Death By A Thousand Cuts: A Reflection on Self Harm

(An older story)

B usually takes the bus home.

On this particular day, though, Kib was traveling out of town, so we would need to pick her up and drive directly to the airport about 45 minutes away in order to be on time.

We load the suitcases and Ruby, and hop in the car to go get B, and as we do that I realize, “I forgot to call the school and tell them she’d be a car rider today!”

Immediately I start to stress out.

We start driving toward the school (about 20 minutes away), and I call to see if the bus has left yet. It has, and she was on it.

More stress.

Now we need to find the bus. As we are driving, we get the address of the next stop and have driven too far past it. We have to double back, and now we are stuck in traffic.


The bus is at a stop where they have decided to wait for us (thankfully). But now we are stuck in traffic and not there to meet it. Now we are holding up everybody.


This entire experience makes my skin crawl as I recall it.

I remember clearly sitting in the passenger seat at that stoplight. The stoplight that was impossibly long and definitely a punishment for making so many mistakes.

At this point in my life, I was starting to wakeup to a lot of my stuff. And in that moment I made a startling realization.

As I waited for that light to turn green, I noticed how upset I was, I noticed that I wanted to smash the dash, I wanted to yell at the light (I might have actually done this one). I noticed that I wanted to tear my hair out. I even imagined it.

I wanted to hurt myself.

I ache at the remembrance of this.

Have you heard that saying, “makes you want to tear your hair out?” I had, but I don’t know that I ever noticed wanting to, until this moment.

When I heard that voice, saw that image, when I realized what was going on in me I got curious, even in the midst of what was occurring. 

We got through the light, and we caught up to the bus. I hopped out and ran to grab B. The bus driver made a snippy remark, which was unsurprising. I couldn’t even look at her or respond. We got in the car and continued on toward the airport. We weren’t really even behind schedule.

I buckled myself in, and as I sat there, I reflected on what had passed. I saw all the narratives, “you’re a piece of shit,” “how could you forget?” And under that even deeper was, “you deserve to be punished,” “you are inconsiderate.”

It was like there was a ninja in my psyche, a silent assassin, flipping around and slicing me with his sword – death by a thousand cuts.

No wonder I wanted to tear my hair out, I was bleeding internally. What was happening inside was so unbearable, that to manifest it on the outside might provide relief. It would have made it real, and it was what I deserved after all…to be punished.

That’s how it felt.

Once I saw that ninja, once I saw the death by a thousand cuts, I sat back in silent sorrow. How could I do this to myself?

As we started driving, I crumpled and wept. I wept for all the things I had just done to myself without even realizing I was doing it. And I wondered how long I had been doing this? I held myself and cried, and cried, and cried. It may be the first time I truly sat with that piece of myself.

When I went from “I’m so angry” to “I want to tear my hair out,” to realizing that meant “I want to hurt myself,” it was like a lightbulb went on. The emotions didn’t evaporate, but a space opened up where another voice had an opportunity to say, “you’re allowed to make mistakes Crystal.” The realization that I wanted to hurt myself was surprising enough to create that space.

All that anguish because I forgot to make a call…

I cry now as I remember this moment.

And I cried then as I held myself.

It’s okay to make mistakes Crystal.

Please like, share, comment, and tag if you think this will help someone else. Be gentle my friends.


What Do You Believe About Love?

I used to ruminate over past relationships. There were a few that really got under my skin. And by under my skin, read: loved deeply and felt deeply hurt. 

Maybe I believed that “they were the one” or that “we would be together forever.” I did. 

But that is what my love for them felt like. It was naive in a sense, and at it’s heart, pure.

Disbelief in the ending would have me asking, “How could I be so wrong? How did this happen?”

When I open my heart to the kind of love that exists in me, nothing is impossible to overcome. It’s the kind of love that heals all wounds, that transcends any disagreement. This love is forever. It transforms. 

How could they not want this? How could they not want me?

I would find myself judging when a relationship ended. Myself. Them.

And I found myself attacking. Myself. Them (in my mind, which is again…self attack).

A lot of this faded with time, but if I opened the right (or wrong) thought loop, it could come up, even years later.

Married. Committed. Loving my husband. And still that loop.

I remember one day I asked myself a question.

You see, I had started to realize that I carry assumptions about what how others define these words – love, family, commitment. I carry my definitions with me, and I never checked them out with the other person I was relating with.

So when someone says “I want to be a family,” I wouldn’t investigate what family meant to them.

When someone says, “I love you” I didn’t ask what love meant to them. 

Instead, I projected my own meaning onto their claims.

And, I think I did this because I hadn’t defined them for myself. 

This is problematic. For the person I partner with. And for me. But mostly for me, because that’s what I have control over.

So, I asked myself a question: what do I believe about love?

You see this love within me is not ordinary love, it’s outrageous love. (You have it too.) It doesn’t quit. And when I asked the question, “what do I believe about love.” The first thing that arose was, “love doesn’t quit.”

That annoyance I felt, that stuff attached to past partners, was partly due to this belief I have about love.

Whenever I have been heartbroken, and I have struggled to let go, it was always because I had judged myself for still loving the person. Read that again. 

And in judging, I was denying the very real and congruent field of love I reside within and had been connected with them in.

In those relationships; could I have made different choices? Yes. Could I have taken better care of myself? Yes. And I didn’t. So what now? 

What I used to do was judge that I love. The judgement was so sneaky, that I couldn’t see it, I had judged myself as wrong/bad for loving and this spawned the anger and blame – of me, of them. 

