Yes Chloe, I do understand your sensitivity.


chloe 2008(Photo 2008, those ferns in the back, most definitlely have died.)

"My own mother doesn't understand my sensitive nature!!!"

When my daughter screamed at me the other night that I didn't understand her sensitivity, I locked myself in the bedroom with a cup of tea, and my computer, and let her father deal with it.

The next morning he said, "Hey, so I have an idea for you to have a really good day today. Just tell Chloe you are sorry."

I didn't want to say sorry. I wanted to tell her::

When you were a baby you cried 8-9 hours a day. Everything about becoming a parent was shattered in my heart. I loved you but I couldn't understand what I had done to create a baby so sad, so hurt, so wanting, so lost, so hurt.

And I held you as you cried and I cried. We spent the next 6 months this way. I never thought it would end. Somehow it did.

But then you continunued to need to nurse all night long to stay asleep. If I even moved my body you would wake. You would nurse so many times a night that I thought I would dry up and fade away. The women in my life told me to let you cry it out. But I knew that you needed me in a way I couldn't explain. Something inside of me knew I had to do this for you.

Then you turned 2 and I knew you were ready. I told you that we would be having our last nurse before you fell asleep and then nurse again in the morning. We spent two nights with you hitting me, screaming at me, punching my back because I had to turn away and cry while you worked out your pain.

My relationship with the man I fell in love with at 19 suffered because I had nothing in me to give him. I was used up. Neither of us blame kids, but we both know that we lost each other.

I protected you with a fierceness that only a mama bear, or a mama with a child with highly sensitive needs understands. You became my world. I no longer recognized myself. You were my reality.

We would go to story time, you were almost three years old, me pregnant with your brother, and you would have to nurse 4 times to make it through. Thank God for my friends who I met when we moved, who also nursed toddlers. I'm not sure I would have made it through that time without them.

I loved your sensitivity. I nurtured it. I lived it. I became it. I am it.

Now you are 11. Sensitive. Beautiful. Smarter than I may ever have been. Not obesessed with boys (can't relate!). An artist that somehow grew from my belly.

Yes Chloe, I do understand your sensitivity.

Inside of my own sensitivity I didn't know how to just let you be seen and understood. Then your father told me to say sorry. And when I did you looked at me with such joy and said, "Thank you." It was that simple.

You healed my own child's heart showing me how easy it can be. That I don't have to lecture you, or be right. That I can just say sorry and make your eyes sparkle and your love for me shine.

So I will say sorry over and over and over when I make you feel wrong. Because well, I'm kind of senstitive too.

I kind of really truly love us this way.



My HSP favorite things.

When my 5 year old screams because he has to change his pants and can't transition from one pair into the next I can feel it. He is a highly sensitive child with highly sensitive skin. I have the same skin. I remember as a child the feeling of a sweater on my skin making me want to climb out of my body.

I spent years buying clothes in stores that I loved but when I got home would put on and change within 10 minutes. My husband would know the level of my sensitivity based on how many piles of clothes were laying on the floor after a manic morning trying on outfit after outfit.

Once I discovered these Etsy designers getting dressed changed. I stopped spending money on clothes that ended up at Salvation Army and invested more money in fewer pieces.

Here is what I need. Soft, soft fabric. It needs to flow and feel like part of how I move. I need my color story. Black, white, grey, mocha. Mostly black. I feel right in that story.

These are some of my favorites.

collage black1. Onor oversized sweater, feels like a throw back to my youth. The sweater I would have always wanted. I have trouble feeling comfortable in sweaters. This one I can wear. Not scratchy and in my favorite slouchy style. Don't get thrown by the maternity listing, all of her shirts are big but you don't need to be pregnant. I own so many of her shirts and can't get enough. I can't wear tight shirts over my belly and so this style is the one I have been so excited to find.

2. LeMuse evening cotton black asymmetric dress. I feel fully like myself in this dress. I wear it with a chunky belt and long socks with sassy boots. It feels like the softest fabric falling over your skin.

3. Marcella Moda clothes fill my closet. The butterfly. I have 2 of these and it is the shirt I put on when I feel wrong in my skin. When I can't get dressed without feeling a bit panicked. They are 20% off today and I will probably get another! Maybe in another color. I feel beautiful in this shirt.

4. Trixy Xchange long black arm warmers. I live in these. I don't like long sleeves, I prefer a 3/4 sleeve (my sensitivity thing) or sleeves that I can push up to 3/4 and so putting on these makes me a little warmer and feel really cozy and funky.

And these are some of my favorite things.

collage favs1. Trust yourself is my scent. Anna is amazing. The description of this alone makes you feel more in your body.

2. Patina Pleat Ring my favorite ring. I lost it. My kid said, "Maybe it is in the toilet and someone flushed it." And since it is the last place I left it, the bathroom not the toilet, I kind of think it may have been flushed. I asked for a new one for Christmas.

3. Buy music directly from the artist. Jonatha is beyond incredible, she is a spirit guide of voice and story.

4. Not shown is my favorite new infinity scarf. I have it in black and probably need it in another color. Infinity scarves are the only ones I can wear, they don't fall off or need adjusting. They make an outfit go from boring to put together. And I think they feel sexy.

A little lipstick talk with mascara thrown in.

 collage lipstick

 1. 2. Bite lipstick in Moscato and Sancerre. It is so smooth and gorgeous and cashmere-like.

3. Heat wave. Hot. Yummy. Sexy.

4. Love this stuff, love the bamboo.

A few of my favorite things. Happy Holidays loves.


if you travel far enough.


"If you travel far enough,

one day you will recognize yourself

coming down the road to meet you.

And you will say


~ Marion Woodward

An answer to a beautiful question...

Sometimes I wake up and I have pains from my head down my jaw and into my shoulders. Maybe sinus,maybe clenching, maybe stress but most likely all three. I should take stock in Motrin.

I get panic attacks. They have become more like waves than sitting outside the emergency room waiting for the impending heart attack. Those were last year. This year the waves.

My kids fight a lot of the time and it brings me to my knees. And then I yell and knees aren't low enough for how I fall.

I put on weight when I am in a place of unknowing, or cocooning, or feeling scared. And then looking in the mirror is hard. I do it anyway and it can feel like physical pain to know that I am back here again. Learning the same thing over and over and over.

And over. And needing the next size jeans.

I forget to drink water. I wish I could be hooked up to an IV and hydrated once a week. Sometimes I even buy a gatorade and drink it as fast as I can.

I am driving on two flat tires because making appointments to have things or teeth or body parts fixed is not my strength.

I killed my daughter's fish, got mad at Patrick last night because I didn't think he was being supportive (think being the word here) and let my 8 year old stay home because I didn't want to be alone today.

