Today began as a usual Monday morning… I awake with my furry lover curled in the crook of my knee, kiss him good morning and open the terrace door to let him out. In the bathroom, I remove my aligners, scrape my tongue wash my face… and then crawl back into bed. Half an hour later I awake again. Strange, I think, that never happens.
I move to the kitchen and fill the kettle with filtered water to prepare my morning hydration: 450 ml of warm fresh lemon and ginger. While the kettle boils I stretch. Left, right, hip circles, spine rolls. I’m feeling a little achy.
I take my lemon and ginger to the sofa and start my face yoga routine. The glands by my armpits ache a little. I massage them to activate the lymphatic system. I work my east up my chest neck and face and then prepare breakfast. Fresh strawberries with natural yoghurt and green tea. My body continues to feel achey so I dance, gyrate, stretch some more and then sit down to work.
Inbox zero and most of my DM’s replied the aches seem to increase. I try some more movement practices but nothing helps. I sit down to begin work on some copy for one of my programs but my body won’t comply. The aches turn into shakes and I realise I’m freezing despite the 23 degrees and full tracksuit and socks attire
I get back into bed. And shake and shake. It’s too much. I can’t stop. I go get a Valium, the one thing I self-medícate with and only on the rarest occasions. I get back into bed m, cover myself with blankets, and will my aching muscles to relax.
My mind wanders to a memory, to yesterday, Mother’s Day in many parts of the world and the pangs of sadness I felt about my motherlessness.
The tears come. Streaming down my face, wet pools mark the pillows of my bed as I grieve a childhood without a mother or father present in my life. I hold myself in my arms and let myself weep. I remind myself that ‘I’ve got me’. I know I need to feel this. I need to let it wash through me. The only way out is through.
I believe these physical symptoms are part of the surfacing of suppressed grief, guilt and shame around a situation where I was an innocent child on the receiving end of a host of adult unresolved traumas. It’s why I do this work. Because these patterns… end here. With us. With our willingness to process them, validate them, release them and choose new ways to illuminate the world with the precious gift each human is made up of love.
I stay in bed. The aches and chills are still with me. Yet I know this too, shall pass. My devotion is simply to stay with the wounded child within until she feels safe and loved again. Everything else can wait.
Walking into a thick, tall pine forest. With each step, the trees grow denser and slowly start to block out the sunlight until it is almost entirely dark. A constant twilight descends. It is neither day nor night. I am neither fully here nor elsewhere. I am half awake half asleep. Half broken half whole. Half grieving death half reaching for life.
I start to stumble unable to see where I am going. A subtle panic advances escorting every step. Memories… memories from the many lives I’ve lived in the past 40 years, distress from the many hurts I’ve felt the past 40 years, regrets from the many mistakes I’ve made in the past 40 years… rise up and humble me. All the things I had left untouched, unresolved, unanswered, unwitnessed, unacknowledged haunt me.
I cry for 18 months until there is nothing left to cry about. I forgive all I had shared pain in, atoned the regrets and felt the ravages left by a lifetime of bypassing the extremities of my humanity. The path through the forest, still in that twilight half-darkness, beckons me to continue despite the many junctures at which I question my sanity, my life, my purpose, my place in the world and everything I had once thought to know true.
Then slowly, day by day, little speckles of light start darting through the trees. The forest floor becomes dappled with sunshine as the trees grow slighter. Tiny moments of joy begin to creep into what had become a hardened and heavy heart. Involuntary protection from the aches it has persevered. Endless desolation is replaced by recognition of beauty. A new soft loving openness breathes itself into me.
And there I am. On the other side of the darkest forest, I have ever moved through. An initiation is complete. Maiden to mother. Truths revealed. Maturity claimed. Limitations frontiered. A new woman has emerged.
After 2 years of really intense growth and healing, I am coming out with an entirely new version of myself. While I’m still walking into life like an unsteady newborn I’m really excited and heart-wide-open for what this newest iteration of myself is bringing.
On a pragmatic level, there are so many aspects that have been named, faced and redefined. All things relating: romantic relationships, platonic relationships, familial relationships, and in particular my insolent unwillingness to the way I have played out childish narratives in all of those. All things feeling supported: finances, the entire concept of belonging, having and providing myself with a physical home both bodily and environmentally, community and the paradoxical intersection between my codependency patterns and tendency towards avoidant attachment responses when triggered. All things spirituality: how I had spirituality bypassed all of the above because I was too spiritually evolved and had already transcended it all until my spirit guides LOL’ed into their coupes of cava and hauled me back to my humanness reminding me that I am as evolved as the next person I walk beside and judge.
