He is free. He is free. He is free…

And so begins the long journey home…

I wasn’t due to make a trip north this Christmas.

I wasn’t due to see the snow.

I wasn’t due to travel.

And I knew the next time I did venture home, would likely be to say a final goodbye.

So here I am, on my way to say the final farewell.

Each time I’ve seen my Dad over the last few years, I’ve said my goodbyes.

I’ve told him it was okay to let go,

I’ve told him that I love him,

I’ve told him that he was tough, and he did us “Smith’s” proud.

I’ve told him I love him, and he is the best Daddy a girl could ask for.

I’ve told him I will be with him always, and I am okay.

I’ve told him I am strong.

So what do I say this time?

As I ready to board my flight and I reflect on all the years I’ve flown home to see my parents, I can’t help but realize that this is the first time a plural is hyperbole.

Parents has become parent.

In finality and permanence, his last breath has been taken.

And with a final exhale my Dad has found peace.

With one last heartbeat his body finally rests.

His mind finally freed from confusion.

So I contemplate. What do I say?

I don’t know.

I love you Daddy.

I wish you’d met Ruby. Like really met her.

In a way that you could appreciate the fire and mischief that fuels her spirit.

And I wish you could have known Brooklyn. Like really known her.

In a way that you could appreciate her thoughtful, caring, creative nature.

I wish you could have seen the marriage Kibwe and I have built together. Like really felt the love we’ve built, as partners, as parents, as best friends and as lovers.

I wish you could have seen my short hair. I think you would have scoffed and said “what’s this?” In a disapproving, yet playful manner.

I wish you could have taken me hunting.

I wish I had more time with you, since I’ve been the most like me.

I wish I got to know you better. Got to hear more stories.

But the thing I know to be true is, I still see you Dad. I see you everywhere.

I see you when I look to Dale and see his devilish grin, knowing he’s up to something.

I see you in Riley when he smiles with boyish charm.

I see you in Paige, the playful prankster with a kind nature for good fun.

I see you in Brooklyn when she raises her eyebrows at something surprising.

I see you in Ruby when her eyes twinkle with mischief and omnipotence.

I see you in the mirror, when I look into the icey depths of my own hooded eyes.

I thank you Dad. Your life and your death have been a tool for transformation in my life.

You taught me to be who I am. Authentically.

You taught me to say what you mean, and do what you say.

You taught me that sometimes you have to fight. Whether figuratively or literally.

You taught me to not take shit from anybody.

You taught me how to have fun and play.

You taught me a great love for a mountain peak and a pet.

You taught me to observe the world around me, and all the beauty that it holds.

You taught me presence.

A constant endeavour.

For years your memory has been filled with the weight of your current reality.

Finishing your days in startling contrast to how you lived your life.

That weight has lifted.

I’m filled with gratitude that you have found peace.

I’m filled with gratitude that you have been freed from your prison.

I’m filled with gratitude to have known and been raised by you.

It was my honour and my privilege.

I could be bitter that you ended in such a cruel fashion, but instead

I’m filled with gratitude that your fate sent me on a purposeful path that fills my life with great meaning.

As I fly across the sky, I look down on the mountains. It’s been too long.

Too long since I’ve been greeted by these white capped mammoths.

They rise from the ground with immensity and grace. Much like you…

And all I can think is…

They don’t make them like my Dad anymore. He was grown in the great white North. Not knowing plumbing or concrete sidewalks until his mid teens.

He was raised where the winter solstice saw no light, and the summer solstice saw no dark.

He flew planes, and raced cars and motorbikes.

He disappeared into the backcountry for weeks and returned with a beard and some wild game.

He was a pioneer of the Canadian tuxedo.

He worked pipeline and told stories of daring fights and wild nights.

He worked as long as the daylight still shone, and when it was cold

He would warm his icy hands on whomever he could catch first.

He could talk to anyone, anywhere exuding charm and charisma, including dogs, and horses, and cows, and even grizzlies, and

He likely preferred the animals to the humans.

After all, authentic beings resonate with authentic beings.

My Dad took pleasure in the little things, and he was at peace amongst nature.

And I take great joy in knowing he is free again to roam the back country.

He’s free again to explore the wild wilderness.

He’s free again to gaze upon the mountains and watch for a passing bear or deer.

He is free again to wander…

Free again to wonder…

He is free. He is free. He is free.

And although it is hard to imagine an Earth his feet do not stand upon,

I believe he lives on,

In every mountain, every stream, and every tree.

In all of my family, and certainly in me.

Slay bitch, slay…

I’m a mess.
I make mistakes all the time.
I judge myself.
I feel guilty.
I feel like I’m not enough.
I feel undeserving. 
I’m a fucking mess. And….


I’m also a goddess.
I’m also a warrior.
I’m also a resilient woman that will show up in the worst of times.
I’m the one you can count on to show up on the front lines to battle the largest monsters when all hope seems lost.
I’m the slayer of beasts when it seems impossible, when there seems to be nothing else to lose, when it feels like that all we have left is the breath in our lungs. 

Because what that breath holds is pure will.
The will to muster up the last bit of optimism and release it with a swift strike of my sword. 
The will to use my last breath to scream a battle cry that will explode eardrums and stop mythical creatures in their tracks.
The kind of cry that will make them think twice about advancing. 

They will hear my cry, they will look in my eyes, and they will see.
I am not to be fucked with. 
Not without a fight.
I am not to be fucked with.
Not unless you are ready to die. 
Not unless you are ready to go to the altar and be sacrificed to my deity, my goddess.
I am not to be fucked with.

They will see that behind my blue eyes lies a blue fire forged from love and joy,
They will see those eyes, and that light, reflected in the blade of my drawn weapon, and
They will see my spirit is unconquerable, 
They will see it lives in this universe regardless of whether this body does, and I will sacrifice this body to protect all that that is.

