Chapter 15: Sadness is a phenomenon

February 3rd 2019

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to you. Happy New Moon in Aquarius. For me, the new moon always brings a new, refreshing sort of energy. Kind of like when you wake up in the morning after a night of deep, peaceful sleep. The new moon also reminds us, encourages us to celebrate. Celebrate yourself, celebrate others, celebrate a new beginning. Wherever you are on your life path today, I hope you celebrate it. Celebrate what you have gone through to get to this exact moment. Celebrate your growth, your victories, and maybe even your losses. You got here, having possibly navigated some gnarly storms, and that is worth celebrating.

I spent most of this last week feeling sick. I spent most of my time horizontal while my daughter kept me entertained and in good company. I had moments where I felt frustrated that I had to tend to a demanding tiny human and I had moments where I felt deeply grateful that I was in her presence. Not everyone gets a sweet sparkly companion to share space with when they are feeling low. I do.

Yesterday morning I took myself to dance. Before dancing, I had a sweet session with a private personal training client. My energy was elevated by it/by her. But as I drove to dance, I noticed that something began to shift. My energy started to move, sort of like when you can see a storm coming in as you look out at the ocean. You don’t really know what’s about to happen, but you can feel something shifting. So I arrive at dance and eventually lay out on the floor. Thirty minutes end up going by, and I hardly moved. That is atypical for me. I’m a mover and it generally doesn’t take long for me to get embodied to music. But I didn’t want to move. I actually felt like I couldn’t. The word that came up was: paralyzed. I felt paralyzed by my emotions. The emotion being sadness. I was internally flooding with sadness and unable, maybe even unwilling, to let it move through me. Instead, I was holding onto it like a young child gripping onto their favorite blanket. I laid there and thought,
“sadness wants to move too, bree, let it move” to which my body would then respond, “no, I am not ready to move yet.” So I didn’t move. I just closed my eyes and acknowledged the sadness that was present. At first, I didn’t really understand where it was coming from. But as every minute passed, and I chose stillness instead of movement, more messages came through.

I had seen my mom the night before. For those new here, she has graves disease, which is a dysfunction and imbalance in her thyroid. She had updated me about how she was feeling and about her most recent appointment. She went through something like 12 weeks of steroid infusions towards the end of December, which unfortunately didn’t bring any relief to her discomforts. She is now doing radiation. Radiation, from my understanding, is a stronger treatment. A treatment that quite literally blasts into her eyes, which is where she is currently experiencing most of her discomfort.

Well, I eventually realized where my sadness was coming from. My sadness was for my moms situation. Sadness that each treatment up until this point has not made her feel better and that she is experiencing physical pain and discomfort every single day while working a full time job and showing up as a full time mom. I felt sad that there wasn’t much I could do except love her and support her while she navigates this storm.

A dance friend walked up to me as I was sitting in the corner of the dance space. He took both of his hands and cupped my face. I fucking collapsed. I lost my breath. My heart sunk and my chest dropped. My forehead bowed forward and I began to sob. Tears flowed out of me as soon as I felt his touch. He stayed for just a few big breaths, kissed my forehead, and I think he said “don’t forget to breathe” before walking off.

Release.

My sadness surfaced and it finally felt time to move. So I did. I moved, I growled, I smiled, I laughed.
I embraced the storm.

Sadness, like joy, wants to be felt.
Sadness, like the rain, is its own phenomenon.
Be with that phenomenon.
Love that phenomenon.
New Moon blessings to you.

I love you all, a lot.

With gratitude,
BG

Chapter 13: Your Joy is Your Responsibility

January 12, 2019

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening. Happy Saturday to you, my sweet reader. Ooh, if I could give you a warm hug right now.. I would. As I type this, love is pulsing through my veins. Why? Because I am experiencing the benefit of nourishing my heart. Because I am prioritizing self-love and showing up for myself in ways I have dreamed of in the past. That’s why. Now my question for you is: what action are you taking TODAY to nourish your heart?

I am a few hours away from picking my daughter up and spending time with her for the next 6 days. If you remember a few newsletters ago, around the holidays, I was drowning in motherhood. I didn’t prepare for my long week with Rayne, and therefore, I suffered. I take full responsibility for this, too. I was the cause of my suffering. Yikes. Well, I am about to do another solid chunk of time with her and I am so inspired, so motivated, to self-love-the-fuck out of myself during. I woke up this morning and asked myself, “what would make me feel good today?” and three things came up instantly: movement, writing, and seated meditation. I went to ecstatic dance this morning and my experience was…pure-fucking-joy. I cried halfway through my dance because I was feeling so much joy. Not because of anything materialistic, either. I wasn’t thinking, “I have this, therefore I am joyful.” I was experiencing joy because of where I was putting my focus. I was experiencing joy because I was moving my body
with community. I was experiencing joy because I was choosing gratitude. I was experiencing joy because I was focused on what I have; The abundance in my life. I was experiencing joy because I was choosing self-love over self-sabotage and FEELING the benefits of that choice.

