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The flirting train….

“I still remember you as a little girl who overwaters plants
because she doesn’t know when to stop giving.”

~ Trista Mateer

***

In the 2 and a half years I have been single I have talked to a LOT of men.

Some only in the app after I swiped right.
Some by text.
Some on the phone.
Some over drinks.
Some over dinner.
Some in the afterglow.

The interesting thing these guys all had in common was their entitlement to my emotional labour.

The flirty messages and the random get to know you witty banter went from anticipation and excitement, to deep stuff that they wanted me to hold space for, cure, heal, and listen to.

99% of the time I had zero interest in any of it.

It may seem cold and callous but it is actually a boundary issue for me.

For my people I am willing and able to be there when they need me. If I can’t be, I tell them so and I will check in with them later. And then I do.

If I sense someone needs witness or love I will reach out to them and ask “what do you need right now?

With these men it is the ENTITLEMENT of my time, emotional labour, and space holding that rubs me the wrong way.

Every single time it pisses me off.

Because I had swiped right, said yes, laid down, told them I was a life coach – or done all of the above – at some point all of them went from trying to woo me, to trying my patience.

I coach and counsel people as part of my living.

People reach out to me all the time and I genuinely love it and I am 100% here for it. I am a kind and generous person but *I* get to decide when to hold space for someone.

My friend Coco fabulously coined the first steps to getting to know someone as “the flirting train.”

I did not give any of these dudes permission to get off the flirting train.

What happened to romance?
To being wooed?
To anticipation and excitement?
To pillow talk?
To dreams and plans and silly randomness?

I want all of that.

****

As women we are taught that when you care about someone, that means caring about all of their stuff.

Making it better.
Healing them.
Saving them.
Keeping the peace.
Not rocking the boat.

I don’t really jive with that sentiment.

I don’t think because I am barely, or deeply, romantically involved with a man that it is my job to care about all of their stuff.

I used to think it was my job because that is what society said a woman did.

It took time and many false starts to be aware that I was bored out of my fucking mind with the “fix me hold me make me better” obligation to listen to men I had no responsibility for, history with, or commitment to.

Yes I want everyone to find peace, and be content, and unpack their baggage, and slay their demons, but it’s not my job to make that happen.

Even in deep long term relationships I have told the guy that I am not the one for this conversation.

Just because I love you does not mean you are entitled to all of me, at all times.

Especially when it comes to their ex relationships.

I am a firm believer in not opening the ex files.

Whatever damage they have suffered in those relationships is not my burden to fix.

I really truly don’t want to know.

I don’t want to know because my self esteem is always in flux as a woman in this world and I know I will compare myself.

I don’t want to know because it takes away my ability to be ME when I tether my reactions because SHE used to react the same way.

When I say “I get you are hurting from this, but I am not the person to discuss this with. I don’t open the ex files.” – they are flummoxed by the no. By the boundary. By the loss of entitlement.

When they say “I had a shit day.” and my response is “balls, that sucks.” I am always asked “don’t you want to know why?”

Ummm, no. I don’t.

Serious jaw dropping silence and then “WHAT? but but but you are a woman. You like me. You HAVE to listen to me. Why can’t I talk about this with you? This has really fucked me up. I need to sort this out and you are a life coach. You are so tender and warm and inviting let me just tell you the story so you can hear my side, I really want your take on this, I am so pissed off about this….yada yada yada” and so on…..

You would not believe how often this happens when we are still texting in the dating app. Even more when we have exchanged phone numbers or have carnal knowledge.

Again, no.

They can talk to their mom.
Their buddy.
Their cousin.
Their siblings.

Or a counselor.
A therapist.
A coach.

They can’t talk to me.

Not at the beginning when they really need to stay on the flirting train.

Stay on it until we BOTH decide we can skip a stop and see what we mean to each other and MAYBE then I will be there.

Not for the ex files, but for the other big stuff.

By my choice and my decision.

Until then my response always remains the same.

“I am not here for you.”

Stay gold wild ones.
Thanks for hanging out with me.

The Candy Store.

“I said to myself, I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me – shapes and ideas so near to me – so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn’t occurred to me to put them down. I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.”

~ Georgia O’Keeffe

***

There is a candy store in my neighbourhood that I want to tell you about. My friends and I have been watching it since it opened and there is a story here.

First let me tell you about my hood. It is an eclectic little neighbourhood about 10 minutes from downtown Vancouver in East Van.

Originally my hood was known as Little Italy because most of the people that lived here were Italian. So there are a bunch of Italian coffee shops where the men watch soccer and smoke out front, lots of pubs and restaurants, a few parks to hang in, and a bunch of weed dispensaries.

The candy shop opened right next door to the liquor store, smack dab in the middle of the hood.

Not gonna lie. We were totally excited when it did. They carried a bunch of old school retro candy that reminded us of being kids. Note we are all children of the 70’s.

Bottle caps and fun dips. Candy necklaces and pop rocks. Popeye candy cigarettes and bazooka bubble gum. Pez and licorice whips. They had it all.

