Well now, it seems rather time for a bit of writing to update at least the old blog for record keeping sake. So much has happened and there is so much to catch up on, it’s damn near criminal that with all the time I have on my hands, I actually have NOT been writing.
That’s not entirely true, of course. I have been writing daily…sometimes a cover letter for an intriguing job…other times an email coaching response to a soul seeking some insight….yet still other times updating close friends and family on the “haps” that have led to my present day life…and more often of late, reassuring folks (trying to at least) that I am, in spite of the complete reversal of circumstance, worlds and intentions that have come to pass in the past month – that I am truly and in fact, doing very well, am at peace and am happy.
I am SO grateful for all the love and concern that has been shared by you. Your support, kindness, offers of shelter and assistance has been extraordinary and restorative. I am beholden to you.
An update is part of what I hope to address here in my typical likely too long missive, but I find it so cathartic to put my thoughts in writing. And sometimes, I’ve been told – it helps some of you too. And that, my dears, is everything.
So, what’s going on these days in my world? Oddly enough, a LOT. My days are rich and full of beauty and connections with the loveliest souls, wanders through prehistoric nature, (plants and trees so damn big, you know they have been here since the dawn of time!) tough as hell, soul feeding runs up hills that seem to go on forever and straight up into the sky… and the ever inspiring and ever changing ebb and flow of the glorious Indian Ocean.
…and so, what’s GONE on recently in my world? Well, that’s a longer story that I’ll try to make as brief and digestible as possible. After five years of living quite happily in Abu Dhabi and traveling as much of the world as my vacation time would allow for, I made the very difficult decision to step away from a guaranteed paycheck, a great job surrounded by colleagues I trust and care for and students who inspire me and awe me every day to move to the South African bush to work with a fledgling foundation with the hope and mission to offer my assistance and my love to a greater cause to help educate, preserve culture and bring compassion and love to an impoverished community mostly without electricity and running water that is so rich with beautiful children with spongelike minds that simply need to be shown there is another way, and how to get there.
Regrettably, after only two and a half weeks, I realized that my dream and vision for what this life and my contributions were intended to be to the community I came to serve, were not going to come to pass and that I wasn’t going to be able to engage as expected. The specific details are part of a shared story that I don’t truly feel comfortable sharing publicly, but I can only ask that you trust me when I say (as I had to ask myself to trust the same) that it was not a decision that was reached impulsive or lightly. In the end, my physical body rebelled against my being there.
In my many years of life coach training, one of the most important things I have learned is that our bodies hold emotions and truths that sometimes our minds don’t hear or comprehend yet. But if we learn to listen to them, they will lead us towards our truth and what is right for us. They will also lead us away from whatever does not serve or is harmful to us. My body spoke to me loudly and clearly in a voice that said, “You are suffering needlessly…and if you stay in this situation, you will suffer more and more deeply. You are not safe here.”
How did it do this? Quite unpleasantly, actually. At night when I lay down to rest, my body would shake violently for several hours before I could get to sleep, and then my slumber only lasted a few hours at best. I’d awaken, try and calm myself with yoga…journal about the events that transpired the day before…meditate…converse with friends in different parts of the world…anything for sense and normalcy.
Other times, throughout a given day, it became a regular occurrence for my body to start to visibly tremble whenever I found myself not following my truth and my voice. I wondered if I was going crazy…wondered why I was so damned isolated…wondered what the hell I had done and what the hell I was doing there?!?! (Wondered why I had ignored all the signs? another story for another blog…)
Then I remembered other times in life that my body had reacted this way. It was always in response to an injustice, an abuse (from my mother, from my narcissistic ex husband, from that former boss who brought me into his office that time to accuse me face to face of doing cocaine with other employees whom he had just fired that morning, but was keeping me – I fear for unsavory thoughts in his head that most certainly never came to pass.) For real, ya’ll – that shit happened. WTF? Had he MET me? Cocaine? I had forgotten about that until just now. Oh well, it is so good to be able to laugh about that decades later. It’s all information, in the end.
