Honor Everything In Your Journey
What if I told you that you create your life? Would that thought make you feel empowered?
What if I told you that you even create the tough moments? That perhaps you create those moments in order to gain clarity and grow/evolve more on your journey?
What if I told you we are all doing our best given where we are on our individual journeys?
What would it mean to you to know that you actually call in the various experiences you need in order to learn more about who you are and what you want to learn/experience/connect with in this life?
I know. I know. Who wants to actually own the hard moments? It can be easier to view those times as things that are happening to you versus you creating them, but what if we take a step back for a moment and allow ourselves to consider this may just be?
Looking back over my life, I can see that I’ve created every experience in order to learn more about myself, learn more about others, and to grow. I’ve shared this in previous blogs. It isn’t a new concept that I’ve been pondering, yet I discovered it on an even deeper level at the end of last year.
On December 28, 2018, I stood with my best friend in Los Angeles, CA sobbing. That day as I flew across the country, my heart was shattered. And it wasn’t the first time in 2018. The year was actually one of my hardest (2014 and 2017 are fairly tied for the worst years). Yet as I stood there allowing the pain of the current experience to move through me, I felt this deep knowing that I had manifested every experience I had in 2018. Every.Moment. And it was because I needed to know certain things. I needed clarity on certain relationships and situations so that I could truly move forward with my life.
Since 2016, I have chosen a word for the year. In 2016, my word was “surrender”. In 2017, “trust”. And in 2018, “fearless expansion”.
Who would willingly choose and sign up for FEARLESS expansion?
Well, me! And I definitely faced it.
I’ve always had a worry and fear that my family would not accept me for who I am. You see, there’s a lot about me that I feel breaks the mold and conflicts with the Southern Baptist belief system in which I was raised. I always feared that if I really shared with my family my feelings and the experiences I’ve had that they would reject me...that I would be excommunicated from my family.
As I moved more into my life’s work, I did want to share with my family what I was building. I spent a lot of time on the phone with one specific family member, Sharon, and sharing with her how I didn’t tell my family everything about my life because I felt I would be judged and condemned. And as Sharon and I talked, I felt more and more safe to open up. But then in April 2018, I had an experience with my family that shut everything down. I won’t go into specifics as it is not serving for all involved, but there was a moment in which a family member attempted to stop me from speaking and sharing my truth. Thankfully in the moment, I spoke up for myself and what had just transpired, and I did not allow the situation to continue. However, it broke my heart...seriously shattered it. This was a loved one whom I have always trusted more than anything and has deeply comforted me in some of the difficult moments in my life.
I’ve done a lot of healing work on myself and have continued doing what feels serving to heal the relationship with my family, but I also recognize that I needed that moment. I needed to know for myself. And I fearlessly faced it and stood in the truth of who I am in the experience. I recognize now how I broke so many of my old behavior patterns and limiting beliefs due to facing that moment and experience with my family.
That moment with my family impacted me so deeply that I haven’t written a blog since April 2018, until now that is! :-) That experience required major healing from me that needed to transpire. I needed to go deeper into who I am to ensure I am truly serving from my highest and best and only putting into this world what is serving for all.
In September I faced my third miscarriage.
I found out on August 7th that I was pregnant. While I was not trying, I was beyond excited as I have felt I will have a child in this life. On September 1st, I went for my first ultrasound and could not wait to see my baby’s heartbeat and see his movements (I felt it was a boy). At the ultrasound I saw the baby, but there was no heartbeat or movement. He was measuring smaller than anticipated, but the ultrasound technician told me that this could be for many reasons. In doing follow-up research, I learned that this is very common in healthy pregnancies. I was scheduled for a follow up ultrasound two weeks later. Those two weeks felt like a lifetime, and I honored how hard it was to be in the “wait” of it because I couldn’t just leave the issue at home for the situation was in my body. I felt the baby was okay, and I did everything to continue caring for my body and baby. And I rode every wave of emotion that came up for me over those two weeks.
On Thursday, September 13th, I learned my baby had died.
When I left my home to go to the ultrasound appointment, my car didn’t start. SERIOUSLY! The battery had died. So, I quickly grabbed a Lyft. The driver actually shared with me how his daughter was expecting a child without me saying anything about my own pregnancy, so I felt hopeful that all would be well with my baby. Yet, I found myself looking at an ultrasound image that was very clear. While my baby was still in my womb, his body had already started to deteriorate. (Let me quickly send love to any woman/man/couple who may be reading my blog and have faced the loss of a child in any way...I send you SO much love.)
