On Wednesday evening I sat at my kitchen table across from my college roommate, my bestie of nearly 30 years, and showed her a part of myself I’ve never dared reveal to her before. I closed my eyes, cocked my head a little to the right, and listened to the words that arrived from somewhere behind my left ear, then I told her what I heard and saw—images of her deceased grandparents, and the wisdom and feelings they wanted me to impart to her.
Some of what they said made sense to me, but much of it was beyond the bounds of our friendship, from a time and space before she was ever born.
I was simply the vehicle for their message. The conduit. The channel.
She was surprised, but not surprised, by all of it. By me, by the experience, by the sense of peace that eventually arose.
I was surprised, but not surprised, that I kept this part of myself hidden from her for so long.
I suddenly felt silly.
I’ve been sitting with that feeling of silliness for a few days now.
Why? Why keep it such a secret? And why reveal it when I did?
Why reveal it here, now, to you?
Arguably, I’ve spent my whole life awkwardly trying to fit in. Wanting to be liked. Pretending to be “normal”—whatever flavor of normal was on offer in any given moment.
Perhaps this sounds familiar?
I’ve spent the last five plus years delighting quietly in my wild weirdness while growing and sharing my gifts with my innermost circle—a circle of other delightfully weird ones with plenty of magic of their own. A circle where my gifts are “normal.”
For years I’ve hidden the whole of what I can do behind the respectable guise of “Nurse” and “Empowerment Coach,” even “Mother.” These identities are very much the truth, but they don’t illustrate the complete picture.
Sure, I can start IVs and choose the right medication and perform CPR. I can change diapers and make dinner and pay the bills. I can cheerlead you toward your next raise, and help you navigate the difficult relationship with your mother.
But that’s really only one small piece of what I can do.
I can see energy. Move energy. Channel messages from your ancestors, and help you see beyond all the stories you’ve been trying to make sense of to help you get to your truth, your power.
I can teach you to listen deeply to your own intuition, to connect with your gifts, to embody the version of you that has felt out of reach.
Or pour you another glass of wine (if you happen to be at my kitchen table, anyway).
It depends upon your end-goal, your willingness to let go of what you think you know, and where your desire is to know more of yourself. We can talk about it, or we can move that sh*t all the way through. Or a little of both. When you work with me, you get to choose. We always get to choose. Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we forget for a really long time. I’m here to help you remember.
This morning as I was getting Norah ready for her first day back at school after another bout of daycare plague, I was sitting with my silliness again.
Why did I wait so long?
I flashed to an image of me and my bestie again, this time sitting across from one another in our 53rd Street apartment circa 1996. We shared a bedroom that was really half the living room separated by wood and muslin screens, as one did to be able to afford an apartment in New York City as a student way back then. I could see her, perched on her little twin bed with the purple comforter, hear her reading aloud her latest poem, about a class trip to the home of a young Revolutionary War era girl, a girl who hid her horse in her bedroom for an entire winter, “Safe from the Redcoats…before giving him away to a passing soldier who needed him to win the war.”
It’s a brilliant poem, and though I couldn’t remember all the words and line breaks from the last stanza, I could feel their weight and rhythm moving inside of me.
“Back on the bus we got to 86 bottles of beer on the wall before we all fell silent..
…debating whether or not a horse could fit into our various bedrooms…
…and wondering what does it mean really
to hide something
then give it away?”
Her words flashed forward 30 years, found me in my daughter’s bedroom and hit me squarely in the heart. As if she knew then where we were headed all along.
Perhaps she did.
“What does it mean, really, to hide something, then give it away?”
We’ve grown together, my bestie and me, so much so that I believe we’ve finally outgrown the question itself.
For thirty plus years, we’ve mulled it over with each other, our partners, our coaches, our therapists, and still, no answers. Only more stories.
But this morning, I remembered: It’s not what it means, or why we did it, but how to be with it. How do we hold ourselves once we’ve chosen to give our old stories, our secrets away?
How do we embrace and embody the newest version of ourselves?
The version who gave the horse away to win the war.
I have one spot available for one-on-one coaching, and a beautiful December retreat planned for us in the redwoods of Nicasio Valley, Marin County, CA.
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