Whereas, what happens if I can allow the love to be….judgment free.

When I made the realization that love never quits, it allowed me to see:
1. That I do love
2. My judgement of me loving another that rejects me was creating a loop of self attack. 

I can’t deny it. It’s impossible. Because I. DO. LOVE. And love doesn’t quit.

When I made this realization, and when I allowed my love for them to continue on in my heart. That loop stopped.

Love doesn’t quit. For me, it just doesn’t. It’s inevitable. Whether we get there in this life, or at transition, it is inevitable.

I believe love is infinite. It is the fabric that connects all time, all people, and all dimensions. It is the vibration where miracles and time travel and past lives coexist all at the same time.

To judge I love. Is to judge myself. Is to judge reality. It creates a false reality.

When I accepted my love, it completed transformed how I felt. I no longer judged, or attempted to deny, blame, avoid. It was simply, I love, and that’s okay. It allowed me to see the flaws AND gifts in the other, and all the reasons I had loved them in the first place.

Which were beautiful. And I cherish. 

It allowed me to hold that love with tenderness, and move forward with that piece of me I’d been judging and denying. It brought fondness into my heart. And it also held consequences. Because when I allow for “I love,” I grieve is close behind.

I love someone who is gone.

When I think about this, it’s a reminder to take better care of myself. This field of love exists, and how deep do I want to go, how connected do I want to become, how much do I want to fortify the meridians in that field with someone that is not committed in the same way I commit? With someone doesn’t value what I value? With someone with weak character/integrity? Things I could have asked and discussed before diving in so forlornly. 

This could be said with any relationship, but the element of sex does change things. It brings that person deeply into your field. As the woman, I am allowing that person to penetrate my very being. To mix and mingle deeply with my energies. I see the consequences of this in hindsight.

In reflection, thank God my husband is who he is, because we never defined these these ideas between us, but something about who we were recognized the other enough to successfully navigate this lack of clarification – although, it has created friction over the years.

The simple miscommunications that occur when you haven’t known to define what deeply matters to you and how you define this key pieces to relating long term.

When I think opening so deeply with another…I guess I wish I had thought about these things. I wish I’d been more responsible…when I was casting myself vulnerably into pits of love, and not thinking, or registering, the consequences.

And maybe bigger than that, I wish I hadn’t judged how much I loved.

I grieve doesn’t really go away. It lessens. But love doesn’t quit, and grief is the reminder that something we loved is gone.

And, if I hadn’t made those decisions, acted irresponsibly, not taken care of myself or understood the consequences, would I have the wisdom that was born of their pain? Would I be sharing this here and now? Meh, likely not.

What happened, always had to happen. It created something new. It created ME anew. And birth is a messy, painful process.

So hopefully you took something away to ease your own heart. Tag and share this with someone who needs to hear it, and share in the comments what you believe about love.


Were you gaslit as a child?

Last week a stomach bug visited (rather rudely) the Johnson household, and I found myself comforting vomiting children on back to back days.

Neither of the kids remember the last time they puked, so this was almost like a new experience for them, especially my 6 year old. With that arose some fear.

It had me reflecting on a parenting trap that I used to fall into. When the kids were hurt or crying, I might reflexively say “you’re okay,” or “you’re fine.” I remember hearing myself say it and wondering “wait a second, they don’t think they’re fine or okay. Why am I saying that?”

This was long before I had ever heard the term gaslighting. Although I wasn’t trying to deny my child’s reality in those moments, it was a denial of their reality.

This past week as the children were puking, I heard myself say “It’s okay.” And then I wondered, is it okay? I think it is because it is okay that they’re puking. Their bodies are working to clear stuff from their system and fight off whatever is present for them.

Although sick kids is really no fun, it can be a beautiful opportunity to sit with them, and just be with them. As Ruby and B were somewhat scared, it gave me an opportunity to offer them a way to relate to their bodies.

What I came away with is something I see echoed across our human nature: we love certainty. We are always trying to create it, to grasp onto it. The very idea of life, is uncertain. We can never know when and how our time will expire, but we like to pad ourselves with a false certainty that we have it figured out, and we know.

What I saw in my little’s as they were sick was the fear of the unknown, and the uncertainty of vomiting. Puking is an opportunity to let go of the mind, and trust the body.

We talked about why it was scary, and they revealed that they felt scared because they had no control over the process. If you’ve ever had a healthy heave, you know exactly what they are talking about – the body takes over. Birthing is very much the same.

I found so much beauty in this interaction. It allowed me to connect with where they were, validate how they were feeling, and share wisdom that may (or may not) help. Which is how I want to parent. I want my kid’s to know they and their experience of life matters. I want them to trust themselves AND their bodies because I believe if they do, they will always know how to reorient back to themselves as they encounter everything life has to throw at them.

I know a lot of unintentional gaslighting in these scenarios comes from a desire to protect (or so we think), but isn’t it really our own discomfort with the tough emotions and the pain they are experiencing? AND, how can we be comfortable with something (our own pain and lack of control) if the adults around us never taught us in childhood?

I recently conducted a poll on my Instagram, and out of everyone that voted only one person had never heard any of the common gaslighting statements from their parents, and 50% of pollsters had heard 7-11 of the phrases posted. That’s incredible to me!

How do we learn to trust ourselves and our experiences when we are never taught?

