One Question To Ask When You’re Suffering

one question to ask yourself when suffering

March was a chaotic and somewhat emotionally heavy month for me. I know I wasn’t alone, as several others I had spoken to throughout the month expressed their own version of chaos and emotional heaviness. Although we often create our own suffering, don’t we?

We procrastinate on having the tough conversations we know we need to have. All the while; stewing, brewing, and ruminating.

We don’t share our needs and then get upset when our unknown needs aren’t being met.

We don’t have boundaries but then get angry when we’re taken advantage of or taken for granted.

One of the best quotes I’ve heard in a long time was this:

The more you know yourself, the less likely you’ll look to others to tell you who you are. – Kristin Sherry

A part of knowing ourselves is having an awareness of our strengths, values, and how we’re wired. When we know these things about ourselves, and out of respect for ourselves, communicate from this inner-knowing, we can look at others and consider that they, too, have differing strengths, values, and are wired differently.

This week was another death-versary of my dad being gone, and this one felt a little heavier than usual. Perhaps it was the End-of-Life Doula training I recently finished or, the conversations I’ve been having for the podcast. Either way, “stuff” came up for me this week that I didn’t expect.

I journaled about what I was feeling and here is an excerpt:

…The past two years have been the most incredible period of growth for me. Had I not sought to sweep my own doorstep, I would have never realized my potential of being a healer and lightworker that is here to serve and be a beacon of hope. I would have continued to blame, point fingers, or be a victim. None of these behaviors woud have moved me forward. It is as if I had been driving my car of life while looking in the rearview mirror. What is done is done. I can’t change it. I can’t changed all that I’ve experienced since my dad died. It is what it is. But, I’m so glad I got tired of telling myself the lie that suffering was my destiny.

We live into the stories we tell ourselves. We fulfill our own prophecies if we believe them. If you come from a poor family and believe your life is one of being poor, you will live into that self-proclaimed prophecy of living a poor life. And, I don’t just mean monetarily. We fulfill our own prophecies of being poor in health, physical appearance, qualify (and quantity) of relationships, etc..

And, grief is the one thing we can rightfully blame. There is a lot of loss represented by the loss of hopes, dreams, and expectations, and anything we wish would’ve been (or could be) different, better, or more. Add in and end of, or change, in familiar patterns of behavior and, that’s grief, too!

Grief makes us feel like we don’t have a choice. But, we do.

So this week, I looked at my sadness, wrote about it, listened to some inspiring podcasts, and realized something…

the compassion I so readily give to others, I needed to give to myself. 

And, after asking myself what would I say to a friend, I decided to take the day to do some things that bring me joy or lift my mood. I went on the treadmill, while listening to an inspiring podcast episode, took an extra-long shower, enjoyed a cup of tea and looked out the window (just BE-ing present), played with my pooch, Gizmo, and made a heartfelt, end of the first quarter donation, to the Fisher House for ND veterans and their families. My dad, a Vietnam vet, received his healthcare at the Fargo, ND VA Hospital after his colon cancer diagnosis. We could not be there as a family, as a place like the Fisher House did not exist. I’m so glad to see there will be a place for a family to be together.

What is the one question to ask yourself when you’re suffering? 

What would I say to my friend?

More often than not, the helpers of this world have the hardest time giving to themselves what is given to others so readily – compassion.

Give yourself compassion; speak to and treat yourself kindly.

As an empathic, compassionate person (compassion is also one of my top ten values), I need to remain mindful of when the compassion scale is tipping too heavily in one direction. This is so often why those in the helper, service-based roles (therapists, doctors, nurses, counselors, healers, etc.) often burnout. We want to serve and help, but the person we often forget to serve first is ourselves. There is a reason why, during my grief recovery training, there is specific education around what is known as “compassion fatigue.”

March was my lesson in compassion fatigue. I really had to assess my schedule and look at where I needed to step on the breaks. So, I created more breathing room at the end of March, and then the death-versary came, and so did fatigue out of seemingly nowhere. The body is always speaking to us, my friend.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a new month, a new quarter, and I’m looking forward to implementing some of the things the first quarter taught me this year. I’m also looking forward to sharing what I learned about end-of-life and through YouMap®.

