Nowhere To Go

Eulogized March 2012; Welcomed home September 2014

I didn’t mean to abandon you. Or, maybe I did. I eulogized you. I wanted you gone. I metaphorically killed you. Didn’t want you around any more. But, it’s been empty without you. Heavy. Slow. I haven’t been myself. But, I can’t blame myself for that either. That girl in the jungle didn’t know any better. She was just doing her best. 

My dear, sweet girl. I’ve got you now. Life is a cycle. Following a death comes rebirth. Like a pheonix rising from the ashes I sat today in our ashes. Burned clean. Transformed. The image of the trillium growing from the ashes of our own home. Sitting tall. Naked. Bathed in my own tears. Clothed only in my own skin.

The Universe gave you back to me. She knew I needed you again. She knew I could make peace. She gave you back to me. But I rebirthed you. Goddess birthed from Goddess. The flame is lit. My Self told me to write you a love letter. I birthed you back into being. With all your imperfections. I love you for who you are. That rebel looking for acceptance without having to lose integrity or change. That child just looking for unconditional love. You don’t need to fear me any more. I know too, that I don’t need to fear you. I don’t blame you any more. Like that girl in the jungle, you too did your best back then. You had my back the only way you knew how. You had my back when I didn’t. You held my hair back while we did our best to fix everything. 

Well my dear, sweet girl. Things don’t need to be fixed. Messy is okay. Sometimes it feels good to get dirty. I’ve learned some things while you were gone. We’re beautiful. You’re beautiful. Goddess. Welcome home to the temple. Climb back into this glorious skin. Get cozy, because you’re here to stay.

I know you felt destructive. This human, primal, gut wrenching desire to destroy. You felt unworthy of love. Unworthy of touch. Of connection. Dear, sweet girl. You are worthy of love. Touch. Connection. You are worthy of that and so much more. You have my forgiveness. You have my love. I release you of all expectations. I rebirth you into your glorious being. You can start to restore. You belong. Breathe again. Run again. Eat. Play. Laugh. Learn. Love. Touch. Connect.

I welcome you home with my whole heart! 

A Sacred Balance: An Elemental Journey
I’ve been here before. Had this internal dialogue before. Been elementally imbalanced. Off kilter. It frustrates me to admit to being here again. But balance is not a thing we achieve, it’s something we practice. Life is a practice. Not something to be won or perfected. A sacred practice of pulsing between our own core Self and the ebb and flow of that which connects us all.

