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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
And while I’m on the topic of fear, I have one more to touch on.
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 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.
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!
P.S. I recently watched this and found it incredibly beautiful.
I was breastfeeding at the time and so it was a tricky time to began the process, but I stuck with it for years until I fell pregnant again.
Then I let it go in the throws of mothering three and not cycling while breastfeeding.
In time, I picked it up again.
I cannot stress the importance of charting your fertility.
This is the number one measure of your health as a woman.
It is literally a monthly report card of your health.
This past Summer/Fall we experienced a lot of stress. In all honesty, I didn’t realize how stressed my body was. I take pride in traveling through life and its curveballs with as much grace and trust as I can and I think this led me to deny the affects the stress was having on my body, despite the fact that I was feeling like a dozen women a day, my moods greatly affected by my hormonal upheaval.
However, my fertility chart for the month made everything clear. There was no denying the stress when I watched my temperatures spaz out and ultimately realized my body was not ovulating one month.
Unfortunately, this caused more stress for me and I had to undergo the conscious effort to find compassion for myself and offer an extra dose of self nurturing and trust.
I took great care in restoring my hormones, allowing me to ovulate again and actually have a more stable hormonal unfolding in the end.
If it wasn’t for my charts I wouldn’t have been able to quickly identify the changes in my bodies rhythms and restore it to harmony so quickly!
Think about that for a minute – as a woman you have the power and possibility of gauging a ton of information about your health, well being, moods, cycles, hormones and more!
It is incredible!!
Please, if you are not already doing so, please begin. This book will tell you all you need to know.
I recommend using this practice to develop a most profound relationship with your body, keeping a log of the hormonal system that guides your health and tending to yourself with immense awareness.
3. New Moon Intentions
New moons are new beginnings, simply put.
New moon intentions are just that – intentions set at the New moon, each month.
They are not goals or resolutions, but rather a heartfelt and focused claim to what you’d like to live out during the upcoming lunar cycle.
New Moon intentions offer us a chance to refocus and realign with what matters most at that time each month.
You set them once a month and then use them daily to guide you.
You can learn more about setting new moon intentions here, and also receive a lovely little pdf to write yours each month by joining my mailing list in the purple box below.
I recommend using this tool to claim what you want, make choices that support what you want, and to practice receiving what you want.
I sincerely hope this inspires you to try out one or each of these practices that speak to you, if you are not already using them.
Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below (or emailing)!
Sometimes I tuck my hand under his chest after he’s fallen asleep. Just to feel his heartbeat in my hand.
Time seems rapidly stolen lately, by some sneaky portal, wrapping its wicked cloak around the passage of life, adrenalizing the tick tock of it all.
Sometimes I feel so uncertain.
Because, for whatever reason, most of us move through life assuming everything that was hard and ugly and painful is behind us and everything that is beautiful and easy and smooth is before us.
And it simply isn’t true.
It’s all so confusing.
Because often what we want is something we don’t have and what we have is oftentimes exactly what we want, but we look for the thing we don’t have instead of falling hard into what we do have.
There have been so many written words there have been no words here.
All the words have been held hostage in the ink that stains the blank pages that wait, loyal and steady, on my end table.
I’ve been letting my journals pile, like I never have. A girl who ripped the words from her journals as a child/teen became a woman who didn’t write in the passion of motherhood became a woman who found handwritten words in herself again, but who always burned them.
Now I have been letting them form into a pile of stories about who I was.
Who I was in a moment that no longer exists.
Catching all the words that reveal the fine line of life.
The many fine lines. Of letting go and holding on. Of faith and fear. Of aliveness and death. Of grief and joy.
I’ve been thinking hard on the depthness of which I feel life, and the many things that have revealed to me lately that this way of depth isn’t so common in the company I keep.
That it is death and the transience of all things that keeps me alive – making sure I live this life with as much heart as I can muster in my imperfect humanness.
I spent much of Summer and Fall feeling like a dozen different women in one day, sometimes in one hour.
Winter feels like I’ve been wrapped in a line-dried crisp white sheet, flooding light onto and into all I need to see. It’s a breath of fresh air, in the same way snow covers all the colors of the earth to bring the deepest sense of calm.
This book. This book. This book. In all honesty there are so few books that have ever opened like a portal that I fell so deep in to. So few books, like this one, that I savored every word that spoke the language of my spirit.
