Life is such a funny thing. Maybe it’s the interconnections of the social sphere’s maybe divine intervention and purpose, but the world seems so small when we think about how we are brought together. I’ve never met Dominique Stratton, but when she reached out about contributing to Soul Power, and I immediately read her blog, I knew that her story was one of power and relatability. One that only she can share. Little did I know, that she actually is the sister of a woman I went to high school with! I had no idea, until I saw her sister share a totally “bragging rights” post about Dominque’s blog, a mental life. I couldn’t believe it. What a small world. I know that her vulnerability and REAL talk about depression and mental illness is going to have you all shaking your heads in agreement and uttering, “hell yes”. But I’ll let her do the rest of the talking :)
6.8% of U.S. women, less than the age of 34, have high blood pressure; a statistic that I never imagined that I would be a part of at the ripe age of 28. Happily married, in the throws of a master’s degree program (nearly finished), and less than a week into basking in the emotional sunshine of newfound motherhood, I knew I was strong, but strength hadn’t reached its full potential in my life. It wasn’t until this year, that I’ve realized what strength truly encompasses. How beautiful it would be to grow as strong as an earthed tree, yet avoid all the tears and turmoil it took to get there; maybe in another life.
I am nearly ready to go on my soul trip. I can’t believe that it’s only a week from today! I finally feel I can actually start getting excited about it. I’ve been so busy lately, and I don’t mean to make busy a glorified state of being, it’s just truly how it’s been. So I haven’t fully been able to get super excited about leaving for my trip. I’ll be going to Stockholm, Croatia and Florence and when my heart thinks about traveling right now it is so fully of pure joy. This is some of my own deep self-care work that’s vital to my own health, happiness and inner relationship. I am gearing up for the kickoff of September Self-Care on Monday, I cannot wait for everyone who is a part of this! Self-care has been so integral to my own healing, so I know how significant this will be to those are who are a part of it.
Self-care isn’t selfish, it is however, a choice to actively love yourself through actions, practices and rituals. Self-care is about learning refinement of how best to take care of yourself, not about attaining perfection. This comes from a deeper commitment to love yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you love every inch of your body, or if there are certain things you’re working on to better yourself. It is a strong connection to honoring yourself for where you are right now. It is a deep, loving support of yourself so that you can live with intention and peace within your life.
I can’t wrap my mind around where summer went. It feels like it was just the beginning of July and here we are now at the end of August. Who let that happen?
One thing I know for sure, I am soaking in on all of the summer produce possible. Fresh items like peaches, nectarines, berries (all the berries!), summer squash and greens are in such abundance right now. So I am using them up in every way I can possibly fit them into my meals.
Part of why I love having Soul Power as a part of this site is because it provides the opportunity to further connect with one another as a community. I appreciate so much the depth at which people are willing to go with their writing, and personal anecdotes. Carrie Lewman, is a brave woman who writes over on her site carrielewman.com. I’ve come to know her virtually through her participation in my September Self-Care program a year ago. She took so much away from that experience, and continued to help herself in her journey to healing. It brings me so much joy to share with you her writing as a part of her process in understanding herself in dealing with loss and a deeper connection within.
My thoughts on death and loss have always been that grief is what you experience afterwards. That it is a stage you enter into. Actually grief is not something that happens to you, it is something you do afterwards. It is your reaction to loss or death. We have all heard of, and perhaps walked the many stages of grief; anger, denial, depression, acceptance, etc…, but no one ever speaks of the heartbreak. It is essentially the root of grief and where most people get stuck. Your heart has been broken as the result of loss and this loss does not always directly pertain to physical death. It can be the demise of a relationship, loss of a job, relocating, loss of innocence, and disappointment in life not turning out how you thought it would, just to name a few.
If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I got the most random episode of a sinus cold this past week. It took me by complete surprise. It is the middle of summer, after all. I was fine on Tuesday, but I woke up Wednesday morning and could barely breathe through my nose, lost my sense of smell and generally felt pretty miserable. Lucky me, I had a busy day that day with back to back meetings so I pushed through. Later that evening I totally crashed and ending up breaking a fever through the night.
I knew there was no way I could fight this thing on my own. At the onset I took vitamin C, B and zinc to help my immune system and body overall. Throughout the day I loaded up on turmeric and broths, the healing foods. Most importantly, I called my acupuncturist!
When spring and summer come all I can think about are getting my hands on all the fresh produce and vegetables possible. It’s a time when I leisurely walk the farmer’s markets. I am constantly inspired by fresh local produce, and right now there is so much to be excited about. Between fresh berries, figs, collard, dandelion greens, zucchini, and asparagus there is so much right now to make healthy eating super convenient.
Seeing all of the green vegetables as I tote them home in my market bag is one of my simple pleasures in life. It makes me so dang happy. Does anything do that for you?
I get asked all the time, “What brought you to Seattle?”
It’s a funny a question to me with a million different answers about what could possibly lure me across the country. Most people, are expecting the common answer, a job, or a relationship. Neither was the case for me.
When I begin to tell them what truly brought me, I take a moment, to soak it in, to read the person in front of me a bit and get an idea of how this will land for them. I explain that the only way for me to have made a move clear across the country, knowing not a soul, was trusting my hearts inner knowing. I knew intuitively that this was a place I needed to be and I needed to do whatever in my power to make that happen.
I haven’t written a post in a while. I could start to tell you that I’ve been uninspired. Truthfully, I told myself that, and even believed it for a little while too, honestly. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that actually it hasn’t been from lack of inspiration. I’ve got recipes rolling out left and right (just not posted) and I’ve a steady stream of article ideas going constantly in my mind, and some even written and not shared.
No what I’ve been doing is a lot of living. I’m a firm believer that everything comes in waves and sometimes certain periods of our lives are meant to focus on specific areas and that’s okay. Writing, though I still do it for myself, hasn’t been one of those focuses for me lately.
There’s part of me that feels I should constantly be churning out content for you all, for this amazing community that I’ve some how had the fortune of getting to facilitate. And then I remember how the word should is an asshole, and I feel a little better ;). In all seriousness I am steadfast in my belief that I can’t just write for the sake of writing, that what is meant to be heard, shared or seen will just naturally flow out of me at the moments when it needs to be released. We all receive messages just when we need them, and that’s exactly how I want my writing to be delivered. Landing just where it’s supposed to, when it’s supposed to, for whoever may need it.
This reflection has occurred a lot lately. Between working with people in my day-to-day work life, settling into routines, navigating the dating scene while remaining reserved (and sane), exploring both the natural wilderness and my own wildness, I’ve been creating, manifesting new projects and finishing up my Amba yoga teacher training. I realize that everything I do is to share it with other people. I am compelled by an inner burning desire to enrich my life through these experiences that translate into lessons and anecdotes that shape and mold me, but also help people in ways I never could have imagined. There is power in experiences I’ve had and yet to have.
We often wonder if we’re on the right path. If where we’re headed is the right way and if our direction will lead us to where we want to be. Is our life’s purpose guiding us correctly, or is there interference between our heart and minds?
The truth is, we’re only “there” for a short period, and then we move on to a different path. Some paths we stay connected to and become integrated in us as a part of our lives, but still, every illusioned destination is temporary, it’s only happening until it is simply no longer or we move to a new exploration.
Think of all the different things you said you wanted to be when you grew up. The age old question we ask young children can receive a myriad of imagined answers. Veterinarian was on my top, which later turned into a chef, later changed to journalist and magazine designer. All of these different desires held temporarily spaces in my life where they severed purposes, and then it would morph into new interests.