connection

soulsigh in the spring*

"My four weeks with them was transcendent. To see the expansion of souls via words, pictures, growth, birth, {re}birth truly touched the soulsigh sisters deeply. I wish I had the magic touch these soul doulas possessed.They bleed creative divine feminine, they oooooze love and tenderness. They encourage gentle, soul bleeding expansion. Reading their words is loving kindness, deep respect, and utter soul seeing. They just see you, and continue to see. They see nothing but beauty and perfect, and they continue to see only light. Light. Love. Peace." Makenna

 by denise andrade for  soulsigh—a sacred blessingway

by denise andrade for soulsigh—a sacred blessingway

Loves, I wanted to let you know that Hillary Rain and I have had many sweet requests and inquiries about our Sacred Blessingway eCourse we created together. With Mother's Day approaching we thought it would be a perfect time to offer it again for those who were hoping to experience Soulsigh. Even if Mother's Day is not something you celebrate for yourself we feel that you belong because there is a sweet little girl inside you who needs your tender love and nourishment. This time our course runs April 14-May 12. 

One of our sweet participants, Drucilla, shared this with us following our time together:

"Letting my soul sigh was an all-important and oh-so-pleasurable act of self-care.  and not just one act, but continued enactment, with indulgences that felt as critical to life as water and bread, unfolding week by week as the fae soul and soul doula led us down to the bottom of the garden, through the wildflowers and weeds (to see that they are one), and back to the home to our own secrets and sisters.  Just being with them as they shared so exquisitely of themselves, and gently, lovingly witnessed our whispers to them and each other --  it created such healing, intimate community that I am still basking in, remembering and longing for... they have shown us what all of life should be." —Drucilla, through tears  

about soulsigh—a sacred blessingway

Our course is designed to offer an intimate Blessingway abounding with loving rituals of gentleness, tenderness, wildness, nurture, connection to earth, and adornment to honor our re(birth) and coming h(om)e to ourselves, and to share this journey within a safe cocoon of sisters. We come from a story of not being able to conceive and carry a child (yet) the way our bodies were designed to, and what emerged from our healing and being drawn to one another is honoring our bodies as capable of birthing. Birthing ideas, dreams and even ourselves + souls over and over again as we move throughout life. We then had this epiphany that all women could benefit from such compassion for their souls + bodies, and ritual through the process could be a gentle way to honor it. We would like to gently invite you to join us for this sacred journey together in honor of the mother within you and your creative feminine. It's such a safe and cozy circle and we have so many nurturing prompts and experiences waiting for you. If you would like to see a little behind the scenes to tantalize you, here is a post I wrote last summer sharing the emotional tenderness I felt with my friend who so generously allowed me to photograph her for our course.

Will you circle with us? We'd love to have you. And as a gentle peek to entice you, here is our opening welcome video shown to our beloved moon sisters who walk alongside us.

soulsigh—a sacred blessingway begins april 14

an intimate hush*

janae

I can't stop lingering at this image of my friend.  Its is from a video she sent me this morning through text.  I took a screen capture and sent it to her and wrote "look at you...".  I wanted her to see the peace in her breath, in this moment when she paused, closed her eyes, inhaled slowly, exhaled slowly and allowed a tender hush between her and my witness of her.

I loved so much this gift and the mirror this holy wholly moment was for me, that I asked her if she felt comfortable with me sharing it here with all of you.  This was her response...

"Yes. Use it because it is intimate and there is no reason to avoid the intimate giving.  All that matters is intimate.  And all that matters makes us free".

I am ever so grateful for the gentle souls that are surrounding me and my boys these days.  For my friends and family members that understand how difficult it is for me to talk on the phone, not only because of Cedar's sensitivity to frequencies and how they make him melt down but also my own sensitivity of balancing being on the phone with noise around me and how it hurts my head too and its hard to be present.  They know it won't always be like this as we work with Cedar through therapy but even if it was, I feel their acceptance, unconditional love and embracing of our needs.  I love the videos and texts, emails and voice memos from my loves that are sent my way...to stay connected and close, without expectation.  I love the patience with needing to set up phone dates when I am alone, parked in front of the sea or even the grocery store...just me and them, without distraction.  Just writing this brings me to tears because of the love and honoring this brings into our life.

And then there are moments like this and this image of Janae (above) and how sometimes when words are not enough and its hard to not be close in the physical, that even through a video, she can allow herself pause and gaze, slow breath and connection to the love that we feel for each other.  And the fact that its enough for her?  Well, that feels so safe and free and is a gentle guide towards opening myself up and trusting deeper.

Sponsor Guest Post & GIVEaway*

-3

guest post by sas petherick

Can you imagine how freeing it would be, to feel completely at home in your body?

What could you do, and who would you be, if you fell passionately in love with yourself: yourbody and your life? It is my humble and considered view that you would beun-freakin-stoppable!

I want you to know that you can have a conscious, trusting, peaceful relationship with your body.

-1

My life's mission has been to love all of myself: to be enough for me. I want this for you too. And so I'm combining a coaching toolbox the size of Texas and my own favourite practices, in an online course called emBODYment - for any woman who wants Body Peace.

