A Higher Purpose

This chapter of my life seems to be all about adaptation. Adapting to the demands of school and realizing that my entrepreneur lifestyle of week day lunches with the ladies has come to an end. Adapting to realizing the process of learning, and studying. Adapting to being a mom and a full time university student. Adapting to building space with someone who seems committed to creating space with me. Adaptation is hard. And scary. I’m not sure I’m doing a great job most days.

I’m adapting to my truth in relationship. I was committed to exploring non-monogamy on my own terms. This was an interesting experiment that largely taught me that I’m not cut out for casual sex. Now, I’ve met someone who is monogamous, and I’ve been excellent at monogamy most of my adult life. It was my choice to abandon my experiment in multiple lovers. There was no outside pressure of any sort. It felt right to me to shift my attention to one person. It continues to feel like the choice that best serves me, and the choice that will help me be present and authentic enough to build something meaningful.

At the end of the day, my commitment is to my truth. I will continue to advocate for everyone’s right to explore love on terms that are meaningful and true to themselves. I am not sworn off any singular path, but I am doing what feels right for me, and for us.

For us. 

I thought I’d just cruise on in to the idea of ‘us’. I’ve been so hungry for something deeper than that physical connection. The idea of ‘us’ has been a bumpy ride, and the potholes are the by-product of the hurt that I’ve recently experienced. My greatest challenge in this new space is to remain present. To not let my past create barriers to the ease and joy I deserve to feel in these early days. I take some comfort in knowing I’m not the only one battling the past in this equation.

Is relationship anxiety a thing? If so, I can easily succumb to it sometimes. Fortunately, I’ve got a few tools in the kit that are helping. One of them is talking. He’s not always a talker. More adapting there…

He’s very wise. Wise in ways that indicate his soul’s been around the block a few times. He told me one of the greatest lessons he’s learned from love is that relationships need to serve a higher purpose beyond romance. A purpose like building a partnership, a home, a supportive connection. This isn’t news to me, of course. If you’ve been reading this blog over the last decade or so, you’ll know that. It’s just nice to hear it from the person you’re currently spending time with.

My life has taught me that no matter how good I am at crafting stories, I can’t ever know the ending. Why bother to worry about that now, when things are just getting started? 

Why bother worrying that I won’t be able to give the right things? Why not just give wholly and unflinchingly and let this move in whatever direction it will? 

What is certain right now is that the immediate present feels serene and positive.

What’s also certain is that the more I buckle down, the more I am kicking ass at student life.

My higher purpose continues to be this quest for elevation. Taking what I have and making more. Of me, of my potential, of my capacity for wisdom and experience, at the depth and breadth of my ability to love. 

I’ll see my way to becoming a therapist. I’ll raise brilliant humans. I’ll be an excellent friend. I’ll be an honest and reliable partner. I will leave a legacy of love.

What is your higher purpose?

My Crucial Night

“All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.” – Peter Bailey, It’s a Wonderful Life

I’ve been thinking a lot about the year that’s about to begin. One of my great lessons from 2018 is that I can do very little to control how things will unfold in life, so it seems a bit silly to think of what kind of year I’d like to have in 2019. 

The other most powerful lesson from 2018 is how much I can influence the way I feel about whatever life throws. I can consciously choose where to focus my emotion and intent. And so, as far as resolutions go, this is my plan. I’ll focus on where to put my energy.

Saturday was a perfect day. It began in the waters at Body Blitz, surrounded by beautiful, powerful women. I was in heaven; so calm and so glorious in my body. Then we shared a meal with some of our babies and some of our men. There was love and sweetness all around me, and I carried all of that glow into what turned out to be a completely magical evening.

The holidays surprised me. I’ve done enough repair with my exes that we could share time over the course of three whole days, to be with our kids. It was bittersweet, but I was so grateful for that restored sense of family and connection. I knew that it wasn’t home, but it was a place I could visit and feel loved and welcome. 

I had a difficult conversation with someone who I love about my ability to occupy space that resembles a traditional relationship. About where my heart is, and what it needs. About really looking at where our own connection was headed. With truth and love, I honored my own boundaries when my gut told me loud and clear that I needed to pay attention and make a change. Transparency is the only way for me. Listening to my gut is everything.

Recently, I asked myself to stay present and witness the depth of my own ability to connect, instead of numbing myself in the ways that I sometimes do. I reached into the places in someone that call for my ministrations and I filled that space with my pure and loving intention. I am blessed with a deep capacity to give and receive love; a well that cannot run dry as long as I am the water bearer. That goodness must be doled out in a way that feels clear and true.

I’m percolating ideas for welcoming 2019. There is so much in my life already. I think of all the things I could wish for, what I truly want is passion. I can humble myself before the universe, in the face of all of the pain and loss I lived through in 2018 and ask for this year to be different. I am brave enough to ask for more.

In 2019 I will be the queen of my own domain. The home that I return to. The safety I have created. I will be the keeper of my heart; this enormous love-soaked heart that wants to give and give and give of my fire.

I will pour my passion into writing, into mothering, into my tribe of fierce women who bolster and inspire me, into my exploration of the sacred feminine, into my love of nature, into my education, into my businesses, into the lovers I select to share intimacy with. I will pour out that passion and take it in all of the forms that it may return to me.

