What support can look like in the midst of a pandemic.

Today I wanna talk about support. support comes in many forms. From people you’ve known and loved for years, from a smile of a stranger in the grocery store who has no idea how much you needed that. And from people you’ve never met that shine a light on you every.single.day.  

For me, my mandala group is support from people I’ve never met (in person) that shine light on me every single day.  Before I talk about my mandala group, Let’s go back to mid March of this year. We were all on the same train of thought, around the world, potentially for the first time in eons. A pandemic. Our health.

I remember sitting on the dunes of Lake Michigan near south haven, Michigan with a friend. March 14. I had a staff meeting the day before and we decided to shut down the school that I teach at, for the time being.  I got to finish my last day of AP1(March 14) and as a reward, I went to the beach with a friend.

I remember sitting there, crying, and being held, and saying, “I feel like I’m about to go deep.  Like, deeper than I ever have before.”  

I didn’t know what was in store, none of us did.  I just all of a sudden had all the space in the entire world. No plans, no deadlines, no commitments.  I live alone, so It was time with myself through and through. I would wake up at 8am everyday and lay on my couch… waiting for 11am.

I happened upon mandala drawing on accident(purpose) one day and i knew, this is where I need to be.  Elle Luna was the host at this time. Everyday she woke up at 8am pacific time, usually went to her garden, got on IG, and watched as dreamers poured in to draw. To be in connection.  To have community.  To be held.  

Eventually, everyday was too much for Elle. So she offered shared leadership to the group. People jumped at the idea, including me.  Here we’re.(are) Everyday.  8am pacific 11am eastern drawing. Being. Showing up as we are.

What emerged from this practice is a knit group of artists, inspirers, lovers, dreamers. humans.  My people. Still everyday, since mid March.  8am pacific. 11am eastern.  We show up. 

Some days there’s 5 people live and many people catching the video later in the day. Other days there 15 people live and many people catching the video later in the day. Some days, I skip. Knowing very well, it’s okay. And my people are still there. Showing up. Holding me. Giving me space to be me.

And. I’ve never met these people in person. Different walks of life. Different ages. Mostly women.  All around the world.  All centered around creativity and the heart. 

We read, we breathe, we ground, we draw, we share. We send hearts, we laugh. We share energy. We cultivate being-ness. 

We plan to travel to Ireland as soon as we can safely travel in packs. Ireland is where Jenny lives.  I know these women as if they’re my sisters. That’s connection of the heart. That’s oneness. That’s how we..know.  

I’ve met one mandala sister In person, during my UP travels.  We talked as if we knew each other for decades. Spoke of buried memories and painful experiences.  Something you might only shared to your truest confident.  That’s how deep this connection dwells. 

We draw. We create. We feel our bodies.  And there’s a deeper, often unsaid, truth of our group.  We meet because we belong together.  We meet because sometimes the world is too much and we need a safe space for half and hour to…be.  To laugh, to cry, to ponder. To be held. 

To my mandala sisters.. this is how much you mean to me,

Eve, you live in New York City, New York. And you post photos of the beach, the ocean, everyday.  That alone, to me, shows who you are.  I see a lover of pigment. A lover of cleansing.  A lover of the vast unknown.  The way you bring nature into your work, literally. And blend colors is magic.  Your vision of the woman body is healing.  When you show up, it gives me permission to show up. 

Molly, your quirkiness gives me life.  Your soft laughs and direct leadership keeps us afloat.  You show me a version of myself that I can be. That I keep working towards.  You help me keep going without comparison syndrome or judgement.  You surprise me.  In a good way.  The way you show up is consistent, nerdy, dark, light, and encouraging.  All of it. How it needs to be.  Through the heart. How it is.  When you show up, it gives me permission to show up.

Laura, thank you for sharing pieces of yourself to me.  When we met in person it was like we’d known eachother already.  I Love that you took me to a place that’ “off the beaten path” in the UP.  Thanks for adventuring with me and knowing what I needed. When you show up, it gives me permission to show up. 

Jenny, your laugh. We all know.  Your smile brights up my life.  Saturday mornings at 11am are a rare sight for me, and when they do happen I’m somehow always(usually) in a funk. Your laugh.. your sparkly eyes gets me silly again. Gets me saying.. “okay, it’s really all good. Even if it’s for just now.”  You read all comments we type and integrate it into your practice. To me, I see a person who makes sure everyone is being seen. Being heard.  And I love you for that.  When you show up, it gives me permission to show up. 

