Showing Up is Enough


the blooms of a wild plum tree

TW: This post talks about periods, blood and alternative ways of living!!


All my life I felt like I wasn't doing enough. I chose an interesting path, one entirely created by me, and most of the time it feels like I'm bush whacking through life. The path is less traveled, requiring me to figure things out as I go. It can be so confusing & enlightening, though I'm so grateful I chose the path of sovereignty and self-employment.


I got my period last week. I've learned to listen to my pussy and to honor her as she wishes. Something I've seen other women do is gift their menstrual blood to Earth as a spiritual practice. I've always wanted to do this, I've become a pro at using menstrual cups, and it is finally warm enough outside, so I felt it was time to try it out. It is a sacred practice for women to give their menstrual blood to Earth, many ancient traditions practiced this. I want to deepen my relationship with my self, my sacredness, and the Earth Mother.


On Friday, I woke up with the intention to give Earth a full "cup" of my blood. My period is usually heavy enough to fill the cup at least halfway every time I change it, so I thought I'd have a lot to give. Upon inspection, I had a measly teaspoon. I immediately felt like what I had to give wasn't enough and I felt a bit shameful for all the times I flushed entire cups worth down the toilet. This land I live on gives me so much, and all I had to give back was a teaspoon! I almost didn't give my blood to Earth, but I decided to anyways, taking my teaspoon out the back door and inspecting the forest in my sandals.


This is the first spring we've lived at this house, so all trees and plants are new here to me. For the first time all spring, I noticed the lone plum tree just a few yards into the forest, flowering after the cold spell drifted away. She looked so beautiful dressed in white, delicate flowers. I decided to give my blood to her as she called out to me.


I apologized to the tree and said all I had was a teaspoon for her. She immediately stopped me from going any further and spoke to me:


"Shhh dear child. We love you. We are so happy you are here, taking care of us. You being here with us and being present is enough. What you have to offer is enough. In this moment, you give a teaspoon, but many moments creates lakes."


Later, I had to empty my cup again. When I revisited the plum tree, I had a realization.


It's not the amount I give, it is the intention behind it.

Plum whispered once again to me, "It's not about how much. It's about showing up & being present with me. You give me your life blood and I will give you fruit."


I felt relieved of the weight I was carrying, just letting it all fall away and I smiled at her, thanking her for the message and the promise to come back with more "cups" filled. Upon looking through Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, I had a "no shit" moment reading that the wild plum is symbolic of femininity, Venus, water and healing. She was such a beautiful teacher to show me this message, and what a gentle synchronicity to teach through.


This can be applied on so many levels, not just sacred gifting to Earth. Whatever your intention is, state it and mean it. The rest will follow, like a gentle stream rippling down a mountain side.


On Saturday, I had this reminder once again, under other circumstances (which, perhaps I'll share with you another day). I sat on my deck wrapped in a blanket, in deep immersion of nature's surroundings. I could hear the entire forest speaking to me over and over again,


"We're so happy you are here!


Showing up & being present is enough.


You are enough by just showing up."


In this moment, I was struck by my inner purity. I felt the purity of my being by just being and that was enough. I didn't need anything else, there was nothing else I needed to "do."


I didn't realize the immense weight I had been carrying around with me. The pressure to do more, to be more, to create hype, to be successful, to be bold, to be a "boss babe," to make a lot of money, to catch up with my role models, to save the planet, to help humanity, to do, do, do.


In that moment, I just let it go. I simply cannot be responsible for all of these things. I cannot fulfill all of those roles. My body and being require me to be extremely gentle and flexible with myself, otherwise I will quickly become out of balance and move astray and go into a state of dis-ease. For me, this looks like migraines, headaches, emotional rollercoasters, hard mental health days, irregularities in my periods, becoming reclusive with people in my life, anxiety. Learning to be gentle & patient with myself has been one of the hardest lessons to integrate, not because I don't love myself, but because I always want to become better. And I'm an Aries sun and they have shadows in these areas; competition, impulse, and impatience. My Cancer moon and Pisces sun (I'm a cusp Aries :) are always reminding me to come back to self love and gentleness.


Though the weekend is over, and the Scorpio full moon is upon us, this message still rings and is becoming my mantra.


I've struggled with myself and showing up on my platform, Adventures Across, because at times I felt like I didn't have anything to offer. My life wasn't "hype" enough to share or to interact with people. So, I would wait until a more "hype" moment came up and then I'd show up, and since I didn't show up for weeks/months, my audience lost touch with me and my offerings would often "flop." (Or this is how I'd perceive it... nothing is ever a failure! Only a lesson, or perhaps, the entire story hasn't been written... )


I'm learning that it's not about the "hype." It's not about the instant gratification or the "success" I often strive for that always feels out of reach.


It's about showing up, and that is all. It's not about what you are doing, or the response you get. It is about choosing how you want to show up, and to just do it. The ego will be okay, she can be coaxed like a crying child, and she will be okay.


I hope this post inspires you to treat yourself with gentleness, and to let go of the weight you put on yourself. Know you are enough just by showing up, even if no one can see you. Breathe deeply, feel this. Feel this.


You are enough by showing up.


Sending you much love today,


Ashley


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