The main photo is of a bluebell woods in my home county, Hampshire.  These beautiful flowers die every year, to be reborn again in spring.

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I first met ‘Abby” (not her real name) a few months ago, when she dropped everything to rush to Phuket because she had an emergency: herself. I could tell that Abby was in a mess, but I offered her no advice. Instead, I gave her the space to be. We did yoga. We went for massages. We walked on the beach. On one occasion, we had a deep talk.  I suggested she talked to someone else more suitable, who will be able to facilitate meaningful dialogues that need to happen before she could move forward. Nothing major, just two women chatting on the beach, waiting for yoga to start.  After four days, Abby went home, feeling slightly better.

We kept in touch.  In the months following our meet-up, I had begun to care for Abby BUT no way would I interfere with the flow of her life, even if it meant pain and suffering. I have learned that we have to let people be where they choose to be, even our loved ones.

Months later, Abby emailed me about a procedure that her doctor was about to perform on her.  Eeegads.  I wanted to shout, doctors have been messing her up for years and she, a strong woman, had passively allowed them to because she grew up believing that doctors know best. Perhaps because it was simply easier for her to subcontract her massive and complicated health problems to the professionals rather than invest time and effort into caring for herself (Abby has always been running around like a headless chicken on speed).

Instead, I replied to her message with a cool:

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Only then did I tell Abby my honest opinion. And I thanked God that she was brave enough to listen to my humble opinion: Abby went on to seek second and third opinions from other doctors, rather than going blindly with the suggestion of one, which was against her own wisdom anyway.

And so, a few days before her birthday, Abby was in hospital overnight undergoing test – finally!!! – to get an accurate diagnosis about her medical condition. For the first time, she is actively investing time in herself to serve her body instead of running around serving others in an effort to make herself feel good.

I hope she stops to breathe, inhale and just BE when her body feels like a more comfortable home.

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Having given birth five times taught me this: birth is a painful process, be it physical or “personal” birth.  Yet we are born several times in our lives as we grow, like lobsters outgrowing their shells. But often, we choose to cling on to the current shell we are in, though it hurts us to be in that state….and the pain we feel from being in a shell with bad fit comes out in the actions we take, or the words we write/speak or the thoughts we think.

Are you ready to cast your leaves, shell, old pains?

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