Message To Myself

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I want to acknowledge how incredibly hard it is for you right now.  Your grief runs deep and the temptation to surrender to addiction runs high.  You find yourself wanting to self-criticize, somehow feeling there should be a tender, more loving way to experience death.  That you should be doing just this.  There is always some fantasy version of ourselves that has it together, has it all figured out.  I know you can see her clearly!  Yet that is not your path.  Your path is winding and dark.  The kind that needs a candle to light the way.  Be kind to yourself and the light will grow.  Don’t listen to the voice of criticism, don’t give in to self-hatred.  Discard that story.  Believe in yourself and the knowledge that no matter where you are, whether it’s a place of addiction or self-love, things are exactly as they should be.  You cannot alter the path you are on, only walk it with courage and grace.  The message is love yourself no matter what.  To know that each day is an opportunity to practice self-love, which in the midst of grief is unclear.  I only know you must love yourself wholly, shadow and light, no matter how imperfect you think you are.  The rest will fall into place.

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April Aronoff

Photography by April Aronoff

Chronicling Grief

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I am sitting across from my new rose bush, in all its glory.  A total of 6, big, vibrant blooms are opened fully.  A deep, fruity fragrance emits from each bloom.  It’s a glorious site indeed, one I am finding very soothing.

My friend passed yesterday.  I knew it was coming for some time, and now link the extra emotion that I felt last week with her passing.  Some part of me was completely in touch with the course of events, although the rest of me didn’t know.  The night before she passed I dreamt my sister came to me and told me it had happened.  I initially didn’t think it anything more than anxiety, but than a few hours later it occurred to me that maybe the dream was divine.  And so it was.

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And now I’m here.  The same old place I have found myself many times past.   A deep, deep well of grief, pooled in the center of my heart chakra, radiating up to my throat and down to my solar plexus.  It’s both deep and spiraling, like a vortex.  It wants bigger release than I have offered, but I know this will change soon (I may end up screaming in my own damn house, who cares who hears!).  It feels utterly overwhelming and scary, like the high point of a wave, until a stronger, nurturing part of me swoops in to do damage control and the wave goes down.  I have also had some good friends reach out, those who know how much she meant to me.  And now it’s time I talked about that.

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Allison, I’m really going to miss you.  We have known each other since 10th grade, when in English Lit class you leaned in, eye-brows raised as you read my flouncy writing on the cover of my folder, Women Hold Up Half The Sky.  You said, “Oh, what’s that?” and in my response a friendship was born.

You and I were some of the youngest feminists at the time.  We followed the news and read the books and were willing to stand up for our beliefs around anyone who challenged.  We were also great philosophers, delving into Richard Back and our ability to live beyond the appearance of limits.  You introduced me to astral projection, and were always better at it than me.  We would spend long hours talking about these subjects.  It’s what drew us together, this depth of life.

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Then we didn’t talk about this stuff anymore and it became clear that you and I felt differently.  But it didn’t matter, we had other interests that kept us tight.  Even when our lives began to diverge in the craziest of ways, we kept our friendship alive.  And it never occurred to me in all these years, to ask what changed for you from Richard Back to now.  About spirituality I mean.  I would’ve loved to know.  But it was a touchy subject and I can see why I did not bring it up.

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Allison, you are the warmest, most generous, gracious person I know.  You showed me how to reach out to others with open arms and an open family.  Your love of detail and decorating, vacillating at times to the point of nuttiness, I adore, and your magical skills of transformation I admire.  We have had our moments and have had some down and out fights that involved yelling.  But we always came back together in friendship.

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You have been a constant in my life since I was a teen.  It’s going to be hard to reinvent myself without you physically in my world, but I guess that’s part of healing.  We will always be connected and I will always think of you.  I will do my best to be a good friend to your husband and 2 boys, that our families be close.  And I will try to honor you and the example you gave me.  Reach out, with open arms.  Another will receive you.  You never questioned this.  It’s just the way it was.

Allison, I send you many blessings.  May your journey be filled with love and light 🙂

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April Aronoff

Photography By April Aronoff

Craving Release

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This has been a sucky week, beginning and ending with heavy heart pain, anxiety, and low energy.  It is clear I am going to have to move through this.  To hold myself to my realizations, such as more downtime and more self -care.  I also need more support.  My friend of 30 years will be gone soon.  I have a lot of feelings around our relationship that I am only just acknowledging.

