If you seek a life lived more authentically… 

If shame keeps you from living and loving fully…

If you want to build shame resilience and courage practices…

If you want to learn how to live more bravely in the arenas of your life…

 If you simply want to learn how to live, love, parent and lead more wholeheartedly and with deep courage…

The Daring Way™ and Rising Strong™ work is for you.

Join me on tour this summer,

full details at www.daringinstl.com.

The pump you up memes say, “Be fearless!”

The personal growth gurus say, “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”

Some religions say, “There is no fear with faith.”

Therapists say, “Identify the fear, feel it, talk about it, cope with it, and allow it to move through.” (We therapists can be wordy.)

My new coach Cassandra is teaching me, “Feel the fear, do not attach to the drama of it, and choose faith.”

Crap! So which is it?

Click here to continue reading over at The Huffington Post.

 

Last week I kicked off my FREE 7 week Rising Ever Upward Mini-Course on Facebook and at my Ever Upward subscriber list.

I will be sharing unique and exclusive material at both platforms as I lead up to leaving on tour in July. Make sure to follow at both platforms so you don’t miss anything, and of course, a share goes further than you think. Thank you in advance!

The Rising Strong™ work has changed everything for me and I am so excited to be able to offer my workshops and intensives in a city near you this summer! I’d love to see you on tour!

For now and this one time only, I thought I would share Week 1 from the email list here for you to get an idea of this incredible work for yourself. Make sure to also follow along on Facebook for a weekly challenge, live video and graphic!

 

So many moments that would never be had my story turned out how I wanted…how I hoped, dreamed, and planned. 

I no longer torture myself with the, ‘I’d trade it all for them…’ Because it’s not helpful and doesn’t honor them. It doesn’t honor them because it doesn’t honor where and who I am now, in reality only because of our three

He knew better, He had better. 

I must, however, do the work to keep my heart open enough to receive this better He has for me. 

And so, I’ll love harder, fuller, and better because of them, honoring the mom they made me. 

And, I’ll mother anyone who wants to love this way too.

This week, I am so honored to have been here to witness my oldest friend’s second daughter come into this world, my namesake’s little sister, Alexandra. 

And, I am so grateful. 

The bubble gum pink iridescent ribbons stick out of the overhead bin as if there is a tiny Disney princess taking a nap up there.

I stare at the delicate ribbons, the prized possession of a little girl from what was probably her first visit to the happiest place on earth.

I take a deep breath, a breath filled with the complicated gray of sadness and gratitude, as a tear makes its way down my face.

5 years ago, 3 years ago, hell just seven weeks ago those ribbons would have brought me to a different kind of cry.

This day, though, they are tears of trust, freedom, and appreciation of how life is, not how I try to will it to be.

Chad and I are on our flight home from Orlando as I write this. We just spent the last three days at Disney World and Universal surrounded by damsels, princes, and heroes. A vacation we purchased at the Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Angel Ball last year. And, a trip that also happened to fall during National Infertility Week because it’s timing with my best friend’s wedding in Florida was too good not to schedule together.

The Justine I was, post failed fertility treatments would have never been able to make this trip, she was too destroyed by bitter and anger, comparison and shame to go to the happiest place on earth filled with thousands of reminders of the life she would never have. It has not been until very recently that I have realized how much work I still had to do to truly thrive after infertility.

Instead, I was present this trip and allowed myself to experience things in a way I haven’t before. I didn’t overly judge any parents out of a broken and incomplete heart ravaged by our missing three or hold on to ignorant comments made by people who aren’t touched by the devastation of infertility. Being at Disney without children, trust me, were there comments.

I noticed the shift in my reaction after a comment at the end of our very first day at Disney. We sat our tired bodies on the hard comfort of the tram bench across from a couple and their devastated four year daughter who was hysterically shouting, “But I don’t want to leave yet!”

They tried to reason with her, assuring her they had a great dinner surprise for her for her birthday, undoubtedly dinner with a princess or Mickey himself. But, she would not take this peace offering and only shouted and cried louder, “But I don’t want to leave yet!”

This is when her dad noticed my “My 1st visit” button and said, “Enjoy this magical time, you know, before you come back here with kids.”

