As the year comes to a close, I realize that 2018 has been a year of immense growth and change.  I am peeling back layers upon layers, rewriting old scripts, and shaking off the dust of expectation to finally get a clear view of this life of mine.
                I’m sure we all love a good transformation story, one that is rife with struggle and self-discovery that blossoms into enlightenment and life altering growth.  But, the reality is, for all of us, our stories are always unfolding in a continuous pendulum of struggle and synthesis; and that is exactly where I land this year.  I am in this process, completely.  I am not the butterfly, neatly emerged from her cocoon ready to alight onto her newly formed wings, beautifully transformed and ethereal.  I am the snake that painstakingly squeezes from its own skin allowing more room to grow; emerging almost exactly as it was before yet more brilliantly saturated in renewed color.  Also, completely aware that shedding is a part of its life process and will come again when the time is right. 
                In this year alone, I accomplished so many outward manifestations of growth; from an Animal Therapy Professional Certification, to Yoga Teacher training, to finally reaching my Reiki Master level attunement; but I had no idea going into it, the ways in which it would alter my life path and open an entirely new path to walk and new struggles to wrestle with.  I told myself that I was collecting papers that proved my worthiness to share my knowledge, my love, and my support in helping other’s heal.  Looking back now, it was such a surface level and naïve understanding of what I was actually doing.  See, I thought I NEEDED those papers to prove my soul purpose, my calling.  And, in some sense, those papers do help legitimize me in areas, like liability insurance, potential collaborators, and business endeavors; but in no way did any of those certifications change anything about what it is that I am actually being called to do and the gifts I already have within me. 
                I have been a healing practitioner my entire life.  My biggest hurdle has never been the certifications or trainings; it has been my belief that I am not worthy of this calling.  I am not enough. 
This year has not been about legitimizing myself to the world around me, it has actually been about uncovering the patterns and thoughts that I have used to delegitimize this work within myself.  I began to really see the excuses I made about “having enough time” or “whether I was skilled enough” or “if anyone actually wanted my help”.  But, when I look at my life, my most vivid memories of childhood are those in which I was healing, compassionate, imaginative, and magical.  Years later, it was me who connected with the deep devastating pain in my teen years and found the inner strength to work on my own wounding.  Even in the midst of “living up to society’s expectations” in my early adulthood I tried to find acceptable ways to bring compassion and love to those around me.  But, because I was operating from a place of turbidity; my worthiness got tangled into the process and my methods became physically and emotionally exhausting. 

                This year has been about clearing away the distractions, untangling “Me” from the outer experience, and bringing back clarity to my purpose, building a solid foundation of self-worth from within, and getting re-acquainted with my gifts; because I am here for a purpose.  Whether my purpose is simply to raise two incredible children who may one day change the world, or I am myself am intended to have some greater impact in the world or I am just here to temper the darkness and disconnect for a small corner of the world for a little while; so be it.  But, I now more intimately know the tools I have and how to use them.  I know my worth and sense of being is not attached or entangled with the outcome of the work I do.  I am simply here to follow the calling of my soul with love, compassion and wholeheartedness.  

                I have released an old metaphorical layer of skin and I feel the growth, I feel the freshness and freedom of lifting myself free of this particular shed; but I am still very much myself, much as the snake never ceases to be the snake; I am still who I have always been and that is exactly who I need to be.  There will be more growth and release to come and I am ready to embrace it when it gets here.  But, as for this particular leg of the journey, I am ready to welcome 2019 with gratitude, peace, and a sense of deep reconnection.


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