Poems to Savor

For my 40th birthday, my beloved friend Anna sent me a pack of letters and cards with notes and poems and quotes, one to open each day –

40 in all, leading up to my big day.

These are too divine to not share.  Here are 3 of my current favorites.

Here’s to life, friendship, poetry and all the good juju that words can bring.

“Advice to Myself” by Louise Erdrich

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don’t patch the cup.
Don’t patch anything. Don’t mend. Buy safety pins.
Don’t even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don’t keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll’s tiny shoes in pairs, don’t worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don’t even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don’t sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we’re all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don’t answer the telephone

or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in through the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don’t read it, don’t read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.

Otherwise

Jane Kenyon1947 – 1995

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.
At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

Starfish by Eleanor Lerman

This is what life does. It lets you walk up to 
the store to buy breakfast and the paper, on a 
stiff knee. It lets you choose the way you have 
your eggs, your coffee. Then it sits a fisherman 
down beside you at the counter who say, Last night, 
the channel was full of starfish. And you wonder,
is this a message, finally, or just another day?

Life lets you take the dog for a walk down to the
pond, where whole generations of biological 
processes are boiling beneath the mud. Reeds
speak to you of the natural world: they whisper,
they sing. And herons pass by. Are you old 
enough to appreciate the moment? Too old?
There is movement beneath the water, but it 
may be nothing. There may be nothing going on.

And then life suggests that you remember the 
years you ran around, the years you developed
a shocking lifestyle, advocated careless abandon,
owned a chilly heart. Upon reflection, you are
genuinely surprised to find how quiet you have
become. And then life lets you go home to think
about all this. Which you do, for quite a long time.

Later, you wake up beside your old love, the one
who never had any conditions, the one who waited
you out. This is life’s way of letting you know that
you are lucky. (It won’t give you smart or brave,
so you’ll have to settle for lucky.) Because you 
were born at a good time. Because you were able 
to listen when people spoke to you. Because you
stopped when you should have and started again.

So life lets you have a sandwich, and pie for your
late night dessert. (Pie for the dog, as well.) And 
then life sends you back to bed, to dreamland, 
while outside, the starfish drift through the channel, 
with smiles on their starry faces as they head
out to deep water, to the far and boundless sea.

LOA Magical Flows & Creations

(LOA is law of attraction) ✨✨✨

I started the week, with this intention.

” I am ready to receive, I allow things to flow through me and I have space, strength and clarity. I live daily in appreciation for what is AND I am excited about what’s to come.”

I do this in 2 parts. 1. Write in my journal in the am- Thoughts of expansion, creation and intention!

Then I move into 2, moving it through my body. So when I go out for a walk, I think thoughts of gratitude and expansion and lightness. I swing my arms and breathe deeply. Maybe for 5 minutes. I just repeat, I allow and I receive. I will look for evidence of my creations and thoughts daily.

This week I set a few intentions for my biz, speaking more- connecting to like minded successful women in biz, getting some new photos for my biz. But I only set these intentions AFTER I was totally aligned and inspired in my body- So that means coming into these actions with GOOD JUJU!

By the end of the week- I had hired ( and bartered for some new photos, applied to speak at a new conference in 2019- that was announced in my email 10 minutes after I said to a friend ” I am looking for more places to speak!”

Got the most generous offers on an upcoming retreat I am leading- just making mote space in my body for all kinds of abundance and generosity-and THEN invited to 2 retreats as a leader and they invited Saylor to come along, and my whole body screamed, YES!

Okay and for the grand finale-

1. I had a powerful transformational conversation with my husband, one that was a long time coming!

2. I attracted a new beautiful, amazing private client who I can not wait to serve.

3. One of my favorite clients sent me an update on her week after our last session- where I encouraged her to use a bunch of these high vibe tools and mindset practices to attract what SHE wants and omg!!!

She did it! It took her 1 week to manifest the goal she had set for herself, I am so thrilled for her! Magical! RESULTS. ❤️✨

So in service and in love- I hope this inspires you to relax the mind, open your heart, take care of your energy and maybe try step 1 or 2 this week- Let me know how it goes!

On My Own

This morning I put on shorts and a tee shirt. Walked the kids to school, gave a smooch and walked home.

I was all packed up and ready to go but something didn’t feel right.

I went in and changed to one of my favorite long flowy dresses that I wore when I was pregnant. Putting it on makes me feel so good- so feminine- so-free!

NOW, I am ready.

A few times a year I spend at least 24-48 hours away from my daily life.

On my own.

I have been known to rent hotel rooms, say yes to workshops or retreats that feel good and then come and go as I please or travel alone to somewhere new.

When the kids were super little and I had the studio, Mel would take them out of town for the weekend and I would stay home alone.

While I always find benefit AFTER the adventure, quiet, silence, experience. The first 12-24 hours away from my kids and Mel is STILL hard.

I feel unsettled. antsy. restless.

In theory, leaving my life for contemplation, reflection, quiet would be amazing! Eat what I want! Do what I want! No family dishes! or long drawn out bedtimes! Sleep!Meditate! Yoga!

