As this year is slowly winding down, I am gently taking stock of my life. I have had an abundant, productive and prosperous year. I am absolutely delighted with the way my business is building and with my fulfilling and rewarding professional life. I am also deeply thankful for the resources and opportunity to care for my health in a brand new way. And I find myself standing in appreciative awe of the balance in my dynamic family system.
This ‘state of the union’ has finally given me the opportunity to care for my health in a whole new way and to decide how I want to live for the next sixty years or so. Simon, as always, is deeply supportive of my new self-care initiative and I feel the freedom to do what I need to do when I need to do it (this past week’s retreat is a perfect example).
Energetically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally I am learning to care for myself in a way that feels deeply resonant.
To exemplify this new self-care initiative, I mindfully planned this past week of retreat, rest and detoxification. My plan was to kick it off with a visit to my Naturopath, Dr. Carissa Doherty. From there I was heading up north for a six-day retreat. Feeling rested, rejuvenated and detoxified, I was booked to go back to my Naturopath for a 45-minute IV treatment which would take my recovering health to the next level. And finally, today, a visit to my energy practitioner in Kitchener to tie a big red bow around the whole week.
Well…the week hasn’t exactly gone according to plan.
I cut my time up north short because I was so utterly exhausted from not sleeping, my IV was cancelled yesterday and the appointment that I drove 90 minutes through very slippery and wintery weather this morning for was also a no-go. We got our wires crossed somehow and I was at the wrong location.
As I stood in the hallway outside the office in Kitchener I started to cry. I felt alone. I felt disappointed. I felt vulnerable and I wondered why these doors of self-care and nurturing were closed in my face.
Yesterday was a pity-party that I worked hard to pull myself out of. Today, standing outside a locked door after a long and tiring drive, was heart-breaking and I just didn’t have the resource to do anything but surrender. Well…surrender had me weeping right there in the non-descript hallway of a 1970s office building in downtown Kitchener.
And, wouldn’t you know it, all I had in my pocket was one balled-up old Kleenex from God-knows-when.
It only took me a few minutes to realize that blubbering in the hallway was not getting me anywhere and it was time to face the return journey. As I dried my eyes with my one ridiculous Kleenex, I decided that I would find a washroom, a cup of Starbucks tea and a bookstore for my sister’s birthday present on the way home.
And, what is the one place I can do all those things, you ask? The friendly neighbourhood Chapters bookstore.
A little segue here…if you have not had a chance to read my blog post entitled, The Wonder of Second Circle, this next bit might not make perfect sense but please bear with me and hopefully you’ll get the gist.
I checked in my car mirror before heading into Chapters and decided that, with my glasses on, I didn’t look like I had been recently weeping in the hallway of a local office building. After using the washroom, I enjoyed browsing the copious cookbook section for my sister’s gift. And, as I browsed, I stayed in a very comfortable First Circle, remaining closed-off from everyone around me and not inviting connection from salespeople, fellow shoppers or even the blaring Christmas music in the background.
I found the gift that I wanted and headed up to the counter to pay. I was met by a delightfully friendly and enormously Third Circle sales clerk who bellowed at me from behind her 100-watt smile; ‘ho, ho, ho, and all the best of the season to you! Did you find everything you were looking for this morning? And, don’t you just love Bruce Springsteen’s version of this song?’
Now…I know that under different circumstances I may have jumped up into Third Circle and joined the vivacious sales clerk in her holiday spirit. But today, I just felt like I had been hit by a truck. I fumbled my way through the transaction and bid a hasty retreat. I felt so completely closed-off in my First Circle that I wasn’t sure I could brave another interaction at the Starbucks counter for my tea.
I decided that the comfort of a hot drink for the snowy drive home was a necessity, so I dug deep and braced myself. As I approached the Starbucks counter, I hesitantly passed over my travel mug and quietly asked for a Refresh tea. And, to my great relief, from an absolutely connected Second Circle, the Barista looked deeply into my eyes, smiled gently and said; ‘sure’.
And while his voice only said ‘sure’, his Second Circle said; ‘are you okay?’ And it said, ‘you are not alone’. And as he passed my tea across the counter it said; ‘you are loved’.
That young man will never, ever know the impact he had on me today. He will never know that I desperately needed that deep Second Circle connection at that moment. And he will never know that he got me home safely and with a heart quietly soothed from the love he offered so tenderly.
The Radical Act of love, kindness and gentle compassion that I experienced this morning is exactly why I was inspired to write this blog. Each and every day we touch each other’s lives in ways that we will never really know. We have the capacity to love each other, to touch each other and to heal each other simply by being open to vulnerability and to connection.
Thank you for reading and for being a part of my journey.