I’ve been having excrutiating pain in my right shoulder.
It’s been happening for over two months, maybe even for more than 3 months.
I’m not exactly sure.
I cannot sleep on my right side anymore.
I cannot put my right hand over my left shoulder.
I cannot move my right arm across my chest.
Well, I can. But it causes me horrible pain.
It’s interesting this pain.
It seemed to come out of nowhere. Literally. I woke up with it one day.
So, I did all the things.
I tried to rest it. I tried to stretch it. I tried changing my diet. But nothing.
This is where I start to wonder. I have a pretty strong inkling it’s related to my emotions.
In my life, I have noticed that most discomfort (physical or otherwise) has some kind of emotional correlation. For example, I know the lung meridian flows from top of the chest, at the top of the lung, over the front of the shoulder and down the arm and along the thumb on both sides. The lungs are related to grief in Chinese medicine. Can you see where I am going with this?
I believe this pain has to do with repressed grief.
Some of you may be thinking… ‘Repressed? Repressed? Isn’t grief something that appears over and over again in this blog?’ Ha ha ha sob.
Well, you could be right. Or it could just be that I am one of the few people who will willingly shares about her grief journey for all the world to see. I suppose it could be either one.
Anyway, I decided to see a professional about this pain. Mostly because it seems I have not been able to sort it out all by myself. The anti-inflammatory diet I have been following for the last 6 weeks hasn’t alleviated much of my suffering. I suppose there could be something out of alignment.
I had an initial consultation with a chiropractor friend of mine a week ago Friday. At some point in the interview process, I got real and I shared some information about Motorcycle man and I cried. I bawled actually. And then, she adjusted my upper back and manipulated the muscles around my shoulder. And I cried some more. Not because it hurt, but because the pain was so close to the surface. I cried a lot during that appointment.
It was big.
And I was exhausted afterwards. Totally and completely exhausted.
In a good way.
In a cathartic way.
It felt good to let some of that out.
I think I have been holding back. Holding back some of the sense of loss I am still carrying inside me over the dramatic swift end of my romance with the man I was going to marry. It was such a shock. An unfathomable shock. And in some ways, I suppose I have been keeping a stiff upper lip about it.
I thought a week of grieving was enough back in February.
And possibly, the grief doesn’t just have to do with me & Motorcycle man. Nope. It’s more than that. It’s grief over the death of a dream. Ahhhhh. The dream. You all know what I am talking about, don’t you? The dream of having found your life mate, your divine partner, someone to share your world with… gone. In one fell swoop, gone.
That was such a shock.
It was so incredibly painful.
It’s hard to admit that it still hurts today.
How can that be?
I find this so interesting.
After the chiropractic visit (and the crying), I noticed some relief in the area of my shoulder. I had more energy. I had more vitality. Things felt better overall.
Then, interesting things began to happen in my outer world.
I got a new client. Marmalade needed me to come in on Sunday. I was called for substitute teaching. And this got me thinking.
It got me thinking about how much repressed emotion stops the flow of energy in our lives.
When we are holding ourselves back in some way, things get stopped up in our lives in general. Holding back the bad also holds back the good. When we can allow the emotions that need expression to come to the surface, all sorts of things begin to shift.
Flow returns to our lives.
Things start to line up.
Everything looks and feels better.
It’s a fact.
So, since I let go and felt my grief and allowed myself to tell the story, I feel relieved. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. I feel relieved.
In fact, I feel happy.
I. Feel. Happy.
I know you’d expect it to be the other way around on some level. I imagine you are much like me and have a fear of being swallowed up by your grief. Uh huh. But no. That’s not he way it is. That’s not the way. Allowing emotions to the surface usually results in deep healing. On the spot.
So, it seems allowing myself to be vulnerable at the Chiropractor’s office provided me with great strength.
It offered space for new opportunities to flow into my life.
It gave me back my energy.
It gave me back to me.
So, what now?
Well, I’ll tell you what now.
I am wondering about you now.
I am wondering how much emotional debris you are carrying around inside.
I am wondering about your feelings, in particular your grief.
I am wondering.
And I am sending you some energy of forgiveness and healing. I am sending you strength to step into the tough stuff, so you can release it and come out the other side.
I’m also sending you some energy of love, light and peace.
I am hear if you need me.
Sometimes I get myself into a bit of trouble.
Ha ha ha
Some of this truth busting and sh*t shifting is not always easy, nor is it comfortable, nor is it something that everyone appreciates. So, I can get myself into some pretty hot water. Maybe even scalding hot. Yikes!
And that happened not that long ago.
It happened in an uncomfortably icky way. And I kind of panicked. I ugly cried a few times. I broke out in a sweat. I felt nauseous and I felt horribly uncomfortable and afraid.
