Changing Seasons

I am ready to write my story and speak my truth.

I’ve grown spiritually in so many ways over the past three seasons. Here at the harvest the moon, I am feeling truly grateful. I am feeling connected to my eternal nature, and peaceful in my body and breath. I have this deep knowing that I’ve always known was there, but was shadowed by self doubt and judgement.

Since the winter solstice, I have transformed my life. After having worked for years to stay in a marriage that I felt spiritually trapped in, I took the bravest leap I could imagine. I left my dream home, which I loved and felt was a miraculous reflection of my inner beauty. I left my career, which even though I struggled with limiting factors, I felt as though I was still destined to create radical social change that would impact generations.

For awhile I truly felt like I had to take my life one day at a time, which for me was a foreign concept, as someone who used to get a great sense of accomplishment from my planning my life months and years in advance. I’ve now come to enjoy whatever spontaneity and true free time I can create space for, having faith that divine timing will allow what I most need. I know that I do still gain clarity and peace from making my home beautiful, even though as a single mom without a neat freak hubby, I’m still learning to balance the work load.

Speaking of work, that’s been the biggest conundrum during this transitional phase. I started off excited to see the abundance job listings (compared to Astoria, where I was lucky to see one a week that could be a marginal fit when I was searching…), and I envisioned myself working in City Hall for Commissioner Chloe and feeling truly engaged in local progressive politics, then I pondered other possibilities of city bureaus, then I started to wonder whether I would be a better fit with an environmental nonprofit, and I longed to feel the same passion I did early in my career. Most of all, I wanted and still want to feel connected to larger movement of social change.

In my process of looking for meaningful work, I’ve hit up against all sorts of belief systems. Most of all, I realize how entitled I am, but how I still somehow have lacked the confidence to create my own path, and have faith that I’ll be able to create the lifestyle that I desire. I’ve been legitimately overworked, despite being unemployed. I’ve also spent more time on my own healing and self care than I would want to admit to anyone who might judge me.

I’ve come to see how my own inner critic has a deep intolerance for selfish righteousness and judgement. Yet, I know that I have attracted people into my life to help me see, feel and understand the need for true acceptance and sharing of unconditional love. My children teach this to me every day, especially lately with all the Kindergarten tantrums, and back-to-school bumps. Giving grace, and learning from teachable moments is the best any of us can do.

When I restarted counseling again, I figured that it would help with the ongoing stress of moving and divorcing, which both required more energy and stamina than I ever thought possible. I knew it would be helpful to talk through my frustrations with setting new co-parenting boundaries. Yet, what I didn’t expect was how much I would grow through talking about my relationship with my identical twin sister, Miel and our Mom.

The end result was coming to a full awareness of just how much I have sought her/their approval to live my life. I now just how comfortable and safe I’ve made myself. First living in her shadow, and my mom’s, then Kevin’s, and now my kids’. Don’t get me wrong, my life has been brilliant and beautiful on so many levels, and I’ve enjoyed sharing our light. I’ve blossomed when I’ve felt praised, but I’ve also shrunk with every little moment of perceived judgment or shame.

I’ve also had a deep feeling of not being good enough, of feeling less than. Growing up, Miel and I were constantly compared. I understand the natural tendency, and with the exception of feeling bullied for being accident prone, I know no one ever intentionally wanted me to feel inferior. It just happened to be that the most notable differences between us made Miel more aligned with our Mom’s positive attributes, and I was decidedly more like my father, who our Mom rejected. While she tired to hide her disdain, we still knew that she didn’t want to be with him, which was enough to make me feel much less than.

For better and worse, I was good at overcompensating, trying to prove myself. On the surface I was successful, and for the most part I was even happy, earning satisfaction from their praise. Yet, as I as finally grown up, here at middle age. I can see clearly just how much Miel and Kevin have the same qualities that I admire, but that I am indeed not them.

On the night that Miel gave birth to her second son, Ellis, who is named after our grandfather and born on Teagan’s fifth birthday, I cried and cried. They were mostly tears of joy and wonder at the mystery of life. They were also tears of deep surrender and acceptance. Knowing that I need to let go of my attachment to her, my soul mate, in order to gain my sovereignty. I need to shine my own light, before we will be able to be truly shine together.

Now nearing a thousand words, which is my own self-imposed word count, my story is to-be-continued. I will simply leave with the cliffhanger…I know my destiny is to inspire and heal through my words, and I am forever grateful for this journey together.

Peace,

Darcy Rose

Oregon Country Fair: I’m not ready to “run” after all

I learned to read from Connie Bender in 2000. Reading from the day of the Portland mini forum.

Dear Fair Family,

It’s with mixed feelings that I have decided that I’m not ready to “run” after all (see backstory below…). At the candidates’ forum I shared the obvious fact that my kids (now nearly 13, 10 and 5) require too much of my energy to have enough to truly be able to serve. Yet, upon deeper reflection, my decision comes just as much my need to live my dharma, and not get swept up into the drama of Fair politics.

The current management and governance are clearly a clusterfuck that reflects the flailing patriarchy. Despite the best intentions, the Fair does not currently have leadership that can ensure the organization, and our unique/diverse family values, will be able to thrive for the next 50 years. While I have a passionate vision for what kind of Fair I want my grandchildren to be able to experience, the truth is that the organization needs to focus on creating a thriving egalitarian structure for our community, before we can really focus on sustainability for our beloved environment.

