The Magnificent Now.

It has been so long since I have been called from my bed in the middle of the night with the pull to write and clear myself free of rustlings in my brain to allow space for sleep. Here I am though, once again, me, my laptop and the clock letting me know it is 3 hours and 45 minutes past my bedtime and 5 hours and 15 minutes until little bubby will wake ready to start a new day.

Here I am.

I am not anxious. I am not scared. I have had no nightmares. I am not dwelling is painful past places. I am awake because of all the extra sleep I was afforded last night when I went to bed early. My rhythm it is off and that is okay.

So friends, I am thinking maybe now is a good time to do a recap, a little reminiscing over the year that has passed, and also a bit of a look forward into my vision for the year unfolding anew.

I am finding myself in pause wondering what exactly I want to share and where to begin..

This year began with BIG energy. I felt a very intense urge at the beginning of the year to break away from my pattern of victim mentality and playing small in life. I wanted to be BIG and own my power and dive into parts of my healing and my life that had felt scary to me before.

I did these things. I did BIG work this year and I did reclaim power. This was a very messy process as it turns out and I was not always graceful. I hurt people this year. People and I love, people I care about, people who I know care about me. This was not my intention but it was absolutely my impact on them. I have been sitting with this. While I know I was lacking grace in these moments where I inflicted the hurt, I did repair work with myself by allowing grace in the after. I have given myself room to get it wrong. I have held space for my truth of sorrow over pain I know I inflicted while allowing grace knowing that I am practicing new ways of being while not really knowing how. I have moved forward holding those I hurt dear in my heart right alongside all the parts of me who are okay and not okay with how I practiced these new ways of being. Most of all I giving myself permission to grow and that my friends is a very painful, and very messy process.

Once I moved through the urgency of BIGNESS a calmness fell over me for a while. I think I need the bolstering of feeling BIG in order to get through some of that hard, messy work where I got it wrong. I don’t think I would have had the courage to have those hard, but very important, conversations with the people I hurt had I not felt puffed up and BIG. The truth is, I was feeling scared and small in those relationships, I am sad hurt happened, AND I am grateful I allowed myself space to practice setting clear boundaries so I can no longer be hurt.

So the calm came. For a time. Then my body started sending me distress signals. I am sad this part of my story ended with my gallbladder being removed. I feel incredible loss that part of me had to be removed for the rest of me to feel better. This has symbolic sorrow for me. I have been sitting with this as well. What I have come to so far is that maybe my gallbladder and I made a pact when my soul chose this body. My gallbladder was the canary in the mine, letting me know the environment of my physical body was becoming toxic. I have made changes on the other side of this experience to honor the sacrifice my gallbladder made for the good of the whole.

I made a new soul friend this year. A sister in motherhood and art and healing. We practice being seen in our sacredness together. We soul speak and share hard truths and connect to source and share that energy freely. I have NEVER experienced this with another human before. She is helping me stand so fully in my light in the presence of others which has been an incredible challenge for me previously. I know our meeting is no accident or coincidence, our souls came back to each other at the exact moment they were meant to so we can help one another stand in our light and RISE.

Relating to soul friends and community, I have incredible gratitude for my people. I called in a few soul friends for what I knew would be sacred healing work for me and we are creating something now I am proud to be part of. We are all practicing new ways of being, new ways of being seen, supported, held. It is scary and True and exciting and overwhelming. This group touches such raw things inside of me that sometimes it is excruciating AND I know this is exactly what I am meant to be doing and these are the people I am called to do it with.

From this group some of my work for next year has emerged. I am very clear on two areas; my work around further reconnection with my body AND work around my attachment wounds which translates to learning how to create and experience secure attachment in my intimate relationships, ie; my relationship with my husband and my relationship with my soul friends. I know I have some level of secure attachment in these relationships because of the safety I experience, I also know my attachment wounds are still present as well. I do not think the goal is to try to erase the wounds, that does not happen, the goal for now is to notice the trigger and observe rather than react.

My husband and I have been talking about my two healing goals for next year and have already started practicing things and making plans that will support me in this work. My work has always been our work because we are very clear that when one of us heals, we all heal. I am grateful to have a partner who is just that, my partner.

Another way I planning to lean into this work is through soul friend therapy. One of my soul friends has agreed to do sessions with me where we will explore deeper what secure attachment means to both of us and how to practice it together in our relationship. Hello truth speaking, boundary work, a sense of real love and safety inside of a relationship. I know this will be deep, difficult, life changing work for both of us and I am again grateful to have someone who loves me showing and saying Yes to the work with me.

I am also giving meaning thought to my body work. Yoga has been brought to me as an option by multiple people in recent months so it is impossible for me not to consider this option. I have all sorts of feelings about this and pretty much all of those feelings bubble out of deep wounds which tells me this is exactly where the work is and I should honor the pain by leaning in. There is a woman I will be speaking with about this in the weeks to come and I believe we are meant to hold this part of my work together until I am in a place of being able to hold myself. I am staying open and listening to my body as I flow through this.

Little bubby and I have found our stride. Self-care game is strong over here which will always make or break me in any relationship, but especially one that is as prevalent as this. I am bringing help a few hours a week so I have space to stay connected to Self and Source. I am writing, reading, and creating, which are my outlets. Plus I have just figured out how to be in it better with him. This was absolutely something I had to learn, this was not something ever taught to me – I was taught how to shut my feelings down and minimize my experience for the comfort of the adults around me. This was not a wound I was willing to pass on AND that does not mean I magically knew how to do it differently. I was doing my best for sure, and I have no shamey feelings at all about my attempts, I was doing really well. The difference now is that I am no longer trying, I just am. Before it felt like work, I was hustling, it felt emotionally draining – I was doing it but it felt hard. Now, it flows. I am much more tuned in and I feel connection to him and myself when I show up in it with him. I am excited about the year ahead, I am excited all that lies before us, next year and beyond.

I set a lot down this year. Relationships, expectations, unhealthy attachments.. It made a lot of room in my heart to pick things up that I think I am actually meant to be holding, mainly me. I am starting to gain a lot more clarity about my path forward in terms of how I radiate my healing and Love outward through my life’s work and my Purpose.

I feel 2020 is going to catapult me forward. It feels like a year of redemption. This year I believe is about adding to 9 and finding answers.

There is a vision that has been coming to me in pieces for the last 3 years, a month ago I saw the whole picture and received clarity on how to act. I do not know the why of the action, I do not know what the outcome will be – this is my Field of Dreams moment and I am going to trust that when I follow this action through it will bring me to where I am meant to be.

This year is big because of the number 9. I was 9 when I started healing myself through writing. This year I am 36, 3+6=9. My life path number is 33, a master number, 3×3=9. This year my husband and I will celebrate our 9 year anniversary. My number is coming up over and over and over. This year is about redemption. It is about healing the wounds of the 9 year old child through love and support through community, which she did not have in her time of pain. It is about standing in my power, with out force, through my connection to Self and Source which will lead me to my Purpose as a master number 33. This next year is also about Love. The kind of Love I dreamed of growing up, the Love my husband and little bubby and I share. The kind of Love that is created with commitment and connection.

This next year, where the numbers are symbolic, is about healing, the likes of which I have not yet experienced, the likes of which will change the game.

With all of this said and shared, I close with this;

I am grateful, as I have expressed so many times before, for the way this writing space has held me. For the way you have held me just by showing up and witnessing me. I know I am not being called to write here going forward. I am being called to others places, places that have been held for me until I was ready. I will not close this space down, it will remain and from time to time may still hold a middle of the night brain dump if needed.

This is my formal farewell and thank you though. My gratitude is immeasurable.

With my hand at my heart,

Jillian Baxter, the woman adding.

I Promise.

I am in a place of promises right now. Reflecting on the sacredness of this level of intention.

On retreat in the spring I was guided through a deep meditation and while inside of the space that is neither here, nor there, I had a very clear vision. It was two little souls crowded around a daisy making a plan. This was my spiritual remembering of the soul contract my brother and I made before beginning this human experience. In this space of dark and light where our souls existed first we made promises to each other; mine was to do the job I came here to do – his was to keep me on my path, no matter the personal cost, by showing up in his darkness when needed.