I am the warrior, walking tall, and in her power, towards an army of assassins. 
For the poor, the down trodden, for the children and the vulnerable, I stand tall and I press forward. 
I raise my sword with conviction no matter how tired, how bloodied, and how hopeless the battle seems. 
Because the poor, the down trodden, the children and the vulnerable, NEED me, 
And my will, my power, my resiliency, can be counted on in those fucking times.

When it seems easier to retreat, I maintain the will of all the goddesses and gods to step the fuck up. 
When it seems easier to go below deck and weather the storm,
When it seems easier to curl up in a ball and hide under the covers,
When it seems easier to sit in a pile of self pity and loathing, 
THAT is when I RISE.

Like a phoenix. I rise from THAT place and I scream!
YOU CANNOT FUCKING HAVE ME! 
Fuck you! You cannot have me!!

From wherever that place is, I rise, I smear the ashes across my face, and don my war paint,
I grab my sword, and I sprint towards certain death. 
With purpose.
With certainty. 
With optimism. 

Optimism that one life can make a difference.
Optimism that one act can change the world.
Optimism that my messy, ash covered, furious sprint will inspire others to join me. 
Optimism that my battle cry, my certainty, my willingness to do what I must, will empower others to grab their weapons and run with me. 

And even when I finally drop to my knees,
When my arms have been torn from my body,
I will raise my head in honor.
And look that monster in the face.
Knowing I did all that I could. 

I will use my last breath to spit at that monster.
I will use my last heartbeat to fight for what is right. 
I will use my last thought to believe that all that I could do, I did. 

I will not cry. 
I will kneel in pride and contentment. 
My eyes will stare with the same conviction.
Fear may be present, but my indomitable courage is who I choose,
Not fear.

You cannot fucking have me. 

Because I am the warrior.
And I serve my goddess. 

 

Let. It. Go.

We are not meant to hold it in. None of it. 
If you think about how we are created.
We inhale, then we exhale.
We eat, then we shit.
We drink, then we piss.
We are vessels that everything is meant to pass through. 

Even life.

As women our body’s take a seed and create a child.
And that passes through us too.
In one spectacular moment, life shatters through our body. 
And where there was one, there is now two.
The most beautiful passing that happens, in my opinion.

This physical self of ours is essentially the train station for all things. 
From breath, to food, to water….to life as we know it. 
It’s all impermanent. 
Just a stop along the way.

What if we took that idea and used it with regard to pain, anguish, unrest….
What if we took every trauma, every sad moment, every sad story, and we let it wash through us, like water through a hose?
What if we breathed in all the pain of a heart breaking moment, and we exhaled it with sweet release?
What if we let all the hardship, all the pain, all the trauma, all the heartache….
What if we let it all pass through us too? 

What if we acknowledged it’s impermanence, and knew to let it pass on the next train?

It wasn’t meant to stay with us.
It wasn’t meant to live in us. It wasn’t meant to stay. 
Just like the food, the water, the breath and the life, it was not meant to stay.
We weren’t meant to carry this stuff around inside of us. 
It was ALWAYS meant to pass through us. 

What if all that hurt and pain that we hold onto, manifests in ugly ways, because we were too stubborn to let it go? 
Because it does.
What if we became so resilient, that we could breathe in every sadness, every pain, and in one swift move, we let it flow down our cheeks as a tear, or a sob?

It doesn’t have to be pretty. 
It can look however you want it to. 
There’s no right or wrong way.
Maybe you breathe it out by screaming at the top of your lungs.
Maybe you exhale it out with body racking sobs. 
Maybe you simply recognize it, and release it from your heart with a deep breath and the words of “goodbye” and “thank you”…

Don’t you dare sob and scream without saying goodbye and thank you.
Don’t you dare sob and scream while it’s tethered to your heart, never truly letting it go. 
Promise to sob, to scream, to hug it tightly, and then two hand push that shit away. 

The point is, you MUST let it out. 
You MUST set it free.
It’s not meant for you to hold on to. 
You are strong, and beautiful and perfect as you are. 
But you were not meant to hold, to carry, this back breaking weight.

You were meant to let is pass through you. 
You were meant to be a sieve. 
To experience it, and let it go. 
Sending it to the ethers for eternity.
You were meant to learn from it, to be grateful for it, and then release it, as your body naturally releases everything else that serves it. 

Everything is meant to pass through us. 
Even our spirit. Our soul. Our consciousness. 
It’s not meant to stay within. 

Our soul being a temporary tenant in a house that gradually becomes so rundown that it’s uninhabitable. 
And then it must exit the premises.

The more shit that we hold onto, 
The more we let build up, 
The more we keep things from passing through, 
The quicker the house becomes condemned. 

At some point, the body finally kills itself because it’s the only way to find release from what we were never meant to hold.

It’s an unconscious suicide. 
The cure being consciousness. 
Consciousness to LET. IT. GO. 
Whatever “it” may be. 
“It” was not meant to be held, to be nurtured, and to be cared for by you.
“It” was meant to PASS THROUGH you. 
To be a lesson learned and a pain forgotten.

We’re not meant to hold on to the things we do.
It’s meant to pass through.
Just like our spirit, soul, mind, consciousness….
It wasn’t meant to stay in our physical body.
Always meant to pass through. 
And we forgot, we are meant to pass through this body too.

It is but a simple vessel that was never meant to house us eternally. 
This physical self is just a nice stop along the infinite spectrum of light. Meant to be cared for and loved, and then laid to rest as we pass on to the next. 
And if you think about it that way…..then why do we hold onto everything else?
Especially once it has already served us?
Especially once it has already happened?

Walk with lightness and love my friends. Your heart, your body, your mind, were meant to walk lightly. 

What helps you walk lighter? Let me know in the comments. 

An open letter to the women I love…

Dear amazing woman I love,

I’m mad. I’m fired up. Why, you ask? Because at what point do you accept that you are as amazing as everybody else tells you you are? 

At what point do you have to stop going to the well of validation, to gain belief in the thing that is true about you? 