I will be incorporating YouMap® into my grief recovery one-on-one program. This will entail an increase in pricing to reflect additional sessions and knowledge/information that will be added, however, it will only make the grief recovery experience that much richer. You will know why you’re grieving the way you grieve, recognize trouble areas, and gain a greater understanding of how others in the same household are grieving differently (which doesn’t make them wrong). Knowing your YouMap® will also help you to see exactly where your pain points are, and together, we’ll work toward a solution after grief recovery in an additional session. It’s one thing to receive an assessment of your strengths, values, skills, and how you’re wired, but what I love most is, you learn what to do with the information; something every other assessment out there doesn’t address. And believe, me, I’ve taken a lot of them.

I’d like to close with a journal entry from this week:

If we’re traumatized in childhood, we grow to be traumatized (reactive) adults who often become people-pleasers. We become adults who lack self-confidence, self-worth, and inner-peace.

The past two years have been learning how to navigate these things and find inner-peace about what cannot be changed. And rather, bless the past, and continue to evolve and grow – use it for good in my life. Because, the only constant is change.

I want to share with others what I’ve learned and walk with them in their suffering. However, always with the intention of lighting the path forward when all feels lost. Taking the last bit of hope that a hurting heart has been white-knuckling and using it to UNLEASH their heart of the darkness of their pain and into the light of what’s possible.

And, to never forget – when you unleash your heart, you unleash your life. 

much love, victoria

Celebrating the Little Things

celebrating

Today is my birthday! I’m celebrating 42 years of lessons, growth, and the life my husband and I have created for ourselves and our family.

We don’t celebrate enough. My dear friend, Patsy, has opened me up to celebrating more – the big and small moments.

There are days where I feel like I don’t get a single thing done. There are days when I don’t get something done that I intended. There are also days where I get so much done and, at the end of the day, I reflect on the productivity, but I don’t pause long enough to celebrate all that I accomplished that day.

Can you relate? Do you celebrate the little things?

How easy it is to beat ourselves up over what we didn’t do, didn’t get done, or how we didn’t show up. And here’s the thing, and something I’ve learned as recently as the past two weeks. It’s also a lesson I am reminded of that podcast guest, Quandell Wright, shared with me, and I later shared with him when he was beating himself up over some things. The lesson? Take it one day at a time. 

While we’re taking life one day at a time, celebrating as we go can lighten our load and maybe even a heavy heart. 

When was the last time you celebrated someone else? When was the last time you shared with them something you think makes them incredible and want to celebrate them for just being in your life?

On my birthday today, I received a surprise in my inbox – a personalized gesture of kindness and a message of why I was appreciated. It made my eyes well up being told what I meant to them; it made me feel so loved at that moment. It made me think of ways I, too, can step up my birthday wishes game. I’m still “old school” and send out cards (unless your birthday is at the start of the month – these usually bite me in the butt), but I’ve given some thought today to how I can help to make others feel more special on a day that is to CELEBRATE that special person’s life.

Forty-two years is a long time to learn a thing or two. Lol! And, I feel like, as we get older, celebrating the little things takes a backseat. What are some reasons to celebrate?

  • Checking off all of the items on the to-do list.
  • Making a difficult call.
  • Sending off an application.
  • Pitching yourself or your ideas.
  • Redecorating a room.
  • Cleaning the car (inside/out) and the satisfaction of doing it yourself and seeing your hard work pay off in the end.
  • Preparing a nutritious meal.
  • Making yourself a priority with exercise X number of times during the week.
  • The day of your birth! There’s only one YOU, my friend. You’re like a snowflake! Birthdays aren’t nearly as big of a deal as they should be! They should be a given PTO day, in my opinion!
  • Successfully giving up something that’s been challenging to live without.
  • A fresh start.
  • A new endeavor.
  • Reading a book that’s larger than usual for you to read.

Think of all of the things that we take for granted. My middle child fell while rollerblading earlier this week and broke her wrist. She’s learned how to receive help, really, for the first time she’s old enough to understand the impact. She’s a helper at heart. She said it’d been difficult accepting help from others. I told her that God gave us two hands, one for giving and one for receiving, and to receive the help that is given with grace. But, if I’m honest with myself, she’s probably learned from me, attempting to do it all without help. Because that was me most of my life and still is at times. Many of us “helpers” find it difficult to ask for help. But, I guarantee, after six weeks of having a cast and needing help with daily living and personal hygiene tasks, she’ll be humbled. And celebrating all of these little things she can do for herself that she took for granted.

And, perhaps I needed that reminder, too. Celebrate that I have two functioning hands and the cognitive ability to string words together to write and share with you. Celebrate that I don’t need help getting out of bed. Celebrate all of the things I take for granted while so many are experiencing life-altering changes in how they live and are physically able to show up in the world for themselves and others. So many people are plagued with terminal/chronic illness or physical limitations. It’s worth celebrating the ability to physically being able to take a walk. Or, if you are non-disabled, perhaps you don’t live in a safe place, and going for a walk could be a matter of life or death.

I’m starting an End-of-Life Doula training next week and, I already feel that my mortality will be at the forefront of my mind. That all of the little things in life that I fret about will be brought to the forefront and expand into the broader picture of what it means to truly LIVE – and celebrate the little things that make up my life and the legacy I hope to leave behind.

Today, I am CELEBRATING right where I sit on my birthday; who I am, the breath within me, and the temple in which my spirit and soul reside that continues to sustain me and carry me forward. So I can continue to celebrate the little things.

And finally, I CELEBRATE YOU, my dear readers and friends. You are supportive of my mission in life to talk about grief like we talk about the weather, and, for that I am grateful. Let’s CELEBRATE all of the hurting hearts who reached out for help today, around the globe. If you are one of those people, I CELEBRATE YOU. I know how hard it is to ask for help and to receive it.

CELEBRATING comes with receiving. Trust me. It always feels good to feel loved (and to give it, too).

As my dear friend Patsy says, “And Celebrate THAT!” 🥳

much love, victoria

 

 

 

P.S. I sent out THIS NEWSLETTER today with information about a Virtual Healing Summit starting next week, Monday, the 8th through the 12th! I will be joining my friend Crystal live in her private Facebook Group Monday at 8 PM CST for Q&A/Discussion. You can find details to register (IT’S FREE for all Summit Presenters all week long), and all that jazz can be found HERE! I hope to see you Monday night! 🥳

Five Lessons in Looking Back

Five Lessons in Looking Back

Goodbye 2020, Helllllllo 2021!

Looking back has its benefits.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that most people prefer to leave the past in the past.

I, however, have found a lot of benefit in looking back. If we don’t look back, we don’t have the conscious awareness of what we don’t want to bring into our future, do we?

This year, I imagine 99.9% of people are ready to put 2020 in the rearview. But for others, 2020 brought many blessings, too. It comes to perception and personal experience. Every one of us experienced 2020 differently.

The one truth we all share, though, is that 2020 taught every one of us something.

What lessons have 2020 brought you?

Here’s a rundown of what 2020 taught me:

Peace is found within.

Context: Over the past two years, I’ve experienced exponential growth through doing my personal heart-work in grief recovery and through what I’ve learned about energy through my Reiki practice. When I have felt the most confused or found it difficult to make a decision, I’ve resorted to my own inner-guidance. We all have it. And we all have access to it whenever we want. But, it’s like a muscle to train your monkey brain to turn off long enough to tap into it. It’s not just about meditation, though. It’s tuning in to your body signals and feelings. So few want to tap into their feelings because it’s painful. But why is it painful? Because there’s healing that needs to be done.  We can look at all sorts of outside means to numb our emotional dis-ease. However, those things are short-lived and ultimately disconnect us further from our true selves. Your body, and your feelings, are your guideposts to where there’s an opportunity to grow and heal.

There is no challenge where I can’t rise to the occasion.

Context: I thought about and stewed over starting my podcast for nearly a year before I actually launched at the end of June this year. Once I decided to jump headfirst (not knowing what I was doing), I began researching. The very first thing I landed on was the name, Grieving Voices, which came to me like a lightning bolt one day (kind of like the name of this site and business, The Unleashed Heart, and my sister-site, The Guided Heart). I then found the perfect artist to create the cover art. Femke, the artist, will also be doing the illustration for my future children’s grief book. I learned that my intuition is never wrong in this process. I’ve utilized my intuition when seeking guests and directing every conversation, and it’s been a wonderful experience. I’ve grown as an interviewer, refining my skills as I go, and have enjoyed the variety it brings to my life. It’s been wonderful connecting with other grievers from all over. Has it always been easy? No. Have there been learning curves from editing to software and everything in-between? You bet. And, you know what? I would’ve been missing out on it all had I never followed my inner-guidance and just started the damn thing. Nearly 30 episodes in and, I am very much looking forward to my son’s 16th birthday when I will celebrate my 100th episode on the same day! Keep on keeping on…you can do hard things, too! We may not know the how, but it’s in the process of learning where we grow.

Just because you build it, that doesn’t mean they will come.

Context: January 8th, 2021, will be two years since I launched The Unleashed Heart. What a trip it’s been! It’s been a constant evolution since. And, having been an entrepreneur for 10 years before The Unleashed Heart, I knew that having your own business takes grit and a whole lot of patience. Just because you create something doesn’t mean people will buy it. People don’t buy what you do; they buy who you are. As the business owner, people are essentially buying the essence of who you are in your brand. I learned this in my previous business. However, what 2020 taught me is that grief can be a hard sell. I’ve had talks where two people showed up. I’ve been a co-presenter with less than a dozen. And, I’ve done all the leg-work to create an online presentation where no one showed up. Grief is tough. And, when it comes to grief, there will be two camps of people: those who are the “rip off the bandaid” type and those who need more time. I’ve encountered a good mix of the two camps. But, for the vast majority, most need to feel safe first. So, that’s what I’ve been working to do these past two years. Show people that I am a safe person. I’ve had to learn to go first, publicly, even when it was uncomfortable. I’ve had to allow myself to be vulnerable in ways I may not have been quite ready to do. Doing this work has stretched me beyond my comfort zone. And my heart has opened up even more in the process. I’ve actually grown to love myself more, too. There are lessons in rejection. And, rejection is usually never about you. It’s more often than not about the other person and their unresolved “stuff.” Take ownership of what’s yours, and bless the rest.

Celebrate your wins along the way.

Context: If there is one thing, my dear friend, Patsy, taught me this year is the importance of celebrating our wins. I often downplay the success I’ve had because it seems to make some people feel uncomfortable, like happiness. And, isn’t it true that we often downplay our joy? We quiet our enthusiasm to match those around us. Okay, well – this isn’t entirely true about me because I will do about anything to bring some life to a room. But, for the most part, when it comes to our successes, so many of us shy away from truly celebrating. Get a promotion? Share it on social media! Let people cheer you on! Allow people to support you! Do you know where this inability to receive kudos often comes from? Our childhood. Many of us are raised to be humble and not boast. Many of us are also raised to believe that to earn it requires hard work or doing things one normally wouldn’t do, or that success requires struggle. And that to receive, there has to be a checklist of boxes marked off first. I know this mentality well because I grew up in a home of lack, where there was never enough to go around. It’s a hard belief system to crack, and it’s taken over a decade for me to unpack and let go of all of that generational learning. One thing that helped me was doing my inner-work. So, I’m celebrating 2 YEARS of The Unleashed Heart, soon, the 1st anniversary of my first Reiki client, and this summer, 100 podcast episodes! I also plan to celebrate conquering the lizard pose, creating systems, and hiring a V.A.! Celebrating isn’t boasting. Celebrating is as much giving love to the self as it is receiving it from others!

Support is gold.

Context: Until 2019, I hadn’t sought out any support. In that year and 2020, I’ve learned the value of support. When we have people who may be farther along than we are, others who have an expertise that supports our growth, or push us to keep going or cheer us on – it’s pure gold. I cannot imagine where I would be without the support of mentors and accountability friends from which I allowed myself to receive help, support, or guidance or who were in my corner. Friends are and can be a wonderful support system. However, when you need someone who is, like I said, farther along the path you’re on or who understand the trenches of entrepreneurship, it’s imperative to your growth that you allow yourself to be supported. I say it all the time, but we don’t heal in isolation; rather, we heal in communion with others. So, too, is our growth. We certainly do grow on our own. However, if you want to quicken the pace, nothing speeds up the process other than a willing spirit combined with a helping hand. 

