Remembering How to Be: Lessons Learned from a Baby Sea Turtle

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 8 Comments

I had an aha moment the other day; it was one met with a little bit of surprise, a little bit of sadness, and a little bit of disappointment. I was reviewing my Leonie Dawson life workbook for 2017. In it, she has a page where you write three permission slips to yourself. I had written the following permission slips for myself in early January 2017: 

  1. take time off to refuel and recharge
  2. practice what I preach
  3. take exquisite care of me – keep my cup overflowing so I can be of more service to the world

As I read those, my inner goddess pinged, “Yes! That!” And yet … The surprise came from the fact that I had predicted so well exactly what I needed in 2017. The sadness came from the fact that I didn’t take my own advice. The disappointment was a fleeting thought that maybe I could’ve prevented a lot of the pain and health issues I went through, especially my latest go round with adrenal fatigue, if I had only taken my own advice – you know, practiced what I preached. 

Yet, beating myself up about it doesn’t do any good (and that’s not practicing what I preach anyway). But, on my recent trip to Costa Rica, I got an inkling of what I need to do next to get back on track.

It came from a surprising place: baby sea turtles. The third day of our trip, I came down with a head cold. As a result, we decided to cancel our plans on the fourth day so that I could rest and heal. I was sitting on the deck watching the ocean when one of the hotel staff yelled, “Baby sea turtles!”  No matter how sick you feel, of course, you have to get up for that!

As it turned out, our hotel was located next to a sea turtle wildlife conservation program and that day about a dozen baby sea turtles had hatched. It was getting near the end of the day and it was time to release them. We trekked down with the conservation staff and watched a miracle unfold. One by one, these little sea turtles took off toward the ocean. For some it was full-out sprint and straight shot to the water. For others, it was a lot of turning the wrong direction, going sideways, or backtracking. Yet, we couldn’t interfere – they had to find their own way (one of the conservation experts called it activating their GPS) because in 15-20 years, the females need to know where to return to lay their eggs.

As I watched one little turtle walk sideways down the beach, I realized that we had something in common. We were both a little lost. Yet, I was also reminded of these words of wisdom:


“No matter where you are on the path, you are never lost. Every step forward is a step in the right direction. There is no finish line.” – Casey Daly

While I might not be lost, I am feeling a deep calling to take some time for me to refuel, recharge, and figure out what my next steps are going to be. It’s time for me to take a pause, a sabbatical if you will, from my business. I need to stop long enough to listen to the wisdom of my own voice.

“In silence, I hear.

In stillness, I feel.

In nothingness, I create.

In emptying, I receive.” ~ Syma Kharal

So I’m going to do just that. Pause. Listen. Reconnect in with my own inner GPS. Receive.

What are you feeling called to do as we begin this New Year?

As The Wheel Turns

By | Goddess Wisdom, Walk the Path, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

If you live in a place where you experience all four seasons, you’ve likely been feeling a change in the air. In the Northern hemisphere, right now you are probably looking out on some version of Winter Wonderland. Maybe it’s snow, maybe it’s ice, or maybe it’s your neighbor’s Christmas lights. One thing is for sure, Winter is here. December 21st marks the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, in the Northern hemisphere (and the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year in the Southern hemisphere).

I always loved watching the seasons change: the first buds of Spring, the full blown heat of Summer, the falling leaves in Autumn, and the cool, crisp air that brings snow in Winter. In the past several years, I’ve become more interested in not just the external changes brought by the seasons, but the internal changes as well. I find that in Winter, I want to hibernate and be by myself. In Spring, I’m ready to start poking my head out, start new projects and be more social. In Summer, I love being outdoors as much as possible and interacting with others. In the Fall, I find myself increasingly reflective as I contemplate what I want to finish out and what I want to put on the back burner. I find myself wanting to slow down just a little bit more.

The more I started to notice these seasonal patterns, the more I realized that it was more than the four seasons for me. I was affected by the full wheel of the year – the season shifts and the mid-way points between seasons (also called cross quarters). I deeply felt the phase and sign of the moon each month. My moods and productivity were also influenced by where I was in my menstrual cycle. More importantly, the amount of self-care I need is influenced by all three of these.  And then I realized that these are all cycles (seasons, moon phases, menstrual cycle) – cycles within cycles, so to speak. We all experience them a little differently and that’s the beauty of being human.

I was talking to a friend about this a few months ago. She remarked that she feels like she should live in the Southern hemisphere because, for her, our Fall and Winter in the Northern hemisphere are her “get up and go” seasons, and thus “feel” more Spring- and Summer-like to her because of her increased energy levels. I, on the other hand, tend to follow Mother Nature’s guidance in that my “get up and go” times are definitely Spring and Summer.

If you’ve never paid attention to how your energy levels fluctuate by these cycles, it might be an interesting self-study. If you want to learn more about how seasonal shifts influence you, journal about how you feel during each season. You might learn something new. 🙂

I Give You Permission to Slow Down

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

As I write this, we have just entered the final month of the year: December. December always brings mixed feelings for me: on the one hand, I love the smell of Winter in the air, seeing all of the holiday lights, and Christmas Break. On the other hand, I’m not a fan of cold weather, there’s often a sense of sadness as this was my father’s favorite holiday and I cannot celebrate it with him except in spirit, and the holidays can feel a bit frenetic at times.

At a time when you may be feeling pressured to amp things up, I’d like to ask you a question:

I know you may be thinking, “I can’t slow down; I’ve got too much to do!” So here’s my next set of questions for you: “Do these things really need to be done? Do you need to be the one to do them?” In other words, what can you take off of your plate right now? You might be concerned about letting people down or that if you don’t do it, no one will. I get it; I’ve been there.

A few years ago I decided to stop decorating for the holidays. As much as I loved seeing all the holiday décor, I was so busy that I was rarely around to enjoy it and getting the house all decked out ended up just adding more stress to my holiday season. So I stopped. No one else picked up the slack, but it was okay. My neighbors still decorate and I can enjoy their holiday lights and décor as I walk my dog every morning. I also started limiting the number of holiday gathering I attended to one per week. Yes, you may let some people down if you say no to their party invitation, but if attending all of those holiday parties is adding more stress to your day, then is it really worth it? I find that I enjoy myself a lot more if I take the pressure off of attending everything and really show up and be present to enjoy the festivities I do choose to attend.

Here’s the thing:

Yes, “things” need to get done, but I’m guessing some of them can be delegated to someone else or put off until the holidays are over. For the things that you personally need to do, can you still do those things with more presence and mindfulness so you can enjoy them more? Can you get off the hamster wheel and go at a slower pace?

Remember to pause, to breathe, to take care of you despite the busyness of the holiday season. I hope you’ll take a little breather to take care of you this holiday season.

Much love!

Healing through Creative Expression

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 4 Comments

A few weeks ago, I was asked to be part of a panel discussion for artist Rick Bartow’s exhibit The Things You Know but Cannot Explain. During his lifetime, Mr. Bartow often referred to his art as “affordable therapy.” During the panel discussion, I was asked to comment on the role of creativity as a mechanism for healing. I found the question to be an interesting one, as I myself have used art as part of my therapeutic healing process on more than one occasion. For example, after finalizing my divorce, moving, breaking my heel for a second time in a year and turning 40 – all in less than a month’s time – I found myself picking up a canvas and a paintbrush for the first time in over two decades. I painted my divorce – literally. I painted my pain, my sadness, my sense of loss, my sense of hopelessness. I painted with a vengeance – not because I had any aspirations of being a great painter, but because the more I painted, the more I noticed the colors that I was using started to brighten. I felt more hopeful, less defeated. With each stroke of the brush, it’s as though a little part of me moved forward, moved on.
I painted consistently for about six months after my divorce. Then life happened, and other things took priority. Since then, I have painted off and on.

