Interview with Lydia Luna L. (a dear reader)

This is one of a series of interviews where women share about their relationship with their menstrual cycle. I am entirely grateful and humbled that they’ve not only taken the time (within their busy lives) but that they’ve let us in, so that we may all find ourselves somewhere in connection with the many stories shared. Thank you!

Lydia Luna

 

This second interview is with Lydia, the sweetest blog reader and circle participator a gal could have! I simply adore and appreciate her!

What was your experience of your first menstrual cycle? Were you prepared and how did it make you feel?

My first moon cycle came in Mr.Lents’ class.  I was 14 years old and I had a strange pain in my low belly.  I knew I needed to go to the bathroom.  I asked Mr.Lents if I could go to the restroom. I immediately followed this with, “yes, it’s an emergency” and gave him The Look.  I’m smiling now, because he probably had so many girls over the years give him that same look!  When I got into the bathroom stall and pulled down my underwear, I saw blood.  I was in shock for a moment. I thought to myself, “I can have a baby now … I can have a baby now … I can have a baby now.” I made my way down to the nurse’s office and don’t remember much after that.

I first learned about my cycle in girl scouts. I was a Brownie, so I must have been pretty young!  They showed us what a pad and a tampon were and how to use them.  My mom and I never really discussed it.

What has your experience of menstruation been as a woman?

For a long time, I had very very painful and heavy cycles.  Thankfully, they would usually only last about 3 days.  A few times, I was in such pain that I accidentally took too many Tylenol and ended up getting sick and vomiting.  That all changed when I started using the Diva Cup. My cycles got tremendously less painful and less heavy as well.  I’ve read that your cycle is an expression of you … Once I started being kinder to myself and listening and honoring myself, i think that was reflected in my cycle.  Falan, you’ve been a HUGE help in that department.  I reread your little booklet sometimes. I feel inspired by your reminders to slow down and listen.

How do you currently feel about your menstrual cycle?

I still dread it.  I still get bummed out and feel burdened but it.  But I’ve come a LONG way.  As soon as I hear myself complaining about my cycle, I try to stop and reword it.  Our words are so powerful!  The words I use in my head and with others.  When I hear another woman complaining about her cycle, I just listen.  At least we are talking about it, right!?

What is one way you currently try to respect your cycle?

I plan my life around my cycle!  I have it on my calendar.  I always give myself permission to cancel commitments during that time of the month. And If I have to be somewhere or do something, I let people know that I am on my first or second day of my cycle and I am unable to exert much energy.

If you are a mother how do you honor your own body rhythms alongside of the pace of motherhood?

Not a mother.  One day I hope!

 

Thank you, dearly, Lydia. xx

***************************************************************************************

Wish to go deeper into your own relationship with your menstrual cycle? Do check out She Cycles.
shecycles2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feel like you belong here? Sign up for heart-full inbox hellos and blog post updates. To say thank you I'll send you a 'new moon intentions' sheet to help you make the most of each new lunar cycle.
* = required field

Interview with Asia Suler of One Willow Apothecaries

This is one of a series of interviews where women share about their relationship with their menstrual cycle. I am entirely grateful and humbled that they’ve not only taken the time (within their busy lives) but that they’ve let us in, so that we may all find ourselves somewhere in connection with the many stories shared. Thank you!

Asia Suler

I first met Asia a few years back when I participated in her Wise Womb class. She is a herbalist, a teacher, a sincere delight, and has a way with words that makes you hungry for more (as you’ll see below).

She offers a number of in person and online classes and contributes to many collaborative creations – gratefully including She Cycles.

Enjoy the interview and make sure to connect with her through her many online homes!

One Willow Apothecaries
Facebook
Instagram
YouTube

What was your experience of your first menstrual cycle? Were you prepared and how did it make you feel?

The day I first began bleeding stands out very strongly in my mind. I was just a few months past my eleventh birthday. As soon as I woke up and went to the bathroom I noticed that I was bleeding and I remember thinking, “so it begins.” My feelings about it was somewhere between resignation and slightly dizzying expansion. I knew this was a kind of threshold, and that there was no going back from this experience of growing older, flowering, coming into being a woman. I didn’t know exactly what that meant, to be a woman instead of a girl, but even at that age I was aware that the journey was one I would now need to begin turning my heart towards. I was always a bit of an early bloomer and, at the time, none other of my friends had gotten their first cycle.

