Confession: My House Burned to the Ground 3 Years Ago – Here’s 3 Tips To Get Through Hard Times

Our Enchanted Cottage on our Wedding Day:
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Our Cottage 3 years ago today:
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My soul felt like the above picture for months.
I was just as destroyed on the inside
as my home was.

Here are 3 things which had to happen for us to make it through.
And they might help you when you’re going through hard times:

1.  A Clean Slate.

In any situation, a break-up, the loss of a job or friendship, and especially in the loss of our home – it’s hard to move on while staring at the remains of what used to be.

You can’t move forward if you’re only looking behind you.

When something bad has happened, allow yourself to mourn for a little while, but give yourself a deadline day to make a clean slate and to start over again.

Real Life Story: For two months after the fire, our house was a pile of black ash with one mint green wall standing.
Every day, I would drive there and sit in the burned frame of my bed and look out of the window that remained….looking out that same window I had looked out of for years of my life.
Then it was the same thing, over and over, I would dig and dig in the rubble trying to find anything.
I was half crazy.

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Burke took this photo of me in our wedding bed the last day our house stood. I was crying and pulled the veil over my face. I didn’t want to let our beloved house go. Only a handful of people have ever seen this photo. It was just too personal for me to share until now.

The day the bulldozer came to level what remained,
I felt like I was going to die.
My life was 7 dumpsters of wreckage
to be carted away.
Ashes of childhood stuffed animals,
my Grandma’s jewelry and magic things,
years of personal journals and books.

But the next day I came back.
The ash and charred rubble was gone.
There was new earth, an open field, a clean slate.
I could finally see more than burned remains,
I could see more than what was,
I could see the potential for what could be,
and I felt like there was a glimmer of hope on that land for the first time since the fire.

There is no place for a bright future when you are standing knee deep in the ashes of your past.

2.  Get Active In Your Future.

Focus on new and good things. Rather than waiting, make your future.
Take action.
What do you want to do now?
Who do you want to be?
See a bright future and head towards it – one step at a time.

Real Life Story: Burke dealt with the loss of the house by buying a can of PlayDoh and sculpting his ideas for what the new home could be. He was just as destroyed as I was over the fire. He was afraid if he sunk too deep in the darkness and ashes, he wouldn’t be able to climb out, like quicksand. He knew he had to keep moving.

As he formed a new home in PlayDoh, it occupied his mind, charged his creativity and kept him afloat.
Burke’s PlayDoh House that he molded right after the fire:

Burke's playdoh house.

The Finished House:
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3. Get Out There in the World.

Immerse yourself in the world, find positive people, and interact.
Don’t isolate yourself.
Don’t just invite a friend over to mourn what has passed.
Force yourself to hang out with people – go dancing, go to a party, go OUT, take class, volunteer – even when you don’t feel like it. Chances are, once you get there, you’ll be grateful you did. Being around others, listening to others, sharing common interests, and discovering new things will help get your mind off past sadness.

Real Life Story: A handful of days after our house burned to the ground there was a big celebration for dear friends of ours. We didn’t want to let them down by not showing up, and at the same time, we didn’t want to bring the party down by being there. It wasn’t easy, but we went. The first few minutes were the hardest – I wanted to run away. But after a moment, seeing good friends and being surrounded by a positive social environment helped me so much. The day was a positive distraction from my sadness and the good effects of the day were lasting.

Here’s a picture of us at that event – sticking together and finding hope in each other and our friends.
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I will never forget how much you all of you on this online community did for us. Your support, letters and love kept us going more than you’ll ever know.

If you’re going through a hard time out there – remember you’re not alone and there is hope.
Don’t give up.
Better days will be headed your way.
Trust me on this one.
I’ve been down many a crooked road and I know this to be true.

Today at 5:45pm, Burke and I will be holding hands on the rock in our backyard, just like we do every year to send good thoughts back to our old selves in 2011 who were dealing with a really hard time.

Here’s the post where I talk about the special ritual we do every year since the fire.
I put my heart into writing it and I know it can help you, too.