Real talk, you can either spend your life questioning and worrying about what other people think about you, or you can spend your life living and sharing your best self. It’s your choice.

I’m mad because I know who you are, I see who you are, I see that you’re worthy, and enough, and beautiful inside and out. 

I’m mad because you let someone else’s ego and immaturity creep into your head. 

I’m mad because you are robbing yourself of love, when you reside in that state of questioning your self and your worthiness. 

All I have to give you is love and support. Sooooo, you rebuff my, and other’s, love, to appease your “not enoughness?” You rebuff your own love, because you would rather participate in someone else’s story about you? 

Fuck that shit. Fuck that well of validation that you keep making trips to. 

Every time we get caught up in what someone else thinks about us, and we start to question who we are, we are 100% caught up in imagination and stories that we cannot know the answer to. The only thing we can be certain of, assuming we are conscious enough, is the purity of our own heart, and our own intentions. So quit making up stories for other people. 

At what point do you decide to throw away the story that you’ve been marinating on? Quit worrying why they’re acting the way they are, or what they’re saying about you, because unless you are there, unless you are them, you cannot know. And besides that, it’s none of your business. And you’re wasting your time worrying about something that is all imaginary.

It’s easy to accept that you’re great and amazing, and a good person when there’s no one challenging that notion. 

At that point it’s essentially a passive acceptance. 

But at what point do you move into active responsibility and accountability for how you feel about you? 

At what point do you realize you’re wasting time and energy on falsehoods and lies?

At what point do you realize there’s no time to question your worthiness, your enoughness? 

At what point do you realize that you must be aggressive in holding your self responsible? 

You are responsible for how you feel about you.

Every second you spend questioning what others think, questioning whether you deserve poor treatment, questioning someone else’s motivation, is a second that you lost to spend time being your awesome self. 

Being that awesome mom, that awesome wife, that awesome employee, entrepreneur, friend.  Stripped of time, because you did not practice radical responsibility over your belief in who you are. 

It is time that you lost to love yourself, and give that love fully and completely to the present people in your life that are ready to receive it. 

YOUR TIME IS YOUR LIFE. And you are WASTING YOUR LIFE when you are in that state. Let that fucking sink in. 

You’re wasting your life, your breath, your very existence in a worry, a lie, an imaginary space.

What if we quit focusing on those around us that are confirming the falsehoods, and we instead focused our energy on the great love we possess for ourselves, and let it overflow onto the people that are ready to receive our love right now? 

What if we quit questioning why we “aren’t enough” to that one person, and started seeing how we could share our gifts and talents with the ones that truly see our hearts? 

If we’re not enough to them, then we are out of their league people! Eventually they will come around and want to be around your amazingness, or they won’t. But let’s be clear, that is their loss, knowing who you are.

If someone can’t see that your heart, and your intentions are pure, then that is 100% about them.
It’s like asking a blind person to see. They cannot. Their ego taints everything they see. 

They’re caught up in their own story about who they think they are, and who they think you are, and it strips them of the ability to see what actually is. 

So, I ask you this…

Who are you? What do you want out of life? 

At your heart, what do you want for your self and others?

What kind of mom do you want to be? What kind of lover do you want to be?

What kind of friend do you want to be in this world?

What kind of person do you want to be, and what kind of legacy will you leave to your children?

Because what you do, they will do.

What you say, they will say.

That shit is the greatest legacy you will leave to them. 

So, for fuck’s sake, I ask that you leave them this:

A legacy of acting out of kindness to yourself and others.

A legacy of being certain who you are, and what you wish to give to the world and others.

A legacy of serving yourself love, so you are able to share that love with everybody else.

A legacy of love, forgiveness, gratitude, and responsibility that starts with you, and then trickles down to all those around you. 

Not a fucking legacy of letting someone else determine how you feel about you.

Because know this, even though what I think doesn’t actually fucking matter, YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT. YOU ARE WORTHY. YOU ARE ENOUGH.

We all are.

We are worthy of exactly what we believe we are. 

And if you don’t think you are, change your fucking mind. Yesterday.

Don’t you dare talk about that shit, and not be about it.

Get aggressive with holding yourself responsible to this, because you, and those around you, fucking deserve that version of you. 

Show up in this fucking life for you. And in turn you will show up for everybody around you.

What would the world look like, if we showed up this way, if we believed these truths? 

No more excuses, no more. 

Go be your greatest self, and let everybody’s opinion die, except the one that matters most.

Your own.

Sincerely,

Cavewoman

P.S. Tag and share this with the amazing women in your life, that need to hear this. xo

I’ll sleep when I’m dead?

I had a sleep disorder for years….and I had no idea. I would go to bed at night, and just not sleep. Laying, waiting for the sandman to come and visit me. 

As a child living in Western Canada, I remember arguing with my mom about it. “I’m not tiiiiirrrred,” I’d say filled with a tone of pure whine. Where we lived, the sun might not set until past 9pm. But even after it was dark, I remember laying awake. 

I remember staring at the sliver of light that shone under my door. I remember hearing coyotes in the distance, and owls in the trees. And when it was haying season, I remember listening to the sound of my Dad making rounds in the field. Quieter, and then louder, as he cut, bailed, or raked hay… As he drew near, the lights of the tractor would dance across my wall, and I’d wait for the next round. All the while, I was really waiting for sleep.

As I grew older and chased a career in Athletics, my sleep issues persisted. But remember, I still didn’t know I had any. I would stay up too late, twiddle my thumbs when I did go to bed, and remember how my mom coached me to count sheep. Which by the way, doesn’t work. 

So, why didn’t I know I had a problem? Is it that I was just a “night owl?” That I’m just “not a morning person?” I didn’t know because although my sleeping issues are COMMON, I had no idea that they were NOT NORMAL. Most people have sleeping problems. Again, it is very common, but it is not normal. 

