Full Moon No. 12, Winter
View this email in your browser


2017 Musings Luminous Architecture Lumen Letters Jessica McCarthy Backpacking Lake Sebago Upstate NY
                                                                                                                                                   Photo: Kitfox Valentín 

17 Insights I Gleaned in 2017

Happy New Year - we made it to the other side! After last year's 16 Things I Learned in 2016 letter, I thought this whole broadcasting some personal reflections to the world should become a yearly tradition...because last year, I learned that vulnerability is a strength. And this year, I saw how opening myself up in vulnerable ways can allow others to connect more to themselves. In no particular order, here are 17 of the more meaningful insights I came across throughout my experience this past year. I hope these insights serve as inspiration for your own reflective process as we move into 2018.

No. 1: Foraging wild foods, water, and herbs is nourishing on so many levels. Gathering your own source of sustenance from the land is something I've grown to truly admire. The stacking of health benefits is serious - nutrient rich diet, natural movement, outside time, connection with your landscape, and a tangible spiritual bond with the beauty of life. A bio-diverse greens salad foraged from Prospect Park, spring water collected from the Catskills, and a sage bundle made from sage you gathered along your cross country road trip are all so much more satisfying to the soul than a salad, water, or smudge stick you would purchase from a store.
No. 2: I can ride a bike like a big girl! Mind you, I've always known how to ride a bike from the time I was a wee one. But there's a vast difference in skill sets between childhood suburban biking and commuter city biking. I developed my skill set for the latter this summer in Portland where I biked daily to get around the city. I can even do a fancy dismount thanks to bike lessons on Portland side streets with my wild woods man. 

No. 3: Someone who has a few decades on you does not always know what's best. There are elders, and then...there are olders. The difference between the two is the amount of wisdom and perspective they can offer. 

No. 4: You can hold ritual anywhere, in the smallest and simplest of ways. I love a big ceremonial circle to practice ritual, adorned with crystals, feathers, stones, skulls, and the like...but this isn't necessary, or any more valid then holding ritual as you're walking down a Brooklyn street, holding a stone in your pocket and calling to the elements for guidance and strength before practicing No. 9.

No. 5: The most painful of heartbreaks can live in unexpected territories.
No. 6: Humans are super adaptable, including our palates. This started with the realization that I now LOVE eating dulse straight out of the bag, when a few years ago scoffed at any kind of seaweed. I once shied away from anything spicy, now I can't get enough. Liver and onions is delicious. Offal chili is a staple in my diet. Sautéed spicy chicken hearts are to die for. Fried fish ovaries are actually pretty tasty. Lamb brains...you lost me there. But hey, I tried it! And the eyeballs, too. 
No. 7: I've deepened the understanding of myself and my body this past year more so than ever before by reclaiming my natural cycles as a woman and practicing Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). I even wrote a lengthy letter (read: chapter in future book) revolving around this topic because it was such a profound theme in my life this past year.
No. 8: The matriarchy is no better than the patriarchy. They are both sick manifestations of unequal power. There, I said it. This one was hard. I definitely have my fair share of "man-hating" triggers rooted in wounded places, but I'm using my discernment to see when others are operating from this same wounded space and making an unhealthy agenda out of it. I'm all for smashing the patriarchy, but not so that the matriarchy can come to rule and we can finally get back at men for suppressing us all these years. I'm for egalitarianism and the mutual respect between ALL lives. 

No. 9: Confronting people (read: calling them out on their shit) is a very valuable skill to hone. Especially if you're like me and air on the side of avoiding conflict.
No. 10: If you have a job where your time is not valued or respected, leave. 
No. 11: America is a beautiful country. The land of the country, that is. A cross county road trip opened my eyes and heart to the wonders of the landscape I call home. 
No. 12: Comparing myself to others is one of the worst forms of self-sabotage.  
No. 13: A Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, year long dance job is no longer desirable. It only took one month of non-stop dancing for me to really feel this one in my bones. Don't get me wrong, I am by no means leaving my path as a professional dancer. It's just that this path is turning out to be one I have to pave my own way.

No. 14: I am a woman capable of doing unassisted pull ups. And that feels damn good to know!

No. 15: The West Coast truly is the best coast. This is insight free of bias coming from a native East Coaster. 

No. 16: Mugwort (Artemesia Vulgaris) is my #spiritplant. Well, it's been 2017's #spiritplant. I have felt particularly drawn this lovely plant from the first time I foraged her this past spring, and my relationship with Mugwort's medicine has seemed so appropriately timed as I've reclaimed my cycles, and with that, some menstrual discomfort that a hot cup of mugwort tea soothes like a charm.

No. 17: When one wound mends, another opens. We are never perfectly healed and whole, despite what some New Age coffee table affirmations book tells you to recite. Healing is a continual, lifelong process. It's a way of life; a path, a practice. I'm finding solace in this, lessening my grip on achieving "wholeness" and embracing the constantly changing, speckled tapestry of my being.

May your year be filled with insights,
to gather and glean.
Weaving these wisdoms into the tapestry of your own lives,
to design, and re-design,
your luminous architecture.

Luminous love,
Add a dash of luminosity into your life this year!
Copyright © 2018 Luminous Architecture, All rights reserved.
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list