She stared back at me from my past and I remember the exact day a few years ago now that I got it.
A really deep and embodied understanding that Self Care wasn’t just about doing all the lovely more superficial things that I had been doing. It was those things too for sure.
But there was more.
It was great that I took care of my health, and that I ate green food, and walked on the beach and did yoga and occasionally went and had a pedicure. But on this day as I sat there writing I realised that what I hadn’t been doing was choosing myself. That I had been hoping subconsciously that somehow, magically someone ELSE was going to come along with a magic wand and give me the power to do the things in my life that I was hoping to do, be and experience.
I wasn’t living from the inside out.
But handing it all over to someone, anyone (everyone) out there. And it was making lots of things really difficult. How on Earth was I hoping to have success in my work when I was hoping that someone outside of myself needed to like it first? How was I going to find myself in a healthy romantic relationship if I didn’t have my own back first?
I had been prioritising the needs of those I loved to the point that my self care up had been very superficial almost tokenistic.
I recall sitting there that afternoon in my very sunny apartment, looking around like it was all brand new and knowing that from that moment on I would choose me first.
I would back myself wholeheartedly and that the things I wanted to experience more in my life would be prioritised.
I mean it sounds so obvious.
If I wanted something I was working on to be a success I would define that success and then wholehearted go after it. If I was tired and needed time to myself to support my health I would take it.
This embodied decision completely renegotiated my whole life. And put me at the centre of it.
That moment in time completely transformed every relationship I had. (not all of them survived) And it opened up a world of possibilities.
But even as I write this, I can hear it, that voice, you might have heard it go through your head just now too? Because that’s what articles like this trigger off in people like us.
Recovering people pleasers.
Did you hear it? The “But what about them?” But what about what they will think or do if I put myself first.
That’s the definition of selfish isn’t it?
No it’s not.
It’s the definition of Boundaried.
Of knowing what you need, of what you value, of what is of primary importance for you right now.
Of the help you might need to ask for or organise. It will look different for each and every one of us. But the results will be the same. Deep and abiding self respect Energy, Grace and resilience to navigate your life.
This is NOT a boundary that is a barrier keeping everyone out. This isn’t that same wall that keeps a broken heart locked up or a wounded soul in safe isolation.
This is about keeping what you need IN and about elegant choices of where your energy goes based in your values, needs and daily circumstances. It’s about your wild heart knowing it has free reign because she knows her edges are respected. It’s about all this and so much more.
The woman I was and the woman I am now are pretty dang excited t share with you that Boundaried is open for pre-sale.
Two weeks of 20% off then that discount will continue for subscribers till we kick off on the 13th of June.
I would love to hear from you. Subscribe, check out Boundaried HERE and message me with any questions you have.
The end of year can be so tricky to navigate.
And I know I’m not alone in observing this. Obligation, unrealistic expectations, clashes of values and needs, it can all seem too hard. It doesn’t need to be this way though.
In my ongoing sorting and repacking of my storage unit, I found a photo of my sister and I somewhere around 1995. It’s a hilarious photo because for some reason we felt the need to kneel down beside my big kitchen table next the spread of food we had prepared. It’s this weird but festive photo with our almost disembodied heads next to plates of food! Let me remind you that there was no digital photography at this point!
I wish I had’ve taken a photo of it before packing it back away. This photo reminded me that for a number of years while we were still living in the same country we would celebrate our ‘Holiday Festival’ on the Solstice on the 21st Dec. This is when we gave each other presents and shared the highlight real of our year and our wishes for the next. *
This felt meaningful and connected as I didn’t align with the commercialism of the season (I still don’t) or the Christian one on offer. I made up my own rituals, borrowed a few from my pagan leanings to honor the summer season and I was on my way! Just add people I love, great food and music. In our childhood my sister played ‘The Muppets Christmas Album’ version of the 12 days of Xmas so much that regardless of whether we are together I hear Miss Piggy screeching 5 Golden Rings until the 2nd of Jan.
*(This was also a time in my life when I left a slice of birthday cake out for the ‘elementals’. True stories. Now I just eat all the cake myself! I figure I’m an elemental too!)
As the years have passed and my baby brother and sister were born, I adored celebrating with them. Their excitement at the Xmas tree, all squishing into the same bed as they couldn’t agree with who was going to sleep in the big bed with their sister! There was even Mass in the melting North Queensland heat with my quasi Catholic parents. I found my feminist alignment with this by ‘hanging out with Mary’ and feeling into the genuine reverence present. Which was undeniable.
My ex-husband was a huge xmas fan. The decorations were epic, the carols continuous and I’m ok with never having to clean up that much tinsel again! The holiday season in the norther hemisphere it has to be said feels so much more authentic to me. At that time of year it can be really nourishing to celebrate and raise your spirits. The gift of a white winter solstice is something I enjoyed so much.
My siblings are now 20 and 22 but my nieces have since been born and I have once again loved creating rituals with them and my sister. No longer two disembodied heads at a table but trying to keep the presents a secret and grab a minute of quiet time together.
This year I find myself at another ritual crossroads. My younger siblings are all grown up, my sister and my nieces living overseas and my parents having parties with friends of their own. (That of course I could join).
I am finding myself leaning toward the ways I naturally love to celebrate and looking forward to creating space in my life for these thing for the first time in a long time. Simple, natural and homespun fun. And honestly while I don’t want to make a huge deal about this one day, after an enormous year I do want to soak up the spaciousness of having a week off and connect with my loves in a way that feels meaningful and not contrived.
I’m feeling into what 23 year old Keri would want to do because whilst we often search into the future to see what our older wiser self might think, there is wisdom to be found in the simple honestly of our younger selves too.
I want you to know that if the season ahead is hard for you, that you can create your own meaningful rituals.
Some ideas you could play with are;
Volunteer for your local charity.
Celebrate an ‘orphans xmas’ with your besties.
Even solo, create and plan ahead for a beautiful day; food, candles, activities that you love doing.
A day in a hammock with a book sounds just divine to me, or curled up by the fire if your Xmas is a chilly one. Making a big gratitude list of all the things you’re thankful for this year is a heart lead way to keep your focus on all that is abundant in your life.
Some other resources you might find helpful-
You can reflect and unravel your year with my Alchemical Year Play book
Alexandra Franzen has this ritual here I think I might try.
And my gorgeous friend Kris has these cards that inspire wonderful connection between people, pop them out if you’re in a group of people that might not know each other well.
I’d love to hear how your approaching the holiday season.
What spiritual practices or festivities do you align with?
And know too that if you’re really struggling don’t go it alone, there are support services you can connect with.
It needs to be included that as I’m writing this my neighbours child has launched into a sing- a -long version of Jingle Bells on the keyboard. It’s official. The seasons is ON!
Desire is a constellation of creativity receptivity and trust.
There is so much written on chasing your desires, as if desires and goals have become all mixed up.
There is also much talk of ‘being able to receive’ often in the same conversations as talk of the feminine, and the divine feminine. Women are relearning and meeting their own embodiment for the first time.
Often these conversations are couched in the same energy that we have been operating in which is to say a very masculine direct way in which we believe we are required or to ‘go out and chase’ and hunt down the things in life we want to experience. This is not the way to cultivate the feminine and heal our exhaustion from over doing.
To be blunt a lot of this discussion is just a dressing up of Masculine principals in a pretty spiritual dress. It is not helping us to connect any closer with the innate wisdom we have as women because of our physicality and it’s energetic workings.
(Please know that when I talk about masculine and feminine I’m not talking about men and women. Transpose the words yin and yang if that helps to create understanding.)
Let me ask you……
If your animal body were able to give you all the feedback she needed if she were able to purr in satisfaction or roar in pain and anguish or share her hearts desires in the safe nest the two of you create in the still moments of the day what would she say?
How would you relate to her?
Would you push her to chase down and hunt her dreams or would you let her cultivate her magnetism ?
Desire is like the pull of the moon. The shoreline doesn’t have to ‘do’ anything to have the ocean come rushing at her.
