I dedicated my summer connecting more to my inner divine feminine, trusting my truth, and reconnecting to the Creator (God, Great Spirit, whatever that is to you) through prayer and meditation.
Shortly after my 3 year old son was born I felt a heavy cloud drift over me that prevented me from living in alignment with my higher self. I felt its cold, dank presence form itself around me and I fell into a deep state of depression, anger, and self-doubt.
I had lost myself, my courage to follow my truth, and the purpose I was given in this life. My marriage was collapsing and I couldn't be present with my son because I was too "busy" trying to prove myself in a man's world instead of giving myself permission to lean into my own strengths as a woman.
This summer I made a commitment to myself and my family that I'd do the work to help me release what was no longer serving me and to get out of my own way. To begin living life with faith instead of fear. I knew that if I wanted to be more present in my own life that I'd have to be present with the spectrum of my emotions; sadness, fear, anger, grief, joy, peace, love, etc. I knew I had to feel my way through each emotion so that I could once and for all let go of old stories and open my heart to receiving and trusting the greatest power: love.
If I wanted to have a relationship with my husband, son, close friends & family, and myself that is abundant in love and acceptance I had to buckle down and get to work.
Lesson 1 - Family
I spent the first few weeks in New Hampshire with my family. It was nurturing to be surrounded by people who have always accepted me as I am. While visiting with my family I decided to reduce my social media time so that I could be more present with them. I went paddle boarding with my sister, went on the boat with my parents, played at the beach with my son, hiked with my family, and even ventured off on my first solo hike. I played, I spent time alone journaling and reflecting, and I soaked in the northeast sunsets while listening to my dad play the mandolin. The days were simple, easy, and joyful. I felt at peace as a mother, daughter, and sister. I felt supported as a woman trying to find her inner compass again so she can navigate a world full of distractions with clarity and intention.
By reducing my social media use to only a couple hours per week I noticed that I had more mental clarity; I was more engaged in conversations; I had more time for play and work that was truly aligned with my purpose, and I felt less stressed. I slept better and I worried less. But the social media itch was still there and I still felt a pull to check-in, post, and strategize my next post for Instagram instead of immersing myself fully into whatever was going on in front of me. But overall, the cloud around me felt a little less heavy.
Lesson 2 - My Medicine
After spending a few weeks in New Hampshire I packed my bags for the next leg of my journey. This time I was reuniting with my husband for a few days of hiking, cold plunging, and camping in Montana before going to Sierra Bender's Boot Camp for Goddess's level 2. Sierra has been my mentor for 10 years now and I knew I needed her guidance and tools to help me break through the walls that were keeping me from my truth, purpose, and medicine.
Before I left for Sierra's boot camp I said a prayer with Danny by a river about letting go of what doesn't serve me and allowing it to flow away with the water. I prayed to stay open to any possibilities in my future and to have mercy and compassion on me. When I started to head back to the trail I noticed my phone had fallen into the river. I couldn't help but laugh and lift my arms up to the sky and say "OK. I hear you loud and clear. Thank you for your lesson." I knew it was a sign from Creator (God Great Spirit, whatever that is for you) that I needed to let go of the distractions on my phone and to be present with what was next to come.
For seven days I was surrounded by women from all over with their own stories. We were all there to feel empowered, strong, and feminine. The question that Sierra asked us was, "What is your medicine?" This was exactly where I needed to be. I knew it wasn't going to be as easy-going as it was in New Hampshire but I felt prepared for the work she was getting ready to throw at us.
We'd gather early in the morning for yoga, drumming, singing, honoring Mother Earth, Father Sky, our ancestors, and the four directions. We'd give offerings of tobacco and pray to them, mediate on them to receive their teachings. We were quiet so we could listen. We moved our bodies, fed it nourishing food, covered ourselves with the sweet essence of essential oils, and held space for each other to release old stories.
Sierra spent the first few days preparing us for our first Vision Quest and it wasn't until my vision quest that I felt my heart expand inside of me. My heart was expanding beyond the walls that were blocking me from my truth.
As I sat on a mountain alone in a fasted state during my vision quest, I felt calmness within me. I felt the spirit of the wolf as I sat in the direction of the south. This is what came to me after I prayed, laid naked in the sun (even masturbated to open myself fully) and I wrote it in my journal:
"I am a peaceful warrior.
I must go into the dark to cry, mourn, rest and be silent from the distractions so I can come out steady and fierce like the wolf. I can lead with my voice and my actions with precision and strength, but I find my strength in silence.
In order to love and live in the light I must surrender. I let it go so I that I can lead without weakness.
