Cause I am a superwoman...

Accepting my life for what it is now, means accepting Mitch for what he is now, a purely spiritual being. I was brought to this place, this place of surrender the other day when all of a sudden Mitch started to communicate to my friend, he communicated his overwhelming sadness. In that moment, knowing he was being affected by how I was feeling, I made a choice, an act of love really, to send him only love and peace. I couldn't and can't bear the thought of him being in any pain, and so I let go of another layer of my suffering, another layer of resistance to his passing. Except I'm finding that this is no easy feat... A part of me simply doesn't want to accept it, even though I know this is the only way. But knowing that ever tear I cry pains him as well, helps me to move more and more toward healing. And the Alicia Keys song pops into my head, “Cause I am a superwoman, yes I am... Even when I'm a mess, I still put on my vest with an S on my chest, oh yes, I'm a superwoman...” And once I made that choice in my heart, to send him love and peace, to work through another layer of my grief in order to feel more peace in my heart, my friend could feel Mitch's peace and I could too. And now a part of my mindfulness practice becomes sending him love and peace. I surrender to what is.

Living life fully awake

And just when I think the day's work is done, I remember that there is still more to do, and then I remember to surrender to the work so that it becomes no better or worse, no more or less than what I'll do when I'm done with the work. Surrender to it, accept it, so it becomes a part of my meditation, a part of my spiritual practice, and then I realize this is what I have to offer others, what I have given to myself that has helped me out of the darkness. So, what has helped me? A daily spiritual practice, which happens to be writing, learning the art of being present and still through a meditation practice that has allowed me to bring this way of being into other parts of my life, being committed to seeing the spiritual in all things, circumstances, and roles, allowing emotions to move through me without judgement or resistance, the same way we birth our children, without resistance to the pain, but rather by surrendering to it, allowing it to move through us, our children, our ideas, our emotions, our thoughts, without guilt, without struggle. Finding a way of creatively expressing my emotions, leaning on friends and family that support me, lift me up, letting go of ways that no longer serve me (first becoming aware of those ways), and really allowing myself to be silently drawn to pull of what I really love -Rumi, and making that my career. Five years ago, googling spirituality and psychology and discovering a perfectly suited educational track and creating a career for myself based on how I could best serve others while utilizing all of my gifts, passions, joys, and learning how to follow my bliss, my peace, and my joy. Yes, we can all live a life fully awake, with hearts wide open to let in love and let go of pain.

My story of home birthing my daughter in Costa Rica

 Just 20 days before Amelie's arrival.

Just 20 days before Amelie's arrival.

It was 7:00pm on the night I gave birth to Amelie, in the little house I rented in Costa Rica, and I had just kissed my two and half year old daughter Ava good-night and watched her fall into a peaceful sleep... My contractions were coming with more frequency and more intensity, about every six minutes. I began to create the sacred space in our little rented house to birth Amelie while I waited for the arrival of the midwife and her assistant. I lit candles, placed framed photos of my late husband, Mitch, in easy view, burned sage, laid out the yoga mat to stretch through my contractions, and put Mitch's i-phone music on shuffle. As I was creating the space, I was overcome by big heavy tears of grief for Mitch's physical absence. I let them come to move through me as I knew pretty soon I would need all of my focus and energy directed toward one thing and one thing only, birthing Amelie.

 Glamour selfies of me and Ava, just days before Amelie's birth.

Glamour selfies of me and Ava, just days before Amelie's birth.

The midwife and her assistant arrived at 7:30pm, they held space for my grieving, and then after I moved through my fears of a stalled labor, which was what happened with Ava's birth upon my entry into the hospital, my contractions began to come faster and stronger. I breathed through the pain, was massaged with essential oils during each contraction, and prayed for the support of Mitch, the angels, and God. Any conversation I had been having with the midwife and her assistant had come to a halt as the strength of each contraction took all of my focus, energy, and breath. At about 9:30, the midwife and her assistant began setting up the birthing pool in the living room while I laid in bed with Ava who had temporarily awoken. By 10:30pm, with Ava once again sleeping soundly, I got into the birthing pool, and with each contraction, I visualized my breath opening my cervix with as much ease as I could muster to allow the little one to pass through her birthing canal peacefully. I visualized being in bed with my two girls... When the pain was overwhelming, I remember hearing a song come through on the i-phone, “Walkin' on a dream,” by Empire of the Sun, a favorite of Mitch's... It was the only song I remember hearing during that intense period of labor. It was that song, and a memory of a dream I'd had the night before in which I gave birth in the squatting position, that gave me the energy to refocus my efforts and energy to safely and quickly deliver Amelie. I got into the squatting position in the pool, and asked my midwife if she could see Amelie's head with her pocket flashlight. She said she couldn't, but that I could reach into her birthing canal to feel for her head. Well, I reached into her passage to the world and felt her head through the amniotic encasing that was still intact. My midwife offered that I could keep my hand on her head while I pushed to help direct my energies. So I did just that, I prayed and pushed, and felt Amelie's head move further and further down the canal. I switched to a half laying/half seated position so my midwife could deliver Amelie as she made her entrance into the pool.