Elle, you’ve inspired me to shine my light ever since I saw your interview with Chase Jarvis.  Your look of humbleness, gratitude, and appreciation softens me.  The way your eyebrows pull up at the existence of humans being relaxes me.  How even with millions of people knowing your name, you take the time to learn my name.  My face.  Listen to my story.  Hear me.  It brings me hope.  Hope that I can be like that. That what I’m doing with my life will pay off, and is paying off.  The way you show up, gives me permission to show up. 

Andrea, wow.  Your enthusiasm. It gets me going.  You get so excited about the ethereal, spirit world, it shows me I can get excited for it as well.  I love watching your transformation in your platform, giving me permission to do the same.  Your hair, your eyes, your vitality.  It sparks passion in me to keep at it. To keep sharing what I love because people will listen. People are listening.  The way you show up, gives me permission to show up.

Michelina, your spunk lightens me up.  To put into perspective of where I’m at, I guess I’m about half your age, slightly less than half. And for me, watching you, gives me hope of transformation on any level.  And how you’re into music, in a band, into night life AND you still show up for spirit. For truth. For heart. For healing.  This brings me so much joy because it reminds me of my sides.  My side of music and trashing myself around and my side my calm centered ness that is essential to regain balance. You remind me that balance of all is reachable.  And that my people my true people will love all of me and walk with me on the journey.  The way you show up, gives me permission to show up.

Amy,  your softness reminds me of my softness.  Your integrations of nature remind me of the infinite beauty around us.  What you read to us, always gets me open to what is and what can be.  I love that I get to hear, listen and see some of the inner workings of your life. Like how you spend time to pick flowers and stew tea for yourself before practice.  How your cat can never seem to sit still and you still show gentleness towards him.  You see beauty in a way that invites presence. And you inspire me to culitvate beauty and presence in my life as well.  How you show up, gives me permission to show up.

Ivna, I’ve never seen your face, and I love you already.  It’s like a blind online relationship yet already heart centered.  Our circle is so pure, you being in it shows me that I know you.  Your endless hearts and exclamation points remind me of the heart.  How your culture cultivates intimacy.  That’s how it is.  For me, growing up in America, seeing your love shows me that it’s okay for me to show my love.  My smallness opens up in your big Love.  And my smallness grows in your presence.  How you show up, gives me permission to show up. 

To all my other mandala sisters, Cherylnn, Sheryl, Skyle, Cathy, Ambrosia, Ms. M, Bri, Rosey, Karolina, Mindy, heidi, KJ, Virginia, and anyone whom I haven’t named.  Your as much a piece as anyone.  You bring life, perspective and Love to our circle.  I am forever grateful seeing you with me as I draw and reach deep into myself.  Knowing, I’m never alone.  We all have each other.  As a person with abandonment pain, having you all show up when you do, cultivates trust and healing within me.  It’s indescribable.  How you show up, gives me permission to show up. 

Hold your people close. Hold this Earth closer.  Hold yourself closest.  It’s all we got.  Keep going where you’re welcomed with deep Love.  Those are your people.  It’s alright to trust it. 

How to ask for support

This time last year I was moving into my new apartment. The one I currently call home. The place I adore and spend 80% of my time in.

I planned for me to move in on a Wednesday. My car was packed. I had friends set to help me move. I left my old apartment that morning determined for it to be the last morning I woke up there. When I got to the new apartment building, ready to sign the lease, everything was off. The apartment hadn’t been cleaned yet, the layout was different than I had anticipated from the model walk through. And it turned out to be more over budget than I had initially thought. I felt flustered and scared that I wouldn’t have a place to stay.

In that moment I did something that up until then, I didn’t do. I let go of the plan to sign the lease right then and there and move my packed car inside and decided to take a day to get some space and perspective. I like to think that I can control things outside of myself and before this experience I would have done everything I could to stick to the original plan. I chose a new way. I told myself, I don’t have to move today. I still have a night at my old apartment. I have time. I’m sure my peeps helping me move will understand if they need to wait till tomorrow. And of course, they did.

