Take Me to Your River
I am a relentless seeker. And to be perfectly honest, at times this seeking can make my life, ummm, challenging? You see,my mind rarely stops. I am continuously examining myself, the world and the people around me. At times I don’t feel like I ‘fit’ in. I struggle in crowds and have a hard time in bigger social settings and know, without a doubt, that I am an introvert. I can’t do small talk…in fact when I find myself in the midst of this type of conversation, I can feel myself glaze over, begging for something to pull me away. I need DEPTH. I yearn for it. I want to know who you REALLY are. I want to talk about the universe and cosmos and far out crazy shit. I have been this way since I was a young girl. Always pondering and asking the existential questions. I can clearly remember asking my family ‘why are we here’ and being met with a blank stare. I could never really find anyone who wanted to engage in this convo, let alone offer any answers. I felt like I wasn’t understood. So to avoid feeling strange, I tucked this little girl away. I put this seeker, on the back burner, so to speak. I tried not to share her, so I could function with the rest of the world around me.
This technique worked throughout my life for the most part, but in 2012, everything came to a screeching halt. All of a sudden, this person inside of me who had been tucked away, was starting to re-surface. She was done hiding. I found myself feeling confused, lost, disconnected and filled with anxiety. I was in the midst of my (ahem) second marriage; I was homeschooling my daughter; a step mom to 2 children AND an entrepreneur/ business owner. When I stopped and looked at my life, I couldn’t remember how the hell I got to this place. I was overwhelmed to say the least, and felt like I was quickly coming undone. I didn’t know what to do. I had the urge to RUN. I needed to get away. I needed some space on my own to look at my life and feel what I was feeling and try to figure out what the hell was happening. Looking back, I can see that my SOUL was calling the shots and I was simply along for the ride. Within a matter of weeks I was on a plane, heading to a Pachamama retreat for12 glorious days BY MYSELF.
When I arrived in Costa Rica, and stepped off the plane, that little voice in my head popped up saying ‘Kara, what the hell are you doing now!? ’ I smiled, shrugged and laughed to myself, not knowing the answer. As much as there was fear of the unknown, I also felt like I was home. I can’t really explain it, but something was telling me that I was on the right path, and in the right place. On the second day of the retreat, our hosts had planned a traditional Sweat Lodge. I was scared shitless. I had always wanted to take part in a Sweat Lodge, but fear kicked in. I didn’t like feeling out of control and I am a tad claustrophobic. Not wanting to back out, I said a silent prayer and headed for the RIVER where the lodge was. After being blessed by the elders, we entered the small dome like hut. It was dark and hot and we all sat around in a circle, cramped and sweaty. The hot fired rocks were brought in and the heat became intense. There was chanting and singing which elevated my experience even further; as well as my fear. My mind was reeling and I felt like I was floating out of my body. That little voice spoke to me again, ‘Seriously Kara, what the hell are you doing!? You are thousands of miles away from home, squatting in a mud hut, surrounded by people you don’t know…you’re likely gonna die’ Real panic set in and tears started to flow. I was losing my shit and just as I was about to bolt out of the lodge, a woman beside me touched my knee, looked at me and said ‘It’s ok. Breathe, you are safe’ Her words resonated instantly and I could feel my body relax and my mind was finally able to let go. It felt like my fear was being burned away by the INTENSE heat. All I could do was surrender fully.
When the ceremony was finished, the elders encouraged us to jump into the RIVER that was flowing beside. As soon as I entered the water, something instantly took me over. It felt like time and space shifted and for an instant and I experienced something so unreal that the only words to describe it are: pure magic. As I laid in the river, I felt ONE with everything. Literally everything. My pulse felt as if it was starting to beat with the pulse of the Earth. I looked around and everything looked crisp and vibrant. I felt connected to the trees, the plants, the people and this magical river. But most of all, in that moment, I fully reconnected to ME. That tucked away girl was back! I laid my head back in that river and cried. Tears of gratitude; to my guides, my soul, my angels, to whomever brought me here in this moment. I had truly come home.
