Death and Rebirth

Death and Rebirth

532f33d70325dcfd65937458da0489f1

The Life/Death/Life nature is a cycle of animation, development, decline and death that is always followed by re-animation. This cycle affects all life and all facets of psychological life. Everything – the sun, novas and the moon as well as the affairs of humans and those of the tiniest creatures, cells and atoms alike – have this fluttering, then faltering, then fluttering again.

– Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With The Wolves

I look at an empty page, a blank canvas of possibility. I bring my fingers to the keyboard and they tap tap tap nervously as my mind grasps for a sliver of inspiration. All at once it occurs to me – I haven’t written a single word in over 18 months.

Much of the time I’ve spent away from writing has been spent swimming in a deep sea of pain. It’s the most profound pain I’ve felt, the deepest sense of loss I’ve known. Some feel pain like this and they shrivel up; they stop relating to others; they hide away and try to make sense of it. What the fuck does it all mean? How can I give of myself when I feel so destroyed and lost inside my own heart, my own mind? Others use that pain as fuel for a bottomless well of creativity. I’ve always found myself to be a part of the former category. Even now I find it difficult to express wounds into words. What I think I’ve come away with in this dark hour of my being is this: death begets life. All that pain – all that suffering – it was simply deeply ingrained parts of me falling away. It was mind numbingly painful. At times I didn’t think I could withstand it. I nearly lost one of my most important relationships in the midst of the anguish. I see now – it was a great blessing. Today I feel new -reborn. From that desolation I’ve learned an incalculable lesson that will guide me in my journey until my very last breath.

I am becoming keenly aware of life’s intrinsic need for death. I have a gorgeous banana plant in my home – browning leaves need to be removed in order for new growth to sprout. The plant as a whole is much healthier for the pruning. Mature flowers on a rose bush need to be picked to make way for new budding life, berries need to be plucked, and so on and so forth. To hold on to the dying parts of our selves is a useless practice in vanity. I fought that truth for along time. No more. Shedding that old, dry skin has left me lighter and more able to see my own divinity – my own bright light.

A few of the most important things I have recently released:

  1. My need to be perfect – I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. All of my flaws, all of my short comings are perfect opportunities for reflection and a deep dive toward inner knowing – a step on the path of realizing myself as a fully embodied human. If I can get cozy in my quirks and learn to love ALL of me then I can really begin to release that which does not serve me. Fighting against something is the surest way to make it bigger and stronger. Until that sweet moment when you’ve really learned and moved through a life lesson and integrated it into your life – you are presented with the same challenge over and over and over again. This will always be the reality. Bottom line? Stop fighting myself and embrace it all. The utter shit, the pure bliss and the monotony.
  2. My need to be right – My ego sure loves to win. She fears losing (being wrong) so much that she will go as low as to hurt others, just to save herself from the agony. I am getting to know my ego on a more intimate level and realize that I have endless compassion for her. How sad to be constantly measuring yourself against others, to feel so insecure that you are always trying to prove your worth. In the past I have fought against my ego. I’ve even tried to disengage from it entirely. I told myself that If I could just let go of my ego I could achieve enlightenment. I know now that is impossible. If I am to be a human being on this earth then my ego will always be a part of my journey. Without it I am not an individual, I become a part of the whole again or in essence, I die. So to be alive and to be human means to dance with the light and shadow sides of the ego. So, today I welcome her AND yet – I do not let her control me. Because when does stubbornness and being right help the spirit to shine and grow? I choose to be open to the possibility of the moment and to the truth that I still, and always will, have A LOT to learn.
  3. My need for everyone to like me – I need to like me. That’s it. If I truly accept myself then others will accept me too – and if they don’t? They will move along down the road and so will I. Life in this vessel is too short to waste precious moments trying to prove my worth to anyone. I can’t even begin to express how good the integration of this truth feels. It has taken over a decade of work to get here. Not sure what clicked exactly – but I’m grateful it did. LIBERATION!!
  4. That I have nothing of value to share – I am unique. There is no other person on the planet that is my exact equal. No one else has lived my life. Everything I have to say is special simply because it comes from my unique vantage point. I do not need years of schooling and accolades from others to measure my worth. I have been so scared to speak my mind and share my truth in fear of it not being interesting enough or backed by enough degrees. FUCK THAT. I have much to share and I am done waiting.

