This post was first shared in November 2023 from Southeast Alaska as part of my monthly love-letter series.
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November 12, 2023
—From My Heart to Yours—
Hello to my fabulous Wolf-Pack,
It’s the middle of November 2023 and I’m writing to you from our home in Southeast Alaska. I just finished a mug of hot chocolate and I’m watching the first snow of the season coming down outside. It’s truly magical here.
I’ve now been writing you love-letters each month since February of 2023. We’ve been on quite a ride together, haven’t we? I just took a trip down love-letter memory lane and since I began writing this series, I’ve written to you from:
-Jackson Hole, Wyoming
-La Fortuna, Costa Rica
-Port Townsend, Washington
Wow! It’s fun to look back and reflect on what was happening in my life as I came to my computer each month to type to you. I’ve found it surprisingly therapeutic to write a summary of each month and share it with you. I wonder if it’s a practice you’d like to do as well, as I think it’s easy to forget all the wonderful moments in our lives if we aren’t diligent about noting them in some way.
Right after I wrote to you last month, boy did I get a case of the blues. As I near my birthday each year, I go into reflection zone, and this year was no exception. I could not believe that only a year had passed since my 30th birthday. It felt like 5 years had gone by. With this acknowledgement, and then a huge move TO ALASKA, my 30th year caught up with me and I was zombified. I didn’t want to speak to a soul and I wanted to tinker around my new house or lay vertically and look out the window. For an entire week, I did just that. Luckily for me, I convinced my mom to come visit for 10 days for my birthday. During that time, Shane went on a business trip, and I was able to have such awesome 1:1 time with the woman who brought me into the world.
About a year ago, my mom hurt her knee while doing one of her high energy exercise classes (funny but not funny). It was very frustrating for her to have an injury, as she’s incredibly active. Each day, she felt so sad about her inability to do the physical activities she loves doing.
Fortunately, by the time she arrived here in Alaska, her knee had healed. This gave her the opportunity to coin a new slogan for her life. We’d wake up in the morning, and with her big bright green eyes she’d look at me and say, “Let’s go for a walk! This is our chance.” or “Lauren, let’s go do a cold plunge! This is our chance!” or “Lauren, let’s go get Dungeness crab. This is my chance!” or “Play me in a game of Chinese Checkers! This is our chance!” or “Lauren, let’s immediately get in the car and drive to see the bears. This is our chance!” or “Lauren, lets harvest all of your rhubarb and make 6 pies! (You guessed it) This is our chance!”
She told me that when something is difficult, like a cold plunge, or burpees, or getting out of bed to meditate when it’s still dark, or taking a risk, it may be our last chance! We never know what the next day holds, so if we appraoch these difficult but desireable practices like it might be our last chance, the difficulty can take on new meaning.
This exciting (and admittedly exhausting at times) attitude was so intoxicating that it pulled me right out of my slump. I would sleep for about 10 hours each night, and then I’d wake up to my youthful and hilarious mom insisting on me having fun with her. During that time, I didn’t write a single word for my book, and I didn’t do much of anything other than really stay present with my mom. The opportunity was a gift, and one I am so grateful for.
My online return
When my mom left, I was very sad, and yet, I felt renewed. I noticed a place inside me open up that hadn’t been there for quite some time. I feel eager again to share with others what I’ve learned over the last 10 years in regard to sexuality. I’ve been able to show up on social media with intention. To my surprise, it’s been so much fun. I’m FINALLY finishing my Holistic Sex Educator Certification after working at it for almost exactly 3 years. The program is 210 hours of recorded and live online learning. It’s been very rigorous and I’ve learned a ton.
I think I’m feeling so much better about showing up on socials because during my time off, it became clear how I want to talk about sexuality. That is, from the sacred perspective.
That’s what I like the most. I like the sacred and the sexual and I like them at the same time— in bed together, if you will.
I believe that our sexuality holds secrets for our awakening. I believe that through visiting our most sacred waters, and returning to them time and time again, we have the potential to transform. I know this transformation is possible because it’s happened to me.
No matter how chaotic life gets, my sexual energy is my center. My sacred practices with myself spill into other aspects of my life. When we address our sexuality, we address our lives. I’m unbelievably excited to teach you about this in my upcoming book!
It’s okay if you make fun of me for saying this, but I promise, my book is actually almost complete. I know I’ve been saying that for 8 months… I just keep finding more to say! The words fly off my fingers and onto the pages with pizazz and glee! Soon, you will have a copy in your hands and the wait will have been worth it!
Alaska, Alaska, Alaska
The other thing I’m overwhelmingly excited about is living in Alaska. I am in awe every single day at the beauty around me, and I never want to leave. Of course, life doesn’t have the same plans, so Shane and I do have extensive upcoming holiday travel. I know it will be fun, AND winter here in the dark would have been very fun too. Right now, the sun rises at 8am, and sets at about 3:30pm. Each day, there’s less and less light and I actually think it’s awesome. The bears are now in hibernation, and the air is crisp. We’ve been soaking up every bit of our time here, and have been cherishing our alone time together— away from it all.
