Ten months ago I made a mad rush north to Nashville to visit my great-grandmother, after receiving the news that she may only have days or hours left. She was turning 99, and I was honored and heartbroken to hold her hand and tell her I love her. I was also overwhelmed and joyful that she didn’t pass away. In fact, she seemed to have the life breathed into her with all of her family surrounding her. Continue reading “I Carry Her Heart With Me”
Did you know, up until not long ago, I used to sulk in my hubby’s shoulders and ache?
I ached for a connection I never had, but had seen glimpses of.
I ached for that deep and unmistakeable connection you feel with another woman, a girlfriend, a best friend.
I haven’t had a friend like that since I was 18 or so.
I had my sister and we were thisclose, and it was strong. But as I shifted and changed, so did our relationship for many years.
And I ached.
I mean ached…literal heart-aching for a woman I could call and cry with and laugh with and grow with.
My mama had that.
Her bosom buddy, Melodie, was also like our godmother. She was confident and hilarious and warm and authentic.
And I watched them, my mom and Mel, as they sewed together and laughed together and raised children together and held each other as they cried together.
And I watched my mom’s heart break and her world dull as her female soul mate slowly slipped away to cancer 12 years ago.
And I wanted that.
I wanted that friendship that lit up my whole being, a friendship with a kind of woman who could call me on my shit, then cry with me at the thought of losing each other.
The kind of friendship that hasn’t been replicated in 12 years.
Those deep relationships cannot be duplicated.
They may even only come once in our lifetime, if we’re lucky to find them at all.
And I knew this.
I saw the magic that was created between these two women. I felt it every time we had pizza and movie nights and they would be off talking together. They had something powerful in their lives – each other and this thing that got created between them.
I knew what was possible.
And the bar was set high in seeing their friendship.
And so I ached.
Truth from Rumi
If I’ve learned one powerful thing about myself, it’s this:
Anytime I find myself longing for something, wanting to create change or experience something new, I never get to start with things outside myself.
I get to go within.
And so I sat with the ache.
I breathed into it and asked for guidance through it.
And I heard this…
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. – Rumi
Those were the words that went ringing through my heart.
Seek and find within myself my own barriers.
So I said okay…and I began to slowly dig deeper and deeper into those places.
And I found them.
They were places built on fear, on hurt, on mistrust.
They were barriers of value and authenticity and self-worth.
And they were holding me back.
And that’s when everything changed…
Looking back I can’t even pinpoint where I began to heal those fears and beliefs.
But I do know that I began to open myself to the possibilities.
Oh, those sweet and beautiful possibilities.
It’s always been my experience that when you open yourself to them, they open themselves to you…they come rushing in to envelope you.
And at the same time it feels subtle as it happens.
So subtle that it wasn’t until just now that I took a step back and realized just how full my life is with that feminine connection I so longed for.
My life, my cup, is bursting with amazing women that I get to call my girlfriends.
Women who rock my world with their authenticity and strength.
Women who amaze me with the transformation they are taking on in their life.
Women who blow my mind with clarity and intuition and compassion.
Women who will hold space for me as I scream or cry or vent or profess my weaknesses or threaten to give up.
Women who allow me to hold space for them as they do they same.
Women who light up their world and share in the wonder as I light up mine.
♥ My sister and I, having been close and distant and back again, are so completely moving back again, but with a new ability to light each other up, to stay authentic and true and independent in our own light and the shared light we have the ability to create together. We can see each other more deeply now than ever before and it’s breathtaking from here.
♥ Last weekend we crossed paths with a beautiful family on the road and later after they moved on, this beautiful mama bear and I stayed up late one night on the phone, talking for almost three hours, then both went to bed and continued the conversation in our sleep – two states away by then but so completely attuned to one another that I still feel her heart.
♥ The very next day I finally reconnected on the phone with one of my closest girlfriends from Vegas as we talked love and business and life together as if we were sitting across from each other at her kitchen table again as our boys played upstairs – but this time across the country and walking our respective neighborhoods as we chatted into our headsets as if it hadn’t been (or maybe just felt like) months since we had coordinating time to connect.
