Empathy

See that empty bench? It’s a rare sight….

Once a month I carry a message of recovery and hope to the still suffering addict at a local detox center. And once a month I am fiercely reminded how lonely, dirty, and desperate active addiction truly is.

Ive been here, on this bench. Lonely, addicted, terrified- and incredibly desperate to get clean. It’s not as easy as one would think for an addict to get clean. By the time most are desperate enough to seek help, they have burned their bridges, have no family support, are homeless, jobless, and emotionally bankrupt. Leaving them very few, if any, options on where to turn for help.

I believe fully, with every fiber of my being, if an addict wants to get clean they will get clean. No. Matter. What.

One of the resources available to addicts is Volunteers of America Detox Center. The program is free, and provides long term solutions for treatment and housing if the addict is not only deemed eligible for the program, but also willing to put in the work it takes to stay there. In order to get a bed within The VOA an addict must call frequently to check for bed openings- which are given out on a ‘first come first served’ basis. There’s no wait list, no paying for a spot, no guarantees of any kind.

The night I took this picture was the first night I can ever recall not seeing a man or woman sitting on that bench waiting for a bed to open up. Typically as I leave the building there are a few people waiting outside. Some sit or sleep on the bench, while others pace anxiously. Each time I wish them good luck and tell them ‘please don’t give up’. Then I make the hour long drive home- my heart simultaneously full of sadness for those still suffering, and gratitude for the life I have built today.

On this night I noticed that although no one was outside waiting, the heat lamp above the bench was still turned on in case someone showed up. As I got in my truck tears came to my eyes and a lump formed in my throat- I’m not alone on this journey of spreading hope and giving love. Someone had turned on that lamp with the intent of showing love, with the intent of easing the struggle of their fellow man- even if only a tiny bit. What might seem like a simple act of flipping a heat lamp on, can mean so much more to the person who ends up on that bench in the cold.

Tonight as I lay here, surrounded by my children and dogs- free from active addiction and living a life beyond anything I could have every dreamed, I am reminded why I choose to volunteer my time the way I do. I am reminded of the times I made the calls, and sat on the bench. I am reminded of the people who brought the message of recovery to me in my moments of despair. So when I feel like my one hour a month in this building isn’t much and my brain tells me we have better things to do, I will still continue to show up because if one person can relate to my story and find the way out of their darkness then it will all be worth it.

Chances are your life has been affected by someone in the throes of addiction, perhaps your heart hurts for them, perhaps your heart is hardened by a need for self preservation. Either way, none of us are alone on this journey. All we have is one another, and while our stories differ our emotions don’t.

Thank you guys for showing up and reading my words. I love you…

Because Vulnerability and Dreams

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I want to share a recent experience with you guys. This past winter I was accepted as a guest writer for a local magazine. I was super jazzed and excited. Writing is a passion of mine, and one day I want to see my published work listed on Oprahs Book Club.
Fast forward a few months, the magazine has gone to print and hits news stands this week. What I thought would be excitement for my friends and neighbors to read my work, has turned to great fear. I immediately began picking my article apart, judging myself harshly, and feeling upset with the final outcome. Part of me is baffled at my own response, because my writing is beautiful and I know it. So why the fear? Because vulnerability and dreams- thats why…

You see, being vulnerable and open is a struggle for me. Regardless of the fact that I teach vulnerability classes within my community, I still find it daunting most days. And here I have wrote an article, and laid myself bare for my fellow community members. Now what if they judge me? What if they don’t like my article? What if they read my blog and who I am isn’t good enough for them? Its easy to sit in my office, and write this blog with transparency and vulnerability knowing I’ll probably never see anyone who reads my words. Because you know, the internet is pretty vast… But being vulnerable via following my dreams- within my own small town is terrifying. I know you guys are familiar with the fear of not being good enough. I know I’m not alone in my emotions- ever. Even if the words to define our fear aren’t the same, the emotions behind the fear are.

