"Freedom...You've got to give what you take...it's the one good thing that I've got..."
- George Michael. 1990. (OMG this one was way too easy to choose, you guys!)
I’m not super into New Year’s resolutions so I always choose a word for the new year, instead. Resolutions often feel like the revved-up pep rally before the big game that someone will inevitably lose and feel humiliated about. That kind of hype doesn’t feel sustainable to me so I pick a word to stay intentionally focussed on throughout the year and I let that word guide me. I choose a word that encompasses my goals and desires for the next chapter of my life.
Last year, 2021, I chose the word heal. And oh how I have healed. With awareness, self-responsibility, intention and focus came inspired action and momentum and I can wholeheartedly report that I feel very much like the desired transformation has occurred. It occurred because I CHOSE to heal. I chose to call in my resources, devote myself, let go of those people and habits that no longer served my healing, and introduced a bunch of people and habits that did. I CHOSE to step WAY out of my comfort zone and reach for something more extraordinary and I GOT it. I have stepped out from under the shadow of grief. The wounds have healed, cells rejuvenated themselves, new and different. The scars are still there as a reminder of my strength and the resilience of my children and I am SO fine with those scars. I don’t care if they ever soften or go away. I have earned them. Scars are kinda rad. And reminders of our strength are helpful.
Coming into 2022, I have big plans. I have big visions for change in my business and in my life so I have felt the desire to continue shedding things and relationships that complicate my life and so the word I originally chose for this coming year was SIMPLIFY. I am looking ahead to new horizons, a potential move to a new city, I am thinking of scaling back on everything from shopping to social media consumption and Marie Kondo-ing the fuck out of my life. I want to live more simply, eat more simply, teach simplicity and parent more simply. I want to stop creating unnecessary mountains for myself and bring life back to the basics. I want to clear the way so I can SEE the beauty on the horizon and enjoy every step I take along the way with less obstacles. But you know what? ‘Simplify’ doesn’t quite cut it. It isn’t enough this year. It’s not my word.
I have had such an extraordinary year that I felt the need for something bigger…a bolder word with more depth. I accomplished more in the last 12 months than I have accomplished in the 2 previous decades (besides the part where I grew two humans. That was pretty extraordinary!) so I am not going to play small, here.
In the past year I accelerated my healing journey by publicly sharing my stories in this blog. I assembled a beautiful community of vulnerable and open-hearted souls in my “Luminous Hearts Healing Collective” Group on Facebook with the intention of sharing our journeys of universal loss and creating a space for healing. I completed my Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Tapping Practitioner Certification. I dove deep into my spiritual growth with my mentor and teacher Joy Kingsborough through her Universal Laws and Quantum Expansion program, ‘MindSHIFT’, and I can assure you, SHIFT happened! I also learned more about the practical application of the Universal Laws through Joy’s program ‘Mastering The BrainGAME’, taught by my mentor and soul-sister Laura. I candidly shared my family’s devastating story in an important film that was created to help people understand a different point of view from the mainstream narrative that has been offered around Covid-19 and the global crisis that has since erupted. I have worked closely with my coach to create the framework for my first book and I even got certified to teach ‘Mastering the BrainGAME’ myself to enhance my coaching practice and help my clients, my kids and myself improve our emotional self-mastery. And I got my first tattoo! That's not nothing! I did all this while navigating the loss of my husband, detangling my attachment to the mystery surrounding his death, stewarding our two children through their own experience of grief, solo-parenting and running the house that used to take two of us to manage, working with lawyers to petition the Supreme Court of Canada to have my husband declared officially deceased so that I may officially take over my (ahem) “inheritance” of the mountain of paperwork that still needs to be sorted, a production company that needs to be collapsed and a heart that still beats just a little faster and more painfully every time I see Darcy’s handwriting or a picture of him. Every time either of my children smile his smile. Every time I drive past anywhere.
I got a lot done during this past year. I did so much healing and growing and I was reflecting on it all this morning as I did my end-of-the-year meditation in a floatation tank for fun! My style of meditation always involves landing, with intention, into a desired feeling state and allowing thoughts, ideas and inspired actions to arise from that FEELING rather than thinking of ideas using the analytical mind. This, to me, is the practice of heart-led creation. If I can FEEL it first, I can believe in it and bring it to life. (Spoiler alert. So can YOU!) So, this is how I went about the search for my new word for 2022.
Gratuitous pre-float selfie at floathousevictoria.com !
As I rested peacefully in the tank, feeling warm and held, at first it seemed like maybe the better word for 2022 would be ‘celebrate’. "I have done a lot of hard, good work this past year", I thought to myself as I bobbed away in the think tank. "Lots of things that people pop corks and bake cakes for!" Indeed. But ‘celebrate’ didn’t feel quite right either. Not yet. I guess when I choose a word, I choose it not only for myself, but also for the collective. I choose something that I want for the highest good of all. For example, I had wanted the whole world to heal along with me in 2021 but that didn’t really happen, so it didn’t quite feel like time to celebrate. Not just yet.