There you have it – my five lessons from 2020. I very well could have come up with many more. This week, I’ve spent a bit of time re-reading my journal entries between 2017-present day and – Woah! That’s actually where the inspiration came from for this blog post. It’s so important we look back, and I was reminded of how much I’ve grown, more than anything. I’ve gotten much better at taking a step back from a situation, seeing it for what it is, from the other person’s perspective, and letting go of what is out of my hands.

Do you have a word for 2021? Last year, my word was connection. This year, it is balance. It is through foundations, systems, and momentum where I will find and learn all about balance. It is something I’ve struggled to maintain between family, day job, side-hustling, and self-care.

What do you think about the five lessons I shared?
Do some of my lessons also apply to your life?
What have been some of yours?
Wishing you and yours a prosperous, healthy, and joyful start to 2021!

much love, victoria

 

 

 

 

P.S. I have one spot available for Grief Recovery online. The spot available is for either Wednesday morning or Thursday evening for 7 weeks.  I am hoping to start another group in my local area later this Spring, however, that is completely dependent on Covid-19. Email me at [email protected] if you’re interested in learning more or, book a free consultation

 

How Intention Changes Everything

how intention changes everything

Intention isn’t something we often give, well…our attention. However, if we give it a little thought (and a little love), bizarre and synchronistic things can come about as a result.

This point was recently made apparent to me in a conversation I had with a friend. She wasn’t too thrilled about an upcoming situation, and I asked her how we could reframe her perspective. I told her rather than going into it thinking about where you’d rather be and all hum and drum and doom and gloom, think of the opportunity that is there to share your light. Just be you – because you never know who needs to hear what you have to share and what opportunities will come out of it. I told her to set the intention for what she desires before she even goes. And I was thrilled when she shared that it went even better than she imagined!

I had this happen to me many times over as well. You see, it’s easy to think of the worst-case scenario. It’s easy to project what we think will happen in the future. But, if there’s one thing that energy work has taught me is this: our thoughts have energy. And, when we set an intention of “it’s going to be horrible” before the word “go,” then guess what – we’ll probably get what we intended.

What if, instead, we took a few moments to put a different energy into a situation? What if, instead, we took a few minutes to envision how we prefer a situation to go and see it play out in our minds before we go into the situation? What if, instead, we set an intention for our entire day? What a concept, right?

Some may call this manifestation. I prefer to view it as intention, which makes me feel like I am playing an active role in creating a life I desire. Kind of the whole point of living, isn’t it? To bring our soul’s purpose, a life of fulfillment, and the best of who we are to everything we do and everyone we know?

Think about it. What energy have you brought into a situation before you went in and how accurate were you on the result? I bet you were pretty accurate – whether your mind went with doom and gloom or intended joy. I can think of so many situations in my own life where this has accurately played out. No matter which way I slice it, it comes back to the energy I was putting into the situation before it even played out.

This is the key to manifestation; feeling into the intention of what you desire.

Work on this one thing this coming week. If there’s an uncomfortable conversation, situation, or experience ahead that gives you some feelings of ick in your heart and mind, then do this one thing. Set aside some time every day, or replay your desired outcome in your mind as often as possible, leading up to the upcoming conversation/situation/experience, and let it go from your mind, all the while holding the energy of the experience you desire to have instead.

If you do this, please let me know how it goes! I love hearing these kinds of stories; they make me smile!

I’m reminded of this quote by Henry Ford:

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.

So too, whether you expect doom and gloom or joy, you’re right.

Food for thought this Friday.

much love, victoria

 

 

 

P.S. Sports have been put on hold for my kiddos for a time. Do you know what that means? More availability for Reiki sessions! Check out my schedule HERE for availability. I had a bunch of sessions snatched up this morning, and there are still TWO Saturday Slots open on Dec. 5th! 