I’ve let go of so many things. Always trying to bare my life in the simplest sense. The task of simplifying all things materialistic and most things calendaristic are like second nature, but many times I have to re-work the sharings of myself here.
So, here I am, new year, new post, saying hello with the familiar tender heart of mine.
The equinox has brought with it the winds of Autumn.
And the wind has carried in the reminder of impermanence and the demand of letting go.
It’s carrying in the wisdom of what’s next and carrying out the stories we store within. The stories that have been told enough.
Carrying out the concerns and carrying in solid truth. A bliss of sorts that doesn’t worry it won’t last. A bliss that cannot be denied.
Blowing the towels on the line, bringing the lingering smell of honeysuckle vines right to my nose, loosening leaves so that there is nothing to hide behind anymore.
I set only one intention with this last new moon – a first for me.
And I have already let it go.
My intention was to speak only of the good in my life.
A couple Fridays ago, I sat in my writing corner of nature pondering the last weeks before me, dusted heavily with complaining and bitching. Reasons were valid, but now I was sitting tender again with circulating stories of deaths and reminders of what matters.
Two days later death dragged her dark cape across life again and this one was closer to home.
It didn’t feel good and it needed to be spoken about.
It felt right to ask this (speaking good) of myself, having spent a lot of time under the stress of tedious undertakings over the last six-plus weeks.
It felt like a challenge I needed.
It felt like a way of wrapping myself in that which I knew mattered. Of feeding the open mouths of what is good.
But I’ve been “failing” at only speaking good. Because it doesn’t all feel good.
But thankfully speaking mostly good comes naturally to me. Thanks to my Dad it is a practice that comes with the territory of growing up under his wing. To trust and believe that all of life has a reason, that all of life is meaningful. So even in times of stress or grief or confusion I can speak of good.
“Sometimes when the world seems to be falling apart it’s really just falling into place.” -unknown
But I realize that my intention to speak *only* of good collides with my knowing of seasons and truths that play out clumsily and messily and painfully, at times.
Our flesh is not immune to darkness and the season of Fall turns us toward that darkness.
But not without allowing us to dance bare within the wind of what is true for us, the good and the ugly.
So, I allow the wind to take my ‘only’ intention and toss and turn it, molding its essence with the bigger picture of what is life and bringing in a more wise and suited knowing.
Because nothing lasts and with that comes great relief and great pain.
Life’s spirit is impermanence and death is the most palpable and wretched impermanence of them all.
Death is what makes life truly matter. Death is a quiet constant in my life. A potential grief that keeps me warm with what I most wish to live in this fleeting days.
Below is an article I wrote for another site a year and half ago. Perhaps it isn’t the exact wording I’d write today, but it seemed suited to these days…
I love movies where people die. Not die in some violent masculine bang-bang-bang type of way. Die in the ways of cancer, “accidents”, illness and the like. I love movies where people die and big love is left.
I haven’t yet lost anyone where the grief continues for years, but I think about it a lot. I think about it because it’s my greatest fear.
I think about it because losing someone you love often makes life really matter.
I think about it because losing someone you love reminds you that ordinary is enough and that extraordinary is a bonus that you choose.
So many of us crave adventure and extra ordinary lives. Extraordinary lives where we are free of the ordinary.
I often picture my family of five, with just one suitcase each, exploring the depths of life in its adventurous, raging simplicity and beauty. Spending days with beach sand in between our toes, mountain scratches on our knees, new scenes each day. Squeezing the last bit of vibrancy from life’s tube of paint, each and every moment…
I sometimes sigh deeply and curse a bit at the mundaneness of dishes, a dog chewed shoe, heaps of dirty laundry, grocery shopping, bill paying. Sucked in like a vortex of life’s upkeeps.
I feel like I exist in a little town called The Duality of Meaning and Mundane.
I seek meaning like the sustenance of food. I have days where I make the mundane sacred with presence, oldies music, open windows and playfulness.
I have days where I truly know what matters with each breath I take; days that are so good I wish I could bottle up the essence and drink it on the forgotten days. These are the extraordinary days.
Many things rouse these extraordinary days, but one that is a consistent reminder is the reality of death. Remembering the fleetingness of your life can inspire a remarkable life and it should. Remembering death is our only certainty in this wildly uncertain life can inspire you to never overlook the ordinary.
