Mornings.

My legs start moving first. I feel the friction of my skin rub up against the pillow that's been pushed lower and lower throughout the night. I turn and reach for Russ, my fingers crawling against his torso, anchoring me. I try not to stir. 

For a moment, I succeed. I feel myself falling back into oblivion, the deep dark of morning not yet tinted blue. But then I hear him. He's grunting. Half crying. Moving around in his crib, trying to find the perfect spot. 

I know it will be an early morning.

His cries turn more frequent, the comfort of sleep lost. Now, he's only concerned with his very wet — no, soaked — diaper and the fact that he cannot see either one of us. I know I will find him on his stomach, his arms tucked underneath him, his rear end perched in the air. 

But I cannot open my eyes. As much as I try, sleep is puling me under again and again and maybe I can rest here for five more minutes. I curl into my pillow, Russ has already gotten up and started his morning routine. I think I hear him whispering to Jubal, but I'm not sure. It's not until I hear his wails echoing off our walls that I know Russ is changing him. I smile. He hates being changed in the morning. 

I don't blame you, little lion, I think to myself as I lift my arms above me and stretch. 

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Within minutes, papa is walking in with Jubal and Neruda, our chihuahua. Jubal is already giggling, his mouth precariously balanced close to Neruda's ear. I'm sitting up now, rubbing my eyes and taking deep breaths, willing my body to wake up wake up wake up. I reach out for Jubal and Russ passes him off to me. I squeeze him against my chest, kissing his forehead. 

"Good morning, Jubal." I whisper.

He answers by kicking his feet and reaching for Trulee, our older dog resting at the foot of our bed. When she doesn't give in to his wish of kisses, he sighs and pushes himself toward the edge of the bed. Russ walks over and grabs him. 

"Come on, Jubal. We need to give mama her Valentines." 

Valentines. 

Immediately my mind migrates to where we were last year. I was here, alone in the house. This bed, with all of the pillows I could possibly fit, stacked on top of each other. Neruda, snuggled somewhere underneath.

At that point, we'd been separated for almost a month. Russ was in North Carolina with our son, waiting for courts to say it was okay for us to take him across state lines. When I went to work on Valentines Day last year, a coworker gave me an obsidian stone. 

"To dispel negative energy," he said. 

I cried at the gesture, and then cried myself to sleep that night — missing my men with an ache so fierce it felt like my heart would crack in two. 

But here — now — they are within arm's reach. Russ grabs something out of his drawer and gives it to Jubal to give to me. It’s a hat. Jubal immediately puts it on his head and I laugh softly at how it tilts on his head and hold my hand out, inspecting the word written across the front.

QUEEN 

I look up at Russ and he gives me the smile he reserves only for me. I lean forward, kissing him once, twice, three times.

"They had one that had KING across the front, but that's not really my style," he shrugs. 

I laugh again, my body waking up, and make a face at Jubal. He shrieks, amused by the hat now resting on my head. He falls forward, planting a wet kiss on my lips.  

I let myself breathe deep from my chest.

I am awake. 

Posted on February 14, 2018 and filed under The Memoirs.

Open

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Ten minutes to write. 

Ten minutes to breathe, and show up, bare foot in my purpose.

What does that look like these days? Before it looked like workshops and books and long days spent behind the computer connecting with other like-minded individuals. 

Now it feels harder. More cumbersome. My purpose is always present, painting the area around me with this murky shine, like when the sun tries desperately to break through the clouds on a day where they're so thick the sky is white with heaviness. 

I remember what it feels like to find a story. I remember the feeling of it settling in my bones and resting there, knowing I would take care of it, knowing I would share it when the time was right.

And I always did. I always took that purpose seriously. I know the words are coming. I feel them in the way I pause at what I've written before, a familiarity looming right behind the veil. 

I know you, I think. Do you know me?

I have this white board in my office at home. On it I write my goals for the month that align with how I'm wanting to feel. 

