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It's been three months since Michael died. When The Beautiful One returned from her last visit with him and his devoted life partner Jody, she knew much more intimately the . . . [Read More]

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We are going to read my book Is Home Your Happy Place? together. I know, I know. How exciting might it be to read a book about clutter? Well, it's not . . . [Read More]

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Unruly Rants

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There was this piece of me—a young, vulnerable, desperate piece of me—who begged for someone to finally just tell me who the hell I was supposed to be, or do, or what my life was supposed to be about. Every time life intensified, waves of hysteria would swell from deep within me, the fear that I’d get it wrong… that I couldn’t trust myself to know what was true for me. I felt terrified that, without external guidance, my life would be wasted.

But then I started to explore what one of my early teachers called “the spirituality of the self”. I studied the way I reacted to the world around me, the way I allowed certain relationships, circumstances, and experiences to affect me. I learned I was powerful, far more powerful than I’d ever imagined, and that I could change reality by changing the way I was showing up in the world. In time, I released what no longer served me and made space for my truth to become my life. The artist, the lover, the priestess, the mother, the healer, the dancer, the writer . . . one discovery at a time, I hosted a reunion of the pieces of my soul.

This transformation was possible because of the supports I cultivated for myself along the way.  My blog is an extension of my journals. I use it to share the lessons I’ve learned, powerful resources, and inspiring stories of my clients’ transformations. Dig in and find the information and inspiration you need today and keep coming back when you need another dose! If you can’t find what you’re looking for, email me your question and I’ll see what I can find for you.

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March 25, 2016

Unruly Confessions: I Have Not Been To The Dentist In 15 Years

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****Trigger Warning**** This post contains information about recovering from sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

“Going to the dentist cannot be part of my self-care because it triggers memories of being orally raped.  I have not been to the dentist in 15 years and I’m afraid my teeth are going to fall out.”

Dear Unruly Woman,

We all have our stuff, you know? Literally, every single person I know has something they’ve resisted doing because of old wounds. You are not alone in this struggle and you don’t have to be alone on the journey back to health.

If you were my friend, I’d grab your hands, lean in real close, and tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. I would promise you that there’s a way to make dental care feel possible if that’s what you want. We would talk about the trauma, how much healing work you’ve done, and what it would take for you to feel safe in a dentist’s chair.

I would ask if you know any dentists that feel safe. If not, I’d ask if  you would be willing for me to ask around to find one who is sensitive to your needs. (I have oodles of women in my community who are rocking life after trauma, so referrals like this are usually easy to find.) I’d make calls and find a list of just right providers to consider.

We’d meet again to talk about the list of options. I’d tell you how they responded to my inquiry, why I felt like they could be trusted, and what all they were willing to do to help you feel safe. If any of them resonated for you, I’d ask permission to make an appointment for us to visit them to talk about what’s possible. If it felt true for you, we would go check them out — share your concerns, ask questions about what lies ahead, and listen to their ideas about how to help you feel safe. If it went brilliantly and you felt ready, we’d make an appointment to have your teeth cleaned.

We’d make a plan for that day. I’d go with you if you wanted. Hell, I’d gather an Unruly village to go with you, if that’s what it takes to make you feel safe.  I’d go back with you. I’d hold your hand. The dentist would explain their every move before they made it. If at any point you felt even remotely unsafe, the dentist would stop and wait for you to be ready to proceed. If you were unable to continue, we’d leave and come back when you are ready to begin again. We’d do this as many times as it takes for you to heal these wounds and meet your dental needs.

(There’s also something called sedation dentistry, which allows you to be asleep while your dental work is done. If the trigger is so extreme that it couldn’t be released with less intense approaches — and assuming you could feel safe under those conditions — that’s another option we could explore.)

If you were my friend and you lived here in Minneapolis, I know exactly where I’d take you. Our family dentist and her extraordinary team would give you as much time and energy as necessary to help you feel safe enough to proceed with treatment. I know this because they held my hand off and on for the last year. Before we found them, it had been nearly 10 years since my last dental visit.

If you can make these calls and have these powerful conversations with dentists, do it. If you can’t, ask someone who loves you to help. If you can’t bear that, email me and I’ll help you figure out how to find a safe place to secure dental care in your city. I have no idea how all of this will land (or if you’ll ever even read it) but I want you to remember the most important part.

You deserve this. Yes, I’m sure.

You deserve to fully recover from this pain. You deserve to feel safe. You deserve to be supported. You deserve to release every single thing that keeps you from loving your body. You deserve to have your needs and desires met. You deserve to say yes to you.

I can feel that you have already healed hundreds of little pieces of the fallout from this trauma. When you’re ready to tend to this one, you will heal it too.

Love and truth to you,

Christy, The Unruly Woman

Click here to submit your Unruly Confessions & Unsigned Mail. Some Unruly Confessions and Unsigned Mail (with my responses) will be published in Incite, my (ideally) daily attempt to incite unruliness in our community via email. Go here and register to spice up your inbox or ask questions without the cloak of anonymity.

Alena Navarro- Whyte via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
March 15, 2016

Unsigned Mail: Healing From Infidelity

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Can a relationship recover after infidelity?

Dear Unruly Woman,

Yes, a relationship can recover after infidelity. Plain and simple: Yes, you can do this. But YOU means both of you and no one person is “enough” to heal this kind of betrayal on their own.

Deep down in the core of my being, I believe that two people who are in love and want to be together can heal any wounds that have come between them. You two will need to listen like you’ve never listened to one another before. You’ll need new tools. You’ll need radical honesty. You’ll both need to fight for your future.

(You’ll may even need professional support. I’m here.)

You’ll need to open your heart and share all of what you left unspoken in the past, the very things that left your relationship vulnerable to The Other One is now what you most need to share.

