My life has been a series of endings and beginnings, each time gently (and sometimes painfully!) offering me a chance to stretch and grow. Looking back, I can see how my coaching career really started when I was a little girl, processing my way through all of life's changes for myself and everyone around me.
It feels important to share a few stories of how I navigated these endings and beginnings. Growing up in South Africa in the 70's, my father was on the leading edge of technology with computers being introduced to businesses, so we moved often for his career. Very often! My older brother and I counted once how many schools we attended and it averaged out to seven schools in twelve years. I learned quickly how to make friends and merge with the communities we moved in and out of each time, skills that have served me well in my life. But saying goodbye also became a familiar process for us. Never comfortable or easy, but definitely familiar.
When I was 11, my parents made the decision to pack everything up and move across the world, back to my American Dad's home state of Ohio. We said goodbye to all of my family in South Africa, not knowing if or when we might return for a visit. While exciting to consider going to the USA (glamorized by the TV episodes I had seen of shows like Dallas!), the ending of all that I had known to be familiar was a little terrifying. And disorienting. At 11, my way of coping with that confusion and deep emotion was to stuff it inside and put on a smile, look for the fun positives. Sound familiar?!
Fast forward to age 15, and I had lost my South African accent, learned how to dress and talk and act like an American teenager in order to fit in, and settled comfortably into my freshman year of high school in Dayton. Loving life! Until my parents told us that we were moving. Again. This time to Cincinnati, about an hour away. Just far enough that I wouldn't be able to stay in touch with the group of friends I had established. (Yes, this was the 80's, pre-cell phone and internet!) To say that I acted like a rotten brat about that move is a kind understatement! I was too angry that time to cover it up, so I threw a temper tantrum that did nothing to change my parents' minds... mid-school year, we moved. And I reluctantly put the happy face back on, stuffed the emotions down and started over again with these ever-shifting boundaries in my life. New school, new home, new friends.
For now, I'll fast forward through the rest of my teens (loved our new home and school, graduated, loved dorm life at college), my 20's (graduated college, built a career, marriage, had my first baby and fell in love with being a Mama), my 30's (had my second baby, juggled mothering with working, and then painfully navigated a divorce) and 40's (redefined my life's work and career, fell back in love, cautiously bought a house together to "try it out" before leaping happily into marriage with my Love a year ago!) to get to the part I'd like to share today.
Endings and beginnings are so closely connected - one phase has to complete in order to create the opening for the next chapter to start. And yet, as often as this cycle has repeated itself in my life, my heart still rips open a little bit each time I say goodbye. To a home, a job, a friendship. I tend to throw myself fully into everything I do, always have, and now accept that I probably always will. If I don't know how to do something, I'll keep trying until I figure it out. Wanting to feel happy and included myself, it became a familiar pattern to do whatever it took to make everyone else feel happy and included. Energy out... pushing... loving .. trying to make people and the world happier and better.
Until last year. When my own happiness and peace slowly became a higher priority.
I started struggling with this lesson when I got divorced, but didn't manage my own boundaries well throughout that process and dragged myself and my separating family through the emotional wringer. Years of traditional therapy, intensive energy healing, self-analysis, and most recently hands-on healing through stones and Reiki has finally helped me to integrate healthy, empowering ways of claiming my own physical and emotional space and truly embodying joy.
2015 was a year of going into my really shadowy places, looking at these patterns I'd created and going to the root of where, why, how those patterns needed to shift. I had some brilliant coaches who loved me enough to hold me accountable and remind me why the patterns weren't working for me anymore. I spent a lot of time in meditation, tuning into my own voice, rewriting my own stories. And that discovery led me to a surprising place where another ending was necessary.
Two months ago, I left a coaching practice that I had loved deeply. It required managing my boundaries in a way I had never fully practiced or thought possible before. And my heart ripped open again. And has been healing quietly and gently ever since, with so many lessons in the process. Even more meditation time has brought me clarity about the new beginning that is possible. My own path. Sharing my Truth of My Soul Journey.
Why? Because if you are reading this, you are probably also exploring Your own Soul Journey. And we are all teachers and students for each other, so my hope is that my story offers insight into yours.
I finally get that the only "job" I have in life is to know myself, love myself, and share myself.
That's the point of Life, this crazy, beautiful roller coaster ride that has taken me around the world .... and somehow landed me in the happiest, calmest place I have ever known. Me. My home here in Cincinnati. My Soul Family. My friends. My clients. My beautiful coaching work.
It's all right here. And I just get to settle in and continue deepening this journey of loving me. And sharing me. With you. :)
"Divine Teacher, Beloved Friend, I bow to you Again and Again
Lotus sitting on the water, beyond all time and space, this is your way, this is your grace." ~ Ong Namo
Vivienne Gerard - Healer / Guide / Lover of Souls and Humanity
Clearing Past Patterns to Co-Create an Empowered NOW
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