This is for mama
Yesterday was one year since my mama passed. One whole year of holidays, birthdays, late night phone calls, silly jokes, letters, coffee dates, and missed mama advice. It wasn't a whole year of just missing her; while that is always top of my mind, it was also a year of remembering everything she taught me and prepared me for.
This is me and my mama on my wedding day in 2016. I actually didn't know this photo existed until I went to write today's newsletter and sifted through some forgotten photos - like a little nudge from beyond this image appeared. This photo probably means the most to just me but it's worth sharing.
We subscribe to someone's list or email in hopes of getting something - new ideas, fresh insight, a solution we're in search of. Most of the time I am happy to give these things. I am simply grateful to have readers who show up with me each week.
But some days, like today, I want to park all the need for "more" and invite you someplace else. Because even I don't hang out in the outcome-side of my industry all day.
I feel this need today to remind you of our shared humanity. That whatever it is you get from reading these weekly notes or from following my work, I hope you remember that life is a complex and messy cosmic dance. Even we guides and teachers don't have a lick of it figured out.
These past 12 months were a year-long practice in moving from looking for someone to graduate me into my life to me deciding that to wait any longer was simply too painful. But it wasn't a leap of faith I leaned into; it was more of a very quiet practice in trusting myself more and more.
Losing my mama was a big moment and radical experience. It shook me loose of looking for proof that I could fully be me before I was. This year became a practice in choosing the things I was called to, and not looking for approval from those around me.
The thing I least expected? That such a loss could bring me closer to life. I thought it would separate me, divide me, prove to me the unfairness of life or give me more reason to lose my most cherished resource: hope. Instead, I have come more alive in the last year than I can ever remember doing in my whole existence. But "coming fully alive" was also redefined.
To come fully alive to me is a practice in allowance and faith that you are more ready than you think you are to be living (or believing) the life you crave.
As a human being myself I can relate to that "stuckness" you feel when you just know in your bones you are not totally honoring your truth or speaking up for your life. It's almost too difficult for words because it's a visceral feeling, a sticky fear where you can see what's possible but not...quite...touch it.
What if you did?
Where might you begin?
What risk are you avoiding that you might consider taking?
I can't help but share this quote by Norman Cousins:
"The tragedy of life is not death, it is what we allow to die within us while we live."
When I work with any client or student, this becomes the work: not just defining what would bring you to life, but also what would help you see yourself in a new and more accurate light that says, "That life I see is already available to me."
We move from waiting to live, to living. There's no right time. Space will not magically grant itself to you. Space appears when you show up and CHOOSE your life. As far as I am concerned, this is the only decision: to decide to choose more joy, or less.
That joy may ride on taking a risk like leaving a career or standing up for something you believe in. But when the thing you're leaning into brings you congruency with yourself and with your soul, then you land in joy. Joy may ride in on fear at first – fear of what others will think and fear of having to explain yourself. But this can also lead to freedom. And what is more joyful than complete freedom?
When my mom passed it wasn't a thrust into living more boldly. I wasn't looking to move mountains, jump out of airplanes, or add more risk to my plate. This didn't feel like more life; these things felt like a poor substitution to jump start feeling like you're alive.
Instead, it was very subtle but enlivening in the deepest way. With potent clarity I realized that the life I wanted to live was already inside of me, but it would take my choosing to recognize this to embolden it. This is why I named my certification course Awaken Your Life. I can think of no three words that better define what this work is intended for.
So, what makes you come fully alive? I invite you to make your life a dedication to not only answering this question but to living this question. It's not something you choose once, but many times. Daily, really.
So quit your job. Build your business. Write your book. Go back to school. Move to the farm. Sell everything you own. Practice kindness. Travel to India. Sit still. Trust yourself.
Whatever calls to you is already a part of you. And only you can hear that call. I promise whatever you have to lose, you're meant to lose and experience that loss. Because it gets to be filled up with LIFE.
Beautiful, messy, uncertain, playful, full, unpredictable, and miraculous life.