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Heartland (Book) Chapter 1: No more.

Alone in a house for the winter holidays on top of a mountain in rural Marshall, North Carolina, I sat at my computer and opened my email, surrounded by moving boxes just moments before I was about to host a women’s circle online. 

I was going through a breakup. My child, two cats and I had to move out of this house we’d moved into with him not even a year before, because this man who had wanted to “make a life together” had “changed his mind.” 

I was sitting in the quiet of December, with what felt like impossible choices, with too many belongings, and with a heart that belonged to this land. 

The man? He could go. If he was going to treat me like this, I wasn’t going to beg a thing of him. I’d seen it before - his original longing and determination, perhaps even well intended to start, that couldn’t sustain. The willingness to take what I had to offer, consume me right up, and then leave me to fend for myself. I thought I’d been careful and I thought I’d chosen a safer man this time, but here I was. 

I wouldn’t miss him. I was probably in the wrong place to begin with. But goodness, I loved this land. 

I loved the hawks that flew in front of the south-facing windows, I loved the way the quartz popped out of the ground in plenty. I loved the things this land had taught me, fast and furious as any spiritual awakening, and one I hadn’t expected. I loved my access to the mystery here, to the feminine, to the earth grids, to truths I’d not known before. I was having more trouble leaving the land than I was him, that was for sure. 

And, when it all went down, that’s when the Grandmothers came forward with a message from the land. I was determined to never make these same kinds of mistakes with men again, and I was determined to leave this pattern of financial hardship behind me there. To never be duped again. To never struggle as a mother again. 

I had a lot yet to learn. 

He was in Ohio with his mother. 

We were emailing about money exchanges. Even though he’d invited us to live with him, I had paid a portion of the mortgage. I cringe to think - I had actually paid him rent without any security. We were both entrepreneurial (aka financial fluctuations were a norm) and I thought that we’d naturally build one another up by being in relationship, that our relationship would improve the quality of our lives, including financially. 

To be honest, the month that I’d first moved in was the biggest organic sales month I’d ever had in my business. I think it was because my lifelong money fears could actually relax in sharing responsibility with someone, in having a man want to provide a home for my child and I. A recovering woman of fierce and defensive independence, I think I had wanted to receive such an invitation, and I had wanted to feel safe in it. And for a little while, I did. 

But then I’d given him rent and paid for a beach vacation for his birthday. I always made sure his favorite groceries were in the fridge. Honestly, I over-gave to him in response for him inviting us into his home. He had built my son a bedroom and had never been married before, without children of his own. So it didn’t take long in 920 square feet for a very mystical woman, her child and her two cats to become “too much.” 

It was his house. He could simply change his mind. Which meant that I now had to come up with money that I really didn’t have to move us for the second time in a year. 

The email was in response to me asking for a reimbursement for that month’s rent, one he’d already volunteered to give me, and I had asked for the money back so that I could use it to pay the movers. 

His response said, “I will assess how you’ve left the place, after you’ve moved out, and if it is in a condition that I approve of, I will refund you your money. I will be assessing the house, the barn, and my wood pile.” 

“His wood pile?” I thought. 

Assessing me?” 

Isn’t it amazing how one minute a man will take a woman by the shoulders and proclaim to want to spend the rest of his life with her, providing house and home for her and her child, and the next minute think she’s the most dangerous, unpredictable creature that he’s got to keep a lid on, or else she might…. What…. Use his wood?   

Why the wood pile? Why would I ever touch the wood pile? The wood was his to use when he lit the wood stove in the barn, which I never did. 

For the life of me, I could not make sense of how he even connected me with the wood. It seemed nothing but controlling. He’d already agreed to repay me the money, I needed it, but now he was making absurd stipulations. 

And, it angered me, because I had never once disrespected the property or the house. When he invited me to make a home there, I did. I am certainly not the type of person to destroy houses or property regardless of the ethical injustice or inconvenience put upon me. 

But by this point I was also tired. There seemed to be a tangle when I got involved with men - where my resources would somehow be threatened, including my outer resources like money or housing, but also my internal resources like the amount of energy I had left. It had been a life-long pattern with my father, and I’d broken away from that. I’d been in two other relationships since having left my job in education to become a spiritual entrepreneur, and these men took far more than they gave, which hurt my work and my capacity to create income. I had repeated a pattern of falling for the man who wanted to be the hero, whose offers would not sustain. I thought I’d chosen the safe guy this time. 

His wood pile

His wood pile was fine, meanwhile my feminine resources and the resources I had available for me and my child were not. So much so that I had to ask for a few hundred dollars back.

While his wood pile laid untouched, I was having to deal with the way men wanted to take of my resources without replenishing them. 

I was at a net-deficit.

I was depleted in a way I never thought I’d find myself depleted. I was having to find energy where I didn’t know if I had any left. 

It had happened too many times, this invisible tug on my life force. And I was over it. 

Have you ever seen the movie Fried Green Tomatoes where Kathy Bates’ character cracks open yelling “Towanda!” smashing the car in the parking lot because she’s tired of being a doormat? This became my Towanda moment. 

As I read and reread the email trying to make sense of it, the heat rose in me, fueled likely by an eruption of previously-suppressed, primal emotions, from so many years of trying to be a “good, conscious feminine woman” only to be consumed to the bone, marrow sucked dry. I was so sick of being diminished by the things I invested myself in.

I looked at the clock and gauged that I had about eighteen minutes before I had to host my call. I reached for a nearby headlamp and shoved it over my hair, making it messy, to go see in the dark outside. I put on the old garden gloves I’d used to open up a big garden plot in the yard that I now wouldn’t be growing anything in. And I put my winter coat on, though I would be sweating by the time I was done. 

I found my way in the dark to the wood pile. 

THE wood pile. 

I knew the one he was referring to. Some of it had been chopped, and some of it was still in large, round pieces. And with a rush of adrenaline, I carried each piece of that fucking wood pile to the nearby cliff and then I heaved each piece, one by one, over the edge. To - fucking - Wanda.

“Assess me on the status of your wood pile!” HEAVE! 

“Go right ahead!” GUH!

“Hold my resources over my head and look what happens!” THROW! 

“A few hundred dollars? Really? You want to control me based on a few hundred dollars?” HUH! 

“Best money I have EVER spent!” GAHHHH! 

I’m sure the neighbors heard me. I no longer cared about impressions.  

Fifteen minutes. Ten. I had time. I’d throw every last piece and I’d be done in time for my women’s group. And I’d tell them what I had just done. The call was, after all, about women’s personal power and sovereignty through something I call Sacred Remembering. I had been living a journey of how to get free of patriarchal energetics for years, but damn if I hadn’t gotten into another false agreement that didn’t actually value who I truly am, or my feminine energy. 

No. More. 

It was exhilarating to throw each and every piece of that wood pile. I was standing up to something, some kind of trickster or controller energy that I had experienced over and over again that did not care, at the end of the day, if I as a woman and a mother had what I needed. Rather, it just wanted to take what it could from me while it could.  

I was done giving without being filled up. 

This was a primary experience of my entire life, and I was standing up to it that night like I was fighting the very force that didn’t care if it destroyed feminine - destroyed life. This energy that power-played for my resources. It says, “If you’re good and compliant, you can have what you need.” “If you don’t call me out, if you don’t tell my secrets, if you don’t rock the boat, if you comply, you can have what you need.” I had felt it’s presence forever. The way it lived in men, in people in positions of power, in patriarchy itself. 

It was trying to control me over a few hundred dollars. “Maybe,” I thought, “that means it’s getting weaker and more desperate.” 





It was done when I threw the last, giant second of log over the edge. 

No more. 

I wish I could say that that was the last time I ever felt depleted, or like I had to fight for access to resources, but it wasn’t. I wish I could say that after that, I figured out how to become rich and that my child and I always had everything we wanted and more, but that wouldn’t be true and that wouldn’t be near as good a story. And I wouldn’t actually like myself if I wrote a book like that. 

