If you had told me last January 2014 that in January of 2015 I would be living in the forest with the love of my life, my dog, and a vision of the impact that I want to have on this world – I would have laughed. Last year at this time I was in school to become a Holistic Nutritionist (my main source of joy); I was in the process of figuring out some health issues (food intolerances, namely gluten that was manifesting for me as insomnia, anxiety, depression and weird mood swings); due to some life circumstances I had recently moved back to my parents place and in January I was in the process of moving in with a girl I went to school with (this living arrangement would only last 4 months); and I had just had an emotional conversation with my Aunt on boxing day about her concern for my anger. It was a rough and messy spot to be in. The 1st year of therapy was dark in the sense that I went to my internal soul swamp and just felt the pain. The 2nd year of therapy was dark in the sense that I was trying to figure out my voice, and in the process I was acting out and finding that I no longer fit into a lot of the old places I used to fit into. It was painful. Looking back, I can see that it was much like a snake shedding it’s old skin – I had worked hard on figuring out what my boundaries looked like (a totally foreign concept to me), and I had spent a lot of time sorting out what self-love was to me. 2014 was the year of putting some of these practices into action, and infusing my day-to-day relationships with self-loving boundaries, and deeply rooted self-care. I had to place careful intentional attention on weeding out my garden so to speak - and making room to cultivate the seeds I yearned to nourish and grow.
The mantra “slow-down” slapped me in the face numerous times as instinctively tried to rush to the invisible finish line.
I was in no place 1 year ago to sit down and write out a list of ‘resolutions for 2014’; I had no idea what my path was to look like. I did know however that my goal was to find my heart, to learn to be present, soft, and vulnerable. I knew I needed to surrender to trusting the process of life, and slowing down. I didn’t know my grand life plan, and I still don’t. All I knew was that my job as a self-loving goddess was to honor the inner workings of my soul, no matter how crazy they felt. My job was to listen to my heart and deeply care for my inner child, my inner goddess, and my future self. I was in the process of cultivating self-love and self-awareness.
My version of self-love revolved around tuning into the quiet whisper of my heart. The more I explored that whisper, the more I learned that there was an essence of 'forest energy' around my heart. The deeper I dove, the more I realized that I had a yearning to connect with the moon, the healing herbs and mushrooms of the planet, the powerful goddess women in my life who offered me inspiration on a day to day basis. As this side of myself evolved, and as I got to know her; I named her “the witch”. She has a healing energy about her, she is a true goddess, she is divinely connected to the feminine energy of this world and she longs to make a difference.
This sudden desire for the forest, the moons, femininity, and healing was overwhelming to me; I had zero idea that this side of me existed; and suddenly it was so real for me, like it had existed in me since the beginning of my souls journey – perhaps even, many lifetimes. I didn’t know what it meant, or what to do with it. I used to tell my therapist “I just want to run away to the forest” and he would tell me that I had to “find the forest in my heart” … and so I did. I found 'healing witch energy' everywhere I could. I bought crystals; I learned about the moon; I got regular treatments of acutonics and acupuncture from Natalie, one of the most healing goddess I have ever met; I researched Christian mystics (my current fav is Hildegard of Bengin), religion, spiritual practices and ancient goddess; I made wands while drinking elixirs and visiting Dad’s grave. I prayed.
I focused on cultivating my relationship with the divine.
The 1st thing I did after I got to know “the witch” was tattoo the entire left side of my back in an assortment of herbs to honor the balance of masculine and feminine. The 2nd thing I did with my witch energy was spending countless numbers of hours at what I called “my sanctuary” aka: The Light Cellar. Something about this amazing super food store resonated so deeply in my soul. Each week I would go in and ask Dennis, Jordan or Patrick to “teach me something new” – and I would buy the herb I learned about, take it home, craft elixirs and study it over the week. Each week I gained more knowledge, and my roots of self-care grew deeper. Each week I had a better idea of what brought me peace. When I didn’t engage in the calling of my heart insomnia, depression, and chaos would return. When I was dedicated to staying present and soft, I felt connected.
2 days ago, Shane unloaded a big box from the truck labeled “witch-food”, and as I organized the shelf and stood back realizing that we have no room for “real-food”, I felt a true sense of pride in what these jars of healing tonics represented to me. For me they represent a path of healing, a path of learning self-love. They represent the divine feminine healing energy of the planet. They represent nourishment, creativity, and connection.
I didn’t know where I would be today back in January of 2014. But what I did know, was that I needed to learn to trust the process of the universe. I wanted to be on a path that serves my soul. I wanted to heal so I could help heal others. I want to be in service of the whole. I knew I needed to honor my heart – and amazingly enough, that inner forest I would visit in my soul has manifested in my life as a mossy, rainy, green, magical real life forest. I followed what was in my heart, I surrounded myself with the essence of what my soul longed for, and I let life do the rest. It’s a slow process, and it should be.
I’m amazed at how life works. There is a divine plan. Our job is to care deeply for our souls. Staying rooted, self-loving and connected is the only full time job we need to engage in – the rest will follow.