Now that I have done this for so many years, I’m getting more familiar with the transition period, the loneliness? the discomfort of being and not doing?

Even though I do a lot of alone time in my regular daily life, this time physically away is always somehow different .

The standing on my own 2 feet, making all my own decisions without input from the choir of preferences that usually fill my day.

Sometimes, I get lost- I don’t feel like arguing about another night of pizza or burgers so I just say yes. Or bc I don’t have a strong preference about something, I just fade into fabric of our family routines and rhythm.

Here, in the middle of nowhere New Jersey- I am not defined as a mama or a wife or the crazy yoga teacher.

When I go out on my own, I just breathe. I fold into the landscape, I watch.

I write and write and write and write.

I notice everything.

A moment of lightJOY freedom on a long walk in the sun-

is followed by a hard smack in the head.

“You are alone, practice letting go. Someday you might be on your own. Don’t be afraid. Lean into this truth and stand your ground. Feel your body breathing and the discomfort of mortality. practice the company of you. ” she says.

Once I get into the groove of my aloneness, it becomes sweet and then it will be time to return- the drive home.

I will be anxiously dreaming to hold them close and feel their squeezes, even hear the dog bark. Walk to school and make the lunch.

Maybe when I get back, the sun will be shining on my face and I will be flooded with memories from my latest adventure- walking on my own -down the long windy farm road, dress flowing, hair long and loose.

I love that lady who wanders.

Who trusts.

Who allows.

Who releases.

Who feels.

Who notices.

May I continue to find and nourish her through all stages of my life.

May I have the strength, support and abundance to pause.

To move. To rest. To relax. To be. ✨🙏🏽❤️

A Better Birthday

When I was 8ish, I did not get invited to Annie Freeman’s birthday party.

All the other girls did.

I was new. I think they said, “she smells”  or at least that’s what I heard.

When my mom realized there was a party and all the girls had been invited but me,

she made a fuss.

I don’t quite remember what happened but eventually, it led to an invite.

I did not want to go. I would not go. I knew I did not belong. My heart hurt.

My pride protected my pain.

On the day of the party, my mom took me to KFC and we took the bus to the mall and then she had to go to work and I went with her.

All day, I knew there was a party going on that I was not invited to.

I wanted to be with all the girls just being “normal” and included and having fun.

But I knew that If I actually went, I would feel more lonely and isolated and embarrassed b/c by then everyone knew I was not invited and then LATER, invited.

And on Monday, I just puffed up a little more. Held my head up high and pretended I was fine.

This year, as I was thinking about celebrating my 40th I thought- I just want to have a party where EVERYONE is welcome. Where EVERYONE feels like they can come and celebrate and grab a smile or a hug and not have to feel anything but love.

So won’t you join me?

 

Underneath the triggers

Woke up early this morning to clean out some writing files and found THIS from a year ago! HA! So many parts of it are STILL TRUE.

Have you been triggered lately? If so.. what’s underneath it? share with me! I’d love to hear.

April, 2017

So, in the past week I have been SUPER triggered twice.

Scenario #1.. email comes in… “Pleasance, I know you are now a full time stay at home mom but I was hoping you might give some time volunteer time to this project I am working on.” 

I read it. I stop. Pit in my stomach. FULL TIME STAY AT HOME MOM?!?! I think to myself. Ohh I feel some anger rise. I feel hot. I feel defensive. I feel like I want to write her RIGHT back and lay out ALL THE THINGS I am working on. But, I don’t. I pause, regroup. sit with it.

I get SUPER curious about what this feeling that just erupted means. Why did I just get so angry? Let me be clear, there is NOTHING WRONG with being a stay at home mom. It’s just not for me. I had like 3 jobs in high school, 12 jobs in college and have always been the type of person who enjoyed working ( A LOT) & people & being busy and making $.

I have always loved to work, to contribute to society in a lot of areas and to create. I LOVE to create things, build things and grow things.

I will never “retire” I don’t ever want to! 

My dream list of things I want to create in my lifetime is LONG and I’m SO GRATEFUL that right now, with no pressure,  I get to work with successful smart women, EVERY. DAY. and pay my bills AND contribute to a few local organizations that I love AND make my kiddos dinner and tuck them in. It’s EXACTLY the life I want to live. And whenever I want to push that pedal and accelerate to teach and speak and write MORE MORE MORE, I will. 

It’s just, not now. In this season, I intentionally pulled back to ground deeply in care practices that nourish me. that are healing. that are so powerful for clarity and efficiency. This season is CRAZY CREATIVE. I feel the flow of my life like NEVER before. The things that keep appearing.. it’s magical.

Hmmm….. well, there’s  ALSO the whole, “I’m going to do this biz my way, thing”- which means that I have spent the last 6 months OFF social media more than ever ( even though it seems like I am on it all the time) and super focused on actual students and real live peeps and offerings and honestly, that takes up most of my working hours.