Sending out my love to all of you -
and if you know someone that might need this today,
please share.

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The Parlour and Seeing Into Your Future

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The candles are being lit.
The tea is being brewed.
The cards are about to whisper their stories to you…

THIS Thursday in New York City and
This Saturday online EVERYWHERE
The Parlour is coming!

I can’t wait to share with you.
I’ll be sending off secret emails in the next 24 hours to those of you joining me.

And tomorrow, I will be doing a special Wednesday post…
tomorrow is the 3 year anniversary since a fire burned our home to the ground
and I wanted to share with you what I learned
that will help your own life
and maybe share photos I haven’t let anyone see before.

We are a community
and we get through anything together.

I love you, Danger Addicts.
See you tomorrow.

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Some Girls Wander By Mistake (or What the Eff Am I Doing?)

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Sometimes I’ve woken up in a panic,
thinking that I have no idea what I’m doing,
wondering what my next steps are,
confused as to where life might be taking me.

And those mornings, as hard as it may be,
I realize that I have to push everyday life out of the driver’s seat
and hijack the wheel.

If you’re sick of life pushing you around
and you want to take control -
let’s do this.

This post is part three in my series – I was Slowly Killing Myself Before I Figured Out These 4 Things with questions to help you on your own wild life adventure.

This week we ask: Why are We Here? Why are you Interested In Doing The Things You Love?

You might be thinking…..
I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be doing in life!

Fear not.
Grab my hand.
We are in this together.

Here’s some questions that can help you uncover your passions:

1. What did you love to do when you were little?

This question helps uncover what you naturally are drawn to doing before bills or school were an issue.
List as many things as you can think of, no matter how small or stupid they might seem.
I loved to do little plays with my friends, I loved to write stories, I loved to explore in the woods and do little magic ceremonies talking to the birds and gathering twigs and sticks to build magic houses for them.
Don’t judge it, just write whatever you loved to do.

2. Moths to a Flame: What are you drawn to? What is something you have seen or experienced that makes you feel so fantastic or hypnotized that you feel like you are on fire?

This question is all about connection and something deep in your heart that yearns to do the same thing! When you see something and are blown away by it, or it speaks to you, it’s because deep down in your heart – you are hungry to do it yourself.

Case in point: I was around 4 years old when I saw this commercial and it had a MAJOR impression on me.

What were these cartoon girls doing?
Is this an actual job?
Sign me the hell up.

Even though I specifically remember seeing this and being blown away as a small child, it took years and years and years before I finally found myself connecting to it again. When I stumbled into my first burlesque show I had that same feeling again – that mesmerized feeling.

It was only a matter of time (and a hell of a lot of faking up some confidence) before I became my own version of those can-can girls I saw when I was 4.

Still racking your brain on what makes you feel like you’re on fire?
Don’t worry. Sometimes things take awhile.
An older sister of my best friend in school who had tattoos and dyed black spiky hair introduced me to Bikini Kill.  Girls playing guitars?  I was mesmerized.  And after all this time… Saturday night I played guitar and sang my own original song for the first time ever.   Thanks for the inspiration, Bikini Kill!
“That girl, she holds her head up so high..
I think I wanna be her best friend, yeah….”

3. If you had three different lifetimes and pick three different professions what would they be?

Let your imagination run wild!
Would you want to be a fortune teller in a traveling circus?
An explorer digging into the mysteries of ancient history?
An owner of a bookstore filled with your favorite stories?
A fashion designer creating inspiring new looks seen worldwide?

What would you want to do? Answer with three gorgeous ideas of your own.

This week, we are behind the steering wheel.
Time to kick ass and take names.

Tell me your answers in the comments
and share to your friends who might be trying to discover their dreams, too.

We can do this together.
Hell yes.

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A Few of My Favorite Things on the INTERNETS from Riot Grrl to Illegal Building Jumps (VIDEO)

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I was raised by the Riot Grrl Movement.
Kathleen Hanna and her band, Bikini Kill changed my world. The Punk Singer is finally streaming on Netflix – so I know what I’m doing this weekend.
♦  My guitar guru, Robert Burke Warren blogged Almost True: The Real, Realer and Realest of Music Movies and it’s dead on.

