2017 was the year I claimed my voice.

It was the year I began to tell my story at my book events. Each time I spoke my story I felt more and more like myself. It felt like I was breathing life into a part of myself that I was never quite sure would ever see the light of day.

As the year went on, I began to work with a voice coach, I began to get comfortable seeing myself on video, I began to look more deeply at my signature presentation.

I realized I had a signature presentation.

What do I mean when I say that I felt more like myself? Well, for most of my life I felt like I was a fraud, that I was pretending, and that I wasn’t enough. I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin. In early 2017 I began using my voice like never before. I voiced the story of my grief journey, but also learned to tell my story, to speak my truth whenever I had an opportunity. Not in a boastful or self-important way but in a way that was life saving, in a way that connected me to my soul, in a way that kept me in the present moment like never before, and in a way that helped connect to the person I’ve always been, but had been trying to “get rid of” for so many years. It was subtle and unrestrained at the same time. It felt so freeing!

It was another level of inner work that was happening just by being scrupulously devoted to the present moment and all that it held for me.

I also began to separate the me before my experience of grief and the me who grieved. The me before my grief was a part of the everything that helped my along the dark spiral of my grief journey. The one emerging from that darkness was the one who benefited from the way I met my grief journey. Everything began to make sense. My whole life came into focus in a way it hadn’t before. The inner work I did after I wrote my book allowed me to develop the capacity in my body to be able to hold the story and feelings so that I could bring it into the world. This first year of speaking about my book provided another level of inner work that brought me to the realization that claiming and using my voice is the key to truly loving myself — all parts of myself — unconditionally.

Wow! I feel like I can relax in a way that I never could before.

If my journey has taught me anything it’s that as long as I’m willing to do the work I’ll continue to evolve. I have no doubt that I will continue to become the best version of myself and, that in this moment, I have no idea what that will look like. I thought when I was helping my clients thrive after loss that I was done, then when I wrote my book I thought I was done. Now I realize I’ll never be done.

As I use my voice in ways I never have before, I realize I’ll continue evolving into the person I am meant to be in this world. That excites me like nothing has for a long time!

I’ve always wanted to live my life as the wild and outrageously messy person that I am.

My instinct right now is to explain to you exactly what I mean by messy, because it’s not what you might think it is, but another thing I’m over is the need to constantly explain myself in order to fit into a perception of reality that never existed.

I always thought that to be loved and accepted I would have to tame my wild heart and let her out in small measurable quantities, always on the lookout for the tsk-tsking of other people’s judgments thus reigning myself in to be loved and accepted. No more.

Today I claim my right to take up all the space I need to take up and to unapologetically stand in my Truth, however that shows up from moment to moment.

How about you? Are you willing to stake a claim for yourself?
Are you willing to let your own wild heart fully participate in your wondrous life?
I hope so, because together, we will have so much fun!