Most mornings I wake to an aching heart. I place a hand sometimes both, over my heart and remind myself that I am love, that there is limitless love around me, that I am not alone. I’m not even sure anymore what I am mourning but there’s an unbounded deep sadness in me. I just want it to end. I feel fragile, vulnerable and sensitive, there’s a cynicism creeping in and I resent it. I want my innocence back.
I spend the weekends in London with one of my best friends. Her company and way of being are soul-and-heart soothing. I feel so safe and content when I am with her. She has recently gone through her own kind of heartbreak. We are healing side by side. I am so grateful for her.
There are fine lines collecting under my eyes and a frown that is becoming more permanent and I refuse to buy into the idea of ageing. I know I can rewire any belief system and I recommit to my own vibrancy and wellbeing. I ask my intuition what I need and devote myself to it. She says: Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D, exercise every day, vegetables, eating light, passion, creativity, relaxation, harmonious relationships, honouring what I want and need. Most of those things I’m already doing. I start putting Castor oil packs on my liver and reproductive system in the evening and see so much shift and move out of me. A gorgeous Russian woman teaches me face massage and I learn face yoga and begin sucking on little sachets of Vitamin C. Feeling good is my priority.
My relationship with myself changes. Perhaps I have never loved myself in this way before. There is a nuanced subtlety to it. A sensitivity and honesty that is new. The heavy heart, sadness and grief start to melt away and are replaced with anger, disappointment and confusion. I want it all to go away but I hold it close knowing that the only way out is through. Every now and then it overwhelms me and I weep. Big, ugly, noisy sobs shake my entire body until everything inside me feels loose.
One morning I eat a warm croissant and four tiny blue-veined mushrooms and spend the day drifting through a myriad of realities asking each one to bring back to wholeness what has been lost. I scribble endless pages in my journal and draw a card that tells me to restore greater harmony to our Earth. I have nothing to give but my words, I think and hope that this is enough as I write poems and stories and feelings that are meant to soothe and calm and soften the gaze inwards. I walk beside the English Channel over the pebbles until the sun slips behind the clouds transforming the day’s warmth into biting cold. I am restored.
There is an unexpected softness to the beginning of this month. My work feels inspired, fulfilling, joyful. I film and present a free 28 Day Journaling Challenge and receive the sweetest notes from women who feel held and carried through this practice. I develop a new program called HER WAY and sense that it is one of the best things I have ever created. I go to the farmers market every Friday and take time to touch, smell and choose local, organic produce for the week ahead. My body craves movement like never before and I blend pilates with yoga or running every day depending on what I am drawn to. I feel balanced, vibrant, satisfied. I make a new friend but crave community in the form of a village. I am excited and scared because I can feel myself embarking on a whole new way of living. It is unfolding before me even though I cannot yet make sense of it.
It is as if I have to be broken in order to become new again. I am creating a new perspective on what my reality looks like. It all takes longer in the physical world — like wading through molasses — than it does as the lighting-fast synapses activate these transformations that occur in my mind. The old ideas and paradigms around what formulates a happy, successful life are falling away and something new is revealing itself. I am left with a sense of curiosity and wonder and an imbued knowing that I can only give all of myself from a place of fullness and wholeness. I want to speak to this more but it requires a page of its own. I am awakening from tight bud to blossom, from maiden to mother, from immature girl to emboldened woman. At almost 40, I realise I have always been a little behind my time…
One of my lessons this month is that I am equally as eager to be loved as everyone else. The human in me sometimes neglects my integrity by way of my yearning for deep intimate love and connection. I wonder if I am a love addict. Then I wonder if it’s helpful to label it this way. I make a pact not to throw myself into love as easily next time.
The test comes soon after. My new friend begins to demands an unrequited intimacy from me that I do not feel. His approach is gentle and hopeful but skillless and artless and leaves me reeling. I want to find a way to maintain the friendship and connection without the promise for more but fail and hurt him with my refusal and lack of reciprocation but fail. Formerly, I would have let myself be swept away into the romance of it all but this time I stand steadfast and centred in my knowing that the love I truly want is spectacular, and not mediocre.
