Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Being Brave and Farewelling 2013

This year felt like a make you or break you year, it came in like a lion and is going out like a lion; it's been powerful. I don't know if it's felt similar to all of you, but I felt like every time I turned around, there was a new challenge, decision, obstacle or detour to navigate and that it was a year of intense growth, even when I felt like I was sitting still.

To the casual observer, it probably seemed like a slow year for me. I didn't go on as many day trips or adventures as in previous years and I spent an awful lot of time introverting and digging deep - things that made it seem, since I was being silent and not terribly active, like I was depressed. But I wasn't. Instead, I was dredging up old wounds to heal them, calling forth expectations, hopes, dreams and stances that no longer served me and burning them to make space for new ones. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've had what feel like cracks in myself for years and have had trouble reconciling who I actually am with who I used to expect I'd turn out to be based on upbringing and societal expectations. I've spent the year healing those cracks by banishing my inner bullies and letting go of material, spiritual and emotional baggage and I'm pleased to say, my self doubt is ebbing. It still creeps in from time to time, especially if I'm physically feeling weak or ill, but I'm better able to let that moment pass and lift myself back up more easily than I ever have before.

And I wouldn't trade those accomplishments and personal growths for a bunch of adventures, because the highs that come from them are fleeting. The marks of these growth are permanent.

That's not to say there were no adventures, trips or good times had. This has been, while an intense year, a very very good one and one I'm not likely to forget any time soon. Joe and I celebrated our fifth anniversary, a few trips to our beloved New Jersey to visit, I got my very first passport and went on my very first international trip to Jamaica, I farewelled my 20's and brought in my 30's with a fabulously mad tea party, we spent a relaxing weekend at the beach - in February, we went up to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a fun weekend in the mountains filled with moonshine and Ripley's attractions, and I went very high up in the air.

My one little word for 2013 was Brave, and it led me to bigger, higher and greater places than I could ever have seen myself going. It takes courage to dig deep in to yourself, to unflinchingly dredge up painful shit and stare it in the face and to make necessary changes; like quitting a job that's sucking the soul out of you, your life, your marriage and your friendships because money is less important than those, like calling bullshit on perfection and the overly syrupy positivity movement (real gratitude is ok, but the highly polished lies are not), like getting out of the shit spiral that is social media and like culling your circle of trusted hearts. It takes bravery to try new things, especially ones that make you nervous, and I did quite a few; from international travel, to meeting with a business counselor to set up Heartroot Studio as a legitimate business, to learning how to handle and shoot firearms, to sharing not just the finished product but laying raw and bare the emotions behind my artworks, like sending a note to a long lost friend even though you know you won't hear back, to pare down and accept simplicity and slow days in a constantly bustling and searching world. It takes bravery to support family members who need it, to offer a shoulder and help without giving up to much of yourself. And, it takes a lot of bravery to overcome incredible terrors and fears...

...like heights. Which I did not once, but twice. First with a ride on a very tall amusement park ride and again with an hour long ride on a hot air balloon.

As this year closes and we're about to take our first steps in to the new one, I've been pondering my one little word for 2014; which I can promise will be another monumental year for me. How do I know that? Well, I'll tell you all about that a bit later. We're focusing on the past right now. And honestly, I think Brave will follow me in to 2014; it's served me so well these past 12 months that I'd like to see where it will push my Wild Woman spirit next. To temper Brave's teachings and accomplishments, it will be joined by grounded this year.

So, my Two Little Words for 2014 (because I'm a rebel) are:


1. possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance.
2. making a fine appearance.
3. Archaic. excellent; fine; admirable.
4. a brave person.
5. a warrior, especially among North American Indian tribes.
7. to meet or face courageously: to brave misfortunes.
8. to defy; challenge; dare.
9. Obsolete . to make splendid.