It has been a journey. I’ve made it past the edge of the treeline after that mammoth cosmic forest swallowed me whole halfway through 2020 and spat me out only days ago. Thank you for your patience while I figure out how life works on this new playing field again. Thank you for being the dappling light of love and encouragement, even if you didn’t know it, on the days I felt the darkest. Thank you for being there alongside me.
From one mere mortal made of stardust to another, I salute you.
This note is coming to you from seat 22B of a Vueling aeroplane on a 55-minute flight to Barcelona. It’s my first flight since leaving Mexico pre-pandemic at the start of 2020. The cabin is eerily quiet, a few people quietly muffling through mask-covered mouths, we have been spaced out with seats between passengers kept free. A flight attendant is pushing a piece of luggage, whose wheels squeak as she passes, to another part of the plane.
I pull my mask down to take a sip of water from the small bottle I bought in the airport to see me through the flight. Normally I would bring my flask but I am travelling with a tight constraint of hand luggage only for our 3-day-2-night girls weekend.
This flight is bringing me so much nostalgia. Gone (for now) are the days of lighthearted travel and whimsical interactions. The past two years have left us fractured with limited reprise. I personally hardly recognise myself compared to the woman who last boarded a plane.
There are times in life when it asks you to take everything you ever thought was true and deconstruct it in such a way that the only thing that is left is fierce and fiery truth. The woman I am today is no longer shrouded in a cloud of wishful thinking and denial but instead has humbly submitted herself to the truth. And the truth is, that it’s all so much more uncomplicated. It, being: life, purpose, and what we truly need. What really matters is simple.
The past 18 months have been the deepest wintering of my life. Both in terms of my surroundings (there was no summer in the UK last year) and in terms of my soul journey. In times when I thought it couldn’t get any tougher, it did. What happened was a pragmatic and practical pilgrimage to clear the way and make space for true healing, health and joy.
I’ve realised that the real work is in clearing the way. Always.
It seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it?
That the only way to move forward is to stop and look around at what we have always done and decide whether that’s actually what we want in our lives. And then to clear the path through facing our truth, burning it down, clearing the blocks/beliefs/ideologies that we then recognise as false.
It seems counterintuitive because we’ve all been socially conditioned to believe that our worth/success/wealth/deservability is a reflection of how much we do, how hard we try, how many goals we meet. So we do more, try harder, reach for bigger. And it’s never enough.
Which feels deflating and defeating. But the conditioning is deep and strong. So we berate ourselves. “I’m clearly not doing enough”.
But our souls. Your soul, and mine. They know. They know this isn’t true. In fact, it’s so inaccurate that our souls send us depression and anxiety and injuries and breakdowns to remind us. To bring us back home. To truth. To what really matters.
Because it’s not about how much you do.
It’s about how you be.
It’s about your energy and how you interact with and approach everything within you and between you. It’s the energy with which you show up each day, each living breathing moment that you are given this gift, the miracle of life.
I had to check myself and the narrative I had started to create in my mind, thoughts and words in recent times. Life sometimes tears us down, but how we respond to it, is what matters. I didn’t really have a choice. Life compelled me to peel back the layers and address some of the ways I was victimising myself, giving away my own power, playing within lines that neither match my desires nor hopes, and shirked responsibility for some of the ways my life was unfolding. I had to witness parts of myself that I do not like, and allow them to crumble so that nothing stands between me, who I am really am and life, anew.
For the first time in a long time, perhaps ever, I see clearly, what is before me. Who I am. And that every desire, impulse and ambition is tied to an underlying intelligence that we are all part of. Guiding us back to the truth.
That being is all there really is.
And within that ‘being’ exists the messy, non-linear, unpredictable and extraordinary human life experience.
Ok… so when I started this note, I wasn’t expecting all of this to stream out of me like this, but here we are. We’ve just had an announcement from the captain that we are beginning descent so I am leaving you with the things I originally opened my laptop to tap out a note to you for.
The answers to the two questions I have been asked most frequently about my two offerings:
1. the difference between mentoring, coaching & therapy
2. 10 steps to figure out your ‘thing’ for when you’re not sure what your ‘thing’ is or how to start it
I know I’ve been gracing you with my thoughts, words and heart a little more frequently recently. Let me know how you feel about it in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.
So much of life is optional, not mandatory.
But we forget that, don’t we? We inflate ourselves with a grandiose succession of ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ and find ourselves slipping beneath the surface of why we came to Earth in the first place. I am absolutely certain that we are here to have a profoundly enjoyable experience. To sip on the ecstasy that is a life fully lived. And yet…
The past few weeks I keep bumping up against the fact that my entire system is currently rewiring itself. Every time I think I’m done, every time I impatiently try to move on, life puts me back into my place, into the present moment and makes me feel every emotion until I am fully purged. I’ve been in a season of doing the slow, incremental, unglamorous work of questioning one belief system at a time.
Redefining my life, my work, the way I use my time, my existence piece by piece. Remembering anything is possible when I work through patterns and conditioning like an archaeological soul excavation. I’ve had to let go of so much and questioned myself so deeply and had to teach my nervous system that it’s safe through it all one breath at a time.
I keep surrendering to these waves of needing to be still and rest as new information settles into my bones. All these initiations of deeper understanding and wisdom, a continuous cycle of death and rebirth, as old ideas and paradigms are dying in the face of new ones blooming. I find myself incapable of doing anything productive in these moments that sometimes last for days and I keep having to remember to surrender to it. To not fight or resist it.
There’s a rewiring on fundamental topics happening:
- How I nourish myself and what that means in the face of a wellness industry that thrives off convincing me to follow trends
- The intersection of worth, value, output and income and how we have been fed the idea that they are conditional
- How nature, the feminine and creativity are one and the same and require uncompromising protection right now
- That how and where we invest our time is where we invest our lives…
This is why I am excited to present to you: BOUNDARIED. A 2-hour Zoom workshop with me and my spellbinding friend
Claire where we teach you to have the audacity to map out your own hours and the self-authority to do something different to the cultural norm.
Full Moon — Wednesday, February 16th
9am LA / 12pm NYC / 5pm London / 6pm Barcelona / 4am Sydney
2-hour Zoom Workshop
Everything is changing. Everything is changing.
And it feels… terrifying. But also, so good.
We are all biologically and intrinsically motivated by the desire for more. More of the good stuff: more ease, joy, love, pleasure, abundance, time, presence, connection… Because by nature we are pleasure-seeking beings. It’s an urgent need for satisfaction. An inbuilt reaching for our own evolution.
Just like all of you my life and work are ever-evolving, shifting, growing. I am currently in the process of scaling my business and it is stretching me in ways that I haven’t been stretched before. I paid the biggest tax bill ever in December and the VM business became an LTD company because it outgrew my little sole trader setup. I hired a new accountant and set up payroll, and then went ahead and soft-launched two mentoring programs for 2022 to my ‘Her Way’ peeps… And then days later, after a few conversations with people I respect whom I shared my niggling feeling that something wasn’t right with, cancelled those programs, refunded my students and went back to the drawing board.
It was both exhilarating and frightening. Birthing something from inside you that is bigger than you, is no small feat. I’m leaning into some really new terrain and going all-in but my nervous system is saying “are you sure this is safe?” so there’s that inner struggle and the work of soothing and supporting my body so it can hold space for the expanse of what I am calling in.
And it reminds me that there are always two things at play in our evolution:
1. The conscious, surface desire for more. To expand, to grow, to evolve.
2. The subconscious, interior desire to feel safe. To stay with the confines of what it knows.
Every time we learn and grow we face an inner struggle that comes with the discomfort of stretching and growing pains. The unravelling and deconditioning of beliefs, systems and structures, while holding ourselves in a foreign no-man’s land to leap forward into the unknown more-ness of our desires.
I’m so enthusiastic and also, so so so confronted by the largeness of what I want to offer the world, an extension of the insight, healing and growth I have myself moved through the past two years, and I won’t pretend that I don’t feel some impatience and frustration with myself and the non-linear path this journey is taking me on as I wait for the nudges that move me forward. I have to let go and trust.
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Finally, the blood is here and she is full and juicy and red and gushing. After a 47-day cycle, nothing is more satisfying.
So much is coming up for me right now. About life and aliveness. About men and the masculine in my life. About polarity and equilibrium.
I miss feeling wild and free and just ALIVE. I’ve become so domesticated the past 8 or so years. In order to heal the trauma and habitual fight-or-flight patterns I’ve had to slow down, create safety and self-regulate but at the expense of feeling that buzz of aliveness from the constant drip of cortisol — the only addiction still wired into my cells.
I used to live one day to the next, totally absorbed in each moment in perpetual survival mode. It was exhilarated and I loved living in the emotional chaos of one adrenaline rush to another in the form of a lifetsyle that meant never being settled, feeding off uncertainty and danger, defying conventional society.
I wanted to change. I chose to heal. I knew I had to stop chasing the chemical highs that were my normal from growing up in an unstable environment. Yet I mourn a version of myself and my life that was once my own. I feel complacent about my life. I feel rebellious and filled with rage at a world that has gone mad under the guise of protecting itself from the unpredictable nature of life.
