What I did wrong.

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My tangle.

I tried to be 'better.'

On the outside, life is gorgeous. I can see the gorgeous life. I have even been waking up to catch the sunset and meditate.

On the inside, things are misaligned and the voices are cranking out words of suffering. There is a feeling of being irrelevant which hurts me because it is of my own creation.

The tangle takes shape. Twists. 

I live and teach and breath inside of iterative living. I know how to make change. I know how to become. I have learned over years of discovery how to teach iterative living.

Mistake number one is...making a change towards becoming so that you can be better, fixed.

I fell into the trap of the idea that something was wrong with me, so I needed to change it.

I know, 'being better' seems harmless, possibly even good (?) but here it was implying that something was wrong, broken, needed fixing.

Iterative living operates on the idea that you are stepping into something that already is. You embody this feeling/self fully by using change as the tool. Simply, your past self decides to start making the bed for your future self who is (already) adored. Or. Your past self walks past the mess of the bed and steps over laundry piles making a further mess, for your future self, who is, unworthy.

If you step into it as wrong, unworthy, less than, then that is what you get.

Imagine getting dressed in the morning under a feeling of being unworthy and choosing to stay in pajamas and then calling in 'sick' to work which feels awful in your bones versus embodying adoration and taking a shower, putting on an outfit that is a bit out of your comfort zone but allows you to feel like a rising star and walking into the office, red lips sparkling (or whatever it is).

So here I was. stepping into phase two of operation sobriety as though I was broken, uptight, too controlling, not free flowing enough. (Which by the way, is old old shit.)

Then when it felt like it back fired, this brilliant attempt of mine to be better, I didn't hold space for myself to feel like anything had gone wrong. I fought so hard against feelings of regret that I ended up all tangled.

Things that are important to me didn't get done because I was trying to be in a flow. Picture, long white skirt flowing while wearing a linen apron stirring cookie batter while conducting an orchestra and writing a book.

I am highly functional and one of the ways I do that is to make the cookies three days before the orchestra tunes up. This way I can usually crank out a meatloaf and some chicken soup too. Planning ahead. No white skirt.

And a little bit uptight.

Steps that I take to get from one place to another were tucked to the side so I could be less uptight.

I ended up falling behind, struggling to get anything done and feeling like a complete failure who refused to feel like a failure because she was trying so hard to go with the F-ing flow.

Then after days and days of wrestling with this part of me that didn't feel like me, I got the download. I call it God voice, I hear the words in my head.

The voice said, "You aren't trying to be better, you are trying to live inside the truth of how you are feeling. Remember the prayer you made to yourself?"

God voice is brilliant. 100% accuracy so far.

The tangle was I had taken my next iteration of becoming which was all around being inside the feelings of my truth and twisted it to look like certain things.

Somehow I got from truth of my feelings to convincing myself I was an uptight asshole.

The first thing I did was to give myself days of acknowledging what I felt I did wrong, where I felt off, stretched, wrong, pulled, silenced, overwhelmed, fearful.

The thoughts were loving. 

Hey, that didn't feel good and actually you weren't in your truth in that moment. Oh that is when you wished you had used your voice. OK, now I see where you over scheduled and over committed and what that left you with.

This let me synch back up with what was important to me, not what was important to being broken and needing to be somehow better.

I love looking at the data. I love seeing how experiences and plans look in reality. I love scratching stuff that doesn't work off the list or figuring out how to solve it.

I've been talking on Instagram and in My Great Big Fantastical Life Circleabout how I want to live inside of healing, wake up to it, make it my daily practice. I don't want to wait for something to break so I can go in and make it 'better.'

I am seeing this is connected to living in the truth of my feelings. Things break within me when I am pretending, pleasing and silencing. Then I get to be in full distraction of my feelings and fix.

In my untangling I am asking myself questions so I can source the truth of my feelings. I can get so lost in the stories of the feelings that I can't locate reality. Fantasy games of enneagram four. Anxiety as narrator. 

One of those questions is, what felt wrong? Owning that to me is owning that I want to live in adoration and trust of myself. 

Then I can get into the kitchen and make the damn cookies. White flowing skirt optional.

Add lipstick.

Let me make you a sandwich while I yell in my head.

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I'll set the scene.

I've got one ten year old kid (who has been asking me to help him study for days and I keep putting it off) finally sitting down with a printable blank map of the Northeast US, which are not easy to find online if you are me.

I have another thirteen year old kid wrapped in a trauma blanket (weighted blanket) on the sun porch that has no sun, with a humidifier blowing the lamest amount of air, under strict orders to not leave the room.

The first kid who is as highly sensitive as his mama is talking about the lines to write the state names on. They are dotted. Not solid. And too short.

The second kid, who is incredibly sick and hasn't slept in days, snuck his phone into his deprivation chamber of wishful thinking humidity.

I sit down in my meditation chair, the one I like to feel all my calmness in and I am hearing about dotted lines not being long enough and potential meltdown voice is happening and I yell, "Just draw lines down on the bottom. This isn't hard to figure out. Why is this such a thing????" (Do you document the things you are completely ashamed of saying to your kids?)

Kid with the cough comes out and says he still can't sleep. Now, I had done something I don't normally do. I had given him some tylenol PM because he just needed to rest to heal. And it turns out nothing that makes other people sleepy makes him sleepy.

I say words that are like icing on my shit-cake, "Why are you on your phone? You are failing sleeping."

Incase you are skimming, I say to my sick, sick kid, "You are failing sleeping." Yes.

At this point kiddo with the map is crying because this map is seriously making him lose it. Or is it his ridiculously ranting mama?

I just stop.

"You guys, I am so sorry. I can't believe I just lost it on both of you. I think I am exhausted and overwhelmed and I just took it out on you. I am so sorry."

Turns out they still love me.

It gets better. The next day.

.......

The next day.

Up till 2am trying to get the coughing kid to sleep. Back up at 6am to get kids ready for school.

Drive one kid to school half hour away, get home over an hour later and realize it is trash day and the trash is not out.

Take the trash out which involves 5 trips up and down the stairs to the garage, because I have to hold the railing for my knee, so I can't carry much at a time.

I hear Dave, my love, getting in the shower.

In my head a voice starts to yell.

WHAT ELSE DOES EVERYONE EXPECT ME TO DO? MUST BE NICE TO SLEEP IN. LET ME JUST EMPTY THE DISHWASHER WHILE I'M AT IT.

As my cute little voice is yelling inside this head of mine, my sick kiddo says, "Mom, let me do that."

I tell him there is no way I'm letting him do it but how sweet he was for asking. Never fear, still irrational.

Dave comes down and tells me his alarm never went off because the sound machine we are using to drown out the cough noise drained his battery. He asks me what he can do to support me, if I need a hug, how he can help.

I can tell you I do not want a hug.

I can feel myself teetering between the yelling voice that really wants to be let out of her cage and the prayer of kindness that has been my constant this last year.

There is this moment of feeling stuck. Last year I would have let her out of the cage and Dave would have probably provoked her out, that little game of ours. We did not play in kindness.

My newest thing, a question I've been asking is, Where do I fit in this?

In these in-between moments when I want to fall apart, be resentful, unleash irrational anger because I'm overstimulated or exhausted, in these moments, the question.

Where do I fit in this?

I was battling the wildly irrational voice so hard and I was starting to soften. Where do I fit in this?

Answers started to download.

I was incredibly proud of how I was able to wake up without an alarm and go down and get my coffee going so I had two minutes before the other kids woke up. I was incredibly proud and out of my mind happy that I could walk down the stairs with the recycling, a couple weeks ago, my knee would not have allowed it. Also, in two years I've had to take the recycling out like twice. 

I still couldn't find anything nice to say to Dave. I couldn't hug him. I was in it. Deep. Hard. Silent. He was happy and smiling and I was...not.

The kindness Spirit whispered, hey, since you can't say anything nice right now and you realize you just need time to get over it, why don't you do something to show your love.

I went in the kitchen and made Dave a sandwich for lunch. Food is my love language. Dave said later that he was completely blown away that I did that. I told him I was still a while away from saying anything nice, but it was so important to me that he feel it.

Now is the part in the story telling where I start to wonder how I am going to wrap this all up in a nice circular story telling moment AND tell you about my new circle without trying to be pushy or promotey. 

It usually comes with writing a line, erasing it. Writing another, erasing it. Wondering how I can call myself a writer when I make up words and have zero idea how to use punctuation.

I am listening to video game playing in the other room. The coughs are getting slower. I just made a foot bath for my littlest who needed some mama attention. I am writing from my calm chair.

Last year when I decided to try leading a circle for a year, and I knew it would all be created from kindness, what I didn't know is that it was going to lead us all into a conversation of worth.

Kindness was the guide to worthiness. I could not access my shame, my grief, my anger, my WORTH until my curiosity with kindness changed my life. Kindness wants you to heal, to feel, to tell the truth and to be in direct communication with your worth.

Last year I wouldn't have been able to even source a question like, Where do I fit in this? I wouldn't have been able to quickly step back and say I am sorry. I wouldn't have been able to make that damn sandwich, possibly for days, the cycle of anger falling in on itself.

Where do I fit in this?

I've been asking myself this question in relation to how I wanted to hold space for and lead another circle. I loved the year time frame. I missed teaching business. I wanted to lower the price point. I dealt with major doubts last year as I was creating. This year, I am feeling so worthy of showing up, because I can feel myself in my life in a way I never have.

Where do I fit in this? 

What I am calling in this year to hold the circle, to become the guide? 

A few moments have pieced themselves together to become the blueprint for what will become.

The first was from Kristen Bell who talked about God as Ground of Being. You can google the phrase, I did. Mostly I just fell in love with that phrase, Ground of Being. We are beginning in the Root Chakra and this felt like a giant yes!!!!

Then the word integrity has been pulling at me, this might be something that comes up for people once they stop drinking and cease the run on making really truly honestly bad decisions. Often.

I spent some time feeling out if integrity could fit into ground of my being and it was like a puzzle piece that you are sure should fit but doesn't.

(Honestly, I think every single day I couldn't write a book because how would I ever find the words. I'm getting to the nice wrap up, I promise. Almost there.)

Every time I've opened a book or put on a podcast or just scrolled the entire internet to avoid the sadness of sick kids there was a word that popped up. And then this amazing interview where I heard Nadia Bolz-Weber talk about grace. How grace has nothing to do with making our worthiness, it just is. 

And pop. There it was.

Grace of my being.

This year where I fit in to hold this space, to create this container, to make a big ask of you to trust me to do that-this year is the grace of my being. Grace feels as much of a craving as kindness became. 

When I said sorry.
When I let the voice carry on inside of my head.
When I didn't try to make everything OK and pretend.
When I sat down in my calm chair.
When I made the sandwich.
When I wrote this instead of having a pity party.

Grace of my being. 

I believe it is going to be an amazing year together.

If you'd like to learn more, this is where I'll say, thank you, thank you, truly thank you, you can visit this link below.