I didn’t feel ashamed, but I was very private about my experience. I remembering telling my Mom and begging her not to tell my Dad, which I immediately knew was both silly and futile, but somehow it made me feel better to think that I could keep the information as contained as possible. Looking back, I see that this was a reflection of a deeper need. That the child in me felt a bit overwhelmed by the gateway that was opening; I wanted to keep this bourgeoning, this flowering that felt so out of my control, as safe and manageable and contained as possible. Even though I didn’t have a word for it then, there was a part of me that wanted to feel like the process of becoming a woman was a part of my self-empowerment. That it was something I could find empowerment in, a transition I could have an active role in facilitating, rather than something that was just happening to me. My Mom was incredibly understanding, understated (which is exactly what a pre-teen wants from her Mom in this situation) and nurturingly kind. At the time I had this beloved black skirt with dragons on it. I remember laying out in the sun on our back deck for the better part of the day and feeling the warmth of it heat my legs, my womb, my core. It was a moment of recognizing something like transformation, a small flame starting. The very first nudgings of inner power, like a dragon feeling fire in its throat and just beginning to breath smoke. Not quite a full tip into flame, but an undeniable spark of beginning.

What has your experience of menstruation been as a woman?

I’ve gone from having a very basic and normal interaction with my cycle, from just “managing” and “dealing,” to embracing my cycle as a deeply transformation and foundational aspect of my journey of self growth. I’ve always felt in awe of my period. Even when I was quite young, and unduly burdened by the need to wear pads to elementary school. Even then, I remember coming home and gazing at the ruby hues of what my body was creating every month and feeling a stir of improbable wonder.

In my late teens I began having chronic health issues surrounding my vagina – ongoing yeast infections that led to chronic muscle and nerve pain (vulvodynia). It was during this time that my entire life transformed. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t heal, and so I began having a dialogue with my yoni, my womb, this feminine center of myself. Part of that dialogue was shifting my practice of bleeding. I began using cloth pads and sea sponges. I stopped using birth control and began fertility charting. I collected my blood to feed my plants and gave myself healing stiz baths. Interestingly, when I was bleeding was often when I physically felt the best. My chronic pain would lessen and something inside of me would feel released. I began to love bleeding. I looked forward to it. It became a deeply important practice to me. Now, as a Fertility awareness educator and herbalist, I consider my moontime some of the most sacred time of the month for me.

How do you currently feel about your menstrual cycle?

My menstrual cycle is the most major way in which I track my moods, my inspirations, my needs and desires. Learning to honor and connect into my cycle has been vital to my self growth and personal development. On my path I often feel like I am a navigator out on the high sea. A wide expansive of horizon in all directions. I can understand the deeper intuitions that are driving me when I learn to read the waves, the weather, the tides. There is a reason why ancient navigators learned to read the moon’s cycles. As women, we become more adept voyagers in the journey of our life when we become intimately familiar with our own tides.

My blood is a direct conduit into understanding the wider picture of my health, and my deeper needs. If I can tune into how I’m feeling during my moon, and really honor what it is my body is expressing and asking for, I always emerge from this week with a renewed understanding of myself.

What is one way you currently try to respect your cycle?

Honoring my fertility. As a woman of child-bearing age who is actively looking to not get pregnant at this time, it can feel overwhelming and complex to engage in health intimacy without fear. There is so much worry, anger and annoyance surrounding fertility. I have been off birth control and fertility charting for ten years now, which is the right decision for me and my body, but not choosing to control my fertility with hormonal supplementation necessitates a whole new level of awareness and sensitivity. To put it briefly, one of the ways in which I respect my cycle is to allow for it to happen. To let my body ovulate and to give thanks for my fertility! I know so many young women who bemoan the fact that they have the possibility of getting pregnant, and I think this is a common way to express one’s frustration over something that can feel out of our control. But, in truth, to be fertile is a GIFT. When I am fertile, and need to take extra precautions because of that, instead of feeling put out I choose to feel gratitude. I am woman who ovulates, I am a woman who can conceive and nurture a child in my womb and for that I am deeply, unreservedly, grateful.

 

Thank you, dearly, Asia. xx

*************************************************************************************************

Wish to go deeper into your own relationship with your menstrual cycle? Do check out She Cycles.

shecycles2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feel like you belong here? Sign up for heart-full inbox hellos and blog post updates. To say thank you I'll send you a 'new moon intentions' sheet to help you make the most of each new lunar cycle.
* = required field

love large

Lightning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spend a lot of time thinking about death. Sometimes I worry I spend too much time. But it’s the only certainty any of us have, and I haven’t figured out how to live life fully without contemplating the inevitable death of myself and those I love.

This is Lightning, our cat. We said our goodbyes to her Monday evening. She had cancer. Despite my relief for her, her death felt like an inescapable decision of too soon or too late. But I am choosing to soothe my tender heart with the trust of ‘right timing’. Right timing; nonetheless, feels such a big responsibility when the decision of a last breath is partly in your hands.

