Motherhood Initiation

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As women we are initiated at a young age to our womanhood and begin our connection to the sacred feminine. We grow into each phase constantly transforming our femininity with a quiet flow of shakti that we come to embody.

Motherhood is an initiation into our sacred role where we align with all mothers.

Initiations can bring great transformation, heartache, joy, and at times can break you down until you become the essence and embody your truest nature.

Almost, one year ago, I was faced with my greatest challenge as a new mother. My daughter’s diagnosis of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) was heart breaking, and quietly broke me as I surrendered. I was initiated into being her mother. Clearly, she was asking me, “Are you up to the task? Are you able? Are you ready? I have chosen you!” I said, “Absolutely” without knowing what that meant at all, and I still don’t.

 Initiations are opportunities to step into a place of surrender, growth, graceful alignment, and embodiment.

Today, my daughter is a miracle. She is seizure free, and is developing normally. I have read awful accounts of children suffering with TSC that have many seizures per day with tumors throughout their body, and a host of other complications. No parent is every prepared for an incredibly difficult diagnosis, and neither were we. I will tell you that some days are harder than others. Yet, everyday I can say that I am blessed with a tremendous little girl who is very happy to be in this world. Everyday, I am grateful because by some grace of goddess, my daughter is doing well. Everyday counts–every single day.

May your journey be blessed with peace.

Being Vulnerable

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We have shells, an external skin, which says “I am strong, resilient.” Our shells have stories dense with plot, conflict, pivotal characters, happiness, wounds, and trauma. We have shells as a form of protection that keep us thinking of how strong and tough we are. I have that very story. The one that stays strong and resilient in all situations no matter how deeply challenging it may be to do so. We all have a tipping point when we reach a place where we can no longer keep our shell.

We suddenly soften allowing ourselves to be humbled and vulnerable. Scary. Very scary. Now what?

Being vulnerable and allowing ourselves to be humbled by our deep experience takes strength of a different kind. It is the working of grace. Complete grace. With grace underfoot we can release into the grace of our heart wisdom. We allow softness to pervade instead of our hardened shell.

I am not versed in vulnerability, and don’t allow myself to be vulnerable. So, I started with telling the truth, and reaching out of my very own shell. And, I quietly cringe.

(The oddest thing is that for the past two days there has been a snake skin outside of our back door. I haven’t moved it. It’s still very much there, and I can’t seem to move it. A reminder.)

Blessings to you, and thank you for reading.

Boundary Lessons

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Learning how to set boundaries is more often than not a lesson we typically don’t forget. Setting boundaries keeps us in our essence and maintains our light; however, when we don’t set clear boundaries we end up losing our essence and in some situations our health and vitality. The goal: create boundaries while staying open.

Creating boundaries allows you to stay open to those experiences, people, relationships, and opportunities that will support your transformation and evolution, and will be supportive and nourishing for you. This leads to healthier relationships and experiences.

I learned boundaries the hard way. Throughout my life, I was frequently in situations that were less than healthy and unsupportive. And, when I was a teacher, I constantly felt like my boundaries were being broken down and tested. I didn’t learn how to set healthy boundaries. Just as an example, my mother used to call me 7-8 times a day and it took me finally saying that you can’t do that anymore for it to stop, and now we are at once per day. The one way that you learn to set boundaries is by not setting them at all. Really, when we don’t do this we end up wishing we had or wishing we had done something differently.

This extends to our partnerships and intimate relationships where we are vulnerable and open. We have to maintain healthy boundaries in our relationships by establishing what is acceptable and what is not. It doesn’t mean we close ourselves off, it simply means we are being compassionate to ourselves.

I feel like we are all learning this lesson lately in many ways. It is up to us to step into our power and essence, and create healthy boundaries.

Boundaries in a Nutshell

  1. You are not a bad or mean person because you have established clear boundaries. “No” is good.
  2. Do it sooner than later. We all get into situations that we wish we hadn’t gotten involved with or we realize that it’s just not going to work for us. Set the guidelines before you are backpedaling.
  3. Get clear, what are your boundaries? Do you need to establish clearer boundaries? Are you afraid you may hurt someone?
  4. Be compassionate with yourself first.
  5. Sometimes we are so open that we don’t even realize that we are not energetically protecting our essence. Take time to sit and see where you maybe giving too much of yourself to others.
  6. Speak it. Use your voice, and speak your truth. If you don’t tell someone that they have crossed a line, they will never know and keep doing what they are doing.
  7. Attract those people and experiences into your life that are supportive by setting healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries=being open to receiving the good stuff like love, respect, nourishment, and support.