My Great Big Fantastical Life 

Hi, and an invitation to gather our moments together.

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Hi.

In the exhaustion of some flu that captured me, I wanted to come say, just, hi. And brevity isn't really my jam (Twitter continues to confuse me) so I will continue on, but mostly, hi.

Hi, away from social media. Hi, in the moments before dinner is on the table. Hi, when you are cuddled up on the couch under a heavy blanket.

A hi, and, how about a story?

A while back I unfollowed a few people on Instagram. Not because they were doing anything wrong, because when they showed up something not-so-good would happen inside of me.

I had to examine if it was jealousy or a mirror triggering or what, because I thought they were lovely humans. I just got this response every time they would show up in my feed. I didn't feel good when I saw them.

Because there was so much 'similarity' in being moms and having businesses and being seen and growing a larger presence I had to unpack it slowly, I knew my reaction was taking me somewhere.

I asked myself a whole lotta questions. One specific thing that came up was in response to someone who said, "This course always sells out." It just hit me with pricklies all over my body.

Starting with jealousy, I asked myself if I felt jealous that someone could make that statement. Of course. Sure.

Then I looked at it a little more. One of the things Dave and I have spent the last few years on is not speaking in absolutes. The words always and never are part of our boundaries in heated conversations, we hold firm on redirecting the person who uses them in battle.

OK, so the word always triggered me, felt a little wounding.

But I still hadn't hit what was going on. Until I did. And it was so uncomfortable and sad and all the things.

I sent my friends a text and asked. 

The reaction I'm having to these particular people is something some people feel towards me, isn't it?

Their lovingly beautiful response, absolutely.

So I went into that. I lived in it for weeks. I went beyond the first layer of boundary work, which is that it isn't my job (or the job of these other women) to fix that or make it better for anyone else.

I went deeper into it as a true, honest feeling that isn't pleasant. I managed to stay out of my head that wanted to sort it and file it and research it and make it ok.

I stayed in it. I felt the grief inside of it.

Any instinct to want to return to the salvation of it not being my responsibility to take care of other's feelings was acknowledged and then I asked it to step aside so I could keep on feeling the extreme discomfort of what was coming up.

Being in a feeling, in a moment of our life that is so TRUE is inherently more beautiful than resisting it AND because it is often a feeling we'd rather numb, it is so convenient to choose instead, not to feel it.

I chose to feel. I made it through. 

Emerging from that discomfort was such a new iteration of myself that I put on a sweater I used to live in and it no longer felt good on my body. The whole day I was tugging and pulling and thinking about taking it off.

The truth is, I care so deeply, fully, intensely about how others feel.

My business is built on feelings.

In the rise of social media and the constant feedback of people liking you or not liking you because of a decision to hit a couple of tiny buttons on their phones I think there is this part of us that tries to numb out how much it hurts to not be liked by claiming to have good boundaries and not be co-dependant with our followers. 

But what if we go deeper? 

No one has to align with me on how I choose to show up and be seen, but I have needed to get honest with myself around it. My fear runs deep and feels primal, especially as this is how I support myself and my family.

In therapy I told my healer how angry I was that my love story with Dave wasn't the magical one I was writing, that I had convinced myself it was.

She asked me who I was angry at. 

I know, you know the answer. And, hi.

Hi.

I was angry at myself.

Once I let myself feel these things and feel what was underneath them, Spirit and I have been on a wild ride of feelings, of gathering moments, of making space, of listening.

The sweater now belongs to someone who has become exactly who needs to be wearing it.

Today, in between sick kids and calls from insurance companies and making lasagna for my sort-of-mother-in-I-am-not-married-in-the-traditional-sense-law who broke four ribs, I will put something on that feels like me now.

And here is where I'll invite you to something that will become as we do. A thing that doesn't actually exist until we bring it to life. A something that came from everything before and waits in this quiet wondering of who will breathe their spirit into it.

This is the place I'll offer something that I need, that I believe in, that dreams of becoming as we gather our moments together and feel ourselves in our lives.

The little link to the invitation I'll throw in here is the result of that sweater no longer feeling right on my body and yet being amazing on someone else's. 

It will begin with a story. About meatballs. (I'll remind you here, brevity is not my thing.)

What it mostly wants to tell you, is that there is a place, a space, where your stories weave into mine into hers into theirs and our moments gather into something that I believe is great big, and, fantastical.

Our lives.

So, hi. Hi.

I see you. I appreciate you. I adore you. The invitation is below. xo

My Great Big Fantastical Life 

I deleted my About page.

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I’ll be happy to read this to you…

All January I sat back and watched a whole lotta awesome people sell their services. Yearly circles, programs, memberships, courses. Incredibly brilliant things, many of them from friends, people I LOVE.

My yearly circle starts in April, that is my sacred month of magic, that New Moon is where all of it begins for me. Last year I saw all the launches happening and I couldn't hold myself down. I felt scared that I was missing out, I went full on into lack. I pushed it into becoming before all the bits were settled into place. I was racing imaginary beings towards something I had been visioning to birth for so long.

I don't look back and think, oh damn, I should have waited. I do look back and think, OK, that isn't going to be my story now.

So the feelings came. I watched all the freaking gorgeous offerings pop into my little corner of social media and my inbox.

Instead of freaking out I said my walking prayer.

I see you. I appreciate you. I adore you.

I thanked the energy I was receiving for bringing me to question if I was doing everything wrong. (Note, not right, wrong!)

I was deeply confronted and I stood somewhat naked in that confrontation.

For a while I fell into a wild stage of comparison and jealousy. We don't talk about that enough do we? I would love to sit over here pretending to be super evolved and tell you that it doesn't happen to me. This is an area of big ole' healing work for me now.

Maybe my evolution in this moment is being able to say, OMG there are days when I just can't. I can't look at anyone else's accomplishments. I can't look at a photo of a couple being so sweet together when Dave and I are fighting about nothing and it is the biggest deal in the whole world. I can't read one more positive freaking meme telling me how do something better/different/more positively.

Sometimes I have to unfollow incredibly positive people on Instagram because it overflows my capacity to feel my own life.

I just can't some days.

And those days are my biggest vulnerability and what I would love to hide from.

I can't.

I deleted my About page the other day. Because I can't. I can't spend another year of my life worrying about the copy on that page. 

All of the people I've spent time learning from, studying, all of the advise on how to make the About page leverage you or sell you.

I can't.

So it is gone.

Good business strategy? Probably not, but I've never been sold on a formula. I am a rebel tendency enneagram four who just can't right now.

I've had this knee injury and new insurance and no Dr. available within a six month time frame and I've been watching my body hold weight and I don't feel like me and there is no good way for me to move or integrate energy right now.

I want to WALK again. I want to hike with my kids.

We finally worked out with the insurance that the best way to handle this is to go to the ER. I can't go to a specialist until I see a Dr. and no Dr. can see me until July. I had a mini melt down and then decided that while it seems like the silliest thing to clog up an ER, this is what will happen.

Dave told me how proud he is of me for handling an entire month of these phone calls and dead ends and frustrations and that felt really really good. I was craving that, someone just saying, I'm proud of you. I don't need the praise as a general rule, I just need to process, but sometimes being seen for the things that are super hard for you when you are in the muck is a beautiful thing.

These are the places I fall apart, come unhinged. Making appointments and phone calls and getting taxes ready and adulting and waiting to launch my heart and worrying about stupid About pages and feeling jealous and like I've disappeared from my little corner of the world and become irrelevant. 

I just want to go in the kitchen and make broth and beans and mix herbs into pots and toast turmeric and infuse something and fully live in my Kitchen Witch knowing of rose powders and cacao.

When I conjure in the kitchen I am confronted with something else. A knowing. A deep primal ancestral knowing that I am one who blesses AND is blessed.

I am so OK without an About page. I am so OK in my vulnerabilities. I am so OK sometimes not being OK on social media.

I am transformed in the simple ritualizing of slicing ginger and adding it to a broth of cinnamon and cardamom and pepper and honey and coconut milk to calm my nervous system. 

I take my mug over to my little meditation/card corner. Many mornings I pull a card after asking one question. I add a gem essence to my potion. The steam rises and I feel back into my body. I can. I can be here now. I can follow the card's wisdom. I can sip. I can breathe.

The truth I know is that I can't do things any other way than what my spirit contract says. If I'm feeling jealous it means I have not been living in my full expression of self. If I am trying to do something just for money or fame my body will break. If I am letting others persuade me against my soul's song I will get angry.

My work for this last decade has been a combination of pure devotional spirit downloads of inspiration and deep dark wounded struggle. Every decision that happens within me is now aligned with the space between.

The peace, compassion and air of the between. There is an inordinate amount of waiting here. I have this little rule for myself that I don't go on my phone in any waiting room or line situation. Because I don't want to be looking down, I want to be there, to be noticing, to be present. I refuse to become a zombie with a little box in her hand.

This waiting is like that. To be bored enough to know myself. To live not in the pain of suffering or the high of the creation as the only forces all the time. To be invited into those spaces for times and then as Dave and I heard from a line in The Last Kingdom that we loved, "You may leave me now, my dear."

Please come in love, you are safe.

Now you may leave me, my dear.

This is brand new and my nervous system is loving it. I haven't had a panic attack. I can feel myself in my life.

I can feel myself in my life.

The space between extremes.

Sort of like I used to live in my house either completely chaotic with piles and messes and dishes or totally rearranged and photo ready but not functioning to stay clean. Now I have these little things I do, and have invited the kids to learn to do, that keep a home of peace; something I truly never knew as sustainable.

Or the space between intoxicated and sobriety. My love and I went to a Superbowl party and neither of us are drinking and I could feel us there, in that space between. Like we were almost giddy with our choice to not drink (this is not my common feeling of not drinking), to feel good the next day, to not worry about who would drive and how much they could drink, to be inside of something brand new and beautiful, together. We weren't in sobriety or intoxicated, we were inside of the space of a simple decision made within us.

To feel ourselves in our life. To live inside of our great big fantastical lives which is magical and mystical and often ineffable. 

Please come in love, you are safe.

Now you may leave me, my dear.


The circle I have been inside of with the most amazing women on the planet was first born of the work I knew I needed. I had to do. It was knowing that what had been could no longer be supported going forth and every week I challenged myself into the actionable places where change lives. 

Going in I thought I carried zero shame and I set out my empty baskets to receive truth and they were filled. With shame, with stories, with fear and with love, with kindness, with devotion.

The work we've done together enchants me, I am under the spell of these women who choose vulnerability, being seen and to look at their suffering as an act of compassion. I am awed.

You always see testimonials from the clients about their teacher but I am their testimonial. Women lifting women is the most powerful force I have ever witnessed. They have grown me, challenged me, formed me.

I am emerging cellularly new. I can feel myself in my life. And I am so proud of my great big fantastical life because I can see it and feel it and I am not alone inside of it.

People are always saying to me, "Hannah, you must get so lonely. How do you possibly stay alone all day?"

