I went to a cuddle puddle.

Yep, that’s right, a cuddle puddle! (Insert hearty eyes emoji here).

For those of you who are wondering, a cuddle puddle is a big old pile of pillows, and comfy blankets, with a bunch of strangers piled in the middle, spooning, caressing, holding hands, touching each other with consensual, non-sexual touch.

What thoughts does this trigger for you? I thought it was kinda odd, and I was fascinated. A dear friend was hosting and the idea made me really uncomfortable, soooooooo naturally I said “yes!” Why not? Confront my fears, my discomfort, and see what this was about…annnnnnnd it was really awesome!

Now this is the typical dialogue I hear from people when I tell them about this, “I don’t want to touch strangers.” “That’s weird.” “I don’t like people touching me.” “I don’t like people.” “That sounds like a reason to get a cheap feel.” “What is this? Some kind of gangbang?”

So please, open your mind and continue to read on.

So, I get to the puddle… We do a quick workshop about rules, regulations, and etiquette. And the time arrives, it’s finally time to cuddle. So, I’m sitting in the puddle, and it’s just before we’re about to get our cuddle on, I start thinking… “I could just make a run for it. No one would care. My friend’s feelings would likely be hurt, though. Fuck, why did I agree to this? What if someone asks me to cuddle them, and I don’t want to? I know we’re supposed to say no, but I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. I could just run out now.”

And then the deeper reason behind my train of thought rears it’s ugly head…. “What if no one wants to cuddle me? What if I just sit like a weirdo in the middle of the puddle. Alone. With no one to give me snugs…”
“What if I’m rejected?”

And that’s really what the fear was all about, and it was likely experienced by everyone in the room…

And guess what? That’s how almost all of us walk around this Earth. Wondering if anyone will want to touch us, love us, belong with us, be companion’s with us, accept us, find us worthy to stroke our arm, hold our hand, and embrace us in a true hug.

Not the bullshit formality hugs that most people offer out of habit and obligation. BUT a hug offered out of true compassion for the human condition, quiet love and acceptance for who you are, and honest longing for connection with another being inhabiting a human body in this same Universe. 

That kind of hug requires vulnerability. Just like a cuddle puddle. Although, you know you’re in a safe space, that fear of rejection, of unworthiness…it still seeps in. 

Okay, back at the puddle again: So, I’m sitting there. And I’m reminded of the glacier fed lake that I grew up swimming in. It didn’t matter how hot it was outside, the lake was still ice cold. You would dip a toe in to test the water, before taking the icy plunge, and there would always be hesitation because it just feels SO COLD! That’s what the cuddle puddle was like. You want to jump in, but it feels too cold, and you’re waiting and hesitating… And then you finally jump, and once you’re in, you realize it’s really not that bad.

Once I “jumped in” to the puddle, I was invited by the arms of a vibrant mid 60s woman who asked to spoon me, and I said “yes.” Why not? We spooned, cuddled, hugged, and chatted for a couple hours, in between a tangle of arms, hands, massages and caresses on either side of us and around us. She was pressed up beside me in some way, shape, or form the whole time. Caressing my hair, my arm, squeezing my hand tightly, and most importantly laughing hysterically throughout. She told me about her marriage that was devoid of touch, and how she just “wanted to be hugged” once she got out of it. And I learned about how she grew up sheltered, and over the years had blossomed into the  radiant, expressive, dynamo of a dame, that she is now.  

I was loved on by so many people. Hugged, big spooned, little spooned, arm caressed, hands held, and hair tousled and massaged, and I was asked and I agreed to each request. It was a give and take, where it felt like for every touch you gave, you were receiving another in return. A dance of acceptance and belonging. 

I got thinking afterwards…how many of us are devoid of such touch?

As a culture, this starts early. Often, we demonize co-sleeping, and work to have babies sleeping independently as soon as possible. Breastfeeding can be shunned or seen as inappropriate. Both of these things being beautiful ways to connect and bond through touch. And let’s not forget, what would cavewoman do in both these scenarios?

Human touch is a necessity of LIFE in the early stages of bringing a baby into this world. They would die without it. That is not hyperbole. It’s actual science.

Children are institutionalized weeks after birth, only to graduate to the educational system. Touch is often prohibited by the adults who are around them the most, and if they’re from parents who have experienced the same travesty, who is to teach them the importance of touch, and human connection? We educate our children about BAD TOUCH, and protecting themselves in that sense, but at what point to we educate them about GOOD TOUCH and consent? And for those who are victims to the BAD forms of touch at young ages or old, they are often never cleared of those traumas or re-educated on how good touch can be powerfully healing and transformative.

I don’t know what the answer is…

So, I ask…when is the last time we met our own needs for human connection? When is the last time we sat and cuddled someone that wasn’t our spouse, or wasn’t someone that we have a sexual relationship with? When is the last time we laid in our best friend’s arms to watch a movie and enjoyed being loved and belonging in a completely platonic way. When’s the last time a male, whom there is no intention of sleeping with, held our hand and caressed it while telling them a funny story, or a sad story, or any story that relates our human experience to them?