So I told the landlord that I needed to wait until everything was clean and move-in ready until I sign anything. He agreed. I left the apartment building and went right to a nature preserve. The woods. Where I do my best higher thinking. I was spiraling in my mind looking up new places to rent on my phone not knowing what to do. Then someone walked up to the bench I was sitting on. She was taking a picture of the pond and the skyline. I kept debating in my head whether to talk to her about what just happened. I debated until she walked away. As she was almost to the trail head again, I called out to her. I explained my situation and that I was feeling nervous and if she had any advice. She said that the situation sounds tough and she didn’t know what she would do. She wished me the best and I thanked her and she walked away.

Though she didn’t have any additional input into my situation, the important part for me..was that I had the conversation. It was that I spoke out loud about it and got out of my head for a moment. Even though she was a complete stranger and didn’t know anything about me, I offered myself space to put things into perspective by talking with her. That’s a form of self care and self Love. Even though she didn’t know what she would do, she helped me by offering a connection to clarity.

She reminded me that we’re all here doing out best and that it’ll all be okay. I stopped looking at new apartment, made a list of pros and cons, and realized the pros definitely outweighed the cons at this apartment. I chose to have faith that I would be taken care of. I ended up getting a call from my landlord later that night saying everything was all clean and move-in-ready and that some utilities would be included in rent. I exhaled. I slept one more night in my old apartment and signed the lease and moved in the next day. My friends helping me the whole way through. When I got to the apartment it was spic and span clean, and I could see myself lively greatly in it.

I’m writing this to you to remind you that not everything (usually nothing) goes exactly to plan. Even if your car’s packed with half of your belongings ready to be unpacked, it can wait another day. Sometimes the best thing to do is to let go of your strong-willed determination. When you find yourself in a situation where you’re unsure and yet you think something haaas to happen in an exact way.. Take a couple steps back, your gut is trying to tell you something. Listen. There’s always space to get clarity. Breathe, don’t make any rash decisions, remember you’re loved, always. No matter what you do. Get out of your head and talk out loud to someone about what you’re experiencing. Maybe even a stranger. You’re not a burden. You can change your way of doing and your timeline and still have your end goal achieved. Like a good friend of mine always says, be firm in your ideal and flexible in your approach.

Your mind’s a lot less scary when it’s talked about out loud. Talking out loud about your thoughts also gives your power back to you. Where it belongs. Nothing ever has to go a certain way for it to all work out. Have faith in that. It’s safe to trust your cues.

Here’s your insight into practice, because passive reading won’t get you anywhere, practice and action does. Okay, here you go: this week, tell someone you wouldn’t normally talk to what’s on your mind. Someone whom you know well enough to know that they’ll listen. Dump it out and don’t apologize. And see what happens. And then tell me about your experience. I’d Love to hear from you. If you ever find yourself circling inside and feel a pull to talk about it to a stranger near you.. Do it. The universe may have placed them there to support you. You don’t even need to be in conversation already. It might change your life, or simply soften you a bit.

With Love Love Love,
Stephanie Lee

If you need some inspiration, you need to read this.

I was 22 when I first moved into an apartment all by myself.  My very own place.  Alone.  It was one of the best things that ever happened to me, and it was painful as fuck.  At the time I was practicing massage therapy and teaching in separate towns, 45 mins apart from each other.  So I chose to live in a city between them.  A city I had only driven through at the time.  I moved into a 415 square foot studio apartment.  If you’re not sure how big that is, it’s about enough room for a small kitchen, small bathroom, my bed, some closet space, and about 6 square feet of dancing room.  Small.  But it was all mine.

I realized I’d enjoyed other people inhabiting the space I lived in, even if I went right into my room and avoided all other forms of life.  Except for my cat, of course.  Someone’s shoes, a loose magazine prescription, crumbs on the table that I didn’t leave.  Signs of life outside of me.  It helped keep the loneliness at bay.  I had my cat in all my previous places I’d lived too, but she didn’t make the trip with me in the studio.  It was too small for her.  I went from having “annoying” roommates to complete silence every time I opened the door.  In the beginning I would get home, 30 mins away from everyone I knew, open the door, see everything the way I left it. No sign of anyone but me, and fall to the floor and weep.  What I learned over time was that this pain of loneliness, of isolation, abandonment, was inside me the whole time.  It was always knocking at my door and I would ignore the sometimes pounding very well, by turning to ideations, and other people’s shit.  By moving into my own apartment I invited my loneliness to live with me.  My isolation, my abandonment, depression, anxiety, fears.  We were like the fucking brady bunch up in there.    Right now, as I’m typing this, I’m laughing and smiling.  Why?  Because I got through it.  I turned my pain into power.  Because not only did I invite all my darkness to rise to the surface, I allowed the space for myself to process it.  And that invited in my creativity, my joy, my connectedness to self.  

