The Edge of Her: Celebrating, Honoring, Creating

The Edge of Her is dedicated to all who honor the edge of our creation through life's traditions, stories, and connections with the Divine Feminine. "When you can't go forward and you can't go backward, and you can't stay where you are without killing off what is deep and vital in yourself, you are on the edge of creation." ~ Sue Monk Kidd, Dance of the Dissident Daughter
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Jennifer Mills

Jennifer Mills

Jennifer Mills is an Eden Energy Medicine Certified Practitioner, Reiki Master, and student of life's beautiful transitions through story and sacred practice. We all have the innate ability to move towards healing and her passion is to help empower others to fully embrace their own health, joy, and unique vibrancy along the journey.

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2014: The Year of Nourishment
Art image: "Mama Bear," © Melanie Weidner - www.ListenForJoy.com
 
Mmm…

Welcome to a new year according to the Gregorian calendar. Before diving in to what inspires me at this current point of time and space, may I share how grateful I am for you? There is a driving force behind what it is we are doing “out here” and the greater messages being brought forth are so gentle, beautiful, creative, collective. May this year manifest all of this for you and much more!

Bear energy runs strong through my foundation and Spirit wishes for me to learn her ways: how she moves and shapes her world, how she shares her wisdom, how her way of seeing embraces all those who have come before and those who are of the next generation and beyond. There is a closeness, an intimacy I feel with this essence and I cherish the connection. Bear moves methodically – nose close to the earth, raised to the heavens, smelling, sensing, Knowing. She is inquisitive and playful, yet she also carries a grounded sense of responsibility and will not waste effort letting you know where she stands. She is a fierce lover and will protect those she loves at all costs if need be. She inherently follows the rhythms of the seasons and delights in filling her physical being with the sweetness of the land when the energies run high in summer and gives herself permission to slumber deeply within the darkness come winter.

I was blessed to spend the entire weekend of Winter Solstice in ceremony with WomenSisters and Bear made her presence known immediately. Those of us who attended offered witness to each other’s celebrations and strife through the year and invited clarity for the year to come. We are blessed to sit within a beautiful community of men and women who invite each other to create a word that we will then carry through the course of the following year. “Allow” was my companion for 2013 and it served me well. Bear whispered. “Nourishment” is what has come in for 2014 and I am ready to embrace it on all levels. It begins with nourishing myself, and then offering nourishment for those in my life who are ready to receive it.

The first manifestation of this new year beckons the Bear within me to be still for these months encrusted in ice and snow. I am loving it. For as long as I’ve been consciously following the natural rhythms of the seasons, I do not yet remember a time when I’ve been this intentional with the process of what these months provide in the way of opening a doorway into a secret place within the soul. It is a dark, soft, and quiet place where solitude and rest nourish the cornerstones of my very existence.

See, this all started when Bear began to tap me on the shoulder during the summer months and whispered in my ear as the light began to fade in autumn. As winter quickly approached, she rolled her great head from side to side, danced anxiously in the waning light, pawing at the ground, and finally uttered a guttural rumble reminding me over and over again to follow the course of my natural rhythms. I had no choice but to surrender and follow her into her dwelling. And here I am to remain till the earth thaws and spring birds return.

The depth and darkness of winter has inspired me to follow the energies as they wane and dive deep beneath the surface of the soil. Everything has slowed to a reverent pace. I feel spaces within me healing; small patches within the soul that I have been meaning to mend for a very long time, held together with safety pins of excuses. Bear sits next to me in the candlelight – nose close to the earth, raised to the heavens, smelling, sensing, Knowing. I smile back in gratitude for what she is teaching me about myself.

May we all embody happiness, honesty, and be of maximum service to others.
May we all express a deep appreciation, genuine love, and respect for one another.
 
 
A special thank you to artist Melanie Weidner for granting permission to use her incredible image for this piece.  You may purchase this particular print by clicking here and enjoy the rest of her collection by clicking here.
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  • Amarfa
    Amarfa says #
    There's a song for this very thing: She Bear on the "Chants for the Queen of Heaven and Earth" CD by Nancy Vedder-Schultz and frie

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Rearranging the World as She Knows

I dreamt of becoming a cartographer when I was young, positioning my body amongst a multitude of maps spread across my mom and dad’s living room floor, tracing the colourful lines with my tiny fingers. The mind dreamt into stories of the people who experienced Life along those routes between the small hamlets and major cities. As a student at Penn State, I chose to spend quiet time in the Map Room, nested within the behemoth library on campus. It was a quiet sanctuary which provided salvation amongst the congested intersections of a very full university experience. While living on the Florida coast, nautical charts captivated the open spaces of my mind in the years before my daughter came along.

