Merci, 2015


Everything takes at least 3 times longer with a baby. I intended to write and publish this WEEKS ago.

Alas, ladies & gents, I finally present you my “Merci 2015” post told in pics and captions. Last year, I wrote a similar blog (Merci, 2014) with the intention of digesting all the good that came into my life. I’ve learned that when you practice gratitude, you create space for more gifts in your life. And, well, 2015 showered me with gifts alright. It did not go AT ALL how I planned it. Finding out I was pregnant, and subsequently rearranging everything in my life to prepare for the baby, threw all my desires and plans out the window. This resulted in an initial period of deep grieving and mourning, followed by surrender and acceptance.

But first came the grief and mourning. As a new being of light grew within my body, I spent a good deal of time during those first few weeks very depressed. I had come so far in my journey, and finally felt ready to take the leap into the life I deeply craved for myself. I had several projects in the works, and a lot to look forward to. And suddenly, I was being asked to put all of that aside (indefinitely?) for something completely different. It took me a long time to accept and surrender to this. I share this only to humbly say that if I learned anything in 2015, it was how to accept and how to trust.

And so, I share this post to give thanks for all that came my way. And in all honesty (and this really floors me), it is only after having written this and taken a step back to look at the landscape that is my life that I now realize that everything I’ve always wanted has manifested.

Lastly, I have written this post within the framework of my desire list that I wrote last winter, if only to give insight into what I wanted and what I received.

-Practice daily rituals that are connected to the pertaining season + cycle.


In the last few years, I’ve become fascinated by mother nature’s seasons and women’s cycles, how these mirror each other and particularly, how to practice self care within each one. Realizing that taking care of myself during my menstrual cycle in summertime is vastly different than doing so in the winter time, I’ve been tailoring a daily routine that’s fluid and that adapts to each cycle and season. So anyway, this is what I was researching and practicing right up to the end of 2014, until i found out I was pregnant, when my cycles as I knew them were replaced by a morphing body I had a really hard time caring for. I’m happy to say even though I didn’t “accomplish” this goal in 2015, I’ve once again begun my studies and practices in this new year:) This pic here is of the ingredients that went into making my first ever batch of Fire Cider, which is one of the winter medicines I’ve made so far in my kitchen.

-Pay off my last 2 credit cards


I’m proud to say that in 2015, I paid off one of these cards, (meaning I still have one left). In theory, I think I would have easily accomplished this, but I stopped working altogether in July. I was in my third trimester by then, and left the bustle of NYC for the peace and beauty of western Massachusetts to start a whole new life. Anyway, one card is better than two, and I’m hoping to be completely debt free by the end of this year. I will say this: in my pursuit of a debt-free life, I have truly mastered my budget and have learned how to properly manage my money. At long last.

-Prepare for and give the best retreat I can in May


Definitely no retreat. My mom and I were planning to host a Bikram retreat in Ecuador. We found a gorgeous space (where this pic was taken) and had all our ducks lined in a row. But… you guessed it, pregnancy! I had a really rough first trimester, and everything came to a standstill in my life. All projects, ideas, desires. So rather than preparing for the retreat, I spent that time incubating and growing a baby. 

-Move out of my parents house and into my own space.


“Wait- what? You were living with your parents?” The answer is yes, I was. I had moved back the year before, after hitting rock bottom and experiencing a really traumatic episode in my life, which perhaps I will write about some day. Needless to say, I came back home to pull myself together, which I am glad to say I did. By the end of 2015, around the time I wrote this list, I had created enormous momentum in my life, and felt good about moving forward. I’d always lived with either roommates or boyfriends, and I deeply craved my own space. And so, my desire was to find it. But alas- pregnancy! Baby! Boyfriend! It all happened so quickly, and it was hard to accept the fact that this desire would not materialize for a very long time. If anything, the exact opposite happened: rather than having my own space, I am now living with 3 adults and 2 babies. When we found out I was pregnant, we also found out about two friends of ours who were expecting. It gets better- our babies were due within the same week! So we began to play around with the idea of moving in together. And we manifested the most amazing house in a beautiful town in Massachusetts. All in all, this was one example where I got what I needed, and not what I wanted.

-A beautiful open space, with big windows, and lots of light to call HOME. And wooden floors please.


Boom! Manifested this one to a T. I’ll let this picture speak for itself.

-To keep moving forward with my Movement Couture line.


And forward I’ve moved! Movement Couture is now officially trademarked. Oh- and get this. Last year, at an airport cafe, my mom and I randomly met a man who owns a sportswear manufacturing company in Brazil. This was a huge deal, because you need to know somebody who knows somebody in the clothing biz, so it seems. I now have access to really great fabric (that’s apparently only made in Brazil) as I play around with ideas for my first line.

-Spend more time with my sisters


Sisters from other misters, that is. And boy did I nail this one. I partook in two soul and heart expanding experiences this year: a women’s sweat lodge in Brooklyn (I was in my second trimester by then, and since I’d been practicing Bikram for the last 8 years and throughout my pregnancy, I felt totally good to go in).  And Wild Woman Fest, a soulfully decadent 5 day long retreat with my wild sisters on a gorgeous mountain in the Berkshires. A cool little tidbit from that experience: the retreat center where this took place is quite literally on the border line of New York and Massachusetts, and the fest happened as I was literally transitioning from one place to the other. Magic, I tell ya, pure magic.

-Get clarity around the work I should be sharing (the “4”)

The “4” is what I have written all over my notebooks and pos- its. It’s called “the 4” until I find the right name for it. It refers to the 4 cycles and 4 seasons, and how my fascination with this is informing my self care practice. As for how I should be sharing this work, I’ve yet to get super concrete on, but some ideas are percolating (Hawaii retreat, anyone?) and we’ll see how this further blooms this year.

-Go on a vacation by myself

Riiiiiiiiight. That didn’t happen and won’t be happening for a looooong time. Come to think of it, I didn’t really do anything by myself this past year, being preggers and all.

-Write and mail gratitude letters

Didn’t get around to it really. And its a huge bummer, because there are so many people I want to thank. Definitely a habit I want to pick up and do more frequently. Nothing feels as yummy as acknowledging people, making them feel super good for making me feel super good!

-Partake in more rituals, ceremonies and spells

This, am happy to say, I most definitely made time for. I am grateful to have partaken in a red tent circle, cacao ceremonies, a woman’s sweat lodge, prayer and meditation circles, a forestdance, and especially during the weeks leading to my son’s birth, my guy and I began a daily meditation ritual.

All in all, I’m grateful to say that even though I gave up so much and went through the most considerate physical change of my life, everything fell beautifully into place. We found a gorgeous nest, are surrounded by incredible community, I gave birth to a perfectly healthy babe in the safety of our home, and this babe is honestly one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met. And now that we’ve settled, he has shown to be most flexible and calm as we expose him to the places we go and people we know. This gives me courage and hope to carry on the personal work I feel so called to explore and share; the work that was postponed all that time ago.

So much can happen in one year. And while we make plans, God laughs, so the saying goes.
And so, I offer this prayer:

Oh Great Spirit,

Thank you for all the blessings you’ve bestowed upon me. Thank you for showing me how to let go, surrender, accept and trust. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the endless gifts and miracles I’ve been blessed with. And above all, thank you for my little Luca, my sweet sweet son.

As I write this, I feel a tinge of fear in my heart for all that is unknown. For all the uncertainties and deep seated fears and challenges in my life. I ask that you please show me how to surrender and trust. Every day.

Whatever comes my way this year, my I remember that I am love and that I am loved. May I remember to tap into that deep place within my heart that is unstruck–anahata. May I have the courage to show up every day for my child, my witness, and may I be a model of serenity, grace, forgiveness, and love. May I be guided to do my work in this world, and may it provide all the resources I need to thrive and care for myself and my little family. May I remember that I’m never alone, and may I have more opportunities to show my deep gratitude to you and those around me.

Thank you.


My name is Mishel Ixchel. I’m Ecuadorian-born &
NYC-bred. Western Mass is currently home, and it's also where I practice + teach the art of
Sacred Self Care.