Earlier that year I found pour painting.  My good friend Skie asked me if I wanted to make a painting with her.  She said, “I want someone to pour with and I thought, hell yeah Stephanie would be down.”  And Hell yeah I was.  Once I created that first piece, it opened up a reservoir that I never knew I had.  A creative spirit.  I spent the next few months dabbling in different pouring methods, never having a lot of time for it then because I was prioritizing other people.  Fast forward to living 30 minutes away from anyone I knew and being on a tight budget, I now had every night wide open.  I remembered being so consumed by loneliness, isolation and anxiety that I would be paralyzed.  At this point in my life though, I had tools.  I’d been creating a web of self care and self love for that very moment in time; I knew how to support myself.  The initial act of courage was always pulling myself out of bed and into something that could help me.

Suddenly, I started buying floetrol in bulk and 10 packs of canvases on sale.  I used old bed sheets on the floor and an extra massage table as my creating space.  The only route in Battle Creek(the city I was living in) I knew like the back of my hand was the same road that led to Michaels, Menards, and Meijer.  I felt like a real artist for the first time because I bought quality acrylics and could lose track of time for hours creating.  Now remember, I had like a 6 square foot space for this, and pour paintings take time to dry. So I always had paintings on the floor or cups scattered on my kitchen counter.  

Now when I would come home, 30 mins away from anyone I knew, I would see myself in forms of paint on canvases laying all over, on the walls, and on my one small round side table.  I would see how diverse and expansive I was ( still am ).  I would remind myself of interconnectedness.  I’d still let myself be consumed by loneliness, fear, isolation.  And I’d feel it, and see that I was surrounded by Love.  By Creation.  Creation heals.  Unlocking this vault led to me singing more, writing more, dancing more, connecting with myself more, connecting with my people more.  Feeling more confident in myself, releasing old habits, letting myself be.  Yes, creativity is that powerful.  That little space held me for a year.  A cocoon.  Where I left it even more raw than when I had entered, and more whole.

Each piece I’ve created is a piece of my heart.  My soul.  It’s a reminder of our humanness. And our divinity.  And how we all are struggling on some level, and it’s all valid.  Your struggle is valid.  No matter what it looks like on the outside.  You deserve to surround yourself with things that remind you of your humanness and divine power.  I create art to inspire you to be your best self.  To remind you of why we’re in it, and to keep going.  To please, keep going.  To transmute your pain into power.  To access your joy and open your heart to the oneness we all share.  Art is meant to hang on your wall, lean on your table, rest on your desk, be anywhere you want, to help you unlock your own potential.  Creating helped me heal so much that I want to touch your life, and whomever I can, and show you that creating helps you heal as well.  Creativity can help you feel connected to Earth and to others.(citation) And that’s what we need more of.  So make time for yourself and create.  Create with yourself, Create with others.  The most important thing is that you do it.

Now put it into practice.  Because passive reading gets you nowhere.  Practice and action do.  This week: Make time for yourself to create.  You must carve out time for yourself otherwise, you’ll keep putting it off.  Schedule 5, 10 mins.  Schedule an hour or two.  Whatever fits.  Practice with your kids, practice with your mom or grandma.  Do something creative, whether it’s painting, drawing, doodling, dancing, singing, writing, playing an instrument, or whatever else you find expansive and creative.  Do it.  And tell me in the comments what you did.  How you felt beforehand, and how you felt after.  I’d love to hear from you.


Creative Healing: How to Heal Yourself by Tapping Your Hidden Creativity

By Michael Samuels, Mary Rockwood Lane

How I went from a high-functioning conspiracy theorist to voting:

I want to talk with you about the upcoming election.  I understand, you may be thinking: oh sweet jesus anything but that.  And I get it.  And I want you to hear me out.  I want to tell you the story of how I decided to vote for the first time ever in this election.

