A special friend and Life Booker shared this letter to her father that I had to share. I wont lie- I cried when she read it on her instagram LIVE and asked if I could share it with you guys.
This letter is sacred, personal, vulnerable as fuck. I resonate with it on so many levels and appreciate Heather for allowing me to share this big step of her healing process. I hope that others follow in her path and feel the strength to write their own “Letter to Dad”.
I forgive you.
I forgive you for not knowing any better.
I forgive you for not knowing HOW to love our family, because you never had a loving father in yours.
I understand growth/breaking cycles is uncomfortable. I understand it is hard to change your living to be different from what you’re used to, or what you were taught. I understand growing up in the church/school did its toll on you.
I just hope one day you will be able to forgive yourself — forgive yourself for not always having enough money, forgive yourself for spending so much tie away and alone, because you didn’t know how to be a father.
I forgive you for taking your anger out on us physically, because you weren’t taught how to handle your feelings.
I FORGIVE YOU
SUBMIT A LETTER
If you have a letter you’ve written to heal and would like to submit it for other to read and have the opportunity to relate, please submit your letter here.
WHATS A MOON RITUAL?
The key here is starting off small and gradually growing your practice as you develop more knowledge. Establishing a routine with the moon cycle that feels right for you is just as important as figuring out what you’re having for dinner. Both nourish the body in different ways and finding a balance vs. trying to be perfect or “correct” is a game changer when ascending on a spiritual journey.
MY GENERAL NEW MOON / FULL MOON RITUAL
Following the moon cycle helps our bodies and minds get on a 2-week regiment and give ourselves time to process and enjoy life without intense expectations of carrying around burdens.
The general flow of my moon-ritual consists of the following in no particular order. I believe in intuitive healing and part of that is deciding on the spot, tarot cards now or journal now? Always go with your gut as well as logic (put your crystals out under the moon at the END of your ritual vs the beginning)
- write down your intentions on paper
- write down a “purge list” on a piece of paper you can burn
- sage/smudge your ritual items and spiritual space
- light a candle to connect with the fire energy
- burn incense after sage to clear the energy
- pull tarot cards to read the energy for the next 2-weeks
- place bottled drinking water outside for the night
- water your intention rose
- place your written intention under your rose
- leave crystals in a shallow dish of water outside to cleanse under the moonlight
ALL THE THINGS
For reference, here are “all the things” you can add to your new and full moon rituals.
- rocks & stones
- shells & fossils
- sage stick for smudging
- essential oils
- tarot deck / oracle cards
- a material omen/token/coin
- wooden beads for intention threading
- piece of paper or thought box card from the Life Book
A few extra things I like to add for preference:
- a cup of my favorite tea
- my intention rose/ rose of Jericho
- cannabis in different forms (flower, concentrate, edible)
- kratom (helps me with pain + mind clarity)
- music (you can sit in silence or elevate the mood with fitting music)
HOW TO USE WHAT YOU HAVE
You can purchase items that make you happy but be intentional about its past life, who was involved to create the item and its impact in the world. If you feel connected to it- use it. But don’t feel like you need a brand-new everything to “be spiritual”. All of this is for intention setting, but if we want to be specific, everything we need is technically already within us, I just see the ritual as a tool to continue to practice and explore within.
Here are some examples of items I have acquired over the years:
- My dish that holds my intention rose was given to me as a gift for my 25th birthday by an old boss.
- My tray that sits under my shrine has been passed down to me from my mother.
- My wooden crystal tray was thrifted from Savers when I lived in San Francisco and has been a symbol for me of continuing to find pieces that spark joy for me.
- My crystals have come to me over the years either from trips to the crystal shop or gifts from friends and family.
- The token or omens I use are perspective keys and handmade rainbows from my collection.
Again…you DO NOT need to purchase new items. Try your best to make each item in your space intentional.
My best advice would be to start small.
- sage sticks
- or anything you may already have.
You DO NOT need to go out and purchase items for a moon-ritual, it is best to be intentional with items that hold a moral meaning vs. material.
For the past year I’ve been avoiding a really important conversation with my internet friends. The conversation about what the fuck has been going on with me…the dynamic in my family, my marriage… What has been going on with the moves, the traumas I keep referring to…all the things. It’s about time I stop running from all these traumatic experiences and start facing them head on so I’ve decided to do it with you guys on my blog 🙂 because…why not…
I have really come to believe that I can reach a lot more people by sharing my real-time experience than I ever could recording it and spending countless hours editing and posting. I want to be authentic with you guys and being bipolar makes it hard to turn on the switch that gets me to open up. I have to be in “that mood”. For example…even writing this post right now. It’s 11:45 pm on a Saturday night and literally everyone is in bed accept me. I couldn’t sleep even if i tried to because the loads of anxiety from not talking about whats in my head and on my heart would keep me up all night.
I’ve decided I’ll be putting myself through a “public therapy process” where I utilize my Life Book and the tools I’ve learned over the last two decades to help build a solid and supportive community that cultivates genuine relationships though the internet.
I feel the pull to document the process of creating this book. Blogging about my personal life so that users can use my story as a testimony and case study as they process their layouts and work through their personal growth.
An important aspect of documenting the process is making sure that I write when it’s fresh on my mind. When the tears are full in my eyes. When I can feel the emotional work being done through every keyboard tap. Times like now are the ones I want to look back and see how far I’ve come.
THIS TIME LAST YEAR...
Last year I wrote this post that you can read after this one lol….[ A “letter to my husband”] that was not really a letter to him, but more so a letter to myself working through my intentions. It was me saying “we’re gonna do this”.
Do you guys ever do that? Write a letter that you never give someone? I’ve been doing it since I was a kid 🙂
Anyway, I set out to plan a day date with my husband doing things that would give us an opportunity to talk, smile and flirt..because none of that had happened in a really long time. People would say shit like “you guys just need to make time for each other” so this was my attempt. What I didn’t realize was that even if we carved out special time, that time spent together could be miserable. And you either get that or you don’t. It is possible to love the shit out of someone but have nothing to “chat” about when you’re in each others company….we just hadn’t learned as a couple how to navigate that stage and we both took everything so personal.
