I wonder what symbol in this vast world represents hope for you. For me, it’s the moon. When I was young my mom and I used to stare at the moon. “Can you see it”, she would ask, “the man in the moon?” We’d be sitting on the couch in front of the picture window. Oh that window. So many memories. I bet you have many memories too, some warm, some sad. Some I’m sure that animate your soul to do great brave things. Our window faced our quiet small town street and was framed by the roof of my best friends house along with the forest and stars that lived in front of our home. My bodies hands and feet were so much smaller then. During those years, if you listened closely enough you could always hear the laugh of a child on the wind. Our blocks were full of children playing freely back then. I myself was usually found blowing with the wind at the teeny tiny top of our magnificent large as life maple tree. As a child, those times I was looking out the picture window on a dark winter’s eve were the times I felt closest to my mother. I knew her spirit, and she knew mine. Even as I grew older, learning to be autonomous and pushing her away so I could have space to explore who I was apart from my family - the moon reminded us; we were still there with each other on this journey. There was no room for anger or guilt or misunderstandings when we were with the moon - my mother and I.
I would imagine the man in the moon to well, not really be a man, but not a woman either. It was more like this feeling I would get of awe and wonder and timelessness. That was part of the beauty of the moon, not having to label or explain our experience of it. We all feel like that sometimes don’t we? Both men and women from time to time get transported into the beauty of the sky, and for that brief moment, all is well. Our ideologies of what is good and what is bad fade away into the night air. Even at my peak of suffering at the loss of my babe and my dream, the moon would soothe my hurting scared spirit. Catching a glimpse of the moon as I cried and retreated inward would remind my delicate psyche not to label my experience. Not to constrain myself to my pain. A mere glimpse of the moon was the kind of medicine to offer me strength enough to know “this dream gone badly” was not personal. Life, death, wins, failures, they’re all just part of this ride and the words we use, we use only to understand what role we’re truly meant to play in this vast universe.
I remember going camping with friends as a teenager. At night we’d all, guys and gals, line up with blankets on the ground after a night of partying, and stare quietly together at the stars. Together. That’s it. The moon reminds me of togetherness. Even now, 20 years after moving away from home I think of my mother and my homegrown gal and guy friends whenever I look into the moon at night. Whether I’m on my own, sharing the view with my lover or a stranger or a child, I feel “us”. All of us. Regardless of the many differences we all have, the cultural differences, beliefs and preferences - I feel us as a people united in quiet timelessness. I feel Brady and I’s child. I feel my dog taken by old age years ago. I feel your potential and mine. It’s beautiful really.
The year before I was pregnant (at the age of 34) I was talking to my man about how much I love the moon. “I think it would be fun to track my cycle to the phases of the 13-month moon calendar”. In true Man Sparkle style, Brady had found a traditional moon calendar online and printed it for me. It was on my pillow all cut into shape for me one day when I got home. I loved that thing. It was so strange that something so small and seemingly insignificant (black and white printer paper) could ignite such joy and warmth for me. Each month I diligently coloured in my moon calendar the signals of my body’s reproductive cycle. I felt the balance of being both a child and a grown experienced woman. It was fun. Something about the moon grounds me you know, I feel open to the universe when I see it. I suspect you may feel that way too.
Anyway please allow me to backtrack a moment. This chapter is after all about hope, therefore I suppose it’s my responsibility to weave hope into this chapter. Okay then, for me to get my point across, I must diverge. After the puppies who rescued us were all safe with their families, and our first Christmas had passed since our hearts were torn open (what, that’s what it felt like ok), I was to begin thinking about what was next. My husband and I carved space in our lives for me to have one year off. Well, my year-end was fast approaching! The easy option was to settle into Edmonton where I had an established tribe and go back into my profession as a Clinical Hypnotherapist or, sugar my way into the corporate world where I could get “stable good enough income and could leave my “heal the world brain” at home. Fuck me. I really wanted to leave my brain for like… mm, ever. Ah well. If you have any experience with yourself at all you’ll know by now you really can’t escape yourself. Not ever, not in any way (so heal because you’re amazing and stuck with yourself whether you like it or not). So, I alas had one option. Who was I kidding, going into an environment where I had to follow rules I disagreed with, listen to people I didn’t look up to, and do a monotonous job… I, oh wait, no, monotonous would have been a nice escape - the corporate world would have to wait.