We'll explore the big dreams you have for yourself, you'll learn how to choose your thoughts,how to tune into your body’s wisdom, feel your feelings, create more joy in your life and live on purpose.

Everyone will get a gorgeous coaching journal packed full of exercises and ideas. Plus there is group coaching, meditation, and a supportive community all available in our private website.

Here's a little morsel of the Coaching Journal, just for you.

Using the tools I am sharing in emBODYment, I have been able to lose 65 pounds. But so much more than this, I am creating a life that fulfils me more than I ever thought possible. I feel more ‘me’ than I ever have.

emBODYment will start on the 20th of May - it's going to be six weeks of awesome.

Hope to see you in class :)

There are fifty places available - enrollment is open!

-2
-4

Big love, Sas Petherick is a writer and coach: a Life Transformer for people who want an Amplified Life full of woo hoo! moments. She spent almost twenty years helping thousands of people navigate change in their place of work, before a combination of loss and grief prompted her own transformation path. A CTI trained Co-active Coach, Sas is currently training with Martha Beck’s Life Coaching Programme.

 As well as emBODYment, Sas is coaching one-on-one and will be co-hosting Redfox Retreats in October 2013 with Susannah Conway and Meghan Genge. You can find out more at www.saspetherick.com and on the twits @saspetherick

GIVEaway rules:

  • :: Three chances to enter ::
  • To enter for a spot in Sas's course, please leave a comment
  • If you Tweet about it, leave a second comment that you've tweeted
  • If you Facebook about it, leave a third comment that you've FB'd
  • Comments will remain open until 10pm PST Sunday, May 5th
  • Winner will be announced Monday, May 6th
  • COMMENTS CLOSED
  • Winner is Hollie from In a little green house! Congrats! We will contact you shortly. ; )

guest post & giveaway*

feathering4

Shortly after I moved to Washington, I hired Stephanie as my holistic health coach and we had an immediate kindred connection. She has been such an amazing support to me in my life over the past few years, that I wanted to spread the love and support her latest yummy adventure and share it with all of you. I'm so excited to take this e-course!

************** Hello Lovelies!

I'm Stephanie, a certified holistic health and lifestyle coach and one half of the team Feathering the Nest, a new e-course I developed with the lovely Leah Kent of Skill It. Leah and I both have backgrounds in the arts as well as plenty of hours logged in the kitchen developing recipes for our clients. We were drawn together by our shared passion for making our homes into nuturing soul spaces. We think the things you choose to surround yourself with have a profound affect on your mind and body. We want your home to not only reflect the beauty inside of you, but nourish and give back to you, in a way that will transform how you move into each day.

feathering1

Feathering the Nest will be an eclectic two week journey through your home, a sensual path to self discovery. We will be creating beautiful things for our homes with our own hands, getting cozy with really fun and intuitive writing exercises and cooking up some delicious recipes. You'll also receive beautiful printables to use over and over as you explore your nesting style. We are going beyond just aesthetics and finding our own unique path by tapping into feng shui, numerology and chakra wisdom. You'll gain entrance into a sacred online space to share your experience, pictures and inspirations with kindred souls.

feathering2

Whether you space is large or small, rented or owned, we think you are going to love learning how to infuse each corner with your essence to create a sanctuary for you and all who inhabit it. To learn even more, visit us over here at the class site!

Today we are excited to announce that we are giving away a chance to win ONE seat in the class to one of you (a $59 value)!

There are three options to enter the GIVE-away:

  • Leave a comment here on Denise's blog, telling us what room needs some loving in your house
  • Tweet about the give-away using hash-tag #featheringthenest and come back here to tell us
  • Post on Facebook about the giveaway and come back here to tell us

You may absolutely do more than one of these options for a second or third chance to win the seat. Winner will be chosen at random the evening of Thursday, March 28th. They will be sent an email with details immediately.

There is more! As a special thank you to each reader of Denise's poetry, we are honored to offer a 15% discount on the class. Please use the code: BOHOGIRL at checkout to receive your discount!!

feathering_portrait

Stephanie Perkinson

Instagram: StephPerkinson Twitter: StephPerkinson Facebook: Wellness by Design – with Stephanie Perkinson

Leah (Cherry) Kent

Twitter: Skillitchef Facebook: Skill It

{The winner is Bea...congrats! You will be contacted shortly}

to let...to let...

Processed with Cameramatic app.

self portrait

Three tree town.

Come in from the darkness on the edge of this three tree town. Because it's thicker than the woods out there, Settles harder than the cold winter ground.

Come in from the shadows of these boot black, marching clouds Because trouble falls like rain, And lately it's been pouring down.

I've seen loneliness. She wrapped me up with such tenderness. I've seen loneliness. She tied me down in her sweet caress.

Oh come in from the confines of your own mind my dear, Because worry is all you'll find there it's clear. And tomorrow will always come. And tomorrow may well bring the sun.

Yeah I've seen loneliness She wrapped me up with such tenderness. And I've seen happiness She came round here yesterday In a bright blue dress...

And we go..