So back to that day date…sorry I go off on tangents pretty frequently.
The only problem with taking off to San Francisco for the day was that we didn’t have a babysitter for Charly Rae so our options were pretty slim… We could cancel the entire day date or we could take her with us.
All things considered, like- my anxiety levels, the tension around my husband, I felt like he didn’t sense any of it and thought it was a good idea to take her with us…so we took her with us. An instant regret for me.
The day instantly shifted for me on the car drive there. My anxiety was at its peak and in that moment I felt the dread of the date come over me because I knew it was no longer about us. That conversation was never going to happen.
When I look back and read that post, at first I was embarrassed because I felt like a young fool- saying shit about us forgetting how to be friends and if only we could get on that same chapter we could figure it out. Little did I know, our issues had nothing to do with our compatibility or our love for each other. Our real problem was that we sucked hard at life. Don’t get me wrong, we are both pretty book smart and street smart but when it comes to “adulting”…like paying the bills on time and getting gas before the light turns on, we have always been a little shitty at that. (one of my core limiting beliefs)
To make a really long story short, one unspoken issue lead to another…and before we knew it we were both pointing fingers at each other in total blame and shame while also both standing there guilty.
The overall vibe of our family felt really broken and unmotivated so we began to discuss what it would look like if we lived apart. If we “took a break”.
In the beginning we were both really taken back and offended by the idea. What in the world does taking a break even look like? Is it a straight up hall-pass? Is it a time to be alone? Or the complete opposite…a time to endulge in intense therapy and group counseling practices?
Whatever the right answer, it didn’t matter because we were a few short weeks away from a really long deployment. The longest and most distant deployment by-far.
We got in a verbal argument- I feel like we usually don’t remember what it’s about but the only reason I remember what it was about was because it had everything to do with Box of Knots, believe it or not. And just so that I never forget how far we’ve come, I did want to write about it really quickly, because there was a time where all of this almost went entirely in the trash can. #truestory
It’s been a year since I wrote that post and a whole lot of destruction, fighting, anger, backlash, loneliness and healing has happened. It’s been one of those experiences I could have never guessed so I wanted to write about what the last year has been like, so I can measure in the future how far we’ve come.
The post I wrote mirrored my fear that I had to talk to my spouse. It was almost as traumatizing as asking my dad something as a kid I knew he could possibly shoot down.
I realized that I had projected my dad onto my spouse, and it put me in a hard place to communicate openly.
“You’re acting just like my dad does” became a usual phrase I didn’t hesitate to spew out but would instantly regret.
Has that ever happened to you? You almost see something coming out of your mouth before you hear it? And then instantly wish you could suck those words back up as quickly as you said them…that was totally me. And I absolutely hated that about myself.
LONG STORY SHORT...
We never had that time alone together. We never had those extremely necessary conversations. We never asked each other the hard questions for goal setting, we just focused on the seemingly hard questions that would slowly break apart the other.
I had the idea in my head that maybe it was the kids that “was the problem” and maybe we needed to approach it entirely different than we had been all along.
It wasn’t the kids. It wasn’t the location we needed to speak in. It was us.
We were the problem.
Learning that was a really humbling experience because I feel like once you learn that the problem is you then you’re able to surface the willpower to finally ask those hard questions.
We asked each other the real important questions. The ones that really mattered and theres one thing that we didn’t do. We didn’t run. We didn’t assume that turning our backs would make the problem go away because we were both realistic about discovering each others expectations.
YOUR STORY WON'T LOOK LIKE ANYONE ELSES'
When asking all the hard questions I can’t stress how important it is to be realistic and live in a realistic headspace. When you look at the way the world is and how quickly couples jump to divorce theres one thing that really pops in my head of why it could possibly fail…and that answer for me was because people don’t see the pretty picture they “signed up for” and they give up and move on.
If you’re my kinda people- our stories will always stick out. We will always be out of the norm and try just because…
So what we decided to do was to separate during deployment. It’s probably been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but I also moved away to another state with my family. I put some physical distance between us and moved to a city we could afford, because stress and money was one of our marital issues along with lists of other trauma rooted issues.
Although it’s been a year since I set out to have “that talk” with him, I can say that the talk did happen last month in the most organic way possible and it really showed me a reflection of how the universe was working for me.
He called one day for what I thought was a convo to talk to the kids (we were getting a divorce at that time) I just remember him being really kind, almost overtly to the point where he could sense that I was unsure of his insincerity. He waited for the perfect pause and was the first to say “I miss you”…and to be honest guys…my strong and resilient self broke into tears.
It was one of those things I needed to hear at that moment, on that day when my heart was ready for his apology. When I could feel the sincerity over the phone and it was the first spark in what will be a new adventure for us because we’re not picking back up where we left off..we’re starting off fresh and new with each other and I think that will be best for us both in the growth and bond stages. We are both really looking forward to seeing what being a family looks like for us now- 6 months after I’ve poured my heart and soul into blooming into the person I am today.
We’re in that final count-down sage of the last few weeks so I’ll be sharing lots of feels and vibes along the way. I know that my life is not perfect and if even one person can relate, then I know I’m serving even a tiny bit of my purpose.
Love you guys! Sending you all the good vibes 🙂
You don’t know it yet, but we’re about to be best friends.
Not because we have something in common, or because we’ve survived some sort of trauma and have come out stronger on the other end for it. We wont be friends because of any of that. Our friendship merely exists on these simple terms…
I’m here if you need me.
On that note- you might hate me already and can’t find out how to X-out or swipe fast enough….
If you’re still here…
then I’m assuming you’re here to be that friend back for me.
The friend that listens.
The friend that doesn’t judge.
The friend that laughs at jokes (and not at people).