Here’s the backstory: A colleague of mine who was working out of a renowned naturopaths office in Vancouver Canada had been diligently reminding me when I was ready to dive back into the profession from my healing year, a place was waiting for me at this clinic. How kind I thought. Truly. Honestly though (and coming from a healer personality writing this publicly is like defacing a statue of mother Mary…of course I’m only saying what many others have felt at some point), for the first time I was clear that helping people was exactly what I did not want to be doing. I could not yet accept that life is just not fair. I was disappointed, hurt, and overall kind of lost. Pretty much all new terrain for me, the bubbly fierce one. In the end, though, I knew a fight against my medicine momma nature was a useless idea. One year, two weeks and a day after I woke from surgery to face the loss of my babe and fertility, I was moving to North Vancouver Canada to start seeing clients in a well-known Naturopathic clinic with my colleague. Here I would meet a darling new friend who would support me and my work with a steady faith in my skill and heart.
My husband was in full swing up North with his business and again, I was braving the wilderness of life on my own. Oh no, it’s not a bad thing. Really I appreciated the time and space to discover more of myself. To reunite with my bravery, my courage, my commitment to life. To just focus on me and my transition back into the world. Was it hard? Did I have to deep breath a lot? Of course. And?? Turns out I rented a room for the three months I would be on the Coast without Brady. I got a beautiful little room on the 12th floor of a high-rise overlooking Vancouver and the sea (gosh those sunsets!) with a perfect view of the Rockies out my bedroom. I met my housemates, a couple I fell in love with (as I almost always do) from Iran who welcomed me into their little family, as I did them. Even writing this now I feel warmth in my heart form the memories of kindness, generosity and hope that the universe showered on me during that transition.
I felt so young again, out on my next adventure. Feeling both alone and in need of comfort and also excited and optimistic, I set out to create a cocoon in my little room from which to ready my refurbished set of wings in. One day I passed a second-hand store and thought to play. In divine timing, a perfectly cared for wool duvet and pillow had just been put out. The person who donated the set had lovingly tagged them with the store they were bought from along with care instructions and an “enjoy these have just been dry cleaned” with a heart on it. I smiled, then I smiled even more. You see I’m quite the sleeping queen when it comes to bedtime. All of our bedding is organic, natural and super comfy, and was in storage. I believe everyone deserves to be tucked into sleep, tuckered and well spent like a favourite teddy bear, with love and goodness. I smiled again. This is for me, I thought, with the sweetness of an excited innocent child. I don’t like wasting nor buying things I don’t need (landfills…ugh), BUT this was used! I was delighted. Joy really is simple. I also found myself a beautiful feminine lamp and bought a plant to share my journey and my view with. Every night that I went to sleep in my rented room with my loving Persian housemates (God were we crass, and the laughter…) I smiled as I tucked into my cosy fluffy twin bed. One thing was missing. The moon. If I could just have the moon in view it would be perfect!
The year prior, in my “healing year”, I decided to take on a love project. Something that would fuel my creative energy (in my body I could tell I was supposed to be growing a baby, so out of compassion for myself I grew something else that was special to me, a business). Something that would keep me feeling sane as I waxed and waned through my sorrow. From my yearning uterus, MoonTracker was born. “She” was a small project I made to track our menstrual cycles along the phases of the moon, which I shared with friends and family - Inspired by the 13-month calendar dear lover printed for me the year before. I included all kinds of education, wisdom and beauty from which I too learned a great deal. As fall approached I had friends and some teenagers asking me when I was doing my next one. What?! “But that was just for me, you liked it that much too?! I NEEDED to make it” I thought. So, I stored MoonTracker and those requests in my heart and left for Mexico with my husband.
But back to my rented room in North Vancouver Canada. “If I only had the moon in sight”. I recalled that thought. “If I only had another Moontracker". Well, that was it. My moment of inspiration. I can make “her” again. With so much uncertainty and newness again, MoonTracker was my sacred place where everything in the world was right. I began planning. My evenings after clinic time were filled with rich scented teas and the stunning view of the sunset over the ocean cutting paper, playing with rulers and searching the internet for just the right art. I had to feel it. We have to feel. It’s in the depths of feeling beauty, love, passion, & inspiration that we feel the luxuriousness of living. I knew joy, I knew death, and I wanted to focus on life. I still wanted to be a mother. A wise women. An inspiration. A new and improved version of MoonTracker I knew, would help me.
