Category Archives: Love

Chapter 14: Vulnerable AF

January 27th, 2019

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to you my dear reader, my friend. I hope your heart is warm. I hope your belly is full. I hope your body is rested. I hope that you experience peace today.

It’s been about two weeks since I last sent out a newsletter and I knew I wanted to sit down and write at some point this weekend but had no clue what I would end up sharing. Since publishing my book last week, I have felt…a lot. Excitement, happy, vibrant, proud. But also very much: anxious, doubtful, and vulnerable. Leading up to the release of my book, I was also feeling all of those feelings. I had days where I felt brave and certain. I also had days where I felt scared and uncertain. I had days where my self talk was positive and days where my self talk was negative. In addition to all of that, I also chose to change how I was showing up in my place of work. I chose to let go of a costume/a style/a format, that many have taken to love over the years. I chose to create my own unique class because that is what felt genuine to my heart. But with this change, came vulnerability. With the release of my book, came vulnerability.

My vulnerability has been shaking things up big time.

So much so, that I questioned publishing my book after I did it.
So much so, that I questioned going back to teaching a style of yoga I felt I had outgrown.
And why?
To maintain my popularity.
To maintain my following.
To maintain attention.
To maintain comfort.
To please others.

Maybe I shouldn’t have written a book that was so confronting.
Maybe I should have left out the extremely personal, heart-breaking, stories.
Maybe I should just teach Hatha Yoga because I’m good at it.
Maybe I shouldn’t write weekly newsletters because my words aren’t impacting anyone.

Sabotage.
Sabotage.
Sabotage.

Where do all of these sabotaging thoughts and stories come from? I believe they come from a place of fear. A place we all know well. A place we have all dropped into and have stayed for awhile.
Fear of being different.
Fear of being unliked.
Fear of being too much.
Fear of being alone.

What we fear most can transform our lives depending on how we dance with it. We can lead with fear or we can lead with courage. We can stay comfortable or we can take risks. We can lead with ego or we can lead with love.

I am choosing vulnerability. I am choosing authenticity. I am choosing risk. I am choosing imperfection. I am choosing love.

“True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.” ~ from Braving The Wilderness, by Brene Brown.

I sometimes may feel like I am standing alone in the wilderness as I move deeper into my authentic self, and as I keep choosing vulnerability, but fuck…I am living.

Thank you for being here.
I love you.

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 10: Attention Is Not Love

December 23rd, 2018

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to you. I hope these words find you in a nourishing space you call home; whether that is a physical house or your body. I hope you are off duty in some way. I hope you can hang up all of the hats you wear and just simply be yourself these next few days. I hope there are people nearby offering support to you, even if those same people have been triggering you your entire life. I hope you are able to stay grounded in who you are, especially in the midst of the holidays, when we come together with people who may expect us to be the same person we were twenty-something years ago. And if you do in fact lose your ground, I hope you allow your triggers to teach you.

The holidays are a really interesting time for me. Don’t worry, I am not going to get all “grinch” and “scrooge” on you. I’m not going to shit all over your sparkly holiday fantasies. I am going to share a super personal story, as per usual, and get fucking real with you.
Shall we?

Twenty-three years ago my parents divorced; I was five years old. I don’t have very much memory of them together as a romantic couple nor do I have memory of us as a family of three. This is sad for me, yes, but let’s keep moving. I have a ton of memory of having two single parents and two places to call home. The memories I have of my parents are separate. This happened with mom and this happened with dad. My memory is like a 5 x 10 storage unit with a fuck ton of files. Within the last year of my life, I have found the key to my storage unit, I have turned the light on, I have cleared out the dust and cobwebs and toxicity, and I have opened, revisited, and organized many files.

Opening up this storage unit was a huge a commitment. I will venture to say that many adults get to a point in their life where they find the key to their storage unit but as soon as that door opens they take off running instead. Being open and ready to take on this commitment will play out differently for everyone. For me, I had done enough running and I was ready, even though I had no fucking clue what would come.