But this past year, I have found myself drawn more and more to the paints. I’ve come to think of painting as a tool – not just for healing, but for processing – akin to my love of journaling for the same reason – and as an important part of my self-care.

Sometimes I have no idea what I’m going to paint when I sit down at the kitchen table. Quite often, I have more than one painting going at one time. As I wait for the paint to dry on one canvas, I’m starting another. Or as I’m waiting for inspiration to hit, I’ve moved on to another canvas with a different inspiration, knowing in time I will come back to the first. Or not. That’s the beauty of painting for me – there’s always a do over button (thank you gesso!) and there’s no real deadline.

There’s no stress, no rush, no “I must get this done” feeling about it. Sometimes I finish painting in a few days; sometimes it takes me months. I find it very soothing and peaceful, almost like a moving meditation.

But here’s the truth: I don’t consider myself a painter or even an artist. Why? Because I’ve never had formal lessons outside of grade school, and I wouldn’t call a mandatory grade school art class a formal lesson. I was actually talking with my artist/art teacher friend Tahirih about this a few weeks ago. First, she assured me that yes, I am an artist and I could tell my inner critic to keep her opinions to herself (you can see why I love Tahirih so much!). She said she read somewhere that our opinions about our talent and even our skill set as an artist can get “frozen in time” when we first receive criticism about our artwork. Neither one of us has actually looked at the research to back that up, but it makes sense to me. I don’t feel like my art has progressed since early junior high when: a) art classes got replaced by science classes, and b) I was told I wasn’t good enough to be in the school art show.

Yet, this conversation was the fuel I needed to make some changes. You see, the more I paint, the more I wish I knew more about painting – about how to get the image I see in my mind onto the canvas and have it look like how it looks in my mind. Thus, I’ve wanted to take art classes since I started painting again a few years ago, but I’ve never been able to work them into my schedule. So during that same conversation when Tahirih and I were talking about my art getting “frozen” in early junior high, I asked her if she would be willing to take her art classes online so I could fit them around my schedule and develop a more consistent practice around my painting. She agreed to do it – to teach art in an online class format. (I think I might’ve done a happy dance in her living room when she told me that!)

I spent my weekend buying painting supplies and am looking forward to diving into my first lesson. If you also want to learn more about painting and painting technique, check out Art Party Online.

In the meantime, keep working on whatever process you use for healing. I’d love to here where creativity fits into your healing and self-care in the comments below.

It’s as Simple as 1-2-3!

By | Everyday Goddesses, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

by guest blogger

Lauri Mackey


Right now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “nothing is as simple as 1, 2, 3…this girl is crazy!” I feel ya.  We are complicated, emotional, fascinating women who could probably all use more simplicity in our lives, right?  I just want to take a moment and acknowledge where you are in your journey and explain that the “concept” of this being as “Simple as 1, 2, 3” is just that…simple.  The execution of the plan however, can take energy, be as messy as a kitten in a yarn ball, but with a beautiful promise of freedom, peace and joy when it’s done.  Let’s begin.

Here is my formula for success:

It’s As Simple as 1, 2, 3!

  • 1 – Knowledge
  • 2 – Commitment/Action
  • 3 – Peace/Freedom/Joy

Let’s break each step down to bite-size chunks, shall we?