Love the hell out of who you’ve got. Creatures and humans, big and small, if there is love then love them large. Because life is simply shared, borrowed & fleeting time, and when death comes – right timing and all – it is always brutal in its finality.

xx,

falan sig

 

Feel like you belong here? Sign up for heart-full inbox hellos and blog post updates. To say thank you I'll send you a 'new moon intentions' sheet to help you make the most of each new lunar cycle.
* = required field

Insta update May ’16

Periodically I am sharing a few of my instagram photos and captions in a single blog post for the lovely ladies who read my blog but do not follow along on Instagram. …Oftentimes, I use Instagram to share many of the in-between moments of blog posting.

tender

When something in life makes us feel fragile, *all* the tender things seem to sneak into the cracks & break us open a bit more. This is good because without this we know so little about the depth of our spirit.

day off

 “Today I’m flying low
and I’m not saying a word
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.”
-Mary Oliver

tulip poplar

“The flowers of the hawthorn tree are in bloom; the mantle of spring’s culmination and summer’s advent beautifies the radiant earth. Winter’s chains are broken for good as the wheel of the year turns from winter to summer. Love is in the air as bee carries pollen from blossom to aromatic blossom and honey drips from the comb. The sacred union of the goddess and the god is observed, and sexuality is celebrated as we regard our bodies as mirrors of the divine plan. The blazing flames of the great bonfire mirror the passion within our hearts. The tenderness of the new spring season transforms before our eyes into the lush fullness of new life taking hold and thriving. Everywhere, in root and and in flower, the proliferation of abundance on the earth is seen. Great fires are ignited, and the door to the Otherworld opens once again.” -Judy Ann Nock

footsie

“Always strive to give the best of yourself to your spouse; not what’s leftover after you have given your best to everyone else.” -David Willis

journaling

I thought I’d never stop writing this morning.

blue skies

I’m making it a practice to look up more. I’ve been thinking about how much I look downward in life…into a book, the garden, the phone, the laptop, a bonfire, my children’s eyes…while sweeping & mopping, prepping & cooking, making my bed, budgeting, writing, walking…Let’s all look up & lift our eyes to the sky more!

flowers

“Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.” -Barbara de Angelis

smoothie

We tidied up the home by dancing around to Josh Ritter’s ‘Getting Ready to Get Down’, using a broom, a duster & a spoon as our instruments, and drinking green smoothies from our fancy glasses…’cause no one is responsible for elevating the mundane to a good time but you!

secret life

I believe it was Stephen Covey that said we all have a public life, a private life and a secret life…Morning pages are my secret life.

max's patch

“Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.” -Goethe

violets

Springtime means purdying up lunches with violets.

am pages

Asking myself questions during my morning pages has proved to be so powerful. Generally, when writing I just ramble like a mad woman, spilling the contents of my heart and the ripples life is having on my spirit. But this morning out came a question, deeply wanting to know the why behind a peculiar body symptom I’m having. I asked what it was trying to tell me. My hand never stopped moving and an answer came. I have also learned that sometimes answers come later in mysterious ways…you simply have to ask them.  Just a little suggestion for all you fellow ladies who enjoy writing their way to their truth. Wishing you all a beauty-full week!

bread

I love Sunday’s spent at home, loving, baking & homemaking. I wish I could cut a slice for all of you. Hope your Sunday was good to you too!

am ritual

Year after year my mornings begin the same. Take my temperature, write & drink a quart of water. Without it I imagine I feel like coffee drinkers feel when they don’t get their coffee. What are your morning routines & rituals, ladies?? Do tell…xx

limits

“The only limits you have are the limits you believe.” Happy Monday, ladies! May we all test our limits this week.

 

xx,

falan sig

 

 

Feel like you belong here? Sign up for heart-full inbox hellos and blog post updates. To say thank you I'll send you a 'new moon intentions' sheet to help you make the most of each new lunar cycle.
* = required field

On things we can’t change

milkweed

Josh and I sat on the white bench outside the other evening, under the upcoming full moon, and I spoke through my tears.

I had been melancholy most of the day, waking to a sense of sadness despite all the recent former days waking me in full-on spiritedness.

It was a sadness of surprise and I couldn’t place my feelings. When he got home from work I went for a walk alone. I sat in the pavement at the end of the road and faced the mountains, and within minutes of silence I knew why I was sad.

I missed my Mom.

I made my way back home and, as the kids played in the backyard, Josh and I found ourselves on the bench, me purging the feelings alongside both fresh & buried tears.

As Josh and I spoke he reminded me this was a recurring sadness for me.

Since then I’ve been thinking of a few things I wanted to tell you.

First, there really are some things we can’t seem to change in life.

Perhaps you live on the spectrum of life that everything happens for a reason…

or maybe you’re on the other end, lost and bitter about what life holds and confused by it all.