With that conclusion, I still want to do whatever I can to positively influence this critical vote and to stay engaged. So, I would like to use my “platform” to publicly share who I will vote for, and why.  At the mini forum the point was also made that by so many people on the ballot that it would be most helpful for candidates to collectively recommend a slate of board members to vote for (and why), so that once “we” were elected “we’d” be able to actually work together. So, when I woke up in the middle of the night wondering why I somehow had thought that serving on the board was a good idea, I decided to write to my fellow board candidates to ask them who/why they plan to vote for, and why they should get my undecided votes. Based on their responses, and five days of reflection, I’ve finally decided who I’m going to vote for. With 17 candidates and six open positions, it hasn’t been an easy decision process, and in the end, it’s a personal choice based on gut instinct. I believe there are no “right” answers, but given recent controversy, it is imperative that this new board be able to truly lead the Fair out of the past patriarchal politics, and into a bright and sustainable new age.

Before I share who I am going to vote for (and who I hope you will give real consideration), I want to recognize that it does take a lot to put yourself “out there” as a candidates, and I deeply appreciate the volunteer work that everyone has and will contribute to Fair. So, I’m going to share my favorite quotes from their candidate statements, and I loved the fact that every one of these quotes genuinely resonate with me. Regardless of whether I can vote for everyone, I am happy to be Fair Family. 

  • Aaron Kenton – “We need transparency in and knowledge of the skills represented by our governing body.”
  • Ann Bennett Rogers – “We need to support recycling and ”pack-it-in/pack-it-out” for all our activities. We need to look at food vouchers and volunteer appreciation considerations.”
  • Cynthia Peachey – “I hold the core values of collaborative relationship, radical tolerance and pragmatic idealism. In this chaotic world, treating each other with compassionate excellence is a revolutionary act. We are needed to shine this light for those around us.”
  • Ellen Singer – “I consider the Fair’s role as a loving and mutually supportive community at least as important as our main event. I’m committed to environmental awareness and stewardship.”
  • Etienne M. Smith – “We are an alternative progressive community who knows that change starts with the individual to the greater community/nation. If energy is an issue, then lets work on reducing ‘our’ footprint.”
  • Jack Makarchuk – “Let’s focus on what makes us strong: reverence for the land, celebrating artfully, and working together to provide an educational experience for our patrons. Outward looking and knowledgeable leadership as well as new voices willing to serve are both critical. Our future is in the hands of all generations working together. We are all teachers and can learn from each other.”
  • Jon Steinhart – “The Fair needs a Board of Directors, not a collection of micromanagers. The Board needs to provide vision, direction, and oversight; it shouldn’t just delegate its responsibilities. A good General Manager is needed, and needs to be supported. We need to model the behavior that we want to see in the outside world. This includes treating our volunteers well; they make this event possible.”
  • Komo F. D. Gustafson III – “These issues, and others, make it abundantly clear that now is the time, more than ever, to focus on solutions and healing. Something I feel we can accomplish, as a family.”
  • Lily Harmon-Gross – “Accountability and integrity are crucial to ensuring our vision lives on for 50 more years. I believe in the Oregon Country Fair and its values. We are family – a dynamic group of people who can work together to resolve our differences and preserve our ideals.”
  • Lisa Parker – “Priority areas include what we want our leadership structure to look like, how best to function as transparently and equitably as possible, how best to manage our growth, and how we will sustain our longevity, as well as things like amplified sound and quiet zones, providing optimal infrastructure to support the work of our volunteers, dealing with our garbage, promoting inclusion and diversity, taking care of the land, being good neighbors, and retaining the core values that we were founded upon while simultaneously embracing change and looking forward into the future.”
  • Lucy Kingsley – “At its heart, the Oregon Country Fair is a philanthropic organization dedicated to fundraising for local community programs supporting basic needs, the arts and social change. We raise these funds by throwing a world class 3 day artisan, food and performance festival. A prime directive for this market place is that the seller of the craft is the maker of the craft. This is an economic as well as a political act.”
  • Shelley Devine – “ It is time to come home to our roots, our family tree, while simultaneously blazing the trail ahead into the future. We are at the crossroads. It serves us to look back and remember that which honors the original and radical impulse that started this. It is imperative that we look forward and envision where we are headed.”
  • Spirit Leatherwood – “Our community is the heart of who we are and what makes us unique. We should hold this close; relying on our core values as our strength. During this political climate, we need to model change, holding inclusiveness and transparency as the cornerstones of trust.”
  • Sue Theolass – “There is a sustaining, transformative, magical energy inherent in what we do far beyond the three-day event. It manifests all through the year in our philanthropy and our programs. What we do together can change the world for the better for us and future generations.”
  • Chewie Burgess – (Write in Candidate) “Now, as we continue our journey forward, yet again we need to facilitate significant change….I feel that with your support and constructive input together we can take back control of OUR Fair through not only implementing but following functional policy for the positive change WE want and need.”

Lastly, I want to say that I respect the commitment and unpaid volunteer work that is required to serve on the Board of Directors, I want to give my sincere appreciation for all the candidates, and our entire Fair Family. 🙂

Peace and Love Always,

Darcy Rose

Reading from the day of the Candidate’s Forum

Backstory

I had given a lot of thought to serving on the Oregon Country Fair Board of Directors, and how, after more organizational strife than I’m even aware of, the Board could use some new and younger blood to help us transform into the sustainable and benevolent organization that I believe we all desire.