 My girls, all three of us snuggled up in bed just hours after Amelie's birth.

My girls, all three of us snuggled up in bed just hours after Amelie's birth.

With a few final pushes, at 12:23am, Amelie was pushed safely through her birthing canal, her cord was unwrapped from her body by my midwife, and she was placed into my arms. I did it. I home birthed Amelie in Costa Rica, with a midwife, in a birthing pool, without Mitch's physical presence, all while not waking Ava who was in the next room. I sat in the pool with Amelie for a few minutes before I got out and did one last minor push of the placenta, and then laid in bed while the midwife did a health check of both me and the baby; we were both fine. Just then Ava woke up and got to meet her baby sister for the first time, pure love and perfect timing... After showering, I crawled into bed with my two girls, and it was just pure heaven. All I could do was marvel at the little miracle that I had just birthed, thank Mitch, the angels, and God for her safe delivery. The new chapter of our lives was just beginning...

The human factor of being a parent

I was tired, feeling slightly overwhelmed, and I lost my temper with my toddler... As usual (recently), Ava was fighting me tooth and nail about getting into the shower, and finally after much coaxing, I got her into the bathroom. Since we shower together, I was already in and adjusting the water temperature, urging her to hurry up and take off her undies and rain boots (her outfit of choice that afternoon). She was sitting on the floor, fumbling with taking off her second rain boot, which I mistook as her trying to be difficult and postpone showering. So finally, I stepped halfway out of the shower, and took her remaining boot off with a yank. Well, her boot came off, but she also fell backward from her seated position and hit her head on the floor. I felt terrible; terrible she hit her head, and extra terrible because had I not lost my patience with her, I probably would have pulled her boot off more gently, thus preventing the unpleasant experience altogether... She began bawling immediately, I scooped her up in my arms, and for the next few hours felt like the most terrible mother ever. How often do we give our children time-outs, when perhaps we are the ones who may need time-outs from time to time... How often are we reacting rather than patiently and thoughtfully responding to our children... This experience reminded me to slow down, breathe, and practice loving patience with my daughter and myself as a spiritual practice, especially now as we are both adjusting to the new addition to our family, baby Amelie, who is just one week old. I was also reminded to listen more intently to, and honor both of our needs more fully. Ava was clearly feeling extra tired that evening, and probably could have forgone her shower for a little wipe down/sponge bath, and seeing as I was feeling extra tired and short-tempered, that would have been a good compromise for both of us. And when I began to feel very reactive rather than responsive, ie. Feeling frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, I could have and will try my best in the future to take a time-out for myself to breathe, release tension in my body, and go into my heart space. And realize that sometimes it's better for both parent and child to deviate from the routine a bit to cue into what is needed in the moment, which sometimes means forgoing the shower to keep the peace...

Walk in faith

As the due date for baby Amelie approaches, I am finding that there is still a big part of me that is like, holy shit, I am having Mitch's baby in a matter of days or weeks, and he is not here and will not be here to start this new journey with me, with us. I know he is here spiritually, I know this, but at the same time, he is not here physically at a time where I feel like I really need him. So, now is when I need to have a lot of faith in myself, and trust in all that is good to guide and support me as I enter into this new phase of my life. Two little ones, two little ones all my own, all on my own. Sometimes it's easy to slip into a mentality where I feel like a victim, a victim of fate, I know it's easy for all of us to do when things in our lives feel like they've gone terribly “wrong.” But we all know where that gets us, not too far... I've been taking special measures to thoroughly enjoy and love Ava up before my attention is redirected to two babies... We've been going on special “dates” together, getting in extra snuggles during nap time, and in general I've been more mindful of really loving on her and noticing what a special time this is in our lives. I hear Mitch through the playlists on his i-phone, I see him in the birds that congregate around our house, I feel him in the peace in my heart when I trust in life, and of course I have a lifetime of memories and Mitch-isms that help guide me when I feel a little lost. To share a few Mitch-isms; make it happen, figure it out!, get it together!, it's all coming together... He was full of faith, and always “made it happen,” so I know I can too... :) Sometimes it's the little reminders of faith that can lift up our spirits and reassure us that we have the strength and fortitude to go on. So, in the spirit of Mitch, I encourage us all to “make it happen,” and be reassured that it will all come together in a beautiful way.

