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Recently, a beloved sister in The Creative Sisterhood shared an article that struck a nerve with many women in the community, including myself. It brought up beliefs around what it means to be successful, the sheer exhaustion of striving, and the glorification of the Type A perfectionist in modern day culture.

Through the sharing of our own experiences, it quickly became clear to all of us that healing is needed around the not-enoughness we often feel as modern day creative women.

But this idea of making peace with mediocre feels half-baked to me.

While it is reclaiming your own sense of well-being as the true measure for a full and happy life, it is still comparing it to the standards of conventional society – deeming it mediocre.

The dictionary definition of mediocre is “of only moderate quality, not very good.”

So if embracing a slow life of tending to your beloved garden, knitting while your cat sits on your lap in the evenings, reading books on the porch at sunset, and working a job that makes you enough money to keep doing all those things that bring you joy…I wouldn’t exactly categorize your life as “of only moderate quality.” I would characterize it was purposeful, sacred, and freaking amazing.

My point is this: what brings you joy and pleasure and purpose is the only thing that really matters.

Where we get tripped up (even me…still) is when we compare it to the stories and images we are presented with on a daily basis with the headline of “wildly successful.”

And I don’t mean to make this all sound so simple.

The transition we are all experiencing (from the linear model of success to a more felt sense of life pleasure) is deeply healing work.

The system of patriarchy that has ruled society for thousands of years tells us that if we follow the straight line that is laid out for us, everything will be ok. Work long hours, keep your head down, don’t make a splash by being too different, and you will be rewarded in the end.

But I am telling you this:

You don’t need to suffer in order to succeed.

You don’t need to keep striving in order to make your dreams happen.

You don’t have to do it all on your own and never ask for help for fear of appearing weak.

You don’t need to hold it all together all the time.

You don’t have to do it the way your mother or father or brother or boss or mentor did it.

If it doesn’t feel good, stop.

You are still incredibly brave and smart and worthy of everything you desire. It is when you remember who you are, your true nature, than all the striving becomes less important.

Because you have found devotion – something far more invigorating than blind ambition.

I want to hear from you:

If you weren’t afraid of what other people would think, say, or do what would you do?

Share in the comments below, sister.

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Read more about my thoughts on a culture of striving and the not-enoughness we all feel.

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Once again, the sun is telling us we are in a time of transition.

A transition from the quiet reflective winter into the quickening energy of spring. The soil is warming, new shoots are bursting through and buds are starting to bloom.

This past Monday (the 20th of March), we in the northern hemisphere crossed over the equinox – where both day and night are equal – into Spring.

Spring is a time of childlike wonder – when neither harsh winter or the merciless summer is present. It’s about new life and hope, the planting of seeds and the activation of the fertility cycle.

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This time is associated with the goddess Ostara – the springtime goddess of fertility and rebirth. She is often depicted out in nature (usually with a hare and basket or nest of eggs) and is sometimes pregnant.

Ostara is her Celtic name. Eostre is her Saxon name. This is where the word for the Christian celebration “Easter” came from.

East-er referring to the sun rising in the east – warming of the earth to plant crops and sustain yourself another year.

You can see more depictions of the springtime goddess here.

The Egg Tradition

The coming of spring after the quiet sleep of winter is traditionally associated with fertility and creation of new life. This is physically represented through flowers, seeds, rabbits, and eggs.

Ancient traditions of working with eggs include farmers keeping them in their pockets as they planted new seeds. The tradition of the egg hunt has roots in a playful game of hiding chicken eggs all around the village. If you found one, it was good luck for an abundant year with a bountiful harvest.

Rituals for Transitioning into Spring

Transitioning into spring can feel emotionally heavy as well. When you are moving from the innerworld of winter towards the outerworld of the new season, so much needs to be shed and honored before the energy and life-force of spring can feel really good in your body.

This is where ritual comes in.

Ritual helps you ground into what you’re feeling (the shedding of thick sadness, increased energy that feels overwhelming, etc) to move you into the new energy with grace and sustained energy.

A springtime ritual can be anything that honors your emotions and helps to gently move you through the transition to spring.

A ritual I’ve done in the past has been a springtime cleanse of my body – moving to more greens and bitter vegetables to cleanse my liver and move my blood after the stagnancy of winter.

Another ritual I love doing during the spring is naturally dying eggs with elements from nature. I show you how I do it here.

I place these dyed and decorated eggs in baskets around the house and on my altar space to welcome in the energy of new life and rebirth in my own life and in the soil beneath me.


This year, I’ve been getting really into making egg candles out of beeswax. Here is the mold I got off amazon (grease with coconut oil first!) and, if you want the candles without having to make them, this etsy seller has beautiful eggs straight from the beekeeper in Ohio.

Once I have my egg candle, I follow the ancestral tradition of carving intentions into the candle before burning. This can be actual words or images. These intentions serve as the metaphorical seeds I’m planting for this season of growth. I place the egg on my altar (or kitchen table at meal time) and burn it with love and hope in my heart.

Spring Herbal Floor Wash

A new ritual I’ve come to love to welcome in the newness of spring to your home space is giving my floors an herbal floor wash.

Rather than tune into the perfectionism focused cleanliness that can come up around “spring cleaning”, this herb infused floor wash is about bringing intention to clearing out the stagnant energy of winter in your space and welcoming in the freshness of spring.

 

You’ll need:

  • Fresh rosemary
  • Lemon essential oil (optional)
  • Quartz crystal (optional)
  • Large bucket
  • Mop

Heat water on the stove until it’s just boiling. Fill your bucket with torn pieces of rosemary (tearing it releases the oils) and pour the hot water over it. Add in a few drops of the essential oil if you so desire and drop in the crystal if you have it on hand.

Cover the bucket with a cloth and let the herbs steep and marry for at least 30 minutes. Once steeped, remove the cloth and carefully (with gloves if it’s still really hot!) remove the herbs and crystal.

Carry your bucket and mop into a room and, before beginning, take a moment to breathe deep, close your eyes, and think about what you want to feel when you step into this room once you’ve completed washing the floors. Examples could be: fresh, sparkling, peaceful, joyous, excited, crisp, and inspired.

When you’re ready, dip your mop into bucket and thoughtfully wash your floor.

Once complete, walk way to let the floor dry naturally and enjoy the new spring energy of your room.

I’d love to hear from you!

How do you plan to welcome in spring over these next few weeks? Have you tried a magical floor wash or plan to now?

Share in the comments below.

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Read more about creative rituals you can do to welcome spring in your home and your heart, including a magical floor wash I'm currently obsessed with!

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Today, I’m writing you with a tender heart and an aching womb – having just experienced the loss of my first pregnancy.

Being someone who encourages creative expression and copes better in the presence of community and a feeling of belonging, I’ve been gently encouraging myself to express the feelings, words, and sounds that are moving through me during this intense and deeply potent moment in time.

Tuesday morning, I woke up with a poem on my heart which I’ve shared below.

I share it for me – so you can see me, in all my grief and pain and simultaneous joy.

I also share this for all the “me too’s” out there I’ve been receiving over the past several days. To further weave the fabric of sisterhood and unite women in their untold stories of what it means to walk this earth with a womb space.

Thank you for witnessing me, sister.

You came to me in a meditation
3 years ago ⠀

A sweet cherub faced little boy
bounding through the front door
holding your father’s hand so tightly
It felt so deeply right to hold you in my arms.⠀

I’d see you – at the library or coffee shop
My heart would burst with love
knowing you were near and excited to enter our lives⠀

A week after your spirit entered my body
I dreamt of giving birth to you
alone in a bathtub
you were enormous
and I felt a love so powerful
I lost my breath for a moment⠀

For 7 weeks, we communed
we were finally together⠀

5 days ago
I heard your heart beating
I could hardly believe it – 2 beating hearts in one body!⠀

We shared the news with your grandparents, aunts and uncles
Tears flowed – you were coming⠀

The moon rose full and bright that night
Something shifted in me
pain
concern
knowing….⠀

You weren’t staying
This wasn’t your time
to join us earthside ⠀

All the joy, the initiation, the unity of our souls in divine love
had reached completion⠀

You left
and the heart stopped beating ⠀

I knew
But we needed to hear it from the radiologist
spontaneous abortion ⠀

My body had begun passing what was left of you⠀

All night I moaned
clutching the hot water bottle to me
as my womb contracted
and the pieces flowed out of me⠀

Each time, humbling me
like little pearls⠀

A glimpse of the miracle of a woman’s womb⠀

The grief – a fog lifting and lowering within the hour
mourning what could have been

and⠀

I’m free⠀

To create again
as a new woman
part maiden
part mother⠀

Thank you, my darling⠀

I release you with a tender
and hopeful heart⠀

– Becca Piastrelli, March 2017

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a poem to honor my miscarriage

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I have found that, whenever I talk about my personal journey into self-love and adorning myself with clothing and accessories that make me feel like a walking work of art, I get a lot of feedback from women wanting to dive deeper into that.

They tell me they want to walk boldly in the world – feeling beautiful and confident in who they are and how they look.

Me – feeling myself and telling the world.

But so much can get in the way of that: feeling like your body isn’t where you want it to be, not knowing what your personal style is, not feeling confident to wear that red lip or face paint or bright top, or having to combat the voice of your inner mean girl telling you nasty things day in and day out.

I totally get it, because I’ve dealt (and still deal) with all of those and more. And so has my dear friend, Aussie personal stylist and life coach Shelley Cohen.

I first met Shelley a few years ago over a girls brunch (followed by an afternoon spa session where we got real close, real quick in the steam room) and I immediately fell in love with how authentic and real this fashion and beauty girl was.

She shared with me her philosophy about how style is a portal into self-care and self-love and I was like preach, sister!

Shelley has helped me tremendously in helping me express the many sides of me – the ancient wise woman, the moon goddess, the girl boss, the wife and lover, the fitness girl, etc. She truly sees me for who I am and has encouraged me to adorn myself in a way that feels so good and not copying any sort of trend that has made me feel stifled in the past.

Shelley and I sat down for a fun little chat about style, adornment, self-love, the damaging effect the beauty and media industry has on little girls’ sense of self-worth, our own stories of struggle, and so much more.

Some snippets of what we talked about:

6:40 Comparisonitis and the manipulation of the beauty and advertising industry to make us feel like crap about ourselves.

8:25 The single most important question you can ask yourself to help you with getting ready in the morning.

11:15 Giving yourself permission to play your range in the expression of who you are and not feel pressured to be put in a box.

14:05 Our experiences with body and style as little girls, including some really vulnerable and painful moments.

23:30 Our love for the word “adornment” and how beauty rituals were practiced by women for thousands of years as a way of embodying the goddess within.

29:00 Shelley’s recommended rituals for self-love and stamping out your inner mean girl.

40:00  Our tips for bringing out your inner goddess in your adornment and style.

Here’s the face paint pen Becca’s been using.

Join Shelley’s free Closet Cleanse HERE >>

Shelley and I want to hear from you!

What are some your takeaways from our conversation? How are you going to apply what we discussed to your own personal style and adornment rituals?

Leave a comment below.

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Check out this video interview with personal stylist Shelley Cohen about expressing your authentic, adorned self.

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It’s OK to desire protection of your most sacred work.

A few weeks ago, a sister in the creative sisterhood posted a brief article from Austin Kleon talking about appointing a guardian spirit to his beloved journal – to watch over things and keep his ideas sacred.

Austin ended up choosing Emily Dickinson to be the latest guardian of his words, with this inscription, “In this short life that only lasts an hour. How much – how little – is within our power.”

So many of us in our sisterhood immediately took to this idea – connecting to a person (living or dead) that we really resonated with and assign them the sacred task of watching over our creative work. We didn’t restrict this to journals – a florist in our group chose someone to watch over her studio.

I chose one to watch over my hands (my most beloved and precious tool of my creative life).

That creative spirit guardian is Frida Kahlo.

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Frida stepped into my world (and my dreams!) to become my creative muse over the past year. I’ve been so enamored with her bold, authentic expression of her artistry – even if it made some people uncomfortable. She lived life passionately, and believed in truth about all else.

You deserve the best, the very best, because you are one of the few people in this lousy world who are honest to themselves, and that is the only thing that really counts. – Frida Kahlo

As someone who spent a good portion of my life shrinking myself down to be more palatable and acceptable to other people’s definition of good, Frida serves as a spirit guide for the greatest expression of ME.

To call her spirit more into my life, I dressed as her for Halloween.

So now I ask you – who can be your creative spirit guardian? Who can watch over your paint brushes, your laptop, your journals, and your heart when you dream?

There are no rules here, so go with who comes to you first. Then, find a way to honor them.

Print a photo, record a quote, place their name on your fridge or sacred altar. Ask them for guidance when you need it. To move through writer’s block or self-doubt. To protect your heart as you share a tender piece of yourself that needs expressing. To keep you focused as you are in the final steps of finishing a project.

You don’t have to go at this alone, sister. Invite into the process those who inspire you most.

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It’s OK to desire protection of your most sacred work.

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