Plus a wall of glass candy jars that you could mix and match and a bunch of imported British chocolates. They basically had everything.

What they didn’t have was any kind of cool and fun vibe.

The walls were painted hot pink, the staff wore hot pink tee shirts, and the window had a cool little stage with massive potential for wild and crazy window displays.

But.

There was nothing on the hot pink walls.
There was no off the wall window displays.
The staff were not that friendly.

It was the most clinical and boring candy store I have ever seen. We were worried for this little store. Rents are high in East Van and it was usually empty.

We used to sit in the pub across the street and talk about all the wacky things we would do if it was our store. How we would rebrand it to take it way over the top. Make it super kooky and silly and loads of fun to be in.

The potential this little space had. Man oh man.

The location was perfection. The demographic was on point. The size was perfect.

And, it is a CANDY store. The possibility of the totally bonkers things you could do in a candy store are limitless. We were bursting with ideas on how to change it.

The store seemed to be trying to appeal to everybody and in turn didn’t appeal to anybody. It was beige and boring and safe. So safe I don’t even remember the name of it. And I walk past it almost daily.

We went in there a few times to support them but it just wasn’t any fun.

Let me repeat that. We had no fun at all. In a candy store. That was full of reminders of our childhood.

Do you see where I am going with this?

I walked past there again yesterday and it had closed down. The pink walls were not enough to save it. Now it is a blank stage with empty shelves and it made me sad.

During all of our talks about how we would brand it and decorate it and market it, the thing that was always front and centre with my friends and I was our imaginations. Think Honeydukes from Harry Potter mixed with the craziest carnival you have ever seen. Our imaginations, and our memories.

Letting your imagination run wild is a beautiful thing.
Nostalgia is a beautiful thing.
Having fun with your business is a beautiful thing.

It is a huge part of how I run my business.

When I first started I tried to appeal to everyone because that is what I learned in college. It never felt like me. It was completely lacking in magic, wonderment, and fun.

It was so fucking boring. There was no edge, and none of my personality.

When I finally started to feel like I had something that was me, something I could stand behind, and beside, and talk about with enthusiasm is when I let my imagination run wild and honoured my memories, my covets, and what I love out loud.

I fall in love with details so I asked myself what my candy store would be like.

Caftans & Gin as the title for foundational self care? Can I do that?
Fuck yes.

Rock n roll inspired tours as the outline of how my courses will look? Can I do that?
Fuck yes.

A self love course written entirely by my cat from his perspective? Can I do that?
Fuck yes.

Wild Muse Style and Adorn as ways of having what you wear match who you are? Can I do that?
Fuck yes.

Using vintage photos of my mom and her friends in all of my branding? Can I do that?
Fuck yes.

Black, gold, glitter, sepia tones, and 8 point stars everywhere? Can I do that?
Fuck yes.

Seven sins and religious symbology when I pray to pink skies and full moons? Can I do that?
Fuck yes.

Teaching women to live wild and stay gold if I give them the space to define that for themselves? Can I do that?
Fuck yes.

Vintage ways, wild musings, sex love n rock n roll, faster pussycats, Sunday sins, textually frustrated, general shenanigans, and a potential cat kimono start up? Can I do all of that?
Fuck yes.

I am not your average life coach and I am not everyones’ cup of tea.
So be it. I am ok with that.

And if I owned a candy store that reminded you of parts of yourself that delight you, you would never want to leave.

I asked myself a lot of questions and now I am going to ask you:

Where are you hiding parts of yourself to try to appeal to everyone?
Where are you not letting your imagination run wild?
Where are you conforming to rules that were designed by people who didn’t have you in mind when they made them?
Where are the places and relationships that are sucking the fun out of you?
Where are you seeking magic and wonderment?

Bottom line is this:

If YOU owned a candy store, how much of who you are at your core, would be reflected in that? Would what you love, your imagination, your rules, your memories, your fire, your aesthetic, your favourite colours, your best soundtrack…all of YOU be honoured and cherished?

While my friends and I discussed our continuous rebrand of that little candy store I realized that I have more enchantment and delight in my life coaching business than they had selling candy. CANDY.

I wonder how that is even possible while at the same time I am intensely proud of that.

I am proud of who I am and how I show up.

Period. Full stop.

My work is my version of a wildly enchanted candy store, but instead of selling pop rocks and pez, I sell self loyalty as a foundation for living, and ways of giving the patriarchy a cobra to the throat.

I want to know all about your candy store. What does it look like?

Stay gold wild ones.
Thanks for hanging out with me.

Wild Muse – Stevie Nicks

“Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?

Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?”

~ Stevie Nicks, Landslide

***

My bio on my About page starts off with this line:

“The only child of Stevie Nicks + Han Solo, I am gutsy, unconventional and fumbling towards ecstasy.”

That pretty much sums me up.

For my 49th birthday in September my #girlgang got together and gave me tickets to see Stevie on Dec 9th. I was speechless at first, and then promptly burst into tears and cried the ugly cry.