Yet, I now realize that I was too hasty to offer my service. Mostly because my kids are too young still, especially as a newly single mom. I started having serious second thoughts when the first mini forum in Portland was scheduled for after school on a Friday afternoon. My Kindergartener, Teagan, had an epic screaming meltdown when she found out we were going to an adult happy hour instead of the park to see the swifts, as we had planned. Usually my kids are game for hanging out in pubs, but her fit made me wonder whether she would even pull it together to be able to go (thankfully, once her brain starts to function again, she’s always very sweet and apologetic, even if it leaves me feeling depleted). But once we got there, after about fifteen minutes of coloring, I started to get “love notes” asking how long we would be talking and WHY? So, I plied them with cookies and chips. The whole scene brought back childhood memories of our father, Wally, dragging us to Hoedad meetings, and a few Fair board meetings (he ran one year when politics were maybe even more contentious), and us wondering how they could possibly talk so much. On occasion I wondered if he cared as much about us. I know now that he absolutely did, and as an adult I can see how you can feel torn between important causes and impatient kids. It turned out that I let the girls have my laptop until the battery drained and then my phone, hoping that it would last until the end of the very engaging conversation. By the end of the three hour conversation, I was drained, and barely had enough energy to get soup/salad at the deli and tuck the girls into bed. I felt guilty for not wanting to read, which I usually love, and that’s when I seriously started to question myself. My kids LOVE the Fair, and I wouldn’t want them to resent the time/energy that serving on the Board would require. So, even though it means missing out serving during this critical phase, I am choosing to have faith that the new board will be able to serve with as much passion, integrity and creativity as I would have hoped to give. 

Dear Fair Family,

Dear Fair Family,

As I shared briefly in my 300 word candidate statement, I’m a country fair baby whose father played music with friends in 1969. Now each July, I water the sapling at main stage where I scattered his ashes, while noticing how much all of the trees have grown. I am still in awe of Wally’s Way, of the beautiful family he helped co-create, and I want to do more to honor his playful spirit for kids of all ages.

Fair isn’t just in my blood, it’s in my spirit. I started volunteering the year before the teen crew began, advocating for our right to volunteer. Now my eldest babe will serve on the teen crew next summer (after four years of baking cookies at Phoenix Rising :-).

This summer I’ve felt like a phoenix who is about to rise, after leaving a marriage that didn’t support my involvement in Fair or any real form of self care/expression. During the whole intense eclipse season, I’ve mediated on the question, “How can I best serve my family, the Fair Family/community, and Mama Earth?”

Growing up I always thought that I would someday be part of Fair’s community leadership, even though both parents warned me of the politics. Yet, I felt that someday my skills would be needed. I believe that time is now, especially after the last eclipse made me realize that I have nothing to loose and everything to gain.

I have three main inspirations for running/serving on the Oregon Country Fair board:

  1. Radically shift the leadership toward feminine empowerment – As I first began to question how I could serve the Fair Family, I dwelled a great deal on the shadow issue of entitlement. I don’t want you to vote for me because of who my father was or who my mother wants me to be. For better and worse, the Oregon Country Fair is a severely nepotistic organization, and I don’t want to perpetuate that norm. Despite our best intentions, the patriarchy is engrained in our organizational politics. I don’t know how exactly I can be part of this radical, but necessary shift, but I do know that I care more about fellow volunteers, and benefiting future generations, than about my own ego. I want to lead with an open heart and find creative new ways to live our ethos, collaborate and share our family values.
  2. Work to become a carbon neutral gathering by 2022 – (It’s now or never, people…we don’t have a decade to wait). I initially wanted to set the goal of 2020, but even I know that would be way too hard to accomplish. The truth is that for as much as we have done to focus on sustainability, we still need to do more. It’s likely that we’ll need to offset some of our impacts, but wouldn’t it be amazing to have forests and solar fields inspired by our family all over the state?! More than anything, we need to demonstrate to the rest of the world that it’s possible.

  3. Share our collective story and create a sustaining vision for the next 50 years – I don’t know about you, but I don’t live in a Fair bubble year round. While I do have new neighbors and friends who share a mutual love of our gathering, I’m still surprised by how many otherwise progressive Oregonians have never even heard of the Oregon Country Fair, or perhaps how outdated their impression may be. I truly believe that this next summer, celebrating our 50th, we have a huge opportunity to share our story with the world. Regardless of whether I have the opportunity to serve on the board, I want to be an integral part of creating an amazing celebration that will honor our first generations, while planting seeds of hope for future Fair Family.

Lastly, purely from reading the Fair Family News, I know that behind all the magic there’s been struggle and strife. I’m not going to say or pretend that simply getting some fresh blood on the board is going to fix everything, but I do believe that it would give us a chance to move beyond engrained politics. If given the chance, I would like to lead with laughter and compassion, while being aware of the legacy we are all leaving.