So, there’s no shame to imbalance. In fact, it’s just a gentle call to return home. We get to come home to ourselves over and over again. Each time is different. Each time we remember deeper, strip more away. We practice to remember and to celebrate. Imbalance is just another call to return home.
So, here I am.
The flames of my internal fire are dull. Water overflowing. I’m drowning in my own empathy, and with this comes an exhaustion and exasperation of these gifts. My water has dulled the roar of the fire. It still glows but it doesn’t burn bright. In effort to channel my overflowing pools in the absence of the fire which used to boil off excess, my earth element adds density, gets more grounded, makes a bigger bowl to tend to the extra flow. I’m physically and metaphorically heavier, stuck. Action feels impossible. My automatic reaction is one of disgust instead of appreciation to this steadfast element attempting to tame the tsunamis. Thus the cycle continues.
My fire gifts were powerful, are powerful. They were cultivated in childhood. Respected in my family, revered. Drive, ambition, desire to achieve. I was smart and I knew it. I graduated at the top of my class. I knew I could do anything I wanted. I was, and am a natural leader. Others respected my intellect. I inspire others, bring out the best in them. My fire was my individuality. My independence. I had a sense of what was right and wrong. It was simple. Straight forward. Work hard. Reap the rewards. Its in the flame of my inner fire that my intuition resides. My ability to know what to do next. But that confidence felt limited to the gifts of this element only. I knew I was smart, but I didn’t trust myself to love, to connect, to Be with others. I couldn’t extend the flames to the gifts of another element.
I’ve always had my water gifts. They just weren’t tended as a kid. More fuel was added to the fire and I literally worked my emotions away. Suppressed them. Set fire to the pools of tears that have always been within. While I spent most time avoiding my feelings, there were ways that it felt safe to be in my empathy. I was obsessed with animals as a kid. A safe way to be with somebody who wouldn’t judge. To connect. To just be. I didn’t know then that these honest creatures were watering a part of me that was left untended. I was parched. So thirsty to let these parts of myself flow. They knew what I needed. I knew what they needed to. No words necessary. It felt like this magical part of me that didn’t make sense in the confines of my life as I knew it. I was good with animals. I could feel their souls by looking them in the eyes. They could see mine. I worked best with creatures that others didn’t understand. I always ended up with the horses that everybody else didn’t like. The ones with personality who didn’t “behave.” They worked hard for me when they wouldn’t for others. The farm was a place I could learn to tend the fire and channel the empathy. These summers, with a group of misfit girls, opened me up to different parts of myself. My fire was utilized here in a different way. My perfectionism, determination and work ethic transferred to an entirely new arena. 5 teen age girls left to care for 40 horses. I learned to nurture. To care. But, I worked my butt off. I had this beautiful relationship with my earth element here too. Learned to work my body. Feel strong. Grounded. Steadfast. I was more emotional at the farm. But, my fire just burned brighter to keep the imbalance in check. This was a far cry from the intellectual world where I typically resided.
I remember sitting on the cliffs by the ocean on a family camping trip once. They all went ahead and I felt called to sit there amidst the waves. Crashing into the rocks the waves pulled at something in me. I sat here for hours until my family came back. Deeply connected to the ocean. A sense that the water in me was the same as this great force in front of me. That all the water on the earth was connected. That I was connected.
But these moments of flow were rare. And kindling kept getting added to the fire. I poured my whole self into school. As if marks were everything. They were really, until I went away. Guyana changed me. I learned more about myself in 8 weeks than I had in my entire educational career. Things shifted. Again, the pull of water changed the tides. Made me question my entire life path. There is more to life than achieving. I connected to people on a real level. I walked the earth, bathed in waterfalls and cooked on fires. I connected with the elements in the most natural, meant to be states. I asked questions there weren’t black and white answers to. I was asked questions I couldn’t answer and for once this felt right. Unknown didn’t need to be terrifying. It felt right to be there in the rainy season. Something felt wonderful about bathing in the tears of the universe. I got comfortable with wet. Drenched wasn’t so bad. It was cleansing.
I came home to devastation. The dam holding in the waters had given way. Pregnant with a new way of living my waters had broken and I was labouring a part of myself I didn’t know what to do with. I had never felt this low. This displaced. This entire world I had already learned to conquer no longer seemed important. I was nobody. Had nothing. I didn’t understand who I was or what I was good at anymore. I felt like my intelligence had betrayed me. My fire started to turn against me. Desperately trying to shame and tame the rapids, my perfectionism turned inwards and my long standing discomfort with my figure turned into a raging eating disorder.
My fire and water were at war, the casualty was my earth, my physical body. My container kept changing shape, trying to balance the war. When she grew bigger to ground the massive, unconstitutional upward pull my fire burned brighter with hatred. I tried to burn the earth away, but she was waterlogged, too soaked from trying channel the raging waters of my emotional upheaval. Nothing worked, everything was in flux. I could no longer starve myself, the fire of determination wasn’t strong enough. I began purging everything I hated in myself. I thought I was getting rid of the parts of me I didn’t want. I thought I could literally flush the pain down the toilet. Not feel. Be numb. It all hurt too much. But, I was just stock piling the emotions for later. I would tease my body with food which I then threw up. My digestive fire dwindled. Dulled. I realized my emotional digestive fire never really existed. This year was my most confusing as I struggled to find my place in a world that didn’t feel like home. So, I got out. I graduated with an undergrad in biomedical science, still with honours, and went to Africa.
Malawi is a country in elemental imbalance. Everything is burning. Almost no trees. The bush is on fire. Everyone makes and sells coal. Trees that are only in the early years of their lives are used as kindling. Everywhere you look there was smoke or flames. The smell of burning garbage still takes me back there. A country of dirt, flames and some of the most beautiful people I have ever met. I was so out of my element here at first. I didn’t know how to be with people without words. I have never felt so alone, so anxious. But my anxiety gave way, into a beautiful deep connection with the people and the land. Malawi brought out my water in a different way. I could not be a perfectionist there. There was magic in being out of my comfort zone. I couldn’t be good at everything. I needed help. I learned to make fun of myself. To be with people without shared language. I learned to speak new languages. Most importantly, I learned to sit with my sorrow. The people of Malawi know tragedy, and while they too were trying to burn it away, it was inescapable. They didn’t run from it. Couldn’t run from it. They connected with Earth in such a different way. Used it to channel the sorrow. Revered its role as our mother. That from which we came. But, water too was precious. Scarce. I was there for the first rain after a long, hard, dry season. I have never seen such joy. I cried. My own water flowing as one with the mother.
