With Ultimate Gratitude.

I like to play a game with myself every so often. Usually on a fun date like 11.11 or any day where the numbers strike a chord of familiarity in my heart, especially holidays. The game goes like this:

Think of everything you have right now in this moment: your home. your work. your friendships. your romantic relationship. your family. the amount of fun you have on a day to day basis. the food in your fridge and in your belly. your gratitude and spiritual devotion lately. how amazing is it?!? amazing. 

Now, think of this day last year (and the year before, etc.): what season were you in? on a scale of 1-totally frazzled, how bad was your anxiety? what were you eating? who were the people you were spending your time with? how frustrated were you with your business and debt and state of things?

Thanksgiving 2015:  I packed up my life in CA and my brother drove me across the country to come back "home." My marriage had been failing and finally broke. I didn't know where I was supposed to live, what I wanted to do, or who I was. I was smiling on the outside but Finn's face says it all. I stopped being an entrepreneur after 5 years of being 110% dedicated to it. I stopped photographing. I stopped giving massage. I went off all social media. I tried to start a new life in RVA with my heart in California and my sanctuary in NYC. This began one of the hardest years of my life.

Thanksgiving 2015: I packed up my life in CA and my brother drove me across the country to come back "home." My marriage had been failing and finally broke. I didn't know where I was supposed to live, what I wanted to do, or who I was. I was smiling on the outside but Finn's face says it all. I stopped being an entrepreneur after 5 years of being 110% dedicated to it. I stopped photographing. I stopped giving massage. I went off all social media. I tried to start a new life in RVA with my heart in California and my sanctuary in NYC. This began one of the hardest years of my life.

Thanksgiving 2016:  I spent my last few hundred dollars in savings to sublet a room in a freezing apartment in Bushwick after sleeping on couches and gypsying for 6 months. I had 3 clients that month and brought in probably $150 total. I was living on lentils, rice and terrible bodega veggies, but I finally felt like I was starting to get my life together. I was 6 months into my Thai studies. I had recently quit my job as a barista, jumped onto the subway tracks in a moment of blindness and despair, and spent too much time on dead ends. (men AND "opportunities")

Thanksgiving 2016: I spent my last few hundred dollars in savings to sublet a room in a freezing apartment in Bushwick after sleeping on couches and gypsying for 6 months. I had 3 clients that month and brought in probably $150 total. I was living on lentils, rice and terrible bodega veggies, but I finally felt like I was starting to get my life together. I was 6 months into my Thai studies. I had recently quit my job as a barista, jumped onto the subway tracks in a moment of blindness and despair, and spent too much time on dead ends. (men AND "opportunities")

Thanksgiving 2017:  I live in a light filled apartment in a good area of Brooklyn with the right energy, by myself. I have 20+ sessions a month and get to photograph and nanny when I don't have clients, fulfilling all of my weird freelance entrepreneur dreams. My relationships with my family and friends are stronger and healthy. I've learned what my boundaries are and how to enforce them. What I need to function and thrive. I have local farm veggies in my fridge. Magic and unconditional love are my day to day work. I'm happy. I'm safe. I'm well. I'm thankful.

Thanksgiving 2017: I live in a light filled apartment in a good area of Brooklyn with the right energy, by myself. I have 20+ sessions a month and get to photograph and nanny when I don't have clients, fulfilling all of my weird freelance entrepreneur dreams. My relationships with my family and friends are stronger and healthy. I've learned what my boundaries are and how to enforce them. What I need to function and thrive. I have local farm veggies in my fridge. Magic and unconditional love are my day to day work. I'm happy. I'm safe. I'm well. I'm thankful.

It's almost impossible to believe when I put those three realizations together like that. The journey I've been on the last 4 years has so much in it... so much life and so many deaths (actual and spiritual). So much pain and finding my body and health then finding myself making it my mission to share that power of awakening with others. Through food, receiving healing touch, and finding something I believed in I have changed so much in the last few trips around the sun. I am so grateful for all of it... the pain, the pleasure, the memories and the incredible experiences and people I've been blessed to have. It keeps getting better, and more difficult all at once. The ups and downs are extreme as anything, but there seems to be a little more stability in the center of it all. Thank God. 

I could say this is the start of me blogging regularly and telling my story. I could also say this is the moment I'm going to be more accountable and responsible with my work and projects and that I'll post more regular, be more productive. But you see... one of the best things I've gathered from this wild ride the last few years is realizing that when I'm relying on my divine feminine and the beautiful life God has planned for me.... I do work best when I'm solid in my self care (eating solid meals, meditation + quiet time daily, writing, talking with friends, quality time with myself and others) and not when I give myself deadlines and pressure to perform. When I pay attention to my natural hormonal cycles and the funny influences of the planets. When I do the things that flow easily, not the ones I have to force to happen.

I'm a creative. I'm a healing artist. I'm a creative healing artist, if you will.

That means that I've got MANY BIG ideas that I want to accomplish all right this second, a huge heart that wants to help every human and animal I encounter and an empathetic soul that is so overwhelmed by just going out into the city streets that it sometimes takes me days to recover from all the feelings that find their way into my heart if I'm not paying close enough attention to protecting it.

And I've learned that different stories are meant for different platforms. I used to live my life online because I was so far from friends and family. Because it was safe to show to good (and professionally photographed) moments that were acceptable and "successful." As someone who spends a lot of time in my own and others trauma, pain, challenging stories and joyous overcoming of struggle... I've become a secret keeper of sorts. Pulling the lessons out and delivering them to the right ears in the right moment. I so desperately want to share all the knowledge I have with anyone who will listen, but there must be a request for that knowledge. A desire to take the healing into your own hands. I cannot force my words on unhearing ears. My teacher says, unsolicited advice (and medicine, and bodywork) is ignored at best and rebuffed at worse.

So I'm in the business of waiting now. Of going with the flow. Of feeling how my heart and body respond to everything before I let my mind make a decision. It's all the same, you see.

 

Image of our intention ritual at the most recent New Moon Gathering, by Chelsea Grompone.

Image of our intention ritual at the most recent New Moon Gathering, by Chelsea Grompone.