It is amazing to me how beautiful things and awful things can sit side by side in our landscapes of self, both keeping count to the times of our days. Yesterday marked the 9 month anniversary of my brother’s passing- thinking about it still feels a bit like something short circuits in my brain, like it’s all too much to comprehend.

Last night as I sat listening to music, staring out the window at the deepening ink of night, contemplating all that has come to pass in the past 9 months, I was swept into the same space I always go when I think about these things: this massive over awareness of just how tremendous and overwhelming life can be.

It’s huge and massive and incredible to realize, see, and live how the stories of our days play out. There is so much we cannot see at the beginning of the journey, so much we learn along the way, so much that doesn’t add up in the moment but evens out, just the way it was meant, in the end.

I had dinner with an old friend last evening. We’ve known each other for over 10 years, and these days our friendship has come full circle, growing into something more than it was before. We’ve grown up together, she and I, and as we look back over our history, it’s easy to see we are uniquely suited to support one another in this present time and space though that is not something we would have ever seen or could have known all those years ago when our paths first intertwined.

I wonder sometimes what it will be 10 years from now when I look back to 2016 and know that it’s been a decade since losing Brent. What will I see and know then that I don’t see or know now? His presence still feels so close some days, the memories still fresh: how will it be when more time has spun itself out and there are years upon years of memories that don’t include his voice, his being, his face? Even though he’s no longer here, will there still be things that come full circle?

It was a full moon the other night and I was asked to lead a woman’s circle. Three hours of teaching, channeling, intuiting and pretty much using whatever means I could to help instruct and facilitate conversation on inner knowing, learning to be our own wise person, finding soul path and life purpose, and accessing the gifts of spirit in the every day.

It is probably one of the coolest things I have ever done, definitely a big step towards the kind of work I hope to do when I move, and so heart filling to see women of many different ages begin to listen to themselves and step into the paths they feel are right for their hearts. I left that night and drove home wondering: who was that woman with so much confidence that she walked into this group of women and fearlessly led?

She is the woman who arose from the ashes of my brother’s death. Who took all the pieces I’ve been learning throughout the years, all the writing, all the psychology, all the intuitive gifts, all the healing work and she finally decided it was time to put those pieces together and repurpose her life in a different way than she has before.

One of the truths of Brent’s passing is that it has made me fairly fearless. I thought I was confident before, but I still held many, many fears. What if people don’t like my writing? What if they dismiss my spiritual experiences? What if I just sound crazy? Who am I to teach these things anyways? Who am I to say these things? Who am I to dare?

So I doubted. And I waited. Waited for something to make me feel bigger, more credentialed, more expert, more ready. I was keeping myself on hold, waiting for something outside of me to tell me it was time.

Then Brent.

Then I began to realize time is awfully short. Then I began to see all that is sacred in the everyday. Then something inside of me rose up. So I dared.

And that is where I am right now, and it is changing the course of my life. Which is how I found myself leading these women who aren’t dismissing me or what I have to say at all. In fact, they are grabbing onto it, taking it into themselves like medicine to their souls. They are seeing the sacred in the everyday and finding the pieces to their own puzzles they’ve been searching for.

They share their experience of self and begin to realize just how valid those experiences are, as I tell them if it feels crazy, so crazy it makes your heart excited and resonates deep within and gives you a daring vision for your life, well you’re on the right path. And it leaves them feeling empowered, because it turns out I don’t need to be some expert. I am an ordinary woman who sees the extraordinary in the ordinary, and they see this in me, which helps them connect to these gifts within themselves.

The language of spirit is Love, I say. True magic- finding the extraordinary and sacred- simply begins with Love. And that begins with loving ourselves. 

I don’t know how things will come full circle with my brother, but I do know how great is my love. That everything I’ve learned these past 9 months is about learning to take what is awful, and terrible, and horrible, and make love out of it. It is the only way I have found to heal myself: to find what is lovely in dark spaces and bring it into the light. And at the end of this day, I’m an ordinary woman following a calling, a girl who still cries over it all, a little sister who simply loved her brother.

And that love is what will remain.

9 months down, a lifetime to go. I’ll hear you in the wind. Know you in the water. See your face in the light of the stars. Be well out there, old friend.