At the end of this journey I climbed Mt. Kenya. A beautiful sacred site. Full of magic. Grounded in a sense of earth magic, I literally became the sky. At one with air and space. Since Guyana I had been craving the mountains. A place where my earth can reach the sky. Connect with this upward, spacious, free flowing elemental bliss while still remaining true to my roots. Close to the gods. Connected to the Earth who birthed us. I stood on top of Mt. Kenya, the roof of Africa feeling True. Honest. Authentic. I climbed her for me. Everything felt in balance.
But, it felt like a temporary balance. I had bumped into my self worth. Slid into an integrated self for a time being. What came home with me, though was a new found sense of appreciation for my watery gifts of compassion and empathy. An understanding that it is okay to feel, to sit with sorrow. But, I didn’t know how to do this at home. I didn’t trust any of my parts upon return home. I had been burned. Drowned. At home it was harder not to fall into old patterns.
Like the plains of Malawi my fires had burned unattended for years. Literally denying me of the natural gifts of the earth. Drying out the rivers which nourished me, connected me. I had been burned. I tried to fight the fire with fire. It’s all I knew. I turned on my internal flames and blamed them for everything. I hated my perfectionism. I questioned my ambition. What was I fighting for anyways? Flames were smothered. You can’t fight fire with fire. It doesn’t work. The early stages of recovering from my eating disorder was about living up to new expectations of health. I had shifted the focus of my perfectionism. The new goal was self acceptance and I was dedicated to changing myself to make this possible. Fire with fire. Doesn’t work. Criticizing the inner critic is just an eye for an eye. There’s no healing in that.
I’m the kid who got burned because they liked to play with fire and hadn’t yet learned to respect it, and like a burn victim I then became sensitive to the heat of the flames, afraid of it’s capacity for destruction. But if you look up fear in the dictionary somewhere in the list of possible definitions it says reverential awe. I’ve always been afraid of, in awe of my inner flame.
Once burned the skin is so much more vulnerable to infection. When my dad left everything changed. My mother’s sorrow and tragedy consumed me, infected me. Everything became septic. I didn’t have the self will to separate. I didn’t have the courage to let her struggle. My empathy overwhelmed me. I could no longer manage my mom with my own fire. She had been burned as well. It would hurt her too much. I cried tears for her, washed her sorrow with mine. I felt her everything.
My parents don’t speak to each other. My sun and moon are at war. How am I supposed to find balance when my parents couldn’t make it work. It’s lonely to walk a path that your ancestors couldn’t figure out. But it doesn’t feel good to stay stuck cleaning up a mess that isn’t yours. My hands don’t need to be bound by the shackles of my parents. Somehow I lit enough of a fire to get out. To leave my mother in her own misery. To abandon her to drown in my own sorrows for once. I cried for a year. Embraced by a roommate who allowed my sadness. Sharing my pain, my pain for the first time in my life. She was drowning in her own sorrow as well. We weren’t the healthiest pair. But it’s what I need at the time.
The first time in Costa Rica I reignited my fire. I realized it still burned. My self respect was alive and kicking. My belly burning with self will. I spent a year trying to re-evaluate the war I had waged with my ambition and intellect. Putting out the fire had smothered my confidence. Suddenly I felt alive again. Things weren’t in perfect balance, but I was no longer flailing. I spent a year honouring the flame within me. Adding kindling to the fire. Remembering my gift of intuition. Making peace with a part of me that I had learned to resent. For months after Costa Rica people commented on my new found sense of empowerment. While this can wax and wane I know now that the flame can never go out. I simply close my eyes, place my hand over my solar plexus and can feel it’s pulse. I just need to remember when I forget. The energy of fire can be harnessed for creation rather than destruction. We can master the fire of passion, use it to transform.
That New Years Eve, in the comfort of my kula I remembered the wisdom of my womb. A sign that the year coming was a year for the water in me. Moving down the chakra ladder into the womb of swadhisthana. I realized I had been ignoring my femininity all together. Certain aspects of my femininity made me uncomfortable. My figure had always made me uncomfortable. I realized that I had never really embraced what were some of my most powerful traits. My creativity, my sensuality, my sexuality, my empathy. All of a sudden the tides completely changed and I was diving into this unknown pool of emotion. Feeling for the first time. Empathizing with others on an entirely new level because I could feel myself. I got more sensitive, I got more receptive. I owned my beauty. I listened to the whispers of my womb. But, I did so again at the expense of my fire. I blamed it in a way for my struggles. This was unfair.
I spent a glorious two weeks in Costa Rica diving into my watery juiciness. Bathing in her glory. Overflowing, thick, fluid and heated by the flames of my will. This is where my compassion resides. My empathy, my capacity to relate and to feel. My emotions started crashing through the walls which had confined them. Tsunamis of pleasure. No only could I feel, I could embrace pleasure. I didn’t know how to share it yet, and I’m still learning this, but I gave myself permission to be in a state of bliss. The jungle was this perfect combination of earth and water. Everything dripping wet, seductive, sweetly scented.
It’s an interesting dilemma, trying to balance what seem like opposing forces. Transformative and assertive versus going with the flow. Advocating for change in the face of injustice versus empathizing and taking in the feelings of others to protect and nurture. My water element is the source of my creativity, sexuality and empathy. I never feel as good as when I’m tapped in here and moving from this centre of my being. But, if I can warm the pool of creativity with the fire of my own will, the feeling becomes exponentially more powerful. My intuition comes from my gut, my core, my fire. Intuition coupled with empathy and creation makes me fabulous at my job. This is how I connect with people. Working together, these elements give me strength, power and the ability to seduce in spades. I’m just starting to embrace these strengths. In truth, they used to scare the shit out of me. I was afraid of my own power. Afraid of my own sexuality. I think I was afraid I couldn’t rein that power in once I lose myself in it. But, who says it needs to be reined in? What she really needs is a chance to let loose and play!
So, here I am. Needing to rekindle the fire. Ignite the flame. Honour this sacred imbalance as a call to come home. Into myself. Into balance. Into integration. Stir up the inner heat so I can bathe in my watery pools with pleasure instead of trying to quench the thirst of the world with my own resources. Pour my trust into my fiery intuition. Stand in my own power again.