It took three months for me to decide what to wear to her concert. I have been channeling her for so long I was having trouble pulling the right outfit from a Stevie inspired wardrobe. I actually considered writing her tour manager to see if they could arrange it so *I* had time to change between songs.

It started to snow really hard that day so that was an annoying consideration, but I ended up in skinny black jeans, pointed toe suede boots, a black silk top, a cropped velvet kimono, my silver rock n roll necklace, and the most outrageous white faux fur coat there ever was. I was so ME that night.

Fitting because that was the night I got to meet the woman who helped me become me.

Metaphorically of course.

If I had literally met Stevie I would spontaneously combust and would not be here writing this letter.

I love her that much.

Today, May 26 2017, is her 69th birthday and I want to tell you why she is a Hall of Fame Wild Muse.

The first memory I have of her I was 10 years old. Sitting on the floor in our family room watching tv. My dad always had control of the remote and he flipped past a show and there was Stevie.

It was 1977 and Rumours had just come out so I had heard Fleetwood Mac on the radio but had never SEEN her. He stopped to watch it and I was hooked. Smitten. DONE.

There she was. All magic and witchy. Blond hair curling in the weirdest way. And that voice……

Holy fuck. Her voice. It reaches a place inside of me that always seems empty and her words never fail to fill me up.

I wanted to be her so badly.

I wanted to be famous.
I wanted to be able to sing.
I wanted to have powerful love affairs and I wanted to write about them.
I wanted to wear fringe.
I wanted to wear all black.
I wanted to be draped in velvet.
I wanted to get high and live to tell about it.
I wanted to be a witch.
I wanted to be free.

Stevie lives in me.

As most wild muses do.

She lives in a place that there are no words for.

A place of magic and wonder and going your own way that are things that I will always pay attention to in my life.

When she was on stage that snowy night in December I was in awe.
I was in tears.
I was with 3 of my best friends.
I was in an altered state in my velvet and suede and fur, wrapped in her voice.

It was fucking MAGIC.

I remember her leaving the stage and me clutching Niki’s arm and asking “is she changing”?  And then jumping up and yelling because she came out in a shawl and told a story about it and why she wears them.

I know I listened to her stories but I was in another dimension and 6 months later it has yet to surface. Actually it took 6 months to even write about that show at all.

Happy Birthday Stevie.

I WILL love you forever and if you want to adopt me I am 100% open to that.

You remind me that I am made of magic and I can make my own rules.
You remind me that clothes can tell your story.
You remind me that it is never too late to do what I want to do.
You remind me that I can be that rock n roll woman I always wanted to be.

There is a song by Buffalo Springfield called ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Woman,’ and the first time I heard it, I was like, That’s me. That’s who I’m going to be. I remember walking through a room, going, ‘Do you know who I am?’ It’s like, the Red Sea is definitely going to part here. My mom used to always say, ‘You paint the picture and it will happen.’ I believe that if you close your eyes and see yourself up on that stage, being bigger than life, you become that person with that big, really good attitude. You’re gonna be that rock ‘n’ roll woman that’s gonna make people happy and take them out of their miserable lives for two hours . . . and they’re going to want your music. And then, girls . . . at 66 years old, you can be starting a year-and-a-half tour that sold out its U.S. dates — in the first week.” ~ Stevie Nicks

I hope to see you in Kentucky with Misty at the end of September. Right after I turn 50. I will pack my shawls…

Sisters of the moon forever, and forever my hall of fame Wild Muse.

Stay gold wild ones.
Thanks for hanging out with me.

Wild heart. Tender soul.

“Such wounds to the heart will probably never heal.
But we cannot simply sit and stare at our wounds forever.
We must stand up and move onto the next action.”

~ Haruki Murakami

****

I tell my truth.

As you have probably gathered if you read my Sunday Sin love letters, or connect with me on social media.

I keep many things private but I do tell the stories that need telling after I have made my way out. Because if I am going through something the chances are high someone else is too, so I figure the more you know the better off you are.

When we know that other people share our experiences it is communion.

And confession.

And absolution.

In the past few months I have learned a lot about myself.

There are corners of my being that have never seen the light that are suddenly lit up like an interrogation room.

One bare super bright bulb shining directly over my feelings as they are being mercilessly drilled with question after question. No matter how much torture I inflict on these shadowy bits I can’t get to confession. Let alone absolution.

Sometimes you can do all the work in the world on yourself and things will still fuck you up.

I had a situation last week where the fuckery in my brain was taking over and I was starting to fall.

My heart was involved, and so was my vagina, and those two together are guaranteed to lead me down the road to crazy town.

For most of my life I felt like I was the consolation prize. My brother was the golden child and while I was wanted, and very much loved, there have always been different rules for us.

This extends outwards into relationships beyond my sibling one, and there are a thousand stories, and piles and piles of evidence to support this belief about second place.

I can usually talk myself out of it before it gets a hold of me, but last week, not so much.

I could actually SEE myself about to sabotage something I have been actively coveting.