Part 2: Simple techniques for creating a meditation practice of your own

So, how can you go about creating a meditation practice of your own? First, find a time of the day when you can be distraction-free, perhaps that is early in the morning before the family is awake, or in the evening (my personal choice) when all are asleep. Once you choose your time, “unplug” from the world, even if you choose to meditate for just five minutes, create a calming space in which to practice. Create a space that is as distraction-free and clutter-free as possible, and as calming as possible, dim-lighting or natural lighting, incense (if you like), and sacred objects (Jesus, Buddha, vase of flowers, photos of passed loved ones, crystals, and again, only if that feels “right” for you). Next, sit upright, back straight, cross-legged, palms facing up gently resting on the thighs, or you can choose to lay down (only if you won't fall asleep), or sit on a chair, with feet on the ground, back straight, palms facing up gently resting on the thighs. Gently close your eyes and breathe, deep, cleansing breaths, could be in through the nose, out through the nose, or in through the nose, out through the mouth, whatever feels right for you. A few techniques you can try to help you step outside the stream of thoughts and feelings that will distract you from simply sitting in your space are as follows:

~Simply focusing on each in-breath and each out-breath, and when your mind becomes distracted by a thought or feeling, imagine it floating on by, in the sky that is your mind, and gently bring your focus of awareness back to your breath.

~Silently or not so silently repeat a mantra, which can be a phrase or word that brings you a sense of peace and interconnectedness, for example: let go, simply trust, faith, love, peace, let go let God, om, grace, etc. the choices are endless, but choose something that is short and sweet and that brings you a feeling or sensation of calm, peace, or love.

~Pray, talk to God, offer gratitude, prayers for others, prayers for yourself.

~Visualizations: visualize thoughts and feelings as passing weather in the expansive and open sky that is your mind. Be at peace with the clouds, the rainbows, the storms, the tornadoes... Simply observe them passing by... Or put your attention on your heart center and visualize your heart opening like a flower, expanding with love and light. The love and light permeates each cell of your body, expands to loved ones, to the world...

~Body scan: start with the tips of your toes, feeling into whatever sensations or tensions you experience, noticing, sending your breath into those spaces to get the energy moving, consciously relaxing or simply bringing awareness to each part of your body as you move from your toes to the crown of your head.

~Sit in the company of a plant, the ocean, a stream, a tree, or even a rock, observe with your eyes, your touch, your smell, offer gratitude and admiration, contemplate its existence, and then simply sit with it, with awareness. You will be surprised at the wisdom you will receive from this simple interaction.

~Try keeping a journal to jot down thoughts, feelings, images, or sensations you experienced during your meditation practice to help you cultivate the "witness" mind to your experience, in order to help you bring more awareness into your experience throughout your day.

As you become more comfortable dropping into your meditative space (peace, awareness, intuition), and it will take time and practice, you will find that you are able to “meditate” throughout your day while engaging in the normal day-to-day activities. And meditation can be found in any activity in which you “lose yourself” in the joy of what is your doing, ie., art, dancing, swimming, singing, yoga, surfing, knitting, cooking, walking...Your life has the potential to become one continuous and rich spiritual practice!

Part 1: Why Meditate?

There's a lot of hype around meditation these days... So, what's it all about? What's the point? In short the point of meditation is to find your sense of inner-peace, inner-calm, inner-quiet, inner-guidance, your sense of awareness so that you are not taken on the whirlwind of thoughts that you have a mile per minute, and so that you can find your “I”ness amidst all the “noise” around you, ie. the voices of others, demands, and distractions of everyone else and everything else. Meditation helps us step inside our inner-observer of all of the thoughts, feelings, and “life,” so that we can respond to life rather than react, so that we can feel peace rather than stress, feel connected to the greater meaning of life beyond the demands of everyday life that can seem all-consuming. Meditation can help us to feel more present, more mindful in our everyday lives. We create a little bit of time to meditate, and suddenly we feel as if we have more time in the day because our “time” is not being hijacked by every thought, feeling, distraction, or demand that presents itself to us, we can really “be here now.” People meditate for many reasons, many that I have already mentioned, but to mention a few more, people meditate to feel more connected to God, to loved ones that have passed, to create awareness around thoughts, feelings, and “self-talk,” or to quite simply enjoy a greater sense of well-being and joy.Part 2 to come: Simple techniques for starting a meditation practice of your own...