As I allow myself to be this vessel, I will articulate and define exactly what this life of mine will be. This sweet and wondrous life that lives in the few short breaths remaining between now and the twilight of my days.

Will you walk with me in passion? Will you taste my fire? Will you conjure with me sighs of satisfaction so deep that they will serve us like blankets against the cold and darker days? Will you join my tribe, and live in my heart, and stay in this light for a while?

Happy New Year to you all. May your dear hearts be light and ready to receive a bounty of love in 2019.

The Burning Bowl – A Ritual of Release & Attraction

Items Required:

Paper

Writing implement

Matches

Fireproof vessel

Create space that feels still and sacred. Light a candle, burn some incense, purify the air with essential oil or sage. Whatever it means to you to have sacred space.

Select two sheets of paper.

Close your eyes and reflect on the year that has passed. Consider the milestones and passages. The pain and the pleasure. The lessons learned and the knowledge yet to be gained. When you are ready, list six things that you would like to leave behind in the year to come. They can be actual objects, or experiences, or emotional states, or personality traits that no longer serve you.

Fold this piece of paper up. Place the paper into the fireproof vessel.

Light the paper on fire as you set an intention to let these six things leave your life.

On the second sheet of paper, repeat this process, but this time consider six things you would like to draw into your life for the new year. Write those things down. Allow yourself a moment to imagine how your life will be enriched by these things.

Now fold this paper, and place it into the vessel. Repeat step 5, while silently calling forth the things you’ve written on this list.

Release the space you’ve created with gratitude and love.

Scatter any remaining ashes outdoors. You can bury these in the ground, let the wind take them, or empty them into a body of water.

On Skeletons and Conjuring

I’m on the precipice of November, a month that I have a long-standing difficult relationship with. But this year, I’m determined not to let November take me down. This precipice happens to exist on my favourite holiday. A most sacred day for those of us with pagan sensibilities. Halloween, or Samhain (pronounced Sah-wen) is our New Year’s Eve. The end of the cycle. The night when the veil between the living world and the world of spirit is most thin.

Tonight, I’m going to listen to the messages of my ancestors. Tonight, I’m going to heed my own spirit and try to hear clearly what it craves. Tonight I will conjure what I need, with the help of a legion of strong women who have come and gone before me.

Last year at this time, I hauled a fairly epic skeleton out of a drawer I’d concocted somewhere in the recesses of my soul. That skeleton would not be satisfied with a simple dust off. It clattered and shrieked and rattled its bones in every corner of myself. It came at me with such a fury, at first I couldn’t even see it. I thought my hair-trigger and my anger were sure signs that I needed help. Signs that I’d finally lost my ability to self-regulate.

Both were true. As I waited endlessly for a therapy appointment, and took up my pen instead, I realized that the skeleton was the source of the rage I was feeling. What’s more, I realized that the skeleton had been whispering to me, from the place where I thought I’d hidden it for years. Hissing dark truths that I didn’t have the courage to face.

Until I did.

I asked my love to help me heal. But in that, I found myself alone.

The truth is immutable. The affects of that truth are immutable. Intention is where we find the grey space. The space that allows us to create drawers for skeletons.

When I first met the skeleton, I didn’t realize it even had a name. I thought I’d invited him in, that I’d made him from the fabric of poor decision making and low self esteem.

The name for the skeleton is also immutable.

This skeleton has altered the course of my life in jarring, earth-shattering ways. The first time was when we met. The second, when I had the courage to open the drawer and set it free. We co-exist now, that bag of bones and I. I’ve taken its power away, and we’ve arrived at a sort of agreement. I will call it by its name, and it will content itself with keeping a cold, hard hand on my shoulder rather than shrieking and rattling my life into a shambles.

The skeleton likes to remind me that I’ll never really be free of it. Something happened this week (perhaps seeing Tarana Burke speak at Brock?) where I made a new kind of peace with that. I may never see meaningful atonement. Can such a thing even reduce a skeleton to powder anyway? I’ll own that skeleton, as he owns me, and the clacking of his bones will be a constant reminder of what I can never lose again:

I can never lose my ability to accept the ugly truth of a moment, a word, a choice.

I can never lose my ability to see a person’s darkness, even if I’m entranced by their light.

I can never lose my right to safety.

I can never lose my right to give my body consciously and with full intention.

I can never lose control of my faculties.

I can never lose the truth that I deserve.

I can never lose the reality that even in the midst of so much pain, there is space for joy (thank you Maya and Tarana).

I can never lose the sense that I deserve to heal.

There is a wildness inside me that I’ve long ignored. I’ve tried to wedge myself into boxes and labels for so many years, that I can almost sympathize with that incensed skeleton. I’m tired of behaving the way I’m expected to. I’m tired of trying to transform my pain by being ‘good’. I’m tired of trying to prove that I can fit.

