Homecoming.

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I recently heard from one of my teachers the following words, which have since been etched in my heart as a deep remembrance of the healing power of devotion and personal practice.

He said; “No matter how many times you break a vow, you can always return home to yourself. Even if you break it 1000 times, you can always come home. Like a soulmate, you are it—and for that, you may always return to you.”


I am so moved by this teaching because I firmly believe that the most sacred relationship we will ever endure is the one we are having with ourselves. It’s the one most worthy of our time, attention, nurturing and deep listening. Having a rich and deep relationship with ourselves is how we learn how to be in this world through adversity, distraction + heavy influence. It’s how we discern our true nature from the nature of another. It’s how we make decisions that are centred in who we are and what we value most in life. It’s how we learn to self soothe, regulate and remain neutral in the face of chaos.

Honouring + loving ourselves with conviction is the great work of our lives and in my opinion, the only way we truly learn how to give to another.

I’ve spent so much of my life seeking answers + abandoning myself, which has left me lost and confused more times than a few. My model for life, based on my upbringing has always been to do the right thing, say the right thing, be the right person, get the job done. Essentially, do what it takes to survive, please and fit the mould of other people’s expectations and all will be well. Though this has served as a brilliant model for succeeding in multiple areas in life, it’s left me time and time again frustrated at my inability to speak up for what I truly need + live out a life where I feel safe + empowered to make my own decisions with full trust in myself.

The amount of times some kind of life event has knocked me off my axis and sent me into a tailspin has been more than just a subtle clue. A clue that my relationship to my essence, my spirit + my truth has been weakened. I’ve had to fall off the tracks enough times to understand that there is no right path in this lifetime, no secret recipe to lasting joy + no human being strong enough to carry all my burdens and fulfill my soul’s needs. I’ve looked to so many external sources: family, friends, teachers, mentors, healing practitioners, books, yogic lineages, you name it. All in a hungry search for validation from external sources that would satiate my inner need to “get it right” by some kind of a standard.

Over the years, I had developed practices centred around rigidity + heavy discipline to keep me on a so called “path” and keep me safe. From overexercising as an adolescent, to never missing my asana practice as an adult— These practices, though serving me in the beginning, would swing my inner pendulum so far to one side that any sudden blow could swing it all way to the other side of apathy or dismay. I would get so far down a rabbit hole of what I thought was a devotional practice that I wouldn’t realize how dogmatic and repressed I had actually become. An unsustainable practice to say the least, and a surefire way of taking me further away from my intuition and inner guidance system.

I want to be clear, that what I’m not saying is that there’s anything wrong with consistent practice. And in fact, consistent, devotional practice is key to refining this relationship with self + bringing us closer to our divinity. But what I am now learning is that if I don’t give myself the authority to listen + be in the drivers seat of my life, someone or something else will, real quick. We all have the capacity to take ownership of our lives and live as the luminous beings we came here to be; by knowing what matters to us + by setting ourselves up with compassionate practices that support our relationship self to self.

These practices need not be perfect or follow any strict set of rules, but they serve to continually bring us home to ourselves in a loving + compassionate way. They instil a sense of deep devotion and commitment to something bigger than our thoughts of how things “should” be. Some days I am called to a long asana practice. Other days I sing mantra while cleaning my house. Sometimes I dance, sometimes I walk in nature. And sometimes I simply pray and sit in the quiet stillness of my heart. Whatever the vehicle, however it arrives, I am always left with a deeper connection to voice of my highest self.

What I know for sure is that you are worth coming home to and worth loving without condition. You are worth the devotion, the nurturing and you are most definitely worth listening to. Set yourself up with practices that nourish your soul + keep you connected to your essence. Like an alchemist, stay curious + find what works. Not rigid or established in perfection. But rooted deeply in honesty, integrity + a loyalty to who you really are.

Come home to yourself. Be your own soulmate.

Love.


Learning to listen...

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Recently, I've been remembering to take sweet time with self to nourish, soothe and protect what's most sacred. Taking time for quality rest, to go inward + listen to what my body is truly communicating + wishing for me to hear.  

