Shame comes to remind us how we will engage

On the phone with my 89 year old grandmother this week, she said, “Still have your man?” I inhaled to brace myself and said, “No, actually, it’s been a really difficult month. I’ve been exploring what’s really going on by focusing on me and I’ve been working with two different therapists and coaches on growing through this.” Sometimes I wonder why I say these things to her, and she wonders why I call her less often. It’s because rest assured, our conversations will trigger my shame. I think I share honestly with her both to attempt to open these doors and also to see how much shame can still be triggered.



She said, “Ha, I thought you were a coach, now you have to hire a coach too?”



What’s the implicit message? That’s right. You don’t have it all together yet? Are you weak? And, of course, you are weak for being imperfect.



Of course she doesn’t consciously intend to cause harm through judgement, but it happens. This could be a post about my grandmother, but it isn’t. I started out with that story to bring it home that messages of perfection and shame of not having it all together yet are all around us.



And this post is about me, because, if I tell you a story about someone else’s mistakes, I’m not really looking at my own, and I’m avoiding my shame.



Shame is the lowest emotion. When emotional frequencies are measured, it is actually the lowest of all emotions as compared on the megahertz scale. That means it feels the worst.



And what would trigger the worst feelings but the most profound of our crap. Our wounds. Our deepest stuff.



This month, this first month of a brand new year, kicked my ass. It brought up all my stuff, honestly, in a way that showed what I really needed to learn at this time. I’m still learning (and always will be.) This could be a post about how on a soul journey, a soul mate relationship will do that, but it’s not that post either. This is the post from the inward examination of shame. And it’ll be incomplete. And imperfect. And I’m learning more and more to be in full acceptance of that.



I really try to get it right and good. I think we all do, inherently. I really try to be brave and tell stories and help people. I intend to live in my truth and put myself out there in vulnerability and be strong in order to withstand any sort of reaction. I forgot, as I do so that I can remember, apparently, what our friend Brené Brown tells us, that if we live courageously, we will fall. We will fail. And it’s at that point that we get to decide. Whether to blame and point, or whether to integrate our experiences and grow.



I certainly dabble with the blame and point. I have to watch it, be mindful not to act from it. Sorry not sorry if that’s not enlightened enough yet. (Ha. You see what I did there? A joke about hiding shame.)



I’m a natural integrator. Living the soul journey and being willing to “go there” is kinda my gig. I also just sometimes want to avoid getting my ass kicked. Because it hurts. And I want to inherently be good. Be enough. When I see the outward world reflecting to me that I didn’t get it right, I think, well F, then I must still not be good enough and getting it right.



It triggers self worth and it triggers shame.



I think we live in a pretty interesting time where this idea that we can actually come to a point where we don’t feel these things anymore or that we are above feeling them is pretty rampant. I think that in the past year, putting myself out there as a coach after having worked in education, I definitely was worried about getting it right. I didn’t always admit vulnerabilities, even though I am this truth telling person. Even though I started Embodied Breath specifically to look at the “not enough” patterns that we all face, I was still doing it! Of course I was. They are engrained.



The aim is not perfection. The aim is authentic and wholehearted living. The aim is essentially love.



I told my grandmother, after a deep breath, that yes, of course I would be willing to hire my own coach if that’s the same help I hope to provide. My clients need to be willing to hire me when they want to self-examine something, and I don’t pretend to be above that. I told her that it’s okay to need help and that it is not weakness. We’re not culturally used to asking for or needing help, but that sets us up for a lot of high and unmeetable expectations. I told her this on the other side of a significant river of shame I’ve been crossing. Not the full other side, but I’m on the banks again enough to see where I’ve just been.



I don’t know where exactly I went wrong. It’s not entirely my story to tell, and so I won’t tell it here, out of respect for others involved, and because it’s still active. But I behaved in what I believed was honesty and courage, and yet I still messed up, somehow. People are still pissed. My character is apparently in question for some people. In fact, I’m starting to hear about it through a grapevine - stories that are partly untrue and giving negative descriptions of my character being told about me. A friend of mine told me that she heard some gossip and could say; I know this person, and what you are saying is not true. Thank god for friends like that.



I thought that in telling my own story for a living, I would somehow avoid people telling false stories. I thought that in authenticity, I would be protected somehow from criticism. I thought that if I stood up for soul and love, that love would conquer all and that we wouldn’t get hurt. These weren’t conscious thoughts. These were assumptions made while I was doing the good work of hustling forward and showing up best I knew how. And then, I made choices that ended up hurting people. And gained me criticism. And there’s nothing I can say or do or be to change minds. I can’t please my way out of this. And meanwhile my own heart aches, and precious few are asking me about my own heart. (Thank you if you are. Dear me, from my heart, thank you.)



Another friend called me to say he was there for me no matter what. He said, “Sarah, maybe it’s just time for you to tell your own story. It’s what you do.”



That same day, I pulled the Truth Be Told card from my oracle deck and thought, Oh crap. I sat with this, wondering what it meant. And then I was preparing to sit in a circle of women. Women who had paid me to be my clients in a… get this… Personal Truth group. And I got the loud, incessant cue from above to tell the whole story. All of it. Even the parts that people could judge. And I wanted to run. And I sat sweating up until the moment I told it. But I told it. I asked only for it to be heard. That there was a truth in me that needed to be spoken and not kept silent. I said I would accept judgement. I would accept the consequences of reactions. Whatever they are. I braced myself for more shame or for people to even quit working with me. And when I told it, I heard, “Thank you for modeling what truth telling looks like. Thank you for living what you say you live.” I heard, “I would not imagine walking away from you or this right now.”



A few days later, I was collaborating with a male colleague and he knows the whole story. I also worked with him and his wife with some couples coaching. I again braced myself for rejection and more shame, and he said, “I don’t judge you.”



On this man’s computer I noticed a taped piece of paper that read “In the Arena!” Brené Brown and all of her shame research and all of the books with all my notes in the margins were in my hands this month. What did I forget? How did I get here? What is this terrible feeling I’m feeling? Where do we go from here with shame? Brené tells story from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship in a Republic” that my friend’s personal reminder was referencing - be in the arena. It is more important to be in the arena of life, engaging with it heart and soul, than to be avoidant on the periphery. And when you are in the arena, you will mess up. You will fall. You will fail.



I had the distinct opportunity, consciously, at least a hundred times since I started Embodied Breath to either walk forward into this arena or walk back out again. Walking forward, engaging with life, following my Soul, and to do it with as much integrity as possible, is the only option. I was recently reminded that sometimes I will fail. And thankfully, this has also lead to renewed realizations that there is relief in my imperfection.



There is a kind of resilient fighting that comes from determination to prove perfection and avoid shame. I know that fighter. She’s in me, and you all have heard her tell stories if you’ve been watching for any time at all. There is a more genuine form of authenticity that comes from your heart being cracked open, having to choose whether or not to keep loving yourself and other people in spite of imperfections, and humbly standing up to say that I’m sorry I hurt someone, and I’m sorry I abandoned aspects of myself. Standing in front of my mirror and my creations and humbly offering personal forgiveness inward has been profound. After all this hard work of getting to this point, leaving a career I’d achieved a lot in, creating Embodied Breath, what, I thought I wouldn’t stumble?



If we stay in that frequency of the emotional state of shame and it survives, it will take us down. Guaranteed. We will not walk back into the arena of life for as long as we let it rule us. We can work hard and get promotions and seemingly be successful from this place, but we will not be living authentically. Wholeheartedly. I am not here to school you from a pedestal. That’s kinda the whole point. I’m here to remind us all. I’m here to walk with you. Haha, it’s more like I’m pulling at your shirt hem from my knees right now than having any pretence of pedestal.



Brené  Brown found in her research that in order for shame to survive, it needs secrecy, silence, and judgement. In my walk this month, especially this week, I discovered these antidotes. I broke my silence, my secrecy, and my own personal self judgement and the judgement of others. Friends and helpers were gracious enough to help me break it. And the shame feels much less intense.



The absolute antidote to shame is empathy. It’s what we need to be kind enough to extend to one another, even when we’re hurting. When I’m hurting and accepted my colleague Gina’s offer when she said, “Spirit is telling me to offer you this coaching,” it was amazing. Gina is helping me to hold space for all parts of myself. It is some of the most powerful personal work I’ve ever done. I can hold myself empathetically in this space and it resonates outward.



When we are willing to look at all of ourselves, we grow the most. Not that it’s some race or something, but it also feels the best. Self-forgiveness and self-love feel good. Relaxing the pressure on myself allows me to be a better space holder for others, more loving toward all, more empathetic. I am a better mother, a clearer coach, and better steward of Embodied Breath as a result of having gotten in that arena of life, gotten my ass kicked (again), and learning to be vulnerable and present with myself and others in still-closer ways. I am more authentic than ever. I am more myself than ever.



If I have behaved in a way that perpetuated a notion of perfectionism in the coaching industry, I am sorry. I do the work that I do because I want you to have a space to own your whole truth, your vulnerability, to feel your shame if you need to, to move through whatever arises, and to see yourself as beautiful and whole. My work is an arena itself! It is what I am inviting.



If I have hurt you, I am sorry.



I pray that we may all stay in the arena with ourselves and with one another, so that we may experience the wholehearted, connected, ever-conscious possibilities on the other side. I will go through, with you. Beside you.

Photos by www.NicoleMcConville.com

Photos by www.NicoleMcConville.com



We Rise Together

Dear men,



On the day of the Women’s March, I am writing to you.



Because I trust that women who leave home today to march know why they are doing it. But it’s on my heart to talk to you. There are many questions in the air. My intention is to speak into this space in between us.



Admittedly, I am writing this as a woman who is currently tired. A woman who loves you and can’t see right now truly how to help you. I am writing this as a woman who has tried, in every way I know, to be what men have needed. A woman who now realizes, it is not my job.



I am resilient, I am feminine, I am independent, and I love men. I have walked for years as a conscious woman reclaiming my femininity, and I am well aware that to fight and be in opposition of men in this movement of the feminine rising is not the way to do it. I am a woman who loves and believes in men.



I have shown this to you. But as I’ve studied how I have been received, my efforts to lift men up, in fact my efforts to specifically stand as an ally to men at this time, have been met repeatedly with gratitude that I would speak solidarity, and yet when it comes down to it, you often want me to work for free, or you give a last minute power-over maneuver and say you don’t actually need to hire me, or you question what it is I truly know. Or you walk away. Most of you.



I realize now that this is in large part my own doing. Because in a system that has given men default power, I have continuously, in many varying forms, with many different disguises, given my power away. And I have asked you for yours. We have been fighting for power in an old power game.



We are all losing so long as this is the game.



Whether or not you know it or women know it, the women’s movement is a feminine rising movement. That is what we desire at the core. All of us - even you. This is not a women’s march. This is a feminine march. But we haven’t caught up in the collective consciousness to realize this, so we call it a women’s march. But “feminine” and “woman” are two different things.



Two thousand years ago, at the advent of Patriarchy, the feminine was decided to be a threat. Mary Magdalene herself held the magic of the feminine consciousness, held Christ consciousness, held a power so deep and inherent, held something in her very being that threatened the power of the church and how the church wanted to portray the Christ. The reason that the Christ was the Christ was not because of a man and his masculine father god, but because the masculine Christ was activated by the power of the feminine Sophia. One must have the other. This, understandably, is incredibly fucking threatening to a Patriarchal agenda. But Christ himself knew the necessity of the Sophia consciousness and invited it.



There is more power in the feminine than any masculine intelligence can ever understand with the cognitive mind. Because they are different, and complimentary, powers. And so, throughout history men attempted to control it, denying the feminine, which looks most obviously on the outside like repressing women. But the effect is that the feminine has been repressed in every human, including within men, and therefore a massive rebalancing is required. That is, I believe, what we are seeing now - the cry for this. It begins inside each human.



No one being is whole and complete until their healthy masculine and feminine have been integrated internally, into true Sovereignty. I will call this masculinity and femininity “sacred,” because we certainly have unhealthy examples at play as well.