Very human feelings after a loved one passes on...

After a friend shared that she felt Mitch's presence last week and that it filled her with peace, faith, and strength, I became aware of feelings of jealousy that surfaced within myself... For a few moments, I simply allowed myself to “react” with these feelings. I decided to take a step back and revisit them and the core of what was truly bothering me about what she had shared later on that day, after Ava went down for her nap. After Ava went down for her nap, I began to “write it out.” I realized the jealousy came from my small scope of understanding about what happens to our souls after we pass on. After he passed, while my brother was in a meditative state, he told my brother that he would not leave mine, Ava, nor the baby's side. My fear that perhaps he wasn't with us spiritually surfaced when my friend shared her experience, because I don't always feel as connected with him spiritually as I would like. When I am not aware of signs or communication from him, I just have to trust and have faith in his presence. And then beyond that faith and trust, I have to realize that perhaps he can be in multiple places at once, or perhaps part of his spirit lives within each of us that he has touched. Part of me wanted to hold on to him as “mine,” even though in his physical form, he was never really “mine” to have. It's a difficult lesson to be able to love someone while also letting them be as free as they are born to be. And when you lose someone, they are experiencing the ultimate freedom as we know it, and those who love them are left to learn how to let go, sometimes over and over again as we go through the inevitable grieving process that happens in its own time.

Our life as a choice

Today I realized that how how I see the world, how I see my place in it, how I see my husband's passing, is a choice. I must choose everyday how I see. For example, today I was watching videos of Mitch and our family with my daughter, and I found myself getting angry, like, how could my life have turned out like this? How could my husband's story be over already? It seems our life as a family with another baby on the way was just barely beginning... And after being with someone for nearly ten years, you just don't expect them to suddenly pass away. So, as I'm watching the videos, I realize I'm clenching my jaw, fighting back tears, and kind of going, what the fuck? How is it that I am not going to be able to see him again as I have known him all these years... Ava says she wants to see daddy, I say I do too. But, I realized that getting angry, bitter, resentful, while it may be a part of the grieving process, also feels somewhat like a step backward. I realize that I must consciously choose how I see now. I look at the picture I framed of him yesterday, and he looks like an angel, with the lighting, the love and peace in his eyes... And because he's looking right into the lens, it feels like he is looking back at me when I look at the picture. This picture reminds me of how I can see him now, as an angel, as a spirit guide that I can connect with, that I can draw strength and peace from. I must keep looking forward with love and acceptance in my heart. This is the choice that I make. We all choose each moment whether we are aware of our choice or not, how do you choose to see?

Following our intuitive guidance, one step at a time

Days after my husband's passing, while I was in a hotel room in Yreka, the adjacent town to Hornbrook, the location of our cabin and his passing, I received what you might call inner-guidance, my higher call, intuition, or divine intervention. It was was then and there that I knew I needed to move back to Costa Rica with my daughter (Costa Rica was a place that Mitch and I lived together for nearly 3 years, 3 years prior to the present). This intuition was accompanied by feelings of joy, lightness, peace, creativity, and a feeling of “rightness” in my gut. From that point forward, I began making preparations for our move, and it became a sort of guiding light in the darkness. But, I should say that I was not particularly used to making decisions from such an intuitive place, and throughout the ensuing months, little doubts crept in here and there, begging me to seek further guidance by way of meditation, prayer, journaling, and seeking the counsel of supportive friends and family. And today I was reminded of making decisions from that intuitive place within ourselves when choosing a place to give birth to my daughter who is due in 10 weeks. I have chosen a birthing farm in the mountainous rain forest (a safe distance from a hospital in case of an emergency) where midwives will be in attendance to my birth, where I can create a sacred space for the entry of the little one into the world; a place where my daughter can be present, or at least asleep in the next room of the little house that will be the place that welcomes the little one into the world. This decision was accompanied by feelings of peace, joy, and a sense of inner-knowing as well. If we spend a little more time in that quiet space within ourselves and follow our sense of peace, joy, and “knowing,” then we can be more confident in our decisions, and more sure of the path we are walking, one step at a time.