It can allow you to rest your head at the end of the day, simply grateful that it was an ordinary day where no one was diagnosed with cancer, you didn’t miscarry, there were no car accidents, appliance breakages, broken hearts, trauma, tragedies or illnesses.
Death reminds us that taking any moment, or any day, for granted is foolish.
Death can be a reminder that ordinary days mean we are alive and that we must not waste our aliveness.
An ordinary day can become extraordinary when we truly see the power of an ordinary day.
An extraordinary is day is an ordinary day you know could change tomorrow.
When I shared the ‘new moon intentions sheet’ with my readers not too long ago, I began receiving questions around how to use it.
With the new moon on the horizon, I wanted to share this blog post to offer understanding and guidance for those new to the practice of setting new moon intentions.
I asked my readers to email me any questions they had and of all the questions I received they ultimately fell into two questions.
Why do you set new moon intentions?
How do you set new moon intentions?
I hope this blog post helps those new to the idea and refreshes those who are more familiar with this practice.
If something isn’t clear for you or you have another question that wasn’t covered, please do email me or leave them in the comments below.
Why to set new moon intentions.
The moon moves through four main phases every 29.5 days.
The first phase is the new moon/dark moon and it begins the new lunar cycle. This is when you see no moon in the sky. The new moon is vacant and ready to receive. Full of potential. It’s a time of death for the old and a time of birth for the new. It is a fresh start, a blank page, and sunrise and a sunset. A time to claim your intentions.
As the moon grows, first as a crescent and then as a first quarter moon, we call this a waxing moon. It’s a time of action and growth. An awakening of sorts. A rebirth. A time to make progress. A time to enact your intentions.
The moon continues to grow until it becomes a full moon. A time of enjoyment. Lushness. Fullness. Gratitude for what has come. A time of fruition and celebration of your intentions.
Next, the moon begins to move away from the light, slowly disappearing in the sky as it becomes first a third quarter moon and then a waning crescent moon, moving toward the new moon again. This phase is called a waning moon. This is a time of harvesting. Accessing. Turning inward. Garnering our truth. A time of letting go of your intentions so you may begin again with the next new moon.
Using the moon this way is a way of connecting with your soul, your intuition and mother nature to co create your life and an honest expression of who you are, where you are and where you want to go.
Setting new moon intentions is a ritual that helps to keep you in harmony with your spirit and the moon.
How to set new moon intentions.
Intentions are a plan, a purpose, a meaningful focus.
As mentioned above, the new moon is a time for new beginnings. A fresh start and a chance to work with the energies of la’ Luna to set intentions about what you want to prioritize in the next couple weeks. It’s the beginning.
On the new moon of each month, carve a corner of your day for setting your intentions. A half an hour, an hour, a wedge of your afternoon or evening.
Of course you can sage your space or light candles or dim lights or bring tea or find a tree to sit in or under, or a wave to wash the earth nearby. But, mostly, we mustn’t make the matter too complicated that we forgo it for more immediate gratification of ‘accomplishing’ a task.
Presence, heart and showing up for yourself – that’s what truly matters.
Next you plant seeds. The seeds are your intentions.
To plant your seeds/set your intentions, this is very important: shut off the world around you and all that you think you should do. Quiet your brain (as best you can) and settle in close with your heart and your womb. Your spirit. Ask what is truly important to you for these next couple weeks. What is it time to begin.
This is not another to-do. Not another self care practice.
This is about sincerity of your spirit, your life, your precious time.
Write your intentions down. Do not choose too many. We are not robots that can move through our demands, checking off our long list of tasks. Intentions are not a to-do list.
Remember, this is all heart. This is about the whisperings of the place that knows you best. Your truth.
The seeds (your intentions) you planted with the new moon will grow and sprout with the waxing moon (with love and care, attention and nourishment). The seeds will grow to their fullness (for this lunar cycle) with the full moon, a time of celebrating that which is complete. With the waning moon you will harvest your bounty, take it in, access your garden of life, let go of what isn’t growing well in your climate and begin to plan your seeds for the next new moon.
Some things may take many moon cycles to live fully. Simply begin. Trust. Receive. Begin again. Follow your rhythm. Learn as you go. Leave rules behind. Begin again. Fail. Falter. Begin again.
I hope you enjoy using the moon as a guide for making your months matter.
