I am beginning to suspect that devotion might be my favorite word.

What is your life Devoted to?

I've been asking myself this a lot lately and it keeps circling back to a few key things:

1) My wellness: for a decade now, I have been chasing the promise of mental health, with very good fortune so far. I have much less unidentifiable depression and anxiety these days, though it is still a daily process to follow this constant balance.

2) My marriage: Chris and I were lucky enough to find True Love, and I will spend every day I have with him treasuring and tending to that precious and immense force.

3) Our child: his daily needs are unrelenting, as are his daily wonders. The greatest challenge I have ever given myself is to raise him in an environment of love and safety, and I am beginning to think that I am succeding.

4) My work: it is being expressed right now as Writing, but more so, it is in learning how to follow the call of heart that nudges me to create something new (when I am fortunate enough to be touched by it).

These are my Devotions.

What every moment of every day is deeply about.

I am relieved to see that housework is not on this list, as it so often goes undone.

I am also more than a little dismayed to realize that “Getting my one allowable sweet per day” almost made it on this list. I think about this multiple times each day, to the point that, if I can’t classify it as a devotion, there’s a real possibility that it’s actually an addiction. This is not a pretty insight to have (it’s also not a new one), and it feels very vulnerable to write about here. I will be tender with myself as I take this in.

My word for this year is Love, but I'm actually wondering if Devotion would be a more accurate term to describe my intention.

Because Devotion is the place where Love and Work meet.

 
 
I am 1/2 way through Trying My Own Thing.

In October 2012, I decided to begin asking this question: "If I could do anything, what would it be?"

At some point, I decided that 3 years was how long I would give myself to figure this out.

What a luxury to have this time. I am so grateful.

And now, it has been 1.5 years.

1/2 way.

I alternate between thinking "What have I even done?" and "Look how much I've done!"

"Where am I going with all this?" and "Wow. I think I might actually know where I'm going with all this."

No one can give me the answers to these questions.

I am the one who is asking them.

I am the one who must answer them.


All I can ever do is what I must do right now.

There is a voice telling me that I might be wrong about all this, but it's been there for a long time.

And it's not as loud as it used to be. 

I know I can live with it now.


Love,


Whitney
 
 
I am so ready for Spring, it hurts.

Almost each day now, I feel a melancholy wash over me.

I search through all the storage lockers of my mind for the reason why.

And then I step into the blaring sunlight and know:

I'm just done with winter.

I need this to be over.

I need the next part to begin.


I am wondering if waking up to Spring is not much different than falling asleep to Winter.

I have to make it happen.

In the beginning of December, I was ready for everything to go away.

I was ready to be wrapped in blankets of snow.

To rejoice in the darkness.

To say "Look how lucky we are to have shelter and warmth!!"

I didn't cause the snow to fall or the sun to set early, but I made space for it in my life.

The season entered by its own power, and I offered up my whole body to the shift that had to happen.

We built our ritual nest and climbed in for weeks on end.

I stopped all work and let my mind slow down to the pace of the season.

I let die what had to die.

I brought winter into myself.


Is it any different now with Spring?

This season that I am so desperate to see happen, must I first create it within myself?

I need Spring.

I need sun, ground, and life.

I need this snow to melt and leave me alone forever.

I need these birds to surround me in their song every moment of every day.

I need this sun to blind me with its light and heat.

My body needs this.

And yet, I can't make it happen.

I am at the mercy of the skies and the trees and the light to do what they will do.

I must wait on them.

So what do I do with this incredible urge insisting that Spring come NOW?


This is my own absolute determination to be here, to be seen, to become.

This is the force of my own bud pushing its way up through frozen ground.

It is building and building and threatening to burst.

And burst it will.

Just as the crocuses will burst from the ground one day soon, so must I.

Against this hard soil holding me down, frozen.

Until I break through the soil and erupt with my own color.

I am the bud, pushing, not yet emerged.

I am the seed of the flower, open and taking root.

Forcing myself out of this old casing and into a new body, a bigger being, a greater force.

I can feel myself roaring to come alive.

Utterly determined to make myself be known.

To make myself be seen.

I am this tiny force against this heavy earth.

And I have absolute conviction to do what I must do.

This is the push of Winter into Spring.

And I am so ready to do it.
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Love,


Whitney Rhiannon Till

 
 
To my friends,

I've been thinking and talking about Shame a lot this week, because it's been creeping up on me without my realizing it (as it always does), and I start to feel pretty shitty, and then I finally realize that all those nasty thoughts I'm having is Shame talking, not me, and I say "Shame! What are you doing here again?" And it says:

"GOTCHA!!!"

Every single fucking time.

And so it goes. Love,

Whitney
 
 

Dear Friends,

I am henceforth beginning my wonderful blessing of a winter break. I will be off the blog for a while, and only intermittently available otherwise. I hope you have very happy holidays, and I can't wait to see you in the New Year!!

