Around this time last year, Will and I took a drive to the beach. Weeks, if not months, of high pain had shrunk my world smaller than usual and my spirit was extra weary and beaten down. I was physically and emotionally wrung out, and feeling trapped in the relentless cycle of pain that just wouldn’t stop.
The drive I write about below came about completely spontaneously. It was a ray of light poking through one of my most persistent symptom “super storms”.
I’ve held this moment extra close to my heart since that day — and I want to share it with you as a bit of encouragement if you find yourself in the midst of your own “super storm”. I hope that it will remind you that even when it seems like it might, the darkest night does not last forever.
It’s an exhale. It’s a moment where there is no buzzing, clanging, pressure or throbbing; where there are no plans or fears. It’s being fully present as I feel a sense of calm wash through me — a strange awareness of both being completely inside a moment but also watching it happen.
This moment is so crisp and fresh. It isn’t foggy or cloudy, it’s not exhausted, it isn’t worried; it just is.
I step out of the car and as I take a deep breath in, my eyes blur with tears. I don’t know where I was before this breath, but each inhale and exhale brings me more fully into this moment. Everything around me feels clear and bright and beautiful. The sand is white and the beach is empty. It feels as though this moment, this world – has all arrived for me; right now, right here.
A smile breaks across my face. Because I made it. Through every single hard day and week and month and night that I felt like I couldn’t do this anymore. Somehow, I made it — to right here. This moment arrives without judgement and with arms wide open. It whispers, “it’s okay, all you have to do right now is be here, and for this moment, it’s all going to be okay”.
I’m so used to “being here now” through moments of pain. But being here now — so full of awareness, without having to endure and push through the pain that has been so omnipresent for so long, feels like a moment out of a dream.
This moment doesn’t ask for more time, less noise, shadier trees. It just is. I make it to the sand and continue to smile through teary eyes. I am walking on a beach. I am walking through life. I’ve gotten so used to experiencing life through a lens of looking for good moments amidst hard moments, this one feels too good to be true.
Yet, as dreamy as it feels, I know that it is real. It’s good and unassuming and it’s here for me; just as I am here for it. The beautiful gentle collision of this precious moment in time and my awareness of it is the sweetest feeling I have experienced in so long. It’s feels like a hug from future me, or past me; a gift to myself and a message from the universe that it is good, I am good.
It’s a moment so unexpected that I couldn’t wish for it, one that could only happen in its own time. It’s beyond conception and its spontaneity and beauty is born out of a melding of deep surprise and total presence. Here, there is no fear about what is going to happen next, because no expectations are attached to this moment.
The weather is still and warm. Clouds gently filter the sun’s golden rays and a light wind dances across the sand. This quiet, this peace, and the glow of everything around me gently envelops my entire being and breathes calm into me. As calm fills my lungs and body, I effortlessly roll into a loose and complete exhale. Not just of the air in my lungs; but an exhale felt by my soul. An exhale of all the pain and fear I’ve been so very sharply holding and enduring for so many weeks, months and years.
This ease, this feeling of being held, of being outside of my cozy home yet in a space and place that feels just as comforting. I feel the angels who’ve left my world so recently and suddenly, warmly smiling down on me and gently holding me up in the form of powder soft perfect sand. I feel all of the love I have for myself and for this life bursting through in a few moments of absolute perfection.
It’s not about what should be or what could be or what was — in this moment everything is, and right here it is perfect. Right here, it is enough.
In this moment I feel my heart swell with gratitude and my energy relax into the space around my body. I’m like the fluffy, white, marshmallow Michelin man — my energy extending beyond my body and wrapping me in a loving bubble of warm soft light, protecting me as I walk barefoot down the sand with Will and Finn.
I know this moment is something I will bottle up and hold onto for a long, long time. It’s like a gift you receive that you know will hold a special place on a shelf — you feel joy in the moment you receive it; but it’s true gift is that it keeps giving; every day that you wake up and see it on the shelf, glowing in afternoon light and reminding you of someone or something special.
As I walk down the beach marveling at how I came to be here, I don’t get carried away in wondering or figuring. I know that this will pass and that this moment will end, but that doesn’t make every second I get to stay here any less pure and magical.
Every part of this memory remains crystal clear in my mind. It’s a place that I visit often, when I am feeling trapped by my symptoms or my health. This memory, these precious moments, are a reminder that my soul can exhale; that I can feel light and that things can work out.
It is a reminder that even when I am at my lowest, the most unexpected moments can present themselves and allow me to feel re-energized for the fight. For the fight for my life — for less pain and more ease, and for more of these moments that let me melt into the now and refill my well of courage, gratitude, joy and vitality.
This memory is now one of my most treasured “happy places” that I keep on a very special “mental bookshelf”. It’s a new “go here when your eyes are closed and the needle is going in” place to escape to. A moment so full of goodness, a moment that I am reminded I am totally worthy just by being.
Like a cord being plugged into an earth socket, the energy from moments like this courses up through my feet and up into my heart, mind and eyes. I am wrapped in new, fresh, bright energy that doesn’t judge or hope or bargain. It just is. And so am I.
And each time I am able to get in touch with this feeling, with this memory; it’s the sweetest feeling. This feeling of being totally connected, these moments of light amidst darkness, are enough. Their energy fills me with an assurance that I too am, enough. Just as I am. In every moment.
I share each step along my road to wellness and healing and hope that in doing so I can inspire you along your own path. Thank you so much for being here.