The past two years have shocked me into a fearful complacency that I am not familiar with. I am trying hard to shake it off. Is it age or is it too much comfort that makes me fussy about details like the just-right firmness of a mattress and how the morning light creeps in?
There was a decade of my life where none of that mattered, years spent sleeping in strange uncomfortable places bouncing awake bright-eyed and filled with enthusiasm. Like the time I fell asleep on a chair in the middle of the Mexican jungle waiting for the world to end. It was 2012 and the end of the Mayan calendar. To awaken at two in the morning to the sound of distant drums and following that sound to a circle in a clearing. Where I stripped off and danced and sang in the rain until the sun rose with 50 strangers whose names I did not know.
is that life over? Is our world so regulated that I will never experience this kind of spontaneity and freedom ever again? Is that girl I once was gone?
Replaced by sensible bedtime rituals and daily routines to protect the fragile vulnerabilities of my human body and mind. I miss the liberated wildness from a life where I did not care what happens while fiercely appreciating the tenderness and sanctity of life I have now. I want to find an in-between those two versions of my world. A “middle way” as Buddha suggests.
I am moving through the final threads of healing something around men and the masculine. I have been carrying a thread of disappointment around with me the past two years as I make peace with how my own conditioning has led me to participate in and enable the patriarchy and take responsibility for my piece of upholding a sick and imbalanced perspective. With this recognition, I have witnessed so many disappointments. Men, so self-unaware, so entitled, so irresponsible, lacking integrity, shielding their fragile egos with little lies. There is a holy rage running through me and I need to burn it out.
As I feel it I heal it. As I feel it I redefine it. As I feel it I see another path. As I feel it I let it go.
I woke up late and pulled on leggings and a jumper to jump in my car. I picked up a friend at the end of her road and drove to the most south-western point of Mallorca. We hiked up a hill that made me pant and sweat and groan until we were greeted by views of an island that looks like a dragon’s head rising out of the sea. We sat at the lookout and snacked on carrots and nuts and let our hearts fill with the nourishment of nature’s beauty. We scrambled down a cliff face where the path fell away and trudged through bushes and grasses to find our way until we were met by the glittering sea again. I stripped down she did too. Naked we tiptoed our way into the cold winter sea until our bodies submerged. We screeched with delight as our breath was returned after the initial exhilaration and remembered what it is to feel alive.
After months of stagnancy, physical and emotional pain and drudgery, and wading through sticky molasses-like energy, so much are finally shifting again. I have almost finished my Compassionate Inquiry course with Gabor Mate and not only is it fuelling me on so many levels professionally, but it has also offered me a new perspective on my own childhood trauma and the tools and practices I have around handled these aspects of myself.
If the last two years taught me anything it is the deep capacity to hold space for the darkest parts of myself and others in such a way that it is so safe and easily transmuted. My emotional maturity has new layers to it. I used to bypass and diminish the aspects of myself that required validation of ugly emotions and feelings but I don’t do that anymore. It is all welcome here. My capacity and compassion have been broadened and expanded. It is so safe to go to those places within myself now. Which is significantly mirrored in my work.
I just woke up from the strangest dream…
I was a slave, working for a wealthy family. It was set on the seaside in an almost apocalyptic version of the ’80s or ’90s. I owned nothing, got paid nothing, just slaving all day every day and rushing in some meals in between. I felt like I had zero choices zero possibilities, nothing to live for. I wanted to die. I felt at peace with that decision.
Two of my slave friends, a daughter and her mother felt the same so we decided to run away to kill ourselves. The mother had access to syringes and poisons that put you to sleep forever and we planned everything meticulously. We ran away from the house we were enslaved in and met up in a slaves room of a hotel one night.
Each of us had syringes filled with this poison each sitting on a single bed. I was so ready for it to be over I rushed to put the syringe in my left arm and pushed the liquid into me. As I lay there on the bed I started to feel really sleepy and I thought this is it this is my time. I was at peace and content to go and fell asleep.
But then later I woke up. I looked over and saw my friend and her mother dead on their beds. And I looked at my arm and there was a big swollen bulge where the poison had gone in. In my rush to get it done, I had pressed it into the muscle of my arm instead of a blood vessel and my body had neatly protected itself from the poison so I find myself, alive, breathing, with a second chance at life.
I have nothing except my life. I realise something. I am free! I always was free. All I had to do was make a new decision and act. All it took was to leave the situation I was in. All it took was a leap of faith. Life wanted me to live. It always does. We can always make a new decision and act on it. Liberation is literally a choice away.
Wild. What a wild dream.
I have had a devilish relationship with my body and its fluctuating weight since I can remember, like most women I speak to. I have a small frame and put on and lose weight equally as easily, but staying in that self-determined “perfect” state has been near impossible.
I “feel” the best and like my body the most when I’m slender. When I’m slender I’m not eating. I’m newly in love or stressed or heartbroken or travelling in a country where I don’t control my meals. I wonder if that feeling that I’m chasing is actually love. The love of a world that validates a woman when she is slim and gives her snide side-eyes when she’s not.
Why is it that we live in a world that celebrates women for their girlish figures? It is normal at 40 to still want to look like you’ve hardly been touched by the life that you’ve lived?
Most importantly when do we begin distinguishing between our conditioning and our true desires to redefine what we really need to feel good / loved / safe?
Hey, I don’t have answers. Nor am I cured. I lie here writing this laughing at the absurdity of me wanting to starve the softness of 5kg off my bones. That’s why I’m asking questions here.
I think my period is due.
Every time my blood returns I celebrate. I have celebrated and loved my cycle since I was 23, naturally compelled by the secret mystery that lives within me. Every month it’s a delight when those first twinges of my uterus lining tearing, move through me bringing me back home into my body. I am grateful for the cyclical capacity to let go and release emotionally and physically over and over again, reminding me that I can trust the rhythms of life. Nothing lasts and nothing is lost.
2021: Trial by fire.
Today, I am closing the loops. An energetic loop is the container of something that began that needs to be closed. A calendar year, a relationship, a trauma cycle, a life. These are all energetic loops.
2021 found me pulled under the current and tumbled in the backwash of a turbulent world that I had actively opted out of a long time ago. I held my breath and froze. I stopped dreaming dreams for myself this year.
I pulled back this year. I sat back on my haunches and allowed the currents of the world to wash past me while I waited. I plucked at the thorns in my heart and planted wildflowers in terracotta pots on a balcony that was not my own. I watched them grow and loved them through the shortest summer and their even shorter lifetime.
I was held afloat by the women in my life this year. Women who saw me and heard me when I felt I had nothing left in me. I hurt for a world that is unfamiliar to me and over and over I keep wondering if it had always been this way but I had not noticed while I was firmly living in a fairytale world of my own creation.
I drove a Fiat across 4 countries this year and learned to parallel park on narrow winding streets that lead to stairs into the sea. I fell into an obtuse coma fuelled by loneliness and self-reflection and revisited childhood trauma after childhood trauma and grieved all the grief I had suppressed. I needed to feel it all, to heal it. I grieved my past hurts hoping to create space for the light to come in. But mostly, I waited, sitting back on my haunches, for the tide to change.
Until today. Until today, when I decided I would not wait for someone or something else to close those loops for me. I have sovereign responsibility to myself and my life experience. This year has walked me through the fire and taught me energetic mastery. I know where the line of my fierce embodied discernment lies, where I am no longer available to participate in old patterns, and where my wholehearted “yes” lives.
Energetics is the feeling of truth in our bones. It’s the energy that runs through each moment and reveals its core, its verity, the integrity of the current moment and those interacting in it. We work with energetics every day to witness, amplify, conceal, move through what is. More tangibly, energetics is the intersection of our patterns, learned beliefs, and choices. Energetic mastery is how we consciously choose to act on them. It’s our intentional vibe.
When energy loops need to be closed, meaning, they are still open, we feel them leaking our energy leaving us feeling frustrated, tired, confused, foggy, avoidant, crazed, anxious, lethargic, ungrounded. I wonder if you want to close the loops with me too.
Today we have an opportunity to consciously close out open energy loops that need to be closed out before we head into 2022. Today is a beautiful opportunity to kick off this upcoming year with intention, presence and self-love in the form of letting go of what’s ready to go.
CLOSING THE LOOPS RITUAL
— Take inventory of the open energetic loops in your life by writing down a list.
— Determine which loop is the most exhausting/pressing/ scariest and begin there.
— Address it. Either make peace with it, or have that hard conversation, or set that boundary (and keep it), or scream it out. Whatever you need to do to move it. Go through your list until you’re done.
— Watch/feel/sense your inner energetics rearrange themselves. You may feel tired all of sudden and that’s ok. That’s the release. Rest is encouraged after this ritual is complete.
— Burn your list or shred it up while setting the intention “I give permission for any old, stuck energy that no longer serves me to be released with absolute ease from my body while I rest/nap/sleep. Thank you, body.”
— Enjoy the reset, rest, celebrate, feel liberated.