What a year 2011 has been. I got a sizable tattoo, I woke up early to see my first ever lunar eclipse. I attended not one, not two ~ but three amazing retreats. I started making jewelry. I acquired an embarrassing amount of vintage cameras. I even took a pole dancing class! I laughed, I cried and I grew...tremendously.
A few of my favorite shots this year:
Here's wishing you a 2012 filled with self love, powerful awakenings, a nurturing community and much much more!
Last night a friend joined my daughter and I to partake in The Mother of All Releasing Ceremonies. Pixie shared this ceremony on her space this month in hopes that women all over the world would come together, huddled by fires to welcome back the light this Solstice. This was my first time ever celebrating a solstice but surely will not be my last. I feel many new traditions have been birthed in our household this year and I look forward to honoring them in the future.
All month I consciously thought about what I was going to release in my bundle. Slowly the words formed on tiny slips of paper and were set aside until I was ready. The bundle was hefty as many of the burdens we carry are. This was a perfect opportunitly for me to look at my shadows and sort though what needed to go. I let go of fear, anger, judgement. I let go of the expectations around what my stomach should look like as a woman. I let go of the nagging fear of not being a good enough parent. I let go of anxiety about my relationships and my expectations surrounding them. I let go of the sleepless nights I have been experiencing.
This all makes room for some pretty incredible things. I now have room for courage, joy and acceptance. I have made room for self love and self care. I have made room for being gentle with myself about how I choose to raise my child. I can open up space for beautiful new friendships. I have made room for rest.
I am not so naive to think all these things will magically whoosh into my being but knowing that I am making space to receive them is the perfect way to start 2012. It will be a practice and a process that is perfectly imperfect I am sure.
Here is a beautiful glimpse into what hundreds of woman around the world (dare I say thousands?) will be doing this Thursday on Solstice. Its time to let go and move forward, collectively as a human race. Sending you all the space to embrace joy in 2012.
Today I sit in a coffee shop, writing out this post long hand. I've carved out some breathing room in my schedule to sit and enjoy the treat of a chai tea amidst the hustle and bustle of last minute shopping.
Alone time is something of high priority for me. I've learned that in order for me to recharge, solitude is best. These days I consider lighting a candle and sitting on the cushion for five minutes of stillness to be enough when my day is full. Taking five minutes to come back into my body and breathe is a pretty great thing when every inch of you is wound up. When I'm really feeling pushed, pulled and teetering on the dangerous edge of an emotional meltdown I draw a hot bath, fire up Pandora radio and soak in the stillness. Finding stillness, even in the smallest increments of time, on days when life is most chaotic is key for me. I'm never sorry I did.
What about you? How do you find stillness in your life?
On December 10, the night of the full moon and the day of the eclipse this transformation took place upon my skin. Sometimes I still glance at my back and think, "holy cow that is big!" Sometimes I brush aside worry about receiving judgement the next time I wear a backless dress. Sometimes I forget it is there.
There is beauty in transformation and there is pain, mixed in with a lot of deep breathing. That is how I got through it anyway. This goddess symbolizes the significance of the moon to me, both as a Cancer and the Greek origin of my name. I love how she came to be and will wear her with honor and pride.
Someday I may feel ready to release the rest of the story into the Universe with a more in-depth blog post but for now I will leave you with this.
“We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been — a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.” ~Starhawk
These words called to me deeply when I first saw them not long ago. This paragraph pretty much summarizes the year of 2011 for me. While my word for the year was laughter, the word that led me there was tribe. Finding circles of women locally and globally I can connect with has helped me to grow in so many ways and is continuing to support me on my journey. To find community is the ultimate blessing. I am so honored to be a part of such a supportive and genuine blogging community, thank you all for being here.
I am positively sure I am a constant source of wonderment mixed with a little bit of confusion for those around me. But the person I surprised the most this year was myself. It is hard to choose one pivotal moment that stands out above the rest. Only a ladder of evolving steps in time. One step then another. One small shift in thinking then another. Some days I look back and think: "wow, if only I could visit my past self and show them what is to become." The look of disbelief on my face would be quite priceless.
So what is one moment that I look back upon with surprise about myself? That just last week I received my Reiki 1 attunement to start on the path of possibly becoming a Reiki practitioner. A healer? Me? That is quite a big one! Here I am though, doing it anyway. Even though my often dominant skeptical self still pipes up I am taking it all one day at a time. New thought patterns are emerging to fill the spaces of those that are fading away. Evolution and change are a beautiful thing.
The past year has been one of tremendous inner searching for me. Digging deep. Rooting out the good and the not so good. Letting go of things and people that no longer serve me. Opening up to new possibilities. Oh there has been a fair amount of travel this year. Some of it even solo as I ventured to and from glorious women's retreats. But the biggest investment of my time this year has been on myself. Piles of books read. Journals filled. Dreams voiced. Hands stained with paint. The truth is that it takes nothing but time to invest in yourself. There is always time for self care, self love and self reflection. There is always a choice to be made on where to invest that time. It may seem selfish to direct a chunk of that to myself this year, but what good am I to others if I cannot take care of me?
Two of my lovely friends are hosting some great blogging events all this month. I'm trying very hard to participate in both but so far as of day 2 all I have to show for either of them is this iPhone shot.
Things have been busy around here. With the holidays coming I am sure that they will only get even busier. Which is why it is good to take some time out for reflection this month.
Rebecca is hosting Relish 11 this month. All month she is providing prompts to help keep the blog juices flowing as well as a way to reflect on our very busy lives. Visit her Relish Life site to learn more.
Darlene is hosting December Views on her site this month. Its a no rules kind of thing I love. A way to share a little glimpse into your life through pictures. Visit her December Views info page to learn more.
Wishing you all a stress-free and joyful December.