Beyond anything, I hope that publicly sharing my “platform” will help connect me with fellow Fair Family who have similar vision and passion for our eclectic celebration. As the Hopi Nation prayer says, it’s time to gather ourselves and have a good time. 🙂

Peace and Love,

Darcy Rose

Credit to the 2018 Photo Booth team

Saying Goodbye to 2017 and my marriage of 18 years

I literally just said goodbye to Kevin, my husband of 18 years. As much as I still love him, and hope to stay friends of the deepest nature, I need to love myself enough to leave him.

Last year I shared my reflection and intentions for 2017, and determined that it would be a year of “Miracles and Transformation.” I could have never ever predicted just how much that would be true.

In my post about Marriage and Mama Bliss, you didn’t need to read between the lines too much to understand just how ready I was to end my marriage. You could tell just how “done” I was with trying to fix my marriage, which I had struggled in for more years that I care to admit. The truth is that my posts barely skimmed just how much I wanted to shine my light, and how deeply I felt that that I couldn’t become my true/evolved self in my current marriage.

So, after a full year (plus!) of working to empower myself to the point of feeling enough strength and clarity to know that I needed to start 2018 by sending a message to Kevin, my husband of 15 years and life partner for a full 18 years, to let him know that I need to separate. Funny enough, I’ve had a practice that came from one of the first meditation tracks that I ever used regularly of saying “courage in action” to myself whenever I send an important email.

I’m going to keep the details brief and mostly private (I plan to write my midlife memoir this year, but I want there to be some distance before sharing anything potentially sensitive), but essentially after a week of many intense messages/discussions, we have become amicable again and have at least agreed on an initial path forward.

As much as I had tried for so long to hold on to the dream of staying in Astoria, I’ve determined that I need a new version of my dream. As ready as I was to create a new 2.0 vision for Northwest Parenting, I have given verbal notice to Clatsop County. I will be moving back to Portland by the end of the month to start the girls in the new school term. (I’ll be looking for new opportunities and will reach out to my network to help me find the best place to serve).

Naturally, I had first envisioned me leaving with all the kids, but I have agreed that it’s best for Kieran to stay with Kevin until the end of the school year, as he is absorbed in soccer, wrestling and baseball and simply thriving in middle school. It would have been much to quick of a departure for him, and given that it took him a few years to finally “fit in” to Astoria, I think we both owe it to him to let Kieran be the growing boy that he is (at not quite twelve, he’s just outgrown me). Plus, Kieran has skipped a grade level in math and has a very supportive teacher.

The girls, on the other hand, are thrilled be moving to Portland. Makenna will get to celebrate her 9th birthday with friends just before we move, and her only spoken fear is that the boys in her new school will think she’s cute and like her too much (mine too!). By miracle, Teagan is taking the last slot at Aprende Con Amigos, a Spanish immersion preschool just two blocks from our old home (and a mile from my sister’s place, where we will be living). Teagan’s cousin Clark is already learning a ton in the younger classroom, and I can hardly wait to see them bond as the near siblings they were to each other in their first year.

For myself, as surreal as this transition time is, I have felt so much more clarity and strength since pushing the “end” button on my marriage. As huge of a life change as this is for everyone, our family feels resilient and ready for growth. Yesterday we talked with the kids in the morning about our plans to separate, and last night I cooked Kevin his favorite home cooked dish of Italian stuffed shells (now it’s Kieran’s favorite too, and it felt good to put the leftovers in the freezer for a night when they miss me). Then, after ice cream sundaes, Kevin and I went out one last time to celebrate his birthday. After a week of a great deal of heavy conversations, it felt good to laugh over drinks (while talking about how we have never understood each others’ humor…and how much my first loves made me laugh). Even though we need to end our traditional marriage, it now feels possible for us to be partners in a new and more positive way.

Yet, when we fell asleep together for the last night, I couldn’t help but notice that we both had a very deep and rhythmic breath that was exactly opposite of each other. It felt like a metaphor for our relationship of extreme opposite who attracted, but who can no longer grow into ourselves together. We woke up this morning to do a Deepak/Oprah meditation together, which of all things had an intro that talked about accepting ourselves as radiant beings who are perfect, healthy and whole, just as we are. I believe that our relationship would/could have been very different if we had accepted each other for who we are, rather than trying to change each other, and far too often rejecting and controlling each other. Thankfully, as surreal as it is to end our marriage on such a positive note, I know that I am making the right decision for myself and our family, and even Kevin will flourish from no longer working overtime to try to make me happy. Instead, I believe that we will each thrive by truly loving and accepting ourselves, and supporting each other in healthy ways.

Lastly, I know that not everyone, especially Kevin’s family, may not understand or respect my choices and decision to end our marriage. I hope that time will heal any wounds, for all of us.

Peace and love,

Darcy Rose

2017: A year of Miracles and Transformation

I am so eager for this new year. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so ready to create miracles and transformation in my life. It reminds me of how I felt as I entered the new millennium.

1999 was my senior year of college at the University of Oregon. I had just returned from a year abroad studying in Copenhagen, and I was ready to end my “college career” by living and giving it my all. I felt as though I was really coming into adulthood and ready to take complete responsibility for the trajectory of my life. I had figured out credit-wise how I could double major in Environmental Studies and International Studies, earn a minor in Scandinavian Studies, plus take a leadership course, ballroom dance, and two terms of yoga. I also had my dream job of working for the UO Outdoor Program, where I was the Environmental Coordinator and planned outdoor trips, lectures and services projects. And if that wasn’t enough I was accepted in the Greenhouse Network program to become trained to serve on a national speakers bureau (and in the spring spoke on three college campuses). I didn’t own a car and biked every day, meditating while cycling along the river.