I find that it's so easy to get caught up in the hamster wheel of the external world. To become wrapped up in the noise and the expectations of how we ought to love + give outwardly. Spinning inside the questions of "is this enough?" "Am I loving enough?" "Do I really know how to give + is this offering any true value?" "Where is this all going?" "What will they think of me?" The list goes on... Comparing, projecting + questioning if what we are giving is worthy. Constantly wrapped up in the output, and then feeling the depletion that comes from giving over sacred energy to thoughts that sap it + leave the body, mind + spirit drained of it's resources. 

The question I constantly come up against is this: How do we love + serve + do our work while staying deeply inside of ourselves? Without giving too much where it's not needed. Without wearing ourselves thin + then resenting the relationships or passions that bring us true joy. We hear the cliches of getting "lost in love" or "swept off our feet" or we see constantly the cyclical patterns of becoming so entangled in the doing + the working + the giving that we become burnt out, bitter, + absolutely run down by the egos identification with what is "enough". 

What I am learning, is that to navigate inside healthy relationships or to give from an abundant space requires that we understand our own inner workings. That we can identify when the tank is running on empty and is asking for an inward reboot. That we can listen from a deep source within + honour what is being communicated to us, rather than falling victim to the pressure of the "ought". That we can respectfully build a boundary where it's needed. Noticing where we might be getting caught up in another person's experience while further neglecting our own. Simply put, that we put ourselves first. That we love + respect ourselves enough to hear what we need to hear + take what we need so that we may continue to lead our lives from a place of deep rooted truth + balance. 

More often than not, the answers that we seek are not so far away. They're not to be found in another human, another text, another external source. The body is constantly communicating what we need to hear. Soft as a whisper. From inside out. 

So go inside. seek refuge + retreat in your heart. Listen to it, develop a relationship with the subtle aspects of your experience which are nudging you to where you really need to be. Your energy is sacred. Your offerings are worthy + necessary, and they absolutely require that your cup is full + your heart is strong. Get quiet with yourself, hear the whisper of your soul navigating you to the truest of truths. Receive yourself so that you may truly know how to give. 

 

Love yourself up today. xo

a soul's resurrection.

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“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

An you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Right here.

Right now. 

Is the strongest I've ever felt. 

The bravest. The softest. The stillest. the rawest. Naked and tender. Weathered and worn. The most me. I feel the resounding hum of humility and peace. An unshackling from my inner turmoil. Unhinged. Free. Emerging from the dusty remains of one long and lonely night. Remembering the light that sweetly nudges the soul to wake after a dim, bleak storm. I feel penetrated by the law of seasons + the pulsating truth of change. My winter is passing. The snow is melting. A spring is appearing. A chance to rise again.

 This year I hit a painful bottom. One so deep and throbbing that when I reached the bitter end, all that was left was the guttural recognition of how disconnected I had been from me. For far too long. Living for the beliefs and constructs presented to me. Constantly seeking. Chasing. Hungry. Trusting others' direction more than I could trust myself. Worrying. Wondering. Starving and hustling for worth and approval. Burning myself out so I could prove something that everyone can see through anyway. Paralyzed in indecision and overthought. Lost in the illusion of my ego. Consumed by my inner dialogues + struggle for perfection. 

 My experience of life through the lens of my intellect came to a screeching halt last year and my heart was exposed to a world I had yet to understand. A world where all the walls I had built had no choice but to tumble down. So I could see what I was blind to. Feel what I was missing. Hear what I was avoiding. Be exposed to how my story of life kept me shackled to a hell of limited perception. Of control and rigidity. Though I had an inkling of where it was I needed to go in my soul's journey, I never could have imagined the darkness that was about to unfold, thus leading me to the most intimate endeavour with my heart's true drum. I made choices that required me to sit in the seat of true ownership. The seat of humility and forgiveness. Of truth telling and vulnerability. Action + choice. For the first time ever, my life was asking me to sit with myself. Begging. Pleading. To let myself be seen. To see myself for the first time. Raw and exposed. honest and real. To have tea with my darkness + refill it's cup until every thread is uncovered and there's nowhere left to hide.