As I grew even older, and was working in exercise rehab, the number one thing almost all my clients were prescribed were medications to help them sleep. It’s so COMMON, that people go to their doctor’s looking for a prescription to bring about this natural process called sleeping. 

So, let’s think about that for a second. How basic is sleep? It’s about as basic as our need for breath. If we couldn’t breathe, would be look for a temporary fix? Fuck no. We would be trying to get to the route of the problem ASAP. It is NOT NORMAL to not be able to sleep. 

Aside from some possible genetic mutations that can cause issues with neurotransmitter production, the majority of what affects your sleep is 100% within your control. Even if you have those genetic mutations, you can supplement with natural products to find sleep. I eventually learned this, with more age, and others’ wisdom. 

Let’s think about our ancestral mama. What would Cavewoman do during her day that influenced her sleep? Well, first off, she would have been incredibly active. She would have rose with the sun, and settled in after it set. After all, it is not safe to be out in the wild after dark. And past sunset, the only light available would have been fire. She would have consumed a diet filled with all the necessary nutrients to survive and thrive, and she would have done this against all the odds. 

Remember our brains have not changed that much over the last couple of thousands of generations, neither have our eyes. But the environment observed by those eyes and experienced by that brain, have changed wildly. We have a plethora of new stimuli that affect and influence our sleep – including but not limited to artificial light, lack of sun exposure, our consumption of “food like” products versus nutrient dense nourishment, increased exposure to screen time, and a complete lack of ritual around rising and falling with the sun.

Now when people don’t get appropriate levels of sleep, it is boasted about or touted as a badge of honor. That we are so tough, that we actually don’t need the rest. Which don’t kid yourselves, that’s a load of bullshit. 

Sleep is a necessity. We need it to SURVIVE and we 100% need it to THRIVE. Sleep is when our body is able to rest and detoxify. Sleep has the power to affect everything under the umbrella of health and wellness. So why don’t we prioritize it?

I suspect most people were like me. They don’t even know they have a sleep problem. Over the years, I found I could manage my sleep better if I supplemented properly, but the biggest change happened when I started to regularly be in ketosis. Even if I forget all my other sleep supplements, but I’m in ketosis regularly, I will fall asleep when my head hits the pillow. How cool is that? 

I have spent my whole life waiting for sleep. And for the first time ever, I just go to sleep. No more listening to my husband fall asleep, no more reliving the days events, and planning for the next. No more stressing about that conversation with Judy, or Julie, or Janet (etc.) where she gave me that weird eyebrow lift. No more getting excited about life and it’s opportunities and then getting out of bed and writing notes for an hour past bed time. No more waiting. 

My sleep has become so normal, that if I have a night where I cannot find sleep, alarm bells go off, and I wonder what’s up. I’m finally aware that it is NOT NORMAL. And that’s the wonderful thing about awareness. I cannot unlearn what it feels like to go to sleep without any problems. And that awareness brings the accountability to sort it out, if it ever becomes a problem again. 

So, what does this mean for you? These are all COMMON but not NORMAL sleep problems:

1. Difficulty going to sleep

2. Difficulty staying asleep

3. Difficulty waking up

And every single one of them can be impacted by practicing the ways of our ancestral mama. Be active. Get outside. Put away the screens at night and/OR wear eyewear that protects against the harmful light. Eat right. Get into ketosis. Supplement when necessary and take some massive accountability in restoring this natural process. I am not a doctor. But I can guarantee that the recommendation that goes along with every disease and disorder out there, is GET BETTER SLEEP. 

And I can also promise you this: we are not stronger than our ancestors. The modern world has weakened all of us. So, let’s take back some of our badassedness (that’s a word), let’s take back our health, let’s take back our sleep, let’s take back our strength, and let’s show our ancestral mother that we can not only SURVIVE, but we can fucking THRIVE. And then let’s pass these skills on to the next generation!IMG_6931.JPG

The lies we tell ourselves; the truths we adopt.

“It’ll pass,” he says. 

But in the moment it doesn’t feel that way.

It feels like I’m going to drown. 

Like the resistance in me, is going to suffocate me, and I’m going to be stuck in this loop forever. 

These words don’t console me, they condemn me…

Reinforcing self doubt, anger, fear… 

 

The resistance I feel…it swells and makes me feel like my life means nothing, and my existence is hopeless….

That I can’t overcome it. 

It dwarves me and disempowers me and convinces me that the ones I love would be better off without me, because what value could I ever provide them…

Like I don’t deserve their love, and how dare I take it when I give so little in return…

 

It’s all bullshit, but it feels real. 

I can feel myself crashing into the resistance…

 

It feels like a dam in the depths of my consciousness, that’s literally stopping the flow of life… 

Constricting positive vibes, halting the flow of any love from that deeper place… 

Just a full stop. 

Like a tourniquet has been placed on the artery of love, joy, peace… 

 

And I’m aware of it. 

I can feel myself smashing into that dam. 

It hurts in my throat and heart…

Like I can’t swallow

Confusion and anger cloud my mind… 

I know I have the answer, but it’s locked up, the key thrown away, and the bullshit keeps building behind that fucking dam. 

 

A reservoir of resistance. 

Tears threaten to fall, to get some sort of release…

Tempers rise in an attempt to relieve some of the pressure…

Like a caged animal, I feel the need to break free and run…where? I don’t know.

 

That goddam fucking dam. 

It’s ruining me. 

And guess who built that dam?

Guess who put that hulking piece of concrete in my mind, disconnecting me from the source of joy that I know resides within me…

Guess who did that? 

Me. 

 

I built it over years of being convinced the voices around me mattered more than the one within. 

I built it when I was a kid and was convinced that I was fat or more kindly “big boned.”

I built it when I listened to the negative self talk being practiced around me, and adopted the same bullshit narrative. 

I built it when I was dumped as an adolescent for a “cooler crowd.”

I built it when I didn’t have boyfriends in high school and accepted it was because I was “bigger” than most girls…

I built it thicker and sturdier, every single time a man rejected me, hurt me, walked away from me all the while claiming they loved me.

