48 acts of lusciousness.

want to make your life more luscious? These are some ideas I wrote down that I can turn to when I need help embodying my 2019 focus 
word “lush,” which helps me connect more deeply with my life 
on a daily basis, and helps me go from my head (overthinking
mode) to connecting with my senses and my heart as an avenue
to deeper spiritual connection.

  • Get up an hour before anyone else. Make tea. Practice gratitude. Stretch. Breathe and watch the change of the morning light.
  • Give thanks before eating.
  • Ask my spiritual guides for help in the midst of challenge.
  • Guided meditation. (I love Boho Beautiful’s guided meditations on YouTube)
  • Write and draw a bit every day.
  • Practice ukulele every day.
  • Meditate, draw, and play music WITH my daughter. Do yoga WITH my daughter. Include her in my interests.
  • Learn one new hoop trick a week.
  • Bring my art supplies and my oracle cards to work and use them between calls.
  • Go for a walk in the park more days than not.
  • Collect sticks and rocks to decorate with my daughter.
  • Read inspiring books.
  • Invite friends to hang out with my daughter and I (don’t assume people don’t want to hang out with a four year old).
  • Hang out with inspiring and active people.
  • Drink herbal infusions.
  • Eat mostly whole foods.
  • Read to Luna before bed.
  • Sing before bed (before Luna and with my self)
  • Go on a hike with Luna once a month.,
  • Ecstatically dance.
  • Say no to that which drains my energy in destructive ways.
  • Say yes to that which feeds my soul.
  • Ask thought-provoking questions of myself and others; things like: “What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you?” “What mundane act feels like a spiritual experience?” “What inspires you?” “What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced, that ended up leading to something beautiful?”
  • Log out of social media. Stay logged out for at least a month at a time. Continue being logged out for as long as it feels freeing.
  • Get a window shelf. Learn how to grow plants. Start with easy-to-care herbs, houseplants, and simple greens like lettuce.
  • Fast periodically (in healthy, well-researched ways).
  • Take candlelit baths weekly, with bubble bath or bath bombs.
  • Wear beautiful clothes that are also comfy and practical.
  • Take a dance class.
  • Take an art class.
  • Go to poetry slams.
  • Go to pools, and open gym days at gymnastics centers for kids.
  • Speak the truth around the children (don’t assume they won’t understand)
  • Go see live music, with or without Luna.
  • Do low-key guerrilla art.
  • Urban wildcraft.
  • Pick wildly growing “weeds” and herbs, use as bouquets.
  • Buy flowers just because.
  • Use beautiful notebooks.
  • Use beautiful pens.
  • Hold potluck inspiration evenings, where everyone brings a favorite dish and something that inspires them.
  • Call my siblings just to say hi.
  • Once a day, stand with arms wide open.
  • Listen to music that enlivens the body, heart, and soul.
  • Lean against tree trunks and breathe quietly.
  • Believe in the spirit of nature.
  • Spend time in nature alone.
  • Stargaze. Tell stories about the stars.

What can you do to make your life more luscious?


2019 focus word.

Every year, I choose a focus word to set my intention for the year. That focus word ends up becoming a theme for the following twelve months; it shapes my experiences and acts as an arrow in the bountiful light, and as a lantern when my path plunges into darkness, into the valley of my own shadow.

Last year, my word was “goddess,” which helped me to learn that connecting with divinity isn’t simply about ecstasy; it is about connecting with even the rage and the madness and the grief that goddesses go through in their own stories. It is about knowing oneself as one knows the night and the day: not hating some traits and preferring others, but rather accepting, loving, and embracing both as vital parts of life, and moving through them with ease, as Persephone does between earth and the underworld.

In 2017, my word was “self-love.” It was a word that led to me going on a three day, three night vision fast in the mountains, it led to my relationship with my daughter’s father transforming from domestic partnership to a co-parenting friendship, it led to me cleaning up my diet, and it put me on the path to greater self-awareness. It also gave me a deeper understanding of what self-love truly means: it’s not all bubble baths and lazy Sundays. It’s also looking critically at the parts of our lives (inner and outer) that are no longer serving our growth or the growth of the other people involved, and replacing those parts with things that do serve us and all involved.

Normally, I choose a focus word for my year before the new year even starts. But, deep in grief, my word for 2019 could not find me; I wasn’t listening to anything but the earthquakes in my chest.

Finally, nearly two months after the beginning of the new year (and three months after one of my best friends died) and a night before snow began to fall on this Oregon city, my word came to me: lush.

Lush as in beneficial growth.

Lush as in slowness that is not stasis but is, rather, rich with meaning, mindfulness, and possibility.

Lush as in vivid sensory moments. As in not a moment wasted. Every moment noticed and appreciated for the lusciousness it holds.

Lush as in the mundane becoming magical.

Lush as in living my life like I’m in a Hayao Miyasaki film:

Lush as in a focus on beauty regardless, or because of, circumstance.

As with my past focus words, this word will be both a question and an answer given to myself on a regular basis:

What can I do to make this situation more lush, 
more meaningful, more beautiful, more in service to my growth?

Embody lusciousness. Engage the senses in vivid and 
sacred ways. Let the material lead to the spiritual,
by appreciating the world as it is,
not as my mind thinks it should be —
yet, not being too attached to it.
Lush, not as an end goal, but rather — 
as an avenue to Spirit.

This year, the year I descend from my head into my body.

Into my heart. My gut. My womb.

The year I am not wishing: the year I am doing. The year I am loving. The year I am passion, peace, grounding, and creation all at the same time: the year I am like a deeply rooted, steadily growing plant. Every day worthwhile. Every day making a life.

Because nature does not hurry. Nature doesn’t overthink or over-analyze.

Nature grows. Lets go of what no longer serves. Rests. Then grows some more.

Lush as in nature. Lush as in


may all your days end in laughter.

The ego is sneaky. It likes to think it’s the master of the house.

The ego is like the overbearing party guest who decides they need to be the center of attention, and if no one likes it, they can damn well leave the party.

Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not one of those people who think the ego needs to be destroyed. On the contrary, when people talk about “transcending the ego,” I will often be the one of the first to defend the right of the ego to have a seat at the table, being, of course, integral to our individual survival.

But I also know the ego isn’t the master of the house (the body, the life). The soul is.

Most of the time, this knowledge is purely intellectual. I can’t claim to have gotten to a point in my life when the ego is never the master of my house. The times that my soul is entirely in charge have too much distance between them, amidst the fears and anxieties of life.

However, my personal intention in my spiritual practice isn’t to cut the ego down to size, as I’ve found this to be an exhausting endeavor; my intention, rather, is to make far more frequent the amount of time the soul is in charge. This takes consistency and a healthy dose of cleverness and awareness, but is far less likely to feel like rowing upstream with a heavy wind to your face.

As I said, though, the ego is sneaky. When it’s not being the overbearing party guest, it’s being the vindictive one; the one that will let the host (the soul) think that they’ve finally got a handle on things, and then they make a few snide remarks that emotionally beat down the host and–sometimes–ruin the party.

The ego is great for taking the piss out of people (as my Australian mother would say), as well as for when a situation calls for strong defenses. Not so great, however, for situations meant to be expansive and wonderful or, at the very least, fun.


On Monday this week, the New Moon, I cleaned my apartment as much as I could. Keeping up with a toddler’s messes is difficult at best, and I lamented that I hadn’t yet been able to buy a new vacuum. Still, I tried my best. After a semi-stressful midafternoon trip to the library with my grouchy Lunabugs, she was sitting in front of a movie as I made dinner. My energy felt scattered, and I felt a sudden yearning for ceremony.

Those are the times I know my soul is clearing her throat and nudging me: when the yearning for ceremony becomes so great that I move without thinking. Ceremony grows out of the moment instead of feeling forced.

I found myself in front of my altar. The lights were out, except for the blue glow of the small TV that Luna watched her movie on, and my mind was already working on tuning out the sounds of Barbie – The Diamond Castle. Smoke curled up from the sage bundle I held over the central candle flame, and I waved the smoke around the room and verbally intoned a prayer of cleansing and blessing (Luna ignored me, being used to me doing this sort of stuff).

