Books

Life as a Journey – recognizing the value of both the process + the outcome

Books.

As a child, I couldn’t get enough of them
I read them cover to cover
I was drawn to the stories they held
to the beauty and heartache in the pages.
Those stories taught me about love and loss
hope and truth
courage and strength.

Today, I still love stories
but I have come to understand
that my love for books stemmed from a deeper desire to know people.
To see a glimpse of their heart through the vulnerability of those personal stories…

Everyone has a story,
it speaks to your life journey.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou has a quote that reads:
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you…”

Yes.
I have come to understand that this is so true.
13 years ago I kissed my son’s beautiful face for the first time,
and the last…
He was stillborn…
and it broke my heart wide open.
unimaginable grief and love poured out
and I felt this incredible need to share the story
of how his little life had so touched mine…

Sharing his story, is how I could authentically honor him,
and speak to the deep pain I felt with every breath.
The grief so raw.
The longing so deep.

Looking back now, I recognize that this journey was a process
A process of acknowledging deep loss,
of crying the tears that needed to be cried,
of asking questions,
and coming to peace with the unanswered questions.
Of acknowledging my son, who was not in my arms,
but will always be a part of our family, and of my heart.
I lived from a vulnerable, honest place
and that journey was oh so hard
and so very sacred.

The outcome of that process is: I changed
How could I not?
Today, I breath in deeply of what each day has to offer.
I smother my daughters with kisses
and remind them that they are loved.
I trust my intuition
and listen to my heart.
I choose to speak truth
and live from a deeper place of awareness.
I am kinder to myself.
I honor this journey of grief that I will forever be on
and I bravely share our story of loss with others,
not only to honor him,
but in the hope that it will encourage them
to step into their brave,
and live with vulnerability
and intentionality.

I believe that we were created to love and be loved.
To share our stories of life with each other.
These beautiful stories
help us understand that we are not alone…
not alone in our struggles,
and not alone in our hope.

Stories…
They speak to the journey of life.
They matter.
Your story matters.

– Sharon

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Doing It Afraid

“Doing It Afraid”

{Title inspired by A&B’s biggest advocate: Margo Souza}

For weeks and weeks I’ve been thinking, thinking, thinking, trying to find something inspirational to write about; and for weeks and weeks nothing has come to me. Plain and simple, you can’t force inspiration. So, I waited….and I waited…. And I waited….

And I {finally} found it!

Well, she found us, to be exact. Margo Souza: entrepreneur, author, speaker, contributor. Margo walked into our lives with a pep to her step and a steadfast belief in our grassroots organization, Arise & Be. She is teaching us “how to fish” rather than “handing over the fish on a platter.” Priceless. If you don’t know who she is, Google her! Her accomplishments and achievements to the community are countless. In the mean time, let me share a little tidbit about this amazing 75 year old woman that you won’t find on Google.

Margo Souza

In the early 60’s, Margo left everything behind and {fearfully} drove to Seattle to pursue her goal of getting her degree. Despite her car breaking down en route, having no money, no support and being completely terrified and alone, she could have chosen to turn around at any moment, but she kept on going. This was just the beginning of Margo “doing it afraid”. From there, she went on to achieve many more accomplishments {ie: check out MooMilk.com} and touch the lives of countless people along the way.

Doing It Afraid

Now, at 75, Margo is entering an entirely new stage of life. She is wholeheartedly giving back. Inspiring women, encouraging and supporting the arts in local communities, promoting leadership to the up and coming generations and fully living up to her giftedness of being a “conduit to success” for others.

This whole “doing it afraid” concept really got me thinking. Doing it afraid? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Why would I want to do something afraid? Why not stay in my bubble and do what feels comfortable and safe? Why would I choose to embrace such an unpleasant feeling?

And then it all made sense.

As I sat and thought about all the things I’ve done in my life that have been scary, heck, downright terrifying! {going away to college, surprise! I’m pregnant!, purchasing our first home, starting my own event planning business, buying our first car, being in debt, enduring two miscarriages, homeschooling our daughter, picking up our family & moving to Spain for 3 months, running a ½ marathon, running a marathon, having a home birth, saying “no”, paying off our debt}. All terrifying, all magical, all a part of my story.

It hit me! Had I not chosen to face these moments head on, fear and all, and do it afraid, I would have been choosing to not actively take part in my journey. What I’m doing right now, at this very moment is pretty scary. All of it. Stepping into a new business endeavor with three incredible women. My heart wide open. I don’t have all the answers or know what is to come. Yet…. I’m doing it and I’m doing it afraid.

My wish for you is that the next time you are faced with a giant decision, a monumental change, or searching for the courage to stand up for something great; that doing it afraid will no longer be a scary something in your mind. That it will instead be an identifiable something! Recognizing that the being afraid part isn’t a sign to turn away and run, but in fact it’s the opposite. It’s the sign of a door opening, a new chapter; asking, begging, pleading with you to be brave and step into your best life:-)

Now be afraid! And Go Do!

Hugs!

-Michaela:-)

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