I must let go of what no longer serves me because what does not serve me does not serve Mother Earth or humanity. "
That is when I knew that my medicine is being a peaceful warrior and my power is love, compassion, kindness, and empathy. I walked down the mountain bathed in faith which had replaced the fear. I buried my old stories up on that mountain and came down renewed with a deep sense of self. I saw what mattered most to me and I saw the powerful woman I am after releasing her from the chains of the ego. I realized I had fallen away from my spirituality and when I don't believe in something greater than myself I fall out of alignment and everything else gets out of whack too.
This is the clearest I have felt in a long time and it was all after I spent weeks doing work that helped me heal and grow without distractions. I set boundaries and was clear about who and what I allowed into my sacred space.
I have come to the conclusion that social media is a major distraction for me. And, in my opinion it's a distraction for many people, but especially women, from doing the work they were born to do. We are here to stand and lead from our hearts, our intuition, and our individual strengths. We have way too much healing to do before we can start showing up in a world that desperately needs us.
I am not procrastinating anymore. I am choosing to be present in my life and to do my work so that I can serve others and share my medicine. As human beings, we are all being consumed by the distractions of social media, but I am talking to you Goddesses. Social media means nothing at the end of the day and its not serving your greatest potential in your creations, medicine, and teachings. Its a distraction and an illusion holding us all back from our highest self. It's all noise from what truly matters and what truly matters is our participation in the real world, our community, family, etc.
This is the happiest I have felt since I joined social media. I have deeper connections and engagement with the people around me and everyday I am actively working towards leading my life from my truth.
My mind is free from strategizing for posts, insecurities, self-doubt, and comparison that I felt while on social media. I literally have more time for play and constructive work. Social media not only robs you of your physical time it robs you of your mental and emotional time. Its a burden I no longer have to feel and I have more space for things that serve me and my truth.
I am more present in my own life and the people in it. I am present in every thought, decision and action I take and I am confident in each one because I know that its from my heart (my spiritual body) not my ego. When I am more present I feel more, I love more, I be more. That cloud has completely lifted and I feel the sun kissing my heart again with lightness and warmth.
Quitting social media has saved me from myself. I have empowered myself to show up in my own life and take responsibility because I am worth it. Sierra always says, "Love is the greatest force when grounded by action and responsibility." Women, its time we take action and we take responsibility. Reclaim your life and reconnect to your medicine. Whatever it is, this world needs it and is better off with it than without it.
My intention this summer was not to quit social media. It was to find myself again and to let go of what didn't serve me. Through this journey I realized that social media was something that was holding me back from myself and my potential.
I am able to use the tools I received over the summer and apply them to my daily life so that I can continue to speak and act from my truth. I will blog and send out newsletters so that I can communicate with you but I will not be participating on any social media platforms. And as my work unfolds I will share it with you, but I will not be offering anything until I have something wise and worthy to say, until then I am retreating to silence. I have to walk the talk now.
Like the wolf, we must learn to be alone and with our pack :-)
Are you ready to take action and responsibility in your own life? Here are 6 actionable steps you can take to cut social media out of your life and start living more.
1) Set boundaries - It's important that you are very clear about your boundaries. Take charge of what you do and don't want in your life. On a piece of paper draw a big circle. In the circle write down what you do allow into your life (sacred space) and on the outside of the circle what you do not allow into your life. I also suggest deleting all of your social media apps. If you HAVE to do this for work (if you can afford a social media person...do it!) then schedule your posts (1-2 days per week) and GET OFF. NO SCROLLING!
2) Light a candle and set a daily intention - What do you want to get out of your day? What is your intention as you move through your day? Think and reflect on #1, what do you want to bring into your sacred space and what do want to keep out?
3) Seek a professional - This isn't another 30 day challenge or a "break." This is part of your healing process from current and past traumas. This work starts and ends with you but you can call upon teachers, coaches, therapists to help you by providing tools while on this journey to self-love and empowerment.
4) Journal - Journal about how you feel during this time away from social media. Take note about your thought behaviors, whether or not you have more time, the urges you have to check your phone and why you have those urges. Don't judge, just observe the process and how it effects you positively or negatively.
5) Find a hobby - Seriously. Tap into the the right side of your brain and get lost in creativity. The right side of your brain helps you to feel more and taps into your intuition. Try pottery, make jewelry, cook, draw, paint, write, move, etc. Find something that helps you to feel present and helps you to get out of the left side of the brain that is always scanning for information. Feel the creative input in your body and mind. You think you won't have time but trust me, the time you don't spend on social media will leave with an ample amount of time for new creations, adventure, and pleasure :-)
6) Be patient. You will feel impulses to check your social media accounts because you will feel like you are missing out on something. Trust me, you are not. When you feel the urge to login, separate yourself from your device and give your hands some busy work. If you feel the urge to connect then call up a friend or a family member to talk to or write a letter. Connect in real life! Call up some friends and do something fun or engaging without devices or enroll into some kind of program.
Until next time,