Neither do you.
What if we could truly feel our desires and not just the absence of them and the pain that can cause us, but the spaces within us that they could inhabit and in that sensation create the receptivity to embrace them and TRUST the timing of their arrival.
What. If. That.
What if as women we were able to connect with our innate receptive nature and trust the divine pull of our desires to steer our course across the skyline of our lives?
How much more energy would we have access to each day to take care of our needs and the needs of our families and businesses?
How much less struggle would be present, the self doubt, self loathing and guilt.
Lets talk about the guilt for a minute here.
A dear friend shared with me that in A course in Miracles guilt is referred to as an interruption (I haven’t quite got there yet its slow going!)
An interruption to you and the conversation that you and your soul, your animal body and your very necessary clever human mind are in.
This affects every possible way that we as women show up in the world. It informs us of our not enough-ness of our occasionally too-much-ness. It tells us we shouldn’t ask for so much or hunger for a life that our bodies are telling us is possible.
It encourages us to dampen down those feelings any way we can with food, with alcohol with technology with drugs. And before you know it that clear sonic path way between us and our desires is littered with static and disruption and we distrust the transmission we are hearing.
Our light is dimmed, the twinkling constellation of our lives feels lost in space.
It interrupts our creativity and the permission this needs to take form in our lives.
Let the guilt go.
For all the women over eating, under eating, over working, distrusting the presence of love in your life, be gentle with yourself, the path back to yourself can be a challenging one. It is a not a journey of addition which we are familiar with but of subtraction, which is frightening when we have bought into the existence of not enough and lack and denial.
Let me be clear here we are not talking about subtracting elements of you but of the layers you have worn in error hoping to improve or please or diminish your brightness. This subtraction is a revelation. Quite literally a revealing.
Take your time with your souls rebirth there is no rush.
Remember the co-ordinates to that constellation.
Hear the pull of your desires hidden in the longing and hunger.
Feel the receptivity present in your body.
Trust the unfolding of your heart in your life.
You are woman. Creatress. Huntress.
There is Magic and Desire in you enough to births stars.
2016 A year in review.
It’s hard to believe but I don’t think I have ever done a review post before, but 2016 you were different!
It was a wholehearted year where finally I felt like I could truly (and not begrudgingly) embody my belief that life is happening FOR me not too me (or AT me as some times it has previously felt!)
It was a strange year though in the sense that I kind of felt time got stretched in all sorts of weird ways and most of year actually happened some how all crammed into the the last few months. In fact the first half of the year felt like a different year all together.
Was I alone in this?
Something quite fabulous happened around September where all of a sudden all the work and planning that felt a little bit like it could be going nowhere suddenly went EVERYWHERE!
Lets start at the beginning shall we!
The seeds for the year were planted in Dec 2015 when I attended a Violet Gray intention circle. I wrote about it here. The gorgeous Alex invited me to one of their circles where each attendee makes their own crystal bracelet and my word for the year found me. SHINE.
I wasn’t quite sure what that word had in store for me, but it felt like backing myself, being seen, confidently standing my ground and letting my light shine. To be of service in the most bold and beautiful way. Letting the truth that I have the right to take up space really take hold I put my hand up and raised my voice.
It was a theme that unravelled through out the year so beautifully. I also moved into a gorgeous new home at the end of 2015 and the first few months of this year were filled with purchasing cushions and plants so much so that many of the planned furniture purchases still haven’t happened as I keep coming home from nurseries and Bunnings with even more plants! (who actually needs a kitchen table anyway?)
2016 had its heartbreak moments that I explored in this post HERE. And as I check in with myself enjoying the spaciousness of retrospect I can see an experience that will forever leave me knowing that I can do hard things with Grace.
It certainly wasn’t the most difficult experience of my life but the wholehearted way I took care of myself, the way I honored the process and let myself be guided by the ancient wisdom I offer to my clients was a bit of a revelation. Duh I know right!?
This experience has really shaped the way I have moved forward in my life since and the unapologetic way I choose to live through this natural lens.