~ Ben Howard

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

I'm snuggled up at a corner table here at my local coffee shop. I'm working on my ecourse. Yes, I just said that.  In a bit of a whisper but my heart is fluttery.  I feel a deep pulsing of life. I feel afraid. I feel drawn toward a light that won't leave me alone. I feel my bosom moving closer to my truth.

I just received a text from my girlfriend telling me that she's listening to the Ben Howard station on Pandora and has since I mentioned it on my blog a long while ago.  I felt inspired by her mention of this.  I needed something in this moment. Something outside of myself but deeply inside myself at the same time.  So I put my earphones on, plugged them into my laptop and too began to play the Ben Howard station on Pandora.  The song above is what came on.  I felt tears run down my cheeks.  Because the past few years I have seen loneliness too.  More than I ever have in my life.  But I've also met myself, listened to myself, my desires, my tenderness, my hurts more than I ever have in my life.  I offered myself forgiveness for all the mistakes I made in relationships. Healing has been slow...but good, so so good. Yes, Loneliness...she has wrapped me up with such tenderness and Happiness comes around more often and I no longer take her for granted.  Her in her bright blue dress (which I happen to be wearing a blue dress today).

I see doors opening and the space... its quieter there than before.  Not so much noise.  Sort of a peaceful lingering hush but an inner powerful that feels steady to me.  Maybe because the inter-weaving of humility is stronger than I was ever truly aware of.  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. Loneliness.  Wholeness.  Then, then...surrendering to the outstretched hand near me that is right there. Laying near me. Vulnerable with me. Utterly humble.  Its time.  Its time I allow trust...to let...to let...to whisper...I cannot do this alone.  Lets rise.  Lets walk.

the body stories*

When I was asked by the lovely Sas to be part of this project, it felt so so good in my bones. I have been trying to be really conscious about how much I can give right now in my life based on the reserves I have left after being present with what is in front of me. As I have shared here before, saying no in order to take care of myself and my family has been something I have had to learn. But this project gave me that burning in the belly and I knew my voice had a place here. I said yes and I am so glad I did. I am moved by Sas and her desire to help women who want to heal their body relationship. My relationship to my body has been a spiritual journey all on its own...as it continues to be.

These collection of stories about women and their relationship to their bodies is so deeply real and moving and from various perspectives. I was reading through them in the middle of the night in bed, taking deep breaths, wiping my tears, sighing big sighs and feeling so not alone and validated. I found my own ache and celebration and freedom in each of their stories. What we all need, yes?

You can download the free PDF The Body Stories here.

Sponsor GIVEaway*

{texture shop downtown bellingham, taken today}

What a beautiful start to my day today. I was able to get a babysitter and spend a few hours curled up on a couch with my friend Teresa (owner of Texture Clothing) for some much needed girl time. Being with her, I feel so alive. She reminds me of the gypsy in me. The stories of her alternative lifestyle make me ache in the best of ways. She has created a beautiful and free life for herself, surrendering to her passions while at the same time building a sustainable business that allows her to do so.

{teresa in her yummy shop downtown bellingham}

I've been sharing a lot lately how I am listening to my soul in all situations I find myself in. Today when I was with her, I felt an ache to be as free as she was to pick up and travel and explore but at the same time, I felt so grounded with where I am. As we shared our kindred yearnings and spirits, with awareness that we are living two totally different lives, I was still in a space of honoring where I am and loving where I am and I felt that from her too about her own life. It was a beautiful dance of respect for each others choices. My soul felt inspired and as though a breath of life pulsed through me when walking out her door and heading back home to my boys. I am paying attention to these things: The comfort and ease, the inspiration and joy I feel when with someone.

{teresa & me today}

So, we have some goodies for you...

First, Teresa would like to give a Comfy Mini :: Gathered Skirt to one of my readers! I have one of these delicious skirts and they are so comfy and fun and playful and PERFECT for layering.

Second, for one month, all of my readers are offered 20% off of any item in her downtown and online shops. Just use the code BOHO20 when purchasing!!

 

{Comfy Mini :: Gathered Skirt. See other colors available here.}

GIVEaway Rules:

  • To enter to win a Comfy Mini Gathered Skirt, please leave a comment on this post
  • One comment per person, please
  • Comments will be closed Friday, August 3rd at 10PM PST
  • Winner will be chosen at Random.org and will be announced Saturday
  • Winner will be contacted by Denise about choice of color and size to be mailed off!

Susannah Conway: this i know*

{her beautiful book, all photos in this post are by susannah}

7-ish years ago, I remember laying with Susannah, side by side, my limbs curled up to her limbs, dreaming about how her journey through grief and healing needed to be put out into the world. I knew from her first brave blog post that her stories would be beautifully bound for many to hold in their hands and press gently against their hearts. Yes, a book that all who knew and loved her were certain she needed to write. And she did. And its here. And its launched! And my happiness for her is permeating from me.

Susannah has done a fun and exciting blog book tour (before she goes on her in the flesh book tour) and this space of mine is one of her stops. We decided to do a Skype interview to share a bit about her book with all of you but rather what ended up happening is us dancing down memory lane. We decided to go with the flow of our conversation and keep it down to earth, real...because that is truly the energy and vibe throughout her whole book.

