Volume Two,  Lessons from the Road

Mermaid wisdom: how to get in the flow

I have loved mermaids for as long as I can remember. When the movie Splash, starring a very young Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, came out in the mid-eighties, I knew two things:

  1. I would someday have a daughter and name her Madison.
  2. If I added the right amount of salt to a bathtub, my lower body would transform from human legs to a beautiful golden fish tail.

Well, my daughter’s name is Nora and I never found the correct salt-to-water ratio to turn my legs into fins. What can I say? I was eleven at the time. But imagine my suprise and delight when two weeks ago, as I was struggling to fill my Moon Goddesses Retreat and was choosing my daily card from the “Divine Feminine” Oracle Deck, the African and South American Mermaid Moon Goddess, Yemoja, came to me.

The mermaid wisdom of Yemoja, The Goddess of All that Flows, is dedicated to everyone who has ever felt out of alignment with their creative source. I hope the story of my pivot, and how I ultimately fell back into the flow of alignment, will help you and encourage you as you step courageously forward into the life of your dreams.

The Pivot

At the time I pulled Yemoja’s card from the Divine Feminine Oracle Deck, I was trying to understand why the inaugural Let Love Rise retreat wasn’t filling up the way I had hoped it would. I was also bed-ridden with planter fasciitis and grief, like a mermaid out of water. And so when Yemoja came to me with the message to “go with the flow” and to turn to the creative forces inside of me, the square-peg/ round hole ego of mine felt attacked.

It seemed that the Universe had a lesson for me as I was in the midst of building the retreat that had been forming in my mind for nearly two and a half years. I was being called into stillness so that I could consider what was out of alignment for me; what fears and limiting beliefs were blocking Life’s energetic flow?

Four things rose to the surface of the murky waters of my mind: Identify the block. Release the Fear. Align with the flow. Rise like the Phoenix From the Ashes.

1. Identify the block.

I have never been an entrepreneur, and as far as I know, neither has anyone in my lineage on either side of the family. So when I decided to leave my public education career in June of 2023 to step out on my own, I was scared. And I didn’t believe in myself. At least not fully. Not yet.

Instead, I relied on collaborations with other amazing teachers and healers. As fun and impactful as those collaborations have been, I realized that with every shared experience that I was creating, there was a self-inflicted pressure valve to sell out the event because I had a deep fear of letting other people down.

This was exactly the case with my inagural Let Love Rise Retreat, initially called the Gathering of the Moon Goddesses. Two beautiful souls joined almost immediately, and then…..silence…. followed by heartbreak with the loss of my cousin’s 27-year old daughter, Annika Milagro… then came the inability to walk as I developed planter fasciitis…and my belief in myself plummeted as low as the ocean tides.

But then Yemoja came to me, and she reminded me that I have the creative energy inside of ME. She says:

“I am learning that as I connect to my divine feminine, my projects and creativity flow from deep within me. I am the divine creator of my story”2024 Moon Goddess Diary by Nicci Garaicoa

Yemoja (also referred to as Lemanja) happened to be the Moon Goddess for the month of February in Garaicoa’s Moon Goddess Diary. She was the goddess who originally motivated me to create this retreat last fall and I had never before pulled her Divine Feminine card before that fateful day.

So, from my bed that Tuesday afternoon, I decided to make a courageous PIVOT and trust myself completely. I looked up and saw the poster that a friend made for me back in 2020 depicting a Phoenix and the words “I still rise, always” and I knew. My next lesson was to learn to believe in myself and in what I could create on my own. I had to release my co-facilitators and resurrect the retreat from the ashes.

And that’s exactly what I did. The Moon Goddess retreat pivoted into a VIP ONE DAY event called “From the Ashes”. I had a runway of 10 days until the Full Moon event weekend: could I still create something magical and beautiful on my own? Yes, my soul whispered. You already believe in mermaids. Now it’s time for you to believe in YOU.

2. Release the Fear.

As soon as I made the decision to pivot from a weekend retreat that included 3 co-facilitators, to a one-day event that would be lead by JUST ME, I had to face a hard conversation where I knew that I would be letting people down. Shockingly, my fear was greater than the reality as I was met with compassion and love (and perhaps even relief) from the co-facilitators.