The Most Important Conversation

the most important conversation

Do you like to play dodgeball? You know, the game where balls are thrown at you with the goal of getting you out of the game? And, you hope that you don’t end up with a bloody nose by the end of it?

Imagine your thoughts being the ball and your heart and physical body are on the receiving end. And, consider how many times during any given day you are the one throwing the insults in the direction of yourself.

The most important conversation we need to have when we do this is not in our heads. Rather, the most important conversation we need to have in moments like this is the one we have with ourselves and with our hearts.

We have more than 6,000 thoughts in a day, according to a study conducted by researchers at Queen’s University in Canada. Also, according to the study,

Anxious or racing thoughts, negative self-talk, worry, and overthinking are hallmarks for people who know the challenges of dealing with mental health diagnoses like anxiety and depression. These conditions affect a growing number of Americans.

  • Anxiety disorders affect 1% of people in the U.S., making it the most common mental illness.
  • According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.”

I’ve been reading the book, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It,” by Kamal Ravikant. In it, the author shares how he turned his life around by using a self-love practice, which he found by doing more of what made him feel better. At the core of this practice is telling himself every single day, throughout the day, that he loved himself. I’m not quite half-way through the book, but so far, my takeaway is that this book reinforces what I learned through grief recovery, and that is: We can’t heal the heart with the head. We certainly don’t heal the heart either by all the garbage we tell ourselves on a daily basis. All this does is reinforce the beliefs we have about ourselves, thereby, reinforcing the repeated patterns of behavior that keep us stuck in our lives.

So, I’ve been working on implementing my own “self-love” practice, and it does include principals taught in this book. Along with the other healing modalities I have learned along the way (grief recovery education and the practical tools it provides along with reiki), I feel like I am leaving 2020 more emotionally resilient than how I came into the year. Also, far more prepared for whatever 2021 may bring, too. I’m working on changing the conversations I have with myself.

The majority of us have spent years in self-loathing. The opposite of self-loathing is self-love. And, it’s a sport most of us need a lot of practice in, in order to see our hearts transformed. The timing of coming across this book is uncanny and very synchronistic. So, I’m fully embracing it and trusting that it’s a part of the process I’m ready to dig into for my own healing.

If you desire change in your life, it starts with the most important conversation you need to have – the one with yourself and your heart. When was the last time you asked your heart what it needs?

This year, I learned this from a mentor, and I keep a post-it with this written on it, above my desk, where I see it every single day.

I am where my attention is.

Who would I be…

What would I do…

and

How would I feel if I already had…

Where do you want your attention to be as we bring 2020 to a close?

Where do you want your attention to be in 2021?

Healing is my jam. To bring my best light and my best self to the work that I do, I need to work on clearing out my own gunk. Put another way, as Kamal Ravikant mentions in his book, I need to keep bringing out the rag and clean my windows.

Maybe you’re not looking to be a healer-type person. That doesn’t matter. Because I would bet that what you really want is to feel better and to live your best life. Am I right? 

Start within and listen to the guidance of your knowing heart.

much love, victoria

 

 

P.S. We start by asking ourselves better questions. If you’ve never listened to my podcast, Grieving Voices, the first 12 episodes are a great start! You’ll be doing all sorts of reflecting and asking yourself all kinds of questions as you listen. Take it one step further and grab a notebook and pen and put your thoughts on paper. We can turn our screams into whispers…trust me. (Side Note: “When Screams Turn Into Whispers” is a book title for someone I interviewed for the podcast recently – such a great episode on bipolar disorder that I can’t wait to share)

The Process of Unraveling

Piece by piece, the puzzle of ourselves starts to come together. For many, it doesn’t begin until mid-life. For the lucky, it happens much sooner. Although I don’t believe it’s luck—instead, several things like awareness, a desire, and synchronicities that unfold in perfect timing.

Personal growth and development have been a life-long mission of mine. It wasn’t until the last couple of years, where I’ve sought personal development as a means to function at a higher level in my life. Up until a couple of years ago, the driving force was to gain an understanding of what was wrong, needed fixing, or just written into the D.N.A. of who I am. In truth, I have been on a quest to know myself since I was a child when I had an interest in understanding and researched the lines on my palms (I have a single palmar crease on both hands if you’re wondering what had me so intrigued about my hands).