The friend that encourages instead of gossips.
The friend that can take some time away without explanation, yet return like nothing ever happened.
If thats you. (also me) then you’re at the right place!
Keep reading friend 🙂
NEW TO BOX OF KNOTS?
If you’re new to my blog, my website, instagram- the whole “box of knots thing”…then you might not know that I’m married and my husband is currently deployed for what will be the longest time apart we’ve ever had- 6 months.
Before he left we decided on civil terms that it would be best if we separated during this deployment (as if the deployment is not enough) and I moved with my mom and the kids to Las Vegas, where we could afford to have a home big enough to house a studio space so I can follow my artsy dreams.
Its been five months since we moved into this house and I don’t know what it is guys- but the air has been funky and I’m at a stage where I feel like I need to document it like I usually do- blog style.
Its been a long time since I’ve gotten back into adding regular content to my website but the more my following increases the more pressured and stressed I feel to make sure I’m double posting my content onto my own site (incase instagram or youtube take a shit) Its important to me to have my separate space where I’m able to make the rules and also provide a space for other creatives to share on my platform.
Since I’m rambling on- let me just go ahead and dive in.
MY THOUGHTS LATELY
I’m not quite sure how to say, express or explain the orchestra of anxiety and emotional sabotage I’ve been stomaching for some time now (emotional sabotage is a thing right?)
I figured I could attempt to write it down and see if other friends can relate. Connecting with my people and being able to vibe on our truths has been the best form of self-care for me lately.
I’ve always felt like my entire marriage I’ve had this role to fill. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Okay, duh…being a spouse is a role but I have always struggled with the intimidation to “be the best” at the whole wife thing. I didn’t realize until I watched my marriage fall apart that we had treated it like a business deal. I had in some sense become an employee to my household and lost touch with my purpose over such a small amount of time.
When my son was born, I was more scared than I had ever been in my life. I squeezed the railing of the hospital bed so tight, pushing as hard as I could, praying through my teeth that this baby make it through the delivery as his heart rate dropped and the umbilical cord wrapped around his purple neck.
Have you ever had a doctor tell you to stop pushing?!? Omg ladies it’s likeeee….trying to keep a turd from coming out when you’ve fully committed. It’s just coming and there is nothing you (or any nurse in Whittier Pres) can do LMAO. Sorry- had to lighten the mood a little with some poop humor. Cause if you can’t laugh about shit- then….you ain’t shit.
Ok soooo…back to the serious part.
I repeated to myself what felt like a million times, “God if you just let him live I swear on his life I will do whatever to fulfill the purpose you have for him”. I said that over-and-over like a mantra in my head until I believed it into existence. “I will do whatever to fulfill the purpose you have for him”….”for him..” And he was here.
At that moment I realized that you could love someone you’ve never met. You could fight for someone you don’t know. You could push yourself to limits you weren’t even aware of.
I forgot to mention that his father was by my side the entire delivery…about 4 feet away from my bedside, on top of the table, on the Skype window that blinked from my duct taped MacBook laptop that I had barely linked to the wifi in time for the delivery.
It was definitely not your average delivery- but one of those classic Ange – “Live in the Solution” moments and it worked for me.
From that moment I knew my new role was mom, and it would be the most important role of my life. What I didn’t know was the way motherhood would change me, how it would bring out both the best and the worst.
Box of Knots was created late one winter night in one of my low-lows. My manic depression wasn’t yet diagnosed but it felt like I was living in a shell of myself. I turned to my blog and would spend hours writing things that I’d never post. To some that might seem like a great waste of time- for me it was healing. It was a process to write down my traumas and diagnose them in a way my words would help you feel the pain vs try to explain what I had experienced. I found a love hate with writing and language and public speaking and manifested an alternative way for that once so-shy girl the chance to say all those things she felt she needed to say.
For almost 6-years now I’ve used Box of Knots to help undiscover who I always was by simply listening to myself. All it took was me seeing me. And to be honest guys- I think thats a huge issue in society period. We don’t see what is really there- we see twisted versions of everything our mind chooses not to deal with.
THE LIFE BOOK
And to make a really long story short- that is why I created the Life Book…I am convinced that there is a way for everyone to deal with their shit and this is my way. I know it’s my purpose to share what I’ve discovered with anyone that has the willpower to show up in my Life Book program.
I’ll be honest- this is the first group that I’m openly working with but it is not the first group I’ve ever worked with. I have experience over the last year working with those who had signed up for the Life Book: Pilot Edition- a very small 35 paged book I launched when I began.
My hope is to continue to show up for those like the Life Book has shown up for me so I can be a living example of all the ways the Life Book can be helpful regardless of your career, health or destiny.
I am really looking forward to this journey with you guys!
If you’ve already signed up, thank you so much for the support! If you missed the cutoff, no worries friend, I’ll be announcing preorders soon!
I see you sitting there with your phone in one hand, baby balanced in the other off the tip of your hip, yet you never loose your shit.
I see you fucking with your makeup at drop off in the rear view mirror because you’ve just now realized you forgot to brush your teeth but somehow managed to make sure everyone else brushed theirs. (They did right?)
I see you cursing yourself at the checkout because you forgot ALL the grocery bags inside the car- but to run to the car with the kids, come back and load up is more of a hassle so you swallow that change you’ve just wasted on bags to be greeted by them when you load up. I see you mama.
What I don’t see is someone loving on you back. Someone filling up your cup the way you do, making sure you ate your cup of veggies a day and took some time to do some self care and self love.
THOSE are the moments we need more of and I feel like it can be one of the taboo things to talk about sometimes but I’m here to talk about it on my blog and my new Youtube channel, Knotty Family TV .
Sticking to societies schedule is fucking hard and it takes a smart and strong person to see that there is growth in the structure, but also know that with every big task, comes a learning process you only reach after climbing the hill (and the hill ain’t easy.)