With my spare time, I decided to volunteer for the Sustainable Business Symposium as the volunteer coordinator. This happened to be where I would meet my husband, Kevin. Without going into that whole how-we-met story, the pending Y2k felt like a huge time in my life, especially as I started a new relationship that I quickly felt would “be the one.” Plus my Grandma passed away over winter break, which is enough to make anyone want to make the most of their life. (On break I had shared with my incredulous family who ask “What are you going to do with that degree?!” that I would work for a nonprofit doing climate change activism in Portland…it was no accident that exactly what I did weeks after graduating).

My life was happening at a breakneck pace, and yet I felt in utter control of creating my own success. My youthful energy was overflowing with confidence, pheromones, and a feeling of buoyancy. Yet, more than all the rushing endorphins, I felt a need to listen to my calling and commit myself to practices that would make it possible for me to be a leader in slowing global warming. On the eve of Y2K I made three commitments that would forever alter the direction of my life.

  1. I decided that it was time for me to quit smoking marijuana. In high school, where pot was easier to get a hold of than alcohol, I had become an almost daily smoker: wanting to escape, find/express myself, and simply laugh at my adolescent life. After a year abroad to Denmark where I felt higher on life than ever before, but hadn’t smoked a single time, I began college committed to not being a smoker. But then when I returned to Denmark for my junior year that spring I made three best friends, and after the funnest week you can imagine in Amsterdam, I was convinced that life was just more joyful when you let yourself get high. Yet, even with everything that I had going for me that fall, I started to slip into the habit of smoking by myself, and as fun as it felt to get high and not take everything in my life so seriously, I also had this very deep feeling that if I continued to smoke that I would fail to accomplish my utopic dreams. I had also started to date Kevin, who I was convinced I would marry. Even though he had tried some bad Pennsylvania pot a few times, he made it very clear that he wanted to nothing to do with marijuana.
  2. I committed myself to learning/practicing yoga and tarot. When I was choosing my courses for my last year of college, I made the fateful decision to take two terms of yoga classes. The first was an intro to hatha yoga and then an intro to a more advanced kundalini yoga. I had never taken a single class or known anyone who had. Believe it or not, in the last millennium there weren’t yoga studios scattered all over the west coast and any yoga clothes were mail ordered from Gaiam. In the spring I also jumped at the opportunity to take a community tarot class led by Connie Bender, a mystic who read tarot at the Eugene Saturday Market and the Oregon Country Fair. I had done my first reading at a coffee shop when I was twenty and with my first Empress card, I was blown away by the truth that it revealed in my life. Then my Danish host mom let me borrow her deck, and I was hooked on reading as a spiritual practice to help me manifest my highest potential.
  3. I committed to sharing my love with patience and persistence. With a five week fresh relationship, where we had just consummated relationship on an UO Outdoor Program cross country skiing for a weekend at Sun River, I was ready to commit to taking our relationship as deep and far as I could. After having fallen completely in love my first year abroad in Denmark and dating another Dane my freshman term of college, the rest of my college romances were less than a month (with the exception of a secret crush on my neighbor/masseur…who I occasionally still fantasize about). I was frankly ready for love and willing to do whatever it took to make our relationship last. Thankfully, we really were meant to be (I gotten an astrological reading two years prior that foresaw that I would meet my lifelong partner the exact week I met Kevin…plus we actually first met at Cosmic Pizza). Even though our love story felt kismet, Kevin happened to turn 30 in early January and went through a mini midlife crisis where he tried his best to push me away. We didn’t know where life/work would take me, and he was convinced that I wasn’t really ready to settle down. My patience and persistence paid off, and by June we were apartment hunting in Portland, right after we both landed jobs in our field within a week of each other.

So, with my first thousand words of the year already written, I am recommitting to taking those same actions all over again. I’ll need another post to what I think that means and a whole year to make that happen. I look forward to sharing my year of miracles and transformation. 🙂

Peace and love and light to you in 2017!

Darcy Rose

The Best Day of My Life

Theme Song B.C. – The Best Day of My Life

Our family adopted The Best Day of My Life as our family theme song, while on a road trip on Vancouver Island British Columbia. 

Traveling from Portland, Oregon. We ventured as a family of with a less than one year old, five and eight year old on a two week trek all across Vancouver Island. It was stunningly beautiful and mostly very fun and easy.

The trip was fun of fairy adventure, and we initially took a fairy from Port Angeles to Victoria, then another fairy to Mayne Island for a night at our family friend's rustic cabin (One of the few melt downs of the trip was because the kids were so sad to leave the island so quickly. We had to agree that it felt too rushed, but we had reservations to keep and a full two week trip planned, so we simply had to pack up and head out. Next, we camped with three Canadian families for three nights in Parksville at Rathtrevor Provincial Park. It was really beautiful park with amazing bay and tide that shifted more dramatically than I had ever experienced. You could walk for an hour out to the sea and by high tide, the whole bay would be engulfed by a huge shallow body of water. There were son on sand dollars and we made ourselves quite the picnic. 

Darcy’s 2015 Reflection

I’ve been MIA on this blog and nearly abandoned my coaching in the midst of my family’s recent move to Astoria, Oregon. But it’s still not too late to reflect, especially on the eve of the New Year. I could keep this reflection private, but for me making a post “live” makes my reflection feel real, not just like an inner musing.

Despite my hundreds of “personal” blog posts, I’ve still been reluctant to expose my vulnerabilities, despite being a huge Brene Brown fan. I am ready to finally “reveal all” in 2016, so what better way than to reflect authentically about 2015.

I’m also inspired by a recent Flowdream podcast that I listened to about completing the energies we’ve experienced/created. It especially reminded me that I’m not the only one who has misgivings as the year’s close about what was left undone in 2015.

So, part of this reflection is from questions that Summer poses in the podcast, plus questions from a personal growth group for women that I’ve loved participating in since July (contact me if you’re interested in learning more). Lastly, before I dive into these very personal questions, I would encourage you to “coach yourself” by answering similarly deep questions as we close this calendar year.

Completing & Remembering 2015

What was your biggest triumph in 2015?

My biggest triumph by far has been manifesting our dream home and community. If you would have shown me just last year what my day/life today would have looked like, filled with such amazing beauty, I would have been both giddy and completely incredulous. It wouldn’t have seemed possible, and in this past year I’ve begun to grasp just how truly infinite my/our possibilities truly are each and every day, and year.

I’ve already written a long post about manifesting my dream home on my finance blog, but it really does feel like a triumph. Probably the biggest yet, after birthing my three beautiful children.

What was the best decision you made in 2015?
Without a doubt, the best decision I made in 2015 was moving to Astoria, Oregon. Yet, I know that my desires really determined my life, not my decisions only. Decisions are practical and necessary, but without the initial spark of inspiration or vivid day dream, I would not serve as the true creator of my life.

What one word best sums up and describes your 2015 experience?
Intensely beautiful. (Sorry, I need a descriptor).

What was the greatest lesson you learned in 2015?

It feels like I learned many lessons this year. Once again, I’m reminded that my family is my most important job. And

I’ve learned that I’m not always as good of a communicator as I wish I were (learning to communicate what I want, not expecting other to intuit), that I have to be brave to share my story, and my family is my most important job.

What was the most loving service you performed in 2015?

  1. Caring for my children. Being present for them. Showing them empathy.
  2. Serving as a member of Portland Pearl Rotary, Rotary International, and now in Astoria Rotary Club.
  3. Lending in my Kiva Experiment. In the past three years, I’ve an initial $1k into over $7k worth of loans to fellow entrepreneurs in the developing world. Yesterday I lent another two $100 loans with the help of my 9.11 year, Big Guy, and 6.11 year old, Girly.  They were very interested in reviewing the loan repayment terms, and checking to make sure it seems like a worthwhile “investment.” Post to come soon…

What is your biggest piece of “unfinished business” from 2015?

In order to focus all my energy on manifesting my fairy tale home, I essentially put my coaching and blogging on hold. Last year this time I was planning my first Mama Bliss Beach Retreats, leading group coaching sessions, and discovering my niche. Now, a year later, I’m again left wondering how much I really want to coach at this moment. I’m feeling more inspired to share my story.

What are you most happy about completing in 2015?
Manifesting our home really is a dream come true, and then settling in has been it’s own creative endeavor. I feel overjoyed by the beauty that surrounds me, knowing that I’ve created it and will continue to curate my living space. The best part is the amazing view and how much more connected to nature I feel from this vantage. Despite the work of a historic home like ours, it bring me immense joy to live here.

What 3 people had the greatest impact on your life in 2015?

My identical twin sister, Miel, will always have the most impact on my life. We are spiritually interconnected in a way that few know. We inspire each other to dream bigger and bigger.

Lou Radja continues to the most amazing life coach an aspiring  dreamer could ever hope to ask for. Our insightful sessions leave me feeling both grounded and inspired. His authentic and joyful courage is contagious.

I deeply appreciate all the new “Mamas/Sisters” I’ve had the privilege to connect with this year. I’m inspired by our friendship and kindred connection. You know who you are. 😉

Kevin gets his own reflection. 🙂

What is the biggest risk you took in 2015?

Some people might think that moving to Astoria was our biggest risk, but the truth is that my/our biggest risk was actually deciding to put our Portland house on the market months before we ever contemplating moving westward. We couldn’t remotely afford the type of house we were dreaming of, and yet we worked our asses off and went out on a limb to put our place on a sizzling hot market. We even got so close that we bid on a beautiful Irvington home just weeks before Kevin’s job offer, but even that would have been a big financial risk. We were trusting/banking on our future, which takes a big leap of faith.

What was your biggest surprise in 2015?

This is actually both a surprise and a secret that only two people know.*

I felt fleetingly but seriously attracted to someone other than Kevin, enough so to make me rethink and question our relationship. In our fifteen years together I had honestly never had that feeling, and it shook me the core. It feels appalling to have even considered such an idea now, but for a brief time I was in love with the idea of my life with someone else. My feelings were so intense, that I fantasized about our life together. I felt suddenly free to be without the drama and petty bickering. It was surreal and yet, as soon as I came to my senses, I felt very lucid in my desire to create deep shifts in our relationship.

