I am here right now in my adorable Airbnb cottage in Hollywood, FL. I'm here for part of the Yoga Journal LIVE conference. I saw my idol, Danielle LaPorte speak last night. She is so beautiful and poetic. Inspiring but real. Today I get to go to a half day Desire Map and Yoga workshop. Like, I get to participate, not facilitate! I should be on cloud nine right now.
Don't get me wrong. I am happy to be here but, I've got some heavy things on my mind. As a dear friend put it, I've been going through the mama fire.
As the mother of two beautiful children I've been comforting my little ones through pain since moments after their birth. It's in every fiber of my being to try to stop their suffering. With laser focus, I do whatever it takes until I know that they are safe and calm.
Usually it's pretty simple to figure out. You whip out a boob in the early years, apply a band-aid, or five. Other times it's complex. You have to reach out for support. Do your research. Try this herb or that essential oil. You are thankful for doctors and modern medicine when you really need them. You look for others who have been down the same road, hoping to gain shortcuts from their experience.
Everything that my children have dealt with up until recently has been mostly considered physical pain. It's only now that I can say that I know what it is like to support a child with deep emotional pain. Unfortunately, they don't make band-aids for that. For the moment, this is not my story to tell. My child deserves a say in whether or not I share the details. So for now, I'll leave you with some mystery.
Why am I bringing it up at all? Because I am in a position where people have looked to me for inspiration. Through what I do professionally as a coach, massage therapist and Desire Map Facilitator and even as a friend to many and mentor to some, I know that people look to me for some positive mojo. Those who know me though, know that I believe in transparency and authenticity. But where do I draw the line? I want you to know that I am real and that I struggle just like you. However, I have a private life that is sacred. So, I struggle with how to share authentically and how to inspire when I'm going through the fire.
As I sat in the audience of yogis last night at Danielle LaPorte's keynote presentation she opened up the floor to a Q&A session. My heart started racing. I desperately wanted a chance to ask her...well, EVERYTHING. But I narrowed it down to just what I said above, "As a person who inspires others, how do I share authentically and how do I inspire when I'm going through the fire?" I was so distracted by forming my own question that I barely listened to any of the audience questions for awhile. I was afraid I wouldn't speak loud enough for her to hear me. I was afraid I'd share too much and start to ramble. I was afraid I'd cry. After some time, I told myself to stop and just listen. Someone asked basically the same question that I had but from much less of an emotional state. I breathed a sigh of relief. As always, the universe provides exactly what I need in the moment. I won't try to paraphrase because my head was still spinning and I don't recall her words but basically Danielle said, don't share when you are really, really in it. Get through the difficult situation, then reflect, then share. She also spoke of authenticity and privacy. Danielle encouraged us to keep a veil over our very personal lives. Yes, to being real. Yes to being authentic. But that doesn't mean that everyone has the right to peer through the blinds of our home. Yes, thank you Danielle. Thank you for giving me permission to keep a little for myself.
As Danielle closed her keynote with the most gorgeous poetry (some I actually haven't even heard yet!) in her most sexy, sultry voice I sat with a sense of peace and calm. Sometimes, not speaking is exactly what you need to do.
Next was time for book signings and hugs. The moment I had been looking forward to! As I stood there in line I began to get light headed. Actually, not really light headed but more like the room was about to turn upside down. I have a history with vertigo and it was feeling like a vertigo spell coming on. Was I really such a giddy fan that it was getting to my head?
I think it was more than that. I think the stress of the past few months was just coming to a peak. A few days ago I wasn't sure if I could even come. I was too worried about my child. But the day of the event, all seemed pretty stable and my husband insisted that I go. Then, there was the 4 hour drive. I'm traveling solo which always makes me feel liberated and terribly anxious all at once. I headed into Miami just in time for Friday evening rush hour traffic. Good times! By the time I made it to my little Airbnb cottage, I wanted to park my car and never drive it again. I threw on my clothes, called an Uber and arrived at the most magnificent hotel I've ever seen. Seriously, The Diplomat Beach Resort is amazing. But still, my head is spinning and I'm about the meet the lady herself, the Divine Feminine in action, Danielle LaPorte.
I take a deep breath, ground myself as much as possible and step up for my hug. I make sure I tell her first thing that I'm one of her Licensed Desire Map Facilitators. She smiles and says that means I get two hugs. We pose for our picture and then as she's signing my book. I know I have to say something meaningful. This is my moment. I tell her that her writing about fighting for your joy has saved me this year. That I've had to find joy wherever I can get it these days. She says to me, "You've had to fight for your joy, huh?" Yes, I say. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. Looks into my eyes and says, "lover, warrior, lover, warrior" as she plucks some imaginary lover and warrior energy out of the air with her hands. I melted at that moment. Danielle LaPorte is not your typical guru or spiritual teacher but at that moment, she anointed me with those words. Lover, Warrior.
I am the Lover
I am the Warrior
Through the Mama Fire, I walk with determination
The fire could destroy me
Maybe it already has
But that's OK
Whatever has been destroyed is meant to be left behind
With strength and fortitude
I will rise from the ash
While leading my tribe, I ask for their support
I will cocoon
And I will rise again