Monday, December 31, 2012

my one little word for the year - wholehearted

When you choose the word “wholehearted” at the beginning of the year you had no idea what it would entail. In your head you conjured up images and ways you would use your heart to guide you in your relationships, your work, your thoughts, and actions.
Sitting on the other side of the year, you see wholehearted also means brokenhearted.

For much of the year you sailed over smooth seas. Mama Alice moved through the year in health after putting the smack down on stage 4 cancer.
You did more of what you love, teaching and learning in beautiful locations. The Outer Banks (twice), Tulum, Mexico, Santa Cruz & California (three times!). You visited the beach with BFF and Asheville in the winter and fall. You made a commitment to spending your time, energy, and money in ways that moved your whole heart.
You led filled to the brim, sold out retreats at Shaker Village and Tulum. And did more of what you love love love by leading yoga teacher training in Corolla and Sonoma.

You spent lots of time with your mentor friend soul sister in Santa Cruz and finished your life coaching training. After years of wanting a spiritual teacher and actually giving up on finding one, you found just that, a teacher that resonated with your whole heart. Jenn Lee interviews you on her Business Summit.
You dreamed up a new website, a way to expand your teaching in the world. You declared yourself a yoga teacher, life coach, and spiritual hillbilly. You especially love the spiritual hillbilly part. Then you worked with Alexandra Franzen on a new website that you were giddy about.

On June 25 you got the biggest, sweetest surprise of your life when you saw two lines on a pregnancy test. You lay on the bed with your husband and went out for Mexican food. You sat there eating; chatting, living life knowing your world has totally changed with those two pink lines.  After years of never knowing if this would happen, it was, and you were ecstatic. You felt like your life was starting all over again. Fresh. New. You thought that anything is possible. You felt that with your whole heart.
On September 6 your life changed. You drove to your husband’s school, his place of work to tell him his father is dead. You sob and drive and try to find your way… the school, to the unimaginable words you’ll have to speak to him. Your heart is breaking. His heart is breaking. Hearts are breaking.

One week later you fly to Sonoma for the first of 16 days. During the day you teach students the intricacies of triangle pose and truthfulness (satya). In the evening you call grief counselors and massage therapists. You try anything to console your husband from afar. You lay in bed at night, rubbing your belly, counting down the days, the moments till you will be back with your husband.  Your whole heart is a broken heart.
You arrive home late. It’s a Sunday. September 30.  You finally rest in the arms of your Love. Together, you rub your belly. The next day we learn yogababy is a boy. The first thing you ask your midwife is, “Is he ok?” She says “He’s good, there’s just one small thing.”  You stop hearing what she says and you weep. Actually, you sob.

One week later, October 9, your baby is dead. They have a wheelchair for you to take you to labor and delivery. You refuse. You walk through the doors and read the words “Labor & Delivery”. You are numb. You wonder if this is really happening. You pray it’s a bad dream and you try to wake up.
It’s not and you can’t. But you go on. One day at a time. You get by with each breath.

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
You relish moments of peace. They are few and far in between. Yet they come. And you know that healing will come. It has to. It must. You won’t accept anything different, any less.

You take healing trips - one with Andy alone, one with your family, then a major healing trip at Christmas. You find a day here and there were there are no tears.

The heaviness is lifting, the fog dissipating, the joy returning. You’ll live. You’ll love. You'll grow. You'll learn. You'll teach. You believe with your whole heart.

Brene Brown has inspired me so with this idea of wholehearted living. She says,

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night and thinking, Yes I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.
At the beginning of the year, I had no idea what this really meant.  I wanted to live wholeheartedly, but I wanted to do it on my terms. Don’t we all? I wanted to it be pretty and perfect. I knew there would be times of imperfection, but I wanted to know when to anticipate them. Then I’d be equipped. I’d do what I do so well…. set an intention, make a plan, roll up my sleeves and get to work.

But then you suffer two major losses in one month. Two surprising, shocking losses that you could never anticipate, never plan.  The blows come hard and you fall to your knees. Your days look like this….
Weep. Sob. Rage. Repeat.

You struggle to see your worth outside of being an entrepreneur and inspiring and motivating others through yoga.  You have no plan. Your new coaching site sits there unfinished.  You feel fat and empty. Death becomes your new best friend and you wear sorrow like your favorite sweater.

Then one day you realize this is it. You are stubborn, hardheaded, but you are learning.

This is where wholehearted living begins. Right here, right now, with all the questions and the state of imperfection.

It’s enough to just get through the day. You are worthy.
It’s ok that you’ve put on weight. You are beautiful.

Your goal was to get through that class without breaking down. It’s enough.

You are allowed to sit at your table and make an art journal for your dead son on a workday. You have permission.
You can be brave and uncomfortable and sad and happy on the same day. At the same moment if it’s needed. You belong.

So this is what I’ve learned and continuing to learn about that one little word I started the year with. These are the questions I’m living into:
How can I embrace wholehearted living during all of life’s ups and downs?

Can I feel my worthiness when my passions and purpose hide like the sun on a cloudy day?
Can I live and love with my whole heart, even when I feel out of control?

I know I will. I’ll continue. Try my best. Do my work while looking in and looking up.
And looking forward to a new year. I'm ready. May the Universe bring it with softness, ease, and joy.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Wow. Crazy year. Beautiful and whole-heartbreaking recap. Sending lots of love and gratitude your way, friend.