So here I am world! Get ready to hear more from me. I hope to hear from all of you too because our ability to connect, understand and empathize with one another is one of the most valuable aspects of being in this human body. I LOVE YOU!

 

Advertisements
Friendsgiving!

Friendsgiving!

Hello friends! Oh… hello to you too Monday morning. In honor of the coming holiday and all of the yumminess that comes along with it, I’m feeling a lot more forgiving of your presence here today. This week, Monday means that only 3 more days separate me from visiting my family in Southern California and chowing down on some of my favorite food. I’ll be bringing some gluten free renditions of traditional holiday goodies that I can’t wait to share with you! It makes Thanksgiving so much more enjoyable when I have biscuits, stuffing and pie on my plate. What is Thanksgiving dinner without these things really? A hollow shell of the holiday feasts that I remember, that’s for sure. Good thing I won’t ever have to experience that. My recipes are healthier versions of some classics that don’t sacrifice any of the classic flavor. I got to try a few out on my friends this weekend and they, thankfully, were eagerly gobbled up.

Saturday and Sunday were a flurry of driving, eating, connecting and more driving. If I haven’t mentioned it before, half of my heart lives in Mendocino, a gorgeous little coastal town, nestled in the redwoods of Northern California. We were first acquainted about 11 years ago and after the initial shock of being so far off of the grid (what do you mean there is only one stop light and no shopping malls?) I fell in love fast and hard and haven’t strayed too far away since. Many of my dearest friends call Mendocino home so I make the 3 hour drive about once a month.

This weekend was our first annual, eagerly awaited Friendsgiving dinner. So.much.fun. Good wine, laughing, cute babies frolicking around together, buns in the oven. There was lots to celebrate and celebrate we did. Every delicious thing you could think of graced that table. A beautiful glazed ham, candied yams, a bright fresh kale salad with pomegranate seeds and golden raisins, homemade artichoke dip with fresh spinach and organic local cheeses… I stuffed myself and then went back for more. I haven’t eaten that much in years. I’m feeling properly primed for Thursday. 😉 Also on the menu was my gluten free cornbread stuffing bites and raw pumpkin cheesecake. I was so busy loving up my friends and stuffing my face with my stuffing that I completely forgot to snap a picture of either dish. 😦 It’s a good thing that I plan on making both again for one of the myriad of holiday gatherings that I will attend in the next 6 weeks. I promise to share my recipes soon. In the meantime, please enjoy some photos of my family and I being fabulous.
Xoxoxoxox

IMG_4018.JPG

IMG_4093.JPG

IMG_4013.JPG

IMG_4095.JPG

IMG_4096.JPG

IMG_4100.JPG

Ease teething pain naturally

Ease teething pain naturally

Hell hath no fury like an 18 month old cutting 4 molars at once. These last few months, I’ve traded in sleep for coffee. Good thing I like coffee. Lack of sleep = lack of coherence. If you find this post disjointed, now you know why. Sleep is really good for brains. I’ll bet in the case of a zombie apocalypse my pickled cerebrum would be in no immediate danger.

Procreating. What a trip. Being a mother has elicited emotions in me that I simply didn’t know existed. Did you know it was possible to feel seething anger and total loving sympathy for someone at the very same instant? For while my sweet baby is in agonizing pain that I very much sympathize with, I am congruently dealing with an unreasonable, sleepless, manic breastfeeding monster, sporting newly sprouted teeth to bite me with. And she does bite.

But really how can you stay annoyed with this little face… You can’t. You just can’t.

