On August 20, 2014 I made a seemingly small decision that changed my life in a major way.
I said, YES.
Up until that day I'd always liked the sound of being "spiritual," but I have to admit that the word didn’t actually hold much of a deep personal meaning for me. That is, until I saw Gabrielle Bernstein speak live for the first time.
I had discovered Gabby on YouTube at the beginning of the summer, and the way she broke down the spiritual principles she was teaching really resonated with me. I told my mom about her and started reading her book, Spirit Junkie.
And something started to shift.
I knew what she had to say had struck a chord with me, but something about her message also made me...nervous?
And excited, and intrigued, and uncertain.
Uncertain about what I'd find if I dug deeper into my psyche, and uncertain if I even wanted to know. But, when my mom emailed in August saying she'd noticed Gabby was going to be speaking about her meditation practice at the Rubin Museum in NYC, and asked if I wanted to go together, I said yes.
At the close of the talk Gabby led the audience in a meditation and asked us to think about what our greatest fear was, and mine, to my surprise, was simply “being great.” I couldn’t explain why at the time, but that is what popped into my mind when she asked the question, which was followed very quickly by me thinking how messed up it was that I was fearful of that.
And that not only was I fearful of being great, I was basically afraid of even being “good enough.” Good enough for what I didn’t know, but I knew that a door had been opened and I had the choice to step through it or stay stuck.
Prior to seeing her speak in person I'd watched a video of Gabby talking about a Spirit Junkie Masterclass training she was leading that September, and although I'd never been to anything like that in my life, I felt a strong knowing that I was supposed to go.
But I was also full of self-doubt.
So, I kept talking myself out of it; telling myself it was too expensive, too outside my comfort zone, too "spiritual" for someone like me.
But after meeting Gabby at her book signing, following the talk at The Rubin, I went home and signed up for the masterclass that night. I just knew I had to go. I knew I had to say yes.
The next day, I started reading her book May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness, and it rocked my world.
I showed up to the Spirit Junkie Masterclass three weeks later knowing no one and still having no idea what the hell I was doing there.
Two days later I felt like I'd experienced more emotional breakthroughs in one weekend than I had in 20 plus years of off and on again therapy.
I was in shock at how much I had been pushing down my feelings and how much I craved this new way of being. I felt raw and exposed and vulnerable, and I kind-of liked it.
Don’t get me wrong, it was uncomfortable and messy at first (and still is at times), but as I've gradually become more connected to what I feel I've also found ways to process the emotions I’d kept buried under a layer of “fine” for most of my adult life.
The next day, I signed up for the level 2 masterclass she was leading in February and almost backed out several times in the months leading up to it.
But again, I felt that nervous excitement I’d felt the first time.
Not the kind of stress inducing anxiety I was familiar with, but more of a butterflies in your stomach type of feeling.
So, I said yes and showed up.
I showed up, and those four days we spent in the mountains of Massachusetts talking, and learning, and crying, and laughing were some of the most transformational days of my life.
My experience at Spirit Junkie Masterclass level 2 firmly planted the ideas I really liked the sound of deep in my heart and soul. Something had shifted in the way I saw myself, and the world around me, and I returned home viewing my life with new eyes.
Then, about two weeks later, I felt as if my life pretty much started to fall apart.
But, it was also an almost trippy feeling of things falling into place, while they were seemingly "falling apart."
So, I started working with a life coach to guide me through the process and again felt an undeniable knowing that I was changing the course of my life by opening myself up to do that raw and real inner work.
The value and importance of having someone to hold the space for you to go deep and examine the parts of yourself you both love and loathe cannot be overstated. My life coach Gina Lorenzo is all that and a bag of chips.
Her lack of judgment and abundance of compassion have helped me navigate some choppy waters and I'm incredibly grateful for her guidance and the fact that she’s helped me remember how to listen to my own guidance too.
That is one of the things that is so incredible about this whole journey to me—by being willing to ask for help and seek guidance, I have been able to reconnect with the place inside myself that knows where to go, what to do, and what to say.
And I feel peaceful knowing that even though there will be times when it feels like everything is falling apart, all I have to do is keep showing up and doing the work and the rest will follow.
All I have to do is keep saying yes.
And thank you.