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Broken Open

It’s a spiritual journey, not an intellectual journey. That was an epiphany I had October 3, 2004. The morning my mom passed away suddenly of a massive heart attack. I was on maternity leave with a 10-week old daughter, and my mother had been complaining of some chest pain and shoulder pain a couple of days before, even the day before, never putting two and two together that it might have been her heart. It was an extraordinary experience, to say the least, just heart wrenching.

It was one of those experiences where you drop to your knees. You can’t breathe. You feel like someone has shot you and half of your body is missing. The most intense feeling of my life. And… Wait a minute! I have this newborn I have to care for. Who knew that she was actually caring for me just as I was caring for her.

Then there was Dad. My father was absolutely devastated and totally lost. That whole experience put me in a different plane (a spiritual plane that is!) You know how you go through your life, from experience to experience and you hope that you’re growing and learning as you’re going but something feels different with certain experiences? That was this! I actually felt an ascension. It was like I was skipping grades.

Prior to that day I was a fairly typical ambitious type. An up and coming leader. New family. A coaching certificate in a new field. Playing with the idea of a new business venture. Here I am contemplating two choices. Stay broken and low or step into the pain and be with it. Get to know it. Use it to bring beauty and love to my life.

Throughout that period, I felt so torn between grief and the need to be present for my daughter. I had to keep going. I had to get up. I had to take care of her. One foot in front of the other. One hour at a time. Everyone in my family went back to their lives, happily distracted by their jobs, their kids. Then there was Dad, again. He dealt with his loss by starting a new relationship. I knew I needed help.

I started back at the place where Mom left off. I dove into the various books and things that she would read. My mother was extremely well versed on spirituality. The kind of expertise you would hear about in a podcast or read about in books. I would roll my eyes when she would talk to me about God, spirituality. She had an amazing relationship with God and saw all of us as deep spiritual beings but I just didn’t get it. Actually, I wasn’t interested in it at all. I saw it as a waste of time. Until now that is.

I saw through Mom’s eyes and started to investigate more of the why. What else is going on around me? How much of my life has been created, purely based upon my interest in being A type, ambitious and driven. I am always building things rather than tuning in to the process of being a human being.

What are the messages from the universe? What do I hear? What does my subconscious tell me? What does my intuition tell me? Why am I so focused on this intellectual path? What is that? Is that something I learned, is that something I was nurtured into? I couldn’t quite figure any of it out. But the more I started to dig, the more I started to ask more and more questions and ponder more, and ultimately gave me the courage to decide to leave my career and start over, do something really different. That was where the career coaching idea was born. Coaching in this country was unheard of so I knew I was a bit of a pioneer just being certified. I did go back to work. Stayed for about three months, quit and jumped into the unknown. I had my head, my heart, a husband with a new chiropractic business, a 6 month old and a few thousand bucks in the bank!

I was being led beyond my intellect. Everyone at work thought I was being reckless. I was doing so well in my career, why walk away and pursue a business with a certification that was relatively unknown in the US?

I would never have said this at the time it was all happening, but I say now that Mom passing was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I saw the essence of my power, my potential, my courage and my gifts. I also had coping skills that I never knew I had. I had faith in a divine order of things. A divine path that I would not have been awakened to had I not gone through that experience.

So here you are. If you’re choosing to be in the state of inquiry or in the state of contemplation, hit that pause button. Investigate. Be astonished by what’s within you. Success and opportunities that you never even imagined are right there. Do you see it yet?

You will notice through your life, you’ll go back into the state of inquiry anytime you’re faced with something. An event. A trauma. A big question. A passing comment. Something is stirring.

You will always be seen and heard here. Play with the notions of freedom and expression. We welcome you to your community. Your Band of Warriors.

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JEANIE COOMBER
Jeanie Coomber brings you insight and actionable ideas for each step of your Warrior Journey on the Warrior Wisdom blog. Make sure to join our list below so you don’t miss a post.

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