During this time with my family I chose to give them 100% presence and in honouring that I put my writing and my social media everything on hold.
It has been a while since I last wrote, after 8 months of travelling the world I landed back in my home Country, Canada, after 3 weeks of travelling in Thailand with my eldest daughter straight into the arms of my youngest daughter Sydney and her two beautiful children, my grand babies. I dove right in head first and fell deeply in love with these little humans. I stepped into the “second role” while their daddy was away recovering from a relapse into the world of addiction. This experience of being a Gigi is a new level of deep love for another soul different from that love you automatically have for your children, it is on a whole new level. Peyton, her first-born hijacked my heart and soul from the moment our eyes met and the very same feeling encapsulated me when I had the honour of meeting little Hadley.
Then there is Archie, the dog, who is my special little dude whom I love like my own! I will miss his warm body at night and his scruffy little face in mine each morning!
My heart was and still is filled with sadness, and heaviness as I rolled my suitcases away in the still dark morning knowing I would not wake to these beautiful little souls that have captured my heart in every imaginable way!
After travelling and being on my own with only my own self to take care of and stepping into the busy life of a young mother, my baby girl, and her two babies was something that I was not mentally, physically or emotionally prepared for.
One never really knows what a trip like this will cost, figuratively and literally. Packing up your life and leaving everything behind, your home and most importantly your people. Coming home I felt like I had to be a certain person, I had to be changed in a way, so much so that instead of just being I fell head first back into the roles I previously played in each relationship.
Can you really prepare yourself for the landing back in your own country and settling into the nuances of “real” life after travelling and being a free spirit for eight months?
I found myself loving every minute of being immersed back into the culture of my family but at the very same time I was overwhelmed.
With the arrival of my daughter, Jenny, a month prior in Thailand, I went from a “one” to a “two” with consideration and attention on someone other than just myself. As joyful as I was to be reunited with my daughter it was an adjustment that would take some time, some patience and some work. When I left on this journey I was unsure of the impact my leaving would have on the people closest to me but as the months passed it became clear that the impact was bigger than I had ever expected and there would be acrimony hiding behind the mask of those that I loved the most. This would ooze out bit by bit over the time I had with my daughter, conversation by conversation a little bit more would come to the surface and we would work through the conversation and understand each other, apply forgiveness and love and move forward.
I understood that people would not necessarily understand my decision at 50 years of age to pack up my life, put it on a shelf and leave those I love to travel the world. Some would feel abandoned, some would feel resentful and some wouldn’t really know what they were feeling but something had clearly come up.
I have a rare and precious relationship with my daughter Jenny, we are cut from the same cloth, we have the same minds and we can relate to one other in a way that only two souls with a deep connection can have. We have an open honest way of communicating with one another and I will be eternally grateful for this precious relationship. My daughter and I would get re-aquainted over the three weeks we spent together and perhaps see one another from a different lens with a little more understanding by sharing our deep truths with one another.
I adore my children in every way and missed them every single day that I was gone but this stepping out of my life to pursue a dream was something I had to do, it was a calling much deeper than just a decision to pack up my life and leave for a year. These deep internal callings are from the inside, they are from the soul. Over the years I have learned that intuition is the calling of the soul and each time I hear the message I must listen. There have been many times in my life that I heard the soft, sweet whispers from within my soul but I turned my back and simply did not listen. These callings seem sometimes, if not all the time, ludicrous, unbelievable, not something that we can wrap our EGO mind around because there is no logic, no reason and usually no evidence, it’s simply a feeling, a thought, a nudging that can be easily missed if we are not listening. The sweet, soft voice of intuition is now the clearest voice in my head; I am listening and will continue to listen for the rest of my life in this incarnation. Those times that I did not listen have turned out to be my biggest regrets and my biggest disappointments in myself because they were my truth and I denied myself and my own truth to follow that of someone else.