Something I really, really wanted. So I drove my friends nuts yammering on about it trying to sort it out, and at just the right time (because timing is everything) I ended up talking to my brilliant friend Matthew and said “I need help. I am going to fuck this entire thing up.

I filled him in on all the micro details and he gave me three very important pieces of wisdom that have changed me forever.

First I told him how I was struggling. How nothing I did was making this better.

And he said “This is where it happens. The struggle and the work. Not the only place of course but your willingness to proceed in the face of such improbability is no small thing.

Cue my first deep breath in a week.

Then I told him how I was falling. Spiraling. Going down deep. Well on my way to crazy town.

And he said “Perhaps you are ascending, or stepping into, or climbing, rather than falling.

My shoulders that have lived around my ears for a week started to drop.

Then I told him how I didn’t want to be second in this thing I was dealing with. I said because it means I don’t measure up. Ever. No matter how hard I try.

And he said “Right. But you ARE second. And second doesn’t mean less. It means…second. It doesn’t mean you are not enough or you won’t measure up, it just means next. Second is just NEXT.”

And I started to cry.

Language can do funny things to us.
Reframing the language can save us.

The struggle is because I am willing to risk my wild heart and tender soul. Every time. No matter what.

He said “May it break. May it never heal. May it break again.

I am not falling. I am climbing.

He said “There is more to climb. Continue to get wrecked and ramshackled by this.

Second is not less than. It is what is next. I am next.

He said “Honour the first. There are more behind you and many more than the ‘first.’ It’s glorious.”

My own interrogation of feelings led to nothing.

Confessing those feelings to someone who cared led to absolution in 15 minutes.

One of my core values is community. There is absolute fucking magic in community and I know I sound like a broken record because I say that ALL THE TIME.

But I refuse to believe that we are meant to do this thing called life alone.

We need each other as we fumble towards ecstasy trying to shake off all the shit that weighs us down.

We need witness.
We need love.
We need blunt honest truth.

We need a girl gang (and some very good men) to say don’t fuck this up. You want this.

And then we need to listen and get the fuck out of our own way so we can allow for more.

Sometimes, it is as easy as that.

Tell your truth.
Listen to those you trust.
Get out of your own way.
Allow for more.

Communion. Confession. Absolution.

I can’t tell you any more details because the details are not mine to tell. Not yet anyway. Maybe not ever. I am really not sure what will come of all this new knowledge.

But I am sure of this…

“I’m not single, I’m next.”

Take me to church.

Stay gold wild ones.
Thanks for hanging out with me.

Bastard Saints

“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”

~ Hunter S. Thompson

****
I posted the above quote on my friend Fabeku’s facebook wall today and we had a great convo about how both of us would not hesitate to go on a spontaneous road trip with Hunter S Thompson, even though it would probably result in our death.

Both of us had probably very different reasons for wanting this. *ahem*

The fab Aidan Wachter (maker of magic and a good guy) jumped into our roadtripping conversation saying “Agreed on all of this. One of the Bastard Saints.”

One of the Bastard Saints.

Holy fuck.
That made my nipples hard.

Aidan just coined a term I have been looking for most of my life.

Bastard Saint is what I have ALWAYS been attracted to when it comes to men.

Fictional or otherwise.

All of the men I have ever dated have a Bastard Saint quality to them.

All of the men that get me high have a Bastard Saint quality to them.

Han Solo.
Hunter S. Thompson.
Charles Bukowski.
David Duchovny as Hank Moody.
Ryan Hurst as Opie on Sons of Anarchy.
Jon Hamm as Don Draper

Basically most of the men I wrote about in this old spring crush blog. (I should make this an annual thing)

Seriously it would be a no brainer. I would call shotgun in a millisecond if I was offered the opportunity to get in a car with these dudes. Their words, and ways, kill me slowly so why not go all in?

I am soooooo an “all in” kind of gal.

I am intense and full of muchness and I want what I want, and I love what I love. Without apology. So “all in” is really all I know how to be and truthfully it’s one of the things I love most about myself.

When I decide I want something it usually stays wanted.

I have always been loyal to what I love and this loyalty mostly works in my favour and sometimes, not often, to my detriment. But I digress…

I love these kind of men.

I love that deep down they are probably (trying) to be good guys.

I love that they are fucked up beautiful messes who live and love and fuck and want and try and fail and don’t care and do care and keep going.

I love that they are – as Fabeku aptly called them – renegades.

Bastard Saints.

I one hundred percent believe that every girl loves a bad boy.

I know I do.

I am attracted to anything with an edge.
I love a shady past.
I love a man with stories.

I am at a point in my life where I want a really good man but honestly, I want him to have a smidgen of dirtbag left in him.

Not the type of dirtbag that means he will cheat, or lie, or not take me seriously.

The OTHER kind like:

The ability to throw down.
Bawdy, flirty, naughty humour.
A great ride like a Harley or a truck.
Great tattoos.
Words that make me wet.
Simple and completely sure of who he is.
Laid back, easy going, but knows what comes first and what is important to him.
Sex, love and rock ‘n roll culture. (you can leave the drugs, been there, done that, never again.)