Here are some tips I use, and some things I shared with the girls when they were ill:

  1. You are the world’s leading expert on you, and your kids are for themselves. Help them and yourself understand what that means, how to decipher cues, and listen to internal messages and signals.
  2. Trust your body. It is doing exactly what it needs to do to take care of you – whether puking, diarrhea, or something far worse, as we could venture into the manifestation of chronic disease. The important thing to remember is this is feedback. Your body is trying to give you information and protect you. It’s existence depends on your survival.
  3. Being with, instead of fixing. Be with your self, or your children when the chips are down, tears are flowing, and pain is present. We are competent and capable of healing from pain and trauma, our body’s know how – and it’s not by fixing or changing the present moment. It’s by tending and befriending what is present.
  4. Embrace uncertainty. We cannot always know how things will turn out, in fact we rarely can. By trusting that whatever is happening is meant for us, we enter an empowered relationship with whatever life brings to our door. It isn’t always what we want, or our choice, but we always have a choice in how we greet it.
  5. Things to say to be with your little’s or yourself. I know it hurts. Ouchies. It hurts so much. You’re really in pain. Wow, that really hurts. This is really scary. I’m here.

I hope this helps you trust yourself and your kids a bit more as you move forward on your journey.

Life is so tricky, and it can be so much fun to truly embrace all of it, even the bits we don’t like. What do you do to build trust with yourself?

Birth of Spring

As I walk, 
the sloshing of the ground sucks at each foot.

Slosh, slop, suck, my boots suctioned earthward.

The snow melts into muck, and mud, and spreads toward moss.

The wind sighs heavy,
as the naked branches ripple in giant contagious waves,
spreading across the horizon.

Smeared clouds pass across a mostly blue sky.

The sun shines bright, and warm, for the first time this year.

Like the rush of a giant wave,
the air plays her great woodwind.

Dancing surefooted, from this partner to next.

I imagine she is singing, singing to me.

With each gentle sway, whispering happy birthday.

As if the sky, and the air, and the sun, and the Earth knew that today,
I celebrate my birth.

What a gift they have given to me on this day.

Warmth and sunshine.
Buds on branches.
Mud and muck.
Rivers meandering.
Branches cracking and singing on high.
Shy bits of green, spying.

The spring air breathes, pregnant with possibility.
A new year dawns, passion seeks power.

As she sighs, I sigh.
As the wind rushes, my lungs fill.
As the sun warms, my skin fondly remembers,
As the branches sing, my hips sway.

As my Mother sings this sweet melody,
I am certain, she has sang this for me.

How much of your actions are really you?

Did you know that we are more NOT us, than we are us?

Sounds confusing, right?

What I mean is, our human cells are outnumbered by microorganisms by an astounding 10 to 1.

That blows my mind.

Microorganisms could be viruses, bacteria, fungus’, or parasites. These microorganisms outnumber our human cells by 10 to 1!!! And what’s to stop them from getting out of homeostasis?

If you look at the toxic world we live in, including the average American diet, the fact that 1/3 of American adults have metabolic syndrome…it makes sense that our systems would adapt to handle the burden, shifting what homeostasis presents as.

There is still little known about the human virome, but how fascinating that it exists? And when considering that gut microbiome, there’s a balance of the bacteria that live in our gut to maintain healthy gut function.

We could posit that this is the same for our virome.

I saw something recently about candida eating up heavy metals. So is it possible that a toxic exposure to heavy metals causes a proliferation of candida, as our bacteria adjusts to consume this toxin that can ravage so many of our bodily processes? An overgrowth of candida presents it’s own set of consequences.

I cannot help but think about my Dad. We took him to a functional MD and had him tested for many things as his mind was being consumed by dementia. The functional MD listed off several things that can lead to dementia. In case you didn’t know, the diagnosis of dementia is wholly inadequate, as is the case in most health diagnoses.

There is often a root cause that leads to the symptomatic representation now labelled “dementia.” This is true for most diagnoses. A conglomeration of symptoms are labelled as this or that. These symptoms manifest based on your genetics, and often with a root cause far beyond what conventional medicine is able to understand.

My Dad’s GP witnessed and labelled dementia. No treatment for that.

I sourced a Functional MD, he tested and found heavy metal toxicity, leaky gut, untreated viral infection, history of untreated concussions, mold, amongst a few other things, and I’m sure there was more we were unaware of and didn’t test for.

What’s fascinating about this to me, is that several of those tests reveal a disruption in the virome AND the gut microbiome. Clearly his systems were out of whack and attempting to create balance.

Due to insulin resistance in his brain from the above mentioned, his brain was not getting the fuel it required, naturally the cells began to atrophy and die, creating confusion, forgetfulness, and all the hallmark traits of “dementia.”

Knowing that I share my Dad’s genetics, I have always moved forward with a sense of power, and responsibility for my health. I have done countless hours of continuing education to empower myself and best advise the two magical humans I am raising.

Most recently I have been embarking on a new journey with my health. Since December I have been completing an extensive parasite cleanse. It has been one of the most fascinating and horrifying experiences of myself.

Yes, I have parasites. Yes, many of us do. It’s interesting to note that parasites will hold viral information, heavy metals, and mold. I grew up in a moldy home, I had an absurd amount of mercury amalgams as a child, and I have a latent virus that stirs up when my stress levels are higher.

All of these things would be juicy lunch for a hungry parasite. My inner environment was supportive for them to move in – who knows when the move in date was, but I can tell you the lease has expired and many have been evicted at this point. And those are simply the ones I can see! I’ve experienced so many interesting symptoms as my body clears these from my systems. It has been alarming, oh so interesting, and quite exhausting at times.

Did you know that in Mexico the entire population does a parasite cleanse twice per year? We de-worm our pets and farm animals, but somewhere along the way we forgot to include the human animal in this matrix of healing.

As I have cleansed some of these critters from my system, I have noticed a shift in appetite, cravings, changes in my ability to fast, and bodyweight. I completed an 86 hour fast and had absolutely no problems. That’s when I started to wonder….what if the reason I want these things, or end up being so hungry at the end of a fast, is completely not me at all? What if it’s the critters that are starving in my digestive tract?

If they are affecting me in that sense, what other ways could they be impacting my will?

What if these microorganisms that outnumber us 10 to 1 strive to survive just as humans do in their environment? That manifestation of that being cravings, and behavior that my truest self, or highest self wouldn’t have anything to do with? It’s a fascinating thought, that tickles my mind.

We don’t have to be disempowered in our health. We have true power to restore balance to the body.

We get to choose whether we think we can do something about our health.

When I worked in exercise rehab, I would often receive clients that were given difficult prognosis’ from their doctors or surgeons. And at the end of the day? How does that doctor know what that patient is capable of? I always took the stance, “let’s see.”

In doing the work, showing up for themselves, and embracing possibility, many of these clients far surpassed what they were told was possible.

We can do that with any aspect of our health, and it does help to have the necessary support and wisdom along the way.

This is another reason why I decided to start the online community The Cave. I wanted there to be a space where we could share this wisdom. Wisdom around all aspects of our health, wellness, and longevity.

As this community grows we will offer weekly events. Specifically, there will be biohacking, embodiment, gardening, yoga, strength training, sustainable practices, and so much more…the world is really our oyster, and we can create whatever we like. These are simply the topics that many of us are skilled in at the moment.

At present, we have an entire group (within the community) that is built around my Keto business, and we are building a 13 week course to support our customers with various educational topics. Last week we discussed reading labels and grocery shopping, this week we will be tackling more dietary hacks that can help you shift your lifestyle. Other topics include fasting, goal setting, carbotoxicity, hydration, and so many more.

We could build many subgroups like this, providing deeper cuts of the content people are most interested or skilled within. I excite for the possibilities

You are able to attend the Keto events for FREE as we complete them live! And as we build the other events into our schedule, those will be available to the community at large. Contact me for details.

Maybe you have a skill you’d like to share in the community?

A big thank you to all of those that joined the community after last week’s email. It appears that some people do still read their emails! Haha…yay!

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments on anything I’ve just shared!

And as always, thanks so much for being here. xo Crystal

Welcome Back

It’s been awhile since I shared my writing here.

I have certainly been consistent over on instagram, but the last couple years have been tumultuous to say the least.

As a collective, with everything that has transpired, I think that’s likely an understatement and a truth we can all relate to.

As I sit in an entirely new location, ready to write on this medium again, I wonder if anyone even reads blogs anymore?

Someone asked me recently when I started storytelling…I thought about that for a minute and attempted to follow the thread back to the beginning.

I have likely always been a storyteller. When I was younger, I did this through movement on a pair of figure skates. The ice was a place where I could express pieces of myself that were too big or too sad for the “real world.” A piece of music could transport me into an emotion and the ice was my canvas to move and express, a place to tell my story.

I started telling stories here when my Dad became ill and I was wrapped in the isolation of motherhood and living somewhere new. It was a way for me to express what was within me. It was a way for me to cope with the immense grief and sorrow that I experienced.

And I am so thankful for that.

Along the way, each time I wrote, someone would reach out and say something like “me too.” It was encouraging to know that in sharing my own experience, I was able to bring some kind of validation or witnessing to someone else’s experience.

I haven’t stopped writing, but I have stopped sharing here, and I believe it’s time to change that.

Part of my vision for “What Would Cavewoman Do” involved community. When I think about our ancient ancestors, and use this question to guide me on my journey, I think about the four pillars: movement, nourishment, spirituality, and community. Of these pillars, I find that community is the one I often lack the most. Especially over the last two years, whether due to isolation, or physically moving.

When everything shutdown in 2020, I remember hearing people talk, or seeing memes about how hard the experience of isolation was. Hearing other’s struggles with isolation was incredibly validating, as I find that modern day motherhood can be incredibly isolating.

While in Florida, I did many things to build community, including multiple monthly gatherings on the full and new moon. I cherished these spaces and the people that helped co-create them. After being ousted off Facebook (for reasons still unknown to me), I lost a large part of that community along with my Facebook profile. The pandemic and the following departure from Florida also cleaved this piece of community from my life.

This led me to think a lot about how to create community, meaning, and joy together. Although I love virtual spaces, it isn’t the same as holding each other in person. So I sit with swirling ideas on what’s next for my local community. What events do I want to go to? What events do I want to facilitate? What does my heart long for? The answer is many things, and I have many ideas.

I will keep you up to date on what I find, and what I decide.

Additionally, I have created an online space on Mighty Networks called The Cave. For me, The Cave is where Cavewoman would have found community, warmth, and safety. Around the fire is where she would have told stories, shared wisdom, danced, and sang.

I want to grow The Cave into this same place. A multigenerational meeting and gathering space, where we support, witness, and hold each other’s hands through the muck and the joy.

As with any community, it takes more than one person. To truly create the community I desire, as well as the one I think the world needs, we each need to show up, contribute, and share what we have, and who we are – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Who you are matters.
What you desire matters.
Community is a co-creation.

