up the spills and crumbs or start putting things away.

We stand around the kitchen island being together. 

As they spread the mayonnaise I feel the tiny bit of sadness that this isn't mine any more, that little bit of value it gave me is now replaced by an experience of witnessing them being to do.

I did have that lunch making down to a science though...

And then.

And then.

And then.

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