release

blossoming in our gables*

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Taken and processed with Cameramatic app.

The sun is beginning to break through our gray skies. Sometimes even for a whole day and the blossoms crave it wildly. They stretch their pedals wider and faster than I have ever seen. Growing up a California girl (living in both Northern and Southern), the Sun was always out to play but here in the Pacific Northwest, its so precious and flora grows at a speed that is so foreign to me. One day there will be a fully green bush, the next day it will be covered in blossoms. Its awe inspiring to witness.

Flowers are making their way into my home by way of sweet children these days. The neighborhood girls had a flower stand the other day with fresh cut branches and flowers around their home placed in vases to sell on a table in front of their house. It was the sweetest sight and two of them came to my door with a bouquet that Boho Boy had bought for me. Cedar has learned his daddy's romantic ways. Most every time he goes outside to play he runs inside "Mommy, this is for you..." with a handful of cherry blossoms scrunched in his palm or dandelions and sometimes rocks, leaves and rose pedals. When he goes down to our bay, he fills his pockets with shells and sea glass and feathers. We have a woven tray to keep his treasures (photo above) and I've been inspired to create beauty in our home from them.

My boys and I are blossoming in this home and for quite some time I've not allowed myself to believe that these yellow gables and lush land could be ours. My twenties and thirties were full of so much uprooting that I didn't even consciously realize how used to being unattached to people and things I became. I knew I'd be leaving soon or at least I felt so much a gypsy that if leaving wasn't in the plans I knew it would be. I giggle as I write this because it makes me think of the film Chocolat. I resonate with Vianne in many ways. I think this is why online connections felt safer for me. For many reasons but one important one being I could stay connected regardless where I lived. I have lived here in Bellingham for almost two years and I am just now it seems allowing myself to sink in some roots. We just recently made a decision that we would love to purchase this home and because both my husband and I are gypsies, it took us almost losing it to come to that decision. We didn't consciously realize we were not fully rooting until the possibility to root ourselves was swept under are feet.

I was standing out front of our house in the middle of the street last night with some neighbors who are becoming quite close friends of ours. We were out there, huddled close with our children getting soaked by the rain (unexpectedly) and my heart felt so full. I hadn't realized I was keeping my friend at arms length. She lives next door and is a dream and yet I was afraid to get too close. She's been very patient with my heart.

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beautiful charity and us following our children on a forest path up the street

Now that we are staying, I feel all of this release...in so many ways, this openness and yearning to give of myself (and receive) to that which surrounds me, both in and around my home and with those souls that dwell here. None of this even felt conscious until we decided to root ourselves in this home. Its almost as if a veil has lifted.

With our landlord living next door, I haven't felt the freedom to make this land my own and have not done much to it yet. But now that we will purchase this home, we are so inspired with ideas. I haven't gardened much (aside from planting lavender in the ground last year at the blue house). Up until now I have only planted in pots. I have so much to learn! But our dream is to plant a veggie garden, herb garden and arbors with ivy and flowers growing up and around it. I am not one to be attracted to manicured pieces of land. I love the wild and overgrown yet a lot of tender care. Our landlord said for years she has wanted to impart her wisdom onto someone and I told her I am her gal.

If any of you are familiar with this climate and have wisdom to offer about gardening, I am all ears (and heart).

Mmmmm...h(OM)e sweet h(OMe). Is this really happening?

Easter brings newness to our boy*

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us en route to vancouver. someone is a wee excited!

The eve of Good Friday, my boys and I were curled up by the fire and Cedar shared with us that he was ready to get his hair cut. I could hear the readiness in his voice. He has talked about it before only to be followed with a fierce "no!" once he realized a part of him would be gone. We've been gentle about it with him. We know that transitions of any kind are especially hard on his spirit. So many times he has referred to his curls as "pets" and made it clear often how much he cherished them. I intuited they offered him safeness (and sameness). Of course I cherished his locks too, as did anyone that spent time with him. Although they were now down to his bum and on their way to dreadlocks and constantly up in buns or ponies. So we understood that he was ready for soft and new, just like I was last year. So harmonious with our honoring the New Life that Easter brings.

We told him that we will revisit it again in the morning to see if it still feels right to him and if it did, we would make an appointment that day.

Morning came and he crawled into my bed. While we were snuggling, he looked in my eyes and whispered..."Hair cut. I'm ready." My heart both leapt and sunk at once. This was truly the day. The day to let go of those gorgeous untouched baby curls!

A few months ago we stumbled upon a really cool children's salon called The Hair Loft. Its sits on the top floor of the Kids Market on Granville Island in Vancouver, BC. Inside there are chairs in the shape of cars and trains as cartoon characters (Thomas the Train, Lightening McQueen, Dora the Explorer, etc) and there are televisions inside the walls playing animated films or shows. I called them Saturday morning and they had an opening at 4pm! Off to Vancouver we went for the day...