Maybe this is something you want to?

If it is, I urge you to join us in The Cave.

We are just getting started. As we grow together, I envision community events, weekly offerings, authentic connections, vulnerable shares, and healing and inspiration abound.

If you’re anything like me, and you feel like you’re missing community, please come build one with me.

I excite for the future, and I excite to see the community we create together.

See you in The Cave!

Before you go…. What do you look for in a community?

Love is Relentless

Here’s to kissing you forever. Happy anniversary darling.

I had no idea who I was when I kissed his tender lips ten years ago.

And in my limitation of what I could see of me, I had a limited view of what I could see of him.

We were blind, bound by love, and some kind of blind knowing,

And there was a willingness to see what that could blossom.

I had no idea what I wanted.

Over the years I have grown deeper with me, deeper with him.

I used to feel like I was too demanding.

And with my particular twist, this was really hard to do.

To ask for what you want, to even know what you want.

At some point I realized I wasn’t happy – I didn’t realize how much healing I had to do, I didn’t even realize I had things to heal from.

I grew up with a “rub some dirt on it” conditioning.

But the dirt wasn’t working anymore.

And when I look across the time we have spent together, I have been demanding.

I have been loud.

I have been determined.

I have been a child.

I have been RELENTLESS.

I wanted a marriage I had never seen modeled.

I wanted it to be ours, that we co-created.

I wanted to be deeply seen and heard.

I wanted to feel his attention so keenly focused on me, that I could feel his heart in a single gaze,
that I could feel heat and passion in the gentle touch of an index finger.

I wanted to be in a marriage where I was cherished, and respected, and held tenderly.

I wanted to be a queen to a king.

And you can’t do that if you’re sleepwalking. 

You can’t have any of those things with a closed heart, a closed mind, or blind expectations.

You can’t have those things if you’re not willing to see your assumptions (your bullshit), question everything, and then expect it from YOUR SELF first.

You cannot ask your partner to love you deeply, tenderly, sensually, if you aren’t creating an awareness and narrative between you and YOUR SELF first.

I can’t very well speak unkindly within, and expect difference or better, without.

I meditated. I journaled. I wrote about what I wanted. 

I cultivated a new narrative.

I loved on my self, I stopped rubbing dirt blindly, and asked “How can I honor you?”

It started to unfold. My heart started to unravel. 

I found safety within.

I found strength within.

I found resolve within.

And when I was able to claim my heart like a motherfucking Queen.

I was able to surrender it to a King.

Because it starts with me.

Today I find my self in a marriage with him, and no matter what we are doing, which direction we are going, I can capture his gaze for a moment.

And there he is, eyes alight, looking at me, right here, right now.

He has a twinkle, this is new.

It’s like he knows a secret.

And he does.

And I gaze back, with the same twinkle.

And in that moment we know.

We are right here.


Sharing this moment.

As we have across countless moments in this timeline and others.

This isn’t our first trip together.

We find this moment together,

and we just know.

The gratitude in having just one of these moments, causes tears to form and roll down my cheeks, waves ripple across my being, my heart expands into the horizon.

That’s the gratitude I feel for just one moment.

Imagine a lifetime committed to these moments?

It is what I desire.

And it requires the work, the tenacity, it requires me demanding of myself and him, it requires tenacity, and perseverance.


And I’m here for it.

It starts with me. It starts with him.

Soul’s Song

One year ago today my Daddy took his last breath in and exhaled for his final time on this planet. I recently heard a song and was transported on a journey across a lifetime that didn’t belong to me. These words were an attempt to capture what I felt, and saw, and the impact it had on me… If you feel moved, share with me my loves. Here’s to you Dad. May your soul’s song ring out through the generations of my family.

Have you ever heard a song and it transported you to another time and space…

Have you ever heard a single note, on the right instrument, and it does the same…

With one breath, one note, the energy of another life is called into consciousness.

In one note, I’m transferred back to a life I never lived, in a place I’ve never been.

One note, to awaken and capture the essence of what one life is made of.

One note. 

On the harmonica.

And I’m transported…

TO a wild, rugged, northern town…

I see a boy, with white blonde hair, and knowing eyes…
White t-shirt, and brown shorts…
He’s alone, and he’s absently walking down an empty street, 
Lost in thought, or a memory,
Of who he just might be.
Of a feeling that goes infinitely beyond the smallness of meager words. 

He blows into his harmonica and a single note is sung. 

The tender little soul that lives within him, translated onto the scale of the musical spectrum, ringing out for all to hear,
his gentle soul’s song..

The roads are dirt, the mountains rise, and he is immersed in a life surrounded by and connected to NATURE.

He wanders down this street, breathing his song into his harmonica…

And as the years pass, that dirt morphs to concrete, 
His shoes grow bigger, and he walks still, 
Blowing his spirit through the instrument of his expression, 
Letting the trees know, he’s singing with them.
Letting the grass and the dirt, and the flowers around, hear his own sweet melody. 

His layer of sound added to the cacaphony of it All…

I see him growing into a man, and dancing around with his kids, 
Still breathing his life through the notes of his harmonica. 

I see him sitting quietly on the organ bench, trying to find the right notes, to translate the symphony that lives within.

I see him with light and mischief in his eyes, dancing around with joy, exuberant notes of playfulness dancing through his harmonica…chasing us with glee.

I see him waking me early in the morning with joyful notes of “It’s morning. Get up. It’s time to greet the day.”

