friendship

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.

vulnerability, ego and laughter*

vulnerable

The other day I laid on my bed laughing at myself with a friend. Laughter that came from my deepest places. Laughter that moved around the parts that felt stuck . I had just been extremely vulnerable with her and in my vulnerable, I knew I was taking a risk sharing these parts of myself that are achy and dark, hurty and insecure, uncertain and fumbly. My vulnerable was witnessed by her, fully witnessed and yet, I was still so very loved and seen, really seen, understood and even celebrated. In her witnessing, I somehow was able to fully witness myself. And in that moment, a sweet release of laughter came forth.

I've been so protective the last few years. In my cocoon, healing the raw...inviting few into my world. I needed to do this. It was not easy and quite foreign for me but somehow it felt good in my bones to be this protective of myself, of what surrounded me in the physical. I gave so much light for so long and it was time for me to surrender to the dark that was left and rest alone in it. The cozy womb of safety and ease, simple and hushed. Man, so much was revealed to me about myself while in this sacred womb. And now, is the laboring of birthing myself again...the core of me. I am surfacing gently, slowly...moving towards those spaces where I can be seen. I know its time...time for me to enter back into the uncomfortable bits of opening myself up again. It's freeing along side stilling along side extremely raw. Stilling in that I feel so much that was once in my life has moved on from me...up and out, beyond my grasp and that is when I realize, the grasping is what needed to cease and the surrender of Trust is what needs to be present for me.

My laughter, head down on my bed, rolling to my back, stopping, breathing and laughing again was me recognizing how much my ego was finding its way through what I was sharing with her and it is my ego that I have practiced letting go of the past few years. How quickly it returns when you're wanting so badly to fit back into a space you once were and prove to those around you that you are worthy enough to be there. But oh my dear heart...when I let go of my ego, I don't need to belong anywhere really but h(OM)e within myself. Exactly where I am and who I am in that moment.

You see...I am writing an e-course with a dear friend and we hope to launch it by this Summer and this...this has brought me so much life because I/we have lived so deeply in what we want to put out into the world. We are still in it and it feels huge to invite others into this for me. I've been so protective and quiet, so to be seen again in this way...its vulnerable and frightening and yet heart stirring and life bringing to walk into this unknown.

I'm different than I was. I'm truer to myself and those around me. I've been deeply humbled. And the best most yummiest part is that I laugh at myself more often. Whole heartedly belly laugh at myself.

The words of my friend...

She poured out her self, abandoned her ego, and laughed. Again and again, head down, healing poured through her, and light flowed. She knew herself, knew her Love, and spread it down the bed, across the mountains, and through the portal of sisterhood, into my lap.

Mmmmm...yes.

thea coughlin ~ intuitive lens*

Thea is one of my very first blog sisters from years ago. We walked side by side on our fertility journeys, as well as our creative ones and it fills my heart to bursting that her dreams are coming to fruition. Bigger and juicier than imagined. She's a rock star. One of the things I've always admired about her is her attention to detail, especially with her camera and how it works. She is the Camera-Wiz I have always gone to when it comes to the techie bits of my Canon and finally, she's teaching a course. A very un-intimidating, free, warm and inspiring online photography workshop!

And you can see here in this video why I love her so.  How the first time I met her in person at the Seattle airport after a year of emails and phone calls, this beautiful blond with two pony tails running towards me for a big hug.  I was a goner.  Hers forever.  We are each others biggest fans.

So many of us (including me) can get intimidated by our BC's (big cameras) but Thea has a way of explaining and helping to guide in a way that it will encourage your own intuitive lens.

Intuitive Lens by Thea Coughlin

{my sister is in town for a few weeks, so while she's here i'll by having a few giveaways, so i can be present with what is in front of me during her stay.  so look for some fun here in the next few days!}

beautiful Buddhist ceremony*

{Katie & Lisa chanting}

When we were still living in the blue cottage, there was a time in between tenants where this yellow home was empty. The landlord let my sister and I (who was visiting at the time), walk through. I remember us sighing at every turn. It was so adorably charming. But along with the feeling of familiarity for me, there was a heaviness in my bones. I had chills as I walked up the stairs and I couldn't quite place why. My sister felt it too and after we sat in the blue cottage and gushed about our walk through, we both admitted to one another that we felt a spirit in that house. I thought it was just me feeling this.