I’m about to get real personal. Buckle up.

One of my core childhood wounds is rooted all the way back to the time when my parents split-up. This wound is linked to my father; to the masculine. It took me a long while, probably a year of working with a coach, to realize this as I have spent most of my life blaming my mother and assuming all of my wounding came from her. And boy was I SHOOK when I realized that a majority of my twenty-eight year old projections actually stemmed from my relationship with my father.

The wound?
Attention is love.
Fuck.

Without getting too complex here, because this inner-work is extremely specific and complex, I will do my best to give you the five year old audience version.

A few years after my parents split-up, my mother remarried and had another child. My father claimed he was done dating and chose to stay single. Therefore, when I was at moms house: I did not receive attention and when I was at dads house: I received ALL the attention.
My sweet inner child unfortunately decided that when I was receiving attention, I was loved, and when I was not receiving attention, I was unloved.

Boom. The wound was created.

This became an unconscious behavioral pattern for me and has guided me for most of my life. When I reflect on every man I have dated or simply been friends with, I can find a similarity across the charts. I stayed if there was attention and I took off if there was not.

It wasn’t until November 2017 that I started to become more conscious of my behaviors and projections based on that wound, and it has been a painfully challenging task to rewire. Every connection I have made in the last year has triggered me in some way which has then guided me back to the root of the wound. My triggers have been my greatest teachers this year. Someone wise said “Never forget the 5 T’s: Trust The Triggers To Teach” and from the moment I heard that, I committed.

This has been my work in 2018. Getting triggered. Allowing myself to be in the trigger. Letting the trigger guide me back to the root; the core wound. Revisiting young Bree. Feeling young Bree. Loving young Bree. Honoring young Bree. And perhaps the hardest task of all, rewriting and living out a new narrative around my relationship with the masculine and the feminine.

So let’s full circle.

Last night I went out dancing. (http://ecstaticdance.org) Inspired by the full moon in cancer (ironically, my dad and brother are both cancers), I chose to set an intention around this wound. My intention was: I want to become even more conscious of my attention wound projections and I want to start embodying and living my new narrative.

Repeat after me.
Attention is not love.
Attention is attention.
Sometimes when I receive attention, I mistake it for unconditional love.
Sometimes when I do not receive attention, I mistake it for being unloved.
I am working with this, dancing rather.
I am aware of my old behavioral patterns around attention and I am writing and living a new narrative.
The old sabotaging narrative ends today.
I will be gentle with myself in this rewiring process.
I will probably slip and fall a few times but I will get back up.
When I receive attention, I know it is not unconditional love.
When I do not receive attention, I know that I am still loved.

Trust the triggers to teach.
Let’s get triggered and conscious together, yeah?
Happy holidays.
Be nice to yourself.
I love you.

With Gratitude,
Bree

Ode to Motherhood.

Motherhood
is being asked ten questions
before your eyes open in the morning
it is being interrupted
from making your coffee
because your toddler needs 
to wear a dress and a crown
right now
it is sweeping up crumbs
from the night before 
because a dirty kitchen
feels suffocating
and there is already enough of that
it is taking a sip
of your coffee or tea
like you have finally found
your soulmate
it is learning how to
cultivate peace
while both the dishwasher
and your toddler sing and hum 
it is getting triggered
by your needy toddler
but dropping to your knees
in forgiveness 
moments later 
it is forgetting
who you were
outside of being a mother
but also meeting your new self
who you actually
really like 
it is saying ‘no’ before
hearing the next question
because they truthfully
only get more ridiculous
as the day goes on
it is waking up
in the middle of the night
to make sure she is covered and warm
and then likely not falling
back asleep for another hour or three
it is wondering
where you would be
right now
if there wasn’t a toddler
performing a scene
from a movie that doesn’t exist
but also deeply grateful
that this is your reality
and you know that
even in the ugliest of moments
you wouldn’t change
a fucking thing
because this life
was totally meant for you. 