Each day, I have roughly 15 hours awake. That means, I have 15 hours to show up for myself in some way. Whether I am with my daughter or alone, the hours don’t change. What can change though, is my mental state. I can drop into a scarcity mindset or I can blossom from an abundant mindset. I can drop into fear or I can radiate from my heart. I can make decisions as a victim or I can make decisions as my powerful inner wise woman.

I always have a choice and so do you.

I made a decision to take my seated meditation practice to the next level. We are twelve days into this new year and I have sat silently in meditation each day. This past Thursday was an extremely busy day for me. I was working on my FINAL edits for my book and was deep in my creative flow. I then had to pick my daughter up from school and the rest of my afternoon and evening was stacked with commitments. I arrived to a restaurant where I was meeting a dear friend. She just so happened to be running behind and I realized that I hadn’t sat in meditation yet and probably wouldn’t have much more space before bed to get it in. I had twenty minutes before my friend would arrive and I was sitting in the drivers seat of my car. It was around 6:30pm, so it was totally dark outside. I set an alarm on my phone, sat as tall as I could in my seat, and closed my eyes. Let me tell you, as bizarre as that context may have been, I dropped the fuck into that meditation. Like, I went deep.

The point of me sharing this story?
I took what life was offering me and gave myself exactly what I needed, despite the circumstances.

So my sweet friend,
What would it be like to let go of our expectations and our stories, and to take what life is offering us, and create what we need in that moment?
What would it be like to stay in our power rather than drop into our victimhood?
What would it be like to show up for ourselves even when life is inconvenient and less-than-perfect?

Questions I am contemplating in my life.
Questions I encourage you to contemplate in yours.

Show up for yourself today. You won’t regret it.
I love you.

With Gratitude,
Bree

Chapter 11: Aggression is not strength

December 31st, 2018

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to you. My hope is that wherever you may be in this moment, you are feeling ease. Like allowing the space between your eyebrows to soften, letting your jaw release, and allowing your breath to flow deeply into your belly. Three small reminders that can make a huge difference in our energy field. And for those of you who are navigating something challenging right now and are not at ease, I hope you trust that the challenge will come to a closing; The cycle will end. Just like the cycle that was 2018. We are in the final day of this year and it is about to close out, for good.

For me, this year has been tough. I have recently described it as a never-ending hike up a mountain. I have felt like I have been climbing for 365 days. Some days, I make a lot of progress and get higher. Some days, I misplace my foot and slip back down to a part of the mountain I already navigated but clearly needed to experience again. Some days, I pause and take in the view and marinate in gratitude. But if I am being honest, I have been waiting for a break. A break in the climb. A break in the storm. A break from the intense physical, emotional, and mental work that has been asked of me this year. What is interesting though, is as I type this from a very peaceful state, I wouldn’t have wanted 2018 to look any different. Interesting, right? However, if you asked me a few days ago or even yesterday morning, I would have told you to call in a helicopter because I am fucking done with this climb.
Let me give you some context.

I am a single mother to a 3 year old. That could be enough context but I’ll keep going. Her name is Rayne, for those of you just joining us. Rayne has had cold symptoms for a few weeks now that always seem to be worse when with me. Go figure. Rayne’s father and I are coparents and every week is split up pretty equally. Typically we go 3.5 days on and 3.5 days off. For me, it is the perfect amount of time to recharge. Rayne’s father is originally from Massachusetts and booked a trip home for the holidays for a week. I have known about this trip for awhile and had fully accepted that Rayne and I would be together for 8 days straight, without any break. Now, I have gone much longer without breaks in the past but I was not internally thriving at that time. I was fronting to be a stoic-single-mom-that-didn’t-need-any-support. I don’t play that game anymore. Over the years, I have learned to ask for support, receive support, and prioritize myself…first.

Back to the story.
So not only is Rayne sick (violently coughing, sneezing, congested) but we are with each other all day every day for 8 days. EIGHT DAYS. May as well been an entire fucking year.

I can be really dramatic by the way, I’m not totally convinced my time in theater is done.

Our time together was a bit unusual because of the holidays. Her preschool was closed and my work schedule was light. This meant that we actually spent every moment together. Be it your dog, life partner, or child — we need fucking space. Not only do we NEED space but we deserve space. Giving myself space from my duty as a mother has been a challenge to drop into over the years. I assumed if I was away, I wasn’t being a good mother. But in fact, it has been just the opposite. When I am away (and creating space for myself), I show up as a kick ass-love warrior-mother.

When I show up for myself with love, I can show up for my daughter with love.