Almost a year later, during the first week we were in this yellow house, I continued to feel that same spirit or energy. I wasn't afraid of it or threatened in any way. I felt very at peace in this home and like we were supposed to be here. I just felt an uneasy energy. I felt a sadness. A longing. And I felt it most when walking up the stairs where the two bedrooms are (ours and Cedar's). Our cat Elvis began to sit at the top of the stairs and cry in the middle of the night. It was then that I began to really try to connect with what was happening.

I have always been sensitive to energies or spirits and until I accepted this about myself in my later twenties, I became less afraid and more open to what was trying to be communicated to me. I felt like this spirit needed something from us. My husband felt the same energy.

I had heard from a friend (a previous tenant) that two women used to live here in the early 1900's but that is all I knew. So I shared with a neighbor, that has lived in this neighborhood for years, what we were feeling in the house. Our neighbor went onto share that in this home lived a widow and her daughter. The daughter was more a servant to her mother and was sequestered in the home to attend to her mother's needs. Her mother didn't allow her to have relationships or interactions outside of the home. So the daughter grew to be somewhat of a recluse. When her mother passed away from old age, the daughter lived here alone until she died, too...at an old age. My neighbor was able to meet the daughter before she passed away, tried to help take care of her and was told first hand, the story. Hearing this, it all began to make sense to me. This daughter's story of longing to be free and released from this house when she was living and perhaps this is how her spirit or soul lingered.

Almost a few weeks into our move, when we were still slowly moving things from the blue cottage to this house, our dear friends Katie (owner of Lotus Wei) and Lisa (owner of Wei of Chocolate) were visiting both for business and pleasure. While they were here in our home, we caught up, went on a forest walk and then later snuggled up near the fire.

It was on the couch that I shared about the history of the house. Soon after, Katie offered for them to come back the next morning and do a beautiful Buddhist chant and ceremony to help release this spirit where it needs to be. It is an ancient ceremony that they had both learned in India - Lisa, when she lived in the Himalayas for many years, and Katie, who went to India with the purpose of learning this ceremony.

My husband and I both felt so at peace about this. The timing of our dear friends being here and them both feeling a strong desire to offer what they had learned felt truly divine. The process they explained to us felt gentle and loving, connecting and peaceful. Just what we as a family are cultivating in our life and what I imagined the spirit of this woman, needed.

So the following morning, Katie and Lisa arrived. At first Lisa walked around our home collecting flowers from our yard as an offering to the spirit.

I felt really deeply that the ceremony needed to take place in our upstairs bedroom. I had incense burning for them and I gave them some quiet time to set up. They told us that we could be there in the room and hold the space with them or we could not, it was up to how we felt. Of course we shared we wanted to witness and I had a feeling Cedar needed to witness it too. So my boys and I laid on the bed as they began the long beautiful chant.

Immediately, a peace washed over me and both my husband and I closed our eyes. I could feel the vibrations in my chest. Cedar moved around here and there to grab toys and bring them on the bed. In moments he stared in awe and other moments, he rolled his car or helicopter over our bodies to the sounds of Katie and Lisa's vibrations. At times he giggled at the sounds coming from their mouths. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my entire life. I felt such a trust and surrender and a hope for us but even more so for this spirit.

Then there was this moment at the end of the chant where along with a particular quick yelp sound, I saw a white light before my eyes completely vanish and a heaviness from my body lifted. In that moment, I felt an energy leave and the lingering feeling was freedom, happiness, joy, release. When the ceremony was finished, we sat and talked a bit about what we all experienced. Lisa and Katie shared with us how our home is now protected and that good energy will come in and that the home is very happy about Cedar being here. That Cedar's laughter is healing. But truly, I felt this already even before they shared this with me. We all did. There was just a collective knowing. Instantly, the house felt like it took a deep breath and my chills vanished and I felt a deep solace and peace between all of these walls.

