looking back at 2022 - gratitude
Hi, friend. Happy 2023! It’s my birthday month, so I can tap into the feelings of renewal and expansion ahead, even if we’ve still got a lot of winter to go.
January feels like a creative cave, where we’re hibernating - but hallucinating big, bold dreams and desires - some of which we’ll move forward with in the new year (and some, we won’t). We’re in the belly of the Winter king - and the seeds of possibility are being primed…even if we still have awhile until the Earth greens itself again.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written here.
After dealing with a gnarly infection + anemia in September, which landed me in the hospital and forced me to face all sorts of things I’d avoided, judged, feared, and refused for over a decade - I needed a lot of time to process that experience.
My physical healing has gone quite well, thankfully - and I have a new level of respect for my body as an ally, worthy of being treated well.
However, I’ve decided to allow that experience to change me.
It showed me many ways I’d been trying to hold onto opposing viewpoints, and therefore, manifesting stagnation.
In this case, the turmoil created within me became so extreme, it manifested in a personal “lightning-struck tower” moment, where everything was at risk of crashing down. The Tower in tarot represents ambitions built upon false foundations.
It was also a harsh wake-up call to start treating myself better - and also, it’s given me permisison to radically redefine what “better” can look like.
2022 was a year of spelunking. While 2020 and 2021 were some of the most fun and expansive years of my life (!) - last year felt… convoluted.
The biggest thing that happened was moving back to the country last Spring. This was catalyzed both by our rent being raised by quite a lot, and also, by the passing of our sweet German shepherd, Leo.
When we went to live in the city, Leo stayed behind to keep my aging father company - and they bonded deeply. His death broke open my dad’s heart, and it became clear that he couldn’t live alone any longer.
Although I went into the move with clear intentions, it turned out that I “relapsed” into judgment, anger, and bitterness, and manifested some challenges…
In the study of German New Medicine (another fascination), what happened to my body is defined as an “identity conflict”.
It gets a lot more specific - but the overall theme is, my path to healing both physically and emotionally is acceptance and self-responsibility (response-ability).
I’ve started to write half a dozen articles on various topics since then - but I didn’t feel up to sharing as much - which is strange, you know?
I’ve always been a writer, and a wordy person - and yet, I seem to understand a little better, now, what Depeche Mode meant when they sang, words are very unnecessary / they can only do harm.
In January, we decided to try something we hadn’t tried in over a decade: eating gluten!
The year prior, my husband discovered to his delight that he could drink beer again, and immediately got into homebrewing. He’s still on that tangent…and so the rest of us cautiously started experimenting with organic whole wheat flour, sourdough, and einkorn wheat.
Later, we went to the local German bakery, which imports all their flour from Europe, and found that none of us had any issues! Soft pretzels and nüssecken, yay!
It turns out that the 15 year old is the only one still sensitive to gluten - but after being gluten-free for most of her life, even her symptoms and reactions are mild, and easily mitigated with digestive enzymes.
We still eat 90+% gluten-free, still bake 100% gluten-free - but it’s wonderful to not fear a massive reaction from eating one wrong bite at a restaurant.
Emotionally, it feels like a chapter of fear around food has finally come to an end.
After dreaming and scribbling ideas for it since 2011, my first-ever print book was published on the Spring Equinox - I’m so proud of The Conscious Pregnancy Guidebook!
Some of the most incredible women in birthwork reviewed - and raved about - my book. I was nervous to reach out to them - but I’m so glad I did!
In the Spring, we tried to dive back into the garden-and-homestead life. We got baby chicks, planted some veggies…but the reality of working a yard that had been neglected and overgrown for two years proved challenging.
There’s a laundry list of projects, half-completed, that require time, money, or both to get done. We have plenty of eggs, but a bare garden. The chickens ate it! Primarily, we need to build better fences. (Nobody tells you how much of “homesteading” comes down to proper fencing!)
I got a birdfeeder and some lovely patio chairs, and I spent a lot of last year outside watching birds, grounding barefoot under the trees, and spending time in contemplation.
The space in my brain that used to be taken up by (anti)social media, I now use to take in Inelia Benz’s podcast and classes, Jamye Price’s light language, Richard Rudd’s contemplations on Human Design and the Gene Keys, the Matrîarch Confessions, and the Freebirth Society sisterhood.
My Instagram is now focused on conscious pregnancy/mothering and Human Design - but you’ll get a bit of everything happening in my life via stories and highlights.
Last year, I started offering Human Design mini-readings. These started out as video-chats for friends who wanted my rapid-fire insights on their chart - so my mini-readings are just that, and priced accordingly.
However, I realize that a lot of things in Human Design need a bit of preliminary explanation, and also - not many folks seem to talk about how it all fits together in the big picture. So that’s why I’m creating a “foundations” course for Human Design - with info on profile and lines, gates, circuitry, conditioning and the not-self - even incarnation crosses and how it all connects with the planets, astrology, and Gene Keys (more info coming soon!).
I’ve also done a lot of creating on a larger scale…so that it’s not yet visible from the top-side of things.
I’m recording videos, creating two new courses (the other one focused on mindfulness, sovereignty, and embodiment during pregnancy) and I’m even writing another book. Most of this is intended to go deeper, to resonate at a different octave than most of the “quick start” stuff that’s available out there.
I don’t want to create the type of content that can be consumed in a day or two.
