November is special.
And hard.
And so beautiful.

No other month since a long time ago do we see the bare ness of the trees, the flowers wilted from the cold nights and the light changing into more darkness.

Winter is coming

Our bodies and minds have to adapt (or start planning our hiatus to Florida 😉).

I am deeply affected by the seasons. By weather in all. I used to hate the cold and some days (you know the ones in Marchish/Aprilish that are 3 degrees and 40 mph winds…) it’s really hard to love northwest Missouri.

November opens up to the holidays and for some that’s full of light and love and for others it aches with love for light’s that have passed on, memories or life changes we have no control over that coat every inch of our bodies like a heavy dark syrup.

It can be so hard.

But in sadness and in cold, dark days and in change lies a little voice inside you that will give you the most amazing gifts you could ever learn about yourself.

In the process of experiencing big, uncomfortable feelings- pain, sadness, emptiness, anger, anxiety- lies the key to unlocking what you value most.

Feeling real love.
Feeling real connection.
Feeling warmth from a hug.
Feeling a smile.
Feeling balanced.
Feeling your strength.
Feeling freedom and euphoria.
Feeling alive with doing something that lights your soul on fire.
Feeling welcomed by someone or a group “gets” you.
Feeling seen and heard.
Feeling accepted exactly as you are.

When I gained 80 pounds and was literally holding my stomach in my hands after I had my 2nd daughter who weighed 13 pounds and 4 ounces at birth, I felt wrecked.

I felt out of control.
Truthfully, in those days I felt gross.

I also felt motivated to change everything and fix it, like, right now.

On the surface I knew I had just done something incredible by growing a human but there was another part of me really loud in my head harshly criticizing and judging as if it didn’t “get” what my body went through or where I was in my life’s path.

Everyone else was kind and helpful and understanding but I wasn’t kind, helpful or understanding to myself.

I thought what I needed was some quick weight loss strategies, some pilates and HIIT videos and a lot of anti-stretch mark lotion.

But instead I needed to breathe.
Get out of my own way.
I needed to give myself permission to marinate in the miracles of my experience that was happening in me and all around me.
I needed to stay in the uncomfortable. I needed to be. Not do.

Just be… a little like November and let go.

Most of us aren’t accepting of ourselves or each other in state’s of grief, sadness, loneliness, anxiousness or uncomfortableness.

It feels like too much and not enough at the same time.
So we numb, take on rigid plans to restructure our lives and + or run and hide from the hard.

In all my life, I’ve never said to myself I grew the most when things were easy.
And none of us gets through life not having trauma.
It’s not fair.
And it does leave scars. 

We will be misunderstood.
We will be hurt by those we love.
We will feel miniature deaths of things we can’t change hundreds of times in our lifetime.

And there will be births.
You’ll find your greatness at your very lowest times.
You’ll know your strength more viscerally than ever before when you are faced with the unimaginable.
You’ll feel the most authentic version of yourself when you are the most vulnerable.
You’ll feel the most connection with someone you love when you’ve gone through fire together.
You’ll love yourself deepest when you stop saying “should do” and just be “I am”.

You aren’t meant for something over there- yet or maybe ever.
You are meant for this moment right now because you are going to grow from it.

Everything you are telling yourself about what “should be” or “could be if you would just”…

I invite you to stop.

Get really still and feel your breath in your body.
Feel the miracle of your soul living in this body you are in.
The miracle of just being born.
The miracle of all you’ve done.
The miracle of your body in this world having a human experience, doing the best it can.
It is always, always doing the best it can.

You are a beautiful, amazingly rich, vast and complicated series of events through millions of heartbeats, tears, smiles, loves, losses, ideas, worries, feelings and possibilities.

When we surrender, we open up to knowing what we treasure most.

Next time you feel big, uncomfortable feelings that you want to shove down, stay even for just for a moment.

When you miss your loved one, notice how much you value love.

When you miss your kids, notice how much you value connection and what experiences fill that cup.When you miss your friends or home, notice how much you value a place to belong and a community.
When you feel overwhelmed, notice how you value feeling balance, calm and staying in the moment.
When you feel frustrated that things aren’t going how you expected, notice how you are showing up in those spaces and what you are holding on to.

After 4 weeks post c-section I went back to work. I put the pressure on myself to jump back into a life I thought I needed to be in. My body wasn’t ready and I bled for 8 months after her birth day.

When I finally was ready to exercise, I threw the scale away and said yes to what felt fun/doable for that day. A bike ride when I felt like it. A walk when I could even if it was just down my street and back. A class here and there. No specific diet.

And because I finally stopped letting the gripping, judgmental, “should do” voice in my head go, I was able to heal. I was able to lose weight. I was able to get strong. I was able to be present. I was able to love and respect what I saw in the mirror. I was able to get to know myself and what experience I wanted to be having in this body and this life.

More than I value a “perfect” body or a “perfect” life, I value making mistakes, slowing down, not being a tyrant to myself and staying put just a little longer.

When it feels right, explore…

What do you value most

What are you learning about yourself and what you are carrying?
What feels rushed?
What feels out of balance for you?
What feels good to allow?
What feels good to surrender?
What miracles do you have in your life right now exactly how/where you are?
What are you not accepting in yourself? And in others?
How would you show up differently if you were more accepting of yourself or others?
What would you do differently if you were the most authentic version of yourself?
Who are you being when you judge/criticize yourself, your thoughts or your behaviors?
What feels like freedom to you, now…

November is a beautiful lesson on letting go but also a letting in. It’s full of wonder, curiosity and magic. It could have moments of sadness and loss and also have moments of pure joy and love.

It can all be, if we let it.

Thank you for being on this journey with me.
Mindful evolutions are everywhere ✨