As the sun is near setting on 2014, I am holding space for gratitude . . . but not gratitude for all that has happened to us, or for the love that others have offered to us. Instead, I hold space, and invite you to step in with me, for the waves of gratitude that we ourselves deserve. 
As women, we are not conditioned to reflect upon *and own* all of the amazing things that we do each day; we are not taught to acknowledge our strength, our power, our wisdom, our perseverance. 
Cultivating and harboring a core of deep self-worth and self-appreciation is truly the wellspring of our Sacred Self-Care practice, Sisters. If we lack a sense of our own deserving, our self-care will never feel authentic or take priority in our lives. 
So this week I invite you, my dear Sister, to spend some time reflecting upon all of the things for which *you* so richly deserve your own gratitude and appreciation. Speaking as a beloved friend, acknowledge to yourself all that you have done out of a place of self-love, self-worth, and self-respect.

It may look/feel/sound something like this . . . 
* Thank you for trusting your intuition.
* Thank you for making the difficult but (self-) loving choices.
* Thank you for speaking your truth.
* Thank you for showing up for yourself.
* Thank you for your courage.
* Thank you for your commitment. 
* Thank you for doing the hard work.
* Thank you for modeling self-respect and self-love.

* Thank you for following your passion.
* I am thankful for your insight.
* I am thankful for your fierce love.
* I am thankful that you did not give up.
* I am thankful for your wisdom.
* I am thankful for your determination.
* I am thankful for the investment you made in me.
* I am thankful for the healthy boundaries you uphold.
* You made the best decision possible in the moment.
* You are powerful.
* You are an amazing mother/wife/friend/partner/daughter/sister.
* You chose love over fear.
* You made a difference.
* You are enough.
* You are inherently worthy of love and respect.

Which of these resonate most deeply with you? Which have I left off the list?

Give yourself permission to freely *give and receive* the love and gratitude that you crave and deserve, dear Sisters. Start with your heart, and follow her lead.

*** With enormous gratitude and love for you all, and all that you have brought in 2014 ***


Are you getting enough water, Sisters? 
It sounds kind of funny, but water has really been on my mind the past couple of months.
Unlike many cultures the world over, we are lucky to have drinkable water available to us at the turn of a faucet handle; and yet, chances are that none of us are drinking the optimal amount for our bodies each day.
We all grew up hearing that we need at least eight glasses per day (roughly 64oz), but new guidelines recommend that your body needs, in ounces, approximately half the number of your weight in pounds. So a women who weighs 150lbs need at least 75oz of water each day. 
That's over half a gallon, Sisters! 
And of course that number increases if you are very physically active, if the weather is dry, if you drink caffeinated beverages, if you are pregnant/nursing, and especially if you are bleeding. 
Gifting our bodies with adequate water is indeed one of the most fundamental acts of loving Self-Care. Our bodies are 70% water, which means *we are more water than anything else*.
Water lubricates our joints, flushes toxins from our kidneys, and hydrates our cells and tissues.
Water aids in easeful digestion, decreases bloating, and - this is huge, Sisters - significantly decreases menstrual cramps!
Water also has the seemingly-magical ability to respond to our energy. The amazing work of the recently deceased Dr. Masaru Emoto demonstrates that water molecules arrange themselves in different patterns based upon words, music, and toxins in the immediate environment. You can read more about this ground-breaking discovery here. Taking this research to heart, many of our Sisters choose to bless or thank their water before drinking it. 
So today, Sisters, I invite you to shift your awareness to your daily water intake. Rather than thinking of this as one more thing to add to your to-do list, allow your energy around this to come from a place of gifting yourself with vitality. You can up the enjoyability factor by using a pretty glass* bottle (I use a 32oz juice bottle, and aim to drink three per day) or a reusable stainless steel* cup or mason jar. If you can use a straw, even better -- studies show that people drink more water if they use a straw!
* Even BPA-free plastic bottles contain chemicals that are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors. 
And don't be afraid to take baby steps, Sisters; ANY increase in your water intake is going to be good for you. Incremental goals allow you to make this shift gradually, and help you to begin to recognize your thirst signals, which are often mistaken for hunger.
Be gentle with yourself - don't sweat it if your water consumption isn't on your radar for a few days, but do acknowledge your progress, and notice the ways in which drinking more water helps you to feel good!
Cheers to your hydration, Sisters!

In this time of winter holidays, I have been pondering the many spiritual paths represented by the women of our Sisterhood. One of the things of which I am most proud is that participation in the Red Tent transcends religion -- we come together as *women* first. Muslim, Christian, Pagan, Jewish, Buddhist, Atheist/Agnostic, Unitarian Universalist: these are just some of the spiritual paths of our Sisters. It moves me deeply to know that women of such varied experiences and philosophies sit side-by-side each month, freely offering their love and support and respect to all of the other women sitting in Circle. I am so proud to hold space for you, and so honored to sit in Circle with you each month.
WE are the seeds of change, my Sisters.
WE are the ripples on the pond.
WE are the ones we've been waiting for.