It’s Like Nesting (Without Any Eggs)

Saying hello.  #groundednomad

I have a totally awesome reason for not blogging last week. We moved into a house. πŸ™‚ Yup, yup, 3.5 years on the road are being tucked into the Awesome Things We’ve Done file and we are literally sprawling out on the floors, and marveling that 1) no one has to step over us to get to something and 2) our hands don’t reach the walls.

It’s the little things, people.

Little things like a a full-size oven (homemade pizza and muffins! at the same time!), a backyard for Bear to sniff his little heart out, a full-size water heater so my showers can last a full five minutes without going cold, and a dishwasher that doesn’t complain that we make too many dishes. πŸ˜‰

It’s still a small house, only 1300 square feet, but it feels like a freaking palace. Zeb has a bedroom (the only room already filled to the brim, I might add), Justin and I have our own bathroom (now we’ll finally settle the debate of which of these two men pee on the toilet seat first thing in the morning), a living room, an office, and…..wait for it……..

I HAVE MY OWN ROOM.

I’m calling it my Sanctuary. It’s currently barren except for a small pile of books, my journal, a candle, and my favorite essential oils.

But that’s not the point.

The point is I HAVE MY OWN ROOM. And it’s not shared with a smelly man. And it’s not double-timing as an office. And I have plans, people. Plans.

I foresee a big cushy chair, a small bookcase for my soul-cuddling books, a yoga mat, a diffuser of its own, my meditation pillow, and a small area just for art journaling. A sacred space. Not to work, or sleep, or eat. Just to Be. And no electronics will be allowed past the doorframe.

It feels…well, it feels odd. Laying in bed the first night, looking up at the ceiling a full 10 feet above our heads (especially with our mattress – our only piece of furniture so far – on the floor until Justin builds me a platform) felt strange. Like looking up as you’re falling down.

Or like a newborn baby, fresh from the womb. The world suddenly feels so big, and also a little more dangerous without the closeness of our cozy tin box. Being home alone at night freaks me out in the same way it freaked me out when we moved into the RV. New sounds, new neighbors, new shadows. Yes, I’m slightly wigged out by the dark, especially when it’s a whole new dark.

But during the day? Oh man! We have floor to ceiling windows and SO MUCH LIGHT. The floors are “wood” πŸ˜‰ and the dog sounds like a troupe of tiny tap dancers when he follows me around (he’s slightly wigged out too; he stays within 2 feet of us at all times, and preferably in our lap or leaning against our legs). And when we realized the kitchen faucet had a leak, we got to call someone else to take care of it! It’s been a long time since we’ve been tenants, but I could get used to that part. πŸ˜€

#gratitudes Lloyd Dobler, homemade soup + paleo biscuits, Egoscue + being pain-free for the first time in 2 weeks, and having no furniture and that much more SPACE.  You?
Everything we own currently sits on the floor, including us

So yes, we’re here. Fort Walton Beach ,FL. About 5 minutes from where my mom lived when she moved away from home at 19. I also live exactly 1.0 miles from the meditation center I retreated to in September, 1.2 miles from the ocean, and 0.0 miles from MY OWN ROOM.

We’ve signed a lease for a year, the longest we’ve committed to anything in a looooong time. And it doesn’t feel like home, but it’s starting to.

We have no furniture except for the mattresses and TV (the only things not nailed down in an RV), but Justin and I found some wicked weathered red oak lumber on Craigslist and my hunky man is designed a rustic platform bed, an office desk and a kitchen table. We won’t have chairs for the last two just yet, but that’s okay. We’re cool going without until we find what we love.

Oh and yes, we are filling this space so mindfully. No crap. Nothing we don’t drool over. If we don’t love it or have a damn good use for it, it ain’t staying. So yes, I don’t have any other photos, because there’s not to show. Yet.

Oh and I have wifi. My own super fast wifi. Do you know how much I can get done with my own wifi? Seriously, my work week has been cut in half. I kid you not. Plus, I HAVE MY OWN ROOM. But there’s no wifi in there. (Well, technically it’s everywhere, but there’s nothing in MY OWN ROOM that will pick it up, so there.)