90 women join me for an emblazoned month-long journey in HER WAY. 90 women that formed the most powerful alliance, supporting, uplifting, cheering one another on and created a fertile yet safe space for growth, vulnerability and expansion. Very quickly it was apparent that, when given a chance, women will rise most profoundly through alliance and collaboration. Each olive call left me more exhilarated than the last and I thought this, this is it. I can create the community I am yearning for. As we nudge towards the end of our month together I started receiving emails and messages from them. “I’ve never been in a group before where I’ve felt this kind of energy from the group. I’ve been in other group programs and they have been nothing in comparison to this energy that I felt from HER WAY.” “I’ve never felt so uplifted and supported before in my life! More, please!“. “I miss meeting with everyone every week already! Can we do it again?” “Can we keep this going?” I start wondering if we could find a way to create an even more intimate space for women to grow, develop and rise within their businesses. HER WAY. I listen to what is asked for: smaller groups, more 1:1 time, more support and guidance, more intimacy. And so the HER WAY — 7-Month Women’s Business Cocoon is born.
My days a full and fluid and lighter than those of the months before. I find pockets of joy in everyday things and reasons to smile and celebrate. Then suddenly things take a turn and the gods initiate a whirlpool in my little corner of the universe. Within 48 hours, I receive an actual letter (via email attachment) from my mama after not hearing from her for 6 years, a lover from the past asks me to come to Mexico, the love of my life ex (whom I thought was dead) finds me on Facebook and informs me that he has been released from prison and really needs to talk and I am left questioning the meaning of my existence. A calm seeps over me when I realise it’s all part of the closing of cycles, making space for the new way that is unfolding in my life, and I relax into the chaos of human life again.
My body always wakes before my mind does… I notice it start to slowly extend an ankle, a toe, palm out. I stretch and remind myself to take my temperature before I move much more and then sit to pull the blinds up. The morning light is hazy outside even past 8 o’clock. I lean my pillows up against the wall and read about Circe the Greek goddess, sorceress and witch. It’s Sunday. I don’t have to do anything. Hours later with several trips to the kitchen for water, coffee, tea my limbs feel restless. I feel restless in my life and in my body. A year of confinement to a small corner of the world is unfamiliar to me. I keep remembering that I chose this. That it’s good for me. That it has already taught me so much. And this too will pass. It’s the last day of lockdown in the U.K. and I will myself to go outside. I pull on leggings and layers, Spring has not warmed this part of the world enough yet, and tie the laces on my trainers. No headphones, I want to hear the world today. I walk to the sea and turn left. Past crowds of people in their Sunday best and worst, past a cute skater girl in baggy jeans and a tie-dye t-shirt, past a dozen fish and chip stands, past new outdoor seating and eating spaces prepared for the new world that begins tomorrow. The seafront feels like the day before a festival, the carousel being tested and repaired, the restaurants offering tents set up with carpets to provide outdoor dining options. I walk until my legs start to ache and the walkway runs out at a hidden car park filled with mobile homes and caravans and gypsy girls in long skirts eating from metal plates sitting on the black asphalt. They remind me of a decade past when I used to live like them and give me heady nostalgia for a life filled with freedom a few cares beyond the next meal and the next place to sleep. Here, I smile at them and wave, I spin around to return to the new life I call my own right now. I wonder what will happen next, I think to myself.
Around here, we do things a little differently...
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Dearest Vienda, this is such a beautifully-written update and I can relate! Thank you for sharing your vulnerability ?
I love your writing. And I needed to read this. Thank you Vienda ❤
Absolutely gorgeous writing. Your words are so captivating me and you have such an incredible talent of putting your feelings into into thoughts and into words. You are not alone, so many of us are with you and feeling so many similar things. Xoxo