What about this….  As an adult, when is the last time your parent held you? Caressed your hair? When did our parent’s stop touching and holding us? When did we, or them, decide that we were too old to be loved on? 

Touch is often equated to sex, so much so that we have eliminated a lot of physical touch and created a barrier in human connection. And how often is human connection confused with sexual connection because we are so far removed from touching one another?

I got thinking about my poor father’s final days in a nursing home. If my mother hadn’t been around to touch and love on him, when would he receive that kind of comfort and care from anyone else? And how many elderly people in these scenarios are left untouched by another, after their spouse of decades passes? How long does the widower go before they are lovingly embraced by someone? As age ensues, in our current culture, so does isolation, and institutionalization. So, where does this basic human need get met? It’s one thing to have someone wipe your ass, and help you to bed, but who caresses your cheek, and holds you lovingly against their chest as you near the end of your days?

I don’t know the answer to these questions.

I do know that it is something we all need. And you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think you do.

I do know how I felt after the cuddle puddle.

I do know that as I age, I pray that I am blessed enough to be surrounded by people that want to cuddle, hold, caress, and touch me with love and acceptance.

I do know, that if I’m fortunate enough to move into old age, that I hope there are people around me to love on me without feeling weird about it.

What would cavewoman do? In a time before language, communication and connection were king. How do you do that without words? Through your eyes, and your body. The age old game of charades, dance, and for sure touch… 

So I encourage you to ponder the following questions: how much human touch and connection do I get each day? How does the thought of attending a cuddle puddle make me feel? Why? Look deeper… And finally, what does it feel like to be hugged, and cuddled, and loved on? Don’t you want more of that in your life? Do you think the world would be a better place if this happened more often? 

Have you ever been to a cuddle puddle? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 

Mother’s Day

What does being a mother mean to you?
We all came from a woman,
We may have been raised by the same woman,
And we all have to leave that woman at some point in our life, 
Sometimes at birth, sometimes later in life, sometimes she leaves us, 
For whatever reason.

Relationships are hard and complex and riddled with expectations,
And the mother child relationship is really no different.
We place incredible expectations on our moms,
Whether she’s a 15 year old teen mom,Or a 30 year old business professional,
We place a ton of expectations on our moms.
She’s the one that is “suppposed” to love and nurture us forever, right? 

There’s one thing I am certain of, 
We love how we learn to love,
We mother how we learn to mother, 
We know what we know, and we don’t know what we don’t know,
And one thing I’m sure I know, is that as mom’s we should give credit for the simple act of doing your best.

Maybe your mom didn’t show up the way you wanted her to,
Maybe she didn’t love you the way you wanted her to,
Maybe she doesn’t understand you, the way you want her to,
Maybe she was absent, maybe she abandoned you, maybe she wasn’t the mom you wanted,
But I am also certain of this,
She was the mother you needed to cross whatever hurdles you are meant to cross on your soul’s evolutionary path.

And, I’m willing to bet, she did the best she could.
Motherhood is hard.
Most often we enter into motherhood not even knowing who we are, 
And often because our mother’s before us, and before them, didn’t know who they were either,

You’re given a human, while you’re still carrying all your own wounds and traumas, 
You’re given a human, and you simply do the best that you can.

I grew up with a loving and caring Mother.
And she absolutely did the best she could.
I could look back and wish for this, wish for that, as I’m sure we all could,
But the bottom line is, my mother loved me, she would give her life for mine, and she absolutely did the best she could.

As I’m seven years deep into motherhood I think about all the things that get passed from generation to generation,
I look at my challenges as a mother, and I realize most of the stuff we carry with us, never belonged to us in the first place,
They are ancestral lines of healing that haven’t been healed, 

AND AS A MOTHER, IT IS MY JOB TO COMPLETE THAT HEALING.
If I choose to. If I can be aware and conscious enough to realize that.

As a mother in a modern world, we face challenges unlike any other time in history.
We are left to motherhood almost completely alone. 
As our mother’s before us, and before her. 
And that’s not how it’s meant to be done, 
So, if you’re failing, or you feel like you’re failing, I would offer you this….

FAIL FORWARD, AND FORGIVE YOURSELF DAILY…it’s not meant to be done the way we are doing it,
AND we have an incredible opportunity before us.
Although motherhood in a modern world is incredibly difficult, there is one saving grace,
We have more resources and opportunities than any other time in history.

We have opportunities to grow and evolve,
We have experts at our fingertips,
We have social media and ways to connect with communities that are searching for people that want to do all the same things.

We live in a day and age where you can go on instagram and hear from leading experts on how to improve, evolve, heal, and reconnect with who we truly are!
THAT IS FUCKING AMAZING!