I have been super intentional about my work/home/life/self  boundaries this year and I’m NOT Letting it all creep together any more and I’m not willing to sacrifice my own health to build a biz. Oh, yeah that. 

And why the anger? B/c I’m crazy motivated, energized and ambitious. B/c the way I used to do things is hard and fast and I make things happen. I create things, BIG things. I build.  But right now, in this season, it is not time to build the next thing that way. It’s time to slow and steady with clarity and intentionality do the work. I show up every day with a few things that I know I CAN do. I do them. I KNOW this way is WAY more sustainable for my dreams and my goals especially as they continue to evolve, but since I love me some action AND I love helping others, trusting in the process and taking my time and putting my SELF and my FAMILY and my health at the top of the list is a new of being.  So this whole, relax a bit more, enjoy your life a bit more- in MANY ways it does work for me.. I LOVE  my freedom and flexibility. I’m blown away by the way that work flows in, the amazing people I work with, and that my profit margins are so much better doing WAY LESS than doing all the things with studio life.

Okay, I breathe. I relax a bit and then I got back to work.

Scenario #2- I get an email from someone I love who writes to me.. “I know that you closed lil omm so that  you could  “step back” and really focus on your family (which is fantastic)” and then BOOM, it happens again. The good news, I am very friendly with this person and I get to ACTUALLY talk to her a few short minutes later and tell her- “AGH! I feel so triggered by that!” I DID NOT close lil omm in order to put my family first. It was just REALLY not the REASON.  I’m working my butt off over here, BUT I’m not hustling. I’m not staying up late. I’m not working 24/7 and so does that mean I am stepping back to put my family first?

and WHY do we have to “make these kind of choices? can’t I have meaningful relationships with my family and my home AND MY WORK?”

Here are the facts ( as I see it)….lil omm had a new owner of our building and I ran all the numbers for months and months and could not make it work.

I made the decision to close the studio.

I needed time to heal and grieve and breathe after working so much for so long.

And then, I broke my foot. It benched me for 6 weeks. I read the book, Sacred Success and realized, I WANT THIS NEXT SEASON, this next BIZ, this next “thing” to grow differently.  

And then I left DC for 2 months. I had already planned that trip as a much needed break from DC for my self and my kiddos and my grandmother was overjoyed that we would be there to hang with her. I single parented for most of that time. I hiked, A LOT. I taught some private yoga and Thrive. It felt spacious and glorious. I treated it mostly like a working vacation, taking coaching clients from my walks, teaching a few gigs in CT and answering emails at night, when I put the kids to bed.

And then my grandma got sick. QUITE sick with Ovarian Cancer. And my growth and dreams and clarity were on Pause. I CONTINUED to build my online class, to teach my weekly classes and my private students and to sustain my biz.  But I traveled to CT a lot and I would close my eyes OFTEN and just tell myself,  “I am so grateful I do not have the studio. I would have been so stressed out with Grandma being sick and running the studio and traveling. What a blessing.” 

Now, my grandma is healthy and I’m like, “OH YES, the season has come.” It’s been over a year since lil omm closed, I’m healthy as ever. I’m ready. I’ve done a year of working with these women and families and I’m like- YEP- this is EXACTLY what I want to do.  ALL my students are successful, smart women who deeply care about their families and their work and living an awesome, healthy (ish)  life. I help them maintain care practices and habits that are sustainable and I give them the tools they need to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin. Oh yeah, and there is the whole guilt -free self -care- thing that our community practices regularly.

So.. here is where I stand. I desire to create a biz that works for me in my life  AND that will have impact on others.  Over time, this biz will allow me to have freedom! creative freedom! financial freedom! and that energizes and sustains me WHILE helping others. This journey has shown me that I can live WELL with less. That I don’t NEED a lot to experience pure joy BUT that  meaningful , relevant work DOES matter to me and that purpose and vision motivate me.  It also also shown me that while I’m not even 40, I have a tremendous gift to lead, create, manifest, problem solve and help others  I used to be VERY afraid to talk about any of these strengths, afraid of boasting, afraid of charging more, afraid to fully embrace it all. 

I could have NEVER done this alone. I have SO MANY teachers, mentors, advisors cheering me on, supporting me, teaching and guiding me. And I realize every day how this all comes from an evolving practice. Showing up on my yoga mat, sitting quietly in meditation, journaling, writing, reading.. and then  of course, the real wisdom  that comes from facing my 2 little teachers each day. 

So, nope right now I don’t have any FB ads running or a multiple seven figure financial goal dangling in front of me. But I realized after these 2 emails that I wanted to say something, stand up for myself and for ALL the women who are working and living and leading in their own ways- in their own time, in their own seasons AND that I LOVE LOVE LOVE we all get to do it our own ways. that I can do it my way, and You get to do it your way. that I make no claims that what works for me, will work for you- and that the only way to know is to fully engage, to ask, to reflect, to gather with other super smart women to ask these same questions.  

I  think all this triggering just led me back to incredible gratitude for what I get to do, who I work with AND that I have the privilege of even writing, thinking and expressing myself so openly, the gift of a lifetime!