♥ Yesterday afternoon I connected with my Soul Sisters, a small group of women I’m honored to be a part of, as we talked about our passions and our purpose and that magnetic draw toward something So Big in our lives, and then talked each other through our obstacles and fears until we were all tingly with excitement and energy and love for one another and for our next steps.
♥ Then to get on the Tribe call last night and speak about Who We Are, to share openly with one another, and feel that safe space surrounding us, knowing that we are creating a one-of-a-kind experience that can so totally rock our worlds.
♥ And then to connect on Facebook with a powerful mama who is rocking something powerful in her life, her business, her heart and the hearts of others and hear her thank me for our connecting several weeks ago, for a conversation in which we opened our hearts to one another and supported each other, that so inspired her to do some big and incredible things in her world.
♥ Receiving another email from a dear sweet friend who could lean into me as I sent her the love and peace she was needing.
And the culmination just hit me.
Here I was aching for this idea of what it would take to fill my cup…a beautiful idea, but of what my mom had.
And I wasn’t even aware of the possibilities.
An idea of what *I* could have, if I just reached within and then reached out.
The ability to connect so deeply, so completely to women across the country, or even across the ocean.
To feel as though we are sitting side by side and wrapping our arms around each other.
The ability to receive such love and support and friendship from so many women, from so many walks of life, with so many unique voices and perspectives, all of whom affect me spiritually and emotionally and intellectually in the most profound ways.
There I was, thinking it had to look a certain way, that I couldn’t possibly find that closeness while we were traveling, always on the move, feeling as though maybe I just wasn’t one of those lucky enough to have it in my life at all. And sitting in the pain such beliefs triggered.
There I was aching in loneliness without that friendship I so longed for…
Instead of seeking and healing the barriers within myself that kept me from experiencing the outpouring of it everywhere.
All around me.
All the time.
I am so deeply in gratitude for all the beautiful woman in my life…the incredible ones I coach with, the beautiful ones who inspire me on Facebook, and the special ones who hold my hair back while I emotionally vomit, then take their turn. 🙂
My cup, my heart is so full, it’s overflowing.
Aching again, this time with the love and connection with which it’s been stuffed to the brim.
I almost didn’t share this video.
I had made it quickly because it started pouring out of me and my audio and video wouldn’t sync.
But that’s not why I almost didn’t share it.
I almost didn’t share it because my entire life I’ve been shamed for my body type, taught to feel less than other women or self-conscious or care too deeply about what others thought of my body.
Taught to be wary of going to the bathroom too soon after I ate because someone would derisively accuse me of being bulemic.
Taught to wear nothing above the knees out of fear that someone would comment on my thin legs.
So after this video came pouring out of me, I began to waver.
“Maybe I shouldn’t.”
“Maybe I’ll offend someone.”
“Who am I to talk about body image?”
It took a sweet woman speaking up a couple days ago on this very issue that reminded me that I’m accepting that Body Shame we’ve all been taught.
And you know what I say to shame?
So here it is: My Truth on “real women” and the lives we are taught to believe and that we continue to live out, even when we think we’re not.
Here’s to real women everywhere:
The ones who love with all their heart…
And look shame and fear in the face and give it the finger.
Who look in the mirror and stand in awe of the beauty that shines within them…
And takes that light into the world and lights up the darkness.
The women who sees beauty in all women, even the ones who are lost or in pain or are blind to beauty themselves.
The women hold hands not grudges.
Who can lift up another without feeling put down.
Who share Wisdom and Truth, instead of rumors and lies.
The women who can be vulnerable and strong at the same time.
And who fiercely protect that vulnerable strength in others.
We are all real women.
Regardless of size or shape or color or background or beliefs…
Regardless of whether we’re in touch with our own inner Self or not.
Regardless of whether we’re in our own power or in our own pain.
We’re all real women making our way through the same messy world, doing the best we can with the tools we have, learning and growing.
And when we see that, when we step into our own strength, and we empower others to step into theirs…
That’s when the world will change.