Most of us live somewhere in the middle and many of us believe that if we want something bad enough, and we work hard enough, we can have it.

Regardless of the “truth” (and really much of our personal truth is just what we believe, right?), I think we can all agree that sometimes there are unchangeable things – and so the only change we are left to make is our perspective.

And, yes, it is entirely true that changing our perspective can change our life and alter an unbearable situation into an acceptable one.

But sometimes there is still pain for not having what you want. For not being able to change something.

I believe we all want things we don’t have.

Which brings me to the big “G” word Gratitude (don’t worry, this post won’t get gratitude clichéd).

Gratitude is the suggested dose of medicine for what ails us. For facing the less-than-ideal things of life.

And, YES, without a doubt gratitude is transformational.

However, gratitude can sometimes spur on the other  “G” word when we focus on that which we do not have.

Guilt.

I commonly feel guilty for turning circles in the cul-de-sac of wanting what I don’t have.

And let’s not forget to mention the other “G” word that gets ignored when we are confused in gratitude and guilt. Grief…and how it’s an interwoven thread in the fabric of life, and a sure feeling associated with unchangeable things.

But the thing I really want to say when it comes to gratitude, guilt, grief and longing for what we don’t have is…

We must make space for ALL of life.

Life isn’t always easy and there truly are some things we can’t make happen.

And they hurt.

Gratitude can indeed be the thing that reveals the way out of the cul-de-sac.

There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.

There are always things we CAN change in our life.

But sometimes gratitude can feel like a band aid on a gaping gash underneath.

I miss my Mom.

The clear gratitude is that she’s alive and I can call. I can visit her 600 miles away.

But I don’t have her here. For the talks over tea and coffee like she shared with her own Mom many afternoons.

I don’t have her here during mothering mishaps or on the days when I feel I may collapse with the weight of life.

I don’t have her here for the small moments of life. The laughs, the Sunday dinners at the picnic table out back, the occasional Mom-n-daughter lunch out.

I don’t have her here to watch the small ways my children grow and become something different right before my watchful eyes.

And then I find guilt for focusing on what I don’t have vs. gratitude for what I do have – her, alive.

Many women don’t have their mothers, whether they are gone to spirit or gone to mental illness or even gone to cold heartedness.

Regardless of your story or my story, your unchangeable things or mine, we universally feel the hurt of life.

And the hurt needs to be acknowledged and the tears need to be released.

There needs to be space for that.

There needs to be space for it all.

Gratitude is powerful but feeling all our feelings is powerful too.

We all experience the good life and great grief.

We must release so that we can renew.

We must be honest about what’s there or else, I believe, we merely gauze the truth, encouraging it to bury & infect somewhere inside sensing that permission to be felt was denied.

We must feel all the feelings, setting aside the guilt and – temporarily – the gratitude, opening to the grief of the wound.

Whatever your wound may be it is a method of healing, but you must make space for it.

Make space for all of you and all of life. Choose gratitude, but not at the expense of burying what saddens you.

xx,

falan sig

 

 

Feel like you belong here? Sign up for heart-full inbox hellos and blog post updates. To say thank you I'll send you a 'new moon intentions' sheet to help you make the most of each new lunar cycle.
* = required field

insta update March ’16

I haven’t been as consistent with writing in this space over the past year. In truth I’ve never been all that consistent. I’m also not ‘on the regular’ with using Instagram (the only social media I use); however, I seem to go through bursts of sharing there. It’s so easy and convenient to respond to a thought or feeling you have and share it within or around that moment. What I have found is that I have a thousand things to say and write about in this space, but because I don’t sit and write them right away I usually never get around to sharing them. That being said, I thought I’d start posting some of my Instagram shares here, on the blog, for those of you who follow along with the blog but are not on Instagram…for those of you who ask what I’m up to when things get quiet here.  I won’t share them all, just the ones that best capture the many things I’d elaborate on here on the blog if I had/made the time. Also, it has been rumored that Instagram may be taking photos out of chronological order and this will help me keep mine. All in all, it’s like a little quickie (update)! 😉

moon

I got up earlier than usual to write with the moon. I wrote my way through my recent fears and here is the conclusion my words led me to:: Life is full of plenty of scary maybes’ but it’s also full of many more certain beauties. The scary maybes may be happenstance, but the certain beauties are almost always choice.

am pages

One of the best things about laying down all of yourself in words is that you often find yourself writing another way of seeing things.

redbud

My mantra of the day :: life is lived in seasons, (even when those seasons feel really long) nothing lasts, everything happens for a reason, and everything is already okay.

backpacking

Us girls dropped the boys off in the mountains today for a backpacking trip. I cried like a baby. Not because it was a first but because it will be their longest. I cried because I felt happy for their bond and I cried because I felt worried. I cried because my son became a teenager last month and this is a rite of passage so to speak. My Mama heart feels hella proud and hella achy.

