“If you are willing to experience
the gift of life instead of fighting with it,
you will be moved to
the depth of your being”.
As our Colorado Spring slowly takes shape, the school year winds down, and the buzz of Summer begins to percolate, May brings with it an opportunity to ground even deeper into ourselves.
Doing our own personal work so that we may show up with the whole of who we are and live our lives from our hearts, rather than in reaction to life events, is not easy but so critical during these times.
I am consistently reminded of the power of choice both in my personal world as well as in working with clients. When we choose to show up for life - in the hard moments as well as the beautiful ones - we may feel vulnerable but we are empowered.
Life unfolds in unexpected ways and it is truly our choice as to how to respond. We can choose to approach life as a platform for our growth or we can fall back into unconsciousness and become victims to our circumstances.
To me, every life experience is an opportunity to grow, heal, and become even more full of exactly who I am.
I step into a place of vulnerability as I share this personal story with you....
The 8th of May is a significant day in my world and is a reminder to me of the power of choice in responding to life’s events. My beautiful son turns 10 this year – marking a decade of mothering and 9 years of single parenting. My devotion to my son and his wellbeing have always been my priority since his birth.
Two years ago on this exact day, because of poor legal advice in a court of law, I was unnecessarily humiliated, degraded, and presented to be an irresponsible and neglectful mother. Additionally, I was stripped of custody and obligatory child support. This poignant day has had rippling effects on my being (as well as my sons) yet I have remained in a space of choice around how I respond. I must continuously deal with the residual trauma and hurt in the best way that I can. My practices, connection with friends and family, and taking the best care of myself possible in every moment, consistently serve my capacity to choose how I relate to the scenario and the resolve.
I recognize that I could have chosen to collapse after this experience, yet through my practices I have relentlessly worked to keep my heart open and stay humbly grounded. It does not negate the calamity of this experience as a whole, I have simply chosen to not allow it to penetrate my being and affect my ability to show up for my life and for my son.
And, of course I have my moments of breakdown at the massiveness of what occurred. What I can honestly say is that with each layer of healing that I go through I am gifted with a more rooted experience and appreciation for the full spectrum of being alive. I make the conscious choice, with each ripple, to embrace and embody myself and my life in a more joyful and grateful way and to show up in a way that has positive impact on others.
I truly believe that we are shaped through our life experiences and that our pain and challenges have the potential to become our greatest medicine.
I share this with you as a powerful example of a challenge that life has presented to me and the choices that I have made to use it as fuel to grow and heal on a deeper level than I ever imagined possible.
Everyone has experienced challenges and varying degrees of trauma in their lives. It can be unbearably painful and few, if any of us, are immune.
Trauma embeds in our systems, imprints our cells, and can be paralyzing to our growth. Trauma also shows up in the ways in which we relate to ourselves and others in our lives and can affect our ability to show up for life with presence.
Embodiment, self-reflective, and mindfulness practices give us the opportunity to resource ourselves so that we may access that power within and make the choice to be present.
There is always the opportunity to tend to ourselves in a way that is honoring our aliveness and brings greater awareness to our actions, responses, and ways of engaging. We can make the choice to take care of ourselves, our bodies, our hearts, and our souls so that we can whole-heartedly show up for our lives.
And, I believe that it is our obligation to do so. We are privileged to be alive today and therefore are responsible for the impact that we have on others.
It takes practice, diligence in self-reflection, and a deep desire to live a happy and present life regardless of what is going on around you.
I find myself wondering what would happen if we, as a collective, truly embodied the choice that we have at every moment to stop/pause, take a breath, orient to the present moment, and respond from that place? To resource ourselves to the present moment over and over and over again and live and relate from this space of openness, self-awareness, and vulnerability. Beginning one moment at a time...
I continuously ask myself these questions:
What messages/stories/patterns are keeping you from presence?
What is coming between you and your aliveness?
What practices are you willing to engage in to cultivate a deeper connection to your inner world?
What actions can you take right now on behalf of yourself?
The brilliant Maya Angelou said in an interview at the ripe age of 85, when asked about her life’s path and connection to Self: “I am en route”. I love this so much.
May we all remain en route, taking steps every single day along this route right into the heart of who we truly are, finding deeper presence in our everyday moments, and remembering the power of choice.