So the next time you find yourself criticizing your Self, criticizing your mother, remember this….IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE DONE THIS WAY! 
Give yourself a break mama,
You’re doing the best you can, and if you’re not, then tomorrow is a new day.

My challenge to you, is do something to grow and heal each day.
Find people that want to do the same.
Be the mother for your children that you wish you had, if you wish for that,
And then be the mother to your SELF that you wish you had.
There is powerful, powerful stuff in mothering your Self. 
And let’s face it, we could all do with speaking a little kinder to our SELVES. A little softer.
A little gentler.

And naturally as you do this for you, it will flow to the other loves in your life, 
Especially your children!

To my own mother,
I love you.
Thank you for being kind, compassionate, and raising me the way you did.
To all the other mother’s out there,
I love you.
Thank you for all you do, thank you for inspiring me, for hearing me, for seeing me, and for gathering with me, wherever that may be…

What did you learn from your Mother? Drop it in the comments my loves.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

They asked, what do you want to be when you grow up?
A doctor, a lawyer? 
I remember the question.
My Dad asked me regularly.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I didn’t know then, and I have an idea now.

I think a better question would be, WHO do you want to be when you grow up?
Who do you want to be? 

We often don’t know WHO we are, and we are supposed to know WHAT we want to be for the rest of our lives.
When did you figure out who you were?
Not who people told you you were, but WHO you actually are….

Have you figured it out yet? I suspect most of us, have egos that tell us we are this and we are that,
And if we look deeper, there’s somebody else lurking behind the curtain. 
I implore you to go shake hands, share a hug, and warm cup of something. 

WHO you are is much more important than WHAT you do,
And I never remember my Dad asking me that. 
Likely because he already knew I was bomb as fuck,
And there was a missed opportunity.

To reflect, to journal, to get to the bottom of what my future self could, ought, should, might just WANT to be…

Ask me that question now…
What do you want to be when you grow up Crystal?
And my answer would be wise.

I want to acquire and gain knowledge to better understand myself and the world around,
The world I’m connected to, but often don’t realize.
I want to share what I know with the women who come after me, and learn form the women who came before me. 
I want to see how everything and everyone is connected, and help everyone else understand the very same thing.
I want to share my wisdom and love and joy and self with every and all who come to the altar. 
I want to be wise.

Ask me that question again…
What do you want to be when you grow up Crystal?
And my answer would be wild.

I want to be wild like the wind, blowing across oceans, uprooting trees, and lulling babes to sleep,
I want to be wild like the ocean, rivers, and streams caring for the plants, and the earth, and the animals, nourishing them, feeding them, carving into the earth with my immense power, tumbling and turning across the vast planet, and soft and serene while slipping down a mountain vista, 
I want to be wild like fire, destruction and rebirth, swathing across lands and engulfing all that there is, clearing new paths for rebirth and regrowth, purging out the old, and making way for the new,
I want to be wild like the Earth, grinding and grooving, influencing all others, creatures, humans, wind, and water, feeding, nourishing, making a home for all that are here, showing a synchronicity, and depth of wonder and inspiring adventure, and exploration. 
I want to be wild. 

I don’t know WHAT I want to be. I know what I am. 

I am a mother, and a wife, I am an athlete and a writer, I am a lover and dancer, I am a feeler and a thinker, I am passion and desire, I am fierce and protective, I am love. 

I know WHO I want to be. 
And armed with the knowledge of WHO I am, not worse, nor better, 
And a clear vision of who I want to be in the future, I continue to walk the path. 

The path towards that wise, wild, woman.
The one that gathers.
The one that supports.
The one that loves. All.
That wise, wild, woman.

Drop a message in the comments, if you’d like to come gather with me in circle ♥️

The Universe has your back, are you listening?

I was walking across a parking lot and I saw this woman. 
And something about her spoke to me. 
Whether her energy, or the universe, or all the above.
I just thought to myself, I should talk to her.
And there were enough visual clues, outside of how she felt to me, that encouraged me to initiate a conversation,
So I did. 

She was carrying a Javelin and wearing a USA Hockey hat.
For sure we would have a thing or two in common…
So, we started talking, and within seconds, she asked if I knew how to throw hammer.

“Ummmm….I was the Canadian national champion at one time….”
She was shocked. I was shocked by the question. 
“Can you teach me?”
“Ummmm……of course I can!” 

What an interesting set of things that all transpired, one right after another, in a super odd and surprising way. 
That’s the universe.
Are you listening? 

When I saw her, I could have ignored the pull I felt to speak to her. 
That pull, that was the universe. 
And I WAS listening.

We arranged a time to get together so I could teach her hammer throw. 
And as soon as she started winding her hammer, I could tell who she was.
Focused, intense, a high achiever.

It turns out she is 67, and she is so incredibly similar to one of my best girlfriends back home.
Similar mannerisms, eyes, ways of speaking and moving. 
Another sign.
Are you listening? 
The similarities were uncanny, like my bestie had aged 30 years and was coming through another person’s body. 

