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July 8, 2020

Honoring Your Story: You are not Broken.

 

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There’s so much that I don’t share about what I do.

The work is deeply intimate, and emotional safety in the moments I share with these women means everything to me.

This story has been unfolding for 18 months, and I’ve received permission to tell it. I hope you will stop scrolling for a moment and be here with us as I tell it.

Jaime’s Story: 

This is a story about one of the most inspirational women I’ve ever met and our journey together.

I led a sacred women’s retreat in the Caribbean. Twenty women from all walks of life, from all over the country and world, flew in.

As each of the participants arrived at the resort with their fruity drinks and sweaty airport cargo, I waited for them on the beach.

When I first saw Jaime, I could feel the pain in her body, all the way from the ocean, as soon as she stepped onto the sand.

I saw how her heart was trying to leap at the wild blues and greens of the sea. She was aching to feel joy, and it was an old ache—one I knew marrow-deep.

My bones rattled as they always do when I know what is to come.

Most women who find me have known severe trauma to their womb space, sexual trauma, and birth trauma. It’s not uncommon for the women in a circle with me to carry one (or all) of these stories in their bodies.

This woman carried it all and more.

Without unpacking all of the stories, I could feel how much her body had been through. I could feel how hard she was trying to stand upright—to eat and digest her food, receive gentle affections, feel her emotions, and trust herself.

As the week went on, we did the small things that a group can do in a week. We sang, connected with each other, shared small parts of our life stories, and sometimes cried a little. A week is always just the beginning.

Near the end of our week together, I learned that, like so many women I meet, she carried sexual trauma.

I learned of her horribly painful Chrones Disease.

I learned that she had been forced to have a full hysterectomy at the age of 22. It was caused by contaminated water that had harmed her entire community.

I learned that she had overcome a decade of addiction to painkillers—which stemmed from the hysterectomy.

Then, I learned that she had witnessed the suicide of her fiancé.

How could one little woman hold all that pain in her body? In one lifetime?

I am no stranger to the rip-you-apart kind of things in life, but this was a whole new ballgame. I didn’t know if I was the right person to support her.

I did know if I could love her fiercely enough—to remind her of her power—or if I had enough resources.

I could walk with her if she ever asked me to.

We talked a little bit about Marshmallow Root and how it might help her tummy extract more nutrients from her food. It was clear that her body was repelling nourishment and in a constant state of fear and trauma response.

The little girl I saw behind her eyes begged for something to ease the suffering, and I just wanted to hold her hand—to see her come back to life.

One day we got talking about the way that trauma lives in the body, and she started unraveling some of the knots around her own. She shared her story with me. 

I told her that sometimes processing the memory of hard things, especially in the womb, is primal. It can sometimes look a lot like a birthing process, and support in those moments is everything.

I told her about an experience of my own. I told her about the strong woman in a jungle of Costa Rica who sat behind me during my miscarriage. She acted as a midwife as trauma moved from my womb, through my yoni, down my legs, and back into the earth.

I watched Jaime’s body start to buzz the way it does when energy is ready to move, and I asked her if this were something she’d like me to support her with someday.

She immediately said, yes.

I asked if it was something she wanted to do right then at that moment on a vast, nearly empty beach.

She said yes without hesitation.

We walked down to the water, and I sat down and opened my legs so she could sit in front of me and lean back while she looked out at the pink sun setting. She sat down, and I felt the tremble of her skin and bones as she gently leaned back.

We rocked together, breathing in sync as her body slowly softened to the idea of safety.

I reminded her repeatedly of her power, strength, and ability to choose her path going forward.

We breathed, groaned, and cried for a suspended moment until I felt a layer of her pain pour down her legs and into the ground below us. She surrendered into her own power and trust.

Then everything was quiet, our breath almost inaudible, and the last kiss of orange sunk into the sea.

I said, “You did that. You are that powerful.”  

She replied, “I did. I am. I am powerful.” 

That was the beginning of our first chapter together.

Now:

Her body is completely free of Chrones.

She has gained a healthy amount of weight (she looks amazing).

Her hair, skin, and nails are vibrant.

She’s reduced from 16 medications down to 3, soon to be none.

She’s engaged to the man of her dreams and having delicious orgasms.

She’s starting her own business to help people who’ve experienced trauma like her own and provide true wellness to her community.

We have many chapters to write together still. But the things I have learned working with this woman have revolutionized my entire world. She has taught me about the human spirit’s tenacity, the power of our will in healing our bodies, and the true meaning of reclamation.

She is now (and forever will be) a phoenix of rebirth in my heart. I am honored to know her and to walk with her.

We are never broken.

Jaime teaches me this every day.

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