Following my dreams is scary. Its hard. and its also incredibly worth it. I know not everyone will enjoy my writing, not everyone will like me, and not everyone will identify with my story or my beliefs- but none of that gets to stop me from staying vulnerable and following my dreams. Seeing my writing in print, my thoughts laid out, and my story being told is a beautiful, and empowering feeling.

Today I will continue to write, and I will continue to live with vulnerability.  Thanks for being here and taking the time to read my words, whether you live in town or not.
I love you guys!

Grief and Prayer

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I want to share with you guys about a time when I started believing in a Power greater than myself. If you have read any of my other posts you know I am a recovering addict, who lost custody of my two oldest children while in the midst of my addiction.

When I first got clean I had a lot of anger, guilt, and self-hatred because I found recovery and got clean “too late”. I didn’t get clean when I “needed” to, I got clean after I had lost my children. At times in my early recovery I struggled because I was trying to build my life back up, but without the people who meant the most to me.

The day I decided to stop using drugs was the day I found out I was pregnant with mine and my husbands oldest daughter. I had a doctor’s appointment where my pregnancy was confirmed, and instead of joy I felt fear. My heart couldn’t take the pain of losing another baby because of my addiction. That night in tears, I hit my knees and begged The Universe to show me how to get clean, I promised I would do whatever it took, as long as The Universe showed me a way out. (I have been clean from that moment forward.) A few days after my prayer I was introduced to a program that has ultimately saved my life, and I am still very active in that program today. It’s scary to write these words because they are such intimate details of my life. But in the very beginning of my recovery I made a commitment to be transparent with who I am, because transparency gives hope, feeds connection, and saves lives.

The first seven months of my recovery were spent trying to navigate my intense feelings of regret, grief, and guilt over the loss of my two oldest children. Each night I would fall asleep praying to my Higher Power to take away the pain in my heart and let me sleep in peace. My grief was manageable during the day, as long as I kept myself busy. But inevitably, each night I would lay down, and the emotions would start flooding in. Years of wreckage, and stuffed emotions all wanting recognition. During those nights I prayed with every fiber of my body, it felt like I was praying more than I was breathing. I didn’t know what I was praying to, and it didn’t matter. All I know is it worked. I didn’t bow my head and say the words I had heard used as a child, I didn’t kneel and ask my father in heaven for help, like I’d seen in the movies. I laid curled in the fetal position on my bed, snot and tears mixing on my pillow, begging something greater than myself to help me make it through the night.

During this time I had fully committed myself to my recovery and my new life. I was taking suggestions from other recovering addicts around me, and I was putting in some intense internal work. One night it happened, I fell asleep without begging for relief. I fell asleep without a mixture of snot and tears on my pillow. My heart and soul were healing. It didn’t happen every night, but it happened with enough frequency that I had faith I would be ok. I began to feel relief from the intense emotions that had been crushing me for years, I began to see the positive outweighed the negative, and mostly I began to look towards my future with hope. There came a point where I had the desire to start defining what I was praying to, to start defining what my faith looked like. I began praying in different ways, and forming new ideas about my spiritual connection to those around me. I began talking with people about their beliefs and spirituality. Eventually I realized I didn’t need to define anything, I just needed to keep doing what I was doing and just BE.

I finally understood and fully believed something greater than myself existed: the power of Love. Through love I had found a way out of my darkness, through love I had found worth within myself, and through love I had a second chance at being a mother and a wife. I didn’t need to define anything, I just needed to BE love, and pray hard.

Tonight after years of peace I found myself curled in the fetal position, snot and tears mixing on my pillow, grieving the loss of my son who celebrates his birthday tomorrow. An old sense of panic washed over me, because although I am familiar with grief and pain- I am also traumatized by their intensity. Moments later in the midst of a prayer calmness washed over me as well, because I am loved and my soul knows this. I know I am not alone on this journey, I know there is a Power greater than me working in my life, and ultimately I know I am ok. I lived in such a deep tunnel of darkness for so long that sometimes its a bit scary when my emotions feel so intense. Sometimes I have to remind myself its ok to feel those emotions that traumatized me, because today I don’t live in them the way I once did. Tonight I am grateful for the power of prayer and connectivity. The power of recovery, and the gift of being present in the moment, even when its intense and scary. Most of all I am grateful for the second chance I have at being a mother, and for the women who are holding my two oldest babies and loving them while I can’t. Women save the world day after day, and we save one another while doing it.

