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live it to give it is all about love and connection. Being authentic. Living our lives and sharing it with others. Life is messy and so is this blog. Somedays my organized coach self shows up. Other days it's my vulnerable author. There's a mom that lives inside me alongside a wife, friend, creative muse, ponderer extraordinaire, and multitude of others. I'll introduce you to people who inspire me and offer a peek into my world that very likely intersects with your world. In other words, I will share life in its full, glorious mess with you. I'm honored you're here and I hope you'll come back soon!!  Cheers! Kayce 


Entries in Water (23)


On pain, pleasure, & puking (the ultimate letting go!)

“Pain is not a punishment; pleasure is not a reward.” Pema Chödron

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Excited to be Adrift!

Updated on Monday, September 2, 2013 at 6:13 PM by Registered CommenterKayce S Hughlett

Adrift – "floating without control". I’ve been called to the sea… beckoned to be adrift… delighted for a glorious time spent with loved ones... floating, sailing, discovering.

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Watery Vision

I hold a song in my hand and touch new birth.
Watery though my vision may be, it is true.
Flowing. Flowing. Flowing...
Light rising through me.

Watery though my vision may be, it is true.
Grounded in love,
Light rising through me,
I create. Lead. Inspire.

Grounded in love,
Flowing. Flowing. Flowing...
I create. Lead. Inspire...
As I hold a song in my hand and touch new birth.

© Kayce Stevens Hughlett, March 2012

Collage and words inspired while leading Exploring Archetypal Energies through the Expressive Arts on the Hood Canal, March 2012.


The Other Side of May... a reflection on grief

“When the river of the soul takes your weight into itself, you can release that which has died into the next world so that you may live more fully in this one.” Karla McLaren – The Language of Emotions

If a single month could be a lightening rod for grief-filled events then May would be my designated “rod.” Before you jump into sympathy mode or start asking yourself what might have happened to me in the past few weeks, let me assure you that things are well and there were no significant “strikes” this year. Conversely, it was a period of time where I was able to dip deeply into the river of my soul and emerge on the other side living lighter and more fully.

The winter months were filled with countless live-giving events and boatloads of adventure. By the time mid-April arrived, my body was in deep need of rest and restoration. It seemed somewhat ironic (or not) that May was just around the corner and my calendar allowed the spaciousness to sink into relaxation alongside remnants of previously glossed-over grief.

Teeny Me @ Bandon Beach
Unresolved grief and heartache form like mist over a morning pond. Vaporous, we can put our hands through it and almost pretend nothing is there, but the moisture and residue permeate into our deepest core nonetheless. We want to push the hurtful feelings away with words like, “I should be over this by now,” “I’ve already gone through this process once, twice, a hundred times,” or “I’ve moved past this and don’t/can’t/won’t move backwards again.” This is the place we often get stuck, because we believe if we acknowledge the pain it will grow rather than dissipate. There is a difference between fondling the story—turning a tale over and over in our minds and relishing the attention it brings us—and necessarily feeling the depth of grief or experience. If we haven’t allowed ourselves the space to sink fully into grief, then it will continue to return repeatedly like the morning mist.

My personal experience was that for multiple years May brought events of heartbreak and tragedy stacked and piled upon each other. I responded by attempting to move forward, not slowing down, and pushing through the pain rather than relinquishing and melting into it. I rarely found the space (or acknowledged the need) to sink into the slow movement for which my body longed. Like crop-generating fields, we can continue “producing” for numerous years until all the nutrients (life/spirit) are leached from our soil and there is nothing left to give. Just as the fields need to lie fallow to regenerate, so do we. This May became the month for me to rest, relax, restore and unplug... to lie fallow.

Turtle Steps
In hindsight, I realized that most of the month was spent living on the water... Maui, the Oregon Coast, Lakebay. There I stood watching and playing with the tides as I felt my past and present connect to the deep river of my soul. Grounding, resting, watching, letting go... my spirit was washed like baptism as I named, felt, and honored the waves of longstanding grief.

Today, I find myself on the other side of May. The past is still the past—where loved ones have moved on and my heart bears the scars of breakage, but I arise cleansed, refreshed, and more clear after having dipped deeply into the river of soul rather than continuing to paddle madly on the surface of a stagnant pond.

Ponder this...

·      What is lingering in your life that must be mourned? What do you carry that needs to be released completely?
·      Notice if statements like 'I should be over this,' 'I’ve already gone through this once,' or 'I don’t want to go backwards' arise in your mind indicating a resistance to fully accepting or honoring loss and profound transitions.
·      Consider how and where you can make space to sink into the river of the soul.


Two Seals and a Gift

Bandon, OR Beach
Nature offers an amazing gift of bringing us back to center when life feels out of balance. One of my favorite ways to explore just about anything is through the use of metaphor. How is this like that? While visiting the Oregon coast, my questions emerged something like this: How is the baby seal who strives to climb atop a slippery rock like my current situation? How is the beach covered in fog similar to my brain that refuses to clear? What of the sun that remains concealed from sight? Are my dreams hiding in plain view or are they just over the horizon?

One evening while beach combing, I paused to watch a group of sea lions gathered in the swelling tide. Eyes trained on the youngest pup, I was mesmerized by his struggle to climb atop the slippery embankment where his mother perched precariously. My maternal instincts were tugged by his unfruitful tenacity, and part of me wanted to wade into the icy surf and boost him onto the oblong pillar. Fortunately my sanity prevailed. After all, if he, an able-bodied water creature, couldn’t do it on his own, what benefit would I, a moderate swimmer at best, be to him? Nonetheless, our natural instincts are often to reach toward those we momentarily consider less capable—children, clients, co-workers, strangers—while setting aside our own care and safety in the midst.

Baby Reaches Mama (momentarily)
As I continued to observe the scene before me, I focused on the mother who lay upon the craggy peak—her pose precarious, like a crescent moon tilted on its side and loosely balanced on a rocking pebble. She appeared neither concerned about her shaky state or that of her offspring diligently attempting to reach her. Occasionally, she raised her head to look around, but then lay back to rest. She wisely knew the rhythm of the tide would ultimately ease her off the rock and into the water, reuniting her and her babe.

Recalling this scene later, I asked the questions: How is this like my calling today? Will I clear my head enough to look around and inquire: What do I need? What next? What will bring me life, rest, joy, peace, and love? Even though my initial response was to rescue the striving pup, my deep resonance was not with him... I have done enough striving for a lifetime. Today I choose to wonder how I can rise up like the wizened matriarch, peer around, and allow the flow of life to gently carry me into the sea and off my own precarious perch.

My assessment is not that the mother sea lion is resigned to her existence, but rather she has learned the rhythms of her life and chooses to go with them rather than struggle against the raging tides. Her young pup expends his energy in his own natural (and necessary) process of maturation. Each are appropriate for their time and stage in life.

Today I invite you to consider this: Where do you struggle and strain when letting go might serve you better? What energy needs to be expended to bring your life (mind, spirit, body) into balance or maturation? How is this like that? Where might nature guide you today?