Chad and I simply smiled and I joked back, “You guys are such jerks making her leave the park for a birthday surprise.”

No need for my advocate heart to educate him that not everyone will get to bring their children to Disney, hell, some of us don’t get to have them at all, he is already down for the count as the biggest asshole parent ever, at least in the eyes of his devastated four year old.

Instead, I took a breath and said to myself, Jesus help me.

I feel.

The uneventfulness, infertility-wise, of our trip culminated on our last day at Universal. Our morning started as we walked past a “book shop” called Embryo Books Booksellers and Publishers. I looked at Chad, “Wonder if they would have given me a publishing contract?”

I snapped this picture feeling the tiniest of tugs in my heart as I allowed it to pass choosing instead sad and joy in the exact same moment because as uncomfortable as the complicated gray is, I am finding my wholehearted home in it.

I release.

We spent the day moving quickly through just about every ride line as we people watched and I stared in awe of the creativity that is Universal often exclaiming, “I mean the attention to detail, the creativity, it is so amazing!”

Line after line the Universal employee would ask, “How many?”

“Two.”

Only two.

Nope, you can’t see my three.

Only I can feel them.

And, no less than ten times at Universal that day we were told to go to three.

“Line three.”

“Row three.”

“Three.”

Finally after the third time, Chad and I looked at one another, knowing this never was a coincidence, as if God was reminding us,

He’s got them, we will see them again and they will always be a part of you.

We are more than two.

I receive.

The bitter, the anger and the pain-filled grief almost completely gone, which I’ll admit kind of scares me. Well, the shame and scarcity part of me, the part of me that can feel so invisible a lot of the time, saying, then they never mattered.

What I know now is that this is actually the exact opposite, they matter more than ever, just in a much different way than I’ve ever allowed them to and than society may ever, especially if I stopped doing this work.

I advocate for healthier messages in the infertility journey, even though at times it feels as if I am the only one saying them and that no one will ever listen.

I advocate for women like me who end this journey without children holding their hands, because I know I am not the only one, I get messages every single day from my fellow warriors.

I advocate for myself because this life, my story, is hard and beautiful…and incredible.

This is life, a complicated gray of struggle and triumph, a really freaking beautiful triumph if we do the work.

So I will write, I will speak and I will keep helping and creating because the shining of my own complicated gray triumph can push, walk alongside and guide you into your own.

My story is not tragic.

My story is not one to be pitied, and it does not lack hope because it didn’t turn out how I, and you and society, hoped, dreamed and planned.

I am not a victim.

My story is not one to be admired either.

I am not a hero.

My story is a rising a rising out of the ashes and into the awakened and colorful life of the complicated gray.

I am the author.

A couple hours into the flight and those bubble gum pink iridescent ribbons still flutter in the stale cabin
air of the plane, no one has rescued the princess and they don’t need to.

She has already rescued herself.

~~~

For the last five weeks 24 other incredible fellow warriors have shared their stories as part of my Ever Upward Blog Tour for the launch of my second book, The Mother of Second Chances, and National Infertility Awareness Week. Yesterday my friend Julie shared her incredible story.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for their bravery and their support. The relationships I have made only because of the infertility journey are relationships I will be forever thankful for. Please make sure to read and share all of their posts here.

Absolutely love this piece and am so grateful ❤

My Beautiful Crazy

Today I am dedicating my blog to National Infertility Awareness Week and to the launch of Justine Brooks Froelker’s latest book The Mother of Second Chances, based on her blog Ever Upward, released on April 17th. Justine’s first book (also Ever Upward) felt like a permission slip to walk through infertility my way; it made me feel like I was completely in charge rather than a prisoner to my circumstances– the distinction saved my spirit and my sanity.

On  this incredible blog tour, 25 amazing women have and will share their stories of infertility and loss, because together we can shatter the stigma. Yesterday Kim shared her story over at Salt In The Womb and tomorrow we will hear from Sarah at Our Unexpected Journey. We would love for you to participate by sharing these posts far and wide.

~~~~~~~~~~

So…I have a confession to make. Awareness weeks and chain posts aren’t really…

View original post 821 more words

%d bloggers like this: