I forget about my freckles sometimes.
Yesterday I saw myself.
Really saw myself.
36 years of life. Of joy. Of heartache. Of witnessing.
Pale skin with tracings of veins like maps under my skin.
But beyond the physical,
Tender, compassionate heart.
Courage running like roots down my spine for the risks I have taken,
I was really, really afraid.
I saw myself.
Because I went out into the forest, bare feet cold on the damp, sandy Earth and
I allowed myself
to hold space.
I have been hiding behind the camera for years.
It is safe back there.
My camera has always been a tool for healing, for documenting what is true and real and resonates on a Soul level for me,
but it takes a lot of courage to allow someone to really see you.
But in the last two weeks, The Crone has been speaking again. Soft. Showing up in dreams.
Showing up in snow,
in coyote bones washed down in the flood.
She asked me what I was afraid of.
And I thought about it.
“The softest parts of me. Offering my vulnerability up.
Telling the Truth of why I am here.
Because I open myself to -
The Crone, my Crone, looks at me.
Says, “There is more. But you already know.”
And She stares at me, waiting.
I lift my eyes to the tree branches, clear my throat.
Because the other side,
the ones that runs rivers through my heart knows -
really knows -
That showing up and being seen is really the only way.
The only way.
Living in hesitancy
Is not a regret I want at the end.
I won’t lie - 2019 was a hell of a year. Rife with grief and difficulty and so many things I didn’t anticipate. I ended the year feeling totally unmoored and with little clarity.
But a lot of messages have been making their way through despite (or maybe because of) the fog.
The first: You are your own medicine.
2: Seek only internal validation.
3: Keep showing up.
4: Keep softening into the work it takes to surrender and face the shadows.
5: And when the nourishment shows up - be it in the kindness and soft landing places of held space from another person, a certain slant of light hitting my face, the songs of birds in the morning while I meditate, or words that find their way to me - hold them as proof as the Divine.
These words made their way to me yesterday thanks to @migrationofsun and when they found me, I wept.
"For Those Who Have Far to Travel
An Epiphany Blessing"
If you could see
the journey whole
you might never
might never dare
the first step
that propels you
from the place
you have known
toward the place
you know not.
one of the mercies
of the road:
that we see it
only by stages
as it opens
as it comes into
There is nothing
but to go
and by our going
take the vows
the pilgrim takes:
to be faithful to
the next step;
to rely on more
than the map;
to heed the signposts
of intuition and dream;
to follow the star
that only you
to keep an open eye
for the wonders that
attend the path;
to press on
beyond what would
from the way.
There are vows
that only you
the secret promises
for your particular path
and the new ones
you will need to make
when the road
you could not
Keep them, break them,
make them again:
each promise becomes
part of the path;
each choice creates
that will take you
to the place
where at last
you will kneel
to offer the gift
the gift that only you
before turning to go
another way. // Jan Richardson
I remember when the book Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés was first recommended to me. I was going through a huge transitional space in my life - spiritually and emotionally. And it was a DENSE book...the depth of its content was thick and heavy with ideas and stories so new to me. It took me over a year to get through it because I would read parts of it and have to put it down for awhile to absorb it, reflect on it, and ultimately, integrate it. I scribbled notes all over the pages and underlined passage after passage. That book, quite literally, changed my life. In the best way. And every time I look at this image, I think of the Wild Woman archetype and I am grateful to my marrow for the things we allow, the things that change us for the better - even if it is scary as hell. Stepping into our wildness is an honoring.
This photo is from an Elemental Session offering and it resonates at the very core of what I want for each woman who steps in front of my camera. Because, “[t]he way to maintain one’s connection to the Wild is to ask yourself what it is that you want. This is the sorting of the seed from dirt. One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls. ...To choose just because something mouthwatering stands before you will never satisfy the hunger of the soul-self. And that is what intuition is for; it is the direct messenger of the soul.” -Clarissa Pinkola Estés
If you find that this work speaks to you, let me know. We’ll go into the Wild together and I will hold that space for you.
The gratitude I have
for the Universe
When the Divine works big magic and allows my path to cross
with kindred spirits.
This incredible human.
This Elemental Session was equal parts healing, sacred, and irreverent. Full of deep belly laughter. Full of medicine. I left with a full heart.
And then I read these words,
on her birthday
and the tears flowed this morning.
An excerpt: “Went into the woods to leave what I needed to and take back that which my soul has been longing. I am a survivor and a thriver within my own inner darkness. Darkness emerging in the midst of physical, emotional, mental and sexual trauma from years ago. I left the multi-generational feelings of shame and unworthiness since they were not mine to bear. Also left the shame of my own darkness accumulated over the years. My darkness (anger, resentment, fear, guilt, etc.) has forged my strength, resilience, my defense mechanisms and kept me alive. It is a matter of changing perspective. The feelings of shame and unworthiness stop with me. No more distractions, self-destructive decisions or withdrawing from what is meant to be.”
Deepest gratitude to you, dear one. Happiest of birthdays.
“The way to maintain one's connection to the wild is to ask yourself what it is that you want. This is the sorting of the seed from the dirt. One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls.
...To choose just because something mouthwatering stands before you will never satisfy the hunger of the soul-self. And that is what the intuition is for; it is the direct messenger of the soul.”
//Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
The essence of oneself. The elemental connection to the Wild. Into the river, amongst the trees & ferns, to lay it all down & come back to Self. To hear yourself clearly. To seek the direct messenger of the Soul.
Elemental Sessions now available.