Our days of free candy are over. He has crossed the threshold from receiving it to passing it out. It's moments like these when I realize I'm parenting a man now. #zeb
The only other photo I have of the house: Zeb giving out candy on Halloween

Apart from the wonder that is Home, yes it’s brought with it its own brand of Paying Attention. I’m noticing how my energy shifts in this new space, to one of almost nesting. The love and enjoyment I’m experiencing in my own kitchen. And the funny way we still sneak our travels into conversations. Like we have to let everyone know we’re not “just your average neighbors”. Oh, ego. You’re a funny thing.

There has been moments of “WTH are we doing”, interlaced with thoughts of “too good to be true”. And because Life tends to serve up our dreams with a side helping of “This-is-only-going-to-be-funny-later”, our truck decided it needed $6,000 in repairs the very next day, which added a lovely “Was-this-a-bad-idea” vibe to the whole process.

But mostly, even despite the BS that likes to surface, it’s all been really, really, really good. We’re making yummy foodstuff without bumping into each other in the kitchen, and making love without Zeb asking us to give it a break. We’re going for walks around our new neighborhood, and talking school possibilities. And we’re bringing our energy and color into this new space with trust that it’s going to really start becoming ours.

Saying goodbye. #groundednomad #ourfinalmove
Our last RV trip, from campground to house

We haven’t given up the RV, or the identity of being nomads just yet. That feels so deeply a part of our files, yet at the same time profoundly different…not like part of the past, but not like our present either. So it’s staying with us. Kinda like a guest quarters. Or our escape route for the next hurricane that blows through town. πŸ˜‰

But for whatever reason, Life placed us here for awhile, ticking off nearly every box on my Must Have list, and reminding us to just go with it while it works out the rest. Not exactly my default mode, but certainly in alignment with my practice in Trust and spiritual surrender. Plus, it comes with my own room.

Howling at the Moon and the Things Captured

A full moon, a super moon, sumer solstice, and the lead-up to Mercury Retrograde. Oh I was feeling it all. And this time I let myself go, let myself create a little #howlfest to sink into.

I circled with new friends and allowed tears to flow, even though they had no obvious source. I leaned in and trusted the cleansing process that I could feel was taking place.

Barefoot wine in a mason jar. Cheesy movies on the couch. Fire and marshmallows in our future. And I might just sneak out to Mama Ocean again. #howlfest

I rested. I drank cheap wine from a mason jar and watched stupid movies and was okay with that.

I drew myself in with my guys, disconnecting for the weekend, and allowing ourselves to head to a matinee, to laugh in the truck, to make new dishes, and read paperbacks I found in the laundry room.

Forming. #howlfest #drumcircle

Drumming to the changing of the guard. #sunset #moonrise #howlfest #drumcircle

I dove into a drum circle, and took place in the changing of the guards, the drumming to the setting of the sun and the rising of the moon.

Me and Big Mama falling in step together. #howlfest #djembe #drumcircle

I let myself go in the drum circle. I closed my eyes and stopped trying to play along and just played.

I got up and danced, not just around the circle, but in Mama Ocean. Jumping through her shallows, splashing through my inhibitions.

I talked to Mama Luna, and laughed with my man-child as we sunk into the soft moving sands and he gave up on trying to keep his clothes dry and I put down my camera in favor of my suit.

I body surfed with my guys, laughing again as the moon pushed us back toward the sandbar, and I got water up my nose, and didn’t even care.

And then there was this. And this photo does nothing to show the brilliance of Mama Luna or the magic of swimming beneath her with my guys. This goes down as one of my favorite days ever. #howlfest #fullmoon

I drifted in the calm waters, laying back while I soaked up the brightness of the moonbeams, gazing up at her, while my man and my man-child drifted next to me, while we talked, while we slowed down. While we just took it all in and created one of my favorite memories of all time.

"I would rather be happy than dignified." - #Bronte #howlfest

There are some things you take photos of not because you think you can capture the moment, but simply to give you a glimpse of what you captured in that moment.

This weekend was one long stretch of those moments.

Living in a Bubble {And Making it Bigger}

Hanging in a quiet little forest in PA for a few days. Chasing the warm weather south. #myofficetoday #autumn #fall #leaves

Imagine Dragons, Instagrammin, cool weather, flow wand goodness, curry on my shirt...what "should" I be doing? Exactly what I am. #myofficetoday #thejoysofselfemployednomadicliving #canIgivethisup

We left what felt like a bubble in Ithaca. Said goodbye to our friends in the caravan first, then goodbye to our friends in Ithaca.

We’re traveling south for the winter, like the snowbirds we are.