tea house

Yesterday I had the joy of taking my daughter and four of her dear friends out on the afternoon town. They were the sweetest sight, circled on the floor of the tea house. All on them on the thin & short lived edge of childhood and young womanhood. ? We are planning a red tent gathering for this same group girls and I gotta’ say it feels really good to be raising a daughter in the known beauty of her skin alongside such a wonderful group of girls.

unfolding

I suppose on the learning curve of life you don’t often arrive at a new way of thinking, understanding, being. Rather the arrival is a long-time unfolding that has been leading you into your own knowing, which can often result in an ah-ha moment. But staying steady & true & certain in the new understanding is much much more rare than the lengthy back-n-forth, teeter tottering, slow-n-steady, patient and persistent arrival at the new way of living inside of life. Grace and as many chances as you need because where you’re trying to arrive is good. Really good. And it can’t be rushed, but rather traveled at the pace of trust.

downtime

 We all need a little downtime. Make sure to give yourself some.

bloom

Let’s all plan to bloom a bit more today, okay?

yoga

Once upon a time I taught 5 yoga classes a week. Somewhere along the way, after I moved to Asheville 8 years ago, I began to create space between myself and yoga. It was all part of my undoing, my unraveling of perfection. Asheville, in all its beautiful uber consciousness began to create an edge in me, one in which I was pulling away from the hardcore quest to live this life as a destination of perfection. Many things contributed to this. Over time I have strongly come to believe that there is so much more to health than researching every.single.thing and perfect eating and aiming for samadhi. I have never let go of my yoga practice in its entirety, but only recently have I found myself reinvigorating it as a practice of freedom. I have and am learning that most often what feels good and true and right and unforced is indeed what is good and true and right for you.

rainbow

Note to self {when making a decision you feel a little scared of} :: for all the things that could go wrong there are so many more things that could go right.

woman cave

Monday morning greeted me with a long list of to-do’s (who else??). I deliberately moved slowly, taking time for my morning pages & a nourishing breakfast. Then I rallied it as best I could and tackled as many practicals I could muster. Prioritizing, hydrating, crossing things off. Josh’s work day was canceled due to freezing rain. He’s now in the kitchen listening to moody music & baking potatoes and I’m salivating at the amount of butter I plan to fold into mine. I am claiming the rest of this day anti-productive. A mid-Monday-mental-health-afternoon. While he holds down the fort and fathers the kiddos I’m caving up in my corner for an hour of Downton Abbey and the patient waiting of buttery bliss. Then I’m going to fill up the remaining hours of the day by reading aloud to the kids, snuggling my crew till time stands still and continuing to re-calibrate from the last two weeks of the sentimental purge.

——>>  Not already following me on Instagram and would like to be? You can do so right here.

with oodles of lovins’

xx,

falan sig

 

 

Feel like you belong here? Sign up for heart-full inbox hellos and blog post updates. To say thank you I'll send you a 'new moon intentions' sheet to help you make the most of each new lunar cycle.
* = required field

reevaluating life & new directions

Happy New Moon, ladies!

Right now we find ourselves with the buds of Spring on the horizon (sigh, hello sun on my skin!) and with a super new moon solar eclipse today!

New moons are always new beginnings, but this precious moon is said to also be a new *life* beginning.

It’s also ‘International Women’s Day’ to boot!

I think there’s some pretty powerful goodness going on today, don’t you!?

I know I certainly feel a lot of changes happening within and around me. I also feel this fresh new surge of life and gratitude and hope, and boy oh boy does it feel good!

I wanted type up a quick post to leave you with a question that’s been on my mind lately…

rainbow quote

It’s rather amazing, incredible really, when you look around at your life and see how much choice you truly have. How many decisions you are blessed to make.

Since it’s ‘international women’s day’ think for a moment about all the women and girls in our world. How few choices they have.

We are unmistakably blessed in choice.

Use that beautiful choice and ask yourself, if you could empty your life of everything what would you put back in it?

Set intentions around this new visual. Began crafting a life that is closer to the one you truly wish to live out in these breaths that make up our short lives.

(I would like to note that we all feel we have/do have things in our life that we feel we have no choice in. But I like to believe that even in the painful sideswiping stuff that comes our way there is choice.)

I often have my hands in many pots and my heart in many ideas, and every once in awhile I’ll reach a place of borderline overwhelm and have to take a second look at my week/schedule/life.

What’s interesting is I almost ALWAYS go, “well, crap, all these things are things I chose and things I want and things I value.” And that’s where it gets good because then I remember the practice of gratitude (and that’s the best place to start anything)!