After spending three weeks with my beautiful Jenny, I flew into the arms of my second child and my singular, then double focused world suddenly disappeared and every moment was now occupied by the need of another. My daughter, with two young children along with her needy dog, crying out for attention and never leaving my side, my granddaughter who just learned to walk and a newborn requiring lots of her mom’s attention. My world was suddenly changed. The climate different. The home not my own. Suddenly silence was a thing of the past. I suddenly had to adjust in so many ways I found myself reeling in a state of confusion, unsteadiness, ungrounded and yet each day waking to be wrapped in the love of these two babies and my own baby girl who was dealing with a mountain of worries, struggle and uncertainty herself. I stepped right back into my old role of taking full responsibility for all those around me which only meant putting any needs that I might have on the back burner while I helped her manager her life putting every ounce of my energy into loving, caring and taking care of the needs of those all around me. A comfortable role, one that is programmed, my go to, yet the stepping back into it after such a long time was going to be an adjustment.
When we step out the vortex of silence, meditation and being surrounded by like-minded beings and we are suddenly in the presence of everyday life our old habit patterns tend to reappear and we come back to the same old behaviours, the same behaviours that we thought, after being showered in peace and tranquility would surely have been processed and therefore disappear. Right?
The lesson I would learn once again is that I have to hold my ground and move through life in the world no matter where I am with balance which means ensuring my self-care needs are taken care of prior to jumping in and taking care of everyone else. Each and every time I have boarded another flight I am reminded of the importance of putting my mask on first so that I can be of service to others around me while maintaining my life support. This would be an important lesson for me as I touched down into the reality of every day life and have had the opportunity to take flight once again and dive deep within myself to allow the processing of such important information moving forward.
Elkhart Tolle suggests that when we think we are enlightened or we have walked the path of awareness for a while, the best way to see how far you have come is to go home and spend time with your family. As I stepped off that plane and into the life of my daughter I got to have a front row seat to see exactly what he is talking about and watch myself step so easily back into my role of a mother taking care of all the needs of my baby and her babies.
It was interesting to me that I could so easily step back into the conditioned role after the eight months of being away and establishing a practice that I so clearly want and need in my life. I watched my mind start spinning with all the history of the relationship with my daughter, watching the old behaviour resurface while at the same time witnessing the growth and maturation of our relationship and of my daughter as she tenderly tended to the needs of her own children while continuing to take care of her own needs. A new generation. I was filled with a certain sense of pride as I witnessed this giant leap in my daughter and perhaps the new generation of self-care.
My body, my mind and my spirit of being were all off-balance. My body was adjusting to the new temperatures found in the colder climates of Canada. The same body that suffered and perhaps adjusted to temperatures ranging from 30-40 degrees day after day, month after month coupled with debilitating hot flashed reminding me of my time of life and the change my body was going to undergo no matter what country I was travelling through. My reoccurring thyroid issues presented themselves with a very high reading in my TSH which has all sorts of consequences including, foggy brain, aching body, sore itchy eyes, slow cognition, body temperature fluctuations, mild depression and an onslaught of self-defeating thoughts along with worries of the future and and remembrance of the past.
My mind took on the worries of my daughter along with the worries of my own future and what was next for me. All of my quiet reflection of the past eight months was suddenly gone and I felt like I was back 6 years ago when the weight of the world sat uncomfortably on my shoulders.
As I packed my suitcase yet again for the next leg of the journey tears stung my eyes and I had this feeling of heaviness not really feeling the desire to carry on but determined to finish what I had started and see it through to the end.
The days and the weeks ticked by at a rapid pace and before I knew what was happening I was totting my luggage back to the airport for another trip into the past to spend a week with my mom, another love of my life packed with history.
One of the sure things that happens when you spend so much time in retreat, in meditation, in silence, is the processing of all of your life come screaming back to the surface and you get another chance to process, to forgive, to make amends and hopefully let it go. There are some of those things that come up over and over again until it is completely processed and healed. One of those regrets I spoke of earlier by not listening to my intuition is a dark space in time and continued to reoccur in my processing as the journey unfolded, my mom being one of the unfortunate victims of such a disregard of intuition. As Ekhart so eloquently suggests the history of such past events are playing in the background of our minds when we are put in the company of those we love with history that still need some work.
My mom and I would spend some time in this place working through the black hole as we have described it and come to another level of understanding and forgiveness for one another. For this part of the journey I am grateful, thankful, for I have another chance to come back into the real world with some more lessons and clear understanding of some patterns of behaviour and what I need to do for myself in order to stay grounded and centered while I finish this final leg of the journey and settle back into “regular” life.
Following this dip in the vast ocean of life I landed in Monterey Bay, California to start another chapter in “Silent Awakening” with Deepak Chopra and the gang. Unfolding of this journey to follow!