While pain and sadness were certainly a part of the year, so too were blessings. They came not just from the challenging moments, but from connection, adventure and love. It was an incredible year of going beyond what I thought my body was capable of, travelling in some of the most stunning mountain destinations of the world, experiencing new adventures and being inspired by connections with old and new friends alike. It was a year where I learned how unconditional love is a superpower that does not end when our bodies leave this world.
The beginning of the year I was depleted, healing from an aggravated old back injury when I made the decision to run my first ultra-marathon that would involve running 50 km over rugged mountain terrain. To some this would seem a crazy notion when depleted and recovering from an injury. But I knew using my tools - yoga, meditation, and shamanism and doing something I love - running through the forest and connecting to nature, would replenish and restore me.
And it not only replenished and restored, through the weeks and months of training I experienced the epitome of the saying “it is not about the destination, it is the journey.” Running through the forest a long run one Saturday morning after the rain, the mist rose from the earth and meditated upon my skin, the vibrant emerald green of the forest enveloped my heart in peace and I felt truly alive and one with my environment. In that moment, I realized it did not matter whether I ran the race or not, I had already won. I pushed my body beyond anything I had done before and I took my healing to a new level while enjoying the moments along the way.
From finishing my first ultra-marathon along the highest mountain in the Rockies, running under the full moon in the mountains where my mom grew up, ski touring from the world-renowned ice fields parkway, rock climbing the Skaha bluffs, stand up paddle boarding for the first time and exploring an area of Vancouver Island, I was blessed with many adventures.
One hot summer day I woke early and drove four hours to the mountains to run 30km along pristine jade coloured lakes, flowery meadows and lodge pole pine and swam in a backcountry lake before driving home and crawling into bed with utter satisfaction. That day I achieved a goal I set ten years ago when as a new mother I had dreams of being able to run for endless hours in the backcountry, pushing my body while exploring the vast wilderness.
I was also blessed with moments of inspiring and intimate connections. Sharing my passion for mountain adventures on a week-long climbing trip with girlfriends, we laughed, cried and motivated one another. In the fall I reunited with two longtime friends, one I had not seen in over four years and I have been inspired by the friendship with a new tribe member. In this year, I felt the power of forgiveness, I nurtured and healed a broken heart, and I learned to love myself unconditionally. In doing so I have been able to give this love to others. I connected to a love beyond this world and passed on a message and the healing work I have done has allowed me to love my daughters the way they need to be loved with affection and openness and with all of me - healed and whole. My girls being able to safely express their emotions, ask for a hug when they need or curl up in my arms and feel loved is one of the biggest blessings.
Whether we are physically present with the those we love, whether we’ve been hurt by a loved one or whether they are here with us on earth, I have witnessed how love connects, love heals, love inspires and love endures. To know and experience this is a super power - one I plan to use frequently. And so it is. Healing a broken heart, blasting limiting beliefs and connecting to a super power has led to a year of blessings.
“But listen to me. For one moment
quit being sad. Hear blessings
dropping their blossoms
around you.” Rumi