Once I got clear on the look and feel of the project, I found myself a fabulous goddess who could get the graphic design just right. A local gal who understood and respected my vision got right on board and away we went. We enjoyed plenty a splendid coffee date at the ocean, time together designing in my zen den (our home is super small and super sweet) and numerous conversations to make sure she and I would get this inspired and inspiring project just right. I was adamant that MoonTracker be a kind project with as little negative impact to the planet and our people as possible. Besides, MoonTracker was to help us connect to and remind us to care for our bodies and spirits, not disconnect us from what is good and kind. One of the consequences, I say gift, that came after my trauma is that I lost any and all tolerance for people being dicks. I could not, and would not sacrifice my values for anything. I would attempt the highest standards for this simple love inspiring product.
With MoonTracker I found timelessness. It took me patience and persistence, and creative thinking to bring such a darling product to market as sustainably as possible. Plenty of times in this process I was told by advisors to lower my expectations or bench some of my values in order to make the product cheaper. PS, it’s expensive as fuck to make a good old-fashioned paper product locally, with high-quality recycled paper, biomass inks, and as beautifully as possible…compared to making it in…let’s say…China. Now, remember just a year before my life had been turned upside down, my big terrible fear had come true, I lost any sense of who I was, and I felt like a broken beaten down animal. BUT I was NOT going to, no way, not ever, no how waver on my values to care for the earth, her people and myself just to feel like a success. I touched death, I had to let my little bean die, and my heartbreak. I now know without a doubt I am strong, brave and creative enough to find a way ahead.
In the end, MoonTracker was a success. She was a truly beautiful product. It was warm, educational, inviting, practical and full of the magic of the moon. Many other women loved her just as much as I did. I sold her on Kickstarter and distributed her wrapped in red silk ribbon from my home in November as Christmas music and baking filled the air. My first year back in the real world was a success. I was literally wrapping up my first year back in the world with a strong sense of meaning, joy and pride. We as women each had our own relationship to our MoonTrackers. Some women kept her in the bathroom, some placed her on their alters and some leaned on beautiful crystals beside their beds. MoonTracker reminded me that it’s not just me that needs to escape the earthly pressures and rest in the mystery and solitude of the moon. It’s all of us. Each of us has our own stories of heartache and dreams. Each of us, man and woman, can melt under the touch of a kind lover, or nurturing friend, or simply the feeling of hope one gets from the silvery glimmer of the moon.
Nowadays, I sometimes, at the ripe age of 39 years and 11 months, look up into the moon at night and see Brady and I’s family. I see our child laughing and smiles on Brady and I’s face. I feel the beauty, the magic of knowing that somewhere, somehow, we have this. We have helped so many people in our lives so far. We strive for greatness every day not only in the name of personal pleasure but in the name of love, contribution and kindness. We have many children Mr Brady and I. We have ideas, and missions, and visions and dreams. We have learned to take time, to let the pressure and fears of falling behind rest in the belly of the earth. I have learned, though many days I fail at this, to trust that I am enough. As I ebb and flow amidst a sea of desires to better the world, to know my full potential, to surrender to everything I cannot know, I have to remind myself to look up. Look up and see how timeless we all are, the moon gives me this. MoonTracker gave me a way to still sing a lullaby to the inner child in every woman and in myself.
MoonTracker was birthed because of my mother. MoonTracker was birthed because I needed her to exist. MoonTracker was born with supporters and believers like my husband and my graphic designer. Together we three worked surprisingly long hours figuring out our first print project and getting her to market. MoonTracker is a collective lullaby meant to soothe, inspire and empower. At least that’s what she did for us three anyways (yes even my husband. Men are lovers of the heart too ya know). In the end, I did not compromise on my vision. Turns out creativity can heal your soul. And it sure seems looking back that spending that year crafting, creating and collaborating on a special project I believed in gave me an immense amount of clarity on authenticity (which I could gift to clients at the clinic). I realized who we are at our core, living, expressing and fulfilling who we’ve always been (before protective mechanisms and anger or resentment or desperation set in), is what gives us peace.
Truth is, this is all we need.
When Heaven & Earth Collide