A quick search on Wikipedia lists the definition of Cartography as, "…the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively." My favorite aspect of this definition is almost every word of it! This soul sings and loves to shape and mold beautiful realities for the self and others. And while I did not "grow up" to be a cartographer per se, I am delighted to learn, at least according to this definition, I am still somewhat on the right path of creating, shaping, and directing the routes from "Point A" to "Point Present Moment". I would like to imagine us all as cartographers of the soul. This is an absolutely delightful thought on this quiet morning!

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The Gathering of the Tribes

The Harvest moon...she was quite marvelous this month. And now we move toward a dark moon where she invites the depths of knowledge to mingle and play in the soil beneath our feet. 

Are you feeling the palpable richness of this moment? The effervescent juiciness of the energies?  I experience it as acceleration in my heart center and a Knowing in the gut. Indeed we sit within a time of sacred transition. A process of celebratory release this time of year so that the elasticity and resiliency of our very foundation may become more apparent.

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What if I Were a Normal Mom?

A recent household occasion presented an opportunity to implement a natural solution instead of using a chemical-laden product. My daughter Emily is eleven-going-on-20 and upon her happy discovery of my homemade concoction, she sat quietly for a while and then asked, “If you were a normal mom, what would you have done instead?” Huh. If I were a “normal” mom, what would I have done? This question has sat within for a few weeks now and it has led to a good chuckle more than a few times. Emily and I did talk about her question at that moment because I was curious to know what she defined as being a “normal” mom compared to being a mom (perhaps me) who is “not normal”. It generated a lot of laughs between the two of us and offered up great time to connect deeply.

If I had been asked this as an ungrounded new mom years ago, my psyche easily could have taken a backseat on the train toward the villages of Panic and Self-Doubt. I suppose there have been conscious choices which have been made through the years to define myself in her mind as being somewhat “not normal” as she places that language in her mind. Upon inquiry I learned that she sees me laughing. A lot. Singing, playfulness, prayerfulness, and random dance moves are busted out at random times of the day, often early in the morning in the kitchen while I "should be" packing her lunch for school. Dress-up consists of wrapping ourselves with big swatches of colorful fabric and then often these pieces are brought outside on windy, sunny days to watch how they shape-shift in the light and air.

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  • Jennifer Mills
    Jennifer Mills says #
    Oh, Paola, thank you. She is quite the wise woman indeed. When she was two, she would ask her father and I to play a game where
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Ha! I love it when they remember in that way. So wonderful!
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    We all choose our parents as spirits and I'm sure you provide the right mix of magic and love for your old soul of a daughter. Tha

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Fruits of the Land

Mmmm…I just love summer. The energies run big, bright, and colorful! My fire rhythm can find herself burnt out easily though if I commit to do-ing too much instead of just be-ing. Taking quiet time is imperative for my system, especially during the vibrant summer months. A recent Saturday night was a be-ing night for me and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate a cool, quiet, rainy summer night than by working in the kitchen with fresh fruit.

Food is incredibly sensual, isn't it? The invitation arrives and we have to give ourselves permission to really, truly experience it! Fresh fruit and vegetables this time of the year are truly blessed gifts indeed and I give myself freely, fully to the sensory-filled experience of the harvest. This is also one of my favorite aspects of traveling and brings to mind a recent opportunity while in Jamaica this past spring.

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  • Jennifer Mills
    Jennifer Mills says #
    Thank you, Ashling. I love that you share "sensual" and "poetic" in the same sentence...ahh...that is magic right there!
  • Jennifer Mills
    Jennifer Mills says #
    Thank you, Lizann! You are right about those peaches...like candy they are right now. And you have a copy of that book too? Isn
  • Ashling Kelly
    Ashling Kelly says #
    What a sensual, poetic sharing of the season's delights....beautifully done!
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for your wonderful post. The Farmer's Market is a weekly ritual for me, the peaches this year have been particularly ex

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My Edge

Since opening this space a few weeks ago, I have been thinking more consciously about our journey to The Edge. I am grateful to have the space here to share how the light shines upon it for us all.