 

 

Autumn Love

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I love autumn. I love to cocoon in comfort. Autumn brings me closer to the Earth element—heavy, grounded, solid, and nourishing. During this time I like to incorporate grounding and nourishing practices inspired by Ayurveda.

  1. Warming, nourishing foods like soups, stews, and kitchari, while favoring slow cooked meats and limiting raw vegetables and cold foods as well as adding just enough spice to all of my recipes for digestion.
  2. Adding oils internally and externally. I add additional oils and fats to my diet and add Abhyanga to my daily routine. The drying nature of a New Mexico Autumn requires the extra nourishing qualities of oils.
  3. Chai every morning to jump start my day and digestion.
  4. Licorice spice tea after dinner. Licorice root is not right for everyone, and for some it is too much. I wouldn’t suggest mixing this tea with milk.
  5. Spending time in nature giving thanks for the blessings of the Earth and savoring the changes of the season
  6. Clear IT OUT to go IN. Clear out the clutter that can weigh your spirit down, whether it is excess stuff like clothes, or energy-stuff. It always feels good to clear it all out. I always think that a virus or cold is one way that our body energetically clears itself. Once we have cleared ourselves, and our closets, we can start our time journeying inwards with a clean, clear slate so we can fully, rest, nourish, and gain clarity as we begin to quiet down for the rest of the fall and into winter.

Autumn-Recipes

Cranberry Lemon Muffins

1/2 Cup coconut flour

1/2 Tsp salt

1/2 Tsp baking soda

6 eggs

1 Tbs maple syrup

1/3 Cup butter or coconut oil melted

3 Drops lemon essential oil from DoTerra

1 Cup whole cranberries

Combine all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Gently whisk eggs with maple syrup, melted butter, and lemon essential oil. Fold egg mixture into dry ingredients and combine thoroughly. Then, add cranberries. Place batter into lined or buttered muffin tins. Bake 350 until the muffins are light brown about 15 minutes.

Licorice Spice Tea

3 Sticks of whole licorice  (found in the herb section of the grocery store or online at Mountain Rose Herbs)

1-2 Pinches whole fennel seeds

2-3 Slices fresh ginger peeled and then sliced

1-2 Pinches whole coriander

2-3 Cups water

Simmer all ingredients for about 20 minutes. Drain and drink. You can add as much spice as you would like.

Slow Cooked Turkey Legs

1 Turkey leg per person

1 Whole onion chopped

2 Cloves garlic

1/2 Cup red wine

Salt and pepper to taste

Enough water to cover all ingredients and simmer throughout the day.

Take all ingredients and place in your crock pot. Turn it on high and let cook until the meat falls off of the bone. Serve with cooked greens or mashed sweet potatoes. This is a great dish for those of us that don’t have the time to cook an elaborate meal and want something easy and nourishing. Use farm raised organic meat if possible.

Moving to Acceptance

“We need to learn that obstacles and challenges may always prevail in our lives, but we do not have to hurt.” Sri Swamini Mayatitananda (Maya Tiwari)

Denial seems to be built into the consciousness of our families, our society, and our conscious reality. We would much rather ignore than embrace. We would much rather not accept than accept. Somehow this seems to be much easier, because it requires no work at all, whereas accepting and embracing all of it takes deep inner-work.

Living in denial is not accepting some part of your life that you don’t like or want to be different. Life is miraculously imperfect and perfect.

When your child has something wrong, has an incurable condition, or genetic condition it is extremely difficult to accept. Actually, it is very painful and heartbreaking to accept. How do you accept that your child has a rare genetic condition? I will tell you that accepting that my daughter has Tuberous Sclerosis Complex is a daily practice. I share my story because I know that other parents are facing similar situations. This is not limited to my particular situation. We all at times are in a process of accepting the most challenging parts of our lives.

I have come to the conclusion that being in denial is not helpful for anyone, especially my daughter. If I deny that she has Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, I am not accepting reality and or prepared to face what she may experience with presence and compassion. I have to be present when I sit at the doctor’s office with her, give her vitamins, be attentive when she swims, gets an MRI, and watch her grow into the person she will be.

If I accept, and embrace all of it then I can work with her. I can fight and advocate for her, and work to support, and nourish her. When I accept the situation, I am ready and willing to meet what happens fully. Then, I can do everything in my power to help her heal. Yes, heal. There is no cure for this condition, yet there is a way to change the expression of her condition—I believe.

Some days more challenging than others.  I pray and wish that she didn’t have this condition, and I worry about her daily. I have a choice. I can worry, and deny reality or accept it. Most days, I choose acceptance as challenging as it is. Deep breaths, prayer, meditation, asana, and mantra—it all makes a difference.

