Staying doesn't always have to hurt (revisited)

On February 4, 2016 I wrote the content below as my first post for a blog I was writing during my time working for Apple in China. At this exact moment 2 years ago I was battling with a brutal bout of influenza very, very far away from "home". Today, I sit at "home" in Tacoma, WA again with the flu (though much less brutal thanks to learning my lesson in China and not "toughing it out" this time) and wonder, what is it about the feeling of exhaustion, weakness, cloudiness and heaviness that comes with this illness that gives me a boost of courage, desire and commitment to write? What is it about the winter that helps me know with certainty that I am supposed to travel? That exploring, wandering, discovering is a significant part of who I am? What is it about this season that supports my discernment, that affords me the clarity to see that though I may explore, wander, discover... I choose to return? To root in? To come back... to the center. May this initial blog be a preface for what is to come. May it be an invitation to join me... to join us, on the next part of our journey. 


Nearly a year ago an opportunity started to develop for me to go to China to support the expansion of an incredible organization. The possibility of heading to Asia for 2+ years to continue my work with the most incredible company in the world was exciting. Of course it was. THAT is what I do. That is what I have always done. Seek. Search. Since the age of 15, I have been moving. Moving towards a new opportunity to venture to a new place, meet new people, experience new culture and hopefully find myself. 

     Around the time that Chinese residency started to become a real possibility I was also going deeper into my spiritual practice and had completed an intensive study of Kali. My work with this fierce warrior goddess was leading me into the darkness of destruction. I was taking significant risks. For the first time in my life I was really setting boundaries and exploring what it meant to love and nurture myself. The destruction that Kali brought to my life was powerful. The risk created an intense fear of loss and the awareness of an unhealthy level of attachment. An attachment to a certain way of knowing myself. I had been identifying myself in relation to my family, my marriage, my community, and my body in a way that bound me to beliefs that were no longer serving me. So I let go. I let go of a certain knowing of myself. I shed the beliefs that were no longer serving me and opened myself up to receiving. I allowed myself to be gutted. I was empty. Empty in a beautiful, pure and raw kind of way. Empty in a way that allowed space for abundance to overflow and that is exactly what happened. I started to see all of the love and beauty that surrounded me. Healing began, with my family, my husband, my community, and my body. I discovered that I am worthy. I discovered that I am enough. And I discovered that I no longer have to seek, to search. That I have everything I need inside of me now. That I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

     Through this process I learned that the thought of staying was more terrifying than the thought of moving to China for 2+ years. If I stayed, what if I failed? What if I was abandoned? Rejected? Betrayed? What if I didn’t have the capacity to grow into my fullest potential? Moving to China would be easy. Be in one place for a short amount of time, do good work, have a positive impact, then leave and start over. and over. and over. That, afterall is what I had always been good at. Then I started to wonder, what would happen if I stayed? What possibilities existed? What may develop if I allow myself to be fully present, for the long haul? What if I commit to myself, to my family, my community, my friends and actually see what growth is possible when I create space for it to be sustained over a long period of time? Yes, it was more terrifying for me to stay. Thankfully, this fear did not have power over me. Instead, it led me to the realization that it is time for me to root down. To stop running. To stop hiding. I decided to allow myself to be seen. To grow myself, to grow my family, and to grow my community. I realized that “grasses go high and so have I”. It has become so very clear that, “where you stand is where you belong. THIS is the place I have been looking for all along.” 

      So, instead of moving to China, I am visiting China for three months then, I am going home. I will deeply love, nurture and witness my family. I will continue to deepen the work that I am doing within my community. I will allow my roots to grow. I will raise dirty babies and goats. I will continue to experience the most true and unconditional love with my soul sisters. I will show up for others and allow others to show up for me. I will allow myself to see others. I will allow myself to be seen. I now know that, “staying doesn’t always have to hurt.”