When I got my circle tattoo on my finger they didn't close the circle. I thought they did. But they didn't. And I believe it is the Universe giving me a sign and maybe someday I will close it. Or not.

Sometimes I hurt when I think friends no longer like me or don't need what I give. When I put my heart into things and then feel sad. The fear of losing relationships a constant and getting lost in that, but more than that. Knowing that it does happen and I will be OK. I will be OK.

Some days I can't find my gratitude and I feel like I complained and hid and threw tantrums.

There are memories that haunt me and cycle back into my body and I want to free them.

I am intense and it can be a lot for others to hold.

At 6pm I realize I have nothing for dinner.

This is why my hot cup of coffee each morning made for me with love is sacred.
This is why I wear beautiful jewelry every day and dress myself for how I want to feel.
This is why I pray through words, altars, surrender, tea bags, giggles, connection, texts.
This is why fresh flowers matter.
This is why I send love notes through Fb, texts, the mail, feathers, lipstick, emails.
This is why the picture of the feather my daughter drew for me reminds me that she is watching.
This is why I circle with women who believe in magic and risk and doing things that feel out of their comfort zone.
This is why I keep trying and hoping when every sign points to the shitstorm.
This is why soulwork saves my soul.
This is why there are so many pictures of me on Instagram.
This is why one bite of a chocolate cupcake wearing a vegan leather jacket can feel like a tiny piece of bliss.
This is why gratitude looks like a piece of pie or meeting your girlfriend at the mall on a Wednesday night or patience for feelings you have inside.
This is why I often send out the SOS text for a bottle of red around 5:00pm.
This is why that hug on the beach, barefoot and crying will happen. Over and over.
This is why when I find a shirt that feels like heaven on my skin I buy 4. And then 5.
This is why I don't have to ask how you feel but rather how you want to feel inside of your beautiful dreams.
This is why your stories are mine. Mine yours. And every word is precious.
This is why beautiful is one of my favorite words and joy lives in my gut.
This is why I no longer try to make everyone happy but rather live in my truth.
This is why the irony of scared and sacred isn't lost on me.
This is why there is no doubt magic exists.
This is why love takes so many shapes. Even an unclosed circle.
This is why I love this life now.
This is why I say thank you to my own heart.
This is why when I go to bed I think about who I want to be the next day.
This is why waking up to that coffee is my starting moment, with each sip telling me a story of now.

This is why.

Because it isn't happening to me, it is happening within me.

This is why.

The shifts that I can make blow my mind. So can the sadness I feel. So can the love.

This is why seeing how much beauty exists, even inside of pain, forever guides me.

This is why I travel.

This is my yes.


(From Thursday morning love letter from me to you. Sign up in the box up there on the right to receive your little Thursday morning love.)

My answer.

Photo Ruth Clark Photography.

The Loft Autumn Series ~ Chocolate Night

persephone and Hannah before

Persephone Brown hosts Chocolate Night!!!

I am thrilled to welcome Persephone back to The Loft after her sold out (and then a few more squeezed in) Spring Feast where she brought us gorgeous food and wine and the understanding of each food's preparation. One of the women reported to having more fun than she thought possible at a cooking night!

The idea for chocolate night was cooked up I'm pretty sure as the Spring Feast dishes were being washed! I love food. I love Persephone. And I love bringing women together at The Loft, to feel kindred, to laugh, to rest while being nurtured.

Date: Friday, November 22nd, 6:30pm-10:30pm

Cost: $85 (includes a spot in The Holiday Joy Up, oh yes!)

 Add to Cart

"Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.”

― Joanne Harris

Celebration of life, settled on our tongue. Chocolate.

At the Loft we laugh. We celebrate. We dine, and wine, and sigh at the beauty and the goodness of it all. This chocolate night will be a heightened experience brought alive from the flavors, scents, and fluidity of this food from the Gods. The menu will vary from rich and raw to savory and simple. Wine is paired to take you further into the evening’s experience. Leave with a little something to take home with you, and an arsenal of new recipes which will bring love into your kitchen, the way only chocolate can.

 mara's glassA perfect recipe starts with flavor, then color. A perfect dish grabs hold of all of your senses, you smile at the sight of its beauty, the textures dance on your tongue. A perfect meal nourishes you beyond healthy nail beds and belly, with story, and laughter, and soft colorful cloth napkins. A perfect meal is messy, and simple, and lovingly prepared. The first bite you dance, the last bite you sigh, and every moment in between, all that exists is love.



Our amazing menu:

Marinated Brussel Sprout Salad

White Chocolate Baba Gannouj

Cocoa ~ Mushroom Caponata

Cacao and Red Wine Braised Beef

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Lover’s Mousse

Wine, & plenty of surprises.

All dishes prepared will be gluten and dairy free.  Please let us know of any dietary restrictions you may have, and we will do our best to accommodate you.

 Add to Cart
 food on table
persephone cooking classPersephone Brown is a Certified Health Coach, with certification from the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. A graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and Columbia Teachers College of New York City. Spending a number of years cooking for herself (as a vegan, vegetarian, and now carnivore) and as the baker for the Juice and Java Cafe she learned the art of making healthy beautiful food that tastes good and warms your core.

Persephone uses her education and experience with food, to support women to clear the static and get real clear on what works for them. She has guided hundreds of whole food cleanses, teaching people to take that first step for their health and their life. Clarity is a beautiful thing when you're deciding where it is you want to go. A healthy digestive system and healthy mind help you get there.


The Holiday Joy Up 2013

590 pic

When you dance in the magic something opens up inside and the desire for more joy, dreams and passion becomes the mission of the heart.

December 1st to the 24th

Magic. Sparkly nights. Soft space. Blessings. Hope. Sexy shoes. Red lipstick. Glitter on the floor. Gluten and dairy free pumpkin pie. Memories. Beauty. Now.

These 24 days are about connecting to daily gratitude, creating everyday magic, feeling filled with connection (rather than sugar), truthfulness, radiating love and that twinkle of inspiration for creating a season of joy.

Gratitude + Love + Magic = Holiday Joy

24 days of holiday letters holding inside of them:

  • Inspiration towards making more daily magical moments
  • Reminders of what truly matters to us through holiday joy affirmations
  • Gratitude makers - think noise makers full of gratitude - through soulwork assignments
  • Recipes that make your taste buds joyful and your body gorgeous
  • Daily sparkles, tingles, twinkles, fluttering...magic of the season


Reminders to dance in the magic of the season:

  • Support from your joy tribe
  • Inspirations for sharing the love of the season
  • Twinkles of gratitude
  • Joyful giving and receiving
  • Gorgeous holiday living

Shifting into joy for the present moments:

  • Feeling love for who we are now, yes, now
  • Simple ways of showing love through the sharing and receiving of gifts and gestures
  • Mindfulness and joy that come from the simple, ordinary tasks of our life
  • Transforming the everyday into joyful holiday magic through Soulwork
  • Fully being inside of the joy of the season


Recipes to connect you deeper to your health:

  • Grain-free and mostly dairy free, like me!