See, for much of my life I did not know what an “edge” was, or what expansive, fertile possibilities lay just beyond it. I did not know what type of path I would cut or even what tools I would need to access the raw, vulnerable parts of myself; eventually laying the groundwork upon the true self which would be born anew. I felt alone. I felt incapable of being able to come from a place of authentic expression. I had no idea what gifts I could offer this world.

Life was lived "safely" based on clean edges, organized processes, and a sense that I was doing the “right thing” with the barometer being the acknowledgement of those around me. I followed all of the "rules" and defined happiness by living up to others’ expectations. All the while there was a churning inside, an acidic buildup of knowing I was not dancing to my own rhythm. I was trying my damndest to be the “perfect” daughter, wife, mother, career woman, community serviceperson. Forget rhythm when living a life of constant white noise.

Oh, I was still in there, present with small pieces of it, definitely not all of it, a walking-dead from what I can now ascertain. I was superficially happy, not deeply satisfied. I was seeking a “something” to fill my hollow and was incredibly imbalanced internally. The external world was starting to show the stress of not being able to keep the charade going much longer.

The first of many lurches showing me a brighter reality hit me the day I found out my daughter had chosen me to carry her into this world. I did start to wake up that day, but it would be a long time before I had the courage to act. The next few years were spent still trying to play in the white noise, yet the core had started to break down. I was ready to exit stage left. I was ready to be done with all of the bullshit and move on.

Yet I had a child to raise. Her birth was my rebirth. She opened me up in profound ways and served as my grounding wire that first number of years as I learned how to stand again. I still felt alone, untrustworthy, unqualified, yet there was a spark which had been lit from within and She reminded me of that every single day.

The question remained though: how was I supposed to raise a child if I didn’t even know how to raise myself from the dead? The edge was slippery at times, but I learned to listen to the internal voice, to trust the compass. That journey began more than 12 years ago and every step has been a true blessing. Life continues to improve, become more joyful, more fulfilling, more honestly my own to claim in this lifetime.

See, The Edge is the familiar unknown. It is an invitation to remember who we are. It is about discovering our internal truths and then manifesting them into brilliant existence! My own familiar unknowns have shown me how deeply nourishing and joyful life can be! My edge has shown me I am here to love, nourish and support others from an incredibly deep space. BUT! If I am not loving, nourishing, and supporting myself, then what do I have left to give? The equation is simple, as is the life I am living. And I envision it to become easier and much simpler as time goes on.

The truth has been deeply revealing. It has led to unexpected and miraculous gifts along the way in the form of connecting and learning from others who open their hearts to their edge of familiar unknowns. The following poem was written and performed with one of those beautiful souls, my dear friend John DeLozier. You may also watch a video of the performance here. My cup truly runneth over.

 

The Edge
John DeLozier & Jennifer Mills
Summer Rhythm Renewal, August 2012
 
The Within becomes limitless when I am with you.
A roiling, boiling potential.
 
Through the liquidous center, the tremors of vibration unsettle
  the sediment existence has produced.
An uncontrollable force which can no longer be held within.
 
Truly eyes know nothing yet reveal everything.
 
The pulsing, rhythmic dance begins.
The roiling emotions charged: a supernova state, heartfelt and open!
The sacred seal is broken between the illusion of opposing forces.
 
Suddenly, desolate and lightless as a black hole; nothingness; my mind cannot conceive.
I have gone to my Edge;my toes on the precipice.
 
Are you complete?
Resistant: I hesitate, afraid of the unknown.
My truth unspoken, constricted by the perpetual state of Doubt.
 
Break yourself free from that constraint my friend!
We are bigger than that!
Join me in this leap of faith!
Take my hand.
 