In this clip, we talk about how we first met and how that was the catalyst to her beginning her own blog and how the healing process of writing and sharing her self inspired the beautiful journey she is living.

{here is the post Susannah refers to when she reached out to me the first time}

My heart feels full. As I said during our Skype session, it has been such an honor to witness her unraveling from the very raw beginning of days until the present. To witness her channel her grief, healing, self discovery and creative awakening into inspiring others to find their own way has been one of the most sacred gifts in my life. I feel a bit like a proud sister and with a lump in my throat and such deep love in my heart for her, I encourage each of you to pour through her pages. What I love most about this journey for Susannah is she never pretends to have arrived. Through her teachings and inspirations, she is constantly right beside all of us, learning and growing as she continues to unravel just like me and you.

You may order the book through Susannah’s website by clicking here. There are links on the page to Amazon (US, UK and Canada), Barnes & Noble and Chapters. Her book is also available at your local bookstore. Other places you can connect to Susannah is on her website, her ground-breaking e-courses, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram.

GIVEaway Winner*

{this is one of our favorite images of cedar taken the other day.  totally random mixture of pajamas, rubber boots, shiny funky vest and summer hat.  but more than that...its his expression, which is SO him.}

Lauren and I were so very moved by your comments.  I felt some really beautiful opening in this space, trust and surrender.  I feel your stories.  I think of them throughout my day.  I appreciate and learn from them.  We all do.  Thank you for your willingness to bare yourselves.  Healing, healing, healing.

With that said, the winner of the free spot in Lauren Luquin's ecourse Intuitive Heart Sanctuary is Amy Waltz!  Amy, Lauren will be contacting you shortly with the details.  So excited for the journey ahead for you.

Sponsor GIVEaway & Guest Post*

Greetings lovelies...

I am so grateful to Denise for allowing me to share here and have this GiveAway...

I've created an online sanctuary for women to gather as we journey inward, nourishing our spiritual roots. We will integrate concepts from various nature-based and philosophical perspectives, within the context of a Metaphysical paradigm, and bridge our understandings of Self with that of our Family, Local and World Communities.

Intuitive Heart Sanctuary is an online retreat for enhancing Self-Awareness within Community and Nature... This is an eCourse and Social Gathering all-in-one!

The Intuitive Heart Sanctuary is designed to nurture and awaken your spirit with teachings and prompts that guide you into heightened awareness and deep appreciation of all that surrounds you, including signs and symbols in nature and all the beings and events that show up on your life's path.

It’s a venue to witness what shows up as the flame brightens between us... Featuring weekly videos, podcasts, a photo gallery, engaging activities, forum discussions, complimentary and inspirational music, and lots of resources to support you as you raise your consciousness and awaken to possibility.

This space is private and password protected, and once you register you are able to set up a personal profile within the group so we all get to know each other better. Everyone is encouraged to share thoughts and photos, and highlight their own offerings and services to the group in subtle ways that make it a sustainable network for branching out and supporting one another.

The Intuitive Heart Sanctuary will begin on June 25 - August 19, 2012 for Summer Session.

Get the details and read more about my intention for this offering here at Intuitive Heart Sanctuary.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

One of you will be invited to join Intuitive Heart Sanctuary for free!

To Enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post sharing one thing that has inspired you lately.
  • One comment per person, please
  • Comments will be open until Monday, June 4th at 10pm PST
  • Winner will be announced Tuesday, June 5th

Thank YOU! _______________________________________________________

Lauren Luquin is an Artist and Ordained Minister/Practitioner of Metaphysics living in Southern, CA with her husband, 2 children, and their dog. They enjoy unschooling, urban- farming, and natural living. She shares her poetry, stories, and art on her blog at www.laurenluquin.com. You can also connect with her through Facebook or Twitter. Join Intuitive Heart Sanctuary for Summer Session at www.intuitiveheartsanctuary.com .

one wish*

I remember this moment (above) when I crouched down behind these wild flowers and watched my boys inhale and exhale, gaze in silence and honor the stillness that lay before them. I remember thinking that this sometimes is what prayer and giving thanks to us has become.

what my boys were seeing.

I read this quote today that really moved me deep...

“The primary purpose of prayer is not to make requests. The primary purpose is to praise, to sing, to chant. Because the essence of prayer is a song, and man cannot live without a song." ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

Many people I know (me included) can at times be uncomfortable with prayer or meditation. Sometimes we just don't know where to start, especially if long periods of time have passed. Sometimes we imagine it needs to be about wanting or needing something and that can often lead to guilt. But what seems to lend such freedom to it all is that prayer doesn't have to be about a long list of needs or wants and meditation doesn't need to only be about emptying our mind. I believe so strongly that it can simply be a form of release and connection. A song. A chant. A humming. A silence. A gaze. To the One your faith, your spirit and your own unique heart song wants to connect with. And ah yes, we as living beings do need song. Whether it comes from the root of our belly and out our mouths or if we are listening and connecting to it through another source. Mmmmm...and to open up our minds to see and feel this as prayer. It all just makes so much sense to me.  It seems less complicated, more simple and a beautiful and safe place to start.