Here is how we move into the magic:

  • A letter each morning delivered to your email, like a daily gift of gratitude
  • 24 days of inspiration
  • A Facebook Joy Tribe Group to chat in, share inspiration, pictures and the magic of the season
  • Magical guests contributing their sparkle and gratitude
  • Watch your holiday joy start to sparkle as you dance in the magic
  • I celebrate Christmas but this is for celebrating the season, not a specific holiday
  • Share the magic we will be dancing in, sign up with a soulsister
  • $49.00
  • Or join and gift to a soulsister $70.00
  • December 1st to the 24th


I always smell joy and the excitement in the air, see it in the lights that start to sparkle and taste it in the homemade applesauce simmering away on the stove. This time together is about focusing on those special moments and making memories. Taking the stress and pressures and flipping them into gratitude, love and joy! Let's discover the magic of the twinkle together.

Here is my love note to you:

  • I believe you are amazing
  • I believe in you connecting to the special
  • I believe in the magic of all you are
  • I believe in you

"Hannah has changed the way I breathe." ~ Maria

"Thank you for giving us your all, it allows us to do the same for ourselves." ~ Izabela

"I didn't even realize how far away I had traveled from my passions and joy until Hannah entered my life. What did I do without her?"~ Joanie

"The work you do is magical and impacts so much on the lives of the women that take part… including me." ~ Amy

"I value your words so much, they always speak to my heart. Thank you, I get so tired of reading other people's words all the time but yours are always special." ~ Jackie

"To feel that connection that exists between all of us, everywhere, is so refreshing and joyful." - Emily

"This time has been wonderful. I met Joy like an old friend coming back into my life. I am really enjoying the visit and hope that she stays." - Laura

"This has been the most precious of days ♥ !" - Stacy

"Thank you for these days, they will ripple into many more days to come." - Jenn

"Focusing on joy has allowed me to encourage and old friend and totally change the way I think about situations. I'm usually negative but these past days I have learned to speak the truth in my head out loud instead of letting the negative situations take over. It has been really amazing." - Rachel




Sponsoring gifts.

yes on paper

Every program I run, I give away spaces. I might do a give-away on the blog or on FB. I may offer others to host give-aways on their sites. I've secretly gifted spots to women I knew were ready but in financial difficulties. Part of my business model is gratitude. This is a way I feel gratitude and pay-it-forward.

After the Joy Up's first year I received a note from a woman who had been in the Joy Up alumni group for a few months. She wanted to sponsor another woman in the alumni group who she knew was stretched financially. She did so anonymously. Then another woman sponsored. Then another. All anonymously.

It expanded my heart. I realized that I had brought together women who were deeply compassionate, giving and who believed in the message of joy. It was freaking awesome.

Then I started to add a lower rate to join with a soulsister. Women were gifting their friends and sisters, bringing them into 'the tribe.'

This August I wanted to give back. Keep the pay-it-forward cycle in full momentum.

To sponsor someone, you simply choose someone you know or you can sponsor someone that we have who has requested a scholarship. Typically during a joy up about 10 requests come in to us.

Each time you sponsor someone your name goes into a virtual raffle.

When registration closes at the end of July three names will be drawn.

The prizes are::

  • A two night’s stay at The Loft with a friend or your partner. I will stock the fridge with Prosecco and chocolate covered strawberries. I’ll leave crisp white linens on the bed. I’ll tell you all the cool places to go in Providence. And if you want, I’ll hang out for a while too! To be used by January 2013. The date will be arranged around workshops and events happening at The Loft.
  • Joy in a box. I’ll send you a box full of gifts, things I love, to help you celebrate your life, your passion and pleasure and the vibration you are raising of joy in your heart and in the Universe. You’ll love it, promise.
  • A Tiny Devotions Mala of your choosing. Cause I love mine and think you’ll love one as much as I do.

Every time I am feeling nervous about money I find a way to give. I just came from a really expensive trip to an event that required plane tickets, hotel rooms, lots of eating out and then at the end of the event a chance to purchase a ticket for the event next year. Which I did.

I found myself inside of this feeling of lack. I don't typically spend that much money at one time. I felt a bit selfish.
While I don't need to feel nervous my old stories around money started to pull themselves up from my belly, my gut. I heard the voices telling me how irresponsible I am with money. I heard the voices laughing at me that I believe in my own abundance. It surprised me. I've put in years of building my business to be here. I've worked through these old stories.
I started to worry about the rent I pay for the Loft, the two employees I pay, the items I still need to finish designing the Loft space.
I had a moment.
check with $20
So the next thing I did was to leave a $20 tip on a $17 bill at a restaurant as I was waiting for my plane back to Boston. I already am a super big tipper. It has felt crazy good to me to leave more than 20% as often as I can.
It was the woman's 25th birthday and I had watched her go from table to table and she was pure joy. She said at least 4 nights a week their restaurant stays open because the 10:45pm Boston flight is always late, they stay open until the plane boards. Tonight was one of those nights. And she was so excited to go out after they closed to celebrate her birthday.
She wasn't crabby or whiny or ungrateful. She was full of gratitude. For her special day, for the fact that she could be there for me to have a glass of wine and the guy across from me to have his beer and the older man on the other side to have his burger and talk and talk. She was grateful.
So as the voices surfaced for me around spending I decided to buy her a couple drinks at her celebration. Pay-it-forward. Feel gratitude. Give.
Thank the voices for reminding me how grateful I am to be where I am.
And I thank you. For being here. For believing in the work I do. For gifting women the chance to step deeper into joy and understand that we choose how we want to feel.
Thank you.
I can't wait to virtually pull the names out of the hat.
joy up promo 480


Love Note to Britta.

me and britta

When I launched Spirits of Joy last September, on my birthday, in gift form as part of my practice of gratitude, over 600 women signed up in one day. I didn't even have the head space to take in that kind of number. My paid programs can hit about 200 over the course of a month and despite the fact that it was a gift it is still a powerful exchange of energy to sign up for a course, and it felt really big.

Big in a way that I wasn't sure I was ready to hold the bigness.

I had the bones of the course but needed to fill it in and simplify it for the 30 days. Every time I would sit down to write I would go blank, numb out or start crying.

I skyped with my coach Britta.

I cried into my cloth napkin. I was in an upper limit crisis and she held it with me. Softly we talked about my fear of being so seen and witnessed and that now every word felt like it was being judged or held infront of eyes that would surely tell me I was a fake. I cried more.