I was so in awe of his bravery. Cedar is very particular about who he allows to touch him. He is very sensitive to peoples energies and of course to any kind of caress. Especially with his hair. I wondered if when the stylist started working her magic on his hair, if he would melt down and we would turn around and go home but quite the contrary, he was just so determined!

Out of all the cars available to sit in, he chose the one that wasn't a cartoon character at all but a beautiful vintage convertible. He's so my boy!! ; )

He asked the stylist if his daddy could brush his hair first. I was proud that rather than push her away or start screaming, he asked for what he needed. This has been a huge shift in our world for him and for us after a few months of occupational therapy and us working with him to take deep breaths and find his words so we know what he needs.

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The stylist cut off his curls in one swoop, handed it to me and I put those locks in a special box I found at an antique store years ago near my parents home. My sister said she wanted me to save her a lock and I want one too.

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I'm giggling as I am writing all of this about his hair but THAT is how much me and my family have cherished it and Cedar has too. Its just been such a huge part of him and that is why shedding it was such a good practice. For him, for us. It felt like a very similar emotional and spiritual process when I got my dreadlocks and then again when I cut them and combed them out. New life. New Beginnings...

So many mothers have shared with me that they have cried when their child got their first hair cut and watched their baby curls fall to the floor. And goodness I cry just about every day because I am such an emotional being. But I stood back and felt his bravery and stepped into it, for me, for him...and it became such a celebration!

The last few days we've been gazing at him. Our boy now truly looks so grown and he feels it too and dare I say its even brought on a bit of sass in his ways. ; )

He said he wanted to look like one of the guys from the band the Beatles (his favorite band) I think the stylist pulled it off with a bit of a modern twist.

Here he is the morning after on Easter. He woke up and immediately put on his boots and sweater to go fetch the eggs the Easter Bunny hid the night before. At the end of the egg trail was a basket full of gifts. We had painted the eggs with natural dye as soon as we got home from Vancouver. It was such a glorious morning...

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Processed with Cameramatic app.

two passages that help me feel clearer*

clearer, self portrait

The past few weeks I've felt clearer than usual. I think its a combination of things: An awareness that this year, new age marks a greater consciousness for us humans. I have felt it in the streets and in stores when out and about. A bit more kindness and softness. More smiles and warmth exchanged. A deeper gratefulness to be here. People seem less afraid to engage in conversation. In fact just a second ago, a lovely woman sitting near me at the coffee shop leaned over and asked me a few questions. She didn't really feel like a stranger. A barista brought me my drink and he said giggling "Here's your foggie!" in reference to the London Fog steaming in my mug. We both laughed. It was such a kindred thing to say! Something I would call my drink. This is what I mean about not being strange-ers. I just feel this Universal shift of oneness. Perhaps just on a small scale right now but I have hope that these vibrations will expand out to all humanity.

Speaking of this gig of Being Human, today I read this...

poem by Rumi

Oh how this brought a newish clarity to me, even though this awareness and wisdom has lived in my heart over the years as I've navigated some ache from relationships. Recently, I felt it fully sink in on a deeper level. I needed this shift in perspective of feeling wounded to feeling grateful for that ache, pain, separation, rejection, whatever it may be between me and another human that didn't go as I had longed or hoped. "Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond."

Our pain and sorrow, our hurt...it offers us compassion for those around us that may be going through something similar. It give us an opportunity to love deeper and wider...ourselves and others. It brings us to our knees so that we can reMember our strength to stand and be brave in allowing others to help lift us. So much, so much! Our pain and sorrow are gifts. Sometimes I grasp this concept immediately and the healing moves faster through my body, my heart. Sometimes, depending on the layers, it can take days, months years for me to recognize fully why I am grateful something happened the way it did.

But now I have Rumi to remind me.

And in that pain, when in the thick mucky gook of it, when we find ourselves in a spiral, there is goodness in that too.

The other day, I reached out to a friend spilling some anxieties and fears, knowing my thoughts were completely unraveling and out of my control in the moment, I said "These feelings are so unfamiliar. Am I spiraling?"

And she sent me this passage...

passage from Jack Kornfield in his book After the Esctasy, the Laundry

I felt myself lay back, arms wide open...fully embracing the spiral because spiraling is human and we all do it and how healing, how validating is it to just surrender? Surrender to the dance with an awareness that we will eventually come back to our center? And in that returning to center, we will be fuller and wiser? Sigh. Good good stuff. "In the course of this great spiral, we return to where we started again and again, but each time with a fuller, more open heart."

Mmmmm...I wanted to share these nuggets with you as they were shared with me. They offered me compassion and patience, surrender and relief for mySelf, for others and especially for those "guides" that come into my life. ; )

blue moon*

This evening we painted mason jars blue in honor of tonight's full Blue Moon. We placed special found or gifted rocks, stones and a piece of chocolate inside so that tonight they will marinate in the beautiful moon energy, magic and vibrations. Tomorrow we will hold them close, let the chocolate melt on our tongues and remember the intentions we whispered for ourselves into our jars.