My earth holds me, supports me. She is steadfast, constant. A rock that had my back when I didn’t have my own. My water houses the Goddess within me. She is the source of my femininity. My creativity, my flow, my empathy. Receptive and powerfully sweet, she sustains me when I run myself dry. My fire burns with the flames of self-will. The home of my intuition and intellect. My source, a vast reservoir of self knowledge and transformative energy. An eternal flame which forever glows, even when I run out of fuel. 

A Sacred Balance: An Elemental Journey

I’ve been here before. Had this internal dialogue before. Been elementally imbalanced. Off kilter. It frustrates me to admit to being here again. But balance is not a thing we achieve, it’s something we practice. Life is a practice. Not something to be won or perfected. A sacred practice of pulsing between our own core Self and the ebb and flow of that which connects us all.

So, there’s no shame to imbalance. In fact, it’s just a gentle call to return home. We get to come home to ourselves over and over again. Each time is different. Each time we remember deeper, strip more away. We practice to remember and to celebrate. Imbalance is just another call to return home.

So, here I am.

The flames of my internal fire are dull. Water overflowing. I’m drowning in my own empathy, and with this comes an exhaustion and exasperation of these gifts. My water has dulled the roar of the fire. It still glows but it doesn’t burn bright. In effort to channel my overflowing pools in the absence of the fire which used to boil off excess, my earth element adds density, gets more grounded, makes a bigger bowl to tend to the extra flow. I’m physically and metaphorically heavier, stuck. Action feels impossible. My automatic reaction is one of disgust instead of appreciation to this steadfast element attempting to tame the tsunamis. Thus the cycle continues.

My fire gifts were powerful, are powerful. They were cultivated in childhood. Respected in my family, revered. Drive, ambition, desire to achieve. I was smart and I knew it. I graduated at the top of my class. I knew I could do anything I wanted. I was, and am a natural leader. Others respected my intellect. I inspire others, bring out the best in them. My fire was my individuality. My independence. I had a sense of what was right and wrong. It was simple. Straight forward. Work hard. Reap the rewards. Its in the flame of my inner fire that my intuition resides. My ability to know what to do next. But that confidence felt limited to the gifts of this element only. I knew I was smart, but I didn’t trust myself to love, to connect, to Be with others. I couldn’t extend the flames to the gifts of another element.

I’ve always had my water gifts. They just weren’t tended as a kid. More fuel was added to the fire and I literally worked my emotions away. Suppressed them. Set fire to the pools of tears that have always been within. While I spent most time avoiding my feelings, there were ways that it felt safe to be in my empathy. I was obsessed with animals as a kid. A safe way to be with somebody who wouldn’t judge. To connect. To just be. I didn’t know then that these honest creatures were watering a part of me that was left untended. I was parched. So thirsty to let these parts of myself flow. They knew what I needed. I knew what they needed to. No words necessary. It felt like this magical part of me that didn’t make sense in the confines of my life as I knew it. I was good with animals. I could feel their souls by looking them in the eyes. They could see mine. I worked best with creatures that others didn’t understand. I always ended up with the horses that everybody else didn’t like. The ones with personality who didn’t “behave.” They worked hard for me when they wouldn’t for others. The farm was a place I could learn to tend the fire and channel the empathy. These summers, with a group of misfit girls, opened me up to different parts of myself. My fire was utilized here in a different way. My perfectionism, determination and work ethic transferred to an entirely new arena. 5 teen age girls left to care for 40 horses. I learned to nurture. To care. But, I worked my butt off. I had this beautiful relationship with my earth element here too. Learned to work my body. Feel strong. Grounded. Steadfast. I was more emotional at the farm. But, my fire just burned brighter to keep the imbalance in check. This was a far cry from the intellectual world where I typically resided.

I remember sitting on the cliffs by the ocean on a family camping trip once. They all went ahead and I felt called to sit there amidst the waves. Crashing into the rocks the waves pulled at something in me. I sat here for hours until my family came back. Deeply connected to the ocean. A sense that the water in me was the same as this great force in front of me. That all the water on the earth was connected. That I was connected.

But these moments of flow were rare. And kindling kept getting added to the fire. I poured my whole self into school. As if marks were everything. They were really, until I went away. Guyana changed me. I learned more about myself in 8 weeks than I had in my entire educational career. Things shifted. Again, the pull of water changed the tides. Made me question my entire life path. There is more to life than achieving. I connected to people on a real level. I walked the earth, bathed in waterfalls and cooked on fires. I connected with the elements in the most natural, meant to be states. I asked questions there weren’t black and white answers to. I was asked questions I couldn’t answer and for once this felt right. Unknown didn’t need to be terrifying. It felt right to be there in the rainy season. Something felt wonderful about bathing in the tears of the universe. I got comfortable with wet. Drenched wasn’t so bad. It was cleansing.

I came home to devastation. The dam holding in the waters had given way. Pregnant with a new way of living my waters had broken and I was labouring a part of myself I didn’t know what to do with. I had never felt this low. This displaced. This entire world I had already learned to conquer no longer seemed important. I was nobody. Had nothing. I didn’t understand who I was or what I was good at anymore. I felt like my intelligence had betrayed me. My fire started to turn against me. Desperately trying to shame and tame the rapids, my perfectionism turned inwards and my long standing discomfort with my figure turned into a raging eating disorder.

