Updated: Jan 6, 2020
I was 23-years old. I finished teaching one Friday afternoon and hopped into my Ford Escape. I was ready to drive 3-hours to visit my best friend, Kayti, for the weekend. Blizzard-like conditions and just a few drivers braved the road conditions alongside me. My fiancé had been calling me on repeat earlier that day, adamantly requesting that I wait until morning to drive due to the driving conditions. I did my best to reassure him that I would drive carefully. I would be fine. He disagreed and was angry with my decision.
I was looking forward to my time with Kayti. The store where I purchased my wedding dress was near her house. The tailor needed my measurements, so this was the perfect opportunity for a weekend visit. We were two girls in our early 20’s and never seemed to fall short of something to talk or laugh for hours on end about, and my girl time was long overdue!
Besides the white knuckle driving conditions, I spent the drive with a very heavy heart. No clear thoughts emerged—just heavy feelings.
Five hours later, I arrived at Kayti's house. I threw my weekend bag over my shoulders and ran inside for our reunion. Her hug and smile immediately eased my stress from driving, but I couldn't shake the weight my heart was carrying. ”Wait right here.” I had forgotten my shoes in the car, so I ran back to the car to grab the box with my new white satin heels.
I remember the freezing cold air against my face as I tromped through the thick snow to the house from my car, in Gina-fashion of course, without a jacket. I opened the door, and Kayti was waiting for me in the doorway. I closed the door and paused. I looked at her, opened my mouth and reflexively said, "I can't do this." I began to cry.
"I can't do this."
Save-The-Date magnets adorned the refrigerators of our 250+ wedding guests. I bought my dress and bridesmaids purchased theirs. Our venue was booked, down-payments made, arrangements for flowers, music, photography, and transportation were all secured.
This was my moment. This moment of breakdown became the unavoidable starting point on my new journey. The immediate path ahead was filled with question marks, MANY changes to logicistical plans, along with countless difficult conversations. In that moment those details didn't matter. What motivated me to get through all of the muck was knowing that the heaviness in my heart had been set free, and that was all that mattered.
It has been over 10 years since my breakdown, breakthrough journey began. Since calling off our engagement, I would answer peoples questions and explain my story, as I knew it. I would talk about the root of the problem as ‘incompatibility’ between me and my fiancé, Pete. As time passed and my reflection deepened, I slowly began to recognize it had nothing to do with Pete. It had nothing to do with our relationship, but everything to do with me and my relationship with myself.
You see, our relationship was built on what parts of me I let Pete see. I never intended to keep parts away from him, but ironically, I was keeping those parts away from myself. What Pete didn’t know was that my heart had been sending me rocket signals and SOS messages for me to pick up on for the duration of the relationship. I didn’t recognize these signals at the time, but today I realize these signals were feelings guiding me to pay attention. Instead, I shoved them under the rug so things would, “stay good.”
There was nothing technically “wrong“ with our relationship. We were friendly and kind partners, who lived together without fighting. Heck, we were the quintessential couple: a kindergarten teacher and a firefighter! In looking back, I was constructing a future based on what I thought I wanted my life to LOOK like instead of what I wanted it to FEEL like. Today, I see this as me trying to control the situation, unconsciously of course. My mind has always been active and strong, so when I put my mind to something, I usually find myself able to succeed. Honoring the ego while neglecting the body, or soul's needs if you will, is unbalanced.
Aligning the focus of the mind with the feelings of the body is when the magic happens.
I was never taught in school to pay attention to my body’s feelings, were you? It took years for me to tune-in and honor my true vulnerable and authentic self, consistently. Coming back home to myself began with me acknowledging my body's sensations and feelings. Echart Tolle's book, "A New Earth" was the first book I read on my journey. It opened a whole pandoras box of resources waiting for me. I've learned so much since.
Learning to tune-in to the signals of the body has changed my life. Subtle sensations and feelings in the body navigate us toward our path. Towards inner peace, ease and joy. Ignoring the signals, overtime, can dull the antennae to these signals. These feelings are very quiet and can be felt in different areas of the body like your gut, chest, or throat. Learning to tune-in to these sensations is a superpower we were all born with. Becoming still and tuning into the body, nurtures this superpower, increasing the ability to make decisions that align with your higher self.
Today, I am thankful for the breakdown. My life expanded in ways I could never imagine and continues lead me to joy— when I listen. Allow me to share my experience and resources with you as I venture into the blogging world. We all have a voice and story. I am finding mine, and I'm excited to share it with you.