It’s quiet now on the road. We’ve been surrounded by friends, family and friends who have become like family for almost a year. Now it’s suddenly just us again, the slow pace together needed but strange.

It hit me the other day that this is likely our last year on the road, and I realized how many opportunities I’ve missed.

I know that’s natural.

There is SO MUCH to see and do, and you can only do so much of it. The fact being that this isn’t exactly vacation for us makes that even more true. We have businesses to run and a desire for downtime (being homebodies and all). There are plenty of things we don’t make time to explore or explore as fully as we’d like in order to do the other things our lives are calling for.

But the thought of only one more year puts that into sharp contrast.

There are things that you only miss in hindsight, and even though you knew then you were making a conscious choice to forego, it doesn’t become real until you’re looking back at the road.

You don’t miss it, until you miss it.

There are some things I wish I had done more of with the last nearly 3 years.

Namely, connecting with others.

The first year on the road was all about connecting with others, to the point of burning ourselves out. So we went into the rest of our travels being mindful not to run around from place to place, from home to home, to create more time for ourselves. A necessary and wonderful decision as a family.

Now, after this past year of connection, I see how to balance the needs of slowness with the desire to connect.

We learned a few tricks – like facilitating potlucks at our campground with groups of people, instead of trying to meet each person individually, or inviting new friends along while we did our exploring. As simple as they seem, they made the world of difference.

So now, looking back, there is one opportunity in particular I see I missed.

Meeting all of you, intimately.

Connecting women, connecting with women, connecting with ourselves.

I’ve come to see that I want to facilitate more of these in-home circles, the ones I’ve had the honor to be a part of several times this year so far. They are powerful and cup-filling for me for days. Circling with other mindful women, mothers, entrepreneurs…Digging Deep around our lives, our challenges, our roles, our gifts, our needs.

I want to meet some of the members of the Organic Tribe or the incredible women I’ve connected with through this blog (or have yet to connect with), but in their homes, around a table, around a fire. I want the ability to hug them in person, cry and laugh together.

That’s where some real magic happens.

And this travel thing creates the perfect opportunity for it. (How I wish I saw that sooner.)

So the next couple months, while we travel through NC, SC, GA, and FL I’m hoping to do just that: create these small in-person tribes with some of you.

If you’re in those areas, if you’re interested in circling, or even if you’re just curious, let me know.

Let’s make some magic happen. Let’s make this bubble bigger.

Going Our Own Way {Saying Goodbye to the Conscious Caravan, and Maybe Even Life on the Road}

A country brunch with friends, strolling the Commons, and a drive with my lover around #Ithaca. A beautiful Sunday.

We said our last “See you later’s” to the Conscious Caravan on Monday. After traveling together for the better part of this year, it’s time for us to go our own way.

Let me back up.

If you remember we started traveling with this band of wild nomads back in March after first connecting in January. It was a serendipitous connection of many dots that brought us together and met the needs of our family in such deep and meaningful ways.

Mostly, it was a traveling village…actually dubbed “The Village” between us. It was friends, a network of support and a lot of love. Some split off in the spring to head up further north for the summer, but even then they were in our hearts. The rest of us traveled up the coast and into Maine together.

I’m trying to find words that describe the experience – the love, the stretching, the learning, the trust, the fun, the growth – in all of us.

But I can’t.

So I’ll just skip ahead to now.

Right now, we’re visiting friends in Ithaca, NY. Angela and Clint and their kids spent several weeks here with us before they went out to Vermont on Monday to meet up with other members.

We made the choice to stay behind. Partially, we wanted to avoid going any further north this time of year. Partially, the truck needed some more work before we hit the road. Partially, we weren’t ready to leave Ithaca and wanted to squeeze one more week out of the fall here.

It didn’t hurt to say goodbye to Angela, who feels so much like my spirit sister. I wasn’t sad or worried. I felt comfortable, certain that it wasn’t goodbye. That it was just another “See you later down the road.”

Maybe it hasn’t hit me yet. Or maybe I’m just not afraid of losing her. Ever.

My sweet spirit sister, @ecowomb

Now after several days, I think I can also say we stayed behind because we needed the space to transition into the next phase.

When Justin, Zeb, and I made the decision to hit the road (exactly three years this month!) we made the choice together. We talked together about the pros and cons, the needs we each had, what we wanted out of it, what our concerns were, how we would handle those things.

