Sitting on my orange couch flanked by all three of our dogs, I giggle to myself as Cassandra, my coach, continues on, “How did that turn out?”

Unbeknownst to her, her face has been frozen for the last 5 minutes of our conversation; and yet her question, both powerful and one she already knows the answer to, hits me to the core.

“It didn’t work out how I wanted,” I reply with just the slightest annoyance in my voice.

“And, how did that turn out?” she asks.

“I created and have received this incredible and fucking beautiful life,” I state back with a clarity and a knowing, though a catch of my voice and the tears in my eyes reveal my truth that this life has not come without years of loss, work, and trust.

It was just a minute before, on our call, that I had come to realize that the risk I am taking in going out on tour, offering my workshops and intensives, is not much unlike the risk we took 6 years ago in doing IVF.

Financial sacrifice?

Check.

Paralyzing fear?

Check.

Doubt, our own and that of many, many others?

Check.

Hope?

Check. Why else would we sign up for it?

So much the same, and so much, so very different.

Going through the infertility journey six years ago, I was a completely different person.

Back then, who I was with the addition of financial stress, waiting games, synthetic hormones, and no babies was the perfect storm for the deepest darkest crash of my entire life. I was, in many ways, living my life from the place of shame, scarcity, comparison, and with my weaknesses in total control.

The darkness left behind by our infertility journey that ended without kids, was the ashes from which I needed to rise.

And now, to leap into another unknown.

I needed to choose myself, to do the work, and to rise into this incredible person I am and into this incredible  life I have now.

I am preparing to leave for tour in less than two weeks, which means the talons of PTSD clutch every organ in my chest and stomach often, as if we are doing another round of IVF. This PTSD triggers overwhelming fear that could easily take over every thought and my entire body if I let it.

I find my breath stolen from me in a second, without so much as a trigger – the fear, doubt, anxiety, shame, and comparison charging up my physiological response to emotion in my pounding heart and shortness of breath.

Yet, I stop myself.

It’s different now.

It has only been with this work, the work I am fighting so hard to bring to my community on tour, that I recognize the symptoms and then refuse to attach to the drama. It is in this choice that I give myself the permission to rumble with what is really going on. It is through this rumble with my shame shit that I choose to cope, to be always rewriting my story, and standing in my sacred truth.

With this work, and my team and community rallying and surrounding me, those PTSD talons are no match for this person and life I have created, fought for, and done the work to receive these last few years.

Most of all, it is no match for my level of faith. Sure, I am quite possibly the literal poster child for when things don’t turn out how you hoped, dreamed, and planned. But…

I am also the flawed, full-of-grit-and-grace badass who rises from those ashes a better person, one who loves harder and shines brighter. It is within this hard that I help others and with that light that I am able to see how beautiful of a life I have been given.

I go into this unknown from a place of self-love, passion, and a burning desire to heal the world.

I eventually took a picture of Cassandra and sent it to her on Messenger. We both laughed and we ended our session in our usual way: of her palpable excitement for what is and what is to come, my complicated gray of excitement and fear, and both of our’s full knowing that whatever is to come of this incredible work we are doing together, we are both certain that it far exceeds our wildest dreams.

I don’t know what God’s plan is for this tour. Just like I didn’t know what God’s plan was for our three.

I know it will be filled with people who are ready to heal and courageous enough to do this work with me. I know it will change their lives, my life, and therefore, the world. I know that no matter if every registration is booked, and no matter how much money made or lost, that it will be God-willed, God-filled, and amazing.

Because unlike the 30% odds of the “successful” outcome with an infertility journey, my odds are 100% when it comes to who I have become, the work I am willing to do on a daily basis, God’s grace, and my badassery rising.

2 thoughts on “Another Round

  1. Malissiajane says:

    Justine, I admire your journey and you are an inspiration to many! The daily challenges of living in the moment can and does take our breathe away. Mindfulness & prayer keeps me grounded and eventually brings me back to my goal. Fear is paralyzingly when we allow it, put that shame away & shine! You are making a difference ;-). My journey is different yet challenges abound. My wish is that I will leave this world knowing I imparted healing knowledge to my fellow sisters & brothers. Blessings!

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for reading and these words. ❤

      Like

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