Requests and wishes are also human nature. Today I came across this image I took a few weeks ago and had an idea to use it as a sacred opening here in my space for those who need to make a wish. Close your eyes, what comes to mind? It can be grand or simple. Selfloving or selfless. I have always felt it was so important to put a voice to our wishes and dreams. If prayer and meditation is mostly about song, then these sweet dandelions can be about wishes. Because we need those too. ; )

My wish for today: That the darling family we connected with end up moving into our home when we move next door. Its in the works and we are all hoping it comes together with the landlord & property management company. I am learning what it is to have community with neighbors. Its one of the reasons we moved here and it is changing my life in very unexpected ways.

What is your wish?

warm wind*

Have you ever been standing there in the cold and the clouds begin to part a bit, letting a few sun rays stretch down and all of a sudden a warm wind swooshes in and around you? This happened to me the moment I shot the photo above. I put my phone down and took a deep breath and gazed around at the trees breathing it in, leaning into its warmth, its gentleness. I saw Cedar stand up from his squat over a pile of mud and look down towards the water. The dancing ripples always awe him. We both stood there until it passed through us. I've always believed moments like that are so deeply connected to the Divine. There are messages in those winds for each of us at just the right time and if we remain aware and open to them, we can hear, feel, touch and taste them.

The last few weeks have been full of the kind of depth and beauty and divinity that those rare warm winds bring.

I have been blessed with moments curled up with visiting friends and friends I visited, sharing our hearts, our dreams, our hurts, our process, our rising up out of the ashes and spreading of wings. And with it all there was a moment when I became more aware that I had flown to the other side of it all. Oh, that moment! I remember sitting there feeling a calm, a peace, as I allowed myself to be fully present with my friends, listening to their stories of truly coming into themselves and their art and unearthing online businesses. I didn't feel an urge to be where they were. I didn't feel less than or not enough because I am choosing this year as self care, pulling away from giving of myself in many different areas so my family and I can heal. I felt whole. I felt able to be there for them...fully. It felt easy to support and celebrate without attaching my own story. It felt inspiring to offer wisdom and insight and just a listening ear.  There was this moment when one of them joked with me because I didn't know much of what they were talking about in regards to this famous photographer or that artist or this website and said "You really are living in the woods!" and I laughed and said "Yes, I really am!" and I thought to myself...yes, that is exactly what I wanted for so long. What I am needing. This time of cocooning.  Yet I am also loving how I am able to let that world beyond the woods enter in now and then and not be shaken by it. That is when I know I am in a good, good place. I am where I should be. When I can feel a peace to not be anywhere, anyone or anything else but me...here.  right. now. And that is enough.

Its such a perspective shift. Just like this past weekend while in Vancouver with a few dear soul sisters, we heard someone say "live close to tears" and we all looked at one another with a knowing. Each of us deeply empathic and sensitive people and often misunderstood for such things, yet we always knew those ways of feeling and being were our strength. We knew THAT is what we do:  Live close to tears.   And suddenly it all made sense.

Like those moments when the warm wind blows and your mind goes quiet and you just know. Yes, just like that.

Guest Post & GIVEaway ~ Herbmama

A warm hello to all the Boho fans. My name is Latisha, herbmama. A giant thank you to my sweet friend Denise for giving me a chance to talk about what I love in her beautiful space.

After my daughter was born, I went in search of natural alternatives for health and healing for her. Something about the conventional ways just didn't feel, well, natural for us. And I struggled to know what to do when she was sick. So, I poured myself into learning as much as I could about natural remedies and my understanding and trust in earth medicine grew. The plant people came to greet me and show me their gentle ways and I found myself whole and home again. Now that my girl is older and she is joined by a little sister, I can look back at this time with more understanding. I remember how frustrated and small I felt among the massive amount of information out there. I made it my mission to help mamas feel comfortable and joyful and safe about using natural medicines. What was born out of that frustration was the HerbCraft Camps.

A multi-sensory experience using herbs as medicine the HerbMother way. This isn't necessarily a class for folks interested in setting up shop as an herbalist, though it could be a great staring point if you are just beginning. The herbmother way is written for the home herbalist. People who want to begin caring for their family and embracing plant medicine as a way of life in the home. Part herbal medicine making. Part crafting. Part re-wilding. Part re-childing. A whole lot of fun.

HerbCraft eCamps are a virtual nature camp for anyone interested in learning about fun, easy, mamafolk methods of herbal craft making. If you’ve ever wanted to start using herbal medicine, but just weren’t sure where to begin. The plants communicate with us through our senses, at camp you will be invited to awaken your childlike expression in the world as we greet our own HomeDirt with fresh young eyes.  It is my hope to pique your curiosity about the greenstuff growing right in your backyard and encourage you to begin using natural remedies in the home with ease and a feeling of security.

HerbCraft Camp is a gentle entry into the world of plant medicine, with a loving guide who wants nothing more than to help you feel success with treating you and your family in a natural way.

I'd love to have you along. I am giving away one free spot in the upcoming Spring Session camp starting Monday, March 19th!