I walked out of the ultrasound tech’s office with such a heaviness. I could not breathe. I stood in the fresh air for a moment collecting myself. And I knew there was NO way I was about to get into another Lyft where the driver would likely want to talk about the weather or LIFE. So, I decided to walk the 2+ miles home and use the walk and time to really connect to the experience.
The baby’s father and my twin flame, Jonathan, was out of the country for work. We talked on the phone as I walked. At first, we both just cried. We sobbed for the loss of our baby. While our relationship wasn’t a typical relationship, we both truly wanted this baby. And Jonathan had shared with me prior how devastated he would be if the baby had died. So, we honored our heartbreak in that moment.
Then we talked about the next steps.
I’ve been on a holistic approach to health since 2015, and I trust that my body knows what to do. I did not want a D&C, which is a procedure to remove the baby’s tissue from my uterus. (Let me quickly add that I support anyone’s decision for themselves. You know you. You know your body. And I will walk with anyone on their own journey with no need to tell them to do anything differently.) For me, I deeply felt that I wanted the baby to leave my body when he and my body were ready. Knowing me, Jonathan agreed.
What then transpired was a process that lasted over eight weeks.
I was a new patient for my OBGYN, and I had felt the first time Jonathan and I met with her that Life had led us to her because she would honor our and our baby’s journey. And she so did! She shared with me during the process that we were in unchartered territory as she always sent women for D&Cs if they had not naturally miscarried within days of the baby’s death. And as she, Jonathan, and I walked through this journey, she shared with me that I had actually taught her something...that it was important to honor what the parents need and that doesn’t always mean an immediate D&C. She plans to speak more openly with parents facing such a situation to ensure their emotional needs are also met.
I knew in that moment with her that I was doing my life’s work! I knew I had been given that moment to confirm so much for me as well as the knowing that I am meant to serve parents as they face pregnancy and/or infant loss.
Jonathan and I decided to name our baby Kai Ljuben, which means “sea of love”. And after we named him, we began to receive signs from him that he is with us.
As I mentioned, the physical miscarriage process took over eight weeks. In full transparency, it was NOT easy. I had so many moments of feeling confused, frustrated, heartbroken, and just wishing it would be done. But I also experienced so many moments of beauty, unconditional love, and serious momma bear love for my baby as his precious tissue left my body.
Steven Clyde, Poppy Kaia, and Kai Ljuben (my three spirit babies) are truly a gift I cannot fully explain. They bless and gift me with hearts and infinity symbols to let me know they are with me.
On October 26th I had the incredible opportunity to fly to Oaxaca, Mexico for a nine-day trip to celebrate Dia de Muertos (the Day of the Dead). This opportunity came from a program I had done earlier in the year to study death, dying, and bereavement so that I may serve others.
The trip was life changing! I was even given a moment where I was able to fully express the grief I was feeling over Kai’s miscarriage.
On November 1st, I completely broke down, and it was SO beautiful!
My group was scheduled to go to a cemetery that night so we could experience how these beautiful Mexican families celebrate Dia de Muertos (if you have not seen the Disney movie, CoCo, please watch it!). I had purchased a special Mexican dress for the event and really wanted to experience this celebration. Something within me really needed to go to the cemetery...I just.needed.it!
And when it didn’t happen due to rain, I cracked open and so much sorrow poured out.
My group arrived back to our hotel where we had built an ofrenda for our loved ones (an ofrenda is an essential part of the Day of the Dead celebrations and means “offering” in Spanish...they are also called altars, but are not for worship). My first feeling was to just sit at the base of the ofrenda by the mementos I had placed on it for my babies, but then I found myself prostrate on the floor sobbing. My tears spilled across the cold tile floor. My wails of anguish echoed against the hotel walls. I let it all out at the ofrenda. The cold, hard ground comforted me. And when I had nothing left in me, I fell asleep. No one disturbed me. They understood. They knew. I woke to find a blanket over me...one of the Oaxacan hotel staff had lovingly covered me to ensure I wouldn’t get cold. And, after I pulled myself off the floor and got to my feet, a dear Oaxacan man helped me to my room as I simply said, “mis bebes”.
The next morning I woke up. For a split second, judgment filled my mind. “You seriously laid prostrate on a hotel floor sobbing loudly for everyone to hear. What is wrong with you?!” But as soon as that judgment entered my mind it left. I was then filled with a feeling of such love and compassion. Had I been in an American hotel I would likely have been thrown in jail or the men in white coats would have been called to take me away. But not there, not in Oaxaca where the people are the most beautiful, compassionate souls I have ever met.
In that moment I recognized that I now KNOW compassion. And it settled into my bones.
