As I write these words, I am marking the 18th anniversary of Leah’s death.

The week that starts with her accident and ends with her death is always different each year. There is always a surreal quality to them. I decided to take this day to be with my thoughts, to write, to contemplate, to meditate. My tears have been close to the surface all day. It feels right to be quiet today; to honor her with quiet contemplation.

I am also reminded today that it is in walking my grief journey that I find purpose in my life and my work.

I never would have found the courage to share my story with others in the way that I’m being called to do so without the lesson I learned, and continue to learn, from my daughter and from our journey together. My life is integrated for the first time ever. There is no separation from who I am in my personal life and who I am in my business life. There is only the fullness of who I am in each moment.

My grief journey shows me how to live fully every day.

Even when my feelings are difficult, even when my tears are close to the surface; through it all I have found a buoyancy of my heart that let’s me know that I am following the right path.

On my 64th birthday in June of 2017 I was called to begin a yearlong quest. A quest to examine what no longer serves me, and to call in what is needed next. I want to emerge from my quest on my 65th birthday with all I need as I welcome this next phase of my life. There have already been several challenges and discoveries. I still do not have all the answers to the questions I posed at the beginning of the quest, but I do have some. I also have glimpses of other answers. I’m careful not to put too much stock in the glimpses because I know I’m not seeing the whole picture right now. This particular anniversary, in the middle of my yearlong quest, is piercing my heart in a new way. I will begin to share more about my discoveries as well as where I am being called in my life in the next few months.

I am grateful for my journey, for all of the circumstances that aligned to make me who I am; for the courage to continue to dig to find myself; for the breaking open of my heart to hold all that is here in each moment.

For a good part of my life I have searched to define myself; to describe who I am and what I stand for. That has eluded me for a long time. Here is the first jewel of my quest. My name is Anju, she who lives in heart. I have been inviting this name into my heart since I received it. I will not be changing my name on legal documents, but I will be taking on Anju and the spirit of my name in my daily life.

Who we are in one aspect of our lives is who we are in all aspects.

As I take that on, I enter the world as a fully integrated self, reclaiming all the parts of me and of my soul that were scattered in order for me to survive in an earlier part of my life. As I enter my next stage, I need every part of me to stand in my wholehearted self.

I invite you to come along with me on my journey and to make your own if you are called.

I am doing a series of classes in my Grief and Samyama Facebook group called “Living Life Fully Now”. I’ve been sharing what that means to me in various stages of my grief journey and my life. The classes will run every Wednesday night until the end of 2018. We will also reflect on 2018, and see what no longer serves us as we move to 2019. The class is in Zoom, and I share the recording in the group. If you would like to be added to the group so that you can attend the classes, please let me know, or send me a friend request on Facebook. We need to be friends there in order for me to add you. The group is a secret group to ensure that our conversations occur in a safe space. Only those invited into the group can see it, and only members can comment. I hope to see you there.