Sincerely,


Whitney
 
 

I am so excited to have a free gift for you this Christmas!

YOUR 2014 MONTHLY CALENDAR!

Picture


This elegant and simple calendar fits perfectly into
your 3-ring binder (full or half-sized),
and will help you arrange your year into
wonderful little weeks full of love and prosperity.



Download your FREE 2014 Monthly Calendar in
regular-size (8 1/2" x 11") or half-size (5 1/2" x 8 1/2") format here:


2014 Monthly Calendar
File Size: 2281 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

2014 Monthly Calendar (Half-size)
File Size: 2529 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

This is my gift to you.
I hope you enjoy it and have a great time getting ready for the New Year!

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Merry Christmas everyone!!

Love,


Whitney

 
 
12/18 UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who signed up for the SOUL PLANNER©!
We have met and exceeded my goal, so this offer is now closed.
Keep an eye out for the awesome final edition in the future!!
Hey Friends!!



I am so excited to offer you this super special chance to get a FREE copy of my brand-new


                                   ...highly customizable...


                                                                 ...über-flexible...


                                                                                        ...truly elegant...


                                                                                                              life-centered...


             SOUL PLANNER©
                                   TAKING CARE OF OUR HEARTS AND MINDS
                                  WHILE WE ARRANGE OUR TASKS AND TIME



I am almost finished with it, and I LOVE how it's turning out.


So now...I need to know how what YOU think.


I want to make a trade.


I want to give you a FREE copy of my brand new SOUL PLANNER©, in exchange for your feedback.


I'll email you a downloadable PDF, which you can print out, stick in your 3-ring binder (large or small), and play with for a while. Then you can let me know what you love about it, and what could be made even better!


This offer will also include my beautiful 2014 Monthly Calendar for FREE too!!!

To get your free copy, just let me know you're interested via the comment section below or email me at WhitneyRTill [at] gmail [dot] com!


This beautiful planner is designed to...


        …focus your energy without squeezing all the breath out of it.


        ...manage all the balls you have up in the air so you have more time to celebrate the wonders of life.


        …help you get really clear about what you're spending your time on and why.


        ...look so gorgeous that you can't wait to open it up every morning!


        …be used when YOU need it.


        …let you create more balance & presence & joy in your life.


        ...integrate the natural rhythms of life into your modern day demands.


        ...be what YOU need it to be.


It contains so much possibility!


Because there are ways to make peace with time & plans & to-do lists.


There are ways to prepare for the future AND live in the present moment.


This planner contains a plethora of different options so that you can fit it to YOUR needs & YOUR energy levels.


You will be able to plan your year, month, week, and/or day in whatever combination fits YOU best.


If you need to plan simply, in detail or even cyclically, you can find the way that works with YOUR personal style.



To get your free copy, just let me know you're interested via the comment section below or email me at WhitneyRTill [at] gmail [dot] com!

Picture




I can't wait to hear what you think!!


Whitney

 
 
Every year I force myself to wait until after Thanksgiving to play Christmas music. The morning after, I put on Bing Crosby's Christmas hits so I can show off my awesome Christmas dance skills to my husband.


Last week, while I was in Target picking out my wrapping paper theme for this year, I was literally jumping up and down with excitement when I found some beautiful 1940's replicas.


So now, each day during baby's afternoon nap, I lock myself away with Elf or White Christmas or Little Women and wrap gifts to my hearts delight, admiring my old-fashion paper and reveling in the complicated puzzle I've created for my niece to figure out who's present is who on Christmas morning.


My world is blanketed in snow right now. It is stunning. Every time I walk out the door, I am a child kicking fluffy white love all over the place, feeling grateful for how dry my toes remain in my good winter boots.


There's something about the world being covered in snow that lets me feel the relief of knowing that everything is over. Everything is gone. Everything is getting ready to become new.


I've been contemplating the deeper meanings of Christmas. I love Jesus and the celebration of his birth, but it confuses me. Why December? Babies are born in the Spring, maybe summer or even fall, but winter? Winter is when we run out of resources, it's almost the opposite of new life.


Winter is death. The trees have spent the fall drawing their energy back into their bodies and letting go of every last one of their leaves. The bushes have turned brown and the flowers are long gone. So it doesn't seem like the moment to commemorate birth. It feels like the moment to commemorate death.


Death is important. Death is essential. Death is the end. And it's good for things to end.


Celebrating birth at Christmas feels like trying to trick time into skipping right over the quiet sleep of winter. Indeed, maybe a part of us really would like to just skip over this altogether. But really- what's wrong with paying attention to death and quiet for a moment? What if we celebrate the going away? We can release the warmth and growth with faith that it will return, in order to recognize that this time is as important as any other.