I see him growing older…

I see him sitting confused at the kitchen table. 
Where is he going? 
Where has he been?
Where is he at?
What was that…..

Absentmindedly, his hand reaches for his instrument, 
His thumb rubs the side of it, back and forth, back and forth, 
What was he thinking? 

He places it to his lips…an endless effort to have his soul’s song sung…

I see him slowly forgetting who I am. 

I see him searching for the meaning of my name, or the recognition of who I might be. 
Absently smiling as if in remembrance of something fond. 
A recognition that his brain cannot understand, and yet a recognition nonetheless. 
A recognition that doesn’t understand names, or titles,
A recognition that goes beyond the invention of words,
A recognition of an energy, despite not recognizing his place in this world. 
His place in his body.
His place in his mind. 

And his hand still reaches for his harmonica.
Transcending all the confusion, and all the expressions of who he has now become,
As he is robbed of presence, understanding, communication, identity…
Transcending all of this, he blows his spirit through his harmonica…
His soul’s song, still singing to the seasons.

One note.

And I’m transported back to that little boy in the dirt road.




One note. And a ripple of a life I’ve never lived, moves through my entire body. 

From small child, to old man.
Still blowing the song of his soul. 
Through his harmonica.

A single note…
A single note to remember an entire life. 
A single note, to show that spirit transcends all that we know.
All that we can be aware of. 

And as that note rings out, and travels beyond where we can hear, it still rings out.
Somewhere far. Somewhere near.
And I feel that note awaken the memory of a man who watched over me in the physical, and now in the spiritual.

I feel an entire lifetime in a single note.
I re-member an entire lifetime.

In a single note.

Future Self Journaling: a 90 day recap on the best tool for self development you’re NOT using.

I have never journaled regularly, at least not in the sense that many people do. When I competed professionally I kept a training journal, and I religiously tracked my sets, reps, intensities, and any important cues that I needed to remember, or that were particularly helpful. But I have never been one to reflect on “Me” regularly in writing form. 

Over the years I have attempted to journal. I had an understanding that it was important. Even if I wasn’t quite so sure, “why?” The journal I am currently using (and have almost filled), was in fact purchased in 2013. I purchased this journal and a beautiful pen to compliment it six years ago, with the intention of starting a gratitude journal. The idea was that I would write half a page about things I was currently grateful for, and things in the future I’d like to be have and be thankful for, or things I’d like to call into my life. 

I understand the power of gratitude, and having been on the path of self development for as long as I can remember, I understood the concept of being thankful for the life you have yet to receive. And yet….I STILL didn’t commit to a daily practice with it. 

You are ready, when you are ready.

Okay, so why was I ready now? I started future self journaling approximately 90 days ago, and I was in a place of extreme hurt and confusion. It was, what I have come to realize as, an emotional rock bottom. The kind of rock bottom that causes you to question everything, an ego death of sorts. 

It’s odd to be in an emotional rock bottom, and be able to still see the amazingness you have in your life. Part of your being is aching with a deep sense of profound loss and uncertainty, and yet here are my beautiful children, smiling and loving me, and here is my loving and supportive husband, holding and cherishing me. 

It’s a bit of a mind fuck. Something the mind is well versed in doing. Often the inmates or our mind are running the prison. The inmates being our thoughts…and it is with conscious awareness that we are able to regain control as the Warden.

Reflecting back on where I was 90 days ago, I think I can accurately say that an older version of me may have felt undeserving of the amazingness (family) in the face of my ego death. The old me of a few years ago, would have entered into a pit of self loathing, self blaming, and self shaming…believing that I was not worthy of the beauty I had. I’m a recovering addict when it comes to these patterns, and I won’t lie about this time: I kicked the shit out of that old storyline. And I 100% believe that my Future Self Journaling was a part of that success.

Many months ago, I started following an account on instagram called The Holistic Psychologist. At the time she had a small following, which I’ve watched balloon to over 700k followers. It has been remarkable, and beautiful, and seriously inspiring to observe…and not because of her following and numbers. It’s amazing to me because what it means to me, is that there are so many people out there, hungry for her message. There are so many people out there waking up, taking the red pill, unplugging…  There are so many people that are starting to put the inmates back where they belong and step into the role of the Warden of their minds…

This makes me very hopeful for the future. Not just my own. All of ours.

The Holistic Psychologist (aka Dr. Nicole LaPera) has something she calls Future Self Journaling. It reminds me, and has pieces of other practices, that I have attempted over the years, and never really committed to. When I was in my dark place, I knew I needed to do something in order to piece my self back together…I needed to take care of me. Consciously. And effectively. 

I read this beautifully written article by Dr. Cedrus Monte (https://bit.ly/31ByltC) and she spoke of the toxic environments at the ocean floor where you would think life would be impossible, these places where the plates of our earth meet, and vents of gas and heat expel toxic chemicals into the dark, deep, immensely pressurized ocean floor. No life should be present, and yet….. life is reborn. New species, new life, new discoveries…

A seemingly death zone, flourishes with new life…

This is a beautiful metaphor for the tough times in life. The times when we hit those rock bottoms. What is the lesson here? What new life can come out of this? And I am certain this is one of the most beautiful experiences of our human lives. These moments are the opportunities that we can show up in a greater capacity than we have in the past.  They are the moments where pressure turns coal into diamonds, the moments where we see our selves fully, and hold our own hands to bring about the new life that we must choose and move forward in, in order to become our greatest gift to this world…our highest selves influences the highest good.

As Leonard Cohen said, “there is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s where the light gets in.” 