As I continued to float and feel around for my 2022 focus, it finally landed. With all the shackles I have busted out of this past year, with all the people and things that I have blessed and released, with all the tasks that I have ticked off on my list, with all the creative projects and learnings that have brought me to a higher version of myself and, most importantly, with the knowledge and confidence that, despite the pressure and threats that were coming at us all through 2021, I have maintained complete sovereignty over my own body…and I am feeling lighter. I am actually starting to feel a new sense of freedom! And I want more of that. I want it for all of us, so my word for the coming year is ‘FREEDOM’ and it feels a bit big and scary to me but I have successfully navigated big and scary before, so I am willing to go there.
It feels big and scary to me because most of the world population is FAR from free today. It seems that much of the world has handed over it’s true freedom in exchange for a false sense of security and it is my great hope that people will decide to start taking their freedom back in 2022.
When I lost Darcy, one of the things that helped me get to the acceptance piece more quickly was the fact that I have always had a deep and clear understanding that the ONLY thing on earth that truly belongs to me, in this lifetime, is my own body. It is literally ALL I have. It is up to me to take care of it, to make sure my soul is nourished and my own heart is happy and thriving. When Darcy disappeared, this understanding truly served me because I knew in my heart that, although I had lost my best friend and the father of my kids, he had never really belonged to us. It wasn’t ever his job to make our family complete. As individuals we are responsible for our own wholeness and to rely on another person to complete us is a recipe for emptiness. He was absolutely here to enhance the experience of our lives – and enhance it he DID - but he was not obligated to do so. Only I, myself, am obligated to ensure my own wholeness and the flip side to that huge responsibility is the gift of freedom and sovereignty. The UP side of truly owning myself, is that I truly OWN my SELF! I belong to me. This body belongs to me and so when I found myself no longer accompanied in this lifetime by Darcy, I knew I still had myself and my body and I could CHOOSE to soothe it, heal it, destroy it, whatever! Because I was FREE.
Let me confess here that I have not always treated this body of mine with kindness and I have not always celebrated its capabilities with unconditional love, but I have been FREE to do with it what I like and that matters to me. A lot. You would think that kind of personal freedom would be something that would matter to MOST people. But this past year, we have been watching people hand over their bodies easily. Some because they truly feel comfortable with what has been asked of them (freedom!)…but others against their will or better judgement because of pressure and coercion (not freedom…). It has shown me that many people don’t actually seem to value their sovereignty or maybe they have simply forgotten what it means.
I am not quite sure how we lost touch with our freedom but I am reclaiming mine here with this conversation and as we head into a new year, I intend to ponder deeply how so many of us have, so rapidly, allowed our freedom to be taken away…
Over the past year or so, the word ‘freedom’ has been grossly distorted. Somehow, nowadays, many people have begun to believe that complying or agreeing to being asked/prescribed/forced (you choose your own word…it feels different to different people!) to ingest/inject an unknown substance in order to take part in certain aspects of normal society is how they remain ‘free’. Sorry, friends. You can and should make your own choice to do what you like with your body (I always have!) and you can certainly choose to believe that what you put into your god-given body, when mandated to do so by someone outside yourself, is somehow “doing the right thing”. But you cannot determine what the “right” thing is for anyone else and you sure cannot call this freedom.
Some people believe that they are obtaining ‘freedom’ by complying/agreeing to take a particular medicine so that they may fly in an airplane “freely” and visit a new place, or celebrate a holiday with friends or family. This is also not freedom. It is quite the opposite. So let’s call it what it is. It is control. Just take a look at all the hoops you need to jump through, additional tests, fees and extended quarantines you’ll need to participate in if you choose this “freedom”. Yikes. And no one can even truly explain who is protecting who from what anymore. They are just cashing in on our impatience and desire to go new places and do new things. We are literally willing to hand over our sovereignty for a quick fix.
Perhaps we still feel like our health and happiness is the responsibility of someone else so we take our guidance from others, even if they are recommending we swim into uncharted waters, no questions asked? Perhaps when someone DOES ask a legitimate question and they get censored or shut down on social media we view this as somehow protective ? Perhaps we think that the “leaders” in health care and government (and tech and pharmaceuticals) have our best interest at heart, even as we watch them break the law, defy the Charter of Rights, make themselves a ton of money while doing it, all while we are continually uncovering hundreds of bodies of indigenous children stolen from their families and buried in unmarked graves by this same lineage of “trustworthy” government? Perhaps we believe that our neighbours should choose what WE choose as a protective measure for OUR well-being? Do we actually believe that our friends, neighbours and complete strangers all have an obligation to put their bodies in danger to protect ours? (I sure don't expect that of anyone!) And who’s bodies are ACTUALLY in danger here? No one really seems to know, do they? I don’t know…perhaps we should exercise our critical thinking muscle and explore these ideas for ourselves as we move forward, but for the sake of this conversation, it matters not. All that matters to me today is that we celebrate and honour our right to do whatever we want with our own bodies. Full stop. They are all we have. Everything else that we think “belongs” to us is an illusion.
