Viewing entries tagged
letting go

My Word of the Year for 2014

I wear "release" close to my heart.
(pendant made by the fabulous Liz Lamoreux)

So it seems that for some people making New Year's Resolutions is a thing of the past. Instead, many of us are opting for a "word of the year." I am not sure how it started, to be completely honest, and I cannot even remember when I began this practice. What I do know is that I have a history of making resolutions and not keeping them. I believe that is due in large part my choosing resolutions that I wasn't really ready to make or capable of following through with anyway. When I heard about the word concept - to set an intention for the year with a word that represents something you would like to manifest, I thought "That is something I can do! I love words!" So, I signed right up.

In 2012 my word was trustTrust became my mantra. I repeated it constantly as a reminder that it is okay to trust… to simply trust that everything was as it should be, to trust in the process, to trust in myself and the people around me. Trusting became a sacred practice for me and it is one that I continue to use in my life.

Last year my word was intention. It was was a bust. I chose intention with a plan in mind - I wanted to be very deliberate about the choices I made each day. I wanted to make these choices with intention. My approach was much like the one I took in fifth grade when my mom told me about learning through osmosis… right before a science test. Instead of studying I slept with my science book under my pillow, believing (hoping?) that everything I needed to know for my test would somehow make its way from the pages of my science book to my brain. It didn't quite work that way for me. To go from flying by the seat of one's pants (hypothetically speaking) to living with intention takes more than osmosis. I was more deliberate about many of the decisions I made last year, but not as deliberate as I would have liked.

This year my word is release! I like to write it with the exclamation point at the end. It feels like a dance that way - one where I throw my head back and my arms in the air.


To me, release is about actively choosing to let go of anything holding me back or weighing me down - unwanted weight, bad habits, old stories, lies I've believed about myself or others…I want to let it all go so I can move forward with my big dreams.

One of my big dreams is to be completely present for my children when we are together. With all that they face in their lives, I think they need me. A lot. I'm easily distracted and wanting to do a million things at once so they rarely get my undivided attention. Plus, there are three of them so that makes it even harder for each of them to get what they need. And then there is my iPhone… Sometimes, when things get loud and crazy, I shut down a little. This is part of an old story, or an old way of coping with the challenges I face. I want to let that go - that shutting down thing. The escaping thing. It's not so simple though. Releasing that lifelong habit is going to take some work. My kids and I are worth the work. I'm going for it, and I'll be sure to let you know how that goes.

On Saturday, January 25 from 12:30-3:00, I will be guiding some beautiful souls through a word of the year selection meditation. Once we've chosen our words, each of us will make a beautiful piece of art to celebrate our words! I'm really excited. I think it's going to be fun and meaningful too. If you are within driving distance to Brighton, join us! You can register by calling the Yoga Center for Healthy Living at 810.225.1288.

Wishing you all the best with whatever it is you are working on this year. Be gentle with your sweet self along the way… xoxo

Wisdom from Mama

A few weeks ago, this mysterious being appeared just a few steps from my door...

Meet Mama, a female snapping turtle. She seemed to have either fallen from the sky or sprouted up from the earth. She arrived in her spot with intention. I thought I saw her laying eggs as I watched her, but then I thought maybe it was just her legs moving. I was mesmerized.

Reptiles fascinate me. When I see one, especially so close like this, I feel powerfully linked to all of time - to dinosaurs! I watched her carefully and took some pictures. My daughter didn't want to leave Mama. I didn't think she could move too far too fast, but within a half an hour of our departure, she was gone. It seemed so sudden that I thought maybe I had imagined the entire thing.

With the help of a friend, I learned that this mama was most likely laying her eggs by my door. She dug a hole, deposited her offspring, and returned to the creek behind our home. The process is awe-inspiring, and while she did it all on instinct, it was deliberate - thoughtful even.

I learned that as one of the oldest reptiles, the turtle was a symbol of Mother Earth to the Native Americans. The turtle is a reminder that Mother Earth provides for all of our needs.

As I dug deeper with Mama Turtle, I was also taking stock of the end of another school year. I was thinking about my mistakes - like the music night we completely forgot about, and the decisions I made about the next year - moving my son to a new school and enrolling my daughter in full day kindergarten. None of these decisions were taken lightly, and yet I wondered if I had thought of everything - explored every option? Prepared for every possible outcome?

Sometimes I feel so unqualified to be making such weighty decisions. I wonder if I'm not doing enough to help my children navigate their lives? And if I am doing enough, is it too much? Am I overbearing? Will they be equipped to leave home when it is time? Will they remember to chew with their mouths closed when I am not there to remind them? Being a parent is so hard. For me. I think it is hard for a lot of people, and I am not sure we always feel comfortable admitting that. I know a lot of mamas spend a lot of time wondering and worrying about the choices they are making that affect their children.

In the midst of my day and my reflecting, I couldn't stop thinking about Mama. A highly esteemed reptile, she is so revered that she is thought to symbolize the mother of ALL mothers - Mother Earth. How could that be? How could a creature who lays her eggs and leaves her babies to make their own way back to the water represent this divine Mother? It wasn't adding up in my mama mind as I spent the day wondering where I had held on too tightly and where I still needed to let go.

I thought about my sister, who had just delivered her second child safely and lovingly into the world, and how she and her new son would be closely connected for many months to come. He dependent on her for everything... Her wondering if she was doing everything she possibly could to meet his needs and help him ease into life outside the womb. With him every single step of the way, she would never dream of leaving him to make his own way in the world. That is what it means to be a human mama - we are gifted in the art of wondering an worrying, and in holding on and learning when to let go.

By the end of the day, I realized that Mama Turtle might be one of my greatest teachers. Maybe leaving her babies to make their own way back to the water is the bravest thing a mom can do for her young. It is sometimes hard to accept this, but the truth is, each of my children is on his or her very own journey. And, I am on mine. Much of what we do, especially while they are children, is done together, but eventually they will be left to walk their paths without me by their sides.

I can hold on tight and let go again, I can intervene and stand back, and I will continue to wonder and worry, but the truth is no matter what I do to help guide my children, it is ultimately up to them to make it back to the water.

Thank you Mama Turtle. xo