One of the best ways to create the feel you’d like in your home, or in your day, or to just get in the zone, is smudging with sage.
Along with its spiritual cleansing properties, it is also antibacterial, and releases beneficial negative ions into the atmosphere (the same kinds released by waterfalls and pink salt lamps).
Join me in a little cleansing ceremony to shift your energy for today, and experience how calm and powerful you can feel when embracing a ritual mindset for yourself during your day.
It’s a beautiful thing to make the decision that today, in this moment, you are creating a positive change. That you are doing something to make your life a little better.
Keep with these positive changes all along the way. And sooner than you realize, you’ll be looking back at the you from ten years ago so proud of how far you’ve come, and shining with a confidence you never knew you’d have.
And I’ll be here with you along the way, supporting you as a sister, however I can, Goddess to Goddess.
We are infinite. Sacred beings. Born of stardust and molten rock. Swirling tides and the passion between lips. We move in spirals with the seasons and the skies, and we tend to forget the magick that pours through our essence. It is time to remember.
I’d like to share this with you, as I’ve had a powerful impact from this song since I was about sixteen. It sinks me deeply into my universal awareness, observing participation with archetypes of my cyclical flowing pagan roots, and an experience of the beauty of what it means to bridge earth and spirit in the midst of the infinite.
Ritual. Bring it into your life. In ways small and large. In harmony with your essence, and touching the existence we were born of, whether by the cycles of the moon, or the sun, or the seasons, or simply reaching into the mystery of night with a candle and smiling into the infinite potential that you are here to activate for yourself.
Let your intentions for your life become a sacred moment. Sit down. Tell the Universe what you want to create. Ask for guidance and insight. And listen.
Tune this moment into the cycles of nature in whatever way feels natural. I write my intentions at either the full or new moon, based on how I’m guided, send energy into them over the month, and then release them with pure trust to the Universe by fire, outside, under the light, or the shadow, knowing that they will be born in accordance with the flow that is needed in my life, and all of life around me.
And at times, I simply draw down the energy of the full moon, grounding it into the earth with the intention of illumination and harmony. For All of Life. Rippling out from the place where I stand, like a silver liquid pool, ever-expanding.
Whatever you choose to do, let it be your own. In alignment with your inner truth and knowing. And know that as you go, I am always walking beside you, a sister honored to be a part of your journey, and share in our sacred wisdom, Goddess to Goddess.
I was inspired by an instagram thought-stream by Brittany Greer, where she talks about expectations.
It rang especially true for me, as expectations have been one of the most difficult and important things to be aware of in my life so far, and are truly the foundation of so much of our inner turmoil.
They’re a main focus for me, because of my sensitivity to them when they’ve been placed on me. When you think about it, any moment of displeasure, whether it’s not liking someone’s demeanor, or the choices they make, or your boss being annoyed that you’re not performing well at your job, or you just not liking your job, it’s all based on the experience being in contrast to our expectation that life is supposed to be comfortable and enjoyable.
It sounds strange when you think about it like that, but it makes sense when you break it down.
“I’m annoyed because I don’t like my job.”
“I expect that jobs should be more fulfilling and enjoyable.”
In a given moment, the thing which we’re observing does not live up to our expectations. That’s the reason why we feel upset. This natural reaction shows us that on a subtle level, deep in our core, we actually expect every single thing in life to be extremely likeable. We know that something better is possible, and we’re kind of bothered that it’s not happening right now. On one hand, it’s incredible to be so in tune with our preferences, but on the other hand, well, following our preferences could easily get way out of hand, and become a toned down version of when my nieces are feeling a little too entitled.
I’ve been spending a lot of time around my nieces lately, and my sister was talking with me yesterday, asking my thoughts on why they seem to have so much trouble focusing and why they’ve been having more of an attitude lately when they aren’t getting their way.
My perspective was simple, and inspired by a conversation on how our behavior is so rooted in the way that, as children, we’re raised. Our society starts us off as small children thinking that the foundation of our everday lives, and our main goal, is simply entertainment. Seeking joy. And don’t get me wrong, seeking joy is one of the most important things that we can practice in our lives, as it will, when balanced properly, guide us to our purpose, and help us to make the right choices that will guide us to where we truly belong. But when they’re unbalanced, we become closed off, angry, depressed, or just plain spoiled rotten. So how do we prevent that? And where did it all start?
I’ll go back to the example of society and children. In our great-grandmothers’ generation, and through all of our recorded history before that, the majority of children grew up in a vastly different environment on too many levels to count. They weren’t bombarded with bright, shiny objects and loud, glowing screens full of imaginary people and stories for hours on end.
They sat in quiet homes, and in nature, with their family. The only things they had to observe around them were the daily actions that helped their family to live a stable life. They watched gardens grow. They watched homes be built with the help of the community. They sat with their mothers and fathers while they cared for animals, did the sewing, prepared the meals with plants that they understood. Their lives were slower and had an obvious purpose, were connected to the natural cycles, and their games with other children were understood to be a very small part of what they were here to be and do.