 

I built that dam when I told myself the story that I wasn’t enough,

time and time again. 

 

Each batch of concrete was fortified with negative self talk, self doubt, low self esteem, self importance, ego…all perfect binders to create an impenetrable wall of resistance. 

Each batch poured with unconscious criticism and fear.

 

I built a dam worthy of Hoover, football fields of concrete, that disconnected me from the truth. 

And what truth am I speaking of? 

 

That just fucking maybe, I am enough. 

That just fucking maybe, all of the bullshit I used to build with were not my building materials to begin with…just borrowed from those around me. 

 

They were opinions, thoughts, actions all belonging to someone else’s story, that I adopted and used to fortify my own bullshit story. 

Accepting a narrative out of unconscious habit, and lack of awareness.

Practicing a frame of mind, without even knowing there was a better option…

 

And what’s the truth? 

That maybe, this is all up to fucking me. 

That maybe, I could write my own fucking story. 

That maybe I could break through that resistance and let the flow of what was behind that dam wash over me and cure me of all the unconscious bullshit I’ve been practicing and accepting without question. 

Like I’ve been practicing for the Bullshit Olympics all my life, and just realized there’s a much better Olympic Games that the happy people participate in…

 

So, I’m aware. 

There’s a dam that disconnects me. 

I built it, I fortified it, I’ve let it constrain, constrict, and strangle my happiness…

What next? 

Do I condemn the builder? As I have been…

Do I judge her harshly? As I’ve also done…

Do I throw her away? As others have…

 

Fuck no…I need to be done with that. I must be done with that. 

Because I’m a fucking child of this universe who’s light is connected to everything that’s amazing in his world and beyond, but that fucking dam has been the problem, NOT ME!

 

So I wield my pickaxe of gratitude with the strength of the goddess that lies within me, 

I brandish my sword of self determination with the power of the warrior that has been unaware of the battle,

And I fucking beam a powerful ray of pure joy from the lover that’s been slumbering quietly…

 

God dam that dam! 

It is no match for the goddess, or the warrior, and certainly not the lover. 

But first, I must call on them. I must invoke their powers. 

I must ask them to fight for me. 

I must let them know that we’re at war. 

I must tell them I need them and then surrender to their powers. 

 

As long as it’s taken to build this dam, it is no match for the epic shit that has been sleeping in the depths, lurking in the shadows, waiting to be called upon…

I’ll give them the tools,

I’ll empower them,

And I’ll sit back and watch that motherfucking dam wash away in the flood waters of who I’m actually meant to be. 

Free Diving

Imagine an ocean.

It’s wild and deep,

Dangerous.

Many places that no man or woman has ever been able to reach,

No one knowing what exists in the abyss.

No light,

No air,

Just a deep blue sea.

 

What would it take to get to the bottom?

To explore that deep?

Imagine the pressure, the solitude, the darkness.

Unthinkable.

Sensory deprivatoin. Claustrophobia. Amongst other fears.

What else might be down there?

In the dark.

What else might lurk in the depths of the abyss?

 

We often think of exploring new places.

New cities, new beaches, new countries.

It’s in our nature.

We send ourselves into outer space, just to see what’s out there?

Are we all alone?

The eternal quest to satisfy our curiosity.

 

But do we do the same to explore what’s within?

Are we all alone?

There is a sea, an unexplored abyss, within all of us.

And the depth of our consciousness, the depth that you are awake,

Will determine the depth of the connection you experience in your relationships and with the most important person in this world. You.

 

How far can you free dive into the abyss that is you?

How far can you get before you suffocate?

Drowning on fear, rejection, resistance, ego…

 

And how well can you connect with someone if they can only dive four feet, and you’re all the way down at 24 feet?

 

We think it’s darker the deeper we dive into that abyss, like the ocean,

But it’s actually the opposite.

You dive down, you have the courage, and you plunge into the depths,

Not being able to see, to hear, to breathe. But you dive anyway.

And much like it takes lifetimes for the light of one star to reach us here on earth,

The same is true for our own light.

 

It might seem scary and dark and lonely when we first start to dive.
But as we get deeper, the light finally reaches us.

And the deeper we go, the brighter that light gets.

And you realize that instead of traveling out to the stars, you only had to go inward to find the most interesting galaxy that has never been explored,

And can ONLY ever be explored, by YOU.

 

The deeper you go, you realize there was no reason to be afraid in the first place.

 

You aren’t alone,

You don’t need air,

You don’t need sight,

You don’t need to hear,

You don’t need hands or feet to touch,

You do’t need a tongue to taste it.

You don’t need any of the things you thought you needed to explore the most beautiful thing you NEVER knew needed exploring.

You don’t need to be afraid because it’s the most safe place you could ever be.

 

Pure love. Pure awareness and joy.

Realizing you had access to all of it, the whole time.

All you needed was the courage to ask the right questions.

To examine yourself without judgement,

To have courage,

To love unconditionally,

To believe and have faith that the deeper you went, the closer to salvation you would get…

Salvation was never at the surface, it was always in that dark place you were too afraid to go.

Salvation was never outside, it was never meant to be given by anyone else, it was always within.

You just had to have the courage to dive into the dark, and have faith you’d find the light.

That guy didn’t break your heart; your EGO did.

I don’t believe Cavewoman had the luxury or time for heartbreak. Heartbreak is often caused by rejection and betrayal, and I’m not so sure that can exist in a community that shared everything – including food, shelter, children, and partners. In a time before possessions and property, where every person does their part to contribute to the ultimate goal of survival, can you reject someone, can you betray them without putting the tribe at risk? Additionally, everyone would have had a role within the tribe to fulfill, lifespans were shorter, and members of the community would have died regularly from dangerous hunts and the conditions of the time. Heartbreak seems impossible in these conditions.

