What Root and Rise Stands For
Let me paint you a Bob Ross style picture of what Root and Rise stands for. Imagine a flower, ideally your most favorite flower. In order for that flower to bloom, it had to pass through a couple of stages first. It started out as a seed in the beginning. That seed formed roots beneath the surface, strong roots to anchor and ground the plant during its growth process. This growth was invisible above the surface, much like the inner growth that happens in each one of us. Once a strong and solid foundation has been built, this plant has the ability to now rise through on the other side. Standing tall and proud, preparing to bloom!
This name is inspired by Rupi Kaur’s book, The Sun and Her Flowers, where she says “..think of those flowers you plant in the garden each year, they will teach you that people too must wilt, fall, root, rise, in order to bloom.”
I am here to help you root and rise in order to bloom and thrive.
The Beginning of Root and Rise
How did Root and Rise begin? As a seed, of course! A thought in my mind about ways to help offer guidance to others. Having some traumas to work through of my own, I needed to plant my own roots before this idea could rise above the surface. I scoured articles online, books, and podcasts to find any sort of knowledge or someone to relate to. I went to therapy weekly. I participated in Facebook groups and spoke to both friends and strangers to gain any sort of wisdom through their stories. I’m so grateful for the knowledge that I have gained along the way. I’ve done the deep, dark inner work to Root and Rise for myself, and am ready to give back some wisdom of my own to help others do the same.
My intention is to help make life a little easier for people walking a similar path. I’m not a master, don’t get me wrong, I am still walking my own journey. I had talked myself out of doing this podcast for years, but it was a seed that had already started growing roots.
During the Coronavirus Pandemic, I was furloughed and found myself locked up in my home with nothing but my thoughts during my work hours and a stronger desire to connect with the outside world. I began to pursue my vision to bring you guidance and light, and this little seed started to sprout. You are about to witness the rising of it!
Get To Know Me
Since we are going to be spending this time together, working to Root and Rise, it is probably helpful to know a little bit about me.
Being vulnerable is hard. I want to share my experiences along with my guidance to connect to you and help us relate to one another. Blogs and podcasts are a wonderful medium for storytelling, but sitting in front of a microphone to tell your story is intimidating. Some of the things you are going to learn about are secrets I have kept for over a decade. My story will unfold more throughout my articles but I want to be sure to give you a good glimpse of my journey, what I have overcome, and what led me to you today.
I was raised by my father. I grew up without a mother present in my life. She was in the house but unavailable, completely detached, and not at all interested in me. However, I was fortunate enough to have THE most amazing dad in my life. He stepped into the dual roles of parenting with what seemed like ease. He provided us with nothing but gentleness and love while raising my sister and I. He has, by far, one of the largest hearts this world has seen.
With no birth mother present in my life, my grandmother stepped in as an earth mother to me. She was and always will be, my Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas, just as beautiful, just as strong, and just as wise. She always made me feel seen, heard and loved beyond belief. I could show up on her doorstep crying and she’d open her home and heart to me without hesitation. And somehow have me well-fed, well-loved, and giggling in no time. Being Native American, she instilled a lot of their beautiful beliefs in me while I was growing up and it has completely changed my life.
When I was in high school, I was raped by a boyfriend. I had to tell my dad about it because word got out and my school was going to call him. My dad was absolutely heartbroken, and I will never forget that moment. But I have no memory of my mother even discussing this with me. I only told a few people at the time. I spent many shameful and confusing years trying to work through that trauma quietly.
Right as I was entering into “adulthood”, my mom abandoned my family and she had no interest in maintaining a relationship. I was feeling incredibly lost, both in myself and the world. Around this time, I had met a man and we quickly committed to one another. But this is not my love story. This is not my rooting or rising, it is my wilting and falling.
Here’s the secret that I have kept for over a decade: after spending the first couple of years in this relationship with emotional and mental abuse, physical abuse was finally introduced into the relationship. By this point, I was so brainwashed and convinced that I was the reason he drank, I was the reason he hit, I was the reason that he spoke to me that way. I believed that I deserved it. And I stayed for years.