GIVEaway rules:

  • To enter, please leave a comment
  • One comment per person, please
  • Comments will be closed this Friday at 10pm PST
  • Winner will be contacted on Sunday to begin eCourse this coming Monday!

WINNER: Congrats to Jennifer Blevins! HerbCraft eCamp starts this Monday...so excited for you. You will be contacted very shortly about details. xoxo

{images of latisha by the lovely georgia cranston of gypsy rae photography}

restoring my spirit*

{our frosty branch one morning}

I've received quite a few emails asking if everything is okay.  Many so curious as to why I have been quieter than usual here in this space.  And because it hasn't really been a conscious decision, I've had to ask myself the same questions.

I feel like moving here has birthed a transition within me, not just in body (obviously) but in spirit.  Its been happening mildly, slowly...ever so gently but I feel like this is just the beginning of shedding layers, healing past wounds, opening to new ways of being in this world and restoring my spirit .  I suppose with this transformation, I am listening deeper and paying attention more quietly than before. In the past I would work through my life by writing it out. Now I find myself sitting with it.  Meditating on it all.  Seeking in solitude.

Our lifestyle has changed so much, so fast with my husband working from home, just a door knock away, living in a real house with a backyard and front yard and neighbors that pop by, with forest a few feet away and ocean a few blocks away.  We've been nesting and exploring.  I thought when we first moved here, we would dive deeply into community but we found ourselves pulling in as a family.  Slowly rooting ourselves, becoming familiar with our surroundings but mostly just craving togetherness.  And it seemed until most recently, I only had energy for the three of us, really and creating a space that nurtured each of our spirits.  Only just now do I find us having the energy and space to connect to community and to other parents and their children.  Perhaps we were also following Cedar's groove, who seems to be at a time in his life where he is wanting to invite others into his wild imagination when for so long he preferred to be alone in his own world.  Its so beautiful to witness him opening, connecting to others and how he seems to be able to find kindred spirits.

{cedar exploring frost for the first time}

{cedar pretending to be a barista making me a latte}

For over ten years I lived in an area where I didn't feel I belonged as much as I tried to.  And the community that held me so close during my fertility journey was my online community of gorgeous bright creative motivated world changing bloggers.  Connecting to my friends within this tribe was through emails and texts and comments on blog posts, facebook and twitter and instagram...and occasional meet-ups or retreats or phone dates.  And for an introvert like me who needs a lot of alone time, these connections served my spirit.  And of course, they still serve my spirit.  I think because I was not connecting on a deeper level with anyone local, that I grew accustom to my online connections being the only friends I felt safe to let into my heart.

What I am realizing now that I am living in a seaside town full of kindred spirits, is that I have almost forgotten what it is like to have a friend that lives down the street that I can call and meet up.  Or have people that show up in my life, not only on "my" time but also on theirs.  It's as if since moving here, I have resisted this type of intimacy because it felt THAT foreign to me and almost a bit over stimulating for my introverted self.  Although I know it is what I need and what my son needs and my husband.  We have for so long talked about going back to simplicity as a family. Connecting deeper to nature, less time with technology, more reading, more community...slowing...slowing.

This is what I mean by a slow transition.   I didn't want to drastically transition from online world to in person world.  I found myself pulling back from my online life and sitting with it.   Asking myself many questions.  What is it like to live my life and not share so much of it publicly?  I felt like I was constantly checking in with my heart...am I doing this for me?  Am I doing this to share it with the world?  Have I forgotten what it feels like to not be so SEEN?  I wanted to remember.  To remember what it was like to live each day and hold it close...for myself and those around me.  I suppose it sounds a bit selfish as I am writing this out but I think for me, for us, it was selfish in a healthy way.  Healthy in the way of cocooning or hibernating when you know your body needs rest and when you know in order to be a good friend, sister, daughter wife, mother, you need restoration of some sort.

Now that I am somewhat surfacing and opening myself up to this community, a few mamas have come into my life organically.  A new cafe opened up here downtown for parents of children with a huge play area.  I have met a handful of gentle mamas and a few where Cedar really connected with their children and we've exchanged numbers like we're "dating".  I also have been invited into a women's circle by my dear friend in town that has held our family so gently and has been SO patient with my need to be quiet.

With all of this opening for me, I am in a space where I want to find a balance between my online connections and my in person ones.  I don't have the answers yet but I am surrendering the idea of needing to have it figured out.  As I am rising out of this quiet space, I see all of my dear, deep, soulful online friends rocking their online spaces;  eCourses, workshops, books, book tours and so much more.  On some days, it takes an enormous amount of energy for me to not compare myself to them, knowing that me pulling back, cancelling my eCourse, putting aside my book, taking a break from photography sessions, postponing teaching a class at a retreat this fall, was a healthy choice for me and my family during this time of transition.  Perhaps there will be a time for me to enter back into being more public or perhaps I will dive deeper into this community and put my energy into those spaces.  I am unsure.  What I do know is that this next year, I am going to continue on the path of restoring my spirit and I am still learning what that is because I feel like so much is shifting.

{self portrait in our hotel elevator in Victoria, B.C.}

{getting a yerba mate latte, downtown Victoria}

Its actually been really nice living deeper in each moment without the urge to run to the computer to share.  I notice I am more present in those moments and I am discovering a whole new kind of sacredness in this quiet.  Perhaps I will learn how to bring this sacredness into my writings again.  