This is a place we will all get to, most likely not just once. When we move past what we have held as limiting beliefs and into what we at a soullular level have always known to be true.

She had me send her some test letters from the program. And each one I sent she explained why it worked, why it was exactly as it should be, why I didn't need to push any harder.

I manifested my coach into my life.

A couple years ago I connected with a publisher or book agent or something (I can't remember) who lived in the town Britta lives. I remember adding to my visions that I would work on my book, my writing, my message in word form with a woman from this town. I couldn't remember her name or website so she was really indescript.

Britta came into my life through one of my Joy Up programs.

One day shortly after she became a book coach. We have been coaching each other since. This woman from this town who is helping me with my message in word form. I like to say I manifested her. She is also one of my best friends. We match.

My book coach is having a baby. Well, two babies actually.

Her family of four will soon be six and I am wrapping them in love bubbles as I know how this transition will feel a bit like my upper limit and last a hell of a lot longer. You know the thing you've wanted so deeply and then you get even more than you expected? Like that. I imagine twins can feel like that.

I am in a place of transition and discovery and bigness in so many ways right now, in this moment.

My coach sends me notes to let me know I am being seen and has taught me how to share more details so that I can connect to my readers in the way I long for, they long for.

She breaks shit down for me that I could never see. Each time I see an email from her it is like opening a love note (my love language is words of affirmation) and I trust her to guide me closer and closer to my book.

One day we had a drink together in her magical town.

She asked me one question that changed everything in my life and allowed me to move into my truth. (For now I keep that detail my own!) That was us as friends, thank you Universe for friends like that.

This is my love note to Britta.

Britta, the way I write, the way I show up in this world is forever altered and my spirit feels her wings because one day I manifested you, from your town, to help me share my message through words.

Damn, I visioned that one right.

When I launched Spirits of Joy again, this time as a paid program, I was able to look back at the last 5 ish months and see and feel the bigness. I remembered the cloth napkin I cried into. I saw the women in my mind who showed up for themselves and started to learn how magical visioning is.

And I needed to say thank you.

Spirits of Joy header



I want.

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

~ Rumi

I want to be settled being with myself, not worrying about loneliness.

I want to fall onto a bed full of the softest pillows and giggle with pleasure, not worrying that my teeth show when I smile big.

I want to look you in the eyes without pulling my gaze away, not worrying about my reactions or face, just being there as listener.

I want to dance when you play the music of your heart, not worrying if I look silly.

I want to open in embrace, not worrying about being wrong.

I want to surrender to my fear of having, not worrying about who judges or sees.

I want to fly off the cliff into the gentle water, not worrying that I am up too high.

I want to dance and open like the soul dances and opens, not worrying about what was or what will be.

I want to be here now, with you, all of you, not worrying about what could be, simply being.

I want for you the openess of surrender and the dance of joyful presence, not worrying about feeling wrong each day when you open your eyes.

There is no wrong. But there is wanting. And you sweet one, you may want and want and want...


This is my love note, from me to you. Each Thursday I send out a love note to my community who has signed up - right there in that little box in the upper right hand corner of my website - to receive them from me. When I write this note it is also from me to me. Right where I am. How I am taking up space and energy and shinging or hiding or bearing down or releasing. It is present, it is real.

I want to invite you into the poetry of my truth and allow the words to find you right where you are.

dance and open.

dance and open.

Why I am lonely. #operationselfcarelikewhoa

The prayer. I prayed that I would stop being so lonely and that for just 5 minutes I could close my eyes and everything I had built in my business would still be there.

Lonely. Married with three kids. Friends by the dozens. Family all around. Hundreds of women inside of the most amazing tribes formed in my work. Teaching programs about joy.

Lonely. I sent the prayer up and since then its cascading message has been my beautiful work of learning to receive its truth.

Lonely. I find a journal from 1994. "Why is it that I am so lonely and scared inside of a relationship and without one?" I was 19. "I feel like I'm losing myself." She left me a note from the past and I thank her deeply.

Lonely. To my core. Not because I'm not living a beautiful life, because I never learned how to be OK as me. To be whole and true and loved by me without the safety of another.

Lonely. Recently our marriage was rocked, deeply. Again. We both realized that we have so much healing to do as our own selves, outside of the 'us.' We don't know what this means or what it will look like in 5 months or a year. But we are going through it with love and compassion and a whole lot of time to discover.

Lonely. Teaching myself, guiding myself to be with myself. Just me feeling whole and complete and inside this gorgeous life. Sometimes I feel like I am 19 again. Like I can feel her, see her, touch her. We aren't that far away.

Lonely. And I am so OK with being here. I see this as all my life leading up to this moment of now. Of now. Of knowing that I can be in this place and not suffer. I can be here and in sadness or joy I can know me.

Lonely. I am seeking space to know her. That 19 year old and the 38 year old who is ready to look her in the eye and promise her that now we are strong enough. Now we have the spirit guides. We have the truth of now.

Lonely. I am joyful to be here. I am grateful inside of grateful to have said that prayer. To be here.

Lonely. To know that everything I teach is my guide. To know that you may be lonely too and I am breaking the silence for us.

Lonely. I am so excited to journey into this soulwork of becoming safe inside and no longer searching for that safety outside of myself. I pray that this is a gift I give to my children. But mostly to myself. A gift precious of wants and desires, a feeling of being juicy and alive with wholeness. Of knowing connectedness in its purest state.

Lonely. Yes. Yes. And joyful.

And I have closed my eyes and the words are still there. I have closed my eyes and nothing faded away. I have closed my eyes and shown you my tears and you all whispered, I see you, thank you for seeing me.

Everything changes inside of #operationselfcarelikewhoa. (pictures on Instagram @hannahmarcotti)

Thank you God. Thank you Universe. Thank you lonely.

Knowing where you are and stating it allows you to change everything. Without that truth, and yes it can take 19 years to find, the next words to the story won't match up.

Perhaps we all must go through a time of losing ourselves so that we step on this path and journey to our heart's calling. I am devouring the journey. Lonely is a gift of leading us to discover peace inside.

Finding feathers along my path has allowed me flight and in this flight I can see the beauty surrounding me.

And so it is. Inside of this awakening.

(More on #operationselfcarelikewhoa to come!!)

Spirits of joy is coming to and you!

I have a plane ticket. Some of my dearest friends are going to house me and laugh with me and let me breathe in the gorgeousness of a state I have never been too.

Vision Books and Stories of the Spirit.

This is the video for the DIY Spirits of Joy, I thought it would be fun to share with you all and I would be so blessed to sit, glue, laugh and possibly let a few tears flow if you are in the CA area. It will be magical.