During that time on your journey you are exposed and vulnerable, but the good thing, you have all the space to fuck up, because you will. Not once, not even three times. But you will fuck up in your life multiple times a day, for the rest of your life in the smallest (and sometimes biggest) ways possible to just be ready for it.
You can choose to focus on “the shit”. Or you can take the deepest breathe you’ve ever taken and exhale the negative out of your life one deep breathe at a time.
Its as simple as that. And with each exhale comes relief. And with each inhale comes growth. It is a process though, so it takes time and consistency to reach a comfortable point in your life.
I am deeply rooted in the growth phase of my life right now and want to make sure that I share little snippets of what it has meant for me to grow as a person, a mother, a daughter and a partner.
Sometimes that simply means to slow the fuck down. Stop what I’m doing, grab my babies and squeeze them until that love is felt so deep they don’t want you to let go. When you can get one of those hugs out of your kids, thats when you know, that they know, that mama is finally happy.
If you can take one small thing, phrase, word- whatever from this post it would be something my coach recently said on one of her instagram Live videos but she said this…
“If you focus on the shit in your life, that shit is going to grow”.
And its as simple as that guys. We have the power to choose the outcome of our life based on the hard work that you put into it. I did the ride-and-grind thing here in the Bay Area for 1 full year driving for ride-share companies that did a great job helping me feel like I was contributing to my family but I was essentially making myself so unavailable to my own children by trying to “provide” on societies terms.
And that’s where I ‘ve really fed into the mom guilt, marriage issues and tried to avoid all the shame attached to hard working mothers that we don’t deserve in the first place.
So that’s where this new plan came into place and the reason why we are really moving to Las Vegas and how that idea even came into the picture- it was something as simple as a realization. I had finally realized, if I was willing to sacrifice anything for my husbands career, why wouldn’t I make the same sacrifice for my children and I to have a happy and enjoyable life where I can actually be home with them?
There will and is always the most fulfilling part of that choice to choose to slow down but I do catch myself from time to time missing the struggle bus in the morning and not being able to catch up- and that’s the part that bothers me most.
I hope to keep these thought drops ‘sweet’, kinda-short and interesting so I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse into what I’ve got going on this week.
P.S. keep an eye out for Knotty Fam on youtube coming super soon!
Find Someone Who...
At A Crossroad
Accept What You Cannot Change
Be A Square In A World of Circle’s
Proud of What
The Next Generation
Living on the Edge
I thought I heard someone coming down the hallway until I paused and realized it was my own heart beat pounding inside my chest. With every thump I perceived the image of what my brain believed before my body could understand no one is walking down that hallway. It’s just me.
That part about humans intrigues me- it always has. The fact that we can be so mechanical and symptomatic, yet we don’t always read the signs right away or even right at all.
It sparked something inside me and gave me a new perspective I want to share with my readers.
Our bodies belong to us, yet can sometimes feel like a dungeon or small hell hole because there is no magic switch to change bodies or transform you into a superhuman.
The only way I could possibly understand what is going on inside is by pausing, and jumping on a deep breathe (inside my mind) that I follow down my throat, deep in my lungs and into my bloodstream.
I imagine passing by each organ, gently vibrating on the ones that need love and tend to the others like a garden, rinsing and watering toxins with each breathe.
This is how I cleanse my body from the inside out- with my imagination…you know that thing we used to use on the daily when we were kids…that thing can be more powerful than you could ever imagine.
Getting back in tune with my imagination is something I had to relearn during my spinal fusion surgery recovery and I want to share a story with you guys about how I got to that point of mental, emotional + physical healing by digging deep within.
Meet Aunty Rosa
Today would have been my aunts 50th birthday if she were still here.
If she were here on earth, I think she’d be sitting on a beach somewhere sipping the sweetest + strongest drink she could get her hands on. She probably rub raw baby oil on her tan skin and insist “that’s how us Cali girls get our tans” and would joke about how she is finally over the hill but doesn’t look like it….not to mention it’s a Saturday and weed is legal here ✌? we’d be besties.
But in reality…She wouldn’t slow down, she wouldn’t hit pause, she wouldn’t look in the mirror and look at her life from a different perspective. She dug her heels deep into her beliefs and wasn’t open to changing into what the world wanted her to be. She felt judged and different and wasn’t scared to be on her own. She pushed people away while she pulled other people close. And to those few I am grateful. ? thinking of my aunt today and all her death has taught me.
How perspective has proven to be an essential tool in my arsenal of life-skills. How proud I am to have been her only niece and how scared I was to admit how alike I was to her..how alike I AM. I think that today if she were alive she would be happy and free. She would be schooling me on all the mistakes I have made + show me the way to a happiness beyond myself.
I’m still not even clear honestly on how she passed because some dots just don’t connect for me in the bigger picture but the reality of her being gone keeps my focus on the things I can learn from her vs. all the things in her life I can use against her.
In all honesty…she was a recovering alcoholic battling mental health issues, probably bi-polar disorder, as it runs on the female side of my family (go-figure). She held the role of a single mother, a pariah and dedicated worker. She figured shit out on her own terms unapologetically while never really figuring out anything.
That last part sticks for me…she never figured it out…
What did she miss? What wasn’t she doing that she could have to save herself from the downward spiral she went on? I found myself thinking about that so much that it effected me. It felt like a burden I would carry for the rest of my life. A secret key to her life I could only find if I went on my own healing journey.
That year she died in her smokey one bedroom apartment laying on her back untouched by the fire other than a few singed hairs from the heat. She looked asleep and for whatever reason did not make it out before the smoke got to her.
I remember that morning. I was living on the east coast with my husband working for a small publishing company. I was editing a photo of a bird and I was totally in the zone, totally unaware.
My phone vibrated with a text message from my mom that read something along the lines of “I don’t know what’s going on but aunty rosas apartment is on fire and no one has seen her”.
Guys it felt like my heart exploded in my chest. It seeped into every crevice of my soul and it stayed there. I knew instantly- she had to be in there and there was no possible way she could survive what I was already googling at my fingertips.
