Tomorrow, I go to file my second divorce.

My husband lost his job last month.

Things are …understandably … rough.

I have trouble focusing. Sometimes, the stress hits me like an unexpected northern gale carrying me off my feet Mary Poppins style.

I have been trying to focus on my breathing. Deep, slow breaths. Mindfully staying in the present. Going outside and watching the Sun rise. Laying in my hammock and watching the trees sway.

Staring at my children. I have four. The youngest just turned three years old: two girls from my present marriage and two boys from my first marriage.

And then I have to get back to work. There is always work involved with four children: dishes to be done, clothes to be washed, toys to be picked up, homework to be done, cleats to be bought and registrations to be paid.

It marches on this household, those young ones, even when I want to stop. It continually takes me out of myself and makes me look forward.

Every day through my blog, my mother’s group, my Moon Lodge, I meet other women like myself: struggling, feeling alone – many of them in worse shape than me. I may have chosen to be a mom over a career, but I have a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas and years of work experience from way back when.

The cobwebs are everywhere, it won’t be pretty, and there may not be a lot of vacations in my future, but I will pick myself up, dust myself off and be okay.

A lot of the women I know are struggling with hourly jobs, no support networks, and the same stressors that I am facing.

We are a brave bunch the lot of us. Moving forward and struggling to make things a bit better for our children: to break dysfunctional cycles, sometimes, millimeter by millimeter.

Vasalisa: Nosing out the Facts: the Retrieval of Intuition as Initiation:  Chapter Three WWRWTW

I confess that I am having a hard time with this story as I am not a little girl with a doll in my pocket helping me. I did not have a ‘too-good-mother’ who gave me the tools I needed to navigate wisely through this life – namely believing in myself, intuition and the confidence to feel safe in my skin.

“She must just simply dive in and stand not knowing what will happen next. It is the only thing which will retrieve her intuitive nature.”

I am instead 45 years old learning these nine invaluable lessons of life:

“…to be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want, causes us to be exiled from ourselves.”

But first I have to quell the voices inside my head: my step-family (the culture I grew up in) that tells me I can’t do it. I’m not good enough. … I’m only allowed to do this much and no more.

“To see into or through something requires intuition and also the strength to stand upon what one sees.”

In the story of Vasalisa, the step-family conspires to get rid of her by sending her to the horrible witch Baba Yaga in order to re-light their hearth fire.

“Conversely, and perhaps somewhat perversely, when the fire is put out, it helps to snap Vasalisa out of her submission. It causes her to die to an old way of life and to step with shivers into a new life, one which is based on an older, wiser kind of inner knowing.”

Join us at our Facebook group here to discuss Vasalisa and the Nine Tasks of Retrieving Intuition.

* All quotes above are from Chapter Three of Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

** Photo credit to: