At a recent reunion with incredible business friends, I arrived in Okotoks, AB Canada hopeful for a weekend of celebration, happiness, butterflies, and rainbows.
There was all of that and I even found the rainbows (more on that in a minute), but I was also emotionally challenged during the weekend too.
I began my trip on top of the world. In a happy bubble of knowing I am doing and being exactly who I want to be in this world.
Connecting and encouraging and supporting moms who need an outlet to heal themselves as they document and photography their families and the world around them.
Just a year ago a trip like this wouldn’t have been an option in my world, it all felt so surreal and amazing. I was grateful and happy and simply grinning from ear to ear as I stepped onto the plane.
However, 2,261 miles from home, the trip quickly unfolded into a series of events that left me grieving the parts of who I am not, but have longed much of my life to be.
Never an adventurer, but in a group of adventure seekers our activities really didn’t even touch the surface of ‘thrill’ or ‘danger’. But for some reason mechanical bull riding (what if I fall off?), trampolining (I’ll break a leg or wrist!), horse whispering (animals hate me), and mountain gondola riding (heights freak me out) left me anxious, afraid, tearful, and emotionally drained.
It’s funny how the clarity and happiness I arrived with swiftly and easily turned towards doubt and fear and uncertainty.
It was a lot like like mommy guilt actually.
As I left my comfort zone, my mind totally went crazy and spiraled out of control. I was over thinking everything, putting myself down, wishing I was someone else, and generally doubting who I was. The anxious pit in my stomach I know all too well returned.
It was exactly like the script you play in your head over and over when you feel like a terrible mom. You leave your kids with the babysitter instead of tucking them into bed, or you think you should be giving them more fresh organic meals instead of boxed macaroni and cheese (again!), or you see how much more organized your neighbor’s playroom is than your own.
You start to beat yourself up over it.
That was what I was doing with my own sense of self. I felt like an adventure seeking failure and was hating myself for it.
By the time we got to our high mountain gondola ride I almost didn’t go. My long time fear of heights wanted to bring a firm “no” to my lips.
I had experienced enough adventure outside of my comfort zone for one weekend, but something told me to push forward and do it anyway.
I took a few deep breaths and spoke my fears aloud to my girl friends. And, in my time of need they promised they were right by my side and that I wasn’t going to regret this once in a lifetime view.
Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a Starbucks in the gift shop and said ‘yes’ to the ride, feeling a bit comforted with a Pumpkin Spice latte in one hand, camera in the other, and supportive friends surrounding me.
We boarded the gondola, and as we climbed higher and higher the rain softly pelting the windows outside slowly began fading away along with the fear nestled in the pit of my belly.
When we reached the top of the mountain the rain and my fear were gone as I was greeted with this once in a lifetime view:
I was as if the universe opened up wide and gave me a huge hug in that moment, telling me: “It’s ok. Just breathe. Just be.”
This is exactly who you are meant to be, anxious mind and all.
This is exactly where you should be, the greatest lessons are always learned in the face of our fears.
This is exactly what you need today, there’s always a rainbow at the end of a storm.
Looking for space to breathe and clear your anxious mind? Time to pause, reflect, renew, and focus on you and your needs, wishes, and goals. I’ve got a 3 month experience including a weekend long live in person retreat for 10 women only coming soon. Click HERE for details or contact me HERE and let’s chat more about it.