IMG_3778.JPG

This snarly little face is so precious to me. I wasn’t prepared for how much I would adore my child. I mean, I figured I’d love my baby but until I actually made her and watched her grow up and morph into this awesome little person who says I love you and counts to three… well words are empty and completely insufficient in expressing it. My heart explodes every day and every day I put the pieces back together only to have it break open again. Loving someone like this is exhausting… especially when you hate them sometimes. But you could never hate her, I mean… LOOK at her.

IMG_3944.JPG

Anyway, back on course brain! Her teeth… and her poor swollen little gums… and my pickled brain. I’ll do nearly anything to help soothe her pain and get my family some sleep. Because I am the tree hugging hippie that I am, I prefer to find a natural alternative to benzocaine. In my sleepless desperation, I’ve been trying all the remedies out there. Here are the three that have helped:

Barley water: Barley has natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and is super easy to make. Soak 1 cup of barley overnight and then cook barley with 2 1/3 cups of water for about 15 minutes. Drain excess cooking water and save. Once it has cooled you can either just rub some on inflamed gums or much more fun, use it to make teething popsicles! Here is a rad little recipe if you’re interested.

Chamomile oil: Also naturally antiseptic and anti-inflammatory as well as very soothing. We’ve rubbed some of this oil on her gums in the middle of the night and after hours of being up she is finally able to conk out.

German chamomile hydrosol:  A hydrosol is essentially flower water, or the stream distillate of the plant matter. Hydrosols are like essential oils but are far less concentrated, therefore they can be used undiluted on skin. I’ve used this hydrosol on her diaper rash and on her gums and have noticed a instant calming effect, both in her disposition and topically.

Our earth provides. It’s incredible how healing plants can be. I’m hoping these methods can bring your baby some relief and you even a few hours of sleep. Speaking of, my brain is officially shutting down. Over and out.

2 years of wedded bliss

2 years of wedded bliss

Two years ago today I married the sweetest man ever to live. I try not to question how it is that the stars aligned to bring this prince into my life. Pondering questions such as these often leaves me a little lost and bewildered, down a path I don’t remember starting on. All I know for sure is that I am an extremely lucky woman to call him mine.

Our day to day looks like any other married couple’s might. We are woken at around 6:15 AM by our 17 month old. She comes into bed with us and we relax together for 30 minutes while she breastfeeds. Or more specifically, I try to relax as she climbs my tired body and does somersaults while kneeing me in the ribs. Chris, my husband, gets up, does his morning routine and heads off to work. When he returns to me again around 6:00 PM, we kiss and talk about our respective days. He tells me about the triumphs and frequent moments of boredom of working as a data consultant. I share about my day running after a beautiful, whiny toddler tornado. We have dinner, put our darling to bed and enjoy an hour or two together before retiring ourselves. Once a week we visit friends or host a dinner and once a month or so we leave town for the weekend but our normal day to day doesn’t change all that much.

May seem like a pretty mundane marriage, It’s the details though… the details that make being married to my husband a special experience. Chris sleeps hard, like a log. I sleep like a feather, flustered by the slightest shift in environment, so I often wake up under slept. He knows this and does his best to let me relax in the mornings. Every day he goes to our daughter’s bedroom, changes her diaper and brings her to me for her morning milk. All I have to do is lie there; and get kneed in the ribs. 😉 Chris makes sure to tell me I am beautiful often, even when I haven’t showered in 3 days and am covered in baby spit and chewed food. He says I love you every day and holds me close when he says it. For my 30th birthday, he took over all planning and spent months coordinating with 15 friends, taking into account people’s differing schedules and activity preferences. My husband helps me decide what to wear when I’m having trouble picking something myself. When I’m in a shitty mood he lets me vent and doesn’t hold a grudge. When we fight, he is often the one to come to me first and start the mending process. (I can be a bit stubborn about admitting fault… I’m working on it.)

My day to day is magical because I’m married to Chris, a man who takes care to treat each day like the miracle that it is. He inspires me to be a better person; to be more patient and compassionate; to relax and get out of my over thinking mind. Marriage can be hard. I wasn’t sure I’d ever walk down the aisle. My marriage works because I found the right man to be married to. Happy Anniversary Mister. ❤

IMG_2457.JPG