And as always I am grateful for you guys. Thanks for being here and reading my words. I love you…

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Climbing Timp

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This is the view of Mt Timpanogos from my front yard. This picture looks a bit like The Eye of Sauron, so that adds to the badassness of Timp!

This last summer a few of us decided to hike Timp, which in its entirety is about 15.5 miles. I believe somewhere in the planning of this hike it was mentioned that the hike would take about 12 hours round trip. My brain has a tendency to hear what it wants to, not neccesarily what has been said. So the twelve-hour part didn’t really stick in my mind. I have this goal of one day meditating in the Himalayas overlooking beautiful peaks and mountain ranges. Hiking Timpanogos seemed like a good place to start working towards this goal. Let me tell you what I learned from this hike, and how it has changed the way I am approaching my goals and dreams.

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About three hours into this hike I was confused why we still hadn’t reached the top, I wanted to turn around, leave my group (and my dogs), and go wait in the car. This is when it was again mentioned to me the twelve-hour round trip part- and you guys- I panicked. I had already cried a few times, I was already sore, and apparently we weren’t even close to being halfway done! If I quit then and turned around I would have essentially completed half the hike, which is an accomplishment in itself. But I know I would sit in the car for those final six hours feeling regret. I didn’t realize how hard this hike would be, I didn’t realize the work it would take to actually reach the top. I was in the best shape of my life- literally. And yet my brain was telling me we couldn’t finish and to quit now. My brain does that. It’s really great at making excuses and talking me out of finishing things. This is a big part of why I stayed overweight and unhealthy for so many years, my brain is always my enemy when something is hard.

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Instead of watching me quit, my husband slowed his pace and walked behind me (which is why most of the pictures show me leading the way), our friends who were hiking with us, slowed their pace as well. At this point we were in this twelve hours of insanity together, and I was recommitted. Every now and then my head would start nagging me, telling me we needed to stop, we needed to turn around, and we should have been to the top by now! Each time, I would acknowledge the thought, yet continue what I was doing anyhow. As we hiked we would pass other hikers on their way down, who would encourage us in passing- it was like a small community on the trail. Eventually we reached  about the halfway point, which is actually a few miles below the summit. This is where the glacier and the lake are. The meadows are full of wildflowers and mountain goats. It was breathtaking, and incredibly satisfying to sit down and take it all in.

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Sitting there I realized how incredibly hard it had been to get to this point, the point where my brain chose to see some kind of progress, and accomplishment. The point where the task at hand isn’t really “work” anymore, but actually something I enjoy. And it hit me how much of my life is treated the same way. My crossfit/health journey was the same. It took me SO long to recognize the accomplishment of simply showing up each day. Many things I do in life are “tasks” until I recognize the accomplishment. This realization has helped me better surrender to the joy of the process, and recognize the joy in simply taking the first steps. This realization has also helped me understand the work that goes into truly fulfilling something I set out to do.

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I never reached the summit. My dog Whitley gave us a good scare when we though she had fallen off the side of a cliff. So I elected to keep the dogs while everyone else hit the summit. I was satisfied with my choice, and took the next hour or so to nap with my dogs in the sun.

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The hike down the mountain was equally as hard as the hike up. My knees hurt, my hips hurt, and my feet ached in a way I’m not sure I can describe- but my brain was silent. There was no attempt at self sabotage. There was no voice telling me I couldn’t succeed, no little voice telling me to quit. I had made it. I had set a goal and then smashed it, even though my head had told me to quit on that mountain, more than it told me we would succeed.

