It has been several months since I’ve been in touch with you and as a woman who values honesty and transparency, I’d like to share the truth about why.
This past year has brought a tremendous amount of growth, new opportunity and intensified challenge into my life personally, professionally and spiritually.
As a therapist and coach I spend my days supporting women to navigate many of life’s major transitions, dark nights of the soul and the authentic expression of embodied empowerment. Although these are just words on a screen right now, we all know that facing any one of these things in our lives is a major undertaking and requires an enormous amount of support, care and attention.
When the lightening strikes and it is your turn to dig deep and face the truth of whatever it is that is arising in your life, it requires a massive letting go. It may mean letting go of seemingly smaller things like always having a clean house or getting to yoga class, or it might mean letting go of relationships, a job or other things you love because your capacity to hold all the balls in the air has diminished.
Four months ago, it was my turn again to face the thunder claps and lightening bolts. After a huge amount of creative output and service, I found myself spiritually depleted and longing. As I looked around and utilized every tool, resource and method I’ve been trained in or studied over the years, nothing seemed to be working. It was as if I had become impenetrable to every system or technique.
My presence was waning and all I could hear was a soft whisper that encouraged me to “let go.” Of course, my ego identity kicked and screamed at the thought of releasing my grip and stopping the effort. And yet this was the only answer that emerged. I had to let go of the unanswered emails, the items on the to-do list that had been there for months, my own addiction to perfection–perfection in relationship, perfection in my work, and the internal standards I hold myself to with a tight fist.
I had to let go of writing to you and writing for others even though it is one of my greatest joys and genuine pleasures. I saw that in order to regain my own spiritual reserves, there was no place to turn, but within. Turning in requires a huge sacrifice because in order to do it, you must find the time and space. Eliminating and rearranging other things so that the highest priority can receive your love and attention.
Turning in is not as shiny or sexy as coming out. You won’t get many affirmations or accolades for dropping balls, going silent, or dealing with the grief in your heart. As Jungian psychotherapist Barbara Stevens Sullivan reminds us,
“Our resistance to a feminine orientation is tremendous. We are taught in every setting that we should be in control of our lives and that our lives will proceed in a positive direction if we control them properly…The consequence of this attitude is not an increasingly widespread incidence of happiness, it is rather a situation in which people feel guilty about their depression and despair, exacerbating their pain by struggling against the legitimate suffering that life involves and that, when submitted to, ultimately brings wisdom.”
Life involves legitimate suffering. I am not suggesting that you or I stay stagnant in the marshes of despair for eternity, rather encouraging us all to be honest about the ebb and flow of our lives and to not ignore the knock on the door when soul comes to visit.
It is my life’s work to support other women to get real about what their souls are serving up and how to adapt and care for themselves accordingly. I knew that if I carried on in exactly the same ways, I would have been completely out of integrity with myself and the women I work with. I had to honor the major internal and external changes that were occurring.
I am 100% committed to walking my talk. I refuse to be another incongruent presence for myself and for other women, waving a flag of glossy, air-brushed empowerment and happily ever after. This is not the truth and I will tell you so. Yes, there are glory months, blissful days and powerfully heart-bursting encounters of love. And there are an equal number of tragic losses, incomprehensible violations and just plain crappy days that make you want to run away from the world and hide under the blankets until it all stops.
These are the days that make you question everything in your life and coax you into a place of deeper honesty with yourself.
Presence and a commitment to continue walking the path are the only solutions. Adapting to what life brings, getting honest about the wrecking ball when it’s your turn to be demolished, this is our only salvation.
A few months ago, I was losing my ability to be present, one of the most essential foundations of my life and of my service in the world. My consciousness and presence are the instruments of my work. If they are out of tune, run down or broken, I know it’s time to return to the ultimate source for replenishment.
I knew something had to change and so I loosened my grip and allowed the tectonic plates to shift. I took a deep breath and surrendered into the arms of Life. The insight, maturation and renewal that have since transpired have deepened my commitment to myself, to you and to this work in ways that I never could have imagined before I let go.
It is here, this place of internal integrity, from which I write to you today. And wow, does it feel good.
Thanks for letting me get real with you.
With my deepest respect and appreciation,