On one of his pretty normal drunken nights, he attacked me but this time he threatened me with a gun. I locked myself in the bathroom and had a complete Eat, Pray, Love moment. If you haven’t seen or read Eat, Pray, Love, then picture me crying and bleeding on a bathroom floor and begging the universe or any higher power for something to change. And it did… I wish I could tell you that I was strong enough to leave because of the abuse, but it was catching him cheating that did it for me. I packed up my dog and filled my car with essential items and never looked back.
I showed up on my dad’s doorstep and once again, had to share news that would break his heart. Now, I couldn’t tell him right away. I couldn’t tell anyone for a while. Even now, as I publish this post, there are just a handful of people who know this about me.
Abuse silences you. And healing from abuse in silence is an arduous feat. You need to rely on your support system, you need to get your story out, and you need to rid yourself of this shame that is not yours to carry. If you are suffering from abuse or need resources to heal, PLEASE call the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233. I hope that by sharing my story, it will help release that shame for other women and offer guidance in healing from abuse.
To understand how I was able to move forward at this point, you must first know that there are some species of trees whose cones require fire in order to release their seeds. They actually require the devastation of a forest fire to grow. Having gone through this wildfire of a relationship, I released seeds and had introduced my own rebirth despite the devastation. I had been cracked open and those cracks allowed light in for the first time in my entire life.
Even though I was still recovering, I finally felt free. I moved to Seattle, Washington entirely alone to stretch my roots. There, I spent years exploring my inner world along with this new outer world, learning the true meaning of mindfulness, grief, healing, relationships, and positivity. I dove into books, articles, and podcasts. I connected with some amazing souls who passed along beautiful wisdom.
This is also when I began collecting and propagating plants. One rubber tree stick in particular taught me a powerful lesson. I spent 4 months watering this “stick”, no growth was happening and it quickly became a joke among my friends that I have just been watering nothing but a stick for months.
One day, I dug it up just to see if anything had happened and I was surprised to find a beautiful root system hiding under the surface. I couldn’t help but see the beauty in the strength and grounding that happens beneath the surface before any growth shows above ground. And I could no longer ignore that same beauty, strength, and grounding in myself and the root system I had been building, unseen to the outside eye.
My need to share this knowledge with others began, I grew a deep desire to help others root and rise after their own life’s wildfires, big or small. I wanted to nurture their root systems and help them rise so they could bloom and thrive
Starting to rise myself, I took myself on a vacation in 2018 to Hawaii to see a friend who was in the navy and stationed at Pearl Harbor. On the first day there, I met a man who was also stationed there with my friend. Now, this is my love story.
We spent the day in the ocean, chasing sea turtles and soaking up the sun. I had never felt the way that I felt when I met him, absolute peace washed over me and I instantly felt safe. He felt like coming home and I just knew, he was my home. We spent nine months dating long-distance, building our own strong foundation, and a healthy relationship.
In 2019, we eloped in the most magical of ceremonies in the Olympic Mountains with a few friends to officiate, witness, and take stunning photos. We were immediately surrounded by a herd of deer bringing the blessing of their Native American medicine, gentleness.
I packed up my entire life in 4 suitcases and moved my dog across an ocean to live with him in Hawaii during his time here. As a military family, I don’t know where we will end up but being in a healthy relationship will always feel like paradise to me.
In early 2020, I found out that I was pregnant! A dream that I had for quite a while – a chance to change my family history and feel a motherly bond. A week after finding out that I was pregnant, my birth mother passed away. Despite all of my efforts throughout my life to have a relationship, it had never happened. I mourned the loss of the mother I could never have while becoming a mother myself.
At 6 months pregnant, my grandmother, and earth mother, unexpectedly passed away. I was consumed with grief and completely unable to leave the island to attend her service or be with my family to grieve. I leaned heavily on my husband and therapist. My blog and podcast became a therapeutic source for all of this bottled up energy.
Through this grief came a motivation to be the mother I always needed, both for my own heart and my unborn child’s, and to offer the guidance that my soul longed to share with you.
This is my story. A story whose roots were born through the fire of neglect, abuse, and deep grief but transforms by rising through to the other side, full of light. When creating this blog and podcast, it is my hope to inspire and guide others to do the same: root despite the pain and rise to live the life you deserve.
You’ve Got a Friend in Me