But key to all of this, is that I think Cavewoman likely lacked the ego that we as humans have donned in her absence. And what does ego have to do with heartbreak? Let me tell you a story…

My husband and I didn’t have a fairytale start to our relationship. Or maybe we did. Maybe he was my knight in shining armour, saving me from the hopeless place I had found myself.

I was actually heartbroken and in love with someone else when we started dating. I’m sure many people thought we were a rebound situation, and that we would never last. 

At the time, I was certain that our relationship was a bad idea and that he would only leave me as bad as the last one. I couldn’t have been more wrong. But being broken and raw, was honestly the best thing for our beginning because it created a level of honesty where I wasn’t looking to play games and wasn’t interested in the regular bullshit that goes along with dating. I was too exhausted.

It was one of our first nights of “kind of dating” and I straight up told him all my dirty business with the other guy, and I told him I was broken, and fucked up, and in love with someone else, so if he wanted to be with me, he needed to get clear on what he wanted, because I didn’t have the heart to be hurt again… 

His response, “okay.” Ballsy.

“So, what do you want out of all this then?” I asked this in weary desperation, knowing he would likely run for the hills and I was fine with that. I was too emotionally drained to care whether he did or not. And he responded with the most perfect answer he could have, “more than I’ve wanted in a long time.”

From that point forward, he showed up every day for me. Slowly my heart healed, and I fell for him hard. He was exactly the man I needed. He was everything I didn’t know he was. We had been friends for a year prior to dating, and I had no idea he would be the friend, lover, and partner, that he turned out to be. He was tender, caring, honest, matter of fact. He saw the best in me, he basked in me, he was a straight shooter. And I cannot express the gratitude that I feel for him, still now. He kind of saved me, from no one but myself. And if I hadn’t been so fucked up when we started dating, I don’t know if things would have unfolded in the same way.  

After we started dating, I stopped crying every day. I started to see joy and happiness. Hope returned. I realized that I didn’t have to feel so awful. I had spent about four months being an emotional wreck, and I was starting to feel like me again. 

But the previous relationship still nagged me. How could I be so wrong about somebody? I truly thought that we had been “meant to be” and I couldn’t believe that I could be that wrong, but I was. 

As my husband and I grew into our relationship, my feelings faded for the other person. But not all at once. It took some time. I knew the person in the prior relationship had loved me, I knew we were a good match, so why didn’t he choose me? All the while, I’m in love with my partner now, so most important, WHY DOES IT EVEN MATTER? 

Until one day, I just let it go. Completely. I’ll save that story for another time. 

But why did it take me so long? 

The culprits were ego, self esteem, self importance.

If I think back, the verbiage I would use was, “How am I not enough? He says I am, but if I was, he’d be with me?” Or, “I thought we were meant to be, how could I be so wrong?” Particularly, I couldn’t believe how “wrong” I had been. I thought I had mattered more to someone and was crushed that I didn’t. That’s self importance.

I couldn’t believe I was so wrong. I couldn’t believe that I was expendable. That’s ego.

And if I dig deeper, I already possessed a strong sense of “not enoughness,” and this failed relationship completely exposed it, in such a cruel way, that a lot of me believed it. It highlighted the broken story within me. That’s self esteem. 

I took the failure of that relationship so personally. And the worst part about it, is that I allowed that relationship to be a CONFIRMATION of the bullshit story I was already telling myself about me not being enough. 

Please pause and think about that. 

We all tell ourselves stories, and a lot of those stories aren’t true. We tell ourselves stories about ourselves, others, our relationships. We develop stories constantly in our heads, some true, some false. I have a story that I’m not enough, and I think we all likely have a version of that story, and that’s why it is of the GREATEST IMPORTANCE to have a story about exactly how whole, well, and complete we truly are. And then we must choose which story to adopt and believe – which one do we turn up, and which one we put on mute?

So, here’s my question? What story do you tell yourself about you?

And my follow up to that is, WHO in your life do you let CONFIRM it?

It was never about that guy that broke my heart. It was never about any guy. It was never about being rejected. It was about ME. My behavior and downward spiral as relationships ended, was completely related to my ego, my self importance, and my lack of self esteem. It was 100% about me and the bullshit story I had been telling myself about me.

It was MY CHOICE to accept that rejection as confirmation of my “not enoughness.” 

I ALLOWED those relationships to CONFIRM my own shitty story about me.

If I truly knew my value in those moments, if I truly understood I was amazing and beautiful, and valuable beyond measure. If I knew that I was powerful and a goddess. If I knew that I was a warrior princess descended from the baddest motherfuckers on earth. If I knew that I was ingenious, bright, and a beam of pure joy. If I knew I had incredible value to give the world. If I knew I could change the world just by being me, myself, and I. If I knew that simply my presence made other people’s lives better. If I knew that I was destined for greatness, and that I am greatness. If I knew that I could accomplish everything and anything I wanted to. If I knew that I was a force to be reckoned with. If I knew that my dream life is my life. If I knew the sun and the stars lived within me. If I knew the energy the sun warms our planet with, is the same energy that I have coursing through my veins. If I knew that I was one with the universe, that I am the universe, and that my very being is tied to the highest form of energy in this whole fucking galaxy, then my reaction to the dismissal of another would have been “peace motherfucker.” No pain, no malice, just peace. 

In all likelihood, if I had known this story, I probably wouldn’t have accepted the poor treatment in the first place. And if I had truly known my value, I likely wouldn’t have attracted that kind of relationship into my life AT ALL.

It’s completely bananas that my husband saw through all of it it, and saw who I could be, instead of the broken mess I was believing myself to be. And that’s the beautiful thing. He saw a glimmer of my sunshine through the rain and knew it would bring a rainbow. He saw the faintest ray peaking through the clouds and knew it would bring warmer days. Even in the darkest nights, he could see the reflection of my beam as it illuminated the full moon. He instead saw my other story, the quieter story. He saw the story that I wasn’t allowing anyone to confirm, the story I didn’t truly believe or claim. 