I can tell you friends, this sweet soul who is my beloved brother kept his promises. And these promises came with great personal cost. It is why I try each day to peel another layer back, to go deeper, to stay on the path. I have a promise to keep.

Fast forward to now –

I was given the news that surgery is needed to remove my gallbladder. I have multiple conditions happening at once that cannot be fixed holistically or with medication. Surgery is the best path towards healing.

… I wanted to write “whole body healing”, but that doesn’t feel quite right knowing that a part of me literally has to be removed from the whole for me to heal.

I am going to have to sit with this outside of this post, there is something to explore deeper here.

So I am preparing for surgery. Preparing for surgery goes beyond cleaning my house and meal prepping so I can rest with ease as I recover. It is more than dietary changes and making plans for my mother to be with little bubby while his momma is away.

There are things I am doing for myself that go beyond the surface level details.

I am preparing an honoring ceremony to thank my gallbladder for the ways she held me when I struggled to hold myself. I am taking time to feel everything that I feel in the wake of this news; my shame, my grief, my fear, my gratitude, my love, my anxiety. I am balancing myself between the pause and the urgency given the severity of my condition. I am taking time to plan my path forward, making space for fluidity – this piece is especially important because in the face of the unknown I certainly have a part that shows up wanting to control anything she can. I am holding her and listening to her concerns, she is part of my processing but she is not in charge of this part of my self-care.

There is more happening inside this space of love and care but this enough for now.

A soul friend and fellow momma gave me a beautiful piece imagery to hold onto while my gallbladder and I complete this last chapter of our story together –

“I am picturing your gallbladder taking along with it anything that does not energetically belong with you anymore”.

Yes.

Yes and Amen.

My gallbladder held so much for me, it was so strong for so long. It shutting down and saying “Enough” is not some reflection on lack of strength – it is a very clear message to me that it is time.

It is time. You are ready. 

It was holding me until I was able to fully hold myself. Now that I am here my gallbladder finally gets to rest, her job is done.

So I count my gallbladder in my gratitude this evening, for all she has done for me, my gratitude is immeasurable.

This is my promise to you, sweet organ who held me so devotedly these last 36 years, I will Love. I will Love so deep and so True that every part of me will feel it and every part of me will know – I will Love so purely that the power of it will explode out of me like delicate particles of light and all those who encounter me will know.

I am a soul with promises to keep and I will spend my life doing just that.

 

Calm Christmas

Sending a little love and light to MIL as I start this post as she was the catalyst for an important decision my husband and I made about the holidays this year.

We have decided to have a family Christmas. Our family. Me, my husband, little bubby, and Lu.

We have decided we will not be traveling, we will not be making the rounds. We will be home, with each other, celebrating in our own way and hopefully creating new traditions together that will be part of our Christmases for years to come.

This decision came after a massive guilt trip laid on both of us from my MIL.

Before little bub was born we would often travel to see my husband’s family for Christmas. It had become an annual trip and we looked forward to it.

We both agreed, even before I became pregnant, that once we had a baby we would not be traveling for Christmas.

Apparently my MIL did not get that message and that turned into a very awkward conversation for me when my in-laws were here a few months ago for a visit.

I have a lot of compassion for my MIL when it comes to her role as grandma, I know she feels disconnection due to distance.

Still, this is a decision we are connected to.

After a few awkward conversations wherein she tried every mom tactic out there to change our minds, with no success, my husband and I had a very intentional conversation around what we want Christmas to feel like.

Some of the words that came up were; connection, Love, peaceful, joy, comfort.

From this we both agreed that we wanted to be home, with each other, enveloped in the day and taking it all in without distraction.

Since making the decision my usual underlying feeling of dread (there has been excitement and joy as well) has lifted.

Knowing that we don’t have to accommodate anyone else’s schedule, we don’t have to travel, we don’t have to haul gifts and little bubby supplies anywhere, we don’t have to DO anything. We can just BE.

That is our gift to ourselves. Connection, Love, Peace, Joy, Comfort. At home.

