If You Can Feel It, You Can Heal It.

Sometimes there are no words to describe the beauty and tenderness we bump against as we walk through our lives.  The only thing that can convey such things that I know of are art, photography, poetry & music. 

Yesterday I worked with one of my brothers on something that was weighing heavy for him and that had haunted him for some time.  This emotional wound had left him unable to listen to music or access his creativity. Having recently been certified as a Co-Active life coach, I know better than to work with close friends or family. There are a few people whomever, for which I make an exception, mostly because our relationships have already been designed in that way over the years.  

When my brother and I seek each other out to talk, like- "hey, I really need to talk"  we don't skim the surface.  We usually dive deeply into what's happening in our lives.  We are familiar with therapy, capable of vulnerability with each other and know what "doing the work" is all about. I am blessed to have  family members that can hang with me in places where the emotional abyss might normally send someone running. My brother and I have learned that running never works, even though we still try it from time to time. 

The thing is, all of us have moments when we hit the wall.  When our hurts rise up from our past to lay us out.  Sometimes we need someone to help us out of the abyss, or in this case, walk beside us when it's time to go in.  He knew I had been certified to do this and so we set to work. 

I've learned that If you can feel it, you can heal it.  Just because you've felt your pain, or grieved however,   it doesn't mean it's healed and over. Usually a mortal emotional wound will heal in layers and stages can take a long-ass -time.  Many people will say "Seriously! This again! How many times must I revisit this place. I must be getting nowhere!" Not true.  It's not true that you are revisiting the same exact place, you are actually healing another necessary piece. 

Healing from emotional pain is not a linear experience. We are remarkable beings though and heal on multiple levels at different times- spiritually, physically & mentally.  Even our dreams are working to help us heal or to deepen our understanding of something that occurred in our waking life.  Bad dreams are good news as well, because we are processing something deep, or something that has disturbed us at an unconscious level. 

Pain will not leave the body until it's fully processed. Did you know that?  Emotion is energy in motion and if we stop it from moving through us, by shoving it down or disassociating from it, it gets stuck.  The further and longer we shove it down, the more unnecessary time we will suffer.   I shouldn't say unnecessary, let me instead say that it's true that sometimes it's not safe or the right time to process. For many of us, we don't know how to begin to do the work of healing a past wound. The body holds the wisdom though and will always give us many avenues to process the emotion, sometimes even becoming physically sick to force us into rest, recovery or attention. 

The first thing my brother and I had to do was to slow down his mind from escaping the emotional pain. We are wired for escape. I guided him into his body to feel the emotions that he'd been running from.  Each time he tried to intellectualize his pain, I took him back into his body- back to the scene of the crime where he could feel his pain, his anguish, his anger, his loss.

As he visited each new layer of emotion, I asked him to describe what was there in each of those places inside himself.  Down we went deep into the well of grief where everything feels dark and black.  I kept reminding him that I was there with him and just held space as he processed through it.  I feel like holding space can sound kind of dopey, but I'm not sure how else to describe it, but here's what it's not:  It's not fixing it for him, or making him forget, or telling him to snap out of it, or giving advice. It's about witnessing his pain and just being there, quietly & reverently for as long as that person needs. Is there more to it? Yes, but also no.  Most people have such a hard time being with each others pain without trying to fix it or make it go away.  If you really want to help someone you love, just shut your mouth and open your ears and be there. 

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There is this expression I've always loved. "No Mud, No Lotus", meaning that you can not have the beauty of life without the messiness or the "dirt". The genius of this deep place inside ourselves where we tend to bury our pain is that it's fertile ground. As we dig into them and shed light on them, we bloom beautiful things there. We fertilize the soil of our lived experience and our pain is transformed into something else and usually what comes back to the surface is our true appreciation and wonder.  When we have buried pain, we've usually buried other things with the pain like our access to our vitality or enthusiasm,  creativity or inspiration.  When we process our pain in this way,  it's as though we have popped the cork out of the bottle-neck and the frothy bubbly comes streaming up and out teeming us back to life and connecting us back to our essential selves. 

I call this the vortex- where we know that all of life is connected and that somehow we are part of this beautiful existence and intertwined at a cosmic level with the paradox of life, in all of it's complexities. 

Usually when we have processed at this deep level, an exhaustion will follow and the most compassionate thing you can do for yourself at this moment is to sleep, which is yet another, deeply healing event. 

After we were finished,  I told him to wrap himself in a blanket and take himself to bed. 

Later in the evening he sent me this beautiful music. 

And I knew we had done the work.  

Good work my Brother.  You are so Brave. I love you so much. 

