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.

Cheeseball shame.

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By the third time I had talked about it I decided I would write it out. 

The cheeseballs. The shame. 

When my love Mara mentioned perfect imperfection texting a couple days ago, it finally had a name, the cheeseball moment. And named, it feels different.

Perfect imperfection. It's a thing. And we all know it's a thing. If you are on social media, you know it's a thing. It is a curated self protective blend of vulnerability and the perfect photo to tell you all about the vulnerability.

Go to my feed, you'll see plenty.

There I am taking a quick video of Eli's birthday spread complete with things he loves, cucumbers, celery, goldfish crackers, cheese, strawberries, cheeseballs.

Well I post the video and bam. Shame.

I am a health coach and my kids get cheeseballs on their birthdays.

My perfect imperfection that I didn't realize I was attaching to my identity. I'll let you see the goldfish crackers after 5 years of therapy but the cheeseballs, hell no. I've known health coaches ready to leave relationships because their partner bought boxed cereal. Judgement reigns deep in this world. 

After I post the video I spend the next 24 hours thinking about how I need to talk about the cheeseballs, explain the cheeseballs. How they are a family birthday thing. How they started with our youngest hacking our grocery list and adding cheeseballs to it all the time.

Honestly, by the third time I've talked about the cheeseballs with someone those damn things lost their power. Judge me. I can't do this shame dance on social media any longer.

A couple months ago I hit my rock bottom of social media shame. Pretty sure it eventually landed me in the ER with diverticulitis. Because a public airing of anger directed at you will eat up your intestines fast while you are working your way through it.

And. It was one of the moments that changed my life, I am ironically steeped in gratitude. A freedom.

Because.

It is so OK. Here was this thing happening and I didn't have to control it or be part of it or give it power. It just was. Messy. Real. So OK.

Eventually this tenderness for all of it, for other's pain and anger and stories, replaced the terror. The deep vulnerability of being imperfectly imperfect and the potential of social media to be wildly toxic or deeply healing all rushing together.

Shame. Cheeseballs.

My kids eat them on birthdays.

Shame. If I could go back and make decisions differently and undo pain caused, yes, yes.

And also, the one who was, the one who had to control the imperfections, she didn't know how to walk through that time. My heart now cannot believe how scared she was.

Shame. How scared she was. How control and fear became silence. How breaking the silence brought more shame. How cheeseballs could just be cheeseballs and hurts and pains and angers can be OK and real and needed, even when they are coming right at us.

Because it is real and true and tender. 

That's the way through shame. To find the truth inside of it.

I didn't want to show you those bright orange fake ass puff balls that were part of my kid's celebration.

Because shouldn't I be better than cheeseballs when you are viewing my perfectly imperfect life?

(Insert perfectly imperfect photo to represent cheeseball vulnerability.)

What I had to tell my partner about me.

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The other night Dave and I got in an argument, which would not have been an argument in another dimension of time and space.

One where Dave understood part of who I was.

One where I had given Dave the information to understand who I was.

The argument centered around a piece of cake. Strawberry. Gluten free. Vegan. Possibly the happiest I have ever felt about a piece of cake.

He was telling me that my face lit up when I talked about the cake. I cut him off because I was incredibly embarrassed. 

One of the things I've been working on in our relationship is not interrupting. I struggle with it and am making more of an effort.

This interrupting wasn't me being impatient or not listening, I didn't want him to keep talking. I felt my face wanting to flush and I just needed to talk my way out of his calling attention to my happiness over this cake.

I was OK being happy, just not talking about it.

After that we got tangled up. I wanted him to understand that when you are a disordered eater, allowing yourself to truly find pleasure in cake, not deny yourself the cake or overeat the cake because you feel shame for wanting the cake or for just feeling in general, is a big fucking deal.

I didn't want him to repeat himself and tell me again that my face lit up when I got the cake. I felt shame at this point.

We tangled some more. His needs colliding with my needs. The day went from crazy joyful wild tiny moments of life changing proportions to feeling like I was going to throw up.

We left the restaurant. I was almost in tears. 

I left the cake on the table.

It took us almost 24 hours to finally talk. We haven't had a fight in so long, we both were mush inside the discomfort of it. I was so confused as to why he wasn't understanding me.

It took me almost 24 hours and a tantrum to find words that led him to understand why this was such a thing for me.

He has no past with disordered eating with anyone he knows.

I had never talked to him, other than casually, about it. He had no idea a piece of cake could hold so much feeling. He had no idea that I was finally feeling free from the disordered eating I've been inside of.

Because I haven't talked about it. I want him to see me. But not that part of me. 

I want to be seen by him, but within strict boundaries of what I allow.

When he does this with me, it makes me crazy.

As he softened and realized that this cake argument that seemed like the stupidest of arguments was actually a deep wound, a deep story, I started to cry. In that way you cry when something that has been hiding, and now has light cast upon it, rises up.

I cried. For a while. It took us a few tries. I did Ok even though I was fighting against wanting him to know this part of me.

Up until a few months ago, and I've been doing this work of trying to be free from body shame, I have lived with the intention of being smaller.

I'll call it a cleanse, I'll go raw or paleo or fast or create enough drama that I can't eat. All in the name of being smaller.

One of my favorite things to hear people say used to be, "You look like you've lost weight."

I liked to be smaller.

I liked to control my feelings through hunger. The less I would eat the less I would feel out of control.

I don't do that anymore. I don't have rules (which I loved to break) anymore. 

I eat noodles if choosing noodles feels like kindness. I eat bananas if choosing bananas feels like kindness.

Telling Dave about my desire to be 'small' sucked. Like, I hated it. I did it. I made it through. I had a vulnerability hangover. 

Because that isn't how I wanted to be seen.

Maybe because I am terrified that he secretly wishes I was smaller. That he will wish that he didn't get the time of my life when I started healing all my shit and put on 20 ish pounds. That he will think it is an excuse for gaining weight. That he will judge me somehow every time I take a bite of food now.

So, I let him see me. With all of those stories crashing through my body.

I let him know me. I explained to him the first time I realized that I could become smaller by eating less and how it controlled my pain.

That night at dinner I was wearing an outfit that was being guided by my free spirited get in the car and go find an adventure part of self. She spent the day thrifting in a different state. She was wearing all black, all thrifted finds.

I didn't know when I chose that outfit and that part of self for the day that she would be leaving the gluten free vegan strawberry cake behind so that she could lead me to a new layer of being seen. (Pun not intended but cute.)

Looking back, I see that her entire vibration was calling forth being seen. Being brave. Being new.

It never looks like how we think it will. Arguing with Dave hurts my heart, I can feel it beat differently. His stomach was a mess. We were so sad that we were in this place again. 

And. It wasn't that at all. We weren't back at anything. We were being called to go further forward.

He wants to see me. He loves to see me. I was controlling what he knows about me like I was controlling that food.

Because maybe if he knew, he would leave.

Or maybe, if he knew, he would see me.

I would be loved. More.

I would feel. More.

Because I let myself be seen.

(Are we all craving strawberry cake now?)

Phones in a bowl.

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Tonight at midnight I am putting my phone in one of my altar bowls. Maybe I'll throw a crystal in there with it.

Sacred Stillness.

I invite all of you to join me in disconnecting, allowing the quietness of space as it becomes along with us.

This may feel like an edge. It does to me. This will only be my second time doing this.

My family and I did this last Saturday and the kids declared it an amazing day.

I am in love with the idea, a bit fearful of the reality of the stillness.

Saturday Stillness. Or Sunday. Or Friday. Whatever works for you.

.......

My phone is going in the bowl. I invite you to find places where stillness is calling you to lay the phone down and see life not through the glass but all that is when you look up.

For one day.

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I have this zit.

Right under my eye, next to my nose.

One of the times I tried to squeeze it it decided to explode with blood while I was driving the van home. The only thing I had was a panty liner to wipe up the blood and looking for it I swerved on the road a little and then had a cop car follow me.

I'm looking in the rear view mirror, holding a panty liner to my gushing face and rehearsing my speech, "Sorry officer, I had to reach for a panty liner to mop up the blood and..."

It showed up easily half a year ago. It was fierce, intense. Angry.

Its little red mark has been on my face so long now it is part of my landscape. Because of my dry skin I've had few breakouts over my life so I wasn't even sure how to take care of it.

I've only just started to connect the dots to this pimple's arrival and stubbornness in constant filling up of infection and release to who I am now.

Right around that time this crazy life changing moment big thing happened and I made a decision. (That's another story.) I started to listen closely to my body which wasn't hard because it was screaming at me.

My messages on change didn't come from my wildly impulsive normal way of making changes. The jump into extremeness of all or nothingness wasn't there. I just would hear someone say something, a podcast story, casual reference on a Instagram story, a line from a movie or book, and I would get this, like, this opening in my body that would say, that feels kind. Yes, that. I'm ready for that now.

Intuitively as though the messages were running through a guide I was not acquainted with, I would slowly ease into the change.

