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We sat in a circle, a small gathering of nine strangers in a dark living room where the sounds of the ocean below matched our quiet breathing. Into the early hours of the morning we would share about our healing, about our journeys. It was here – a little over a year ago, where I found myself in a group of people seeking healing with a Shaman. Timid and quiet, I took up little space. Even my voice was small. Eventually the Shaman noticed, “Speak up Sarah, use your voice.” If you would have asked me it wasn’t intentional – this unconscious and protective smallness. It was the result of an aversion to being perceived as loud, annoying, taking up too much space, not being liked – the result of a lifetime of caring what people thought, the result of being accommodating – even at the expense of myself.
Some people have told me this goes away with age. Some people have no idea what I’m talking about. Some people can relate in one way or another, a gentle and subtle wake-up call that we are not being the fullest expression of who we are meant to be. This is a great loss. Not only to ourselves, but also to others and to a world that desperately needs us to be our true and relentless selves. I believe the greatest gift we can give back in this one wild and precious lifetime is our authenticity.
Later that same night I would be confronted with a powerful and painful memory, the first time I ever felt shame about my physical body. I was not yet eight, just a little girl whose internal life would then be a secret battle with low self-esteem. A needless battle, a battle that would not be won until my late twenties. In the process of waging that battle I discovered the journey of loving and healing one’s self is just as real and critical as anything we will ever do.
I took the Shaman’s urging to heart. I began to intentionally speak a little louder, to share a little more of myself, to try and care a little less. A transformation slowly began to occur… I felt more and more myself. As I felt more myself, I became more clear about what I needed and what I would allow. It was the initiation into a journey that would require letting go. Moving on. Saying no. Saying goodbye. Surrendering. Trusting. This beautiful and sometimes challenging progression paved the way for incredible things to happen in my life over the past year: a phenomenal healing journey with some of the most beautiful souls, falling in love with someone wonderful, learning Reiki and stepping into my healing gifts, leaving my job, buying a van, building it into a home and embarking on a grand ad-van-ture!
If you would have asked me at sixteen where I would be at 30, I would have shrugged my shoulders and responded with a guess: “Married with two kids.” The cosmic joke is on me; I was divorced by twenty-four and I’m not sure I even want to have children of my own. The thing is, I am convinced that becoming takes a lifetime, perhaps many. This process of continually becoming: letting die what must die, having the courage to begin anew and finally, becoming more and more myself is the journey. A lifelong, soul-searching, relentlessly beautiful process of me. I wouldn’t trade this becoming for anything and I certainly wouldn’t have it any other way. To live is a wild, wild privilege.
I like to think at 30 I will be more of a kid than I will be an adult because life is precious and pesky white hairs are already starting to come in. The wrinkles around my eyes are just testaments to my chosen happiness. I like to think I will love just as hard, if not harder. I like to think my long-dreamed of book will take shape – the stories of my becoming. I like to think I will forgive more quickly, judge less, and continually cultivate space for growth. I like to think I will continue to feel at home in my body and use my voice to serve my highest self. I like to think that collectively, things will shift for the better. The world is filled with goodness, beauty and wonderful people who care. I like to think love can make all things complete. I like to think it is possible to heal anything. I like to think I will keep rediscovering new and exciting versions of myself. Lastly, I like to think that age and time do not matter much at all – life is measured in moments. Precious moments that span across decades and get stored in the heart. Little moments. Big moments. Sweet moments. Painful moments. Defining moments. They make us who we are. So my friends:
May your moments be blessed. May the story of your moments create a masterpiece. May you live your fullest, precious, most authentic life. May you find goodness, beauty and all things completely wonderful in your moments. May you use each moment to use your voice and your heart to serve your highest self and the world around you which so desperately needs the gift of you.