Many times in my life my brain tells me to quit. Many times my brain wins out long before I have even attempted something. You know the feeling of making a commitment to yourself, only to let yourself down a few weeks, or months later? This was a feeling I was very familiar with. It became so familiar I didn’t even realize the things I was missing out on because I had let myself down so many times before, and now I was afraid to even try.

After hiking Timp I finally understood that if I want to accomplish any of my goals in life I will have to take many “first steps” and a few leaps. Sure sometimes I will fall, sometimes my head will be an asshole, and sometimes I will cry throughout the hard parts- but I refuse to let myself down. Today I celebrate my ability to try something, even if I’m out of my comfort zone. Today I allow my head to be a part of the ride, but she is no longer driving. I am gentle with myself, knowing I wont be great at something the first time I try, and probably not even the thirtieth time either. I am honest with myself and feel into my decisions before I commit, lessening the chance of failure.

I recently decided to delve deeper into my ascension practice. I attended a weekend retreat with some phenomenal people and teachers. And while simple meditation is a regular thing for me. Daily ascension, done with intent and dedication is not. My head has found her voice again- speaking up and asking me to quit. Pointing out how awkward I feel, and how “we aren’t doing this correctly”. Encouraging me to stay in my comfort zone, because its pretty comfy here! But today I remember the lessons I learned on the mountain, and how if I ever want to meditate in The Himalayas I need to put in the daily work towards that goal. So today I won’t quit. I’ll carve out the time to ascend, and I will appreciate the fact that I have taken the first steps. My heart is full of gratitude, for the people in my life who walk this path with me. But more than anything I am grateful for myself and this new journey where I have faith in myself, even when the fear and doubt creeps in.

Thank you guys for showing up in my life, loving me like you do, and taking the time to read my words. I love you…

Belonging

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As I mentioned in my last blog I am pregnant. This last week after a whole lot of bleeding, two miscarriage scares, and a few emergency room visits, I was diagnosed with a sub-chorionic hemorrhage. Basically as my baby and placenta grow they cause bleeding in the outer wall of my uterus, if my body can’t clot the hemorrhage and stop the bleed I run the risk of miscarriage and possibly needing surgery. So my OB put me on modified bed rest, with strict instructions to not lift anything, and to keep my heart rate down!

You guys, I have three kids, four dogs, a business to run, and endless commitments, I was doubtful I could manage a week of bedrest, much less the 8-12 my body needed. So instead, I reached out, I told my friends and family what was going on, how I was feeling, and that I needed help and support. And the women in my life showed up for me. From everything like bringing dinner, and rotating my laundry, to making sure my daughter got picked up from school. I had the support I needed to stay off my feet and still manage my life. Many times throughout the week I was reminded just how loved I am, and just how great the people in my life really are. Many nights I fell asleep with a heart full of gratitude and love for the family I have created in my world, as well as the family who shares my DNA.

At different times throughout the week I realized I belonged. I belong with these people who love me and show up for me. I’m lucky enough to belong in such a way that it saves my life. Let me tell you about these families of mine, these communities I belong to.

A little over six years ago, in the midst of a horrific drug addiction, I hit rock bottom. Thankfully I found a community of people who had the things I wanted in life and who could love me until I loved myself. These people showed up for me in every way possible. They walked me through my new way of life -without drugs- and they showed me how to live. They showed me how to speak my truth, and how to live with integrity, they showed me how to own my side of every problem in my life, and how to walk through my experiences and emotions, again, without using drugs. And in turn I stayed clean, built a beautiful life, and chose to give back to the next generation of recovering addicts, the unconditional love and skills which have been freely given to me. Communities like these are built because there is value in transparency of stories and experience. There is value in knowing someone else understands our lives on the deepest level, because it has been their life too. There is value in these communities because on a cellular level we all need to belong, we all need to be accepted for who, and what we are.