Gentle reminders of Spirit

I find myself in a quiet space today, a space of surrender and letting go. I ask to see Mitch in everything today, a recommendation from my sister-in-law last night, and I refocus my energies on my supreme connection to God, where God and Mitch are my focus upon which everything else rains, my umbrella- I trust in this divine shelter. I take notice today of the light in people's eyes, people who really see, in those eyes I see God, I see love. I cry after encounters with two older men who look at me with that light and a gentle smile, and I am reminded of Mitch in those eyes, full of light and a gentle pervasive love. My beach meditation yesterday reminds me to ride the waves with patience, without resistance, with perfect timing, the ocean has shown itself as my teacher. I sit on the rocks on the beach waiting for my car's oil to be changed and notice a tiny bright green sprout shooting up amidst its rocky neighbors, the only one, a little reminder of fresh life that can grow in even the harshest of conditions. Here I am in this place that called me back, an undeniable invitation beckoning me, and here it is where I heal, where I grow, where I plant my roots with my darling daughter and daughter-to-be. A tarot card reading from the other night that read, let your emotions flow freely, or you will be chained to the ever-changing highs and lows of the tides, reminds me to let go of control and let both my sadness and joy come at will, and I let both pass through me, cleansing my heart and renewing my soul. And once again faith comes in to reign supreme and guide my journey.

A glimpse into grief

 The pain of loss twists and turns, swallows me whole sometimes, and I emerge soaking wet, gasping for air, sitting on the very edge catching my breath looking in at where I've been. And so for days after I slowly come back to life, moving more slowly, feeling the need for more solitude, withdrawing from expending my energy out into the world, as all the energy I have and create nourishes me, the baby growing inside me, and my daughter. And its in these days that when the demands of other relationships rap at my door, I learn to politely say that I am not home. And so during this process of grieving my husband, nourishing new life, raising my 2 ½ year old daughter, setting up new residence in a foreign country that was truly home to my husband and I, and launching my career, I just have to stop and breathe to take note of where I've been, where I am, and where I'm going. And so it is a process of gradual integration after the shock of reality fades, of a pain so deep that slow is the only way to go to not break into a million pieces. And for now, I let the earth dry my tears and I drink in the life breath that nourishes me. And I emerge a little more whole and a little more healed.

Live a life that you can feel at home in

I am at the tail end of my long journey through graduate school, I’m in my fourth year. That is what happens when you have nearly enough credits for two Master’s programs (Transpersonal Psychology and Counseling Psychology), and you have a baby in the middle. My husband and I are living an unconventional life with our dreams and passions leading the way, of which I receive considerable criticism for doing. My reaction to the criticism and doubt is what I work on now. I am coming to grips with the reality that what ultimately matters most is how I think and feel about my life, and that I must let go of the frustration I feel from not meeting the expectations that others have for me and the anger I feel for not being truly seen and heard; and that I must let go of the fight, because as long as I fight, I lose. Who am I fighting against really? Myself in the end, because as long as I allow the opinions of others to rule my life and cause me distress, I will never reach my full potential as a human being and will hinder those I choose to journey with as well. So now I find myself stepping into my own shoes with my head held high with an embodied knowing that I am living my life as authentically as I can, how else can any of us truly live a life worth living? A quote I picked up along the way that has stayed with me is

“the reward for conformity is that everyone liked you except yourself.”

So, be yourself, love yourself, and live a life that you can feel at home in. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to treat others the way you yourself would like to be treated...

Feel for ourselves to feel for another

Empathy is walking in someone else's shoes, it is letting go of the colors of our own judgements, if for only an instant, so that we may feel what someone else is feeling. Step into their world and carry some of their burden, and share in some of their joy in order to truly understand. Only when we truly understand with our hearts, do our judgements, criticisms, fears, and expectations fall away a bit. When we disentangle ourselves from each other to hear our own call, we allow each of us to be free to live our own lives. Let each one of us realize our own true nature and see the history of our own walk written on the soles of our feet and on the soles of our ancestors feet. Feel for ourselves. Then, and only then, will we be able to truly feel for another.