We talked about hammer and everything track for the longest time. 

She got dizzy as most beginners do, and I remembered knowledge that I had gathered over years and years of experience as a coach and athlete.
“You will get less dizzy as you adapt, it’s your body learning.”
Brilliant advice, I know…hahaha….

But isn’t that the truth for everything?
As we move through this world, it’s never comfortable in the beginning. 
We feel unsure of our footing, our head spins…
But if we have patience and discipline, what was once hard, will become less hard, and what is less hard, will become easy, and what becomes easy, you will then master.
Hammer throw, life, skill acquisition….it’s all the same shit.
If you are listening. If you are willing to see.

As we continued through the practice, she noted the age of my girls, and mentioned that it’s a “hard time of life.”
Something I have meditated on regularly.
She knew without asking how hard it is at this time in life, and she was the perfect vessel to relay this understanding, to see me, to validate all that a I’m going through, all that a mom goes through.
As she said these words without prompting, I found myself accepting her words and reflexively responding, 
“I know. It’s so hard. How did you make it through? Give me some wisdom.” 

We talked for so long, and she relayed so many tidbits that resonated deeply in my heart. 
When I spoke, she picked out the integral parts of what I was saying and echoed them back. 
“Crystal, what I hear you saying is that THEY SAW YOU.” When referencing my old job and career. 
“Crystal, what I hear you saying is that you made a big sacrifice when you picked up and moved your family, and you need to grieve that loss too.”
These were things I didn’t even consider grieving for, or giving myself space to grieve them. 
I don’t forsake the decision we made, but I certainly should have given myself space to grieve… 

Something she said that resonated deep, deep down was she said “When we have kids, it’s like we put a piece of ourself up on a shelf, and you don’t get it back for a very long time, if ever.” 
She was clear to add that you gain all of these other things. And I agree. 
A part of me did get put up on a shelf, and out of reach, when I had kids.
And it’s scary. It’s impossible to explain to anyone else but another mom.

I know my husband will never fully understand. 
It’s a path and a journey that only a woman, and a mother, can walk.
And not just walk, but know, understand, embody, and live and breathe.
He appreciates he can’t understand, and he supports me there. 
And I love him dearly for that.

I told Jill the embarrassing fact that in 7 years of motherhood, I have taken one weekend to go away with a girlfriend and not do anything mom or work related. 
She looked at me aghast, “why?” 
Great question…
And when I think about it, I really don’t know why.
If I’m being really honest.
It NEVER EVEN OCCURRED to me that I should. 
And honestly, my mom never did things for herself. 
And I doubt that her mother before her did either.

So when would I have learned to prioritize that piece of myself that isn’t being attended to?

“Crystal, what I hear you saying is that you need more support. Do you have other friend’s that are moms?” 
I don’t really.
I have one. She’s amazing. I love her. 
And honestly, when shit gets thick, she’s the only person I can go to and lay out all my shit to, and that I really feel heard and understood, and fucking seen in the challenges I/we/you face as a mother in a modern world.

Thank you Universe for delivering Jill to me. 
That’s how I know you got my back.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! 
Thank you for having my back. 

Jill is me. 
She is a vibrant, beautiful, 67 year old that could likely do anything that she puts her mind to. 
She is a lawyer, and no doubt a badass – professionally, and personally.
She’s a go getter and an athlete. 
She plays hockey, throws hammer, water skis, and attacks all of it with ferocity, intensity, and wonder…
I’m guessing based on her hammer attempts… 
Time does not determine her faith and ability in herself. 
She is a mother. 
She is me. 

No better person could have randomly passed me in a parking lot and delivered the message I needed to hear. 
“Crystal, it may not feel like it now, but this is but a brief moment in your life,” as she holds up her thumb and index finger to measure and show how small this time feels to her upon reflection. 
It’s an important time and it influences the rest of your life, but it is brief. 
“I know it doesn’t feel that way when you’re in it, but it is gone before you know it.”

Wise words, from a wise woman. 
And no doubt, she would have been one of the many women in my tribe millennia ago.
Holding my hand, supporting me as a mother, and helping me through life as we all would have done in our oft forgotten yesteryears. 

So, I say this to you, my fellow mothers. 
I am here, and I am in this with you.
We are all mourning that woman that got put on the shelf. 
And we are all following the same path. 
And we are all going to make it through. 

My request to you, is that you start listening the signs around you. 
I request that you seek out your fellow mothers and band together with them for support.
And I request that you reach out and share your own challenges, tell your own stories, find your own wise women, and forgive, love, and thank all that is and will be. 

Thank you Universe for delivering one of my ancestral mothers to guide me in this modern world, Jill was no doubt a gift from you, and me, and all the mother’s before and since. 

Who do you look to in a modern world to guide you on your way? What wise women influence your path? Share in the comments, and walk with love and light today and always.