When I first got clean I made the decision to live my life and tell my story with full transparency in order to be a beacon of hope for others, especially parents who may have lost children in the midst of their addiction. I wanted others to know a life worth living- after drug addiction was possible, and more so it was worth it- even if they had suffered great losses while using. And while some days it is hard to be a woman who chooses transparency because I am also a business owner in a small community, my commitment to letting others know they belong, and possibly saving a life is much more important. So I will continue to speak up and show others the way out- because after all we belong to one another….

A few years into my new way of life I hit a point where I was drowning in self loathing and shame. I was extremely overweight, and literally hated myself. We all know the feeling of looking in the mirror and not feeling good enough, thin enough, pretty enough, enough, enough, enough. I started wondering if I could get a prescription from my doctor, basically legal methamphetamine, to help curb my appetite so I could lose weight. I started fantasizing about how much better life would be once I was thinner. But a part of me knew I couldn’t take that route because I am an addict, and I have a tendency to abuse drugs, whether they are prescribed or not. And deep in my heart I knew the problem ran deeper than my weight, and no prescription could fix the underlying emotional issues. The problem was my inability to love myself just as I was, the problem was my inability to eat healthy, the problem was my sedentary life style. And so, I joined my local crossfit gym. I hadn’t lifted weights since highschool, and I probably hadn’t ran since the last time I had been running from cops! Long story short it had been years since I had lived any kind of active, healthy, lifestyle so I decided to jump in head first.

I started crossfit at 202 lbs with 47% body fat. I had to modify each workout, I had to lift using the lightest bars and the smallest weight, but the other members cheered me on and lifted with me anyhow. My time was always at the bottom of the score board, but that didn’t matter because I was showing up and making progress no matter what. Over time I started moving up in weights and hitting personal PR records. I started getting better score times, and being able to run more and walk less. I started cheering on the new people and lifting with them regardless of their weights or times on the scoreboard. Again, I belonged. When I hit my first 20 inch box jump my crossfit family cheered with me, when I hit my first 27 inch box jump they cried with me! My new friends taught me about preworkout, protein shakes, and BCAA’s. They taught me the importance of muscle mass versus body fat- and how the scale is a god damn liar. They taught me that strong is beautiful, and muscles are sexy. They showed me how to meal prep, and eat clean. They explained macros, and how to eat cookies without bingeing a whole box! When I tore my meniscus and had to modify my workouts, my friends understood my sadness and helped me stay on track. When I got pregnant with my youngest son my gym family supported me, loved me through my pregnancy and my postpartum recovery until I could be back full force in the gym. When I got my first “RX” and was able to do the workout on the board, ‘as prescribed’ with no modifications, my trainer took pictures with me and celebrated as hard as I did. These people had become another extension of my family, another layer of my support system and strength.

This past weekend while on modified bed rest a large majority of my gym family, including my husband, were competing in a crossfit competition. The night before the event my friend, who just so happens to be my trainer, reached out to me and told me our gym would have a sweet little base camp, and plenty of chairs in case I wanted to join them as a spectator. I was feeling fine and had been off my feet all week so I decided to go. Throughout the day my fellow gym members fed me, sat with me, and made sure I was taken care of. Throughout the day as I sat surrounded by other crossfitters from around the state I realized again that I belong to a worldwide community where our experiences transcend our race, religion, sexual identity, etc. Our mutual love for the sport and the gifts it brings to our lives brings us together as a community. Many times throughout the day I sat there humbled by the sheer determination and grit that was on display. At any given point I could look around me and see complete strangers in tears of joy and appreciation, celebrating their competitors achievements right along with them. An event that will forever stick in my mind was when a woman was in the middle of her timed deadlift ladder when she started to pee herself. You could see the horror and embarrassment on her face and in a split second her team partner jumped next to her and yelled out “its ok, we all do it, keep going”. And the woman kept lifting, she didn’t give up. In that moment she was surrounded by a community of people who understood. And her partner was right- which one us mothers can jump rope, sneeze, cough, lift heavy weights, or do much of anything without running the risk of peeing ourselves at some point?!