But I wasn't going to get there without a fight. To get there I had to go to war. Kicking and screaming. With no one else but me. 

The state I'm in right now is that of a resurrection. A rising from my own self inflicted crucifixion. From the ashes of my own avoidance. My ego. My ache. With a sharper, clear vision. A new found sense of belonging. A return home to the soul's sweet, nurturing embrace. Colours brighter, landscapes more refined. I see humans and their struggle in ways I never could before. Empathy is growing and coursing it's way through my bones. Forgiveness is arriving. Love is looming. Trust blooming. In so many ways I feel once more like a toddler. Humbled to all that I have yet to discover. Learning to walk. Finding my footing. Flailing in the unknown. Curious and wide eyed.

In the last year, I've travelled to the depths of my inner world. Swam in a sea of my own tears. Wept for the death of what once was. Grieved. Hurt. Healed. Repeat.

I've danced in the winds of drama + deceit. Flirted with blame. Desire. Dark.

Felt the wrath of my rage, manipulation and denial. The gut wrenching sick that comes with hurting those I love. And the medicine of my ownership. I shook hands with the teacher of pain and thanked her for reminding me what there is to live for.  I've crumbled at the feet of my victimhood and shame. Been swallowed whole by the shadow of fear. I've woke to my inner cries for a love larger than I know. For sovereignty, truth + peace in my being. My heart's been shook. Broke. Obliterated by love and loss. By longing. By needing. I've climbed the mountains of my inner sorrow and felt the sting of living for others validation. I've touched into every sharp edge of apathy and dissociated completely until numb + hollow.

Empty.

And when I finally reached the point of no return-the vacancy within myself, with not a shred of anything left to hold to, surrender prevailed. Because it's the only thing left to do. To give over. To let go. To surrender into every inch of me. So that I may soften into the layers of another. All the light and all the dark and all the in betweens. Whole and complete.  Renewed and reborn. Resurrected once more. Landing back into the hands of grace and into the lap of my own capacity to love. To trust in the ground that I choose to lay my feet. And stand taller than before. 

That's the funny thing about storms; it's as though everyone can see it but you. And you never truly know when you're in it or when you're out. The places I've walked I may never truly understand. I'm uncertain if I'm even on the other side. But I drink in a long, deep breath of knowing and cry tears of awe and joy as I remember. That nothing is ever really lost. All is cyclical. Everything in its' right place. 

We will continue to fall and rise once more. And the poison we once feared will become the sweet nectar we crave. 

Sweet ones in the midst of deep storm. May you remember the processes we endure are beautiful and complex. Intricate and genius. Unfolding in due time. Deserving of your honour and tender love and care. Be gentle. Be patient. And may you forever be inspired to love more, through that which cuts you to flesh and bone. 

 

kd xx

 

Inspired by the musings of this track. Listened over and over. 

 

Healing

As I sit and reflect on this past year (and what a wild ride it has been), I am humbled to my bones. Schooled once again by the lessons it handed me. The untruths unraveled, the falling downs + the getting ups. If there's anything I'm learning from this intricate practice, it's that once we really choose to look, we will inevitably be brought closer and closer to who we truly are. Which, wow- what a liberating process as you begin to peel back the thick layers of belief and story that have kept you bound. AND what a terrifying moment when you see yourself as a composition of the experiences you've had, and realize that your emotional responses have created this entire trajectory of your life. That what you have been told or taught has ultimately shaped your reality. That you are the master of your entire creation. You created it all. And now it's coming undone. You see for the first time that you aren't the experiences that have shaped you, and that there's simply no formula, no set roadmap for this life. No one navigating other than you. And what arises in this unraveling? (Other than "holy shit, what does it all mean?!").  

A deep urge to know this force that is so palpable and potent. This tiny whispering voice that has been trying to speak to you for years, muffled by the noise of heavy programming and "should". It's the One. The intuition. The voice guided by your highest will. Your brightest light. God. Whatever you want to call it. It wants so badly for you to get to know yourself so that you can really align with what you're here to do.