First I remind them I have five kids and they are my ground and my joy and so much freaking fun. Secondly, I am not alone. Ever. Not one single moment. My women, my circle, we are there night and day, the women in England reach out to us in the middle of their night because we will be awake when they are suffering.

Even the women who are doing the circle quietly on their own often email me and share what is in their heart and the ones who say nothing I still feel them, they are right beside me. Often I'll go pull up everyone's picture in our member list and just say thank you.

I have more trust and faith in my work then anything I've ever done. I was born for this. I was born to circle women. When we trust the thing that is our deepest knowing, our intuition, our ease: that is when beauty becomes.

My suffering has continued to be my work in relationship, in love, and the other day I told my healer that I had begun to feel my worth. I had prayed for that feeling. For that truth. And there it was. I am integrating the wild woman who stands receiving this knowing.

So in this space between, in this waiting, I have received. Here is where I will sit in-between the suffering and chaos and the downloads of creation and flow.

I have evidence to prove to me that both will return, both will continue to walk with me through life.

Please come in love, you are safe.

Now you may leave me, my dear.


(As always, I see you. I appreciate you. I adore you.)
 

On not using something old.

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I've got a few pots I'm stirring.

A huge house cleanse and rearranging for a gathering I'm hoping to host in April for my circle.

When we saw this house I knew it would hold space for gatherings and then I found myself in deep pockets of shame and grief and smallness and I just needed to be there. In that.

It was a hermit like need. A cocoon. It is wild when you feel yourself coming out of those times. Like a winter frost melting by warm sun, like an invitation.

I'm working on the next iteration of my circle, I've got a six week resetgoing, my adorable shop is almost ready for in person visits, I'm looking at hosting a workshop series for the Spring so we can gather belly to belly and I've been rolling the idea of finally doing a Podcast (that one is still rolling).

Oh, and five kids, three of whom entertain us each weekend in about seven combined hours of basketball games and five hours of practice. I'm a total fan girl to my kids, I'll log those hours. One just started LaCrosse and all of them have the nasty winter cold thing wandering around New England.

Throw in the week of my bleed and I tried to convince myself I was overwhelmed.

I went looking for something I'd already written to repurpose. I read some cool things but the problem is, I'm not her anymore. I adore her. But to say hi to you today with someone I used to be feels like the opposite of what I've been working on these last few months which is...being fully present to NOW.

I'm not overwhelmed. Everything I have going on is chosen or manageable. Sick kids are cranky but they are also snuggly and a great excuse for extra pots of tea and layers of blankets. My knee injury sucks AND it has given me so much time to write again.

If I fall into focusing on ALL there is to do, sure that has potential overwhelm. Or if I don't section off my day into little parts and sections of flow, I get lost in it.

If I know where I am in my cycle, the sleepiness, hunger and tenderness are an of course feeling.

There is a huge bowl of bone broth I made earlier in the week when I was filled with energy that I have been using each day for bowls of miso soups with noodles or brown rice, beans, veggies, herbs, whatever I've got around.

I've got that feeling of wanting to crawl out of my skin and also a flow to the day. A little guide to take me from NOW to the next place in my moments.

The story of overwhelm is not true. Searching for old words when words are not at lack is part of that story.

I've been asking myself one question when I need to ground in.

What is true now?

Like right now I need to pee, my lower back is done sitting in this chair, I'd love a cup of tea and the quiet of the house is mine for this moment.

It is mine for this moment. 

What is true for you now? What is yours for this one moment?

I see you. I appreciate you. I adore you.

One More Layer

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(I wanted to share week one of the reset so you could see what it is all about! Just finding the reset, you can join here if you like!)

I was watching the movie Life Itself, because apparently I needed to cry, and in one of the fantasy narrator scenes the little girl says, "I want to live a great big fantastical life."

I grabbed my phone and sent myself a text.

I want to live a great big fantastical life.

I want to be someone who lives a great big fantastical life.

Zero idea what that means, but it feels soul-yummy when I say it.

The last few years I've had a story that I want everything smaller. Smaller business. Smaller visibility online. Smaller.

Somehow in that story of smaller I started to feel unhinged, uncertain and well, you probably can guess this, small.

I wanted to shrink and become unseen. It wasn't until I noticed my discomfort in the smallness that I could feel my Wildthing stirring around inside, wondering where she fit in, who was watching out for her in all the smallness.

The reset idea started with a woman in my circles talking about how she decided to take a picture of herself in the same place every day so she could show herself that from one day to the next, nothing had really changed about her actually body, it was the way she felt about herself.

I wanted to be someone who looked in the mirror and felt amazing about herself. So for a week I decided to play with this. In full on Spiritstyle. Also, I wanted to see how I could show up for myself more.

Reset = Show up for me.

Then I decided to piggyback another ritual on it, which was to do the dishes at night.

Now here is where we can talk about two important parts of this reset.

The first is why?

Like a bigger why than, because I want to have a clean kitchen. Why do you want to be a person who does dishes at night? What do you perceive a person who does dishes at night is? What is it about them that pulls you in?

The second thing is, how will you step into this challenge?

How many obstacles are in your way? Why might this be a walk into sabotage? James Clear talks about the first two minutes of any habit being the most important part. If we are set up for those two minutes to happen, the rest just becomes.

When I wanted to be someone who washed dishes at night, I wanted to be someone who went to bed in peace. There was a calm that infused my home when the kitchen was clean and the counters were ready for the morning.

When I wanted to be someone who looked in the mirror and felt amazing each day, I wanted to be someone who had a daily practice of tending herself. I work from home and can stay small and unseen and undressed or I can take time each day to plan an outfit that is moving me towards amazing.

The resets weren't about creating a ritual for life, they were about challenging a thought I believed about myself, a lack or limitation and challenging it for six days, then taking the seventh day to integrate.

After six days of reading daily, I started reading more.
After six days of washing the dishes at night, I got really twitchy if I went to bed with a sink full of dirty.
After six days of questioning my thoughts with a new question each day, I started to naturally flow into question rather than attack.
After six days of drinking more water, I could feel when I wasn't.
After six days of saying yes to green, I was wearing green and eating green and noticing green all around me.

Knowing something is only a few days long eased my anxiety around failing. This wasn't about success at anything, this was about trying something on so I could feel like someone who _______, then decide if I liked it.

I like to think about the day following the light. In our little hibernating New England Winter it goes a little like this.

Early morning dark
Sunrise 
Daylight
Magic Hour
Sunset
Evening dark

I take each of those times and think about being someone who __________. I won't be the same someone in the early morning dark as I will during magic hour. Each part of the day affords an opportunity to reset, to whisper, Reset Wildthing, Reset. We can infuse these different parts of the day with challenges, rituals, we can try on our becoming through the presence of doing something now.

We can become someone who lives a great big fantastical life, even if we aren't sure yet what that is.

.......

PS. No rules to this reset. Just play. Piggy back other things into your six days. Do something different. Ask yourself what you are longing for and look at how you could set yourself up for a reset in those things. Or, just follow along, one small challenge each week.

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A Great Big Fantastical Life


I have a gazillion ideas and prompts for playing in the reset. I found myself trying to take out my favorite ones because of the voices in my head telling me that certain people wouldn't like that or that I couldn't do this or that because blah blah blah.

Small. The smallness will envelope you and this reset is all about living a great big fantastical life.

In this great big fantastical life, we aren't trying to find it, we are going to just live in it. We are going to become someone who lives a great big fantastical life.

The reset isn't about searching for anything, it isn't about being tortured and angsty, it isn't about shadows (because we've got enough of that work going on), it isn't about getting from point A to B.

The reset is about living in the now, the moment of, the act of, the trying on, the playfulness and joy of presence.

I was reading an article the other day as I was working on the Reset and it was about tidy people. In it she mentions that people who live in a tidy space don't save it all up until it is a huge mess, they are constantly looking for little resets here and there so there is never a huge mess to clean up. They are maintaining tidiness.

That is what this reset feels like to me each time I step into it.

I am living a great big fantastical life. Each little reset keeps me there, it keeps me from having to dig my way out of smallness over and over again.

Ok, I think that's enough set up for these six weeks. Ready? Let's play. And thank you for being here.
 

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One More Layer


Let's talk about Spiritstyle.

Since I was young, I have lived inside of the idea that 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.

The parts of who we are communicated on the outside.

After the dishes are done, rings on fingers.

After the leggings and sweater, boots, worn, loved. Leg warmers bunched.

A color story that washes over us and matches our now.

Spiritstyle. Matching the parts of ourselves with how we show up each day. 

The feeling and witness of who we are.

And it changes. All the time. Each day we can be new.

.......

For this first six day cycle of the reset, I'd love to invite you to think about one more layer.

One more layer to your outfit. A braid in your hair, red lipstick, a couple of bracelets, fingerless gloves, earrings, scarves, vests, suspenders, hats, blazers, nail colors.

This is about becoming more you. The you that lives a great big fantastical life. The you who is someone who is seen.


In the photo above I started with my footless tights and a strapless white dress.

I added some long boot socks, a gray cropped shirt that I tied at the waist and my fingerless gloves.

I kept going. I added my favorite necklace and earrings and a stretchy brown belt to define my waist.

Later I put on a jean jacket and those cute brown shoes.

I kept adding one more layer until I felt like someone who is seen.

Now, I was going to Ikea this day with my girlfriend. I was not dressing for Ikea, I was dressing for me, for the woman who lives a great big fantastical life.

Each day of this reset can look different. The way in is to create the beginning.

I have one of those old accordion wooden hooks hanging in my office which is typically where I leave the house from. On it I hung a couple of necklaces, scarves, a jean jacket and two blazers, a hat, and a few other things that I wanted to invite into my reset. I found a couple things I hadn't felt brave enough to try on yet, and added those.

On my desk I made a little spot for a couple of earrings and bracelets and in the downstairs bathroom I put a little pouch with some lipstick in it.

I get dressed each day upstairs. I throw on a little bit of make up and I usually have on my standard uniform of leggings, long tight shirt and maybe a sweater or skirt.

But I spend my time in my office. I am mostly downstairs. I may not go back up once I come down.

So I set myself up to be able to add on one more layer in a place I'm going to be. Years ago I started taking off my jewelry at night and putting it directly into my purse because I would leave the house so early I knew I would never get that jewelry back on. So I brought it to where I would be later.

The setting up is how we live in the reset. The reset is how we live as who we want to be. 

I want to be someone who is seen. So I spend an hour going through all of my accessories and my closet and I pull out choices. I then put those choices in a place I will be, not stuffed in a drawer or lost in a closet. I have curated options for my great big fantastical life.

Then each day I can live in the Reset Wildthing, Reset. I already am actively engaged in what I've chosen. From those layers my past self chose, I can live in the beauty of someone who is seen.

Someone who is seen lives a different day than someone who is small.

They live in a great big fantastical life. 

They feel their beautiful Wildthing soul. 

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With the sunset I took off layers and added a soft cardigan for curling up on the couch with. We can flow with the light and the dark. Begin as one someone who... and land as another. 