It was a cohesive decision between the three of us. Which felt good, knowing we were all heard and honored and on board together.

For the past few weeks Justin and I have been sorting out our new needs, how we’re feeling and what we desire for the future and have both been feeling the same thing:

We’re ready for roots again.

Top of the #tree ...one of my happy spots #climbing #play

We’re ready to find a community we want to stay. We’re ready for library cards and local meetups and chickens and a full-size oven and fridge, for goodness sake. We’re ready for ground beneath our feet and a treehouse and cable internet.

We’re NOT ready to quit traveling completely, but we like the idea of snowbirds (traveling south for the cold months). And we like the idea of world travel with an official home base.

We have been mulling these things around in our head without talking to Zeb yet, until he came to us Wednesday night and asked if we could all talk.

What came out: he’s ready to stop traveling too.

(Damn, I love when we’re all on the same page at the same time!)

He wants more community (instead of warming up to people just as we or they leave again), and the ability to delve into his interests easier (computers, which requires more reliable internet than we can always find). He wants more space of his own.

He wants roots, just as we do.

So together we talked about our needs again, the things we’re ready for, and how we might make another transition.

And this is what we concluded with and what we sense we’ll be moving toward:

We are still heading to Florida and white sand beaches for the winter, because I miss Mama Ocean like whoa and we’re just not prepared to be anywhere colder. After that we’ll start making our way north again, coming back to Ithaca. We’ll be staying on our friends’ land, helping them build out their property, and exploring the area more. If we still feel drawn to the area come fall, we’ll try staying over the winter (to see if I can handle it and all).

Anything can change – and I’m sure something will – between now and then.

But after three years it feels like this is it.

Life on the road has changed us. It was the most amazing guru we could have had, allowing us to explore not just the country but our understanding of Life. It’s opened us up to possibilities for experiencing the world that have freed us, spiritually and otherwise.

And after all that – all the adventure, all the examination of ourselves, all the liberation we found – it’s nearing the time to take what we’ve gained and plant it somewhere, plant ourselves somewhere.

Life might show us another direction, but either way…all roads are leading home.

My First Official Autumn (and the transitions we’re sensing)

Hot spiced tea and journaling
Cool mornings and hot tea

Happy Autumnal Equinox! #fromwhereIstand #Ithaca #buttermilkfalls #hiking #leaves #fall #autumn
Hikes along Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca

#autumn #equinox #fall #hiking #Ithaca #buttermilkfalls
Beautiful, colorful landscapes

#autumn #fall #leaves #pond #ithaca #reflection
Watching the leaves change around us

This is officially my first real experience of the Autumnal Equinox (being in a space that actually experiences something you could call autumn on the first official day of it) and we’re spending it in Ithaca with friends, where we’ve been the past month.

It’s been a fascinating experience, fall.

Not just the weather and the steady march of the leaves, but the shift I feel with the seasons.

Is it weird that this is a first for me? This seasonal ebb it seems the whole world knows about but me? The desire to eat more and heartier and constantly. The want to hunker down. The new ache it’s bringing forward in both me and my lover. The thoughts it’s bringing forward for us, too.

Thoughts of our home of origin. Thoughts of what feels like home.

Thoughts of recreating our sense of home all over again.

For most of my life, 27 years born and raised in Las Vegas, I never had that sense of home. I looked for it in my surroundings and in my community, and found bits and pieces with family and friends, but it took us selling everything we own and hitting the road to finally feel at home – to our surprise, within ourselves.

Now, after traveling for close to 3 years (it was actually exactly 3 years ago this month that we made the choice to travel and I grappled with the contrasting ideas of home), I feel like I’ve found a spiritual sense of belonging. But to match the nonphysical I’m aching for the physical now: the community, a sanctuary of our own, a rhythm (like the one we feel with the changing of the seasons now).

At the same time, I’m not ready to let go the adventure. I’m ready to expand our travels overseas. I’m ready to step forward, not back.

I have no idea exactly what all this looks like yet, just the sense of it.

I have notions of what it can look like, and what’s been calling my name, but no real “plan” (like I’m prone…but not being drawn…to create).

Justin and I curled up on the couch this morning and talked about where we’re at with everything. And we both feel the same, like life as we know it is going to shift and our sole desire is to move forward. To approach this next season with a mindfulness we’ve learned and a continued focus on meeting our deeper needs. To take with us what we’ve learned about Trust and peace and joy and the sparkly bits of life we’ve come to find on the road.

