Birthing a New Lifestyle

chula vista marina

This morning, as the sun rose I practiced my yoga asanas out on the lawn next to Chula Vista Marina in southern California. The cool breeze carried the taste of salt as the sun warmed my face. I felt cradled in the beauty of Mother Earth. My heart filled with gratitude for the freedom to make new life choices and know that Mother Earth will always catch and embrace me when I fall.

crow

Crow (keeper of the Sacred Law) keeps showing up to remind me to step deeper into my own integrity and live in congruence with the woman I know I am. Crow wants me to stay present in this timeless moment where past, present and future exist as one. Where I am standing in my full expression of self, creating audaciously connecting to the deep wisdom held by my ancestors. I’ve missed crow’s gentle reminder because in Houston there are very few crows, seldom heard or seen. Can you imagine going a day without conversing with a crow? I can’t and yet I did for 3 years.

In February our lives took a left turn and suddenly we were packing up our house to be sold, buying a travel trailer (I like to call it our Caravan) and making plans to head west to study yogic living for a few months. It felt like such a quick birthing of a new lifestyle but as I thought further I realized this idea was first conceived nine months ago at our wedding.

Larry at wedding

The weekend of Big Luscious Matrimony in Dripping Springs, Texas was really more of a coming out party for Larry and I. It was the first time we had experienced our imperfectly, authentic dream of cultivating our creativity, connecting with our community and exploring sustainability. We planned the minute details of the wedding for over a year so that it would be a direct reflection of ourselves. We had local ice cream, local beer, local pies, local dinner. We collected mason jars for the year to use as reusable water glasses for the guests. We got he flowers from a flower farm down the street.

wedding flowers

Then we allowed for mystery to show up and help us complete our dream. The ceremony was planned that morning before the wedding and it was perfect. We had a circle gathering of all our guests just before the rehearsal dinner and I wasn’t sure what would happen but we wanted to create an opportunity to share our intention for the weekend and for people to meet each other. What happened actually blew me away. Deep sharing, tears, laughter, and bonding. We only planned to hold the space for coming together. kat and larry wedding day

On our last morning at the venue, sipping our coffee on the front porch, Larry and I decided that we needed to live this way. So we figured naturally that meant to buy a ranch and create our structures and call in our tribe. We dreamed of swimming in our natural pond pool, hosting gatherings of all sorts while we raised our feral children to run wild and free.

the land that heals

Nine moths later when we are getting ready to put some money down on 50 acres in Hill Country, Texas, Larry asks if we might want to postpone the buying of land and instead travel a bit in that “caravan” we were buying to live in while we built our first structure. With only a few seconds of thought I shouted, “YES” and we were off to pack up, haul out, donate, toss out and give away our collection of stuff so we could easily live in our tiny caravan.

As it turns out the baby we birthed didn’t look anything like we expected. Instead of us living stationary calling in our tribe, it looks like we will be riding with the wind at our backs with our hearts full of honey gathering new members of the tribe and visiting and “talking story” with our antiquated tribal peeps.

Goodbye Happy Home!

Goodbye Happy Home!

This labor was arduous, both physically and mentally taxing as all of my labors are. Then there was the painful limbo period between contractions where I wasn’t able to express my creativity and our dream didn’t quite look like we had planned. Yet the further we traveled across the Sonoran Desert away from Houston the clearer the path became. It’s as if the fog of living in the humid urban hub of concrete and strip malls had lifted and I could breath again and the scent of the pacific ocean was calling us home.

Sonoran Desert

Our passage to California is just the first stop in our new mobile life. We are attending an intensive yoga course called, Mastery of Life Course by Laura and Bhava. I will write more about this experience now that the wild, salty winds from the sea are cleaning out all the sluggishness and waking up my feral, creative soul.  The sea and crow will bring me back to my balanced stasis of audacious-ness.

Where will we go next? We’re not quite sure yet, perhaps north, perhaps east, we’ll have to see what plan we conceive and hatch during the next few months in glorious San Diego.

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wedged between birth & death . . .

sweet baby aria

When Larry and I were getting ready for our Big Bohemian Wedding in Austin last May, our neighbors on one side were preparing for the arrival of their sweet baby girl, Aria. The big brown UPS truck with squeaky brakes would pull up outside our house and drop two to three large boxes on their front porch nearly everyday. They were playfully battling over what name was appropriate for their little Texan on her way. She is a Francophil and wanted the name Amalie; he wasn’t having anything to do with that. Aria is a great compromise.

All the while, our neighbors on the other side were struggling with news of a lymphoma diagnosis. Her parents arrived to take care of their 2-year-old while she succumbed to a brutal bout of chemotherapy treatments that latest months. We only saw her occasionally after arriving home from the treatments and being carefully escorted from the car to the house a tiny shell of the woman she used to be, scarf over her head, and sallow face. I prayed for her recovery and painted her a painting that came through me intuitively. There was a bleak, exhaustion emanating from that side of our house and my heart held them quietly, unobtrusively in love.

We are not close to either of our neighbors although they are only six feet away on both sides. They will not be reading my blog (I chose not to use their names). However we are friendly with both of them and truly like them but I think they are not so sure about us when we dug up our front rose bushes and planted an urban garden that quickly took over the entire yard. Or when we moved the air conditioners up to the second floor balcony and put a pool in the tiny space that is our backyard. Or maybe it was painting our house in colorful colors that definitely stand out. Who knows?

Despite this I couldn’t help but feel the strange juxtaposition of our life events sitting side by side. I felt wedged between beginnings vs endings, birth vs death, growth vs depletion and abundance vs scarcity. All the while we were planning for our big luscious matrimony with the intention of deepening our roots in ourselves, each other, our family and our community of friends. Reading our houses from right to left (like the Chinese) it’s the cycle of life; birth, the richness of life and then death (death to the cancer, not to her).

our house in the middle

Today we sit between the proud parents of sweet baby Aria and a family with a cancer free mom on her road back to full recovery and Larry and I are deeply rooted in ourselves, each other and our ever-expanding community.

Life just happens doesn’t it? And then we make a stew, take our kids to school and walk the dog; someone dies and then a baby is born.

a prayer for Raine . . .

My beautiful daughter Raine is now at boarding school 800 miles away. It’s a bittersweet experience for me; I know she is going to have the time of her life and make life-long friendships, but I miss her presence in our home. She is so funny with a mature sense of humor that always makes me laugh; and she is the one that understands me more than anyone on the planet.

Recently I read of a time when girls living hundreds of years ago went through an initiation into womanhood at about the age of 12 to learn the sacred ways of healing, living and guiding others.  This led me to dream up what feminine wisdom I could pass onto Raine before she left our home.

I imagined a secret school for girls like an etiquette class but oh-so-different. It would be a school to initiate girls into learning how to show up in the world in their power, using their most powerful skills, assets, knowledge in the best ways possible.

These are some of the things I would invite them to practice:

  • Alignment with the highest part of ourselves
  • Breathing deeply
  • Drinking water often
  • Learning to listen
  • Learning how to calm and address those emotions within through caring for the child within
  • Learning responsibility
  • Learning to take focus off of self
  • Awakening to and honoring the memory of our ancestors – women folk.
  • Learning to be direct and transparent while staying in their own power center.
  • Experiencing the power of field of energy that exists between us and learn how to increase it.

Well she left too soon for that to happen, but I also know there is still plenty of time to initiate her into all of this; a lot on this list she already knows because I have shared it with her and we practice a lot. With this in mind, I wanted to send her to school with a reminder of her powerful connected self. So I made this poster to go on her wall in her dorm next to her bed. I hope she reads it often and doesn’t forget. I’m already thinking of the next poster to create and send to her – perhaps a photo of herself with a phrase over it. I will be sure to share as I create them.

i saw Venus in me . . .

A few months before my wedding I realized that my weight wasn’t going away and I had only one choice; I needed to accept my body just as it is and find a fabulous dress. Luckily finding the dress was easy. Learning to love my body continues to come along in stages.

My Feminine Power practices taught me how to check in with that uncomfortable feeling, ask how old it is and then ask what she is feeling and what she needs. Well as I went through this process, I learned that she was about 6 years old, felt un-lovable, awkward, ugly, not pretty enough, wrong and different.  She told me she needed to just be loved unconditionally and to be told she was loved no matter how she looked. I kept working with this process whenever any uncomfortable feelings arose. It’s the instant soother.

When the wedding day arrived, I felt radiant and so much love for Larry and everyone present. As my lovely maidens cinched up my dress, I asked them to make sure it wasn’t too tight as all the flesh had to go somewhere and although more flesh in the front gives me more boobage, extra flesh in the back just looks like back fat seeping over my beautiful dress. They made no promises but assured me I would look radiant. I took another gulp of wine and clung to the bed post as they tightened even more, taking the breath out of me.

As I told you in previous posts, it was the most exquisite celebration and I felt absolutely lovely all through the evening. But then . . . the photos from friends starting rolling in and I quickly discovered just how much back fat was oozing over my dress.

I was literally stricken in the gut but a familiar self-loathing feeling. I have since named that part of me, Sergeant Zero-Tolerance; and she is pretty serious about what is okay and what is not okay for me. I actually think she means well; she’s trying to keep us safe and within proper regulations. The problem is her methods are destructive and debilitating to the whole-ness of me. My heart races, my blood runs thickly, I start to panic, walls come up within me, I get angry and I try to figure out who is in on this conspiracy to destroy me. I guess that would be paranoia. It took days to come down away from the edge and realize nothing had changed, I was still that lovely, gorgeous bride, Larry loves me, and my family and friends adore me unconditionally, just as I am.

The last stage was when I got the professional shots from our incredible photographers Joy and Donny Prouty of Wildflowers Photography. I truly embraced the beauty of the day, the joy and love that was expressed.

The the mourning doves showed up on my back patio. I know that when an animal shows itself often or suddenly that there is usually a lesson to be learned or a message being presented. So Dove Medicine indicates a peaceful, calm, gentle and giving person. They are monogamous and most importantly they are the sacred animal of Venus, the goddess of love and pleasure.

Laura, our celebrant at our wedding had read my Jyotish (Indian Astrology) and among a ton of things, she told me I had a lot of Venus in my chart. I didn’t really know what to make of that, other than Laura told me to do some daily Sun Salutations in her honor.

But then as I learned more about Venus being the Goddess of Love and Pleasure and I looked at paintings and statues of her created throughout the ages by artists. She was voluptuous, beautiful, oozing with love and sexuality, inviting people to enjoy life, connection and beauty. As I looked again through the wedding photos, I saw Venus in me. It wasn’t just in my physical form but in the gathering that I created which was full of pleasure, good food, plenty of drinks, and the joy of connecting.  When I shared this with Laura this is what she wrote;

“Yes, I so see Venus in your wedding photos. Definitely. In her material self she is comfort and color and sexuality: all velvet and lace, like your wedding. In her higher self, she is attractive, luring us to the divine reality that all is beauty, love, harmony and oneness.”
So this is where I am on my journey to falling madly in love with myself – just as I am!

Big Luscious Matrimony

It’s been so long since I’ve visited with you all here on these pages. So much has happened and I’ve travelled great distances; from Spain to France to California. But more significantly is the distance I’ve travelled in my own personal evolution.

Over the past few months I dug my toes deeply into the warm, earthy dirt that my relationship with Larry grew from. In a beautiful ceremony in Dripping Springs, Texas we deepened our roots by marrying each other amongst the ancient oaks and our loved ones.

It was a kooky, sweet, touching, tearful, sacred, perfectly imperfect ceremony led by our sweet Goddess, soul-sister, Laura Plumb. My maidens danced down the aisle to “You Can Count on Me by Bruno Mars. I walked down with my dear friend, Brian Wright to “Ong Namo” by Snatum Kaur. 

Oh my Beloved
Kindness of the Heart
Breath of Life
I bow to You

And I’m coming home
And I’m coming home
And I’m coming home
And I’m coming home

These are the words I walked down to, it felt as if I were coming home to my soul mates, heart. It was very touching for both of us. Before I could step out the door, Finnegan took my bouquet in exchange for this ring bearer pillow, which was indicative of the entire ceremony.

After we kissed sealing our vows forever, we danced back down the aisle with everyone in tow to Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes’, “Home.”  Are you seeing a theme here?

Despite all the crazy disruptions of dogs, toddlers and sobbing tears it was the most moving, original, reflective ceremony I had ever witnessed and being a former wedding photographer, I’ve been to my fair share of weddings  (I wonder if all brides feel this way :o).

I wanted to share our first 8mm wedding highlight clip with you all.

 

For another peak into the bodacious weekend celebration click on this flickr page right HERE!

Big Luscious Love to you all,

The newly coupled, wedded, amalgamated, hitched, espoused, blissfully rooted in love, Katariina!

Well This is it!!!! (but I forgot to post)

I can’t believe it is finally here! The Big Luscious Wedding Ceremony Weekend in Austin. Well technically it is in Dripping Springs.

Am I ready? You may ask. Well most people have said that I’m very calm for a bride to be, now this could be that I’m a bit older & this isn’t my first rodeo (if you know what I mean), but I tell them that it is because because I’m heavily medicated then I just laugh, because that is not true. I think it must be my nature.

ugh!!! overwhelm

I don’t have much time to write because I still have to make programs. I’m such a procrastinator.

I’ve wanted every moment of the planning of the wedding to be the wedding as well. With intention and being in the moment and loving the moments knowing that I was infusing my intention in everything I made and deepening our roots as a family.

My best friend, Ginger, planned & hosted a beautiful Bridal Party Bonding weekend for us all in Temecula. She was so creative & colorful & my sister, Kristeen helped decorate everything perfectly.

bridal party bonding weekend

It was a deep, sweet weekend with all my girls, all of whom I’m so excited to have in my wedding.

I made this out of old sweaters!!

Okay there is so much I want to share but I must finish this program in the next hour. I will share the festivities with you on the other side!!!