My intention was to continue to listen to my soul's yearnings. To keep trusting my intuition. Cedar's was to go on a ferry boat ride soon. ; )

If you feel inspired to share, I'd love to hear your intentions, dreams, goals, rituals for this evening...

i did it!

From this...{taken two days ago} To this...{taken a few minutes ago}

Yesterday, I had my hair chopped.

A few nights ago, I flipped through a Free People magazine with my friend and pointed at a few long hair styles I was thinking of. This would be the first time I am getting my hair cut since combing out my dreadlocks. I wasn't quite sure what I needed or wanted and was torn between long and layered and short and light. She helped me figure out a few things...that I wanted to be able to wear braids and ponies and messy buns. So I had the picture ready and what I wanted to say to this new stylist all down.

And then I sat in her chair and found myself sharing with her my dread journey.

And after a long pause of staring at my hair in the mirror and taking a deep breath and listening to what my soul needed, I heard the words come out..."just chop it."

The whisper that came to me was that I needed to release some energy left over from my dreads. Not a bad energy. Just energy that needs to take flight, as I spread my own wings and allow this transformation to softness, lightness and ease into my world.

It just seems the journey of my hair most always parallels what I am moving through in my life. Just as getting dreadlocks AND combing my dreadlocks out was a practice in letting go of attachments, so is cutting it short.

Lately I felt myself more annoyed with my hair than it being an expression of who I am. My scalp is still sensitive from the pulling of a few years of heavy dreads. So the many times my long hair got caught under my pillow or arm while I was sleeping or my son or husband's body and pulled, oh my, my once tough scalp was hurting badly at the tug. I am paying attention to those tugs. Not only physically, but emotionally and what feels peaceful in my life and what just plain doesn't.

And that is what I felt in my gut when I sat down in the stylist's chair. I need peace in my locks. Lightness and peace.

A friend of mine asked if there was lots of swishing of my hair yesterday and yah, you could say I swished my hair around quite a lot and this morning I woke up like an annoyingly happy mama baking bread and singing while doing so. I would have never thought that would be me. : ) Baking? Singing? In the morning? I suppose that means I made the right choice.

"is this life bringing?"

the beloved  rain .

the beloved rain.

The last few weeks with our move, unpacking, settling in, my sisters visit and how full we kept every single hour of her time here with us, I haven't had much time to venture online.  Its been so very long since I've peeked into the hills and valleys of the internets (that word makes me giggle) and what waves of deep wisdom, insight and inspiration are flowing through.  This morning I had a bit of quiet time to myself, unexpectedly so.  I woke up earlier than usual and tip toed downstairs (which is not an easy feat given our very old stairs crackle SO LOUD).  I poured my sacred cup of coffee and snuggled up near the fire and wiped the dust off of my laptop before I opened the door to Narnia.

Mmmm...oh how the softness and simplicity I am wanting so deeply to manifest in my life can easily become overwhelmed with the energies flowing around in the virtual space that sits on my lap and beyond.  Oh how loud it can feel at times in the midst of my quieter spirit and voice.  It is just the space I am in. Right now I am so hyper aware and conscious of how I process these voices.  I know deeply that it is all about me and a process I am going through.  Its not about anyone else or anything else but just what I am needing in my life, how I am wanting to offer love and receive love, how I am yearning to tell my story in a way that feels true to my own heart.  Embracing my slower, quieter way of being and sharing in the midst of a faster and fiercer realm.  It is so many things, really and I know it is my own path to walk.  My own journey to find a place in the midst of it all.  My journey to surrender to and embrace the tenderness, mercy, humility, authenticity and gentle warrioress-ness that my heart beats to.

So often when doubts begin to rush in and I need to feel not alone and to be understood and seen, I seek wisdom from my dear friend Rain (shown in image above).  This morning she shared with me a question she often asks herself when doubt enters in; "Is this life bringing?"  Mmmmm...yes, oh yes...that resonated so deeply.  What is it, who is it...that brings me life?  It reminds me so much of something my sister once asked of me because she knows I am a very FEELing person. "Check in with how you feel in this moment, how your heart is beating, keep note of when you feel peace and when you do not, when you feel anxiousness and when you feel ease."

These questions help bring me back to center when moments begin to feel cloudy or noisy and it is hard to hear my own voice and feel my own heart.  THAT is the very space I am allowing myself to be in right now.  A space of quiet so that I can hear deeper as I am so sensitive to others thoughts and emotions, mine so often become lost to me.

Rain sent this to me today and it is an exercise that created such a peace in my heart and helped me come to a place of knowing much sooner than usual.  It is something I want to paint on my wall with the most beautiful handwriting.  It is something I want to share with all of you.  I hope you spend more time on her website.  She is so true blue and uniquely her.  I am grateful for this exercise she wrote...

The Soul Journey

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1. Take a deep breath.

That’s it. Breathe deep, as deep as you can, and before you let it out long and slow, I want you to hold your breath. Just for a moment. Hold it for a heartbeat. You can even close your eyes.