The remainder of the day there was a sense of lightness between all of us. They offered to help us finish the remainder of our move into the yellow house and we were so humbled by their gracious hearts. Their presence is so calm and comfy and of some of the purest love I have ever been near. We acknowledged the ease we felt with one another and how the energy exchanged felt so heart lifting. I am in awe of the souls we are beginning to attract into our life. It truly makes such a difference when you are clear about what you need.

And today the home continues to feel this peace. Every time I walk up the stairs I think about the daughter and how her spirit is finally free. I think about how safe and protected I feel and how I knew there was a deeper purpose to us being here besides rooting ourselves and creating a life in nature we so deeply craved.

I think how I could have just let this linger and made it all about what I felt rather than what this spirit needed from us. I think about how I could have allowed fear to overcome me and pray this spirit away with this idea it was threatening to us in some way. These are all very old ways of thinking and feeling for me. But I breathed through it and I listened and I sensed something deeper and when I opened myself up, surrendered to what may be needed from me, Katie and Lisa came into our home and together, we offered our gifts.

Ever since spending time with Katie and Lisa in San Diego before our move, both of their products (Lotus Wei flower essence elixirs, serums and mists and Wei of Chocolate yummies) are a big part of our every day.  In fact, Cedar savors what he calls his "night night chocolate" an hour or so before bedtime.  We have the chocolates in a vintage jar and Cedar delights in dipping his hand in and picking out his favorite.  Throughout the day we drink elixirs and spray the mists that our bodies need.

Here are a few images of when we first moved to Washington.  Katie & Lisa sent our family a care package to help us settle into our new h*OM*e.  Mmmmm.

{last two images taken May, 2011}

our life through her eyes*

Our dear Brit Beauty came to our home for some respite in between her book tour. It felt good to offer her a space where she had no expectations or places to be or people to meet. Although this brave introvert loves that part of connecting on her travels and teaching her workshops and at gatherings, she also loves the feeling of lounging in pajamas and home and family...just. like. me.

As she spent a few days witnessing my new life here, it was such a gift to see some of it through her eyes. I felt she captured part of us that not many get to see. Above are all images captured with her iPhone that I wanted to share. My next post will be images of her visit through my eyes.

ps. Cuteness overload for the day: Cedar calls Susannah "P'sanna". Omg.

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.

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.

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.

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.}

awesome news*

elizabeth maccrellish, canon 50d

I am SO excited that The Journal: Volume One has won the 2010 AWARD of EXCELLENCE in the category of ART BOOKS! You can read more about it here.  When I think of this collaboration, so many warm emotions fill up inside my heart.  Elizabeth had a vision years ago of a place for people to gather and create and connect and release and rest and let go and discover more of themselves in a safe, healing and inspiring environment.  It has been thrilling to witness how her vision has interwoven with so much more than what she began with.  She is a rockstar revolution starter and someone very dear to my heart.

On another note, here is another mini list of thoughts on my heart today:

  • My favorite snack these days are seaweed snacks from Trader Joes.
  • I am amazed that Cedar loves them too.
  • I agree with Gemma and her beautiful comment in my previous post.  The connection Cedar had with that duck was definitely soul to soul.  We've gone to the pond a few more times and he was more intrigued and thrilled about being in nature than connecting with the ducks.   I think I felt it with the duck too.  I miss him deeply when we go the pond and send out hope that he is happy with his new family.
  • I am so grateful that my husband let me sleep when Cedar got up at 4:30am...even though he had to leave for work a few hours later.  I love that he understands that being with Cedar all day requires just as much energy as he needs for his day job and that sleep is precious to me in order to be present with our son.
  • He's getting a massage after work because he deserves it.
  • I'm making vegan tacos tonight.
  • I decided to not label my way of eating (vegan, vegetarian, or not, etc.).
  • Labels make me want to break the rules.  I resist being put in a box.  Always have.
  • I am being gentle with myself and my journey with food.
  • I am learning what foods make me feel crappy and which ones make me feel awesome.
  • Sometimes I still eat the foods that make me feel crappy because they taste so good.
  • Does that make me a pleasure junkie?  ; )
  • I love that most of my girlfriends are pleasure junkies.
  • Perhaps that is why they are my girlfriends.

romance*

pixie campbell, canon 50d

I feel surrounded in romance right now.