Now, we hadn’t gone a week together like this in awhile so I had forgotten what it was like. I had forgotten to make time for myself. I had forgotten to ask for ample support. Instead, I let myself sink. Each day that that went by, I sank a little lower into my victimhood. I woke up frustrated and irritated that I had to tend to a sick child and that would set the tone for the day. I would attempt to change up the energy but nothing seemed to work. Then we had a few consecutive nights of bad sleep. Let me let you in on a little secret of mine: when I don’t sleep, my monster surfaces. I don’t say that as a joke either. My inner-monster, which is essentially made up of my shadows, takes over. The less love I give myself, the more fuel my monster is given. My inner-monster is negative, angry, aggressive, and short-fused. The tiniest trigger can set this side of me off. To be honest, it is scary. It is a side of myself that I met for the first time a few months into motherhood, when I was
sleep-deprived, poorly nourished, and alone. Some use the term “post-partum depression” but I think after almost 4-years of mothering, it is deserves a new title.

So yeah, this side of me came out this past week. Full throttle.

The piece of all of this story that am wanting to focus in on though is: aggression. I remember myself to always have been aggressive. I have met aggression with aggression. I never surrendered to it. I didn’t express aggression through physicality though, I actually expressed it through words. I believe the term is “passive-aggressive” and If I had a dollar for every time someone has labeled me that way in my life, I’d be fucking rich.
I use to harm others with my potent words and body language. I can’t remember the exact timing but I was around the age of 21 when I decided to shift out of this way of being. I had started meeting and working with what I would describe as conscious humans and that inspired me to evolve.

This aggressive way of showing up in the world didn’t stop overnight. It has been a practice to become aware of my aggressive projections to then attempt and rewire them.

So yesterday morning, Rayne went off to her fathers house. I went to dance. I laid down on the dance floor in fetal position as a gentle instrumental piano song played in the background. My eyes were closed and I started some inner dialogue with my inner wise woman.

Where does this aggression come from?
Silence.
WHERE DOES THIS AGGRESSION COME FROM?
Silence.
Take me back to my earliest memory of aggression.
Silence.
PLEASE take me back to my earliest memory of aggression.
A jarring memory then comes through and my entire body reacts.
A memory I didn’t want to see.
A memory I didn’t want to feel.
A memory I didn’t want to be true.
Tears flowed down my face as my body quivered and moved into this memory.

And after a moment I asked:
Why me?
Why did this happen?
Why was she so aggressive to me?
Was I that challenging?

The words that followed were:
To make you strong, Bree.

In that moment I understood. I accepted the answer to the question I have been asking for most of my adulthood. My history and story around aggression ends with me. I am no longer interested in meeting aggression with aggression. I am inspired to keep climbing this fucking mountain if it means Rayne will grow up NEVER having to ask those same questions I asked myself yesterday morning. I am inspired to surrender and soften when my inner-monster wants to act out aggressively. I am inspired to continue to make space for myself and stay connected. I am inspired to be the best version of Bree that I can possibly be.

Aggression is not strength.

With that, I will close this chapter and this year.
Thank you for being here.
I look forward to 2019 and all it brings.

With Gratitude,
BG

Dancing With The Mystery Of Life.

Today is August 1st, 2018 and I feel like I have been patiently waiting for this day for quite some time. As of today, I have paid my final rent check and given my 30-day notice to move out of my apartment, where my daughter and I have lived for the last 2.5 years. I will be moving all of our belongings into a storage unit and the rest is pretty much unknown at this point.

Earlier this year, say January, I had a couple of somewhat clear messages come through via my meditations. The messages went something like this: “when your lease is up, you will move” and “write that fucking book.” Initially, those felt intense to receive. I couldn’t help but wonder, “Where the fuck am I supposed to move and what the fuck will this book be about!?” I was perplexed. But I did what any good student of life would do, I wrote them down in my journal and invited them into my meditations and dances.

Fast forward to the present moment, the now, and my first book (yes, there are two alive within me) is almost complete and I will begin the manuscript process soon. Fucking wild. Next, I have two wonderful friends who have opened up their homes to my daughter and I and we will be floating around the bay area come August 30th.

What is still a bit unclear? Where we will root; where we will create our next home. For some reason, I feel entirely okay with this too. Yes, some days I am in the shower and think about the unknown and I sob uncontrollably. Most days though, I feel extremely excited for this new adventure. This opportunity to dance with the mystery of life.

This year has consistently presented a reoccurring theme for me. It has showed up in so many situations and contexts and people. The theme is this: Attach To Nothing & No One. Seems simple, right? Well, it fucking hasn’t been. It has tested me unlike ever before. I could give endless examples of this but instead I’ll just keep you curious.

Each and every emotional experience this year has led and prepared me for this next phase of my life.

I am
entering the unknown,
letting go of control,
trusting deeply,
staying curious,
remaining patient, 
maintaining individuality,
and loving fiercely.

I have no answers. I desire no answers.

I am being asked to dance with the mystery of my life and let my heart lead the way.

As Jack Kornfield so poetically phrases it, “are we going to let fear set the agenda for our hearts?”

I’m not and I hope you won’t either.

With Gratitude,
Bg

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