That suspension? The quiet place of in-between?

That is where you begin.

Life begins and ends with breath. We forget to breathe and lose our way, but we can always come home to that quiet place. We gain composure and find rest and strength in its steady rhythm. As you breathe, imagine pulling life-nectar up, up out of the deepest parts of your stomach and drawing it, with intention, into your lungs. After you feel your lungs expand, exhale all goodness and healing into the world, and begin again. Breathe without ceasing. Let this become your prayer.

No matter where you are, you can always begin again with breath.

{And this is grace.}

2. Become aware.

As you incorporate patterns of slow, deep, and steady breathing, begin to feel yourself rippling outwards, like water, from your center. Your center holds the core of you, your essence. This is where you commune with God. Your energy is rooted here, your intuition and instinct, and your own sacred presence.

With each rippling, ask yourself things like:How do I feel in my body right now? When I breathe, what do I taste in my mouth? What do I see around me? What is happening in my space? You can start with whatever immediately surrounds you, like the way air feels on your bare skin (cold? sharp? gentle? nurturing?) or how your favorite coffee mug feels in your hand (is it earthy, or slim and sleek? Does its smooth porcelain rim invite caressing?) and work outwards. Practicing this awareness is like gently rousing a sleeping loved one.

Remember: you can breathe slow, steady rhythms, even in chaos. And as you breathe, become aware of all that surrounds you. This awareness precedes your awakening.

3. Awaken.

Sometimes we don’t know that we’re not awake, and we stumble around in circles fighting the same old things, over and over, for years. It is important to awaken gently. Will you go to a mirror for me right now? As you face your reflection, what do you see?

For this next step, and for the rest of your life, I want you to begin seeing yourself as Soul. You are not what you see in the mirror; your skin and hair and wrinkles and lusciousness ~ the curves that aren’t where they are supposed to be, and the extra curves which don’t belong ~ this is the glorious vehicle which carries your soul as you sojourn on earth.

And the beautiful thing about this? As you ripple and flow outwards, you will begin to see others as souls, too. Your children? Eternal souls poured into skin that looks like yours, with perhaps a little more energy, but ageless just the same. Your lover? Sacred, multifaceted soul matched to the sacred multi-facets of yours. Your loud neighbor? The alcoholic? The addict?

The world is full of Souls who forget they are.

Remember: your adventure is to come alive. And your shimmering spirit will cause others to hunger for a life essence like yours; you will ignite and inspire, and through being, you will draw others to life, maybe for the very first time.

This labyrinth doesn’t end, really. This means there will always be deep mysteries for the uncovering and places to rest along the way. As you go, keep in mind this secret of mine which will help you make wise choices. You can use this in everything—how to feed your body, the vehicle for your soul; what relationships to invite close, how you spend your time.

Sufi poet Rumi teaches, Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When you can suspend thoughts of condemnation or judgment and be present in your body, you will know what is right for you. And in this place of being, ask yourself—regarding any situation—"Is this life-bringing? Does this bring life to me?"

Whatever is right for you, whatever is the way for you, will always bring life.

love,
Hillary Rain

my dread journey: transformation ~ welcoming softness {part two}

shortly after i cut my dreads

cedar processing the loss and pretending to cut them. ; )

goodbye precious beauties of all tones, shapes and sizes. you hold so many stories and magic.

the products (details below)

cedar helping mama brush out a dread

mmmm...softness. taken last week. a bit more has been brushed out since.

cedar and me in vancover, b.c. last weekend. you can see how long my hair is even though the dreads were cut to my shoulder or above. when your hair is dreaded, it shrinks up in length.

Days have been moist with grayish tones in these parts lately. The sun will come out for a few minutes to remind us of what is to come and quickly hide beneath the mist. This morning the sun came out and shortly after our second snow of the season began to fall. In this moment as I sit up in our bed, snuggled in the sheets, looking out the bedroom window, I can see the snowflakes getting larger by the fall. Its so romantical to me. We are not used to Winter's permission to cocoon having lived in Southern California for 10 years. This time of cocooning has been full of so much transformation for my wee family.

Just as I am moving slowly and mindfully and simply in my life these days, I am doing the same with my dreadlocks. Brushing them out has been a very slow and mindful process. I didn't really know how long it was going to take. I didn't have much of a plan. I know some people just get to it and keep brushing until they are all smooth, a few days later. But for me, my life with a toddler that requires me to be fully engaged doesn't lend for that kind of time. So, I've been doing one or two during the evening when he is asleep. Most days just one because they take about an hour to an hour and a half to finish. I pick them out slowly and gently for less damage. There have been times when I let almost a week go by because I needed a break from it. As soon as I started to feel impatient, I took some time off. Because I want this process to be a peaceful one. And I want it to mean something...to be a ritual of letting go of what does not serve me and keeping close what does.