When I returned after my 12 days away, I knew that I would never be the same. The life that I was so desperately trying to fit in to, just wasn’t me. My husband looked like a stranger; my house didn’t seem real; I didn’t connect to my job or some of my friends. I knew that what I experienced in that RIVER was an awakening. Rather a re-awakening, to the woman I had hid away for so long. I was filled with bliss on this reuniting, but simultaneously sunk into a deep depression because I didn’t belong in the life I had worked so hard to create. I began to feel like a caged bird. Trapped in a life that wasn’t mine.
Over the next couple of years, I tried my best to make things work. But I was literally dying on the inside. I put on a happy brave face, but in reality, I was lost. I really didn’t know what to do. I felt guilty that I was unhappy. My husband was such a nice guy, good father to my daughter, good provider, but I did’t want to be his wife anymore. I reeled in this shame and worry. What would people think if I left this life? Who would understand me? How could I hurt these people who loved me? I was in a constant self-shaming loop and couldn’t get out.
And then one evening, everything shifted. I decided to confess my sins to a couple of girlfriends. I just couldn’t keep it in any more. I let it all spill out and fuck did that feel good. I told them everything I was feeling, I expressed all of my concerns and fears and worry. These sisters listened. Like truly listened like no one EVER had before. They didn’t judge me or make me feel like I was messing up. They didn’t shame me for wanting to leave a second marriage. They simply held space for me to release all of my feelings of guilt and shame that I had been bottling up for 2.5 years. The more they listened, the more I could feel myself soften. The more that I felt understood, I was able to really feel without self judgement. They reminded me that I deserved to be happy; whatever that looked like. With each subsequent conversation, I could feel my shame lighten and a spark ignite in my soul that I had never felt before. It was like I was being given permission to feel my emotions without being told they were wrong, and this was a brand new concept for me. (another story for another time)
Over the course of the next 6 months, my life did a complete 180. I sold my business, my marriage ended and I packed up my daughter and moved to Mexico for the winter. (yah, maybe a little much all at once, but I’ve always been an all or nothing kinda gal) I had no idea what was next. I didn’t have a home, I didn’t have a job and I was scared to death. But I knew that the life I was living, was not serving me in any way. I knew that lying to myself and pretending to be happy was not the answer. So instead, I tossed everything up into the sky, and had to truly trust that my life would reassemble in the most perfect way. And I am happy to say, that it really did :)
TODAY, I can honestly say that I have never been happier. I feel whole. I feel settled. I feel good. My relationships feel healthy, and my daughter is happy. Yes, everything is not always light and fluffy. There are hard times when I feel shitty and scared and low. But I have realized that is what life is all about. The highs and lows are what we are here to experience. I try to look at my bumps in the road as opportunities to learn about myself and to show me the next part of myself that needs to be loved and healed. I do not regret a single step along the way. It was only in living the life that just wasn’t for me, that I was able to find the one that was.
This happened 3 years ago. Looking back I realize that I would not have been able to take the leap and follow my heart and soul if it wasn’t for my tribe of sisters. In this patriarchal word we live in, finding women who truly SEE you and HONOUR you is a blessing, and, I count these blessings each and every day. It is also from my re-awakening, that I was able to find my purpose, my true SOUL’s calling. My path is dedicated, to the rise of the Divine Feminine. To inspire women to heal, to nourish themselves and to share their shine. To fill their cup first and listen to their heart, so they too, can illuminate their true essence. The part of themselves that may be hiding, just as I was. Now, I am not saying that y’all should go and divorce your husbands and quit your jobs, move to Mexico, become temporarily homeless or follow the path that was mine. I am simply saying that it is time to listen to that SACRED women inside and hear what she has to say. To soften, just a little, so she can guide the way. To allow yourself a life that on all levels says “HELL YES”. To be in a state of excitement and to let your heart guide you. This is my wish for each and every woman. Because I know that it is what we all deserve. It is what our soul is longing for. AND, if I can be on that sacred journey with you, I would be forever grateful. I believe that each time a woman heals and follows her heart, she lights the way for others to follow her path. Let’s be each others TRIBE, and SHINE our SOULS for all to see.
Click HERE to join SoulShine Sisterhood. There is always a place for you in our TRIBE.