  • 1 – Knowledge
    • Knowledge is not enough. Through my experiences in life I have learned that knowledge is not enough.  You can get that college education and sit on your ass and do nothing about it later.  You can know without a shadow of a doubt that you need to be the bigger person and be the first to apologize to right a relationship that’s gone wrong and do nothing about it.  You know it’s the right thing to walk back into Target when you discover you accidentally had something in your cart you didn’t pay for, but you’re tired and just want to go home…Target is making millions…this little thing won’t be missed.
    • Knowledge is an important first step, you need to pass those college courses, you need to make that first step of healing in a relationship, you need to know right from wrong to walk your butt back into Target – Ignorance is bliss, but it is still ignorance. I would rather be informed and then make a conscious choice.
    • Here’s a real life example of what I’m talking about. Something I struggle with in my own life.  I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach who has been trained and done loads of research about what I should feed my body physically for fuel.  After all of that research, I decided to CHOOSE to become vegan giving up on meat, dairy, eggs, fish…basically anything that came from an animal.  That was 5 1/2 years ago.  Last November I gave up all processed sugar and will celebrate my 1-year anniversary on November 27th, 2017!  However, I know that other processed foods are not good for me like french fries from my favorite fast food vegan restaurant or the chips from Chipotle or Sharky’s that I adore covered in salt and a touch of lime.  I’ve suffered from food addiction and food obsession and even scale obsession.  My knowledge of what is good for me is not enough to overcome.  It takes commitment and action which is the next step in my Simple Formula
  • 2 – Commitment/Action
    • Commitment is an exclusionary process – Justin Livingston
      • Think about it. When you commit to a scheduled item like a doctor’s appointment or to spend time on ANYTHING, you are doing it as the exclusion of something else.  And that’s ok!  But it takes commitment and a conscious choice.
    • In speaking about commitment it is important to mention motivation. Motivation happens AFTER Action. Action is needed to create motivation.  If you take an action, motivation will follow and the key then is to create momentum to keep that cycle of action and motivation going.
    • In contrast to this…Addiction surrenders your freedom to choose. When I make a conscious choice to fuel my body with something that doesn’t give it power and makes me feel fulfilled, I have given up future freedom.  I can either choose to give up something now that I know will not serve me, or I give in, eat what I want and give up the future freedom of living in a right-sized body and fitting into my favorite jeans.  I mean, I love my yoga pants and would wear them daily by choice, but sometimes I want those sexy jeans and my cute red boots!
  • 3 – Peace/Freedom/Joy
    • If you have the blessed opportunity to blend knowledge and then take action with your commitments, I promise you these last three things: Peace, Freedom, and Joy. 
      • Peace that can only be found through deep personal satisfaction that you are doing your best.
      • Freedom from addiction and poor behaviors.
      • Joy from your accomplishments.

Then your job is to share your knowledge and the flow of Your Simple as 1, 2, 3 with the world because you want others to find that peace, freedom, and joy that you’ve found.  I’m sending you self-love, action that will take you to your motivation, and the joy that will surely follow.

You can reach out to me by subscribing to my weekly email on my website at, on Facebook @LaurisLemonadeStand, or Twitter @LauriMackey.  Thanx for reading and hope to connect with you soon!

Beginning the Descent into Darkness

By | Goddess Wisdom, Walk the Path, Wisdom Blog | 3 Comments

Last week was Halloween, the halfway point between Fall and Winter in the Northern Hemisphere (Spring and Summer in the Southern Hemisphere). Many of my clients, regardless of their location in the World (Northern or Southern hemisphere), have reported feeling a little “off” lately – like something is just not quite right. A lot of my clients, me included, are revisiting old issues they thought they had healed. Things like not enoughness; people pleasing; feeling flawed, broken, or not worthy; and even downright self-loathing are coming back with a vengeance.

Breathe. You are not alone.

You are not flawed. You are not broken. You are 100% worthy of your own love and everything your heart desires. These shadowy feelings emerging right now? I think they have everything to do with the seasonal transition we just went through and the fact that we only have 2 months left in 2017.

This is an interesting time of year, if you think about it. You might be looking back on the goals or intentions you set in January and realizing that you are “running out time.” You might be looking at the two months you have left in 2017 and thinking, “there’s not enough time.” On top of that anxiety-provoking undercurrent, we are facing the holiday season in a few short weeks, and that alone can be very stressful.