I started with 40 dreadlocks. I think I am down to 25. When I do it, I choose one on each side of my head to keep the loose parts even in the front. So I am moving from front to back. Right now the sides of my head are completely loose and I am going to start with the back of my head tomorrow but will do the top part of the back first.

I thought I was going to have a few friends help me. A handful of beautiful souls have offered but I am finding myself wanting to do it alone. I also have a certain way of picking them out that is working, so I worry that it would be hard for others to emulate. Part of me wonders if this is a control issue I am having or if it is more my inner self knowing this ritual is something I need to do for me. I am not sure yet. I do know that if a friend is over and I am feeling it, I will most definitely try to have them join in. I know since I am doing it alone, it is why it is taking so long. My husband would do it but since his job is designing on a computer all day, the last thing his already sore wrists and arms need is to brush out one of my dreads. It all works out perfectly.

I have noticed that my boys are cuddling up to me more. As I said in my video, they both have sensitive skin, so were unable to snuggle me and my head for too long before red bumps or rashes appeared on their skin. This is part of why I am craving softness, although not the whole of it. But an important part. I love how Cedar's been laying his head on my shoulder for much much longer these days. I marinate deep in those moments.

As each dread is released, I am feeling lighter and more weightless. My head hitting the pillow at night feels more freedom to roll about and sink into its softness. I have less headaches and neck aches. In a deeper sense, emotionally right now I am rising out of some old patterns in my life that were not healthy for me and I know this ritual has been part of that. This transformation to softness so much confirms the gentleness I am wanting to attract into my life. It is all becoming so clear to me.

More on that later. Here is what most of you have been writing and asking me about...

Boho's Dreadlock Removal Ritual:

  • In the late morning, I soak the one or two dreads I want to brush out in a big bowl of warm water for as long as I can handle it. 10 minutes is ideal but I soak them realistically for about 5 minutes.
  • I then wash those dreads in the sink with Knotty Boy Dread Removal Shampoo and rinse.
  • I pour a quarter size dollop of Knotty Boy Dread Conditioner in my palm and work it into my dread and root.
  • When the dread dries (which for me is by evening), I sit on my couch or the floor in front of a mirror and begin picking with the comb that came with the Knotty Boy Dread Removal Kit (I hear Dreadhead HQ's Dread Zasta and their comb is awesome too).  I start from the bottom of the dread and finish up at the root.  The root is the most sensitive part.
  • I like to pull the dread apart first before picking.  Its not really a brushing motion.  The brushing motion seems to damage it more.  I just pick and pull out the hairs and I brush the dread at the end when I am all finished.  You will find a lot of gook in them, which is product that was left inside the dread probably from not rinsing them well enough.  Its a bit groovy to see what comes out.  ; )
  • When I am finished, I treat the hair that has been brushed out with a few Shea Moisture organic all natural products.  I start with shampooing with Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo.  Then after rinsing, I apply the Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque and leave in for about 10 minutes.  Once rinsed and lightly towel dried, I apply Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl and Hold Smoothie to retain my curl and bring bounce back.
  • All of these tips were inspired by watching this gorgeous diva's video.  Although she used Dreadhead products.  I wanted to but they took too long to ship.  I am happy with Knotty Boy.

While picking/brushing the dread, strands and clumps of hair come out and by the time you are done, you have a big ball of hair to throw out.  Which I hear is normal because we lose hair every day but if its been locked in a dread for years, all of that excess hair needs to be released.  It was an odd feeling at first because my hair seemed thinner and a different texture.  Once I washed and conditioned it, it felt a lot more like my hair but I know its going to take time for it to be more nourished.  I have patience. ; )

It does feel wavier/curlier than it used to.  Which is fun and playful.  And I have really enjoyed wearing hats that I was unable to wear with dreads!

soul*stice.

"On the longest night of the year, as we prepare to enter back into the light, it is important that we honor the darkness with as much reverence as we do the sun's return. Gestation and regeneration take place in the dark. We once grew in a dark womb. Plants begin their lives under the dark cover of soil before they emerge into the sun. Our dark places are not to be feared. They are as necessary to life as the light. Without a shadowed haven into which to retreat, even the life-giving sun will eventually kill you. The light and the darkness give balance and perspective to all of life."

Thoughts on the Solstice sent to me tonight by my love Mani.

{dream catcher was a beautiful gift from my friend rain, custom made by roots & feathers.  the star ornament is a gift from my friend sus and i hope she leaves from where in the comments because i know you'll ask!}

shedding, peeling, healing, changing*

self portrait today

The other day I was driving down a coastal road and the song Dream by the Cranberries came on the radio. A rush of memories swirled through my mind. That song seemed to carry me through so many enormous transitions in my life. Somehow it would end up playing at just the right time. I remember it being on repeat when I would take jogs around downtown in Northern California or on a hike with me in the hills overlooking the valley or when I would pull the top down on my Tracker and ride to Santa Cruz with my long ponytail flapping through my denim Gap cap. Still...the other day, it came on and I rolled down our windows even though it was raining and I looked back at Cedar with his eyes shut and a huge smile on his face. I had one of those happy cries. The kind where you giggle to yourself and a tear follows and your breath deepens and it just feels goooood.

