life lessons

Surrender Yourself Wide Open

I’m working on getting comfortable with surrendering to my feelings. The unexpected repercussion being, I cry in public, a lot. And I’m kind of becoming ok with it. There is something truly beautiful about embracing raw emotion and letting it wash over you or even knock you over like a tidal wave. Life is in a tremendous shift for me at the moment. Moving in and out of feeling alive and ready to take on the world-for the first time stepping into my power, to just wanting to stay in bed all day with the covers over my head-to stay safe where I know the outcome. Choosing to grow outside of the comfort zone we create for ourselves is real gritty work. It exposes you. The Ego likes to incessantly chime in. I’ve been getting well acquainted with mine lately. I’m realizing my ego wants me to stay safe, to play small. And my true essence, my Divine Self, has to continuously choose to step forward. To be present. To show up, heart wide open. Willing to break open again and again.

The need to hide is absolutely appropriate in moments when us human beings need to connect with ourselves and process the array of feelings that bubble to the surface, especially in times of loss. Loss cracks us open so we can empty out. Freya Watson said it so eloquently in that “despair takes us deeply into ourselves and therefore far away from others”. I have begun to realize how important moving through these emotions as they arise is for self growth. This process requires hiding or going inward to truly melt into the process. Presence requires solitude. Each moment of despair is an opportunity for self growth and self love. Each opportunity holds within it a lesson. If we can not move into stillness and instead choose to numb out or fill the void, the lesson will inevitably show up down the road and we will once again find ourselves sprawled out in the middle of the living room floor with a bottle of vodka, wondering “how could this happen AGAIN”. Better to really feel it move through you, and move through it!

I am realizing that life is a series of beginning agains. There will always be challenges. And the more we want to grow, the more life throws our way.  I found myself recently saying in a rock bottom moment that I just want to coast for awhile. But behind the idea of mindless coasting was the life I left behind.  Coasting was exactly what I chose to step away from. Those moments when we pull ourselves up out of the coasting and find ourselves in the darkest places, they carry the weight that defines us. It is the beginning again that is the juicy part of life. Making the choice to be happy no matter what. Not so long ago in a moment where I felt wrecked by a love freight train, a friend said to me, “the sun will rise again tomorrow darling”.  And with tears streaming down my face and a heart so heavy, I smiled back at him through sticky wet eyelashes, knowing that tomorrow was mine for the taking if I wanted it. All I have to be is willing to surrender to each moment, stay present and breathe. Just breathe.

Gratitude Brought Me to My Knees

There are moments in life that stand out. Often we move through each day, without any moments truly impacting us, but those that do, help shape us into who we are. I am realizing that most often than not, what we remember in days, weeks, years, is love. I’m not talking solely romantic love, although that surely impacts us beyond measure. But just love in general. It is what people sing about, write about, and turn their worlds upside down, inside out and right side in about.

What brought me to laugh, then to tears and then to my knees tonight was a dear friend’s text to me. This is what she said, “you have no idea how powerful you really are. I dreamt it. You’re observing me coming into my power and you want it too. And as much as I want to give up sometimes, I can’t. Because you are watching. And you are going to be big.” Holy shit balls! That literally stopped me in my tracks, kale in hand at the cutting board. (Yes, I do stop to read texts while cooking….multitasking Mama.) I laughed out loud and then immediately started to cry. A lot. Because I know it’s true and she gave it to me from such a real, loving place.  All of it is real. My observing this powerful woman who was sent to me through yoga, self expansion, truth and in a time when I needed to expand the sisterhood. My knowingness about my untapped power that I am reaching for like a leaf stretching toward the sunlight. But in the same breath of reaching, I am learning to surrender to the opening. To not reaching. To being in the present moment. To sitting in the grit and the discomfort that growth brings. Lately this has meant a lot of crying in public, humbling to say the least. Letting my emotions go. Moving through them. Not running or searching for the next thing to fill the void!

Right now I am just trying to love myself. In a way that I never have before. To sit with what is, being ok with being in the divine storm. For the first time since I can remember, I am alone. Meaning without a partner, spouse, male counterpart in crime. Moving into this space has been startling and terrifying. I crave partnership. I want a teammate. I am a hopeless romantic! But the beauty in being alone, without trying to fill the void, is that I am realizing, I can depend on ME. Self love is true expansion.

Although I believe we all have the capacity to continuously give love, even when we feel we have nothing left in the reserves; self love enables us to reach a higher level of giving and receiving. Which brings to mind the saying “you can’t truly love another until you love yourself”. Yes and no. We all have the capacity to love all the time. But without self love we build a wall around all of the hurt. We close ourselves off to feeling, giving and experiencing connection with other human beings as a self protective mechanism. The synonyms to protection are: barrier, buffer, shield, armor. Can we really let love in if we are self protecting? If we choose to love ourselves deeply and fully, we can also practice non attachment. Meaning, if and when we find ourselves alone….we are still ok! Of course we process the hurt of the loss, sit with it, feel it for as long as we need to, but we also are able to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps knowing that we can keep going. Because we have all that we need within ourselves. And what we need to learn outside of ourselves, is reflected back to us by those around us, if we just let the love in-stay open-and be present.

What is truly resonating with me right now is from Danielle Laporte’s book The Desire Map. In it she writes:

“Decide to rise.

Lean in. Listen up. Closely.

It’s your soul speaking, and she says,

Get UP!

I need you.

I want you.

I am you.

Choose me.

Lean in.

Listen Closely.

Decide to rise.”

With each moment I am doing my best to decide to rise. To rise through the hurt, the loss of a marriage, the BIG job of raising two spirited little girls who help me rise very day, the beginning again, the being vulnerable and the being blissfully alone. And I do so with immense gratitude for so many amazing, powerful, awe inspiring women by my side who truly LOVE me and encourage me to shine in those moments when all I can see and feel are clouds.

That Just Happened

It has been a day to say the least. This past lunar eclipse has turned my world on it’s head and a week later I am still wading through the tides of all that has flooded through, over and around me. A lot of emotional trauma and life lessons have whacked me upside the head. In hindsight, I think these lessons may have started as a whisper but I chose ignore them, so this past week has brought a tidal wave, literally knocking me on my ass wondering what the hell just happened and how did I not see it coming?!

Being a parent whilst sorting out “your shit” can often feel like a marathon with no finish line in sight. Here’s how that goes: mom (me) is moving through some serious heart ache, literally counting the minutes until 8pm. I ordered take out because even frozen gluten free chicken fingers felt like too much work tonight, and it really isn’t a meal if vegetables aren’t involved. My mission: get kids clean, read them a story and lights out as soon as possible.  Sounds easy enough. Well, the accidental push of a button at bath time turned my bathroom into an English Garden water feature and story time turned into terror as we realize a flying squirrel, or it’s nut, is trapped in the heating vent In my bedroom.

But as I sit here now, with the kids bathed, can’t believe I pulled that off tonight, and all tucked into their beds, it is almost comical what only an hour ago almost urged me to come undone. Almost!