This week using the #resetwildthingreset tag I'll be sharing my layers with you. If you feel like being seen and sharing photos on Instagram you can use the hashtag or click on it and view others who are sharing inside of their reset.

I will send the emails on Friday evenings, allowing for Saturdays to be a combination of integration to feel how the past 6 days were and to prep for the following 6 days.

So, Saturday ask yourself if you could carve out some time to play in your stuff! What do you have? Where do you keep things?

Make a little pile of layers and then figure out a wonderful place to keep them so that you see them and have easy access to them. You might just fill a little basket with layers and put it next to your full length mirror.  (Don't have a full length mirror? You are too gorgeous to not see yourself. Consider it.)

Then Sunday, simply be someone who adds one more layer.

Next level. For those of you who feel like you are already the layering queens, ask yourself where you are playing it safe and keeping small in your own way. A color you haven't tried. A scarf in your hair rather than around your neck. Small braids in your smooth hair. Reset Wildthing, Reset.

Peeing on the highway covered in ice on NYE

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I close my eyes and I watch two movies.

The movies created by my thoughts of a decision I thought I had to make.

On one side of the decision, one movie. On the other side of the decision another movie.

The movie keeps changing. One side will bring me relief then pain. The other side brings me pain then relief.

I step in and out of both exhausted.

The big stuff can feel like your life depends on it.

Last year on New Year's Eve I was driving in a minivan across the country. My only job was to drive and listen to music or our Audible book or to sleep and eat.

Something about that time was the happiest I've ever been. I didn't have a single decision to make. I did what was next, and then what was next after that. If the next thing was to go pee, I went to the bathroom. If the next thing was closing my eyes because I was falling asleep, I went to sleep.

I had imagined on the trip that Dave and I would have a big talk about something. That we would look at our relationship for hours and analyze and review and talk about everything we've done that was so wrong with us.

We never had a big talk. We just drove. And slept. And listened. And had sex in hotel rooms at night.

I would make tea using the hotel coffee makers and rub oils all over my feet. 

I felt safe that whole trip.

Even when we drove through an ice storm that was causing dozens of accidents all around us. I remember driving in it, crying and Dave having me pull over in the middle of a highway covered in ice so he could switch with me and I had to pee so badly. He told me to just hold onto the door of the van and pee. Right there on the highway, I squatted down, barely able to keep my footing and peed.

There was no decision to make. There was just me, my bladder, the highway and then getting back into the van to creep along some more.

Every year at this time I start to think I have to make a decision of what to do next in my work. As my income winds down and April gets closer I become splattered with decisions that don't feel comfortable.

The only thing that has ever worked is to just stop trying to make the decision and do the next thing. Write an email. Make a list. Run some numbers. Make a prayer.

I have never actively made a decision for what I will do in my work, it has just sort of happened; after a shit ton of movie watching of all the sides of a decision to the point of freaking myself out to wanting to just run away from my life.

I instead dropped the decision and found myself inside of it.

I know this. I can trust this. That decision is not mine to make. It isn't real. It is like this way I convince myself I have control over something, to believe that this decision will make or break my life.

When I get quiet and just do the next thing, when I see what is truly in front of me, when I choose just for this moment, the next thing happens too.

A decision can be a manipulation. A decision can be an excuse. A decision can be lack. A decision can be a fight. A decision can be part of a game. 

A decision can be control.

What if the decision isn't real?

What if the movies we play about all the sides of the decision are our way of suffering? 

Because we don't know. And every moment is new. 

My friend said to me that we don't owe consistency to anyone.

I change every single moment. 

I change my mind. I find grace. I surrender. I see myself in a new way after a bad choice. I see others in a new way after a bad choice.

What if we own that we are flexible enough to care for ourselves?

You know that cup half full or empty thing? I strongly don't like that. It isn't real. The decision to be one or the other isn't real. To think one way or the other isn't real. 

You know the decision you made not to text that person and then you do and you hate yourself for ten minutes (hours)?

You don't owe consistency to anyone.

You sent the text. It is only a text.

And maybe, the story you've created about it isn't true. And maybe it ends up being the most wonderful thing ever. And maybe it doesn't. And maybe it just was you, sending a text, being you, in that moment of whatever you were in. 

Maybe trying not to be who you are because you need to choose which half full or empty cup you see or which decision to make to fit into a perception of you is just not real.

What is the next thing?

When you open your eyes what do you see? 

No decision is ever more important than the person you are, right now, who is creating that decision.

Drop the decision and see YOU. Feel you. Are you being honest? Are you valuing yourself? Are you living in a projection or story? Are you trying to hurt someone so you can feel better? 

One more time on that one.

Are you trying to hurt someone so you can feel better? In parenting, in partnership, in friendship, in finances?

Maybe that decision, which I promise will make itself, is the way you stop yourself from the accountability of this one moment? From the accountability of showing up as love for yourself, first. 

When you are about to pee your pants standing on a highway covered in ice there is no decision to make. You pee. For the sake of the rest of the car ride, you pull your pants down first and squat.

If you don't, you'll be ok.

Stinky. But ok.

Today I got in the van, packed some snacks and drove. I found water, hiking trails (no, I didn't hike, I just observed for a while), other people sitting in cars with themselves. I munched grain free tortilla chips and a yummy granola bar.

I had no idea where I was going, I trusted that I'd find whatever I wasn't looking for.

I prayed to the water and the only thing I asked for was my own honesty.

If I can find that, why would I ever worry about a decision that isn't mine to make.

I see you. I appreciate you. I adore you.

For when I meet my asshole self again.

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.......

I look around and see a series of thoughts on endings and beginnings. 

Some speaking of the transition from 2018 into 2019 as the end of a tough year, of relationships, of suffering, of what no longer serves them. The ending, the past as truth.

Others have a lens of a beginning, fresh start, guiding words, resolutions, they see possibility and want to believe in something different coming. The future as truth.

.......

As the year switching digits seems to beckon us towards choosing one or the other, I'm practicing something new.

The idea that I need neither.

There is a 99% chance I will be sleeping as the year moves into the new one.

I'm inside of a new ritual of asking myself what from the past I'd like to bring with me into my next moment. Into my next breath.

Not what do I not want to bring. Not a story. Not a shaming.

Just like if I was packing my bag to go to NC, because I love NC, and I could only bring what I truly knew I loved, what is going in that bag?

Not shopping for something new, not wishing I fit into something I didn't anymore, not dreaming about being a minimalist or feeling bad about a pile of laundry that is sitting there, waiting for something I am making up.

Just what I know I truly love.

I'm not planning on starting a new year with a new word or goal or blaming my past for anything.

I'm going to in this moment claim what I already have, what I already know, what feels like the truest thing that ever was.

Into this I will sink deeper.

Into this I will be grounded before a new year comes.

Into this I already am.

Into this will be my home.

Into this I am safe.

Into this I am pure love.

.......

Into my suitcase, (my soul?), will be kindness, adoration, appreciation, forgiveness and devotion.

Each of these already living in me, me living in them. Stumbling a hell of a lot of the time, but I know them to be the truest things I've ever known.

Kindness has changed my life. There was a little time there when I tried to outrun it, but that was exhausting and self destructive and felt like shit. And so cleverly not kind to run from the thing saving your life.

Adoration is simply, of self. Not sabotaging, not blowing shit up, not claiming some new big thing, not hurting another to soothe my pain. I adore myself. I adore you.

Appreciation of this breath, of the blue sky (or the gray sky), of tears, of a cup of coffee, of my knee in pain, of struggles and of joys. I appreciate you. So damn much.

Forgiveness. Just that. For me this is freedom.

And finally, devotion, sort of like the final layers to a perfect outfit that I know I love. After the leggings and tight tank dress. After the wide leg pants and jean jacket. It is what pulls it all together and makes it me. The chunky belt, the leather necklace and earrings, the rings, the beaded bracelets. The decision to be seen, truly seen, not as a character morphing herself into someone else's story, just truly as herself, myself. That devotion is what breathes life into kindness, and my circle is born. My suitcase is packed.

I'm not going to say fuck you to the past or worship the future in some endless loop of expectation.

I'm going to say I don't know, a lot. I don't know what is next, I only know what is now.

Having clung on to what is next as life support only served to pull me away from the truth of what I know.

And in the truth of what I know, I'm going to admit, I know nothing. 

.......

When my knee got bad I had to stop wearing my cowboy boots, the piece of my identity I could hardly move past. That is who I was. How could I be anything other? I spent hours looking at shoes online to try to find something that could feel like me and allow me to walk.

I found nothing. I was holding so tight to my past self and trying to vision a future shoe that could fix what I didn't want to feel. 

There is no shoe to fix a body whose knees have been taken out.

There is no shoe that will let me feel any way I used to again.

There is only the knee. There is only this step. Or not.

Just as much as devotion can be all the final layers of jewelry and belts and shoes, it also can be taking it all off. Stripping down. Asking what is true right now. Who am I right now? An asshole or a beautiful being? Practiced at both I have evidence on every vision board I've ever made that being an asshole isn't part of my soul's desire. But the beauty? The beauty abounds.

Many years ago I had a photo of a woman sitting at an outside cafe wearing bright blue leggings with moccasin boots on a vision board. I searched the planet over looking for leggings in just that color blue. I couldn't find any, I remember the sense of frustration. Eventually I must have let it go and moved on, falling into the next thing I was obsessed with.

The other day I noticed what I was wearing. Moccasin slippers which are perfectly flat for what my knee seems to need and bright blue leggings, purchased years ago in some online sale. I flashed back to that photo memory hidden somewhere in a file labeled beauty. 

I'm not saying fuck you to the past, only thank you. I'm not going to dream of something that isn't in the future.

I'm just sinking into this, this moment, this feeling, this body where nothing needs fixing or numbing. 

Into this place where nothing needs to be solved.

Into this place where shoes are optional.

Into this beautiful being, forgiving the asshole self, because when we meet again I want her to remember I see her, I appreciate her, I adore her.

What is true right now?

Into this is where I'll be. And from it, everything that lies ahead will be the most beautiful of surprises.

I see you. I appreciate you. I adore you.

And so it is 2018 and 2019. Thank you. 
 

Reset Wildthing, Reset

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When my nervous system is razzle-dazzled. When I sit in my car feeling like the silliest version of a business owner. When my gut is hurting. When I feel boring. When I look in the mirror and see ugly and gross. When abundance feels out of reach. When my body aches.

I say, reset wildthing, reset.

I would ask myself what I needed in that moment to find calm, or the flip, or to challenge a thought I held about myself.

Repeating, Reset Wildthing, Reset, became my walking prayer.

Then the reset grew.

A woman in my circles mentioned taking a photo in the same spot each day to prove to herself that she hadn’t changed that much from one day to the next. You know how you wake up one day and you are the same human but the feeling towards yourself doesn’t match what yesterday held?

I decided to challenge myself, each day for six days I’d take a photo around the same time, in the same spot for seven days. On the seventh day the mirror crashed and broke. I took the lesson and reworked my challenges for six days, I didn’t need something falling apart each week to remind me to rest and feel the integration!