My fire and water were at war, the casualty was my earth, my physical body. My container kept changing shape, trying to balance the war. When she grew bigger to ground the massive, unconstitutional upward pull my fire burned brighter with hatred. I tried to burn the earth away, but she was waterlogged, too soaked from trying channel the raging waters of my emotional upheaval. Nothing worked, everything was in flux. I could no longer starve myself, the fire of determination wasn’t strong enough. I began purging everything I hated in myself. I thought I was getting rid of the parts of me I didn’t want. I thought I could literally flush the pain down the toilet. Not feel. Be numb. It all hurt too much. But, I was just stock piling the emotions for later. I would tease my body with food which I then threw up. My digestive fire dwindled. Dulled. I realized my emotional digestive fire never really existed. This year was my most confusing as I struggled to find my place in a world that didn’t feel like home. So, I got out. I graduated with an undergrad in biomedical science, still with honours, and went to Africa.

Malawi is a country in elemental imbalance. Everything is burning. Almost no trees. The bush is on fire. Everyone makes and sells coal. Trees that are only in the early years of their lives are used as kindling. Everywhere you look there was smoke or flames. The smell of burning garbage still takes me back there. A country of dirt, flames and some of the most beautiful people I have ever met. I was so out of my element here at first. I didn’t know how to be with people without words. I have never felt so alone, so anxious. But my anxiety gave way, into a beautiful deep connection with the people and the land. Malawi brought out my water in a different way. I could not be a perfectionist there. There was magic in being out of my comfort zone. I couldn’t be good at everything. I needed help. I learned to make fun of myself. To be with people without shared language. I learned to speak new languages. Most importantly, I learned to sit with my sorrow. The people of Malawi know tragedy, and while they too were trying to burn it away, it was inescapable. They didn’t run from it. Couldn’t run from it. They connected with Earth in such a different way. Used it to channel the sorrow. Revered its role as our mother. That from which we came. But, water too was precious. Scarce. I was there for the first rain after a long, hard, dry season. I have never seen such joy. I cried. My own water flowing as one with the mother.

At the end of this journey I climbed Mt. Kenya. A beautiful sacred site. Full of magic. Grounded in a sense of earth magic, I literally became the sky. At one with air and space. Since Guyana I had been craving the mountains. A place where my earth can reach the sky. Connect with this upward, spacious, free flowing elemental bliss while still remaining true to my roots. Close to the gods. Connected to the Earth who birthed us. I stood on top of Mt. Kenya, the roof of Africa feeling True. Honest. Authentic. I climbed her for me. Everything felt in balance.

But, it felt like a temporary balance. I had bumped into my self worth. Slid into an integrated self for a time being. What came home with me, though was a new found sense of appreciation for my watery gifts of compassion and empathy. An understanding that it is okay to feel, to sit with sorrow. But, I didn’t know how to do this at home. I didn’t trust any of my parts upon return home. I had been burned. Drowned. At home it was harder not to fall into old patterns.

Like the plains of Malawi my fires had burned unattended for years. Literally denying me of the natural gifts of the earth. Drying out the rivers which nourished me, connected me. I had been burned. I tried to fight the fire with fire. It’s all I knew. I turned on my internal flames and blamed them for everything. I hated my perfectionism. I questioned my ambition. What was I fighting for anyways? Flames were smothered. You can’t fight fire with fire. It doesn’t work. The early stages of recovering from my eating disorder was about living up to new expectations of health. I had shifted the focus of my perfectionism. The new goal was self acceptance and I was dedicated to changing myself to make this possible. Fire with fire. Doesn’t work. Criticizing the inner critic is just an eye for an eye. There’s no healing in that.

I’m the kid who got burned because they liked to play with fire and hadn’t yet learned to respect it, and like a burn victim I then became sensitive to the heat of the flames, afraid of it’s capacity for destruction. But if you look up fear in the dictionary somewhere in the list of possible definitions it says reverential awe. I’ve always been afraid of, in awe of my inner flame.

Once burned the skin is so much more vulnerable to infection. When my dad left everything changed. My mother’s sorrow and tragedy consumed me, infected me. Everything became septic. I didn’t have the self will to separate. I didn’t have the courage to let her struggle. My empathy overwhelmed me. I could no longer manage my mom with my own fire. She had been burned as well. It would hurt her too much. I cried tears for her, washed her sorrow with mine. I felt her everything.

My parents don’t speak to each other. My sun and moon are at war. How am I supposed to find balance when my parents couldn’t make it work. It’s lonely to walk a path that your ancestors couldn’t figure out. But it doesn’t feel good to stay stuck cleaning up a mess that isn’t yours. My hands don’t need to be bound by the shackles of my parents. Somehow I lit enough of a fire to get out. To leave my mother in her own misery. To abandon her to drown in my own sorrows for once. I cried for a year. Embraced by a roommate who allowed my sadness. Sharing my pain, my pain for the first time in my life. She was drowning in her own sorrow as well. We weren’t the healthiest pair. But it’s what I need at the time.

The first time in Costa Rica I reignited my fire. I realized it still burned. My self respect was alive and kicking. My belly burning with self will. I spent a year trying to re-evaluate the war I had waged with my ambition and intellect. Putting out the fire had smothered my confidence. Suddenly I felt alive again. Things weren’t in perfect balance, but I was no longer flailing. I spent a year honouring the flame within me. Adding kindling to the fire. Remembering my gift of intuition. Making peace with a part of me that I had learned to resent. For months after Costa Rica people commented on my new found sense of empowerment. While this can wax and wane I know now that the flame can never go out. I simply close my eyes, place my hand over my solar plexus and can feel it’s pulse. I just need to remember when I forget. The energy of fire can be harnessed for creation rather than destruction. We can master the fire of passion, use it to transform.

