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I’ve got five kids, I’m a queer feminist, and I just might be the only life coach in the world who doesn’t believe in the Law of Attraction.

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I think you need a Brambly Hedge evening

*Secret Mystics

Dearheart, I think you need a Brambly Hedge evening. Which is to say that I very much needed a Brambly Hedge evening. You see, I am still and always and STILL trying to figure out how to be a gooey tender person in this world, get all the things done that require doing, and not collapse into a heap of dust.

If you’ve been reading these missives a while, you may remember that for many years, I wrote you every single week without fail. I loved doing it, but I was burning out. So then I started taking sabbaticals over the holidays and in the summer, which felt quite scandalous.

Then, this autumn, I made a truly radical decision: instead of writing you each and every week, I would write you when inspiration struck. When I felt like it.

I don’t know if you noticed, but it’s been over a month since my last missive.

And what a month it’s been.

Like so many of you, I held my breath and watched and waited to see if the United States would be a democracy at all after this election.

Like so many of you, I have been unable to stop thinking about what is happening in Iran, how so many brave women are leading one of the most inspiring revolutions in the world.

Like so many of you, I longed to do something brave and worthy and useful, but I also found myself flattened by something as small (yet so relentless!) as Halloween.

On top of all that, the eclipses on October 25th and then again on November 8th left me feeling exhausted. It turns out that many of us are sensitive to these tugs and swells, even if you don’t believe in them.

And now, it feels like for this one minute, I can breathe.

And it’s been a really long time since I’ve felt that way.

So I’m doing it, friends. I’m breathing all the way down to my toes.

I’m being the best tree I know how to be, sinking my roots down into the earth, sucking up nourishing, and drawing great draughts of air down into myself.

What a rare chance.

Rarer even to let ourselves take it.

Soon enough, the swirl of the holidays will be upon us. (Maybe you can already feel it.)

But promise me something. Promise that before you pitch headlong into the next thing, you’ll take the tiniest moment to pause. Take a breath and be here for just a brief moment before the holidays swirl you away into next year.

Here is my suggestion: that you take one evening to be like a mouse in Brambly Hedge. Light a fire in the fireplace, if you have such a thing. Light a whole host of candles or strings of twinkle lights, if not. Make a warm beverage and put on your softest fuzzy pants. Add fuzzy socks. Play peaceful piano music or whatever makes you feel cozy and soft inside.

Then– this is the crucial bit– do nothing.

Stare at the twinkly lights until they blur. Sip your warm beverage. Look around the lovely, safe home that is yours. Snuggle into your own creature comforts. Burrow into your own hidey hole. Just be there for an hour. Keep yourself company in delicious sloth.

Just that.

Will you do that for me?

I will do it too.

We aren’t meant to just go and go and go. Our nervous systems aren’t meant to stay constantly revved.

Naturally, one cozy evening won’t make up for all the going-going-going you’ve done the past few months and years, but it can surely help. It can add at last one little drop of gold back into your heart.

If this feels frivolous and scandalous, inform your inner critic that you are simply activating your underemployed parasympathetic nervous system. This is real: these simple physical cues of low lights, soft music, and a sense of safety can let your nervous system know that at least for this one evening, you are cozy and safe. (This is, as I’m sure you know, wonderfully good for your immune system, your mental health, and your entire body.)

Do not pick your phone. Do not get up and do the dishes.

Just be a quiet animal, resting and existing.

Just make yourself this little cocoon of an evening.

Doesn’t that sound just, just lovely?

Let’s try it.

Just 7 minutes, because you're absurdly busy. 7 minutes to clear your mind and refresh your spirit. 7 minutes to thank your fierce tender holy sacred tired body. 7 minutes that'll leave you centered, grounded, & clear-- like the epic fucking badass you are.

a free grounding meditation

take 7 minutes for your heart

& come home to yourself

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I write things for women with big, gorgeous, COMPLICATED lives. I help women become epic fucking badasses… but I still retain my right to cry at every diaper commercial ever made.

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Sustenance for the journey -- notes from a fellow
traveler to remind you of your own magic.