With the Winter Solstice less than two months away in the Northern hemisphere, the days are getting shorter. The increasing darkness outside seems to feel mirrored at some level on the inside. But this is not a time to be feared. This is a time to look at what Universe is mirroring for you. What’s coming up for you right now? Fear? Depression? Anxiety? About what? These are all little clues, if you will, to the “big picture” issues you need to face. Who am I? What do I really and truly want? What is my Purpose in Life? Is this a scary time? It can be. But, if you don’t ask the questions, you will never discover the answers.

I had a dream last week. In the dream, I was trying on all different kinds of clothes trying to get ready to go somewhere. But nothing fit and nothing worked and nothing seemed like the right choice. When I woke at 4:00 AM after having had that dream, I asked myself, “Okay, if nothing fits anymore, then what’s the next step?” It became obvious that there was no next step. It was about me figuring out what I really valued and wanted in life and then from there, I can answer those “big picture” questions. It’s about taking a journey back to me.

If you are feeling the same call – to journey back to yourself, I want you to know three things:

  • You are not alone. (You might have sensed a recurring theme with that one!) 🙂
  • Take all the time you need and give yourself more breathing room than you think you need. This is a journey. It takes as long as it takes.
  • On the surface, it may look like nothing has changed, and that’s okay. – In that dream I had, while I was panicked and repeatedly changing clothes looking for the “right fit,” life was going on around me. I think the message is this: Maybe you don’t have to make a choice right now. Maybe you can just put a few things on standby mode while you figure out what you want. You don’t have to figure it all out right this instant. You know, take the pressure off a little. Give yourself permission to take all the time you need.

“You have permission to be gentle with yourself. You have permission to allow yourself Grace. It (whatever “it” is) may not be available to you today. That’s okay. You’re (still) okay. This is simply one moment in time. This moment does not define you. Allow grace.” – Casey Daly

How can you give yourself more permission to just be with what is right now? How can you allow yourself more grace?





Reflections on Halloween (Reflection Questions Inside!)

By | Goddess Wisdom, Walk the Path, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

Halloween was always my favorite childhood holiday. After all, you got to dress up and eat all the chocolate you wanted! But, as I got older and entered the work force, I often found myself treating Halloween as just another day – no costumes, no candy, nothing special. Or maybe, depending on where I lived and how many children lived close by, after work I would hand out candy to the children who knocked on my door dressed up like their favorite Superhero.

All of that changed for me when my father died a few days shy of Halloween eight years ago. My favorite holiday turned into too-close-to-the-anniversary-of-his-death to celebrate anything. It was too painful to even think about getting dressed up or handing out candy.

And yet, my father’s death offered me an opportunity to rethink my favorite childhood celebration. I became motivated to look into the history of Halloween and why we even celebrate it to begin with. What I found fascinated me. Before Halloween was Halloween, the Celtic peoples celebrated New Year on November 1st each year. This marked the end of Summer and the final harvest. The Celts believed that on the night before the New Year, the veils between the world of the dead and the living thinned. October 31st was called Samhain and people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. Pope Gregory III, in the 8th century, decided to make November 1st a day to honor all saints (All Saints Day, in some cultures this was called Day of the Dead and honored all ancestors who had passed over); the evening before was known as All Hallows Eve. This evolved into what we now know as Halloween, a combination of both ancient and modern traditions (

Regardless of whether you celebrate Halloween or All Saints Day, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you’ve likely noticed that the days are getting shorter. In addition to being a day to dress up and eat candy, Halloween marks an important turning of the wheel of the year. It is the halfway point between Fall and Winter in the Northern hemisphere and Spring and Summer in the Southern hemisphere. In addition, we’ve only got two months left in the year. Thus, this makes it a perfect time to reflect on where you’ve been, where you are going, and what you want to accomplish in the remainder of the year.