First it was dairy, I released it. Wine had started to give me these crazy reactions all over my face which felt like a clear signal, so I released alcohol other than an occasional gluten free beer. I found myself unable to eat meat and craving grains which I had been living without for so long. I started making huge pots of beans along with chicken bone broth, the kids would eat the chicken, I used the broth for the beans.

I made celery juice. I would stumble upon a supplement and then my healing would go one level deeper. I was open to the messages.

I wasn't adhering to any eating plan, just following this guide which was gentle and patient with me.

Kindness.

The pimple on my face that won't stop holding infections no matter how much I squeeze or release seems to be the valve that my physical body is using to process. Each time I hit a new level of release boom, that little thing fills up again. A couple of times it has spread into two or three infections. Same spot on my face. 

I was in awe of the changes happening inside of me and around me so I kept going. I found more guides. I held them and communed with them. I walked in shadows with them. I wondered if I was supposed to share this practice I was inside of which I didn't even understand yet.

Starting in June, seventy-three women are going to step into kindness as a practice, as a guide. I have no idea what they will receive, what they will hear. Their story won't be mine. Their needs won't be what mine were. I do know that no matter who we are, how deeply we've been hurt, how fresh our anger or wounds, no matter any of it, we all crave kindness. From somewhere basic and simple, like bare feet in soft grass.

So that is where we will begin. Together. Because being held and seen is kindness.

Six months into these guides my cells have rearranged. I am more new than I imagined possible at forty-three years. Six months ago I wasn't sure my relationship was going to make it. Now I write this waiting for my man to wake up and I can't believe who we are becoming together. I look at my body draped in a silk pink robe that I thrifted and my naked belly is hanging out and I adore it. I have beans and rice in the fridge that I will devour later with cilantro and lemon juice on top. 

Writing about it feels like an invitation for it to prove untrue. My head is screaming, erase this story fast woman.

I'm about to spend a year with these women in circle in kindness and I can already see them becoming. They already are living this.

So I just wanted to throw out this game to you.

Of living one full day inside of kindness as your only guide for the words you choose, to the food you choose, to the decisions you make. 

A filter of your reality. For just one day's time. What could happen in one day? Who could you become in one day?

I'm here, on the other side of these words if you need someone to hold your experience, to see you.

One day in kindness.

Slicing pizza while your whole world changes. Again.

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Chaos was a former iteration of mine. I was seriously rock star good at it. Confrontation was my kryptonite. Something bothered me, blow shit up, create a cloud of chaos, let your heart beat too fast, have another sip of tequila, blame, get angry, pretend it isn't happening, control it all through whatever means necessary. 

Trying to control chaos is actually breeding chaos. 

I have this thing I love to do in quiet moments when I'm doing my chill out via Instagram. I might find someone I know or someone I've just found who inspires me and I scroll as far back to the beginning as I can, I love to find that first post. I'll start from that beginning place, from that iteration that they were and I'll watch as they become. 

There is that moment when the color story changes, the photo quality gets better, things start to look more curated, purposeful. I love watching the moments when they let themselves be seen more or come up with an idea or begin again.

When I am figuring something out inside of myself or making peace at that next level of becoming in my own journey I'll go back to my Instagram and I'll commune with the she who was. 

The one who loved her black eyeliner. The one who threw a lot of parties. The one who seemed almost extroverted for a time. The one who lived in three homes in one year. The one who tried like hell not to eat rice even though she loves it. The one who gathered women. The one who drove 2 hours with her partner to get a $20 couch that is now her kid's bed. The one who travelled to India and learned how to find quiet and stillness and walking prayer inside of chaos. The one who left her home three times in three years. The one who drove a boat. The one who clearly uses beauty as her place of reset when things are out of control. The one who was preparing for her first date in 20 years. The one who made really stupid decisions instead of just being in her truth. The one who wishes she could go back in time and do it differently, be strong enough to do it differently. The one who said sorry the wrong way. The one who makes soup to heal. The one who didn't have language or understanding or calmness inside of her rebel tendency. The one who said fuck going slow, I'm all in, come with me. The one who liked to be really skinny while eating lots of bacon. The one addicted to tattoos. The one who now knows that being told what to do is her trigger. The one who waited for her best friend's babies to be born, knowing she would never be there again. The one who lay on the beach naked for the camera. The one who decided to create a wall of hooks then decided she hated it and took them all down. The one who would give her clothes and jewelry away to her friends if they liked them. The one who ran. The one who first put on a two piece and took a picture and posted it. The one who felt bangs were a good idea. The one who prayed for her marriage. The one who blew bubbles for joy. The one who put on a green dress. The one who found vintage cowboy boots in Oregon, on her first trip away from her kids. The one who got to spend her entire days with her baby. The one whose first Instagram post was of roasted cauliflower with tomatoes, capers, chick peas and onions for breakfast. April 2nd, 2012.