Spirits of Joy 30 Prompts from Hannah Marcotti on Vimeo.

You can sign up for the workshop January 5th, 2013 here.


Sometimes I am humbled beyond words. I asked the Spirits of Joy Tribe (which you will be added to if you attend the workshop) if they could help me communicate the power of this work. Bam. I might have needed tissues.

"As a visual artist Hannah Marcotti and her Joy Book process have gently rocked my world. She has returned me to the JOY of my voice and my work. I am painting, creating, expressing again... and this time it all means so much more!"

"Vision Work. Gentle. Powerful. Joy creating. The most beautiful gift I've ever received, and the most joy filled soul work I've ever done. Gratitude and appreciation for all I have received from this."

"Hannah has changed my life...her thoughts and words are that good!"

"Visioning with Hanaah has opened my eyes and days up to Magic. Her often simple but very powerful prompts and poetic words never fail to inspire me and to help me gently dig a bit deeper to unearth what I truly seek in creating a life I love. I am truly grateful to have "found" her and know that this beautiful work will continue to be transformative."

"I have no idea how I found out about Hannah Marcotti but I'm so glad I did. I have worked with her one-on-one and taken part in her online programs. Through her gentle guidance and honest heart I have begun to feel joy again. This happened slowly and without my noticing. So very grateful!"

"It allowed me to SEE, and to dream bigger dreams, because I was able to SEE what is possible. It has guided me, and clarified my vision."

"I walked around each day glowing from within and with the sensation that I was surrounded by sparkles and magic! Hannah's courses are a gift for your soul."

"This new awareness of myself has led me to be more in tune with the universe, more focused on the magic around me and the joy in my life."

"I am inspired to dream, envision and set intentions for living a truly authentic, soulful and joy-filled life. She has a gift for encouraging depth & meaning through beauty and simplicity."

"Taking Hannah Marcotti's Spirits of Joy ecourse was transformational. Her gentle guiding prompts and her encouragement to be open to the possibilities of what the universe has to offer gave me the opportunity to listen to parts of my soul that have long been neglected, and to truly hear my heart sing her song of Truth. Finding my truth, finding my visions, looking at ways to manifest my desires for the future into the reality of today... all of this was brought to me by Hannah and I am deeply grateful for her and the joy she has inspired in my life."

"What I have learned is that there is joy everywhere, even in sadness, even in fear. Hannah taught me to honor how I feel and empowered me to grow my spirit."

"I have no idea why cutting, placing, sticking, and playing changes my world and my feelings so profoundly - but it DOES! It must by-pass that naughty bit of the brain that likes to analyse, reason, play-down, be pessimistic etc. Then of course there is the fact that you just made something real, right there in front of you. You breathed life into those dreams and dared to put them out there. Their form usually surprised me, and the fact that I could be surprised when it was I who had done it all myself, was... surprising! All in all, a peculiar, intriguing, fascinating and wonderful experience with an incredible 'end' result."

"Hannah has magic flowing through her veins. She sweetly and boldly challenged me to look within myself, gave me the courage own my truths, and guided me to realize that we all have a little magic coursing through our veins."

"I am a sensitive person. Hannah's gentle, nurturing spirit was perfect for me.I love all the ways of bringing magic and ceremony into day to day life.The process of letting our word find us was very interesting. Mine was Sanctuary. I now purposefully make my bed, thanking it for being a restful sanctuary. A little thing, but it fills me up. This class really spoke to my heart."

"Hannah's energy danced and leapt into my world, took me by the hand and gently reintroduced me to a part of me I'd been missing."




What surprises you?

I finished an interview for my sweet girl Laura and I won't give away the question that inspired the post (I'll let you wait for the interview) but it had to do with being surprised. I never had a surprise party, not sure my sensitive self would take well to one, I like a plan, but surprises exist around me every day, around all of us. The Universe seems to deal in surprises, often just as we think we have it all down.

I am surprised every single time someone signs up to work with me. Truth.

I am surprised when I see Chloe's hot chocolate and it has the most beautiful heart on top. Hearts are everywhere once you open your eyes to them.

I am surprised at how many people I love have whispered the words, "Be careful what you wish for, you might get it." Because it always shows up differently than you imagined. Because it is often freaking hard ass work. Because when we manifest we have to release the details.

I am surprised that I get to use my gift of sensitivity and love for heart-centered business to make a living. This one may never go away, I hope it doesn't. I am humbled all the time, over and over. Humbling surprises.

I am surprised that after being gone from the boys for 6 hours that they jump up and down waiting to hug me. "Time for mama-hugs."

I am surprised that I am learning to save money. Shocked might be a better word. I have declared 2013 the year that I finally accept I am truly building a solid business and come up with systems and a plan and save up for the attic remodel that I've been dreaming of since the day I stepped foot into this house.

I am surprised that just when you think you understand you, a new you is ready to come forth, building upon that knowing. Thank God, Goddess, the Universe. Have I mentioned how much I adore being 38?

I am surprised that being 20 pounds over what I forced my body to be at for most of my life that I finally feel beautiful and sexy. Doesn't mean I don't sometimes wish some of it would melt away, but I have a deep trust that this is where I am meant to be. And I've learned how to dress myself to feel gorgeous. (Still working on the bathing suit, thank goodness I have a loooong winter season to figure that out.)

I am surprised at how vulnerable newness makes me feel. And ya'll may know how much I crave change.

I'm surprised when I don't know. I still feel this very strong attachment to needing answers right away and the waiting is unfamiliar, still.

I am surprised at the gorgeous community that has come together around my work. My heart still gets lit up every time connections are made and inspirations are shared. I. Am. Blessed.

And you? What surprises you? Love to hear down below, or as my Community Grace Community knows, I'd love for you to write your own post on what surprises you and then come back and link it up below for all of us to share.

Magical moments, feeling phrases and guiding words.

As you may be, I'm spending a fair amount of time reflecting on the past year. I am finishing up a program called Community Grace that has stolen such a chunk of my heart right now. I was walking the dog one day and had an idea that looked like a long wooden table set with white plates and bowls and mismatched napkins. I saw a coming together of community around grace.

I let it play around in my head for a while and kept not knowing what it would look like. I was in love with the name and every time I thought of it something new came to mind. When I realized what the program was I felt really scared.

We always hear others say (I know, I know, I say it too...all the time) that our sweet spot is what comes easily to us. Connection and community are my sweet spot. Feeling phrases, magical moments and guiding words -- these are my secret ingredients whenever I am mixing up something new.

I was scared because I knew that I would be guiding this program based on feelings. Feelings are what I know better than anything, my intelligence is highly emotional.