That New Years Eve, in the comfort of my kula I remembered the wisdom of my womb. A sign that the year coming was a year for the water in me. Moving down the chakra ladder into the womb of swadhisthana. I realized I had been ignoring my femininity all together. Certain aspects of my femininity made me uncomfortable. My figure had always made me uncomfortable. I realized that I had never really embraced what were some of my most powerful traits. My creativity, my sensuality, my sexuality, my empathy. All of a sudden the tides completely changed and I was diving into this unknown pool of emotion. Feeling for the first time. Empathizing with others on an entirely new level because I could feel myself. I got more sensitive, I got more receptive. I owned my beauty. I listened to the whispers of my womb. But, I did so again at the expense of my fire. I blamed it in a way for my struggles. This was unfair.

I spent a glorious two weeks in Costa Rica diving into my watery juiciness. Bathing in her glory. Overflowing, thick, fluid and heated by the flames of my will. This is where my compassion resides. My empathy, my capacity to relate and to feel. My emotions started crashing through the walls which had confined them. Tsunamis of pleasure. No only could I feel, I could embrace pleasure. I didn’t know how to share it yet, and I’m still learning this, but I gave myself permission to be in a state of bliss. The jungle was this perfect combination of earth and water. Everything dripping wet, seductive, sweetly scented.

It’s an interesting dilemma, trying to balance what seem like opposing forces. Transformative and assertive versus going with the flow. Advocating for change in the face of injustice versus empathizing and taking in the feelings of others to protect and nurture. My water element is the source of my creativity, sexuality and empathy. I never feel as good as when I’m tapped in here and moving from this centre of my being. But, if I can warm the pool of creativity with the fire of my own will, the feeling becomes exponentially more powerful. My intuition comes from my gut, my core, my fire. Intuition coupled with empathy and creation makes me fabulous at my job. This is how I connect with people. Working together, these elements give me strength, power and the ability to seduce in spades. I’m just starting to embrace these strengths. In truth, they used to scare the shit out of me. I was afraid of my own power. Afraid of my own sexuality. I think I was afraid I couldn’t rein that power in once I lose myself in it. But, who says it needs to be reined in? What she really needs is a chance to let loose and play!

So, here I am. Needing to rekindle the fire. Ignite the flame. Honour this sacred imbalance as a call to come home. Into myself. Into balance. Into integration. Stir up the inner heat so I can bathe in my watery pools with pleasure instead of trying to quench the thirst of the world with my own resources. Pour my trust into my fiery intuition. Stand in my own power again.

My earth holds me, supports me. She is steadfast, constant. A rock that had my back when I didn’t have my own. My water houses the Goddess within me. She is the source of my femininity. My creativity, my flow, my empathy. Receptive and powerfully sweet, she sustains me when I run myself dry. My fire burns with the flames of self-will. The home of my intuition and intellect. My source, a vast reservoir of self knowledge and transformative energy. An eternal flame which forever glows, even when I run out of fuel. 

Mothers and Daughters

Within each of us are all the women who came before us; their struggles, their successes, their joys and their tragedies. The stories of our mothers, her mother, and all the women who came before her build the foundation for our stories. Their beliefs become our biology. Our roots lie in the soil of their lives. We drink their water to survive. Our struggles, successes, joys and tragedies sit on top of theirs. They birthed our reality. They manifested us into being. Within us, sometimes too deep to notice at first, are the unspoken dreams of our mothers. This becomes part of our heritage. We learn our relationship to our inner goddess by the relationship our mother has with her femininity. By the way she honours her body, her motherhood, by the possibilities she sees for herself. The ropes that bound their hands bind ours as well until we learn to untie them. Until we learn to let them go.    

When we heal ourselves, we heal our mother, her mother, all the mothers that came before them. When we heal ourselves we heal the daughters of our futures. We heal a part of the Divine Mother, the Earth Herself. When we heal ourselves we set the world free. 

Life is really just lesson after lesson in letting go
All around me are the secrets that I’ve swallowed. The most obvious one being the extent of my own greatness.
Making Space

It sounds so lovely. So spacious, free, accepting. Easful.

I came into class this morning feeling open and glad to be awake. Finally free of my cold that seemed to linger longer than I would have liked. Feeling lighter. Ready to move. Desperate to move actually. I had a busy day ahead of me, but I was relaxed about it. Feeling settled. Ready to dedicate a day to helping others. Ready to be inspired by others’ bravery. Ready to humbly practice my gifts in service of others.

The theme today in class was spaciousness, or making space. Focus was on shoulders. I’m always tight in my shoulders and always appreciate the extra love here. My beautiful teacher took a different approach today. We looked at making space from the inside out. It’s something I’ve been working on lately. In opening meditation we were asked to take up more space with each breath. Breathe into our hands on our chest and hold ourselves with worthiness.

Take up more space.

I’ve been toying with why this is so hard lately. There’s the part of me that feels worthy. Worthy of inhaling new life, new space, love and acceptance into my being. Worthy of inviting it all in and experiencing all this beautiful life has to offer. But, in honesty, there’s also the part of me that has spent its entire existing trying to take up less space. Physically and metaphorically.