For an hour each morning and each night, Shane and I sit in front of our picture windows and gaze into the darkness in meditation. Most days, we also do a 5min cold plunge in the 42-degree water outside our home as well. During today’s plunge, we were visited by two adorable seals!
When we aren’t writing or working, we take long nature walks and look for bald eagles, other wildlife, mushrooms, and places to sit in stillness in the forest. I’ve been obsessed with making a family cabbage and beef stew recipe (shared later in this letter) and I pretty much only want to eat that for lunch and dinner for the rest of my life. I literally wake up thinking about it.
This week, I made a rustic ladder out of drift wood that I found on the beach, and Shane collected big rocks from the river to make us a fire pit. I don’t think either of us have ever been so proud of ourselves for utilizing our DIY skills….lol
We’ve met nearly all of our new neighbors, and have enjoyed drinking tea and breaking bread with each of them. Each person has such a unique story about how they ended up living on our street. Many of our neighbors were here before electricity was available. You might find it funny that it was just in 2007 that electricity became available in our neighborhood.
Shane and I have also been kayaking twice now. Once on the Inlet, and once on the lake. Both times were epic in their own way. During out first attempt in the inlet, Shane’s kayak had water hiding in it, and when he attempted to turn, he immediately capsized and went face-first into the frigid water. Every time I remember what I witnessed, I laugh out loud. It was hysterical and I’m so happy to have that memory imprinted in my brain forever. I posted photos of this moment on my personal Instagram account that I’ve dedicated to our Alaskan adventures. You can follow me there if you’re interested @loveshewolflauren.
This is our chance!
When the opportunity arose to move to Alaska, it was our chance to do something that scared us. Everything about this move was unknown. We were unfamiliar with the land, the people, the customs, the day-to-day living. Now that we’ve been here for 6-weeks, I believe it was the best decision we could have ever made.
This is our chance to be alive, people! We get this one time in this body to really go for it. We get this one chance to heal the wounds of our past. To learn how to show up in the present and surrender to what the future may hold.
As you’re reading this sentence, can you find your breath? Can you look around you and notice something you’ve never noticed before? Can you find 5 of your body parts to be overwhelmingly grateful for? These kinds of little practices are what it takes to feel alive. They bring us into our bodies and into this moment. As we continue to practice them, they expand into other practices and our capacity to truly be here and feel what needs to be felt expands too.
I love you, and I’m here to help you feel your life-force energy. It already lives within you, each moment you’re alive is a chance to uncover it.
What I’m currently reading:
I’m deep into Loving What Is by Byron Katie. I’ve been reading this book on and off again for over a year. Last week, I picked it up again and her words hit me in a different way. She has a method for healing called “The Work.” During The Work, the participant fills out a form called Judge Your Neighbor. The participant then moves through a series of questions about what they’ve filled out before turning the phrases they’ve written back onto themselves. This method struck me once I got the hang of it because I realized that in order to Love What, we must resist the urge to make other people’s business our business and take responsibility for every inch of our lives. We are typically only miserable when we are living in a should state. “This should or shouldn’t have happened.” The reality is that that thing did happen. Where do we go from there? We can liberate and heal.
What I’m thinking about:
I’m thinking about the soup. I have yet to have breakfast and am considering just skipping it so I can dive right into a bowl of soup. Let me go ahead and share the cabbage soup recipe so you can live your winter season with gusto. Camille actually sent this to me from Costa Rica where it’s warm and balmy, so I guess season doesn’t matter.
I think it should be stated that I’m not a big cook (YET!). I make the easiest foods and I eat the same thing every single day for about 6-weeks and then I get sick of it and make something new for 6-weeks. This cycle will likely repeat until I die. I’m not a “need new ideas for dinner every night” kind of person. Hats off to those who are.
This entire recipe takes place in one pot and I have no idea what the measurements are. I make it in a big pot and then save it for the week. It freezes well too. Just assume that I use “a shitload” of each ingredient unless otherwise stated.
Very Delicious Soup
-First, put 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic into a pot with olive oil
-Brown the garlic
-Add ground beef and cook it thoroughly
-While it’s cooking, chop up your tomato, potatoes, white onion, green cabbage, and carrots. Optional: celery and leeks (yum)
-When the ground beef is done cooking, add chopped veggies
-Cover everything with chicken broth (or water + bullion) and stir ingredients together
-At this point, I’m tasting the broth and adding salt, pepper, soy sauce (or amino acids) to taste
-Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 min depending on how soft you want your veggies
-At the end, I add two spoonfuls of miso paste (Camille does not)
-When serving, it’s imperative that you have lime or lemon juice to give it an acid kick. Camille adds hot sauce… I don’t.
And boom! There we have the soup.
I can’t believe I just included a recipe in my love letter to you, but it had to be done.
Before I go,
I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this love-letter. Every time I send one, I hope that my message reaches you when you most need it. As much as I critique the internet and social media, I want to be very clear that I’m grateful we have the opportunity to connect in the ways that we do. The book I’m writing is for you. It’s from my heart directly to you, my loyal wolf-pack. I appreciate your viewership so much. It encourages me to keep writing more than you know.