I’m stepping into November with my own midnight cloak swirling around me. Instead of fighting the darkness, I will sink into it like the arms of the lover I have always dreamed of. It will hold me; sometimes tenderly, sometimes so I can feel that it’s stronger than I. It will whisper the truth in my ear, and accept all that I am. It will show me ghosts and demons and we will hold hands as we walk through our fears. It will cast shadows so the winter light feels warmer.

The darkness is where the best magic happens. I am finally ready to conjure my life.

The Light-Dappled Leaves

*Trigger Warning. Please proceed with your heart held close.

When I was a little girl, maybe eight years old, I was chased from the swing set on our neighbourhood playground and tackled in the bushes by a fourteen year old boy. Troy was pretending he was in a trance, and that he’d become possessed by a demon. He sat on top of me and wrapped his hands around my throat, and there was no pretending in the strength of his grip. Troy made me realize for the very first time that I could die.

The only thing I remember once Troy started squeezing was looking up through the branches of the bushes and watching the way the light played across the leaves. I left my body, moving towards the green and the sun, and suddenly Troy decided to let go, or someone pulled him off me. I don’t remember how it ended. I don’t remember walking home. I didn’t tell my parents until I was 36 years old.

Troy is the reason why I feel safest in the forest. Why I feel alive when I’m near a lake, surrounded by trees. I guess I should thank him for that.

I’ve been searching for Troy for years, and it’s only now that I realize why. I’ve been on a quest to try and stop him. To help him see that he could be interesting without having to hurt anyone. To show him that there’s a reason why he zeroed in on me that day, and that this reason is because I am good, and full of light, and not because he could see all the ugliness inside me.

For years I have believed that I am full of something ugly that drew Troy to me. A putrid fog that hung around me, and enveloped us both.

I didn’t have to look hard, because Troy has found me over and over again:

In the four strangers who tucked themselves around corners so that while I was walking home at night, or walking through the school yard, or riding at the back of the bus, or browsing the toy department, I would see their purple-veined penises gripped firmly in their hands.

In the twenty-year-old brother of a friend who grabbed me at a birthday party when I was 12 and held me on the erection in his lap until my friend threatened to tell their mom.

In the boy I dated in college who decided to strangle me the first, and last time, we ever had sex.

In the ex-boyfriend who lied about a simultaneous relationship with another woman for the entire four years we were together.

In the friend who I passed out drunk beside, only to wake up to him going down on me.

Troy has found me, and I’ve always searched for Troy because for a long time I believed that I wasn’t meant for anything else. That the ugliness inside me was clear and obvious, and therefore I could only be met by a partner with the same kind of darkness in them. That the body and soul violation of lies and deceit were a part of love. That everyone was dangerous, and it was only a matter of time before their hands were around my throat.

I believed that those people who radiate goodness, sincerity, light; they made great friends but they could never really love me. Never understand me. I believed I couldn’t love them because I would tire of them. I would find excuses like ‘we have no chemistry’, ‘they aren’t deep enough’, and the one that really breaks my heart – ‘they’re too good for me’.

Every time a loved one lies to me, feeds me a half-truth, hides their real emotion, or avoids transparency, I am laying on the ground beneath Troy, fighting for my life. Deception unleashes the fury of a freckled little girl with spindly arms and missing teeth who is drowning in her loss of control. Because I’m not eight anymore, I fight back in a way I never could when I was too weak. I fight with words, I fight by shutting myself away, I retreat from love and light and allow the raging darkness to consume me.

Here’s the worst thing that Troy did, and what all the future Troys consistently tried to reinforce:

He convinced me that my intuition was paranoia, and my gut could not be trusted.

That the damage he inflicted would make me mistrustful and make me treat every future lover like they were Troy.

Troy, and all the future Troys justified their lies, their violations, by telling me they couldn’t be honest because I would react in a way that made it difficult to share their truth.

As if truth should have conditions.

As if my anger wasn’t justified.

As if I couldn’t feel the lies, or the unspoken realities swimming beneath the surface.

Now I sit beneath light-dappled leaves and I choose not to fight anymore. I don’t need to show Troy anything. I don’t need Troy anymore. Allowing the light to filter through doesn’t take a struggle. It requires stillness, and faith that those illuminating rays will reach down into the roots and feed what needs to be fed.

It’s not easy to move towards uncomplicated love. To allow myself to share heart space with someone who feels guileless and sincere. To silence the part of me that wants to run towards what I know is unsafe. To consciously move away from the stranglehold of the last Troy who tried to love me. But I made a promise to an eight-year-old girl that I would listen to her. She was the one who got the closest look at Troy. She can spot him from a mile away now. I promised her I would listen to her, and jump off that swing set. That I’d race home as fast as my legs can carry me.

Because I know it’s better to be alone than to be on the playground with someone who would take the breath from your body and then tell you that you’re overreacting.
That you haven’t even tried to see their perspective.
That you somehow asked for it.
That they don’t remember doing it.
That you shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
That you’re paranoid.
That you’re damaged and unclear.
That you have anger issues.
That your anxiety is taking over.
That they lost control.
That they were caught up in the moment.
That they couldn’t feel safe being honest.

I see you Troy, and you can’t hurt me anymore.

Join me for my next Facebook Live on September 24th at 9pm EST. Email me here with any questions or subjects you’d like me to tackle.

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