Their ability to self-discipline and follow the requests of their family were understood as being a top priority, and there was not as strong of a sense, as they developed, that their own entertainment could take over, without the household falling apart. Obviously, children are still children, and it takes time and practice and persistence to form solid healthy habits in life, but with so few distractions, and a sense of being a part of something, their relationship with the expectations placed on them was more solid, more natural, and more real.
For those of us in my generation who grew up without that upbringing, it was a little more like a swirling chaos of Nickelodeon, gameboys, and, oh, we had to go to school because they tell us to. Not a lot of parents (at least based on the conversations I’ve had with many of my peers) even strongly emphasized that being a child is training you for adulthood, in a practical way that really prepared us for things, and just kind of said that someday we’d go to college and get a job, and left the rest up to the schooling systems.
So, a lot of us floundered. A lot of us didn’t even have meals together, or do anything together as a family on a daily or weekly basis. In my home, tv was the only activity, and our dinner was eating while staring into it, without anyone learning anything about each other’s lives, or talking about what was going on in the lives of the adults. There wasn’t a natural observation of adult life that would allow me to prepare myself mentally for what it would be like to learn to balance everything, and have self discipline, feel like an important part of something, or truly learn to relate to others in a kind and healthy way. This was simply because we didn’t talk, we didn’t work together in any way, and everyone was too busy distracting themselves with the brain-candy of the moment, inbetween obligations we didn’t see a reason for (besides “I’ll get in trouble if I don’t”) and pretty much ignoring everything else.
For those of us with this kind of upbringing, it can be very difficult to look at the world we’ve just graduated into and not feel confused, irritated, lost, and overwhelmed with how many things we feel no sense of passion or purpose about, and no obvious way to figure out how to fix it. So, too many of us end up starting off by just finding a job that pays okay, and binge Netflix on the weekends because, what else is there when you don’t really wanna get up?
Then we feel cranky about our job (because we settled for it, but somehow still expect it to be perfect, instead of looking for a creative way to make a living) and we grumble that there’s nothing on Netflix (because we’ve already spent too much time on there and expect it to entertain us forever, instead of thinking about something cool we could learn, or share with the world, and trying it) and we get mad at the people around us (because we expect them to be somebody they’re not, and satisfy our need for love, understanding, fun, and intellectual stimulation, instead of giving more of those things to ourselves, and those people, for being exactly who we each are).
We expect that life should be entertaining. We expect that things should be easy. We expect that the right path will be laid out in front of us, because that’s what we’ve known moving through the world to be like. And we don’t know how to direct ourselves, because no one showed us. And we’re sincerely bothered by everything and everyone that doesn’t match what we know we need, instead of turning to ourselves to find the answers, because we don’t even realize that we have them.
Thanks to these expectations we place on others, and on our world, and even on ourselves, our judgements and the ways we hold ourselves back are born from our comfort zone, when they should be based on whether or not something (or someone) is healthy and fulfilling for us as a whole.
So, the question is… day to day, how do we find the balance?
We start by noticing our emotions, and instead of complaining or shutting something out, pausing to ask ourselves,
“What is missing from this, that makes it bother me?”
If you’re sitting at home on the weekend and feel unbearably bored, what’s missing? Is it adventure? Is it depth? Is it wanting to be a part of something? Is it creative expression? Is it love? Is it wanting to feel accomplished in the world, like you’ve done something important?
If you’re annoyed, or just kind of dismissing a person or an idea, why do you feel that way? Do they remind you of someone who hurt you before? Is it something that feels unfamiliar and maybe makes you uncomfortable to imagine yourself being a part of?
In a conversation, it might be that you feel bothered by someone being rude. Respect is missing. How can you calmly address it? Tell them gently what you noticed. If they show no interest in cocreating a peaceful interaction, it’s okay to set a boundary and walk away.
On the opposite side, in a relationship, whether work or personal, if someone is placing too many expectations on you, and you feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to let them know, and see how you can work together to create solutions, or spread out the work in a healthier way for everyone.
And in your life in general, if something you’re doing doesn’t feel fulfilling, or doesn’t feel like enough, feel it out. Take it step by step and really look at what’s important to you, and go from there. What do you care about, and why? How do you want to make a difference? What are your skills, and what are the new skills that your purpose would require?
If you’re still figuring out your path, think about what you’d want to see the world look like 20 years from now. Think about what problems in the world really hurt to think about. Think about what kinds of activities light your heart up. And think about how they could all fit together into one life.
In my coaching program, Goddess to Goddess Guidance, I take you deeply into the questions that reveal your true essence to yourself, to help you figure out what it really is that’s right for you, on your own terms, in your own way, and work week by week to make it happen, together, as you grow.
