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Women walking in the snowy woods beside a river

Life's Most Powerful Lessons

Of all the things I have learned to embrace in this wild transformative decade of my life, acceptance and surrender are without question the most powerful and the most soothing.

This week has been a literal and figurative shit show. Josh had major surgery last Friday. On Saturday, Charlie came down with what was either food poisoning or gastric flu. I cleaned the house from top to bottom, in preparation for Josh's return home, hoping it was the former, and not the latter. Then April started feeling unwell. It was Josh’s worst nightmare.

I started experiencing waves of nausea within hours of bringing Josh home on Monday. We did everything we could to keep the house clean, and between purging, I was doing what I could to care for him, if masked, and from a distance.

I am now sitting in the emergency room waiting for him to have a CT scan, as his surgeon is concerned that he should be feeling better today, not worse. I have had to cancel a lot of what I had anticipated doing this week, and as I reflect back—through the sleepless nights, the sick children, the surgery and its current unexpected fallout, the news this morning that an opportunity to lead workshops in India isn't possible because of budget constraints, I have not once felt sorry for myself.

Yes I’m tired. Yes, I felt physically unwell on Monday night as the stomach virus worked its way through me. Yes, I was disappointed this morning when an opportunity that felt super exciting didn't work out. But I knew, and I know that all of this will change again within a blink of an eye. Life will continue, full of surprises of all varieties.

There is also always another way to tell the story. In the midst of all this, I sent the proof of my book to our advance readers. I’m working on compiling feedback for the book designers for the final imprint. I’m updating my website. I’m preparing for the next phase of my training and studies. I’m doing housework and the other things that keep me feeling grounded and present. I’m having client calls when they fit in. I am connected to what I do... and I am in awe of myself: this woman who is simply flowing with what's happening and doing what needs to be done. 

I am tired, but I still feel lucky.

This moment is tough, and it has brought so much up to the surface. Josh and I have watched our deeply buried patterns and fears rise to the surface. We have cried. We have talked, and rather than getting lost in the fog of drama, we have found a path through.

This is the power of my training in conscious leadership, and in consciousness and shamanism with my spiritual teacher, Teo Alfero. I wrote about this in my essay in our anthology. This is the work I do with my clients, both one-on-one, and in the Heart program (which opens for applications next Monday). This is my life’s work, whatever direction the path takes me in.

Life is so full of redirection. I used to get upset when I couldn’t have the thing I wanted or it felt like there was something getting in my way. Now, I know how to follow energy and trust that the dream that wants to live through me will emerge as long as I continue to move toward what feels clear, and surrender to the unexpected shifts as they appear.

What feels most extraordinary about it all is that surrender and agency go hand-in-hand. I can surrender to the flow of life and be an agent of change simultaneously. I can be in the river, and beside the river at the same time. The key is to focus on the flow and not get stuck in my thoughts about what should or shouldn't happen. 

Life happens. That’s it.  I've learned that I can either tire myself out by fighting against the current, or I can flow with it and see where it takes me. 

I hope that you are able to flow through the rapids and over the waterfalls that you didn’t expect, and enjoy the ride as much as I have learned to.

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