As this is little bubby’s first real Christmas we are thinking about what our family’s traditions might include. I am thinking about the meal and leaning towards vegan tamales, as tamales are a traditional holiday dish in Mexican culture and we like the idea of tying in our culture into our holiday traditions. I am thinking about how to make the day magical for little bubs without over planning, finding the balance between structured family activities and freedom to play and be. I am also thinking about sweet sacred alone time with my husband once little bubby has gone to bed. I have tossed out the idea of us getting a fire pit for the back yard this year (my husband loves to build a good fire), we are still mulling that idea over. I am playing with the idea of a hot spiced drink and maybe a quiet activity like a holiday puzzle.

This is what I am clear on, it will be wonderful whatever it ends up being. Because we are creating this experience with intention, knowing exactly how we want to feel and really leaning into those feelings as we plan.

Here is the other thing I am clear on, this is the exact right decision for our family. The thing that came up for us as we had that discussion a while back that led to this decision was this; we are a family. So spending Christmas with family does not have to extend beyond us if we don’t want it to. Love to both of our families of origin, they no longer define family for us though. Family can be us or more than us and at any given time we get to decide.

We will still make time for both of our families around the holiday. Little bubs will spend time with family in town before Christmas day and skype with family out of town. This decision was not made from a place of exclusion, it was made from a place of Love and connection.

So as we enter this season I wish you and yours warm tidings of comfort and joy. And Love. Always Love.

Alchemy in Body Work

I feel it is time to acknowledge some shame I have been carrying around because it is heavy on my heart and I am ready to set it down and heal with Love instead.

I have shared a little bit about how my husband and I are taking some time at the end of the year now to figure out what our relationship with food as a family will look like going forward. When little bubby started eating solids we realized real quick there would not be a point where we suddenly say, okay let’s feed him fat, sugar, and sodium. This means my husband and I, who are well meaning but not completely intentional, needed to make changes to meet little bubby where he is and join him in healthy eating.

In August I had a health scare. I had some kind of gastrointestinal episode that was very painful and found me in my doctor’s office the next day. Labs and testing done came back negative so I assumed it was something I ate and moved on. Two months later, almost to the day, I had another episode but this time it was much worse. I was debilitated by it. I will not get into the details but I was very sick. Again I found myself in my doctor’s office and more testing was ordered. Results have not come back yet, and based on these findings the spectrum of intervention could be from dietary change to surgery.

It is clear to my husband and I though that at the very least we will be applying the dietary change, in fact we already have. My body is literally telling me it is time.

I have gone full vegetarian with most of my meals being fully vegan. I have been off dairy for a while but I do still eat fish. My husband is practicing this with me for the meals he eats at home but for the time being still takes a sandwich for lunch that includes deli meat. Little bubby is eating this way with us because we are the ones preparing his meals obviously but we are not against him having lean meats such as poultry when we are with family.

So here is where my shame has been weighing on me; I caused this. I have been using food to hold my pain for most of my life. It started as the example set by my parents but as an adult I had the choice to parent myself better and that is not the option I have been choosing. I have been sitting in shame while I process the fact that now my body is struggling because of the damage I have caused with my choices. I am ashamed I did not Love myself better. This feels like self-harm. I knew better and continued to make these choices from a place of victim mentality, scarcity, and fear.

Love was always a choice here, and it still is, I just wish I had made this choice sooner.

Here is where I call in grace; I am here. The darkness that came before was then, this is now, and I am here, choosing Love. The pain that I experienced in that darkness still yearns to be felt which is why I think I was still having a hard time choosing Love. I recognize now though that I can go back and touch without actually being there. I am not there anymore, now can be different. It is my choice, I have the freedom of choice now and I am choosing Love. I am choosing connection. I am choosing me, and my family, and peace.

I choose gentleness and healing. I choose to be kind with myself as I pick all of myself up and walk my path home to Love.

I close this with gratitude. Gratitude for my body and the way she has always held me.

Thank you for all you have done to care for me, everyday, never stopping, never failing, no matter how bad it got, no matter how many times I abandoned you, no matter how unloved you must have felt. You have showed me the most unconditional Love just by doing exactly what you do, going on. I Love you. I Love you and going forward I am going to speak to you with Love, I am going to nourish you with Love, I am going to hold you Sacred with Love. It has always been you and me and it will always be you and me. I Love you and I am grateful without end for all the wonder that you are.