I tried to see how many resets I could gift myself with.

Where was I struggling? What was the story I was holding? What did I want?

I was feeling some lack in my finances. So each day for six days I put $ into my savings account. Some days a lot of $, other days a couple dollars. The reset was the act of giving to myself in this way to shift the thought pattern.

There was a story I held about not being able to finish any book I’ve ever started. I decided I would read every day for six days to see if I could finish a book. I didn’t. That one was a bust.

I’ve dressed up each day inspired by a character from my favorite show. I have ‘over’ accessorized each day for six days. I have eaten copious amounts of green food. There have been post it note challenges. Face washing, pajama wearing and oil rubbing. Question of the week.

On the seventh day, I integrate the reset.

What worked? Where did I struggle? Where did I resist? Is this something I would like to continue?

Then I was listening to a podcast and James Clear talks about how we try to optimize the success of a habit rather than the start of the habit. He believes that the success comes in the form of the first two minutes of the habit.

So running isn’t about the run, it is putting on your shoes and tying them. He worked with a man who got dressed for the gym every day for a week or so until one day he was able to take that start of putting on his gym clothes and walk into the gym.

If you want to be someone who folds your clothes after you do laundry rather than watching the pile migrate around your room for days (ahem) just fold a pair of socks. Start. Focus on the first two minutes. The entry in.

Yes, I have found my way into this one, I’ll share it in the reset.

I noticed the resets that failed had zero entry time in. The two minutes was intangible. I never washed my face because my face wash was upstairs and I didn’t go up until I was stumbling around half asleep. I needed to find my entry point.

The Wildthing Reset challenges became part of my ritual of self. They were a combination of desire for presence mixed with the desire for my becoming.

I want to be someone who…

I want to feel like…

I am…

I am…

In my year long circle we played with some challenges and I’ve been in a weekly love affair with the presence of action inside of a desire.

If you want to challenge a thought what is the first thing you need to do? Pause. Breathe. Ask a question. Zero pressure on the thought changing. The entry point to change, the question.

If you want to feel more put together for the day, take a shower and pause in the mirror as a blank slate, filled with potential.

If you want to calm your nervous system, fill a cupboard with tea and mugs you love and place an electric kettle underneath.

If you want to start going on daily walks in the morning, put on your sneakers.

Would you like to join me inside of a six week Reset Wildthing, Reset series of challenges?

I’ve broken down the reset into six weeks, lending six days a week to the challenges and one day to integrate.

The reset challenges are light and fun and if you feel like tracking your days or meeting others who are doing the reset there will be a hashtag on Instagram for connection.

The reset isn’t a goal or a way to achieve success inside of anything. It is a ritual of becoming by being activated inside of the richness of your actions now.

Who are you? What are your stories? Are you ready to find entry points into rituals that will lift you, inspire your now moments and rearrange your cells?

I am a wildthing who resets so she may feel her life’s richness and devotion and pleasure and sensuality

The first email will be January 4th, a Friday, to prep and think about creating the entry point for that week’s challenge. We’ll play for six weeks.

Reset Wildthing, Reset.






When believing in dinosaur bones comes with a cost.

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I was explaining to my circle the other day how I feel about dinosaur bones.

So... I feel like the existence of dinosaurs is a big leap for my brain to think of as true. My family loves to make fun of me. I just don't quite get it as something that makes full sense to me. And yet, there are bones, people will say.

So I have over time chosen to believe the bones as true and that makes things from there on out easier. Dinosaurs, still struggle with that.

When I was first learning about Abraham-Hicks, my brain couldn't believe this story about a woman named Esther who channeled this collective Spirit called Abraham. It blocked me from the richness of the teachings. I was just a big ole no thank you.

One day, after my third baby was born, I asked myself if I could simply receive it as true. Kind of like the bones. I agreed I could. Those teachings changed my life.

Sometimes I will make a choice, find big clarity, understand something new about myself or my beliefs and I will hear a voice.

It comes in the form of my voice, it just doesn't feel like it is me. I recognize it as something larger than me, maybe a feeling of GOD/Spirit.

All I know is that when I hear it there is a statement and a question. It only ever comes when I am in complete clarity.

The voice will usually tell of me of something that is to happen if I stand in my truth, my love, like the consequence of that choice and then it asks me if I am willing for that thing to happen? I have always, so far, answered yes.

I haven't questioned it or been afraid of it, I just say, yes, I am willing, it is too important to not be willing.

I think it would be easy to hear the prophecy of losing something and then feel like you are making a bad decision. This isn't that.

This is a place without fear. It is a little bit like there is a cost, but I don't feel it as a loss. I suppose it is more like, well Ok, if that needs to happen then I am OK.

I am OK.

The voice is the bones. I can hear it as true.

I used to tell the story of how I woke up one morning at 4am and I saw a space, a brick wall in a Loft building and I knew that I was supposed to be there. I found the space hours later and agreed to sign a lease for a place I didn't even know I wanted until that waking dream. (Turns out 4am awakenings are a thing.)

Now the story I tell again and again is that of kindness. Of choosing to embody kindness. Daily or weekly I would prompt myself with little challenges from what I would wear to how I was eating to the way I was communicating to how I was making decisions.

Kindness had costs.

My iteration into kindness meant being a larger size than ever before and loving every inch of myself.

It meant losing an identity of one who drinks into someone who is now mourning that self, learning how life with addictive behaviors presents.

This kindness exploration has me understanding and owning my codependence and learning to live inside of healing from that without a picture of the future.

Kindness wants me to find ways of meeting needs that is bigger, more, open (meaning less hermit days and more contact with humans, meaning vulnerable once again).

Most recently kindness has asked me to stop projecting into a future of fear and expectation and abandonment and high risk stakes and be right here, in the NOW which has been another loss of identity cause I love(d) that future fear game.

To walk with kindness I'm being asked to lay down the anger I feel, the resentment I feel and to look at the truth that all my creations, my reality, are mine, full responsibility, something I've been terrified of, because-cost.

I haven't fought against these costs. I just feel them as true. So that I can hear the teachings coming at me, so I can live inside the change.

Believe the bones, open to receive what comes next.

Can this be true?

Yes, it can. Simplicity.

There is a prayer that found me.

Please help me receive and live inside of what is true.

I hold the prayer as just that, the prayer. Not a need for a solution. Not something yet to come.

I am with it when it comes and I release it as quickly, I let it go. I let it go so I can be who I am now while all the magic is at work, maybe in some alternate reality where dinosaurs and voices and channels coexist together in a joyful land with candy rainbows and daydreams of what is.

When Home Depot is your last hope.

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Last week I hurt my knee. Pretty bad. I haven't had it checked yet as I was waiting till January 1st when my new Insurance kicked in so the money would go towards the deductible. I sense it is something major.

I've been resting it and icing it and wearing a brace and going out of my mind with the exhaustion of not being able to be a full participant in my life.

I've been rolling over and over the phrase, there is always something wrong with me. I have so much evidence for that statement.

I drove past this Christmas tree place that had the perfect trees. I've put off the tree because of my knee, all the decorations up two flights of stairs, boxes filled with Christmas memories that require my sorting because last year I threw it all up there with the promise of getting organized this year.

This year.

I drive past this Christmas tree place and my desire for cutting down our own tree surfaces. There were a couple of years when we did this and then the farm closed. My desire for a fake tree surfaces. My desire to not be so unorganized every year surfaces.

Last year we ended up at Home Depot. They had free hot chocolate. The kids (well, the teens) fought over which tree to get. We were freezing. The tree was huge, totally not my aesthetic but in the end, perfect.

I found myself looping into being the mother that ends up at Home Depot for the tree and Home Depot on Halloween day for pumpkins that we never ended up carving because I just couldn't.

It felt like the pain from my knee was driving these thoughts of how utterly ridiculous I am dealing with this kind of stuff. I love having so many kids and it is really really hard for someone who struggles with focus.

Yesterday the pain was so intense I couldn't climb the stairs to bed, I just stayed on the couch. My teen wanted to stay with me, I eventually coaxed him to go to bed. I felt lonelier on that couch than I've felt in a long time.

Pain is lonely. No one can do it for you.

I asked myself what was true.

What is true?

My knee is injured.
I am in pain.
The kids want a tree.
A doctor visit is in order to deal with the pain.
The decorations are in the attic.
My range of doing is limited.
I am safe.

When I stepped out of the loop that something is always wrong with me and I'm a flake that ends up at Home Depot for last minute Holiday shit, and that I am so unorganized and unable to let go of things, I fell into this weird thought loop.

Thank you knee. (This was a bit of a stretch.) Thank you for the ability to be present. Thank you for leading me to this primal fear that I think was this next level of feeling post not drinking. I've been searching for validation that not drinking was the best choice, that kindness was right about that. Somehow behind the anger and frustration that this knee is bringing me to, behind it is a level of feeling my stuff that I couldn't have done with alcohol pulsing through me.

And like, thank you Home Depot. Thank you for having those damn pumpkins for me. And thank you for the hot chocolate and the last 5 trees in your lot to choose from. Thank you Home Depot. You are always there for me.

Last night I was crying on the couch and my ten year old caught me. His instinct was to call out for someone to come help. I asked him not to. I told him I was OK, that I was having trouble finding a spot for my knee and that the pain was frustrating me, but that I was OK.

This was true. No story. Nothing beyond it. I needed to be with my tears so that they could pass. A feeling I could be in and then let go. He stayed with me and held my hand. What was true? I was not alone. 

Is there always something wrong with me? 

Maybe. Maybe that is true, though the word always is pretty intense. 

Maybe it isn't true.

And maybe if it isn't true I can just be in the now. In what is, right now. Maybe I can stop thinking about the shoes I can't wear and the things I want to do and the decorations in the attic.

Pain taps into some crazy primal fears. I want to fight and flight all at once. Instead I'm remembering every Christmas tree adventure and how unique each one was. All of the stories that I have, the memories, the chaos.

The moment I give Chloe the go ahead to decorate the house and go through the Christmas stuff the kids will have so much fun. There is eggnog in the fridge. 

What is true is that all of this is happening within me and Home Depot will always be there, waiting for me, when I need it. And that is true.

Crying on the toilet, begging for Zoloft in my sleep and why I was never going to write here again.

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I got up at 1:00am to go sit on the toilet and cry. In the past I would have done this with tequila, because tequila numbed my bladder. (That is not a true story btw, the numbing.)

Combination interstitial cystitis flare up, a belief that I am not seen where it matters most and the arrival of twenty years since saying I do.

Patrick and were married in Maine, twenty years ago. Choosing divorce was not because we hated each other, I tell the kids often that we divorced because we loved each other so much. We knew that we both deserved more. We weren't who we were when we met in 1993. The kids love when I remind them of this. They often tell me that they feel special, that other kids of divorce don't have parents that love each other.