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I crave Release, to howl, scream and cry.  To let the sadness and grief flow through me freely.  To dissolve and clear what I do not need.  I think of the Kali ceremony I participated in almost 2 years ago.  Such wailing and tears.  I unleashed buckets of deep, dark sludge that night.  That is what I need now.

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And with my intention, so it is.

April Aronoff

Photography By April Aronoff

Heart Pain

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On Saturday I awoke with a pain in my heart.  A deep, heart-felt pain that seared through me.  I’ve been in this space now for 3 days.  It is not physical, but the emotional pain of something that is breaking my heart.  I have not deepened into it until now, now being the time when there is no choice but to explore, the pain is that great.  Many things are taking me to the depths of reconstruction, where big foundational life choices are under extreme scrutiny.  What I know after deep reflection is that I am losing my oldest friend to cancer, a friend I have known since we were 15 years old (I am now 45); I am serving 2 families who clearly represent bigger changes I wish to make with my livelihood, each one a reflection of some larger vision I have of myself as a therapist/healer.  The intensity of my job continues to blow me away-I have many needy families and it all feels incredibly deep and important and something I struggle to manage.  I know I do not give myself enough down time to deepen, that I keep myself occupied out of fear I cannot name .  

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Honesty and self-care are what I need most.  Giving myself time to grieve, to feel, to make mistakes with the understanding that is what makes you grow.  The wisdom of falling down and getting up, of knowing the path that much better because you stumbled.  I have a lot of emotional baggage tied to how successful I can be as a therapist/healer, leaving no wiggle room to grow.  This I release now.  I can participate in better self-care, giving myself time to deepen into my feelings.  I can believe in a world where I am supported and held.

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And in Love, I am ready to receive my Shakti Energy, to be fully embodied in my sensuality and sexuality.  To laugh and play and be close with my beloved.  I am ready for it!  This I say with lightness.

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April Aronoff

Photography by  April Aronoff

Deep Connection

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Every second is so full at work I am not sure I can keep the cup from spilling.  There is such a level of need with the families I work with, that the me as a Priestess is growing to an ever constant heartbeat.  Depth and connection, the feeling that I can make a difference in this family’s life.  My intention is to ground this new self- possession, that it lead me down the path, into the light, into further unfolding.  This is the first time I have felt so ignited since I began this descent into the Underworld. It’s incredibly exhausting yet the connection is fierce.  The veils are lifting as my hearts’ desire is being revealed to me.  And so it is. 

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While walking through the underworld is more of a shedding process, I also deeply resonate with a growing rose bud.  A bud that swells larger and larger, filled with enthralled fragrance and spice, until it opens fully, revealing it’s potent vulnerability.  Shedding and swelling.  Both of these are true for me.

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 What is the shadow you see in the middle picture?

April Aronoff

Photography by April Aronoff

Reaching Out

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I have been walking through the underworld for some time now.  It has become harder and harder to find time to write, to put thought and feeling to word.  Never before in my life has so much been asked of me.  Anything that is less than pure heart knowing is being cut away in big, broad, strokes.  A new me is being re-born , and I can feel the pressure squeezing and expanding to the point where there is no choice but to burst forth, leaving behind that which no longer serves me.  I can’t wait to see the other side.  Or at least that is what I tell myself to muster courage, grace and faith.  

I am going to try to focus on shorter pieces with more pictures 🙂  My how I love my garden!

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April Aronoff

Photographs by April Aronoff

A Little Musing On Life

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As I walk through the darkness at this time on my path,

a time where work, partnership, family and tribe

converge in the realms of death, creation and rebirth,

I am struck by the potency of that which I call life.

I sit on the cusp of grasping true love,

such that each day is a gift of amazing unfolding.

Each of us deserves a life of fulfillment,

one that includes love, creativity, family and tribe.

I am standing at the edge of awareness

and can see across the landscape

the deepest connections possible in life.

I am breathing, breathing, endlessly breathing,

holding my heart steady and my feet heavy,

while layers upon layers are shredding within me.

For without death of that which drains,

there is no creation, no rebirth.

I am endlessly shedding like the plants in my garden,

leaves yellowing and crisply falling,

disintegrating into the life cycle of life and death.

It is hard and my heart is breaking,

people are dying and relationships are struggling,

negative patterns are slowly dissolving,

yet I taste the sweetness of divine connection,

the gift that Knowing brings in Her arms.

To strip, molt, shed and compost,

to embrace your essence and bring it out in the world,

whether it be our greatest joy or darkest challenge,

Knowing is the greatest gift we can give.

And so it is.

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April Aronoff

Photography by April Aronoff