The blessing is that my daughter is doing well. She is making progress. She is seizure free, and her lesions have not grown as far as we know. She is strong willed, independent, fiery, and determined. She is not her condition, and none of us are the conditions that we have.

If we are willing to step into empowerment, we can transform our suffering and denial into the light of acceptance where it all can be healed.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you would like to know more about Tuberous Sclerosis, please visit the Tubersous Sclerosis Alliance’s homepage.

Happy Fall Equinox

 

Day of Ancestors Meditation

I listen to your stories woven in the wind

of lineage

of crossings

of hardships

of saints.

I listen,

Heal your lineage,

awaken your lives with deep awareness

honor ancient wisdom that speaks quietly in the leaves of our unified family tree.

 

Blessings on this Autumn Equinox! And, all of the abundance that the fall harvest brings, like butternut squash soup, cozy sweaters, golden sunsets, and spell binding winds of change.

 

 

 

Every Aspect

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants.

The question is; what are we busy about?

-Henry David Thoreau

Every aspect, EVERY, aspect of our lives is important. When we don’t focus on one area of our lives and give it attention, it changes and morphs into something else. That one area that we didn’t pay attention to can become something less than desirable like ill health, empty bank accounts, and lost love. When we lose our health, we have forgotten about our own needs. In our super busy lives, we can’t always focus on every area of our life. I can’t. The lesson every part of our life is important, and deserves attention. They say god(goddess) is in the details, and it may just be true.

(The funny thing about this lesson and this quote is that there are sugar ants all over my house that I can’t get rid of. I get rid of them and they come again. My daughter seems to be feeding them her small scraps. Damn those ants are persistent.)

Actualize your Purpose

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Aha moments are like finding the perfect quartz crystal buried in the dirt. They illuminate the path.

We all have gifts to offer. We all have a divine purpose. Yet, sometimes we wander aimlessly or clearly in the wrong direction until we get there, or we don’t recognize what gifts we do have. Lately, I have been feeling less than inspired, and trying to figure out why. It hit me. I missed teaching. I missed being a teacher. I missed having a class. I missed engaging. My purpose is to teach, and when I am not actively teaching for awhile, I start to miss it, and feel without purpose.  My classroom and students have changed, because I no longer have four walls and desks in front of me, but a 17-month old who is my teacher and most important student. So, I am still looking for my next classroom and waiting to meet new students.

How do you discover your divine purpose?

I look at our divine purpose as the one thing that you must do in life. It is the illuminating spark that keeps you interested, motivated, inspired, and devoted.

Actualize your PURPOSE!

1. Make a list, answering these questions: What do you do that wows people? What do you love doing? What do you dream about? What keeps you interested, motivated, inspired, and devoted? If you don’t have the answers to any of these questions, the answers will show themselves through discovery and diving into your inner-world.

2. Do your answers complement your current situation? If not, how can you make changes to your life? Research. Find out what it may take.

3. Write a vision of the perfect scenario. Make it feel real. Make it feel dreamy. Fall in love with your vision.

4. Make a plan that outlines goals, deadlines, and how you are going to meet your goals. This is the action packed part. This is where you can actualize your purpose.

5. Let it all sink into your being.

 

Pause for Peace

Friends, I invite you along with me to take part in 15-Minutes of silent prayer or meditation on Friday August 29th at 10:00AM Mountain Time (9:00AM PST, 12:00PM EST). I invite you to stop what you are doing, and take a moment to pause for peace. You can honor this time how you wish, and can do this from wherever you are. The idea is to set the intention and energy towards peace.

Right now, as I write this many people around the world are experiencing some form of violence in their own homes, communities, and countries. And, here in our country a young innocent child named Michael Brown was killed-unjustly. I can’t ignore that this happened. I can’t ignore the fact that it is completely heartbreaking.

I remember a very clear moment in my last year of teaching at Chelsea High School in Chelsea, Massachusetts. One of my students had witnessed his friend being shot. I remember not knowing what to do, and I remember realizing that there was nothing I could do but show up to work the next day and teach. I knew deeply that his life would be forever changed. I knew that innocence was lost that day. As a result of a series of violence, Chelsea held a peace walk. In unison the entire school walked throughout the town of Chelsea. It was powerful and memorable.

Violence creates a ripple effect. We all feel it in subtle ways no matter how far removed we are from it. I feel we all are responsible for creating peace in our selves, our homes, and in turn our communities. Peace instead of violence can become a ripple effect when we take action towards creating more peace, and less violence.

I am asking you to join me in taking a pause for peace for everyone that is experiencing suffering in the deepest of ways, and for every child that loses his or her innocence to violence.

My deepest blessings. May all beings be free from suffering. May there be peace.