Today in a gentle, but strong warrior two I began to feel nauseas. I could feel the unworthy part of me creeping up. A sense of “I can’t do this.” How can I take up more space when I feel so unworthy of doing so? When I dedicated years of my life to being smaller? There was a moment of panic when this was so clearly articulated for me. A panicked moment of needing that part of me; the unworthy, eating disordered, twisted, small part of me gone.

I should be over this. I’m not sick anymore. What is she doing here? I dealt with her already. This is my time for self-care. My time to restore. Move. Breathe. Be. I was feeling good this morning. Open. Not dizzy, nauseous and unworthy.

So much resistance to the resistance. The longest drawn out moment of panic and anger and disgust. I don’t want to be here again. 

So many options in this moment. My initial reaction is to tough it out. Suck it up. It doesn’t matter that you’re dizzy. Keep on standing. Show that unworthy part of you who’s boss. But that’s the unworthy part of me speaking. Beating up on itself. “Tough it out” doesn’t sound very spacious to me. It sounds contracted. Unkind. Not compassionate. Not loving. Instead of following my initial reaction, I followed my gut reaction. Instead I took a child’s pose. Surrendered to the moment.

Stop fighting!

Part of me knew child’s pose was exactly where I was supposed to be. Restore. Breathe. Integrate. It’s all okay. That strength telling the rest of me it’s going to be okay. But that other voice was still screaming. “Everyone else is still working and I’m sitting here in child’s pose.” Jen put her hands on me and all the parts of me settled. That small, unhappy voice softened. “okay, if she thinks its okay then I’m okay.” Instead of reassuring her, the rest of me gets frustrated with even this thought, “of course it’s okay. I don’t need somebody else to tell me that.” Even child’s pose was full of conflict. So much resistance to the resistance. And who the fuck gave her the right to show up with such a clear voice today?

If even child’s pose doesn’t feel good, then I should stay here a little longer.

Tears in my eyes as I gave into the resistance. Gave into the unworthiness. I will never be over this.

But, never being over this isn’t a bad thing. I can’t get rid of that part of me. I can only redefine my relationship with her. Communicate more openly. Breathe with her. Invite her in too. Upon reflection, I wouldn’t have had this experience if I hadn’t felt more open today. I wouldn’t have heard that doubt so clearly if I hadn’t felt better and more alive this morning. I’ve been suffocating my unworthiness for a while now. Not so willing to hear from all sides. Just trying to hold my shit together which means no room for the unwanted.

Sometimes more space doesn’t initially feel good. Today it felt like shit. Today it felt like nauseous, unworthy, not good enoughness. But, I made space for that hurt, confused part of me too. She’s worthy too and I know from the past that when I fight with her, tell her to get lost and shove her further down she only hurts more.  In a war with yourself only you lose. Nobody wins.

So, as much as I resisted, I let her into my practice today too. That small part of me that feels so desperately unworthy of love, of space and of myself.  There’s room for all of it. This is showing up. This is making space. It doesn’t have to feel beautiful. It’s messy and complicated and full of conflict. And, with patience, there’s room for all of that too. The trick is not to pick sides. To honour it all.

Life isn’t about getting better. Old wounds will always hurt when we scratch at them. It doesn’t mean we haven’t done our work. It just means that we get to relearn things over and over, on deeper and deeper levels. We get to create more and more space each time we face our old demons. And, maybe the demons aren’t so scary. Perhaps they are just as much in need of love as the rest of you? Perhaps more so?

I came to work after class this morning and did restorative yoga for 30minutes. Making space for myself in my office which is dedicated to making space for others. I am so grateful for such a challenging and confusing opportunity for growth.

With love and reverence I bow to all the parts of me.

Namaste.  

On this path no effort is wasted. No gain is ever reversed.
Bhagavad Gita
It seems to me lately that in sadhana, waiting is sometimes all we can do. I’ve found myself recently in a phase of sadhana in which there has been little inspiration, much resistance and struggle, and the sickening feeling of sliding backwards along a slick, muddy downward slope. The struggle itself — against resistance, doubt, fear, and most of all, cynicism and rebellion — was at some point clearly the main problem.. It came to me to relax into the resistance, the cynicism, the dullness. Surrender to whatever is arising, quit struggling and trying to control the emotional states, and wait. Wait because all things pass, because life is transient and impermanent. Wait for the ongoing flow of Life to bring whatever is next, wait for inspiration, wait for the Beloved’s shining radiance to appear again.
Hohm Sahaj Mandir
Suddenly embraced by all my insecurities
Basking in their clarity
They no longer hold me prisoner but instead show me the door has always been unlocked
Set free by the very obstacles that held me back
That I thought held me back
Past fears swallow me, but I am fearless
These parts of me, all parts of me are now empowered by darkness

200 poses in 4hours today. It was quite the challenge, and one that I was admittedly dreading prior to starting. I’ve been exhausted. I feel out of shape. I’ve been telling myself leading up to this that I wasn’t going to be able to do it. I’ve been treating my body like shit lately. My self-talk has been not very positive. I’ve felt weak and ineffective and, I hate to say it, but fat. For somebody who identifies as a person who overcame an eating disorder, it feels frustrating to be back to fat again. It correlates with the fact that I’m emotionally exhausted lately. Stretched too thin. As my energetic boundaries get blurry, it gets harder and harder to be nice to myself.  But, 5 minutes into the standing poses in the syllabus today and I was feeling strong. I was going to rock the next four hours and I did.