He saw the part of me that was silently raising her hand, and he called on her.  

Fourteen years later, I am stepping into that story much more often, and I feel like I’m finally showing that man that he wasn’t wrong to believe that I’m an amazing, beautiful, loving, compassionate, capable of anything, badass, warrior, goddess ET CETRA bitches! 

I’m going to prove him right, if the only reason is to show him he was. I’m going to prove him right because he fucking deserves that badass bitch. And so do all of you. And so do I!

Only you can truly give that raised hand permission to speak. Choose a tribe that believes in the quiet story. Choose which story you decide to empower and then GO BE that story!!!

Call on that raised hand every fucking day and give her permission to fill the world with her light. 

To all the shit moms out there…

I used to be a high performance athlete. I represented my country multiple times internationally. I suppose I will always be an athlete, it’s a mentality that I can’t seem to shake.

I also have my master’s degree and took pride in my education with a 3.9 GPA.

I love identifying a challenge and then finding a solution. It is also what I did for my profession. I worked with people who had been injured, often horrifically, and I helped them recover and return to whatever normal we could find. Often there were incredible challenges with multiple physical, emotional, and psychological barriers. It involved hard work, creativity, experience, optimism, and faith.

I say this to give context to who I am. I am achievement oriented. I love a challenge, and I love helping people improve, recover, thrive, and I love the pursuit of those same things for myself.

Along the way, I became a mother. I was so happy when I was pregnant. My first pregnancy was not planned. I hadn’t intended to become pregnant one year prior to the Olympics, on the heels of my lifetime best performance. Unplanned or not, I relished in the miracle of life, even the not so miraculous nausea, as it was all part of the process.

I don’t believe it makes sense to pick and choose which parts you like of something. I don’t think it makes sense to rejoice over the wonder of watching your baby kick, but then curse the nausea. They are products of the same thing, so I embraced both, and practiced gratitude when it wasn’t always easy.

To me, pregnancy and childbirth felt like the closest you get to life and death. Life literally passes through you. Where there was one, there is now two. It’s a beautiful and amazing process to watch your body evolve through. It was also an incredibly empowering experience to see what my body was truly capable of.

Throwing hammer was cool and all, but literally having life move through you…now that is incredible.

After my second daughter, I remember feeling incredibly challenged. I wasn’t working, I wasn’t writing, both kids were still home, and I found I was just….bored. I was so in love. I love my kids, I love being a mom. How could I feel so bored, or unfulfilled, or like I was missing a piece of myself?

I love my husband. He’s sexy, smart, loving, compassionate, and we still knock boots on the reg. So, I would marinate on this question: why am I bored, unfulfilled, why do I sometimes feel wanting? Lacking?

What I came up with is motherhood is just hard. You have to be ever present to make sure these little beings don’t accidentally hurt or kill themselves, but they don’t really stimulate you mentally. So, if you’re achievement oriented, it’s hard to get that stimulation that really fulfills you.

I don’t have passionate conversations with my one year old where we volley ideas back and forth on topics and ideas that get me excited and thoughtful, that invigorate or challenge me.  We are often objectified by our kids. Which is normal, but doesn’t feel great.  

My older daughter does ask me questions, and apart from an occasionally brilliant insight, she typically bombards me with 5000 questions in rapid succession like “can I have water,” “why,” “I’m hungry (which is an indirect question),” “why?” and before I can answer the first, she has rifled off ten more, which is mentally exhausting, and I often fly off the handle, because I’m trying to manage her sister, as well as dinner, as well as XYZ, and then she looks at me like I’m the crazy one!! Then she doesn’t even listen to the answers I give her… SERIOUSLY?!?!

The lack of mental stimulation, but the constant requirement of mental space and energy is HARD! I do not believe it is unique to my situation, but it is part of motherhood. I’m sure there will be a day when I stop fantasizing about being in my house ALONE for a few hours without having to tend to someone else’s needs, and that day will likely be the same day I understand that these were the precious years.

So, as I embraced the nausea of pregnancy, I should embrace the shackles that come along with this period of motherhood.

Returning to work, starting this blog, all made a big difference. I am now having adult conversations, helping people, and being creative. I am getting the mental stimulation that I crave, and I’m being challenged. Thankfully, I am still able to work from home, and that brings up new challenges, but I don’t want to give up these early years with my babies.

What would Cavewoman do? Well, if she was able bodied, she would be out hunting and killing shit. She’d be physically challenged, and mentally stimulated as she worked with a group of peers to accomplish the desired goal. It would require skill, fitness, and teamwork. Granted, she wouldn’t be doing this immediately after birth, but she would go back to being a physical member of the group, if capable, and the older children and aging tribe members would have tended to the children.

Motherhood just isn’t really meant to be done the way that we are doing it nowadays. You know what I mean? We would have had so much support, within a multigenerational community, and we wouldn’t have been going it alone, as most of us are now. I cannot even imagine single parenting.

And when I wasn’t working, although I longed for mental stimulation, I shouldn’t underplay the amount of emotional stimulation my children gave, and continue to give, me regularly. Which, therein lies the conundrum. It’s a complex labyrinth where you feel emotionally raw from all the love and joy, but mentally exhausted from the neediness and readiness required, and then mentally under stimulated by the content.

Motherhood can just be fucking rough…it is really fucking tough at times. It’s the hardest thing to explain to people that don’t have kids, because when you’re explaining it, it can sound awful and undesirable.

And you know what? Sometimes it is… Sometimes it’s ugly, and you scream at your kids. Sometimes your house is a fucking hazmat zone, and you still eat food off the floor (guilty). Sometimes you feel like a horrible human being for how badly you want to slap the shit out of your kids. Sometimes you can’t remember the last time you had an adult conversation without being interrupted 900 times.