There were daily walks with my four legged love
Lots of Live music.
My month long festival of birthday was celebrated in my usual over the top style for most of August. Yes all month, why the heck not?
And where would I be with out the fire works that Sydney puts on every-time I come down for my Roadshow!
A review of 2016 would not be complete without a mention of the amazing women that populate my life. I spent a rich and delicious weekend at Dr Libby’s Beautiful You weekend in June. (if you have not been GO it’s even more amazing than you think it will be! )
Celebrated like it was 1999 at the book launch of Ali Hills book Stand out. (go get it!) and found myself shoulder to shoulder with so many women I admire and look up to, whether it be at events or around my kitchen table.
A deep bow to the women in my world!
Again Dec 2105 saw the start of some amazing growth in my business and coaching practice that flowed through to the rest of 2016 .There was this article on Mindful Collective.
I featured on Nicole Mathesons podcast Unbreakable. You can listen to the episode here.
I adore this women and her way of showing up in the world. It’s irreverent, and feminine and wholehearted. Conversations with her are one of my favorite things.
I spoke at the Soul Sister Circle Sessions held at Warehouse 5 on the Gold Coast. And again found myself collaborating with women I truly admire and respect. Tahlee, Jasmine and Bec the founder of SSC are creative pioneers in their fields. The magic, and power of having 100 women in a room sharing their stories is not to be underestimated.
The big decision that I made in 2016 that shaped the end of the year and is very much providing the main flavour of 2017, is the choice to attend Tigress Yoga Female Yoga Teacher Training for a whole month in Bali.
Yup a whole freakin month in Bali. And you know what people (like me and perhaps you) say, that if it’s meant to happen it will but you need to take the first step. Well I took that step, not knowing where the money or time was going to come from but just knowing deep in my bones that this work was the perfect marriage of soulful restorative practice for myself and a necessary piece of the unfolding puzzle that is my coaching practice.
So it won’t surprise you that the money of course appeared, and then some. Going to further prove (in case you need proof.. sometimes I do!) that when you are truly in alignment with something, you will be supported.
The path, whilst perhaps not paved with unicorn glitter will naturally and with a degree of ease unfold in front of you. I’m equally excited and reverent about this experience which I know will be one of great revelation to me. I’m trying to approach that mindfully although every. single. cell. in my body also wants to cartwheel at the thought of being in that tropical heat with mango and coconut awaiting my tastebuds every day!
The new year is off to a wonderful start with the birth of my second niece. Little Abigail made her way into the world on the morning of the 1st of Jan. I had hoped to be at her birth as I was with her sister, but she had other plans. So another trip to our nations capital is on the cards!
I also thought it might be fun to share my reading list for the year. And also reveal my little addiction to teen fantasy fiction…. there really is no better escapism!
Lastly, if you would like an opportunity to reflect on the year that was using the 5 elements I have a play book for you. You can find it here.
I read in no particular order ……
A Year of Yes Shonda Rhimes
Rising Strong Brene Brown
Outrageous Openness Tosha Silver
Women’s Wellness Wisdom Dr Libby
Speaking Out Tara Moss
Cross Roads of Should and Must Elle Luna
Love Warrior Glennon Melton Doyle
When Women Were Birds Terry Tempest Williams
Stand Out Ali Hill
Celeste Roland Perry Wild Wood
The Wrong Girl Zoe Foster Blake
My drug of choice is teenage fantasy fiction and I make no apologies for my behaviour! (I can inhale one of these in a single Sunday afternoon)
Garth Nix The Old Kingdom Quartet
Cassandra Clare Lady Midnight
Claudia Gray Trilogy
Blood in the Beginning Kim Falconer
The final Terry Pratchet book.
Another trilogy I read at my sisters over Xmas!
Still currently reading from 2016 A Course in Miracles
Seven Thousand Ways to Listen Mark Nepo
I know there are some I have missed but I think thats as good a start as any if you are looking for a great read!
I truly hope your new year is off to a magical start and I look forward to connecting with you across 2017