I had that moment of knowing that this was so deeply, desirously what I wanted to do. Would the 60 women who signed up think I was nuts when I asked them to start with a feeling mantra?

I was truly scared of this and also more sure than anything that this program wanted to flow through me. My sweet spot. This is what I do.

Creating this program, I knew that I'd be telling real stories, rather like I am now, so that these beautiful women would know that faith is scary. And gorgeous. And real.

Guiding soulwork, feeling and inspired action based prompts, this is what my year has been about. Soulwork for my tribe, soulwork for my heart, soulwork for my life.

As I reflect on the year I am doing much, much, much work around what I want 2013 to be about. I am starting with the magical moments, the feeling phrases and the guiding words.

When I'm ready to take a big leap in my business I see myself there. I notice what I'm wearing, where I am, the pen I'm holding, the way the weather is outside, the people around me, the feeling that I have inside. I see details. Then I release them into the Universe.


Thursday night we'll be gathering on the phone and joining voices and closing our eyes in guided meditation together. I'm giddy for this time to hear from some of my community who have changed my life by adding such depth, richness and joy.





Making space for blessings, wishes...

December 1st we start to dance in the magic of the holiday and spend time with magic, blessings, ritual, letters from the heart, soulwork, reindeer (or bird) magical food, handmade stars, the beautiful smells of pie and more sprinklings of joy.

Join me along with members of the joy tribe on Thursday, November 29th at 8:30 pm Eastern Time as we kick off the Holiday Joy Up with words, meditation, stories of past joy ups and the inspiration for stepping into the Holiday with softness.

I've had a little thought playing in my head of joining some of the voices of the joy tribe together in this way and when I asked them, there was a resounding yes. Grab your eggnog and candy canes and meet us virtually from your cozy house in your jammies as we ring in the joy.

Yes, there will be magic.


Holiday bounty and my sweet friends.

With The Holiday Joy Up launched out into the world I am always humbled as the women start to gather together and form a community, a tribe, weeks before we even begin. Not everyone chooses to go through their days in group support, for some it is a chance to be quiet with their own thoughts and goals and dreams. I do love Soulwork in tribe though, there is something about going through an experience together that feels like magic.

We will be dancing in the magic together.

The Holiday Joy Up started as 10 days, as did all the Joy Ups (this was the video that started them all)! When it felt time to change things up the days were extended and now all of my programs are getting little make-overs to extend them so we have more time together and can travel together at a relaxed pace.

One woman said to me that at the end of December she will have had an email from me almost every morning for 3 months! I love this, showing up each morning with you and being part of the process of joy, change, heart-based purpose and learning more about who you are is my gorgeous life's work. I am truly grateful.

Please know that each joy up there are scholarships available if money is an issue for you in this moment. Women from past joy tribes who have gifted spots waiting for someone to fill them, if that is you, send an email to to be matched up with a sponsor. One of the most magical parts is that often it is the women who started a joy up journey on scholarship are now gifting spots. The Joy Ups are that powerful, bringing us into places of abundance as we work through the tough stuff that brings us into our light.

My sweet friends are spreading their own magic.

I want to share with you some of the other Holiday offerings that some of my dearest friends have planned. I know that something on this list may resonate for you and be just what you were looking for in your own heart or for someone you love. I feel abundantly blessed to share their heart-based work with you. If you don't know these women you are in for a treat, pure delicious treat.

(Please note I am not an affiliate, just a loving friend to these women.)

Water your soul. ~ Liz Lamoreux

Wisdom Notes. ~ Rachel Cole

Santa Pause. ~ Kristin Noelle

30 Day Social Media Rehab. ~ Tiffany Han

Breathe Peace. ~ Jenn Gibson

New Mama Recharge. (In January) ~ Michelle Pfennighaus

In Community Grace we are doing some work around finding our feeling mantra. Mine is to feel inspired to create magic. Whether it is with my communities, the connections I make with clients, in my cozy family, with my book coach, long talks with my mastermind group, moments of clarity and joy from those I am deeply connected to, making space in my home and heart or simply as I sit down to write; I feel inspired to create magic.

Attaching my intentions with that feeling is what moves me forward, helps me dig deep into my own personal magic. I'll be sharing some stories from the Community Grace group as I know you will be as moved as I am by their personal grace.

The Holiday Joy Up 2012

Join us for Holiday Joy Up 2013 over here!!!!

When you dance in the magic something opens up inside and the desire for more joy, dreams and passion becomes the mission of the heart.

December 1st to the 22nd

As we approach the Holidays it is easy to lose focus on joy, we want magic and sparkly nights, not stress and fights! Pressures arise and we are faced with decisions to make and food indulgences on every table.

These 22 days are about connecting to daily gratitude, creating everyday magic, feeling filled with connection (rather than sugar), truthfulness, radiating love and that twinkle of inspiration for creating a season of joy.

Gratitude + Love + Magic = Holiday Joy

 22 days of holiday letters holding inside of them:

  • Inspiration towards making more daily magical moments
  • Reminders of what truly matters to us through holiday joy affirmations
  • Gratitude makers - think noise makers full of gratitude - through soulwork assignments
  • Recipes that make your taste buds joyful and your body gorgeous
  • Daily sparkles, tingles, twinkles, fluttering...magic of the season

Reminders to dance in the magic of the season:

  • Support from your joy tribe
  • Inspirations for sharing the love of the season
  • Twinkles of gratitude
  • Joyful giving and receiving
  • Gorgeous holiday living

Shifting into joy for the present moments:

  • Feeling love for who we are now, yes, now
  • Simple ways of showing love through the sharing and receiving of gifts and gestures
  • Mindfulness and joy that come from the simple, ordinary tasks of our life
  • Transforming the everyday into joyful holiday magic through Soulwork
  • Fully being inside of the joy of the season


Magical guests contributing their sparkle and gratitude:

Recipes to connect you deeper to your health:

  • Grain-free and mostly dairy free, like me!

Here is how we move into the magic:

  • A letter each morning delivered to your email, like a daily gift of gratitude
  • 22 days of inspiration
  • A Facebook Joy Tribe Group to chat in, share inspiration, pictures and the magic of the season
  • Watch your holiday joy start to sparkle as you dance in the magic
  •  I celebrate Christmas but this is for celebrating the season, not a specific holiday
  • Share the magic we will be dancing in, sign up with a soulsister
  • $22.00 for 22 days
  • Or join and gift to a soulsister for $38.00
  • December 1st to the 22nd

I always smell joy and the excitement in the air, see it in the lights that start to sparkle and taste it in the homemade applesauce simmering away on the stove. This time together is about focusing on those special moments and making memories. Taking the stress and pressures and flipping them into gratitude, love and joy! Let's discover the magic of the twinkle together.