I needed this moment. Life has felt intense lately. I've really pulled in and am in a space of peeling layers of old. I told a friend tonight "we grieve over things lost even when they are not good for us. even when we no longer want or need them in our life, we still hold love in our hearts for them. its a shedding, a peeling off and it hurts and leaves us raw and in time, some longer than others, it heals." I am in that space where in order to live in this new life fully present, I am needing to let go of old ways of being and there are so many layers to that.  It involves how I move my body, what I put into my body, the relationships in my life, in my family, the way I share myself with others, the way I communicate and connect and its not just one big thing its tiny little things among each of these that add up to feeling enormous right now.  But its beautiful.  Its hard.  Its ugly.  Its vulnerable.  Its frightening as heck.  But its also so very freeing and grounding all at once.  And I feel so very blessed because I have had new and old dears come to me, without me seeking them out, that have been so very patient with this process, and I feel like each of them have been aloe to my soul...to the wounds that are left from the peeling.  I am a sensitive being and I know that cannot be easy for others at times but man, the gentleness this attracts into my life is mmm mmm good.

I see a lot of peace coming around the corner for the new year.  I see a lot of change.  I see being the change.

yummiest. parenting. book. ever.

wild and free*

I have some pretty yummy stuff to document about my trip to British Columbia, Canada but not the time to do it yet. I want to put it somewhere, so I can look back and cherish, read it to Cedar and savor the memory of his first time in his father's country. Just to offer a slice, some of the stories have to do with my head being pooped on, me losing my phone downtown to be found again and a dreadlocked beauty who reads my blog bravely approaching me that I cannot stop thinking about.  She was magic.

This was a full week. A dear friend was in town and we soaked her in as much as possible. She is a dream. Also a bit of an emotional week for me having to do with one of my sisters. Some stuff I don't feel comfortable sharing in public but wanted to say something, so that those of you that come to this space with your big hearts and intuition will already know to lift it up in prayer and meditation and send healing thoughts to her and the rest of my family.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this shot of Cedar I took the day before yesterday. It was in the morning, still in his jammies, with his new boots on and excited to see how they felt running down our street. Been trying to find little toddler Uggs at the consignment shops here but they must go fast, so we couldn't wait and he loves these and that is awesome because he usually only likes to wear shoes with animals on them! This image of Cedar is so totally him with his wild joy and free spirit.

I am writing this on my steps with my Nia pants on and a tank and some brand new walking/running shoes. I don't remember the last time I stepped out in work out shoes. All of my walks out in nature have been lazed and lovely and slow and mindful. I embraced that slowness my body, soul and mind needed. But I feel ready. Ready to get my body moving, to let my blood flow and work through stuff stirring around in my soul. So today it begins. As I move my bod, time alone, music in my ears, I will think of this image of Cedar and draw from his wild and free ways.

{your stories in my previous post have moved me deep. and the times i came here to write a post, i chose to just read your words. i've needed to hear so much of this wisdom and insight and just raw spilling. i think so many of us have. thank you...so utterly humbled and grateful for your bravery}

welcoming in july*

The rain is now a mist. The sun stretching its rays above us. Flowers we never knew we had are beginning to bloom around our home. I've paddled a Canoe. Cedar has fished with his daddy. Marybeth (seen with basket above) nourishes us with strawberries at the park. We painted a picnic table for our back yard a gorgeous turquoise while Cedar was napping. We also drank root beer floats that day. My neighbor lets me come over and pick flowers to put in my mason jars. She has an enchanting garden. A witch once lived in her house. I think it was cast with a garden spell. I found a gorgeous antique cabinet for my tinctures and nature medicine. We sleep in and stay up late. My niece is coming tomorrow with her fiance. I am taking engagement photos of them. I plan on doing one downtown with a vintage bike and ice cream cones. My new favorite flavor of ice cream is licorice and orange. Cedar is awesome at balancing himself on big logs laying on the ground. He also stands on boulders and pretends its a stage. I am trying to hoola hoop but cannot keep it on my waist. I am being patient. I am rarely on the computer. My life has completely shifted. I am craving quiet and peace and solitude in nature. I am feeling God. I want to sit with the Dalai Lama. I wish I could walk with Buddha. I am having conversations with Jesus. I am resting on Mother Earth. I am crying with Father Sky. I am bleeding with Sister Moon. I am listening to and honoring my needs. I am navigating my way through parenting while trying to stay aware of my projections and Cedar's heart and needs. I am in awe of how funny both of my boys are. I am just BE-ing...simmering...slowing...releasing...recreating...remembering...me.

and...HAPPY CANADA DAY!!

moon water*

Last night, I left this in the kitchen for my husband to see when getting ready for work this morning. A bit of the water was gone when I woke up. My belly felt warm inside knowing he had taken a drink before leaving and that Cedar too has taken a few sips.