This affair — whether it was a one time sex act, an emotional betrayal, or a full-on scandalous affair — is not The Problem. And although it certainly feels like it, The Other One is not actually The Problem either.

The Other One simply occupied space that appeared between you and your beloved. The space is The Problem. Your sleeping-bags-zipped-together-in-a-cozy-tent-for-two partnership changed over time. It’s not a crime. All relationships evolve, because the people in them evolve, and if we are not careful, we grow apart while we’re growing up.

The untended heartbreaks and unresolved conflicts left you two feeling cautious, retreating from the battle lines and into the safety of your own inner worlds. Instead growing up together, you pulled away a little at a time and soon home had two distinctly different sides. Retreating cultivates more conflict, which all too often makes you want to retreat even further from the one you love.

Infidelity can be the thing you blame for destroying your relationship but it can also be a wake up call, the life-altering reality check you needed to heal the old wounds. The Other One can be the final grain of sand tumbling into the lower half of the hourglass to tell you that it is time to flip your relationship on its head and begin again.

Again, the space is The Problem that exists between the two of you and The Other One is but a mere distraction. If both you and your beloved want to have a future together, evict the distraction and get busy building a new life.

This is a deeply shattering time. Allow yourselves and your old broken relationship to be completely destroyed.  And then, be bold enough to bring your true self to the table and brave enough to allow your partner to do the same. Speak the unspeakable.  Forgive like you want to be forgiven. Open your heart and invite the love of your life to enter once more. Touch. Look into one another’s eyes like there is no such thing as time.

Say yes to today, to a beautiful new way of being together, and then recommit to your togetherness every morning when you rise. And if you rise and yes doesn’t feel true for you, you owe it to one another to speak into it. Yes, ask every single day. If you both choose to embrace this invitation, you can give birth to a brand new love.

Love and truth to you,

Christy, The Unruly Woman

Click here to submit your Unruly Confessions & Unsigned Mail. Some Unruly Confessions and Unsigned Mail (with my responses) will be published in Incite, my (ideally) daily attempt to incite unruliness in our community via email. Go here and register to spice up your inbox or ask questions without the cloak of anonymity.

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
January 4, 2016

Unsigned Mail: Self-Care Affair?

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I’ve had affairs. 2 of them. They went on for a long time. I feel really bad about them. I needed to connect. I needed a connection without baggage or resentment. I have no excuse. I do feel bad about them. Except when I don’t feel bad about it. For a while, those moments were the only moments when I felt remotely ok about anything. Is there any way that an affair can be considered self-care?

Dear Unruly Woman,
We typically think of self-care as soul-nourishing, sanity-cultivating, inner-peace-supporting activities like eating healthy food, taking hot baths, meditating, or a having a night out with the girls. These kinds of activities leave us feeling rested, restored, and more ready to face whatever lies ahead. Self-care is important. It keeps a little bit of distance between us and the ledge. It helps us be at our best while we maneuver the realities of every day life. 

Self-care makes us feel better and when we are in crisis — trust me, you are in crisis if you’re in a committed monogamous relationship and are having an affair — self-care becomes even more vital. So at the time that you’re most in need, you’re choosing to fill that hole with behavior that will likely dig your hole a big bit deeper.  

When you are feeling so out of alignment that a lover’s embrace is the only place you find relief, you have a problem. Let’s just say that it is not so much “self-care” as an alarm system that is going off, loudly, over and over. Beep Beep Beep. Houston, we have a problem! 

Are there elements of your affair that make you feel better? Yes, the stone cold truth is that taking a lover is a damn fine way to feel better. But it comes with epic consequences and you’d be hard-pressed to find me a situation where it was actually the best solution. 

How easy it is to escape into those “moments” and ignore the reality of your life? Well, I can tell you that it’s too damn easy. And we must be conscientious about the choices we make at these tender times. We all know that in a period of darkness, an affair can bring back the light. But it’s like illuminating a warehouse with a box of matches — each one is way to short, they only let you see the tiny space right before you, and eventually you’re probably going to burn it down.  

Yes, an affair absolutely can be — in theory, at least — part of a self-care plan. But what’s it going to cost you? 

Do you have to lie to your partner to hook up with your lover? Is the affair creating more conflict at home? Are you telling your suspicious partner that he or she is out of their mind (because that’s a great way to earn my wrath) instead of admitting that things are not okay at home?

Are you talking to your lover when it’s your partner you really ache to be connected to? Is this person taking up sacred time you could be using to be honest with your partner about how you feel, and what you need and desire? Would you be more well served to use this time to respectfully leave the committed relationship that no longer feels true for you? 

Ask yourself how an affair truly affects you. Does being with your lover make you not want to go back to your real life? Does that fling feel so good that you’re pulling away from work, family, and home? Do you leave your lover’s arms feeling further from your truth? If so, then an affair may not be worth the cost, even in the name of self-care.

Self-care efforts need to leave us feeling more aligned with the truth of who we are, not less. Let us say YES when the benefits give us more it costs us. Give yourself TRUE support — not half-assed, backfiring, make-it-worse-than-it-was-to-start-with bullshittery. You deserve better. In fact, you deserve the best. 

So is a lover really what’s needed in these powerful moments? If yes, fine, do that. But if not, get yourself the support you really need to live your truth and stop fucking around. 

Love and truth to you,

Christy, The Unruly Woman

Click here to submit your Unruly Confessions & Unsigned Mail. Some Unruly Confessions and Unsigned Mail (with my responses) will be published in Incite, my (ideally) daily attempt to incite unruliness in our community via email. Go here and register to spice up your inbox or ask questions without the cloak of anonymity.

Image: Bogdan Suditu via Flickr

As always, if you need support, I’m here.