Here is my love note to you:

  • I believe you are amazing
  • I believe in you connecting to the special
  • I believe in the magic of all you are
  • I believe in you








"To feel that connection that exists between all of us, everywhere, is so refreshing and joyful." - Emily

"This time has been wonderful. I met Joy like an old friend coming back into my life. I am really enjoying the visit and hope that she stays." - Laura

"This has been the most precious of days ♥ !" - Stacy

"Thank you for these days, they will ripple into many more days to come." - Jenn

"Focusing on joy has allowed me to encourage and old friend and totally change the way I think about situations. I'm usually negative but these past days I have learned to speak the truth in my head out loud instead of letting the negative situations take over. It has been really amazing." - Rachel

Exhaling the truth.

You may not believe me when I say my mornings are really tough until you realize that I wake up just like you. I have three kids under 10 and if you have children you may understand waking up to more expectations of you then you feel capable of meeting. Yes, there are giggles and there is joy but it is hard work. Often exhausting.

And I wonder where I fit into that puzzle. I wonder where my marriage fits into all of it. Maybe you wonder too.

Recently Patrick spent the week at home with me and I realized how deeply, deeply I miss him. Our lives are so separate from what were once lives in constant rhythm.

And I wonder how to heal that now, not in 5 years when the kids are older. Maybe you wonder too.

You may think that the me you see here, in these spaces is me until you realize I am just like you, everyone of us who have online personalities are more than what we ever show here. This is our persona, no matter how hard we try to bring you the truth, it will always be limited.

And I wonder how to align the different parts of myself, so that there is less of a gap between the me that shows up here and the me that lives in real time. Maybe you wonder too.

You may think I have patience and never eat just a small bag of potato chips I grabbed at the gas station for lunch until you realize that we all have so many unseen unspoken moments. We are going at a pace towards the change we long for and sometimes baked lays just taste so freaking good when we are too tired to make a salad.

And I wonder what it would be like if we could share more of those moments and start to bridge the gaps of perception and reality. Maybe you wonder too.

You may think you see me. I may think I see you.

And we do. We see pieces of each other. Part of the work we are doing is learning how to fit these pieces together, make them flow together even when they don't fit. Even when they make us angry or wanting to be something entirely transformed.

What I love about this life is that at any moment I can change. I can make a choice to feel differently. I can drop the anger. I can find new words. I can cut my hair or grow it longer than its ever been. I can wear feathers, get a tattoo, sell everything I own and move across the country. Somehow. There is always the somehow. There is always a way to change, to choose, to grow, to evolve.

And I wonder if you feel the gap closing in your own world and if you can see me more clearly each time we exhale the truth.

In real time. The giveaway that became my gift.

What started as a giveaway became story whispers from women in my community. I want to have 105 Malas around my neck to give to each one of the women who shared a piece of their story or offered encouragement or just said thank you. To me. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself. I hope that those of you who joined Spirits of Joy are holding onto it, wearing it, in just the way you might if I could send you each a beautiful Mala. You each touched my heart so deeply. So truthfully.

 Here are some of the whispers:::

Hannah…the pure way in which you express your passion for your family, your work and life is beautiful. Although our paths crossed only a few days ago through your kind offer of Spirits of Joy, I feel honored to know you. What you have created is magical and I’m proud and grateful to be a part of it. I own a Mala, gifted by a treasured friend, so I’m not posting here hoping to be a recipient of your kind offer, but to simply express my gratitude for the gift that is you! I’m certain your Mala already knows where it needs to go next.

Your lovely gesture- and all the beautiful comments that follow- are making me cry. I am so, so happy that 600 women are blessed to experience what I felt in that sweet little office space on Wayland. That Awakening Mala looks beautiful on you, friend.

I love the idea of this ‘give away’ as to me, it feels really special, as it has been so important for you and your family: as a symbol and as a part of daily rituals, which add so much to how we experience our daily lives.

Hannah, the short answer is yes! your Mala speaks to me. Shouts to me. At times, whispers intimately in my ear. Only really because it is yours, and you speak to me.

Weeping here. Hard. I’m telling you that I think that gratitude and gifting is The Answer. I feel like you have just lifted another veil for me. There's so much pain and dis-ease in grasping and holding expectations and “I’m owed that-ness“, and its just so hard to let go of because I’m scared. You, know?

This is such a beautiful outpouring of generosity, Hannah, cocooned inside that deep knowing you always seem to possess of when it’s time to shift the energy. As I learn to be still in my own life and to claim those blessings that manifest themselves in my everyday, I am so glad to have you as one of my “spirit guides in human form.” Thank you.

I sit here crying not only at your generosity…but also because I too am on a similar path…one speckled with obstacles at nearly every turn, and yet, I am trying to find the message in this journey, instead of being defeated by it. I have spent years wishing and hoping, and am now moving on to embrace those dreams you talk about.


The only word that keeps coming to mind is humbled. Every time I think it is about me giving I am given an opportunity to practice receiving in deeper ways. From my monkey mind saying, um, who would want a Mala that has been yours, to moving into the truth that this community that has gathered around is full of such love, truth and (here is my lesson) gratitude for this space and this work.

I breathe it in. I am in the truth of this. In real time.

As I have been wanting to launch a program all about community but talking myself out of it at every turn, who shows up to reinforce my work? My beautiful community. You. And you. And yes, you.

I read every comment multiple times and felt all of you, with me, infusing your stories into this Mala.

Christina W. writes, "Ahhh, just reading this post now and all the comments of Joy. As I sit already in a seat of gratitude from you, my smile is big thinking of what a wonderful gesture of spirit this is, moving through you to another. May the receiver be open to all its gifts and may your imprint be passed on through all wearers in the future chain. love. xo"

The Mala will be going to visit Christina on its next stop in this chain. It will carry a story, all of these story whispers. And a new story will start.

And we can all hold onto this mantra of receiving, this is what I am learning how to do, be truly open to all of the gifts when we learn how to accept as gracefully as we can give. Amen to that.

May the receiver be open to all its gifts.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I am so honored you are here.

In real time. And a Tiny Devotions Mala Giveaway.

Art by Cheryn from the August Joy Up, now resting in my kitchen!

A dive into gratitude this year, beginning with my 38th birthday. I offered my newest program, Spirits of Joy, just for that one day as my gift. Not even two hours after I announced my birthday gift there were 200 sign ups and the calm of birthday morning was quickly turned into rushing to find a new way to give out this gift. The system I set up was not able to allow more than 200 'free' things out in a day.

I fixed the problem after a few panicked phone calls to my support team, thank goodness they love me! By the end of the night over 500 sign ups. A huge silent and not so silent blessing to Susannah - xoxoxo - who writes one sentence about it and more sign up. And so many of you in this beautiful community shared this program not because of me and my little, um big, birthday but because you believe so deeply in this work.