I want just enough dirtbag left in him that I know if anything hurt me he would not hesitate to murder them.

I want just enough dirtbag in him that my nether regions quiver when I think of him.

I want just enough dirtbag in him that he leaves me spent but craving more.

I want just enough dirtbag in him that I would gladly call shotgun for any spontaneous road trip.

I want just enough dirtbag in him that I can trust him even though he fits the category of Bastard Saint.

Because he and I together, would be sexy AF.

Bastard Saint.

My kind of fella.

I may have met such a beast. And as Misty loves to say “a man like that will ruin me.

In the best fucking way possible.

But that story is for another sunday.

‘Til then…

“I’m not single, I’m lying in bed reading Bukowski and smiling about him.”

Take me to church.

Stay gold wild ones.
Thanks for hanging out with me.

Dress for the life you want.

“I want to do with you what spring does to the cherry trees.”

~ Pablo Neruda

****

I broke up a few months ago and here we are mid April and I haven’t seen the sun in years.

I feel damp and mouldy right through to my bone marrow. Ayurvedically (is that a word?) I don’t think I suit this climate.

I took a selfie the other day that made me realize I have been gathering the wardrobe for a life lived on a tropical island. Or a retirement community in South Florida.

Depends how you look at it. Also, I am only 49.

Remember that old saying about dressing for the job you want.
I am dressing for the life I want.

I own 28 pairs of open toe shoes. Sandals, platforms, flip flops.
None of which I can wear 8 months out of the year.

I have discovered I hate boots. And socks. And out of the 4 pairs I own I basically lived in trainers all winter and didn’t wear them at all.

All my clothes are sheer and flowy and perfect for bathing suit cover ups, mindless wandering, and warm summer evenings drinking gin and tonics on a patio while watching the sun set.

Most of them are also black but I don’t care. I wear black year round and no 32 degree sunny weather will stop that.

I must move.

I have lots of linen and silk and the thinnest softest cotton imaginable. Big sunglasses and caftans and kimonos.

Obviously I will keep my velvet because I hear in some places it gets cold at night, and I will keep my fabulous winter coats for when I come back to visit everybody. Yes. I have gorgeous winter coats and no rubber boots because I am insane.

I miss having a tan. God I look so much better with a tan. Right now my skin is the colour of mashed potatoes. Lumpy mashed potatoes.

I am fading into the walls.

Clearly my new island life will include travel. So when I am not touring with the girl gang, or doing Adorn sessions, or writing my best selling book I’ll visit Vegas to shop vintage and people watch and hit the all you can eat buffet in sneakers and cropped pants and a sweatshirt. With full makeup and lots of diamonds.

Then I will go to Palm Springs where I will hang by the pool in giant floral Balenciaga inspired caftans and obnoxiously large sunglasses. I will be a lady who lunches in this outfit.

I will rent an airstream and drive through the southern US and in New Orleans I will wear my most vintage and magical kimono with cut offs and a tank top and I will reclaim my magic.

I apologized to my man at brunch yesterday for bitching about the weather. I said I don’t bitch about the weather but all I do lately is bitch about the weather. The jury is still out whether there will be another date because, again, I am insane.

I used to be so fed by Vancouver.

Now it just makes me hungry.

Hungry for more.
Hungry for different.
Hungry for cash flow.
Hungry for simple.
Hungry for sun.

I love this city.

For the first time in 22 years I don’t think it loves me back.

I have been working towards a location independent business. It still seems soooooo far away though. I have my job at the vintage store. I love my job at the vintage store.

I wish I didn’t NEED my job at the vintage store.

I want more.

Pink skies. The sound of waves. Big floppy hats. Afternoon delights. Hot hot heat. And living mostly naked but for the softest fabric on my skin.

Len will come with me and I will buy him a little cat sized portable fan in case he gets hot.

So I will do what I always do. Dream big and out loud. Work hard MY way to build up my business. Up my self care. Keep the faith. Love hard. Covet.

And build my talismanic wardrobe around the sunny life I want, not the rainy life I am living. I have 4 outfits to get me through 8 months of winter. That’s enough right?

It’s raining as I write this and I have the heat on. Oy.

‘Til then…

“I’m not single, I’m looking at islands for sale in the Caribbean.”

Take me to church.

Stay gold wild ones.
Thanks for hanging out with me.

The girl gang.

“She longed for porch friendship, for the sticky,
hot sensation of familiar female legs thrown over hers in companionship.
She pined for the girliness of it all, the unplanned, improvisational laziness.
She wanted to soak the words ‘time management’ out of her lexicon.

She wanted to hand over, to yield,
to let herself float down the unchartered beautiful fertile musky swamp of life, where creativity and eroticism and deep intelligence dwell.”

~ Rebecca Wells

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of motorcycle gangs. I really love the idea that if you think that there is no one like you, and you don’t belong, you can join a gang and find your people.

I love everything a gang represents.
The patches.
The camaraderie.
The leather.