~bg

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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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Dancing With The Feminine, Dancing With My Fears.

About seven months ago I was in a yoga class with one of favorite local teachers. We were in some posture when she said something about “ecstatic dance” which was a term I hadn’t heard in a long time. The first time I experienced ecstatic dance was in Bali, Indonesia. I figured it was an “Only in Bali” thing and it never even occurred to me to look into finding a local dance in the Bay Area. Immediately after that yoga class ended, I started to search. I quickly found out that there were dances all over the world, including multiple options in my vicinity. The next morning, I drove myself up to Oakland, and attended my first ecstatic dance in almost 4-years.
Well, it has been seven months since that first dance and I now attend dances weekly, both in Oakland and Santa Cruz. Something I noticed pretty quickly was my natural avoidance of dancing with women. Initially, I didn’t know why. Now, I have a better understanding and will briefly take you back in time.
In January of 2017, I had my first official coaching call with my life coach. Essentially, this is someone I pay to help me expand my consciousness and support me while I move through emotional healing. Very quickly I learned that I had some tension around my relationship with my mother, I had an extremely hard time embodying yin-feminine energy, and that I tend to avoid female energy in many different contexts. “Healing The Feminine” has been the hardest internal work I have YET to navigate through. I am no where being done, frankly, there is no such thing as BEING done with such work. It took me about a year to just acknowledge these major themes and feel the discomfort of them. I am now in a place of feeling ready to slowly and gently start to change this behavioral pattern that I have carried with me my entire life.
Within the last few months, I have started to move into the discomfort of healing the feminine. This includes: allowing myself to embody yin qualities, allowing others to hold me physically and metaphorically, making eye-contact with females everywhere I go when I naturally want to look away, introducing myself to females and initiating friendship, and perhaps the most uncomfortable of all: initiating intimate and contact dance with females.
At this point, I have had quite a few intimate contact dances all of which I have awkwardly and uncomfortably initiated. Each of these women have extremely powerful energy that has felt really intense and intimidating leading up to these dances; It is precisely why I “chose” them, if you will. I wanted to dive in, whole-hearted and vulnerable, holding nothing back. I was truly intrigued by dancing with my fears.
The dance I care to share with you is the one that happened most recently. This woman has a strong yet petite build. Her hair is blue. She is beautiful. I had only ever seen her dance with men or dance solo. I was intimidated by her the moment I saw her. So what did I do? I avoided eye-contact. I avoided my fear. Typical behavioral pattern. Well, something was different last night. I still felt afraid, but I wanted to face the fear. I wanted to get closer to her to see what the FUCK could actually happen. She initiated contact. For those that are having a hard time picturing, it is contact improv in the form of dance. It is consensual. It is respectful. It is nonverbal. It is a conversation between two bodies, two souls. She initiated, I surrendered. We danced for what felt like a lifetime. I had so many moments where I wanted to run but instead just moved deeper into our dance; our conversation. She led me places, and I trusted her. I led her places, and she trusted me. She giggled a few times when our limbs didn’t sync up. That laugh was everything. It was human. It reminded me to soften. Our dance was beautiful, sensual, intimate. The song came to an end and she pulled me in for a hug. It was one of those tight hugs at first that eventually turned into a soft gooey hug. I started to cry. She gently pulled away to see my face, noticed my tears, and pulled me back in. I was breathless. I was in shock. I was ripped wide open and she fucking HELD me. She held me until I stopped weeping on her shoulder. She smiled and thanked me and that was it. I walked outside for some fresh air and couldn’t help but continue to cry. All I could really gather in that moment was: I danced with my fears. I danced with my fears. I danced with my fears.
I am still digesting that entire experience and don’t have many answers. But there is one thing that I am certain of: being vulnerable is the only way I want to live this life. It is the only fucking way.
Look your fears directly in the eye,
Surrender,
And dance.
With so much fucking gratitude,
BG