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♦  Forgive me while I murder you with cuteness on this Thursday. The above picture is so adorable I just can’t. Meet Roo, the two-legged chihuahua and his best friend Penny, the fluffy chicken.

♦  Alexandra shared her fav tools for creativity and got me addicted.  When I can’t be typing my Danger Diary entries in a coffee shop with a soy latte in my fist, having the sounds of Cofftivity playing in the background helps me focus.

♦  Gender Bending model, Erika Linder, has “too much imagination to be one gender” and is my new super crush.  Watch her transform from male to female and back again in this campaign – Linder is stunning in every which way.

♦  Blogging?  Feeling Stuck?  Gala’s got you covered with 50 ways to beat blogger’s block!

♦  This guy sings Katy Perry’s Dark Horse in 20 different styles from Nirvana to Type O Negative – and it’s pretty damn awesome.

♦  Vegan Vixen Alise Marie gives you secret meanings behind the eclipses AND how to make delicious mouth-watering raw vegan Cacao Love Cakes in ONE POST. This is why I looooove her.

Living in NYC, I’ve seen a lot of crazy things, but I’ve never seen this view of it….until this video:

What kinds of crazy, inspiring, wild things did you find on the internet this month?
Do you run your own blog? Today’s the day to share it in the comments!

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Nevermind Harry Potter – Here’s 3 Ways to Bring REAL Magic into Your Life.

wild-unknown.jpgSince this post is about magic, I thought this would be a great time to announce that I have decided to do an international online version of The Parlour.
I’ve made it affordable to all at $10. It’s our chance to meet together and I can teach you about tarot and magic no matter where in the world you are.
You can find out more by clicking here.

Here’s THREE ways you can bring more magic into your life everyday:

1. The World Beyond Your Front Door.

Sometimes, when I’ve been living on the road, either on a tour bus or in a van, I feel like I have a greater connection to the world outside, to the stars I’m sleeping under, to the sounds of night.  It is so easy to get lost in the rabbit hole of the internet and texting and being under florescent lighting in school or office cubicles.  Want magic in your life?  Time to shake things up.

Real Life Tip:  Make a point to venture outside in the next 48 hours and find a nature talisman.   If you can get into nature – DO IT.  If you are in a city or suburbs, go down streets you’ve never been down, find that park, stream, river and explore.  At the beginning of your walk, close your eyes and ask to find something magic for you.  Open your eyes to what appears. 

Take your talisman and sleep with it under your pillow.  Notice your dreams.

2. The World In You.

From director David Lynch (Lost Highway, Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive) about meditation:

“Ideas are like fish.  If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water.  But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.  Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure.  They’re huge and abstract and they are very beautiful.”

Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting still and ohm-ing.  It definitely can be.  But if that’s not your thing, here’s some other ways:

♦  Let your mind go by free-writing without judgement.  Some of the greatest writers of our time have used this practice – C.S. Lewis,  J. R. R. Tolkien, Edgar Allen Poe and Jack Kerouac. Find those “big fish” that David Lynch is talking about by going deep.  I love 750 words to free-write with a password and keep track of your thoughts, feelings and ideas.

♦ Focus on an element for more than five minutes – trust me on this one.  Set a 5 minute timer on your phone and prepare to go into a whole other world.  Light a candle and stare into the flame.  Walk to the river and stare at the ripples of water moving.   Close your eyes and listen to the wind.  Find a tree and look at the pattern of its bark.  Any one of these things can take you into a different world in your mind.

♦ At an office or school, feeling stressed and can’t get to a quiet space to get in touch with your own magic?  Watch a little of this, close your eyes and bring out your own inner wild.

3. The World in Others.

Seek out your own wild bohemian otherworldly misfit gang.  Wanna bring more magic to you?  Well, find others who are also interested in creating their own kickass destinies.  Ever since I saw the Craft for the first time, I was all about having thrilling co-conspirators who were seeking out their dreams in a big way.