During my husbands deadlift ladder I was easily reminded why I love him like I do. My husband approaches his level of fitness the same way he approaches Every. Single. Aspect. Of. His. Life. – with great intensity, dedication, and integrity. As he lifted I looked around and realized the entire gym was watching and cheering along with him. Grown men were standing there with tears in their eyes, moved by Chases intensity, and their own love for the sport. A wave of appreciation came over me, I couldn’t have been blessed with a more amazing man to call my best friend. This past week had wreaked havoc on our sanity, and many times we had cried together wondering if this pregnancy would soon end in a miscarriage. And here he was pouring his heart into this competition.

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Watching my fellow gym members, and crossfit athletes compete with such unity, love, and appreciation for one another, was yet another reminder that I belong. It was a reminder that we all need to belong. Belonging is what feeds our soul and keeps us afloat when we are struggling. Belonging is what helps us live with courage in knowing we arent alone. Which brings me to my final realization.

We as humans, but especially as women, belong to one another. More than ever in todays society we need one another to stand up and say “this is my story, and you belong”. More than ever we need one another to offer grace and love in times of struggle. This morning as I scrolled through FB (in light if the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault stories) I saw many many friends with the status “me too”, to show they had also been victims of sexual assault. Some of these women, and men I would have never guessed had been victims of such atrocities, yet here they were full of courage on social media saying “heres my story, WE belong”. Because we still belong to one another, regardless of the circumstances, we belong.

Today I’ll commit to staying transparent in my life. I’ll commit to speaking up with courage, and showing others the way. I commit to living with integrity, even when it loses me friends. I commit to choosing love, and welcoming those who need a place to belong.

I love you guys, thanks for reading my words…

Macaroni and Meditation 

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Sometimes I have this picture of how my life should look. I have this ideal of who I should be and how I should always act. I want to respond with love and humor when my children rub their macaroni on their faces to make orange beards during lunch time. I want to be present, available and in the moment with each of my tiny humans, making eye contact and giving hugs. But the truth of the matter is, some nights I go to bed a bit sad and regretful of the ways I interacted with my children that day. Some nights I realize I’ll probably never live up to that ideal me.

I mentioned in a previous post how pain is a great motivator for me. Hell its a great motivator for anyone I’m sure. But I don’t want to be motivated by pain anymore. I want to be motivated by smiles, hugs, and shared moments of joy with my children.

For the first few years of my second chance at parenting I really had to work on my yelling. I call this period of my life my “second chance at parenting” because I didn’t do too well with my first chance. And I’m fortunate to have been given a second chance with 3 tiny little souls. Back to the yelling part… I was a terrible yeller. I would scream at my children, my husband, my friends and family, my dogs, I would even scream at myself. I had so much rage, anger, regret, and decades of pent up emotions I didn’t know how to manage even the simplest upset in my life. Unfortunately my children received the brunt of this shortcoming. Thankfully I chose to progress in my life, and I kept working on myself and loving those parts of me that needed to be healed. It wasn’t easy, and at times it got pretty ugly, but it was always necessary.  I created a routine in my life that involved a lot of meditation, self care, 12 step meetings, and weightlifting. These days I yell much less, and my home is much more zen. Thank god. But now it’s time to take things a step further and go deeper.

Ive noticed a some of my routine has fallen to the wayside. I’m currently pregnant again and between running a business, being a mother to three tiny people, and a few other things I’ve made priorities, I have let my self care go. Today I found myself being a miserable bitch yelling at my children, over nothing, literally nothing. And the immediate guilt was a smack in the face.

The pain is still fresh in my heart now as I write these words. Because for a while pain hadn’t been my motivator, joy was my motivator. My connection with myself and those around me had been my motivator. Self worth and self improvement were my motivator. Then in just a few short months I let things slide (without realizing it too much) and there’s that pain…. I don’t want the pain. Fuck the pain. I choose life to be joyful and easy. 

