The land of the midnight sun

This post was first shared in August 2023 from Juneau, Alaska as part of my monthly love-letter series. 

I’ve decided to slowly share the love letters here on my blog. If you’d like to receive these letters straight to your inbox and in real time, Subscribe here.

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August 10, 2023

—From My Heart to Yours—

It’s wonderful to be here writing to you. This love letter arrives to you TEN DAYS past my intended date. For this, I apologize. I promise it was for good reason.

This past month felt like two months to me! Did it to you?

I am writing to you from Row 20 Seat E on a flight from Juneau, Alaska to Seattle. MoMo is fast asleep on Shane’s lap next to me, and she looks like a little adorable teddy bear.

Before I begin, I’d like to say that I’m very impressed by and envious of the people who are able to fully pass out with their mouths hanging open on a flight. That is the level of vulnerability I aim to achieve at some point in my life. If you are reading this, and you are one of those people, I salute you.

On Wednesday, Shane and I decided with less than 24hr notice to go to Alaska for a long weekend. I had always wanted to go, and had never been. We arrived in Juneau on Thursday, and then took a breathtaking 4.5 hour ferry through fjords to a town called Haines. What a treat!

I haven’t the words to articulate just how magnificent South Eastern Alaska is. I’ve never seen a place like it on Earth. The mountain ranges eject from oceans, lakes, rivers, and inlets. Giant wildlife like bears, moose, bald eagles, elk, lynx, coyotes, and wolves are common sights. I was convinced that each nature shot I took on my iPhone could win a National Geographic photo contest. For this reason, my love letter this month will be photo heavy.

I had no idea that Alaska is so gigantic! It’s 2.5x the size of Texas and only 25% of it is accessible by car. Also, did you know that the forest there is a rain forest? I didn’t! It’s so vibrantly green everywhere and the air is moist and lovely for the skin. I really felt like part of the wild ecosystem and I’m hungry for more of that feeling. Just being there for 4 days was such an adventure. It won’t be long before we return to The Land of the Midnight Sun.

Reclaiming my birthright

Despite having tons of company coming in to see us, this past month was perhaps one of the most grounded months of my adult life. When I last wrote, I had a bit of worry inside me that I would pull my hair out and go bonkers living in a small town. I’ve found the opposite effect taking over me. I’m thriving and it feels wonderful to be so close with nature, and so aware of my thoughts and body.

I find that I more energy when there are less options around me. Shane and I have discovered our favorite little restaurants, coffee shops, places to take company, and areas to immerse ourselves in the wild. I’ve been writing like crazy, and have landed on a title for my book and even found a potential editor!

So much of me writing this book has been an exercise in expressing what I have experienced but have yet to articulate outside of myself. It’s this beautiful process of holding my heart and asking it to become words over and over again. It’s truly rather addicting and it’s been fun for me to allow the writer inside me to flourish. 

I’ve been learning about Jung’s work, and doing lots of my own work to bring my unconscious conscious with the help of my therapist. The work has been a bit uncomfortable and also very liberating. I am noticing that I feel much lighter and I’m astonished by how much our unconscious really rules our lives until we look at it with a flashlight and honor its existence. 

We truly live in unprecedented times where even if we haven’t experienced extreme darkness in our lives, we are living in a society that isn’t set up for us to thrive. I find this heartbreaking and I often feel betrayed in some cellular way by mankind. When Shane and I specifically seek out being away from fast food places and big box stores and large shopping malls —the great extremes of capitalism— it feels like I’m taking back something that always belonged to me.

As I’ve ventured further into the depths of the wild (Alaska for example), a part of me comes alive and I want to water that part of me like a budding seed. This search for the depths of nature feels like a search for the depths of myself. I want to know the depths of my soul. I want to know my wildness.

We must question what we were put here to do. Were we put here to go to Sephora and Target and have all the conveniences right in front of us all the time? Were we put here to endlessly online shop and scroll and compare ourselves with strangers on the internet? I don’t think so, and I’m rejecting that lifestyle at this point in my life. I think it’s not cool and I want nothing to do with it.

We are most energized when we have tasks to do, food to grow, wood to chop, fish to catch. Humans are supposed to be working in tandem with nature. Not living in cement jungles. While I see value in the energy of cities, I worry that humanity (particularly in the west) is growing sicker and sicker and more depressed and we aren’t doing enough to rage against the machine (I know this is a band, and no I haven’t listened to their music but I like that phrase).

Come one, come all

Apparently, summer in the Pacific Northwest is the jam. We have had company for over half of July, and will continue with that trend into August. In July, Shane and I found a gorgeous lake for freediving and I learned how to use a giant riding lawn mower (lol). I also picked so many blackberries that my hands may be permanantly stained. 