So, I suppose all of what I shared may answer those questions I've been receiving in my inbox asking if I am okay.  I am grateful that by you asking this question, I was given the space to explore it and learned that, yah...I am more than okay. It feels good to acknowledge that.

sponsor guest post ~ elise of peaceful mommas

I’m so excited about my newest class, Holiday Grace.

Don’t you just adore the name? I know – me too! In this online class, we’re gonna’ cover:

  • Saying NO WAY to media-induced comparison. (I mean seriously, why do we even allow ourselves to feel bad that we cannot afford to buy our spouse an expensive car for Christmas? It’s just silly.)
  • Dreaming. When was the last time you made time for yourself to think and dream about what you want these next 7-weeks to be like? We don’t. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the stress.
  • Handling other people’s (family members mostly…I know) anxiety with grace.
  • Stress-free budgeting. (#1 comes in here again. It’s a major theme.)
  • Creating traditions.
  • Staying calm.
  • Enjoying (not stressing out over) the week-before buzz.
  • Moving into January with love and ease.

The class is $59 for the 7 weeks.

Here is a link to a video of me hanging out in my office sans shower and going through what is covered. :)

Class starts Monday Nov. 14, but you have until Friday, Nov. 18 to sign up!

Sincerely, Elise

 

Samhain*

pumpkin envy: my next door neighbor's porch. ; )

Been learning more about Samhain, recently...and feeling more deeply connected to it than Halloween.

"Samhain Eve is one of the principal festivals of the Celtic calendar, and is thought to fall on or around the 31st of October. It represents the final harvest. The Celtic year began in November, with Samhain (meaning "summer's end"). ... ... Spiritually, Samhain is a time for reflection and meditation on death, and the honor of your ancestors who have passed to another plane. It is an opportunity to be at one with your past, present and future. The Great Feast of the Dead is celebrated on Samhain Eve to offer tribute to those who lived before you, and those who will come after you.

Samhain predates the Roman feast of the Dead, Lemuria, and All Hallow's Eve - the eve of the Christian holiday to honor the saints, All Saint's Day. The secular holiday today is known as Halloween. All of these festivals, though called by different names, are celebration of the awe, communication with, and respect of the dead."

However it is you choose to celebrate this day, I am hoping you feel surrounded in love by those that are in front of you and those that are with you in spirit.

deer medicine*

Every day this sweetness of a deer comes to visit us. Walks up near our doorstep. Peeks in near our window. Sometimes the mama comes. And each time, the gentle medicine it offers is at just the right time.

When we see it stepping on our lawn, Boho Boy runs to our backyard to grab a few apples from our tree and we throw it the apples and sit on the steps to watch it feast. Such a peace washes over us with her gaze. We look forward to this every day.

The first photo I took was the first one up above. When looking at it on my phone, I thought I caught a sun flare at the top right corner. But once I uploaded it onto my computer, I realized it was my reflection in the window. It somehow seemed significant to the place I am at in my life right now. Me, connecting to my roots, what connects me to Mother Earth and the Divine and how we are all so connected.

I was given this book by a friend when I lived in Berkeley 10 years ago. It was my first introduction into animal totems and the medicine and messages animals offer us when they come into our path. Most recently I have been awakened and made more aware of this by some dear souls in my life.

As I said earlier...this deer offers wisdom that I deeply need right now.  I was guided to this link by a friend and it resonates so deep with where I am right now on my path, especially the section I wrote in blue: Deer's medicine includes gentleness in word, thought and touch. The ability to listen, grace and appreciation for the beauty of balance. Understanding of what's necessary for survival, power of gratitude and giving, ability to sacrifice for the higher good, connection to the woodland goddess, alternative paths to a goal.

Only when we move through life in the spirit of love for all beings can we melt the barriers that separate us from others, from other life forms, and from the beautiful mystery which is our own magical and spiritual gift.

By observing the ways in which deer behave, it is possible to see what amazing qualities - or powers - they possess. From the deer we can learn that the gift of gentleness and caring can help us overcome and put aside many testing situations. Only love, both for ourselves and for others, helps us understand the true meaning of wholeness.

If a deer crosses your path, this may show you that you are a very compassionate, gentle and loving person. If you don't have these qualities, then consider if you have a problem that needs addressing. Are you facing a challenge in your life, whether with a fellow human being or a delicate situation? If you are feeling negative emotions such as anger, try letting go. Think about whether a gentler and more loving approach can sort the issue out. It may be necessary to speak the truth, this is best done with kindness and from the heart, this will generally give a better result.

Deer teaches us how powerful it is to be of gentle demeanor, to exert keen observation and sensitivity. Deer's are in tune with nature and all it comprises. They are sacred carriers of peace and show those with this power animal how to open their hearts and love unconditionally.

Deer has entered your life to help you walk the path of love with full consciousness and awareness, to know that love sometimes requires caring and protection, not only in how we love others, but also in how we love ourselves.