I have often thought this way, and I have not so often moved this way with any grace or ease. And this time, I think I just may have. 

I am the most compassionate, most understanding, and most loving version of my self, right now. And I owe that to many things across my life, but my ability to move this way has been massively impacted in the last 90 days due to my commitment to future self journaling. 

Rephrase: my ability to move this way has been massively impacted in the last 90 days due to my commitment to show up for my self. It’s the same thing my loves. 

So, how does following a few prompts each day create massive change? I often wondered this, I understood, I believed that journaling mattered, and I didn’t know why. Why? Why does writing down some shit in a book matter? I get it, all the smart people say it, so I believe it, but whyyyyyyy???

Well, I think there are a number of reasons why, and here is what I found (if you’re not familiar with Future Self Journaling then follow this link and signup for the email list where you will receive the PDF for future self journaling: https://yourholisticpsychologist.com). Reviewing this document may, or may not, give context to the following information. 

Here are my tips, tricks, and takeaways from my last 90 days!

  1. I stuck with one way of being that I wanted to change for 49 days straight when I first started. If you’re a “law of attraction” lover, it seems counterintuitive to think of the thing you want to change, but the truth of the matter is, when you “call out” your self on what you don’t want, and then you follow that with prompts relating to what you do want, it gives your brain an opportunity to create AWARENESS and see the gap. Does that make sense? If I don’t want to be angry, and I state that intention to the universe, to self, and then I follow that with journaling about what my future self does and is, then I am conditioning my self to know what it is like to be more skillful in my anger. because it will still happen, make peace with that, and I desire to to move that through with greater grace and ease.
  2. Once you’ve created the awareness, a gap appears. The gap is that moment where you experience the emotion or thing you want to change, and instead of running your old programming, there’s a momentary gap – like a choose your own adventure novel! You’ve been following one storyline your whole life (trigger, react, repeat), and now all of a sudden you’re in a choose your own adventure book. You can see there is a different way of being, there’s another option. The gap creates a moment for you to make a choice, to follow a new path, to create a new you, to move with that grace and ease. To create that peace. TO HEAL.  
  3. By journalling daily, by being intentional, it’s like a momentary connection with conscious awareness. Often when I leave my journaling until the end of the day, I notice the day was possibly more chaotic or out of hand. Every thing is more chaotic and out of hand when I am not present because I am merely reacting. There’s no gap to RESPOND, rather I REACT. Creating a practice of daily presence, reminds me to be present daily. 
  4. Gratitude is part of the daily journaling. So, I have fulfilled my journal’s initial raison d’etre, albeit six years later. Haha…hey, better late than never. A note on gratitude – be so very present with it. What is in your heart? What is something simple you could be grateful for? Or, conversely, what is the hardest thing in your life you could have gratitude for, if you choose to?
  5. When I would write about my future self, I would continually grow the story with more detail (when I had the time) to really live in what it would be like to be that version of my self. To really imagine the scenarios when I could show up as this more equipped person in my challenging moments. My future self is a badass. I’ve really given her a lot of cool talents. It’s likely why I love journaling so much, to remember with more clarity of who she is. To reconnect with her. And what’s really cool, is sometimes I catch my self whispering old untruths, and my future self pops up and questions the old storyline. She comforts me. She reminds me of the truth. She reminds me that in THIS MOMENT, it is always my CHOICE to listen to the old stories, or create and believe and implement new stories. 
  6. I would also attempt to fully embody the emotions what it would feel like to be my future self. The joy and the gratitude of showing up for my self. The relief of breaking these patterns that are harmful to me, and stop ME from showing up and giving this world my gifts. I paint the picture of what that would be like. The mind does not know the difference between imagination and reality. This is the foundation behind visualization and sport. So, as the Warden of your mind, create a story, a future, for your inmates to believe in, to help them rehabilitate. To show them the path toward healing. To show them all you are truly capable of.
  7. When you start, you will undoubtedly miss a couple days. A brief story: when I retired from Athletics and became a mother, I found less time to workout. I would write a program (I have a background in Strength and Conditioning) and as a recovering perfectionist, I would miss a day, and subsequently render my whole program “fucked.” I found this wasn’t working for me. So, I gave my self grace. I realized I needed more flexibility, and less judgement, if I wanted to be successful in my training. I eased up on my strictness around certain things, and I found my way to my workouts much more easily. The JUDGEMENT of missing a workout, was holding me back from my goals, far more than my discipline or commitment level.  So, in service to my self, I adapted a program to a mom of two, became more realistic on goals, and decided I am a good person, who is committed, and ALSO sometimes shit happens. I have completed 90 days of future self journaling, and of the last 60-75ish, I have not missed a day. But within the first 2 weeks, I’m sure I missed a day here and there. Pro tip: quit judging if you miss, keep your day count rolling, and give your self grace in the first 30 days. If you only have time for five minutes, pull out your journal, or a scrap piece of paper, and write down one thing you’re thankful for. It doesn’t always have to be big and elaborate. Showing up IS ENOUGH!  
  8. Celebrate! As Joseph McClendon III says, “praise makes the world go round.” As the Gottman Institute has said, marriages where we positively affirm and thank our partners in a greater than 5:1 ratio, have the greatest rates of success. You are relating with you! Love your self, give your self a hug, thank your self every time you catch a gap. Every time you are consistent. Every time you show up for your self. Learn to praise your self for the little things you do each day to change that dialogue. If you’re anything like me, I am much more inclined to see how I could have done better, rather than celebrate the fuck out of my self for journaling daily. And guess what? I’m seeing big changes, and I’m so proud of ME! (I just hugged my self. Now give your self a hug. I’ll wait before I go on.) 
  9. If you don’t know what you’re doing, that’s okay. It really is. Embrace the discomfort. There is no right way, or wrong way. Re-reading the prompts in the PDF, I see ways I have NOT completely followed the prompts…whoops! And guess what? I still have gotten massive value out of this. There is no test on this at the end of the day. But at the end of this life, if you show up consistently for you, you’ll get to close your eyes and be with someone you really trust and love. Isn’t that enough?
  10. Start. Just start. Right now. There is over 700k people that want to, or have started this too. And we all want each other to win. I want you to win. I want the best version of you in this world. So start. Your gifts deserve to be realized and shared. 