It was not easy. I had a lot of anxiety. A lot. And, it was all because I chose to tell the truth. That’s it. I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t lie. I wasn’t mean. I wasn’t malicious. I simply truth busted the crap out of particular situation, which left me a little vulnerable to attack.
Then, I realized something. It was quite a big realization. It was also very liberating.
The biggest reason I was feeling so anxious was revealed to me.
I was feeling so uncomfortable in my own skin for one reason in particular.
That reason was shame.
Shame. Shame! Shame.
That sh*t is so debilitating.
I was feeling ashamed. And more specifically, I was picking up on the shame of someone else. Their shame was becoming my shame. And I was allowing this.
I was allowing myself to buy into the fact that I had done something wrong.
On some level, I believed that I should be ashamed.
And not only did I believe what I had done was perhaps wrong, but I believed I was wrong.
That’s the crappiest part of shame.
The very crappiest part.
It attacks us at our core.
It makes us question our very existence on the planet.
Shame brutalizes us until there is very little left.
I would say that awareness was a huge gift.
A tremendous gift.
And then, because I got to the bottom of the feeling, I could let go.
I could let go because I could see the deeper truth.
I could give myself some space to breathe and start anew.
Big fat sigh.
Once I recognized what was happening, I could find peace. I could relax into knowing my own worth and that I was okay. I was not wrong. I had done what I knew to be right and good. I could feel it in my body.
One of the of the things I learned from a mentor years ago was that the truth always reveals itself. You cannot hide from the truth. Somewhere, in some way, somehow, it’s going to come to the surface. It always does. There is no escape.
As most of you know, I am pretty committed to being real. The single most common compliment I get after talking in front of an audience is that I am genuine. People often mention how open, real and vulnerable I am. And I like it. It’s something I value highly. I’ve prided myself on my honesty for the better part of my life.
However, there was a time, very brief, where I was dishonest. And it was painful. It was awful. It was really not ideal. And it’s not something I ever wish to experience again. And I learned something powerful as a result. Well, of course I did. And besides, I couldn’t keep it up for long. It all blew up in my face anyway. Everyone found out what had been going on behind closed doors.
Cause I guess that’s me.
Superpowers: Truth buster
Even with my own stuff!
So to nurture myself I took some time for integration. Time for rest and relaxation. It was a doozy, people. It touched all sorts of childhood stuff and even ancestral patterns. And I was very tired. Very tired indeed. I took naps. I took it easy.
And now! I feel good again.
I feel better than before.
Because truth busting, finding out the source of our unhappiness, liberates us in a big way.
We free ourselves by getting to the bottom of things.
And just for today, I feel free.
I feel free.
I hope this was helpful.
I hope perhaps you might truth bust a little bit of your own stuff today.
It can’t hurt… at least, not for long
Hang in there folks. This too shall pass.
Thanks again for listening.
Much love to you all,
There is grief inside of me today.
There is still grief there.
And I feel mixed about it.
I feel mixed because I feel like I should be over this by now.
I should have let it go.
I should have moved on.
But there is a part of me that is still hurting.
And that part of me is hard to face.
Because I feel weak. I feel vulnerable. I feel like I should have known better.
And I don’t like feeling this way.
Here’s what’s going on.
This morning, for the third time since July, I went to see a doctor at the walk in clinic. He was really kind. It’s the second time I’ve seen him and I have another appointment booked with him next month. He’ll probably be doing the exact same procedure as he did today. The same procedure I have had done three times now.
There are warts on the most tender part of my body.
And the doctor is freezing them with liquid nitrogen.
He is freezing them so they go away.
These warts seem to be the last vestiges of my relationship that ended in February.
The relationship that was so filled with hope and promise until The Big Surprise!
Or rather The Incredibly Agonizing and Brutal Heartbreak.
I have never had my heart broken so efficiently and so mercilessly.
It was quite the event.
So, yes. I am sad. I am sad for several reasons.
I don’t like having liquid nitrogen put on my skin.
I don’t like feeling like I failed again at this whole relationship thing.
I don’t like feeling embarrassed and ashamed that I was tricked so completely and entirely.
And the biggest one of all…
I don’t like the fact that I still carry love for this man after everything he’s done.
Even in my most angered moments, I could not call him anything more than a jerk.
I still have a hard time calling him anything other than that.
Because, I loved him. I may still love him. And that won’t ever change.
It seems ridiculous to me.
But it’s true.
We were planning to move in together and get married.
We were going to start a life together.
And I was prepared to leave everything else behind.
And now, not.
I know my friends will think me a fool.
I think me a fool.
How can I continue to grieve this situation when it was so obviously not in my best interest?
How can I even give this guy another thought?
Why would I spend any energy on this at all?
Well, because I can’t turn my heart off like that, folks.
I used to be able to flip a switch and shut the whole show down.