“We remain in the period of the year symbolized by the descent of the Goddess into the underworld. The light continues to decline… And darkness seems to come all too quickly each evening. Our foremothers would have completed most of the year’s outdoor tasks by this time. Today our tasks are rarely determined by the seasons or the weather. Rain or snow, winter or summer, we report to work, move papers, have meetings, sell products. We live differently than people did for most of human history. But our bodies have not altered. We still respond to the diminishing daylight by drawing inward, by changing our sleep patterns, by finding different things taking priority in our lives. It’s futile to fight against this annual cycle. Embracing it, living our lives by it, will ultimately make us happier.” – Patricia Monoghan

Today, if you are so inclined, I offer you a few Samhain-inspired questions for reflection as you move into the final two months of the year. I hope they serve you:

  1. What’s going on for you right now? How are you being asked to face your shadows or shadow side? What keeps coming up for you?
  2. What is your Intuition /Inner Goddess wanting you to know right now?
  3. What do you most need right now at a Soul level? How can you make sure you get this need met?

If you are struggling right now or things feel overwhelming/dark/not what you wish they were, know that you are not alone…                                                                                                                        

  1. What feels like an old story that might be coming forward again for you? How can you re-write this old story? What needs to change and how can you enact this change?
  2. How can you take more responsibility for your life and what is happening? How can you take back your power if you’ve been giving it away?
  3. What inner work are you being called to do right now? How can you embrace that journey without blaming/judging/criticizing yourself for not being “there” yet?

Wishing you a blessed Halloween/Samhain!

Harnessing the Power of the Fallow Time

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 4 Comments

As I write this, we are a week out from another turning of the wheel. October 31 – Halloween/All Hallows Eve/Samhain – marks the halfway point between fall and winter – or between spring and summer if you live in the southern hemisphere. And the feeling that I have been hearing about from many women in my tribe, and in fact have been feeling myself, is a sense of dis- settlement. Of feeling a bit lost.

While much of this is likely due to what’s been going on in the world as of late – from violence to natural disasters – I think much of it stems from within. We are feeling disconnected from ourselves, uncertain of what our future in an ever-turbulent world may hold. And while we may be feeling a little fear and trepidation around this, know that this is perfectly natural and is part of life‘s many cycles and rhythms. It’s called the Fallow time.

“Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.” – Barbara de Angelis

Back in the days when we were hunters and gatherers and lived a much more agrarian lifestyle, the end of October, for those in the northern hemisphere, marked the last of the three Fall harvests. The ground had started freezing at night by this point and the gatherers knew that this was the last chance to glean their crops before they lost them to Winter frost. If you are an avid gardener as I am, you may have found yourself recently cleaning out the garden beds as the temperatures have started to dip below freezing at night time.

I think this “last chance” feeling is what many of us are struggling with right now, what’s causing this dis-settlement and lost-ness. We feel like we’re losing our “last chance” – even if we aren’t certain of what it is we’re losing – and we’re not sure of when our next chance or opportunity will come. But just as the wheel turns and the seasons change, know that this fallow time is part of Mother Nature’s natural cycles and rhythms. Instead of constantly striving, forcing, and doing, perhaps we ourselves would benefit from our own Fallow time.

The thought of having a fallow time for ourselves might be a little anxiety-provoking. After all, most of us live in a culture that prides itself on doing, performing, and producing. We may have a voice – that inner critic – in the back of our mind saying “Fallow time?” Doesn’t that mean you’re just doing nothing or being lazy? No, quite the opposite. As Mother Nature turns her face to Winter in the northern hemisphere and prepares to go within, so too we must turn our faces within and truly decipher what it is that we most need and want at this time in our lives.

“Fully occupied by the process of achieving innumerable goals, we lose the ability to determine which goals really matter, and why.” – Martha Beck

I’ve never been a fan of Winter, I’m not going to lie. I don’t like cold weather, I’m not crazy about having to drive in or shovel snow. Yet, I decided that this year, as we approach this final harvest, I might benefit from a slight mindset shift. What if I gave myself permission to enjoy this fallow time? After all, I know that just as fall turns to winter, winter will turn to spring, and the cycle will begin again. So it’s not like it’s going to last forever; after all, it’s only a season of 3 to 4 months. Instead of fighting or resisting the winter – the fallow time – what if I gave myself permission to look forward to it? To plan indoor activities for myself that I find soul-nourishing and enriching? What if instead of bundling up and going out in the snow and forcing myself to be cheery at yet another holiday party, I allowed myself to do what I really wanted to do – hole up inside and read a good book or paint or journal to my heart’s content?

