Four and a half years ago, I set out to blog to cast the net of healing far and wide. Writing would serve as a medium to connect with folks unable to schedule a healing session with me. I intended to spotlight some of my best photographs emblazoned with inspirational quotes. An opportunity to share insights on mindful living and the healing modalities in which I’d been trained, I approached my blog with the firm boundaries I’d cultivated as a Social Worker. I thought I’d shy away from the personal. I was wrong.
To prepare for the milestone 50th entry that your eyes are now feasting on, I reread through the last 49 pieces. I was struck by my courage. It felt like reading the writing of a stranger. My process surprised me.
Brené Brown encourages that “owning our story and loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing we will ever do”. A cathartic release, these last 49 entries detail my unraveling, the process of owning my story and learning, bit by bit, to love myself more. This bold set of writing cast light upon many shadows. I wrote through transitions galore from a major surgery to the deterioration of my longest partnership to the loss of my mom from resolutions and retreats to travel through 11 countries. Aspects of my self and my life hidden away for so long were unveiled.
Highlights from my favorite compositions include:
♥ Layers Healed, Layers Revealed which represents a turning point and brings me to tears anytime I
reread it. The tenderness and ownership here cut to the core.
♥ Code Blue for the sheer vulnerability it took to share and the exercise at the end that promotes the
realization of our unbound nature.
♥ Soul Cry that stands out as my favorite poem.
♥ I ♥ CAMBODIA which contains my most beloved pictures.
♥ Sawubona – I See You, my most insightful post from Peace Corps service in South Africa, that
encourages self reflection and mirror work.
vulnerability of telling my story.
♥ Untangling fear and a prayer for ancestral forgiveness in I Saw the Light.
♥ Dissolution in the Desert which offers an awesome reflection on Vipassana retreats.
replayed throughout my Peace Corps service.
♥ Lessons in Receiving one of my most love-filled posts from South Africa.
on being accepted into the Peace Corps. I describe how I set out to “help” others and end up
being worked, much like this blogging process and my entire Peace Corps service.
I’m heartened to recognize the healing that needed to happen in order to tell and share my story. I’m incredibly proud of this body of work.
I’m heartened by the healing that has happened which invites me to release the story.
I’m now ready for the next chapter. I’m open to crafting a new story. I’m honored to turn the page.
With the recent passing of Mary Oliver, many of her beautiful word have been shared. This poem, “The Journey,” invited me to pause. It feels like a fitting conclusion to Blog #50 and inspiration to truly turn the page:
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
Thank you for walking with me as I create the closing chapters of my journey as a Peace Corps Volunteer here in South Africa and learn to tell a new story. ♥
The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the South African Government.