By the time I made it back to the altar, the sound of the movie barely reached my ears. My arms were out. Gratitude and love were pouring forth from my heart as I prayed to the directions, to the manifestations of the divine I connect with, to the soul of the land. I barely spoke–rather, the prayer was a feeling, unleashing in pulsing waves from every part of me. I began to caress myself, starting at my feet and working my way upward, sending these waves of love and gratitude to every part of my body as my awareness dwelled in each. I swayed and danced as I reach my torso, sang and touched my tongue and ran my fingers through my hair as I brought myself nearly to the brink of tears (I always am, when I take the time to give myself love).

When I finally reached my head/brain and turned once more towards my altar, I lit the other three candles arranged around it, and picked up my glass of red wine. I poured some into a small glass bowl with a few sprigs of rosemary in it, and held the wine aloft, unexpected words bubbling up intuitively: “To the Original Love, from which came Life.”

The glass bowl I put down, and picked up my own glass again. Luna noticed what was happening, and asked to be picked up. I hefted her onto my hip, and held the glass up. “My intention for this New Moon, for this moon phase, is to stand in the light of the Original Love. I am in the flow of the Light of the Original Love.”

I sipped some wine, then began expressing my gratitude once more to the directions, the manifestations of the Divine in my life, and to the Land. “Thank you, ____, thank you for your presence!”

Luna grabbed my face. “My presents!” She claimed. I laughed, and kept speaking my farewell; Luna kept repeating her own statement. She joined me in saying “Blessed Be” as I extinguished each candle.

I was bathed in absolute pure bliss and gratitude. My soul was the life of the party. All of my inner eyes were on her and she filled my body-house with Life and Joy. I was riding the high of the party…

then Luna “colored” with blueberry-stained yogurt in two of my favorite poetry books.

Suddenly I plunged into absolute irritation. “No!” I cried. “Not okay! You know that’s not okay! Get away from my books!” (I’m very protective of my books.) My ego grabbed the mic and plunged into streams of foul language. “Ugh, if you would just pay attention…I can’t believe you would try to do a ritual with your TODDLER present…and now look, you’ve gone from spiritually connected and love-filled to hypocritically angry…who are you kidding, you’ll never be who you want to be if you can’t keep it together for one freaking hour after a ceremony, why do you even TRY?”

As I started resentfully reading to Luna, I suddenly realized what had happened.

I had just made a very powerful intention for this moon cycle to dwell in the very energy of Original Love, and my ego FREAKED OUT.

Out of self-preservation, it flipped its lid. It went “OH NO. There’s a chance I won’t be needed anymore. Something needs to go wrong. It is going to go wrong RIGHT NOW, and it’s going to happen because you’re riding a HIGH of SACREDNESS and you haven’t grounded properly yet and you’re not paying enough attention…!”

Then when that thing did go wrong, my ego went, “Oh good, now that that went wrong, I can now insult my host so badly that they won’t ever try to be in charge of this party again, and thus my rightful place of Head Honcho will no longer be jeopardized.”

Once I realized the drama that just went on between my soul and my ego, the irritation with myself and with Luna just completely melted away. It felt like such a grand joke to play on me.

In fact, I just had a thought: the situation could even be seen as the Universe playing a joke on me. “Oh look at that, Rebecca is getting too serious again, forgetting that no matter how spiritual-y she is, Life still happens, and Life is messy…so let’s send her a reminder, eh?”

I once read something–I can’t remember where, but it’s always stuck with me–where someone said something along the lines of, “If you’re not laughing with the Universe, you don’t get the joke.”

This time I got the joke. Maybe not in time to not be upset about my poetry books, but at least I laughed at myself in the end. Oh, ego–you’re a sneaky one. And the Universe is even sneakier.

And maybe that’s one of the qualities of Original Love. It’s finding your own mistakes genuinely hilarious.

So I laughed at myself, then kept reading to Luna–this time, with more expression, more comedy, more singing, so that when I was ready to stop and eat some dinner, she was desperate for me to continue.

Think of a time when your day seemed to go from great to horrible, yet somehow you were still able to laugh.

That was your soul, back in charge.