I scroll and I remember. I flood through all the painpoints and the joys. The places where something is still lingering and my now self has so much to tell the one who was. 

Last month I went through this wild Spirit journey of time back into all my regrets and shame and guilt. It felt like a piece of me was dying as I let myself feel the pain and truth of it. I wasn't sure I would come out of it. I cried more than I had tissues for. 

I looked at every fuck up I've created inside of chaos. This iteration of kindness sucks I remember thinking.

This isn't what I wanted! 

I cannot find a way to detached kindness from shame or even guilt. Especially not with truth or trust. You want kindness, you better get cozy with painpoints. That want you to feel them. 

The work of kindness is incredibly active, it asks of you over and over. It asks for peace and sometimes the peace is only found in looking back and getting right with any false beliefs that still want to be part of your today. 

Kindness is not pretending. 

So I felt it deep. I made soup and a huge pot of beans. I ate as much rice as I wanted to. I found the lingering truths that were haunting me. I watched Dave do all the dishes for days as just getting dressed was hard enough. 

Here is what I learned from that time inside, contracted in kindness which hurt like hell. 

In chaos, it was so noisy. And I needed the noise. There were so many other voices. I needed the voices. And I hurt people. And I made bad choices. And I had voice after voice replace the last voice. And it was all so loud. And I shapeshifted constantly trying to prove or calm the chaos or feed the noise. I pretended. A lot. The pretending shoved me into chaos. Bad choices. Repeat. 

This period of chaos had to be. This iteration of boring kindness, of being seen again, of aligned peace, of observing and feeling, of being OK, of trust, of committing to truth rather than running...all born from the chaos. Iterating doesn't take time off from driving the kids to school, paying bills, watering the plants, throwing another load of laundry in, taking a shower. It happens while the every day simple moments are playing out on repeat while inside we are no longer the same while doing them. 

The tears when you drop her off at school and you are finally alone to break down. The red lipstick you put on to stay at home and be seen by no one. The thrifted strapless dress you put on to go back into the world after the tissues run out. The moment you realize you've got to let the attachment to what isn't yours go because that is chaos, holding onto another's truth about you.

That is the noise. That is the pretending the proving the powerlessness. 

In the contraction of kindness, the iteration of boringly wonderful peace, the unfurling into trust; you see that you don't need it anymore. 

It isn't coming back. The worst scenario of your wound has played out enough that you can trust, finally, that on the other side of the fear coming true, you are actually better. Better. Meaning, no attachment to the noise. 

I was hoping for a more poignant first Instagram post than roasted cauliflower. Something that I could loop into my story somehow. Like pulling a card for the day and having it be the perfect reading. I wasn't finding any medicine in the cauliflower. 

Then I looked at the date of my first post. April 2nd, 2012. Three years to the day later I would sit in my Loft with a man I invited over for coffee, who hates coffee it turns out. 

Last night he asked me a question that triggered me. About pizza, like seriously nothing. I was in my head about something else and really hot and making 4 different kinds of pizzas and the question just pissed me off. 

When he and I lived in the chaos, the noise, this moment of me snapping would have meant a 2 day fight. It would have turned into an epic battle of you are wrong I am right and someone would have wanted to move out. He would have not talked to me and started to slam things around and act out and I would have built a festering inside my gut of anger that was nothing at all about PIZZA. 

Last night it was just about pizza and me not liking the question and him seeing me, seeing that I was stressed and I was having this major download about my story of not being smart or believed all while bleeding and it was the night before we say good-bye to the kids which still leaves me raw. 

I took my fizzy water and sat down next to him on the sunporch where he was doing a beautiful job at not being mad. He said something about my reaction. I said, sorry, that question really annoyed me and I am sorry. He said something else that calmed by nervous system and reminded me that I was safe. And loved. Even in my little moodiness.

I realized we weren't in the noise. The chaos of past stories, the overwhelm of our worst fears coming true because of one moment in time that had nothing to do with anything other than crabbiness. No one was slamming things around. He let me be crabby and not make it about him. I let him see me. 

For real. 

In the messiness of living the everyday moments while standing in the kitchen with red lipstick and kimono flying everywhere, sweating by the heat of the stove, iterating.

While everyone was watching, and no one could see that I was standing inside of this huge moment of understanding my need to be right was connected to this story of not being smart enough.

Silently, unfurling, again.