I can’t describe how helpless I felt sitting in that New Jersey office staring at the screen that spoke louder to my consciousness and screamed “she’s fucking in there!”. There wasn’t a fire department I didn’t call or a friend I didn’t reach out to. In that moment I had wished I was home. I had wished I could undo my own life just so I could be in California a day or two previous and save her.
How? How can something that happened to someone else make me totally destroy my own existence in a matter of seconds? I couldn’t possibly do anything other than I already had.
You see, we had a falling out and she had cut everyone off from the family and moved a few cities away. Meanwhile, I got pregnant, married my husband and moved away. I started my own life and felt like that drama had no longer applied to me so I reached out to her to mend what was left.
That phone call was all tears. And if you knew my aunt you know she cries when she’s happy. She cried when my cousin got his drivers license, she cried on our graduation and I remember she cried on our first day of college. She cried out of joy which can tell you she was a really emotional person.
We’d get to the beach and set up camp near a life guard tower we’d remember because she wasn’t at the beach to play with the kids. She’d set up her chair, slap some fresh baby oil on her already perfectly tanned skin, toss a towel over her face and zone out to TLC as she tapped her red finger nails to “don’t go chasing waterfalls”.
We’d play in the water for hours, always looking up to make sure we hadn’t drifted too far from the life guard tower. Trust me…you didn’t want to be the one that got “lost” or you would hear about it the entire drive back.
Those are my memories of her- at least the good ones. Those are the times I believe she must have been happy. She must have felt the most like herself. Fast forward 15 years, what happened?
I have speculated for the last 3 years that her death was a suicide. Maybe she didn’t want to make it out. Maybe she was done. Maybe she had a really bad fucking day.
That year she died my life changed. I got sick. Then I scheduled my spinal fusion. I found out I was pregnant and then I was given the choice of what to do next…
If there was ever a time in my life to need my aunt, this was it. I had to make a really hard decision that year. To terminate my 4 week pregnancy and have an immediate 3 level spinal fusion with 2 disc implants in my lumbar right where that baby had just been.
Initially, I thought- God is trying to tell me something I couldn’t understand. I fought with it and struggled to be okay with my choice to choose the quality of my life over the creation of a new one. I went to therapy, I turned to my pain medication to numb pain only my emotions could heal. I got lost in what my life was supposed to look like vs. what is actually was and I had a realization. I am following in her path and I need to make a pivot.
I can‘ tell you the exact moment I had that realization but I know that I have always felt like her daughter in one way or another. A few conversations deep with my therapist gave me the epiphany that maybe she struggled with what I struggle with. Maybe she feels like me on the inside and maybe she didn’t know how to cope with the mountains of emotion + energy she’d absorb over the years.
So I turned inward. Over the last year I would pick a memory of her and dissect it. Try to remember why she ruined Christmas or always had to talk shit out the side of her neck when something didn’t go her way. I tried to have perspective.
I can tell you- it was like all broken pieces of my heart that had melted deep into my soul had started to mend back together. With each scenario I played through, I’d put myself in her shoes and try to understand, “what could she have been feeling or not feeling?”
The only thing I could think of was serenity. She couldn’t get a handle on that part.
You know that prayer mantra- “The Serenity Prayer”…”God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I wondered if maybe she had given up on all the rest and just focused on the serene part. She threw away her courage to change, she lacked wisdom to accept the differences. She wanted the serenity more than anything and I can totally resonate with that.
I’ve never had this conversation with my spouse, but I wrote it in my Life Book, my second pregnancy and first child loss, I’d name her Serenity and recognize her as a person and not just a moment in my life I had to make a choice or an embryo that got lucky.
The moment I became aware was the moment my eyes opened to all that had fallen into the gray area. I detoxed from my pain meds, I focused on my health and I started to process each emotion on a real level. I’d welcome sadness with a hello and see where it was wanting to go, and then I’d kindly walk it out the same door and name it kindness.
Over a year of repetitive interpretation of what I was feeling, I was able to recognize the sources of my pain and heal them.
The one thing wish, is that I could have been able to teach this imaginative life-skill to my aunt, because I think it could have worked for her.
On another note, what did work for her was reaching out to people that understood her. Tuning out those that wished ill and giving her heart to those that saw the good in her.
I never got to say thank you. But if I could…I would thank her boyfriend at that time. I met him at the funeral with a handshake and sat near him while her children spoke of her and I just starred at him. I never knew him before that day but I knew one thing…he had come back into her life after many years and she had found a piece of herself I hadn’t seen in a long time. I truly feel that those last tears I heard on the phone with her weren’t only because she was so happy to hear my voice. The more I look at it, her heart was full and she had only one way to express that- by truly being overcome and filled to the point of tears and laughter.
I am so fucking grateful to have the wisdom to know the difference and the perspective to share what I’ve learned by walking in someone else’s shoes. Even if its only for a memory.
I found out 2 years after she died that I was pregnant again, unexpectedly in one of the worst years of my marriage. It was the most painful and complicated pregnancy, but the birth came almost as fast as my aunt went. I held her in my arms and cried tears of joy, I remember gasping for air as if she took my breathe away.
I named her Charly Rae.
We went back and forth a lot on the names. My aunts name was Rosemary but Charly Rose sounded more like a porn-star. I settled on Rae as in “a ray of sunshine” and decided to honor the spelling of her name after my aunts boyfriend, Charly. Who I am forever grateful to for coming back into her life and allowing her to die as herself. Helping her feel and process emotions and love that would make her feel the serenity and thrill she had been seeking her whole life as she’d ride on the back of his Harley.
I am grateful that he had the compassion within to reconnect with her and allow her to be herself. I strive for that connection everyday and am trying to merge that into my marriage. Where we see each other for who we were and not what we have become…
I definitely think about her every day. Any time I have a bad thought I think of how her death has effected my family and I go the other way.
I wish she were here to meet my children and I wish we hadn’t been fighting so she could have attended my wedding. But a wish is a wish.
The reality is that I have to and every moment to look forward to and my intention is to fill it with the people and emotions that I love.
Remembering my aunt for all that she was and all that she dreamed of being today.
With all that being said- if you love someone- fucking tell them!
➰ Dear Mr Trump ➰
I wanted to share HOW SAD it has been today reading all my friends posts about the fact that we will not be getting a paycheck and the reality that you don’t see how messed up it is not to pay a branch of the military that guards the coast every single day.
To share a bit of my own story- we are stationed in the most expensive city- the San Francisco Bay Area. Because of this economy, we have not qualified for food stamps or WIC since we moved here- and I can assure you, militarily families need that extra assistance, especially when our spouses are deployed. (you know- those unnecessary port calls…)
My husband deploys in less than a week and will not leave with a dime in the bank (unless change is made) so he can get the supplies he usually takes with him. Not only that- but he won’t be spending his time with me because I will be in my car…driving.
I happen to drive for #uber and have the capability to jump in my car and make quick money- but what about all the thousands of spouses who cannot do this?
This is so UN-American and it has absolutely nothing to do with being democrat or republican Mr. Trump.
Know that we see you and we hear you loud and clear- you. do. not. care.
Did you know your body is made up of natural cannabis compounds it produces and consumes on a daily basis?
If you are like the majority of humanity then you are probably unaware that your body contains a version of it’s very own cannabis-based biological system that operates naturally, and most likely can benefit from using a CBD Hemp Oil.
Lets call them “endo’s” for short….
According to the endo WIKI-page, it’s a part of the human biology.
WHAT ARE ENDO’S?
What exactly are endocannabinoid’s? How does CBD work? What’s the difference between it all?
Lucky for my knots, I’m teaming up with an all natural CBD brand to give you guys the 101 on CBD and all the info you need to know. This brand prides themselves with having the best “ultra high purity CBD” in their tinctures, as well as high quality manufacturing practices in Colorado. For this review, CBD BIO Naturals was kind enough to sponsor my CBD oil this month and I have been looking forward to telling you guys all about it!
Lets get into the details of CBD no one’s really talked about….YET!
[To keep things transparent, if you see something highlighted and click-able, that is the source where I found the information backed with my experience. The content in this article belongs to boxofknots.com- if you share this information, please link back to your source.]
THE INSIDE SCOOP ABOUT CBD
What is CBD? It’s a compound pulled from cannabis plants (the hemp plant to be specific).
Yes, cannabis, pot, THC, CBD, weed, whatever you want to call it…it’s already in your system.
You might say- “well, why can I test clean for a drug test then?”.
If that is you, then this post is for you my friend! Let’s talk about it.
THE CANNABINOIDS IN YOUR SYSTEM
Your body is made up of two types of cannabinoid receptors – CB1 and CB2.
If you’ve ever ran a mile and then experienced a wave of euphoria at the finish line then you’ve just experienced a little gift from your CB receptors, naturally.
What’s happening is that your body is creating a type of dopamine chemical (the endocannabanoid’s) and then your endo-receptors give you a little “runner’s high” (you little stoner, you!).
So, what if you don’t experience that “runners high” after a big event?… Well, that’s because you’re like me.. and your CB receptors are damaged and “malfunctioning”.
With CBD therapy and some psychology tools, you can combat the storms brewing in your body if you listen to the symptoms.
SOME SYMPTOMS OF MALFUNCTIONING RECEPTORS
To give you an idea, here are “a few” signs your CB receptors could be “malfunctioning”…
- You have a bad memory
- You aren’t excited by much
- You find it hard to relax
- You have no appetite
- You have neurological pain
- You have inflammation
- You get migraines
- You struggle with anxiety
If you’re like me, you can check a few of these off the list (maybe all).
That wave of euphoria doesn’t show up when the fun starts, your appetite is gone when the food smells amazing, your body still hurts after pain killers or Tylenol. These are all symptoms that maybe you’re weed-biology could be a bit off. It’s okay though because lucky for us, there is chemistry to help us balance ourselves out.
Just like hormones and your pH balance…theres also a CB balance type system just waiting for your attention.
Your body is made up of a series of receptors scattered throughout and if one is a little off, it can domino your entire biological system.
Here are 6 different receptors pointed out by the writers over at vice.com. They pretty much fall in line with the symptoms of malfunctioning receptors.
YOUR BODIES ENDO-RECEPTORS
There are dozens of cannabis-prone receptors that serve more than one purpose but here are a few to name…
- Hippocampus – regulates memory
- Cerebral cortex – cognition
- The Cerebellum – motor coordination
- Basal Ganglia – movement
- The Hypothalamus – appetite
- The Amygdala – emotions
IF YOU SMOKED POT BUT DON’T LIKE IT…
If you’ve smoked cannabis before and don’t like it, your body is most likely well balanced to where the effects are quite the opposite of enjoyable.
You and THC are probably not gonna be friends, but you and CBD might be besties.
IF YOU SMOKE POT AND LOVE IT…
If you’ve smoked weed and consider yourself a pot head, then there’s good news. You more than likely have been proactive in your health without even know it.
By listening to your “malfunction-ing cannabinoid receptors” and supplementing for the lack of cannabinoids in your body, you are able to trick your receptors into being “normal” by combining both THC + CBD.
David Bienenstock over at viceland explaned it this way…”Think of the endocannabinoid system as your body’s “root level” operating system—a kind of central processing unit that regulates and alters the functioning of many other important systems and keeps them in balance.”
HOW CBD OIL WORKS FOR ME
I suffer from a wide range of conditions that seem to uncover themselves year after year and CBD has been the one script I have never had to change.
Failed back surgery syndrome was the last diagnosis I got after my neurologist could not help me figure out what’s up. I had a 3 level spinal fusion and some made up syndrome is what they gave me. I call bull-shit and have been taking my health research and discovery into my own hands.