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Last night, I moved my mattress to fall asleep in the light of the full moon.  In the middle of the night, I woke up and the entire room was pitch black – not a sign of the moon at all.  My phone lit up and there was a text from Dame Darcy.  It was 3:04am and the full moon eclipse was happening at that very moment.   She wished me the good luck, new adventures and abundance of the eclipse of the moon.  I ♥ my magic friends – they are constant reminders of the beauty around me.

Seek Out the Wild Magic in the World and It Will Appear.
Trust.

What are some ways you bring magic into your everyday life?

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4 Secret Questions to Uncover Your Wild Self

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Welcome Back, Wild Monday Readers.

Last Monday, I started this series: I Was Slowly Killing Myself Before I Figured Out These 4 Things.

This is Part Two and today’s question is:
What is Your Back Story?

How we see ourselves helps define us to others.

Read that again: How WE see ourselves helps define us to others.

If I’m not feeling great about myself or great about things, I know that comes out in my everyday way – even if I don’t say anything.

No matter what our past holds, we have to find the adventure in it, the beauty in it, the wildness in it and take what we can to pull us into the future walking on top of it all.

Think your life may be boring or just “whatever”?
Yep. I told myself that, too, until I started digging into my life story.

Here’s some questions to help you see yourself though new eyes.

1. Where were you born or where are you from?
Now, this question is asked a billion times and answering this with a place or city name is boring. It doesn’t say anything about you.

Imagine that there were no names for cities or states. What were you born by? What does the land look like? What day were you born? Was there any unique history to the place?

If you ask me where I’m from, I’ll tell you that I grew up by the seashore, and I was born several days after a new moon rose into the night sky. I grew up among ferris wheels, roller coasters, fortune tellers and boardwalks.

Much more interesting than if I told you the names of the place, don’t you think? Now you try it in the comments.  I bet you’ve never seen your hometown like that before.

2.  What interesting ancestors/relatives do you have or what are some characteristics or hobbies of your relatives that might be unique?

There are stories that your parents or relatives have that you probably don’t know and that would absolutely fascinate you.

Ask! Dig around.
For instance, I only found out last Christmas that my Dad set up an illegal gambling parlour in high school! His story about it had all of us rolling on the floor laughing and it explained so much about him, and also added stories to my own life.

I found out from talking with my Uncle that my Grandma Helen was “born with a veil” – which is a thin layer of the amniotic sac covering the baby’s head.  The lore has it that, those born with a veil have powerful second sight and can see into the future. While I knew that my Grandma had always been mystical, I had only found out about the veil in the last two years.

These stories are puzzle pieces that also can create a bigger picture of who we are.

I am the daughter of a gambler and the granddaughter of a woman with the second sight.
It’s starting to get interesting!

Ask your family members about old stories or unique hobbies.
Research your family line on a site like ancestry.com.

Share with us in the comments what you uncover!

3. Review Your Own Life Story: What are three unique, wild, weird or different things about you?

We all have stories. Look back over your life and pick three fascinating or different things that make you unique.
I did my list here, if you need inspiration.

4. Interview a Long Time Friend or Family Member That You Trust To Fill In The Blanks.

Ask your good friends or family members what their favorite stories or memories are involving you. It can be really interesting to see what they’ll tell you – and things that made a huge impression on them, that you’ve forgotten long ago. It can be encouraging to see ourselves through the eyes of someone who loves and cares for us and hear them describe us.

Knowing who we are are will help give us more confidence and walk forward to our dreams.  Have a great time uncovering all of these questions and share with us in the comments.  Next Monday, we will continue this series together.


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Top 13 Inspiring Quotes from Dr. Seuss to Sid Vicious

These quotes I have taken with me over the years, memorized, and recited back in my head when I’ve been in situations when I’ve needed their wild wisdom.

Here are my 13 All Time Favorites:
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Do you have a favorite quote you remind yourself of to encourage you?
Share with all of us in the comments. Can’t wait to see the beauties you’ve got!
Please share or RT this post if you think some of these quotes can help someone you know.
We are all in this together.

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