I want it to last…to linger…to create an impression on your heart, something you can carry forth into your life as useful and inspiring. Like a compass you can refer to as you discern your unique path of motherhood. It’s not done in a day - it’s a process.
I’ve clarified my position as a radical birthkeeper, and have no interest in the power-over-others paradigm - either in birth, parenting, or life in general.
This is a time where folks are yearning for firm roots and a steady foundation.
Adjusting expectations… A Theme
We started planning a shed conversion project so we could have a private space (and another toilet!) as an office/guest house/yoga and art studio… Yet, after spending a fair amount of time, money, and effort on it, we had to shelve the project due to the rising cost of building materials. Hopefully, we’ll be able to pick it back up again this year.
One of the most wonderful things about moving back turned out to be short-lived.
Our dear friends Carrie and Elliot were just a 15-minute drive away…for about 4 glorious months. Their path brought them to make another move, so now we live just over two hours apart (again). Yes, we can make the drive to visit each other. Yes, it’s absolutely worth it…but it took me a while to grieve, after they moved.
This is the year I’ve worked toward being at peace with the fact that I need to drive a lot to see my friends.
Our community is like nodes of light on a wide net cast over the state of Texas! It’s pretty much always been that way. I’m tired of being angry about it, tho. Acceptance brings peace.
I may not live on a community property with built-in friends a stone’s throw away…but you know, that’s not how I envision my dream community, anyway. I like having my own space.
There’s maybe no such thing as the ideal community - because it’s something organic that we nurture and create.
I stayed the night with my friend Crystal a couple times, and we had all sorts of fun. She got me to go rollerskating for the first time in about 25 years (exhilarating!); we sang Prince on Karaoke (completely sober) at the Kava bar; and recently, we spent a day at the Korean spa + went out for hotpot and BBQ.
We are both 6/2 Projectors in Human Design. At this point, nearly all of my friends are really into Human Design!
In June, I was invited to speak on Kelly Meehan’s Spirit Baby Radio podcast, and it was such a delight to talk to her, I felt lifted for days! The topic of our talk is *Radical Self Love, Pregnancy Intuition, & Visualization* - and you can listen here - it's episode 141.
I also had my last drink of alcohol in June - a delicious, fruity organic gin - which I credit as the tipping point in compromising my immune system so that I got sick with the virus-that-shall-not-be-named.
Coincidence? Sure, probably - but it felt connected at the time, and like a message from my higher self.
Alcohol opens doors in your psyche, and leaves you more susceptible to manipulation from other sources. I’ve never been a huge drinker anyway, and this felt like the right time to opt out for good.
In July, I took a trip to the beach with 4 of my 5 kids, which was fabulous and luxe…but also, it felt surreal, like an event outside of linear time.
I enjoyed it so much, but it didn’t feel like my life, and that scared me. I’ve always believed that if we’re living in alignment with our truth, joy, and purpose, we shouldn’t be so desperate for a vacation…and my Goddess, I didn’t want to leave the beach and return to reality.
August was a busy month, with a Schlitterbahn trip and visit from out-of-state friends (See?! Sometimes they have to drive to see us, too!).
We also brought the teens to Comic-Con, and picked up my daughter’s new pet rabbit, a tiny purebred Netherland Dwarf named Gumball.
I dove headlong into work projects in September (a warning sign) - and then spent most of October recovering.
I impulsively cut my hair, rearranged the house, and got rid of a bunch of my clothes.
We went for nature walks, made art, played board games…read lots of books, deepened my connection with nature and spirituality.
Looking back, it’s also good to acknowledge the little things - as they so sneakily add up to become the big things.
I had a lot of moments like that last year - looking at old photos and realizing that at the time, we had no way of knowing that this was one of the key, golden moments to one day look back on and go, ‘wow, we were living a dream and didn’t even know it’.
We are now teaching the middlest kiddo to drive. She’s very self-motivated, so unschooling looks a little different with this one. At 15, she’s already thinking about her path to homeschool graduation, and even started apprenticing with Dad to make money.
My husband’s biz continued to grow and evolve. He has fancy things like QR-code payment options and branded logo t-shirts! If you’re in the Austin area, Red Van Guy can sort you out :)
For Samhain and Halloween - first, we traveled to celebrate a dear friend’s big 40th, and next, drove into Austin to trick-or-treat with new(ish) friends! This is also the first year we went to a friend’s house for a “friends-giving”, which was excellent, and low-key.
I’m realizing… I need more low-key in my life.
As Projectors, we’re like the hare in the “tortoise and the hare” parable - we can get high on life and run circles around the rest, perfecting and pushing ourselves, often further than we should. We can get a lot accomplished
Then we must pay the price in some way or another - and need to recuperate, take the pressure off, and allow ourselves to have FUN without strings attached.
This is medicine, and it’s not frivolous or optional.
My birthday is on the 15th - and this year I’ll be 42. On Instagram, I called it my “life, the universe, and everything” birthday, but I think only Pippa got the reference :)
For me - I know this year will include more art, more dance, more nature, more music, more friends and intimacy - and more sheer delight at being alive and healthy.
I’ll also order up less pressure, less mental static - and less dissonance between what I think I want, and what actually makes me happy.
The greatest lesson I learned last year is that I’m incredibly powerful - more than I previously believed or understood.
What are you carrying into 2023? What are you still processing? I’ve opened up comments on a lot of my articles, because I’d genuinely like to hear from you.
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