Alchemic, it says. It's written in purple, on accident but really on purpose, because that's the color of creativity and intuition. Listen for book #5 is scrawled next to the feeling, a mantra I have whispered since I hit publish on INDIE CONFIDENCE over two years ago. 

I know what you're thinking: I've written that fifth book, haven't I? My memoir? And I did, you're right. But I see that manuscript as a bridge between then and now. It helped me in so many ways catalogue my life in a way that felt validating, but it's not for the general public. Not yet. In its form, it is still very much incomplete. 

And so, I listen. 

I stay open. 

I wait for the words that are on their way to me. The words that are settling in my bones as I type. The story I am meant to tell but don't even know it yet.

I am ready. 

Posted on February 10, 2018 and filed under Building Your Craft, The Memoirs.

Being honest.

I didn't get the position I interviewed for a few weeks ago. 

I found out yesterday, combing through my emails at work. 

Thank you for your interest, it said. We take great pride in finding talent....and then the standard bomb: they decided to go with someone else. 

It doesn't matter my qualifications. 
It doesn't matter how I've exceeded expectations. 
It doesn't matter my experience. 

Somehow, some way, I was less than what they wanted. Or maybe too much? I don't know. That's been a thing before and I haven't gotten feedback yet. Whatever the reason, I am sitting here on the other side of knowing and it sucks. 

But if I'm honest with myself, if I get down to that core level of my intuition and soul, I knew. 

Back in May, another email landed in my inbox. It was for an opportunity I hadn't expected and completely different than where I was headed. But every cell in my body lit on fire as soon as I read the words and I knew — I knew — I was supposed to apply. 

And before I even hit send, I knew the position was mine.

It did not make sense. It did not fit my "career path" or what others expected. But I was right. Within a week I had the new role and I started focusing on leadership within our department.

When the job opportunity posted a month ago, I felt a quickening in my gut. I have to apply for this, I thought. This is what I worked for — this is what I've been wanting to do. 

But even as I applied, I knew the position wasn't mine. 

It didn't feel right. It wasn't the right time. I still applied — and I still hoped for an interview since I never experienced one with such high expectations — but if I got quiet enough to listen to my intuition, everything was pointing to me being prepared for rejection.

Around the same time, I started getting random requests for story-coaching and developmental editing. I didn't post about it, didn't share that I was taking clients, didn't do an email blitz that dropped content to my subscribers and led them down a purchase funnel (ew). I just lived my life and dug deep into my art while waiting for the stake holders to make their decision. And in that waiting, three people came to me within a week. 

I need your help, they said. 
I'm listening, I wrote in my journal. 

But even after all of this, and even after journaling just yesterday morning that my current role felt like home and how weird is it that suddenly people are wanting me to help them with their manuscripts again, it still felt like a wave of shock hit me when I read the words that I wasn't chosen. 

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I'm still learning to trust my intuition. I know. It shouldn't be a thing still. I talk about it all the time and in reality, all it takes is a few deep breaths for me to connect to that inner wisdom. So I should know by now the difference between the carbonated excitement that runs through my veins like voltage vs the hesitant quickening that signals something is about to be good, but hard. As an empath, I take in so much from my surroundings that very easily I can begin to feel the emotions of those around me and mistake them for my own if I'm not continually checking in with myself. 

What is the truth here? 
How do I honestly feel about it? 
Where does my body feel the most at peace?
What energy am I relying on right now: feminine or masculine?

When I ask myself these questions, I always get an answer. 

So what is my answer right now?

It's continuing to do what I'm doing. Write the idea when it comes. Don't worry about sharing. Read as much as possible. Speak up when I know there's something to say. 

And don't worry about how I will get from here to there — all I need is the next right step. Which for me, right now, is preparing myself for conversations with those who said no, and the grace to find the words when I need them.

More than ever, I am open for the words to find me. 

Posted on January 29, 2018 and filed under Soul Care.