Now that I can actually feel again, it’s not that easy.
When you truly love someone, it doesn’t matter how sick they are, that love does not die.
It does not die.
So today is a hard day for me.
It’s hard because I am dealing with the fall out of allowing myself to be so deeply vulnerable with someone who turned out not to be worthy of that vulnerability. And that hurts.
It hurts a lot.
That’s the truth.
It hurts because the man I loved is sick. He is truly and deeply suffering at the hands of his own relentless self loathing. And that is so unfortunate.
That’s the truth.
It hurts because of the loss. The loss of the hope, the dream and the creation of a life together. The very real loss of someone I loved more deeply than I care to remember.
That’s the truth.
So what now?
What now, you ask?
Well, I will not delude myself with thoughts or considerations of reconcillitation. That would be utter insanity. That would probably be a kind of death for me. Nope. Not a chance. I don’t have it in me.
What I do have in me is the time and space to allow this grief to come to the surface.
Yes. Yes, I do.
Grief is a funny thing.
It shows up when we least expect it. Especially if we have not fully grieved at the time of the loss. And fall, fall tends to evoke grief for some reason, what with the trees losing their leaves and all of nature setting the stage for its winter dormancy. Grief is here now. It’s time for grief.
So, I will give myself permission to be in my grief.
I will slow down.
I will treat myself with kindness and respect.
I will lean into tenderness and I will be gentle with myself.
I will love myself and I will cry.
I will cry.
And I will let go.
I will let go into the mysteries of Earth School.
I will let go into the beauty of love and loss.
I will let go into the way every experience has something powerful to teach me, no matter what.
I will let go.
And I will heal.
One single solitary step at a time.
I will heal.
And you will heal, too. No matter what.
Sending you all the love I can muster.
May you be renewed and liberated by your own grief.
It’s one of the powerful parts of the process.
I’ve been thinking about family: what it is, what it means.
I’ve been spending the last few days with my family in Whitefish, Montana. Being with family has not been something I have entirely embraced over the past few years. I have felt resistance in my body around family gatherings. Perhaps, because I feel I am a bit of an outcast as I choose to live my life by my own standards and not by the rules of convention dictated by society.
Spending time with family has at times been challenging for me.
But this time, not so much.
Usually, I feel more guarded, more attacked, more restless, more disappointed, more on edge, more weepy.
But this time?
There is none of that.
I’m not sure what’s happening.
This time with family, I feel relaxed. I feel at peace. I feel at home.
I feel at home.
I feel supported. I feel happy. I feel well.
What a surprise!
And what a gift!
Growing up in a household deeply affected by addiction was not ideal, to say the least. It created all sorts of disruption and disconnection between family members. Hence, as it turned out growing up, my family was made up of myself, my mother, my brother and my grandparents. That’s it. That’s all. I had an uncle but we rarely spent time with him or his family. I had a father, but he disappeared out of my life when I was quite young. In fact, I chose not to have anything to do with him. I had extended family on his side, but we had little contact with them after my parents divorced. My parents’ divorce was very traumatic. The events surrounding the end of their life together created a great rupture within the family and an even greater rupture within me. It was painful. And so much more than unfortunate. It was a great tragedy.
Then, I got married, built my own family and that, too, ended in divorce. Not nearly as horribly disruptive as my parents’ divorce, but deeply challenging in its own way. So again, my idea of the family unit changed dramatically. I became a single mother to four children. We made our own powerfully connected family unit, indeed. And it was good. Really good. But that, too, changed when I moved to BC. Our powerfully connected unit was compromised in some ways.
So, I suppose my concept of family is accompanied by a deep underlying pain of some sort.
I just realized that.
Like right now.
And I guess that is why I may be resistant to spending time with family when it is not in my own space or under my control in some way.
That makes sense.
And perhaps, this pain is beginning to heal. Or rather, I have grieved and now, I am in a place of acceptance. My grieving process began years ago, actually. And I suppose being in this place of acceptance is what gives me the freedom to truly enjoy my time during this family holiday.
“Others may change us, but we start and end with family” ~ Anthony Brandt
I remembered this quote yesterday.
Starting and ending with family, what does that mean of me?
Well, it seems to me my family is one of the biggest pieces of my story. It is what shaped me. I worked many years to unravel the destruction that was a part of my younger years and rewrite my connection to family. And, I suppose, it’s worked. It has worked because I feel good right now. I feel alive. I feel free. I feel whole & complete.
Gone are the underlying feelings of failure I had in the presence of my mother, my brother and my own children. I no longer feel “wrong” when I am with them. I feel strong and clear and well. This is good, folks. This means that I am on the right track. This means that the work I’ve done on myself actually made a difference in how I move in the world. They have not changed. Nope. They are the same.
I have changed. I am different. Not on the outside, but on the inside.