There has been such a rich and constant pulse of honesty beating within my life lately. I feel my skin flaking, shedding and falling away to slowly reveal something fresh, raw and renewed beneath it. I’ve been aware of a wildness wandering and lost within my good girl domestication…like standing at the edge of so many bodies of water, wishing to strip down and allow your flesh to fall in shock, awe and aliveness into the earth cooled aqua, submerging yourself weightless, but instead you sit still and steady on the dry patch where the water meets the earth and dip only your feet in…and wonder where the hell the feral parts of you went.
Sometimes I feel wedged between two hearts of mine. The pumping, bloody, vital one and the infertile, slow beating, blocked one.
There is a lot of aliveness that keeps asking for me to live it. I keep removing what doesn’t matter from my life in an effort to leave only what does and to reveal that lushness found only in aliveness.
How odd it is that so many of us think we’ll arrive someday, where most areas of our life will be something better than they are now, and how sad it is that much of our life never completely feels quite like – exactly like – what we want. That dampening and yet divine dissatisfaction always feeding our distaste for the spread in front of us, while also fueling us to move in a way that helps the veil fall away, bringing us closer to the true expression of our spirit.
Life is such tricky territory, sticky like honey tasting so sweet on the tongue and slowing our breath as if it were coating our lungs.
As I stood watering the garden a couple weeks back a sudden warmth washed over me, as if I’d turned the hose on myself after it had sat motionless in the sun all day. The warm wash wet me with the words “it’s all sacred”.
It made me believe that all my efforts to fill my life with only what mattered was rich work for the soul. And, yet, there was more. I all the sudden understood that all the times that tasks and to-do’s seem to steal each minute, and many hours, and sometimes the bulk of the day still mattered.
I realized with a cellular certainty that I had done the work of eliminating what didn’t matter in this phase of my life (however fleeting), and that what was left was everything that truly mattered and everything that I was meant to have and be at this time in my life.
I realized that I didn’t have to resist the many tasks and to-do’s that “stole” my precious time – because they mattered. Because they were sacred too.
It was truth I wanted to steal a piece of my heart and weave through my ribs and tuck itself into the softest part of my womb to be birthed into a reminder whenever I needed it.
The truth being that we do not arrive. We become and begin and end over and over again, and all the moments of becoming, beginning and ending matter. All the in-between is the fleshy middle, full of uncertainty and longing and the luscious sacredness that veins itself through every single thing, if we are willing to truly feel the meaningful vibration that beats within all the moments we call life.
And, so, with this letter, I ask you to let go of what doesn’t matter and then to begin to feel the thread of magic moving through the mundane so that you may remember, and know, how sincerely sacred your in-between is.
This is a sample of a recent Luna Letter that I hand wrote and mailed out to the oh-so-beautiful tribe of women who receive them each month. If you are not already receiving them, I would love have you join us. You can learn more here. The next one leaves the nest with the September new moon.
Life has thrown our family a fair share of curveballs lately. Honestly, if I list out (and I do love lists of all kinds) all the adjustments and expansions and contractions of our life over the last year it’s rather startling.
The two that got this ‘new year’ rolling, back in August a year ago, were buying our home and my youngest daughter weaning – marking a new town, new land, new energy and the closing of over a dozen years of pregnancy and breastfeeding combined.
I find these transitions highly spiritual shifts in the life of a woman. A person. A family.
This past month has uprooted our recent and familiar routine with a combo of ‘what the fuck’ and ‘wow, life is good’.
It’s felt like a mix of a big mean joke and a genie blowing our wishes to life.
Yesterday, I found myself in a true moment of grace when I felt the exhaustion of this past month suck the marrow from my bones.
The exhaustion of holding space for dreams and holding space for disappointment.
The beautiful thing is that I’m sponging it up, wet with the weight of a lot of mental focus, while wiping away the not so sexy stuff so I can see the shining dream below it all.
Stress keeps trying to pour itself a cup, but we are mostly just dumping it out and brewing what we enjoy (with a couple primal screams on the side).
Because it’s life and in the scheme of life it’s little.
Sometimes we must pour grace on that which we wish to wallow in. We must handle things with as much finesse as we can rally, without complaining or floundering in feelings of unjust or bitterness or unfairness. Because not one of those curveballs has come as death or cancer or incurable illness. Nor divorce or homelessness or car accidents.
Nor at all from the things that strip you of your skin and make you bleed mourning.
