Sacred Relationship Reflections

Mar 27, 2015

Last week Aaron and I went to a Sacred Relationship retreat in Venice Beach. It was absolute magic. And because of how amazing it was I wanted to share our individual reflections. Every single couple should go to one of these. 

From Me: Going to Sacred Relationship was taking a deep journey into the heart and soul of my marriage. My husband and I both felt before going that we already had a good marriage, but we wanted it to be great. This experience was life changing for us! We went in knowing that it might be hard to take such a close look at ourselves and our relationship but we were willing to do it to grow stronger. To me, the most amazing part was watching my partner transform right in front of me. He truly did the work and found the side of himself he's been searching for. It was an honor to walk beside him for that journey.

Anni + Tim create such a safe and intimate space for couples that we were able to deeply connect and express ourselves. We shared our hopes, our dreams, our fears, and our love. We found that deep level of trust and understanding that we'd been working towards. We also connected with other couples, each on their own beautiful journeys. We shared laughter and tears and made true friends for life.

Sacred Relationship is unlike anything you've experienced before. If you're going through a difficult time, a peaceful time, or just want to connect more deeply to your partner GO to a retreat and dive in together. There is beauty and love on all levels shared here. Your relationship with your partner will be deeply nourished so you can carry the magic from the retreat into your every day lives and truly live in your Sacred Relationship always.

Thank you Anni + Tim for a relationship enriching and life changing 4 days. Aaron and I will always remember the magic that was created for us. We will always be grateful for the gifts you've given us. And we will always cherish our deeply Sacred Relationship.

From Aaron: I went into "Sacred Relationship" not knowing what I was getting myself into. I thought, "Oh a relationship getaway. Kind of like the movie couples retreat." But It turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did this retreat vastly strengthen me and my wife, Sue's, relationship. It vastly open me up to myself. The feeling you take away from the experience is completely amazing. It's been a week since I've left the retreat and I feel STILL lighter, happier, and more in touch with my own life than ever before. Anni and Tim are amazing people with a wealth of relationship knowledge, and they create an outstanding environment to open ourselves up and take a good look at where and who we are, and where and who we want to be, as well as provide the tools we need to get there. I had a blast and I think all relationships should experience Anni and Tim's "Sacred Relationship."

Meditation, Connection, + Surrender

Mar 11, 2015

I want to tell you a story.

When I was pregnant with Everly it was the most intense experience of my life. I had HG throughout the pregnancy and struggled daily with the smallest tasks. I lost 40 lbs and worried every second that I was going to fail at my job of protecting my precious baby until she was ready to come earth side. I broke down more than once with cries that I couldn’t do it and I didn’t know how to get through. It was painful and heartbreaking but as always I looked for the silver lining in my life. I am a girl who loves her silver linings.

Even though I was confined to the couch for most of my pregnancy it meant one thing: I could stare at my belly for hours and watch her little kicks. About halfway through my pregnancy and watching my little lady wiggle I started to track her across my belly and I realized that she was breech. It wasn’t anything to be concerned with so early but as the weeks passed us by she stayed put. I started to feel nervous about her position because we were living in Japan on a small military base with a very small hospital as our only option for a birth place. This hospital wouldn’t facilitate a breech birth and we weren’t allowed a home birth because of far too many rules and regulations. A forced cesarean birth was quickly becoming my only option.

From the day, even the moment that I found out I was pregnant I dreamed of my beautiful birth to come. I knew instinctually that a medicated birth was not for us and I was preparing myself for an unmedicated vaginal birth. The news from my care providers that I wouldn’t be “allowed” to have what I wanted was devastating. I tried everything I could think of to coerce my baby into turning head down. Every position, every trick, everything I could find. Nothing worked. Throughout my pregnancy, especially the last few months, I spent time each day meditating with my daughter. I told her my hopes, my dreams, my wishes. I told her how excited I was for labor and how much I looked forward to holding her in my arms. I connected deeply to her. I told her how much I love her. And I told her she HAD to flip over.

During our 37th week my husband and I decided that we were going to have a version scheduled to see if the doctors could help manipulate our daughter into the correct position. It’s a painful procedure for women which can cause fetal distress and sometimes even trigger labor. I knew the risks but I wasn’t willing to give up and schedule a cesarean unless I’d exhausted every possibility.

I have never felt so completely powerless.

The day before the procedure (38 weeks along) I gave up. I gave in to the powerless feeling I’d been drowning in and completely and totally gave up. I cried and cried and cried. And then I had a meditation with my daughter. I connected on our spiritual level and I told her that the next morning we were going to have our last ditch attempt at getting her into the correct position for birth. And then I told her what she needed to hear.