While roasting cauliflower for breakfast or hugging him good-bye for the first time and feeling like he is still with you or making every kind of pizza in the sweltering heat.

Being seen while it is all happening inside, again. Just slicing the pizza while your whole world changes, again.

I want to get stuck in your words.

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The first time I wore bright red lipstick to the school yard I was beyond nervous. I was filled with anxiety around being seen and worried that my kids would feel embarrassed and have feelings that I would take on as my own.

That was 8 years ago.

Today the practice of red lips causes me zero anxiety. It feels like kindness.

Inside of another round of transitions I found myself yesterday spending time with my clothes.

Hanging up my kimonos on the wooden rack. Next to them a few bathing suits.

Having chosen a few dresses and necklaces and skirts to spend the summer in I am aware of the change in my color story.

There is the yellow cropped lace shirt that feels more like me than anything I've ever put on. The one that lays over my tattoos while still allowing them to be seen. 

I layer the yellow lace over a tight gray tank top and step into a worn purple skirt, a skirt I only have because I found little holes on the bottom hem so I couldn't sell it. A skirt I accidentally fell in love with. A softness that feels how I want my breath to feel. 

My purple lipstick combined with red lipliner creating a new color. Mascara. No other make up. A new iteration without my eyeliner.

Choosing my Spiritstyle to walk with me inside of my transitions of becoming, with me as I feel into social anxieties, is about creating an intimacy with myself which then translates to an intimacy between myself and others.

This is how I connect most deeply to the soft space I hold inside for myself.

Being seen is the result of vulnerability and after 8 years of practicing what I thought was extreme vulnerability in the online world I now rest in the truth that those years were only the warm up to truly being seen.

They were the years that would grow me into someone who is so aware of everything she could have done better and didn't. The years that hold the shame that I travel through and heal and feel.

When I started my little pop up Instagram shop, AGAIN, @respiritingstyle I saw it as this possibility for the future, something my daughter and maybe more of the kids could be inside of together. I saw it as something I could potentially align with other women who wanted to share physical space which has continued to be a dream for so long.

I didn't see it as this next step into the terror of vulnerability. Sometimes iterating feels like a death inside. A part of you, a way of being or believing, no longer can be because you have learned and become beyond it, and because of it.

I have no idea why this little shop feels deeply vulnerable to me. I told someone for the first time yesterday that I was not only a Holistic Coach, I told them I also sold gently used treasures. It felt like all of me merged. Fused. And it feels new and raw.

One of the beautiful cherished women in An Uncurated Circle was giving me some reflection around the shop and said that it was all the things in one unbelievably intimate and loving connection as you select the pieces and share them and send them as meditations on beauty and being and bliss - it's like seeing ourselves through your adoration. (Thank you Sheila.)

I can get stuck in the chaos of criticism and self doubt. I want to instead get stuck in her words. In her offering of what can become a prayer for me.

Intimate and loving connection. When I get stuck in the words that tear me down I am no longer seen, vulnerable.

When I put on my yellow lace and commit to this deeper intimacy with myself I walk through my shame, purple skirt dragging itself through the murkiness of the places that are ready to be traveled through.

I imagine the woman who owned it before me must have done this walk too, evidenced by the little holes along the bottom hem.

I wonder what she wears now that brings her intimate and loving connections. What colors has she chosen for her next iteration? What has she released along with the skirt to become again?

The soft space I hold inside for myself isn't free of anxieties or fears or shames. It is filled with them. I need it because those things are true, as true as the lace of yellow falling over my tattoos. I need it so the thoughts I can't feel as true yet have a place to live while the rest of me catches up.

Do we stop enough to pause and say, "I'm not that anymore."

No one else gets to hold us in an iteration that we are no longer.

That isn't our story, that isn't our business.

Bless it. Set it free. Pause. Find the intimacy with yourself and put on whatever it is that creates that connection with YOU.

Then bless her.

Set her in motion to become, again.

The Pause. For Mindy.

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(I will be reading all our weekly prompts in an uncurated circle, so I thought I'd read to you here too. Huge bundles of love and thanks to Mara for teaching me how to record and share them.)

.......

"Can you talk more about the pause you mention here?"
.......

Many months ago when the pain was so intense I could no longer numb it or fight it, I paused. Literally, I paused everything and just sat in it. I felt really boring not trying to fix or figure out or question. Really boring.

Just paused.

I was confronting my painpoints. Being in them. Feeling them.
.......

I'd like to tell you it was a sacred time carved out to heal.

It wasn't. It was this place where desperation and fighting against met acceptance in a way I had never experienced before. 

I believe that surrender is the intersection between acceptance and change.