I cried until 4:00am, visiting the toilet to cry deeper. There are some emotional disturbances happening for me now and that is translating into incredible pain and discomfort in my bladder. It makes me sad. It makes me want to lash out. It makes me want to fall into a bottle of tequila, have sex with strangers and eat an entire cake while smoking five cigarettes.

Instead, I sat on the toilet and cried.

In my circle we've been talking about generosity. Towards ourselves and others. It has grabbed me tight and pointed out where my struggles with it are.

When I am hurt, being generous feels impossible.

When I am scared, being generous feels worse.

Sometimes I can find it and even act on it, then if it isn't returned I'm thrown back into the spiral of the stories and the fears.

I kept recycling the thought that I couldn't feel better until someone else did xyz. That feels desperate and hopeless and those emotions breed resentment and anger.

I may be crying on the toilet, but that is mine. Mine to hold. Mine to feel. It is no one's job to make it better. This is how my body is working out its fear of being left, unloved, unseen.

That is mine.

I cannot be generous if I am acting from fear. I cannot be generous if I come from an extreme, that this is the end of something rather than the idea that maybe this is just what it is, a really uncomfortable place to be. 

I cannot be generous if I hold back my love when I am hurt.

I cannot be generous if I don't risk saying over and over, I love you. I see you. I miss you.

I cannot be generous if I can't rise above the child-led, wound-led, addict.

I cannot be generous if I focus on someone else changing, the only change that is mine to hold is that within myself.

Two nights ago I woke up and felt defeated, hopeless. I couldn't extract myself from a dream I had of trying to get someone to believe how sad and in pain I was and give me Zoloft. I took Zoloft once for about 2 months, I know its power. There is a theory that it can help with flare ups with interstitial cystitis. I don't think I need it. What struck my heart so deeply was how this girl in my dream was so desperate for it. So desperate to feel better.

Inside of the work with generosity there has been a whisper that I need to find bravery inside of it. That I need to be inside an act of bravery.

I've been thinking for some time about not writing here.

What happened is back in February, someone who doesn't care for me used words I wrote in my newsletter in a public attack on social media of me. Others gathered in and it became one of the saddest most heart breaking things I have ever seen.

It sent me into some of the deepest, hardest internal work I've ever done.

I am incredibly grateful for the experience. 

It was my first step into generosity when I just wanted to lash out.

Instead I blessed the whole thing, I allowed it in my mind to be someone else's truth/experience/need.

Where once I would have lost myself inside of the pain, I rose. And I rose inside of generosity.

I have however continued to struggle writing here, to you. The many yous.

A fear that it might happen again. A fear that my words can cause pain to others. Fear. 

The same fear that is causing my body to flare up. The same fear that leads to tears on the toilet.

A fear that being seen, being my whole self, showing up in extreme love and compassion which I pray for more than anything, that fear, that I will still not be loved.

And it will all end in pain.

Being brave today looks like sitting on the toilet in pain and not letting my anger win.

Being brave means not destroying this email list or this blog, but instead saying hello, thank you, your being on the other side of these words is part of my heart.

Being brave means saying I love you, I miss you.

Being brave means seeing someone as other, and letting the discomfort of wanting to make things better just be discomfort.

Being brave is owning that what is happening within me is mine. Trusting my body to work through this flare up, trusting in a nap, trusting in taking a little space in my day to care for my tender places.

Being brave is generosity. Today my walking prayer is let generosity come first.

Leaving my marriage wasn't brave, it sucked, but it wasn't brave.

Brave was the moment I stopped waiting for someone to change so I could feel better. It was the moment I chose my joy over the known, the comfortable. It was when I knew we both needed better.

Today that is still my brave. Layered with the fear of the extreme unhappy ending, the pain, the tears on the toilet.

let generosity come first.
let generosity come first.
let generosity come first.

so i may feel the love.
so i may see another's stress and fear as the truth inside the actions.
so i may flow with kindness.
so i may hold space.
so i may heal.
so i may become again, in my exhaustion and in my love.
so i may let generosity be 
my movement.

i see you. i will be seen. 

Shamed for being you.

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I hung up with my love after we spent time talking and feeling crushed at one of our kids being shamed for a choice. A choice that was all about self expression. A choice where she said, now I finally get to be me.

Not everyone will like her choice. Not everyone will think she looks incredible. Not everyone will even be able to see that her wanting it was nothing to do with anyone else other than herself.

We processed together, we made a plan on how to help her and support her.

What I am going to tell her is that the reason I was able to go get my hair cut into a shag with bangs was because of her. I was able to fully communicate who I wanted to show up as because of her, because of her bravery to chop off all her hair and reveal under those layers, feeling like she was the image of someone else, her own damn self.

I was afraid of getting bangs again. I heard some comments about them not being so great on me in past photos and it stopped me from going forward. I knew that the hair I wanted had to include these fringy curly bangs (yes, curly, bangs can be curly, mind blown).

It was her brave that led to my brave. It was seeing her light up inside of making a choice only for herself that allowed me to follow suit. 

And I TEACH this stuff!!!

So our hearts are a bit broken that others are making her decision and desire one turned into shame. And. We will rise above that and we promise her that she is not ever responsible for someone else's feelings. If we intentional hurt someone we need to own that and look at that and face that. And. Not everything we do is about someone else.

So now I'm all madly in love with my Spiritstyle hair. Madly in love with my man who ended our conversation telling me that what makes things OK for him was that he has me, the most amazing partner he could have dreamt of.

And I went from angry to floating in a bubble of love because that's what we have.

I will fluff my shag haircut, put on my Spiritstyle of choice today, which may change five times today, because who I want to be is calling me loudly, sometimes it takes a few tries to find her!

If you wanna play, just fill in the blank...

Today I shall be...

Then go find the clothes to become that.

Today I shall be warm, spiced surprise. Today I shall be wild woman wandering. Today I shall be peace and softness. Today I shall be a kick ass get shit done entrepreneur. Today I shall be the quiet. Today I shall be joy filled pink bubble vibration. Today I shall be kindness unquestioned.

……..

Come visit me over at my Instagram boutique (re)spiritingstyle, new to us treasures listed weekly, often on Fridays.

I've been thinking about waffles.

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I've been thinking about pajamas and how I want to be someone who changes into pajamas when the kids start their night routine. It isn't about the pajamas, I am quiet comfortable usually, it is about becoming someone who honors a night time practice, who falls into rituals rather than on the couch half asleep. It is about being someone who washes her face and smooths her oils because she honors her future self.

I've been thinking about a robe. Because I also want a robe to put over those pajamas. Because it is cold, really cold here.

I've been thinking about the leaves in New England, turning into the leaf peepers dream and what an asshole I was a few weeks ago declaring that this Autumn was not living up to expectation, how the colors I remembered weren't showing up. Well, guess what, it is freaking gorgeous here and I am just looking at why I felt the need to judge the leaves. Why was I feeling disappointment in trees?

I've been thinking about co-depency and how I am surrendering to the fact that yes, OK, that was me. Every piece of information I can listen to or read on it I am gobbling up like it is vegan gluten free strawberry cake and endless cups of tea. I'm breaking this shit up. There is a grieving period. An identity crisis of who I am without this and an excitement of who I am becoming without it, even though it feels raw and naked.

I've been thinking about blended family and how hard it can be and today I cried because it feels harder than what I can do, or want to do, or I don't have enough boundaries, or I feel I'm in a damned if I do damned if I don't position where I will never feel settled. And also, because I'm breaking up those co-dependant patterns and I am willing to now say, this isn't working. And I don't know what that means comes next. And I'm not trying to fix it. Just crying, and, walking, and crying, and walking.

I've been thinking about how I used to want to fix, or solve things, for everyone I loved and now I don't. I just don't.

I've been thinking about that strawberry cake I mentioned up in that metaphor above because pleasure for me sometimes comes in that form.

I've been thinking that yes, there are still hard bits to not drinking and somehow I am starting to feel the complete joy in having my life back, having me back. I don't ever worry about waking up feeling like shit or how I behaved or if I was an asshole (except to those poor trees) and I am finding so many practices to handle the shit storms of emotion that come up. See above, walking, crying, pajamas...

I've been thinking about how I want to coach less and conversate (that doesn't seem to be a word) more. I want conversations. That feel like the strawberry filling in that cake. Gooey, sticky, sweet, thick, lovely, sensual. 

I've been thinking that when I start to feel like I don't fit into my current set up of life, like when things aren't working, the flow, the feel, the practices, the relating; when I feel like I am a different shaped human than what my life is now, I marinate in the discomfort. And it sucks. I think a lot. About everything. I grieve it, I move it through me. I can barely find anything to wear that feels acceptable to the change because I don't know fully who she is yet. But I feel her. I feel her wiggling inside of me.

I've been thinking about my hair cut. How it feels like the first step into this becoming of a newly shaped life that can hold me. It reminds me of my nose piercing, my first tattoo. Me being me, without any other voices in my head. 

I've been thinking about how change is breaking of patterns, how new rituals and practices are a way to become a new part of who we want to be. How they guide us to that identity of self. If I want to feel differently/show up differently/become differently then I must actively and fiercely live in the now as though that is my truth, now. 

I've been thinking about waffles, buttery and dripping with the best maple syrup you can find. When my kids were little until like, 8 months ago, I wouldn't eat a waffle. I was a 30-day-cleanse-raw-grain-free-paleo-atarian. All for the purpose of staying small. I would hope the kids would leave just one little bite of that waffle that I could eat before washing their plate. Just that one little bite. So I could taste it but not be inside this body that is now me. My body that feels like home. All of me. Not small. Just fully me. Do you know that this size 14 body has been the body my Spirit has whispered is my truth for years? Years? I have fought it so hard with everything inside of me. I test myself sometimes to make sure this is really true, that I am really here, in total love of this body. I'll ask questions like, "Well, what if you and Dave broke up and you wanted to date, would you try to be small again?" "What if you were going to see so and so, would you freak out and not be able to because of your body?" The other day I was making Instagram stories and I caught my belly jiggly bits in the dress I was wearing showing loud and clear. A year ago I would have not posted that video. Now. I not only post it but I loved it. I love this me. I love an occasional gluten-free waffle, frozen ones, right out of the box, buttery and dripping with syrup. Every single bite, for me.

Doll Clothes Under the Bed

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When I was young, playing with dolls, living in NC young, I found an outfit for my doll hidden under the bed. Accidentally tucked inside a little box or something, this little outfit had been hiding for long enough that I had forgotten about it.

It was this feeling of surprise remembrance delight newness and familiarity all together. 

I loved the feeling so much I started hiding things away to forget about and find later. Caveat being I have a perfect memory for this game, out of sight out of mind. Often I will hang up something I want to wear during the week because if I tuck it in a drawer I may forget for weeks.

I remember choosing one little something that I would hide away and the anticipation of forgetting about it!

It was this feeling, the surprise remembrance delight newness familiarity feeling that I was after. I wanted to set up opportunities for my future self to get to feel this way again.

And it worked.

In some way or another I've been doing this little game with myself since then.

My ability to forget things is unparalleled and I live in preparedness for my future self and a complete distancing from the past until it pops up and surprises me.