It’s, again, yet another fine line of life. Priorities and practicalities, choices and chances, dreams and destinies and just opening the heart up to a messy, wild, beautiful, sometimes painful, and FULL life.

No matter what, setting intentions is darn helpful and today is a real good day to do that!!

Get to it, ladies :) (Need some inspiration? There’s a free intention PDF I’ll send ya if you let me know you want one in the purple box below!)

xx, thanks for reading my rambles!

falan sig

 

If you want to learn more about each particular new and full moon, I love reading Jennifer Raccioppi’s posts!! Check her out!

Feel like you belong here? Sign up for heart-full inbox hellos and blog post updates. To say thank you I'll send you a 'new moon intentions' sheet to help you make the most of each new lunar cycle.
* = required field

the sentimental purge update

serafina

 

For those of you who were asking/wondering about the sentimental purge, here’s an update for ya…

I actually completed it a few weeks ago. The week my son turned 13, which felt truly symbolical.

It’s done.

All done for where I stand in my life in this moment.

I took down thirty three bins from the attic.

I put ten back up. Three of which were bins my children filled with things they chose to keep.

I kept two bins of drawings, two bins of clothes, a bin of my daughter’s journals, a bin of meaningful cards and letters, and a bin of sentimental tangibles. (This doesn’t count the few bins I didn’t even bring down because I knew they were keepers, such as a ‘before kids’ bin, a bin of Josh and I’s stuff, and a bin of my old Mothering magazines/absolute favorite mothering books.)

Essentially I eliminated TWENTY THREE bins of hardcore heartfelt keepsakes from my life.

Fifteen of the bins I let go of were drawings and art projects the kids had made. I went through every single piece of art. Thousands of creations moved through my fingertips while I endured leg cramps and hours upon hours of floor sitting and paper sifting.

Y’all, I am not even joking when I say letting go, purging, & releasing things from my life is a high for me. I truly like to only keep what I love and use and need and want. I don’t do clutter and I never have (err, minus the attic, of course – yet, I hold firm that it was not clutter because it was carefully organized and wanted; chosen to be kept with a hellava lotta heart). This high came with birth, I think. I was the buggerish childhood friend that came over and asked if we could clean and organize your room. I know, not cool.

Nonetheless, for a myriad of emotional reasons and attachments to mothering and my identity as a mother I was hoarding a stash of things I thought I couldn’t let go of.

My plan was to burn the items (as a fire sign I think I’m drawn to burning as a form of releasing), but if you could see the massive amounts of paper that would have been burnt you would understand why, in the end, I chose to recycle them. That was hard. Knowing they were dumped into a big metal bin at our recycling center, my kids creations mixed with bottles and boxes of consumption.

But, in all honesty, the whole process wasn’t near as hard as I expected.

The time invested was the hardest.

I think I was truly ready, which allowed the process to be lighter than I could have ever imagined.

I actually laughed more than I cried. There was a lot of funny shit in there. Kid poop drawings are the best. 😉

The truth is letting go is a practice for me. But letting go of this stuff is something I thought I’d never be ready for…until the kids were grown.

But what I realized is that I was inevitably trying to slow their growth, not fully honoring where my children were by holding on to where they once were.

Not being as present as life intends you to be. Giving the past a bit more power than needed.

I can’t quite explain it in words. It’s primarily a feeling. It was all hanging over my head; literally, in my attic. Taking up heart space and home space and energetic space for this one day in the future when I’d be ready to deal with the emotions of it.

What’s interesting is that most of the emotional processing happened before I even brought the bins down. Most of the tears happened before I began (and a few after).

Who knows, I may go through it again in the not too distant future – of no surprise to Josh, who wonders if I’ll ever stop tinkering and eliminating and changing up our space and our possessions. In some ways it feels a bit silly to hold on to much of any of it in this transient world. But for now I feel good with what I chose to keep and ultimately appreciate the liberation that comes with letting go…because what is life but an ongoing practice of releasing and surrendering.

Halleluiah to letting go!

xxxxxx,

falan sig

 

 

Feel like you belong here? Sign up for heart-full inbox hellos and blog post updates. To say thank you I'll send you a 'new moon intentions' sheet to help you make the most of each new lunar cycle.
* = required field

No need to explain & declining good things

I just wasn’t feeling right about something.

I wanted that to be enough, but I still asked around to see if my concerns were “valid”.

They didn’t seem to be, based on the feedback I received.

I talked it over with Josh and he was in agreeance with me. So I resoluted (I like to make up words) the choice we’d made and shared it with the main person it affected.

Then I began to compile the email I’d send to another person it would mildly affect. Compile it in my head. All the things I’d say to explain why we made the decision we made.

And then a little voice inside raised her hand and spoke.