So, the darkness was a shadow, dissipated by our light!
Connected now are we.
This bright-light confusion of the senses fades.
The breath of light returns
  in the Light of Love.
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  • Jennifer Mills
    Jennifer Mills says #
    Heather and Áine, thank you. Isn't this a precious time to connect in with those deeper truths? And my heart goes out to all of
  • Áine
    Áine says #
    What a beautiful way to describe this feeling - I can definitely relate.
  • Heather Freysdottir
    Heather Freysdottir says #
    3 This is beautiful, and very much reminds me of my relationship with Loki, thought I think it's true of any good relationship wit

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Sitting by the Fire

"When you can't go forward and you can't go backward, and you can't stay where you are without killing off what is deep and vital in yourself, you are on the edge of creation."  ~Sue Monk Kidd
 
Each and every one of us is continually invited into soft, sacred spaces. We dance, we dip, and we sip from the chalice of celebrating, of honoring and of embracing the Divine Feminine. Welcome to one of those soft places where All are welcome; where the Edge of Her is ever present.
 
So why now? Why now honor this Divine Feminine, this delicious energy of radiant chaos, of creation? I’ll let you in on a secret: Her story has been unfolding long before we came here and will continue to blossom well after we’re gone.  We are just lucky enough to be witnesses to Her rise in power, feeling every forceful contraction of Her womb as we are birthed and re-birthed into the energies of this dynamic time.
 
But what is this time anyway?  Sit quietly.  Look around.  See what is happening all around you, within your family, your community, your world.  This is a critical time for us to collectively come together, to sit with open hearts, and to offer ourselves the ability to be fierce, to be gentle, to be open, and to be spontaneous with our creative process no matter whether it happens in the garden or the board room.  There is a fervent, deep rolling in the underbelly and we have all received Her invitation to be fully present, to leave our personal and collective ego at the door.  It is time for us to stop apologizing for rolling in the luscious essence of our true sybaritic self!
 
She is here to help guide us.  And, of course, so is He.  And while I deeply celebrate the unity and delicate balance between both of these primal forces, this particular space will rely more on Her voice, Her rhythm because She is more than ready to be heard.
 
So who is She and why am I writing about Her?  I am a woman in my mid-30’s according to chronological time, yet the more I embrace my own juiciness, my own connection with Her, the younger I become, the more vital I feel internally!  My energies hum and buzz at the thought of rising to the occasion; to actively become a change agent for conscious creation on the planet at this time.  And who do I turn to?  I turn inward and ask Her for help.
 
She is you.  She is me.  She is all of us, men and women alike.  She is the vitality which streams from the Earth and the fierce wind which whips in from the North who carries the voices of our ancestors.  She is born every day upon our awakening and rocks us into slumber each night.  She dances in our dreams.  She is the food we eat, the music we swing our hips to, and She is the force to be reckoned with when we rip and cheat ourselves out of living an authentic, open-hearted, passionate life.  She is the gentle undulations between lush, green hillsides and the rocky cliffs standing strong against the beating of the ocean.  She goes by many names and shape-shifts into many forms, but needs none of these forms to know She is recognized.
 
While I personally choose to associate Her with divine light and everyday integral components within the fabric of our human stories, you are welcome to paint your own canvas.  I give Her no name in particular because She needs none.  She is who you want her to be in this exact, spontaneous, creative moment!
 
And here?  In this space?  This is a soft, sacred space where creation, imagination, and profound heart connection is more than welcome.  It is a space which happens to be just one voice of many through which She speaks.  The journey is long, but it need not to be arduous.  Please come!  Rest with me by the fire and hold my hand.  Let us share stories, sing, laugh, and cry together.  Allow me to weave tender threads of love around your heart while I bow in honor and gratitude of All who choose to join me.

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  • Jennifer Mills
    Jennifer Mills says #
    Oh, Ashling, thank you. Isn't this exciting! My passion is to connect, to help build, reinforce, and strengthen the web we have
  • Ashling Kelly
    Ashling Kelly says #
    Beautifully, beautifully written. Looking forward to reading more.
  • Ursula
    Ursula says #
    Just lovely, Jennifer! Thank you -
  • Jennifer Mills
    Jennifer Mills says #
    Thank you, Ursula! So wonderful to be received well here! I look forward to connecting more with you!
  • Jennifer Mills
    Jennifer Mills says #
    Thank you, Lizann! What an honor to have you be a part of this journey. I am finding we each experience this power in our own un

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