I digress as usual, but the moral of the story is I decided to listen to my body and to GTFO as quickly as I could. And that leads us to today…
Or first it led me to three days and nights with a dear friend on her family’s crocodile farm. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was en route to said farm, but when I arrived, I was more than pleasantly surprised. The place was tranquil, extremely well laid out and operated and the crocodiles extraordinarily well cared for. Ultimately, I know they aren’t going to die of old age, but since I own a few leather items and eat the occasional meat now and then, I figure I can’t be a total hypocrite and suddenly become a crocodile rights activist. So, yes, I was very pleased to see that they were as lovingly cared for as one could hope. I understand there are many other farms where the conditions and treatment are not in any way so thoughtful. Words can’t begin to express how grateful I am for the love, kindness and care given me by my dear friend, Claire there. Thank you, my angel. Your medicine is strong.
And THAT leads us to today. I’m in a lovely Bed and Breakfast overlooking the Indian Ocean where I am nourished body and soul daily by the an amazing breakfast, fresh salty sea air, heart-quickening steep hills, the incredible bird and plant and animal life, my nature coach classes and practice and the time to gently and deeply reacquaint myself with myself. And the owners of this place! Wendy and Kelvin…they take such loving care of me that I feel like protected family. What a gift! There are no more violent shaking, mostly sleepless nights. I tend to sleep 10 hours or more every night now and dream beautiful dreams of the magic that dwells there. No more body tremor warnings of danger during waking hours. Just time. And beauty. And space.
What’s the takeaway from all this, you ask? Or maybe I ask, but I am guessing some of you ask as well….I’m still discovering them, but the obvious one as already mentioned is LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. It does not lie. It will tell you what is good and what is not good for you. Choose not to listen at your own peril. Many injuries and diseases can manifest after months and years of not listening to the body’s wisdom and intuition. Listen. Be gentle. The old adage “you can’t pour from an empty cup” speaks volumes here.
For me, believe it or not, another takeaway is to always follow my heart and my call…and even if it does not turn out to be what I thought, imagined or hoped it would be, trust that the leap of faith was not in vain and that it will indeed lead me to somewhere even more magical than I could imagine. I do.
I am trusting. I am honoring myself and this time, this brilliant gift of time and rest that I have now. My body and mind have worked pretty hard for more than 40 years (I started early), and I do feel incredibly lucky and grateful to be in a position to take the time to rest and heal and dream and just be that many may not be as readily in position to do. Not forever, but for a while. I am leaning into this gift…laughing softly at the old stories that sometimes try to discourage me. They really ARE just stories, you know. Old programming…old wiring…making way for what’s new and true at the core.
My life is and always has been a series of magical serendipitous events. It could have easily gone another way…a darker way…a more destructive way…a helpless, impoverished, fear-based, from a victim’s viewpoint way. But it didn’t…Sometimes I am not sure why. But, at the risk of sounding like I am tooting my own horn (TOOOOOOOT, TOOOOT!!! I actually have no problem with that), I think it has so much to do with that little girl survivor in me who always believed, nay KNEW there was something better out there than the life I was born into. And I chose to work my ass off to get there. To get here.
Today, at almost 49, I live my life from a lens of wonder, love and gratitude and the knowing that though my circumstances can and will change, fortunes have been made and lost, leaps of faith have and will be made, my heart has and will be broken, my body has and will continue to change, my wrinkles will deepen, hair get greyer…yet I trust. I trust me. I trust in my ability to rise like a phoenix and carve out new paths that will lead me into more wonder and magic and to make connections with amazing souls I haven’t met yet, while deepening the connections I have with those who are a part of my life already. What an honor. What a joy. What a ride!
I’ve said it before and I will say it again with gusto – I am in love with this great big world and all the lessons and experiences that she holds for me. Thank you Universe.
Those lessons and the gold are here for all of us…as are the heartaches and shadows. In the end, every day – I have a choice.
Or to rise.
I’m going to RISE, ya’ll. Or as Mother Maya Angelou said it best, “Still, I rise.”
How about you? What’s your choice today? Your life will go on either way, until it doesn’t anymore.
Knowing you have the choice, and that you have this one life...what are even the smallest ways you can RISE instead of SUCCUMB, every day?
I’m cheering for you. I believe in you. I love you.
Rise, ya’ll. Rise.