Nope, just random turns in the path and fallen trees slowing your pace and complicating your plan.
Things that make you sigh, things that make your belly turn a bit, things that make the rotting rage come undone and make home in the forest floor to grow you into something more beautiful. More stable and strong. More malleable and flexible.
It’s awkward to admit that many of us often hope life will lay itself down in a clear cut line and let us walk it smoothly if we plan it first.
But, rather, life is a spiraling mix of pain and beauty – no different than the daily dance of this earth we walk on.
I’ve felt unmoving in my writing lately.
But, now, today, I feel words could squeeze from my skin like a sponge that never dries.
I’ve had fantasies to give it all up and delete the words I’ve shared here. Not being sure I’d find myself in them anymore.
But today I wish to keep going.
I’ve stayed quiet, wondering if words are mine to speak beyond the inky and lined pages of my privacy.
But today I know they are.
I’ve kept running my hand around the rim, afraid to reach in and feel how deep the hole has gotten from not filling it with my words.
But today I’ve filled some of the hole.
Maybe I’m unmoving because I know I have stories to tell and I’m afraid to tell them.
But they want to be told.
Lately our life has been changing, fast. Because he’s changed his mind.
“Change your mind to change your life.”
Who said that?
It’s so true.
We all need to change our mind about something.
I wonder if I can change my mind to believe that I can write and mother. Both. Fully.
The tasks of home and life swallow my days sometimes. Oftentimes.
Stuff feels like an insult to my soul and I can’t get rid of enough things.
Stripping, shedding, exposing and eliminating.
Wondering if I can free myself of the outdated, used up and out grown parts and bits of the self and life, like wet herbs left behind in the strainer. Letting the infused rich collect in the jar that holds. An elixir of all that nourishes and matters. Taking away what is no longer me or mine and composting it into the layers of life I call and claim as mine, to decompose and then nourish the next phase of life.
Marriage has felt smooth like grassfed butter, rich with sustenance after a spell of struggle. Even with the curveballs of knives stealing thick pats of that butter we are still tasting rich and spreading thick.
I’ve been moonstruck on magic lately. Signs and serendipity and synchronicities are spooning my parched mouth with honey. There is certainty that life is unfolding in no other way than it is meant to, so magically it feels like you’re making love to the world.
I’ve been staying open and watching for all the ways to give, bring joy and show gratitude to those around me. Homemade soup and cookies to a healing neighbor. Flowers and homemade caramel corn to a sister-in-law who is there when you need her, treats to the sheriff who helped as a middleman, a homemade creation to friends who offered kindness, handwritten letters to friends in deep grief…it feels so good to source someone a smile. And reminds me how big and beautiful and connected this world is.
I’ve came up close and personal with trust, staring it down the long and curvy path only to watch it straighten right before my eyes.
Trust – the proof is there when we believe.
I feel, like always, really full and empty. But mostly I feel grateful.
Crap, I had done it. I was laying in bed about a month ago, my husband at my side, both of us staring into the vast interwebs through these little screens called iPhones.
No, no, no. Not me. I had plans to be immune to this. I wasn’t dare, ever, going to the be the one who chose the touch of my phone over the touch of my family, the screen over snuggles, the words and life of others over the flesh and breath of my own words and life.
I was, indeed, certain I would be free of this internet addiction.
I, who have taken day long, week long and month long hibernations from the internet.
I, who have no pings and dings on my phone.
I, who seemed to be the very last one to say yes to a smartphone and quite frankly resisted it like crazy.
I, who often seriously considers going back to a life without a smartphone.
I, who am young, but old enough to remember when the internet became something and when the internet was nothing.
Tears pooled in the circumfrance of my eyes. He asked me if I was sad because our littlest had just lost her first tooth. That made me feel sadder.
Gawd, I can’t spoon up enough words to express how grateful I feel that my kids were all born before I had a smartphone. That I got to hold them and nurse them and follow them and play with them and love them with nothing more than a good ole’ home phone to ring and a bulky cell phone free of the internet and texting.
It’s a gratitude that ranks right up there with select and political decisions I made in mothering. Something that settles in deep, like thank you that I didn’t fuck that one up.
Though I am human and weak in ways I wish I wasn’t, I still thought I wouldn’t find myself here.
I wonder then, how the hell did I find myself here when I was so vehemently against it.
When I was the one who wouldn’t bring my phone into my bedroom.