 

Do you have unprocessed pain or trauma that haunts you?  Do you wish you could begin to heal it?  You can.  I'd be honored to walk with you to the places that are causing you pain and show you the way out.  It may sound scary- but I promise it's not nearly as scary as you think.   Feel free to contact me to set up a time to learn more about Co-Active coaching.  If you've never heard of it, I'm happy to tell you more and how it can benefit you at any stage of your life.   XO Monica 

I'd like to shout out a special Thank You to an incredibly talented therapist by the name of Courtnay Maletta who helped me to process an incredibly deep wound through her own practice using techniques that helped me when all else had failed.  I learned so much from this experience and it gave me the courage to continue on my coaching journey. I'll always be deeply grateful. 

Revelation Holiday Gift Guide for Women

The holidays always seem to catch me off guard, but this year I'm totally on my A game.

The most important part of the holidays for me, is gathering with my family.  Usually we have the kids at home (ours is an amicably divorced family) and after early morning gift giving, Dad comes to celebrate and have brunch. My cousin Emma from NYC usually joins us too, and is the perfect guest, always pitching in and helping me get ready with last minute gift wrappings and hanging out with the kids (OKA: Distracting them!) 

When it comes to giving gifts, we tend to give a few physical items like books and clothes, but all of us especially enjoy homemade and "experiential" gifts.  As my kids get older, I've noticed that i've become extremely sentimental. I find myself wanting to create all the memories I can while they are still at home. 

One of the things I love about the holidays is finding completely unique gifts for my girlfriends and family.  There's nothing better than giving a gift that has an impact, or thoughtfully reflects an aspect of your relationship with them. 

I've compiled a list here of some favorites to think about this holiday season including experiences, artwork, music,  jewelry & more. I hope you enjoy! 


Music/Theatre

Concert or Theatre Tickets : are always a great idea.  We love to dress up and have a night out with our friends, partners, or family. Going out for a meal the same night makes for an incredibly memorable gift that keeps on giving. 

Tickets to see The Vagina Monologues:
It's the 20th Anniversary!  If you've never seen this show, it's incredible and will truly have an impact on how you view female sexuality and gender around the world. 
(If you are in Rhode Island tickets go on sale December 1st for the performance at the Odium East Greenwich. Otherwise, you can get them in many cities in the United States for the month of February.

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These days it can be really fun to make a playlist for your lady-friend on Spotify or i-tunes. Unfortunately, there's no longer a feature that allows you to purchase the whole playlist and gift it, but you can always pass it along digitally with a gift card for her to make her purchase selections.

P!NK : Beautiful Trauma - Best Album! Love. 
It's edgy, wise, & poetic.  It will pump you up, and break your heart all at the same time.  It's like tenderizer for the hardened heart. 

 

 

 

Alexa: I know, I cant believe I'm suggesting her but she's quite sophisticated, highly intelligent, a little bit sassy, and incredibly convenient.
I use her to play music & podcasts ( "Alexa, play classical!" , “Alexa, Play ‘This American Life’”) I'm not the greatest with math either ( "Alexa, How many tablespoons in a cup", "Alexa what's 6 X 127?") and I love that she can set a timer for me or the kids, especially to monitor screen time. 


BOOKS:

Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's guide to why feminism matters. Although it's great for any age,  I'll be getting a copy for my 15 year old this year. The book covers a range of topics, including pop culture, health, reproductive rights, violence, education, relationships, and more.

Love Warrior : Glennon Melton.  I love this woman so much.  I love her humanity, I love how well she fails. I love that she is the goddess of metaphors, 2nd only to my dear friend Bethany. I love that she is brave and broken and wise and willing.  If you want to give the gift of self- compassion, give this book.  It's just beautiful. $11.64

Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. This is an oldie, but a goodie and a book every single woman on the planet will love. Amazon $ 13.34

We Should all Be Feminists: by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. 

Finding: The Story of a Young Boy Who Becomes His Adoptive Mothers Greatest Spiritual Teacher;  By TRP's very own Kim Fuller.


Face/Body

Urban Decay Naked Eye Shadow Pallet: I use these shadows constantly both on myself and to shadow TRP REVEAL Portrait participants for the workshop.  They are universally beautiful and work with almost anyone. $75.00 ( There are a variety of sizes and sets and all of them are great so play the field!) 

Yore Skin Starter Kit:
Ok people, I've been using this stuff for years now. Bye bye dry skin.  I use their BALM on everything, and i do mean EVERY THANG.  $25.00

Farmaesthetics Midnight Honey Bath and Beauty Oil: I love this product, so very much.  I use it before or after my bath. It's smells divine and feels so great on my skin;  a total treat! 