By using a personal journal/note taking system I created, now known as The Life Book, I was able to pin point what exactly was going on inside my body and I discovered that throughout the day I was constantly trying to reproduce more hormones that stress would basically eat up.
The best thing I can do for myself is to avoid the cycle and just give myself the CBD that it already thinks it should have.
There is absolutely no reason you should suffer from something biological. Point blank. CBD could be the key to that lock, it’s just one of those things where you have to try the key and see if it works.
Lets agree to disagree that not everyone’s tree grow’s pretty, does it? We all need to do what works for us, damaged receptors or not, the science is there and there is no denying that.
The real question is, will it work for you?
One of the biggest questions I get in my inbox is about the thousands of brands out there. I will say, in most cases, you will get what you pay for.
If you want to try out a CBD Hemp Oil but don’t know where to start I can make that easy for you, head over to CBD Bio Naturals, I use their 500mg bottle. (by the way…use code BOXOFKNOTS at checkout so they know I sent ya! – in return you get $15 off your order)
I put a dropper full under my tongue and in my coffee or smoothie 3-5 times a day depending on how I’m feeling.
To make sure “this worked” for me, I took it straight for 2 weeks and then stopped taking it for 2 days. I didn’t feel any mental change but I had a nerve pain return that I hadn’t felt in some time and it was enough to convince me to keep taking it. Everyone has their reasons, and that sciatica nerve pain is my #1 reason.
SHARE YOUR JOURNEY WITH ME
I like to stay transparent here on boxofknots.com and love to get your feedback on specific topics I talk about.
If you like what I’m sharing make sure to reach out or share it with a friend! Information is powerful.
Feel free to interact with me on Instagram and use the hashtag #knotlife to check in with the rest of us knots and share your journey.
Everything you need to know about CBD OIL by Medical News Today
The Science of the Endocannabinoid System: How THC Affects the Brain and the Body by HeadsUp SCHOLASTIC
My second pregnancy is actually my third, and that is something I’ve never shared with the world until right now.
You see, we always wanted at least two babes- if we could ever be so lucky.
We’d dream of an older son and young sweet daughter. Fast forward almost a decade and here we are…blessed to have them both…
Let me tell you a little about that journey and the roads, detours and road blocks we hit along the way.
I know it can be hard, all the time, but know that you are never alone. There is always another parent at that very moment crying those same exact tears of angst, resentment and unconditional love all bottled into one.
This post is for you mama.
Know that I stand right here with you, anxiety wrapped around my eyes like a ninja-turtles bandana. Instead of walk blindly, we day after day take that blind fold off and choose to walk with our children. Day in and day out cause that’s what mama’s do.
If you need a break, that’s okay. I’m right there with you.
Everyones break looks different so make sure to speak up along the way, no one can read your mind. Imagine driving to work without street signs to tell you when to stop or go…would you feel safe?
For me, my breaks are showers alone with the door locked or a few hours in the middle of the night to write these choice words for you.
These moments of motherhood are so kind, if you let them be. And before I do a little storytelling, I wanna share this part of a song that always sticks…
“All the good comes in waves.”QUINN XCII [Song:Another Day In Paradise]
Is that not the truth guys??
WHEN I MET MY POSTPARTUM
So here is the story you came for, I’ll just jump right in.
When I found out I was pregnant for the first time, it was the happiest I could remember myself being in a really long time. It was a boy and we were young but couldn’t wait to see what adventure was before us.
When I found out I was pregnant for the second time it was not only a complete shock, but it was exactly one week before my spinal fusion surgery. I’m sure you can imagine how a positive pregnancy test can throw a wrench into a surgery. It continued to complicate the situation entirely.
When I found out I was pregnant for the third time, I cried hysterically; from fear, pure anxiety, a rollercoaster of adrenaline. I could tell this time it was a girl. My blood was flowing all over, I was so in tune with my body and I was still scared.
Something we wanted badly for so long and I was fucking terrified. It felt fucked up.
“We finally get to have our baby girl”-he’d say, trying to get me excited, and I would totally melt down into tears and make my escape to the closest doorway.
Why was I like that? Why was it so hard for me after we had already successfully had our first born? Lets backup a bit to that second pregnancy…the one that haunts me.
THE SECOND BABY
It was a week before my scheduled spinal fusion I sat on the toilet with my phone in one hand while my anxiety entirely consumed me. I thought we were done with babies…
My surgery was on the calendar and we had family and friends taking time off work to fly to New Jersey to come and help my husband take care of our 3 year old.
At that time I was in dire need of this surgery. A three-level, dual implant, life or death kind of need to reconstruct what years of ignorance and physical labor did to my spine from childhood into my late teens.
After a really quick phone call and a comment along the lines of… “if you carry this baby you risk snapping your spine and then who will raise your son?”- scared me shitless into having the surgery, if that’s even a thing.
That was the conversation that made my decision final and real that this was happening.
A 50% chance I would survive was the statistic I was given over a heartless phone call.
It was the data I needed to make that judgement call so I wouldn’t be leaving my husband and son both wife and motherless on my quest for another child.
If you can imagine, my husband was in some type of limbo no one can explain, but I’m sure you can try to imagine. I mean— finally a second child but your wife can’t and wont carry it…
He didn’t judge me for my decision, in fact, he held my hand the entire way and made me feel like I made the right decision, even though everything inside me was saying otherwise, and sometimes still does.
You see, for my second pregnancy, we found out early and elected at 4 weeks to have an abortion through a “Medical Abortion” which is basically an oral supplement you take that tells your body to stop the pregnancy.
It doesn’t make it any better that it’s a pill..it’s still abortion. Its still awful. But I had to sacrifice that pregnancy for a shot at a life with the family I already had on earth. Call it what you want.
I took that pill on Halloween night before we went trick or treating, I cooked dinner and went along with the day. I felt some cramping, laid down for a little and then it was time to trick or treat.