The pause was the space between pushing the pain away and the next iteration.

The pause was my discovery that I could sit inside of huge amounts of discomfort and not try to change it.

The pause is where I discovered the practices that would become an uncurated circle.

It was an accident. And incredibly on purpose in some woo-woo-Universal-divine timing-you gotta feel it woman-kind of way.

I had spent the last five/six years (OK, the last part of my life) trying to fix everything that could be seen as broken. Myself. My marriage. My choices. My flaws. My body. My heart. My addictions. My lover. My diet. My mistakes. My wardrobe. My hair. 

Because I am good at it. Figuring it out. Finding a plan. Putting that plan into action. I hit a painpoint and boom, I am off into the land of discovery. I research. Gather my tools. Get crazy ideas. Rearrange my everything in a manic attempt for change. 

I will find the problem, explain the problem, find data to support solutions to the problem. 

And it is a wild beautiful ride of figuring shit out. The downloads. The higher voices. All there.

One step was missing. Because the things that were broken didn't go away, they recirculated. Then I'd be off on the ride of figuring them out again, explaining, finding data, mixing logic with emotion, the high of seeing something so clearly.

The pause. What was different in the pause?

No figuring out. No fixing. No solutions. It was the most pure amount of truth in feeling I have been inside of. It sucked.

It was more uncomfortable than I have words for. It was acceptance on a cosmic level. Acceptance for shit I had been pushing so hard against and trying to change like it was my life purpose to change them. 

The high of the fix. The data. The creative solution. The high of change. The living inside of the what comes next fix. The talking and talking and talking. Fighting and fighting and fighting.

Paused.

In the pause I let myself feel exhausted. Sad. Bored. 

I felt a truth that wasn't only mine, it was the sensuality of a truth I wasn't trying to fight against. It was beautiful there. 

The rest just happened.

I'm still integrating it.

I created a year long circle of women around it.

I am pretty sure if Spirit and I were chatting over mushroom coffee she would say this is what it has all been spinning towards.

It started with kindness. Could there be a more amazing way to begin?

Wanting it. Feeling it. Making choices because of it. It was about understanding myself and others in new ways that lifted me up without the high of the fix. The solution. 

It became about discovery, which is what my work had been teaching me for years. The small surprises that sweep in and create your next iteration and you can't believe it was that thing that brought you to this place. The simple choices. The guiding words. 

Feeling it before the desire for fixing it came on. Lingering in small discomforts that added up to magic. I had an intuitive tap in. A template of my own self. A ritual of becoming that was ridiculously kind. Within a month of the practices that came from the pause I was witnessing my relationship transforming. My body was physically changing. 

I was eating more. I was speaking my truth more. I was choosing clothes that were more me inside of this kindness iteration. I was taking space in my own life with a gentleness of choice.

I was becoming again. I was being seen. 

.......

Thank you Mindy for asking this question of me, for wanting to know more. Thank you for asking so that I can continue the practice of being seen especially when I am feeling fear, again, around creation.

Thank you for reminding me that stories matter. Matter so much. Heal so much. Bond us so much.

Thank you for the prompt of a question that brings me back to the truth that healing happens in community. Healing is community. A cry for the love of a circle, the ones who say, I feel that too. A longing for story to fill in the spaces that feel alone. 

None of this on purpose. And all perfect. Becoming again. In circle. For a year. Together.

Meet Shirley.

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Meet Shirley. She is 59, on the other side of her bleed time, hair the most beautiful of grays.

Shirley has been married since she was 23. Her pain lies inside of this marriage. There is no intimacy, she feels as though she must behave in certain ways. She questions everything and can't find answers for how to fix what is broken.

She has started to learn the talk of magic, manifesting, spaces between, living in the gray, iterating. Her curiosity leads her to wanting more.

The language soon became her second language. She has started playing with new ways to dress a body that feels brand new and deeply missing touch.

Things start to unravel in her home inside her changes. Her husband tells her to stop these crazy ideas. 

Every part of her feels afraid. The change is bringing her alive and the pain of feeling trapped in someone else's idea of her is paralyzing. She says that she will never leave her marriage. She is just waiting. The waiting is her biggest secret and shame.

.......

Meet Shirley. She is 36, two young kids, wondering if another baby is what she desires.

Shirley is inside of her second marriage, her youngest was born in this marriage. She feels disconnected from the part of her before kids. She has ideas popping in and out of her head all day long. The ideas and dreams make her sad because she feels so far from them.

She has learned that she is highly sensitive, the sounds of her little ones can set alarms off in her body. She has a partner who adores her and wants to help all her dreams manifest.

