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hear me roar

While at the lake, my friend Colleen gifted me with one of her beautiful salvaged words. She chose for me, "voice". Then, in the post Squam stillness, this fiery Notebook cover came into being. It wasn't until a week or so later that I made the serendipitous connection.

In this coming year I have things to say, stories to tell, wisdom to share. I am ready to roar (with love, as always), and to pour that passion out to the world through my work and creativity. It's been bubbling up already this season in the form of making -- so much deconstruction and rebuilding old into new. I've been knitting, collaging, book binding, writing, cooking, reflecting, visioning, connecting... I am in the wild flow of it all.

Today I become an official employee of Squam Art Workshops. I am learning to lean into my own brand of leadership as I continue to grow into my full-time role as Executive Director come January. I can tell you that it has taken every moment since last spring to expand into the breadth of this work, truly trust my inner whispers, and use my voice to help steer where we are heading next as a community and company. Squam already has such deeply established spirit and roots. What's clear about how my personal mission aligns in this moment with Squam's, is in the work of creating more inclusion, access and belonging. These have always been core aspects of my creative purpose, as I understand on a very personal and profound level what it feels like to face barriers of privilege and exclusion, as a woman, as someone non-white, as a person who once faced economic hardship, as someone who identifies as queer. It's largely why Brunch was created, as a space to invite others (and myself) to simply show up, love and be loved.

It is also why in this current season I am questioning not only where I belong, but making conscious and sometimes difficult choices about the spaces I choose to step into. What I do know, is that I can no longer occupy spaces where liberatory work is not being done, and where leaders are not doing their own work to understand their own privilege to help create more equity in their communities and organizations. What I know as a community builder and space holder, is that intent and impact have potentially different outcomes. If a space is not visibly working to lift those who are marginalized and amplify under represented voices (not perfect work, but simply showing up to the conversation with real care and concern), that space isn't in alignment with my beliefs.

So today I am also leaving my yoga studio of the last many years (one that I truly love dearly, and am grateful for for so many reasons), to step into another. It's a decision I don't make lightly. I've been thinking about it for a while now, trying to feel my way through all prickly feelings of disruption, but I know deep in my heart it's my truth.

This is the thing about sovereign living - you can not be sovereign while also compromising your values. Ever. Even if it means you have to leave behind someone or something you love. Trusting your inner voice is the foundation you build your life on. Actually listening builds that trust in yourself. It's what I am learning and trying to practice ever day. Each step is a step closer to myself, my voice, my liberation.