So, ‘freedom’ is my word for 2022. I want it for you and I want it for me. It is, inarguably, our basic human right. Anyone who reads this is smart enough to know whether they have exercised their right to freedom over their body. (You choose for you, boo.) Anyone who reads this is also perfectly aware of how they have or have not judged others for their choices. (You ONLY get to choose for you, boo!)
For me, to claim ‘freedom’ as my word for the coming year, and for my lifetime (because I have always valued it above all else), is simply my expression of hope that the separation of our global community may shift as people start to recognize what it actually means to be free.
It may mean that many more of our rights need to be stripped from us for people to recognize that they have given their freedom away. It may not. Maybe people will start to feel the low vibrational, toxic energy of being confined to parameters set for them by the authorities…and by this I do NOT mean the people who aren’t allowed to visit certain restaurants or stores because they don’t have the “required” paperwork. That paperwork is just a superficial illusion of freedom. (It means nothing and it will be taken away, the moment you choose to draw a line with your personal rights). I am referring to those of us who have consciously or unconsciously agreed to parameters that equal, one, two, five, eight (?) mandatory booster shots to keep their current status of “free” to go to a restaurant or get on a plane. Those humans will not be free until they set a clear boundary for themselves as to what they are willing to DO for someone else to stay “free”. The good news for all of us is that we can draw that line any time we want. We can set a boundary and reclaim our own freedom in any given moment. It is our right. And that is amazing and hopeful.
I don’t know how it will all transpire. I don’t know if people will EVER get fed up with this non-sensical circus enough to decide to reclaim their freedom, but I do know this. Freedom isn’t something we get from going to restaurants, malls or spas. It isn’t something we get from the short-lived high of a trip to somewhere tropical for a couple weeks. (Although I love all those things and I want them for us all!)
Freedom is something we feel deep in our hearts, every day, when we have been true to our own belief systems, when we have acted within our own integrity, when we have done our own research around our choices and made the BEST decisions for ourselves. Freedom is feeling all-knowing in our human rights, exploring ALL our options, and trusting in our own best judgement for our bodies. When you are truly free you will KNOW it because you will FEEL it in your body. It is peace and ease. Freedom is allowing others to exercise their own freedom of choice and not to make THEIR choices mean something about US. If me exercising my right to freedom and sovereignty over my own body or using my voice makes you uncomfortable, it might be a reflection that you need to look at more closely. And vice versa. Freedom comes from opening up to learning from other people’s experiences, listening to people’s stories of why they MADE certain choices in their lives and expanding our minds and hearts in the process. Freedom is more than the ability to take a vacation and go for a beer. Freedom is coming together, regardless of our different ideas, choices and cultures. And I want that togetherness and that peace and ease in my heart more than I want a vacation or a meal in my favourite restaurant. Those things aren’t worth the cost of my freedom. No way.
In the very recent past we were always making different choices than each other. Some of us ate meat and some of us were vegans. Some of us took busses and others drove cars and some did both. Some people drank alcohol and others did not. Some boys loved boys and some boys loved girls and some boys loved girls and boys. Some people believed in Jesus and others in Buddha, Allah, or no god at all. Some of us wanted kids and others weren't sure about their desire to have families. We talked about these things out loud. We listened to each other without feeling threatened. We shared our ideas creatively and received new ideas and inspiration from others. We watched films, read books and listened to podcasts about things we knew nothing about and we were interested in new points of view and we learned from them without having to take anything personally. We actually sought out new narratives for our own enjoyment and education!
What happened? Why can’t we do that with each other anymore?
Well…if you are free, you can.
If you feel peaceful, easy freedom in your heart, another person’s ideas and choices won’t provoke a response of fear or anger in you. You will be able to listen easily and choose to take something from the conversation or not. No harm done. The integrity with which you live your life will recognize that same integrity in others and it won’t be hard to be together, despite your different choices. You will be truly free.
To be free is to know that we can make conscious choices without being judged or condemned. To be free is to know that we can speak from our hearts without being judged or condemned or censored. To be free is to KNOW, deep in our souls, that we can ONLY be judged or condemned or censored by others if we allow it. And to allow it, is to judge and condemn ourselves.
I won’t allow it.
I wish for freedom for all in 2022 and always.
Wishing you all so much love and a very happy, healthy New Year.
Til Next Time,
Heal & Be Healed.