Deer teaches us to be gentle, to touch the hearts and minds of wounded beings who are in our lives. Don't push people to change, rather gently nudge them in right direction, with the love that comes from deer. Love and accept people as they are. The balance of true power lays in love and compassion.

When a Deer totem enters your world, a new innocence and freshness in about to be awakened. New adventures are just around the corner and there will be an opportunity to express the gentle love that will open new doors for you.

where i have been. who i have been with.

dar & me

marybeth, me, emme, darlene

I have stories waiting to come to life on this page but for now, while Dar and her love are still in our home, I will share these images. They say so much. It is so good to BE with people now that have been with me before and they all see the softer steps and deeper breaths and breezy calm. They see that I am truly home.

The first image...Dar and I were laying on my floor pillows, after a bit of heart-full raw sharing and once our tears were wiped, we sunk into one another and Cedar laid across Dar's belly for a while and thank goodness her phone was on hand to capture this real moment. Oh my heart is full.

The second image...dear beautiful soul friends sitting on my buttercups underneath our apple tree and sharing what keeps us living and breathing and creating from our truth.

{photos taken by dar with her iPhone}

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

Winner of GIVEaway: {email me at denise@bohophoto.com! lovely leigh...so excited for you.}

lotus wei loveliness*

custom made Lotus Wei elixirs

A few months ago, a friend guided me over to the flower essences of  Lotus Wei.  I was so enchanted with the energy throughout their website.  I was in need of the healing power of nature bottled up, for me to drink in.  Mmmm...aren't we all?  After I made an order, I was contacted by one of the owners, Katie Hess.  We connected in a gentle, knowing way and Lotus Wei eventually became a sponsor on my blog.  We knew my readers would be drawn to the healing ways of their products the same way I was.

Since becoming a sponsor, Katie has taken such gentle care of our family.  She knew we were all experiencing illness from the poor air quality in our home (that we are quickly remedying, more on that soon).  She asked me to make a list of all of our ailments.  I wasn't sure what she was going to do with that list, but then I received the most thoughtful care package from her.  I was so teary and moved at the attention and intention she put into our family's well being.  I know there is a unique and spiritual process when the elixirs, oils and mists are created, which involves a gemstone for more healing properties.  I felt so deeply grateful that she had made each of us our own elixir.  She wrapped up the package with beautiful notes for each of us and chocolate to nourish.  It was one of the most amazing gifts I have ever received.

yummy care package from Katie (and some of the things i had already purchased)

Last week,  both Katie Hess and Lisa Reinhardt (CEO of Wei of Chocolate) were in town and were able to stop by our home for a few hours.  The serendipity of their coming was pretty amazing.  It was the morning after a bit of a rough and emotional night...without a wink of sleep.  Normally, I would pull back from anything social because when I am in a space where emotions are completely at the surface,  I tend to need at least a few days of solitude to get centered again.  Something told me not to pull back but to surrender and open my door, regardless if I wasn't in the best head space.  The fact that Katie said she wanted to "shower us with flower power" helped. ; )

The minute I opened my door I felt this calm wash over me.  Katie and Lisa gracefully slipped off their shoes and walked in my home.  I felt like the energy between our exchanges was an Om chant.  Just calm, whispery, gentle...as we sat Indian style or lotus position on the floor and shared a bit about ourselves.  What moved me the most was Cedar's openness to them.  Katie slowly pulled out of her magical bag bottles of elixirs, mists and oils...cards with flowers on them spread out, tiny cups for Cedar to play with...and Lisa handed us healing chocolates that melted on our tongue.  Cedar was drawn to certain flower cards and Katie would mist him with that particular flower essence and he would throw his head back with his eyes closed and fully RECEIVE it.  She rubbed oils on his skin and dropped elixirs on his tongue.

I told a friend the next day that I was awed by his 30 minutes or more of complete calm and sage wisdom with what was transpiring around him.  He seemed like an old soul...like he just got it.  He knew he was being drenched with essence that his body craved.  Essence from earth and he is an earth child.  Observing the sweet kindred connection between them melted my mama heart.

Later in the day I was to meet up with two visiting friends for my first girly date in long over a year. I wasn't sure when I woke up that morning if I was quite up for it...even though I ached to see them and have some much needed time away from home. I was THAT weary and self conscious about feeling raw. But, but...after a few hours of being in the presence of Katie and Lisa and my body soaking in the healing and my mind releasing the muck and opening up space for peace, I was so open and ready to love and be loved by my girlfriends. So that is PROOF, my friends. It works. My mood was enhanced ten fold and my friends who hung out with me that night can attest to it. I felt closer to the essence of me than I had in a very long time. They told me I smelled like a blossom. I sent them home for their drive back to LA with a chocolate they were drawn to. It was all just so magical and I have Katie and Lisa to thank for blessing me on a day that it was deeply needed.

And Cedar? After eating the Wei Relaxed piece of dark chocolate Lisa gave him right before his nap, I was concerned it might keep him up. It IS chocolate, right? I never give him chocolate. But Katie and Lisa reassured me that it is supposed to help him sleep. So, I surrendered and guess what? He had a three hour nap. Note to all mamas...feed your kids THIS chocolate!! ; )