After the day of giving I tucked a nice low price on it and by last night 600 women, exactly, were signed up.

This is freaking awesome and it scared the shit out of me. I felt a bit paralyzed by the truth of that.

It was magic.

And scary. I am beyond proud of the way I've created and dreamt my business. I love the way my work is unfolding because it is so completely me, not a formula, just my intuition and my love of heart-centered marketing. It never occurred to me to ask my friends to help me spread the word (now I know I could lovingly do so). So many of you did. This is about the journey but it is also about me learning to be where I am.

To accept the fear that came with 600 gorgeous souls being a part of this. Behind the scenes of this blog are a lot of hours, manifesting deep, real connections, saying to the kids "give me one more minute" and late, late nights. It is a part of me that keeps me pulsing now.

Each time the business grows I learn how to hold that new amount of energy, that is what we are doing when we create community, bringing our energy together. As a coach you learn how to guide without being drained and giving away your energy, this is a tender process that takes time to learn and develop.

I had a teary hour with my coach where she helped me find the space to shift back into my flow of writing. That is where the magic is, in this shift, making space to return to the words. The messages. The truths.

Day 1 started today. I'm sitting on the porch, markers and gluten-free pretzels that the kids abandoned for bikes. And I type. In real time.

Mala from me to you. My African Jade Mala, that has been with me for the last year, that I gifted to myself after last summer's joy up. I want to give it a new home, with one of you in this community that keeps me honest and reaching towards deeper grace in all I do.

My new Mala, Awakening, was a birthday present from sweet Jenny (The Biz Doula). From dreaming and learning to hold energy to discovering the possibilities inside of myself. My journey. The Jade Mala is ready to share energy with a new person. I love the idea of passing it forward. (And there might be a few more goodies to find their way into that package!)

I've wanted to do this for a while since my new Mala arrived. I thought maybe you all would think I was crazy giving away my necklace. But in real time. Doing it today. Just leave a comment if this Mala speaks to you. xo

IMG 3255 from Hannah Marcotti on Vimeo.

Stepping into the ease.

Part of the post is from a letter from The Joy Up, A 30 Day Journey. Shared with love::

Learning to love myself, finally, after 37ish years came quite surprisingly at my highest non-pregnant weight. Spending years in yo=yo diets, and I mean since I was like 12, I finally stopped. Stopped all of the diets and rules and early gym mornings. I just let my body be.

I gained weight, my body had never, ever existed as an adult without some sort of diet or restrictions to keep my weight low. I had never found a way to love my body inside of all the deprivation. Not even after being a health coach for two years. I was still finding ways to convince myself that if only I could make one more plan...lose a few more pounds 'healthfully' I would find that love.

20 pounds over my post pregnancy weight at 150 pounds (on the scale at the Dr. office, not knowing my weight since obsessively weighing to stay 128 pounds for years), I stopped. Let it all go. Released. Started to enjoy food again. This last year of my life has been a turning point. I learned to love myself, to release all the old thoughts of having to control everything. I knew all of it intellectually but had never quite been able to live it. Until Joy and I started to dance and she took my hand and led me down a path that I continue to discover daily.

And this is only the beginning. It is still new and scary and feels deliciously fresh.

As I would eat foods, no restrictions, some things that were known to be healthy wouldn't feel good inside of my body. Other foods would feel delicious. It took me months to learn to trust that intuition, that deep body knowledge, what I always knew all along. This trust feels gorgeous. It is not deprivation, it is delicious knowing.

Eating to feel gorgeous felt gorgeous. It meant chocolate puddings with coconut milk, curries simmered with carrots and chicken, decaf coffee with coconut milk, eggs every morning, lots of salads in every shape and the occasional red wine in the evening.

It meant that I stopped trying to give up the morning cup of decaf I loved so much and never bothered me. But I gave up the gluten-free toast that was making me sick.

It also meant loving a wiggly, jiggly belly. A face that was fuller than I remembered it ever being.

It was me. Meeting my needs for feeling amazing in this body of mine. For easing the burden of brain fog and bloated belly. My needs for feeding myself with the same amount of love I finally felt for myself. It continues with that layering in movement, space, stillness, nurturing with time and energy.

That love will carry you to places you never imagined. Doesn't mean you won't have days where you kind of wished your belly was flatter or that your eyebrows could just go in one direction, but it means that deep down you are love. Loved.

I got to that love through joy. Through my allowing of joy to be present despite all of the past hurts, pains, regrets. Allowing joy to shine inside of my body, even when I felt down. In the very basic discovery that what I want, is made today. Love. Loved. Joy.

And now my body is starting to shift. It feels like love. It feels amazing to be losing weight that doesn't belong, but without any sort of 'rules.' Just following what feels really good to my body. 

I had a hard time letting go of wanting to eat the classic healthy foods. Brown rice, oats, green smoothies. I fought to keep those in my life because others felt good eating them. When I let all the rules go, let go of any restrictions other than I must feel good when I nourish myself, I felt like I was myself again. A self that feels gorgeous in her skin. Intuitive eating. Letting go of your need for any other outcome other than being totally in love with you.

It takes time. It takes the journey.

The only way it could have happened for me was to find that love in a weight that felt uncomfortable to the woman who had spent so many years dieting. In a body that had longed to be skinnier its whole life. (I recently saw a picture of myself in HS and couldn't believe  that this girl could feel so badly about herself, she was so cute and I just wanted to hug her. I was almost surprised by how small I was.)

To celebrate myself I went to a conference this past July and it was the first time before a very public event that I didn't spend time trying to lose just a few pounds so my stomach would be just a little bit skinnier. It was the first time I got dressed to be surrounded by my friends and colleagues and felt beautiful. Like glowing. Like me. Like the woman I have been trying to be my whole life.

Each morning at my hotel I had the most delicious eggs and sausage that I have ever eaten. I sipped decaf lattes. I ate gelato with my soul-sisters. (Ahem, Rachel, Tiffany, Michelle, Laura.) I felt like a woman. I should feel that way, shouldn't I? Honoring my curves.

When my husband says, "You look beautiful" I should feel that from the inside, shouldn't I? When we are together in that delicious way, I should want him touching all of me, not everywhere except my belly.

Spreading wings into joy. I want more of this. I want this for you.

Joy wants to take your hand, your joy sisters want to stand in a circle with you, celebrating this deep love.

The way I could be loved at 18 is so very different than the way I can be loved now. It is so much deeper, so much more intense and whole and can scare the shit out me.

Learning to accept that and truly be in that, this is the ease that is waiting. This is the softness and the healing mixing and feeling unexpected.

This is the journey into joy.