4 hours shifted everything. Standing pose after standing pose feeling strong, capable, grounded. 

Forward fold after forward fold connecting with myself, turning in, an appropriate action today of all days; winter solstice. Embracing darkness. My Self. My journey home.

Arm balance after arm balance; my arms holding everything up, flying, feeling weightless only a few hours after feeling huge. I did things today that I didn’t know I could do. I could do them because I told myself I could. I allowed my body to go further. I let go of the stories I usually tell myself about eka pada koudinyasna, and more importantly what I thought I could and could not do.I flew.

Back bend after back bend feeling energized, rejuvenated and unstoppable. Heart opening. Soaring. Cracked open instead of closed shut, like I’ve felt for months. No need to hide behind any walls.

Supta virasana. Legs rooted in the earth, heart open to the sky. Supported by the floor, but also by my own steadfast courage to be myself. Vulnerable. Comfortably vulnerable.

Ending on the floor. Letting go. Being supported. Letting myself be supported. Integrating these beautiful lessons. Believing in my Self. My abilities. Releasing myself from the stories I’ve been telling for the past few months. Opening to new possibility.

Just breathe.

I have so much gratitude for today`s journey. So much gratitude for my body. Gratitude for the ability to re-write my story. Gratitude for just Being.

Happy solstice. May we all take the opportunity to turn in tonight. Embrace our darkness. Embrace the possibility that resides deep within us. Open to grace. Open to the moment. It is in our darkness that we can truly find ourselves. No fear. Just the freedom to be. No masks. No walls. Just me.

Kali

Far from the flaccid suggestion that when something is not working we must ‘let it go,’ Kali is the ruthless power behind ‘negative’ emotions which clears the way for new life. She is the boundary that Anger wants. She is the pounding of Grief’s river, rushing us to new lands. She is the freedom that Anxiety shakes for. She is the siren of change that Boredom signals. She is the bliss that Fear promises.

Rememberance

I put on my grandpa’s shirt today and felt so surrounded by him and his love. I was reminded of his steadfast, consistent presence and immediately had such a strong urge to call my grandmother and tell her how much I loved him and missed him. She passed away in August and I still have these moments when I forget and want to call. They’re sad moments, but beautiful moments. They’re a chance to remember, to sit with her memory, to Be in that love and presence again. I was so lucky to know my grandparents as well as I did. Putting on his shirt is like being on the inside of one of his hugs again.

To love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee.
Brene Brown

The universe gives you the clients you need exactly when you need them….


More and more I realize that my practice is this living, breathing entity that changes with me, grows with me, adapts and transforms.

This week I’ve heard myself say to clients over and over again that maybe our defenses aren’t the end of the world. Maybe it’s okay that we avoid pain, try to numb ourselves, protect our hears. Yes! Changing our defenses, opening to life, love, pain and joy is this beautiful intention that I love holding space for and facilitating. But, we cannot truly open by judging the contraction that came first. We cannot be open all of the time. Life comes in phases. It’s as natural as a flower starting out as a bud, tight and contracted, protecting the nectar inside while it prepares to blossom.


All summer I’ve been contracted. I’ve been avoiding feeling and I’ve been furious with myself for being so closed off. I’ve felt ashamed that I can’t seem to let myself feel my pain. I’ve been disgusted with my defenses. Then I feel ashamed that I’m so judgmental of it. Today I found some compassion for where I’m at. I realized that I need to listen to my own words of wisdom. That I too, am human. We can’t always be open, even though we’d like to, especially through a beautiful summer.


I have been numbing. I have been contracted, detached. I’m ready to feel more integrated, more alive, more inside my own body. I’m ready to listen to what my body has been saying to me all along. But, I know I can’t bully myself into making those changes. That’s never worked for me. In fact, I’ve never seen it work for anyone. Right now I’m starving spiritually. Hungry for self-reflection. Hungry for self-compassion and love. Starving for a more integrated experience of my life.


I’ve been blessed to have been working with some remarkable people at work lately. I have clients who have been willing to make themselves so vulnerable in my presence. I’ve also been working hard to hold that safe space. I had an angry teenager weep in my office this week about his father. It felt raw, palpable. That vulnerability that makes you want to throw up. We just sat there, together in silence while he cried. I had such a strong response because it reminded me of my own vulnerable shell. Fragile and brittle after a summer of hiding it away and pretending it doesn’t exist. Breathing into it softens it, lets it breathe again. Speaking it makes it more supple, flexible. Finding compassion for it allows it to be itself. Everything’s okay.

All of a sudden everything is okay. Energy flowing. Moving freely. I feel like I’m speaking my truth again instead of holding it back and pretending it doesn’t exist.

My grandma passed away last month. It was like the universe daring me to wake up and feel, something. I spend some time ignoring the pain, being the functional daughter, helping everyone else, clearing stuff out of her closets. Today it’s like every cell of my body feels the loss, but also her presence all at once. She was this beautiful maternal presence in my life. Taking care of everyone. Caring, nurturing. I have this capacity too. To take care. Not just of others, but of myself. It was her birthday this week.

Work is love made visible.
Kahlil Gibran