I love the late 60’s counterculture of freedom and non-conforming.
The sense of belonging.
The magic of community.
The outlaw attitude.
The fact that no matter where you are in the world there is always a chapter ready to welcome you.

I love it all except the fact that they are traditionally men only.

Which is why I have a girl gang.

Wicked, wild, hilarious and the most supportive chicks on the planet.
Feral and full of fucking magic.
Bombshell babes with wild hearts and tender souls.

We are like the Sons of Anarchy without the motorcycles, racism, and misogyny.

This girl gang is inclusive. If you identify as female you are in.

You don’t have to be bad ass. Or bold. Or wild. Or hilarious. Or wicked.
You don’t have to be a bombshell. A vixen. A sinner or a saint.

You are in by just by being you. Come as you are.

***

One of the VERY best things about the girl gang is the “girl hang.”  (a term coined by Misty)

A girl hang is just you and your chicas.

Talking about everything and nothing.

Caftans & Gin styles.

No agenda.
Lazy and on the move.
Quiet and loud.
Virtual and in person.

The delicious randomness of truth telling, wild musings, and pure acceptance.

Where else can you start every story with “this is not a good side of me but…” and have those revelations – those CONFESSIONS – met with love, grace and laughter?

Or an appropriate amount of rage.

If anyone is pissed off FOR you, and has your back, it is your girl gang.

“Start the car and bring a shovel. I will MURDER them.” 

The “girl hang” is life’s elixir.

We back you up, talk you up, talk you down, pour the drinks, make the tea, fix your bangs, hand you tissue, tackle you, spoon you, rub your back, laugh out loud, bring you soup, give you a smoke, take your phone away and tell you what you need to hear.

All truth. Only love.

We NEED each other in a world where people are so unkind to each other.

We NEED each other in a world where so many people feel all alone.

We NEED each other in a world where we think no one could possibly understand what we are going through.

We need witness.
We need love.
We need randomness.
We need magic.
We need laughter.

We need each other. 
A girl gang…to girl hang with.

Right now…

“I’m not single, I’ve got my girls.”

Stay gold wild ones.
Thanks for hanging out with me.

 

 

 

PS: Check out the Caftans & Gin Seven Sins Tour. It starts April 16. Get hot & holy with the girl gang. xo

I should be hanging from a charm bracelet

“Sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem
is to stop participating in the problem.”

~ Jonathan Mead

In one of my Sunday Sin newsletters I told the Wild Ones about a musician I dated briefly who said “since we are getting things out in the open and you want honesty, I am usually more attracted to women who are closer to their ideal weight.”

He was a total fucking asshole who thought nothing of commenting on my weight as a way to get back at me because I told him to start respecting my boundaries around all his talk about his ex.

What I didn’t tell you is that this guy was my age and actively trying to lose 40 pounds.

Let that sink in.

He was 49 and was ACTIVELY trying to lose a significant amount of weight but thought NOTHING of commenting on MY weight. With intention to be hurtful.

Hypocrisy much?

He is a stupid little bitch but I am not gonna lie, it shook me to my core.

I would never say anything like that to him. Ever. Because I know how harmful that can be.

I have always thought I was fat.

Even when I wasn’t.

For my mother the worst thing a woman could be was fat.

I remember her saying that she couldn’t understand why my father left her because she had a 26 inch waist. That was what she shocked her. Not that he was a womanizer who was deep in a mid life crisis could possibly have anything to do with it.

She couldn’t understand it cause she still had a 26 inch waist. She is from a time when a women’s worth was measured by her waist size.

I remember modelling and being told I could only go farther than I already was if I lost 10-15 pounds. I weighed 112 pounds.

I remember how my mother would always remind me “no one will love you if you gain weight.” I weighed 118 pounds.

I remember lying on my bed in my stomach reading and her peeking into my room and saying I needed to watch what I was eating because my ass was getting big.

I remember that guy leaving and one of the reasons was because he said my “health” was worrisome to him. We all know “health” meant “weight.”

I remember the first thing my brother said when he came back to town was “you have lost weight since I saw you. Keep going.”

No comment on my apartment that he had never seen, or my business he knows nothing about, or my job at the vintage store, or how fucking rad Leonard is.

His only compliment was on my weight and the fact I had dropped some since he saw me last. Which was right after our mother died. Go figure. I didn’t look my best.

Unintentional because he is uniformed, but still the first thing to be noticed.

I believe that the worst thing I could be was fat and then have had it reinforced by the people who loved me, were dating me, or wanted to hurt me.

For years I have wanted to be loved in spite of my weight.

When I was at my perfect weight, when I was 10-60 pounds overweight, and now when I am hovering around 40 over.

There hasn’t been a time in the last 20 years, maybe my entire life, that I haven’t been acutely aware of my weight.

I (used to) like food and I like eating. Sometime in the last 20 years I became an emotional eater. Food instead of feelings.

I know what gaining weight feels like.
I know what losing weight feels like.

Erma Bombeck once said “In two decades I’ve lost a total of 789 pounds. I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.”