I told my unborn child that it was completely up to her. If she wanted to be born through a cesarean birth I would happily do it for her. I would stop fighting and embrace the birth for the beauty it would offer and the child it would bring me. And if she wanted to have the natural birth experience we’d been preparing for together then she needed to flip over and tell me she was ready. I gave up any illusion of control over the situation and I surrendered.

That night was incredibly painful. She wiggled and kicked and moved more than she ever had before. The next morning I knew. I KNEW she had turned over. It didn’t take an ultrasound or a doctor informing me. I felt her body position inside me and I knew. We went to our scheduled appointment and I told them she’d turned in the night. They didn’t trust my word for it but their ultrasound machine proved me right. She had turned and we were ready.

This experience prepared me for motherhood in a way nothing else could. It showed me that I would not be able to control most of the things that came my way but if I surrendered to the beauty of my life I would be able to enjoy and cherish it always.

Three weeks (to the day) after our daughter turned head down she joined us earth side. Her birth was beautiful, the experience was remarkable, and it gave me so much confidence in myself and my daughter. But our meditation and my surrender to her and our future was where our bond was truly forged. When she was placed in my arms by my amazing husband I looked deep into her eyes and said “I know you. My sweet Everly, I know you.”

xo Sue

The New Sacred Pregnancy Book

Mar 8, 2015

The brand new Sacred Pregnancy book was released about a month ago. It's got the same cover as the first, but in this second edition there's new info, new content, and beautiful new photos! Do you see where I'm going with this? One of those photos is mine (this one in fact) and I'm insanely proud of it. I am SO honored that Anni chose this photo to be featured in the Sacred Pregnancy book and I just had to share it. Beyond being featured in the book though, this is truly THE book you need for pregnancy. If you're pregnant or have a friend you want to give a beautiful gift to pick this one up now! It's my all time favorite pregnancy book. 

xo Sue

Walking the Labyrinth

Mar 4, 2015

Two weeks ago I took a trip to Death Valley + Las Vegas. I was attending my third Sacred Pregnancy retreat and a Sacred Living Movement Leadership retreat. It was 10 days of awesome. Sometimes I cannot believe what a fun/amazing/beautiful job I have. I really have the best job in the world and I work with some of the most awe-inspiring women I've ever met.

At the end of our second day at the Sacred Pregnancy retreat we went to walk a labyrinth in the dessert before we completed our fear release exercise. It was one of the most powerful experiences I've had in a long time. The ground was sharp, completely covered in tiny rocks, but I chose to walk the labyrinth barefoot. I'm not sure what came over me as I kicked my shoes off to begin the walk but I'm so glad I chose to go that way. At first the steps I took weren't bad. They were a little painful at times but mostly okay. As the labyrinth went on it got more painful and I started to question my sanity. I had one hand on my belly connecting with my sweet baby and one hand closed around the rock I'd written my fears on for our release. For a few minutes I cursed myself for taking off my shoes, but slowly I changed my attitude. I'd chosen to step into the very rocky labyrinth barefoot. I'd chosen to do something hard. Because I knew that I could. It was such a lightening bolt moment for me. Why do I choose to do hard things? Because I know that I can do them. And I'm a stronger, more confident person when I finish them. I'm better for the hard things that I do. 

I started to relate the labyrinth to childbirth. The way I chose to birth Everly was hard. There is no way around that. Many people questioned why I could choose the way I did but to me, it was the best way for her to come into the world. I knew that's how she wanted to be born so I did it for her. For this baby I get even more questions. We're planning a home birth that I get asked about frequently. Why would I choose something hard? Why would I choose to birth my baby free of medications? My answer... because I deeply feel that my baby wants me to and I am more than willing to do hard things for my children. 

Sometimes we make choices and do hard things in life. Sometimes in a moment of crazy we step barefoot into a rocky labyrinth that takes us fifteen minutes to walk through. Sometimes we question why we did that hard thing in the first place when it would have been so much easier to just keep our shoes on. But the truth is, life isn't supposed to be easy. We can choose the hard way and come out the other side even stronger and braver than we went in. That's what I did when I walked the labyrinth. 

I came out strong. I came out brave. I came out ready to release my fears that were holding me back. I came out with a deeper connection to my body and my baby and I came out ready to do this hard thing because I choose to. 

xo Sue

amazing photo c/o Kiera Lillesve Foto