Saturday, December 27, 2014

Yule 2014

Happy Winter Solstice.

I think Winter and Summer Solstice are my favorite holidays. These two days of the year I look forward to as a child anticipates Christmas or their birthday. To me,the Solstices are so magical. One heralds bringing the light and the other darkness. Both are necessary in the circle of life and creativity.

One of my favorite things is to host Yule with my women's circle. This year in particular felt most magical of all. So I'd thought I share with you a few glimpses into our celebration a couple of weeks ago.

Winter Solstice welcomes the light, the sun, returning as it is the longest night of the year and after this the days become longer and nights shorter. For me darkness is essential for the gestation of ideas and I as welcome the light I begin to birth them into existence. All through fall I have all kinds of thoughts and insights into stories I will then begin writing come January. I love the idea of bringing in the light. Last year this came into the form of my book. It was this time of year when I decided to share my journey with postpartum depression with the world. My idea came to fruition the following spring.

This year, all kinds of ideas and inspiration has come to me wish I will share with you more at the beginning of the year. And this year's Yule celebration was pure magic. Our high priestess, Amy, was kind enough to share a few pictures. Check out her Facebook page.

First we built our altar with Yule-themed objects. Note the holly and evergreen bough.

During our circle time we each shared our intentions for the following year and wrote them on little sticky notes which I taped to a Java log, our improvised Yule log. At the end of our circle time I took the log outside and burned it in a chiminea, since I don't have a real fireplace in my condo.

We finished the evening with a gift a exchange. Then before everyone left we made Magic Mists, using recipes from Tesa Whitehurst's Magical Housekeeping. This was so much fun! I felt like an alchemist creating beautiful aromas infused with crystals and essential oils.

I hope you enjoyed a little peek into my Winter Solstice. May the light always shine upon your path. Happy Holidays to you and your family. This will be my last post for 2014. I'll see you in 2015.


Monday, December 15, 2014

My Holiday Gift for You

Happy Holidays, Dear Readers!

As the 2014 draws to a close, I look back at the year. 2014 has, without a doubt, been one of the best years of my life. First of all, I finally was able to get a grip of my depression and really start to enjoy being a mother. Second, I achieved one of my biggest goals- become a published author. Not only that I also wrote my first article for Rebelle Society. All of this brought so much joy and sense of accomplishment. Last week, however, I witnessed a dream come true.
New Renaissance Bookstore

My favorite bookstore in Portland, New Renaissance Bookshop, agreed to carry my book. Seeing my baby on the shelf was the best Christmas present EVER. They have three copies and I signed them. :) If you know a new mom who is struggling and could use a little encouragement, this would make a great little gift. Make sure you throw in some chocolate too *wink.*

And if your budget is a little tight this year, Urban Goddess Mama, is FREE on Kindle books until 12/19/14. This is your chance to read my story for FREE and share with your mama friends. Go forth and spread the holiday cheer.

Happy Holidays, everyone. Thank you so much for your support and love. See you in the New Year!


Monday, December 8, 2014

The Art of Extreme Self-Care Chapter 12

Hello and welcome to The Art of Extreme Self-care postpartum style. For those of you who are new to my blog, last December I announced I would be doing a read-a-long of The Art of Extreme Self-care by Cheryl Richardson and sharing with you how I applied the principles of the book in a postpartum setting. We did it folks. We made it through the whole book. Last chapter was about waking up your passion. Let's dive into chapter 12.

Chapter Overview: Creating an Extreme Self-care Emergency kit
What I got out of the chapter: Life happens. Kids teeth, have growing pains, get sick, and have rough days. Jobs can be stressful. Family can bring all kinds of drama. Having a Self-care Emergency Kit is extremely important to get you through those tough times that happen to everyone.

Saturday was one of them for me. I woke up in a crappy mood. All week my emotions had been spiraling downward. Part of the reason was I hadn’t had time to run, my newest endorphin-booster, and there had been other challenging things throughout the week that have thrown my mood off track. This morning, all I wanted was to crawl back in bed and forget the world. I put on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood for Boo Creature, climbed back into bed, and threw the cover over my head. It took every ounce of energy and will power to get my ass out of bed after she watched 3 episodes and go running as my usual weekend routine goes. I took her to the park and ran around the playground as she played on the slides. My mood didn’t improve. 

When I got home Hubby woke up and took over after I told him what was going on. I took a sea salt bath while reading a good book. He cooked a late brunch for us and brought me a plate of pancakes and eggs while I bathed- something that made me feel like a queen. The delicious food, wonderful bath, and good book helped a little, but I was still pretty pissy. 

By now nap time had arrived. I lay down with my girl and we took a two hour nap. When I woke up in the afternoon, I felt a little better. We snuggled together and looked at pictures on my phone. A half hour later I felt even better. And I got up to write this post. 

I utilized at least three of the tools in my Self-care Emergency Kit.  Using the questions that Cheryl asks in chapter, I created the following kit and today I’m so happy I had it:
1.      Who can I turn to for support? My husband, my 2 best friends, and my goddess circle ladies.
2.      Who do I need to avoid? Certain family members, anyone who has intense energy.
3.      What does my body need? Yoga, swimming, sea salt bath, sleep, and time in nature.
4.      What responsibilities to I need to let go of to clear space? Writing, social gathering, and in extreme cases take time off work.
5.      What unhelpful coping strategies or activities do I need to avoid? Mindless TV watching, internet surfing, Facebook surfing, and playing Facebook games.
6.      What spiritual practice restores my faith and connection to Source? Yoga, meditation, and walking in nature (especially the beach).
7.      What do I need to feel comforted? I need space, food, and time to rest.
8.      How will I best express my feelings? Journaling and talking to a trusted friend.
9.      What object can I use as a talisman that will remind me to breath & relax? My heart-shaped rose quartz.
10.   What can I do when I need to take a break from the emotional stress? Read a good book, watch a funny movie, eat a Greek Salad with a glass of wine, and take a bath.

Thank you so much for reading this fantastic book with me throughout the year. I really enjoyed sharing what I’ve learned. Stayed tuned for an exciting announcement next week.