I recently found this mug that I used to use all the time when I lived in my Loft as a newly single mama, beautiful greenish brown handmade mug. I had tucked it downstairs when we had guests a year ago along with some other dishes and mugs and bowls.

A fresh cup of coffee found the inside of the mug and my hands were holding it with this strange mix of delight in remembrance and newness of something familiar.

It led me to taking a few photos and then playing with the photos in A Color Story. I sat down to write a post about it, basically this, on Instagram. It felt like it used to. A thoughtful moment, inspired by a moment of discovery or memory, created in a moment of artistic expression of photo and words.

I remember when I first started on social media it felt like the most beautiful connection. When I would post it would be thoughtful, artistic, slow, intense, raw, purposeful. I shared time between social media and my blog and newsletter. Then it seemed, less and less and less anywhere other than social media.

This was fine, good even. I liked this short cut of connection and story telling. I loved meeting people I never would have found any other way (or maybe that isn't true).

And then the climate changed on social media, and it often feels like a dance of shaming. I won't play that game. It has pushed me further and further from wanting to be there (mostly FB), I've been able quite successfully to peel back the beauty from the ugly of it all but when less and less beauty exists and voices are talking when we should be listening and the refusal to acknowledge life is gray and this intense need for followers and attention and to be louder and more right and shame others as an attempt to not look at ourselves, I just don't want it.

I'm slowing down, looking for other ways, seeking new forms of connection and sharing stories and listening and trying to find the little piece of it hidden under the bed because I know something is there, I know I've left myself crumbs to find something already familiar that I just can't remember. I've taken care of myself in this way for as long as I can remember. Hiding something away that will eventually bring me to the feeling my past self planted for me.

I know I did this when I stopped drinking.

When I stopped drinking it wasn't a big announcement. There was no declaration, in fact, I didn't want to talk about it. It would be months before I would understand it myself. I knew I needed to be in it, I felt it deep in my gut and it sucked. Hard. Still if I'm honest, I'm still in the shitty part of it.

I think my past self was simply leading me to a feeling. Like she always finds ways of doing. Each new marker of time without drinking, like first Thanksgiving or Christmas, talking to Dave about having alcohol at home, realizing I wasn't truly claiming it, first girls weekend, all these markers of time lead me to these wild feelings.

My past self was gently arranging the future to be free of addictions, something familiar and new and surprising and sometimes, mostly now, full of delight.

Back to Instagram and the photo and caption of the mug, basically this newsletter in shorthand. OK, so I have a theory that when you use a banned hashtag or post too many drafts, Instagram blocks you from posting by saying, "Waiting for a better internet connection." Theory. I have no real idea, but it has happened to me in both circumstances.

When I couldn't post it I was in that WTF Instagram feeling, I went down the rabbit hole of screw social media, blah blah blah.

And then as it does, my tiny personal light bulb that goes off over my head went ding!

Go blog. Go write in your home, not Instagram's. Go explore what it used to be like before the shortcuts that led to incredible time sucks. I've never ever felt bad about spending 3 hours writing on my blog or for a newsletter. Go be there. Go be home. Go find the little box of clothes under the bed. Keep looking, you are getting closer.

While you are at it, send a newsletter will you? Oh, and kiss your man for meeting you in total love and support around the not drinking thing. And tea. It is time for tea and...

I see you. I adore you. I appreciate you. Thank you for being here with me.

Rebel Without a Vice

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What the hell do I even have now?

I gave up my half of a cigarette, stopped boozing, sugar/honey eating is pretty stabilized, I have money in my savings account, my relationship is yummy, what the hell do I cling to as a rebel girl?

If you haven’t had the pleasure of exploring the four tendencies, pop over here and let the light shine on you. The first month of the circle we learn about our tendencies because knowing these has transformed how I view and understand myself, my kids, my lover, my clients, my world.

I am a rebel. I don’t respond to inner or outer expectations and all the rebel yells that come along with that constant struggle to not do what others want and the push pull with your own damn self.

One thing that I’ve counted on is having a secret little vice. The quarter of a cigarette on the porch after a run when the kids were at school. The tequila shot in the Loft before checking the mail and starting dinner at 4:30pm. Didn’t matter what it was, it was part of my identity in the world, of beating in my own rhythm which was chaotic and wild and loving and mine.

Everything feels so calm now. So peaceful. There are days when that is the hardest challenge of my day, adjusting to the stability of my own body and mind.

My friend Alix, also rebel, also on the side of sobriety, told a story about how the most rebellious thing she does now is to say, “I don’t drink.”

I’ve been over here hiding it, feeling almost shame about it because I am terrified of making others feel somehow uncomfortable in my change and she has a new rebel cry, “I don't drink.”

She said that not drinking inside of a world where alcohol is the norm, the go to, is the most rebellious act she can choose.

Mind. Blown.

Dig deeper little rebel. Just because the tequila shot is gone doesn’t mean you are gone. Just because life feels really fucking good, doesn’t mean that it is going to come crashing down.

I have challenged every social dynamic I know. How does a rebel keep herself from not drinking when meeting inner expectations is the struggle?

I suppose by the one thing that keeps time for everything in her life, by figuring out the way she wants to feel and challenging every expectation that comes her way.

My entire life I have been in search of the life I have created, had created. And instead of feeling amazing inside of it, I was still pushing it away, numbing it, fighting inside of it.

I couldn’t see that the feeling I wanted to have most was already there, I was just too numb to access it.

I felt like I was dying inside of everything I had busted my ass to draw forth.

No one asked me to stop drinking. In fact, it was the expectation that I would drink. Travel with my own booze. Be the first at the bar.

I guess there truly is no more rebellious act than breaking that pattern. Saying no more. Claiming a quiet spot on the grass to sit on a beautiful blanket and feel everything.

Maybe feeling everything, and let me tell you it is a wild ride, is what freedom is.

I was telling Dave that on my birthday I was so overcome by emotions that I had to just go to bed. I had time with friends which was amazing, I had a beautiful surprise from my kids and him, I had frustrations with kid homework time, I had my entire house pulled apart and moved around, and I had my first birthday without a bottle of wine. And when he opened a beer, I had to go. Go to bed. Go process how many possible feelings I could have all at once.

I was grateful and moved and joy filled and frustrated and unnerved and sad and happy and vulnerable and scared and proud and excited and disappointed and let down and lifted up. All at once. Everything. All of it.

Leaving and going up to bed to lie there and just feel was the half cigarette, the shot of tequila, the falling apart and getting angry, the blowing up of something, anything.

It was the place where all of that would have been.

Replaced by the feelings. The time and space to process them, find places for them or releases for them. It was a lot of tears. It was gigantic gratitude. It was enough sleep. It was not looking for another person to fill my voids.

This peace and calm feels oddly like a rebel yell. Like coming up for air after holding my breath.

At first you replace your ‘vice’ with a vice. Then trade that one off for a new one. Cigarette into sex sex into tequila tequila into shopping shopping into sugar sugar into…

…peace and calm. Shit.

That is what I have now.

The surprise in the mirror.

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I thrifted these big baggy linen like pants. I tried them on thinking I’d throw them in my store and wanted to size them. They were too big for me so they fell down to my hip bones. I was trying them on under my dress and then the dress fell down over the pants as though it was a petticoat.

I noticed that my lower body which tends to feel out of proportion with my upper body, felt gorgeously full and smooth.

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I took some photos then smoothed the dress all the way down over the pants and used my chunky belt to anchor the pants on my waist. I noticed I was moving with a bit more awareness of my hips. I added the jean jacket and instantly it was like I became my future self.

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My future self wears pants that flow and has found ways to layer that complete the way she wants to feel each morning when she chooses her (first, she loves to change all day) Spiritstyle outfit. She finds ways to explore each thrifted piece she has chosen as a way to tell a story about her spirit, her light, her desires.

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Tomorrow the pants might find a soft white button down tied at the waist. The jean jacket could fall in love with the thin gray tank top and purple skirt filled with holes at the bottom from good living and stepping. The dress might slide under a tan oversized cardigan that wraps around and comforts.

Spiritstyle is a surprise in the mirror. It is play time. Discovery. It is trying things that alone would never work and finding the moment they become magical. It is taking chances, being seen. Spiritstyle is my love affair, all day long, all the fabrics, the possibilities, the color stories, the movement, the stripes.

Tomorrow the shop will be bursting with treasures. Come visit around Noon Eastern and see if any surprises are calling to you. Look also for (re)spiriting style Home, curated pieces for all your spaces and places.

Hiding from feelings.

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We are doing a challenge called Reset, Wildthing, Reset in my circle. If it goes in the direction I’m thinking it will, after having called it in as ritual the last month, I would love to share it with all of you.

For now, in my personal challenge one of my resets is to find my way back to the page. In this context, the pages of this blog, this website. To reconnect with it, to adore it in new ways.

Asking questions of myself around trusting myself, being seen, of my relationship with what I have always called the hole inside of me that no longer feels like a hole. In therapy the last few years the only way I could describe it was that it felt like a hole that existed right in the middle of my body and left me feeling broken and searching.

I picked up the book, Nothing Good Can Come From This by Kristi Coulter and the first two pages took my breath away.

She talks about the hole. And all the ways she has tried to fill the hole, including alcohol.

And did you fill the hole?

No. Turns out there wasn’t a hole after all. Just a space.

A space.

Yes.

And have you filled the space?

Not yet.”

…….

Inside of the contraction of the last few years my expansion could not feel more beautiful. Listening to the Tarot for the Wild Soul podcast (total crushing) she talks about how contraction and expansion are not equal in size, that the expansion becomes so much more.

I love that visual, I can see galaxies and hot mugs of tea with a circle of beloveds and I see visions of future happenings that make me tingle. There is probably mixed in there some vegan gluten free strawberry cake.

Beyond a doubt my contraction has been about hiding from feelings. Never about people or situations, always about the feelings that arose from all of it. Feelings aren’t facts they are indicators of what is up and what we need to know and of how our internal compass, which is to me Divine Spirit channeling through us, are functioning.

Feelings glide with us, in and out, and once we can say, yes, this is how I feel, we can get real with that feeling and see if it matches up to the list of how we want to feel on the sticky note of our beautiful life.

…….

One of the women in my circle recently declared that she was angry. Then she posted a photo of herself in a gorgeous black dress with a jean jacket. If she was going to go through the anger stage of her current becoming, she was going to do it feeling hot.

Choice. Feeling.

These days there is a calmness within that I don’t recognize. I thought I must have some sort of mood disorder or anger issues or something. Turns out I was just filled with booze and the instability that comes with it. My friend Tiffany Han describes her past with booze as part of her branding, champagne bubbles popping. Mine was a badass tequila shot any time of day, total branding of who I thought a badass highly sensitive soul should be.

I look at the photo of that beautiful woman in her black dress and I understand her anger. I have felt it. I have hidden from it. I have tried to fill its hole. Then I have just looked at it and loved it and understood it as information.