I’ll never forget the huge baggy ass sweatpants I wore that night. No costume, just huge sweatpants clearly too big for me and hidden inside was what felt like 12 maxi pads layered into a bucket to catch whatever was about to happen to me.
I bled the entire time we trick-or-treated, so I went home before everyone. I changed my layering of maxi pads, took a pain killer- or three for the cramping pain, laid down for bed and that was that.
In those types of abortions the medicine tells your body to stop producing the hormone that keeps the pregnancy and then you pass it just like a miscarriage. I’ll be honest with you guys, I was 4 weeks along and I did not notice one clot that was in any shape of a fetus. It all looked the same, a dark red clotted blood.
That next morning we drove back out to the only Planned Parenthood in the area that did abortions and it happened to be 3-hours away. After a final ultrasound to confirm I was no longer bearing a child, we got the green light to proceed with my spinal fusion.
In total, I was sedated for 8 hours at Pennsylvania University Hospital in Philadelphia. I underwent a 3 level spinal fusion from L3-L5 vertebra. The surgery was intense and again, my husband was by my side the entire time.
The problem from that entire lineup was that my body was not only waking up from surgery, in pain, and in shock..my body was also grieving from loosing a child. I had no idea what would linger on…I had NO idea what was even going on.
We stayed in the hospital for over a week and started the day-to-day of what life would now look like for us.
Despite not being able to bend or twist for 3+ months, I was restricted to my bedroom and lived off my husbands compassion, massages and in-home pedicures. We began my recovery and continued to live in the solution at that moment in our life. It was changing.
I did intensive physical therapy, started working again, we moved to a new state, life went on…
THE THIRD + LAST
For a while it seemed like we would be that couple that only had one child and we at one point even had “the talk” with my son about being an only child…little did we know, God had other plans for our family.
Two years after my surgery, I discovered I was pregnant…again.
This time I cried hard.
I think my husband thought I was crying because of the hormones and the fact that he would be deploying in a few months…but I couldn’t mutter even one word before my ugly cry would take over my face and I’d slip away to the closest doorway until I could compose myself in some way.
You might be wondering, “why all the tears? You guys finally get your chance?!”
And that’s ‘the thing’…
When I found out about my third pregnancy, the immediate fear flooded me, quite literally. I had gotten so used to the idea of being the mother to an only child and had come to terms with my choice I made- I couldn’t help but ask “do I even deserve this child?”
After some self-guilt, a lot of conversations with friends and family…I knew this was game time. We got what we had been asking for.
WHAT BEING PREGNANT FELT LIKE + WHATS WRONG
The pregnancy itself was fucking awful. I’ll just tell you that.
No glow, no cute outfits, no cravings, just pain.
The worst was that there was no real way to explain it because it was coming from every direction in my body and treating it was nearly impossible because we still didn’t really know what was brewing within me.
To give you an idea, I suffer from a slurry of side effects that stem from surgery, unnecessary procedures, failed western medicine practices and insurance deals to deter you from seeking real help. decided I needed at one point or another.
Fibromyalgia, Bipolar Mood + Anxiety Disorder, Lyme Disease, Muscle Spasticity Disorder with a sprinkle of asthma and ADD. Thats me 🙂
The result of the multitude of diseases and effect can be summarized by a few symptom and day to day descriptors.
Descriptors of how I feel:
- electrically pules muscles
- burning nerves
- throbbing joints
- overwhelming anxiety
- manic episodes
- static-prone muscle spasticity
I like to be transparent about the fact that I’m aware I will always live in some type of pain. There is no real cure for me yet. Only maintenence and self care that is how I live my day to day.
When I was pregnant it felt like my body was rejecting the baby, if I had to sum it up.
I would puke from pain in my stomach that was explained to me as a side effect of my back surgery, a double disc replacement I had done through my abdomen.
In my case, something went south and there’s a kink in the hose….meaning, my stomach now only holds enough food for a 4 year old and it hurts (like knives in my stomach hurts) when I eat too much food and ask my digestive system to do the due diligence + flush.
Having issues can give anyone anxiety, but having these specific issues was almost torture. A double double animal style no longer sounded good because I had to consider how I’d feel digesting it. My favorite foods soon became my enemy. I cooked less for my family, it trickled its way down…
Eating clean made me loose weight, 48 lbs in total from my highest pregnancy weight, 146 lbs compared to my most recent 98 lbs.
The last time I weighed 98 lbs. I was 10. And I’m not bragging…
Loosing that much weigh changes things in your mind and in your body you didn’t know were there. Your body becomes easier to communicate with.
LIFE AFTER HAVING BABIES
When my daughter was one month old, my husband deployed right on schedule. He came back for a couple months around 5 months old and then again last month when she turned 9 months old.
I would cry at the thought of him, and I honestly still cry time to time. That part hasn’t gone away- but I also haven’t begun seeing a therapist.
I found that crying became really therapeutic for me. My ‘cry time’ is in the shower- because you can ugly cry in privacy and conveniently wash your ugly cry face off afterward and blame it on the shower. Crying is good for you, but therapy…getting that therapy in is really important.
I would cry and then I’d see my son developing this amazing relationship with his little princess sister and I would just melt, ugly-crying all over again.
For me, it’s been more of a headache… I went for my postpartum checkup, asked for what I call “help” and was given a phone number to call. I was told to press a number after the beep and I tuned out after that part.
“This” thing I was going through was bigger than me.
I still haven’t seen a therapist yet (I will soon I promise). But really, I get so much anxiety about the steps it even takes me to connect with someone, I end up not calling at all. And then I have to cross my fingers and hope that I picked a good name off the list….don’t get me started…
Instead, I’ve been dunking my head into growing my business goals, building real connections online with like-minded mama’s and really just doing the mom thing, and it’s working for me.
Everyday is different. Some days are good, some awful, but it’s a journey…right?
I know I’m not alone.
If you’d like to share your story with me directly, you know where to find me mamas!
Till next time…