Growing up, I had been conditioned to believe that the entire government system is corrupt, our votes don’t count, and that I shouldn’t vote.  I also was conditioned to believe that being black and being gay were wrong, big brother watches every move, and even though I had brown eyes and brown hair, hitler would’ve let my family live. That’s besides the point, though I thought I’d mention it.  When I was a teenager and well into my early twenties(like up until 2 summers ago) I didn’t even consider voting.  Because of this reasoning: the election is rigged, it doesn’t matter if I vote, whoever is going to win is going to win anyways.  In the 2016 election, the first presidential election I could vote in, I snuffed at people who voted, who stood with either candidate because I believed that it was still the lesser of two evils.  I was despised by the fact that  people wanted a businessman billionaire office and I was despised by the fact that people stood with “her” a woman who was married to Bill clinton.  Even if she was a woman, I wasn’t in the frame of mind to even consider voting.  And we all know how that election turned out.

So fast forward to 2018, I’m sitting at a Vine Neighborhood house party outside on a bench, having a smoke break in between bands and I started talking with this woman.  I had become more accepting as a human in the passing years and she found an opening.  We started talking politics and I actually listened to her point of view.  Granted this whole time, I’d have numerous friends try to reason with me to vote.  One friend straight up gave me the evil eye when I told him I wasn’t registered to vote.  And it still didn’t sway me.  So I’m talking with this girl and I tell her about how I don’t believe in the system and it’s rigged and it’s just a bunch of white old men controlling everything behind the scenes.  And she’s like I get it, and started talking about how I could start small and vote in community and state elections first because those are what really matter.  That sparked interest.  She said not to think about voting as just the presidential election, and that the “smaller” seats ultimately have more say for specific events happening within our state and city.

So there I was talking to a stranger and I decided to consider registering to vote.  Yes, only considering, I didn’t wanna get carried away.  I thought “Yes, I can vote in small elections and that’s it.  Perfect!”  I got registered yet still didn’t have enough gusto to actually look into when community elections happen.  The democracy system is very complicated, on purpose.

Then 2020 came.  And Marianne Williamson was on the ballot for the United States Presidential primary election.  If you don’t know who Marianne Williamson is, I suggest you look into her, she’s well worth knowing about.  Marianne Williamson is the author of A Return to Love, Tears to Triumph and many others.  She brings intellect, intuition, observation, authority, and spirituality to the table.  I figured she wouldn’t get very far in the election because she’s not in politics.  (I guess only skeezy billionaires can do that.(The system is still fucked))  Yet I knew that voting for her would be a great first time voting.  An easy way to get me in the door.  And I did, I voted for her in the primary election and that’s when I realized that I wanted my vote to be insignificant.  I didn’t want it to count.  Because If I voted for someone who was truly in the running, then I’d have some responsibility in the outcome.

And then I realized the fullness of how I feel.  Yes, our system is corrupt as fuck and needs to be broken down.  Dismantled.  Potentially bombed and obliterated.  And not partaking in the election was the easy way out, an easy way to put blame on people in power, judge and point fingers at other people, and leave myself out of it because “I didn’t vote for any of ‘em”

This past year of upheaval has taught me many things.  One thing being, we are more powerful together than we are divided.  The diviseness between voting and non-voting is as strong as the divisiveness between parties.  And that’s what the rich (mostly)white men behind the curtain want, us to be divided.  We need to integrate with each other as much as possible.  Because here’s the Truth I believe in:  All of the people of the United States, all classes below the 1%, are more Powerful than the 1%.  And voting is a chance to prove it.  Even on the chance that all of it is staged and my vote doesn’t matter.  I’m done hiding behind that belief.  If we all decided not to vote, if that was our way of standing together, it would be even easier for higher ups to bring whomever they want into office.

What if it does matter?  And I was letting the higher ups take my power when I decided it doesn’t?  So that it’s easier for them to sway the vote.  The best way to heal a system is to work it from the inside out.  It’s like wearing a mask to the store.  Yes, this virus that’s rampant right now may not be as widely spread as news stations make it out to be, that’s a high possibility.  And what if you could save a life by putting on a mask?  Would you do it?  Even if you don’t know for sure?  Even if all the evidence is compiled against you?  I would.  I do.  