The calmness is inside of that.

But please, while you are there, dance in your Spiritstyle and see your fierceness while you are learning boundaries and safety and who the hell you are.

…….

There is a giddiness inside the purpose of being seen. When it isn’t altered by too much anything, sugar, food, booze, sex, shopping (fill in the blank). It is like a declaration of choice.

A choice to fly back out into the feelings.

Drunk Me.

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The first thing I noticed as the sober one in the room is that there is a progressive change in noise and personality in those that drink. An entire vibrational switch. I had always been part of that escalation of alcohol fun, leading the way. 

It is almost like everyone lifts off the ground a few feet and you are still on the ground, watching.

The other thing I've noticed is that as the one who has chosen to stop drinking as a choice, not as a claiming of having a 'problem' or needing a meeting or rehab, I feel a little lost.

While I would argue that alcohol is a problem for all of us, because something with the ability to alter us to the point of not being able to drive or make good choices or cause us to black out and lose time or puke is always potentially problematic, I know that this is not a popular thought.

When someone has an acknowledged problem with alcohol everyone around them is aware and careful and tending to their possible temptations.

Nothing around me has changed. And I feel everything is different.

I woke up on Friday and all I thought about was how much I wanted to have a drink. It stayed with me the entire day. I drank iced coffee filled with agave, and made cup after cup of tea.

No cup of tea will ever be wine. And it felt incredibly lonely. To have a made a choice that feels isolating. That is sometimes the hardest choice I make all day.

And I could have a glass of wine or some bubbly or a gluten-free beer. This was never a quest for sobriety.  But every single time I've asked myself first if that beer or wine would be the kindest choice, every time my Spirit says no.

No, not today.

The honest truth, I sometimes wish it would feel kind, for just one glass, one beer, for one moment. 

I am not marking time that I'm not drinking. I'm marking time in what it is for me to thrive in my best self, and questioning my desires.

The desire to drink every single time, for me, has been centered only around escaping anxiety and fear. A coping. I don't know if it was always that way. And yet, here is the truth of now. I have to be in that now, for now. 

I am so aware now of everyone who says, "I deserve this, I  need this, I've earned this." It breaks my heart to believe that we have earned the right to numb the fuck out. That we deserve to disengage with our feelings because shit gets hard.

The desire to be inside of kindness now has me playing the sober one in the room, watching as those around me become lifted off the ground, voices changing, vibrations feeling chaotic.

I am still mostly unsure as to how to play this role. What keeps me curious is how calm and peaceful I feel most days. How rested I can now be. 

I've had a couple of drinks in the last 7 months. Every time I've felt a little let down by myself, but mostly by the alcohol. It wasn't like I remembered. It doesn't feel fun anymore. I am so aware of my desire to escape as motivation. To numb. To find a place for my Spirit to hide so I don't have to trust myself.

I have not chosen to not drink. I can drink whenever the hell I want. I have chosen kindness and for me, this seems to have become non-negotiable in that pursuit in this moment in time.

.......

Last year I laid in bed woken up by a rapid heart-beat. This was happening multiple times a day and now was waking me at night.

My solution was vodka. Enough vodka and I could slow the feeling that I was going to have a heart attack.

It worked. And then I needed more and more to keep my heart beating normally, which really was becoming rare.

.......

I woke up on Friday and all I could think about was how much I wanted a drink. Anything. Beer, wine, cider, or my favorite personal wrecking ball, tequila.

It stayed with me all day. It hurt. The decision to not drink hurt. I can't explain it any other way. By the evening I felt like I was a puddle. I went to bed early. I wish I had been able to talk about with my partner. But I am tip-toeing around people when they are drinking and don't really yet know how to be fully myself in that vibration.

My inner world is tightly secretive, until it isn't, and I had no idea what to do with that feeling. Where to go with it. This is the loneliness, certainly at this point a chosen loneliness. 

The previous weekend friend's of Dave's had come to visit. They brought beer and wine. I drank kombucha even though I thought about the wine. I made dinner while the rest sipped outside in the sun, distraction helps. I made tea. Lots of tea.

My anxiety told me that maybe now was a good time to have just one drink. And then my spirit and I chit-chatted and we decided that anxiety was a real asshole and I shouldn't listen. Instantly I felt calm. In the past I would have been two drinks deep before anyone walked in the door as that was how I could become the fun Hannah who didn't show a sign of social anxiety.

.......

There were mornings I was making breakfast for the kids before school hungover from the too much wine because I need it to cope with life night before.

I would work with a hangover. I would have a drink at night to feel better. Repeat. Sprinkle in vodka to calm my heart down.

It didn't take much for a hangover. Two glasses of wine could take me there, head throbbing and heart racing. As a highly-sensitive person alcohol is incredibly effective in transformation.

.......

I would save my calories for my wine at night, no dessert thank you, wine is my treat.

I would feel my skin bloat and my body feel heavy and sick from that treat.

I would see memes telling me that wine was my reward, that of course we drank because we are parents, and reinforcing what I already knew, I was so much more fun as tequila Hannah.

.......

I thought my heart was dying. And I was certain alcohol was killing my relationship. After one particular fight, I decided to release alcohol to see if we would function differently as a couple. 

I wasn't chasing sobriety I was chasing Kindness. I was obsessed with it. I would master that thing. I would choose a hard thing so that we could become better.

There was a clear clear message from my intuition and it was that I couldn't mix kindness into my glass of wine, no matter how desperately I wanted to. My face started to break out into a hot rash with just one sip of wine.

My body was revolting. 

.......

The first thing that happened is my heart is no longer racing and oddly, I have less anxiety, or maybe, I have a greater ability to resource my creative options for anxiety.

The whites of my eyes are whiter.

I have control over the words that leave my mouth. I used to love that feeling of my erratic emotional out pourings. Now I can't imagine.

In a shit ton of ways not reaching for a drink is easy once I broke the pattern.

In other ways it hurts. Just does.

I am still figuring out who the hell I am without that shot of tequila.

There is a struggle to not replace it with over-sugaring or over-spending or over-hermiting although it then lets me ask of each of those desires, is this kindness?

.......

I liked so much about choosing to pour a glass of wine at 5:00, sipping while chopping vegetables for dinner. I liked the feeling of that moment when the wine hits and everything seems better, lighter. I loved sitting at a bar in another place in the world and meeting people over a drink.

I loved how I felt like a different version of me, more confident, more fun.

I loved having sex while I felt out of body, less inhibitions.

.......

Here is what I'm learning. 

A cup of tea while chopping vegetables is pretty amazing. And I find that I am really there, not wandering away somewhere, I have a deeper connection.

I am having this moment of time where no other decision has been quite so impactful to my becoming other than that to have babies. Becomings are not passive, they are kick your ass look at your shit own your choices rituals of time.

I'm not as fun. I'm also not an emotional wreck(ish). My memory is improved. My bladder is grateful. My body feels my devotion.

And sex? Sober sex is beautiful. It is pure vulnerability and trust. 

I have orgasms without trouble. They have become wildly different than ever before. When we are both connected without alcohol it is intimate and raw and sweet and I can feel him in my heart. 

My heart.

The one that no longer feels like it is going to have a heart attack. 

My heart.

I'm not looking for sobriety, I'm looking to understand true kindness and trust myself. It has spilled over into my money habits and my practice of feeding myself.

.......

Dave loves country music and as we were driving together the other day a song came on called Drunk Me. Now here is the thing with country music, 90% (I obviously made that number up) has references to alcohol. Mostly beer.

This song is about not drinking.

So I am sitting there listening, in total awe of this person who has broken out of the norm and is brave enough to sing about releasing alcohol.

So I look it up and there is an interview with Mitchell Tenpenny about the song. In it he talks about how he wanted to share a song about how someone doesn't have to have a problem with alcohol to know that it isn't serving them.

And then.

And then he goes on to say that he has no problem with alcohol and he drinks with his buddies and they show a clip of him standing in a circle with his guy friends, cups of beer in hand, drinking and having fun.

Because Goddess forbid we say anything against alcohol in that sponsored by beer country music world. We can't offend anyone who wants to drink by suggesting that we can actually stop drinking before we have a "problem."

.......

Drunk Me.

I haven't wanted to post this because I don't want to upset or offend. 

What the hell is that? 

Let me protect others who might be offended which most usually means they see something of themselves in it.

Is that what I believe my job is here? To be a shield for behaviors that take people further away from their amazingness?

I want to shout out how proud of myself I am. I want to be inside of the hardness of this decision that I make every single day and celebrate myself for choosing this day to feel better. To be more. To truly see who I am.

I am not judging anyone. My decision to not drink today has everything to do with me and wanting to be inside of my best life. The one that I left a marriage to discover. The one that I prayed for. The one that I am blessed and giddy to wake up to each morning.

So I guess this is me getting over myself. I will not stand in a circle with friends holding a cup of alcohol just to make sure everyone likes me.

Drunk me isn't part of my identity today.

Not today.

Nothing around me has changed. And I feel everything is different.

My Grandfather's Yellow Room

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When we went to visit my Grandfather he showed us a special room in his house. 

The room was bright yellow. Bright. Amazingly yellow.

He did it to infuse joy into his house. 

Grief is not linear and in its circular process yellow paint was one of his choices.

I think about that room often. I think about him pretty much daily. (Hi GB!!! I love you.)

I want to paint it all yellow.

.......

Since Lucas (Bobbie) was little he would cry to fall asleep. He didn't need much from me other than to be there, to just lay with him while he worked it through.

He still has his tear nights. He has said he is having sad thoughts that come to him as he is falling asleep. He won't tell me what but I'm pretty sure I know.

When I was little I would worry about fires. I would worry about my mom dying. I would worry about so many things and sleep would feel scary.

He doesn't need to tell me because our sensitive souls are so intertwined I can just feel him. Sometimes the tears are sobs and that is when I know the deepest fears are working themselves out inside of his little body.

.......

I've been working with the Manipura Chakra. The seat of our digestive fire. This chakra is located between the navel and the solar plexus. 

This chakra's color is yellow. I think about the yellow room. Joy. Infusing joy.

Dave and I are preparing to talk about long term plans in the case that one of us dies. We aren't married so I really need to have an understanding of what would happen. I haven't been able to do it yet.

It feels like Bobbie's tears at night. I don't want to talk about it because the thought is terrifying.

I spent the day adulting, on the phone with Insurance for over an hour, trying to fix internet service over the phone, beginning to sort my bills and receipts, feeling truly frustrated at once again my lack of control over my money. I'm still playing the I'm unworthy game with myself.

I was exhausted after. Give me 5 kids and grocery shopping and cooking and anything other than that kind of adulting.

My chakra is screaming at me to look at my Joy levels and I'm screaming back that I'm tired.

And I want to remake my whole life.

Starting with my desire for all the yellow. Throw pillows. And nail polish. And yellow peppers cut up into pasta salad. And melons bursting with juice. 

And a new money plan. And the talk. And the tears.

My chakra isn't fooling around. 

.......

I want to paint it all yellow.