When the thought or action of anyone choosing their phone over people makes my boundary blood boil.
When the only social media I partake in is Instagram and even then I am currently following no one and post pictures rather sparingly.
The truth is, like so many have said, the internet is a tool. An incredible tool that let’s me write messages in this space and have women all across the world read them.
My iPhone lets me send pictures to my parents in a jiffy, find directions to a new destination in a snap and text my Honey love notes when the fancy strikes.
The internet holds any answer or point I wish to believe and holds words that resonate and remind us of how little we are alone.
It’s the tool that lets lovers share faces when oceans lie between them.
That lets those newly diagnosed with life altering and body altering changes find those who have walked their path.
That lets those who are living their darkest days find light in the similar understanding of an absolute stranger.
The internet often leaves me with this barren feeling, one in which I just abandoned my own life for a bit to look into someone else’s.
Or, worse, one in which it sucks dry my time doing menial but must-get-done tasks.
Sometimes I feel a wee bit guilty for resenting and being so confused and weighted by something that serves me so much.
It also feels woven in the confusion and struggle I feel between expressing myself with my words and mothering as deeply as I always have.
This is why most of my words are kept scribbled in the pages of paper from trees.
Sometimes I feel I can’t have both. Mothering and writing.
Full presence of my life and the internet.
I know that this is seen this way in the limits of my mind.
But also not.
It is felt in the limitless way of my heart that never fails me when I ask what really matters.
In a world where so few of us feel like we have the support we need. Where communities and villages of motherhood and friendship and family and womanhood and handwritten letters are fading into Facebook groups and social media comments and emails and texts, we can feel we have no choice but to partake in the direction the world seems to be moving in.
But sometimes it doesn’t feel like we are moving that way as much as we are following that way. Or being pulled.
And sometimes that way feels so unhealthy when following usually leaves us feeling empty and envious and not enough.
It seems that sometimes everything important seems to get hushed under the things that call us into their corner.
Our culture is so good at numbing out and the internet provides us with the ability to fog our night away, the start of our day away, our afternoon away.
Tuning out, zoning out, decompressing, I think, is healthy. We must tune down the vibration of the world so we can hum our own tune.
But zoning out to the tune of others often makes us try to hum their tune.
Sometimes it can help us hear our own tune through inspiration, but often it’s just noise drowning out the truth that comes alive in the quiet of ourselves.
The quiet we’ve grown very uncomfortable with.
This very painful moment in bed where I found myself numblessley and mindlessly looking at the most random of things, reading the most random of words…when I could have been doing the most meaningful of things….
like writing or lovemaking or dream talking or watching the way my kids sleep…
It hurt. It caused a shell of pain to cradle my heart and I knew I had stepped into territory that wasn’t mine.
The truth is, I feel happiest when I use the internet the least.
Call me sensitive, tell me I could create a better reality with the online world…it’d be true, but still…
Y’all, if anything beats the rhythm of my heart, it’s that I know that this time is limited. So very precious and limited.
What we know to be true in our lives as you read these words and as I type them can change before you finish this sentence.
Let’s be fucking done.
Wasting our lives.
Carefully curating little squares and blurbs to capture our best and scrolling through the filtered best of everyone else.
Realize, people, that what you see online is a piece of someone’s life. A piece. A fraction.
They cry and shit and feel shame and loneliness and argue and laugh until they nearly pee and make love and feel moved by the smallest act of beauty.
Use the internet to give of yourself and let people see the peeks of you that are soft and vulnerable too.
Use the internet to find pieces of yourself and connect with others who hum a similar tune.
Use the internet to pay bills and send emails, to garner news that matters to you and to find the details of the things you wish to know.
Use the internet.
Something will always spend your hours.
What does matter to you?
What really really fucking matters to you?
The only way for this life to be well lived is to put those things first.
Life can be stolen in a glimpse of cancer and car accidents, aneurysms and heart attacks, trip-ups and tumors, depression and disease.
Make what matters to you happen, then weave in the bits that need to happen to make the day function.
Summon all your mindfulness to curb the minutes and hours that get stolen in the always-more world of online.
Let life be the messy ass mess that it is…stop looking for answers and certainty online… instead pour as much meaning and magic as you can into the flesh of life to plug up the time sucking drain that is the overuse of the internet.
This life is what we have for certain. But how long this life is is uncertain.