Glennon Doyle posted a video a few days ago inviting voters to educate themselves on the voting process.  She said something along the lines of, “When your house is burning, the first thing you do isn’t to decide where your new house is gonna be.  The first thing you do is get out of the burning house.”  Trump is the burning house.  And we won’t be able to stand another four years.  We being: mostly small businesses.  It’s time to put our power together, and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) Vote for the lesser of two evils.  Then go from there.  This action, to me, puts the power into the people.  Even if we only believe we have the power, it gives us momentum to keep going.  To keep fighting within the system.  To be of the world.  For the children, for Humanity.  I’m putting my faith in the power of the (smart)people.  It’s scary as fuck, I still have doubts, I see all the errors of each candidate, it may turn out to be a bad decision, but for me, this action..is better than no action at all.  I no longer sit on the bench and wait for things to play out, and I hope you don’t either.  I really believe anything is better than trump and if I don’t vote, well.. I’m not even gonna finish that sentence. Don’t be afraid of your power.

Here’s what you can do to put it into practice: follow Glennon Doyle on Instagram and/or Facebook.  She is educating us on the voting system and special specifics in states.  Education = Power. Healthy Power. Please, if I can go from a high functioning conspiracy theorist who’s gotten tear gassed by people in uniform at a peaceful protest to (still believing most conspiracies) going on the sure will of the good of the people and voting for a top running democrat, you can do anything.. Like Vote.  And don’t worry, we’ll still overthrow corrupt agendas in the process.  Group think. Together we stand.  It’s time to use those words to our advantage.

Need more inspiration in your life?

A few weeks ago I was sitting eating some breakfast with some friends in a secluded cottage by a lake in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  One friend says she’s thought about writing a book for the future to read about the year 2020. She said, “It would start with how one day a man’s voice started booming from the sky saying something like (in dramatic deep voice) ‘Now is the time, you must seek within yourself.  You must look within for the greater good of the world.  If you do not look within the world may perish!  You must find your truth.’” and then she goes on to say, “see I don’t even need to be high to be far out like this.”  It was full of humor and wit.  And full of Divine Truth. 

Even though there is no real voice booming from the skies, now is the call to look within.  To listen to yourself.  To sit with yourself and know yourself. 

What do you have to offer to yourself? This world?  What sparks your light and keeps you going everyday? You ever so pumped for your day that you start dancin’ as soon as you get out of bed?  These moments may be rare, and they are what we need more of.  I know when I’m dancin’ enthusiastically in the morning, I’m much more likely to spread Love and compassion to e v e r y o n e. I come in contact with, not just the people I like.

It may seem like, totally lame. to be that excited about your life, and it’s not.  It’s what magic is.  It’s what Love is made of.  It’s what gets you moving towards your dreams and really actually making them a reality.  Pure bliss.

Of course, it’s always easier with support.  With people in your corner saying, “You got this.”  And “I’m rooting for you.”  And “Damn girl that new track is off the charts.”  That’s where I come in.  That’s where art comes in, to inspire you.  To keep you moving in the direction of your dreams. 

A piece created by me setting a vivid sun-like tone in a massage therapy room.

And that’s why I create art and write Love notes on each piece in this collection. In hopes to bring essence and inspiration to your life so you can wake up pumped and dancin’ each morning.

So you can spread Love and compassion to e v e r y o n e. you come in contact with.  Not just the people you like.  So you can heal, and in doing so, you can heal the planet.  And the man in the booming voice from the sky will not have to parish our Earth.  Pretty cool deal, I’d say.

Shop my Love wins. Collection by clicking this link: https://unwindingmovement.com/art-gallery/

How to be more gentle with yourself:

When I used to get sick, years ago, I remember I’d whip out every single natural remedy I could think of.  I hyper focused on being sick with one recurring thought, “What’s wrong with me and what can I do to fix it?”  This usually got me through the sickness, obsessing over: did I drink enough peppermint tea?  Did I get the right soup? Am I doing this right?  God, what a drag.  You feel me?  I’d want to fix it as fast as I could because I needed(wanted) to get back out there as quickly as possible.  And like… A wellness advocate doesn’t get sick, right?  Not right.  

I remember reading last year in a Louise Hay book that she thought she was all that because she was practicing spirituality.  She was getting the green lights, people were being nice to her, you know, all the superficial stuff that’s “supposed” to happen when you start manifesting your own life.  It didn’t occur to her that she’d ever experience her own kind of negativity again until she got sick with vaginal cancer.  Then started the real work of releasing dis-ease from her body.  And she did, by god, she cured her own vaginal cancer without any medication or surgeries, and never had a recurrence.  