I used to think we create a celebration of lights in order to 'get away' from the dark. But throughout this past week, as I have opened my bedroom door to the stunning glow of our tree in the middle of the night, I notice how happy it makes me for the dark that surrounds it. The lights simply highlight the beauty and wonder of the dark night.


It's nice to have so much darkness. My eyes don't have to work so hard too see through the blaring, constant summer sun. My body sleeps more deeply in the cool stillness of winter nothingness. I feel a lovely permission to just stay home all day if I feel like it, get in my sweatpants early and not worry about getting my normal amount of work in. I hibernate.


So, this year, I am giving myself new permission to honor death. To honor the ending of all things before I get too concerned with knowing what the subsequent new beginning will look like.


The ending of the seasons. The end of the year. Letting whatever we are done with die away.


I have some ideas about what is ready to die away within me. I know I need the death that a vacation provides. I need to stop working for a while. That's why I will soon be commencing my winter break. I won't be blogging or worrying about any particular project for the holidays or even the month of January. I need a break. A nice, open-ended break. Ahhh…


What are you ready to release to the sweet mercy of winter?
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I wish you the happiest holidays possible!!


So much love,

Whitney

 
 
You are your own savior

You are the only one who can make sense of things for yourself

You are the only one who can change your own life: DO IT


That thing that you know needs to happen in order for you to move forward: DO IT NOW

Don't hesitate. Don't wait for something else to happen first

Just do it

Then figure it out as you go

Make a plan if you need to, and then start


If there's a certain kind of love that you need: MAKE IT FOR YOURSELF

No one else is going to know how to love you best unless you figure it out first


Take hold of your own life, and then let the world fall around that

Don't wait for permission, for freedom, for security

Do what you know you must do, because you're the only one who can
 
 
Every single one of us reaches a point where everything must fall apart in order to be fixed. When this occurs, listen to the broken pieces as best you can.

WHEN YOU'RE CARRYING MORE THAN YOU CAN BALANCE

If your life contains more than you are able to take care of, it is time to clear something out. What is truly important? What is there just because someone else said it was? It is your right and responsibility to distinguish this for yourself, every single day. This is the only way we will get the really important stuff done while we’re here. The more you work your muscles of discernment, the more the holy process of life will make sense to you. 

If you are trying to balance a life that seems unmanageable, take hope. The more you attempt the holy balance of life while listening deeply to your own inner guidance, the more skill you will attain for it. Trust the process, and take it one step at a time. In time, you will become very good at balancing that which is most important to you.

You already have the capacity for all this within you. It is just a matter of dusting that capacity off and honing in on what really matters. Learning to trust your own judgment will occur naturally.

WHEN YOU’RE STUCK IN A PAINFUL SITUATION

Are you stuck in a cycle that has no way of ending well? If you’re in a place that seems to have no good outcome for you, step back and take a good look at your surroundings. What are you trying to get out of this situation? Is that even possible? Is it truly worth your precious time and energy?

If you just can’t seem to get anything right, that may mean it’s time to zoom out and take a look at the bigger picture of what is going on around you. Instead of staying trapped in a painful situation, ask yourself if it’s time to leave or make an adjustment. You may fear that if you do things differently, you’ll get trapped somehow. But if you’re spending all of your time worrying about what bad things might occur in the future, you are already in a trap.

WHEN YOUR EMOTIONS ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE

Perhaps you're feeling “overly emotional.” Good. Be overly emotional. Be emotional all of the time. Emotions guide us to what’s going on inside ourselves. They guide us to our inner knowledge of what steps to take next, or what needs are going unfulfilled. Feelings are the stuff of life. Feeling is what makes us alive.

Each different pocket of feeling holds some key that you need in order to be whole and sustained. Tend to each one with love and great concern. Let is speak what it must. Let it hurt or cheer or laugh or fume. Each one moves us along the road of life. Take care of them all, and then clean yourself out for the fresh water of life to enter. The more we do this, the more our souls get cleaned and ready for all that vast goodness that we are capable of containing.

The only thing that makes a feeling “bad” is calling it “bad.” No feeling is actually “bad,” “good,” “right,” or “wrong.” Each feeling is just…a feeling. If you let it be just what it is, it is able to deliver its message to you and then move along its merry way. Sometimes it takes a while to pass, sometimes it takes just an instant. Some bring sensations you enjoy, while others cause great discomfort. Allow variety with each new emotion. And sit in wonder at all the different capacities you gain over time for being present and loving.

YOU ARE WORTH THAT WHICH YOU NEED MOST

The bottom line is this- you are worth wholeness. You are worth understanding, peace, and change. Whatever it is you need, go and get that. Over time, it will gradually start to make more sense.
 
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    I am Whitney Rhiannon Till, and I am passionate about finding ways to undo that which holds us back, and create the lives that we most deeply yearn for.

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