I totally get that and find it hilarious.
But lately I start to lose weight and then I sabotage it.

My excuses.

No sports bra.
No membership.
No groceries.
No money.
Can’t cook.
No time.
No energy.

blahblahblahblah

Some of it is valid on many levels.

The fire was raging after all but life was going on.

My best friend embarked on a fitness program last year and she did it because she was tired all the time all the time and wanted more energy.

She said as her fitness picked up, and her energy skyrocketed, there were moments when she was scared. Because she knew what it felt like to be in the body she had, she didn’t know what it felt like to be in the body she was creating.

That resonates deeply and she is fucking brilliant.

I know what it feels like to be where I am now with my weight. I don’t know what it feels like to be in a different place with it. Not in the space I have been in.

So many things over the last two years have felt unfamiliar and this feels like one more place I won’t recognize myself. Even though I DON’T recognize my BODY right now.

Weirdly body and weight are two different things. A lot of the time I feel like I have a smoking hot body and I am really comfortable with my weight AND a lot of the time I feel like my weight is too much to do anything about. The and/and again. It’s constant.

This is not a letter on body positivity. There are people doing amazing work in that field. Check out Star Monroe and Melissa Toler because they are killing it.

This is about my own becoming. The power up procedures for my re-entry. The allowing for more. The fuck you to the past way of thinking about my weight.

I ran into my yoga instructor on the street the other day. He usually hugs me and gently says “when are you coming back?”. This time he hugged me, pulled away, looked at me, and bluntly and directly said “come back.”  Oy.

He is right.

It’s time to stop the cycle that holds me hostage.

It’s time for elegant surrender.

It’s time to remember what my body feels like when I feel most like myself.

It’s time to manage my weight.

It’s time to remember what my energy feels like when I fuel it.

It’s time to change how I think, feel, am, and want to be physically in this phase of almost 50.

I rock the fuck out of my emotional, mental and spiritual wellness (mostly and over time). The physical has always been on and off kryptonite it seems. I feel ready though. Change is good.

As always I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I will keep you posted.

Til then,

“I’m not single, I am looking up the Bikram schedule.”

Take me to church.

Stay gold wild ones.
Thanks for hanging out with me.

Holy Rebellion

“Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pure gibberish – a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow –
to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested . . .

Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.”

~ Hunter S. Thompson

Every week I send out a love letter.
It starts like this:

Chapel. For girls who join gangs.
Welcome to Sunday Sin.

Why do I use that particular introduction?

The simple answer…

I like things with an edge that don’t make sense.

People have asked me where the “sin” thing comes from.

My grandmother was Catholic and was educated by nuns in Belgium, but I was not raised in organized religion. I have no baggage from that, good or bad, so I have nothing to unpack there which makes it easier for me than it might for others.

When my uncle Emile fell in love with Roseanne, who was a protestant, the priest at our Lady of Holy something or other told my grandma that they would not recognize the marriage if Roseanne didn’t convert.

My auntie Roseanne didn’t want to convert to Catholicism. So my grandmother told the priest that if her new daughter-in-law was not good enough for them, then she wasn’t either.

She never went to Mass again. She was Catholic. Until she wasn’t.

My aunt and uncle were married for over 50 years and in the eyes of the church they lived in sin that entire time.

Think about that.

A long lasting love was considered sin.

My grandmother loved being Catholic. But she didn’t love the judgement, so she went her own way and did what she wanted.

I am from that lineage.

I collect religious symbology because I am full of longing and it gives me a sense of something I desperately need. The rosaries, Mary statues and Jesus paintings are magic to me.

I have chameleon soul so these items exist with pin up culture, indulgence and wildness. Part 70’s porn set and part medieval cathedral.

I am in love with the idea of church.
Going to chapel weekly to worship at the altar of your faith.

My faith, and my chapel, just looks a little different.

I pray to full moons and pink skies and the perfect whiskey sour.
To vintage glamour, and sex, love and rock n roll.
To St. Felicia, the patron saint of no fucks to give.

In every Caftans & Gin tour I have done I have had a “take me to church” weekend. Orgasm and prayer.

Seeing God.

I connect deeply and spiritually to the raw and real conversation that results from those prompts. I loved that seeing God can come from prayer AND sex and it is so different for each person.

It is in such contrast to all the dogma that surrounds women.

Not just in religion but in general.

How we are supposed to show up.
How we are supposed to act.
How we are supposed to look.

All that stuff that keeps women from themselves and keeps them down.

The so called “sin”.

I fucking love the idea of being bad.

Bad in defiance of the cultural norms expected of women.

Bad. In chapel. With the girl gang.

Where there is no such thing as too much and all sins are forgiven.

Holy fucking rebellion in compatibility, complication, and contradiction to what being a women is supposed to look like.

We sin as we want.
We respect each other’s faith.
We believe in each other’s experience and support that.
We are inclusive.

Community WITHOUT prejudice.

Celebration. NOT condemnation.

A place of sanctuary, worship AND confession.