A message to women dealing with Imposter Syndrome – Part 2

I felt my worthlessness wash away.

I felt my anxieties and insecurities slip into the abyss. 

I felt my worry melt off my skin like a bead of sweat on a hot day .

And I remembered. 

I am lovely. 

I am wonderful. 

I am awesome. 

I am beautiful. 

I love me. I truly love me and there’s SO MUCH to love about me. 

I felt my heart burst open and let out pure love. 

I felt my heart flow all over my body and I realized…I didn’t need anyone. 

Just me. Just me could make me feel this good. 

I didn’t need anyone to love me. 

I didn’t need anyone to give me love. 

I didn’t need love from any other source than me, because I AM SOURCE. 

And I CANNOT feel that love from anyone else until I’m connected with me, and loving me. 

I cannot love in my fullest capacity without having that connection with me. 

I am powerful. 

I am filled with strength and courage. 

I am ferocious and loyal. 

I am love,

I am sensual, and juicy, and delightful… 

I am made up of queens and kings, and warriors and sorcerers… 

So why had I forgotten this? 

I looked down at myself and I saw a scared and angry little girl. 

I saw a little girl that felt less because of her sex. 

I saw a little girl that wanted to please the men in her life by behaving and achieving. 

I saw a little girl that was angry, calling herself names, and carrying emotional weights that were holding her back. 

I saw a little girl rejected by her best friend and abandoned for a cooler crowd. 

I saw a little girl that felt she must tolerate and endure instead of speak her mind, and be heard. 

I saw a little girl that was a burden and the reason her mother couldn’t be happy.

I saw a confused teen that felt that only her sex was desirable. Not her mind or her soul. 

I saw a judgemental wife and mother who holds herself to an impossible standard and then quietly judges and punishes herself for not doing better. 

And as all the heaviness rolled off my body and my heart burst through the bullshit, I saw all of them. 

Plainly and clearly. 

I looked at them with kindness and love and I said gently, “stop being silly, you are amazing, why do you keep forgetting these things? Let go my love. You know who you are. I love you dearly, can you please not forget?” 

And I remember all the times my Mama said goodnight to me,

She’d tuck me in, give me a hug and a kiss, and as she walked out the door she’d turn, peak back in, and whisper… 

“Don’t forget.”

Our secret way of reminding each other we loved each other. 

A tender memory. 

And a foreshadowing of a forgetfulness that is simply silly. 

After all these years, I’ve been focused on forgetting the love in my life, instead of remembering it. 

So as I lay in my bed tonight. 

Reminded of my radiance, my beauty, my soul and my spirit…I think about all that I have learned and remembered.

I tuck myself in, I curl up into the sheets. And I start my new ritual. 

“Remember who you are my love. Remember you ARE love and you are loved.”

Who are you forgetting you are? Drop it in the comments my loves.

Read Imposter Part 1

A message to women dealing with Imposter Syndrome – Part 1

You are worthless.
You are worth less.
You are worth less than a man.
Your pussy makes it so.

Your voice matters less.
Your opinion matters less.
You don’t deserve the right to ask for and express your deepest desires and dreams.
So keep your mouth shut.
Keep your opinions to your self.

You are meant to do one thing.
You are meant to have kids and take care of your man.

What you want isn’t important.

You are not equal.
You are not as smart.
You are gullible and stupid and naive.
You believe whatever people tell you. 

Your body determines your worthiness.
Your body and your actions determine your worthiness of love.
You need to act a certain way to be loved.
You are replaceable if you act out of line.

You are less important than your male counterparts.
You are automatically worth less and are less important because of your sex.

Your tits are too small.
Your ass is too big.
Your belly isn’t flat enough.
Your legs are too big.
Your personality is too much.

You are a woman.
You can’t be taken seriously.
You are less and you are subservient. 

You are replaceable.
There are other women out there and you’re not special.
You should act a certain way, so you’re not replaced.
You should act how a woman is supposed to act.

You don’t deserve unconditional love.
You are a woman.
You don’t have the same value as a man.
You are not important. 

Are you these things? Or did society convince you of that?
Do you believe these things? Or did “culture” assure you of that?

It’s easy to tout female power, empowerment, femininity, feminism, self love….
It’s easy to prance around and say, “I love me.”
It’s easy to say “I am woman hear me roar!”
It’s easy to say you believe that you are deserving, and equal, and important, and special.
It’s easy to say you are whole, well, and complete, just as you are….

But what if your sex automatically disqualifies you based on your core beliefs?
What if your sexual orientation disqualifies you based on your core beliefs?
What if your lack of conformity with societal and cultural norms that you choose consciously, is actually undermined by your subconscious programming? 

