Waiting

I hate waiting. I want everything to happen RIGHT NOW. “Instant gratification isn’t fast enough,” as Carrie Fisher says in Postcards from the Edge.

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Valley HaggardComment
The Natural Order of Things

Last weekend, on a mandatory vacation, the boy, the dog and I drove three hours deep into Virginia countryside to stay in a teeny tiny condo on Smith Mountain Lake. We saw a great abundance of the three staples of the rural South: churches, cows and graveyards. Every time we saw tombstones we scanned for cows to, as Henry said, “restore the natural order of life.” Our newly for sale house was being shown and our realtor had said in the politest way possible, “get out.” Stan was supposed to come but had to stay behind to tend to the emergency smell emanating from our crawlspace. Bless his heart.

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Valley HaggardComment
Moving Out

I have lived in this house we’re moving out of my entire life. Minus a handful of years when I was 15 and my mother and I moved across the street and then when I left to go to college in New York and travel through Italy and Eastern Europe and worked for short stints in Colorado, Arkansas, and Alaska. And, other than the times when I lived with my dad in the fan or north side or south side or the east end. Other than those times I’ve lived in this house forever.

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Valley HaggardComment
In Praise of Disordered Eating

I saw an actual psychiatrist last week for the first time in over a decade. May two years ago, I showed up in my nurse practitioner’s office unable to stop crying. I believed I could continue to cry forever on my own but I was terrified of becoming a mother who couldn’t get out of bed.

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Big Beautiful Life

Several years ago I stood in my living room and screamed at the top of my lungs: I’M GOING TO HAVE A BIG BEAUTIFUL LIFE WHETHER YOU WANT TO OR NOT. As a co-dependent people pleaser who couldn't be happy if you weren't happy, who made you unhappy if I was unhappy, who didn't really know what happiness was or if I even wanted it at all, this was a real turning point for me.

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Valley HaggardComment
Through the Fire

Wednesday night I went to a Reiki share at my Reiki master’s studio to join five other women in varying degrees of yoga pants, head scarves, and work outfits The act of laying hands on bodies, vulnerable and open and willing to receive was a holy sacrament. When it was my turn on the table I felt as if I’d been scooped into a bowl full of honey. The hands were warm and strong and soft and electric and full of love. I could feel all of my circuits ignite. A handy tool when the whole world is on fire.

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Boundaries

Two weeks ago I sat on the unmade bed in my sun flooded loft in San Miguel de Allende. I just had one of those LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCES. I texted a friend, everything has to change.

I almost gave you some unsolicited advice, he texted back.

Go ahead, I said. There are those times I know I have to shut up and listen.

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Valley HaggardComment
New Home

I think of home all the time which makes sense because I live in the house I grew up in, across the street from my mother. My father moved 15 times before I left for college and has lost two homes in the past year. He now lives in the sort of home he used to visit as a social worker. He is folding himself around the unlikely edges and it is beginning to fit.

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Valley HaggardComment
The City of the Fallen Women

Did you know there was more to traveling than sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll? Me neither! But, as it turns out, when you are in a foreign country you can sit in a church, look at art, listen to music, dance, drink ginger lemonade, wander through markets, watch parades, soak in Hot Springs, hike botanical gardens, draw, write, dream, wonder, wander, and try all of the tacos at the taco stands. 

You can even find yourself co-leading a retreat with beautiful artist Linda Laino, at Casa de la Noche, a former bordello in San Miguel de Allende AKA the City of the Fallen Women. Casa de la Noche, even hosts a celebration of Saint Bridget, the Patron Saint of the Fallen Women, every February 1. Our group missed this particular holiday, but certainly found many ways to honor it.

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Valley HaggardComment
Light Training

Monday afternoon a woman in magnificent yellow robes, a head wrap, and golden earrings pulled up to my house with my Usui Reiki Master Certificate. Our hug was huge. Aqiylah gave me a gift I don’t really have words for.

When I was 23 and on a train home from Alaska drinking Miller Lite in the smoking car with a boyfriend I’d made 10 minutes before, I heard a crazy voice in my head. It was so crazy I had to write it down. You are a Messenger of Light, the voice said. I knew it was crazy because a) it sounded crazy and b) because of all my darkness. There were a million secrets written on my body beneath my clothes. I didn't want light shined on me much less did I have any light to shine on others.

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