Birthing My Business

 


I haven’t written a blog post on here in over two years. But I’ve been thinking of dabbling in some writing again, just to see what happens.

It’s been a beautiful, busy few years. I finished grad school. I now have my own private counseling practice, Be Luminous Counseling. I’ve started dating someone wonderful after struggling in the dating world for a very long while. This relationship is still quite new, so it feels a little vulnerable to even be writing about it. But as a Vulnerability Warrior (as some of my friends call me), I’m okay with that.

About a week ago, the guy I’m dating and I had a big conversation around the possibilities of our future together. One of the main topics was around having children or not. I’m 38, he’s 43. It’s an important thing to be thinking about. Yet, it is so early for us; we are only 4 months in.  He is in the midst of a big career shift and is most likely starting grad school in the fall. I am in the midst of building my private practice, getting some groups and workshops going, and learning some major business/marketing techniques to help myself with all of this. We are also both right in the heart of a two-year psychotherapy training program (which is how we met).  So, neither of us are actually in a mental, emotional, or financial space to have children right now.

And in our conversation, he revealed that he isn’t totally sure he will even want to have a child in a few years. May I remind you that I’m 38?  So, I only have a few years left if I want to have a child the “normal” way (which I am definitely drawn to doing).  His honesty around this was so powerful and also very difficult for me. It was an emotional discussion, but out of it came the realization of where we are at with each other. That we are in love. And that we want to try to make things work. But that it is all a bit uncertain right now. And while that’s tough, it’s okay…for now. And that we are both going to continue to get clear around our wants and needs and if those align with each other or not.  It’s all beautiful, and also really effing scary.

The thing is, I DO want children. For a long time, I have thought it would be great to have a biological child and then adopt another child. That is still quite appealing to me. But there’s this other thing: I’m not ready. At all. And it’s not the thing about not feeling ready and knowing that no one is really ever ready to have a child. I’m really NOT ready. Now is not the time. And I’m not sure when it will be. And if I’ll even be able to have children at that time. And if I will still want to.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg on this whole thing, but basically what I’m realizing is that the “child” I am birthing and raising right now is my business. My purpose and work on this planet. It is my passion and is the most important thing I have ever done. And that feels fulfilling. And I’m just getting started.  There are some labor pains right now, or maybe I’m just trying to figure out how to breastfeed. Wherever I am at, I know I am exactly where I need to be right now. I don’t know what my future will bring…but I do know that no matter what happens, I will be okay with it in the long run. Even if it isn’t what I have “planned” in my head. I trust and surrender to what is in store for me.

uncertainty

Wow, I haven’t posted in a year.  What a year…

Well, I am in a weird space these days.  I am not gonna lie, things have been a little rough lately. While I always have a baseline level of gratitude and have so much to be thankful for, I also have some stuff in my life right now that just plain sucks.

I’m almost 36 years old and I’m still single. I have been dating off and on, but just cannot seem to find the right person. I was recently dating someone who I thought was really going to work out and be great and he just didn’t.  It really frustrates me because I had actually attracted someone who seemed so available (I have had a tendency of going after unavailable men for a while now) and was really proud of myself for working through my issues around being with an available man, and then BAM, he became unavailable.  Arrrggghhhh!  It’s like he was a shape-shifter and just appeared to be available.  I was tricked!  I’m trying to remind myself that I actually overcame something huge and learned a lot from this situation, but it is hard to be positive when all I feel is sadness, anger and disappointment.  I often wonder when I will finally find that person that will be my partner in crime.  I am no Spring Chicken and it’s starting to get frustrating.  I do want marriage and kids, so the clock is ticking.  Plus most of my friends are married or in relationships and it’s hard to feel connected to those people.  I’m starting to feel like Bridget Jones, but even she found someone by her early thirties.

Then there’s the school/practicum situation…I don’t even know how to begin to explain that.  Let’s just say that it is one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with (besides my father’s death).  It is frustrating beyond words.  And if I don’t find a practicum site soon, my graduation will be postponed for who knows how long, which means my licensing is postponed, therefore my career is postponed, therefore my livelihood, etc.  So yeah, that’s pretty scary.

I of course, have so much to be grateful for.  I have an amazing family, a great place to live, I love being back in Portland, I love my animals (even when they’re annoying), and I have great friends (when I get to see them).  I also love The Bar Method and am grateful for what it has brought into my life.  I also have my health and after having a health scare a couple of months ago, I am really grateful for that.

I’m trying so hard to see the positive through all this pain, doubt, uncertainty, etc.  But sometimes I just have to give into it and know that feeling THROUGH it is the only way out.  But I need a little help from The Universe…just a little sign that I’m on the right path and that it will all work out soon.

 

shiny new wings

I have been thinking a lot today about where I was just a year ago in my life. This past year has definitely been a rough one, but a beautiful one as well. It has been a time for me to be in my cocoon of healing and rediscovering myself and I am now re-emerging.

They say (they being scientists, I guess) that once a caterpillar goes into its cocoon, it literally liquifies down to the molecular level to be able to transform into a butterfly. Then when it is ready, it has to break out of its cocoon. The process by which it breaks out is what develops its wing strength in order for it to be able to then fly. If someone were to let the butterfly out too early, it would not be ready.

I think about this phenomenon a lot. It is obviously a great spiritual metaphor. it definitely has been a good one for me over the past year. One year ago, I was in the midst of ending my 5-year relationship, moving out of the apartment I shared with him, dealing with a traumatic haircut (sounds ridiculous, but it was horrible for me at the time), starting a new job, dealing with having gained weight yet again, trying to wrap up my final year at Cal, applying to grad school, etc. I was depressed. It was really hard. All of it. I wasn’t very happy in the Bay Area, didn’t have friends that I really wanted to hang out with and just felt very lost. Hooping wasn’t even doing it for me anymore.

But I kept on truckin’ through it, knowing deep down that it was just a cocooning time for me. Time to just heal and reflect and make it through my everyday existence. And I practiced a lot of gratitude…because I still had so much to be grateful for…I always do.

And NOW…wow. One year later and I am a different person. Still the same silly Jen, but with shiny new butterfly wings. I have emerged from my cocoon and am spreading my wings. People tried to bust me out early, but I waited. I knew I needed to wait. I needed my strength. And boy was it worth it.

I have lost 15 pounds and am losing more every month. I look forward to my active lifestyle now. I need it. I’m even finding myself in the hoop again. My hair is growing out and I feel like myself again. I have embraced myself in so many ways…rockin’ my tattoos, the way I operate in the world, my passions, my strengths, my weaknesses, etc. Just me. I am in grad school and my program is incredible. It is going to change me for the better…it actually already has.

I am also finally moving back to Portland and I am stoked. While it is hard to leave the Bay Area after meeting so many great people over the past few months, I know this is my path. I am someone who follows her gut, as crazy as it seems sometimes, and my gut is telling me to move back to Portland. So I am going with it. I am also starting my coaching business. It’s pretty much one of the scariest things I have ever done, but it feels so right. I’m on my edge and I’m loving what it is creating in me.

I am also functioning on an emotional, mental and spiritual level like never before. There is so much changing in the way I relate to others, communicate, think about myself, etc. It is so beautiful. And challenging. But I totally get bored without a good challenge, so…

So yeah…life is good. Life is beautiful. I am grateful for all of it. Even the vulnerable moments, the moments that shake me to my core. They are still there of course. But I embrace them all. I know they lead to the epic moments of joy and connection that I thrive on. Which reminds me…check out my recent inspiration: