Hola gorgeous Goddess!

This year, I’m participating in Reverb10. I’m also one of the contributing authors for it. Reverb10 is a writing project for each day of December & reflects on 2010 & manifests for 2011. I’ll be playing along when I can + also filling up pages of my workbook. (Which reminds me! Photos of that to come! Hurrah!)

But for now…

December 1: One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

Each year, I choose a theme for my year. In 2009, my word was Faith. Many times over that year, I lost my faith, only to find it again three times as strong. That year, I also became pregnant. When she was born in 2010, my love decided her middle name was Faith. I lost my Faith. I gave birth to Faith.

In the fledgling days of 2010, with a full moon pregnacious belly, I inscribed in my workbook my theme for the year:


I knew the year ahead would be challenging. I knew my initiation into mamahood would not be easy.

My fervent, whispered prayer to myself was:

Please, Great Spirit. Please don’t let me lose my Joy.

I was right. 2010 was hard. Initiation into motherhood was the biggest thing I had ever done. Giving birth was the single most challenging day of my life. Don’t get me wrong – I’d go back into Birth Land, and face those Pain Bears again to find my beloved Ostara. But only for her. Not for me.

In 2010, I lost a lot. I lost my maidenhood. I lost that sweet open-faced innocence. I lost the life that I dearly loved – one filled with creativity and solitude and my beautiful business. I am only now piecing together parts of it back. I lost our home and our city of nine years. I lost a dear friend and an elder and countless more friends in my community. I have grieved, and tumbled. I’ve been shaken up and shook down.

But through it all, I didn’t lose it.
The J word.
My Joy.
Sure, it wasn’t always bubbling at the surface. My sky wasn’t always festooned with FIREWORKS! OF JOY COLOURS! AND GLITTER! SPARKLES!
But I didn’t lose it, never to be found again.
It was always there, waiting for me to find my way home to it.
Waiting for me to reclaim it as my own.

Sitting here, at the end of 2010, as my love & my daughter Ostara Faith slumber in the next room, I can see that now. There is a painting in front of me. My first painting since finishing my birth painting the day before she was born eight months ago. Slowly, slowly, my life is being patched back together. We live in our new home now. A 100 year old cottage that my grandmother used to live in. We live in my tiny hometown in tropical paradise. We left behind a home and a life to find the one we always wanted.

Sometimes, we must go to the big and deep places to claim what is ours. 2010 has taught me this, over and over.

My fervent, whispered prayer to myself for 2011?

Ease. Please, Great Spirit. Please let it be easy. Please let there be flow and gentleness and softness. Please let me be easy on myself. Please let me choose the route of ease wherever I can. Please let me love me, tenderly, joyfully, with ease.

You see, I’ve always loved myself. Self-confidence is not something I have in deficit.
But as for caring for myself? Tending to myself? Mothering myself? Giving myself what I need?
It’s not a dialect I speak with ease.
And that right there? That’s where Unconditional Love lives.

So I’m going on an adventure, dearest.

An adventure of Ease. An adventure in Being Incredibly Kind and Loving to Myself. An exploration of What It Means To Ask For And Give Myself What I Need. To choose, again and again, the path of gently loving myself.

In a year’s time, I will sit down to write to you once again.

Dearest Intrepid Explorers,

Mission was successful.

And it was Easy.

All my love + best travelling wishes,

Goddess Leonie