I was conceiving of something fun and creative to write for my happy new year post when yesterday I stumbled upon a piece of writing on my phone. I knew it was meant to be shared. It may classify as creative, it's definitely not 'fun', but it's positive and hopeful. I have no idea when or where I wrote it. If I had to guess I'd say about six months ago, waiting for my kids somewhere in the car, in the rain. It is spontaneous, raw and perfect. I have only edited it ever so slightly.
This past year the shit hit the fan. If you know you know. I was tested in unimaginable ways and the severe anxiety I experienced for the first time in my life was soul shattering. There were days I stayed curled up in a ball and begged for mercy. I share this, and this vulnerable piece of writing, in the hopes that it may help someone out there who is struggling. With the help of medication (no shame) and an amazing therapist I can say that this now all feels like a bad dream.
These experiences of pain and growth are often the subject of my art. You know, the fucking phoenix rising from the ashes and all that. I came here to bravely and humbly share ALL of me so here we go...
I am writing to you from the other side.
It is so nice here! I found myself here unexpectedly and with great relief. There is nothing exceptional happening here, no sparks flying, no great winds of inspiration, just a lovely sense of calm and peace. Never have I felt so grateful for ordinary existence. I feel hopeful. The sun is shining and I am able, finally, to enjoy the day. To feel a part of things. To have the energy for creative pursuits and to move in my own rhythm. My mind is calm and I remain vigilant to keep it this way.
I know you are presently sitting in the fire and it will be impossible to remember this place, which is why I am writing to you. You need to trust me that it exists and that you will find yourself here again. You will be begging for mercy, doing your deep belly breathing, walking with intense purpose, weeping and napping, and struggling to get through the day. One step at a time you will be surviving. You will get through this. I promise you. Just rest, be compassionate with yourself, push yourself ever so slightly if you are able, and follow your beautiful intuition and inner wisdom.
You are an extraordinary being. A warrior. You continue to impress me with your strength, your determination to evolve into your best self, your thirst for knowledge. You are constantly learning and growing and although often painful, you know there is always a silver lining. A lesson to be learned. You are brave and walk where many people do not dare to. You sink to the depths of despair only to come through more radiant and transparent. Every time! It is alchemy, my love. Believe in it.
I know this feels different; darker, more ominous, more out of your control, stealing from you any sense of hope that it will ever be any different. IT WILL. And not only that, but you will have crossed another threshold of the self. You will have peeled away another layer of the onion. You will have more clarity, more control over your thoughts, and more wisdom to carry you through. TRUST. Trust in yourself and your strength and determination to feel and do better. You’ve never disappointed me yet.
Find the beauty. Walk in the woods, take a bath with cedar incense and imagine that you are in an alpine lake, listen to Bach and weep to your heart’s content. Imagine the faces of those you love and hold them so dear to your heart. Walk barefoot and feel the Earth under your feet. Whether it is sunny or rainy let the great mother wrap you in her warm embrace and nurture you. Just really allow her to do so. Call a friend or your lover who has made themselves available to you. You are not a burden. You are a beautiful being who has been a support to others and now it is your turn to be supported. This is what breathes authentic love and friendship so surrender to it and know that relationships will be strengthened because of your vulnerability. Light a candle and meditate lying down under a soft blanket. Feel your belly moving up and down. Move your body gently. You know what to do.
These are survival tactics. They will help you in the moment and create a bridge that you will eventually cross over. Without even realizing it you will find yourself on the other side where your heart won’t be palpitating, your arms won’t feel tingly, your belly won’t feel nauseous, and your mind will feel calm. It will feel downright euphoric in comparison to the hell you are in now. You will get there one step and one breath at a time.
Stay strong you sweet girl, you wild woman, you amazing human. You’ve got this. I’ll be waiting here for you with the most enormous hug. I promise to never let you down.
I love you,
Your Highest Self
'Dancing Through Fire'
Available as a 5x7 card or print upon request