Well, that’s what I got! I’m sure I missed several things, and I’m also sure that it doesn’t matter. Future self journaling is a tool that is a must in my toolbox. I have a few tools that are non-negotiable, and this is now one of them. 

If you have found this post, I’m guessing it’s because you are pursuing better. You are pursuing a better version of your self, a better way of being. You are waking up, and you are realizing that you have more. More love. More gifts. More power. More treasure that has yet to be found. The future self journal will absolutely help you mine that treasure. 

When I think about my future self (the final prompt in the PDF), I get emotional. I truly do. To hold my self so kindly. To love my self so tenderly. What a gift to give my self. And that will flow to everyone that I encounter. I pray that you feel that tenderness and kindness flowing to YOU right now. 

When I think about my future self, I used to feel relief. I felt a bit like I was drowning, and my future self was in the distance throwing me the life raft. And now when I think about her, I just feel so much joy and gratitude…it overwhelms me.

As I write these words, I feel the tears run down my cheeks. It’s silly, and yet, it’s so fucking beautiful. This life we get to live, this journey that we are on…  I’m just so filled with joy and gratitude. 

Thank you Dr. Nicole. And thank you to anyone and everyone that took the time to read this. 

Share with me the tools in your toolbox, I love hearing how others are on their own pursuit, their own path…

Free Diving – Part 2

Oh my…happy birthday to this beauty of a human being. Like seriously…
Nevermind the physical, please look deeper.

This man here…
He is a free diver’s dream…
Endless depths of discovery…but can you hold your breath that long?
Can you train, can you endure, can you be patient through the tough stretches to reach the depths required to uncover what lies beneath?
The depths required to go beyond where most cannot?

Most dives end before we even hit the strides of your limit…
You get that panicky feeling, fear creeps in and you pull the chute and head for the surface…
As is true in relating…

Not this one.

Most dives end before you reach the space where you might die, or think you can’t go deeper because you’ll run out of oxygen or get the bends…
All that scary shit that can cause death…whether literal or only egoic…
It takes resilience.
It takes special training, stretching, regimens, practice, surrender, discipline, to be able to reach great depths while diving and while exploring the depths with another.
It takes patience, and love, and forgiveness, and a willingness to trust and let go.

Because to reach great depths with another, you must be willing to reach great depths with your self.

Sometimes when you’re about to run out of air, the other can give you a breath of life, a new way to see something,
Often your self.
The other can show you a new path.
A new way of being.
A new way to uncover what’s deeper…within you.

The depths that requires, the patience that requires, the constant vigilance that requires, can be harrowing, and scary, and feel like you just might die…and if you’re lucky, parts of you will.
Parts of you that weren’t necessary.
Parts of you that didn’t serve you.
Parts of you that chained you to a past that defined a person you no longer want to be, and simultaneously cannot let go.

Sometimes you have to turn back and head for the surface because you aren’t ready to go deeper.
AND, some times you are!
Sometimes the alchemical response between you and the other is a perfect combination of skillsets, courage, and acceptance to create a really special opportunity…

We have this…
This beauty FULL human and I, have been offered this.
And we fight for THIS.
This special opportunity is a chance for us to dive deeper together, because in his reflection I GET the opportunity to dive deeper into my self.
I get to witness a higher conceptualization of my self through him.
Because without the other, there is no reflection…except for the one in the mirror.
And although I love that reflection too, it can only teach me so much.
And it will never teach me as much as the relationships that mirror my self back to MY self,
Specifically the mirror this beauty FULL human has held for me.

It is said that Goddess created woman to experience her self.
Relating is our opportunity to experience our selves.
I’m so blessed, favoured, loved, and ecstatic that this human was born on this day, in a different country, a different world, different culture and circumstances, because through him I witness some of the most beauty FULL pieces of my self.
AND some of the ugliest too.
And in this place we grow.

And he empowers me still.
I have been empowered and invited, and accepted to explore my own depths, even when I’m diving without him…even if I must train alone for a stint, even when it makes him uncomfortable.

Thank you universe.
Thank you Kibwe.
And thank you SELF.
For recognizing the opportunity to go deeper upon meeting this beauty FULL soul.

No matter where our paths take us, we continually move in the same direction.
And whenever we disconnect,
we always reconnect in deeper more meaningful ways.
Deeper down the spiral of the abyss.

Deeper down the depths of our free dive. Connecting deeper, loving deeper, seeing and feeling each other deeper.

Phewwww….how deep does this place go?
I think the the answer is infinite.

I love this man, and I wish him the happiest and most amazing year ahead. I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface with you Mr. Johnson ♥️

(This blog is part 2 to the original blog Free Diving – check it here)

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