Almost like an answered prayer, Kevin and I were able to honestly share with each our needs/frustrations/desires and hear each other in a way that we hadn’t before.

Thankfully, as I sit here reflecting, our marriage feels more rock solid than ever before.

*I usually don’t share such personal things on a blog post that I haven’t told my husband, Kevin, so this will be an especially big surprise to him, if ever reads this. Just I would never want to hurt him, and I feared that.

What important relationship improved most in 2015?
My relationship with my husband, Kevin, has evolved tremendously this year.

After seven years in an organization that was never truly the right fit for him, he had become embittered. Despite his best efforts to be the best Dad and Coach on the planet (which he is 95% of the time), there were times when our family would get the brunt of his stress and OCD tendencies. He would get upset at things that seemed inconsequential to us, but were obviously big trigger issue to him. It was never anything truly physical, but he’d yell and go on a tirade. I had tried to address his temper many times before, but nothing had ever stuck.

So, after dealing with this on and off again for years, I finally decided that I wasn’t going to tolerate it anymore. Yet, the difference was that I focused on transforming myself instead of trying to “fix” him or our relationship. Almost miraculously (after a very effective breakthrough session), I became faaar less reactive and he became less controlling. Although there is naturally room for both of to grow, I can honestly say that we’ve grown infinitely together this year.

What acknowledgement would you like to have received in 2015?

I have to admit to being one of those types who truly appreciates praise. It used to be that I would live for compliments, to please other people. But at this very moment I’m feeling complete knowing that I’m serving my highest intentions.

What acknowledgement would you like to have given in 2015?

I still have a chance, as I reflect and share through this now immensely long post. 😉

Kevin deserves my endless praise for having faith in our lives together and our family. For caring for our beautiful children, diligently reading with Makenna and playing with Teagan.  For his commitment to coaching youth soccer, and love teaching about life through sports. For folding laundry nearly every night and vacuuming before I ever have to ask. But most of all for sharing your equally brilliant and quirky self with me.

What else do you need to do or say to be complete with 2015?

Thank you. Thank you life! I am so wonderously in awe of the life that I’m creating. This year has been nothing short of monumental, and my heart overflows with joy at the fleeting memories that make up my life in 2015.

My only regret is not having taken the time to write more of story and reflect regularly. I’m only human, and hadn’t yet given myself permission to be truly vulnerable. I plan to make up for in spades in 2016, as I share my whole self with the world and truly tap into my highest potential.

Wishing you acceptance, forgiveness and peace in 2015.

Wishing you peace, love and light to you 2016.

Darcy

I’ve felt the Light

Wow. My life feels so surreal right now, but in all the best possible ways.

I began my weekend with an incredible yoga session that included a mini-concert to inspire each breath and every flow. Luke Williams (an adorable rising star…I’m his new deepest fan) made me reflect anew on my overflowing life. It’s pretty incredible, and lately life has been so intense that it’s easy to see why I haven’t managed to write more lately.

Here’s a brief description of what’s been going on our household over just the past week:

  1. Our counters are torn off awaiting a lovely new recycled quartz upgrade exactly like our beach cabins. 🙂
  2. We’ve started to pack our home and are planning to put our place on the market this month.
  3. I’ve had a glorious weekend with grilling, kids’ baseball, gardening/painting, and church with my lovely family.
  4. I reconnected with my dear college friend, Sarah Joy, whose been living in Costa Rica for ten years now working in ecotourism (Plus her adorable parents and our friend, Eli and his expecting wife, Juliana).
  5. We’ve had to hire our handyman Jose so many times that I’ve started to talk religion and relationships.
  6. After fifteen years of marriage, Kevin and I had our first “Come to Jesus” talk. We left feeling a new level of understanding of what we each need at the moment in our relationship.
  7. We’re ready to take our marriage to a higher level. We both deserve the deepest love and respect. It’s time to evolve together, not just support each other.
  8. Makenna lost her second tooth in one week, bought polish for the first time and melted down because she just wanted some snuggie time (after pinching and being darn right mean…aiming for my tender melanoma scar).
  9. Kieran impresses me with his inquisitive nature and deliberate manner. He speaks and appears like someone many years older. He’s somehow both sweetly curious and decisively matter of fact. I think he’ll either be a news broadcaster or politician. (Kevin’s still upset that he got a 1 (of 5) from his teachers…)
  10. Teagan steals my heart with every glance, and makes me glow like no other. Teagan’s emotional intelligence at the age of 20 months surprises most adults. She’s still no doubt a toddler who wants her way, and now.

Oh, and top of all of this very full cup called my life, I’ve felt like the light. The source of life, and recognize my place in this vast universe as my own creator and vessel of God/Light/Love. It’s a beautiful feeling. I can’t help but want to share my radiance in a whole new way.

I realize that I’ve been energetically blocked and am finally ready to not just transform, but transcend. My journey has felt like a roller coaster at times, with setbacks and stagnation at times.  Yet, my life lessons have helped me evolve and grow, and push past my comfort zone. Part of my new found awareness was the feeling of an all encompassing trust that everything is meant to happen as it does/has/will.

I’m ready to reveal my whole self through my writing. One day and post at a time. One talk, one conversation at a time. One breath in each moment. Inspiring one person at a time. As well as a renewing my spirit with each new sunrise by practicing meditation and yoga.