Mostly, men and women are at odds with one another because of these unhealthy aspects in each of us. Most women are most often in an unhealthy masculine energy and most men are more affiliated with an unhealthy feminine aspect. We’ve taken what is glorious about both feminine and masculine and have sabotaged it. Both are grasping for power from these places. Of course this is oversimplified. See if you can stay with me.



We have a term now, “toxic masculinity” that points to “masculinity” as a problem, but true masculinity is never a problem. If each of us humans were to be fully integrated, we would not have gender wars, which I would say we certainly have, because we would not have to worry about anyone else taking our power. We would know that our sovereign union between the Christ and the Sophia within us, the masculine and the feminine, is divine and complete.



This sounds foreign because it is uncommon to discuss it, but it is not untrue. You will see more of this language.



In our society now we have the #metoo movement and women’s marches and we have a white male suicide rate that is the highest on record and I’m standing here as a woman waving the white flag and yet, I’m seeing we all still have a lot of fear ruling our daily actions. I’m feeling this in my own life and I want to be done with it.



A few years ago, I was working as a school principal, and my father visited our town while coming through on a business trip and took my son and I out for dinner. He had helped me to buy my house after my divorce, so of course, I thought, he was welcome to take over my son’s bed while in town. So while my son was asleep in mine, after we had enjoyed dinner, my father and I sat talking at my kitchen table. The conversation went south when he took it in the direction of religion, where we disagree. He’s a methodist. We’ve gone rounds about this before, though there was no yelling, and he knows I do not inherently agree with his views. And when we stood up to go to sleep, I found myself with my back nearly up against the front door while the familiar look of hatred took over his face, while his voice raised and he came at me, threatening me that I would burn in hell for eternity. Threatening me in the dark while no one else was looking.



His grandchild’s mother. His first born. A school principal. A caring woman who spent her days working for the benefit of children. But refusing, as I did forever, to subdue to his exact beliefs, he felt the need to threaten me to my core. Not only was I worthless, surely God would deem me the same, and I would burn for eternity. When I would not give over my power to him, our lifelong (forever-long) karma, he went for a drastic way to attempt to get it from me.



I’ve been told this, my prescribed fate in hell, by him in similar moments of threatening solitude my entire life. Especially since I became a sensual teenager. Then I got pregnant at eighteen, and I realize looking back that I gave most all my power away at that point because he largely determined what would happen, how the child’s father would not be involved, and that I could not possibly be successful on my own. I believed it. I birthed my child naturally and took care of her and my bodies, but the external choices did not feel like my own.



These things are engrained. I’ve been unpacking them, whether consciously or not, my whole life. I have lived a woman in the Patriarchy, and I’ve come to encourage a new way that is less hurtful for us all. I see that this is not a matter of who has power over the other.



I want you to see: my father is a decent man. He would place his three daughters at the center of his life, under God the Father, if pressed to order his priorities. And yet, he does not understand that at the route of his attempts to repeatedly overpower me is his own deep despisal of the feminine.



Many men, I would say most all, both crave and despise the feminine on some level. You’ve been hurt by the feminine, this force, and so you want to overpower it, either violently or by asking women inadvertently for their power. You do this repeatedly.



You have been hurt by women who themselves have repressed their own divinity, and have therefore been hurtful, operating out of a weak or unhealthy masculine or feminine energy. So while you crave the Divine Mother, your cravings are unmet by women in the flesh. Your mother your first inherent disappointment - often either too smothering or too unloving. You become monsters toward women under the surface and have no cognitive idea why. So much so that you will do anything to conquer the feminine, and then you transfer that to women.  You both love and fear women. You want us and you don’t want to have to. You are conflicted. You want to control the entirety of a situation of which you are only half the equation.



We feel it. We have felt it for two thousand years.



We fear it. As I write this I feel fear. Because to expose a man is to threaten a man, and bad things happen when men feel threatened.



Reclaim the feminine in yourself, my loves. You must. The internal balance is the unity that brings you your most authentic power. And do men’s work. But the trouble I see with men’s work is that most are ignoring the role of the feminine altogether. A lot of men’s work is not actually correcting the problem of power-over. THAT is the internal struggle. That is the beast, the addiction, the tyrant, the killer. The addiction to power is what we’re playing with, here.



And when women march, or women say “me too,” those are attempts to get power back. And ultimately, it’s ineffective because we don’t understand the internal nature of this that I am describing here. And ultimately, it threatens men and we’re in an incessant loop.



If I am a woman who is fighting men for my power, or trying in any way to please men for my power, then I am not sovereign. I have been living this as a woman. I see that now. I have been giving aspects of myself away in service to men and hoping for some return, whether it be honor or love or respect or an equal opportunity. I have been hoping that somehow I would find a way to show up with men that eases the power-over game. But this is not an effective recipe and I am left feeling unmet. My service is incomplete if it is not done from a place of sovereign love.



We all want sovereign love and union, but we are playing a power game. We are calling it empowerment and romantic love and #metoo and even now the men’s movements. We won’t find it there.



I consciously walked myself in the direction of reclaiming my lost feminine starting about seven or eight years ago. My son was a toddler and I realized the ways I’d lost myself after my daughter’s adoption a decade earlier. I realized I was largely operating from an unhealthy aspect of masculine energy, always driving myself and others forward.



At that time, I was one of those bitches who dominated men, blamed men for my state, my then-husband included. One of the women with daddy issues who begged men to prove to me all I needed to see from the masculine. I have shamed men. I have been the perpetrator of oppressive energy over men. I have been associated with a masculine, driving force that attempted to gain power-over. Sometimes I still am.



And I’ve done so much self-work, often in self-reflection of relationships with men gone wrong, and so I’ve asked myself what kind of woman I’d have to be to be what men needed me to be. Go ahead and judge that, but I ensure you that this walk was a conscious one all along. I understand masculine and feminine. I work in this arena because it calls me from a place deeper inside of me than any other aspect of my life. I study this because I know it in my bones, to my core. I watch how the energies of the collective are the same energies in me, and vise versa. We are given many opportunities to see this if we are willing to look.



All the while, I have been giving myself to men in one way or another for twenty years. I have been trying to “get it right.” I have tried to please and heal the father. I have worked primarily in school populations of male adolescents. I have attempted to bolster masculinity in places where male mentors themselves didn’t know to do it. I have stood in the energy of the Priestess willing to hold space for men to heal. I have been the woman that men have yearned for and then turned on, projecting their deep confusion and hatred onto me. I have helped to build their empires only to be dismissed. And I have been the place they called Home and then left again, without care, when love gave way to fear. When the uncontrollable became too much to bear.



And I know what you men do in the dark. I know how you crave Her. I know how you yearn to simultaneously conquer and succumb to Her. With your hand around my throat and the deep yearning in your thrust. I know you. I know what it is that you yearn for. You almost find it in those moments. The only barrier is you, my love. Yourself. She is there for you. You must also surrender.



I have been the Magdelena inviting you forward. I have been the Priestess willing to help heal your wounded Soul. You see yourself here in this space of me. And it is a vulnerable place. And then I am the woman left to do what women do when the fear of men betrays us.



I am the mother, the daughter, the sister. I am the woman you despise, the woman you love, the woman you hope to raise to be different (but how will you, if this goes unaddressed?). I am every woman.



Her.



When you are in your fear, when I am in my fear, we want to prove our worth through one another, to gain our power through one another. This is not a winning game. It’s not just you. We both have to look at this and keep coming to this table. I want to own my part more than I have ever wanted to own my part. I have no proving left in me. I can not pretend to know the way all on my own.



I could be spinning this. Maybe I am. And maybe I’m observant and you’ve given me many opportunities. It’s both. But I tell you these things differently now. Rather than diagnosing, I am calling you. And I will not sacrifice myself to meet you there. We, women, need you to meet us. We will need you at times to lead us where we can’t see. We will need your trust.



I am a woman and see it through this lens, and I am also wise. I have been abused and hurt by men, and decided consciously to show up in front of you anyway. I hope I have gained your trust this way. I am not the victim and I want to be your sovereign sister, lover, mother. And I need you to live in this space with me of checking and assessing your own drive to maintain power. We need a new way.



When you are in your fear, you do not want me to hold the mirror as the woman. You do not want my sovereignty if you do not know your own. You find my help a threat, even though you crave it, because you see it as loss of power. I have seen this with many potential coaching clients, students, partners, bosses. You want to prove all the ways that you are good enough and this prevents your own growth. Sooner or later in relationship, you will realize that you’ve fallen into vulnerability, and you will assert your power over. It will not be pretty how you take your power back when you recognize you’ve given it away.  You will not lose your power to a woman, even when I am not actually threatening it. Your power maneuvers are consistent, insidious. The perpetuation of an old paradigm that we need to be done with.



Repeatedly, you depend on my resiliency as a woman, but you hate me for it.



You want my softness, until it requires yours.



You want to lose yourself in me, but you want to determine which direction we head into abandon.



Nayyirah Waheed wrote “All of the women. In me. Are tired.” I feel this, in my woman body, I feel this. I will stand with women in this march because I know what women know just by being born a woman, because the feminine is in my bones. I know the reality of being wanted and silently despised, of constantly giving with failed return. Of life being a power game and knowing what it feels like to be losing. Knowing that we all lose so long as this is about anyone having any other part of any of our power.



I want a different game. The time is now. We are noticing the breakdown of an old paradigm. Now we create together, anew. We create what is currently unimaginable, because it is beyond our constructs. We create by honoring personal sovereignty and the space for vulnerability. We create by honoring all of the fear generated as a result of this old system, and we look one another in the eye as we move forward together.



I do not want to be a woman in charge. I don't even want equal rights. I do not want to try to match power. That is all old, power-over paradigm.



I know a handful of men right now who are putting their hearts on the line and doing their personal work to look at how they assert power-over. One sat before me this week and delivered me a reflection that I can’t remember verbatim because it was a divine transmission out of the mouth of a man, and I cried, to be seen and offered respectful reflection to my core.



I know a man who is heartbroken and standing in his mission now, vulnerable and not giving up inside this space of incredible risk.



I know another man who honorably said to me, “When you are in your rawness, I am inspired to keep going, to keep choosing this.”



I know another who has recently been humbled by loss of a woman taking back her power and sat before me and this woman and said, “I was the Patriarchy. I tried every way to assert power over and I was willing to go to any length to ensure it.”



Create with me. Break down with me. Get vulnerable with me. Look at our collective fears with me.



There is a We that is emerging that I want to believe in. To my temporarily shattered core, I want to believe in Us.



Together, we let old paradigm crumble at our feet. So many of us are aware of this crumble right now, experiencing it first hand. I am saying, beloveds, that I believe it feels this way because we are being called to be new, to create anew, to imagine the New. To live it. Courageously and from our Hearts.



I have edited this for more time than I ever spend on any piece. All of the old and the new are still colliding within me. My recent loss is here, and I see that it is the catalyst for this wide open, vulnerable gain. I pray that we all see our own shattering as invitation, the invitation we’ve been asking for, actually. If we wanted a New, why did we not think we would have to experience a death of the Old?



We are the creators. We are the movement. It is not the movement you will see today on the news, as the collective takes some time to catch up to what is really happening. We are the catalysts. We are the ones we have been waiting for. The divine in me sees the divine in you. The masculine in me sees the masculine in you. The feminine in me sees the feminine in you. I want your sacred sovereignty. I want my own. I want it for our sons and daughters. We are the movement. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

BREATH-78.jpg



Not hiding. Nope.

When you’re an early entrepreneur following your soul, and life takes you down….

You process it. Because it’s what we do. We go through.

I go through with you, I go through with me.

The turners of the tide

On being a woman and rising

Woman do not make excuses for him.

He is showing you what he can do.



Woman do not make assumptions of him.

You are sure to underestimate.



Woman do not heal for him.

You have been waiting on you your whole life.



Woman do not wait for him.

He knows where you are going and he’ll go with you if he chooses.