Let’s face it. Life is fucking hard.

We are always a work in progress.
We go from one evolution to the next and float in between.

Sometimes we need professional help and sometimes we need a priest.

But other times, we just need to go church and let the good times roll.

Right now…

“I’m not single, I am sinning with the girl gang.”

Take me to church. Seven Sins Tour. Starts April 16th.

Stay gold wild ones.
Thanks for hanging out with me.

Squirrel in a spacesuit….

“Houston.
We have a problem.”

***

Last week Bill Paxton died and I was sad.

To honour him I am re-watching all his movies that I love so much.

I started with Apollo 13.

If you haven’t seen it please watch it immediately.

It is based on a true story of three American astronauts who flew into space with the intention of landing on the moon, but something happened and they got stuck and then had to wait for the team in Houston to figure out a way to get back them back to earth.

Remember last week when I saw the light and didn’t die?

And I said I was:

Free to focus on other things with nothing to “think” about. No constant to-do list of never ending shit relating to my mothers death AND the ending of my 10 year relationship that happened just before. Just me.

And I wondered:

What will I have time for now that I don’t have all this stuff to deal with?
What did I do before all this?
What have I missed?
What is next?
What have I been avoiding because this used up all of my bandwidth?

The last 2 years caused a fire that blew me off course and I don’t have a fucking clue what the answers to any of these questions are.

There is no mission control calling out the “Go. No go.” checklist for launch.

There is no hard dock. (yes I said DOCK #dirtyminds)

There is no steely-eyed missile man trying to figure out how many amps are needed to power me up and bring me home.

It’s just me.

A squirrel in a space suit floating around waiting for instructions.

How long does it take to regain the signal after a burn out?

Do I have enough power to get to re-entry but I just don’t have the power up procedures?

****
I spent all week thinking about what I want, what I haven’t had the time or money for, what dreams are on the back burner, and where I have, and have not been honouring myself.

This is Sunday Sin.

I am a loooooong way from any sin right now.

I haven’t seen God since September. *ahem*

There are no men.
There is very little money. (for now)
There is a wee beginning of fun with the #girlgang.
The creative juices are starting to flow big time and I am excited about that.

But sin? Not much.

As I ask myself the question of “what is next” one thing keeps popping up for me.

The self care/help/development industry is always one of “you are worthy” and “you deserve that.”

I believe the challenge we have is not about feeling worthy or deserving.

We ARE worthy and deserving of what we want because we are here.

Hand to god I have said this to myself, and to my clients.

But something is shifting.

We KNOW what we are worthy of and we KNOW what we deserve.

Most of the time.

Not all the time, but deep down I believe we have a pretty good idea.

I think what it all comes down to is this – what are we willing to allow for in those spaces of want?

I had such an interesting conversation with a client about this earlier in the week and I can’t stop thinking about it.

I have been asking the “what is next” question from the wrong place.

My power up procedures for re-entry are not based on my worth or what I deserve, they are based on what I am willing to allow.

What will I allow into this space that is free (mostly) from grief and heartbreak?
What will I allow myself to do?
How will be more than I have allowed myself to be?
Am I willing to allow for more than I ever have?

How often do I sell myself out when it comes down to what I really want from life?

A lot I think.

Especially while the fire raged.

Not because I am not worth it, not because I don’t deserve it, not because I am unwilling to receive it, but because I don’t allow for it.

Romance.
Money.
Success.
Fitness.
Health.
Happiness.
Creativity.

I am feeling the heat from the fire. I know that.

But I have forgotten how to sin and my wild side is in hibernation.

****
I have a friend who mistakenly ordered herself a very expensive glass of wine in a restaurant. So she instagrammed it and said “when you do this you better enjoy the fuck out of it” and she tagged it with #accidentallylivingmybestlife

That hashtag killed me.

What would happen if I just kept floating for a bit while I allowed for more?

What if I just trusted in the faith that I have always had, and let that faith and wonderment steer things?

What if THAT was my mission control and I just believed it will all sort itself out?

What if I got crystal clear on what I want and asked for help, and then allowed change to happen?

And in the meantime I just floated along and did whatever the fuck I want, in the way I want to, without trying to manipulate and organize and control and create a step by step power up procedure to bring me back to earth?

What if I just lived my best life, like I used to, and that meant more sin and more wild?

HOLY FUCK.

I am gonna do it. I am gonna allow for more.

Of everything.

More grit. More sin. More dirt. More fun. More indulgence.
More brilliance. More creativity. More of me.

Less planning. Less justifying. Less defending. Less questioning.

No agenda.

See where that takes me.

Shit is about to get interesting. *evil chuckle*

****
At some point there will be splashdown.

I will re-enter an atmosphere that is familiar (but different) where I recognize myself and I can breath properly again.

And when I land there will be a hot navy seal ready to open the hatch and escort me out.

Obviously this is how I will look when he finds me.

But until then…

“I’m not single, I am floating.”

Take me to church.

 

Stay gold wild ones.
Thanks for hanging out with me.

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