I developed “my passion and purpose” statement in graduate school (Antioch University Seattle), but have never shared it publicly. It suddenly feels like it’s high time:

My purpose is to inspire others by sharing my passion for creating meaningful family values that will make this world a better place. (I.e. foster sustainability and social change)

While it’s already been ten years since I wrote this statement, the only thing I would add is that living like “heaven’s here on Earth” is the surest way to make for a beautiful life. As your own creator, personal transcendence is like the extra cherry on top.

My family fills me great light and deep joy, but only I can create my own bliss. And, if that weren’t enough, I’m the leader I’ve been waiting for, and it’s time to live as the shining star I was created from.

Double wow. I know that’s A LOT to spit out in one blog post, nonetheless digest, but I’m feeling so exhilarated to have articulated what I’ve been feeling under the surface all along. Simply that life is what you make it.

This is enough of an aha for today.

Sweet dreams,

Darcy

Gathering My Tribe

Cape Camping Perpetua Wildflower Bouquet August 2013 Makenna CroninI’m finally ready to start “gathering my tribe.”

I realized that I’ve isolated myself lately. It started with getting dreadfully sick, but even once I was feeling better, it was easier to stay disconnected. It’s all too easy to do in our modern society. You can opt in or out of social media, or maybe lurk on the fringe. You can let friends’ emails get buried and dinner plans go unmade. You can focus more on playdates for your kiddos than on making sacred time for yourself.

I recognize that I’ve feared judgement for marketing myself, even when the services I’m offering my mama community are truly transformational. Since I’m still in the process of learning, I don’t want to over-promise or disappoint. I haven’t want to be pushy. I want to make sure that “I’m ready.”

I feel like a hermit crab who has grown too big for it’s shell. I’m finally ready to jettison my cramped quarters for the life that I’ve been envisioning all along. I’m ready to come into full bloom.

But privately budding out no longer appeals to me. I want to invite a riotous circle of creative mamas to join me on this journey toward discovering our utopia and living our bliss.

So, I’ve created a new Facebook Group dubbed Creative Career Mamas Unite. The name is a meant to be tongue in cheek, but my sincerity is wholehearted. I hope that like the bouquet I posted, it will be an organic expression that brings joy to all who want to seek sisterhood.

We shouldn’t have to go it alone. My plan is to post coaching style questions for you to ponder and share your honest reflections on. I will do everything I can to keep this a fun and civil forum. Since I personally know everyone I’ve invited at this point, I’m confident that it’s already a high caliber bunch of mamas/women.

Thanks for joining my tribe!

Darcy

 

Moving Past Perfectionism

Mindy Gledhill and family

The Gledhill family experiences happy chaos with Mindy’s career. “Our life does not look perfect — neither my husband nor I have done this before and our situation presents challenges,” she says. Mindy’s husband is self-employed, and her extended family also includes entreprenerial sisters such as an art therapist, massage therapist, psychiatrist and photographer. (Photo vyJustin Hackworth)

I’ve just fallen in love the song Whole Wide World, by a beautiful artist named Mindy Gledhill.

To give you some context, I’ve literally been in bed with a severe sinus infection for the past four days. I drug myself to the doctor yesterday (actually my Twin Sis graciously chauffeured me). After a third dreadful night of fevers, the pain is blessedly subsiding and the sun streams in through my bedroom window.

Yet, now that I’m over the hump, I’m feeling vulnerable in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time. Like I can feel my heart opening wider. I’ve been doing some amazing chakra clearing sessions (I’ll share more about this soon), and the last one was about being a perfectionist.

I remember labeling myself as a perfectionist sometime in junior high and thinking it was a good thing. I’ve been working to break this insane habit since first job out of college, focusing on doing my very best and forgiving myself when I fall short. I try to remind myself that my own standard is sometimes unattainable and that I’m only ever doing my best (keeping faith that everything happens in it’s right time). Yet, that’s easier said than done.

Going through the tapping, I realized that perfectionism is still limiting me in my business growth. I stop myself from blogging because I’ve haven’t managed to write the last five…ok twenty-five…ideas that I’ve thought of but haven’t had the focus/stamina to post. Each post ends up taking way longer than I thought it would…as I over-edit every word. Every time I don’t meet my own expectations I end up reading myself a silent riot act. Then I feel ashamed and unworthy deep down, even if I’m consciously feeling just fine. I’m learning that it’s the subtle acts of sabotage that keep us stuck, and I’m finally ready to break through these ridiculous energy blocks.

So, I’ve finally come up with two simple strategies (which have to do with my calendar and a stop watch), but I’m not going to share the specifics until I’ve tried it out for at least a month…

In the mean time, expect to share hearing much more from me. Hears some inspiration to get us started:

Mindy Gledhill – Whole Wide World (Official Video)

Lastly, I found this song on the website of Shannon Mae a photographer we’re planning to hire out at the beach. We actually had a session scheduled for tomorrow (in the glorious winter sunshine!), but alas my family is out at the beach without me. And yes, I am grateful for this time to heal, reflect and grow.

How does perfection limit your whole wide world?

Darcy

PS My less than perfect website is actually what’s been plaguing me since I launched in a rush to meet my own unrealistic deadline, thankfully my social media/web buddy Eli Madrone has been helping me tweak it toward pseudo-perfection. 😉