I’d have this sort of thought process when I got sick, like “Okay, what’s the underlying thing here?  I need to figure this shit out so I can release it and WABAM, be full of ease once more.”  Except,  I was approaching it with the attitude of “Something is wrong with me.  I must get to the bottom of it.”  Instead of, “What do I need to support myself right now?”

This year has been wild, crazy, catastrophic.  No dramatics there.  I thought I was doing pretty good at handling it, actually very good.  I’m, like you, experiencing my own version of life during a pandemic, global uprising, and climate disasters.  Typing this right now, I’m like huh… it does make sense that I’d be at least a little bit stressed out with all this going on, natural even.  When the nervous system experiences stress, it releases the hormone cortisol.  Cortisol then fucks with our immune system.  I think back to things that I could be stressing about that could cause a sinus infection from what seems like out of nowhere… financial pressures, restarting a job after having 6 months off, relationship releasing.  And then I realize.. Ohhh right.  This is normal.

So now, here I am.  After three years of not getting sick once.  I have a sinus infection.  And here’s where I reaaaally want you to start paying attention.  I’m still doing certain things to support my spiritual practice and heal my body.  And now I’m coming from the attitude of, “What’s gonna feel good after I’m done doing it?  What’s gonna support me today? How can I Love on myself today?”  I’ve completely changed my way of thinking around being sick(for the most part(we’re all human)) and I’ve just now realized this.  And now, I let myself chill.  HA.  Previous life Stephanie (about 2 lives ago(in this lifetime)) wouldn’t have let myself watch movies or veg for hours and eat whatever soup I want, like the salty kind, and just be. Be with myself.  So here’s what I learned today: balance.  A little more about balance as a practice.  Meditating, doing a eucalyptus steam treatment, eating soup, emotional releasing/journaling AND binge watching soapy romantic movies, laying on my couch for hours, canceling plans to keep others safe, eating goldfish crackers, not caring that I’m not being productive, letting myself be.

Here’s what I want you to keep in mind, I’m writing this as a reminder to you, just as I get reminders from my people, be gentle with yourself.  Especially now.  Especially forever.  We’re all doing the best we can, I know you are.  If I can get a sinus infection in the middle of a global pandemic and let go of toxic “bettering” habits, you can handle whatever life throws at you.

And here’s your call to practice, because passive reading won’t get you anywhere.  Practice, and action does.  Here’s how to be more gentle with yourself, next time you look at yourself in the mirror, which is often I know, because your face is divine.  Look yourself in your eyes and say three times: Be gentle with yourself.  Yes, it’s that simple, and it’s no quick fix. It takes times to believe it, and it may sound cheesy, you may laugh, and it works.  Extra brownie points if you make it a daily practice.  There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s nothing to fix. You’re divine. Keep going.  At whatever pace works for you today.

With Love,

Stephanie Lee

2 valuable things you can count on

Life’s always uncertain. It’s easy to forget that, usually. Right now though it seems like the planet is getting really good at reminding us that, indeed, life is always uncertain. It’s a main theme nowadays. I wrote a sticky note reminder about it when I was in a very blissful state. Unknowingly writing it for future Stephanie. 3 days later, future Stephanie. For when more change happens. And if you’re like me, you’re used to going from one extreme to the other. This way of living, going from one extreme to the other, is exhausting. I feel you.

For me, it wraps into clinging to the idea of certainty and control. And having a knack for the dramatic. I cling to some level of certainty whenever I can see it. It calms the part of me that likes to be in control. The thing is though, we’re not in control of anything happening around us. (hold onto your seat if this is a new concept to you. You’ll be okay, I promise.) And everything is uncertain. It only seems that way when we let ourselves believe we can control others, events, and the world around us. Until something happens so beyond what we consider to be in our control, it smacks us and says, “Hello! You were never in control in the first place. You only thought you were.” This is the point where I can become dramatic and turn into the “woe is me” person. I’m sure you get what I’m talking about. Maybe even been there yourself.

I’ve learned some things though. One is, starting from step one of we’re not in control of other people ever. Another is, reminding myself of the things I can count on to be able to control. Like my own thoughts, actions, and energy. If you tend to want to be on the controlling side of situations, you totally get me here. Find ways to revert that energy from outward to inward. It’s easy, I Find, to realize these concepts when life is smooth. Maybe even remember that life is always uncertain and there’s nothing I can do about it and be..okay with it. It’s another story to remember and be okay with it when life throws curveballs.