Even though we’re leaving Ithaca next week and heading for warmer weather (and the white sand beaches and island vibe of Florida and the Keys), the shift in the seasons will be coming with me – within me.

We can feel it, the transition approaching. And it’s not just the weather.Β Life on the road is going to be shifting for us soon, whenever “soon” might be.

And as tempting as it is to jump into it – hurry up and get “there” – we’re just not.

We’re staying with Trust.

Trust that we are exactly where we’re meant to be. Trust that we’re going exactly where we get to go. Trust that the timing and pace and direction is perfect. Trust that all is well in our world. Trust in ourselves and each other and the tugs we feel. Trust in the love and joy inherent in each moment.

Trust that we can take this lifestyle of joy with us anywhere.

And that feels like autumn to me. The transition. The changing rhythms. The pace. And the trust.

We may not experience the entire season of it, but I’m taking it with me anyway.

My Belly Feels Empty, But My Heart is Full

We’re officially one week into our elimination diet and the biggest challenge is probably boredom. With so few foods and flavors to choose from it’s annoying more than anything else.

I’ve also struggled with hypoglycemia and woke up yesterday with too low blood sugar, almost passing out and taking several hours to recover. Not good.

So I’m adding in salmon on intuition and am feeling better now. (Justin is going to continue going without for awhile longer.)

We have had so many questions on the elimination diet and how to do it and I think it can pretty much all be boiled down to this:

Listen to your body. Trust it.

Every body is different, and each individual’s needs will vary throughout their life too.

Food dogma is bullshit. Intuition is king.

We chose this elimination diet on intuition. We choose to follow it how our intuition guides us.

And the more we do that, the better we feel.

Heart = Full

Feels myself howling at this one.
Happy Full Moon πŸ™‚

Even though we’ve been learning how to fill our bellies, my heart right now is expanding like WHOA.

The past few months have been rough for us, and we’ve been consistently pulled back to look for the cause and the shifting Life is asking us to make.

Zeb has been really struggling.

Really struggling.

He’s 12.5 now and becoming a man, not as smoothly as we had hoped (ah, those parental ideas – that’s a whole story in itself).

It hasn’t been fun to say the least.

It’s been hard.

And Justin and I have been triggered a lot.

And individually and together we’ve had some really bad moments that suck suck suck.

But thankfully we leaned into our tribes and our tools and we kept coming back, kept making amends for the mistakes, kept putting our intentions and our heart into finding what’s missing for all of us, what each of us needs to thrive.

We kept coming back to the drawing board again and again.

Until we finally had the Aha moment. The breakthrough.

In a few heart-wrenching, emotional and deeply connecting conversations Zeb articulated what was happening beneath the surface for him.

Beneath the anger and the frustration and the blah and the rut.

He’s lonely.

He enjoys traveling, but it’s not filling his cup with a Tribe of his own.

He wants more than Mom and Dad.

Going back to Vegas was a wonderful thing for him. But it was only temporary.

And he struggles to connect with people as we travel. He can feel awkward and uncomfortable until he warms up – like we all experience at some point. And so as we go along he feels withdrawn more than he’d like to without that extra time to settle into a comfortable place with people. By the time he’s forming a connection, either we or the other family is heading off.

Can I tell you what a GIANT sigh of relief it is to finally hear this from him?

For a long time he couldn’t put his finger on it. Even when we would check in with him about it, he wasn’t fully aware of it.

It can be hard as a kid (heck, for most adults too) to see with clarity what is really happening inside.

He needs community.

And we have been feeling that same need ourselves.

Zeb needs guys to hang with, to run with, to laugh with, to grow with.

Justin needs men to connect with, to sit with, to feel like himself with.

I need women to hug with, to walk with, to celebrate with, to dance with.

We also want to continue to travel!

So we talked and drew out our ideas.

We discussed traveling one more year to see the East coast, then settling down so Zeb could try out a Sudbury School.

But one year felt like a long time to wait.

Then a beautiful traveling family, Angela and Clint and their 3 kids, invited us to their budding caravan, but they were headed to the West coast and had plenty of big plans and it just didn’t seem like the pieces would fit.

The idea of not joining them had me bummed.

I resonated so strongly with the families that were already gathering around the idea. I loved the moments I had been able to grab here and there with them – at the first Full Moon feast in January, at a FOTR rally, even through email when we could.