It’s easy to throw up a post and say women are important and powerful and should be empowered and inspired in whatever they choose…
And they should…

But what about the other shit?
What about the stuff that isn’t easy?
What about the deep seated beliefs that we are WHAT we are AFRAID we might be…

What happens when someone acts in a way that confirms to you that you are the things you are afraid of?
What happens when someone says something that affirms your worst fears about who you do NOT want to be?
What if someone straight up treats you like the things you are afraid of secretly being….worthless, unimportant, unlovable, not enough.
These things that your upbringing, your culture, your society, your religion, would like you to believe…

And what if you ARE all those things?
DESPITE how many posts you make about how beautiful and strong and empowered you are?
What if you are actually all of those things? 

Maybe you are,
AND here’s why I think you’re NOT.
Because what makes you up, also makes up the sun and stars.
What created mother Theresa, Gandhi, Buddha, also creates you.
Your gender, your sexuality, your skin color is merely a physical expression.
Who you really are is held in the nothingness and space between each and every particle in your being. 

Not in your gender.
Not in your weight.
Not in your breasts.
Not in your legs.
Not in your pussy. 

If we are all connected to source,
If we are all part of a greater being,
A collective consciousness….
What makes you less? 

Your fucking beliefs is the answer.
The ways you let others confirm or deny those beliefs.
Your choices.
So, who do you choose to be?
Worthless? Unimportant?
All powerful? Pure love?

Who do you let define that?
A society and culture that was chosen for you, and a body and genetic code that is merely an expression of an underlying mathematics outcome?
Or the omnipotent within you that truly knows who you are? 

All of those things are within me.
ALL. OF. THEM.
They rear their ugly head now and again…
And guess what? That’s okay.
Because the more I see it, witness it, observe it, the more I can be aware of it, track it, hunt it down, and slit its fucking throat. 

Because I am worth MORE, not LESS, than I can possibly ever know.
So I will be the huntress.
I will hide and find comfort in the shadows and draw back my arrow when I see my cunning prey.
I will aim with calculated precision and I will release, into the darkness, with my arrow of light.
And as my arrow pierces the shadow, and my prey falls, and blood gushes from the wound, I will bathe in the sweet fluids, drink it down, and integrate it back into the beauty that is me.

Because I am made up of it all. 

I am both dark and light, I am whole and completed by both.
And I am LOVED in both.
And I am DESERVING in both.
And I am WORTH MORE, not LESS, in both.

Read Part 2 Here!

It is your choice my love…

What do I want to give my energy to?

What thoughts, what behaviors, what actions do I want to give my energy to?

You know we are more nothing than we are something?

We are more energy, then we are matter.

We are more something we can’t see, then something we can see.

And yet we are visible, so we often give our energy to what we can see.

We judge the visible bits, and we give little merit the invisible.

Which begs the question, are you ever truly seen? Especially if most of what you are, is invisible…

So what about your precious energy?

What do you want to give your energy to?

Dare I ask, what do you NEED to give your energy to?

What do you HAVE to give your energy to?

Whether it’s dreams, goals, love….what MUST you give your energy to, in order to have that thing?

If it’s dreams, you MUST put your energy towards the actions that will achieve those dreams, you must live that dream in your mind, in the nothingness, before it can ever be something.

If it’s goals, you MUST put your energy towards behaviors that will achieve those goals, you must be the person that has attained that goal, before you can be the someone that achieves that goal.

If it’s love, you MUST put your energy toward the act of loving YOUR self if you expect to receive love from another.

YOU. MUST. LOVE. YOU.

You MUST pull love from every space of nothingness within you and beam it forth to the ethers, out to the sun, across the milky way, in to the vast nothingness that surrounds us AND is within us. YOU MUST spark that to life within you, before you can experience it from/with another.

Every second, every moment, of my life – what do I choose to give my energy to?

Do I pour it into my insecurities?

My grief?

My sorrow?

Do I pour it into my need for validation? Acceptance? Approval?

Do I pour my energy into my fears? Of rejection? Of abandonment?

Do I pour it into my frustrations? My anger?

Do I pour it into what it IS NOT? Or what it SHOULD or COULD be?

What do I pour my precious energy into?

From now until the end of my days, where do I want to be, and where do I pour my INVALUABLE energy?

Every second, ever moment of my life, every breath is filled with me.

So who is the me I want to be?

Who is the me, that I MUST be?

Because if I am more nothing than something – if I am more energy, than I am matter, WHAT DO I POUR MY ENERGY INTO?

The tales of my past, or the promise of my future?

And the future doesn’t exist, so do I pour it into the tales of my past or the promise of NOW?!

Do I give my greatest resource to the programming of a society and culture that was chosen for me, and stay chained to that?

Or do I have courage, and decide to be who I know I am, versus who my self of yesterday would like me to believe I am?

Safety or truth?

Known or unknown?

More of the same, or ultimate being?

Do I give my energy to the behavior of others?

Do I let their thoughts and actions determine MY inner peace?

Do I give my energy to the stranger that screams and honks at me when I’m driving?

