“I’m in paradise,” my friend exclaimed this morning as she lept down the path to the beach to go for a swim. “PARADISE!!”

No, I’m not back in Mexico.

I’m still at my mom’s house on the Westcoast of Canada, the house I grew up in. I took a moment from multitasking trying to catch up on emails on my phone while side-eye keeping track of my toddler to pause and watch my friend’s pure joy as she jumped in the invigorating waters of Malaspina Straight. It really is beautiful here and I’m so grateful that I’m able to be here for a visit.

More than that, I’m grateful I’m actually able to take the time now to just BE. To be present. To put the phone down. To spent time with my daughter and watching her fascination discovering a new world around her. To witness her relationship with her grandmother blossoming.

And on a much deeper level, I’m grateful to just be with myself. To have a bit of spaciousness. To be amidst the tall trees and the westcoast wilderness smells that heal my soul. To feel joy and gratitude and abundance. To feel loneliness and sadness and grief. All of it.

You see, I didn’t used to let myself feel this deeply because I couldn’t slow down enough to just BE. I was on some kind of insane fast track and I didn’t even realize how little I allowed myself to slow down. I felt anxious and uncomfortable if I wasn’t doing anything. Or guilty. It just didn’t feel “right.”

I had to train myself to truly take time for myself and be present. I still have the tendency to over-schedule and say yes to more than I can realistically do and keep myself distracted by the busy-ness of doing.

Many have commented that the energies have been intense recently. It could be the eclipse and what’s going on in that stars. It most likely also has something to do with the tragic event in Charlottesville and the huge cultural wounds, racism and bigotry that have been so blatantly revealed again.

It can be tempting to want to turn away from the discomfort.

I encourage you to find ways in the next week to just be.

To be with yourself and your feelings, whatever might arise.
To be in moments of gratitude.
Moments of noticing.
Moments of divine presence.
Moments of confusion or pain or emptiness.
Moments of whatever.
If this feels new or strange to you, you might want to ask yourself, in one of these quiet moments, “what does it feel like to be me right now?”

I didn’t used to think it was paradise here.

I didn’t allow myself to feel the beauty of this place because it was still wrapped up in a lot of the pain in my teens years. It wasn’t until I fully allowed myself to open up to healing, to slow down and FEEL, and yes, the full range of feelings and emotions, that I truly understood what a gift this presence and place is.

Next week is the last week of August. I’ll be revving up and starting to share tips on how to have a supercharged (and sober, if you choose) September. However, I’m not going to rush. I’m committed to inviting this spaciousness and presence over the weekend and into early next week. I invite you to join me in creating these moments for yourself.