I preface this piece with a HUGE heartfelt thank you for your words of love and support. By sharing bits of my intimate path with you, there have been, in response, countless stories of your hardships that have profoundly touched me. Thank you for opening your hearts with courage and sharing your personal stories and feelings with me. Without knowing it, we have created a ”human connection of sensitive souls. ” I am grateful for your authentic self-disclosure and hope that this is just the beginning.
I aspire to inspire. This has been my calling since I was a little girl. From the age of eleven and with the help of my mom who left a pencil and paper by my bed, I began recording my dreams which soon became inspirations for my poems. I used my daily experiences and feelings as context to colour my writings and much later, the juice to infuse my teachings. Each life experience went in, was digested, sometimes giving me a belly ache and indigestion and then, came out in the form of words. I’ve never doubted that there would be a shortage of things to write about because life is always happening. This was the beginning of my journey. I became fascinated by human behaviour, the ways in which life unfolds and most of all, curious about how I participate in this dance. Finally, it became an invitation to LOOK attentively at my life rather than bury my head in the sand, especially when things knocked me off my centre.
Within a lifetime, you will experience hardship. These ‘’challenges’’ are part of what makes up this thing called LIFE and contribute to your evolution. I once read that it is not WHAT happens to you that causes your dissatisfaction or unhappiness but how you let your hardships affect you. Here’s the lowdown. Life is either happening TO you or FOR you. If you choose to see life as something that happens to you you will helplessly be hit, one wave after another until life becomes one big tsunami. If you choose, and again it is a choice, to see life as happening for you hardships become offerings. It takes great humility to witness life as a precious gift and believe that each experience is unfolding FOR your evolution, interpreting it for what it is, a miraculous, ever-evolving journey. From this perspective, you can make the changes that are within your power, learn to accept what is beyond, and apply your innate wisdom and humbleness to recognise the difference.
Although they do not define us, our stories and hardships shape and forge who we have become. They become our guides, our faithful teachers, our life messengers from above that point us exactly where we need to be for our necessary growth. My stories and challenges are the precious gems that have granted me the foundation and the material to fulfil my calling, inspiring me to teach, share and continue to grow. I don’t pretend to hold the key to ”your path” or have the ability to tell you what direction you must take for your optimal transformation, but I do know that your stories can be transcended into golden opportunities for your soul’s evolution. With that said, there is one thing that you must know. The only way for healing transformation to occur is by walking THROUGH, not around, your hardships. Walking through means leaning into those very awkward, uncomfortable feelings that normally send you running for cover.
Your hardships ask you to step into the eye of the storm and witness without judgement how they make you feel and where your blind-spots are located. They ask you to see your resistance and your go-to for instant gratification intended to appease the discomfort. They ask you to face your fears with kindness. They ask you to forgive and make amends. They ask you to listen and extend loving attention and understanding for yourself. They ask you to be patient and stay put. They ask you to trust that the treasures will be revealed.
Deep in the trenches of those places that make you feel out of sorts, you meet a very different you. The raw authentic one that has been waiting to have a voice. Sometimes you need to stay put a little longer than comfortable, and sometimes that feels like an eternity. You might notice how eager you are to rush the process of healing and return to normalcy but growth takes time. In waiting, you might be gifted -and yes, it is a gift to see your ways of numbing and deflecting- the urge to throw in the towel and grab the quick-fix-instant-gratification-thing (we all have our own) that makes everything rosy again; but remember, it doesn’t work that way.
There are two paths- the path of comfort and the path of growth. Both paths are intertwined with seeing life happening TO you or FOR you and ultimately the choice is in your hands.
When I see life happening TO me I feel small, fragile, victimised and angry at life. Disconnected from my centre, fear fogs my mind and I spiral. I shut down, my heart and body contract, and I numb which creates more fear inside. I lose confidence in life and myself and feel very alone like I am the only person on this planet living this challenge. Severed from my soul, I want to dig a deep hole and disappear.
Here’s the thing. As a reality check, you rarely allow yourselves to FEEl this far because it’s counter-intuitive to feel yuckiness on this level. Before the feelings sets in, you are already numbing yourselves with your go-to, be it TV, sports, alcohol, yoga, food, drugs, telephone; the list is too long but anything that makes you feel good and forget the discomfort. But there is always the morning-after when you wake to a mental mess, take a quick look in the mirror and know that despite your attempts to make the pain go away, it’s still there beckoning your attention. Depressed by this thought, you get busy and try to forget until it shows up once again on your doorstep. Paradoxically, this is the path of comfort, that keeps you stuck in this cycle and eventually creates a groove and maybe your grave.
When hardships appear on my path and obstacles stop me in my tracks, I began by asking myself, ”Is this experience happening to me or for me?” This question sets the stage for how this experience will affect me. I ask, ”How can I fully welcome this experience- neither good nor bad- as just an experience? What’s coming up for me- resistance, fear, sadness, doubt, anger, a memory of the past? Where do I feel this in my body? How can I step fully into this discomfort with fear and resistance? What can I change? Where can I surrender and what can I accept? What can I integrate and what can I transcend?
When I see life happening for me life becomes a magical playground, full of opportunities to dance with what is playing out and eventually evolve. I co-participate with what crosses my path and know that in each moment I can practice truth and transcendence. When life gives me lemons, I do my best to make lemonade. When I see my challenges happening for me, I call upon my inner strength and resilience that crack my heart wide open with tenderness and vulnerability. My hardships humble me and make me wiser. They empower me to be accountable and responsible for my life and my attitude. They strengthen my bond with the Universe and enhance my trust in life. Sometimes there are a lot of emotions yet they become my barometer and guide me to where my attention is needed. My self-confidence shines as I honour my souls’ desire for truth and transformation. There is a tender kinship for myself that seeds love and empathy for my heart and the heart of others. I am grateful to be alive and for these opportunities to meet my soul. I have noticed that my awareness and intuition are heightened and creative juices flow. These are the gifts and so many more that await you if you should choose the path of growth. This is the path of the experimental warrior, the one who steps into the flames, sees through the story and hardship for the gold. Fear and doubt may well co-exist on this path and this is part of the terrain.
They say, the more personal the more universal. For those of who question which path I have taken, rest assured that I am all for the growth. My personal experiences when shared, become universal and are an invitation for you to look inside and witness how you can transform your hardships and stories into opportunities for greater understanding and growth rather than be burdened by their weight
May my words touch you
awaken your sleepy heart
inspire you to look inside and Feel what is there without shutting your eyes.
May my words be an invitation
to step into your hardships with coeur-age
invite you to look through your stories and see the gold.
May they create a chain reaction of authentic sharing and community
and may my words remind you that you are
a spiritual being living a very human experience and
ultimately, we are in this together.