Woman do not carry him.

Not when the weight is disproportionate.



Woman do not threaten him.

He carries the fear of mothers’ threats forever as it is.  



Woman do not chase him.

It only leaves you further from yourself.



Woman do not betray him.

When you do you betray half of yourself.



Woman do not shame him.

Surely we do not need any more fear between us.



Woman do not give up on him.

If you do, your sons will feel it.



Woman do not lay down for him.

Not anymore. Not like this.



Woman do not stop loving him.

The heart of the world needs your love and he is in it.



Woman do not stereotype him.

You know better than to be unfair.



Woman do not hide your eyes.

Meet his. Meet mine.



Woman do not give up on love.

Your bitterness serves nothing.



Woman do not forget your divinity.

You know how to heal and nurture and forgive and rise again.



Woman do not stop. Do not stop.

Do not worry and do not stop.

Surely, surely, we know we are the turners of the tide.

BREATH-1.jpg





This is conscious love, even while experiencing a death in relationship.

I work in the space between two people, and I invite two people to turn toward one another.


Conscious Soul Union is just about my favorite thing.


This is a template, an activation for humanity, an offering. It is not something that we "perfect" at all points in time and awareness, myself included. Consciousness is a continual invitation. It's chosen moment by moment.


Recently, my partner and I were not conscious with one another, and we are suffering a death for it. A completely avoidable (had we been conscious), completely beautiful, completely opportunistic death.


Regardless of what happens next, regardless of attachment, all of those things are true in this moment.


We can't get it all right all the time. My god, he and I certainly tried to hold ourselves and one another to that ideal, to great demise. It can't be done. We broke under that pressure, that we didn't even see coming.


But we let the consciousness go. It was the holidays. We had wine instead of discourse. We took the love for granted. I didn't see the storm brewing.


I reached out to community because I didn't want us to do this alone. We are both incredible people with incredible hearts and this process deserves a lot of support.


And I've looked at this all over this past week and a half, and I've had conversations with mentors and friends, I've had healing sessions, I've been allowing my grief, I've been in meditation, and I'm taking this opportunity to both ask and own my part, to grow, and to love. Love without expectation. It's so hard and yet in those moments where those rays of love shine through, it's the most obvious, most real thing.


I love serving the space between two people because that space is where the MOST learning, the most sacred connection, the most evolution of soul and spirit is possible.


Our partner is our mirror.


We find the most opportunity in one another's reflection, whether consciously staying and working it out together, or dividing a union and doing it on your own. But the work, always, is of two individuals. Union is not an abandonment of Self. It is the conscious intersection and dance of Selves.


When I allowed my triggers to guide my actions, I made a mistake. He did too.


I am calling on all of us to actively pray, take right action, and come together in this space between.


I can see it in other partnerships. I didn't stand as the neutral "coach" when it was happening in my own. (Because perfection and 100% consistency is not possible, and, uh.... I don't want to coach my own relationship.) But I do see now where we went wrong and potential paths forward. And I want community when I'm in this place. I want balm for our wounds. I want care to infuse. I want vulnerability and risk. I want to align in the space of the heart. I want to navigate this space between.


I am calling on all of us to actively pray, take right action, and come together in this space between.


This is what I do for people in partnership. I see the dynamics, the way two people trigger and miss one another, and I infuse care. I invite vulnerability in a safe way. I invite the mirror perspective. I get you out of the space of your triggers and into alignment with your heart.


As the third party, I hold space for your Union to strengthen, continually emerge, and become more conscious. This is a work of my heart, both personal and professional. And here is why:


These skills - every one of the skills required for conscious union and conscious relating in a love relationship, are the very foundation for the evolution of all relating on this planet. My Soul knows this to be true.


I am calling on all of us to actively pray, take right action, and come together in this space between. This is where we heal our traumas. This is where we heal the rift between masculine & feminine, both internally and externally. This is where we heal the wounds of the collective. And this is what we came to do on this planet at this time.


I am standing by this mission. Heart open. May we choose to consciously navigate the space between.

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The grief at the core of me.

It’s important we allow ourselves to feel our grief.

When I lost my daughter at birth at the age of nineteen, I grieved alone. And in fact, grieving was not talked about. Succeeding was emphasized.



Get up. Do what needs to be done. Make something of yourself.



And this was the formula that I used for over thirteen years, until I consciously realized what I was doing - I was in a perpetual state of striving for proof of “being enough.” A state of inadequacy.



Nothing could fill it, as inadequacy at the core goes, although I kept trying to succeed. I kept trying to get it right in order to prove my enough-ness.



And this core wound that most of us carry, it dies hard. Actually it doesn't die, it transmutes when we face it. And this takes some conscious action indeed. Awareness is just the beginning. Undoing the traumas and the wounding and the automatic patterning is an effort in consciousness. But one worth making, as one takes back their life from the myth of inadequacy.



Last year, as soon as I stepped out to go full time with Embodied Breath, my deep love relationship ended. I had loved this man. I didn’t understand some of the circumstances, and he left in a hurry after I’d experienced the deepest love relationship I’d ever known. I could see some of the karma, some of the Soul reasons why it was happening, but here’s what I realize now - I didn’t grieve.



I did not let myself grieve, because I had just opened a business. So what did I do? I hid my grief, from others especially, and I kept on going. I kept on “doing it.” I kept on toward success and making it happen. I was putting myself “out there!” I was building something! And so I was striving to get things done, and to financially survive, actually, and so I took a “show no weakness” approach. I got to the fall and I realized what I had been doing, because I was tired, and I didn’t feel any different than I had in my career. I was hustling and not fully honoring my own Soul and Soul’s journey, which says, ultimately, that I should live out loud.



So I started a business originally for women, about reclaiming the feminine, and there I was… doing the striving thing. Which is an unhealthy masculine trait, inherently.



It’s the one most women are in.  (Whoa, defenses, it’s true.) I know because I live it and because I deeply observe. When we grow up in a society where our femininity is repressed, systematically, we learn to “act like men.” To get it done. To keep going.



Our entire society is currently built on these premises.



I love the path of the Soul. I love the mystery and the learning and bearing witness to the unfolding. I believe we are here on a Soul path, or I know I am, and that each “thing” that happens is my own Soul mapping it’s way. Sometimes this happens consciously, and most times it’s a damn mystery.



So another man comes into my life. Takes me by storm. Unreal scenario. Cosmic awakening. Difficult to embrace but we do it. We say Yes. We know it’s a Soul Union. We love one another deeply. And then, BOOM. I find myself within one week going from happy assumptions of a future together to an ending so similar to the last relationship that I’m not even as shocked. And I’m the common denominator here, so my Soul is clearly trying to give me some lessons.



What I’m sharing with you is vulnerable, and undone, because we are in it. This man is not connecting with me, sweet man, but we are in it, each in our own ways. Because we each triggered the Core Wound in one another, so far as I can tell.



When we trigger the Core Wound, it’s actually an opportunity. It hurts like hell right now, but I see where our Souls are, and I’m praying for each of our Souls’ evolution.



And so here I am, at the very beginning of 2019, where I did not think I was going to be repeating anything from that rollercoaster of a 2018, and then, BOOM, I am.



I am. Soul love, My King. Relationship identified TO US by the cosmos, one realized and recognized by our Souls before we ever felt anything emotionally. We said the bravest Yes we’ve ever said, and we said it again and again such that when it came to this point (because surely it would if the relationship is THE one - when two souls come together to learn together and grow past the Core Wound) - when it came to this point, and we broke, I never saw him pulling away.



And then he’s gone. Death.



And I’m sitting in my Core Wound of loss, of fearing loss of love, and especially loss of love when I voice my own truth. And something is pulling at me, when I’m telling myself to get up and be resilient and learn the lesson and just bear it, damn it, another harsh fucking lesson. Something is saying… just grieve.



Grieve as you grieve. Fall apart. Feel.



Writhe. Wretch. Die for a minute. Or a week. Or as long as it takes.



Don’t hide, don’t go away, don’t hide the grief, and don’t strive. Don’t force something that is not.



You see, loves, for eighteen years, I’ve been fearing this moment, in every action, in every decision. Loss. Loss of love, loss of love for my own inadequacy, loss of love beyond my control.



I feared it and again, I’ve received it. (See how that works?) I had all the self protections meant to ensure against this, but in the end, those were the very things that helped cause it. Our self protections are what keep us separate.



Such that I helped to trigger these events because of my own fear. (I am a Soul seer, so some of it I see, and again, some will be revealed. Other aspects, I’ll never know. And while it reveals, my job here is to not go to my head, to the story, to the rationale and the “well THAT was the lesson there,” and “Onward in resiliency!”



No. It’s not about that this time. And I’m writing this to model what it is that I am talking about all of us doing - I’m being raw on purpose, I hope that is clear.



I’ve been fearing this loss for eternity.



I know who this man is. It literally felt like parts of myself were in him, like I knew him, Soulknew, like we were made of the same stuff. He felt it too. We knew who we were to one another. So the BOOM, the BOOM is a divine BOOM. And the divine in my Soul is saying, grieve it. Grieve it and know what you know, love him, believe in each of you, but cry hard for as long as your body wants to.



And I’m not covering it up this time. I’m not making myself stand up and get it done. And guess what, this IS the process. This IS the feminine. This IS honoring what is. This IS what I’m offering in Embodied Breath - not the perfection, not the striving. I always say, “We go through.”



This man’s “Yes” turned into his “We don’t go through.”



We signed up for this. Our Core Wound karma, we believe, began with one another. We’ve come for this opportunity. We came for this. And we are in it.


My love, we are. We are going through. We are in the Core. I pray we each honor it for what it is. I love you.



I grieve that you can’t hear me.

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You are enough. You are enough. You are enough.

There is a myth of inadequacy at play until we heal it.

Until we realize that we’ve given over a piece of our soul to it, or plenty more than one.



In fact, it’s the lesson we’ve been forever learning, right?

With mantras of “I am enough” even tattooed on some bodies I know.



My love, you, by your very nature, are divine.

There was never anything lacking in you, there was never such a thing as inadequacy.



When you believe this way, “I am never enough,” your life is robbed of any richness, because you’ll always be trying to prove, more and more, that you are enough.



You spend your life attempting to prove something that doesn’t need to be proven.

Because you already are.



You are more important than your accomplishments or your bank account or what approval someones gives.

When this whole game was set up, you were made, as we all were, to feel like you could never beat it.



The way to beat it is to beat the game at the game.

To blow up the myth.

To look it in the eyeballs with that look reserved for things you’ll no longer tolerate and tell it that it was never real, this thing you’ve been believing forever.

It robbed you. A belief.

Get it back.



Because, my love, how could you be lacking?

When you are everything?

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Truth withheld is gonna getcha

I had a double espresso dirty chai at four o’clock in the afternoon, on top of the exhilaration that is the end of the year. So I was lying in a salty bath at 11pm, my mind still very alert, and thinking about women, and how we repeatedly hide our truth from men.

 

And before you go stacking up all of the ways this is not true, before you think about all the truths you have told to men, or if you’re a man, before you start thinking “All I ever hear is what women think…” you can stop. Just pause. We’re talking about the underbelly here.

 

Because I like to drop a layer deeper, under the rhetoric, under the fast pace and the firey responses, and get to what’s real.

 

It happens all the time that women hide their truth from men. Every day. In fact, I realized in the bath last night, I had done it at least four times that I could think of in the 24 hours prior. In safe relationships, with men I love and who love me - not even something that threatened my safety or tripped my wires! (Because I’ve spent a LOT of time in those situations to, but that’s not really my gig anymore, thankfully.)

 

So I didn’t do it because I needed to for my safety, because they were actively dominating, or because they forced it - I did it because it’s habit. To just let some things roll. To work through it and manage it on my own.


I’m not talking about refraining from oversharing or expecting someone else to emotionally labor on my behalf, I’m just talking about little bits of truth that I just swallow. I just carry them, as a woman and in relation to men. The things that are true for me but I end up not setting the boundary I’d really prefer to have set, or not correcting an assumption that then lives on but I’d prefer that it didn’t.

And we know that there are bigger examples. We know what gets withheld. We know the effects in our throats for lifetimes.

 

And I’m laying in the bathtub thinking about this, thinking about how women tell me they want healthier relationships and autonomy and bravery, but there’s still space in my women’s group on cultivating personal truth which is SURE to cultivate some badassery and voice and meet those goals, and yet, they say the time isn’t right, or the cost is too high for them. And yet, I think that if we don’t somehow start to own our truth, we will watch ourselves perpetuate these same habits.


Because the world may not have been so good to women for a good while, but we have a great deal of autonomy about how we move forward. About how we give our OWN selves the permission to own our truth, and how we respond to our OWN opportunities to own that truth.

 

I want to work with women who are actively overcoming their own voice blocks. Who are willing to examine their own tendencies and where they stay small. Because that permission ain’t coming from anywhere else, my loves, other than inside of you.

 

Believe me.

 

I am a woman who has tried every avenue of truth telling I could think of - from written to vocal, from loud to soft, from friendly to spiteful, from indirect to direct. I’ve told a lot of truth. I know how to get to it, cultivate it, hear it, and take the courageous steps to step into it, and I’ve hid personal truth that would have grown ME if I’d shared it.

 

As recently as yesterday.

 

Because as women, it is customary. But it doesn’t have to be.

And yes, we’ve lived our traumas that have challenged our voices, but each and every woman must own her own responsibility to claim her Self, her Truth, fully. This is not a blog post about how my daddy didn’t let me have my voice, although that was certainly true. This is a blog post about what are we going to do about it? And please don’t tell me “nothing.”

 

When I say “Personal Truth,” I’m talking about the divine truth of your Soul, sisters. And when you get after your divine Soul, mine does a dance with you. I’m right behind you!

 

You will not be perfect. They will not know how to respond. Your life WILL change when you begin living like this, in alignment with your Truth. You do NOT have to fight to be heard in your life. You DO have to cultivate your clarity and your voice. It is our opportunity, our responsibility. We are doing this good work in ourselves and it shifts the experience for women on the planet. I am not kidding.

 

When one woman owns her autonomy, the world changes. This is how we make it better for women and girls. You have to believe in what you’ve got. And stop holding back. One step at a time.

 

I’m still on this walk. I will be. We all will be for a while, but now is always a good time to start.

 

If 2019 feels like your year to own your personal truth and to stop putting yourself off, I want to talk with you. There are still a few days to sign up for my 90 day group coaching opportunity for women to activate, cultivate, and own their personal truth. And let me tell you what, some powerful women are coming on board, and this will uplift us all to have this sisterhood. Send me a message today. We begin Jan 3. See Events Calendar on my website for more info.


In solidarity, s

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Pussy-Positive Promotion

I was in the bathroom stall on the second day of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts Experience in NYC the first weekend of this month. The air was buzzing with strong-woman vibes, with the massive personal trauma clearing work we’d just seen on stage, with all things pussy. Mama Gena is on a mission that every woman be able to not only say the word pussy, but to fully embrace all things pussy, pleasure, and power.



So I’m in the bathroom stall and I hear this cynical and disgusted “Ugh, shameless self promotion” comment come out of another woman that I couldn’t see for my place inside the stall. And a few things simultaneously happened.



First, shame. Honestly, at first mention of one woman shaming another woman for self promotion, I felt shame, because guess what - I had taken postcards for my January group on activating and cultivating women’s personal truth and I had put my cards inside of the bathrooms as well as on the tables and at the charging stations around the event. I admit - it felt a little weird to do this, but primarily because it was my first time doing this. It was an exercise in watching my own self doubt, as every time I placed a little stack of cards, hoping they’d be well received, I also worried that somehow I was out of line for doing so. So this “shameless self promotion” comment really just cut. But she wasn’t looking at my cards. She was looking at someone else’s. Back to that in a minute.



The second thing that happened was that I noticed that above shame response inside of me. Noted.



The third thing that happened was this, “Wow, we’re here in the epicenter of pussy celebration and this woman went RIGHT back to shaming another woman for promoting her work.” This shit is engrained. Not only does it take feats of courage to put your own self out there, you’re also going to have to have heaps more in order to deal with the judgement and criticism that come when you do. I know this because this is the year I just lived as a female entrepreneur.



I opened the stall door and what I saw were these gorgeous, printed, 8x8 square images of a pussy made of flower petals. The cards were offering a free meditation. They were spread out, boldly and evenly among the rose petals on the ledge of the bathroom above the sinks. Whomever had put them there was clearly calling us to see them. They were well done and deserved attention. And again, this woman’s response had been to scoff and say, “Shameless self promotion,” implying that she should indeed feel some shame for having promoted herself.



This was said from a woman, about another woman. Offering something of value. At an event that was entirely about bolstering women.



You know what I did with my cards? I kind of snuck them into the places where I thought maybe they’d be discovered. I wish I had been so bold as that other woman. I celebrate her radical and courageous self promotion.



This year was my first year as an entrepreneur. I went full time in March, and the conditions under which I went full time in March were actually quite interesting. Some of it was my decision to leave my career. And some of it involved massive amounts of my masculine wounding being triggered in order to be healed - circumstances I won’t go into here but will say that I certainly got tripped up. I had been shamed and some decisions that were made at the time that affected the timing of the conclusion of my career in education were beyond my control. I had to decide, again, in the perhaps the biggest way yet, with a trifecta of three different key men in my life at the time all presenting different challenges, to own my decision to honor my soul’s calling as a woman.



Because my soul calls me to tell the story of my life as a woman, of the inherent oppression that I lived from religious, patriarchal, sexist paradigms that are interwoven right into our culture such that the majority of women are still living them. (And so it would figure that as I set out to do this, I would be tested. This is how it works.)



This is why I started Embodied Breath - to honor the feminine rising. To honor our stories as women, and my story as a woman. The story of how I gave away my daughter at the age of eighteen and bought into a paradigm of inadequacy that had me striving and efforting and killing myself to succeed for decades. And you know what happened when I got tripped up in these old masculine woundings at the beginning of 2018, and when prominent men in my life warned me that I would fail, that they would not stand by me, and that they would not support my business? I panicked. The wounds were poked.



I began striving.

And efforting.

And worrying about my success. And fearing the failure that had been warned.



I looked for approval. I looked at sales as proof of approval. I let fear run the show for a good while.



So that was going on in 2018, behind the scenes. How did I do, pulling off a different impression?



Fuck. I am so sorry for trying to pull off any kind of different impression. How wickedly engrained this is, this pressure to have it all together. I mean, I did a great deal of truth telling and being vulnerable, and I didn’t really recognize how much I was “in it” until I wasn’t. Maybe even until I went to Mama Gena’s weekend and both remembered my original Why, and then sat with how this “shameless self promotion” comment affected me for weeks.



I wondered why it did and I worked on this post for weeks, only to restart it three different times.



Do you know what it’s like to be a woman and to say, “I’m going to leave my career, the three college degrees I worked damn hard to get, and go out on a limb without a savings and hope and pray I can pay my mortgage for my son and I, and maybe even do better than that”??? That sounds fucking crazy! And that’s what I did?! I give myself mad props for that. That’s badass. And I’m not failing.



It was also scary as fuck, especially with the tidal wave of challenge at the start. The process required so much. Too much to really go into here. It required me to show up. To hire coaches, healers, shamans. To get clear on my own shit so it didn’t cloud my view. To trust my intuition more than ever. To follow the queues. To learn about business. To trust some people on this path and leave others behind. To honor my Soul. To tell the truth even when it’s hard. To trust that I am not inherently wrong. To admit when I was wrong. To trust that I had something of value to offer the world. Again and again and again.



Because I do.



But then, once I had the work of soul that I believed in, I had to sell it. I developed programs from the core of my soul and experience and then I had to, well, offer them. I had to promote them.



Didn’t I?



How else would someone offer what they have created if not to actively try to engage buyers with those products?

We live in a society where certainly we are all familiar with how much advertising, marketing, and selling goes on all around us. And most matter of factly, I wonder if that woman who judged self promotion of another woman’s valuable and beautiful product also stepped out into Times Square and evaluated as shameful all of the flashy commercialism that we have all become accustomed to. Because I doubt it.



So to be a woman is to be at first oppressed, as a default, in many cases. To be a woman who recognizes her own oppression and does something about it is a feat of strength. To be a woman who earns a few Master’s degrees and climbs to the top of a career ladder is apparently proving equality in a game that can’t be won. And to be a woman who creates a work of soul and then promotes it is… not shameful. Though some would still be quick to judge it as such.



It is not shameful. And I won’t stand for it. I will not feel poorly for advocating for the value of my products. I will not lower my product value, give it away, partner with you for free, develop your product for you to make money instead of my own, or strive to prove myself anymore.



I have been asked to do all of the above, repeatedly, by both women and men.


I have shamed my own self for times when my promotion was judged as shameful or when I realized later that I could have done it better.



I am a businesswoman with no business training. This is a real and stunning challenge, I guarantee you, but I am still the woman with two Master’s degrees and one in leadership and I will succeed. I am still the woman who climbed out of trauma and healed my body. I am the woman who created a work of my own Soul, and yes, oh yes, I will succeed. And yes, I will promote. And the difference is I will get better, I will not ask for approval, I will not strive endlessly and tirelessly to gain approval or sales, and I will not feel shame for my endeavors - any of them, even when I could stand to improve. I will always be improving. This is not shameful.



I will promote other women. Shamelessly. I will recognize that the female entrepreneurs that I see are some of the bravest and mightiest people that I know, and I will shout out what they are doing and find ways that we can lift one another up. I know that to be a woman is to sometimes be an island, and to be a female entrepreneur can be just that - lonely. Every woman making badass things happen in this world need not do it on her own. We need a lady tribe. And men, we need your support, and without critique. I have gotten that gift over and over again this year, too, and to those men, I am deeply grateful.



So, I am starting a #pussypositivepromotion hashtag. Every weekday through the month of January, I will be promoting another woman warrior and entrepreneur on my FB page. I invite you to join in, to spread the word, to support women-owned businesses, to look at how you purposefully or inadvertently shame women regardless of your gender, and to shift this paradigm with me - with us - the pussy positive entrepreneurs who are here to stay. To slay.

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Conscious Women's Rage

What does it look like when women take back their power in conscious ways?

We have rage pulsing in us. We have been overpowered. For damn sure. And we have repressed our own rage.

Dangerously, we may end up seeing our male partners as the perpetrator. And to some extent, if they are not consciously awakening to the fact that they have been the perpetrator, they still are and will be. But this is shifting. Give it room to shift.

We’ve watched generations of women depend on men while slandering them. Screaming “I don’t need a man!” meanwhile lonely. Speaking ill of the very men that fathered their children.

I’ve done all of the above in my life.

Sister, we need to stop these patterns. But we don’t surrender to remnants of the Patriarchy at the same time. No. We do take our power back, consciously.

We take it back while loving our men. While teaching our men. While holding high standards of our men and believing that they will reach it. (And men, you need to recognize your own role and meet her here rather than assuming that I am saying this is all her work to do. If you assume that, you’ll be left behind.)

We walk a line of tolerance and ferocity, woman. We own our rage and we love with a fierce and unapologetic heart. We admit what we don’t know and we simultaneously stand in our knowing. We learn our masculinity beside our femininity, appreciating that neither have been actualized in any of us, so there is no one to blame and there is now our own investigation to pursue.

We practice our power. We know ourselves as women. We find ways to cultivate our power from within, among sisters, and among our brothers too. We find ways to lovingly take our power back. We find ways to alchemize the old rage.

We play with power with our men. We play with what it looks like to explore penetration of power in both directions. We know what it is like to hold space and have it held for us. We do not manipulate or abandon, self or other. We love and we dance the dance of masculine and feminine, between and within us.