Do I give my energy to thoughts that are NOT true, but my brain loves to bathe in them out of habit?

Fear, insecurity….they are all programs that we have accepted. In some way shape or form.

Often not our fault.

BUT it is our CHOICE to choose where we put our energy at THIS exact moment.

I am tired of giving my energy, my life, my thought, my fucking self, to unworthy purposes all because I lack the awareness and self love to make a goddam CHOICE…

Aren’t you? What are you tired of?

Because if I can love my self enough, and be conscious enough, then maybe I can put my energy into the right shit.

I am tired of giving my energy to my fears and insecurities.

I am tired of giving my energy to others, looking for them to validate me.

I am perfect, whole, and complete, exactly as I am.

And those that are meant to walk the path with me, will see that.

Those that can resonate with the love and gratitude that overflows my being when I am putting my energy in the right places, will want to be beside me.

I choose to give my energy to the love that resides in me. I empower me.

I choose to give my energy to the love that I experience in my life from others, I empower that too.

I choose to give my energy to all that is good within me. I empower you.

I choose to give my energy to a universe of love that surrounds me, and bathe in that. I am empowered.

I choose to give my energy to loving others, wherever they are….I am empowered.

I choose to give my energy toward compassion and grace, I am empowered.

I choose to give my energy to abundance, I am pure love AND I AM EMPOWERED!

I choose to give my energy to love, AND joy, AND peace, AND the warm acceptance that I am ALL of those things, and I am empowered in ALL of those things…IF I CHOOSE TO BE.

One is the loneliest number?

I’ve been contemplating loneliness lately.

I’m surrounded by people that love me, and yet, I still experience loneliness. In fact, as I invite more love and greater connection into my life, I find the loneliness ebbs and flows in even bigger waves in equal and opposite directions to that great love and great connection. 

What would cavewoman do? I think loneliness was a survival instinct for her. Our ancestors needed people to survive. Loneliness was maybe an instinct to keep us connected to others, keep us together, so that we could accomplish the tasks we needed to in order to survive. Or maybe it’s something that developed once we moved away from our ancestral mama’s ways. I’m really not sure…

I’m sure we’ve all experienced loneliness in some shape or form. We have a weekend with loved ones, and we experience joy, fun, good times, and at the end of the weekend, we must go back to reality. The absence of those loved ones feels unbearable at times. Like a limb has been removed. “But I want that third arm, two isn’t enough!” 

I feel that same pang as I drop B off on the first day of school, loss, loneliness, the realization that she is separate from me, no matter the fact that she came from within me. I remember that same pang when my parents drove me to college, and as I turned to walk into my apartment, I heard them fire up the truck to make the long drive back to Canada, and the ache in my chest was awful. Tears began to stream down my face, and I opened my mouth to try and breathe out the unbearable emotion of… “I’m alone.” 

It’s easy to take in the love, the connection, the wave of wondrous beauty that is belonging. We sit on the shore and we bask in that wave of welcome joy. But as we enjoy the crash of the wave of love on the shores, we must prepare ourselves for the equal and opposite reaction of that same wave sucking out to sea. 

And as that wave is pulled back to the ocean, we feel that love and joy pulled away from us. And loneliness takes it’s place. The larger the wave that hits us on shore, the greater the absence as that water recedes and retreats back to the greater source. 

Why can’t it just stay? Why can’t we stay in that perpetual high? 

I don’t know. 

I think because we aren’t supposed to be on the shore. And that’s the vantage point we often view these experiences with the ebb and flow. 

So what vantage point should we seek? I would argue that we seek to be the moon. The observer of it all. The omniscient being in the middle. If we seek to be the moon, we can understand the tides better. We can look at the waves and see that the tide ebbs and flows due to our gravitational pull on it. This allows us to move from the shore where we experience the force of abundant love as the wave almost knocks us over, and then the depleted scarcity of loneliness as each wave “hits us and quits us.”

If we are the moon, we observe this ebb and flow. We understand with a high, a corresponding low must occur. We understand that the ebb and flow are the same thing, it’s just our vantage point that is the problem. We can not experience the loneliness if we understand that we are actually in the middle of the wave. Neither being welcomed by it, nor being deserted by it, because we are the very force that pulls on all that water. 

LOVE cannot leave us. ABUNDANCE cannot leave us. Because it is always WITHIN us. But if we stay on the shore, it will feel like love is always retreating and returning to the vast sea beyond our reach.

BE the MOON.

 

What are your thoughts? Was loneliness an instinct for cavewoman? Or did it develop after agriculture and community living diminished? And how do you endeavor to be the moon, the observer, to all that you feel?

2018 has been real.

I sit in a hotel room in Mississippi and I reflect on just how “real” 2018 has been. We are here to celebrate a 110th birthday. Unreal that some should live so long and my Dad started losing his mind in his early 60s. Life is funny that way.