Freshly showered, I can hear the tiny drops of rain on our veranda behind me, up in our loft. The door is open and the crisp breeze comes whispering in and out of my wet dreads. My mug of yerba mate and its stream is drifting up, tickling my nose. I can hear the laughter of my boys downstairs.

And for the next few hours, I get to stare at her beautiful face...while I process the photos from our session last Saturday. I have so much to share about our time together. It transformed both of us in surprising and healing ways. I think you can see some of the healing emulating from Pixie in this image above. Just linger in that space with her, with me. Words are not enough.

She spilled some emotions about our time together here:

The Goddess of Calamity meets Venus

I will spill soon.

how the magic happens...

Boho Butterfly from e.darcy on Vimeo.

Here is my dear friend Erin, from the land of pixies & faeries (Ireland) painting our Boho Butterfly (seen in my Press & Connect links of my website). I love that she recorded her process. Such a mindful artist she is. Now, not only can we benefit from witnessing the layers of her magic but she will always have this to cherish and to share with her brand new baby girl Claire.

Erin and I connected through our fertility journeys. The paths to our babes were long and twisty and deep and wide and each of ours very different but also the same. She was always such a comfort to me. She is one of my soul-friends that has an ability to give me permission to release hard and messy feelings in a space of not being judged and where my tender heart is seen through it all. Because she just got it. Always.

I know this is why she was deeply connected to the paintings that are infused on each of the pages of my website. She knew my journey intimately and what poured out of her was the way she honors me as a woman that is fertile in a different way than the world may understand.

I love her so.

soul that came to my heart*

park stairs
brave stepping, taken by boho boy with my palm pre

Something I received in the email by a dear friend, about Cedar, that made my heart swell.

he's so beautiful.
and he's yours...
this soul that came to your heart.
that grows in front of you.
every day... something new.
big laughter and smiles.
and tantrums and blow out poops.
curly sweet sweaty hair after a nap
cuddling into mamas boobs.
sitting with his frog legs, pulling books into his lap.
he's amazing...
and he's your baby.

it feels like you've always had him.
like- i don't remember you without him.

cedar & me

bonus photo...love this of my boys:

slide!

urban faerie*

amy seeley
amy seeley, canon 50d

I remember receiving this song from my friend Amy in its raw version via email. We exchanged our thoughts about it. My heart felt hers deeply. It was something different. Something brave. It inspired stepping out and trusting her own voice, not just her unique singing voice but the one deep within.

"I am prone to dream in colors like the shades of the Catalinas...".

I listen to it now in its finished version and I feel goosebumps and teary.  I have seen friends with a blank canvas begin to paint their first stroke and build and layer and writing a song is much the same.  To see and feel it from the beginning, it creates a connection to that piece.  I feel so connected to her song Catalinas.

Her music draws me into layers of myself that store so much emotion:  wounds, joys, holding on, letting go, grief, celebration, realization, awareness, secrets, openness, longing, peace. I like sitting with the feelings she evokes.  She's like this urban faerie releasing magic through her words, her soul and her voice sounds so other worldly.

If you'd like to hear her new song Catalinas, you can download it for free here.

waiting her arrival*

waiting.
waiting, canon 50d ~ august break #17

This past weekend I met my girlfriend who was in town for a morning date at a coffeehouse in Little Italy. One of my absolute favorite streets where I live. I left the house extra early so I could sit in my favorite corner and romantically watch all the passersby. I took so many deep breaths. It has been so, so long since I have communed with a girlfriend like this, without interruption from a sweet babe tugging at my elbow or putting a book in my lap or, well...some of you know what I am saying. Since in conversation, I have always been so present with the other person my whole life, I find it hard to juggle my child and my friend. Jess is the same way, so her and I sat across from one another, arms and hands entangled and sometimes just starred at one another in awe that this was even happening. There were some quiet moments of breathing it all in and together watching people walk by...completely honoring that both of us rarely get alone time too. All of my close friends live far from me, so when I am with them, I soak up every morsel.

I am marinating in the idea of creating more time with my girlfriends like this. Planning trips to be with them, asking them to come to me. I left feeling so completely renewed. Windows down, wind in my dreads and ready to go hold my boys at home.