 This process can be painful. Oh so painful. As it calls us to lean into all the times our hearts have been tainted and bruised. It causes us to collide with everything we thought we once knew + leaves us questioning everything. Who am I? What beliefs are mine and true? What do I really care about? What needs to be revealed in me? What is asking to be released inside of me? 

When we choose to heal, We are choosing to deconstruct our old, outdated systems of belief and replace them with new, upgraded hardware–creating a shiny, clear, more honest and integrated version of who we are. It's like a deep plunge head first into the shadowy corners of our emotional basements. A glimpse into our closets and storage units, all full with old experiences that have shaped our very architecture. The thoughts that we think, the choices we make, the beliefs that we hold to + amount of worth we place upon ourselves all seem to be dictated by what has shaped us. By what we have been told. By that time when we were five and felt dismissed on the playground. We've felt hurt, embarrassed, or perhaps left behind. We categorize each one of these experiences into "good, bad, right or wrong"  and then hit record so that we may recognize when this feeling arises again. We then apply the proper responses to future scenarios in order to always keep us "safe" and free from our perception of harm. This is why when that person or situation comes along and pushes a button, it activates a pattern living deep within our unconscious mind to keep us in a state of survival + protection.

The problem with this is that we use these patterns to self sabotage, or push away experiences that will actually bring forward joy + expansion if we have the courage to lean into our resistance. We choose to intellectualize, or draw upon conclusions from our experience rather than FEEL the emotion it has produced + let it pass. We forget that our value at birth is infinite + that what has happened to us does not actually define us at all. We need not hold on so tight.

 When we feel it, we can heal it--restoring our hearts + keeping us open to the possibilities that await us. Our deepest fears are actually always uncovering what it is that we truly desire deep within us. Everything is happening in sweet polarity. We need to know these dark corners to clear out and uncover the light within. 

 

Ask yourself.

What needs to heal? 

Then.

Keep listening. 

 

xo kd

 

 

A Heart Cleanse.

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I've taken a bit of a social media cleanse to get real + to get anchored into my heart once again. I've used this tool for many great reasons but to be perfectly honest, as of late it's felt more like a tool of distraction + a catalyst for heightened anxiety for me. It's been a way for me to compare my life to others + look for all the ways I just might not be measuring up. It's reinforced unhealthy mind habits during a sensitive time that requires heart space. Every time I'd scroll through a feed I'd get this looming feeling that the world is spinning so fast, information flooding us from all angles and I'm not sure that I can keep up. Sounds extreme but it really has schooled me and reminded me where my peace really comes from. That it isn't in the instant gratification of likes or followers that bring me joy. That these rungs on the ladder are infinite and so there's no reason to shame myself for being where I am. That it's only when I can come home to myself and land in my body that I remember the highest why. I've felt less inclined to share as this year has been one of big life lessons for me. Ones that have left me feeling the need to remove and restore and, at times, feeling like I want to hide. I've had to learn about boundaries in a big way. how to honour myself, take ownership, how to give myself grace in the harshest of times. How to heal, how to trust, how to recognize my worth on my own + how to restore lost integrity. But most important, and still in the works—I'm learning that the highest act of love we can give to our hearts is to listen, accept, and then tell ourselves the truth. Without edits or filtering through our sets of beliefs. Without judgement or feeling shame for the experience we're having. Instead with sweetness and with tenderness. With respect and with love. With an unwavering trust that we're always right where we need to be.

What a gift to be able to see ourselves right where we are, meet ourselves there and then hold compassionate space for that. These are the building blocks to truth telling in our lives. To living a life in alignment with what's real for us rather than what's true or acceptable by another. I've lived a lot of my life doing things for validation and approval. Checking off all the boxes to ensure that everything looks a certain way on the outside. And to be honest, it's given me nothing but a momentary feeling of accomplishment followed by an emptiness from ignoring my heart's call. To live a life burdened by what other people think is torture. To accept and meet the sweet divinity within is freedom.  

So remember this medicine. Place your hands on your heart and remember; That there is absolutely no expression more necessary in this life, than that which is entirely you. 

You are safe

You are held.

You are perfect. 

You are free.

As you are. 

 

With love.