She said, rather confidently and assertively, “you don’t have to explain.”

And with that a swirl of liberation reminded me that she was absolutely right. I didn’t need to explain to anyone why I was making the choice I was making.

I was making the choice that was best for my family. I was making the choice that felt right in my gut.

And that was enough.

So please remember that is enough for you too.

And you don’t need to explain that enoughness (a second made up word for you).

*************

I opened my email and there sat a myriad of requests and invites.

All good things.

Some I couldn’t do because of prior commitments. Others I didn’t want to do.

But because they were all good and healthy and lovely it felt tempting to say yes.

But I didn’t want to.

Things are always coming at us. Requests, demands, to-do’s and to-don’ts.

(I get a dozen from my kids alone every day.)

There always feels like there is someone to disappoint or let down. Oftentimes that is why we feel the need to explain – to lessen or soften the disappointment.

Though I feel quite content in my ability to set boundaries and make choices only aligned with my values, I feel I am just learning how to be comfortable in letting others down.

Because, honestly, you may disappoint someone else but it ultimately feels worse to disappoint yourself. To let yourself down.

Or simply to say yes to something you may resent doing.

Plus, as I’m sure you’ve heard it before, when we say yes to something we are inevitably saying no to something else. That’s just how it works.

So, that’s that ladies. Though I could say oodles more to flesh out these bony points, I just wanted to share these two things right quick why they were on my mind, incase you found yourself in a similar place too.

Happy Imbolc, ladies! Thanks for reading.

xx,

falan sig

 

 

Feel like you belong here? Sign up for heart-full inbox hellos and blog post updates. To say thank you I'll send you a 'new moon intentions' sheet to help you make the most of each new lunar cycle.
* = required field

Recent realizations on purging, fear & letting go

flowerquoteSometimes I have this restlessness wash over me.

It comes out of nowhere, consuming me, rippling up and down my skin, making me feel like I have no choice but to unzip my skin and step out of it.

The other night, sometime last week, I was crying the blubbery heart-felt cry on Josh’s shoulder because my son will become a teenager in just a couple weeks.

This year my children will turn 13, 11 and 7.

This feels like I am mothering in this in-between phase of it all. Realizing my littlest will turn 7 late this year feels like I am so far away from the all consuming pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding phases of my life.

Far away from the days I feel largely defined by.

And this is where the fear realization comes in.

Let me preface what I want to say with two things

1. I am not a fan of stuff.

2.  I have no addictions related to coffee, smoking, drugs, exercise, eating, shopping or any of the commonplace things.

However, I do have a few addictions.

They are:

  1. purging things
  2. my family
  3. drinking water

Oh, and pen & paper of course (who the hell can live without that?? Sorry -if you can- we can’t be friends.)

Now, on to the fear.

The first fear realization is related to purging and mothering.

wolfmoon

Like a reliable friend, I can always count on my urge to purge. I have been like this since I was a child, needing to let things go when I feel like I’ve transitioned to a new phase of myself, or if something doesn’t fit who I’ve become/fit with my values, or if I simply crave an external/visual representation of change.

Purging comes naturally for me and with time I have built up the ability to let things go with ease.

All but one thing.

Those damn sentimental items.

Related to my children.

My attic doesn’t store dusty bit and bobs, or broken lamps, or boxes of forgotten memorabilia.

Nope, it holds well organized, labeled and heart-pulling tangibles related to my kids. Sheepishly I admit I have dozens of bins that hold nearly every drawing, note and art creation my kids have made.

Minus the ones they have gifted and given to friends and family. (Gawd, that was a “letting go” all in itself.)

Now I know sentemenital items are the struggle for nearly all those who find themselves at ease with decluttering, but this, my friend, has been something I was certain I would hold onto until my kids were grown, no matter what else I released from my life.

And then I would sit, lonely and sobbing in the middle of my floor, surround by ceiling high stacks of their creations, going through them and choosing my most favorite (oh, please, they are all my favorite, you foolishly hopeless mother!) and turn them into scrapbooks.

I also plan(ned) to have all my favorite clothes of theirs turned into a quilt for each of them.

Who cares that I have enough clothes to make them a dozen quilts. Each.

Just kidding.

Kind of.

Oh, that’s right, I’m supposed to be talking about fear.

So, when this restlessness washed over me recently my thoughts moved to the attic collection.

My spirit was nudging me that the time had come to deal with it.

I had felt whispers rising somewhere within that I wanted to face the museum worth of memorabilia I had been collecting, but I have continually shoved it away in a dark corner of my mind, knowing it would be an all consuming and ridiculously overwhelming task. Both in time and emotion.

But last week a light was shone on my fear and the real reason I am holding on to all these things.

Like any hoarder, it is always fear based.