I am growing and evolving. I am stepping into my full self. I am taking my power back. I am being good to me.
Being good to me.
Ha ha ha ha.
Sounds so simple, right?
But how many of you are good to you?
How many of you are sweet to yourself?
How many of you can navigate time with your family with grace because you’ve healed those wounded parts of you?
I am so curious.
And I get it.
I really do.
And it is true.
“Others may change us, but we start and end with family” ~ Anthony Brandt
Today, I wish you the healing you need to deeply enjoy your time with your family.
A La Peanut Butter Sandwiches!
There! It is done.
And I am grateful.
Because I am so very blessed on this journey.
So very very blessed.
Thank you God.
And thank you for listening.
And if you need someone to listen to you, you know where to find me
What do I love?
What is it I really really love to do?
I have been asking myself this question a lot lately.
I have been wondering about how to best spend my time.
I have been curious about my next right move.
As you know, I am sure, we only get one crack at this whole show. So, I am committed to enjoying every minute of it. And to me, that means doing the things I love, with the people I love. That’s been my goal ever since I can remember.
And yet, somewhere along the line, I think I am falling short at the moment.
Don’t get me wrong. Things are fine & dandy. Better than fine & dandy!
And I am still basking in the fulfillment of a lifelong dream: teaching art in French. This week, I start teaching regular art classes at the Francophone school. Last week, I substitute taught and I even helped with the Leadership class. It was so cool.
And guess what?!?!?!
I LOVED IT!
It felt like OLD HAT to me!!
It was simple, and easy, and fun, and fulfilling, all wrapped up in one.
So why am I not doing that full time, I am wondering to myself.
Why am I not teaching in a full time capacity?
Well, part of the reason is because I am building a coaching and speaking career.
I am trying to stay focused and single minded in my goal.
I do not want to get distracted.
One day, I want to speak to thousands of people with my message of hope & healing. I think it will be fun! I love being on stage.
But right now, I am in the beginning of this journey. I am busy attracting clients, working one on one with people and speaking at events on the weekend. It is fun, but I haven’t felt as inspired by this as I did by being in the classroom last week.
Recently, I’ve been talking with a friend about my long term goals and why it was I originally embarked on the coaching path. There were two reasons:
- Time Freedom
- Helping Others
That was it! I want to be able to do what I want to do and help others at the same time. Seems simple. It is simple, yes, but translating that into dollars and cents is a place where I fall short.
I don’t like cold calls.
I don’t like marketing
I don’t like intentionally selling myself.
It’s not my thing.
But! But I wonder if this means something deeper.
I wonder if it’s because in the long run, I know coaching will not give me the time freedom I desire. In the long run, coaching is much like having a job. It locks me into a specific routine. Not only that, I will be forever attracting clients in order to get ahead. Hmmmm…
Speaking, on the other hand, aligns itself much more closely to my desires. There is the potential for time freedom, helping people, and travel (which is another deep desire of mine). That’s a no brainer.
As much as I LOVE coaching and I am pretty darn great at it, I’m not sure it lines up with what I want in the long run. Very interesting. Very interesting, indeed.
What I have noticed is this…
As much as I continue to enrol regular clients, there are parts of this coaching show that I am not so passionate about. And this is affecting my business. And yet, even though I am not passionate about writing a resume, filling out forms, sitting through a stressful interview in another language, I was willing to do it without hesitation. Not only was I willing to do it, I was EXCITED ABOUT IT.
So, this leads me to wonder. Radically wonder.
And because I have learned to pay attention to my body, I wonder. This is a skill I developed when I was breaking out of my depression. Listening to my body provides me with all sorts of information and cues that my mind would rather just brush aside. So, while listening to my body, I have been asking myself some questions.
Is there something more that I am meant to do at this time?
What is it about teaching that has me feeling so complete, so happy and so full?
How could I develop the same enthusiasm for the parts of starting a business I find difficult?
These are all good questions.
By the way…
I’m not changing my mind.
Helping people out of the darkness is definitely my life’s work.
I am simply wondering about how I can do it and still do the things I love, all at the same time.
I love time freedom and I love helping people out of the darkness.
And I notice, that inside my body, I also love teaching.
I love teaching.
I like this.
I like it a lot.
I like learning about me. I like discovering more of what it is I want to do, what I love to do.
I like knowing who I am.
The more I step into the highest version of myself and the more I live my life in accordance with my deepest desires, the better coach, teacher, friend and lover I become.
I wonder what is around the corner.
I am curious to see where this journey takes me.
And how about you?
Why don’t you ask yourself the same questions?
What is it you really really love to do?
Is there something more that you are meant to do at this time?
What do you most deeply want out of this one life?
I dare you to share your response with me.
I’ll hold onto it and help you bring it to fruition.
We all will.
It is time.
Much love to you,