But I’ve learned enough in my 30 years to not try to force anything. That it never works best that way. That things either happen organically or they don’t happen all that well.

So I stressed a little. And let go a little. And leaned into Trust a little.

And tried to remind myself that when we plant the seeds of our intentions, Life/Spirit/magic happens.

And it did.

Not pictured: Drumming papas, belly dancing mamas, galavanting kiddos, great convo, tears and laughter.
Around the Fire

Angela and Clint invited us again to another full moon feast – a monthly gathering of traveling and non-traveling families and friends to eat, talk, connect, make music and make even more laughter.

We couldn’t camp with them, but we drove 45 minutes to visit for the evening.

Zeb ran off with the kids.

Justin drummed with the men.

I connected with the women.

Fire dancing mamas!
Fire dancing mamas!

We felt at home.

And my heart ached a little to know it would only last an evening this time.

And then I heard the most beautiful thing I could imagine.

And it’s bringing tears to my eyes to write it out.

Angela explained how their plans had shifted. How they aren’t heading to the West coast. How they are traveling up the East coast this year. Exactly to the place we wanted to most see.

Inside my heart jumped a little.

Said a tiny Eep!

Goosebumps. And tears. And hugs. And laughing. And “See?”

She and I knowing and seeing (again) that Trust always leads us in the most beautiful direction.

That everyone’s needs – for connection, for adventure, for timing – will always be met.

That this was the beginning of a beautiful thing.

Zeb is on board. Wholeheartedly. Can’t wait.

Justin’s feeling it out, has some hesitation to examine, some things to sit with internally. But I can trust fully the right pieces will fall into the right place and at the right time now.

And my heart is filled to the brim with the idea of having our own tiny, traveling village of mindful parents, and passionate women, and strong, gentle men and confident children, and entrepreneurs, and autodidacts, and diversity, and laughter.

We have details to work out, and schedules to coordinate, and plans to create.

After all, this isn’t JUST a caravan they’re planning – it’s bigger than that. And I can’t wait to share it. πŸ™‚

But right now I’m just happy to share my heart and my soul and my answered prayers and the smile and excitement of my previously sullen 12 year old whose cup is finally being filled.

And to share this little reminder: Lean into Trust. Life is good.

Full Moon Gathering with the EcoWomb (Video)

We spent the first full moon of 2012 camping and eating, laughing and talking, playing music and connecting with the EcoWomb family and many new friends. It was also when I burned my dreads and the first week I had to play with my new phone and it’s many awesome apps.

It’s funny; I recently remembered I set the intention to create some fun home videos over two years ago.

It makes me smile to realize yet another forgotten intention came to fruition in its own timing. Mmm…the things I used to stress over I’ve learned to trust and allow. That feels good (now to learn how to apply it to other areas). πŸ™‚

P.S. Apparently, YouTube censored my video because of the song I used to show our videos and pictures. Ironically, it was the song “One Love” by Bob Marley…you know, the guy all for love and gratitude, instead of greed. Apparently, the record company didn’t get the memo. I wish I had time to redo it but I don’t – and I’m leaving it up because I can still watch it. πŸ˜› But I’ve included our photos of our time below as a lame alternative to an otherwise great video.

Bonfire with friends...yes please. http://instagr.am/p/fUVg1/

Full moon rising...

And our full moon gathering...

Stay clear of pier...

Under the pier...

Angela!

Our first time at the Atlantic :)

Love these trees!

Burning My Dreads: The Final Goodbye

Bonfire with friends...yes please. http://instagr.am/p/fUVg1/

I assumed when I cut my dreads I would still have to let them go afterward. I pictured myself spending time reflecting on them as I burned them or buried them. I pictured it being ceremonious and personal and meaningful.

Yup, not so much.

From the moment I turned around from checking out my bald head in the reflection of the truck’s window and saw my pile of dreads laying on the ground, I’ve had no attachment to them.

They felt so distant, like looking at a relic of my past…once a part of me, now just a detail in my story.

Maybe it’s because it wasn’t the dreads that I had so much gratitude for, but the experience of them.

Or maybe once I do take the next step it’s when I feel ready to truly let go of the last.

Or maybe cutting them off cut that tie to the heavy energy they were carrying for me.

I don’t know.