I wish I could say that that was the moment that all of the compromises of all of the women who came before me immediately healed because I’d taken my power back, but that would be too simple. I had to look compassionately at the ways women before me had to sacrifice their inherent feminine resources to have what they needed, and I had to work with my ancestors to heal and forgive those choices. 

I had to stop running, out of fear I’d sacrifice what my mother had sacrificed, or out of fear that I’d fail and need my father’s money. I had to let my body heal, to let the layers of my body’s memories surface as they do only when allowed the space to gently reconcile with what has been. I had to let myself fail and receive help, and to know that we don’t have to be failing, or stressed, or out of luck before we receive. 

I wish I could say that my entrepreneurial work became exceedingly successful in the months and years to follow, but that didn’t happen either. This is not a book about quick riches or easy manifestations.  I have learned that most of that rhetoric is built within the framework, the architecture and energy blueprint, of an old system, one we could call patriarchy. I’ve learned that I’m not satisfied with existing manifestation teachings, with continually hustling for money or stuff, or with the rhetoric that if women just try harder or get the spiritual formula right, we will somehow have moved beyond a consumptive culture. 

I learned in female entrepreneurship in the first five years that a lot of the same kinds of patterning exist there too - the world will eat up your social media posts and your ideas, but when it comes to actually referring women’s work or financially backing it, it’s as if she’s diminished to “cute” and expected to “be strong,” again, as if her success is completely dependent on her own volition… within a world that expected her to give, and give her energy for free, because it didn’t financially value what she had to truly offer in the first place.  

You might be thinking - well if you didn’t figure all that out, then why am I even reading this book? Because perhaps you are also in a place where you have tried some of the popular new age spiritual teachings, including feminine and masculine polarity, divination and manifestation, but you’re finding, too, that it’s not working for you. 

One woman recently said to me, “The things I used to do aren’t working anymore.” 

That’s exactly right. And I will tell you what I’m pretty sure is happening. 

A full and complete refusal on the parts of our feminine systems, our women-bodies, to partake in extractive systems anymore. We used to play along with it because it’s all we knew. We thought, maybe perhaps before #Metoo and Covid, that the patriarchy would go on indefinitely. But we are officially in a time of planetary change where we will not have to play along anymore with systems that do not rejuvenate our energy. It is now our choice. We do not have to hustle indefinitely, or self-sacrifice, or either work like a man or depend on a man in order to have money. Those days can actually be over. 

Many of us are being called forward to intuit, embody, believe in, and anchor in a new paradigm. And you and I, reader, we are it. 

We will create the New Earth. This is our legacy. This is why we are living our lives at these times, and why we have survived so many challenges. It is so that we can forge a new way. 

I call the New Earth we are helping to create “The Heartland.” 

It’s no longer in alignment for women to fight for our rights within patriarchy, to continually fight against a regime that serves the wealthy and elite, stripping the earth and women of resources. The very act of opposing and fighting against something is further depleting to women. We need to just begin to live in a new way, and things will change. First in our lives, our relationships, the way we work, and then the world as a whole. Can you feel it happening? 

I had hoped that throwing that wood would be the last I’d see of injustice, but it wasn’t. 

From there I had to go on a deeper journey, and a more fulfilling one. A journey into the Heartland, to discover new ways for women to be prosperous, and in fact, to redefine prosperity altogether according to the healthy feminine and the ways of the earth, and the earth that wants to support a more integrated future for all.

The truth is, on the day I threw the wood, I’d already been visited two months prior by the Grandmothers of the Heartland, and I wanted everything they’d told me to be anchored by the time I left. I was waiting, listening to the land, and thinking that this truly would be, could be, the end of dominator forces in my life. 

This was foolish. Wisdom, as any elder will tell you, takes time. 

True wisdom doesn’t integrate in heaving giant logs off a cliff, but it does help to say a good and firm, “No more. Not on my life. No more consumption of my feminine energy.” And then watch as life rearranges itself accordingly. 

The Grandmothers understood. Let me start by sharing with you how we met. 

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