She watches other women who are inside of work she envies and wonders what part of her is broken because she is stuck and afraid. Her insides feel numb every night and her anxiety is rising. She pours a glass of wine and remembers what it used to feel like before, wanting that feeling of herself back.

.......

Meet Shirley. She is a self proclaimed hot shit, 42, dating with joy, starting to experience the hormonal shifts of peri-menopause.

Shirley has been in the same job for 20 years, grown with the business, loved and adored by her co-workers and clients. She has a full social life and thrives in routine and expectations. She has spent her life moving from diet to diet. She has joined all the diet programs promising her the body she has always wanted. They all worked, keeping her the size she desires.

Her body has started to shift with time. She craves feeling free inside herself and wonders why these programs aren't working anymore. She has started to feel her hunger and doesn't want to run from it. As she confronts this hunger she feels an unraveling beginning to grab hold of her.

.......

I have spent the last 9 years working with Shirley in hundreds of iterations. I adore her. When I write about her, I am overwhelmed with feeling. I have become so close to her, I want for her, I celebrate her.

I can see parts of where she is going before she can, not because I am psychic, because when she is trapped in the pain the stuck the shame the grief the loss, I (we) can hold space for the limitless possibilities of iterations waiting for her.

  • Wanting for you is wanting for me. Took me years to fall into this truth, once I got the download, my vibration in the world was aligned with the abundance of compassion. 
  • A wish/dream shared is one more person closer to the collective energy of it manifesting. My kids want to keep their birthday candle wishes a secret and I will whisper that if they ever share with us, we will be part of the team helping them get there.
  • Choosing kindness for each part of who we are is the first moment of change. A few months ago I needed to start manifesting kindness as though it was water and air. I started to play little games with myself around bringing it forth. I started to uncover who I was, layer after layer of downloads and discoveries. Each day I am confronted with choice again, and some days lead to incredible discomfort choosing kindness.
  • Every one of us has our painpoints that create change. Painpoints I have been inside of are immense. Feeling like I was too big, too much, beyond being loved, unhappy, unfulfilled, disconnected, anxious, alone, hurt, not smart, not safe, etc. Each one the way into change, the start of the next segment of me, the ugly beauty of iterative living. Being in the pain as an amazing truth, not something to run from.

.......

When I started this work nine years ago I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew I had to do it. I made mistakes. I got overwhelmed. I could make a list of regrets. I was scared so much of the time, I carry pains from the beginning of my time inside of my business.

My pain is my drive. My pain is my place of iterations.

The last few years have left me little choice than to go in deeper. Working with a healer, exploring my chakras one by one, healing my interstitial cystitis, letting myself be inside of grief, finding my way to the love of food, understanding love addiction, becoming the mother I longed to be, finding peace and sensuality in my skin. 

I still suck at things. I still screw up. I still hurt. I still keep going. When I pull away past iterations of my work and myself I am met with a raw stillness. In this stillness I found something. 

.......

Meet Shirley. She is 43, a divorced mama of three kids who is partnered with a divorced father of two kids. This new relationship has brought her to confronting painpoints and him to his own. They are becoming together. It is crazy hard.

She has been running her own business for 9 years, working with hundreds of women who have shaped her and grown her. She is ready to burn it all down. Again. 

Her feminine energy is in constant iterative cycles.

She has a rebel tendency, rarely finishes a book, loves an Irish good-bye, swoons over I-love-yous and appreciation. She is highly sensitive and cycles in and out of hermit phases. 

She is constantly questioning her value. She thrives in intimacy. Circling is her superpower, so is nurturing, so is creating sacred space.

Recently she has been aching for more kindness and to understand her shame (which she thought she had none of). Her guiding word last year was devotional and it has quietly become inside of her, asking her to be inside of stillness. In this stillness she is feeling all of it. She is understanding, feeling compassion for her past iterations, challenging her patterns of hurt.

In the stillness, she has been creating, for herself, for every Shirley iteration that is and longs to be.

And so it is.

.......

An Uncurated Circle, A year of unorganized iterations and being seen...

Something driving me crazy.

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I am in the midst of wrangling a new idea into life. I have a wall filled with sticky notes. I have text messages to myself with quick ideas I am afraid will go forgotten. I have a stack of books and a yellow highlighter to capture sparks of inspiration. I have that feeling in my stomach that is excitement of something about to be mixed with the dread that I won't be able to capture it.

It is close. I am in the stage now of un-attaching myself from it so that it may start to form its own shape.

It is terrifying. Truly. It is exhilarating. For sure. 

.......

