{soulful surrender}

“Maybe in realizing I know nothing, I found true wisdom, true love, true light. A closeness to God and Spirit that can only come when down on your knees or back, arms outstretched on the earth, totally vulnerable.” | denise andrade-kroon

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My story begins with my parent’s love affair, a beautiful red headed French Canadian woman who fell in love with a handsome, olive skinned Portuguese marine. Together they traveled west, settling in Northern California, where their lives began with raising three little girls. I am their third …

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We grew up in a conservative household, my mother raised catholic, and my father’s military background. We became born-again Christians and the love of Christ was so very present in the way we lived: My oldest sister was a youth pastor and worship leader. I was deeply involved in youth groups, went to Bible College on the coast, lead children's ministry and was a missionary in Romania. It was heart soaked and my walk with Christ led me away from drugs, sex and alcohol at too young of an age. I learned to honor and respect myself and my body as a temple.

The foundation of tenderness, love and compassion I had cultivated in my life led me to venture out on my own, exploring my wide open heart with faith and spirituality. My quest was deeply pure and sacred and inspired me to honor and respect various faiths and walks of life. What I carry with me now is that it doesn't feel good in my bones to attach a label to my spirituality or relationship with God, Jesus, Spirit.  I've learned, experienced and seen too much to place that sacred part of my heart into a box.

My thirst for exploring didn’t stop with faith and spirituality. I suppose I’m the free-spirit of my family, easily restless. I am such a seeker for new experiences, for knowledge and for the world with a deep thirst to connect with as many people, places and stories as I am able. My late twenties and early thirties were the years of much discovery and influence. An awareness of all that I could be or wanted to be… and I wanted to be a great many things! My free spirited heart was certainly not ready to commit to one thing, one location, one destiny.

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Soon, my path led me to my very own Gilbert Blythe (whom I’d wished for as a child watching Anne of Green Gables). This tall Canadian boy caught me off guard and we both fell in love at hello. He was passionate and sincere, and opened me up to the roots of who I am.  He was the one that encouraged and supported me to begin exploring my creative side and this began with a gift of a Sabrina Ward Harrison Workshop.

This workshop led me to circles of creative women, all chiming their soulful voices and spilling their hearts with such bravery. Being introduced to these circles opened new paths for me and that is when I was introduced to the world of Blogging.

During this time, I was dabbling in design school- where my teacher pulled me aside and shared her vision with me- that I had more of myself to give than designing rooms. She gave me the permission I needed to be honest with my art and myself. With new found confidence, an open heart, and the support of my husband- I left school, my corporate job and began my creative journey by starting my own business: Bohemian Girl Designs. First, I designed necklaces- but soon, found my real passion in photography.

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As I immersed myself in photography, my husband and I began our journey to conceive a child. It was long and heartbreaking, and beautiful all at once. I needed an outlet for all the grief I was feeling- and was encouraged by friends to start a blog. And so, I began to write. It was so very raw and open, pouring these deep rooted desires and heartaches, along with images from my lens. This was my therapy, and soon- people on the same journeys discovered my words and images.

People from all walks of life with their own grief connected with me. I connected with women and myself in a way that I never have before. My heart cracking open inspired others to be just as raw and honest. I was awed, humbled, and the healing began. I learned to not attach shame to being fully raw and vulnerable.

“This IS GRACE, my dear fairy friend. The bodies that are but spacesuits, as Ram Dass has named them. They are for travel. They are not our soul, our essence, our part in the larger cosmic story of ourselves. Your unraveling and reweaving and now palming and pressing and kneading (needing) is the awakening to the perfection of the dance. Your steps across the stage of your own life are a laser dancing in the night. Your vulnerability is, in and of itself, your forgiveness and yes, LOVE.Thanks for this share. Miss you madly. Soul sisters are tied by invisible gossamer ribbons. Blessings for that. ”

Emily Allison

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My form of photography continued to be a source and outlet for me. An ethereal style emerged, aligning with the soft and tender parts of my soul that surfaced from the pain of {in}fertility. I discovered that while photographing artists, my art and heart felt so much LIFE. I shouted it out to the universe "I want to photograph artists!" Claiming that passion; claiming myself; giving myself permission, opened the flood gates for artists to find me.

Throughout this journey, Bohemian Girl Designs became Boho Photography, eventually Boho Photo and my blog and my art blossomed into a Boho Girl brand.  I am grateful that becoming my own brand happened so very organically. I am also grateful that my free spirited heart does not feel attached to that brand and has surrendered to more awakening and transformation.

 

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At the end of 2008, our baby found us. Cedar was brought into our lives by an open adoption. We were blessed enough to be present at his powerful birth, where we were changed forever. He is the spirit baby that kept us moving towards finding him, never giving up or losing hope. He was such a gift at the end of our fertility journey. 

 

Two years ago my boys and I left California to live in the fae lands of the most Northern part of Washington.  Here is where we have found our h{OM}e and have connected deeply to our roots, our truest selves, our fae souls.
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Desiring so much for my body to be fertile while on a quest to unite with my child, I discovered I was indeed fertile. Fertile in my dreams, my passions, creativity, relationships and spirituality. Fertile within my LIFE: carrying and re{birth}ing myself over and over as I continually surrendered to opening and transformation and renewal. I like to refer to this process as Soul Nectar.

I am currently writing a memoir about my journey and launching an ecourse. My hope is to continue to inspire others with a knowing that their own lives are beautifully fertile and abundant with nectar from their soul.

With gentle love,

denise andrade-kroon

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