Again, there’s a gift in pain. I’m grateful for that gift, but I’ll choose joy, connection, and serenity over the pain. Tonight I go to bed, recommitted to my self care, and my self love. Recommitted to my dance parties and meditation. I have the sacred duty of raising healthy, happy, kind, and wholehearted children. I can not do this if I’m not taking care of myself. We as parents can’t take care of those who need us, if we don’t first take care of ourselves!

Tonight I am grateful for my tiny babies with their sticky macaroni beards and fry sauce smelling hands. And tonight I’m grateful for my second chance. I love you guys, thanks for reading my words…

The Gift Of Pain

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You guys… Pain is one transformative motherfucker. I don’t know about you, but my initial reaction to pain is to run away from it and push it aside. Maybe put it in a nice little box and stick it away to be dealt with some other day. Whatever I was doing with my pain, I certainly wasn’t welcoming it and accepting the gifts it had to bring.

Recently (like four days ago recently) I saw a woman post something on social media, and I realized I had let an opportunity pass me by. Instead of being happy for this woman and choosing to be full of abundance and love, I chose fear and scarcity. The pain from this post and the choices surrounding it forced me to look at some patterns in my life. One of which is this pattern where I’m on the ball, having “it” together, everything is good and I feel like super mom, wife, and friend. Then out of nowhere I come out of this fog, only to realize that somewhere during the “being on top of it all” stage, I dropped the ball and now its time to pick up the pieces. Never before in my life have I been aware of this up and down cycle in my life until the pain I felt seeing this womans social media post. In that moment, as  I began to pick up the pieces of my latest “down” pattern I also became willing to change.

Picking up the pieces is painful, and embarrassing. Somedays picking up the pieces means returning 11 voicemails, and giving the callers witty excuses as to why I originally missed their calls- when in reality I saw them calling and didn’t have it in me to pick up the phone. Some days picking up the pieces looks like taking my youngest daughter to buy new ballet clothes after dance class because I dropped the ball and didn’t realize it until I had to send her to first ballet class in an old stained/ripped outfit. And sometimes picking up the pieces looks like accepting the fact that I dropped the ball, and someone else achieved a small dream of mine. Like I said picking up the pieces is painful, until I spot the gift, and until I choose abundance.

The past year I have been REALLY working on living in abundance, believing there is enough for everyone. You guys, its hard. But you know whats even harder? Living in scarcity and fear. Waking up fearful and full of resentment, heart racing, mind cloudy and full of judgements. So I pick up my commitment to living healthier, and I choose abundance. Because fuck fear.

So I see this womans social media post and immediately the pain comes, less than 24 hours later- I jump and I start this blog. Next I start reaching out to those around me and picking up the pieces- this time recognizing and accepting this pattern in my life so when it comes around next time I get to create something beautiful out of it. Then a few days later (as in tonight), comes my trust in The Universe and I know there is a gift in this pain. One day at a time we get to recognize that which does not serve us, and we commit to change. And on the days we fall- we pick ourselves back up, as gracefully as we pick the pieces back up.

Tonight again I sit here trusting there will come a gift from my current pain. Change is fucking terrifying, especially when we have to initiate it. What if we create a change and it hurts? What if we create a change and with that change comes regret, grief, and sadness? I chose to initiate change, it was one of the hardest things I have done in a very long time. Sadness, regret, fear, and grief have made themselves at home in my heart right now. And get to sit in these emotions, I choose not to run from them. Instead I will embrace them, I will welcome them, and I will honor them for showing up- because if nothing else they are proof I am living and I am doing it wholeheartedly. I know there is a gift- heart heavy, mind racing- but there is still a gift.

So tonight I will keep faith in a power greater than myself. Tonight I will keep love in my heart, trust my decisions, and choose to find joy for those who are pursuing their dreams. The rising tide lifts all boats, this I know.

Thank you guys for showing up here. Thank you guys for loving me, supporting me, and reading my words. I love you.