It was good. So, so good.

ummm...what SHE said.

tree lovin' nerd.
i am a tree lovin' nerd

My friend Stacy and I sent one another a few VERY raw videos today. Raw meaning, just woken up, no make-up, scratching our head, interruptions from our kid, accidentally spitting on the screen while talking, showing one another our body bits that we oh so want to send love to right now and just keeping it real. It was so healing and it inspired me to finally download Skype so that I could connect with my lovelies more often this way. Been feeling a bit isolated lately and in chattering away to the laptop camera, changing subjects every few moments, just SO excited to be SHARING with her, I realized I feel a bit lonely for this connection.

Many of you have asked me where I am at with eating Vegan or flirting with the Kind Diet. I haven't yet been able to put it all into words because I am still in it, feeling it out, petting its hills and valleys, making love to new flavors and being kind to myself in the process. Re-learning a new way of taking it day by day. Not being so extreme. Creating a balance around my choices and allowing it to be a process, a journey and not so much a diet depriving myself of something I crave or need.

So, since I feel unable to be clear about it with all of you right now, I wanted to direct you over to Stacy's post. She expressed it all so much better than I ever could. I feel as though my heart is so in harmony with where hers is in all of this. She was the one who inspired me to get the Kind Diet book in the first place and encouraged me to try this approach because her and I are all about kindness and gentleness.

She and I always seem to be walking side by side when it comes to food.  We even took a Raw cooking class together in Los Angeles.  Tried the Blood Type Diet together and oh so many others.  But this time this way of eating feels different for us.  Not like something we're trying but something we're living and breathing and it sort of feels in a way how we felt when our babies finally came into our lives...like, "there you are!".  It just makes sense.  Okay, so maybe not as intense as when our babies came but you know what I mean.  It just feels so aligned with our approach to love and connection.

So, how is my Vegan journey going?  Ummm...what SHE said.

; )

Bonus Cedar photo :: I think he knows he is cute.

i think he knows he is cute.

our time with marybeth.

marybeth
marybeth, canon 50d

marybeth & me
marybeth & me, village books, bellingham - taken by boho boy

reading time.
mia, boho boy & marybeth reading to sula

echo & marybeth
marybeth reading to echo, village books in bellingham

sula
sula

mia
mia

sula, echo & mia
the girlies in their home (love boho boy in the mirror making them smile)

dinner at marybeth's
breaking bread together {william, marybeth, boho boy & cedar}

cedar walking
cedar walking to william & boho boy (longest steps yet)

cedar & marybeth
cedar falling into marybeth's arms

cedar & mia smiles
cedar & mia smiles

mia guiding cedar
mia guiding cedar as he walks

tumble down hugs.
tumble down hugs

echo
echo on marybeth's red couch

Months ago I was guided to an amazing circle of women. Women that have old souls and feel as though they have traveled together many lifetimes. Some I knew and some I didn't but was given links to their online journals. I spent some time there and felt honored to the core to even be considered a kindred. Their thoughts, their stories ran so deep and raw and truthful, so close to our Mother Earth and so intertwined with all things goddess. I felt empowered just learning more of them.

I remember soon after writing to Marybeth..."I want to be you when I grow up."
She then responded..."I want to be YOU when I grow up."

And so it begins...a mutual admiration and crush and a lifetime of learning and growing from one another.

I encourage you to spend some time in her space. Her words will rip at the core of you. The parts we keep hidden and unrealized begin to reveal themselves when you get lost in her heart, her mind and her soul. Her ways of pure non-judgment allow me permission to be and feel and celebrate and embrace stories of my past or present that I attached shame to. She has a gift and it both gently kicks my ass and surrounds me with the cushioniest of cushions.

Marybeth and I have connected deeply via email...for months now. So, this trip to what could be our future home in Bellingham, was exciting for two reasons: being there and meeting her in person. Her and I were supposed to have some alone time that first night. To curl up near a fire with tea and be fully present with one another. To process the transition from screen to flesh. This never happened. After our flight and drive, we were exhausted and we would have to wait to meet until we were all together as families.