We work the rage out of our bodies in embodied practice, in dance, in safe vocal, somatic, and emotional release. We proactively create the safe spaces we need. We learn to unburden our body’s trauma patterns and we learn to take back the seat of our power - our physical, feminine selves. We move our bodies and we move our emotions that have been repressed for so long. We teach our men how to bare witness to this. Where to touch or not touch and where to hold the space or move aside.

We rage consciously, and we meet our own rage. We teach the world to meet women’s rage without creating further wounding. We investigate our own shadow, our own repression, so that we can unleash, heal, and transmute it.

There are also men who know how to hold this. In fact, we need to radically heal among our brothers in safe space so they can see and honor the feminine wounding. We all need this release. We heal as a collective, as these burdens have been all of ours. It does no good for us to rage against men now, because these men are our brothers, our sons, our lovers.

It does no good to teach our daughters, another generation, our passive rage. Reclaim yourself righteously, and all her to witness your strength. Teach her fierce love, for self and other.

We take back our power because power is Sovereignty. It’s what no one could actually ever take from you, so it is yours to reclaim, and you don’t need to fight anyone to get it. It is yours. It is right there, beside your hurt, your rage, your anger, woman. Look within. Consciously bring back what you yearn for.


I am nothing if not Truthy.

As it was happening that I was developing a group opportunity for women, on Cultivating & Activating PERSONAL TRUTH for January 2019, I was carrying a Truth that I didn’t know how to share.

 

I didn’t even know if it was fully mine to share. I didn’t know what would happen if I were to share it, when to share it, what to do with it. So in all that confusion, I started to question the Truth itself.

 

Read: I questioned myself. Because Personal Truth is Self.

 

This Truth was handed to me by the Universe, by Source, by my Soul. I shit you not. It was the biggest Truth I had ever been handed. It was a recognition of a bigger Truth rather than something that I thought up. In other words - it just was.  It blew me away. And it came in one of the most outstanding packages of unfortunate circumstances that you could imagine. This Truth changes lives.

 

Because I was so taken aback by this Truth, and because of its magnitude, I was unsure what to do. You can not deny a Truth like this. Actually, I will say this: I, personally, will not deny a Truth like this. One that involves my Soul. I will not. That is a vow I hold unto myself. And yet, others would not approve. This Truth is certain to evoke judgement.

 

Others would not approve. There I was in an old pattern of seeking that approval. I was familiar with this pattern, but sometimes it catches me off guard.  I worried and focused on the impossible task of navigating this Truth in the world of others. I spent months navigating how to bring this Soul Truth into the world, attempting to do so consciously.

 

And then I woke up. Again.

To the pattern. Oh. I saw what I was doing. It went like this:

  1. Know a Personal Truth

  2. Truth is uncomfortable (I seem to have a soul contract to be a big noisy being in this world and #2 is not uncommon for me - see below.)

  3. Look for a way to make the Truth comfortable for everyone else and feel a shit ton o’ shame and the pain of hiding for even having this Truth in the meanwhile.

 

But step 3 does NOT work. That’s where I was off. That’s where we commonly go wrong - the approval seeking. We know a thing so deeply inside of ourselves and then we look outside of ourselves to approve of our knowing. This is an old, patriarchal trap. And here I was in it - again.

I was looking for approval and hence seeking to prove:

I am a good person.

I am in integrity.

I am a loving person.

I hold myself accountable.

I do not ever intend to hurt others.

(These are some of my Truths. But you see, here, I was trying to prove my Truth. Ick.) There is a difference, a mighty difference, between inherently knowing your Truth and trying to prove your Truth to others.

 

What I was handed was a righteous, unbelievable Truth. Honestly. One day, when it is told, some of you will believe it and some of you will not.

 

I heard myself say at one point, “I understand that what I am asking you to believe is unbelievable.”

 

Another friend who both loves me and holds me accountable said to me, “Even some seers won’t be able to see this Truth.”

 

How do you get approval for a Truth like that?

 

This Truth, THIS Truth - in its gift and in all its challenge and in all its splendor - it taught me something huge. APPROVAL SEEKING FOR YOUR OWN TRUTH DOES NOT F*ING WORK. It’s like I needed the most impossible set of circumstances, sure to evoke judgement from one angle or another, to remind me, hopefully once and for all, that the approval for my Truth comes from me. In fact, it doesn’t even need approval, because it just IS. What our Personal Truth needs, is to be honored. And here I was, organizing a women’s group around Personal Truth. You see how life delivers the finest of lessons, albeit in complex packages?

 

Change Step 3, Sarah. You inherently know this.

3. Let your Truth be your own. Let your Truth be your Power. Let owning your Truth be your Journey. Let everyone else have their Truth (becomes everyone’s Truth is capital T). We all get to have our Truth. Your Truth is your Heart and your Soul and your Authenticity. It is You.

 

My friend Seppi was talking to me about the question of “What’s your kryptonite?” I’d have to say - the judgement of others.

 

When other people don’t like me, I have performed various tragedies of self neglect in the name of gaining approval. I have attempted to mitigate people not liking me by approval seeking. Over and over and over again.

 

I stand out. I just do, and I struggled with this for a long time. I tried hard to play by the rules but it didn’t work for me. I tried over and over again to get it right according to some truth (little t) outside myself.

 

This summer, I was at a Soul Fire retreat. It was night four and it was supposed to be a ceremony where we “married” our Soul. Well, I’d just baptized myself as Sarah Poet naked in a river and danced my ass off in a field in order to reclaim my wild feminine Soul to the degree that needed to be reclaimed on that day and I was tired. I was beat. I had just earned my Soul barefoot on the ground in the summer heat, moving body and limbs as I expelled the trauma and judgement trapped therein. And so everyone was getting showered and dressed for this ceremony - in beautiful gowns and glitter, and my Soul was like, “Eh, fuck no.” And I wore jeans and my black bikini top and put my dirty hair up under a sun hat. It was the truest thing in that moment to not wear what everyone else was wearing. And I did the back and forth of “Is this okay?” and of course it was. It just didn’t fit in. Because that’s me. Apparently I came to wear jeans to my ceremonies and fuck some shit up around here. But dear me, my heart, it gets more and more fierce the more I honor my Truth. My Truth is pure. It was always pure.

 

And that realization is my strength. My power. Approval seeking sucks the life out of you. I’ve done it. I’ve done it for so long, over and over, and I’ve felt the judgement of standing in my Truth, and I’ve felt the inner conflict when I denied it. Denying my Truth is actually my kryptonite. And damn it, here’s what I know.

I did NOT walk out of the hierarchical job structure of the Patriarchy and create my own empire in service to raising consciousness on this planet in order to find myself once again in that shit-eating Patriarchal pattern of approval seeking from powers outside of myself. We’ll do it to ourselves if we allow it.

I did NOT walk out of a job just last year where one day my male boss shamed me, in a leadership position, in front of my peers as if I was a little girl and in a way he would never have spoken to a man, demanding subordination, in order to go unseen now. Fuck no. FUCK no.

I did NOT give away a baby to adoption as a young woman who believed I wasn’t enough to raise her child and spend the subsequent fifteen years realizing the myth of inadequacy in my bones so that I could stay silent when things get uncomfortable now. In fact, quite the opposite.

I did NOT walk the path of my Soul to get here and then deny my Truth because it’s difficult to walk it. No. I walk it.

 

Shoo. You feeling me?

 

I will have any conversation, I will face anything, I will consider, I will love. I will live my TRUTH.

 

But I will not go quietly, silently denying my own Truth. The time for that is over. That is why I am here. I now allow my Truth to be mine. I stand tall. I take in the energy of fearing my kryptonite, fearing a loss of approval, and I turn that energy inward. My Truth fills my Heart. In fact, my Truth comes from my Heart.  This Truth makes me who I am. It allows me to take ALL of the energy that I leak when I’m in approval seeking, and that then becomes the energetic embers of my inner fire.

 

Approval seeking is dead to me. You may or may not approve, and loves, I do not care.

 

That’s not an insult. In fact, if you can see it, it’s empowering AF.  I support you in whatever your Truth is as well. You WANT me to be fully in my Truth, fully supporting yours. We each need this for and from one another. Because our Truth is heartfelt.

 

Because when I am in my Truth, I love you more.

Because when I am in my Truth, I honor yours.

Because in order for me to know and honor my Truth, I have to know my Heart.

And I will not deny my Heart.

 

Let us be unwavering.

 

Let us be stoking our own fire, so that we can stoke the fire of the world.

 

Your truth is not about anyone else. If you are directing even a portion of your energy toward approval seeking, or hell, giving or denying approval, take it back.

 

This is your life force.

 

Your Truth is your life force.

 

If you are denying your Truth, you are staying smaller than you are meant to be. You know I’m right. I know I’m right because I did it. I did it when I wanted to leave that job and was scared to. I did it when I wrote the letter addressing the problem and was dismissed from the job and felt deep shame for all the disapproval. I did it when I let my baby go. I did it when I knew how to yell but not how to speak from the heart. I did it when I stayed married, hell, when I got married.

 

I denied my Truth a million times, because that is what we’re taught to do as women.

And I have also regained it, now no less than a million times.

It has been the walk of my lifetime, honoring my Truth. I am here to support you doing the same.

We learn to hear it, then we figure out how we want to honor it. It is all your choice. Just do not deny it.

I am here. Embers are burning. 20 women. We begin this sacred circle January 4.

Schedule a free consult here. Sign up here.

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A little tattoo tale...

I got my first tattoo in a friend’s basement. I don’t think my mother knows that to this day. It was a simple butterfly, that I had drawn, with women’s lib symbols in the wings. I was 17.
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When I was in my late twenties, I covered that tattoo on my left shoulder with three large poppies. And, the guy doing the cover up thought it would be a nice ode to the old self to include a new butterfly. I’m glad we did.
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Just a year later, I got the peony on the other shoulder. My mother’s original rules for a tattoo were that I could only get one where no one could see it if I needed to cover it up for a job. So I was thirty two years old, a school principal, with largely inked shoulders. They barely showed.
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That same year, I was taking a tarot class on the side, trying to remember my intuition as a woman. I was a school principal that constantly lead with heart and was constantly “too much.” Criticized for taking intuitive leaps. Ha ha ha, the wild witch awake in me now laughs. My intuition is my craft. But I didn’t know it then. Where is a woman to find this until she nurtures it back to life in herself.
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I was always nervous. But a badass. I WAS a badass, authentically, I just always felt I had to fight for it, or fight, period, for me. My nervous system was fighting for safety my whole life and I was the intuitive woman following the rules of successful engagement, but never feeling myself. For example hiding these tattoos that were authentic expression.
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And so I was in this tarot class and something happened and I realized, holy shit, I’ve given myself armor. I have given myself self-protective, black, badass, don’t fuck with me armor. How’s that for #resiliency.😉
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I love my tattoos. But I don’t want armor and I don’t need protection. Not anymore. So I just kept decorating my body with more and more expression, letting out more and more skin, leaving the profession and creating a life that is 100% my own creation. My next tattoo is on the way. I’ll show it to you.❤️

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On Sacred Sexuality and calling a bit of BS...

There’s a lot of talk about Sacred Sexuality.

And there’s a lot of talk about sacred sexuality from folks looking right for the Sacred in sex but I wonder to what extent they are in relationship with the Sacred otherwise. There’s a lot of bypassing out there, a lot of quest for ascension into the upper realms and into the ecstasy of sex, and I wonder on what foundation. However, I’m not here to point or to speculate. I’m here to invite.

I can work with couples who are experiencing less than ideal sex or connection, and together, we can move their sexual relationship in the direction of sacred sex. And I do not do this with explanations of tantra or enlightenment. I do this with a foundation of connection, attunement of the nervous systems, addressing residual trauma, teaching the couple to stand in one another’s places of trauma & retraction, and a deep look into the shadow.

The shadow and sex? Yes. I’ll come back to this topic.

