Oh, Hey...Your Soul is Showing

Ok, this should come as no surprise for those of you who know me or frequent this blog, but spiritual, heart-wide-open, authentic experiences and people are one hundred percent my jam.

Enter Amy.

I've known Amy through Instagram for a few years, but had the pleasure of meeting her in person almost a year ago when she came to one of my Energy Profile Workshops. She then came to my Solstice Workshop. And then, bless her heart, she made sure that my Women's Yoga Nidra group in the south became a thing.

From my very first meeting with Amy up to today, especially today, I am in awe of her incredible heart. She is sweet and generous, fierce and curious. She is not afraid to go deep into spirit. She is determined. She is open and non-judging in a way that I find so remarkable. And every time Amy shows up, she is all in.

I am learning so much from her!

Anyway, today Amy shared a video she created for her photography business and it was like a whole new layer to a girl I feel I know quite well.

This video is beautiful in all of its technical aspects. But what blew my heart wide open was the way that Amy comes through in it; I can feel her power and her rawness, her passion and vulnerability...it is straight from her soul.

I mean, if that doesn't inspire your Tuesday...

Thank you, Amy. You poured your heart and soul into this and that is a thing of true beauty, strength and courage.



lady loves

lady love blog series

in the work i have been doing over the last couple of years, i see women marginalizing themselves in a myriad of ways. i see women feeling intimidated and unworthy and never, ever enough. and i see that so many of us have lost touch with the very important fact that we are each unique and powerful; that those things that come so innately, so naturally to each of us are truly our gifts, blessings, and offerings.

and so my great, big, from the bottom of my heart, hope with this project is that it will create an open and honest conversation about who we are as women; not just a glossy look at the five minutes of our day that went according to plan, not just us presenting who we think the world expects to see, but a real and authentic glimpse into how hard we all work and how we don't always get it right but how unique and beautiful and perfectly imperfect we all are regardless.

most of you know that my life has been profoundly shaped by my "failures" and i want to continue to push that envelope; for all of you to be able to share and witness the honesty and authenticity of other women and know that you are not alone and that we all stumble.

and, most importantly, to all of my lady loves, your depths and your beauty shake me to my very bones. i bow in reverence to the beauty that you are and to the audacious heart that you embody.

today you all get to meet a girl that i am deeply inspired by.

i "met" andrea on instagram and immediately felt drawn to her. 

she is genuine and generous and has a deep and steady strength that i am not even sure she fully comprehends. and she continually schools me in what true authenticity and honesty is; reminding me just how beautiful it is to show up time and again as your beautiful, raw, real self.

without further ado, miss mclaren.

tell me a bit about who you are?

i am 32, married for almost 7 years, mom for nearly 4 years. i am someone who is honest, hopeful and broken in. i am critical and compassionate. i am self-aware and i carry a lot of self-hate which i am forging into self-love, slowly but successfully. i believe in people and i am passionate about community. i like the outdoors. i am grateful for my imperfections and i am okay with life not making sense. 

what do you do?

i am a mother, wife, apartment caretaker and civil servant.

no, but really, beyond the title, what do you do?

i cook, i clean, i drink booze, i change light bulbs and repair smashed windows. i fold laundry and wash sticky glue-stick fingers. i vacuum hallways, rake leaves and push snow. i answer phones and direct people to the right city departments. i help people find their way on public transit. i help people make sense of their property tax information. i tell people what time free swim is at their community pool. i refrain from striking my child during temper tantrums. i bend pipe cleaners into crowns. i eat out. i walk a lot. i write letters. i watch the bachelor. i listen to people. 

when you look around at your life, is this what you expected? are you surprised by it? if so, by what and why?

there was a time when i was stunned by the massive discrepancies between what i thought my life would be and what it actually was. at this point i try to not have too many expectations. if anything, i expect life to be hard and confusing and beautiful. i’ve grown with my life and adapted. 

i am constantly surprised by life. by how much beauty can force its way into your path and also by how hard things can get. over the years, i have often found myself thinking: “how much worse can it get?” (i’ve been through a lot of difficult stuff) and i am always surprised by precisely how much harder it can get. i am surprised by my resilience and faith in myself. by going through deep, deep water i have become a very strong swimmer. i have also let go of the idea that life is supposed to be easy or fair, or that surviving a tally of challenging ordeals means that i am owed an easy time eventually. life doesn’t work that way and it took me a while to get that through my head and heart. i’ve also become a firm believer in the power of my attitude. i don’t wonder how much worse life can get anymore. i focus on finding the good stuff, even on the shitty days. there is always something to be grateful for. always.

what would most people be surprised to find out about you?

i am pretty open with my thoughts and feelings, and tend to be an over-sharer – so i don’t know if there’s that much left to shock anyone. 

i have struggled deeply with my role as a mother and also with my role as a wife, and the idea of marriage in general. 

i like rap music a lot. i turned down a date with the GZA once. (biggest mistake of my life, haha). 

travelling freaks me out.

what has been the peak experience{s} in your life thus far? why? how did it change you?

my journey into motherhood has absolutely changed me at my core. embracing my depression and giving it the respect, attention and care that it requires changed my life dramatically. choosing to come back to my marriage after an 8-month separation changed me deeply. all of these experiences happened in a 2-year span. speaking generally, before that period of time i was wishy-washy, selfish, small-minded and very clueless as to who i was or who i wanted to be. i had a lot of self-pity and shame. 

these experiences brought me into a valuable and life-altering conversation with myself about who i was and who i wanted to be, and was i willing to do the work it would take to become that person. these experiences brought me to a place where i was able to see that the first step to becoming the person i wanted to be was to begin loving myself.

what are you passionate about? curious about?

i am passionate about community and people. 

i am curious about other places in the world because i haven’t travelled much. i wonder about how people in other places in the world approach the idea of community and togetherness.

what are the qualities that truly matter to you? which ones do you fully embody? which ones are missing or needing to be more fully expressed?

forgiveness, patience, loyalty, humour, kindness and humility.

i think i have a good handle on forgiveness and humour. i am ferociously loyal.

i have work to do when it comes to patience.

if you could sit down with a woman you greatly admire, what one question would you ask?

there are so many incredible women that i admire, but at the moment i think i would love to sit down with cheryl strayed the most. i just finished her book

tiny, beautiful things

and i want to talk to her about everything ever, but if i could only ask her one question, it would be: "what is the most important thing to remember when it comes to motherhood?"

do you have a dream, a wish or a “to-do” that you are currently resisting? if yes, and you feel ready to share, what is it? why do you think the resistance is there?

honestly, no. i believe that i am right where i need to be right now. i do have other things that i want to achieve in my life, and i believe i will succeed at those things when i decide to put the time, commitment and work into them.

you are at your best when you are ___________?


when you are in that space of being your best, the exact thing you are doing, most often, is ___________?


and, last but not least, y'all know i love a beautiful string of words so, please, share a quote that moves and shakes you.

when we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. the friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.

~ henri nouwen