I’m not saying that every moment of my fallow time will be spent reading, journaling, and painting, as much as I might wish to do so. I too have roles, obligations, and responsibilities. I too have a job and a family to take care of. Rather, it’s more of an attitude shift for me. Instead of trying to fill the void of those empty spaces left by summertime activities or trying to come up with new activities to replace those that I cannot do when it’s cold outside, what if I stopped fighting it? What if I allowed winter to be winter and allowed myself to finally enjoy it? Or better yet, what if I stopped planning every single moment of my life and just allowed myself to simply be – to check in with myself in those moments of quietude? What if I approached my “down time” with a question: “What do you most want to do right now?”

Now, if your inner critic pipes up with some reason why you shouldn’t be creating more time for you right now, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I feel rooted and grounded right now or do I feel like my energy is all over the place? – If you are feeling scattered, this is when you most need to go within and reconnect with yourself, figure out what you want and why.
  • Do I feel centered? Balanced? In harmony with the flow of life? – Again, if the answer to any of these is “no,” that is a sign from the Universe that you need to focusing on regaining that sense of balance and harmony with yourself.
  • What do I most want to do right now? – Keep in mind, the answer “nothing” is a perfectly valid option here…

Let me know in the comments below.

Listening to Your Body’s Wisdom

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

As I shared with you last week, I was recently diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue. This has been a journey my body and I have been taking for several years together. It seems that around this time of year every year (the beginning of the Fall season for those of us in the Northern hemisphere), I end up back in this place. Why? There are a number of reasons why I think I am vulnerable to adrenal fatigue in the Fall. The frenetic energy of going back to school, my birthday (another turning of the Wheel of the Year for me), fire season for those of us in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, seasonal changes that mark a 40-50 degree fluctuation in temperatures each day (freezing temps at night, 70 degrees by 3pm), and the anniversary of my father’s death all can contribute to a sense of disenchantment or dis-ease at this time of year.

Yet, I had an aha moment last week when I realized that while these events/anniversaries may make me more vulnerable to illness, it has been my own choices to ignore my body’s wisdom that has led to this repeated pattern of adrenal fatigue. Just when my body tells me it is time to begin turning inward and preparing for the Fall harvest and the coming Winter, my job responsibilities are ramping up, demanding longer hours, more do-ing and less be-ing. Rather than heeding my body’s wisdom, I keep pushing until I can’t push anymore. Pushing leads to stress leads to burnout leads to adrenal fatigue. As painful as it was to realize that I was 100% responsible for my adrenal fatigue, this level of ownership is also freeing. I can make different choices. I can take more time off for me to rest and recover. I can make the choice to do things differently next year so I don’t wind up back in the land of adrenal fatigue again next Fall.

I’m not saying this will be easy. Awareness of the problem is only the first step of the healing journey, after all. But now I have the opportunity to explore what my body has been trying to tell me all along: you have too much on your plate; it’s time to re-assess your roles, responsibilities and obligations and shovel some of them off. Fall is the perfect season for doing this type of work (although, if you are finding yourself exhausted, depleted, fed up, resentful, etc., anytime is a good time to do this work!). In today’s podcast, I am going to talk about listening to your body’s wisdom. If you’ve been dissociated or ignoring your body’s signs and symptoms for too long, this is your chance to learn how to tune in. I hope it serves you.

Download this episode (right click and save)

What Does It Mean to Love Yourself?

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

I was tagged in a Facebook post the other day. One of the women who participated in The Well-Nourished Goddess telesummit wanted me to answer a question posed in one of her other groups about what self-love is and how you go about actually doing it.