When we have experienced trauma and hold some form of it in our bodies and nervous systems, it affects connection. Most people know trauma. Whether you had a restrictive father as a teenage girl and did not know your body was your own, or whether you experienced severe physical abuse at the hands of a parent, you know trauma. There are endless examples, different forms, and there’s no need to compare one person’s trauma to another, because the most important thing to understand is that regardless of the exact trauma, trauma patterns trap in the body, causing retraction and fear. Where this applies to sex is that intimacy is the most vulnerable space we can be in. Sex asks for the deepest level of connection. But if we are in trauma patterns, we are unavailable to that level of connection.

So often, SO OFTEN, people are having sex and actually retracting energetically and in their physical bodies due to residual trauma. I am telling you - you can be having active sex and this can be happening. If you struggle with connection during sex, reach out to me. I have a safe way of going into that place of retraction and bringing somatic/energetic/emotional healing. (No, I’m not in your bedroom with you - I don’t have to be. Trust me.) I can also facilitate you and your partner being this safe space for one another. This is the modality that I’m developing with couples. It is fascinating and deeply healing when both are on board.

If you are pulling back energetically, meanwhile engaging in sexual activity, the act is lacking the Sacred and I’ll tell you why. You can not simultaneously live in fear and live in the Sacred. You can not. I understand that this a big statement. Before you get defensive, know I’m saying it in love. I lived there, in residual fear, for many, many years. Most of my life. And I am FAR more connected to the Sacred now than I was when I was living in fear, because parts of me have opened, relaxed, and while my nervous system relaxed, I was certainly able to access more of my authentic relationship with the Sacred. It is a journey I continue still, because it is so worthy.

I don’t care if you are achieving orgasm or breathing in all the tantric circles. If you are in fear, you are lacking connection, with one another and with the Sacred.

You have to safely go to these places, you have to hold space for the shadow between lovers (assuming ongoing and deep intimate lover relationships, because you won’t get there hopping around with various partners, either), and you have to grow together.

This is safety, this is relationship. If you are not growing together, your sex is not sacred either. You are one another’s safe space. If you are not, you can be. I can help.

We don’t get to the Sacred through ascension meditation exercises. We get there by bringing all parts on board. When we safely integrate our shadow, it alchemizes into a powerful force within us. We need THAT very force to alchemize within us for our full sacredness to be present with our lover during sex.

I am happy to be of service to you and your partner through this process. We work safely in the realms of emotional, physical, spiritual, energetic, and mental wellness and we build a deeper connection between you than you have ever experienced. This modality will work to the extent that you are willing to step into this work. Your results are proportionate to your personal process.

Embodied Breath is many things - it can help individuals and couples to move through many various soul-related circumstances - but always, it is a container for soul transformation and an opportunity for you to know your divinity, your soul, your capacity for love. It will transform aspects of your life, because when we greet the shadow with mindful attention, intention, and healing energy - it can’t not transmute.

So beautiful. Reach out if your deep interest is sparked in this post. I work with soul-aligned clients willing and eager to do their own deep work.

Much love,

Sarah

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A call to women: January Group Mentorship: Truth Cultivation & Activation

Honestly, it’s not always without risk to tell your personal truth.

I’m sure you can think of times in your life where it came with consequences. Big losses.

I definitely can.

There were times when I told my Soul’s truth and was called “too much.” Other times where I was criticized for using my intuition instead of my logic. And perhaps the most scary, times when I lost relationships for knowing what I knew and voicing it.

Of course, at the time, I wasn’t as confident as I am now. I actually would always be getting myself into some kind of trouble for my big mouth and what I thought, all too often, was, “What is wrong with me?”

Nothing. There is nothing wrong with me for having a personal truth and living it. And there is nothing wrong with you for wanting to honor the truth that is in side of you.

Sister, I am so sorry that we live in a world where we are taught to second guess this.

I’m more confident now, but telling my truth is sometimes still risky business. I still feel the nervousness that we so commonly feel as women. For damn sure. I’m also just here to make sure that we have opportunities to stop denying ourselves. ;)

This past weekend, I was in NYC for Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts Experience. When she asked how many women have ever been called “too much,” I don’t think there was a woman who did not raise her hand. When she asked “Who here has ever been criticized for being too emotional instead of logical,” again, nearly every hand went up.

Women, we collectively carry these accusations, and we believe that they are our own. We carry them as silent burdens, internalizing judgements and spending sometimes our whole lives wondering if we’re crazy to have a different truth inside of us.

This world has repressed the feminine, and in turn, women. We have grown up to think that we are out of place, that we have to keep a lid on who we truly are, that to be successful equates to career and what kind of cupboard your Cuisinart lives in inside what kind of house.

There is a truth inside of you that you reserve for maybe your closest girlfriends, or maybe no one even knows this truth. Maybe you’re silent. There is a dream that you are stopping yourself from. There is a “toning down” that exists within you, and instead you’ve put your energy into succeeding. Busy-ing. Doing.

I know. I have been there. And for many, many reasons, I set out to do something different. And you know what my big, hollering-at-me WHY was when I set out to create Embodied Breath? To live the Soul’s truth, and to encourage you to do the same.

It is, at times, a scary ride - to tell your Soul’s truth. It is risky. I’m not going to lie or bullshit you about the risk. And here’s what I’ll say - you risk perceived safety, but you gain your Soul.

When I ask women what they want, many can not answer. It’s a process to discover it. Hell, when I ask myself what I want, I still have to walk myself through a process to first give myself permission to have a desire, and then to hear what that little gem of a wish even is deep down inside of me. And THEN, to act on it!? To believe I can have it!? That is the delicious opportunity I’m offering to you. To hear it. To know it. To snuggle up close to that gem you uncover.

I am looking for women who are ready, so ready - like “can’t stand another year of mediocrity and not honoring myself” ready - to join me on January 4th, 2019 as we begin the Women’s Voice: Activation & Cultivation group coaching & mentorship. It will provide you with a safe container to cultivate, hear, and honor your personal truth. You can decide what to do with that truth. You can decide how risky to get. This first step is a safe container, among other women and with me, to hear what that little voice inside of you is saying.

She’s your Soul, woman. Let. Her. Out. 🔥🔥🔥

The biggest risk, I promise you, I PROMISE you, is never taking any action, any allegiance with your Soul, at all.

If you are interested in this group, email me now to reserve your spot. See “services” page of website.

❤️

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To see your own shadow, an invitation.

Years ago as a new school administrator, I was tasked in my job description with supporting school improvement by coaching teachers on the annual goals that they had crafted. In this progressive model, we shaped the traditional “teacher evaluation” into a growth tool. The feedback loop was supportive and the teachers and I reflected and made next-step, achievable goals together. I was also tasked with supporting teams of teachers in developing action steps toward school-wide improvement goals.

One teacher in particular wanted to appear grandiose, be the best, but they didn’t actually want to participate in the growth based systems that we all operated under - that were the norm. They wanted to do things their way. They were inherently spiteful, I’ll say, and their resistance to the process and to me, personally, caused stagnation in the advancement of the school improvement goals, as well as the attitude of the teaching team that surrounded them.

The school had a model for change, and as a new administrator, I couldn’t understand why in the world this wasn’t working for one when it was working for the rest. Why had this one painted me so negatively and the majority had nothing but love? This one spent their time actually resisting goals and attempting to prove superiority, and sometimes very passively. It was horrible.

It wasn’t the first time there was this aversion to me, because their aversion was to me, not to the process. It took me years, all the years of my life, to be okay with how I will repel some people. Because I will naturally repel some people. I was still learning then.

For the last six months of this year, I kept pulling this one card from the Isis Oracle Deck more than any other card. And I knew that it was showing up for a reason but my goodness, I was almost wishing it wasn’t, because I really could not “figure out” what the true message was being offered me. The card is “Power Over Seven Scorpions: Power to Conjure the Lower Vibrational Forces.”

It’s not a particularly pleasant looking card, nor does it have a particularly pleasant wording. I mean, I bet readers feel it, this, “Ooooo, wait, ‘conjure?’ Yikes. And ‘Lower Vibrational Forces’ doesn’t sound so appealing.” I seriously had to look up the word conjure because I am NOT interested in dark magic.

So this week I pulled it again, and I again read the little book that comes with the deck, and I again set it up in plain site for me to contemplate why it keeps coming up, and I’m getting closer and closer.

Here’s what I’ve got so far. Lean in. This is a lifetime of watching myself and this little card coming up to tell me to own this. Directly.

You will not know me and not know yourself.

By nature of me being me, you will see you. I am a mirror. And I will reflect back, naturally, as in “conjuring,” what is both pleasant and difficult to look at.

By nature of being me, I bring about what is existing as dark or “lower vibrational forces” or what I will also call Shadow, and I bring it up to be healed. We go through the shadow to get to the light.

I am not into conjuring darkness as any sort of witch, which is why I resisted this card. But I own and honor the message now. It is a large part of my gift to offer this planet. (I am a believer that we need to actually own the gifts we’re sent with…)

I will see the dark, the subconscious patterns, the unseen. I will see what is kept in shadow, and in my vicinity, you will see yours as well. Or we will see it together. Some people don’t like to see their shadow. And those people probably won’t like me, as they project their discomfort with their shadow onto me.

And I get, too, that this could be misconstrued as egotistical. It’s not, but go ahead and think that if you need to. ;) (That was a little shadow joke.) I do my own shadow work - goodness me, read my blog if you question that. I have my own trusted friends, coaches, teachers to offer me conscious feedback. And when you all criticize or judge me, I run that through my process as well to check it out. I do.

I just don’t let the shadow go unseen - by nature of who I am. Even before I recognized this as a gift, it would happen that some people say, “I can tell you EVERYTHING” and other people want nothing to do with me. I was born on the Day of the Soul Searcher, and I read this in some astrological book on a table in Barnes and Noble at the age of fifteen and I felt this sweet relief of understanding myself - because even then, I knew that I would go places others didn’t always want to go and in fact it is impossible for me not to go there. I GO to the depths. In my previous education career, and especially in the South where I live, I would get into some trouble (directly or indirectly) for naming what did not want to be dealt with! I just could NOT not name the elephant in the room! It is impossible for me to not see and not name.

I name it nicely. Gently. But how in the world can we move forward unless we name everything in the room?

For some that’s a relief, and for some, do NOT name the elephant. It’s fucking risky. It is fucking risky to talk about the things we prefer not to see. I get it. Our entire lives, we have built up identities, or as organizations, we have built up identities…. Or as governments… and to name the metaphorical elephant causes disruption.

I am not here to cause unnecessary disruption. I am here to invite us to look into the shadow.

A few months ago, I was at a local co-working center and we were playing an “authentic game” and (just like me to do this) I raised my hand for the first hot seat, which meant that this circle of people was going to fire authentic questions at me, some of which may be difficult to answer, and I could choose to answer directly or pass, but I couldn’t tell a story about any answer. I agreed. A man I didn’t know, very early in the game, asked me a personal question about habits of my sexual relationship to myself and I passed.

My friend Gina said after the game, “I had a story in my head that said there was nothing that Sarah wouldn’t share, and it surprised me that you passed.” I shared that the reason that I passed was not because I was uncomfortable with the truth, but because I didn’t appreciate the trickster intent. In other words, what Gina knows about me is that I will investigate the shadow and I will discuss what I find there - my own, the collective, or my clients’ with them in session.

I will share with purpose and the intent to grow. Always. There is a lot of psychology out there about sharing for the wrong reasons or “oversharing.”

I share to bring the shadow into the light. For damn sure. But I won’t be irresponsible or flippant with it. The shadow is also sacred territory.

When I sit with you, this is what we do.

When you read me, this is what you read.

When you become my client, this is what you’re signing up for. Lots of big ol’ loving space for truth to be held.

It is not always pleasant, but we have to go through the shadow to get to the light.

The shadow, again, is what we prefer not to look at within ourselves. This mirrors the collective - by which I mean - our culture.

What do we gain by looking at what is difficult to look at in ourselves?

Our soul.

Everything.

We gain everything.

What you do with my mirror nature is up to you. Truly.

