I’m sitting in a cosy-yet-hip cafe in North London, listening to the thunder growl and trains rumble past every few minutes, while the soft pitter-patter of rain falls outside. It is a warm, wet summers day, typical of late May. I have done everything (everything!) I can possibly think of to avoid writing this article because in some ways I’m not ready: I don’t have a tidy, comprehensive conclusion for all that I want to say, which is also why I need to write it; there is nothing more real than the process of being in the moments in-between.
VICTORIA — MARCH
Days after returning home to Canada from Mexico my body revolted and again, I found myself spinning downwards in a cycle of anxiety, depression and insomnia. At 4 am one night, desperate for answers, I reached out to my Facebook community, looking for help. It all didn’t make sense. But the physical response I was having was very, very real. Something had to change.
With my love, we explored options. I had to leave, go someplace else, that’s all I knew. He compassionately agreed. The only other place he could see himself living and working in was a beautiful little city on Vancouver Island called Victoria. 2 weeks later I was on my way to investigate if this was a place that I could call home.
I spent the 4-hour car ride, to take the ferry to Victoria, sitting in the passenger seat, looking out the window. It was hard for me to listen to and engage in conversation. I was floating in a cloud of feelings: my body filled with soft flushes and tiny bursts of fireworks. It was then, that I knew everything was changed. For the first time in a long time, I felt alive. And it wasn’t for any sensible reason. It was because I knew I was leaving.
In-between work I explored every inch of the pretty city, delighted in the Spring flowers blooming while the town I had left behind was still thigh-deep in snow, and felt into every nook and ally to decide whether I could see myself living here. The answer surprised me: it was “no”.
There were many reasons. It was still a little small. I couldn’t find the wealth of inspiring culture and art that I was seeking. My body couldn’t settle and my insomnia persisted. My love felt he couldn’t move until the end of the year and I couldn’t bear a whole year more in Kamloops.
There were other things: the contraction and shrinking myself and having to play small would remain because they were consequences of our relationship and his personal beliefs and conditioning of how the world works. Moving would not have changed my reality that — at the core — I felt was that I was expected to live the traditional position of homemaker and mother, without meeting the needs of other parts of myself. I had to cut off too many pieces of myself to fulfil that role. And I just couldn’t do that. Not anymore.
I cried a lot during my 2 weeks in Victoria. I cried because I had to choose between being with the man I love: the kindest, most loving, big-hearted person I know — and my own needs: creative, erotic and intellectual expression, growth and expansion. We had a home together. We were happy together. We had future plans together. It was too painful to even think about. So I cried and cried and cried. It brings tears to my eyes, even now.
You are not a terrible person for wanting to break up with someone you love. You don’t need a reason to leave. Wanting to leave is enough. Leaving doesn’t mean you’re incapable of real love or that you’ll never love anyone else again. It doesn’t mean you’re morally bankrupt or psychologically demented or a nymphomaniac. It means you wish to change the terms of one particular relationship. That’s all. Be brave enough to break your own heart.
— Cheryl Strayed
KAMLOOPS — APRIL
I arrived back home on a Sunday afternoon. Things felt tense, weird, sad. We both skirted around the topic that we needed to talk about for a few hours. What would happen next? The moment he asked me what I was thinking, I wept. I’d never felt such pain. I told him what I felt: that the only option he had offered me, moving to Victoria, wasn’t the solution that I needed. He was silent, kind, tender.
For the next few days, I wavered. Maybe there was another solution? Maybe we could figure a way out to bet together and both get what we wanted? Maybe I was being too selfish? Too stubborn? Too reckless. Was there something wrong with me?
The emotional turbulence overwhelming me — on his suggestion — I booked an appointment to see a therapist. I walked into the office with low expectations: how much could an elderly man in a small, conservative town, really get me? I was surprised to be fully seen and understood by the eccentric, elderly man in his 60’s in the seat across from me. In his own way, he left me with a sense of permission to follow my path, and break my own heart. He assured me that I definitely not crazy (even though I felt it) and through a few tests determined that I was borderline clinically depressed, which was a normal response to the circumstances.
It gave me the strength to make my final decision: I had to go.
Serendipitously, months earlier I had planned and booked a flight to London, without a return, which turned into an effortless exit out of the reality I had created for myself in the past year. My coping mechanism was to completely ignore and deny what was happening for the rest of the time I had in Canada and to just make the time we had left together as lovely as possible. Concurrently I started promoting my newest course: IntuiMethod, a message from my higher self to take some of my own medicine and follow my intuition. The comedic irony wasn’t lost on me.
The day of my flight was the hardest. My entire body convulsed and I felt sick to my bones. Floods fell from my eyes and I couldn’t come to terms with what I was about to do: leave the person I love. Who does that? Why is love not enough?
You will hurt people. You will hurt, and you will be hurt. However, you will also love, and you will be loved in the most magnificent ways. To live life is to understand that together these extremes thrive within us — our heart is both a blessing and a blade. To put our soul into the hands of someone who could wound it or heal it is quite possibly the most courageously beautiful risk we take. It is like looking someone right in the eye and saying “You may hurt me, but you may also love me, and I am willing to take that chance. I am willing to trust.”
― Bianca Sparacino
LONDON — MAY
I arrived on a stormy Spring day with thunder growling and rain pouring, much like today. I am fortunate to have friends with hearts of gold — to fall into their warm embraces — to know that I am safe and loved, even when I am far from perfect. The days sped past as I submerged myself in work with my private clients, rekindled friendships, and did the inner work to heal my heart.
I went to events including Lacey’s Pussy Gazing evening (which is exactly what it sounds like) which left me feeling empowered and like I’d reconnected with a beloved friend (my own pussy), Lera’s Tea Ceremony that took me to such a deep level of meditation and appreciation for life, that I recommend everyone go at least once, my friend and client Anoushka’s Goddess Nights, where I met some of the most beautiful women (I’ll be speaking at the one in July, come!) and gathered with new friends that I’d met through Instagram.
The first two weeks were a rollercoaster of elation and despair as I navigated my new environment and circumstances. No longer in the comfort of my own home, but instead in the solace of a city that made me feel alive, I devoted myself to healing. It’s been a month now, the tears come less frequently, the hope in my heart is growing and my innate joy and deep sleep have returned.
In 2 days I am off on a little adventure around Eastern Europe, and on my return, I intend to find the perfect home to nest in, here in London. Without planning ahead too much, I want to give myself a safe space and time, to steer myself further into the life that I am creating for myself: a life not made of practical constraints and structure, but one that’s made of magic.
You can choose to live in the world of the mind or in the world of magic.
— Vienda Maria