I realized that I am keeping all these things because I am so afraid of losing and moving on from this time in my life. This time of mothering these children. This time that has shaped me and primarily formed me into the woman I am.

This time that has fed the very heart that anchors in the center of my spirit.

This time, that no matter what the future holds, will the be the time I always want to return to.

But (and this is important) I know better.

I know this life is transient and simply a passage on our way to death.

This body will not always have a place to keep these things and I am certain my spirit will not care how many things I’ve kept to remind me of this passage of motherhood.

Because my spirit has captured the essence of this time in my life and items are just that – items that spark my brain to pay attention to my spirit, which knows this passage of motherhood has been my greatest journey thus far.

I know that a small, carefully selected collection of tangible things to look through would be much more meaningful than an overwhelming madness of paper and clothes that are physical reminders of my attachment.

Something in me says it’s time to let go.

I am terrified to face the emotions that will come up when I go through these things.

Josh is terrified of the madness and mess that will ensue.

But something in me tells me I will appreciate what I have so much more when it is simplified.

I am always telling people “less is more”.

I truly truly believe when you fill your life with the things that matter most and let the rest fall away that we live much more meaningful lives than when we fill them with allthethings.

Yet for some reason, filling my attic with allthethings felt like a good thing. A testament of my love and devotion to this time in my life. A way to capture what is and what I know will eventually be over.

But never lost.

And I don’t need allthesethings to keep it from being lost.

rainbow

Purging, for me, is liberating.

I know that going through all these sentimental things will be exhausting but ultimately liberating in the inevitable freedom of knowing that these items do not define my memories.

Liberating in the letting go and making more space to be present and open to what is.

As I am often telling my children, the memories last in your spirit forever.

Out of sight is not out of mind for me. I feel the weight of these things literally hanging over my head in the attic.

So, while I have just completed another all-to-familiar purge, I feel I may have the most massive one of my life before me.

Part of me feels that perhaps I should just let it go in the way I planned – leave it there until they are grown and then face it.

But I sense the time is now.

My next step in letting go, facing the truth of impermance, learning to trust and welcoming the next unfolding of life.

My next step in facing fear, in being truly here.

snow

And while I’m on the topic of fear, I have one more to touch on.

Marriage.

Again.

As if I haven’t touched on this enough in this space.

It has been and continues to be my greatest lesson in love.

And fear.

And choosing love over fear.

This past weekend, which was extended and slow due to snow, was beautiful.

I spent time with Josh laughing at a silly movie I usually would have been uninterested in and walking the moonlit snowy midnight hours on our land and down our trail. We laid in bed talking, asking random ‘what if’ and ‘how would’ questions to each other, laughing and leaning into our time with one another.

While sledding with the kids and their homeschool friends I spent much of the time watching him with fresh and knee weakend eyes of love.

I am feeling the strength of our relationship. The best friend he truly is.

Marriage, another ultimate act of letting go (and holding on hella’ hard). Of dying and rebirthing again and again, as a single soul and as united souls.

I see clearly how many times I treat him a certain way out of fear.

Fear of being hurt, fear of losing him, fear of facing whatever life brings us.

I see how I sometimes sabotage our time and our growth by acting out of fear.

I think we can all agree that fear is a waste of time.

Truly.

Perhaps it serves us in helpful ways; you know, don’t touch the hot stove or you’ll burn yourself kind of ways.

But when it interferes with the passage of time, the unfolding of life, the ability to trust, the ability to enjoy and move forward…when it interferes with the ability to be all here in what lays before you because you remain stuck somewhere in the past and perhaps the future then it’s time to acknowledge it and make a change.

It may be a tangible change or a behavioral change, but no matter what it will be an emotional change.

So, after this wordy ramble I hope you can take a moment to see where your fear is affecting your life.

To shine a light on where you may be holding on, holding back, attaching…not letting go so something good can come through.

I think making a conscious choice to face the fear we see will help us to face fear when we feel like we don’t have a choice.

Facing my attic is a physical way to face my emotional fear. I know this.

Life is but a passage of surrender. Of letting go and welcoming in and letting go again.

It is releasing the past, being present with the present, and being open to the future.

May we all lean into it, as best we can.

Thank you for reading. If you’re feeling brave, please leave me a comment and let me know a fear you may be facing.  I’d love to hear from you and I’m sure other women in this space will be able to relate!

With love,

falan sig

 

 

P.S. I recently watched this and found it incredibly beautiful.

I’ve saved the link to this inspiring article for quite some time and am finally remembering to share it with you. What the dying really regret.

 

Feel like you belong here? Sign up for heart-full inbox hellos and blog post updates. To say thank you I'll send you a 'new moon intentions' sheet to help you make the most of each new lunar cycle.
* = required field