1. used to describe a person who is sensible and has a good understanding of what is really important in life
2. mentally and emotionally stable : admirably sensible, realistic, and unpretentious
3. Centered, Level-Headed

As I step in to the New Year, I plan to do so with my head held high and my feet firmly planted on the ground. I want to boldly face new challenges and create an even more splendid life, without losing the roots I've put down these past few years. When things get tough, I want to be able to center myself and to listen to the call of my intuition. I want to run the spiritual gamut between Heaven and Earth, with my past streaming away behind me and my future coming in to view.

Even more than that, I want to be brave for myself, my husband and our soon to be Summer Child, as big changes take shape and upheave the comfortable life of two people to make room for a third. I'm not someone who typically embraces change or handles it well and this one, while planned, expected and anticipated, will be a doozy. Yes loves, I'm pregnant. :)

As I said before, 2014 is going to be a very big year for us. One whose changes and challenges I am wholeheartedly looking forward to, one who will break open and stretch my heart even further than it has been before, one that will be spectacular. 2013 was the year that Brave led me to say to the Universe, myself and my love "I'm Ready" and 2014 will be the year that Brave and Grounded will see us through monumental change.

Thank you 2013, for everything. You've been awesome, even at the lowest of points and I've healed and flourished so, so much.

Welcome, 2014. Here's to a blessed year filled with laughter, growth, health, love, a growing family... and a whole lot of patience.

And of course, for all of you who've made it to the end, pictures! xox Happy New Year!

My 30th Birthday

Joe's 31st Birthday

Luna's 1st Birthday.

Double rainbow over the sea at Asbury Park, NJ.

Reuniting with friends I haven't seen in years.

Ice Cream Dates... don't worry, that's puppy ice cream.


A week in paradise...

Ridiculous Halloween costumes.

Christmas Photobooth hilarity.

I've been really slack this year with keeping my photos organized and uploaded. So, sorry for the repeats. ;)


  1. Whew, I'm as happy as any Oma could be. The very bestest couple in the whole wide of the world are having a summer child. I'm smiling like a......well I don't know but it sure feels good to have the duct tape off my mouth. I love you guys so much and am so very excited for you both. Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

  2. Oh, how absolutely wonderful! Congratulations to you both. The description of your 2013 proves that you already are BRAVE and I salute you. I am planning a similar set of tasks for my 2014 and I hope I can find my brave place too.

    I can tell by your pictures that you have a wonderful love in your life (and soon another one) There is nothing in this world that matters more. Have the happiest new year! - Aine

  3. Congratulations and many blessings as you prepare for this wonderful new addition to the family! Aradia and her husband just experienced this last summer. You might want to check in with her blog... http://www.aradiascauldron.com/.
    I have linked to hers and your blog in my New Year post at The Cauldron Cafe as well as added you to my side-bar.
    Creative Blessings in 2014! ~Rain

  4. That is so wonderful and I'm so happy for you and your husband! Congratulations on your new adventure!!! Best wishes for a magical and fabulous 2014!
    ps...thank you for being so honest in your blog posts about the things you go through. it is inspiring to read and know that demons can be conquered and fought. :-)

  5. Oh Danni...I am SO VERY HAPPY for you both. A Summer Child, how exciting!
    I love your 2 words.
    Congrats to both of you. <3

  6. Wonderful post my dear!! And a huge congrats on the pregnancy!!

  7. Congratulations Danni to you both - how wonderful :D !! Wishing you a Magical and Blessed 2014 and also sending a huge thank you to you for your blog - you have no idea just how much it has meant reading all your posts this year, and I hope you will continue to share your world with us all during the next 12 months. Congrats again * ~*

  8. ~a wee little one to be welcomed into your world this year...congrats to you and your love...may you embrace each and every day that comes forth...savor this journey as it unfolds...both the good and the bad...because one day you will look back and wish for a moment you could go back in time...and be in this moment where you are know...may you be wrapped up and showered in blessings all along the way!!! so so happy for you...much love light and blessings~

  9. I'm so very happy for you, Dannikins!! <3

  10. I can't stop squealing. Congratulations to you and your husband and to the lucky, lucky, lucky soul you've created, for he or she has amazing parents.

    May the Brave, the happy, the fruitful and the purely sweet follow you year after year!


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