From my bed that day, I released the fear of letting others down along with the fear of standing on my own two feet (quite literally!). Suddenly, without the pressure to fill an event for the sake of others, I rediscoverd the joy of WHY I wanted to gather with women under the Full Snow Moon:

  • to share the story of how I’m rebuilding a life from the ashes and help liberate others to do the same.
  • to be out in Nature, experiencing the healing majesty of Mother Gaia.
  • to gather a community of open-minded souls into a sanctuary of meaningful conversation.
  • to feel fully ALIVE with the richness of good food, good music and good fun!

This is where your soul is free, I heard my spirit whisper to me. Do THAT, Strong Spirit. The pivot became clear. As did my next steps.

And just like that, 5 more beautiful souls responded to the invitation.

3. Align with the Flow.

With each new registration that came in, I celebrated with a happy dance like Snoopy under the Harvest Moon. I literally cried out loud “thank you! thank you! thank you!” as I added another name to the list of guests.

And the gratitude didn’t stop once the retreat was full; at every twist in the winding road leading up towards Garden Valley, I gave thanks for everything. Mother Gaia had prepared a glorious sun-filled weekend with clear roads and clear skies. Luna showed up in her full glory for two beautiful star-filled nights. Yemoja, the River Mermaid Goddess, was there too, gently guiding us to release fear in the frigid waters of the North Fork of the Payette River. The Moon Goddesses came too– each and every guest who participated in the From the Ashes VIP DAY, showed up with her full presence and authentic self.

As we walked out upon the soft field of snow under the Full Virgo Moon that night with wishing lanterns in hand, the words of the Elsa, the Snow Queen, sang the anthem that resurrected the weekend 10 days earlier: “It’s time to see what I can do. To test the limits and break through. No right, no wrong, no rules for me. I’m freeee…Let it go! Let it go!” We sang along with the Snow Queen as we watched our lanterns lift into the sky carrying our wishes up to Luna while releasing our fears and limiting beliefs.

Before we came back into the warmth of the chalet that night, I gathered the Moon Goddesses in a circle and I asked each and every one to pause for just one minute to notice what we were experiencing:

  • To do a 360 turn, taking in the beauty of the moment.
  • To feel the cold night air on their skin.
  • To gaze upon the moon and stars twinkling overhead.
  • To embrace one another in celebration of everyone’s strength, resilience and courage.
  • To give thanks to ourselves for saying yes to a day of authentic connection to our source within.

This is what being in Life’s flow feels like. Under the Full Snow Moon, my heart overflowed with gratitude to Yemoja and her mermaid wisdom that helped me get back into alignment with my joy of creation that eminates from the divine source within me, which is the same divine spark that lives within us all.

4. Rise like the Phoenix From the Ashes

Oh, mountains hold me tight
Oh, river wash me tonight
Oh, trees teach me to be wise
Oh, breath won’t you help me rise

Those are the opening lyrics to the song Rise by LVDY, Random Rab and a title track on my From the Ashes Playlist. The mountains, the river, the trees, the moon, the pivot…it has all helped me rise with a belief in myself unlike any I’ve ever known.

In April of this year, I will be hosting a 4-week Spirit of the Phoenix Group Mindset Coaching Circle for those who want to dive deeper into the rivers of their soul and uncover what Yemoja has to tell them. The Spirit of the Phoenix Mindset Circle will help you identify your blocks, release fear, align with the joyful flow of the Universe and RISE into your most courageously authentic self, guided by your inner divine light.

Think about your own story. What has felt hard lately? What weight is holding you down? What fear is preventing you from stepping forward into co-creating the life of your dreams with the creative flow of the Universe?

If mermaid wisdom is calling you, I pray that you will listen. And I hope that you’ll join me as together we RISE.



  • Bryan

    I love this!! Being in a foreign country and learning to let go of the built in expectations I put on myself has been so freeing. Thank you as always for sharing your story. And I am very excited for my pivot into the unknown.

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