I love this question for a number of reasons:

  1. Self-love is something that many of us struggle with (enter feelings of not enoughness and our inner critic in whatever form she's decided to show up in at this moment).
  2. I love that more and more women are talking about this topic and being vulnerable about their own struggles – I think when we are vulnerable in places and with people that we feel safe, we give others permission to do the same.
  3. My definition of self-love keeps changing, evolving, deepening – and that Facebook post challenged me to examine my own definition of self-love and my self-loving actions lately.

When I first started my own journey back to self-love, I had just gotten divorced, turned 40, broken my heel for the second time in a year, and admitted I'd had an eating disorder for two decades. Can anyone say “uphill battle?” 🙂

A friend of mine had given me Christine Arylo's book Madly in Love with Me a few years prior and I used the definition of self-love Christine gave in her book as my anchor as I slowly started to climb my way back to self-love. While I still think it was a great place for me to start my journey and helped me immensely, at some point along the way, I realized that I needed my own definition of self-love. Rather than using someone’s “prescription” for getting back to self-love, I needed to create my own path. So I started to play with that definition of self-love and what it truly meant for me.

“If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti”

I realized over the years that, rather than trying to come up with a textbook-sounding definition, for me, self-love needed to be more about my actions (how I spoke to and about myself, how I treated myself and allowed others to treat me) than about the way I tried to describe self-love and what it meant. So instead of a definition, I offer you this: a manifesto on what it means for me to be a self-loving woman (and yes, if you ask me again in a year, things may have changed slightly and that's okay).

A self-loving woman (in no particular order):

  • Listens to her body and gives it what it needs
  • Speaks kindly to herself and about herself
  • Puts her own health/sanity/self-care at the top of her priority list because she realizes that she can’t be of service if she’s depleted
  • Finds her own best harmony/balance in time spent in work, her various roles and obligations, play, relaxation, fun, and self-care
  • Is grateful for what she has
  • Is joyful because she makes being joy-full a priority
  • Walks her own unique path of purpose – she lives on purpose, speaks on purpose, and makes decisions on purpose that feel in alignment with her Soul
  • Is mindful of how she treats herself and others
  • Asks for help and support when she needs it and allows herself to receive it
  • Goes for her dreams because she knows that: 1) they matter and 2) we need her unique gifts in the world and we need her to show up and be herself
  • Takes exquisite care of herself and makes sure her needs are getting met consistently
  • Is truly grateful for all of the unique experiences her life brings her, even the ones that are challenging because she knows that with challenge comes growth
  • Stands in her power and speaks her truth with gracious, but firm conviction
  • Makes sure she feels grounded and rooted in her life and knows how to get back to that place when she gets knocked off course by life’s little mishaps
  • Is able to find stillness and calmness at her center no matter what is going on outside because she has learned to be her own pillar of strength
  • Is happy with who she is
  • Shows up for herself because she knows she is absolutely worth it!
  • Respects herself, her judgement and her values, and expects that same respect from those she is in relationship with or she removes herself from those disrespectful or toxic relationships/ situations
  • Accepts that she will make mistakes, but doesn’t beat herself up over them
  • Loves and accepts herself, even when she feels like she’s made a “mis-take” because she’s learned the art of self-forgiveness and knows that with each of life’s little lessons, she learns
  • Shows herself the same love and compassion that she would show her best friend/child/loved one because she’s realized that, like everyone else, she is only human – perfectly imperfect just the way she is

Am I “perfect” at the things on this list? Of course not (see “Accepts that she will make mistakes, but doesn’t beat herself up over them” – sometimes the reality is that is more of a “try really hard not to beat myself up over them” – I’m only human!). But this gives me something to strive for and reminds me that I am worth taking exquisite care of because I am worthy of my own love as much as anyone else is. It also reminds me that it’s ultimately up to me to make sure I am getting my needs met.

What does being a self-loving woman mean to you? I’d love to find out! Let me know in the comments below.