Clothing/ Shoes/ Gift Box

Toms Slip-on Shoes: These are arguably one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I've ever owned.  I love that for each pair purchased, a pair goes to any one of 90 giving partners in over 70 countries in the world. I wear them for just about any occasion and especially around the house because they are soft, comfortable, and easy to slip-on. I've washed mine in the washing machine multiple times and they hold up beautifully and just seem to gain in comfort.  Amazon $ 21. 16

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Nevertheless She Persisted Black Slouchy Sweatshirt: Sevenly is one of my favorite "cause companies". Every time you purchase one of their products, they donate 7% of your purchase to the cause it supports.  This sweatshirt will raise money for the Athena International Fund which promotes a balance of leadership worldwide. Sevenly $ 51.00

Causebox: A seasonal delivery of 6-8 hand-curated products for women. Every product has a story and makes the world better. You can purchase a 1 X box, or subscribe for the year at $49.95 per quarter ( 4 X per year). My husband has done this for me for 2 years in a row and I have just loved being introduced to fair trade jewelry, leather-goods, beauty products, and housewares that tell a story whose purchase support a number of amazing causes. 

Strong As a Mother Tank: Who wouldn't want to wear this for a workout. Yeah! $23.00

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Gifts/Jewelry/Art

Empower & Hydrate with an IAMTRA Water Bottle.  Drink in your positive energy and remind yourself each day that you are a range of beautiful possibilies. Choose the trio of words that best represents your current mantras, and repeat your intentions with each sip as you hydrate throughout the day. 26 oz stainless steel bottles with BPA-free plastic tops. Hand washing suggested. $20.00

MANTRAs:
Positive, Open, Limitless
Joyous, Balanced, Healthy
Fearless, Focused, Ready

IAMTRA has a variety of totally unique products like their POWerful Women pins, so browse people, browse! 

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Nasty Woman Coffee Mug: Need I say more? Amazon $ 15.95

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Feminist Accessory Bag: Gotta Love Etsy.  $ 17. 66

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We the People Public Poster: Set of 3. We The People are Greater (Than Fear, Defend, Protect.)  Great home decor printed on on fine paper.  Etsy $ 33.87

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Affirmation Deck: Positive Affirmations- Just pick one! Etsy: $25.00

Sister Morse Code Bracelet: Ok- these are too cute not to have one for our friends and sisters. Love it!  Etsy $ 12.00 - $ 32.00

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Made by my talented cousin Rebecca Mir Grady. Lightly hammered 4mm cuff bangle in Sterling Silver. Diameter is 2.5". Brushed finish. Handmade in Chicago. Bracelets ship with a muslin jewelry bag and jewelry box.
Rebecca Mir Grady $ 145.00

 


Wild Rose Lidded Jar: 
This is just beautiful. Form meets function with this beautiful lidded ceramic made by Red Chair Studios.  I'd keep treasures or jewels in it for sure. Ok, maybe sugar. Maybe tea. Maybe LOVE. $85.00 

 

 

 

I die over this woman's artwork.  It's true,  a hundred times, I've died. The talent just kills me. So much. GollyBard art, watercolor paintings, prints by Holly Ward Bimba
$30.00 ( Feathers)  $625 (Birds) but there are over 500+ prints to choose from in a variety of sizes! 

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Revealing Worthwhile Reads & Things to Do: Weekly Roundup

I'm really enjoying the activated feminine voice rising into & over the drudgery of the same old - same old. 
I'm seeing women everywhere, having conversations that matter and using their voices to break the silence. The reoccurring theme's this week : Self-care & self-worth and the intersection of revealing & healing. 

The Unforgiving Minute : By Laurie Penny.

Men, get ready to be uncomfortable for a while. While forgiveness may come one day, it won’t be soon.

Sex, however, is not the problem. Sexism is the problem, as is the fact that a great many men seem unable to tell the difference. It is maddening, the way those of us who complain about abuse are accused of trying to shut down sex and sexuality, as if we’d ever been allowed to be active sexual participants, as if abuse and the fear of abuse hadn’t made pleasurable sex all but impossible for so many of us.

 

Allowing #MeToo to go Viral is the Biggest Mistake the Establishment Ever Made: By Caitlin Johnstone.

Human civilization is made of rape. For millennia, all over the world, women have been commodified and kept as property for the purpose of receiving male reproductive fluids and raising their progeny, regardless of our will. During this time we were kept at home while men invented religion, money, economics, war, government, hierarchy, class, culture, rules, laws and traditions, including the laws of the marital bed. Civilization has been arranged so that each man receives a woman to own, with whom he may have sex whenever he wishes, between building, fighting, destroying and conquering in accordance with the will of whatever ruler happened to be running the show at the time.

More...


This is What Self-Care Really Means: Because it's not all Salt Baths and Chocolate Cake. 

True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to not build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.
And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.

More...