That’s where faith and work comes in. Faith is the antidote to uncertainty. Trust is the antidote to anxiety(which comes from thinking you lost control). That’s why you practice your faith when it’s easy. You practice focusing your thoughts and directing your energy towards your dreams when you feel good. So when change comes and knocks you off balance a bit, you can put your practice into action. Faith and trust are muscles, like multifidi(my fav body muscle). You need to exercise them to create a memory of action. The more you work it, the easier it is to engage it when needed. The more you lean into faith that everything is working out for your highest good, the easier it is not to cringe at the word surrender. Maybe even…let it happen.

So here’s your insight into practice, because passivity gets you nowhere. Practice and action gets you moving. Next time you’re feeling good. I mean relaxed, there may be a sense of peace, in the bathtub, or when you wake up in the morning, or after a good book.. Set a timer for 3 small minutes and focus on one thing. It can be an object in your environment, a value within yourself, an affirmation. Whatever it is, for three minutes, focus on it. Every time you lose focus (because it happens) be gentle and re-focus. This is how you flex your focus muscle so in times of unbalance you stay in control of you and how you respond to life.

You can get more of what you want.

My bedroom.  My nest.  Space for my bed, and a table.  That’s it.  I keep it that way on purpose.  I keep the energy high and consistent, so only a few things happen in my bed- reading, sleep, pleasure, and… gratitude practice.    When I wake up, first thing I do is think about and talk aloud about what I’m grateful for in that moment and why.  Whatever pops up that morning.  Why in bed?  Why first thing in the morning?  Firstly, it helps me calm anxiety I may feel some mornings.  Mostly because I’m still in that sleepy in between land, closer to the astral plane.  Closer to source.  Easier to connect what I’m grateful for right now to something I can be grateful for in the future, something that has yet to come in.  More connection to the universe, the easier for Truth to slip in and be.  The more likely I get more of what I’m grateful for.  

Mornings.  In bed.   Gratitude.  A few minutes.  Bask.  Onward. 

The feeling of being helpless

When you so badly want to be there for someone, yet being there for them is by staying away. This feels like one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Is it selfish to want to be there? To want to know what’s going on? Maybe a little bit. But we’re all human. It’s natural, I think. Letting go of control. Leaning in the the unkown. ha. not leaning in. More like thrashing and falling and being so tired that there’s nothing else to do other than cry and accept. I’m thinking about that Rilke poem “..feel it all, beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” This feels like time is dragging out, and if I’m feeling like this, I start to imagine how they must be feeling, probably even worse. Which freaks me out even more. When the universe so wittingly shoves an expirience in your face where you’re forced to take your own advice. Drink your own medicine. Trust, that it all has it’s way. Fuck.

Really, anyone can spew these words out of their mouths, myself included, “trust the process, it all has it’s own timing.” And then it’s a whole nother thing to be deep in it. To have something come up where the last
thing I want to hear is, “Just trust.” But I have to. This one’s for you, you supportive human, wanting to rush in to be the saving grace for another person. I feel you. I get it, like get it.

Here’s the thing though, you can’t possibly know what they need to do in this lifetime to learn/process/heal. You can’t be the saving grace, number one because no one needs to be saved. And number two, because they need to be the ones to do what they need to do. That’s part of the deal. Only you can really change and control you. As much as you’d like to bend the laws of compliance. It doesn’t happen. And the more you try, the more tension is created. I know, you might be thinking, yes I know this already. It’s easy to know it when things are decent, and flowing. Like, “It’s so spiritual to agree to not let anything harm my inner peace, of course
that’s the way to go. I don’t let anything harm my inner peace beause then I’m off balance and letting people influence me. I stay centered and rise above.” Yeah, and you’re fucking human. Shit’s gonna hit the fan sometimes based on the actions of others. Especially loved ones. You can be above it all, most of the time, and then, sometimes you can get off kilter. And then let yourself feel it, because when you accept that you’re letting it get to you, then you can gently remind yourself that they gotta do what they gotta do. That it’s not even about you. And you’re still loved. You’re still needed. It’s times when life throws you a curveball that you need to remember this. Feel it in your body. And know that you’re not alone. just keep going. No feeling is final. Even this. This right here, in the deep of it. This is the real work. Good job, you.

With Love,

Stephanie Lee