Ode to living

At the end of the day we can only try and live our lives the best way that we can, treat others and ourselves with loving kindness and respect, put our hearts into what we do to earn a living, and make peace with our lives. We remember who we are, where we have come from, and give thanks to those that have guided us along the way. We acknowledge the lessons from our more painful experiences, and grow stronger and wiser from having done so. We embrace whole-heartedly who we are so that we may live our lives to our fullest potential, and commit to being a bit kinder and gentler everyday, allowing our hearts to open more fully to the experience of living, with all of its pains and joys. We love even though eventually we will all lose. We experience the pain of letting go and realize that nothing is ever truly ours to keep. We learn from the trees and remember our humility and stay down to earth, grounded, and rooted, and realize that we are nothing more and nothing less than ourselves. We remember our connection to one another and share in the experience of being human. We allow ourselves to be touched and transformed by the lives of those around us, but we do not allow ourselves to be engulfed and lost in the lives of those around us. We remain grounded in our own experiences of who we are, where we have have come from, where we are now, and where we are going. We stay awake to our experiences and love ourselves and others with a heart that is wide open to give and receive. We live our lives with meaning and purpose.

Tasting the sweetness of life

We can learn from sitting in the company of the trees how to be rooted, flexible, and strong. We can learn from observing the ocean tides how to go with the flow of life and allow our experiences and emotions to move through us without resistance or struggle. We can learn from the stillness and expansiveness of air to allow our minds to be free and open. We can learn from other animals how to be wild and true to our own nature. We can learn from the untamed wilderness, of our own inner untamed wilderness. We can learn from the sea moss that lives on the tree branches that dip into ocean during high tide that we are a part of a web of interconnected life, and that we need others in order to survive and thrive in the world. We can learn through observing a fruit bearing plant that we are all born to fulfill a purpose, and that with space to grow, caring attention, a forgiving environment, water, and the proper nutrients we will bear the fruits of our labor. We can learn from spending time with a family pet of the inherent need in all of us to receive love and affection, and the capacity within all of us to give and receive love unconditionally. We can learn from the yards and gardens of our neighbors of our desire to create beauty and wilderness all around us and tend to others with care and attention. We can learn from the birds of our freedom to move and sing aloud our true song. We can learn so much if we just open our ears, our eyes, and our hearts to the consciousness of each living and non-living thing all around us. If only we could stop for a moment to step outside the flow of our own thoughts to be in communion with all that surrounds us in each moment, could we taste the sweetness of what it is to be alive in this world. Each moment is a gift and an opportunity to love and engage more fully with the world, and to see ourselves and others as a loving God would see.

Take Time to Take Care

When we realize our energy has been scattered about, spilling over into worrying about and analyzing what is wrong with the world and with ourselves, taking on too much responsibility and blame for the difficulties in our relationships, over-identifying with the feelings and pains of others, so much so that we are not even sure how it is that we feel anymore...it is time to retreat inward and refill our cup with loving compassion. Refilling our cup means taking time to take care of ourselves, and being in tune with our own feelings, our own voice, and our own needs. With trust that intuitively we know what it is we need to feel renewed and rejuvenated. Realign ourselves with our priorities so that our energy is expended on what is most important for us. Bring awareness to our self-talk through meditation or journaling, and if we are being too harsh with ourselves, lighten up with more loving and compassionate dialogue. Read an excerpt from an inspirational book, watch a movie. Pamper our bodies with a facial, a bath, a yoga session. Enliven our senses with scented candles, incense, flower essences, healthy good-tasting food. Implore patience and empathic understanding with ourselves, if we're tired, slow down, take a nap, or go to bed early. Remember we are never alone, and reach out to a supportive and kind friend or family member, pray, or meditate. Rejuvenate ourselves through our connection to the natural world, and go for a walk, sit under the shade of a tree, bask in the sun, sit under the moonlight with a cup of tea and a journal. Take time to take care.

Boat Reflections: Seeing our own wild nature in the natural world

When my husband, daughter, and I were living on our sailboat on the river in Redwood City, California I became intimately connected with the changing weather during the times when my daughter would nap. I would sit in the cockpit and journal each day and began to see myself in the naturalness of the cloudy stillness, the heaviness and turbulence of approaching rains, and the calm clarity of the sunlit skies. I began to identify with the ever-changing mood of each day, and my heart began to open to a greater acceptance of the naturalness of my ever-changing moods. During that special time in my life, it was like I was seeing the sky, the clouds, and feeling the wind and sun on my skin for the first time, in brilliant clarity and gratitude. I relished each day on the boat, and the closer that it brought me to realizing my own wild nature. It helped me to connect to the wide spectrum of feelings that I had, and that they somehow felt okay because nature herself felt the intense rush of stormy skies and the lightness of sunny days. It also reminded me that like the weather, I am forever changing, so not to fixate or dwell on any particular state of being or feeling, as this too shall pass.