If you’re like me and are kind of like a personal development junkie, do you seek knowledge to fix, or do you seek knowledge to grow? The goal will definitely change the process. Why? Because, if also like me, you intended to fix what you believe to be wrong with you, then you’ll always be spinning your wheels. You’ll never arrive at this all-knowing place and meet a level of satisfaction with what you’ve learned. That is until you pursue knowledge to grow and follow it up with action.

In full transparency, and as I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve been hitting personal development hard since 2012 – about a year into having my first business. Entrepreneurship, it seems, brings a lot of ghosts out of the woodwork. I started to see the shadow-side of me coming out around 2014. And, that’s when the unraveling began.

And truthfully, it wasn’t until today that I connected some dots for myself in why I’ve struggled with consistent creation in my life (of what I want my life to look like). Coincidentally or not, I don’t know, but while pregnant with me, my mother drank. Back then, it wasn’t unusual, I guess (?), to put 2 oz. of beer in the bottle to get me to sleep. I am told, “it’s what we did back then.” Not surprisingly, I had to stay in the hospital after I was born for several days because I was jaundice. I also was apparently due on February 14th, and didn’t arrive until March 5th and still only weighed a little over 6 1/2 pounds. Again, obstetrics were not then what they are now. But, it helps to paint a picture that, before I was born, I was suffering. And that’s the dot I connected today. It’s all I’ve seemed to know. It’s the one emotion I have been working to transmute my entire life into something meaningful, which brings me to today and the continual unraveling. Like Patsy said in this podcast interview (and I’m paraphrasing) when you start to pull one thread, the unraveling begins. And so it does. 

I pulled my thread of unraveling in 2014. However, it wasn’t until I went through the grief recovery program where I started to see the impact of that pulling I began five years earlier.

The process of unraveling continues for me, and it’s led to so many beautiful experiences and connections in my life. It led me to Reiki, which serves my curiosity and inspires me to continue to learn about energy (and whoah, have my eyes opened). I’ve continued to look for opportunities to continue to grow and expand my healing around relationships and complete education that will help me to serve others on a bigger scale (Online, One-on-One Grief Recovery, and Helping Children with Loss programs). And, I’ve found some incredible support along the way, too. These opportunities and people didn’t magically appear in my life. It all started with a strong desire to, like I said, transmute my suffering into meaning and serve a greater purpose in my life.

What I’ve also been learning is where I’ve been standing in my own way, which brings me back to the single palmar creases on both of my hands (which, by the way, one of my children also has and makes total sense to me #icanrelate) and what a palm reader once told me. She said these are gift lines. Yes, they have their challenges, but the gift is in intense focus and (along with my other “gift marker”) my ability to “deep dive” with people into their own emotions. In a nutshell, I was made for the work that I do. And, on days where I’m feeling discouraged, it’s been easy to forget that. On days where I feel like doing this work full-time is so far away on the horizon, I have to remind myself. Keep grinding. Keep showing up.

There is no one standing my way – but me. And, for whatever reason, I’ve felt this hard today. Ironically, I had not written this week’s blog post in advance, as I’ve always done. Perhaps this message is divine timing for you. That you, too, are the single denominator standing in your way. It’s not your circumstances (trust me; I live through my version of “suffering” each day). It’s not your physical health. We create these circumstances long before they become “problems.”

I have so much more to write on this, but I’m still unpacking this big a-ha I had for myself today. So, I’ll leave you with some wise words I came across today that struck me (because I’m in the work of feelings):

When feelings become the means of thinking or if we cannot think greater than how we feel, we can never change. To change is to think greater than how we feel. To change is to act greater than the familiar feelings of the memorized self.

Stay tuned to the unraveling taking place – in our world, our communities, homes, and within our hearts. There has never been a more keen awareness in recent years, for this collective understanding of what isn’t working, what we desire to change, and where we need healing.

You can look at the current times as a life sentence for more suffering or an opportunity to set your inner-most self free. I’m choosing the latter. You, too?

Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you for reading. If this resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you in the comments, on social, or via email. 🙂

much love, victoria

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