Monastère des Augustines, Quebec City, May 5, 2022
I’ve always been the type to avoid having problems. I’ve never enjoyed confrontation, I mean who does? So, I silently up and run, like…. Regularly. Always in a sudden, unpredictable way, which for those who are close to me eventually became pretty predictable. It’s quite obvious, I can’t stay in place, mainly when discomfort arrives.
These past 26 months have forced me to sit with myself in silence and to observe my behaviours. It’s become quite the positive obsession, this observation of my actions, thoughts and emotions recently, as I, like many, feel the urge to rise to my full potential in order to help as many people as possible. But this help, we must first give it to ourselves. Self-awareness has become the most beautiful gift I could offer to both myself and those around me.
These past years have been jam packed with difficulties and challenges. I have returned to my country, after traveling and escaping for almost a decade, and this time, I can’t leave. Not yet. The biggest challenge I have faced is to simply be here, to stay and to silence the urge to up and walk, run, fly, or sail away again. I have had panic attacks after dates, I have cried in the middle of sex for no apparent reason, I’ve had one too many shower meltdowns and a few moments of light road rage. I have never felt so confronted to myself. And this time, I cannot run!!
One of my swift attempts to run away from obligation and a “normal” life was in the summer of 2020. I moved to Quebec City with my dog, wanting to experience its architectural beauty, the richness of the nature surrounding it and well, after a few months of being under lockdown lets face it, people! I took a leap of faith, found an expensive but beautiful and authentic place to stay in the old town near the port, and I started my sound healing journey. It was all great for about 3 months until we went into lockdown again and a suffering young soul went into my neighborhood on Halloween and violently killed and injured people on the streets with a gigantic Japanese sword. Say what?
I was supposed to be out walking my dog that night, as I did daily, but I had an internet connection issue and my full moon meditation video took 2 hours to upload, so I was “stuck” home, safe with Bebop, my furry friend.
When a client called to tell me to lock up and stay indoors, that the killer was on the run nearby, I went into full shock mode. I did not sleep a wink that night, even after we were told he had rendered himself a few meters down from my place.
The next morning, there were more sirens, yet another fire nearby. It was the second fire in a week. And so, I planned yet another escape. I paid for the full month and moved out within the week, not allowing myself the time to grieve or process this trauma, which no one understood, because I obviously hadn’t been “hurt”. So I packed it all in while packing up my stuff for a new adventure back to my parents’ house before heading to Guatemala for 4 months.
Yesterday, I came back to this city, for the second time since that unfortunate event. Last time, I was so busy that I had no time to even think about it, but this morning, I attended a meditative walk and when I reached the place where it had all happened, I burst into tears. I finished the group walk and sat in silence in a chapel. Not even praying, simply observing my inner state. I then left and returned to the sight of my old apartment, one street down. I walked the path I used to walk with Bebop and went back to the park where we would play catch every day. When I got to the park and saw that the grass area where he used to run had been paved, once more, a flood of tears rushed down my face as I realized: it’s really the end. Bebop is gone. He passed away last summer and although I’ve cried many tears of guilt since (I had to put him down), I hadn’t cried tears of sorrow for the best friend that had now left this earth plane 11 months ago. He had been there for me almost 14 years, throughout my entire adulthood, changing homes at least 12 times, always adapting quickly and coming along for the ride! And now he’s gone. Yes, it’s been a while, but my memories of him and I here in Quebec City are so vivid, that the tears cannot seem to stop.
Tears are the most cleansing waters, they say…
And so here I am, letting it all out… Years of running away, now being faced to confront it all. Shedding layers of myself, time and time again, like the snake shedding its old skin. We don’t just die once. Parts of us die all the time… And new parts are born and bloom into their spring as well… But ultimately, no matter where we run to, the process will happen.
As I now find myself in a state of contemplation and silence, journaling at Monastère des Augustines, a renovated nun monastery dating from 1639 or so, I can see the light at the end of this really long emotional tunnel. Ever since the world forever changed on my birthday in March 2020, I have been forced to deepen and strengthen my meditation practice, as life has taken away every part of who I thought I was and practically everything I loved. The career, the trips, the ships, the friends, the lifestyle – oh God that lifestyle- the trust, the illusion, all the labels, gone in a flash! Maybe it’s been like that for you too…
As I was crying in the now half-paved park, observing an ever-changing world, the progress I have made hit me. Since inviting meditation, yoga and sound practice at the heart of my life, every one of these highly emotional episodes or fits I through myself were done in absolute awareness. I have observed my thoughts, let the emotions fully wash over me and then figured out what the root cause of this anger, sadness or anxiety was, while succeeding every single time…for the past 2 years! How amazing is that?! Yes, I still get these moments where I do not feel in control, because you know what? I’m not! No one is! Life will play itself out… You can ask for what you want and go ahead and take full action to make it happen, but ultimately, once that’s done, you must surrender to the flow of the universe and I swear, your life will start to feel like it was divinely orchestrated, because, dear one, it was…
That’s what acceptance is. That’s how you let go. That’s how you move on and deal with an incessant process of death and rebirth, because it’s how the universe works. Just look at nature and its seasons and you will see that ultimately, everything is always perfect. The journey isn’t about never being angry again or never being sad. It’s about being fully present during the process. Be fully angry when you’re upset! Cry your eyes out until your head hurts when you’re sad. Stop pushing things down, brushing them away or RUNNING away… Go ahead and confront your problems, now! Go talk to your boss, have the uncomfortable conversation with your mother, or your partner, or that annoying co-worker or that bitchy waitress who always gives you attitude… Maybe she needs a friend under all that sass! Make the call, set down some roots and find your tribe if you are so called to do so. Or travel, and learn about the world if it's calling you right now… Be present and self-aware in everything you do. State your truth with courage and the silent strength of knowing that ultimately, everything will be alright. Everything comes to an end, the good and the bad. It’s the Buddhist concept of impermanence. Let things wash through you because, this too shall pass….