This Full Moon...She has been healing.  I have felt very connected to Her this month.  Since the decision has been made to postpone my e-course until space opens up in my life to give of myself in that way, I have felt a lightness of being.  This is when I know the  decision was a right one.  Since, I have felt more present with Cedar (read: doing less dishes, laundry and emailing less, more sitting on the floor and listening, playing, communicating, observing).  I have noticed a shift in him as well.  We so pick up on one another's energy but I think it is more than that.  I think he feels more connected to me now that I am more available to connect with.

I heard something from a friend today that is the embodiment of what is transforming already for me:  When I surrender to motherhood fully and am present to these little ones, it seems like more doors open, more time appears, more creativity flows.  My energy level rises.  When I struggle with it, which is necessary to do and it part of our work, I am blocked and unhappy and tired.

I didn't realize how much the stress of taking on something that is so huge and important to me was filling up massive amounts of space in my days.  As the stress is lifting, space is opening. I feel it deep and wow, am amazed that I am walking around with a bit more energy and dare I say, inspiration! Cedar even went down for a second nap today. That is UNHEARD of around here.

It is a dear dream of mine to share my story, to gather women, to nourish, to connect and to feel and see the purpose of my journey.  There are more dreams.  I have SO many dreams.  I am a dreamer.  And for five years, I shared in this space another dream.  That dream was to be a mother.  That is one dream I AM living.  So with this one dream of mine to be the mother that Cedar needs, there may be other dreams that will still be in my heart but will patiently wait until I have the time and space to nurture them.  It could be in 6 months or 1 year or even 2 years but they will be given wings to fly.

Last night I brought my bowl of water up to the veranda.  I held it near my heart.  I gazed up at the bright and lusciously full Moon for a long while.  I took deep breaths.  I allowed myself to feel the pull of energy, the vibration and the light.  I looked down at my bowl of water and saw the reflection of the moon dancing in the soft waves.  It was then I noticed I was swaying.  I asked our Moon to bless this water with healing and calm and knowing as my family steps into this new journey:  Cleansing and preparing for an environment that is simpler, quieter and more trusting.

As the Full Moon shows Her brightness, I myself am feeling full inside. Grateful for being honest with myself.  Grateful that my husband was honest with me about his concerns.  Grateful that I have received an abundance of support and gentleness from family and friends.  Grateful for my dreams and how patient they are with me.  Grateful for remembering that I am living one of my most precious dreams.  Grateful it has been revealed to me that it is okay to slow down, to marinate and discover the creativity and coolness of being exactly where I am at today.

I am sipping this Moon Water all day in reflection and feeling these truths sink into my bones.

free*

free

Yesterday, on my birthday, I felt so loved.  Seen.  Heard.  Understood. And you know what? I really needed that. I've been dealing with a few rough things the last few weeks, which has led to some very raw and vulnerable feelings surfacing. Stuff I need to keep a bit private out of respect for others involved.

So yesterday just felt like a huge healing balm. Just so much love from people all over, all day long into the night and I found myself walking softer and breathing deeper and smiling more and lightening up.

Today I woke up to something that rocked me to the core.   It amazes me how a day can shift from one to the next. I was faced with some emotional terrain that wasn't easy for me to walk through, yet I did and with support from loved ones, I got through it and will lay my head down tonight feeling more centered and fully in my integrity.

One of my dear friends sent me this today in an email...

When we say no, or when we follow our dreams or true callings - people might be "disappointed" in our choices.

Allowing people their disappointment sets us free.

~ Christine Kane

This pretty much sums up what its all about for me today and I found this so powerful, that I wanted to share it with you.  Saying no can be harder for me than people realize.  I am a sensitive and empathetic soul, not only about my own emotions but others.  Sometimes the lines blur between my feelings and theirs.  So there are many more layers to making this step for me.

The people pleaser/nurturer in me is learning how to let go.  I allowed others their disappointment and/or disapproval and it truly does set me free.

groovy grooves*

groovy grooves.
self portrait today with phone {a photo i took for a dear friend that just got dreads and needed reassurance that bumps and grooves are an everyday part of them}

this is how my life feels right now.  a little bumpy and loopy and frayed.  this is why my dreadlocks parallel my life in a beautiful, messy way.  ; )

i am having a wee bit of computer issues.  hence...the lack of posting and spilling.  i recorded a long, heart soaked vlog for all of you today and when i replayed it, i sounded like i was sitting in a closet with cotton in my mouth.  i think i cried.  well, okay i admit, i DID cry because i really wanted you to hear it.  so i will try to share again what i felt inspired to share in that moment.  it might not look the same but it will be what is supposed to be sent out into the world, i must trust.

i've had two weeks of emotional upheavally days (yes, just made up that word) with sweet, dear cedar...and his deep need to express himself, along with his frustration that he is unable to do it fully with words.  so i shared about it in a very raw and vulnerable way on the vlog i recorded this morning while he was napping.  it felt so HEALING to get it out there and release.  then he woke up and was in such a soft, cuddly, present mood with me.  our day was pretty stellar.  i took him on a nature walk and there was so much connectedness between us.  i honestly believe it was because he could feel my release of worry for him and my trust in the process and his sensitive soul opened up more space for us.  when my husband came home tonight, i couldn't stop talking about our wonderful day (because for the last two weeks, he came home to a weepy, exhausted, emotional wife).

i thought i was losing it yesterday. today i felt so centered and present and patient and alive.  motherhood is beautiful lumpy bumpy ride, man...with lots and lots of groovy grooves.

i am posting the video anyways, for those of you that have earphones and can turn up your volume loud enough to perhaps gather a few words.  ; )  just so i don't feel it was completely for naught.

moody waters.

tree buds
tree buds at balboa park, canon 50d

I've been swimming in moody waters this past week. Some really mystical and alluring and goosebumpy...and some very languid and dark and mucky. My clear and confused thoughts and feelings ebbing and flowing...feeling pulled by the wolf moon that shined so brightly down on us. I have often been closely connected to the moon. My monthly cycle, when I am taking gentle care of my body and what I put into it, moves in sync with the moon's phases. When the moon was full, I sat out on our veranda and had to drink her in. She felt like an old, wise friend...a guide, so gentle and knowing. Everything felt so obvious for a moment, so clear under her magnetism. It made me realize how much more centered I am when I am open and connected to nature.

This has inspired a few heart soaked talks with my husband about what it is about nature that makes our hearts sing and our bodies stretch further and spirits feel at peace. We've been talking about how much we ache to leave this city and the many freeways and find our country. Root our home where there is forest and sea and miles of trails for Cedar to explore. Right now he only knows short trips to the park and busy beaches. I desire for him to lay on grass at night and count the stars and feel sheltered by tall trees. To nurture his imagination and dance with faeries and gnomes, which we always joke are "his people". We are feeling a pull to move on and because of this, I am finding it very difficult to stay present. There is a battle within to pray for and manifest and dream up such a place for us but also to stay ever grateful for where we are and what is surrounding us. I can be so hard on myself when I am in an impatient place. I feel impatient with my impatience.

And then there was the other night. I was exhausted and immobile and found myself curled up on the couch watching an episode of Private Practice while Cedar was taking his late afternoon nap. It just so happened on this episode there was a woman giving birth, naturally...drawing all her strength from within herself to work through the pain. When the baby surfaced, I found myself sobbing. Oh man, it brought up so much raw emotion for me. You know...some people have been brave enough to ask me where I am at with all of that since I adopted Cedar and for years wanted to be pregnant and give birth. Since Cedar was born, my answer was always that I feel such a healing has taken place. That I no longer have that desire to be pregnant in that it is the only way I can imagine finding my child. I learned otherwise, feeling so very connected, instantly...with Cedar, that there are other ways to build your family. So, my primal reaction to watching this woman give birth took me by surprise. So many old wounds were torn open and they stung so deep. It made me wonder if that wound would ever fully heal. It left me feeling tender. It has been almost a week since watching that show and I still feel freshly peeled and vulnerable with it all. It is not that I am currently desiring to be pregnant or even have another child. My thoughts are so full of other blessings and life transitions. Its just that ache of perhaps never knowing what it may be like to watch my belly swell and feel a baby dancing in my womb. That I may never know what it feels like to have to take deep breaths through contractions and hold my husband's hand and find that warrior woman within and push through the pain and feel a baby move through my uterus, into my arms, soaked in my flesh and blood. It is something I have to grieve when these deep aches get triggered. I need to allow these emotions to move through me without judgment or fear or impatience and nurture them with only gentleness and forgiveness.

But I have to tell you what happened once that episode was over. I heard Cedar crying, waking up from his nap and I couldn't wait to scoop him and hold him and when I did, he melted into me. Lately when he wakes up from his naps and drinks his bottle, he wants to play immediately. He is giggly and sprite and earnest. But this time he didn't even want his bottle. He wanted to lay on my chest and so I sat down with him in our huge cushy chair and we held one another for a while. He would look up at me with his sparkly eyes and then nuzzle back again into my neck. It was as if he knew I was aching and he wanted to remind me that even though he didn't grow in my womb, he has known me long before. He waited patiently until he was fully grown in my heart, before he came into our world. He reminded me that my long journey to him was like gestation and birth, constantly contracting and breathing and connecting to that warrior woman within, holding my husband's hand and never giving up until we found our child. This all came to my mind when holding him and it has been a constant comfort the days following.

I suppose I have never lived my life in a conventional way and with that, there can be pain and grief but oh the blessings on the other side. I honor all the ways we find our children and I honor all the ways we grieve the path that once was and is no longer.

Moody waters are so hard but they add poetry to my life.

cedar, me and cushy pillows.
my angel, miracle love, gnome baby