Discovering your purpose is a beautiful unfolding that breathes life into you in ways you never knew it could. And I say that from experience. The more that I’ve surrendered to not only the things that bring me the greatest joy and fulfillment, but also the challenges that appear in my path along the way, I’ve become stronger, wiser, and more free and satisfied than ever before, even though I feel like I have so far to grow. This is the journey I want for you, dear goddess, because you are a light uniquely all your own. You will find your way, and I’m always here to walk beside you, Goddess to Goddess.
Just last night I was describing something I remembered reading that was advice for writers, and those who aspire to be writers.
If you want to become a better writer, write for ten minutes every day, no matter what.
Again I come at ya with the straightforward, simple advice. Well, I was talking about writing with a friend on the phone, and saying how I’d like to start doing that.
I almost did it last night, but decided to sleep early (with the subtle excuse in my mind that I wouldn’t write well in that state anyway). And then I woke up to this…
Marie has been a huge inspiration to me for the last two years, and the timing of this video was certainly taken as a sign from THE UNIVERSE *insert glimmers and a booming sense of wonder here*.
It’s good to be thorough, but there has to be a balance that keeps us productive instead of nit-picking ourselves to a halt. We can’t expect something to grow if we never let it flow.
Too often, I’ve found myself putting out too little content because I felt like I had to be in just the right mode, and have three hours to spare, to make it a worthwhile read.
Well, here I am, on the bus, busting this out so that I can believe in my ability to write consistently, by proving through action that I can.
And this doesn’t just apply to writing. Any skill or project you wish to develop, commit to doing it ten minutes a day. Most likely, you’ll get on a roll and feel inspired after just a few. And imagine how much more quickly your skills will improve, and how much more of your focus will be on what you want to create in your life.
I’m a fan of the phrase “life is what you make it”. Whether opportunity falls into your lap or is still waiting for you quietly in the shadows, you have to take it and wield it like a mighty sword, and you’ll want to wield it masterfully. Which takes diligent practice, and persistence over the years.
Dedication to our dreams is what makes them become real, a bit more every step of the way. And I’m still always here, if you need backup, Goddess to Goddess.
One thing is for sure, we are big-hearted women. We want to save the world, make sure everyone is as happy as humanly possible, and tend to put our own well-being on the back-burner until our many little moments of self-neglect tip the scale and cause us to crumble. And even then, we still often do only as much for ourselves as is absolutely necessary to get us up and running again.
It’s a common issue with very caring people. But a phrase that helps me to keep things in balance is this:
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
It’s simple, but it really says it all. How many times do we feel like we have two drops left, and we still give one to another? This is especially true for moms, who often have more piled on them than any of us could carry, without occasionally… okay, frequently, losing it. (I have so much respect for you mommas.)
And for those of us who are really struggling financially and have the constant stress of feeling stuck, like there’s nothing we can do, it’s hard, sometimes, to find even a minute to care for our own needs, in this crazy society that causes us to work our lives away with little to call our own, and no time to spend with our loved ones.
But, I’m here to tell you that there’s always a path out of the darkness, and that in order to find your way, on your own unique path, you’re gonna have to tend to your candle, and make sure that you have enough provisions for the journey ahead.
Each of us has a completely unique path in this life, which can only be made clear when we shine the light of our focus onto our passions and our dreams. If we just keep stumbling around in the dark, giving our second-to-last drop of water to whoever we bump into, how will we ever get out? How will we have enough to give so that we really make a difference?
Fill your cup, by making sure that you have what you need. Are you feeling totally tip top, or super drained? Are you sleeping at least eight hours, drinking enough water, eating enough healthy food to keep you going?
Are you making time to socialize and time to yourself to relax throughout the week? If not, you better schedule it. Even a half hour bath, or a fifteen minute walk around the block can help us to unwind and recenter. Even ten minutes of stretching or meditation once we’re in bed can relax us into more rejuvenating sleep to prepare for tomorrow.
We can get overwhelmed with the idea that we don’t have enough time to take care of ourselves on top of eeeeverything else, but we’re not on top of everything else. We’re underneath it, holding it all up and keeping it balanced. Our well-being is the foundation of everything in our lives, and if the foundation crumbles, everything else does too. So you can’t neglect it. That’s what happened to me. It wasn’t pretty.
Things began great in 2014, I was traveling around, working at off-grid building workshops as a cook in Arizona and even Canada, riding across the country in a van with a zebra print fuzzy “couch” in the back seat with a couple of hippies I met in the middle of nowhere, selling clothes I abstract-doodled on from a clothesline at a friend’s reggae festival in the Carolinas, trimming weed in California (where things started to go downhill… sketchy fellas, ’nuff said) and then winter came and it was time to come home.