My adorable cherub of a sister and her dog (son), Rudy, were here with us for 10 days before she left for Costa Rica. Reuniting with her was so wonderful for my soul. We ugly cried when we got to see each other at the airport and I just kept wanting to look at her face. We calculated that we’d been apart for 6 months — the longest stint we’d ever been separated to date (except, of course, for the 2.5 years when I was alive and she was not). We hope to never go that long again!

While Cami was here, we saw one of the best movies I’ve ever seen at my favorite movie theater I’ve ever been to. Past Lives was so incredibly touching and heartbreaking and important. The way the scenes were filmed and the way the viewer got to have an intimate connection with each character was unlike any other film I’ve seen. I’d highly recommend seeing it. It was beautiful.

Shane’s best friend, Shane, was here with his family and we met him over on the Pacific Coast near Forks, WA. The beach there was so breathtaking and we had such a fun time exploring, creating a campfire, and sleeping in the van.

My dear friend, Sarah, from childhood randomly was passing through Port Townsend and I got to meet her sweet husband, Dan, and their van, Goldie Hawn, too!

Finally, my high-school best friend, Ellen, came out for a long weekend and we walked until we got lost in Seattle, drove hours to Ruby Beach, and had a picnic on the bones of very old trees. We got delicious boba iced coffees and caught up on every single nook and cranny of each others lives.  Per usual, we mostly opted for early nights and cooking in. It was perfection.

An ongoing project…

My book continues to be written in love. It’s really my favorite thing to do at the moment. 

Although I’ve majorly cut back on taking clients and producing content as I write this book, I have two spaces for my 8-week teaching/mentorship container. I guide clients in coming home to themselves both in and out of the bedroom. I’ve recently adapted the investment and my container to reflect current times. If you’re interested in working with me, please send me an e-mail at info@shewolflauren.com. I’d love to hear what kind of support you’re searching for.

What I’m currently reading: 

I have been working on finished up my sex educator course, so I spent lots of time watching online classes this month. That felt like reading in some way haha. I also began reading Tantric Orgasms for Women by Diana Richardson. I have been poking around the book more than reading it cover to cover and I find much of her insight to be absolutely fabulous. I don’t feel like I’ve read enough of it to give an actual review, but I do think it’s worth picking up and learning from.

I completed Mauger’s Love in a Time of Broken Heart and that is a book I think should be required reading for all humans. We are relational by nature and Love in a Time of Broken Heart teaches us how to not only move through the pain of breakup but how to keep our hearts open through life. It’s a masterpiece and I can’t recommend it highly enough. 

These are books in progress:
Ensouling Language by Stephen Buhner
Loving What Is by Byron Katie

What I’m thinking about:

I’ve been thinking a lot about aging and appearance as my hair grows.

For nearly 4 years, I had my head shaved or very short and it was part of my personality. I identified with having a shaved head and being bold and being unique in a crowd. I wanted to stand out and make an impression. 

As I’m letting my hair grow, I’m seeing myself with versions of hair that I’ve never had before and it’s changing very quickly. In some way, growing my hair out has been a bit of a spiritual experience. It’s a physical representation that time is passing and I am getting older each day. 

I don’t have a choice but to be patient, and I don’t have a choice but to move through each growth phase as it is. I’m at the whim of natural process, and I like being here. I don’t have a plan for how long I’ll grow it. I don’t have a specific plan for a style. I’m just going with the flow and seeing how I feel.

I think part of getting older is letting go of the self-absorption of youth. Almost my entire twenties I was obsessed with making the impression I wanted to make. That’s drastically fading, and what a relief it is.

In a world where we’re taught that aging is terrifying and we should avoid it at all costs, I worry that we’re sacrificing wisdom in the face of vanity.

Before I go,

I’ve been setting an alarm for 5:30 so I can meditate and do breath work and take my time getting ready before going on a long forest walk. I then go to the coffee shop to write and work.

It’s unreal how much better I feel when I have intentional mornings like this. Each time I fall off the morning routine wagon, I convince myself that it’s okay to live in flow, but then when I get back on my morning routine I make a dramatic promise to myself that I’ll never abandon ship again.

That’s all. Just, I feel drastically better with a morning routine. I bet you do too.

In gratitude,

As always, thank you for being here. I have some really exciting updates coming these next few months and cannot wait to share them with you first. In the meantime, enjoy this final Alaska photo of a tiny (size of giant dog) bear cub.

~

I love you,

-Lauren

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