All I know is that my dreads have been wrapped up in one of my favorite white scarves and I’d like my scarf back now! πŸ˜‰

We spent last week camping with such gorgeous, soulful, conscious friends and I thought maybe it’d be meaningful (and in good company) to release them then, around the fire or in the lake.

So I grabbed a couple and threw them in the water and laughed at the idea of someone’s dog finding them.

Then I grabbed a small handful of my dreadlocks to burn in the fire.

(I thought about burning them all, but wasn’t sure just how much hair smelled when being burned, so I opted against stinking everyone out just yet.)

And there I stood.

Standing under the full moon, twisting five dreads around each other and waiting in front of the heat of the flames, waiting for some sense of ceremony or rush of emotion or depth of experience to come to me.

And it didn’t.

So I smiled and gave my heart a hug for its powerful ability to release without doubt or second-guessing or need for fanfare and I tossed them in and watched them sizzle and burn (and yes, human hair smells badly when burned).

Released five dreadies into the fire tonight :) http://instagr.am/p/fqLYN/

I had 40 dreads to begin with.

Two went to a soul sister, two to the lake and five to the fire. 31 are still occupying one of my favorite scarves and waiting to be sent off.

I’ve been thinking how I’d like to finally release the rest and the fire still calls to me. But maybe this time I’ll go it alone and see if they have any last words of wisdom to whisper to me in the stillness. And maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll just get on with the freedom and laughter I’ve been enjoying instead.


Want to read more about my process from dreadlocks to a shaved head?

All dreadlock posts from start to finish are here.

Part One: My announcement video of my decision to shave my dreads

Part Two: A more in-depth, emotional and raw video on my decision

Part Three: Putting The Process of Shaving Them into Words (and lots of photos)

Part Four: A GORGEOUS Video and words from other women who’ve done the same

The Holiday Reset Challenge: I Double-Dog Dare You! (Video)

”" Hannah Marcotti and I connected recently around the idea of taking a digital sabbatical and decided to create this improv video.

It’s all on the topic of finding stillness, the importance of prioritizing our own well-being and the work-life balance of raising a family, owning a business and celebrating the holidays in a way that sustains us.

We’ve made a declaration of our own intentions.

And we are offering you a challenge to join us!

(Don’t have time to watch the whole thing? Skip to 31:30 for details on how to join our Holiday Reset Challenge!)

Links mentioned in the video:

My recent interview on Erin Goodman’s blog
Hannah’s Website

Will you join us? Click over to Hannah’s blog post to let us know!


Are you needing to experience mindfulness this holiday?

Dealing with the “mainstream” when you feel so unconventional, handling the comments or the increased energy or the expectations and obligations…it’s pretty much the epitome of “survival mode” and it pretty much sucks.

If you’re ready for a different experience, I invite you here.

From Loneliness to Love-Fest: My Story of Finding Friendship in an Unexpected Way

Hot tea, cool mornings and bliss

Did you know, up until not long ago, I used to sulk in my hubby’s shoulders and ache?

I ached for a connection I never had, but had seen glimpses of.

I ached for that deep and unmistakeable connection you feel with another woman, a girlfriend, a best friend.

I haven’t had a friend like that since I was 18 or so.

I had my sister and we were thisclose, and it was strong. But as I shifted and changed, so did our relationship for many years.

And I ached.

I mean ached…literal heart-aching for a woman I could call and cry with and laugh with and grow with.

My mama had that.

Her bosom buddy, Melodie, was also like our godmother. She was confident and hilarious and warm and authentic.

And I watched them, my mom and Mel, as they sewed together and laughed together and raised children together and held each other as they cried together.

And I watched my mom’s heart break and her world dull as her female soul mate slowly slipped away to cancer 12 years ago.

And I wanted that.

I wanted that friendship that lit up my whole being, a friendship with a kind of woman who could call me on my shit, then cry with me at the thought of losing each other.

The kind of friendship that hasn’t been replicated in 12 years.

Those deep relationships cannot be duplicated.

They may even only come once in our lifetime, if we’re lucky to find them at all.

And I knew this.

I saw the magic that was created between these two women. I felt it every time we had pizza and movie nights and they would be off talking together. They had something powerful in their lives – each other and this thing that got created between them.

I knew what was possible.

And the bar was set high in seeing their friendship.

And so I ached.

Truth from Rumi

If I’ve learned one powerful thing about myself, it’s this:

Anytime I find myself longing for something, wanting to create change or experience something new, I never get to start with things outside myself.

I get to go within.

And so I sat with the ache.

I breathed into it and asked for guidance through it.

And I heard this…

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. – Rumi

Those were the words that went ringing through my heart.

Seek and find within myself my own barriers.

So I said okay…and I began to slowly dig deeper and deeper into those places.

And I found them.

They were places built on fear, on hurt, on mistrust.

They were barriers of value and authenticity and self-worth.

And they were holding me back.

And that’s when everything changed…

Looking back I can’t even pinpoint where I began to heal those fears and beliefs.

But I do know that I began to open myself to the possibilities.

Oh, those sweet and beautiful possibilities.

It’s always been my experience that when you open yourself to them, they open themselves to you…they come rushing in to envelope you.

And at the same time it feels subtle as it happens.

So subtle that it wasn’t until just now that I took a step back and realized just how full my life is with that feminine connection I so longed for.

My life, my cup, is bursting with amazing women that I get to call my girlfriends.

Women who rock my world with their authenticity and strength.

Women who amaze me with the transformation they are taking on in their life.

Women who blow my mind with clarity and intuition and compassion.

Women who will hold space for me as I scream or cry or vent or profess my weaknesses or threaten to give up.

Women who allow me to hold space for them as they do they same.

Women who light up their world and share in the wonder as I light up mine.

♥ My sister and I, having been close and distant and back again, are so completely moving back again, but with a new ability to light each other up, to stay authentic and true and independent in our own light and the shared light we have the ability to create together. We can see each other more deeply now than ever before and it’s breathtaking from here.

♥ Last weekend we crossed paths with a beautiful family on the road and later after they moved on, this beautiful mama bear and I stayed up late one night on the phone, talking for almost three hours, then both went to bed and continued the conversation in our sleep – two states away by then but so completely attuned to one another that I still feel her heart.

♥ The very next day I finally reconnected on the phone with one of my closest girlfriends from Vegas as we talked love and business and life together as if we were sitting across from each other at her kitchen table again as our boys played upstairs – but this time across the country and walking our respective neighborhoods as we chatted into our headsets as if it hadn’t been (or maybe just felt like) months since we had coordinating time to connect.

♥ Yesterday afternoon I connected with my Soul Sisters, a small group of women I’m honored to be a part of, as we talked about our passions and our purpose and that magnetic draw toward something So Big in our lives, and then talked each other through our obstacles and fears until we were all tingly with excitement and energy and love for one another and for our next steps.

♥ Then to get on the Tribe call last night and speak about Who We Are, to share openly with one another, and feel that safe space surrounding us, knowing that we are creating a one-of-a-kind experience that can so totally rock our worlds.

♥ And then to connect on Facebook with a powerful mama who is rocking something powerful in her life, her business, her heart and the hearts of others and hear her thank me for our connecting several weeks ago, for a conversation in which we opened our hearts to one another and supported each other, that so inspired her to do some big and incredible things in her world.

♥ Receiving another email from a dear sweet friend who could lean into me as I sent her the love and peace she was needing.

And the culmination just hit me.

Here I was aching for this idea of what it would take to fill my cup…a beautiful idea, but of what my mom had.

And I wasn’t even aware of the possibilities.

An idea of what *I* could have, if I just reached within and then reached out.

The ability to connect so deeply, so completely to women across the country, or even across the ocean.

To feel as though we are sitting side by side and wrapping our arms around each other.

The ability to receive such love and support and friendship from so many women, from so many walks of life, with so many unique voices and perspectives, all of whom affect me spiritually and emotionally and intellectually in the most profound ways.

There I was, thinking it had to look a certain way, that I couldn’t possibly find that closeness while we were traveling, always on the move, feeling as though maybe I just wasn’t one of those lucky enough to have it in my life at all. And sitting in the pain such beliefs triggered.

There I was aching in loneliness without that friendship I so longed for…

Instead of seeking and healing the barriers within myself that kept me from experiencing the outpouring of it everywhere.

All around me.

All the time.

I am so deeply in gratitude for all the beautiful woman in my life…the incredible ones I coach with, the beautiful ones who inspire me on Facebook, and the special ones who hold my hair back while I emotionally vomit, then take their turn. πŸ™‚

My cup, my heart is so full, it’s overflowing.

Aching again, this time with the love and connection with which it’s been stuffed to the brim.