If you want to avoid your shadow, I’m not the woman to follow or to hire.

You can even be pissed at me for what arises when I do, but I will name the elephant.

I will call you to both investigate, to own, and to move through.

I will do so with love in my heart and holding the intention that collectively, we become stronger.


To know me is to see things about you that you potentially preferred not to see.

Some people are confused, because they feel challenged by what they call “me,” but what they are challenged by is the confrontation of the shadow, the mirror, I naturally hold.

For someone who wants to stay in a comfort zone, blaming other people for their condition, I will be uncomfortable. Back then, as a young administrator, I did not recognize this in a way that I knew what to do with. I couldn’t figure out how, even though I was following the coaching protocol and doing things with loving intention, I was still getting this reaction. Well, it was because I made that person uncomfortable. Because they loved their comfort zone and I was the one tasked to be up in it, which is a place I am actually comfortable being and so it felt natural for me.

We can operate in the comfort zone, but I don’t prefer it. And neither do most of you.

Gain your Soul.

Know that your resistance is your potential. Know that your blame is a distraction. Know that what you are dissatisfied with in your life has everything to do with what you have avoided looking at - not with any other person or condition.

Our relationship to our shadow matters. It makes the difference between a life of avoidance, suffering, and blame, and a life of truly knowing oneself and truly loving what you discover.

In my work, we go there. Safely, but we go there. I look forward to hearing where you want to go, and helping you through the parts you’d rather not traverse, but you know you’ll be more whole if you do.

I love you, and your Divine Soul. I see you and your potential. I will love you through it all and we will celebrate when you’re through. When you’ve gained another piece of your Soul.

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To the father whose child I denied you

Eighteen years ago, our daughter was born. She was large, nine pounds three ounces and round, so round, and so beautiful. So wise. As a child in my womb, as a new born, she was already wise. Of course she was. She came through us.

You never got to place your hands on my stomach or witness the pregnancy. You wanted to come close and yet, my family and I pushed you away. Everyone was terrified that I was pregnant at eighteen, and you, dear man, were made to be a monster. Truths were falsified against you. Your child was being denied you, you were panicking, but you didn’t receive acknowledgment for that.

Not until I sat in front of you seventeen years later and began my apology.

We were young when we met, and I remember you first on the back porch of a cabin, in an oversized sweatshirt, jumpy in a nervous and athletic body, but your tenderness certainly apparent and your dimples deep. You were a speech pathology major in college. I believe I was fifteen and immediately had a crush on you. A few times a year, we volunteered at the same camp for kids with disabilities, and when I got to be there with you, something ignited inside of me. I finally confessed how I felt about you my senior year in high school, and you, already twenty three, took me up on it. We traveled the summer before I moved away to college. I remember feeling both loved and smothered by you - it was too intense in some ways for a young girl, and yet part of me loved the intensity. I know it was real love.

When I went to college, nine hours away from home, you wanted me to call nightly. I was missing out on college life. I remember I was opening in brave new ways, like moving my body for the first time, uninhibited, to the drums in the African Dance class. But I’d have to pull myself away to make sure to catch your phone call. I started to feel conflicted.

When we got pregnant over fall break of my freshman year, unplanned, I knew by Thanksgiving. I remember I started puking early in the pregnancy, and in the dorm toilets, gagging daily at the site of shared showers and clogged drains. I subsisted on plain bagels and orange juice. My first thought upon hearing I was pregnant was, “No one can know.” I went to the college counselor and cried and cried that my mother was going to hate me. She gave me the information on abortion. I knew somewhere deep inside that there was no way this child was not meant to come into the world. One way or another, for everything it meant, this pregnancy was happening.

As I write this, I call you to ask you to tell me the details, because my brain only begins to remember my pregnancy and my experience with my pregnancy and not many details of our relationship from the moment I found out. It was as if my head went down and stayed down, with a mix of protection and shame. You remind me that yes, you drove nine hours the day after you heard, and we spent the weekend together. You urged me to connect with you, to make a plan. When you left to go home, you said I called my parents, and after that, our relationship became disconnected.

I moved back home to Pennsylvania, into my parents’ house, at the end of my first semester of college to have this baby the following July. You wanted to help. You wanted to be a family. It terrified me. My parents were so angry. I allowed myself to ignore you. I allowed the distance to be enforced, and heavily. My father took over. Law enforcement was involved.

You were losing your child.

My family brought home information about adoption, and yes, I’ll say that they pushed it, though, ultimately, all responsibly is of course my own. It’s why I have to write this letter.

I didn’t speak to you for at least the last half of the pregnancy. The social worker from the adoption agency was your point of contact. We chose a family in New Jersey, a state with a “once and done” signing of surrender seventy two hours after the birth. After her birth, still in the hospital, the social worker told me that three weeks prior, your house had burned to the ground while you were working the night shift. Your two best friends, animals, and all of your belongings were lost in the fire.

My mind couldn’t grasp the depth of this loss then. I knew it was devastating and I still didn’t reach out. There was so much confusion. By this time, I believed you were dangerous. How did my heart turn so ambivalent to your condition? To this suffering? I called you when our daughter was two, for the first time. You told me later that you actually answered the phone high as a kite, you were so lost in drug use by that point.

You had been working the night shift to make extra money to support your child, should I change my mind. I never really knew how badly you wanted to show up for us, how prepared you actually were to make it work. My parents told me that I could not depend on you, and I believed them. I spent my entire life believing that no man really did want to show up for me. You sat across from me seventeen years later and explained how you so, so deeply had wanted to.

This is a letter of apology. I know that I was young, that I was far too impressionable, and yet, I denied you your child.

Women can do that. And they often do. And, it’s wrong. You are one man in a sea of men who have been denied their rights, openly shamed, and forcibly pushed out of their child’s lives.

I denied you participation in conversations about her fate. I denied you connection that our bond actually deserved, as our love had been real. I denied you meeting your daughter in the womb, or in the hospital, and the way you were framed has lead to you not yet meeting your daughter, now eighteen. I denied you your place in her childhood.

I allowed myself to believe that you were a monster that I needed to protect my child from, where for the life of me, in the last five years as I look back now, I can not find any evidence that this was ever true.

How do I ever apologize? I have tried. You have said that I am forgiven. I know this is true, and I am blessed by your graciousness. Your genuine nature. Your love. We know that life shapes us. We know that this is all for reasons far bigger than you or I alone.

How many men are called monsters and denied their own children? You and I both know a few. And that is why I write this now. To all the men, on behalf of all the women who also find themselves with a relatable truth through my story. We live in a world of women’s liberation, and yet, it is not healthy if women are using their status as Mother to overpower the decisions of Father. We need to invite men to the table. Mothers will always have that special protective role, and yet, you wanted to help. You wanted to be there. What we believe is protection of our children is sometimes harmful, harmful denial and projection.

Our daughter, therefore, was also denied access to you. When she went with her family at birth, I sent written letters, stories, and pictures. I know I sent the one of you in the tree on the hill at Warren Wilson College. I don’t think she ever saw it and I don’t know why her parents would not have shared that with her. As I share an open adoption with her family, when she was sixteen, her family and mine were on the beach together. My son, then, six, playing with her in the waves, her mother said, “She has some questions about Jeremy.”

I only ever really offer information when she asks, which is hardly ever, but am always happy to do so. She wanted to know your last name that day, and I asked her if she was going to look you up. She was getting curious. I realized she hadn’t seen pictures. I asked her if she knew who you were or how we’d met, and she said no. I was shocked. She was a sixteen year old young woman at the time, and I said as my mind swirled to realize she didn’t know, “Oh my, oh my. You, my dear, were conceived in love.”

By that time, you and I had begun to talk again, to find healing. I knew that you were safe and that that old feeling of guardedness had largely subsided. I told her there on the beach that day everything I could in the moments that I knew would be too short. I told her how we met, of your good heart, why I had fallen in love with you, that you were an artist like her. I told her about your dimples and how handsome you are. I made connections to her athleticism and yours. I tried to begin to restore your honor. I said, “These are your stories. You can ask for them whenever you want.”

You and I both are still waiting for her to ask for more.

I know you love her. I know it broke you to lose her, and I carry your heart in my heart now, because that’s how I love you. We talk. We became friends again. You support me in my unabashedly risky endeavors to start a business aligned with my soul purpose, and you honor how this has all shaped me too. We text one another on her birthday, reaching across that heart space of two birth parents with our own version of the story of that day.

We sat across from one another last year in a conversation that was such a gift, it changed my life. And I would venture to say that it changed yours too.

You have land now, you build things with your hands. You escaped the early self-sabotaging behaviors in the years after her birth where addiction could have taken you down, thank God.

You pull yourself up. You do what you have to do. You find heart. You are beginning to create again. You are planting orchards and have dreams of opening your animal farm up to children with disabilities.

Every morning, I put a spoon into the honey that you send to me now from your hives. The sweetness is profound. That I am standing here, back for the last decade in the mountains where our daughter was first conceived, with your forgiveness blessing my heart and your honey in my mouth, is more a gift than I can say.

I am sorry.

I am sorry and I am grateful that we both understand that this imperfect and wounded life can also bring eventual healing. I am grateful that you allow me to tell our story such that it might also allow for others’ healing.  

She’s in college now. She doesn’t know it, but she picked your original major. I see in my mind a vision that I trust will come true. The house you are building is finished on your wide open acreage. Your orchard is producing. You are painting again, those incredibly talented portraits and landscapes; I imagine the final evidence of your heart’s liberation. And she and I drive up. We walk through the orchard, the three of us. The sweetness of truth and life and honey on our tongues.

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The Facebook Post with the Most.... reactions that is.

Posted Nov. 7


Women were never meant to be understood by men.

From the time Yeshua approached Mary Magdalene beyond the tomb after his death, the men were jealous.

How could this magnificent being, this man, approach a woman?

So they called her a whore.

And they wrote a story that called her a whore.

But do you know what really happened?

She sourced his strength. His ascension would have been impossible on his own. Union created this alchemical ascension.

❤️

Women were never meant to be understood by men.

Women are the life givers, the vast sea, the source of energy needed to sustain.

❤️

Women, depleted in your bodies now, this was a trap.

You've been set up.

Your bodies were not meant to house this much stress, to multitask, to combat adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalance.

Ever since that story was written, we've been compensating for something that was lost - and it is such a deep and profound loss that it has caused the chasm that we all now feel.

The chasm between feminine and masculine. Between what we call Man and Woman but that which is not actualized feminine and masculine consciousness. Between effort and ease. Between power and submission. Between predator and victim.

The story gets to be rewritten now.

❤️

Women are not meant to be understood by men. When men began to seek to understand with only their minds, repressing the right brain, the sea of emotion, the wonder of the feminine - half of our potential was lost. Actually, more than half. Because to shut off the feminine resulted in a wounded masculine. It is the root of what you call "toxic masculinity."

Men are meant to cherish the feminine, protect and adore. They are meant to get lost there, to source strength there. HOWEVER. Most men do not yet know what this is about, because they are still looking to their women to source strength as a mother would source strength. This is not that. And truly, most women do not understand how to provide in this way, because they are depleted and tired.

You will not fully understand with your cognitive mind. It is impossible. You will have to be willing to lose yourself. You will have to bring your power and lay it down before her - if she herself is worthy of it.

We are at the precipice of a new paradigm. We do not cross over by fighting between men and women, by establishing who is dominant or not. That way is old. It is dead. It is fear of what is not understood, and it's ruling you - until it isn't.

❤️

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A paradigm shift or a culture war. We choose.

It’s not an either/or, masculine or feminine, man or woman.

As a culture war threatens, or maybe it’s already here, I urge us to consider another way.

When a women’s movement sprung up, and women rallied, “Me Too!”, men were whispering, “Well what about me? I’ve been abused too.”

At the time, I was one of those women that said, “Shh, not now. This time is for women.” And that felt really true, but that also perpetuates a polarity. Why wasn’t I allowing space for men to share their stories of abuse? Something inside me was saying, “This is not just about abuse, this is about evidence of a shifting paradigm. Let the women show they are rising.”