And then sometimes your little one grabs your face with two hands and brings you in for a kiss unexpectedly, or completely ignores your bitchy mood and speaks to you with a tone equal to pure love. Sometimes they make an incredibly thoughtful observation about life, or they say I love you. Sometimes they share tenderly with their sibling, or they laugh! Like really laugh. Like the kind of laughter that doesn’t understand what it’s like to have a dying parent, a broken heart, or a lonely soul.  Sometimes they simply smile and it lights up their eyes in a way that causes the fireball of rage in your belly to bubble up and melt your heart into a fucking giant pool of liquid hot magma love.

And then you realize you’re a shit mom and you begin to question whether you deserve their amazingness. But you do! I do. I constantly convince myself I do. I mean, I brought these little shits into this world. I deserve all the good that comes with that, don’t I?

As I embraced everything about pregnancy, I absolutely have to embrace everything about parenthood. Which brings me back to gratitude. It’s easy to be thankful for the love, and the snuggles. But the sleepless nights, the painful births, the temper tantrums, and the snotty noses, the incessant questions, and the sibling rivalry – that’s where you grow. That’s the resistance that grows the muscle to be a more compassionate person, a more loving and empathetic human. Those are the moments that motherhood is the toughest, and those are the moments I am most grateful for.

In the end, it is these tough moments that will forge me into the mother I become, not the easy ones. So drink in the tough days, let them pass through you, just as their little beings did on the night they were born.

Give the greatest thanks for them, and know that a bad day can always be quelled with a sweet kiss and a gentle hug, which is always just around the corner. I surrendered to motherhood the moment I became pregnant. And in the tough moments, I think if I practice surrendering, if I give thanks, if I remain present, that I’ll be able to move through this phase with more grace…and possibly less swearing.

Food for thought: What was the toughest age with your little ones?

 

What’s wrong with you?

How do you forgive someone? In the past it has not come easily, or naturally, for me. I have struggled with letting shit go. I used to perseverate and roll stuff around my brain. I would have imaginary arguments in imaginary scenarios, and by default, I would actually hurt my own feelings.

How is that even possible? That fact that I could have an argument in my imagination, and have hurt feelings about it, is hilarious. How ridiculous? It’s incredible how our imagination can conjure up the things it does, but it’s a complete waste of time and emotional energy to spend time conjuring up hurt feelings. It doesn’t serve us to imagine a scenario where someone says something hurtful. It doesn’t serve us when it’s real, let alone imaginary.

I used to work in exercise rehab. Many of my clients had complex and traumatic physical injuries, often complicated by a myriad of mental health diagnoses that led to challenging recoveries. I remember a client who was a perfectionist and would be incredibly hard on himself if he missed a workout or didn’t complete his rehab to his satisfaction – regardless of whether I (as his therapist) was happy with his progress. This reaction would cause a cascade of judgement, anxiety, depression, and paralysis in his rehabilitation journey.

This client, and many of my other client’s, would be so busy going around the hamster wheel of self judgement, that they couldn’t move forward. This was a reminder of a powerful lesson I had learned a few months prior, and I used it to help progress my client’s regularly. In those moments when my client’s were chastising themselves and feeling like failures for insignificant offenses, I suggested maybe they try forgiveness.

Forgive missing the workout, forgive not getting all the exercises done, forgive being busy, in pain, frustrated, overwhelmed, depressed… By being so focused on the past, and inconsequential behavior (because one workout is not the end of the world, I promise), they could not make positive decisions for the present. The past had jailed them.

This was not an easy lesson for me to learn. I used to beat myself up about everything. I held grudges against myself FOR YEARS! Asking myself, “How could you have done that?” “Why would you do something like that?” “What’s wrong with you?” Carrying years of guilt, shame, embarrassment…

I have a fast brain, and I can hurt my own feelings in record time. In the past, I have been a victim to my thoughts and emotions, rather than an observer. I am making the choice to learn and accept that maybe my feelings and emotions are liars…

So, one day I’m driving home from work, and I remembered a painful moment from my past. I was snaking up the hill through the beautiful golf course community we lived in, spring was blooming around me, and amongst this beauty I was sitting in my car feeling completely awful. Throughout the drive I had been turning over this past incident in my head. I was feeling incredibly guilty and embarrassed about something that had taken place no less than four years prior. I was feeling like a complete and utter piece of shit, worthless, unloveable, and generally like a horrible human being.

As I came around the last corner…I became an observer to my thoughts…FINALLY! I got thinking… “does anyone else judge me about this past incident? Is anyone else still hurt by it? Does anyone else think I’m a terrible human being? Is anyone else even still thinking about it?”

The answer was NO! So, why was I? Why was I still punishing myself?

As I climbed the hill and curved around that last bend, I remember having the epiphany, “I could forgive myself for this!” It was like the weight of the years of shame were lifted. I didn’t need to carry a burden that I had already apologized for, and had been given forgiveness.

I had been forgiven by all the people that mattered, except for myself. And when I gave myself permission to forgive myself, I felt liberated. What a novel concept.

Think of something from your past that makes you cringe. Go back in time and relive it. Think about how it made you feel. Who was there? What did you do? Why did you do it? Say that? What were the circumstances? Did you feel queasy, uneasy, and like you needed to hide under a rock? Did it make you feel unworthy of the love in your life and the people that love you? Did that moment make you feel worthless and like you were not enough? Live in that moment one last time…

Now let it fucking go! The past is in the past. You should certainly learn from your past, but you certainly SHOULD NOT be punished by it. Please think about this painful moment in your past and say these words, “I forgive you for doing that. I love you. I’m sorry for punishing you. And thank you for teaching me.” And then MOVE FORWARD.

You CAN NOT move forward with any speed, passion, or purpose if you are being held back by the anchors of guilt and shame. But YOU CAN become the most amazing, resourceful, beautiful, loving version of yourself, if you forgive, let go of your own judgement, and sail forward with the winds of love and abundance.

This is the only way to become your best self, to give your best self to those around you, and to show up and own this life. We all deserve that version of you, especially YOU.

%d bloggers like this: