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.
Late last year I was thrilled to be asked to share my story on Nicole Mathieson’s Unbreakable podcast.
Nicole is a kinesiologist and confidence coach who guides her clients back to their heart so they can build a life of deep fulfilment and contentment.
We delved into how I got where I am today, from that first inkling that something wasn’t right to the upheaval and exploration that led me here.
You can listen to our chat here.
(and so much other crap that compromises keeping our hearts strong and open)
Now that I’ve got your attention with that incredibly dramatic title, let me just say
I love love. All of it.
I mean, I love romance and flirtation and devotion.
I love that feeling when you first meet someone that you like, that feeling that you get when you haven’t even met someone but you’re just finally OPEN to it. Like yeah… I can go there.
I almost, ALMOST even like that feeling when you have just broken up with someone you truly deeply loved. Like you know even though the air around you hurts you did something real and magical there.
I love lusty, and sensual. I love that feeling when you are truly inhabiting yourself and people stop and look when you walk by. Even though you haven’t brushed your hair and your wearing clothes the dog slept on (or maybe they can tell.. who knows)
But you get my point.
I love feeling connected; with myself, with the world around me, with potentially a pretty hot human.
And then there is Valentines Day.
And it’s just not fucking helpful.