The greatest gifts in my life have come in the form of breast cancer, foreclosure, my drug and sex addicted father, who passed away when I was ten years old, my ex-husband, my children, Jake and Jonah, and their sister, Sydnee, who died two days shy of her due date.
One might ask how losing a father at a young age, getting divorced, losing a child or having cancer could possibly be considered gifts. There is no doubt that these were very challenging times in my life, but once the dust settled, and maybe even during some of the later experiences, I was able to see the gift in each and every experience in my life.
Within each of our not-so-normal lives, we are faced with challenges along the way, nobody is exempt. These challenges show up for us to help us grow. Each and every one of those experiences leaves us with a “gift”. The catch is, we don’t actually get the gift until we are aware it’s there for us. Imagine a beautifully wrapped present hiding way up high in the closet, but you don’t know it exists. It only becomes exciting when you know it’s there and you have the chance to tear it open. The good news is it’s never too late to find them, we just need to open our minds to another way of seeing things.
My hope is that through this series of dysfunctional, crazy, funny, challenging and sometimes embarrassing glances into my life, you will learn to spot the silver linings in your life, unveiling these precious gems that have the power to bring you freedom and peace of mind.
I’m going to tell you some very personal details about my life and you will likely have thoughts of judgment, maybe anger at some point, but don’t stress out, just breathe. I forgive you. Xo
The Cake Walk
Walking through an elementary school carnival by myself some time in the 70’s, I’ll never forget one of my first memories of “knowingness” or intuition. The “cake walk” was on the gymnasium stage and I had my eye on a beautiful vanilla frosted cake as I walked up to the stage to play the game. I’ve never met a cake I didn’t like and that sucker was mine. If you haven’t heard of a cake walk, it’s basically walking in a circle, like a roulette ball swirling around, and whoever lands on the right number wins the cake. They must have given away a lot of cakes that day looking back.
In any case, as I walked onto the stage I had a distinct feeling of knowing I was going to win. I knew for sure that I would win. I had never had this feeling before that I could recall and didn’t know what to make of it. It was similar to the feeling of a déjà vu, when you feel as if you have been someplace before and you are repeating that same moment in time.
I won the cake that day and still look back today and wonder how I knew before I knew. I have had this experience several times since and it always catches me by surprise. My initial reaction is to doubt, then to reason it away, then positive thoughts and so on. If I simply trusted in that gut feeling that I had, just like the one in the school gymnasium that day, it would happen anyways.
Over the years, experiences like these have trained me to tune into my body and pay attention to signs that intuitively come up for me. I often feel these messages in my gut. If my stomach is really off, I check to make sure that I am living within my integrity. There have been many occasions when I have ignored it and things just did not turn out well. I learned over and over to trust this intuition that lives so strongly in my body and it all started with a cake walk.