Those kinds of wild rides are as much drama as they are adventure, but my candle was nearly a blowtorch, and my path was clearly alight. But there wasn’t much water towards the end of my journey, and my cup was getting pretty low.
I came home with a flu, and slept for about a week on my mom’s couch while the snow fell. As soon as it had passed, I dove into building a holistic wellness-coaching practice and gave most of my attention to that, and applying the principles I shared to my own life, and feeling super confident.
Within that first month back, though, one of my best friends, who was like a sister to me, ended up in a mental hospital, hearing voices and feeling like she was burning in hell. The combination of coming off of fifteen years of taking Adderall, and getting dragged into some guilt-mongering cult-like belief system while her mind was so vulnerable really messed up her perception of life. She was stuck in a bad trip. And I had to get her out.
I was devastated, and without a second thought, I moved to her house (in the mild ghetto) to help her.
It was so much harder on me than I had anticipated. There was honestly nothing I could do. I would sit with her, assure her that all was well and it was just in her head, but her experiences were so real that we couldn’t get through to her. She tried various medications, and psychiatrists, natural methods, diet changes, energy work, everything we could think of, but she still couldn’t sleep, experiencing horrifying attacks at night and in constant fear of eternal suffering, pacing the house and shouting “Angels, PLEASE!!”
While all of this was going on, I had a mini-breakdown. I felt like I had failed her, and was too drained and unstable from my environment that I felt was unfit to coach. I shut down my practice, stopped writing and started trying to find ways to cope.
See, along with trying to help her, I was also incredibly broke. I’d been stretching the two thousand dollars I had saved in California to last me December through March. I was living on rice and bananas, a few vegetables here and there.
When I’d go to the store, I’d walk through the neighborhood feeling really unsafe (two gunshots a month was common at night there, following yelling) and twice I’d been followed most of the way home by men hitting on me who didn’t like no as an answer.
Another large part of my focus was on vegan and environmental activism, and witnessing the amount of damage and destruction happening globally, and how little action was being taken to change it, was sucking my faith in humanity away and making me scared for the future.
And, to top it all off, I had finally lost a man I had pined for for three years, who kept me at arm’s length, who finally chose another girl.
I was a wreck, guys. It had been six months, and I was broken. I went to visit my sister in Kentucky, and she told me I should just come stay with her. After a few weeks, I was invited last-minute to cook and be in charge of the food at an Earthbag House building workshop in Arizona, and hold a Reiki workshop during it too.
It was just what I needed, but I was still drained. That whole summer and fall, something was off with me. My optimism had diminished, and it took very little to overwhelm me. I ended up stuck. All of the trauma weakened something in me, and that winter I went through a depression like nothing I’d ever seen before.
I had lost all hope. I couldn’t even get myself to leave my room to eat because I felt so intimidated by the judgements of everyone seeing me being so useless. I cried all day and rarely got out of bed, and wouldn’t let myself do anything to relax until I felt like I had accomplished enough to seem “worthy” and useful. Helpful. All the things I expected myself to be.
It took four months to get out of that. With a lot of Netflix, a lot of letting go, and getting back with an ex who understood what it’s like to have that kind of depression, and finally feeling like I was enough, even when I was nothing.
So, I moved with him to Colorado. We’re good friends now, planning to get our own places, while navigating the awkward discomfort of the recent downgrade in our relationship. I’ve got a good job now, am building my business, and taking care of my health.
Since my hormones got thrown out of whack from that year of trauma, and threw me into a nearly inescapable depression, it’s also caused damage that has since left me with extreme fatigue, and blood sugar issues. And I’m finally seeing a naturopathic doctor and getting tests done to find out what exactly went wrong, and how to support my system back into balance. That’s what inspired this message today.
You see, all of that stress, and that trauma, it broke something in me. And I fell completely apart, and am now having to fix it. We should not have to go through that. We should be so good to ourselves that our foundation never has to crumble, and we know when we need to get out of an unhealthy situation, or when we really need a break or a pick-me-up.
This means setting healthy boundaries. If your cup gets below half full, you need to go fill it. You can’t wait until the breaking point, because eventually, you really will break.
If you’re just a little bit hungry, eat. If you’re a little bit thirsty, drink. A little bit stressed? Go in the bathroom, breathe, and touch your toes. For a full minute, just hang over and breathe. Need to address an unhealthy situation? Collect your thoughts, and do it when it’s only a hint of a problem. When you’re still mostly okay, and can discuss it rationally. Don’t wait until you’re ravenous, dying of thirst, or ripping your hair out, and crying in a heap on the floor to take care of your needs.
You are important, and have so much to give. If you give to yourself, your cup will be overflowing, and your foundation will be rock-solid and inspiring, and you’ll make greater changes than you’d ever imagined.
Keep your focus on your dreams and your path will make itself clearer every step of the way. And, Goddess to Goddess, I’m always here to help.