the practice of yoga prepares us to sit with ourselves.
— kim payne

These words were shared in a yoga class last night.  I knew they were meant for me.  I knew i needed to hear this message.  Better yet, I needed to feel this message.

These past few weeks have been hard for me physically, emotionally, energetically.  I’ve been hiding away and living as small as possible.  Hiding/avoiding was easier than having to face people and answer questions like, “how are you doing?” - which is so simple + innocent, yet I knew I couldn’t answer truthfully without frightening some people, or being judged by others, and certainly didn’t want to be honest with myself {at first} about what was happening.

*warning: potential TMI for some readers coming your way. *

After 6 years, I really thought last month {December} was going to be the month we got pregnant.  Everything about this cycle was different.  It was our first cycle, post endometriosis surgery, that we were able to “try” {and by that I mean, that didn’t hurt like hell}.  I felt, with every cell of my body that this was it.  All the work I had done this year was finally going to pay off - everything from the fertility treatments + surgery, to letting go of what was no longer meant for me: work, relationships, old stories.  Everything in my life was starting to fall into place: I was having fun, I was doing what I loved, I was steadily growing + building my dōTERRA team, I was working with my brand champion + director of transformation on my website, opportunities to teach + lead - whether about vision + goals, or about essential oils were coming in hot, and I felt connected, aligned, and so eager for the future.  

Until cramps began and I started spotting the night before Christmas Eve.  I was in disbelief.  That one moment of time knocked me to my knees and I cried - and cried and cried some more.  I wanted to curl up in bed and stay there forever {at least at the time, I wished it was forever}.  I convinced myself that I couldn’t do that, because it was Christmas Eve, and I needed to be with family, and I needed to somehow put on a happy face and not let anyone know I was feeling this way.  Sidetone: putting on happy face is something I learned to get quite good at over the years…however, this time was different.  There was no hiding how I felt.  I cried every time my husband - my wonderful, sweet, caring husband - checked on me.  I called my mom crying because I couldn’t get out of bed to come help her + my grandma prepare our Christmas Eve dinner.  I cried on the car ride to my husband’s aunt + uncle’s house.  I cried on the car ride to my grandmas.  And I burst into tears as my mom + grandma met me in the kitchen with a concerned, “how are you doing, Ames?”  

I had no control over the tears…or my emotions.  The harder I tried to hold them back and tell myself this is the happiest time of the year + the first year in 8 years that I actually had the time + space to enjoy the holidays with my family, the stronger they came.  The truth was, I was sad.  Heartbroken.  Frustrated.  Angry.  And on top of that, I was judging myself hardcore and feeling guilty for feeling that way.  My mind was telling me “you should be so happy + grateful for this time,” “what’s wrong with you?” “aren’t you used to this by now?” “what made you think this time would be any different?”  This vicious cycle of trying to hide or change the way i was feeling, and then being overcome by uncontrollable tears + sadness, went on for days.  I felt my unwavering faith + hope - that everything happens for a reason, and this would happen for us when the timing was right, and there was a bigger plan for me unfolding - drifting away.  I started to doubt that.  And that doubt almost broke me.

I had a brief + temporary relief from these feelings when my niece + nephew were in town and I got to spend 3 whole days with them.  It was the best distraction - albeit a distraction - and exactly what my soul + heart needed.  They are the funniest, sweetest, smartest 5 + 3 year old on the planet, and luckily for me, they love their auntie Amy.  My sister in law texted me when they got home letting me know that when she asked them each what their favorite part of their trip to Cleveland was…they both said me. {Sorry mom + dad/grandma + grandpa}.  My heart exploded.  I needed that for so many reasons…none more important than to feel it.  To remember what feeling happy, feeling love, feeling good - felt like.  I had forgotten.  Even worse, I doubted if I would feel it again.  I was so wrapped up in my own sadness, that I forgot what it was like to have your heart cracked wide open with joy.  I’m grateful for those kiddos.  I’m grateful my sister in law shared that with me.  And I’m grateful to feel.

Feeling it all is what I did for the next 2 1/2 weeks.  When I say feeling it all, I mean ALL.  2018 brought about a lot of change + growth for me…and with that a lot of emotions.  This time was as if every emotion I felt over the last year, came to the surface.   Feelings, emotions + stories I thought I had already worked through + moved past/let go, feelings, emotions + stories that I didn’t even know were there, feelings, emotions + stories I knew were still in there and tried to pretend they weren’t, literally all of them.  They were there, and they weren’t going anywhere.  I had to sit with them.  I had to sit with myself.  So I did.

I sat.  I meditated.  I breathed.  I used my crystals, oils + cards.  I practiced yoga.  I walked.  I exercised.  I used all the tools I had - and I have a lot {and thank God I do!}.  And still, the tears + emotions came.  Day after day…they kept coming.  I kept sitting with them.  I grew frustrated with all the above-mentioned tools because they weren’t “working” - at least not in the way I wanted.  I stopped using them for a few days, and after sitting with my $hit alone, and seeing how awful that was - I realized that the tools were in fact “working” + helping me so much.  I came back to them...I came back home.  I needed that time and shift of perspective, because I had laser-focused tunnel vision as to what “working” would look like {tears stopping, pain subsiding, joy overflowing, financial success, + growing a baby in my belly…I mean piece of cake, right? ha}.

Then, and only then, did I surrender to my feelings + tears.  I softened.  I welcomed them all, and I tenderly embraced each and every tear…each and every emotion. I needed them.  I needed them to help me get to where I am right now.  This quote was shared by a strong woman I am so inspired by, @jwowwinter and it sums up how I’m feeling now, perfectly: “not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.”  

I believe that my tears were washing away everything that I was holding on to, everything that was no longer meant for me.  I believe that feeling every ounce of pain, sadness, stress, fear, doubt, anger, frustration was opening me up for something incredible. I believe that this is my {our…Anth too!} journey for a reason.  I know that sharing it all is not only healing…it’s part of my purpose.  I am meant to share my story: the ups + down, happy + sad.  It helps me.  It heals me.  My hope is that somewhere in all of this, there is healing for one of you as well.  Remember, we all hold keys that have the potential to unlock something in someone else: maybe it’s unlocking healing, roadblocks, courage, love - you name it.

Let’s all share our gifts.  Let’s all hold that sacred space for each other {and ourselves}.  And let’s all live our purpose, big, bold + proud.