This threw me off a bit. For me, I still struggle with not being able to be fully present with my girlfriends when I am caring for Cedar and they their babes. It is something that is so foreign to me being a first time mom at 37. I know that being with others that fully understand where your attention needs to be is so very helpful but I still am conscious of it and a bit awkward with it. Especially with a new friend.

Because Marybeth is who she is, I felt comfortable being honest with her. After first meeting her with all of our kids creating life and laughter and sillyness around us, I didn't feel I connected with HER the way I so needed and longed to face to face. Our focus was on our children and their energies, which of course was beautiful to observe. The following day, when we got back to the hotel, I wrote her an email. Even though we were just a few blocks away, I went to a place I felt safe...a place where her and I can wait until all are in bed and fully be present with our exchanges. I wrote her this...

i felt on the verge of tears all day yesterday. especially being with you. i wanted so badly to curl up with you and just spill but i find that so hard to do as a first time mother, keeping my attention on cedar as well as making sure my husband is comfortable in a new environment. balancing those attentions doesn't come natural to me. i am a one on one person so so much.

I love how being fully honest in a gentle way opens up flood gates within friendships. She then felt safe to share her own feelings and reservations and dreams of what she needed as a first meeting and the next time we were together in person, it all just felt like home. Those expectations of what was supposed to be seemed to melt away and it was easier to let it be, knowing that if we don't have today, we will have another time and there is always our safe, quiet, sacred space of email. She was very gentle and affirming about this new territory for me of balancing motherhood and relationships and that like anything else, it takes time and practice, as it did with her and many new mothers in her life.

She's an awesome person to practice with! I am so thrilled to share my life in Bellingham with her and her magical faerie family. I am craving a community of like-minded spirits and families to gather and connect and share and learn from. I know she craves this too. And together we'll help one another create this life.

magical moments.

cedar's sage.
cedar, me and a bundle of sage, taken by jessamyn turgesen

Jess sent me this photo (above) last night. I was so grateful that she captured this moment. There were a few really magical moments and one of them had to do with this bundle of sage.

Jess and I were walking down Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. Folks were beginning to set up for Farmers Market. One sweet hippie dude was setting out all of his gorgeous big and small bundles of sage. When we walked by his table, one of them fell on my foot. He grabbed it, looked up at me and said "I want you to have this. It is supposed to be yours." My heart swooned and I felt protected. Jess and I looked at one another and sighed, without words...but just in knowing.

We went into a cafe to get water and go to the restroom. There were these ladies standing there staring at us. One of them approached me asking if she could take a photo of me. She went on to explain they are producers on a crime show that has been shot here in Ocean Beach. One of the characters was a psychic and they are trying to figure out her wardrobe. They thought what I was wearing was hippie and psychic enough, I suppose. We totally laughed but I let them do it because well, it was fun and magical and doesn't happen every day.

Ocean Beach can attract some characters. Many homeless hang out there. Many come with their instruments to play. Some stand on a corner to speak what is in their hearts. To some it may seem like an unsafe place but walking around that day, Jess and I felt at home. We walked by three people sitting on the ground. A few were playing their guitars. One was weaving a bracelet out of ribbon. All of them had dreadlocks and one of them had flowers all over her dreads. They said hello to us and said..."hey, make sure you guys move your car, otherwise you'll get towed for the farmers market." I told them we had already moved our car and thanked them for looking out for us. To me that was so kind. Sweet that they remembered us parking further down the street in the market zone. An hour earlier, they were all sitting in front of a store that Jess, Cedar and I went into. Playing their music. I saw them but didn't think they saw us. But they did and they found us again closer to the water and cared enough to make sure we were safe from stress. They could have let us walk by. Minutes later, Jess took the photo above. The smile on my face was that of peace. Just a knowing that we are cared for. We are wrapped up even in the dirtiest, most grungy places. There is love. One love.

Here are a few more photos Jess took on the beach. The one of me and the sun flare was when I was helping Cedar walk in the sand. He loved it. Loved it so much he plopped down and licked it off of his hands clean.

I loved how my dreads felt in the salty sandy air. I think dreads belong in nature, always...I have learned this.

dreads in the sun.

sandy toes.

me at ocean beach