I knew I had that experience so that I can now truly give compassion to others in their messiest moments. I can truly go into the dark with another person’s soul and journey and just be there with them in it.
When I arrived home in NYC from that trip, I knew I was forever transformed. And I really wanted the expansion I experienced to stick and did not want to go back into an old behavior pattern that was no longer serving me.
That leads me to December 28, 2018. The weeks leading up to that moment, I had been pulling away from Jonathan, my twin flame. There was so much within our relationship that wasn’t serving us or others in our journeys. I kept pulling away, and he kept bringing me back in. Deep within me, I knew he was not in the place to be the partner I needed at this time in my journey. But I also loved and will always love him so deeply and beyond anything I could or can ever explain or have ever experienced.
On December 26th, he and I faced another real moment, just as we often have on our journey since meeting one another. And it was another experience his soul had called in in order for him to break an old behavior pattern. And I implored with him to recognize that his soul had called this moment in and that he could choose this time to break that pattern. Yet, he did not. With the understanding and knowing I’ve gained on my journey, I recognize that his decision is completely okay. There are no “right” or “wrong” decisions, but for me, I could not continue to stay in this loop that he and I have been in for almost five years.
Given my soul’s growth, I just couldn’t do it.
Given how everything played out, it was clear on December 28th that we were meant to part ways. What is so incredibly fascinating about this is the fact I told him on December 20th that I felt he and I would not see one another again, at least not in 2019. Something in my soul knew.
Looking back over last year, I was able to recognize that I had taken on a “victim” energy. I felt like a victim, and that energy had put me into a deep hole.
I also recognized how much I had called in the many experiences of 2018 because I truly wanted to grow and expand in such a fearless way.
And now I feel so empowered.
The more I grow and evolve, I do often think, “Who knows for sure?” The more I move through life and experience things the more appropriate it is for me to have an open mind and not put anything in a box of what I think I know for sure. I simply look for what resonates within me in that moment (because my soul does continue to grow and evolve) and I leave the rest for it’s not meant for me.
I encourage for you to do the same with my writings...take what resonates within your soul, leave the rest.
“It Ain’t What You Don’t Know That Gets You Into Trouble. It’s What You Know for Sure That Just Ain’t So.” ~ Mark Twain
I love the website Gaia, which is a conscious streaming network that provides original series, films, and documentaries. There is a documentary titled “Sacred Journeys of the Heart” which includes a story about Nelson Mandela as told by Mary Morrissey, an author, international speaker, and the founder of Life Mastery Institute. She had the opportunity to interview Nelson Mandela, and she essentially asked him, how do you go from being a prisoner of a country to becoming its president? And his reply was one of recognition that he had to go through that experience in order to become who he was meant to be. He said he went through a line of internal questioning that led him to the recognition that the man he was who went to prison could never have been president of South Africa. He had to become the man that could do those things, and it was a journey of heart. (With a Gaia subscription, you can find the documentary here.)
This does not come overnight. It does not come from pushing down the things that have hurt us in this life. What it does take is looking at those experiences and moments, owning them and finding a way to connect with them, moving through them and allowing yourself to truly feel your emotions, walking in the other person’s shoes, and understanding that everything truly happens for a reason. This will help you discover why you had that experience...to discover what the experience was meant to teach you about yourself and help you grow and evolve into who you are truly meant to be.
As shared in the documentary, Nelson Mandela came to his realization through a painful process of digging down within him, questioning what was transpiring, and allowing his heart to open to the experience...to be open to the pain, discomfort, anguish, anger...to it all. And then transforming that from a place of unconditional love.
HONOR EVERYTHING IN YOUR JOURNEY.
Does my human mind at times struggle to accept the concept that I have called in these experiences? AbsoFREAKINlutely! Yet I have come to the realization that everything I face in this life, both the easy and the hard, is there to help me connect more to the truth of who I am.
So, share with me in the comments section below. What experiences have you faced that you recognized help teach you more about who you are? What experiences have broken your heart and cracked you wide open? What experiences are you most grateful for?
“Let the hard things in life break you. Let them affect you. Let them change you. Let those hard moments inform you. Let this pain be your teacher. The experiences of your life are trying to tell you something about yourself. Don’t cop out on that. Don’t run away and hide under your covers. Lean into it.
What is the lesson in the wind? What is the storm trying to tell you? What will you learn if you face it with courage? With full honesty and – lean into it.” ~ Pema Chodron
(Please note: In my writing, some names have been changed to protect loved ones. I share my experiences and stories while honoring the privacy of those dear to my heart.)