I came home today after a breakfast meeting with my friend who has created her own business and lives much like I do. I rarely break from my flow of days. My hermit like self mixes with a ritualized self that mixes with an entrepreneur self. My output is mingled with this flow.

And. I need to remember that part of why I've created this work, this life, is to have this freedom to live in this flow that is driven by my own desires and choice of output.

I wake up between 5:30 and 6:00am on school days. My day starts self directed and lovingly sponsored by that first cup of coffee.

I try to wake up before the alarm goes off so Dave can have those few extra minutes of sleep before getting into the shower. He will regardless, he is a wonderful sleeper, I just think it is nicer.

I typically pull the clothes on from the night before, piled next to the bed. I dress in the bathroom, freezing as I sit on the toilet while pulling my sweater and leggings on. Pee while you get dressed. Efficient. 

I walk downstairs hoping no one else is awake. Those few minutes alone are the ground for my day. I click on the electric kettle and take the sandwich containers out of the fridge. The lunch boxes are out on the counter from prepping them the night before. By the time the water is boiled they are zipped up and ready for the little people.

My twelve year old doesn't eat lunch at school any more. I am assuming it is his social time. I still put some pretzels or raisins or juice in. The thought of him without food feels unsettling.

By 6:15am I have my mug in my hand and eggs in a pan or potatoes in the oven. They love egg sandwiches, scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, omelettes, hash browns, baked potatoes and sausage. 

The night before I know what I'll make in the morning. Making them breakfast is honestly right now my favorite way of being mama to them.

At 6:27am I start to wake them up. My teenage daughter will already be up and joining me in the kitchen making her lunch. She started making her own a few years ago and her current lunch is a veggie burger on a gluten free bun with guacamole and lettuce.

I wake up three out of the four other kids by turning on their lights and saying, "Good morning. Can you believe it is morning?" Or some version of that which they seem to enjoy for whatever reason.

Sometimes I'll drop off a hot chocolate in the bathroom for Dave, blow him a kiss through the shower door. Helping them all start their day is my super power.

I'm back in the kitchen now, chasing my coffee around, grabbing little plates to put the breakfasts on and lining them up on the island. I wake up the final sleeping kiddo. Then if all has gone well, I grab my mug and go curl up in a chair where I can watch the madness unfold.

Where are your glasses?
Would you like me to sign your agenda?
Do you have your lunch box?
Teeth brushed?
I don't know where your sweatshirt is.
Please clear your plate.
You do not need your finger x-rayed. 
I love you.


The first one is out the door at 6:55am. Then Dave takes two of them at 7:00am. I take Chloe at 7:00am but we (me) never get out at 7:00am. I usually can't find my boots, need to pee or forget to do something. I need someone curled up in a chair micro-managing me. She is used to it. She just goes down to the van and waits.

I am a hot mess at this point. Braless. Yesterday's make up often smeared on my eyes if I was too tired to wash it the night before. (Night is not my super power.) I've spoken more words than I'd like to by 7:00am and I turn on the radio and we listen to 80's/90's music on the ride.

She is out of the van by 7:40am and I turn on a Podcast and drive home. I walk in to chaos. Breakfast dishes and crumbs and cups scattered. 

I click the electric kettle on for my second coffee. This one grounding me into the work I'll do that morning. 

I carry the mug upstairs and place it under the sticky notes that are in the wanting to become. I strip off last night's clothes, head into the bathroom and feel the space of silence that offers the opportunity for anxiety if I decide to choose it.

Today, I came home, after this breakfast meeting where we talked about the way we both hide parts of how amazing it is to live life in this way because of the work we have created, especially the part where we get to be the nurturers of our homes and the guides of our nows. We talked about what we try to keep hidden from others so we won't be judged. We talked about new hairstyles, love, communication, what is coming next.

The house was in chaos because I wasn't there to find its order. I clicked on the electric kettle to make a second cup of coffee to ground me into the ritual of cleaning.

After the dishwasher was starting to hum and the blankets were folded, I curled into the couch and clicked on an episode of a show I just started watching while I answered emails for an hour before Eli came home.

.......

I don't know what this new thing will look like in its completion, once it finds its way to a sales page. I do know that it will be built inside of this life of morning egg sandwiches and chaos and the space to be mama, to be lover, to be more open about how proud I am of all of this. 

I forget. Until I am back inside of the unknown. The fear. Then it all comes back.

Why I risked everything that was, to become this iteration of me now. And that is what is leading this new thing, this idea splattered onto sticky notes. My morning flow as mama just as important as all that I let go from my past to find this me. 

It is close. For sure.