Self-Care: It Begins with You Online Workshop: Check out Beth McKay's Zoom Workshop & Reveal:

  • A deep sense of what self care means to you
  • A self care practice
  • A sacred connection with like minded women
  • Knowing when you’re separated from yourself and how to recover
  • Being able to distinguish the difference between self care & self indulgence
  • Learning to recognize those incessant voices and how to change the internal conversation

 

 

 

Self-Care Workshop 

With Beth McKay

Mother of Dragons: Raising Our Daughters into Strong Women.

I am someone who thinks deeply about things and parenting my two children is no exception. 

Everyone says that the teenage years are the most difficult and because my daughter is the first to go through these tender years, I'm finding my footing with her as I go. 

As her mother, I've really needed to get clear about my own boundaries as it relates to her choices, requests, and behavior and I strive to parent her while also trying to maintain a sense of perspective when it comes to unintended impact. 

For example:  I want her to grow up to be a strong woman in the world with a healthy sense of self.  I want her to be able to use her voice in all aspects of her personhood without apology AND, be able to clean up her messes when she makes them with others because let's face it people, relationships get messy. So my last sentence might seem contradictory, which is the dance I'm referring to in raising my daughter to be strong, while also a woman of  tenderness and compassion for others. 

"Strong" as in: take no shit. 
"Strong" as in: I use my voice to speak my truth and declare healthy boundaries.
"Strong" as in : I can do anything I set my mind to do and I am a human being with my own mind, body & spirit and with my own individual expression of those. 
"Strong" as in: When life gets messy, I am capable of cleaning things up with integrity and heart. 
Strong does not mean aggressive or rude or insensitive. 

So for me, as her Mother, parenting her is about being very clear about what strength is and what it is not and modeling it to her, with her, and for her, until she gets it. 

This morning it was about her using her strongest tone with me and crossing my own personal boundary around how she speaks to me. 

Instead, I want her to use that tone when she is a "NO!"  to something happening that is not ok. I want her to use that tone when someone is treading on her or on someone else. Her tone this morning was directed at me based on a very full week of balancing school & social engagements & chores and of being overwhelmed while "asking me" to meet her needs around getting a ride somewhere. While I gently reminded her that I was not enjoying how she was speaking to me the first couple of times, It became apparent that I needed to bring more force and clarity to our dialog. 

It's important to me that I don't just focus on her losing her tone, because it's IMPORTANT that she keep it strong.  My job as her parent is to point out where it should be used and where it should not. 

I want my daughter to be a strong women in the world. I want to keep the dragon in her alive and strong so that she knows where to direct her fire.  As I see it, my job is to direct her fire, not extinguish it. 

Right before she left the house, she apologized, and then later.. a text. 

 

 

What Gender Inequality Issue?

What Gender Inequality Issue?

I was reading to my twelve year old son in his bed, he pointed out a part in the greek myth where Helen of Troy runs off with Paris. Her "husband" refers to her in the story as his property, and sets off to re-claim her.  

"Is a wife like a house, mom?" 
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Behind the Scenes at TRP: Choosing for the BIG REVEAL

Behind the Scenes at TRP: Choosing for the BIG REVEAL

Our REVEAL photoshoots can sometimes yield 600 + images.  Sometimes it's a daunting process to narrow to 16-20 shots that accurately reflect the many moments, expressions, and appearances revealed to us that day:

The one when she realizes it's safe to come out. 
The one when she emerges.
The one when she is still,  just fanning her beautiful wings.
The one when she is tentative.
The one when she is animated.
The one when she takes flight. 

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Shifting Your Lens : Meet Kim Fuller

Shifting Your Lens : Meet Kim Fuller

Last year she officially published her book FINDING about her adopted son Keydell as her greatest spiritual teacher. Shortly after it's publication, she was invited to consider a TED talk based on her passion for new perspectives. She went through TEDx's rigorous submission process, deigned and practiced her talk until she got it right, and then  gave one of the most moving and memorable TEDx talks I've ever seen to a packed auditorium and was rewarded with a unanimous and thunderous standing ovation. I thought my heart would burst. 

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Fashion & Beauty Picks for November

Fashion & Beauty Picks for November

Sometimes we "shop" before a photo-shoot for specific pieces to create a certain look, but for the most part- we just combine our participants wardrobe with ours.  The make-up and hair is another story.  Truth be told, I'm a bit of a product enthusiast.

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I KNOW GOOD MEN

I KNOW GOOD MEN

I'm asking them to stop looking down and away.  To stop knowing the pain and reality of the inequality and treatment of women and to stop shrugging your shoulders as if your goodness isn't big enough to stop this from happening anymore. 

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It's about HER.

It's about HER.

It's about HER making HER image as a vessel of discovery and capturing the embodied version of HER spirit in a tangible way so that the lies all fall away and what's left to witness is the blinding beauty-mark of HER presence in the world. 

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