The end of this year didn’t neglect to punch me in the face on the way out. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a bit of a hangover from the last couple weeks.

My Dad passing was a blessing, but it hurts no less. And it creates whole new ripples of growth within me. Yes, I’m relieved he is without pain and confusion. That being said, my heart and my head have a place within them now, that just feels…..empty.

You know when you feel like you’re forgetting something. You feel some sense of forgetfulness or like there’s something missing? That’s what this feels like. Like a piece is missing. It was a piece that required peace. I understand. And yet, I feel that in my Dad’s final rest, I find some deep unrest… I’m not sure if it will be like this forever, or if maybe one day, the loss will feel “normal.” It doesn’t really matter, as everything moves and changes…just observations I’ve been making.

In addition to the final punch in the face of my father passing, 2018 delivered many other beatings. It was a good year.

Yes, you heard that right, it was a great year! If it hadn’t been for all challenges this year brought, I no doubt wouldn’t be where I’m at personally.

Kibwé and I had some of our most deep and honest “conversations” of our life this year. We have realized our egos and our shit is the cause of most of our friction. We have fought terribly, and we have fought valiantly – it all depends on the day, who’s triggered the most, and who’s willing to let their shit go. The answer is, we both need to let our shit go, and with any luck we both need to assassinate our egos, and disarm any triggers. It’s the Hurt Locker over here people. That’s life…thankfully we get to do it together!

This year has been an interesting year for us in that way. We have moved and stretched and grown immensely, and as I lay in a hotel bed in Mississippi, next to the man I married many years ago, I can’t help but be incredibly proud. He’s my best friend, and I can literally tell him ANYTHING. You know those things you’re embarrassed to admit, those desires you’re afraid to express? I tell him those. 😳

It wasn’t always that way. We’ve always been friends, we’ve always been lovers, but now it’s more. We are truly operating on a new level. And it sucks sometimes. But it’s totally worth it.

This year we also watched the kids grow into themselves. Brooklyn continues to amaze us and although we’ve stopped being flattered when people compliment her looks, we can’t help but be tickled when others notice what a special little human she is. Thoughtful, creative, and resourceful…we regularly are inspired by her and her good nature. And Ruby….she can be a tornado of energy and mischief, it makes me crazy sometimes, but it also makes me laugh hysterically, and I have a real difficult time staying mad at her. She will be dangerous for all that come into contact with her, a delight of charm, fun, charisma, and a penchant for understanding what people need.

I watched my business rise and fall, ebb and flow. It hasn’t grown as I would wish it to in 2018. But this I know: lives are changing because of pure therapeutic ketones, in unimaginable and beautiful ways, people are regaining their self, their health, and their vitality, and I’m so thankful to be a part of that.

And in my heart, I hold hope that someone’s Dad, someone’s husband, will be saved from the pain I endured with my own Dad, because I chose to share this message.

So much of our health and wellness, so much of our genetic predispositions, are completely within our control. So if you’re sitting their feeling helpless about where you are, STOP IT! Right now. STOP IT.

You are in the driver’s seat of your own life. You are in control. If you choose to be. I decided to take control of my life, of my happiness. I decided to live my authentic life. I decided to share my truth this year, more than I ever have. I’m getting better at letting go of who I think I’m supposed to be, and stepping into who I REALLY am.

And it’s fucking beautiful. I have more love in my life than I could ever imagine. And it’s not just more love. It’s like my heart has expanded in a new way for all the people in my life.

This year I created some life changing relationships and we expanded our “family,” and I cemented the relationships I already have. This year I fell for a girl, and she’s pretty cool. Her and I are going to the end together. She’s my ride or die.

And as the rain pounds the window of this hotel room, and the music plays some dope as tunes, and the kids ask me a million questions as a try to write this, and lights are being flicked on and off (against my repeated requests), I can’t help but feel what I feel.

I feel my heart. So full. Instead of pumping blood, it feels like my heart is squeezing love, pure unconditional love, out into my entire body. And it transcends my body and emanates out, beyond my skin, and further than the farthest reaches man can know. It cannot be contained by the flesh that covers my muscle and bone and instead it radiates like a sin wave. And I’ma surf that bitch.

What else do I feel? Gratitude. This year revealed so much to me about all of you. Each time I made a post, wrote a blog, posted anything…it was rare to not receive a kind, encouraging, message from someone, sometimes strangers, sometimes close friends. It made my heart soar, EVERY SINGLE TIME! And when my Dad passed, the support, text messages, comments, phone calls, the love I felt from all of y’all…it makes me speechless. I’m blessed and better because of each one of you ♥️

2019, what do you hold? What do you have in store for me? I cannot be certain, but I can be certain of my response to what life throws my way, and I can move forward with all the love, joy, and value that I know I possess, and I commit to sharing more of that with the world this year.

I’m stepping into me even more this year, so look out people, if you get too close, you might just decide to walk this path beside me ♥️

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.