Wow. What. a. year.
Last January, I was expanding my Virtual Assistant business, starting off as a life coach, and hosting Work That Reconnects workshops while in London.
I was going deeper in a new relationship and planning to return to Portugal in February to be with her, then who knew?
2020 - collectively - was a challenging and shattering year on multiple fronts. From the reality that Black lives live with daily coming more into the awareness of white people to this seemingly endless global pandemic to the white supremacy America has always know raising its head again from the underworld of this country's legacy.
And in the face of all of this - I find it challenging to share what is going well. I have lots of thoughts like, "am I rubbing my 'good luck' in other peoples faces?" "why does anyone want to hear my story and how good my year when it was so shitty for others?"
Well, it wasn't just good luck but hard work and trust in myself and relationship building.
And I had an amazing year, its true, but it was also extremely challenging.
And while I do not ever intend to escape from the reality of the world around me, I have my ways of embracing and appreciating life.
So this isn't a post about how shitty 2020 was or my political opinion about any of it... Though I like to think that gratitude and appreciation and showing ourselves in our truth is political. I deeply desire for a system that can resource with gratitude, that can acknowledge and feel deeply alll the feels about what's going on, that can cultivate relationship with kin of all kind, and take action from a place of deep and true love for our world and all beings.
And I am grateful for so much this year.
For one, my capacity to find a way to build relationships, offer my services, and make money in a way that is self-sustaining. For the trust of my clients, and the joy of my work... How it feels when I end a coaching session and I can say "I love my job!" or when I deliver the first draft of a website and my clients love the design. I am so grateful that work feels like play and my creativity and compassion and humanity come alive in the space I create.
I am grateful to the country of Portugal - for its incredible and unprecedented (for an American) immigration policy during the pandemic. Anyone who was 'stuck' in Portugal was granted de facto residency during the emergency order and it has been extended over and over again. Because of this, I could stay in Portugal for most of the year, work with my clients, deepen my relationship to the land, get to know the region and other communities.
And hey, I started working remotely for myself before the pandemic began so I was off to a good start!
Another blessing is that I joined a group of women around the world doing water work. Every week, we meet on Fridays for a sanctuary space, sharing about our lives and supporting each other in our work with caring for the waters. This was such a blessing to have a space not only to have a community of women doing similar work in the world, but also turned into a trusted space where we could navigate the questions and struggles we have around whiteness. How do we heal our ancestral trauma around race? How can we use the water as an ally to our healing? How are we showing up for people of the global majority (people who aren't white)? And ultimate, how can we be of service to life and restore humanity in all our relations?
This past year, I also got past my discomfort with therapy and started to see someone. It was a gift for myself that I will never regret. It helped me work on my 'people-pleaser' and I worked through some deep stuff around my sexuality that I had repressed. It was a container for me to bring all my stuff from my new relationship, and a place for me to be really real with myself.
I decided that I needed to return to New York, and got to work so that I could come back to Portugal. Thanks to Isabel's patience and help to make sure I was set up on the other side, a lot of research, and TRUST in whatever was supposed to happen, Portugal granted me a RESIDENCY VISA! It was such a relief to get this news, because it was a risk to come back to the states during a pandemic and ask another country if I could move there. But I received a yes!
I can hardly express how excited I am to be reunited with my love in February and to see where life takes us.
And I am grateful to the Tamera community for their invitation to work on a film about water. More details coming this year, but Isabel and I are fundraising for the film and so far it has gone really well. Almost half of the budget came through with our efforts!
And come March, I will be living in Tamera to manage the crowdfunding campaign to raise the rest of the budget and working together with our team.
In addition to this big move, I'm starting to step into graduate school. This spring, I'm enrolled in at Pacifica Graduate Institute's Ecopsychology Certificate program, in addition to some other classes. I have found that coaching is an incredible path for me and I want to deepen in skills to show up even better for my clients.
As for my client work, I AM taking new coaching clients and offering extensions with my current clients, but I will not be offering Virtual Assistant services until Summer as I am prioritizing my work with Tamera, coaching, hosting Work That Reconnects workshops online and school.
With all of these amazing movements in my life, I also want to acknowledge the movement beyond life into death. We have lost so many people this year, and I give thanks for the light that the people I lost brought into my life.
Thank you, Peter Swords, for your heart and humanity.
Thank you, Elaine McConnell, for our high school adventures and the fun and connection you helped me and my brother have together when times were tough.
Thank you, Peter 'Sunra' Ott, for your deep love of the plant kingdom, your sweet and tender heart, and your honesty about the struggle of life even as light shone through you.
My prayer for 2021 is that we can fully appreciate the life we are living, even in the midst of death and chaos... that death and chaos can deepen our gratitude for what we have while we have it, and that we can open ourselves to the possibility of a truly humane world where we can all shine in our gifts, unafraid to offer them and show what we are capable of to promote life for all.