And I get that if we are looking through the eyes of a “men vs. women” scenario, that we would see most often “woman = victim” and “man = perpetrator.” And there are plenty of examples of this. But we are humans, and so not all men want to fall into the perpetrator category, and there’s a fear response within many men that they will be assigned this label. They don’t know if they will be called a perpetrator or if they deserve it, and there’s a surge in defensiveness as well as a massive quieting of men right now. I get that. And, yes, sometimes men are victims too.

What Ford/Kavanaugh symbolized to me was another step in the paradigm shift, and this time, about women’s voice. No matter what, Dr. Ford was going to tell her truth. In doing so, she reminded many, many women that this is a noble path, regardless of reception. In fact, we even saw less tolerance than ever before, historically, of a culture willing to defer to the judgement of men over a woman. We all knew what the GOP was really doing and we knew it was BS. And women know what Ford was doing. And a lot of us appreciate it and find some new resolve within ourselves as a result of her bravery.

Then, on the tales of this, inevitably, there are also attempts by men to say, “But wait, us too, our voices are suppressed to.” I’ve been involved in quite a few of these conversations, meanwhile navigating my own resurfacing of memories and lived experience, and my own stories that I’ve silenced or didn’t even know I could tell.

I hold space for men as well as women in my work, for all humans regardless of gender, and so I’m watching my own “stuff” come up meanwhile trying to stay open to what my male friends are saying. “We don’t feel like we can tell our truth either.”

I know. I know there is a repression of authentic male voice and that we are also collectively yelling about “toxic masculinity” at the same time we commonly don’t want to be holding space for men to do much about it. We want men to go do their work and yet we aren’t very tolerant of hearing about that work or creating space for it in our culture.

And so, when this conversation comes up, we question whether or not men are trying to steal women’s thunder if they also say, “Uh… I’m hurting too right now.” It’s messy. It’s especially messy when the focus is “winning” or proving that one gender has it better or worse.

Truly men, I think it’s actually indicative of a legitimate core problem with masculinity that men immediately want to go to women to “solve” their problems with masculinity. There’s nothing simple about this, right? But hear me out. Men often carry what Jung called The Mother Wound, and to ask the women in your life, in the middle of a women’s movement, to also hold your own victimhood, whether legitimate or not, is indicative of this wounding where men think that women are going to solve it for them, like Mommy would. The collective “Mommy” right now just might need a minute. And, go to a men’s group and talk about this. Please. We need men in this conversation checking their own shit and showing up having done some work. Because if you’re doing your personal work to heal your masculinity, we can have this conversation. I will have that conversation with you. But I’m not responsible for providing you with your reassurance right now, and I find it difficult to do so in the middle of a collective women’s movement when my own trauma responses are active.

When my trauma responses are active, and men attempt to prove that they’ve had it as bad as or worse than women, I feel tired.

That’s just real. I’m human. And! I don’t want to perpetuate a divide. So I keep showing up, questioning myself, talking to my male friends, and writing about this at 5:30 in the morning.

I don’t want to send or perpetuate a “You’re broken, go fix yourself, we’re having a women’s movement over here” message to men.

And at the same time when I’m “in it” as a woman, and a man says, “Yeah but we don’t feel we can speak our truth either,” the first thing I want to do as a woman is attempt to recount why I think I had it worse. (Stick with me here...)

So I start in with my automatic replies, “Yeah but you don’t know what it’s like to live feeling suppressed by the other gender your entire life.” And then I think - I don’t know that that is absolutely true. That’s not actually fair to say. I know plenty of men who were actually suppressed by women their entire lives.

So I try another route, “Yeah but I have stories that I couldn’t share and my tongue felt caught in my throat until I unstuck it with all my might.” And then I think - I know men who this is absolutely true for.

So then I try, “Yeah but my body. My body lived the horror of an over-taxed nervous system and I felt like I was in fight or flight for most of my life for living in fear.” And then I think - this is not female exclusive.

This week, as a woman, I reactively wanted to really prove the differences, in order to prove why it’s important that we really allow space for women. But I can’t prove the differences on a human soul to human soul level. And my focus, now that I’ve reflected, is that it is not my work or interest to do so - to prove differences, or to perpetuate a divide.

I don’t want to compare wounds. It is no longer my interest.

I don’t want us to prove who had it worse as a result of the repression of the feminine - because THAT’S WHERE ALL OF THIS COMES FROM. There are two main archetypal energies in all of us - masculine and feminine - and guess what: the feminine has been repressed in all of us. ALL of us. That’s what this movement is. A bringing back, a reclamation, a re-integration of the feminine, AS WELL AS rediscovering what healthy femininity and masculinity truly is. We need to rediscover and rebalance that within each of us, individually. And, we need to do it collectively in the culture. The only way we are going to do this is together.

It’s not triggering for me to hold space for men who also have pain right now. It’s triggering for me to compare stories, to attempt to one-up the pain. And reflexively, this is where we go.

Let’s stop it. Reroute.

Ask questions. Seek understanding. Assume positive intent. Forgive. See how the people you love are trying. Reach out. Apologize. Listen to a story. Lean in. Go to a place where this conversation is happening to bridge a divide, or start one.

This is how we shift this old paradigm. This is the work I want to do and the way I want to live - in masculine/feminine union.

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To the men who are scared:


Men are scared right now. With each public case highlighting a man’s previous mistakes against women, men are scared that it could be them next. And the honest truth of it is that yes, if we are moving forward in this accusatory culture, then every man, or damn near every man, could expect to be at risk for prosecution.


I suffered at the hands of men, and starting at a young age. Too young. And then, when a teenager, I had a group of boys from the soccer team show up at my house, my boyfriend among them, and the rest of the boys stand outside the door while the expectation was that I would give him oral sex. When I exerted just a bit of push back, my head was pushed downward. First I bit him. Then I did it.


I am a woman in America. Of course I have a story like this. I have countless stories of male dominance - sexual, emotional, mental, and spiritual. It is because I have done much trauma work that I can state this directly, but I do want to say it. I get it. I know what it is like for the nervous system to live in self-protection and fear - I did it for the better part of 35 years. In fact, that’s a lie. I still, on dates with men, feel it in my body, the immediacy of the self-protective response of my body, even though countless healing sessions, trauma release, a meditation practice, and knowing all about this stuff. Still. My body knows because my body has grown a woman in America. It is that widespread. Do not think it isn’t. Every woman knows this story in her body.

But I don’t want to look up this man now and tell him he was wrong. I don’t care to, personally. I get that other women are having a host of various responses with their associated memories coming up from this public case, and I support each woman’s choice.

I don’t want to make sure he knows that he was wrong in that specific instance. What I want, is to call to men both near and far to be brave now, amidst the fear that every one of you might have a reason for some woman to come out with a story against you.


Relatively recently, I tried to have this sort of kind but honest conversation with two specific men in my life. They ran in fear, even though I was not talking about prosecution. They ran, they used their positional power, and the issues were never resolved. As a woman, I was left to deal with their choices. I lived an experience where because men still do have positional power-over, they could both choose to run due to their own fear. I was left, again, feeling the feeling that women know of unresolve, of cleaning ourselves up after a man has his way with us.


Because a culture of fear got us here, right now, we are only moving in the direction of more collective fear, as I see it. When what we really need is more bravery.


Yes, it is brave of a woman to tell her story. I am all for it. But men, my god, we need your bravery now too. We need you to come toward rather than back away.


I get that the reasons that many of you are currently unable to do this have to do with not knowing how. Men have grown up to assume that what they say goes. And now we have a culture of women saying that this is not okay anymore. It’s true. It is not okay anymore.


So here’s what you do, men. Come to the table. Come and sit down and say, “Help me to understand.” Say to the woman that you love in your own house, “Can you tell me how you feel as a woman when you hear this story in the news? What do you think that I, as a man, can do?”

A friend told me this week that when she told her male partner about her dreaded high school experience locked in a room with a man, he wanted to go hunt down that man and “make him pay.” And so she had stopped communicating to her partner, meanwhile she was reliving a visceral trauma response. Men, that is not exactly what I mean by bravery. Use her feelings of safety as a measure of bravery. If she feels safe as a result of your actions, and it creates more trust, you’re on the right path.


Men, you’ve been taught to think that you need to perform, know exactly what to do, fix it, or save us. We’re not asking for that now. We want you to ask questions, listen, check your self-protection, say an out-loud apology even if that woman isn’t in the room - say it to any woman. Admit that you don’t know what to do right now, and that you didn’t know what to do then. Ask a woman you trust for help. Not all women want to take you down. Some of us will hold you accountable meanwhile allowing you to rise into a more embodied, emboldened version of man. That’s what I want to do. That is what I am demanding by being the woman that I am in the world today. I will love the hell out of men, and, I will naturally demand the best of you. I will simultaneously no longer allow power-over to exist when I see it, and also, I will help to explain what I see with kindness and compassion. It’s up to you to step in, to not run in fear.


We are creating a new way. We need to do so together, even though our traumas are real, even though we don’t yet know what to say, even though we feel fear. We all want to feel bravery and love, in our bodies, in our men, in our women.


Rumi says, “Out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”


I’ll meet you there.

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I don't care if you believe me. I am a woman. So is she.

Perhaps the bravest thing I’ve ever seen is a man leaning into the feminine mystery. Because the feminine mystery, if I must spell it out, is the most powerful force in all of nature.

The forceful conquer and control of men is not the most powerful force in nature. It is a farce the world has fallen for.

With all the examples of fear we’ve got, with all the men who have told us to stay small, attempted to discern from some perceived vantage point whether or not a woman is credible, I am also experiencing the opposite.

Sweet relief.

Neither trying to dominate or diminish or run - a man who wants to explore the mystery. Who bows to it. Who asks to learn more.

Lusty women are forever being told that we’re too much. Men, really, you are still trying most often to shame us for our sexuality or conquer it. You’re bullshitting yourself if you disagree, I’ll debate you on it.

Or, you often run and don’t even try. Or you dominate in such a way that the true power and lust never comes out of her. So sad for us all. So sad for this world.

If any of you try that conquering bit here, and some of you have, what you find is a mirror so clear that your own fear will conquer you. And you never even touch the mystery.

I’ve seen it. Oh have I seen it. It's so sad.

Until I was surprised. Until a man stood steady, acknowledging his shaky knees while coming ever closer to the ocean of me.

Ask me what I’ll do for a man who has leaned in to whisper: I am here to ensure that you, woman, come completely unleashed.

Unleashed.

The ocean of me. Invited into as infinite a space as needed. He will hold me.

This is the place the masculine holds for the feminine, if he is able. Men, take some lessons here.

His intimidation he acknowledges, but exhilaration replaces any fright. Seeing and valuing the role of the feminine at this time, and not only believing her, but holding her up. Creating space for her to be bold in a world that so often does the opposite.

Unleashed.

He craves to swim in the waters of the feminine unleashed.

You all do.
Men, I promise you, you all do.

And you repressors, you men who think that you can control this wave of the feminine divine rising, you stand no chance. Your tight brains and your wild dicks inside your expensive suits will be your own destruction. You will die in the house of your own fear. Do your work. Do your damn work. I still believe you can. I believe you must.

I have offered to help. I've got an ocean of feminine receptivity. But that sounds wild to you, doesn't it? You must be able to find yourself in the waters untamed.

It requires being brave enough to stand in the ocean of the feminine that, yes, is bigger than you. Wider, vaster, and different. You have another value. There is another way. You will never find it so long as you spend your time attempting to control this ocean.

Unleash, Women, unleash. Be wide. Be vast. Be your lusty, uncontrollable selves. If there's not a man around who can hold that for you, be that with other women. Be it now.

We will teach the men how to come along. We need them. Some of you are showing you are ready. Thank you.

Perhaps the bravest thing I’ve ever seen is a man leaning into the feminine mystery.

I am looking for the examples of men who are encouraging the mystery now.


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